Remy, the Unwitting Electrified Jedi Army

Remy, the Unwitting Electrified Jedi Army

After decades of fruitless, frantic searching
Remy finally found Heart-Kettle’s electric cord, and
Into a gentle current of warmth and love
He finally plugged it, feeling rather chuffed that
At long last, he’d conquered himself,
And now it was time for tea!

heart-shaped kettle

But then Electric Current, bursting forth from
Three tiny holes in the wall, cried out

NO no NO, Remy, NOO..!!

There’s no time to rest on your laurels, Mister!
Your friend Heart-Kettle has other plans; he’s going to
Clone himself into an invisible charging army of agape-bots
That will fan out across the land
Not house-to-house, but man-to-man
They’ll haul out your brothers’ pain-demons, and
Slay them using compassion-tempered, kaleidoscopic swords!

Jedi warrior Jedi warrior Jedi warrior

Jedi warrior Jedi warrior Jedi warrior Jedi warrior Jedi warrior

Jedi warrior Jedi warrior Jedi warrior

Who said THAT? asked the startled Remy
And Heart-Kettle replied…

Oh, that voice? That was just Current!
He keeps me well-stocked with
Billions of electrons named Love.
Don’t you recognize them, Remy?
They’re very wise, and not so negative, really…
Stay positive Remy, and those electrons will
Always come looking for you!

cinnamon hearts

Paul Raworth Bennett

Paul Raworth Bennett (first name only)

Music… our gateway to bliss!

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Feeling philharmonic (classically, at least) and yearning for a shamelessly emotional, musical catharsis?

Sergei Rachmaninoff – an undisputed master at filling people’s eyes with tears – was so utterly absorbed by his love affair with music that I wouldn’t be surprised if while deep in thought, he’d walk into more than his fair share of street lamps and other assorted hazards.

So tonight, at the end of your busy day, why don’t you indulge yourself in a 12-minute date with the 3rd Movement of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto #3 in D Minor (the “Rach 3”)?

Pour yourself a glass of wine… light a candle or two… ease yourself into a nice hot bubble bath or curl up on the couch… close your eyes (and keep ’em closed!)… and prepare to be swept away by this sweeping, vivid tapestry of everything from ephemeral, delicate nuances to awesome, roaring power.

This 50-year-old recording by Earl Wild is exactly that – WILD – accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic under the flawless conduction of Jascha Horenstein.  It gripped me in more than a few places, especially about 5 and a half minutes in (Holy Toledo, Batman – where’s the Kleenex?!?  this is, like, embarrassing…)

Aye, Sergei and Earl and Jascha… yours were lives of vibrant colour, and yours were lives lived very well!

Happy Listening!

Paul Raworth Bennett (first name only)

Jenny

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The cutest little Yorkie, “Jenny”, lives just lives down the street. When Bingo (that’s my own canine boss) and I walk past her digs, she’ll waddle on over (all two terrifying pounds of her) and softly burble with excitement while, with vibrating two-inch tail, she engages blasé old Bingo in the obligatory circle-sniff dance.

Just the other day Jenny returned, freshly clipped and coiffed, from the doggie spa.  I can just picture her perched under a tiny little 1950s beehive hair dryer, festooned with ribbons, stretching out her tiny legs and admiring her freshly-clipped nails while breathlessly trading the latest gossip with a parlour full of poochettes.

The next time I hoist Jenny for a cuddle, I might just want to run away with her (just for a minute or two, maybe) while Bingo mutters “Come on Paul (when he’s annoyed with me, he calls me by my first name), it’s just Jenny, for cryin’ out loud… you’re always getting sidetracked!”

Paul Raworth Bennett (first name only)

We Are Our Closest Circle

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Alfred Lloyd Tennyson famously said “I am a part of all that I have met.”

This little gem makes me reflect on how I affect others – perceptibly or otherwise, for better and for worse.

And just as importantly, it reminds me how the people that I welcome into my own life can have a huge effect on me.

We can’t select our families, but we CAN select pretty much everybody else… and best of all, we can control (for the most part) how happy and healthy our relationships are.

Paul Raworth Bennett (first name only)

Vowelplay

vowel blocks

Hassan can, at a handclap, call a vassal at hand and ask that all staff plan a bacchanal.

This surprisingly coherent little piece of verbal frivolity is an example of univocalics – a type of constrained writing in which all words use only a single vowel.

The brilliant Canadian poet, Christian Bök, is a master of this style. His prize-winning book Eunoia (which means “beautiful thinking” and is the shortest English word containing all five vowels) has five highly entertaining chapters, each one dedicated to a specific vowel.

Here are a few examples, which I’ve reproduced from the BBC News article “Beautiful Vowels”:

(from CHAPTER A – FOR HANS ARP)

Hassan Abd al-Hassad, an Agha Khan, basks at an ashram – a Taj Mahal that has grand parks and grass lawns, all as vast as parklands at Alhambra and Valhalla. Hassan can, at a handclap, call a vassal at hand and ask that all staff plan a bacchanal – a gala ball that has what pagan charm small galas lack. Hassan claps, and (tah-dah) an Arab lass at a swank spa can draw a man’s bath and wash a man’s back, as Arab lads fawn and hang, athwart an altar, amaranth garlands as fragrant as attar – a balm that calms all angst. A dwarf can flap a palm branch that fans a fat maharajah. A naphtha lamp can cast a calm warmth.

(from CHAPTER E – FOR RENE CREVEL)

Westerners revere the Greek legends. Versemen retell the represented events, the resplendent scenes, where, hellbent, the Greek freemen seek revenge whenever Helen, the new-wed empress, weeps. Restless, she deserts her fleece bed where, detested, her wedded regent sleeps. When she remembers Greece, her seceded demesne, she feels wretched, left here, bereft, her needs never met. She needs rest; nevertheless, her demented fevers render her sleepless (her sleeplessness enfeebles her). She needs help; nevertheless her stressed nerves render her cheerless (her cheerlessness enfetters her).

(from CHAPTER I – FOR DICK HIGGINS)

Hiking in British districts, I picnic in virgin firths, grinning in mirth with misfit whims, smiling if I find birch twigs, smirking if I find mint sprigs. Midspring brings with it singing birds, six kinds, (finch, siskin, ibis, tit, pipit, swift), whistling shrill chirps, trilling chirr chirr in high pitch. Kingbirds flit in gliding flight, skimming limpid springs, dipping wingtips in rills which brim with living things: krill, shrimp, brill – fish with gilt fins, which swim in flitting zigs. Might Virgil find bliss implicit in this primitivism? Might I mimic him in print if I find his writings inspiring?

(from CHAPTER O – FOR YOKO ONO)

Loops on bold fonts now form lots of words for books. Books form cocoons of comfort – tombs to hold bookworms. Profs from Oxford show frosh who do post-docs how to gloss works of Wordsworth. Dons who work for proctors or provosts do not fob off school to work on crosswords, nor do dons go off to dorm rooms to loll on cots. Dons go crosstown to look for bookshops known to stock lots of top-notch goods: cookbooks, workbooks – room on room of how-to-books for jocks (how to jog, how to box), books on pro sports: golf or polo. Old colophons on schoolbooks from schoolrooms sport two sorts of logo: oblong whorls, rococo scrolls – both on worn morocco.

(from CHAPTER U – FOR ZHU YU)

Gulls churr: ululu, ululu. Ducks cluck. Bulls plus bucks run thru buckbrush; thus dun burrs clutch fur tufts. Ursus cubs plus Lupus pups hunt skunks. Curs skulk (such mutts lurk: ruff, ruff). Gnus munch kudzu. Lush shrubs bud; thus church nuns pluck uncut mums. Bugs hum: buzz, buzz. Dull susurrus gusts murmur hushful, humdrum murmurs: hush, hush. Dusk suns blush. Surf lulls us. Such scuds hurl up cumulus suds (Sturm und Druck) – furls unfurl: rush, rush; curls uncurl: gush, gush. Such tumult upturns unsunk hulls; thus gulfs crush us, gulp, dunk us – burst lungs succumb.

The University of Pennsylvania’s PENNSOUND centre for programs in contemporary writing has a good collection of Bök audio files (“page down” a couple of times to find the Eunoia section), and if you’re interested in hearing Bök himself reading from Eunoia, you can find him on YouTube.

And now… I guess it’s time I got back to work!

Paul Raworth Bennett (first name only)

Happy Day (a poem for DH)

Lighthouse Park 5 Lighthouse Park 7 Lighthouse Park 4 Lighthouse Park 3

Happy Day

(for DH)

The graceful young woman, her dreamy blue eyes
Reflected the colour of heavenly skies
Her hiking companion, with spirited heart
Did know that their friendship had made a good start

One late summer weekend that Autumn had kissed
The call of the wild was too sweet to resist
They happily spent the whole day roaming free
Inhaling the essence of forest and sea

They broke fast together upon windswept rocks
And cheerfully cast off their shoes and their socks
The skies they did warm up for quite a long time
And bathed the two friends in a glow so divine

They supped on the beach as the fresh air it chilled
They’d had a good day and their tummies were filled
A rainbow of colours was scattered and cast
As Gaia did usher in evening at last

Paul Raworth Bennett (first name only)