The Retreat Of The Time Lords

Have you ever thought what it’s like, to be wanderers in the fourth dimension? Have you? To be exiles?

-The Doctor, in “An Unearthly Child”

Saturday: So I am working on this project for a book of sorts, and I come up with this phrase: “The Retreat Of The Time Lords” Sounds grand, doesn’t it? I was weaving a story around a group of aliens that were immortal, and on occasion changed out their bodies, but retained their consciousness, whilst messing with the inhabitants of Earth over the millennia, and then I started to think… Hadn’t I heard that term before? I sat pondering for awhile, then ran it into the search engine. See the above illustration. My brain is leaking. Tom Baker, has colonized my cortex. Help!

So I went to the S.E. ArtWalk meeting for artist today for an hour. Just to let you know, yours truly is participating this next month. I am going to have a very large selection of prints, cards, paintings, the lot. The event is for the weekend of February 28th – March 1st. I am very excited. I will be a guest artist at Mirador Community Store hosted by the wonderful Lynn & Steve Hanrahan. We will be unveiling the infamous “Mirador Mural” for 2 days, much to the consternation of our arch-nemesis: Clear Channel (hisssssssss)
You’ll Find This Print & Many Others At Mirador During The SE Portland ArtWalk! – Support The Arts!

Sunday: It has been a couple of days of Mary being down with allergies, and various other things occurring. So, we have been scrambling to playing catch up. It has been snowing again in Portland. Climate Change, not Global Warming around here. Coldest Winter in Oregon as far as I can tell since 1968-69. It is beautiful, but I start dreaming of warm beaches about now.
For the present, I am starting to organize for the ArtWalk Exhibition coming up. Lots to do!
I hope this finds you well….

On The Menu:

The Links

Younger Brother – Scanner

The Parson’s Pig (Porc’hel ar person)


Biography of Abu-I-Ala

Younger Brother – I Am A Freak


The Links:

The Duel…

Prepared for the Weather??

Atlantis Forgotten…

Atlantis…. again

Younger Brother – Scanner

Folk Tales Of Lower Brittany: The Parson’s Pig (Porc’hel ar person)

Once upon a time there was a poor family. This family was very, very poor indeed: the father had a flock of children to feed and had no idea how to do it. One day he looked at his offspring said to himself “Why not steal a pig from the rector?”
He knew that the rector had a gloriously fat pig in his piggery, just ready to eat. The poor man took the pig without any great difficulty, killed it noiselessly (not a small feat), and cut it into small pieces.
The next day, the youngest boy was walking the family’s sole cow to the fields. He sang merrily as he walked:
Kig porc’hel ar person a zo mat

Leret hinoz gan me zat!
The meat of the parson’s pig was good

That my father stole last night
Unfortunately the pastor passed close by him on the same path, on his way to church. He was greatly surprised by the song, and called out, “What are you singing, my lad?”
But the boy refused to say.
“Sing again! Repeat what you just sang,” the pastor insisted.
“Oh, no.” replied the young boy, demurely, “I can’t say it.”
“Really, I would like you to sing it again, and loudly, too!” encouraged the parson.
“Monsieur le recteur, I only tell the truth.”
“So be it then: since it’s the truth, you can come to Church on Sunday and tell everyone.”
“Oh, Monsieur le recteur, I can’t come to Church looking like this. All my clothes are so old …”
“I’ll buy you a new outfit,” the boy was promised. “Come and find me on Sunday, before mass.”
And on that Sunday the parson gave the young lad a set of beautiful new clothes so that he could attend church. In the middle of mass, the man of the cloth announced to his assembled parishioners:
“Listen to this child. He is going to tell you the truth.”
Then he said to the boy, “This is the pulpit of truth. Stand here where I am now and tell everyone what you sang the other day on the road.”
The young lad was not worried. He clambered into the pulpit and said very loudly:
“Ar person ha ma mamm zo mognonet

Ha me zat ac’nras Doué n’avin ket!
The parson and my mother are friends

And, thank God, my father doesn’t know a thing!
“It’s not true,” the parson protested, furiously. “That isn’t what you said.”
“Yes it is, ” replied the boy, “It’s exactly what I said.”
“No it’s not,” said the rector, and gave him a quick kick up the behind.
“Monsieur le recteur,” said the child, with dignity, “It’s all that I can say.”
And the whole congregation laughed with the boy.

Notes: Massignon indicates that this is type 1792 in the Aarne-Thompson classification (the major index of folk tale types), existing in 8 French versions, but far more common in Germany. It differs from the norm by having a poor family instead of the sacristan, as the parson’s foil. She points out that irony and gentle mockery aimed at the clergy is a part of Breton folk culture, when the clergy are considered to be at fault.



Abandon worship in the mosque and shrink

From idle prayer, from sacrificial sheep,

For Destiny will bring the bowl of sleep

Or bowl of tribulation——you shall drink.

The scarlet eyes of Morning are pursued

By Night, who growls along the narrow lane;

But as they crash upon our world the twain

Devour us and are strengthened for the feud.

Vain are your dreams of marvellous emprise,

Vainly you sail among uncharted spaces,

Vainly seek harbour in this world of faces

If it has been determined otherwise.

Behold, my friends, there is reserved for me

The splendour of our traffic with the sky:

You pay your court to Saturn, whereas I

Am slain by One far mightier than he.

You that must travel with a weary load

Along this darkling, labyrinthine street——

Have men with torches at your head and feet

If you would pass the dangers of the road.

So shall you find all armour incomplete

And open to the whips of circumstance,

That so shall you be girdled of mischance

Till you be folded in the winding-sheet.

Have conversation with the wind that goes

Bearing a pack of loveliness and pain:

The golden exultation of the grain

And the last, sacred whisper of the rose

But if in some enchanted garden bloom

The rose imperial that will not fade,

Ah! shall I go with desecrating spade

And underneath her glories build a tomb?

Shall I that am as dust upon the plain

Think with unloosened hurricanes to fight?

Or shall I that was ravished from the night

Fall on the bosom of the night again?

Endure! and if you rashly would unfold

That manuscript whereon our lives are traced,

Recall the stream which carols thro’ the waste

And in the dark is rich with alien gold.

Myself did linger by the ragged beach,

Whereat wave after wave did rise and curl;

And as they fell, they fell—I saw them hurl

A message far more eloquent than speech:

We that with song our pilgrimage beguile,

With purple islands which a sunset bore,

We, sunk upon the sacrilegious shore,

May parley with oblivion awhile.

I would not have you keep nor idly flaunt

What may be gathered from the gracious land,

But I would have you sow with sleepless hand

The virtues that will balance your account.

The days are dressing all of us in white,

For him who will suspend us in a row.

But for the sun there is no death. I know

The centuries are morsels of the night.

A deed magnanimous, a noble thought

Are as the music singing thro’ the years

When surly Time the tyrant domineers

Against the lute whereoutof it was wrought.

Now to the Master of the World resign

Whatever touches you, what is prepared,

For many sons of wisdom are ensnared

And many fools in happiness recline.

Long have I tarried where the waters roll

From undeciphered caverns of the main,

And I have searched, and I have searched in vain,

Where I could drown the sorrows of my soul.

If I have harboured love within my breast,

’Twas for my comrades of the dusty day,

Who with me watched the loitering stars at play,

Who bore the burden of the same unrest,

For once the witcheries a maiden flung——

Then afterwards I knew she was the bride

Of Death; and as he came, so tender-eyed,

I—I rebuked him roundly, being young.

Yet if all things that vanish in their noon

Are but the part of some eternal scheme,

Of what the nightingale may chance to dream

Or what the lotus murmurs to the moon !

Have I not heard sagacious ones repeat

An irresistibly grim argument:

That we for all our blustering content

Are as the silent shadows at our feet.

Aye, when the torch is low and we prepare

Beyond the notes of revelry to pass——

Old Silence will keep watch upon the grass,

The solemn shadows will assemble there.

No Sultan at his pleasure shall erect

A dwelling less obedient to decay

Than I, whom all the mysteries obey,

Build with the twilight for an architect,

Dark leans to dark! the passions of a man

Are twined about all transitory things,

For verily the child of wisdom clings

More unto dreamland than Arabistan.

Death leans to death! nor shall your vigilance

Prevent him from whate’er he would possess,

Nor, brother, shall unfilial peevishness

Prevent you from the grand inheritance.

Farewell, my soul!—bird in the narrow jail

Who cannot sing. The door is opened! Fly!

Ah, soon you stop, and looking down you cry

The saddest song of all, poor nightingale.

Our fortune is like mariners to float

Amid the perils of dim waterways;

Shall then our seamanship have aught of praise

If the great anchor drags behind the boat?

Ah! let the burial of yesterday,

Of yesterday be ruthlessly decreed,

And, if you will, refuse the mourner’s reed,

And, if you will, plant cypress in the way.

As little shall it serve you in the fight

If you remonstrate with the storming seas,

As if you querulously sigh to these

Of some imagined haven of delight.

Steed of my soul! when you and I were young

We lived to cleave as arrows thro’ the night,——

Now there is ta’en from me the last of light,

And wheresoe’er I gaze a veil is hung.

No longer as a wreck shall I be hurled

Where beacons lure the fascinated helm,

For I have been admitted to the realm

Of darkness that encompasses the world.

Man has been thought superior to the swarm

Of ruminating cows, of witless foals

Who, crouching when the voice of thunder rolls,

Are banqueted upon a thunderstorm.

But shall the fearing eyes of humankind

Have peeped beyond the curtain and excel

The boldness of a wondering gazelle

Or of a bird imprisoned in the wind?

Ah! never may we hope to win release

Before we that unripeness overthrow,——

So must the corn in agitation grow

Before the sickle sings the songs of peace.

Lo! there are many ways and many traps

And many guides, and which of them is lord?

For verily Mahomet has the sword,

And he may have the truth—perhaps! perhaps!

Now this religion happens to prevail

Until by that religion overthrown,—

Because men dare not live with men alone,

But always with another fairy-tale.

Religion is a charming girl, I say;

But over this poor threshold will not pass,

For I may not unveil her, and alas!

The bridal gift I can’t afford to pay.

I have imagined that our welfare is

Required to rise triumphant from defeat;

And so the musk, which as the more you beat,

Gives ever more delightful fragrancies.

For as a gate of sorrow-land unbars

The region of unfaltering delight,

So may you gather from the fields of night

That harvest of diviner thought, the stars.

Send into banishment whatever blows

Across the waves of your tempestuous heart;

Let every wish save Allah’s wish depart,

And you will have ineffable repose.

My faith it is that all the wanton pack

Of living shall be—hush, poor heart!—withdrawn,

As even to the camel comes a dawn

Without a burden for his wounded back.

If there should be some truth in what they teach

Of unrelenting Monkar and Nakyr,

Before whose throne all buried men appear——

Then give me to the vultures, I beseech.

Some yellow sand all hunger shall assuage

And for my thirst no cloud have need to roll,

And ah! the drooping bird which is my soul

No longer shall be prisoned in the cage.

Life is a flame that flickers in the wind,

A bird that crouches in the fowler’s net—

Nor may between her flutterings forget

That hour the dreams of youth were unconfined.

There was a time when I was fain to guess

The riddles of our life, when I would soar

Against the cruel secrets of the door,

So that I fell to deeper loneliness.

One is behind the draperies of life,

One who will tear these tanglements away—

No dark assassin, for the dawn of day

Leaps out, as leapeth laughter, from the knife.

If you will do some deed before you die,

Remember not this caravan of death,

But have belief that every little breath

Will stay with you for an eternity.

Astrologers!—give ear to what they say!

“The stars be words; they float on heaven’s breath

And faithfully reveal the days of death,

And surely will reveal that longer day.”

I shook the trees of knowledge. Ah! the fruit

Was fair upon the bleakness of the soil.

I filled a hundred vessels with my spoil,

And then I rested from the grand pursuit.

Alas! I took me servants: I was proud

Of prose and of the neat, the cunning rhyme,

But all their inclination was the crime

Of scattering my treasure to the crowd.

And yet—and yet this very seed I throw

May rise aloft, a brother of the bird,

Uncaring if his melodies are heard——

Or shall I not hear anything below?

The glazier out of sounding Erzerûm,

Frequented us and softly would conspire

Upon our broken glass with blue-red fire,

As one might lift a pale thing from the tomb.

He was the glazier out of Erzerûm,

Whose wizardry would make the children cry——

There will be no such wizardry when I

Am broken by the chariot-wheels of Doom.

The chariot-wheels of Doom! Now, hear them roll

Across the desert and the noisy mart,

Across the silent places of your heart——

Smile on the driver you will not cajole.

I never look upon the placid plain

But I must think of those who lived before

And gave their quantities of sweat and gore,

And went and will not travel back again.

Aye! verily, the fields of blandishment

Where shepherds meditate among their cattle,

Those are the direst of the fields of battle,

For in the victor’s train there is no tent.

Where are the doctors who were nobly fired

And loved their toil because we ventured not,

Who spent their lives in searching for the spot

To which the generations have retired?

“Great is your soul,”—these are the words they preach,—

“It passes from your framework to the frame

Of others, and upon this road of shame

Turns purer and more pure.”—Oh, let them teach!

I look on men as I would look on trees,

That may be writing in the purple dome

Romantic lines of black, and are at home

Where lie the little garden hostelries.

Live well! Be wary of this life, I say;

Do not o’erload yourself with righteousness.

Behold! the sword we polish in excess,

We gradually polish it away.

God who created metal is the same

Who will devour it. As the warriors ride

With iron horses and with iron pride——

Come, let us laugh into the merry flame.

But for the grandest flame our God prepares

The breast of man, which is the grandest urn;

Yet is that flame so powerless to burn

Those butterflies, the swarm of little cares.

And if you find a solitary sage

Who teaches what is truth—ah, then you find

The lord of men, the guardian of the wind,

The victor of all armies and of age.

See that procession passing down the street,

The black and white procession of the days——

Far better dance along and bawl your praise

Than if you follow with unwilling feet.

But in the noisy ranks you will forget

What is the flag. Oh, comrade, fall aside

And think a little moment of the pride

Of yonder sun, think of the twilight’s net.

The songs we fashion from our new delight

Are echoes. When the first of men sang out,

He shuddered, hearing not alone the shout

Of hills but of the peoples in the night.

And all the marvels that our eyes behold

Are pictures. There has happened some event

For each of them, and this they represent——

Our lives are like a tale that has been told.

There is a palace, and the ruined wall

Divides the sand, a very home of tears,

And where love whispered of a thousand years

The silken-footed caterpillars crawl.

And where the Prince commanded, now the shriek

Of wind is flying through the court of state:

“Here,” it proclaims, “there dwelt a potentate

Who could not hear the sobbing of the weak.”

Beneath our palaces the corner-stone

Is quaking. What of noble we possess,

In love or courage or in tenderness,

Can rise from our infirmities alone.

We suffer—that we know, and that is all

Our knowledge. If we recklessly should strain

To sweep aside the solid rocks of pain,

Then would the domes of love and courage fall.

But there is one who trembles at the touch

Of sorrow less than all of you, for he

Has got the care of no big treasury,

And with regard to wits not overmuch.

I think our world is not a place of rest,

But where a man may take his little ease,

Until the landlord whom he never sees

Gives that apartment to another guest.

Say that you come to life as ’twere a feast,

Prepared to pay whatever is the bill

Of death or tears or——surely, friend, you wilt

Not shrink at death, which is among the least?

Rise up against your troubles, cast away

What is too great for mortal man to bear.

But seize no foolish arms against the share

Which you the piteous mortal have to pay.

Be gracious to the King. You canot feign

That nobody was tyrant, that the sword

Of justice always gave the just award

Before these Ghassanites began to reign.

You cultivate the ranks of golden grain,

He cultivates the cavaliers. They go

With him careering on some other foe,

And your battalions will be staunch again.

The good law and the bad law disappear

Below the flood of custom, or they float

And, like the wonderful Sar’aby coat,

They captivate us for a little year.

God pities him who pities. Ah, pursue

No longer now the children of the wood;

Or have you not, poor huntsman, understood

That somebody is overtaking you?

God is above. We never shall attain

Our liberty from hands that overshroud;

Or can we shake aside this heavy cloud

More than a slave can shake aside the chain?

“There is no God save Allah!”—that is true,

Nor is there any prophet save the mind

Of man who wanders through the dark to find

The Paradise that is in me and you.

The rolling, ever-rolling years of time

Are as a diwan of Arabian song;

The poet, headstrong and supremely strong,

Refuses to repeat a single rhyme.

An archer took an arrow in his hand;

So fair he sent it singing to the sky

That he brought justice down from—ah, so high!

He was an archer in the morning land.

The man who shot his arrow from the west

Made empty roads of air; yet have I thought

Our life was happier until we brought

This cold one of the skies to rule the nest.

Run! follow, follow happiness, the maid

Whose laughter is the laughing waterfall;

Run! call to her—but if no maiden call,

’Tis something to have loved the flying shade.

You strut in piety the while you take

That pilgrimage to Mecca. Now beware,

For starving relatives befoul the air,

And curse, O fool, the threshold you forsake.

How man is made! He staggers at the voice,

The little voice that leads you to the land

Of virtue; but, on hearing the command

To lead a giant army, will rejoice.

Behold the cup whereon your slave has trod;

That is what every cup is falling to.

Your slave—remember that he lives by you,

While in the form of him we bow to God.

The lowliest of the people is the lord

Who knows not where each day to make his bed,

Whose crown is kept upon the royal head

By that poor naked minister, the sword.

Which is the tyrant? say you. Well, ’tis he

That has the vine-leaf strewn among his hair

And will deliver countries to the care

Of courtesans——but I am vague, you see.

The dwellers of the city will oppress

Your days: the lion, a fight-thirsty fool,

The fox who wears the robe of men that rule——

So run with me towards the wilderness.

Our wilderness will be the laughing land,

Where nuts are hung for us, where nodding peas

Are wild enough to press about our knees,

And water fills the hollow of our hand.

My village is the loneliness, and I

Am as the travellers through the Syrian sand,

That for a moment see the warning hand

Of one who breasted up the rock, their spy.

Where is the valiance of the folk who sing

These valiant stories of the world to come?

Which they describe, forsooth! as if it swum

In air and anchored with a yard of string.

Two merchantmen decided they would battle,

To prove at last who sold the finest wares;

And while Mahomet shrieked his call to prayers,

The true Messiah waved his wooden rattle.

Perchance the world is nothing, is a dream,

And every noise the dreamland people say

We sedulously note, and we and they

May be the shadows flung by what we seem.

Zohair the poet sang of loveliness

Which is the flight of things. Oh, meditate

Upon the sorrows of our earthly state,

For what is lovely we may not possess.

Heigho! the splendid air is full of wings,

And they will take us to the——friend, be wise

For if you navigate among the skies

You too may reach the subterranean kings.

Now fear the rose! You travel to the gloom

Of which the roses sing and sing so fair,

And, but for them, you’d have a certain share

In life: your name be read upon the tomb.

There is a tower of silence, and the bell

Moves up—another man is made to be.

For certain years they move in company,

But you, when fails your song do fail as well.

No sword will summon Death, and he will stay

For neither helm nor shield his falling rod.

We are the crooked alphabet of God,

And He will read us ere he wipes away.

How strange that we, perambulating dust,

Should be the vessels of eternal fire,

That such unfading passion of desire

Should be within our fading bodies thrust.

Deep in a silent chamber of the rose

There was a fattened worm. He looked around,

Espied a relative and spoke at him:

It seems to me this world is very good.

A most unlovely world, said brother worm,

For all of us are piteous prisoners.

And if, declared the first, your thought is true,

And this a prison be, melikes it well.

So well that I shall weave a song of praise

And thankfulness because the world was wrought

For us and with such providential care——

My brother, I will shame you into singing.

Then, cried the second, I shall raise a voice

And see what poor apologies are made.

And so they sang, these two, for many days,

And while they sang the rose was beautiful.

But this affected not the songful ones,

And evermore in beauty lived the rose.

And when the worms were old and wiser too,

They fell to silence and humility.

A night of silence! ’Twas the swinging sea

And this our world of darkness. And the twain

Rolled on below the stars; they flung a chain

Around the silences which are in me.

The shadows come, and they will come to bless

Their brother and his dwelling and his fame,

When I shall soil no more with any blame

Or any praise the silence I possess.

Biography of Abu-I-Ala
Abu-l-Ala was born in Maarra, a small town in northern Syria near Aleppo; his family was highly respected. He received a good education for his day, in spite of the fact that he was partially blinded by smallpox at the age of 4. Syria was recognized at that time as a highly intellectual and cultural area, and Abu-l-Ala received his education in Aleppo, Tripoli, and Antioch under the best Syrian scholars. He seems to have studied to be a professional encomiast like his predecessor al-Mutanabbi but soon rejected this calling because of his proud nature.
Soon after the age of 20 Abu-l-Ala returned to Maarra, where he lived off the fees he received from his pupils until 1010. He then moved to Baghdad, the intellectual center of Islam. But he left after 19 months because he refused to write flattering verses for those in power. This period was the turning point in his life. To date, he had won distinction as an erudite savant and as an accomplished poet in the style of al-Mutanabbi, a poet he admired. But Abu-l-Ala’s great works appear only after his visit to Baghdad. His later poetry is filled with many unorthodox ideas that he could have come across only in Baghdad.
He reached his hometown to find his mother had died. This affected him immensely. It is said that afterward he lived in a cave and adopted ascetic habits. He was nicknamed “the double prisoner” because of his blindness and seclusion.
But Abu-l-Ala’s fame continued to draw students to him. He eventually amassed great wealth in his retreat. He passed his last 40 years in retirement but not idleness. This is evident by his long list of compositions. He is best known for two collections of poems entitled Sakt al-Zand and Luzumiyat and for many letters.
The problem of Abu-l-Ala’s orthodoxy is often debated. He is usually held to be a heretic because of his chiding works on the Koran. His ideas are unusually skeptical of many accepted doctrines of his day. He was a monotheist, but his God was little more than an impersonal fate. He did not accept the theory of divine revelation. Religion in his view was the product of man’s superstitions and the need for society to control these feelings. And he was always against religious leaders’ taking advantage of their unsuspecting followers for their own personal benefit. He did not believe in a future life, and it was against his better wisdom to have children because of the miseries of living. He was a vegetarian and an ascetic. He did believe in a religion of active piety and righteousness, and thus his ideas were much like the Indian thought of his time.

Younger Brother – I Am A Freak


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