Ode to Laughter

I found this little poem in an old book of my mother’s called Philosopher’s Notebook. It was compiled by Monty Blandford and published by Hallcraft Publishing Company in 1952.


A laugh is just like sunshine,

It freshens all the day;

It tips the peaks of life with light,

And drives the clouds away.

The soul grows glad that hears it,

And feels its courage strong,

A laugh is just like sunshine

For cheering folks along.

A laugh is just like music,

It lingers in the heart,

And where its melody is heard

The ills of life depart.

And happy thoughts come crowding,

It’s joyful notes to greet,

A laugh is just like music

For making living sweet.


flowers from Tom 002 (Copy)


The Flying Monkey

I love this post from Nancy at Spirit Lights the Way and the freedom it suggests 🙂

Spirit Lights The Way

2014-11-17 12-05-45_0022Once upon a place and time, a monkey flew through the jungle, clinging and swinging from vine to vine.

Ignorant of his true nature, he clung to the belief that he could fly only when swinging and clinging from one vine to the next.

He swung as he clung and clung as he swung.

Afraid to “let go.”

Until the day he woke up and remembered who he was.

No longer attached to the vines and entwined beliefs that had held him back, he found his wings and soared.

FlyLike a flying monkey, the Mind swings from thought to thought until we wake up and “let go.”

No longer attached to stories about the past or future fears, we fly through the Eternal Now.

And live happily ever after on a moment by moment basis.

Aah . . . that’s better!

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Definitions with a difference

I found these definitions in a book that belonged to my mother. It is called Philosopher Reflects. It has lots of interesting little snippets.


A Bored: A person who talks when you wish him to listen.

Coward: One who in a perilous emergency thinks with his legs.

Hospitality: The virtue which induces us to lodge and feed certain persons who are not in need of food or lodgings.

Patience: A minor form of despair, disguised as a virtue.

Politeness: The most acceptable hypocrisy.

Acquaintance: A person whom we know well enough to borrow from, but not well enough to lend to.

Calamity: A plain reminder that the affairs of this life are not of our own ordering. Calamities are of two kinds – misfortune to ourselves and good fortune to others.

Fashion: A despot whom the wise ridicule and obey.

The above definitions were complied by Ambrose Biene.

flowers from Tom 008 (Copy)


Assertive or aggressive?

I have never been very good at dealing with conflict. I just don’t like it!

Never-the-less, we are sometimes caught in situations where we either give in too easily on the one hand or, alternatively, get too angry.  I came across this little story recently and thought it was worth sharing (again) as I believe it provides an alternative to the extremes of not acting and reacting in a negative way.

Once there was a snake with a rather bad attitude. The small village near where the snake lived was very fearful of this snake because he would strike without warning and devour its prey. It was known to eat hens, dogs, and even big animals like cows. The villagers gathered at the edge of the field, and with drumming and shouting, and sticks and stones, made up their minds to find the snake and kill it.

A holy man came upon this loud and angry crowd and asked, “What is this about?” The villagers told him of the snake’s villainy. The holy man asked, “If I make this snake stop doing these evil deeds, will you spare his life?” The villagers reluctantly agreed to give the snake – and the holy man – one chance.

The holy man entered the field and commanded the snake to come to him. “What issss it?” the snake hissed. The holy man’s words were simple: “Enough! There is no need for this. There is plenty of food without eating the villager’s animals.” The holy man spoke with kindness and authority and the snake knew his words to be true. He nodded in agreement and slithered away.

It was not long before the villagers discovered that the snake would not harm them. They were grateful, but some of the villagers in their anger over what had been done, began to beat the snake with sticks and stones. The abuse continued until he could take no more and hid underneath a large rock, determined not to break its word to the holy man. “Why is this happening to me?” he said, “ I followed the holy man’s words.” Soon the fearful snake was near death from the beatings and the lack of food.

One day, he heard the footsteps of the holy man and with his last bit of strength crawled out to meet him on the path. The holy man, seeing how terribly beaten and sickly the snake looked, asked, “What has happened to you?” The snake told the story of the beatings and torment and how for days it had hidden underneath a rock to protect itself.

The holy man stood silently shaking his head. “Oh, foolish snake,” he said, “I told you not to bite but I did not tell you not to hiss.”  With this the snake understood and slithered away.


A poem: Magpies by Judith Wright

wild life 004 (Copy)

Along the road the magpies walk
with hands in pockets, left and right.
They tilt their heads, and stroll and talk.
In their well-fitted black and white.

They look like certain gentlemen
who seem most nonchalant and wise
until their meal is served — and then
what clashing beaks, what greedy eyes!

But not one man that I have heard
throws back his head in such a song
of grace and praise — no man nor bird.
Their greed is brief; their joy is long.
For each is born with such a throat
as thanks his God with every note.

Magpies by Judith Wright was published in Poets and Poetry by Sadler/Hayllar/Powell. Published by Macmillan, 1992

* Judith Wright was a prolific Australian poet, critic, and short-story writer, who published more than 50 books. Wright was also an uncompromising environmentalist and social activist campaigning for Aboriginal land rights. She believed that the poet should be concerned with national and social problems. At the age of 85, just before her death, she attended in Canberra at a march for reconciliation with Aboriginal people.


Character cottage

We went to Augusta yesterday. It is only an hour’s drive from home. It was a nice spot but we decided to come home after one night. I took some snaps of the character features in the cottage we stayed in. They should have mentioned the loo was outside – a big oversight in the advertising.

The location was lovely so we may go back to Augusta again but next time we’ll make sure it has an inside loo. I think I got a bit traumatized when we were living in Fitzroy Crossing W.A. and we found a big King Brown snake in the outside toilet :-).

Augusta Nov 2015 013

A poem from “Word From Home” – an Anthology

Word from Home is an anthology of prose and verse compiled for THE KING’S FORCES by Lt. General Sir Tom Bridges and published by English University Press.

I often pick up books that look interesting and this is one such book. It came out in 1940 and has a diverse range of poems and poets. I have selected one to share today.   It is called The Sunken Garden by Walter De La Mare.

Speak not – whisper not;

Here bloweth thyme and bergamot;

Softly on the evening hour,

Secret herbs their spices shower,

Dark-spiked rosemary and myrrh,

Lean-stalked, purple lavender;

Hides within her bosom, too,

All her sorrows, bitter rue.

Breathe not – trespass not;

Of this green and darkling spot,

Latticed from the moon’s beams,

Perchance a distant dreamer dreams;

Perchance upon its darkening air,

The unseen ghosts of children fare,

Faintly swinging, sway and sweep,

Like lovely sea-flowers in the deep;

While, unmoved, to watch and ward

Amid its gloomed and daisied sward

Stands with bowed and dewy head

That one little leaden Lad.