Henry V, (Scene III, Act IV) Speech on the feast of Saints Crispin and Crispian before battle of Agincourt

WESTMORELAND

O that we now had here
But one ten thousand of those men in England
That do no work to-day!

KING HENRY V

What's he that wishes so?
My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin:
If we are mark'd to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God's will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires:
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England:
God's peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more, methinks, would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made
And crowns for convoy put into his purse:
We would not die in that man's company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is called the feast of Crispian:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian:'
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
And say 'These wounds I had on Crispin's day.'
Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember with advantages
What feats he did that day: then shall our names.
Familiar in his mouth as household words
Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
Be in their flowing cups freshly remember'd.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember'd;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

William Shakespeare

Working With a Will

No, not yet, move nothing until
you have filled yourself with
intention, or
your act will freeze, immutable, and
your thought will have aborted
into misshapen stumbling. 
We stammer in the effort to speak, lurch
out of a passion to walk, slump
in lieu of sitting; yet, 
within, awareness reaches toward
an attainable state in which
we seek to direct our selves
as a rider guides the most accomplished of
horses, crupper gathering, hooves
pattering, neck yearning toward
heaven, and the supple trunk
conveys itself over the earth without
anticipation or effort. 
This is the ascent into the self,
encountering possibility just as it
flowers into the actual. 
We attain fulfillment only if we carry
the breath of the world
without surrender
or escape. 

Peter Davison


About the Poem
This poem was on the cover of our annual Report for 1998 and established the word, "Intentionality" as our touchstone theme for the following year, 1999. To inter-phrase the last third of the poem with our view of ourselves, "We attain fulfillment"... (in our work as brokers, partners and small business owners) ..."only if we carry the breath of the world"... (a belief in the importance -- to a life well-lived -- of conflict, effort, resolution, consideration, definition, continuing tension, and forward movement) ..."without anticipation or effort, without surrender or escape."... on behalf of our clients. 

To our customers we claim that we always know what to do next. Nevertheless, we are transparent to our clients so that our actions also serve as openhanded invitations to question us and our judgements. We are not creatures of mindless habit, routine, defensive reactivity, hidden agendas, sleight of hand, or malicious manipulation. We ought always to be able to explain to you how our advice is responsive to your situation, how our actions advance your interests -- all things considered -- and how the reaction of the evaluating world is to be interpreted in light of what we recommend you do next.

1036

Satisfaction is the agent
Of satiety. 
Want a quiet commissary
For infinity. 

To possess is past the instant
We achieve the joy. 
Immortality contented
Were anomaly. 

Emily Dickinson


About the Poem
Mick Jagger has complained in song quite successfully since 1965 that he, "(Can't get no) Satisfaction". IRC has claimed, just as earnestly since 1987, that we, ("Don't want no) Satisfaction". Emily Dickinson could be our lead singer, as we may have mentioned elsewhere, and her #1036 - the cover of our 1999 Annual Report - is self-explanatory as to why. 

Our little company will pass from existence the day we stop wanting. So long as we are dissatisfied, so long as we can maintain a sense of dissatisfaction on behalf of our clients, until the day comes we consider ourselves to have "achieve(d) the joy", we will labor on to immortality, fed by the infinite commissary of our discontent. 

"To possess (success?) is past the instant we achieve...", so we work every day in the tense presence of the present tense. That is what success feels like to us. It is more of a guiding star than a homecoming contentedness for which we long. 

819

All I may, if small,
Do it not display
Larger for the Totalness —
'Tis Economy

To bestow a World
And withhold a Star —
Utmost, is Munificence —
Less, tho' larger, poor.

Emily Dickinson

Mending Wall

Something there is that doesn't love a wall, 
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it, 
And spills the upper boulders in the sun, 
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast. 
The work of hunters is another thing: 
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone, 
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding, 
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean, 
No one has seen them made or heard them made, 
But at spring mending-time we find them there. 
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill; 
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again. 
We keep the wall between us as we go. 
To each the boulders that have fallen to each. 
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance: 
'Stay where you are until our backs are turned!' 
We wear our fingers rough with handling them. 
Oh, just another kind of out-door game, 
One on a side. It comes to little more: 
There where it is we do not need the wall: 
He is all pine and I am apple orchard. 
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him. 
He only says, 'Good fences make good neighbors'. 
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head: 
'Why do they make good neighbors? Isn't it
Where there are cows? 
But here there are no cows. 
Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out, 
And to whom I was like to give offence. 
Something there is that doesn't love a wall, 
That wants it down.' I could say 'Elves' to him, 
But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather
He said it for himself. I see him there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed. 
He moves in darkness as it seems to me
Not of woods only and the shade of trees. 
He will not go behind his father's saying, 
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, "Good fences make good neighbors." 

Robert Frost


About the Poem
This Frost poem served as the cover page for our YE 2001 report. It would be an almost literal description of our work if it were titled, Mending Policy Text, and told a much longer and less peaceful story of a broker whose land is surrounded by four stone walls, each maintained respectively by cooperative work every day with an insured Seller to the North, the insured's Buyer to the South, the Seller's Bank to the East and an Insurer off to the West. 

"The gaps (in understanding) I mean, No one has seen them made or heard them made, but at (monthly reporting-time, or renewal time, or) spring mending-time we find them there...." "...We wear our fingers rough with handling them (our customers problems and questions)..." And we help everyone to get along in this, "...kind of out-door game...", though "...some (of the rules) are loaves and some (of the particular expectations of the parties) so nearly balls, we have to use a spell to make them balance..." 

"...Good (policy text) makes good neighbours...", to be sure. But just as in the poem, neither the mechanics of policy maintenance , nor the psychology, nor the intellectual traditions behind what we do -- never mind the things we do to repair the carelessness of those who aim, "...to please the yelping dogs..." -- are as straightforward and as simple as they may appear to those (not responsible for a policy) who own "...all pine..." or "...all apple...", where "...there are no cows..." 

Frost was said to have been a splendid teacher and a rather inattentive farmer. He would have been a fine broker had he chosen, but we would all have been poorer for that choice. 

Trees

To be a giant and keep quiet about it, 
To stay in one's own place; 
To stand for the constant presence of process
And always to seem the same; 
To be steady as a rock and always trembling, 
Having the hard appearance of death
With the soft, fluent nature of growth, 
One's Being deceptively armored, 
One's Becoming deceptively vulnerable; 
To be so tough, and take the light so well, 
Freely providing forbidden knowledge
Of so many things about heaven and earth
For which we should otherwise have no word-- 
Poems or people are rarely so lovely, 
And even when they have great qualities
They tend to tell you rather than exemplify
What they believe themselves to be about, 
While from the moving silence of trees, 
Whether in storm or in calm, in leaf and naked, 
Night or day, we draw conclusions of our own, 
Sustaining and unnoticed as our breath, 
And perilous also -- though there has never been
A critical tree -- about the nature of things. 

Howard Nemerov


About the Poem
In the Howard Nemerov piece from the 2002 Annual Report, a sense of awe pervades. Who amongst us can model the internal and integrated power of Trees, their sense of eternal connectedness though only recently ascendant themselves in the biology of Earth? 

Not us. But we orient to TREES and the sort complicated relationships they represent so fluently. 

One of our most experienced partners, Ed Yauch, begins his response to any question asked by one of us (or one of our clients) with the phrase, "Well, first, it's complicated...". Ed, like a mighty tree, has taught us all that resolutions to do with living relationships may be made as simple as possible, but no simpler. Frequently it is our unavoidable task as brokers -- working in the forest -- to keep the solutions we recommend a bit complicated. We expect our work to provide our customers with at least a temporary stay against confusion. 

So, "We draw conclusions of our own...to stand for the constant presence of process." We assert a Faith in cycles and mutuality. Though we criticize often and strongly the inappropriate positioning in decision-making processes we oversee -- the careless or the care-free, the reckless or the excessively calculated advantage -- we always hold out for the highest form of understanding. 

We, like the Trees, are not essentially critical of, "... the nature of things" having to do with business relationships. We do not wish for the dangers of international business relationships to be different, nor to pretend that the risks will pass us or our customers by, nor expect the pain and loss of normal human engagements to be felt by others alone. 

We are armored and we are vulnerable on behalf of our clients. And like the TREES, we will be here when they need us, whether they know they need us or not, whether they like knowing it or not. 

Sonnet 30

When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past, 
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought, 
And with old woes new wail my dear time's waste: 
Then can I drown an eye, unused to flow, 
For precious friends hid in death's dateless night, 
And weep afresh love's long since cancell'd woe, 
And moan the expense of many a vanish'd sight: 


Then can I grieve at grievances foregone, 
And heavily from woe to woe tell o'er
The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan, 
Which I new pay as if not paid before
But if the while I think on thee, dear friend, 
All losses are restored and sorrows end 

William Shakespeare

It's Not Worth it

It’s not worth it –
all those bruises… careless misuses…the perpetual confusion…of my soul and body;
broken so…and deeply bowed…still not allowed…to truly ever let go;
every refuge I was denied…the tears I might have cried…all left to dry inside –
the abusive tide…. of cruelties I had to abide…to be the one responsible.

It’s not worth it –
the reeling headaches…the feeling deadweight…no line between two points straight;
when to stay alive…I failed, but tried…then to protect, I lied …for innocent and guilty alike;
taught to ignore …the brutal score…whatever went before …and how sore…I really was –
with a game on the line…the worry-wait-and-wonder which went with working to win every time. 

It’s not worth it –
speed shot…knees rotten…nerves clotted;
all gone…to the wrongs inflicted…by my victims…mates… and self;
knuckles broken…muscles stolen…by excessive tokens…of half-considered choices –
the voices that whispered…too much grace under pressure…presages the soul’s slow suicide.

It’s not worth it –
long slumps…contusions, bumps…and the need to jump;
at every whispered word of power…victory…glory…need…mercy…hope…or wealth;
now left to decipher…words of writers…who talk of my career…as if it began this year—
they disregard…every time I starred…’cause I was hard …when I had to be.

It’s not worth it –
the belief and youth… innocence, ignorance and truth…that died in the process of making me;
this justice-cide…was never fair…I took two for every one I gave…and still:
got more than I deserve… so if I must decide…I will…but… for them to hear, not me –

“It’s not worth it,” gasped The Champion.

poem from D.C. metro bus, anonymous, Winter 1981 

Ozymandias

I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand, 
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown, 
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, 
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read, 
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, 
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed, 
And on the pedestal these words appear: 
"My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings: 
Look upon my works, ye Mighty, and despair!" 
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1792-1822

The Red Wheelbarrow

so much depends
upon

a red wheel
barrow

glazed with rain
water

beside the white
chickens. 

William Carlos Williams

Caminante

Caminante, son tus huellas el camino, y nada mas; 
caminante, no hay camino, se hace camino al andar. 
Al andar se hace camino, y al volver la vista atras, 
se ve la senda que nunca se ha de volver a pisar. 
Caminante, no hay camino, Sino estelas en la mar. 

Antonio Machado
 

English translation: 

Traveler, your footprint is your path and nothing else; 
Traveler, there is no way, the way is made by going. 
By walking you make the path, and when you look back, 
You see the track where you should never walk again. 
Traveler, there is no way, only the wake in the sea. 

Antonio Machado

 

About the Poem
A broker's life is a little bit like a poet's life at times. The difference is that we, as brokers, carve our words and lay down our stanzas in search of Understanding and Agreement, not in pursuit of Truth. One may write poetry or own an international brokerage firm with two dozen other people as a vocation, "...by walking you make the path". 

For the love of the process and the team, we work from the heart, without a map. In our daily battle against ignorance and indecisiveness, we aim to create the clarity that will temporarily stay confusion and give us -- and our clients -- a brief refuge from the impending tyranny of entropy. Our hope, with Antonio Machado, is that Trust and Devotion will outlast Rust and Corrosion. 

Antonio Machado was a rebel who did not conform with his society's rules. When he wrote this poem in 1917, he was teaching school in a small Spanish city named Soriato. He witnessed war, lived through the period of extreme social and political discontent that brought the Spanish Civil War to his homeland, and experienced the personal trauma of his young wife's death. It is the relentlessness of these struggles that enhanced and elevated his poetry to a new level. 

We each create a path by the steps we take toward our goals . In his poem, Machado the existentialist utilizes an image of the sea to represent his view of our path through life's length. That is, no one leaves a true path for another to follow; each path taken evanesces like a ship's wake in the water. We don't need to follow anyone's path but our own. In fact, no other path exists, but the one of our own active creation. 

At IRC we strive to create an individual path for each client by moving forward with an original view of each situation. We know that only by being authentic can we achieve our personal goals, help our clients reach their goals, and go where we have never been before, whether through new personal discoveries or through creative insurance and finance solutions. 

Sonnet to Orpheus II (2008 YE report; 1/19/08) 

Want the Change
Be inspired by the flame
Where everything shines, As it disappears. 
The Artist, When sketching
Loves nothing so much as the curve
Of the body as it turns away. 
What locks itself in sameness, Has congealed
Is it safer to be gray and numb? 
What turns hard becomes rigid, And is easily shattered
Pour yourself like a fountain
Flow into the knowledge that what you are seeking
Finishes often at the start
And with ending begins
Every happiness is the child of a separation
It did not think it could survive
And Daphne becoming a laurel
Dares you Apollo to become the wind 

Rainer Maria Rilke

1129

Tell all the truth but tell it slant, 
Success in circuit lies. 
Too bright for our infirm delight, 
The Truth's superb surprise. 


As lightning to the children eased
With explanation kind, 
The truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind. 

Emily Dickinson


About the Poem
Emily Dickinson would have been a wonderful broker in the modern day. Several of her poems -- including others already in this web site-- speak profoundly to the workaday exigencies of our busy clients who themselves are frequently in the overwhelming middle of doing difficult tasks very well, but at great expense of time, money, effort and focus. Ms. Dickinson has clear messages for folks who deal daily with heavy human traffic, and this poem is one of my favorite reminders from her. 

In 1129, Emily exhorts us to be complete in the carrying of our lessons and convictions to others, but also to take responsibility to see that our "truth" is received by the intended audience. She says it is not enough to talk and blurt the..."superb surprise"... of "the Truth", as we know it. Rather, we must take pains -- "...with explanations kind..." -- to dazzle our audiences gradually with insight, perspective and guidance. 

I hope you find that we are truth-tellers at IRC, and that we dazzle you only gradually with what we know, with what we do, and with what we ask you to do. It is our intended approach -- the important "slant" to our truth-telling that we hope keeps us on the same page with our clients -- that Emily speaks of so well. 

The Darkling Thrush (2009 YE Report 1/15/10) 

I leant upon a coppice gate
When Frost was spectre-gray
And Winter's dregs made desolate
The weakening eye of day. 
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
Like strings of broken lyres
And all mankind that haunted nigh
Had sought their household fires. 

The land's sharp features seemed to be
The Century's corpse outleant; 
His crypt the cloudy canopy, 
The wind his death-lament. 
The ancient pulse of germ and birth
Was shrunken hard and dry, 
And every spirit upon earth
Seemed fervourless as I. 
At once a voice arose among
The bleak twigs overhead, 
In a full-hearted evensong
of joy illimited; 
An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small, 
In blast-beruffled plume
Had chosen thus to fling his soul
Upon the graying gloom. 

So little cause for carolings
Of such ecstatic sound
Was written on terrestrial things
Afar or nigh around, 
That I could think there trembled through
His happy goodnight air
Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew
And I was unaware. 

Thomas Hardy 

We’re All in This Thing Together (2010 YE Meeting; 3/19/11) 

Well my friends, I see your face so clearly
Little bit tired, little worn through the years
You sound nervous, you seem alone
I hardly recognize your voice on the
telephone

In between I remember
Just before bound-up broken-down
We drive out to the edge of the highway
Follow that lonesome dead-end road sign
south

We're all in this thing together
Walkin' the line between faith and fear
This life don't last forever
When you cry I taste the salt in your tears

Well my friend, let's put this thing together
And walk the path our worn out feet of trial
If you want, we could go home forever
Give up your jaded ways, spell your name to God

We're all in this thing together
Walkin' the line between faith and fear
This life don't last forever
When you cry I taste the salt in your tears

All the hour there’s a picture in a mirror
Fancy shoes to grace our feet
All there is, is a slow road to freedom
Heaven above and the devil beneath

We're all in this thing together
Walkin' the line between faith and fear
This life don't last forever
When you cry I taste the salt in your tears

Old Crow Medicine Show

Imagine (2010 YE Meeting; 3/19/11) 

Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today... 

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace... 

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world... 

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

John Lennon 

Satisfied Mind (2010 YE Meeting; 3/19/11) 

How many times have
You heard someone say
If I had his money
I could do things my way

But little they know
That it's so hard to find
One rich man in ten
With a satisfied mind

Once I was waitin' 
In fortune and fame
Everything that I dreamed for
To get a start in life's game

Then suddenly it happened
I lost every dime
But I'm richer by far
With a satisfied mind
Money can't buy back
Your youth when you're old
Or a friend when you're lonely
Or a love that's grown cold

The wealthiest person
Is a pauper at times
Compared to the man
With a satisfied mind

When my life has ended
And my time has run out
My friends and my loved ones
I'll leave there's no doubt
But one thing's for certain
When it comes my time
I'll leave this old world
With a satisfied mind

How many times have
You heard someone say
If I had his money
I could do things my way

But little they know
That it's so hard to find
One rich man in ten
With a satisfied mind 

 

Johnny Cash 

A Century Ends

Cast your eyes into the distance
Try to focus on it all
Find a spirit of resistance
Instead of pride before the fall
Forge some opposition
From disparate strands
It ain't the prettiest position
As a century ends

Unstable situation
Faces made of wax
Streams of melting glass
Sheets of butchered facts
The roar of the machine
Hooded hearts and jewelled hands
And anger spilling out like gasoline
As a century ends

Everything I seen, everything that I heard,
Ain't even the tip of the iceberg
Fire down memory lane
So pass me my rose tinted glasses again

Through a fog of contradiction
Out to the lake of tears
See society admiring it's own reflection
Chase a light that shines and disappears
Careful what you say 'cos reality offends
Just sit back and let your soul decay
As a century ends

And it's easy to get weary
As you fight to get it done
Against a popular theory
That it's over 'fore it's even begun
Strain the limit of compassion
Tend a wound that never mends
And honesty still out of fashion
As a century ends

 

David Gray

Mandolin Rain

The song came and went
Like the times that we spent
Hiding out from the rain
Under the carnival tent

I laughed and she'd smile
It would last for awhile
You don't know what you got
Til you lose it all again

Listen to the mandolin rain
Listen to the music on the lake
Oh, listen to my heart break
Every time she runs away

Oh, listen to the banjo wind
A sad song drifting low
Listen to the tears roll
Down my face as she turns to go

A cool evening dance
Listening to the bluegrass band takes the chill
From the air
Til they play the last song

I'll do my time
Keeping you off my mind but there's moments
That I find
I'm not feeling so strong

Listen to the mandolin rain
Listen to the music on the lake
Aw, listen to my heart break
Every time she runs away

Oh, listen to the banjo wind
A sad song drifting low
Listen to the tears roll
Down my face as she turns to go

Running down by the lake shore
She did love the sound of a summer storm
It played on the lake like a mandolin
Now it's washing her away once again... whoa, again

Boat's steaming in
Ho, I watch the side wheel spin and I
Think about her when
I hear that whistle blow

But, I can't change my mind
Oh, I knew all the time that she'd go
But that's a choice I made long ago

Listen to the mandolin rain
Listen to the music on the lake
Aw, listen to my heart break
Every time she runs away

Listen to the banjo wind
A sad song drifting low
Listen to the tears roll
Down my face as she turns to go 

Bruce and John Hornsby

Once and Future Carpenter

I ain't from Texas, but I made my way from Dallas
And I know the lonesome sound is following
And I ain't a gambler, but I can recognize a hand
And when to hold, when queens are staring back at me
Once I was a carpenter, and man my hands were calloused
I could swing a metal mallet sure and straight
But I took to the highway, a poet young and hungry
And I left the timbers where they lay

Forever I will move like the world that turns beneath me
And when I lose my direction I'll look up to the sky
And when the black cloak drags upon the ground
I'll be ready to surrender, and remember
Well we're all in this together
If I live the life I'm given, I wont be scared to die

And I don't come from Detroit, but her diesel motors pull me
And I followed till I finally lost my way
And now I spend my days in search of a woman I called purpose
And if I ever pass back through her town I'll stay

Forever I will move like the world that turns beneath me
And when I lose my direction I'll look up to the sky
And when the black dress drags upon the ground
I'll be ready to surrender, and remember
Well we're all in this together
If I live the life I'm given, I won't be scared to die

And my life is but a coin, it's pulled from an empty pocket
Dropped into a slot with dreams of sevens close behind
And these hopes and these fears go with it, and moon and the sun go spinning
Like the numbers and fruits before our eyes
Sometimes I hit, sometimes it robs me blind
Sometimes I hit, sometimes it robs me blind

Forever I will move like the world that turns beneath me
And when I lose my direction I'll look up to the sky
And when the black cloak drags upon the ground
I'll be ready to surrender, and remember
Well we're all in this together
If I live the life I'm given, I won't be scared to die

 

The Avett Brothers

The Times Are A-Changin'

Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who
That it's namin'
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside
And it is ragin'
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don't criticize
What you can't understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin'
Please get out of the new one
If you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'.

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin'
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'.

Bob Dylan

Sanguine

Make me sanguine
Help me genuinely
Kill the doubt that strangles myself worth
Paint the picture that I swore I heard

Spiritless and mean
Ghost that comes between
I will keep my wits about myself
Disregard directions sent from hell

When it brings the gleam
Longer lasting than me
Oh my love but we are bound to die
My heart is broke but you won't hear me cry
Oh my love but we are bound to die
My heart is broke but you won't see me

 

The Avett Brothers

 

Blackbird

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise.

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these sunken eyes and learn to see
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to be free.

Blackbird fly Blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night.

Blackbird fly Blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night.

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise
You were only waiting for this moment to arise
You were only waiting for this moment to arise.

 

The Beatles

 

Instant Karma

Instant Karma's gonna get you
Gonna knock you right on the head
You better get yourself together
Pretty soon you're gonna be dead
What in the world you thinking of
Laughing in the face of love
What on earth you tryin' to do
It's up to you, yeah you

Instant Karma's gonna get you
Gonna look you right in the face
Better get yourself together darlin'
Join the human race
How in the world you gonna see
Laughin' at fools like me
Who in the hell d'you think you are
A super star
Well, right you are

Well we all shine on
Like the moon and the stars and the sun
Well we all shine on
Ev'ryone come on

Instant Karma's gonna get you
Gonna knock you off your feet
Better recognize your brothers
Ev'ryone you meet
Why in the world are we here
Surely not to live in pain and fear
Why on earth are you there
When you're ev'rywhere
Come and get your share

Well we all shine on
Like the moon and the stars and the sun
Yeah we all shine on
Come on and on and on on on
Yeah yeah, alright, uh huh, ah

Well we all shine on
Like the moon and the stars and the sun
Yeah we all shine on
On and on and on on and on

Well we all shine on
Like the moon and the stars and the sun
Well we all shine on
Like the moon and the stars and the sun
Well we all shine on
Like the moon and the stars and the sun
Yeah we all shine on
Like the moon and the stars and the sun

 

John Lennon

Don Quixote

Through the woodland, through the valley
Comes a horseman wild and free
Tilting at the windmills passing
Who can the brave young horseman be
He is wild but he is mellow
He is strong but he is weak
He is cruel but he is gentle
He is wise but he is meek
Reaching for his saddlebag
He takes a battered book into his hand
Standing like a prophet bold
He shouts across the ocean to the shore
Till he can shout no more
I have come over moor and mountain
Like the hawk upon the wing
I was once a shining knight
Who was the guardian of a king
I have searched the whole world over
Looking for a place to sleep
I have seen the strong survive
And I have seen the lean grown weak
See the children of the earth
Who wake to find the table bare
See the gentry in the country
Riding off to take the air
Reaching for his saddlebag
He takes a rusty sword into his hand
Then striking up a knightly pose
He shouts across the ocean to the shore
Till he can shout no more
See the jailor with his key
Who locks away all trace of sin
See the judge upon the bench
Who tries the case as best he can
See the wise and wicked ones
Who feed upon life's sacred fire
See the soldier with his gun
Who must be dead to be admired
See the man who tips the needle
See the man who buys and sells
See the man who puts the collar
On the ones who dare not tell
See the drunkard in the tavern
Stemming gold to make ends meet
See the youth in ghetto black
Condemned to life upon the street
Reaching for his saddlebag
He takes a tarnished cross into his hand
Then standing like a preacher now
He shouts across the ocean to the shore
Then in a blaze of tangled hooves
He gallops off across the dusty plain
In vain to search again
Where no one will hear
Through the woodland, through the valley
Comes a horseman wild and free
Tilting at the windmills passing
Who can the brave young horseman be
He is wild but he is mellow
He is strong but he is weak
He is cruel but he is gentle
He is wise but he is meek

Gordon Lightfoot

Rise

Such is the way of the world
Can't ever know
Just where to put all your faith
And how will it grow
Gonna rise up
Burning black holes in dark memories
Gonna rise up
Turning mistakes into gold
Such is the passage of time
Too fast to fall (fold)
Suddenly swallowed by signs
Lo and behold
Gonna rise up
Find my direction magnetically
Gonna rise up
Throw down my ace in the hole

Eddie Vedder

Happy Together

Imagine me and you, I do
I think about you day and night, it's only right
To think about the girl you love
And hold her tight, so happy together
If I should call you up, invest a dime
And you say you belong to me and ease my mind
Imagine how the world could be, so very fine
So happy together
I can't see me loving nobody
But you for all my life
When you're with me, baby
The skies will be blue for all my life
Me and you and you and me
No matter how they tossed the dice, it had to be
The only one for me is you and you for me
So happy together
I can't see me loving nobody
But you for all my life
When you're with me, baby
The skies will be blue for all my life
Me and you and you and me
No matter how they tossed the dice, it had to be
The only one for me is you and you for me
So happy together
Me and you and you and me
No matter how they tossed the dice, it had to be
The only one for me is you and you for me
So happy together
So happy together
How is the weather
So happy together
We're happy together
So happy together
So happy together
So happy together

So happy together

Gary Bonner and Alan Gordon (1966)
The Turtles

Poems, Prayers, and Promises 

I’ve been lately thinking about my life’s time
All the things I’ve done, how it’s been
And I can’t help believing in my own mind
I know I’m gonna hate to see it end
I’ve seen a lot of sunshine, slept out in the rain
Spent a night or two all on my own
I’ve known my lady’s pleasures, had myself some friends
And spent a night or two in my own home
I have to say it now, it’s been a good life, all in all
It’s really fine to have a chance to hang around
And lie there by the fire and watch the evening tire
While all my friends and my old lady sit and pass the pipe around
Talk of poems and prayers and promises and things that we believe in
How sweet it is to love someone, how right it is to care
How long it’s been since yesterday and what about tomorrow?
What about our dreams and all the memories we share?
The days they pass so quickly now, nights are seldom long
Time around me whispers when it’s cold
The changes somehow frighten me, still I have to smile
It turns me on to think of growing old
For though my life’s been good to me there’s still so much to do
So many things my mind's never known
I’d like to raise a family, I’d like to sail away
And dance across the mountains on the moon, yes I would
I have to say it now, it’s been a good life, all in all
It’s really fine to have the chance to hang around
And lie there by the fire and watch the evening tire
While all my friends and my old lady, sit and watch the sun go down
Talk of poems and prayers and promises and things that we believe in
How sweet it is to love someone, how right it is to care
How long it’s been since yesterday and what about tomorrow?
What about our dreams and all the memories we share?

John Denver

You and I

Don't you worry there my honey
We might not have any money
But we've got our love to pay the bills
Maybe I think you're cute and funny
Maybe I wanna do what bunnies do with you
If you know what I mean
Oh, let's get rich and buy our parents homes
In the south of France
Let's get rich and give everybody nice sweaters
And teach them how to dance
Let's get rich and build our house on a mountain
Making everybody look like ants
From way up there, you and I, you and I
Well, you might be a bit confused
And you might be a little bit bruised
But baby how we spoon like no one else
So I will help you read those books
If you will soothe my worried looks
And we will put the lonesome on the shelf
Ooh, let's get rich and buy our parents homes
In the south of France
Let's get rich and give everybody nice sweaters
And teach them how to dance
Let's get rich and build our house on a mountain
Making everybody look like ants
From way up there, you and I, you and I
Ooh, let's get rich and buy our parents homes
In the south of France
Let's get rich and give everybody nice sweaters
And teach them how to dance
Let's get rich and build our house on a mountain
Making everybody look like ants
From way up there, you and I, you and I

     Ingrid Michaelson

The Rare Old Mountain Dew 

Let the grasses grow and the waters flow
            in a free and easy way
But give me enough of the rare old stuff that's made
            near Galway Bay
Come gangers all from Donegal, Sligo and Leitrim too
Oh, we'll give 'em a slip and we'll take a sip of the rare old mountain dew
Hi the dithery al the dal, dal the dal the dithery al, al the dal, dal dithery al dee
Hi the dithery al the dal, dal the dal the dithery al, dal the dal, dal dithery al dee
There's a neat little still at the foot of the hill, where the smoke curls up to the sky
By a whiff of the smell you can plainly tell, that there's poitin, boys, close by
For it fills the air with a perfume rare, and betwixt both me and you
As home we roll, we can drink a bowl, or a bucketful of mountain dew
Hi the dithery al the dal, dal the dal the dithery al, al the dal, dal dithery al dee
Hi the dithery al the dal, dal the dal the dithery al, dal the dal, dal dithery al dee
Now learned men as use the pen, have writ the praises high
Of the sweet poitin from Ireland green, distilled from wheat and rye
Away with yer pills, it'll cure all ills, be ye Pagan, Christian or Jew
So take off your coat and grease your throat with a bucketful of mountain dew
Hi the dithery al the dal, dal the dal the dithery al, al the dal, dal dithery al dee
Hi the dithery al the dal, dal the dal the dithery al, dal the dal, dal dithery al dee

Lyrics by Edward Harrigan
Irish Traditional tune (The Girl I Left Behind)
For the drama The Blackbird (1882)

Timshel 

Cold is the water, it freezes your already cold mind
Already cold mind------- cold mind
Death is at your doorstep and it will steal your innocence
But it will not steal your substance
You are not alone in this
You are not alone in this
As brothers we will stand and we’ll hold your hand
Hold your hand
And you are the mother, the mother of your baby child.
The one to whom you  gave life.
You have your choices and these are what  make a man great
His ladder to the stars
But you are not alone in this
And you are not alone in this
As brothers we will stand and we’ll hold your hand
Hold your hand.
But I will tell the night and whisper “Lose your sight.”
But I can’t move the mountains for you

Marcus Mumford

Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)

I once had a girl, or should I say, she once had me.
she showed me her room, isn't it good Norwegian Wood.
She asked me to stay and she told me to sit anywhere.
So I looked around and noticed there wasn’t a chair.
I sat on a rug biding my time, drinking her wine.
We talked until two and then she said, “ its time for bed.”
instrumental
She told me she worked in the morning and started to laugh.
I told her I didn’t and crawled off to sleep in the bath.
And, when I awoke, I was alone; this bird has flown.
So, I lit a fire, isn't it good Norwegian Wood.

John Lennon and Paul McCartney

Positively 4th Street 

You got a lotta nerve to say you are my friend,
When I was down you just stood there grinning
You got a lotta nerve to say you gotta helping hand to lend,
You just want to be on the side that’s winning
You say I let you down, you know its not like that,
If you’re so hurt why then don’t you show it,
You say you lost your faith, but that’s not where its at,
You had no faith to lose and you know it.
I know the reason that you talk behind my back.
I used to be among the crowd you’re with.
Do you take me for such a fool to think I’d make contact
With the one who tries to hide what he don’t know to begin with.
You see me on the street. You always act surprised.
You say, “How are you?  Good luck.”  but you don’t mean it.
You know as well as me you’d rather see me paralyzed.
Why don’t you just come out once and scream it?
No, I don’t feel that good when I see the heartbreaks you embrace.
If I was a master thief perhaps I’d rob them.
And now I know you’re dissatisfied with your position and your place.
Don’t you understand its not my problem.
I wish for  that just one time you could  stand inside my shoes
And just for that one moment I could be you.
Yes, I wish that  for just one time you could stand in my shoes.
You’d know what a drag it is to see you

 Bob Dylan

Babylon 

Friday night, and I’m goin’ nowhere; All the lights are changing green to red
Turning over T.V. stations, Situations running through my head
Looking back through time, you know its clear that I’ve been blind; I’ve been a fool.
To open up my heart to all that jealousy, that bitterness that ridicule
Saturday I’m running wild an all the lights are changing red to green
Moving through the crowds, I’m pushing, chemicals are rushing in my blood stream.
Only wish that you were here. You know I’m seeing it so clear: I’ve been afraid
To show you how I really feel, Admit to some of those bad mistakes I’ve made.
An if you want it, come and get it, for crying out loud.
The love I was giving you was never in doubt
Let go your heart, let go your head, and feel it flow.
Let go your heart, let go your head, and feel it now
Babylon, Babylon, Babylon
Sunday, all the lights in London shining, sky is fading red to blue.
Kicking through the autumn leaves an wondering where it is you might be going to.
Turning back for home, you know I’m feeling so alone I can’t believe.
Climbing on the stairs, I turn around to see you smiling there in front of me.
And if you want it, come and get it, for crying out loud.
The love I was giving you was never I doubt.
Let go your heart, let go your head, and feel it flow
Let go your heart, let go your head, and feel it now
Babylon, Babylon, Babylon

 David Gray

Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) 

Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road
Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go
So make the best of this test and don’t ask why.
Its not a question, but a lesson learned in time.
Its something unpredictable, but in the end is right.
I hope you had the time of your life.
So Take the photographs and still frames in your mind.
Hang it on a shelf in good health and good time.
Tattoos of mem’ries and dead skin on trial.
For what its worth, it was worth all the while
Its something unpredictable, but in the end is right.
I hope you had the time of your life.
Its something unpredictable, but in the end is right.
I hope you had the time of your life.
Its something unpredictable, but in the end is right.
I hope you had the time of your life.

Green Day

I am a Tree

I am a tree... 
I am a zoo... 
I can be anything
you want me to. 

Toby Whittemore

This poem was written by the daughter of one of our clients. Ms. Sara Whittemore, age 5, inspired us all with her words. 

Below are the selected works of Osama Alomar who is featured in the January 2016 Read & Delete.  His writing style, the very short story, has been described by Muhsin al-Musawi, Columbia University professor,  as “similar to the riddle or puzzle.  It offers a way out of many restrictions and constraints without being very explicit.”

Osama Alomar reciting two of his stories (“Satans” and “A Drop”) from “Fullblood Arabian” at the PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature in Spring 2014.

 

O NOTHING

The number seven looked at zero standing to his left and said to him "O Nothing! O Nobody, you are like the beggars and the bums among the humans. Nothing good or profitable can come from you!" But zero went along calmly until he came to the right side of seven. Seven was struck with surprise and looked at zero with great respect.
"Will you remain as my guest forever?" he asked in a voice flooded with flattery, "And what would be nicer than if you invited the greatest possible number of your equals from among the zeros to join you!"

 

BARBED WIRE

Samir, a child not yet seven years old, was completely astounded at the behavior of his father, the famous writer. His father was sitting at his desk writing in a yellow notebook, the marks of annoyance written plainly on his face. Every now and again he would tear the pages angrily and throw them into the wastepaper basket. This gesture was repeated many times until, unable to take it any longer, he threw the notebook far away and went off to sleep, muttering unintelligibly. Samir immediately tiptoed from the living room to the office where the wastepaper basket was. He pulled from it a piece of paper and uncrumpled it. He saw lines of barbed wire and massacred words from which blood flowed like rivers. The survivors writhed about letting forth terrible, nightmarish cries of anguish. The child stood shocked. He threw the paper to the ground and ran to his room. He hid beneath the blanket trembling at the terrible volcano that had erupted in his face.
Since that day he feels great compassion for words and only inscribes them on paper completely free of barbed wire.

 

THE PRIDE OF GARBAGE

When the owner of the house picked up the bag of garbage and headed out to the street to throw it in the dumpster, the bag was overwhelmed with the fear that she would be put side by side with her companions. But when the man placed her on top of all the others, she became intoxicated with her greatness and looked down at them with disdain.

 

THE DOG AND THE NATION

Yesterday, as I was heading to work in the early morning, I saw two big flyers posted side by side on a fence outside the public park. One of them had a picture of a small white dog with the word "lost" written above it. The other one had a strangely shaped map with the words "lost nation" written above in red. What surprised me was the huge number of people packed around the picture of the beautiful white dog, words of regret and distress crowding about them thicker than the crowd of people, while the flyer for the missing nation remained neglected, unable to draw the attention of a single person.

 

MAN

Sa’id walked out of the public garden with a newspaper under his arm to use as protection from the scorching rays of the sun. His face was a battlefield of hundreds of contradictory emotions and electrifying questions … caught between the present and the future. He hung his head as if to hide the events of the crushing battle.
On the sidewalk outside the garden a homeless person passed before him with torn clothes, a terrible smell emanating from him. All of a sudden Sa’id became a big-bellied capitalist smoking a cigar, striding haughtily, and thinking about the profits from his last deal. He couldn’t see the homeless person who stretched out his hand, wishing him success and long life.

A little later a luxury automobile passed in front of him driven by a high functionary. Sa’id became a shorn sheep in a polar storm that threatened to kill him. And when he arrived in one of the fanciest hotels of the city he became an ant born without legs, about to be crushed.

A few meters from his dilapidated house he returned to his natural state: a low-level civil servant in a government agency; but as soon as he was face to face with his wife and children he became all of them.

 

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

The government issued a decree guaranteeing citizens the right to freedom of facial expression. It was considered a great step forward, especially since many countries had banned this form of expression entirely. Millions of citizens took to the streets in huge demonstrations of support for this great and unprecedented victory for democracy. They smiled widely as they marched, their faces grotesque masks of joy.

 

FULLBLOOD ARABIAN

THE FIRST, wistfully: "If only I were a fullblood Arabian horse!"

THE SECOND, disdainfully: "Would you wish to be an animal when God in his mercy has created you as a human who belongs to a great and ancient nation proud of its glorious history?"

THE FIRST: "Man, don’t you know that the value of a fullbood Arabian horse in this world is far greater than the value of a fullblood Arabian human?"

 

A DROP

A drop of dried blood on the ground looked at the setting sun with an expression full of sadness. "Why do people look at that giant drop with happiness while they look at me with fear?" she asked in a weak voice. "We share the same roots!"

A reply came to her from somewhere unknown: "Because you are fixed to the surface of the earth and she is fixed to the sky."

 

CROSS-EYED

Because the role demanded it, the actor, after much hesitation, made himself cross-eyed. This made the two eyes very happy.

"Finally, after a long separation we have met!" said the one to her sister, "how cruel is loneliness! Now we will stay close to each other forever!"

"Yes! Yes!" the other answered her joyfully, "we will sing and dance together. We will celebrate this victory over loneliness until the last moment of our lives. We are twin sisters. Nothing will separate us after today."

But as soon as the actor finished his role, he impatiently returned the two eyes back to their original positions. They felt most sad at this return to the torment of being alone.