Friday, November 30, 2012

Sunset on the Prairie

Sunset on the Montana Prairie.

Cold Iron, by Rudyard Kipling

Cold Iron
by Rudyard Kipling

Gold is for the mistress -- silver for the maid --
Copper for the craftsman cunning at his trade."
"Good!" said the Baron, sitting in his hall,
"But Iron -- Cold Iron -- is master of them all."

So he made rebellion 'gainst the King his liege,
Camped before his citadel and summoned it to siege.
"Nay!" said the cannoneer on the castle wall,
"But Iron -- Cold Iron -- shall be master of you all!"

Woe for the Baron and his knights so strong,
When the cruel cannon-balls laid 'em all along;
He was taken prisoner, he was cast in thrall,
And Iron -- Cold Iron -- was master of it all!

Yet his King spake kindly (ah, how kind a Lord!)
"What if I release thee now and give thee back thy sword?"
"Nay!" said the Baron, "mock not at my fall,
For Iron -- Cold Iron -- is master of men all."

"Tears are for the craven, prayers are for the clown --
Halters for the silly neck that cannot keep a crown."
"As my loss is grievous, so my hope is small,
For Iron -- Cold Iron -- must be master of men all!"

Yet his King made answer (few such Kings there be!)
"Here is Bread and here is Wine -- sit and sup with me.
Eat and drink in Mary's Name, the whiles I do recall
How Iron -- Cold Iron -- can be master of men all!"

He took the Wine and blessed it. He blessed and brake the Bread.
With His own Hands He served Them, and presently He said:
"See! These Hands they pierced with nails, outside My city wall,
Show Iron -- Cold Iron -- to be master of men all."

"Wounds are for the desperate, blows are for the strong.
Balm and oil for weary hearts all cut and bruised with wrong.
I forgive thy treason -- I redeem thy fall --
For Iron -- Cold Iron -- must be master of men all!"

"Crowns are for the valiant -- sceptres for the bold!
Thrones and powers for mighty men who dare to take and hold!"
"Nay!" said the Baron, kneeling in his hall,
"But Iron -- Cold Iron -- is master of men all!
Iron out of Calvary is master of men all!"

Saturday, November 24, 2012

A Basket of Berries

Our eight year old artist granddaughter's latest
creation - A Basket of Berries - watercolor.


Guess Who's coming to Dinner?

Baby Neroli comes to Dinner at Gramma
and Grampa's House.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Ranch Hazards

There are many hazards to trap an unsuspecting ranch girl,
and stepping in a cow pie is one of them:

But..........a quick dip in the tub
and you clean up just like new!

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Prairie, by Rudyard Kipling

The Prairie
by Rudyard Kipling

I see the grass shake in the sun for leagues on either hand,
I see a river loop and run about a treeless land --
An empty plain, a steely pond, a distance diamond-clear,
And low blue naked hills beyond. And what is that to fear?"

"Go softly by that river-side or, when you would depart,
You'll find its every winding tied and knotted round your heart.
Be wary as the seasons pass, or you may ne'er outrun
The wind that sets that yellowed grass a-shiver 'neath the Sun."

I hear the summer storm outblown -- the drip of the grateful wheat.
I hear the hard trail telephone a far-off horse's feet.
I hear the horns of Autumn blow to the wild-fowl overhead;
And I hear the hush before the snow. And what is that to dread?"

"Take heed what spell the lightning weaves -- what charm the echoes shape --
Or, bound among a million sheaves, your soul shall not escape.
Bar home the door of summer nights lest those high planets drown
The memory of near delights in all the longed-for town."

"What need have I to long or fear? Now, friendly, I behold
My faithful seasons robe the year in silver and in gold.
Now I possess and am possessed of the land where I would be,
And the curve of half Earth's generous breast shall soothe and ravish me!" 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Remembering the Battle of Dak To, 3-22 November 1967

Remembering Dak To, Central Highlands, Republic of Vietnam

By the end of November, the North Vietnamese were forced to withdraw from the area and back into their sanctuaries in Cambodia and Laos. Failing to wipe out a major American unit, yet the PAVN had forced the U.S. Army to pay a high price. 376 U.S. troops had been killed or listed as missing-presumed dead and another 1,441 were wounded, in the fighting around Dak To.  The fighting had also taken a toll on South Vietnamese troops. 73 ARVN soldiers were killed in the fighting. U.S. munitions expenditures attested to the ferocity of the fighting: 151,000 artillery rounds, 2,096 tactical air sorties, 257 B-52 strikes, and 40 lost helicopters.  The U.S. Army claimed that 1,644 PAVN troops had been killed by body count.


Friday, November 9, 2012

Don't Look Now

Don't Look Now

As I reflect on the modern trend, the election and its uncertain aftermath, I catch myself thinking of the lyrics to the Creedence Clearwater Revival song "Don't Look Now (It ain't you or me)".  In my mind many aspects of the song relate to my view of our country and its precarious and uncertain destiny.