Saturday, 9 May 2015



'The door of Henry's lunch-room opened and two men came in.They sat down at the counter.
What's yours?' George asked them.
I don't know, one of the men said.'what do you want to eat ,Al?
'I don't know ',said Al.'I don't know what I want to eat .'
Outside it was getting dark .The street -light came on outside the window. The two men at the counter read the menu.From the other end of the counter Nick Adams watched them.He had been talking to George when they came in.
'I'll have a roast pork tenderloin with apple sauce and mashed potatoes' the first man said.
It' isn't ready yet.'
'What the hell do you put it on the card for?
'That's the dinner,' George explained.'You can get that at six o'clock.'
George looked at the clock on the wall behind the counter.
'It's five o'clock.'
'The clock says twenty minutes past five,' the second man said.
'It's twenty minutes fast.'
'Oh, to hell with the clock   ,' the first man said/ 'What have you got to eat?
'I can give you any kind of sandwiches,' George said. You can have ham and eggs, bacon and eggs, or a steak.'
'Give me chicken croquettes with green peas and cream sauce and mashed potatoes.'
'That the dinner,'
everything we want's the dinner,eh?That the way you work it.'
'I can give you ham and  eggs ,' bacon and eggs ,liver -'
'I''II take ham and eggs ,' the man called Al said . He wore a derby hat and a black overcoat buttoned across the chest, His face was small and white and he had tight lips , He wore a silk muffler and gloves ,
'Give me bacon and eggs ,' said the other man . He was about the same size as Al, Their faces were different,but they were dressed like twins, Both wore overcoats too tight for them, They sat leaning forward ,their elbows on the counter .
'Got anything to drink ?'Al asked.
'Silver beer, bevo,ginger-ale,' George said.
'I mean you got anything to drink?'
'Just those I said.'
'This is a hot town,' said the other. 'What do they call it?'
'Ever hear of it?' Al asked his friend.
'No,' said the friend.
'What do you do here nights?'Al asked.
'They eat the dinner ,' his friend said. 'They all com here and eat the big dinner.'\
'That's right,' George said.
'So you think that's right?' Al asked George.
'You're a pretty bright boy, aren't you?'
'Sure, said George.
'Well, you're not,' said the other little man. 'Is he, Al?'
'He's dumb,' said Al. He turned to Nick. 'What's your name?'
'Another bright boy,' Al said, 'Ain't he a bright boy, Max?'
'The town's full of bright boys,' Max said.
George ;put the two platters, one of ham and eggs,the other of bacon and eggs, on the counter. He set down two side-dishes of fried potatoes and closed the wicket into the kitchen.
'Which is yours?' he asked AL.
'Don't you remember?'
'Ham and eggs.'
'Just a bright boy,' Max said. He leaned forward and took the ham and eggs. Both men ate with their gloves on. George watched them eat.
'What are you looking at?' Max looked at George.
'The hell you were. You were looking at me.'
'Maybe the boy meant it for a joke, Max,' Al said .
George laughed.
'you den't have to laugh,' Max said to him. 'You don't have to laugh at all, see?'
'All right ,' said George.
'So he thinks it's all right.' Max turned to Al. 'He thinks it's all right. That's a good one.'
'Oh, he's a thinker,' Al said. They went on eating.
'What's the bright boy's bane down the counter?' Al asked Max.
'Hey, bright boy,' Max said to Nick . 'You go around on the other side of the counter with you boy friend.'
'What's the idea?' Nick asked.
'There isn't ant idea.'
'You better go around, bright boy,' Al said. Nick went around behind the counter.
'What's the idea?' George asked.
'None of your damn business,' Al said 'who's out in the kitchen?'
'The nigger .'
'What do  you mean the nigger?'
'They nigger that cook.'
'Tell him to come in.'
'Where do you think you  are?'
'We know damn well where we are,' the man called Max said. 'Do we look silly?'
'You talk silly,' Al said to him. 'What the hell do you argue with this kid for? Listen,' he said to George, 'tell the nigger to come out here.'
'What are you going to do to him?
nothing. Use your head, bright boy. What would we do to a nigger?'
George opened the slit that opened back into the kitchen.
'Sam,' the called. 'Come in here a minute.'
The door to the kitchen opened and the nigger came in.
'What was it?' he asked. The two men at the counter took a look at him.

Sunday, 19 April 2015


(William Shakespeare)

All the world's a stage, 
And all the men and women merely players. 
They have their exits and their entrances, 
And one man in his time plays many parts, 
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant, 
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms. 
Then, the whining school-boy with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover, 
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then, a soldier
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden, and quick in quarrel, 
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth. And then, the justice, 
In fair round belly, with a good capon lined,
With eyes severe, and beard of formal cut, 
Full of wise saws, and modern instances, 
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon, 
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side, 
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice, 
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all, 
That ends this strange eventful history, 
Is second childishness and mere oblivion, 
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.


(William Wordsworth) 

Behold her, single in the field, 
Yon solitary Highland Lass!
Reaping and singing by herself;
Stop here, or gently pass!
Alone she cuts and binds the grain, 
And sings a melancholy strain;
O listen! for the Vale profound
Is overflowing with the sound. 

No Nightingale did ever chant
More welcome notes to weary bands 
Of travellers in some shady haunt, 
Among Arabian sands:
A voice so thrilling ne'er was heard
In spring-time from the Cuckoo-bird, 
Breaking the silence of the seas
Among the farthest Hebrides. 

Will no one tell me what she sings? --
Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
For old, unhappy, far-off things, 
And battles long ago:
Or is it some more humble lay, 
Familiar matter of to-day?
Some natural sorrow, loss, or pain, 
That has been, and may be again? 

Whate'er the theme, the Maiden sang
As if her song could have no ending;
I saw her singing at her work, 
And o'er the sickle bending;--
I listened, motionless and still;
And, as I mounted up the hill, 
The music in my heart I bore, 
Long after it was heard no more. 

Friday, 17 April 2015


(Elizabeth Bishop)

The art of losing isn't hard to master:
So many things seem filled with the intent
To be lost that their loss in no disaster. 

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
Of lost door keys, the hour badly spent. 
The art of losing isn't hard to master. 

Then practice losing farther, losing faster: 
Places, and names, and where it was you meant
To travel. None of these will bring disaster. 

I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or
Next-to-last, of three loved houses went. 
The art of losing isn't hard to master. 

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster, 
Some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent. 
I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster. 

--Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan't have lied. It's evident
The art of losing is not too hard to master
Though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster. 

Monday, 2 March 2015


(Edward Lowbury)

Kagwa hunted the lion, 
Through bush and forest went his spear,
One day he found the skull of a man
And said to it, 'how did you come here?'
And the skull answered, 'talking brought me here.'

Kagwa hurried home, went to the king's chair and spoke, 
"In the forest I found a talking skull"
The king was silent, then he said slowly, 
"Never since I was born of my mother
Have I seen or heard of a skill which spoke."

The king called out his guards, 
"Two of you now go with him
And find the talking skull;
And if his tale is a lie
And the skull speaks no word, 
This Kagwa himself must die." 

They rode into the forest;
For days and nights they found nothing. 
At last they saw the skull; Kagwa 
Said to it, "How did you come here?"
The skull said nothing. Kagwa implored, 
But the skull said nothing. 

The guards said, "Kneel down"
They killed him with sword and spear. 
Then the skull opened its mouth, 
"Huntsman, how did you come here?"
And the dead man answered, 
'Talking brought me here'. 

Sunday, 25 January 2015


(Robert Browning) 

It was roses, roses, all the way, 
With myrtle mixed in my path like mad:
The house-roofs seemed to heave and sway, 
The church-spires flames, such flags they had, 
A year ago on this very day. 

The air broke into a mist with bells, 
The old walls rocked with the crowd and cries. 
Had I said, "Good fold, mere noise repels--
But give me your sun from yonder skies!"
They had answered, "And afterward, what else?"

Alack, it was I who leaped at the sun
To give it my loving friends to keep!
Nought man could do, have I left undone:
And you see my harvest, what I reap
This very day, now a year is run. 

There's nobody on the house-tops now--
Just a palsied few at the windows set;
For the best of the sight is, all allow, 
At the Shambles' Gate-- or, better yet, 
By the very scaffold's foot. I trow. 

I go in the rain, and more than needs, 
A rope cuts both my writs behind;
And think, by the feel, my forehead bleeds, 
For they fling, whoever has a mind,
Stones at me for my year's misdeeds. 

Thus I entered, and thus I go!
In triumphs, people have dropped down dead. 
"Paid by the world, what dost thou owe
Me?"-- God might question; now instead, 
'Tis God shall repay: I am safer so. 

Thursday, 8 January 2015


(Dennis Joseph Enright) 

When everybody has short hair, 
The rebel lets his hair grow long. 

When everybody has long hair, 
The rebel cuts his hair short. 

When everybody talks during the lesson, 
The rebel does not say a word. 

When nobody talks during the lesson, 
The rebel creates a disturbance. 

When everybody wears a uniform, 
The rebel dresses in fantastic clothes. 

When everybody wears fantastic clothes
The rebel dresses soberly. 

In the company of dog lovers, 
The rebel expresses a preference for cats. 

In the company of cat lovers, 
The rebel puts in a good word for dogs. 

When everybody is praising the sun, 
The rebel remarks on the need for rain. 

When everybody is greeting the rain, 
The rebel regrets the absence of sun. 

When everybody goes to the meeting, 
The rebel stays at home and reads a book. 

When everybody stays at home and reads a book, 
The rebel goes to the meeting. 

When everybody says, yes please!
The rebel says, No thank you. 

When everybody says: No thank you, 
The rebel says, yes please!

It is very good that we have rebels
You may not find it very good to be one.