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Catullus 101

Multas per gentes et multa per aequora vectus

Carried through many nations and over many seas


advenio has miseras, frater, ad inferias,

I arrived, brother, for these wretched funeral rites


ut te postremo donarem munere mortis

So that I might present you with the last tribute of death


et mutam nequiquam alloquerer cinerem.

and speak in vain to silent ash,


Quandoquidem fortuna mihi tete abstulit ipsum.

Since fortune has carried away from me you in the flesh


Heu miser indigne frater adempte mihi,

Atlas, poor brother, unfairly taken away from me,


nunc tamen interea haec, prisco quae more parentum

now in the meantime, nevertheless, these things which in the ancient custom of ancestors


tradita sunt tristi munere ad inferias,

are handed over as a sad tribute to the rites


accipe fraterno multum manantia fletu,

receive, dripping much with brotherly weeping.


atque in perpetuum, frater, ave atque vale.

And forever, brother, hail and farewell.



Adonais written by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)

Thursday, December 03, 2009

The White House Ballad

(January 2007-August 2009)
















On the land that Vespucci named
Founding Fathers on it
Built, a pretty large White House and
The rooms are full of wit.

On Pennsylvania Avenue
This House still stands and guards
Mightily, our Supreme Laws
Those noble deck of cards.

Yea, those Founding Fathers have said
Stiff rivalry is good
For it brings out the best in US
And rips away the HOOD...

On the land that Vespucci named
Founding Fathers on it
Built, a pretty large White House and
The rooms are full of wit.

Its Oval Office is the prize
So reds and blues compete
On backs of elephants and mules
In the snow, sleet and heat.

Now hear this too, for crying out
A black is yet to sit
In Roosevelt's chair at Maison Blanche
In dreams they never quit...

On the land that Vespucci named
Founding Fathers on it
Built, a pretty large White House and
The rooms are full of wit.

From dreams of Martin Luther King
Obama found a cheer
For his message of "Hope and Change"
Bush years were too austere.

The Clintonnites' spars spurred him on
To fight hero McCain
Behind paling with fifty states
In an epic campaign...

On the land that Vespucci named
Founding Fathers on it
Built, a pretty large White House and
The rooms are full of wit.

Thus the battle between these guys
Moved to the ballot field
Where voters ended the long strife
With victory concealed.

All night long folks waited to hear
The victor of the fight
So they tuned in to media
And listened on real tight...

On the land that Vespucci named
Founding Fathers on it
Built, a pretty large White House and
The rooms are full of wit.

With bated breath they skewered their chops
A new order emerged
McCain's paling came toppling down
And his States got submerged.

Obama changed those White House locks
Unimaginable!
Blacks moved to top of totem pole
That was unthinkable!...

On the land that Vespucci named
Founding Fathers on it
Built, a pretty large White House and
The rooms are full of wit.

The POW walked up to the lectern
So bravely with defeat
In a conciliatory tone
McCain was truly sweet.

Like California wild fires
News of Barack's win spread.
Joy drenched streets like a tsunami
And into Grant Park miles ahead...

On the land that Vespucci named
Founding Fathers on it
Built, a pretty large White House and
The rooms are full of wit.

The Grant Park barbecue ensued
Lighted sky smiled with glee
As large and medium states flipped
In Obama's sweet tea.

His biracial clan took the stage
With him, Biden and Jill
The forty-fourth POTUS elect
Gave speech with much goodwill...

On the land that Vespucci named
Founding Fathers on it
Built, a pretty large White House and
The rooms are full of wit.

It would be hard to overstate
How vast parts of the globe
In polls of polls favored Barack
Guantanamo he'll probe.

Self-confidence in him does dwell
Like a sun-flower's glow
He tackles economic woes
Obamanomics flow...

On the land that Vespucci named
Founding Fathers on it
Built, a pretty large White House and
The rooms are full of wit.

Abe Lincoln's trait he holds in head
Rightly, so we do muse
His pals are close, but foes closer
To his chest, and their clues.

Bipartisan flair he rolls in
This time it so demands
Political arrogance wilts
As the U.S. changed hands...

On the land that Vespucci named
Founding Fathers on it
Built, a pretty large White House and
The rooms are full of wit.

We know smashed glass causes splinters
And must be vacuumed clean
Snakes cloak themselves to look like saints
But they are down-right mean.

So beware of those frienemies
Barack must watch his back
His better-half is poised for that
With covert hands on tact...

On the land that Vespucci named
Founding Fathers on it
Built, a pretty large White House and
The rooms are full of wit.

His economic team is set
Their cognitive minds slice
Pumpkin pie before Thanks Giving
For those folks without rice.

So President-elect Barack
Talked with his opened eyes
On economic ills ahead
And the way jobs must rise...

On the land that Vespucci named
Founding Fathers on it
Built a pretty large White House, and
The rooms are full of wit.

Into the Fall White House spring cleans
Cobwebs from ceiling walls
Rubinized vacuums must clean up
With those blackberry calls.

This recession eats our cake
So folks are crying out
No jingle bells from Santa's sleigh
Belt-way boys all about...

On the land that Vespucci named
Founding Fathers on it
Built, a pretty large White House and
The rooms are full of wit.

Hope for the hopeless rang out true
On his first Thanksgiving
Out came his economic team
To cap wasteful spending.

Heaps of things on his must-do-list
Barack listed them all:
Greenhouse gases, wars, health and jobs
No wonder heads turned bald...

On the land that Vespucci named
Founding Fathers on it
Built, a pretty large White House and
The rooms are full of wit.

He shared victory plate around
This pleased Latino fans
Rich piece of commerce he gave Bill
With that he showed his hands.

Confirmation hearings come next
Into his neat henhouse.
Elephants' trunks hefting the eggs
For specks which they can oust...

On the land that Vespucci named
Founding Fathers on it
Built, a pretty large White House and
The rooms are full of wit.

Less woe past POTUS-elect had
Historians said so
Biden he'll be tested by thugs
But Gates will crush them low.

Will Barack plug their fox-holes up
So folks dignity soars?
Brain and brawn wild beasts he will tame
Will Clinton raise his scores?

On the land that Vespucci named
Founding Fathers on it
Built, a pretty large White House and
The rooms are full of wit.

Eco-mess birth in the nineties
Splashed valleys, sea and moor
Barack brought back used brooms and mops
To clean, past-mess on floor.

Accountability is good
And transparency too
Its democracy's freedom song
In my view, this is true...

On the land that Vespucci named
Founding Fathers on it
Built, a pretty large White House and
The rooms are full of wit.

Look at the traits Barack displays
Throwing folks 'neath the bus
No way! Right though did show this style?
Carville likes to discuss.

Though political venom flows
From lines across the aisle
Barack sought to bridge this divide
Watch, his cabinet's eyes...

On the land that Vespucci named
Founding Fathers on it
Built, a pretty large White House and
The rooms are full of wit.

Barack's economics will hurt
Rogueless Carib islands
In Bim we weighed ours and his
Will he revisit plans?

These Island States know of your pain
Isles of friendly allies
They stood with you through thick and thin
Thompson too, felt your vibes...

On the land that Vespucci named
Founding Fathers on it
Built, a pretty large White House and
The rooms are full of wit.

Barack left seat on Senate floor
Those grooms and brides like it
Fat cats from opened door did eye
Tapped lines did hold the spit.

Blagojevich's hair laced the seat
His auctioneer made waves
As on his feet he hammered rod
His quid pro quo made knaves...

On the land that Vespucci named
Founding Fathers on it
Built, a pretty large White House and
The rooms are full of wit.

His words fell from mouth full of dung
Such speech was so uncouth
Vocalised hygiene brightens teeth
Good habit for the youth.

ILLinoan needs to step down
Barack's words reached the press
Change bad-habits, yes, yes...we can
Undress, corruption’s mess…

On the land that Vespucci named
Founding Fathers on it
Built, a pretty large White House and
The rooms are full of wit.

While Blago faced impeachment
Bush ducked a flying shoe
Whistleblowers on Rod showed up
Bush kept home safe for true.

On what legacy will Bush rest?
Home-land security!
He took a real hard test on this
Right, in New York City…

On the land that Vespucci named
Founding Fathers on it
Built, a pretty large White House and
The rooms are full of wit.

Rahm has been exonerated
Barack's team is well mixed
Biden adopted middle-class
Facts and gaffes intermixed

The forty-fourth POTUS-elect
Shone inaugural ball
Warren scored a mighty touch down
Caused libs and gays to bawl...

On the land that Vespucci named
Founding Fathers on it
Built, a pretty large White House and
The rooms are full of wit.

Great! Alexander I "believe"
Theme, mused on Barack's day
Derek Walcott’s age missed the list
Youthful Liz caught bouquet.

A nation's spirit binds the muse
Persian custom holds sway
Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam
Quatrains, dissed USA...

On the land that Vespucci named
Founding Fathers on it
Built, a pretty large White House and
The rooms are full of wit.

Barack left fourth of the first month
For his Capitol home
With his wife, Michelle and daughters
Blair house was over grown.

Malia, Sasha met Sidwell Friends
First daughters took their place
From Hay-Adams off Lafayette
A short stay there with grace...

On the land that Vespucci named
Founding Fathers on it
Built, a pretty large White House and
The rooms are full of wit.

The Essence of it all lingered
Jets for Obama changed
Ebony press, and Ann Coulter's
Book on Michelle, estranged.

Reporters of color still press
No doubt, the President
On urban agendas to act
With greater precedent...

On the land that Vespucci named
Founding Fathers on it
Built, a pretty large White House and
The rooms are full of wit.

Twists, turns and forks in Barack's path
Bill abandoned Commerce
Pay-to-play fell upon his head
And boomeranged with force.

So Barack knows something, we don't
His vetting tactic works
Spots leopards so they self-destruct
Safari moves with jerks...

On the land that Vespucci named
Founding Fathers on it
Built, a pretty large White House and
The rooms are full of wit.

Burris barred from the Senate Floor
Association's guilt
He pals with tainted Governor
Rightly, twice Barrack wore that quilt.

With ears, we hear Illinois' news
About the battle of the seat
That broke out in Windy City
Feinstein stirred up the heat...

On the land that Vespucci named
Founding Fathers on it
Built a pretty large White House, and
The rooms are full of wit.

Before Barack is President
Got tested, on all fronts
Addled eggs dropped from his henhouse
Self-serving brats played stunts.

Signs of the times in Washington
Franken caught bitter cold
Inauguration twelve days left
Coleman was digging gold...

On the land that Vespucci named
Founding Fathers on it
Built a pretty large White House, and
The rooms are full of wit.

Those four Past-Presidents arrived
Live, in Oval Office
They welcomed Barack to White House
World saw his smiling face.














A picture perfect for New Year
Historic facts present
Fate willed that four Past-POTUSes
Hugged first black President...

On the land that Vespucci named
Founding Fathers on it
Built, a pretty large White House, and
The rooms are full of wit.

Transition from Bush Era seen
Those Presidential shots
Did play out on the global stage
Bush gave Barack his thoughts.

This gesture from George Bush did show
Power shifted to Barack
In twelve days Barack was sworn in
Bailout tagged on his back…

On the land that Vespucci named
Founding Fathers on it
Built, a pretty large White House, and
The rooms are full of wit.

Politics abound with scandals
Recession unearthed crooks
From left, right and centre they come
With tools they cook the books.

Roads to White House halls Barack cleans
Blagojevich impeached
Who next will have their linens wash
In swirling tide and bleach...

On the land that Vespucci named
Founding Fathers on it
Built, a pretty large White House, and
The rooms are full of wit.

Burris, "I knew it was legal"
I made no quid pro quo"
Fate ordains that I take his seat
To the Senate I go.

Blagojevich swims with his fish
But change must come at last
In Windy City hacks take flight
When people pray and fast...

On the land that Vespucci named
Founding Fathers on it
Built, a pretty large White House, and
The rooms are full of wit.

Blagojevich gave out a punch
With Tennyson I'm told
"To strive, to seek, to find...not yield"
I found a pot of gold.

Obama's flock so hard to herd
In pasture with old pots
House windows full of jealousies
Tied Obama in knots...

On the land that Vespucci named
Founding Fathers on it
Built, a pretty large White House, and
The rooms are full of wit.

On "New Birth of Freedom" Barack
Into Oval he railed
With Bible and Lincoln's bio
Bush's policies have failed.

Wit and inspiration he drew
From Abe his true mentor
With cloudless visions of hindsight
History holds centre…

On the land that Vespucci named
Founding Fathers on it
Built, a pretty large White House, and
The rooms are full of wit.

Good karma greeted Obama
When George left White House sun
Geese down Flight 1549
No lives loss on Hudson.

One hundred and fifty-five souls
Received a miracle
On that cold, wet Hudson river
Sully ate geese pickle…

On the land that Vespucci named
Founding Fathers on it
Built, a pretty large White House, and
The rooms are full of wit.

On the heels of his swearing-in
Came his proclamation
A day of renewal and of
Reconciliation.

Pakistani Christian kids
Held President's portrait
At Islamabad's Global Peace
Heaps entrails on his plate...

On the land that Vespucci named
Founding Fathers on it
Built, a pretty large White House, and
The rooms are full of wit.

The forty-fourth President sits
Recession bends his back
As nation prays for his success
Limbaugh said ‘none of that’.

Broken faucets he saw in House
He cannot sleep or rest
Hopefully, he used wrenches
But Rush was not impressed…

On the land that Vespucci named
Founding Fathers on it
Built, a pretty large White House, and
The rooms are full of wit.

Nine days in his office, Barack's
Lilly white led corsage
He gave to better all females
His unbiased massage.

As Barack ate pickled goulash
And hot pork sandwiches
His frienemies held tea-parties
To brag and bag riches...

On the land that Vespucci named
Founding Fathers on it
Built, a pretty large White House, and
The rooms are full of wit.

One hundred days Dems still in House
Barack is President
This muse in news heard breaking news
Pirate sharks persistent...

Somali sharks are not after
The El Dorado gold
That once was the 'ole sea dogs' quest
Snatching black souls, they sold.

On the land that Vespucci named
Founding Fathers on it
Built, a pretty large White House, and
The rooms are full of wit.

The ghosts of piracy of yore
Plied each Atlantic-Carib land
In so many minds they still live
Barack's hands must them can…

But in spite of ill-winds on US
From US, the world learns much
Truthful lips on this still agree
Sharks dread Navy Seals' touch.

On the land that Vespucci named
Founding Fathers on it
Built, a pretty large White House, and
The rooms are full of wit.






















©Paterika Hengreaves

7 comments:

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Paterika,
Wonderful, and such a marvelous blend of truth and a bit of a poke at things that need poking. It was a marvelous moment, but a long road lies ahead to enact real and lasting change. A day I was proud to be an American. Not so proud of our result here in Aotearoa, but that is democracy, we deserve the government we get.
Have a lovely day Paterika
Aroha,
Robb

Bob McKerrow said...

An enjoyable historical poem, with strands of irony and humour. Thanks for giving me an early morning lift for the day as I head off to Christchurch in a few hours on a flying machine.

Arohanui.

Bob

Marja said...

Your are a magician with words.
Yeh Mc Cain was sweet wasn't he. I was very touched by all of it I think Obama has great potential. He is very inspirational.
(I am already back blogging. I missed you all )

Ida said...

Breathtaking!

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Paterika,
This poem could stretch out for four years! Captivating, thank you.
Aroha,
Robb

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Paterika,
I very much enjoyed the topical reference.Interesting that when the captain of the American ship was asked what he thought of the pirates he said they simply looked like hungry kids. Why are they driven to this?
Aroha,
Robb

Bob McKerrow said...

Hi Paterika

Haven't visited for awhile. Hope hyou are well and happy. I enjoy coming here to browse and to learn. Keep at it.

Bob

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In plenty and in time of need
When this fair land was young
Our brave forefathers sowed the seed
From which our pride was sprung
A pride that makes no wanton boast
Of what it has withstood
That binds our hearts from coast to coast
The pride of nationhood



Chorus:


We loyal sons and daughters all
Do hereby make it known
These fields and hills beyond recall
Are now our very own
We write our names on history's page
With expectations great
Strict guardians of our heritage
Firm craftsmen of our fate




The Lord has been the people's guide
For past three hundred years.
With Him still on the people's side
We have no doubts or fears.
Upward and onward we shall go,
Inspired, exulting, free,
And greater will our nation grow
In strength and unity.



Chorus


We loyal sons and daughters all
Do hereby make it known
These fields and hills beyond recall
Are now our very own
We write our names on history's page
With expectations great
Strict guardians of our heritage
Firm craftsmen of our fate

The tree that gave Barbados its name

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To all the people in New Zealand

Thank God only minor damage has been caused by this 7.0 Earthquake in New Zealand's North and South Islands.

Kia ora

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National Anthems of New Zealand

Anthem 1

Māori Version

E Ihowā Atua,
O ngā iwi mātou rā
Āta whakarangona;
Me aroha noa
Kia hua ko te pai;
Kia tau tō atawhai;
Manaakitia mai
Aotearoa

Ōna mano tāngata
Kiri whero, kiri mā,
Iwi Māori, Pākehā,
Rūpeke katoa,
Nei ka tono ko ngā hē
Māu e whakaahu kē,
Kia ora mārire
Aotearoa

Tōna mana kia tū!
Tōna kaha kia ū;
Tōna rongo hei pakū
Ki te ao katoa
Aua rawa ngā whawhai
Ngā tutū e tata mai;
Kia tupu nui ai
Aotearoa

Waiho tona takiwā
Ko te ao mārama;
Kia whiti tōna rā
Taiāwhio noa.
Ko te hae me te ngangau
Meinga kia kore kau;
Waiho i te rongo mau
Aotearoa

Tōna pai me toitū
Tika rawa, pono pū;
Tōna noho, tāna tū;
Iwi nō Ihowā.
Kaua mōna whakamā;
Kia hau te ingoa;
Kia tū hei tauira;
Aotearoa

English Version

God of Nations at Thy feet,
In the bonds of love we meet,
Hear our voices, we entreat,
God defend our free land.
Guard Pacific's triple star
From the shafts of strife and war,
Make her praises heard afar,
God defend New Zealand.

Men of every creed and race,
Gather here before Thy face,
Asking Thee to bless this place,
God defend our free land.
From dissension, envy, hate,
And corruption guard our state,
Make our country good and great,
God defend New Zealand.

Peace, not war, shall be our boast,
But, should foes assail our coast,
Make us then a mighty host,
God defend our free land.
Lord of battles in Thy might,
Put our enemies to flight,
Let our cause be just and right,
God defend New Zealand.

Let our love for Thee increase,
May Thy blessings never cease,
Give us plenty, give us peace,
God defend our free land.
From dishonour and from shame,
Guard our country's spotless name,
Crown her with immortal fame,
God defend New Zealand.

May our mountains ever be
Freedom's ramparts on the sea,
Make us faithful unto Thee,
God defend our free land.
Guide her in the nations' van,
Preaching love and truth to man,
Working out Thy glorious plan,
God defend New Zealand.

Anthem 2

God Save the Queen

God save our gracious Queen,
Long live our noble Queen,
God save The Queen.
Send her victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us:
God save The Queen.

O Lord our God, arise,
Scatter our enemies,
And make them fall;
Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks;
On thee our hopes we fix:
God save us all.

Thy choicest gifts in store
On her be pleased to pour,
Long may she reign.
May she defend our laws,
And ever give us cause
To sing with heart and voice,
God save The Queen.

Note: The second verse of 'God Save The Queen' is commonly omitted.

Edmund Hillary

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Charlie Douglas
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Guests Poets' Poems

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Centre Piece

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Quoting Maya Angelou

Education helps one's case Cease being intimidated by strange situations