Tag Archives: mystic bewilderment

… sun ra – a glittering show …

Fallen angels being such a wonderful subject – had I been black, and a talented musician with total passion for jazz, I’d have joined Sun Ra’s Akestra. He was an intense and fascinating man, one of those people who move through chaos to get to harmony, who have their pulse on the future. They tend to attract a select fellowship. Tuned into a novel wavelength, they enjoyed an accelerated period of growth together, a hell of a time.

With his experiential musicians, Sun Ra expanded the bandwidth for the performances of his cosmic vision and shared the breadth of his trickster consciousness with a larger audience, exemplifying a crash course in creativity.

You might like to watch this excellent BBC documentary by Don Letts. Sun Ra, Brother from another Planet:


Listening to musicians and friends who worked with Sun Ra, I noticed how they respect each other, all through the elation of creating a fresh sound-language. One interviewee remarked on Sun Ra’s urgency, his alacrity, another quoted him: ‘Are you going to be replaced by a button? If you can do THIS you always have a job,’ you might not make any money but you have a job.’ Everyone in their way confirms Sun Ra’s genuineness, his seriousness, and his humour. He was a catalyst. His compositions were often off-chord, which some found off-putting, couldn’t get into.

It’s a sound form other spheres  that transcends known categories and opens new horizons. I love the saxophone doing what it can do, almost playing by itself. And I love the glittering hats of the musicians.

Here’s the early cult movie – Space is the Place – from 1974 – The mystery of Mister Ra. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwNtxFH6IjU&feature=fvwrel

Sweet show of a joker, the film shows a mythological duel between Sun Ra and The Overseer, between an angel from Saturn and a fallen angel.

                ‘You just want to talk about realities, no myth.

                 Well, I’m the myth talking to you.’ 


The photo of Sun Ra with June Tyson

Is by Michael Wilderman



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… the wild horse of the mind …

I thought I open the window a bit to what I’m immersed in, drafting the sequel to Course of Mirrors, called Shapers. Another mythic adventure, and more. The short piece below is not representative of the tense action this story has plenty of, but depicts a pivotal moment. The scenery is  Eire, where time-zones overlap. In 2550 AD the island is called Sax, where Rhonda, the super-controlling power, cast their misfits.  In the excerpt below, Tilly (Cassia in Ana’s story) has arranged for Cara and Mesa to meet in Kerry during the 1970s.

The theme touches on the creative process. Something for my writer friends. I welcome any feedback to the draft.

*    *    *

Tilly’s ruined estate on the Kerry peninsula was one among many places around the world where past and future began to cross or run parallel during the 1970s. Not all drop-outs travelling through Derrynane were aware of the phenomenon. Those open to the new wavelengths either tuned in, or received no more than garbled white noise. The going slogan was – love, don’t think – though it should have been – love and think – and stay grounded. These were turbulent times. Traditionalists abhorred the breaking free of conditioning. Leaps into the unknown frightened them.

This is Cara’s time, and these are her thoughts: Personal myth is a complex self-creation, mainly unconscious, but less so once we replace the postulates we inherited with our own, and are drawn to our psychic kin. Every night when the body rests we visit beings in other spheres. We may discount these sojourns as dreams unrelated to our daily existence. Yet bridging occurs when we value inner dynamics and re-story the associative symbols of images. Resonance momentarily fills the void between the known and the unknown, and meaning is assigned to events. Some good people trust in God, but then abnegate their creativity. Are we not the desire of a divine will? Are we not the ears, eyes, nose, hands and feet of a universal intelligence, of which we are the deed? Does not our speech derive from one sound? And is love not the creed that breathes all things and directs the movement of all spheres? I don’t understand the need to prove or disprove a universal intelligence that is within and all around us. The world I create is imperfect and suffers from on-going flux. But I can bring my small flame to its shadows.

Now that Cara’s myth caught up with her, and she was confronted with the net of postulates she had cast into the future. She found herself challenged to engage with what she animated, because she was animated by it.

Gutch spotted Tilly talking to Cara and Mesa in the hall. He was bursting with pleasure. ‘I found my clan,’ he said. ‘This place is teeming with talented actors. We’re going to do some magic theatre. Are you joining us?’

‘I need to take care of something,’ Tilly said. Can you keep an eye on Gart?’

‘That devil had some weird conversion trip and is sound asleep under the table.’

‘Excellent. Let him sleep.’

When Cara and Mesa arrived at the cottage across the atrium, Tilly had lit a fire in the hearth. A nest of chairs invited them, and the smell of fresh coffee. ‘Have some,’ she said, ‘pointing to a steaming pot, ‘and there’s chocolate cake, too.’ Mesa soaked up the atmosphere, transported to Ana’s world, reminded of Cassia’s kitchen. Tilly placed a small leather pouch in Cara’s lap. ‘Here, forged by fire, polished by the sea, a gift of remembrance.’

Cara opened and turned the pouch. A black stone fell into her hand – smooth as marble, yet radiating warmth and shining in the glow of the fire. ‘Ana’s talisman!’

‘Yes, and you might as well own it.’ Tilly paused, gazing into the flames. ‘I have a favour to ask from you, for Mesa’s benefit.’

‘What favour?’ Cara poured cups of coffee for everyone, dished out giant slices of chocolate cake and added a dollop of whipped cream to each.

‘Your future, Cara, has come to visit you. Mesa returned to assimilate what was lost to her. With Ana’s story you re-animated her soul. Certain events in history require beings to return, to right things or bring a message.  Mesa will take on her role in the odyssey of the Ypocs. And she’s going to be the narrator of your story, Cara.’

‘Huh, this takes a leap of the imagination. I haven’t even smoked the weed.’

Tilly smiled. ‘You know what it takes. Uncovering a personal myth is different from writing a Hollywood script. To help Mesa to re-connect with random creative processes, I want you to explain to her in as much detail as possible how your mind works.’

Cara heaved a breath. ‘The idea sucks every thought from my head.’

‘That’s a good start.’

‘All right, here goes a slice of random micro processing … Momentarily stuck with a paragraph, I remember to stretch my legs. In the kitchen I snatch a yogurt from the fridge. I notice a sticky shelf – mental note – clean it soon. Dark clouds gather outside, looks like rain. I run up to the bathroom and close the window. On the way down, I see dust-clouds on the stairs – mental note. Heading for the desk I stop by the fridge again because I’m now really hungry. I prepare a sandwich – mental note – put butter on shopping list. I use the loo – mental note – toilet paper is running out. Telephone rings. The answer machine kicks in. Just as well, I’ll return the call later – mental note. A letter that needs sending sits next to the phone, I put a stamp on it – mental note – post it. A fly is trapped in the window. I release the fly and study a tree out front that leans over and needs pruning. I quickly assess which branch to cut – mental note. Off to my desk. Passing a shelf I spot the book I couldn’t find earlier. What a relief! I plonk it on my research file and am reminded of an article I need to chase – mental note. The sun shines again. I open the backdoor and listen to the birds. Grass needs cutting – mental note. Finally back with my paragraph the writing flows, sheer bliss. At a natural break in the narrative I decide to go shopping. In the car I have an epiphany relating to a character in my story, to do with birds – mental note. The walker I pass reminds me to visit a certain person – mental note. I recall this person collects small antique tins. I could find him a present – mental note. I think of metaphors, how obsessions, like collecting tins, are really personalised teachings – mental note.’

Mesa had listened with rapt attention. ‘What happens to all the mental notes?’

‘Ha, ha … they’re promises. They’re torture. They heap up. They demand execution. My way to deal with accumulative pressures and gain time to focus on my writing is through procrastination. I’ve become patient with nagging voices. They’re not jailors. They’re easily humoured until the time is right for a blitz. Then I act fast and achieve a great deal in a short time, happy to have cleared the space.

‘But why give these mental notes the power of demands over you? Mesa asked.

Cara glanced at Tilly, who had taken up knitting, as if the dialogue bored her.  What was her agenda? Was this really for Mesa’s benefit? Tilly smiled and said, ‘Go on.’

‘It started out as compulsive pattern. I was conditioned to respond to the needs of my environment, and to maintain order. There are exceptions. Some days, it could be the weather, a dream, the stars … from the moment I open my eyes everything flows effortlessly. My brain is relaxed and I attract harmonious thoughts, like I’m fine-tuned to a subtler station, beyond the busy bandwidth of neurotic naggers. The tuning can be learned. It’s like taming a wild horse. I can actually do it, when necessary. But I like letting the horse run wild. I find wild things that way.’

‘We have different conditioning,’ Mesa said. ‘From early on I was trained to tame my mind, to let it rest like a still pond, or focus thoughts like laser beams. Then free play was introduced, disrupting Rhonda’s order, and all went wrong for the Ypoc.’

‘Aha! I bet you didn’t have to juggle a deep conflict, and oppose a controlling father.’

Tilly dropped her knitting. ‘This gets interesting. It’s what Mesa came back for.’

* * *

Apologies: The origin of the image of the horse is unknown to me.  Many thanks to the photographer.


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… solitude …

Weather-defying, I had my first Pimms with ice cubes this year, imagining warmth, sun, swinging in my hammock under apple blossoms, listening to birds, walking barefoot and having friends round to watch the sun go down and the moon come up. The Brits are fed up with the rain. More than darkening the sun, clouds also obstruct the brighter aspects of the mind. Signals from the noosphere get muffled, or so it seems. There remains solitude, a tranquil space where questions arise, and thoughts have space to dream and play without being overstimulated. Allow your children periods of solitude and they will come to value it later in life.

I mulled over a question these last days, not for the first time. And an answer came, an angel whispered it into my ear while I slept – if all incarnated beings living on this planet were enlightened at the same time, the whole developmental cycle of the psyche would collapse, and consciousness would expand into a new matrix all over again. I’m making no claim to truth, angels can’t always be trusted. But the message seems to be – all is well-tuned as it is.

This is what solitude does to me – I get answers that beg more questions, like, what about multiverses? My body lives in this house in England that is at times difficult to maintain, but my mind also has another house, an interior house, free from mundane pressures, a house that exists in a dimension invisible to the physical eye … built from bricks of meaning rather than clay.

Here to the Noosphere, an interesting concept:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noosphere


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Parmenides – Philosopher – Poet

Last week, while re-working an article I wrote 18 years ago on the symbolism of  two West European Nations, namely Germany and England (having lived equal decades in each), I lost myself in the history of these nations, back to the Roman Empire and its fall. Something was missing. Reeling back another thousand years, to my beloved philosophers, I found IT.

I was reminded of the only ever poetry course I attended, where a tutor told me ‘You have to decide whether you want to be a philosopher or a poet.’  Over the years I’ve come to realise that some good people, in order to be respected, have sadly allowed their inner voice to be silenced by the academic system.                                                                                                                           *    *    *                                                                                                                                                                         Here an excerpt of Parmenides’s poem as it appears in Kingsley’s ‘In the Dark Places of Wisdom’. The text is subtle, humorous, with repetitions that are no accident. The poem induces a journey that appears in many traditions throughout the world under many names.

The mares that carry me as far as longing can reach

rode on, once they had come and fetched me onto the legendary

road of divinity that carries the man who knows

through the vast and dark unknown. And on I was carried

as the mares, aware just where to go, kept carrying me

straining the chariot; and young women led the way.

And the axle in the hubs let out the sound of a pipe

blazing from the pressure of the two well-rounded wheels

at either side, as they rapidly led on: young women, girls,

daughters of the Sun who had left the mansions of Night

for the light and pushed back the veils from their faces with their hands.

There are the gates of the pathways of Night and Day,

held fast in place between the lintel above and a threshold of stone;

and they reach up into the heavens, filled with gigantic doors.

And the keys – that now open, now lock – are held fast by

Justice: she who always demands exact returns. And with

soft seductive words the girls cunningly persuade her to

push back immediately, just for them, the bar that bolts

the gates. And as the doors flew open, making the bronze

axles with their pegs and nails spin – now one, now the other –

in their pipes, they created a gaping chasm. Straight through and

on the girls held fast their course for the chariot and horses;

straight down the road.

And the goddess welcomed me kindly, and took

my right hand in hers and spoke these words as she addressed me:

‘Welcome young man, partnered by immortal charioteers,

reaching our home with the mares that carry you. For it was

no hard fate that sent you travelling this road – so far away

from the beaten track of humans – but Rightness, and Justice.

And what’s needed is for you to learn all things: both the unshaken

heart of persuasive Truth and the opinions of mortals,

in which there is nothing that can truthfully be trusted at all.

But even so, this too you will learn – how beliefs based on

appearances ought to be believable as they travel all through

all there is.

*    *    *

The hero travels the road of death while still alive, making the connection between this world and the other.  He goes to the depth of ignorance – the ignored – to unknowing – in search for wisdom instead of straight to the light

Kingsley says when Plato and his followers took over these ideas from the Pythagoreans they cleverly amputated the ambiguities: focussed only on the true and the good and the beautiful, and cut out the need for the descent.  He makes a link to inscriptions  discovered during the 60s in Velia, Italy. Three words puzzled …  Ouliades – Iatromantis –Apollo … The healer who can access special states of awareness, look beyond appearances, give voice to what has no voice. In Sept 1962, at the same place, Mario Napoli found a small block of marble with another inscription: Parmeneides son of Pyres Ouliades Physicos

These findings must present a challenge to historians. Obviously they stayed clear of the mystic drone carrying the song of Parmenides and the Pythagorean’s. The incubatory practice and its profound wisdom were rationalised out of western history. Kingsley writes:

Between them, Parmenides and Empedocles laid the most basic foundations for the world and culture we now live in. But with the passing of time we have forgotten who they were. The truth about the real nature of their work has been neglected, distorted, ignored—transformed into just another of those empty illusions that they themselves tried to set us free from. There is nothing accidental about the fact that we in the West are starved for some real sense of meaning and crying out for something that, in spite of all our apparent sophistication and material success, we are no longer even able to name. This western civilization of ours was created for a purpose. Until we start to discover that purpose again, our lives will be meaningless. Unless we touch our roots and make contact again with the essence of our past, we can have no future.


One of the many resources Peter Kingsley used:




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… boredom – gratification – creation …

You’re sitting in front of the latest evolutionary creative gadget, your laptop screen, bored, uninspired, the familiar feeling before singularity strikes. You have an appetite for – you don’t know what – sweet – maybe – but not too sweet. You go to the fridge. A little pot says: pleasure is everything – give in to happiness – prudence is sooo 1658 – trust your impulses – break free – all hail to the Gu decadents – light and velvety chocolate mousse made to our chef’s family recipe … the text shrinks to list the calories, you don’t want to know …

Anyone remember Levi from Peter Blegvad’s fabulous cartoons?

And Leviathan, the famous character in the bible?

Any hope of subduing him is false; the mere sight of him is overpowering

His snorting throws out flashes of light; his eyes are like the rays of dawn

He makes the depths churn like a boiling cauldron and stirs up the sea like a pot of ointment

… the never-ending story of creation …


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… put parents on the payroll …

Traditional family structures are falling apart for a variety of reasons. No use blaming parents for their inability to cope, or romanticising the past. When we look at the whole picture, we must also acknowledge that the sacred family unit was often a torture chamber of abuse. Affected individuals (predominantly women and children) suffered in silence. The shocking narratives that keep emerging from across all sections of society show ignorance perpetuated over generations about what a child needs to thrive.

On the positive side, there are new forms of families emerging, families of heart and mind. Housing policies seem blind to this new phenomenon. The trend is still to build little boxes rather than independent units around a communal space that would allow socialising and sharing.

On the negative side, why is the psychological knowledge that has been available for decades not disseminated to parents? Corporations offer courses on motivation and people skills to their employees, because they realise these skills improve business.

There were attempts. During the 80’s and 90s, I was involved with Parent Link, a non-profit scheme that offered a playful and empowering set of twelve experiential sessions transmitting people skills. The resulting emotional self-awareness reduced stress and frequently turned lives around. The charity, set up by I. Sokolov and J. Pearson, offered subsidised training to parents who had benefitted from what they learned, and unlearned. Consequently hundreds of parents went on to facilitate more courses, drawing in more parents. Teachers were keen to bring the programme into schools. Sadly, without government support, the brilliant scheme did not survive its popular success.

Since stay-home parents pay no tax, they are considered a drain on government resources, unless they get a job and perk up the employment statistics. The status of parents has been gradually eroded, and, to top it, they are blamed for the ills of society.

Ten years ago I hatched the following idea and was laughed at:

Offer an appropriate part-time wage (taxed) to those who choose to be vocational parents or carers and are willing to learn, since the wage would be tied to basic obligations, like involvement in the community and the attendance of courses to develop relevant skills and knowledge. A reward for the most vital of all contributions to society would shift the status of a parent or carer – lessen social segregation – defuse the destructive acrimonious fights over property and maintenance where relationships break up –  raise self-esteem and build a stronger community spirit through networking and sharing of responsibilities, while still allowing part time work outside the home.

A parent or carer who has financial security will not be perceived as a burden to the state. No more would he/she be diminished by cliché projections and judgements.

It makes also financial sense – some benefits could be scrapped and the funds re-applied to wages, skills training and creative community projects.

And here is why any idea that proposes a shift in the social structure will be regarded as naïve, and not convince politicians:

Our social system thrives on unsustainability. Problems have become a growth industry. In the social sphere it is poverty, unemployment, sickness and criminality that have turned into the most profitable enterprises.

Present social policies are irresponsible, like building a high-rise in an earthquake zone disregarding safety regulations. They are based on blame, the lowest of all public denominators. They are an insult to the intelligence of ordinary people, who, with heightened awareness, tenacity, creativity and sacrifice, struggle to stay sane.

Ashen Venema

The above illustration is by Daphne Jo Grant, and was  kindly provided for my 1993 poetry collection ‘Gapsy Truth.’


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the mysterious object, part three

… Memories awakened, of a time when it was possible to gaze straight at the venerable light-giver without being blinded … in the dark sky, shone the light-giver’s mirror image, pale and beautiful, shimmering, and stirring a deep longing in those who witnessed the phenomenon. The gentle orb puzzled minds, since it changed shape from night to night and periodically disappeared, only to re-emerge, gradually waxing from a sliver to gentle fullness. Some saw in the orb another divinity; others rejected this, not wanting to betray their bright and bountiful divinity. The two kinds of worshippers did not see eye to eye. More secretive circles formed, and stories spread. Ever now and then a night-walker claimed having been touched by the silver light, though was unable to explain what possible benefit there was in being touched by this new mystery? Incredulous stories spread, which were laughed at by the now established beneficiaries of ingenuity and industry, and the few night-walkers who sincerely tried to share their experience were regarded with suspicion and ostracised.

Let us relate just one incident, as told by witnesses, to give you a sense of the mystery. One night, or so it goes, a group of seekers gathered on a flat rock above a deep pool of water to watch the full silver globe in the sky. To their surprise, a perfect replica of their beloved object appeared in the still water of the rock pool, beautiful, beyond words. Everyone present gasped. One young woman who resembled her great, great grandmother, Lila, the famous light-seeker, was ecstatic with joy. ‘This is it,’ she exclaimed, and jumped from the rock’s ledge right into the glowing reflection.

The silver scattered and rippled out into circle upon circles on the water. The others looked on in astonishment as the soft light gathered itself back once more into round brilliance. Night’s divinity re-assembled its fullness, still quivering with the gentle, undulating movement of the water. There was no sign of the young woman.

To break the tension, all started talking at once, expressing in so many words and shouts what they thought they had witnessed. With the noise going on they did not hear the footsteps. Quietly, from the darkness around them, the young woman reappeared. Her skin gleamed and glittered, as if she had absorbed some of the mysterious light. Her friends inundated her with questions as to what happened, ‘What was it? No answers came, she had lost speech. Her silent gesture however firmly impressed itself in each men and women standing there on the rock and seeded in their memories forever more. The seeker pressed her right hand to her heart. She had many silent followers, as had many like her from there-on after.

~ the end ~


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the mysterious object, part 2

They teamed up. One seeker reached out towards the light while another stood opposite, waiting to catch the object. The trick failed, of course. The light simply passed out of reach sideways. Next the idea came to form a circle and to slowly close in on the light. These events were set up with great attention to detail. Groups formed to practice the ritual, hoping for the big moment. However, as could be guessed, the instant all hands reached out …  the orb floated upwards, just beyond the longest arms. Societies of light-seekers formed. They had fun working together, though a number of groups developed strict rules and complex theories about the light. To differentiate themselves from the now commonplace light-seeker, they called themselves truth-seekers.

Over time, the mysterious bright object moved higher and people grew taller, their limbs stretched and their spines straightened, all because of their deep longing to touch the light. Plants, too, reached upwards. Shrubs became trees and people climbed the trees as soon as the glowing object popped over the horizon. The cycle of its appearance could now be counted upon. Once the orb passed higher than the highest tree, the most innovative, and therefore the richest of the communities, employed the lesser endowed folk to fell trees and build tower-like wooden structures. Before the approximate time of the light’s arrival, the builders had to leave the structures, while the owners climbed the towers to await their chance. But no matter how daringly the height of towers progressed, the wonderful orb of light floated consistently out of reach – higher and higher it moved, growing in size, and increasingly warming the planet. New animal species appeared, and new plant, some of which were farmed and produced rich crops.

The towers found more mundane uses. Other curiosities were invented, all with the aim to get closer to the mystery. The glowing object was now the guiding principle in peoples’ lives, a new divinity, replacing all others. The divinity was adored so much people avoided darkness. The span of days brought riches, and was obviously good, while the span of nights reminded people of their dim past and aroused fear. Whatever could not be seen clearly became suspect. Persistently, activities were focussed on understanding the light and finding ways to somehow touch it and partake of its power.

People who ventured into the nights were considered odd and generally mistrusted. However, one such night, had you been there, you would have witnessed a most marvellous event, and you would have heard cries of joy and astonishment resounding over plains and hills …

Continued: https://courseofmirrors.wordpress.com/2011/05/21/the-mysterious-object-part-three/


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the mysterious object, part 1

My paper-clearing war continues. A delightful SHORT STORY surfaced, written many years ago. A little editing and presto. Enjoy the installments …

*    *    *    *

Once upon a time, not far from here, a planet was veiled in semi-darkness, and the stature of man, woman and child was crouched and bent. Their diet was meagre, consisting of crushed insects and raw plants. And for warmth they huddled close in their caves or grass huts. What gave them pleasure was ironwood, the rarest of plants, valued for its warmth-giving qualities when chewed. Those gifted in finding the plant were called light-seekers.

One such light-seeker, a young woman called Lila, was renowned as an ironwood huntress. She would disappear from her settlement for many sleep-cycles, driven by the promise of yet another encounter with the red glow of ironwood, her reward alone, since the glow vanished once the plant was broken. Even so, there was honour in bringing home the plant – the community would celebrate with a feast of warmth and good cheer.

Our story begins when Lila had been hunting for three sleep-cycles without her usual success. She sat and bemoaned her bad luck when she was overcome with awe at the sudden appearance of a bright object, no bigger than the head of a newborn. As if teasing her, the object drifted almost within her reach. The glow of ironwood paled in comparison to this astounding light. Colours sprang up all-round. Insects were drawn to the warmth, their tiny bodies shimmering. Lila gazed in wonder at her hands, which were doused in gold. Yearning to touch the mysterious object, she crouched carefully towards it, but the light receded, and each time Lila advanced, it receded a little more. Often times she lurched forward – only to grasp air. Lila spent her entire strength chasing the small orb, stumbling along, oblivious to all but the brightness ahead. Whichever way she turned, the glow was before her, always just out of reach.

When Lila was discovered by the people of her settlement, her condition aroused much interest, since she was sharing her strange experience in delirium. Words so spoken were held to come from divinities, embodied by water, plants and insects, powerful spirits known to visit people in their dreams. So it was that the light-seeker’s revelation spread instantly throughout the tribes, and great portents of meaning was attached to the glowing object. Everyone was convinced it really existed. And sure enough, soon people begun to see the orb, and in turn felt compelled to touch it. They fared no better than Lila, yet their desire remained, undiminished.

Eventually some clever minds devised coordinated methods … to be continued.

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it’s this kind of day …

I climbed into the plum tree

and ate the grapes I found there.

The owner of the garden called to me,

‘Why are you eating my walnuts?’

Yunus Emre


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