And now, when I have summed up all my store, Thinking (so I myself deceive) So rich a chaplet thence to weave As never yet the King of Glory wore, Alas! I find the serpent old, That, twining in his speckled breast, About the flowers disguised does fold With wreaths of fame and interest.
When I opened my case in the hotel, he gestured excitedly at my snakeskin sandals, turquoise suede wedges and silver-speckled jellies. 'But you've loads of shoes, ' he bellowed joyfully. I shook my head sadly. Men just don't get it, do they? They're definitely missing the shoe chromosome.
Some teeth long for ripping, gleaming wet from black dog gums. So you keep your eyes closed at the end. You don't want to see such a mouth up close. before the bite, before its oblivion in the goring of your soft parts, the speckled lips will curl back in a whinny of excitement. You just know it.
I do not live happily or comfortably With the cleverness of our times. The talk is all about computers, The news is all about bombs and blood. This morning, in the fresh field, I came upon a hidden nest. It held four warm, speckled eggs. I touched them. Then went away softly, Having felt something more wonderful Than all the electricity of New York City.
Dirk turned on the car wipers, which grumbled because they didn't have quite enough rain to wipe away, so he turned them off again. Rain quickly speckled the windscreen. He turned on the wipers again, but they still refused to feel that the exercise was worthwhile, and scraped and squeaked in protest.
See the hand that nursed the serpent. The fine hasped pipes of her fingerbones. The skin bewenned and speckled. The veins are milkblue and bulby. A thin gold ring set with diamonds. That raised the once child's heart of her to agonies of passion before I was. Here is the anguish of mortality. Hopes wrecked, love sundered. See the mother sorrowing. How everything that I was warned of's come to pass.
When I think back about my immediate reaction to that redheads girl, it seems to spring from an appreciation of natural beauty. I mean the heart pleasure you get from looking at speckled leaves or the palimpsested bark of plane trees in Provence. There was something richly appealing to her color combination, the ginger snaps floating in the milk-white skin, the golden highlights in the strawberry hair. it was like autumn, looking at her. It was like driving up north to see the colors.
Amid the moon and the stars, amid the clouds of the night, amid the hills which bordered on the sky with their magnificent silhouette of pointed cedars, amid the speckled patches of the moon, amid the temple buildings that emerged sparkling white out of the surrounding darkness - amid all this, I was intoxicated by the pellucid beauty of Uiko's treachery.
I love you, i love your smile your snarl your grin, your face when your sleeping.I love your hair streaming behind you as we fly, with the sunlight making it shine, if it doesn't have too much mud or blood in it, I love seeing your wings spreading out, white and brown and tan and speckled, and the tiny downy feathers right at the top of your shoulders. I love your eyes, whether they're cold or calculating or suspicious or laughing or warm, like when you look at me.
We had the sky up there, all speckled with stars, and we used to lay on our backs and look up at them, and discuss about whether they was made, or only just happened - Jim he allowed they was made, but I allowed they happened; I judged it would have took too long to make so many. Jim said the moon could a laid them; well that looked kind of reasonable, so I didn't say nothing against it, because I've seen a frog lay most as many, so of course It could be done.
Even as a child, she had preferred night to day, had enjoyed sitting out in the yard after sunset, under the star-speckled sky listening to frogs and crickets. Darkness soothed. It softened the sharp edges of the world, toned down the too-harsh colors. With the coming of twilight, the sky seemed to recede; the universe expanded. The night was bigger than the day, and in its realm, life seemed to have more possibilities.
You're not a killer, Seirin.' Sweat coated his face, speckled his clothes. 'You couldn't kill Vissyus, and you can't kill me.' Seirin grinned maliciously. 'A woman's prerogative. I've had a very long time to think things over.' Botua's charred body floated out of some locked section of her mind. Her will hardened. She'd learned the cost of hesitation. Things were different now. Lon-Shan would face justice.
Oh, Kendra, before I forget, Gavin asked me to give you this letter." He held out a gray, speckled envelope. "Happy birthday to you!" Seth exclaimed, his voice full of implications. Kendra tried not to blush as she tucked the envelope away. "Dear Kendra," Seth improvised, "you're the only girl who really gets me, you know, and I think you're very mature for your age--" "What about some cake?" Grandma interrupted, holding the first piece out to Kendra and glaring at Seth.
Wisteria hangs over the eaves like clumps of ghostly grapes. Euphorbia's pale blooms billow like sea froth. Blood grass twists upward, knifing the air, while underground its roots go berserk, goosing everything in their path. A magnolia, impatient with vulvic flesh, erupts in front of the living room window. The recovering terrorist-holding a watering can filled with equal parts fish fertilizer and water, paisley gloves right up over her freckled forearms, a straw hat with its big brim shading her eyes, old tennis shoes speckled with dew-moves through her front garden. Her face, she tells herself, like a Zen koan. The look of one lip smiling.
At evening when the lamp is lit, The tired Human People sit And doze, or turn with solemn looks The speckled pages of their books. Then I, the Dangerous Kitten, prowl And in the Shadows softly growl, And roam about the farthest floor Where Kitten never trod before. And, crouching in the jungle damp, I watch the Human Hunter's camp, Ready to spring with fearful roar As soon as I shall hear them snore. And then with stealthy tread I crawl Into the dark and trackless hall, Where 'neath the Hat-tree's shadows deep Umbrellas fold their wings and sleep. A cuckoo calls - and to their dens The People climb like frightened hens, And I'm alone - and no one cares In Darkest Africa - downstairs.
That black, maddening firmament; that vast cosmic ocean, endlessly deep in every direction, both Heaven and Pandemonium at once; mystical Zodiac, speckled flesh of Tiamat; all that is chaos, infinite and eternal. And yet, it's somehow the bringing to order of this chaos which perhaps has always disturbed me most. The constellations, in their way, almost bring into sharper focus the immensity and insanity of it all - monsters and giants brought to life in all their gigantic monstrosity; Orion and Hercules striding across the sky, limbs reaching for lightyears, only to be dwarfed by the likes of Draco, Pegasus, or Ursa Major. Then bigger still - Cetus, Eridanus, Ophiuchus, and Hydra, spanning nearly the whole of a hemisphere, sunk below the equator in that weird underworld of obscure southern formations. You try to take them in - the neck cranes, the eyes roll, and the mind boggles until this debilitating sense of inverted vertigo overcomes you...
Daylight would have shown a wilderness weathered and blowzy, a wanton that had lived her summer too fast and too greedily. It would have shown the white birches pale and shivering in a sudden ague, and here and there an ash or a sumac burning red, like a hectic spot, where the first frosts already had set the marks of their galloping consumption on the cheek of the forest, giving warning of the time when the white plague of the winter would make a massacre of all this present glory and turn the trees to naked skeletons and stretch a bony bare cadaver on every steeper hillside to bleach there until the snows covered things up. But now the kindly nighttime had all signs and threats of approaching death, so that each shriveled speckled leaf, as revealed and traced in the waning light, seemed flawless - a perfect part of a perfect tapestry.
Irvin S. Cobb
Rosy's mummy hands Franny a clear plastic bag full of reject biscuits, then Rosy holds her cheek out for Franny's wet kiss. Rosy wipes the slime from her face and Franny cackles, then shows them both into the lounge. There on Franny's coffee table is a biscuit tin with a Christmas picture on the lid. Proper shop-bought biscuits, not factory rejects. 'Please, may I have a biscuit?' Rosy says. 'Oh, there are no biscuits in that my darling, ' Franny says, and pulls the tin from Rosy's prying fingers. Franny holds open the bag of crumb-speckled chocolate digestives. 'Help yourself, my wee hen.' Rosy settles for a reject. Franny puts the Christmas tin up high, way up high, way out of reach.
He said you have to be on the side of the losers, the people with bad lungs. You have to be with those who are homesick and can't breathe very well in Ireland. He said it makes no sense to hold a stone in your hand. A lot more people would be homeless if you speak the killer language. He said Ireland has more than one story. We are the German-Irish story. We are the English-Irish story, too. My father has one soft foot and one hard foot, one good ear and one bad ear, and we have one Irish foot and one German foot and a right arm in English. We are the brack children. Brack, homemade Irish bread with German raisins. We are the brack people and we don't have just one language and one history. We sleep in German and we dream in Irish. We laugh in Irish and we cry in German. We are silent in German and we speak in English. We are the speckled people.
Early Summer, loveliest season, The world is being colored in. While daylight lasts on the horizon, Sudden, throaty blackbirds sing. The dusty-colored cuckoo cuckoos. "Welcome, summer" is what he says. Winter's unimaginable. The wood's a wickerwork of boughs. Summer means the river's shallow, Thirsty horses nose the pools. Long heather spreads out on bog pillows. White bog cotton droops in bloom. Swallows swerve and flicker up. Music starts behind the mountain. There's moss and a lush growth underfoot. Spongy marshland glugs and stutters. Bog banks shine like ravens' wings. The cuckoo keeps on calling welcome. The speckled fish jumps; and the strong Swift warrior is up and running. A little, jumpy, chirpy fellow Hits the highest note there is; The lark sings out his clear tidings. Summer, shimmer, perfect days.
A wind rose, quickening; it seemed at the same instant invade my nostrils and vibrate my gut. No, I've gone through this a million times, beauty is not a hoax. Come on, I say, to the creek, surprise me; and it does, with each new drop. Beauty is real. I would never deny it; the appalling thing is that I forget it. Waste and extravagance go together up and down the banks, all along the intricate fringe of the spirit's free incursions into time. On either side of me the creek snared and kept the sky's distant lights, shed them into shifting substance and bore them speckled down. This Tinker Creek! It was low today, and clear. On the still side of the island the water held pellucid as a pane, a gloss on runes of sandstone, shale, and snail-inscribed clay silt; on the faster side it hosted a blind profusion of curved and pitched surfaces, flecks of shadow and tatters of sky. These are the waters of beauty and mystery, issuing from a gap in the granite world; they fill the lodes in my cells with a light like petaled water, and they churn in my lungs mighty and frigid. And these are also the waters of separation: they purify, acrid and laving, and they cut me off. I am spattered with a sop of ashes, burnt bone knobs, and blood; I range wild-eyed, flying over fields and plundering the woods, no longer fit for company.
In Uganda, I wrote a questionaire that I had my research assistants give; on it, I asked about the embalasassa, a speckled lizard said to be poisonous and to have been sent by Prime minsister Milton Obote to kill Baganda in the late 1960s. It is not poisonous and was no more common in the 1960s than it had been in previous decades, as Makerere University science professors announced on the radio and stated in print... I wrote the question, What is the difference between basimamoto and embalasassa? Anyone who knows anything about the Bantu language-myself included-would know the answer was contained in the question: humans and reptiles are different living things and belong to different noun classes... A few of my informants corrected my ignorance... but many, many more ignored the translation in my question and moved beyond it to address the history of the constructs of firemen and poisonous lizards without the slightest hesitation. They disregarded language to engage in a discussion of events... My point is not about the truth of the embalasassa story... but rather that the labeling of one thing as 'true' and the other as 'fictive' or 'metaphorical'-all the usual polite academic terms for false-may eclipse all the intricate ways in which people use social truths to talk about the past. Moreover, chronological contradictions may foreground the fuzziness of certain ideas and policies, and that fuzziness may be more accurate than any exact historical reconstruction... Whether the story of the poisionous embalasassa was real was hardly the issue; there was a real, harmless lizard and there was a real time when people in and around Kampala feared the embalasassa. They feared it in part because of beliefs about lizards, but mainly what frightened people was their fear of their government and the lengths to which it would go to harm them. The confusions and the misunderstandings show what is important; knowledge about the actual lizard would not.
I used to have a cat, an old fighting tom, who sprang through the open window by my bed and pummeled my chest, barely sheathing his claws. I've been bloodied and mauled, wrung, dazzled, drawn. I taste salt on my lips in the early morning; I surprise my eyes in the mirror and they are ashes, or fiery sprouts, and I gape appalled or full of breath. The planet whirls along and dreaming. Power broods, spins, and lurches down. The planet and the power meet with a shock. They fuse and tumble, lightning, ground fire; they part, mute, submitting, and touch again with hiss and cry. The tree with the lights in it buzzes into flame and the cast-rock mountains ring. Emerson saw it. 'I dreamed that I floated at will in the great Ether, and I saw this world floating also not far off, but diminished to the size of an apple. Then an angel took it in his hand and brought it to me and said, 'This must thou eat.' And I ate the world.' All of it. All of it intricate, speckled, gnawed, fringed, and free. Israel's priests offered the wave breast and the heave shoulder together, freely, in full knowledge, for thanksgiving. They waved, they heaved, and neither gesture was whole without the other, and both meant a wide-eyed and keen-eyed thanks. Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, said the bell. A sixteenth-century alchemist wrote of the philosopher's stone, 'One finds it in the open country, in the village and in the town. It is in everything which God created. Maids throw it on the street. Children play with it.' The giant water bug ate the world. And like Billy Bray, I go my way, and my left foot says 'Glory,' and my right foot says 'Amen': in and out of Shadow Creek, upstream and down, exultant, in a daze, dancing, to the twin silver trumpets of praise.
Dear Max - You looked so beautiful today. I'm going to remember what you looked like forever... And I hope you remember me the same way - clean, ha-ha. I'm glad our last time together was happy. But I'm leaving tonight, leaving the flock, and this time it's for good. I don't know if I'll ever see any of you again. The thing is, Max, that everyone is a little bit right. Added up all together, it makes this one big right. Dylan's a little bit right about how my being here might be putting the rest of you in danger. The threat might have been just about Dr. Hans, but we don't know that for sure. Angel is a little bit right about how splitting up the flock will help all of us survive. And the rest of the flock is a little bit right about how when you and I are together, we're focused on each other - we can't help it. The thing is, Maximum, I love you. I can't help but be focused on you when we're together. If you're in the room, I want to be next to you. If you're gone, I think about you. You're the one who I want to talk to. In a fight, I want you at my back. When we're together, the sun is shining. When we're apart, everything is in shades of gray. I hope you'll forgive me someday for turning our worlds into shades of gray - at least for a while... You're not at your best when you're focused on me. I mean, you're at your best Maxness, but not your best leaderness. I mostly need Maxness. The flock mostly needs leaderness. And Angel, if you're listening to this, it ain't you, sweetie. Not yet... At least for a couple more years, the flock needs a leader to survive, no matter how capable everyone thinks he or she is. The truth is that they do need a leader, and the truth is that you are the best leader. It's one of the things I love about you. But the more I thought about it, the more sure I got that this is the right thing to do. Maybe not for you, or for me, but for all of us together, our flock. Please don't try to find me. This is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life, besides wearing that suit today, and seeing you again will only make it harder. You'd ask me to come back, and I would, because I can't say no to you. But all the same problems would still be there, and I'd end up leaving again, and then we'd have to go through this all over again. Please make us only go through this once... I love you. I love your smile, your snarl, your grin, your face when you're sleeping. I love your hair streaming out behind you as we fly, with the sunlight making it shine, if it doesn't have too much mud or blood in it. I love seeing your wings spreading out, white and brown and tan and speckled, and the tiny, downy feathers right at the top of your shoulders. I love your eyes, whether they're cold or calculating or suspicious or laughing or warm, like when you look at me... You're the best warrior I know, the best leader. You're the most comforting mom we've ever had. You're the biggest goofball, the worst driver, and a truly lousy cook. You've kept us safe and provided for us, in good times and bad. You're my best friend, my first and only love, and the most beautiful girl I've ever seen, with wings or without... Tell you what, sweetie: If in twenty years we haven't expired yet, and the world is still more or less in one piece, I'll meet you at the top of that cliff where we first met the hawks and learned to fly with them. You know the one. Twenty years from today, if I'm alive, I'll be there, waiting for you. You can bet on it. Good-bye, my love. Fang P.S. Tell everyone I sure will miss them