Beyond the terrace, a light breeze stirred the reeds at the edge of the pond. Looking out at this intimate vista, one could see the reeds and a stone lantern and the brightest of the evening's stars floating on the gloaming mirror of the pond. Then the breeze came again to crack the water's surface, and the picture was flooded.
John Burnham Schwartz
Precedents are treated by powerful minds as fetters with which to bind down the weak, as reasons with which to mistify the moderately informed, and as reeds which they themselves fearlessly break through whenever new combinations and difficult emergencies demand their highest efforts.
I have sat here happy in the gardens, Watching the still pool and the reeds And the dark clouds. . . . But though I greatly delight In these and the water lilies, That which sets me nighest to weeping Is the rose and white colour of the smooth flag-stones, And the pale yellow grasses Among them.
There is eloquence in the tongueless wind, and a melody in the flowing brooks and the rustling of the reeds beside them, which by their inconceivable relation to something within the soul, awaken the spirits to a dance of breathless rapture, and bring tears of mysterious tenderness to the eyes, like the enthusiasm of patriotic success, or the voice of one beloved singing to you alone.
Percy Bysshe Shelley
We Are All the Same Listen to the reeds as they sway apart; Hear them speak of lost friends. At birth, you were cut from your bed, Crying and grasping in separation. Everyone listens, knowing your song. You yearn for others who know your name, And the words to your lament. We are all the same, all the same, Longing to find our way back; Back to the one, back to the only one.
They lay on their heathery beds and listened to all the sounds of the night. They heard the little grunt of a hedgehog going by. They saw the flicker of bats overhead. They smelt the drifting scent of honeysuckle, and the delicious smell of wild thyme crushed under their bodies. A reed-warbler sang a beautiful little song in the reeds below, and then another answered.
But perhaps there are in us forces other than mind and heart, other even than the senses - mysterious forces which take hold of us in the moments when the others are asleep; and perhaps it was such forces that Melchior had found in the depths of those pale eyes which had looked at him so timidly one evening when he had accosted the girl on the bank of the river, and had sat down beside her in the reeds - without knowing why - and had given her his hand.
The merry-go-round was running, yes, but... It was running backward. The small calliope inside the carousel machinery rattle-snapped its nervous-stallion shivering drums, clashed its harvest-moon cymbals, toothed its castanets, and throatily choked and sobbed its reeds, whistles, and baroque flutes.
From its fountains In the mountains, Its rills and its gills; Through moss and through brake, It runs and it creeps For awhile till it sleeps In its own little Lake. And thence at departing, Awakening and starting, It runs through the reeds And away it proceeds, Through meadow and glade, In sun and in shade, And through the wood-shelter, Among crags in its flurry, Helter-skelter, Hurry-scurry.
The smell of manure, of sun on foliage, of evaporating water, rose to my head; two steps farther, and I could look down into the vegetable garden enclosed within its tall pale of reeds - rich chocolate earth studded emerald green, frothed with the white of cauliflowers, jeweled with the purple globes of eggplant and the scarlet wealth of tomatoes.
Water. Its sunny track in the plain; its splashing in the garden canal, the sound it makes when in its course it meets the mane ofthe grass; the diluted reflection of the sky together with the fleeting sight of the reeds; the Negresses fill their dripping gourds and their red clay containers; the song of the washerwomen; the gorged fields the tall crops ripening.
The Phrygians ... select a natural hillock, run a trench through the middle of it, dig passages, and extend the interior space as widely as the site admits. Over it they build a pyramidal roof of logs fastened together, and this they cover with reeds and brushwood, heaping up very high mounds of earth above their dwellings. Thus their fashion in houses makes their winters very warm and their summers very cool.
Marcus Vitruvius Pollio
Then she gave one last burst of music. The white Moon heard it, and she forgot the dawn, and lingered on in the sky. The red rose heard it, and it trembled all over with ecstasy, and opened its petals to the cold morning air. Echo bore it to her purple cavern in the hills, and woke the sleeping shepherds from their dreams. It floated through the reeds of the river, and they carried its message to the sea.
I am she who lifts the mountains When she goes to hunt, Who wears mamba for a headband And a lion for a belt. Beware! I swallow elephants whole And pick my teeth with rhinoceros horns, I drink up rivers to get at the hippos. Let them hear my words! Nhamo is coming And her hunger is great. I am she who tosses trees Instead of spears. The ostrich is my pillow And the elephant is my footstool! I am Nhamo Who makes the river my highway And sends crocodiles scurrying into the reeds!
Moses, without any mercy, breaks all bruised reeds, and quenches all smoking flax. For the law requires personal, perpetual and perfect obedience from the heart, and that under a most terrible curse, but gives no strength. It is a severe task master, like Pharaoh's, requiring the whole tale ofbricks and yet giving no straw. Christ comes with blessing after blessing, even upon those whom Moses had cursed, and with healing balm for those wounds which Moses had made.
In the firm expectation that when London shall be a habitation of bitterns, when St. Paul and Westminster Abbey shall stand shapeless and nameless ruins in the midst of an unpeopled marsh, when the piers of Waterloo Bridge shall become the nuclei of islets of reeds and osiers, and cast the jagged shadows of their broken arches on the solitary stream, some Transatlantic commentator will be weighing in the scales of some new and now unimagined system of criticism the respective merits of the Bells and the Fudges and their historians.
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Henry's universe was modeled on the highball. It was a mixture in which half a pint of the fizziest philosophical and scientific ideas all but drowned a small jigger of immediate experience, most of it strictly sexual. Broken reeds are seldom good mixers. They're far too busy with their ideas, their sensuality and their psychosomatic complaints to be able to take an interest in other people - even their own wives and children. They live in a state of the most profound voluntary ignorance, not knowing anything about anybody, but abounding in preconceived opinions about everything.
Provided with a case of pencils, and some sheets of paper, I used to take a seat apart from them, near the window, and busy myself in sketching fancy vignettes representing any scene that happened momentarily to shape itself in the ever-shifting kaleidoscope of imagination: a glimpse of sea between two rock; the rising moon, and a ship crossing its disc; a group of reeds and water-flags, and a naiad's head, crowned with lotus-flowers, rising out of them; an elf sitting in a hedge-sparrow's nest, under a wreath of hawthorn bloom.
At the Moor Wanderer in the black wind; quietly the dry reeds whisper In the stillness of the moor. In the gray sky A flock of wild birds follows; Slanting over gloomy waters. Turmoil. In decayed hut The spirit of putrescence flutters with black wings. Crippled birches in the autumn wind. Evening in deserted tavern. The way home is scented all around By the soft gloom of grazing herds; Apparition of the night; toads plunge from brown waters.
Overheard on a Saltmarsh" Nymph, nymph, what are your beads? Green glass, goblin. Why do you stare at them? Give them me. No. Give them me. Give them me. No. Then I will howl all night in the reeds, Lie in the mud and howl for them. Goblin, why do you love them so? They are better than stars or water, Better than voices of winds that sing, Better than any man's fair daughter, Your green glass beads on a silver ring. Hush, I stole them out of the moon. Give me your beads, I want them. No. I will howl in the deep lagoon For your green glass beads, I love them so. Give them me. Give them. No.
God, the devil, and Orafoura were walking along a river one day when they came across three naked women splashing in the water. God turned to the other two and said, "Ten talents to the one who can get them fully clothed the fastest." The devil, always money hungry, went first and tried to reverse seduce them. This took him fifteen minutes. Going back in time to their original nakedness, God went next and snapped his fingers and instantly they were clothed. Going back in time again, it was then Orafoura's turn. He crouched and crawled quietly up to the reeds by the river and sat down. Fifteen, thirty, forty-five minutes passed and nothing happened. Finally, God asked him what he was doing. Orafoura replied, "Watching. I'd have squandered my talents at the strip club anyway.
De kunstenaar is een arbeider lijk gij en ik. Hij maakt schoonheid, en hij wordt daar meestal niet voor betaald. De kunstenaar leeft en sterft met de arbeider mee. Al waar de arbeider naar verlangt, tracht de kunstenaar nu reeds gestalte te geven. Zo is de schrijver niet een dwaas die van sterren en maneschijn zingt, maar een ziener, een profeet over hoe het zou kunnen zijn. Dat is zijn plicht, zoals het de plicht van de arbeider is om de kunstenaar tegemoet te komen.
Louis Paul Boon
A full moon, although less splendid than that earlier on, lit everything around. Before I reached the point where I would have to leave the road and set off across country, the narrow path I was following seemed suddenly to end and disappear behind a large hedge, and there before me, as if blocking my way, stood a single, tall tree, very dark at first against the transparently clear night sky. Out of nowhere, a breeze got up. It set the tender stems of the grasses shivering, made the green blades of the reeds shudder and sent a ripple across the brown waters of a puddle. Like a wave, it lifted up the spreading branches of the tree and, murmuring, climbed the trunk, and then, suddenly, the leaves turned their undersides to the moon and the whole beech tree (because it was a beech) was covered in white as far as the topmost branch.It was only a moment, no more than that, but the memory of it will last as long as my life lasts.
GIVE NO EXTENSION ON THE LYNCHIN IT'S TENSION IF THE NAME OF THE CLAN IS MENTIONED IT'S THE AURA THAT'S FELT, THAT CAUSES ONE TO FLASH HIS GUN AND REVEAL HOW HE REALLY FEEL, CONFIRMED HE'LL NEVER LIVE AFTER THE SHOW, SEE THE PROMOTED FOR THE DOUGH I'M TAKIN, BREAKIN HIS WAX THROW MY SHIT ON TO PERFORM MY SELECTION FROM THE SWARM DAY 2 BREAKS, IT'S A STORMY MONDAY MY NINJAS LAY IN REVINES AND DITCHES UNDERNEATH SHRUBS AND LEAVES THEY BREATHED THRU UNDERWATER REEDS THE ENEMY WALKS ABOVE, CLAN REMAIN SUBTERRANEAN MUD OFF SHORE BANKS, TANKS APPROACH THE LOCATION BOMBARDED BY THE CIRCLE OF DEATH FORMATION TELECOM LINES ARE SNIPED FROM THESE LOW ALTITUDE STRIKES SHATTERIN BULLETPROOF HELMETS WITH SCRAP NAIL FRAGMENTS OF CELL, INHALE THESE VENOMOUS THOUGHS THAT I PROPEL THRU THE NORTH FACILITY, THE CITY MUS
Twelve years ago, when I was 10, I played at being a soldier. I walked up the brook behind our house in Bronxville to a junglelike, overgrown field and dug trenches down to water level with my friends. Then, pretending that we were doughboys in France, we assaulted one another with clods of clay and long, dry reeds. We went to the village hall and studied the rust rifles and machine guns that the Legion post had brought home from the First World War and imagined ourselves using them to fight Germans. But we never seriously thought that we would ever have to do it. The stories we heard later; the Depression veterans with their apple stands on sleety New York street corners; the horrible photographs of dead bodies and mutilated survivors; 'Johnny Got His Gun' and the shrill college cries of the Veterans of Future Wars drove the small-boy craving for war so far from our minds that when it finally happened, it seemed absolutely unbelievable. If someone had told a small boy hurling mud balls that he would be throwing hand grenades twelve years later, he would probably have been laughed at. I have always been glad that I could not look into the future.
David Kenyon Webster
Put it on record -I am an Arab And the number of my card is fifty thousand I have eight children And the ninth is due after summer. What's there to be angry about? Put it on record. -I am an Arab Working with comrades of toil in a quarry. I have eight childern For them I wrest the loaf of bread, The clothes and exercise books From the rocks And beg for no alms at your doors, -Lower not myself at your doorstep. -What's there to be angry about? Put it on record. -I am an Arab. I am a name without a tide, Patient in a country where everything Lives in a whirlpool of anger. -My roots -Took hold before the birth of time -Before the burgeoning of the ages, -Before cypess and olive trees, -Before the proliferation of weeds. My father is from the family of the plough -Not from highborn nobles. And my grandfather was a peasant -Without line or genealogy. My house is a watchman's hut -Made of sticks and reeds. Does my status satisfy you? -I am a name without a surname. Put it on Record. -I am an Arab. Color of hair: jet black. Color of eyes: brown. My distinguishing features: -On my head the 'iqal cords over a keffiyeh -Scratching him who touches it. My address: -I'm from a village, remote, forgotten, -Its streets without name -And all its men in the fields and quarry. -What's there to be angry about? Put it on record. -I am an Arab. You stole my forefathers' vineyards -And land I used to till, -I and all my childern, -And you left us and all my grandchildren -Nothing but these rocks. -Will your government be taking them too -As is being said? So! -Put it on record at the top of page one: -I don't hate people, -I trespass on no one's property. And yet, if I were to become starved -I shall eat the flesh of my usurper. -Beware, beware of my starvation. -And of my anger!
THE LILIES This morning it was, on the pavement, When that smell hit me again And set the houses reeling. People passed like rain: (The way rain moves and advances over the hills) And it was hot, hot and dank, The smell like animals, strong, but sweet too. What was it? Something I had forgotten. I tried to remember, standing there, Sniffing the air on the pavement. Somehow I thought of flowers. Flowers! That bad smell! I looked: down lanes, past houses- There, behind a hoarding, A rubbish-heap, soft and wet and rotten. Then I remembered: After the rain, on the farm, The vlei that was dry and paler than a stone Suddenly turned wet and green and warm. The green was a clash of music. Dry Africa became a swamp And swamp-birds with long beaks Went humming and flashing over the reeds And cicadas shrilling like a train. I took off my clothes and waded into the water. Under my feet first grass, then mud, Then all squelch and water to my waist. A faint iridescence of decay, The heat swimming over the creeks Where the lilies grew that I wanted: Great lilies, white, with pink streaks That stood to their necks in the water. Armfuls I gathered, working there all day. With the green scum closing round my waist, The little frogs about my legs, And jelly-trails of frog-spawn round the stems. Once I saw a snake, drowsing on a stone, Letting his coils trail into the water. I expect he was glad of rain too After nine moinths of being dry as bark. I don't know why I picked those lilies, Piling them on the grass in heaps, For after an hour they blackened, stank. When I left at dark, Red and sore and stupid from the heat, Happy as if I'd built a town, All over the grass were rank Soft, decaying heaps of lilies And the flies over them like black flies on meat...