Monday, October 12, 2015

Lessons of the Grave

Lessons of the Grave

Death, the silent stalker
Floats like a bird on wing
Turns royalty to paupers
And poor men into kings

The tombstone knows no difference
'Tween rags or threads of gold
For our only worthwhile treasure
Is the content of our souls

Mere humans should endeavor
And strive ever to behave
As if our final worth
Is born
Of these lessons of the grave

~Andie Pauly

All Hallow's Eve is coming!




  1. Andie, good to see you post. This is an excellent poem. Bravo!

  2. OMG Andie. Your are a poet too. Is there anything you cannot do?

  3. Andie, I was thinking what Donna commented. To add to this it's dark art like this that inspires me artistically, and now I have come to understand more in how you decorate around these pieces you find that have a lost soul in them and how you bring them back to life.

    I am sending your post on to friends,
    Looking forward dear to more creative seasonal inspiration here.


  4. How very true
    Turns royalty to paupers
    And poor men into kings

    If man today would read this and listen ,prepare our hearts for death for it will surely come to us all

    your skeletons crown is beautiful

  5. Andie you are incredibly talented and inspiring, in so many ways. Thank you for what you create and for sharing with us!

    The Arts by Karena
    Palm Beach Chic

  6. _________ GARAGED _________

    Caught abandoned on suburban ground
    Relying on pure instinct to survive
    Using wits miraculously found
    Sneaking in you wished to stay alive.
    How you came to me I’ll never know.
    Early in the evening I heard cries ––
    Demanding, plaintive –– sounds of infant woe ––
    Touching needs no decent man denies.
    Often heard, but still unseen for days
    Droppings on the floor a tiny inkling you’d
    Eaten food put out for you to graze,
    And then I saw you in the sandbox tinkling. You’d
    Trusted me. I loved you more each day.
    How could Fate let me crush your life away?

    ~ FreeThinke

    A sad memorial to a tiny abandoned kitten I tried to love and nurture, but wound up killing one dreadful day as I innocently backed out of the garage very slowly to do some errands. The poor little thing must have climbed onto one of the wheels and gone to sleep. I remember calling to him, clapping my hands and even sounding the horn but I got no response, so I assumed he was back in his customary hiding place behind the boxes along the opposite wall. We must go on no matter what, but I will never get over this event. He wanted to live. I wanted to help him, and look what happened. Life is a paradox always wonderful yet horrifying all at the same time.

    Bless you, Andie, for all the good you do in so many ways.

  7. I reason, Earth is short —
    And Anguish — absolute —
    And many hurt,

    But, what of that?

    I reason, we could die —
    The best Vitality
    Cannot excel Decay,

    But, what of that?

    I reason, that in Heaven —
    Somehow, it will be even —
    Some new Equation, given —

    But, what of that?

    ~ Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

  8. The grave my little cottage is,
    Where “Keeping house” for thee
    I make my parlor orderly
    And lay the marble tea.

    For two divided, briefly,
    A cycle, it may be,
    Till everlasting life unite
    In strong society.

    ~,Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

  9.   The Conqueror Worm (1843)

    Lo! 'tis a gala night
__ Within the lonesome latter years!
An angel throng, bewinged, bedight
__ In veils, and drowned in tears,
Sit in a theatre, to see
__ A play of hopes and fears, 

    While the orchestra breathes fitfully
__ The music of the spheres.
Mimes, in the form of God on high,
__ Mutter and mumble low,
And hither and thither fly ––
__ Mere puppets they, who come and go 

    At bidding of vast formless things
__ That shift the scenery to and fro,
Flapping from out their Condor wings
__ Invisible Woe!

That motley drama –– oh, be sure
__ It shall not be forgot! 

    With its Phantom chased for evermore,
__ By a crowd that seize it not, 

    Through a circle that ever returneth in
__ To the self-same spot,
And much of Madness, and more of Sin,
__ And Horror the soul of the plot.

But see, amid the mimic rout
__ A crawling shape intrude!
A blood-red thing that writhes from out
__ The scenic solitude!
It writhes! –– it writhes! –– with mortal pangs
__ The mimes become its food,
And seraphs sob at vermin fangs
__ In human gore imbued.

Out- out are the lights –– out all!
__ And, over each quivering form,
The curtain, a funeral pall,
__ Comes down with the rush of a storm,
While the angels, all pallid and wan,
__ Uprising, unveiling, affirm 

    That the play is the tragedy, "Man,"
__ And its hero the Conqueror Worm.


~ Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)

  10. our only honest legacy
    Is the content of our souls

    Yes, yes, yes!

    Store up for yourself heavenly treasures, which are not material things.


    I. The Minor Poet

    His little trills and chirpings were his best.
    No music like the nightingale's was born
    Within his throat; but he, too, laid his breast
    Upon a thorn.

    II. The Pretty Lady

    She hated bleak and wintry things alone.
    All that was warm and quick, she loved too well-
    A light, a flame, a heart against her own;
    It is forever bitter cold, in Hell.

    III. The Very Rich Man

    He'd have the best, and that was none too good;
    No barrier could hold, before his terms.
    He lies below, correct in cypress wood,
    And entertains the most exclusive worms.

    IV. The Fisherwoman

    The man she had was kind and clean
    And well enough for every day,
    But, oh, dear friends, you should have seen
    The one that got away!

    V. The Crusader

    Arrived in Heaven, when his sands were run,
    He seized a quill, and sat him down to tell
    The local press that something should be done
    About that noisy nuisance, Gabriel.

    VI. The Actress

    Her name, cut clear upon this marble cross,
    Shines, as it shone when she was still on earth;
    While tenderly the mild, agreeable moss
    Obscures the figures of her date of birth.

    ~ Dorothy Parker (1893-1967)

  12. I'm sorry this turned into a Solo Act on my part. I always hope to stimulate conversation wherever I go, but an exchange of ideas, thoughts and feelings on a given subject is exceedingly rare. I wonder why?

  13. A question: Are you a great fan of Edgar Allan Poe, Andie? I've long thought you must be, but I'd like to know for sure.

  14. I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,
    And Mourners to and fro
    Kept treading –– treading –– till it seemed
    That Sense was breaking through -

    And when they all were seated,
    A Service, like a Drum ––
    Kept beating –– beating –– till I thought
    My mind was going numb––

    And then I heard them lift a Box
    And creak across my Soul
    With those same Boots of Lead, again,
    Then Space –– began to toll,

    As all the Heavens were a Bell,
    And Being, but an Ear,
    And I, and Silence, some strange Race,
    Wrecked, solitary, here ––

    And then a Plank in Reason, broke,
    And I dropped down, and down ––
    And hit a World, at every plunge,
    And Finished knowing –– then ––

    ~ Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

  15. I died for Beauty, but was scarce
Adjusted in theTomb,

    When one who died for Truth was lain
In an adjoining room. 

    He questioned softly why I failed?
"For Beauty," I replied.
    And I for Truth –– the two are one;
We brethren are," he said.


And so, as kinsmen met a-night,

    We talked between the rooms,
Until the moss had reached our lips,
And covered up our names.

    ~ Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

  16. ___ At the Cemetery __

    Happy is he who dies here.
    Like the birds of the field!
    His body, near his friends,
    Is laid in the earth, and among the songs.
    He sleeps a good vermillian slumber
    Under the radiant sky.
    All those he had known, are come
    To bid him a long farewell.

    At his grave his parents weep,
    Resting on their knees,
    And his bones, underneath the flowers
    Are gently bathed in tears
    Each one on the black wood,
    Can see whether he was young or not,
    and can, with sincere regrets
    call him by his name.

    How many unlucky ones are there
    who die at sea,
    And lie under the deep waves
    far from their beloved country!
    Ah! poor souls! who for their shrouds
    have green seaweeds,
    Where they roll unknown, quite naked,
    and their eyes wide open!

    ~ Richepin - (translated from the original French)

    Composers Gabriel Fauré and Johannes Brahms both used this text as the basis for an art song.

    1. If anyone is interested, the following link will take you to a performance of "Au cimitiere" ("At the cemetery") by the great American soprano Leontyne Price accompanied at the piano by David Garvey.

  17. ________ All Hallows Eve ________

    Trick or treating, barren branches claw
    On rooftops ‘gainst the biting Autumn air.
    Jack O’Lantern flickers. Would he gnaw
    An arm away, or set aflame the hair ––
    Conspicuously real above the masks ––
    Kindling Kindergartners at the door?
    Only Satan’s own perform such tasks,
    Leering, lisping, limping as to war.
    Awake! All Hallows Eve lets loose the ghosts.
    No one escapes the Grave for long. Be wise.
    The Jack O’Lanterns flicker on the posts ––
    Each one a sentry for the Lord of Flies.
    Run home to mother lest the Evil One
    Nabs you, while you think you’re having fun.

    ~ FreeThinke - The Sandpiper, Autumn, 1996

    }}}}} _______ HAPPY HALLOWEEN! _______ {{{{{

  18. The only ghost I ever saw
    Was dressed in mechlin, —so;
    He wore no sandal on his foot,
    And stepped like flakes of snow.
    His gait was soundless, like the bird,
    But rapid, like the roe;
    His fashions quaint, mosaic,
    Or, haply, mistletoe.

    Hi conversation seldom,
    His laughter like the breeze
    That dies away in dimples
    Among the pensive trees.
    Our interview was transient, —
    Of me, himself was shy;
    And God forbid I look behind
    Since that appalling day!

    ~ Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

  19. ______ YES SANTA EXISTS ______

    Yes, dear children, Santa Claus is real,
Even though so many don't agree.
Santa lives wherever people feel

    Sweet and kind in all sincerity,

    And show their love with understanding gifts,
Not gaudy, foolish, merely costly things.
The gift of Recognition often lifts
A sagging spirit high, and lends it wings.
Elves aplenty fashion tokens bright, as

    Xanadu excursions, jewels and such.
If connected well, these brings delight. As
Substitutes for love, they're not worth much.

    The more we spend, sometimes, the less we give.
Santa comes to hearts that love to live.

    FreeThinke - The Sandpiper - Christmas, 1995

  20. Batting zero. I wonder why?

    When Andie is away
    No one comes to play.
    I think it's much too bad
    It makes me very sad. (:-c


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