William The Coroner’s Forensic Files

Wednesday, 28, September, 2011

Did I Miss Anything?

Filed under: People who need pianos dropped on them,Poetry,Social Commentary — williamthecoroner @ 10:18

Did I Miss Anything?

Tom Wayman
From: The Astonishing Weight of the Dead. Vancouver: Polestar, 1994.

Question frequently asked by
students after missing a class

Nothing. When we realized you weren’t here
we sat with our hands folded on our desks
in silence, for the full two hours

Everything. I gave an exam worth
40 per cent of the grade for this term
and assigned some reading due today
on which I’m about to hand out a quiz
worth 50 per cent

Nothing. None of the content of this course
has value or meaning
Take as many days off as you like:
any activities we undertake as a class
I assure you will not matter either to you or me
and are without purpose

Everything. A few minutes after we began last time
a shaft of light descended and an angel
or other heavenly being appeared
and revealed to us what each woman or man must do
to attain divine wisdom in this life and
the hereafter
This is the last time the class will meet
before we disperse to bring this good news to all people
on earth

Nothing. When you are not present
how could something significant occur?

Everything. Contained in this classroom
is a microcosm of human existence
assembled for you to query and examine and ponder
This is not the only place such an opportunity has been
gathered

but it was one place

And you weren’t here

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Thursday, 22, September, 2011

Heart of the Home–Andy M. Stewart

Filed under: Poetry — williamthecoroner @ 16:18

He still smiles when he recalls
How the gold ring fit her finger
And they made that moment linger
That it’s memory’d be strong
They had made a brand new start
Found a whole new way of living
Two voices joined together
Singing no sad songs

When the hard times come around
May you see them through together
Let there be love and laughter
In the heart of your home

Leaving there was always hard
Leaving her was never easy
With those memories to tease you
Summer night’s seemed winter’s long
But in his heart there was a song
And the only sound worth hearing
Two voices joined together
Singing no sad songs

He still smiles when he recalls
How they counted little fingers
And their gratitude still lingers
That the boy was born strong
They had made a brand new life
Found a whole new way of living
Three voices joined together
Singing no sad songs

Happy Fall!

Filed under: Circle Game,Poetry — williamthecoroner @ 14:13

http://youtu.be/WA751Rf-9dI Cheryl Wheeler in concert.

When Fall Comes To New England
Words And Music By:
Cheryl Wheeler

When fall comes to New England
The sun slants in so fine
And the air’s so clear
You can almost hear the grapes grow on the vine

The nights are sharp with starlight
And the days are cool and clean
And in the blue sky overhead
The northern geese fly south instead
And leaves are Irish Setter red
When fall comes to New England

When fall comes to New England
And the wind blows off the sea
Swallows fly in a perfect sky
And the world was meant to be

When the acorns line the walkways
Then winter can’t be far
From yellow leaves a blue jay calls
Grandmothers Walk Out In Their Shawl
And Chipmunks Run The Old Stone Walls
When fall comes to New England

The frost is on the pumpkin
The squash is off the vine
And winter warnings race across the sky
The squirrels are on to something
And they’re working overtime
The foxes blink and stare and so do I

‘Cause when fall comes to New England
Oh I can’t turn away
From fading light on flying wings
And late good-byes a robin sings
And then another thousand things
When fall comes to New England

When fall comes to New England

Monday, 12, September, 2011

Black Eyed Susan

Filed under: Poetry — williamthecoroner @ 16:02

There was a girl in a cold northern harbor
She came with me when I asked her to go.
Although I knew she was a captain’s lady
But he was so far away, and how was he to know?
So we traveled south through the warm gulf stream waters
And she stayed with me in the ports along the way.
And as the time went by, this lady she grew distant
But I grew closer to her every day.

I was in love with a black-eyed Susan.
Where is my heart? Where is my soul?
To be in love with a black-eyed Susan
Is to travel down to the harbor no more.

She cried aloud, it was early one morning.
He heard her voice though he was far away
But too many miles, too many lovers
Too many voices down in English Bay.

The next thing I knew, she was off and she was running
Down to the shore into the water far below.
That’s when I knew I was just another lover
Now I’m walking on this cold beach alone.

Alone and in love with a black-eyed Susan.
Where is my heart? Where is my soul?
To be in love with a black-eyed Susan
Is to travel down to the harbor no more.

Later that day where the Gold Coast was shining
His ship went down, and nobody reached the shore.
And in his log book, her captain, he’d written,
“There’s only one thing that I’m not sorry for.”

I was in love with a black-eyed Susan.
Where is my heart? Where is my soul?
To be in love with a black-eyed Susan
Is to travel down to the harbor no more

Doug McArthur

Wednesday, 20, July, 2011

Gods of the Copybook Headings

Filed under: Poetry,Social Commentary — williamthecoroner @ 15:00

AS I PASS through my incarnations in every age and race,
I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.
Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.

We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.

We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place,
But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.

With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch,
They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch;
They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings;
So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.

When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “Stick to the Devil you know.”

On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
(Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “The Wages of Sin is Death.”

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “If you don’t work you die.”

Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool’s bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

R Kipling. Seemed appropos, somehow.

Thursday, 14, July, 2011

The Banks of Red Roses

Filed under: Poetry — williamthecoroner @ 13:52


When I was a wee thing and easy led astray
Before that I would work I would rather sport and play
Before that I would work I would rather sport and play
Wi’ my Johnny on the banks o’ red roses

On the banks of red roses his love and he sat doon
And he took oot his fiddle for tae play his love a tune
In the middle o’ the tune, oh she sighed and she said
Oh my Johnny, lovely Johnny, dinna leave me

Oh they walked and they talked till they cam untae a cave
Where all night long her Johnny had been digging at her grave
Where all night long her Johnny had been digging at her grave
By the bonnie bonnie banks o’ red roses

Oh Johnny, lovely Johnny, oh that grave it’s no for me
Oh yes, my lovely Jeannie, that your bridal bed shall be
Oh yes, my lovely Jeannie, that your bridal bed shall be
By the bonnie bonnie banks o’ red roses

On the banks of red roses his love and he sat doon
And he took oot his fiddle for tae play his love a tune
In the middle o’ the tune, oh she sighed and she said
Oh my Johnny, lovely Johnny, dinna leave me

He’s ta’en oot his wee penknife, an’ it was lang an’ shairp
An’ he pierced it through and through the bonnie lassie’s hairt
Aye, he pierced it through and through the bonnie lassie’s hairt
And he left her lyin’ low on red roses

And as he was walkin’ hameward, his heart was filled wi’ fear
Till every face he saw, he thocht it was his dear
Till every face he saw, he thocht it was his dear
Lyin’ cold upon her bed o’ red roses

On the banks of red roses his love and he sat doon
And he took oot his fiddle for tae play his love a tune
In the middle o’ the tune, oh she sighed and she said
Oh my Johnny, lovely Johnny, dinna leave me

Saturday, 28, May, 2011

Small Victory

Filed under: Poetry — williamthecoroner @ 17:47

You've no business buying a mare like that
 But buy her if you must
 He bit the end off his cigar
 And spat it in the dust
 She's old, she's lame and barren too
 She's not worth feeding hay
 But I'll give her this, he blew smoke at me,
 She was something in her day.

 I recall her well 10 years ago
 She was a winner in her prime
 She was fast and lean and willing
 But they raced her past her time
 And though she had the heart
 Her legs were gone
 It wasn't see hard to see
 But they kept her at it in the hopes
 Of one more small victory

 She was shunted round from track to track
 From Kentucky up to Maine
 They'd run her in cheap claimers
 All doped up to mask her pain
 And if its my advice you want I'd say
 The poor things had her day
 You'd be thowing good cash after bad
 Its best, he turned away

 Oh they led her round the auction shed
 And bidding started low
 She'll go for dogfood someone said
 The markets been that slow
 But she raised her head and pricked her ears
 And before the hammer fell
 She's was mine
 My friend turned round to me
 You're softheaded I can tell

 But she'd been shoved from pillar to post said I
 And always done her best
 They used her up they rung her dry
 You'd think she earned her rest
 So if she does not bode out her day
 Beneath some shady tree
 I'll have saved her from the knacker's yard
 And that's enough for me

 Oh that was near two years ago
 She's filled out some since then
 And more so since she's been in foal
 She eats enough for ten
 And this morn as I crept to the barn
 Around 'bout half past three
 There stood nursing on still trembling legs
 One more "small victory".

Monday, 23, May, 2011

When I’m Gone

Filed under: Poetry — williamthecoroner @ 20:34

There’s no place in this world where I’ll belong when I’m gone
And I won’t know the right from the wrong when I’m gone
And you won’t find me singin’ on this song when I’m gone
So I guess I’ll have to do it while I’m here

And I won’t feel the flowing of the time when I’m gone
All the pleasures of love will not be mine when I’m gone
My pen won’t pour out a lyric line when I’m gone
So I guess I’ll have to do it while I’m here

And I won’t breathe the bracing air when I’m gone
And I can’t even worry ’bout my cares when I’m gone
Won’t be asked to do my share when I’m gone
So I guess I’ll have to do it while I’m here

And I won’t be running from the rain when I’m gone
And I can’t even suffer from the pain when I’m gone
Can’t say who’s to praise and who’s to blame when I’m gone
So I guess I’ll have to do it while I’m here

Won’t see the golden of the sun when I’m gone
And the evenings and the mornings will be one when I’m gone
Can’t be singing louder than the guns when I’m gone
So I guess I’ll have to do it while I’m here

All my days won’t be dances of delight when I’m gone
And the sands will be shifting from my sight when I’m gone
Can’t add my name into the fight while I’m gone
So I guess I’ll have to do it while I’m here

And I won’t be laughing at the lies when I’m gone
And I can’t question how or when or why when I’m gone
Can’t live proud enough to die when I’m gone
So I guess I’ll have to do it while I’m here

Phil Ochs.

Wednesday, 18, May, 2011

Longships

Filed under: Poetry — williamthecoroner @ 22:08

LONGSHIPS

(Dudley-Brian Smith, © 1989, BMI)

The mist is on the water; the half-moon is still;

Fires from the village burn against the chill

The watchman is sleeping – no one hears them ‘til

It’s too late to run, but you run for the hills!

Longships are coming you’d better beware

Longships are coming be prepared.

The warnings were given; danger’s on the rise.

You’d better be ready by the rising of the tide.

The signals are clear, but too many close their eyes.

Only a few remember what was prophesied.

Sure destruction – certain doom;

Only those who are ready escape the tomb.

Sunday, 1, May, 2011

How Can I Keep From Singing?

Filed under: Boom,People who need pianos dropped on them,Poetry,Politics — williamthecoroner @ 23:44

I do not celebrate, but I do appreciate the news of this day.  All the better that the SEALS are home safely.

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Robert Lowry 1869, Interpreted by Pete Seeger circa 1965

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