Saturday, October 24, 2009

Poem for Saturday

Pilgrim's Progress
By Meghan O'Rourke

The dog did no harm.
The bee did no harm.
The grass, the grave grass, no harm.
The wind did no harm.

The mud did no harm.
The fly, the sticky fly, no harm.
The snakes did not hurt us.
The trees did not either.

The sky, no harm, the moon,
no harm. The wild cats of San Juan,
sleeping in the wet harbor,
did no harm!

The river did no harm.
The land kept going green.
It is bright here, where we sleep
by the lake. Let us pause

to praise the warm, cool
light as it bends
around the unharmed earth,
our faces buried in the woollen dark--

How could you think
it would hurt us? What made you worry?
That whisper the earth makes, turning in space?
I hear it too. It only does what it must.


I got to have lunch with Hak42 and Tardisblue -- the former being in town visiting the latter for the marathon on Sunday -- as well as Gblvr, who drove me to Silver Spring so we could meet them at Potbelly. There was a guitar player doing acoustic covers ("When I Ruled the World," "Another One Bites the Dust"). After we ate, we wandered around Borders and Ulta for a bit. Then Gblvr drove me home so I could work on my review of "The First Duty," which I still have not finished because I got distracted watching Sense and Sensibility, which we put on because we couldn't remember what we said we were going to watch from last time. I hadn't seen it in ages and thoroughly enjoyed it, even though I still find both Dashwood sisters unnecessarily melodramatic.

The flame atop the Eternal Light Peace Memorial at Gettysburg National Battlefield.

A memorial for Pennsylvania's Irish Brigade, based on a general's recollection of having seen a dead soldier lying against the stones.

Upraised cannons at Gettysburg mark the spots where the generals had their headquarters. This was the site of the headquarters of Major General Sickles, who lost a leg in the battle.

Gutzon Borglum, the sculptor of Mount Rushmore, created the North Carolina monument on Seminary Ridge depicting a wounded Confederate officer urging his men to carry on without him.

Near one of the battlefield's barns, a monument to the 90th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry with a sculpted bird's nest marks the spot where a large oak tree stood along the regiment's line of battle.

This is how it looks seen from above, from the tower giving views of the battlefield and the city of Gettysburg beyond. There's a local legend that Confederate fire knocked a nest out of the original tree and a Union soldier risked his life to replace it.

Along nearby Doubleday Avenue are several other monuments topped with birds, plus a memorial for Sallie, a terrier who was the mascot for the 11th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry and stood guard over the wounded.

The Friday Five: Last Song on Earth
1. If the world was ending and you could listen to one song, what would it be?
"The Sands of Time" by Jennifer Cutting.
2. How did you first come across that song? Lisa Moscatiello sang it with Ocean Orchestra at a free concert in a Virginia park.
3. If it reminds you of a person, is that person still with you? It doesn't remind me of one single person.
4. Does anyone else know what that song means to you? I've talked about it connected to several fandoms so probably there are people here who would know.
5. Where would you listen to it, and with whom? I assume at home with my family, though if I got a choice I'd listen to it at Stonehenge with everyone I know.

Fannish 5: Who are your 5 favorite non-humanoid characters?
1. Diefenbaker
, Due South.
2. Jack, Pirates of the Caribbean
3. Jiji. Kiki's Delivery Service
4. Norbert, Harry Potter
5. Meeko, Pocahontas

We watched Smallville -- any episode with that much Oliver Queen generally pleases me, but this one was pretty disjointed and the conclusion was downright silly -- I am all in favor of Chloe and Oliver working together (and getting together would be all right with me too, since the preview with Clark kissing Lois is a thing of beauty), but the whole "save Ollie with a bad stereotypical Asian casino girl" plot is really too dumb to excuse. I liked Sanctuary better -- lots of Henry, and Kate is growing on me, but I am starting to wonder if I need spoilers about the fate of Ashley (is the actress signed for the season?) and I'm really not sure why Will was on such a "you have to let go" kick so soon; chasing down the people who did what they did to Ashley before they can strike again seems like a fine idea, I must admit. Weather's supposed to be terrible tomorrow so I am planning to take the kids to see Amelia!

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