Are you wearing your hearing aids?

Unless I’m wearing hearing aids I won’t make the great speech you’re hoping for.

You know, my friends, that unless you hear brilliantly, It’s impossible to speak well.

Before I speak I need to put my hearing aids in

  • My mother had excellent hearing all her life. She listened at keyholes. She kept in touch with her children’s phone calls about important matters which might impinge on the extended family.
  • She had phenomenal hearing. She once heard me and Brian Cox lighting up Woodbine cigarettes behind the copper beech tree in our garden.
  • She had patient hearing. She spent hours in the kitchen listening to me spout on about my beliefs, my thoughts, my feelings.  She even asked me questions about my political rants.

My mother couldn’t afford to buy hearing aids.
Her hearing aid was the acute attention she paid to me -whatever & how ever I spoke, plus the attentive ear she gave to others, all her adult life.

—————

And what about you?

The most important thing I know about you, I see written all over your face.

Deeply chiseled into your Toastmasterly character

Engraved

  •  You love to be heard. You are no wallpaper – You are the leading actor in the Oscar-winning movie  “My dramatic life” – you are the Linchpin.
  •  In your deepest heart, you wantthe person sitting next to you to wear hearing aids, before they speak to you.
  •  You want them to listen to you as if their life depended on it

Last evening, I was cooking spaghetti Like my daughter said over spaghetti in the kitchen last night, “Dad, all I want for you is your attention, that’s what I call love.”

This evening, you expressed it through your body language, the way you settled into your seat.

You wanted all of us speakers to pay attention to you our . It was as if you spoke to me “Paul, pay attention to me before you speak.”

Where are your hearing aids now?

Isn’t it so uplifting to be in the midst of a community of friends who listen to each other – genuinely listen.

Friends genuinely listen to you, friends listen well.

Imagine
you’re going to leave here and go out into the garden and hillside of a wider community.

Imagine
you’re going to take your hearing aids with you – just as your best friends do.

Imagine
like my mother,  you have excellent, phenomenal & patient hearing.

I must arise and go now, and take my hearing aids out.

Let me trust you to leave your hearing aids turned on.

Let me trust you to listen well

I trust you to speak superbly and wear your hearing aids with pride.

 

‘On Woman’ by WB Yeats

https://bumpers.fm/_/embed/b40rvpusfitg01453740

 

MAY God be praised for woman
That gives up all her mind,
A man may find in no man
A friendship of her kind
That covers all he has brought
As with her flesh and bone,
Nor quarrels with a thought
Because it is not her own.
Though pedantry denies,
It’s plain the Bible means
That Solomon grew wise
While talking with his queens.
Yet never could, although
They say he counted grass,
Count all the praises due
When Sheba was his lass,
When she the iron wrought, or
When from the smithy fire
It shuddered in the water:
Harshness of their desire
That made them stretch and yawn,
pleasure that comes with sleep,
Shudder that made them one.
What else He give or keep
God grant me — no, not here,
For I am not so bold
To hope a thing so dear
Now I am growing old,
But when, if the tale’s true,
The Pestle of the moon
That pounds up all anew
Brings me to birth again —
To find what once I had
And know what once I have known,
Until I am driven mad,
Sleep driven from my bed.
By tenderness and care.
pity, an aching head,
Gnashing of teeth, despair;
And all because of some one
perverse creature of chance,
And live like Solomon
That Sheba led a dance.

Oscar Wilde ‘The Ballad Of Reading Gaol’ on UK National Poetry Day [31 minutes]

wilde-ballad-beerbohm

For years I’ve wanted to read “The Ballad of Reading Gaol“.

On National Poetry Day in UK (6 October 2016) –  I did it.

 

Over-achiever

harlequin-ichthyosis-250x150
Overachiever

The sun overachieved

when she provided light, warmth, direction, security and reassurance

to the solar system.

 

The moon overachieved

when it reflected, drew tides, cast shadows and fed poets

mottled metaphors.

 

The stars overachieved

when they gave Hollywood a reputation, grains of sand a run for their money,

and inspired the search for Graham’s number.

 

There’s a woman with blond hair, tall, blue eyes, imagination of a harlequin,

and an inclination to call herself

overachiever.

Walt Whitman “Pioneers! O Pioneers!

First, a recording of a fine actor, Will Geer, reading “Pioneers! O Pioneers!

Second, a recording of this poem being live streamed.

 

The Walt Whitman Show on Periscope
(saved via Katch)

https://katch.me/embed/v/d7bce79c-57b7-328d-a2cd-40526034fc9d?sync=1

_____________________

Pioneers! O Pioneers!

COME, my tan-faced children,
Follow well in order, get your weapons ready;
Have you your pistols? have you your sharp edged axes?
Pioneers! O pioneers!

For we cannot tarry here,
We must march my darlings, we must bear the brunt of danger,
We, the youthful sinewy races, all the rest on us depend,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

O you youths, western youths,
So impatient, full of action, full of manly pride and friendship, 10
Plain I see you, western youths, see you tramping with the foremost,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

Have the elder races halted?
Do they droop and end their lesson, wearied, over there beyond the
seas?
We take up the task eternal, and the burden, and the lesson,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

All the past we leave behind;
We debouch upon a newer, mightier world, varied world,
Fresh and strong the world we seize, world of labor and the march,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

We detachments steady throwing,
Down the edges, through the passes, up the mountains steep,
Conquering, holding, daring, venturing, as we go, the unknown ways,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

We primeval forests felling,
We the rivers stemming, vexing we, and piercing deep the mines
within;
We the surface broad surveying, we the virgin soil upheaving,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

Colorado men are we,
From the peaks gigantic, from the great sierras and the high
plateaus,
From the mine and from the gully, from the hunting trail we come,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

From Nebraska, from Arkansas,
Central inland race are we, from Missouri, with the continental blood
intervein’d;
All the hands of comrades clasping, all the Southern, all the
Northern,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

O resistless, restless race!
O beloved race in all! O my breast aches with tender love for all!
O I mourn and yet exult–I am rapt with love for all,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

Raise the mighty mother mistress,
Waving high the delicate mistress, over all the starry mistress,
(bend your heads all,)
Raise the fang’d and warlike mistress, stern, impassive, weapon’d
mistress,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

See, my children, resolute children,
By those swarms upon our rear, we must never yield or falter,
Ages back in ghostly millions, frowning there behind us urging,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

On and on, the compact ranks,
With accessions ever waiting, with the places of the dead quickly
fill’d,
Through the battle, through defeat, moving yet and never stopping,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

O to die advancing on!
Are there some of us to droop and die? has the hour come?
Then upon the march we fittest die, soon and sure the gap is fill’d,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

All the pulses of the world,
Falling in, they beat for us, with the western movement beat;
Holding single or together, steady moving, to the front, all for us,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

Life’s involv’d and varied pageants,
All the forms and shows, all the workmen at their work,
All the seamen and the landsmen, all the masters with their slaves,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

All the hapless silent lovers,
All the prisoners in the prisons, all the righteous and the wicked,
All the joyous, all the sorrowing, all the living, all the dying,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

I too with my soul and body,
We, a curious trio, picking, wandering on our way,
Through these shores, amid the shadows, with the apparitions
pressing,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

Lo! the darting bowling orb!
Lo! the brother orbs around! all the clustering suns and planets,
All the dazzling days, all the mystic nights with dreams,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

These are of us, they are with us,
All for primal needed work, while the followers there in embryo wait
behind,
We to-day’s procession heading, we the route for travel clearing,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

O you daughters of the west!
O you young and elder daughters! O you mothers and you wives!
Never must you be divided, in our ranks you move united,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

Minstrels latent on the prairies!
(Shrouded bards of other lands! you may sleep–you have done your
work;)
Soon I hear you coming warbling, soon you rise and tramp amid us,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

Not for delectations sweet;
Not the cushion and the slipper, not the peaceful and the
studious;
Not the riches safe and palling, not for us the tame enjoyment,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

Do the feasters gluttonous feast?
Do the corpulent sleepers sleep? have they lock’d and bolted doors?
Still be ours the diet hard, and the blanket on the ground,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

Has the night descended?
Was the road of late so toilsome? did we stop discouraged, nodding on
our way?
Yet a passing hour I yield you, in your tracks to pause oblivious,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

Till with sound of trumpet,
Far, far off the day-break call–hark! how loud and clear I hear it
wind;
Swift! to the head of the army!–swift! spring to your places, Pioneers! O pioneers.

__________________

Notes:

  1. I found the video on You Tube with the following information attached:
    Uploaded to You Tube on 11 Nov 2009 
    Vocals By Will Geer

“This is the full version of the poem that was used in the Levi “Go Forth” commercial. I added the backing music to spice it up a bit (thanks Garage Band) You can find the vocal portion of this (and other Whitman poems) on iTunes. I do not own the vocals –  however to take it down for copyright violation would be to down a little piece of America… Whitman….America…think about it”

 

2.  The Walt Whitman Show is live streamed on Periscope. I use the January 1892 “Death Bed Edition” of Leaves of Grass.  Walt died on 26 March 1892