The Lover’s Almanac 21 September – The Rover’s Adieu

Dear Zazie,  Here is today’s Lover’s Almanac from Mac Tag dedicated to his muse.  Follow us on twitter @cowboycoleridge.  Mac Tag is right; this is one of my favorite topics.  Are you a rover?  Have you bid adieu to love?  Has love bid adieu to you?  Rhett

The Lover’s Almanac

Dear Muse,

Today’s topic is rovin’.  One of Rhett’s favorite topics.  He has done his fair share.

Rover’s Adieu

No more of me you know
No more of me you know
The sage will bloom amid winter
Before we meet again,
Turnin’ his horse sayin’,
Adieu, for evermore
Adieu for evermore
She stood alone,
And watched him fade away
She was strong, and so cold,
Standin’ alone
Goodbye, so long, adieu…

© copyright 2012 mac tag/Cowboy Coleridge all rights reserved

On this day in 1832, the great Scottish novelist, playwright and poet, Sir Walter Scott died in Scotland.  His most famous poem is probably “The Lady of the Lake” but for our Poem of the Day I chose this one:

The Rover’s Adieu

Weary lot is thine, fair maid,
A weary lot is thine!
To pull the thorn thy brow to braid,
And press the rue for wine.
A lightsome eye, a soldier’s mien,
A feather of the blue,
A doublet of the Lincoln green—
No more of me ye knew,
My Love!
No more of me ye knew.
‘This morn is merry June, I trow,
The rose is budding fain;
But she shall bloom in winter snow
Ere we two meet again.’
—He turn’d his charger as he spake
Upon the river shore,
He gave the bridle-reins a shake,
Said ‘Adieu for evermore,
My Love!
And adieu for evermore.’

The Song of the Day is “Adieu” by Emily Bindiger.

The bonus SOD is The Rover by Led Zeppelin if you prefer to rock out! 

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The Lover’s Almanac 20 September – Promise – All That Is Left – verse by Stevie Smith

Dear Zazie,  Here is yesterday’s Lover’s Almanac from Mac Tag to his muse.  Follow us on twitter @cowboycoleridge.  What is all that is left that matters to you?  Rhett

The Lover’s Almanac

Dear Muse,

in the last of twilight,
by the light of the moon,
tremblin’, I follow her
into the dark corners
whither she gives me
what she will

a sad feelin’ prevails
the melancholy inseparable
from all things about to end
without possibility of return

this splendid summer
also draws to a close

I feel more gloomy
each time another
fades away,
and flies to rejoin
the others already gone,
where all thing past
lie buried

“Listen, come back tomorrow
at first light, to bid
one final goodbye;
you will find me still here.”
and I promise
© copyright 2017 mac tag/cowboy Coleridge all rights reserved

All That Is Left

To kiss her or not to kiss her
That was the question that governed
The days and shadows of the night
Kissin’ her would have changed it all

There would have been no turnin’ back
Never was a kiss more wanted
Never was a kiss more needed
Never was a kiss more deserved

Well, deserve is hard to figure
At last, a price had to be paid
For past lies told and the sold soul

For all of the lines that were blurred

For all of the lives tossed aside
There just would not have been a way
To protect her from the demons
Created by the choices made

Sure had this comin’ a long time
You know what is said ’bout payback
This is not about gettin’ mad
This is ’bout love gettin’ even

So I pay the price ever’ day
Serve my penance in solitude
Reapin’ and pickin’ what I sowed
For what is owed and what was done

All that is left, all I can do
Seekin’ solace in these letters

I write for you, and search my thoughts
For what is left of could have been

© copyright 2013 mac tag/Cowboy Coleridge all rights reserved

The Song of the Day is “All That’s Left” by Wade Bowen.  We do not own the rights to this song.  All rights reserved by the rightful owner.  No copyright infringement intended.

Stevie Smith
Stevie Smith.jpg

Stevie Smith in July 1966, by Jorge (‘J.S.’) Lewinski

Today is the birthday of Florence Margaret Smith, known as Stevie Smith (Kingston upon Hull; 20 September 1902 – 7 March 1971 Ashburton, Devon); English poet and novelist.


Not Waving but Drowning (1957)

  • Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
    (Still the dead one lay moaning)
    I was much too far out all my life
    And not waving but drowning.

    • “Not Waving But Drowning”

Selected Poems (1962)

  • I wish I was more cheerful, it is more pleasant,
    Also it is a duty, we should smile as well as submitting
    To the purpose of One Above who is experimenting
    With various mixtures of human character which goes best,
    All is interesting for him it is exciting, but not for us.
    There I go again. Smile, smile, and get some work to do
    Then you will be practically unconscious without positively having to go.

    • “Thoughts about the Person from Porlock (continued)”
  • No man has seen her, this pitiful ghost,
    And no woman either, but heard her at most,
    Sighing and tapping and sighing again,
    You have weaned me too soon, you must nurse me again.

    • “The Wanderer”
  • The boat that took my love away
    He sent again to me
    To tell me that he would not sleep
    Alone beneath the sea.

    • “The Boat”
  • The flower and fruit of love are mine
    The ant, the fieldmouse and the mole

    • “The Boat”
  • Why does my Muse only speak when she is unhappy?
    She does not, I only listen when I am unhappy.

    • “My Muse”

The Best Beast (1966)

  • So I fancy my Muse says, when I wish to die,
    Oh no, Oh no, we are not yet friends enough,
    And Virtue also says:
    We are not yet friends enough.

    • “Exeat”


It was a house of female habitation,
Two ladies fair inhabited the house,
And they were brave. For although Fear knocked loud
Upon the door, and said he must come in,
They did not let him in

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The Lover’s Almanac 19 September – Love Hurts – photography by Frank Eugene

Dear Zazie,  Here is today’s Lover’s Almanac from Mac Tag dedicated to his muse.  Follow us on twitter @cowboycoleridge.  Rhett

The Lover’s Almanac

Dear Muse,

you drop me a note
make me laugh
make me miss you
than i thought possible
and then you are gone
payin’ the price i guess

i would give anything
to be in Joshua Tree
with you, listenin’
to Gram Parsons’
Grievous Angel

watch the desert sun set
make love under the big
star filled sky
and wait for first light
to appear
how i wish we were there

© copyright 2017 mac tag/cowboy Coleridge all rights reserved

The song of the day is Love Hurts by Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris, we do not own the rights to this song, no copyright infringement intended

“Eugene, Stieglitz, Kühn and Steichen Admiring the Work of Eugene,” by Frank Eugene from 1907. From left to right are Eugene, Alfred Stieglitz, Heinrich Kühn, and Edward Steichen.

Today is the birthday of Frank Eugene (New York City;  19 September 1865 – 16 December 1936 Munich); American-born photographer who was a founding member of the Photo-Secession and one of the first university-level professors of photography in the world.


Frank Eugene: Adam and Eve, taken 1898, published in Camera Work no. 30, 1910

Frank Eugene: Male Nude (1897) 


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The Lover’s Almanac 18 September – Untold – A Sigh Too Much – art by Anton Mauve – verse by George MacDonald

Dear Zazie,  Here is today’s Lover’s Almanac from Mac Tag dedicated to his muse.  Follow us on twitter @cowboycoleridge.  Have you heard that sigh?  Comin’ from yourself?  Rhett

The Lover’s Almanac

Dear Muse,

your languishin’ attitude,
your hand, at each moment
gently touches mine,
confirm the suspicions
your look of dismay
awoke within me

do my charms,
such that they are,
speak to your imagination
an imagination which i suspect
is full of untold passion

I shall leave with the regret
that I understood you too late

© copyright 2017 mac tag/cowboy Coleridge all rights reserved

Sigh Too Much

How easily things go wrong
A sigh too much
A sigh not enough
A sigh from the deepest well
A sigh for loneliness to end

A sigh from the emptiest part
A sigh that cannot be borne

© copyright 2012 mac Tag/Cowboy Coleridge all rights reserved

So Jett says Zazie received another picture text from Adele.  Seems her love interest told her she deserves more than he can give her now.  Jett assures me that Adele is a remarkable woman; bold, bright and beautiful.  No doubt she deserves the best of everything, so this guy could be sincere or he could be full of merda.  That is a standard line used by players.  Either way, I full well know the sting of love lost and we hope that Adele moves on and gives love another chance someday.  Sadly, another example of how easily things go wrong.

Anton Mauve

Today is the birthday of Anthonij (Anton) Rudolf Mauve (Zaandam; 18 September 1838 – 5 February 1888 Arnhem); Dutch realist painter who was a leading member of the Hague School.  He signed his paintings ‘A. Mauve’ or with a monogrammed ‘A.M.’.  A master colorist, he was a early influence on his cousin-in-law Vincent van Gogh.  Most of Mauve’s work depicts people and animals in outdoor settings.  In his Morning Ride in the Rijksmuseum, for example, fashionable equestrians at the seacoast are seen riding away from the viewer.  An unconventional detail, horse droppings in the foreground, attests his commitment to realism.

Mauve was married to van Gogh’s cousin Ariëtte (Jet) Sophia Jeannette Carbentus.


a group of well dressed equestrians, the lady riding sidesaddle, descend at a leisurly pace from the dunes to the beach at Scheveningen towards the bathing huts, their horses leaving droppings in the sand

Morning Ride on the Beach (1876), oil on canvas, Rijksmuseum 

 An elegant young lady wearing a fancy bonnet is sitting in the dunes dressed in her Sunday best, a black dress with a pale blue smock.

Ariëtte (Jet) Carbentus, the Artist’s Wife,in the Dunes
Landscape with cattle

The Return of the Flock, Laren

On this day in 1905, Scottish author, poet and Christian minister, George MacDonald died.  He wrote the fantasy novel Phantastes: A Faerie Romance for Men and Women (1858).  I found an untitled poem/song in Chapter 19.  I thought it POD worthy and I gave it a title, voilà –

A Sigh Too Much

Sir Aglovaile through the churchyard rode;
Sing, All alone I lie:

Little recked he where’er he yode,
All alone, up in the sky.
Swerved his courser, and plunged with fear
All alone I lie:

His cry might have wakened the dead men near,

All alone, up in the sky.
The very dead that lay at his feet,

Lapt in the mouldy winding-sheet.
But he curbed him and spurred him, until he stood
Still in his place, like a horse of wood,
With nostrils uplift, and eyes wide and wan;
But the sweat in streams from his fetlocks ran.
A ghost grew out of the shadowy air,
And sat in the midst of her moony hair.
In her gleamy hair she sat and wept;
In the dreamful moon they lay and slept;
The shadows above, and the bodies below,
Lay and slept in the moonbeams slow.
And she sang, like the moan of an autumn wind

Over the stubble left behind:
Alas, how easily things go wrong!

A sigh too much, or a kiss too long,
And there follows a mist and a weeping rain,
And life is never the same again.
Alas, how hardly things go right!
‘Tis hard to watch on a summer night,
For the sigh will come and the kiss will stay,
And the summer night is a winter day.

“Oh, lovely ghosts my heart is woes
To see thee weeping and wailing so.

Oh, lovely ghost,” said the fearless knight,
“Can the sword of a warrior set it right?
Or prayer of bedesman, praying mild,
As a cup of water a feverish child,
Sooth thee at last, in dreamless mood
To sleep the sleep a dead lady should?
Thine eyes they fill me with longing sore,
As if I had known thee for evermore.
Oh, lovely ghost, I could leave the day
To sit with thee in the moon away
If thou wouldst trust me, and lay thy head

To rest on a bosom that is not dead.”
The lady sprang up with a strange ghost-cry,
And she flung her white ghost-arms on high:
And she laughed a laugh that was not gay,
And it lengthened out till it died away;

And the dead beneath turned and moaned,
And the yew-trees above they shuddered and groaned.
“Will he love me twice with a love that is vain?

Will he kill the poor ghost yet again?
I thought thou wert good; but I said, and wept:
`Can I have dreamed who have not slept?’
And I knew, alas! or ever I would,
Whether I dreamed, or thou wert good.
When my baby died, my brain grew wild.
I awoke, and found I was with my child.”

“If thou art the ghost of my Adelaide,
How is it? Thou wert but a village maid,
And thou seemest an angel lady white,
Though thin, and wan, and past delight.”
The lady smiled a flickering smile,
And she pressed her temples hard the while.
“Thou seest that Death for a woman can

Do more than knighthood for a man.”
“But show me the child thou callest mine,
Is she out to-night in the ghost’s sunshine?”
“In St. Peter’s Church she is playing on,
At hide-and-seek, with Apostle John.
When the moonbeams right through the window go,
Where the twelve are standing in glorious show,
She says the rest of them do not stir,
But one comes down to play with her.
Then I can go where I list, and weep,
For good St. John my child will keep.”
“Thy beauty filleth the very air,
Never saw I a woman so fair.”
“Come, if thou darest, and sit by my side;
But do not touch me, or woe will betide.
Alas, I am weak: I might well know
This gladness betokens some further woe.
Yet come. It will come. I will bear it. I can.
For thou lovest me yet — though but as a man.”
The knight dismounted in earnest speed;
Away through the tombstones thundered the steed,
And fell by the outer wall, and died.
But the knight he kneeled by the lady’s side;
Kneeled beside her in wondrous bliss,
Rapt in an everlasting kiss:
Though never his lips come the lady nigh,
And his eyes alone on her beauty lie.
All the night long, till the cock crew loud,
He kneeled by the lady, lapt in her shroud.
And what they said, I may not say:
Dead night was sweeter than living day.
How she made him so blissful glad
Who made her and found her so ghostly sad,
I may not tell; but it needs no touch
To make them blessed who love so much.
“Come every night, my ghost, to me;
And one night I will come to thee.
‘Tis good to have a ghostly wife:
She will not tremble at clang of strife;
She will only hearken, amid the din,
Behind the door, if he cometh in.”
And this is how Sir Aglovaile
Often walked in the moonlight pale.
And oft when the crescent but thinned the gloom,
Full orbed moonlight filled his room;

And through beneath his chamber door,
Fell a ghostly gleam on the outer floor;
And they that passed, in fear averred
That murmured words they often heard.
‘Twas then that the eastern crescent shone
Through the chancel window, and good St. John
Played with the ghost-child all the night,

And the mother was free till the morning light,
And sped through the dawning night, to stay
With Aglovaile till the break of day.

And their love was a rapture, lone and high,
And dumb as the moon in the topmost sky.
One night Sir Aglovaile, weary, slept
And dreamed a dream wherein he wept.
A warrior he was, not often wept he,
But this night he wept full bitterly.
He woke — beside him the ghost-girl shone
Out of the dark: ’twas the eve of St. John.
He had dreamed a dream of a still, dark wood,
Where the maiden of old beside him stood;
But a mist came down, and caught her away,
And he sought her in vain through the pathless day,

Till he wept with the grief that can do no more,
And thought he had dreamt the dream before.
From bursting heart the weeping flowed on;
And lo! beside him the ghost-girl shone;
Shone like the light on a harbour’s breast,
Over the sea of his dream’s unrest;
Shone like the wondrous, nameless boon,
That the heart seeks ever, night or noon:
Warnings forgotten, when needed most,
He clasped to his bosom the radiant ghost.

She wailed aloud, and faded, and sank.
With upturn’d white face, cold and blank,
In his arms lay the corpse of the maiden pale,
And she came no more to Sir Aglovaile.
Only a voice, when winds were wild,
Sobbed and wailed like a chidden child.
Alas, how easily things go wrong!
A sigh too much, or a kiss too long,
And there follows a mist and a weeping rain,
And life is never the same again

The Song of the Day is “A Sigh” by Crowded House.  

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The Lover’s Almanac 17 September – Passin’ – Blue-Eyed and Broken Hearted – verse by Smollett, Augier & WC Williams

Dear Zazie,  Here is today’s Lover’s Almanac from Mac Tag dedicated to his muse.  Have you reached for love and come away with thorns?  Whether you have brown eyes, green eyes or blue eyes, are you broken hearted?  Rhett

The Lover’s Almanac

Dear Muse,

mactag passinyou sleep
stretched out
on our bed
the windows are open
& the mountain breeze
rustles gently through
candles burn
in every nook & corner

with a few gentle taps
you wake surprised
curious to catch
your first impression
I call your name

you start up,
look through me
and around,
& hang your head
a look of sadness
passes in your eyes
a sinkin’ of the heart

© copyright 2017 mac tag/cowboy Coleridge all rights reserved

The Blue-Eyed Girl

Sometimes it is alright to be wrong,
Sometimes it is okay to just let it go

They like to gossip

About her, often,

But they do not know her
No one knows her truth

Sometimes, she gets caught

Up in their rumours

But she refuses

To follow their rules

She tries to laugh about it

But she cannot help feelin’

Like they are stealin’ somethin’
Away from her in pieces
She does not need anyone
To tell her right from wrong
She wants to sing her own song

From now on, she walks alone
Needin’ no one’s permission
She has learned that happiness
Lies in followin’ her own song

For what it is worth;
The Blue-Eyed Man
Feels the pain
Of the Blue-Eyed Girl

© copyright 2012 mac tag/cowboy Coleridge all rights reserved

Today we have a story of love found and lost from my friend Jett.

Jett received the followin’ letter from his friend Adele, who also happens to be a friend of Zazie:

Ok! I did it!  Call it lust, love or the meeting of two sole mates.  On Saturday night, I went out with a guy I used to work with.  We drink a box of wine and end up on the roof.  We just talk most all night and yes he gave me a kiss.  Tuesday he left his wife (it was a dead situation anyway), last night he moved in!  Wow!  Did you expect that from me?   I cannot explain what happened other than we are both crazy about each other.  We just reconnected and decided we had suppressed the feelings we had for long enough.  I equate this whole thing to two people jumping out of an airplane.  We don’t yet know if we will land on our feet or our face!  Right now all we can do is enjoy the ride.  Jett I have been so lonely for so long just to be held again is well worth the insanity of it.  The only part that stresses me is the fact that either one of us could crush the others heart.  He has made major external moves and I have made equal internal moves.  Just last week I could not imagine sharing my closet with anyone.  Tonight I pick up boxes to pack up half my closet.  For some weird reason I am not afraid.  What do you think….. If you really felt that you found your soul mate would you jump in or hang on at a distance to be sure?

Jett told her he agreed with their leap of faith.  Life is too short and you will never get a rose unless you reach for it.  Yes, you may end up with a handful of thorns, but the reward is worth the risk.  Protect yourself as best you can and when you fancy, take some fancy chances.

Then Adele texts Zazie with a picture update on her romance or rather the apparent end of it.  Click here to see the picture.  In part it says; “You lied to me.  You said you loved me.  I trusted you.  I was fine before you came.  I’m broken hearted.  I cried.”  Jett wishes he could reach out and hug Adele and he wishes he could stomp a mud hole in this guy, which trust me, he could.

For the Poem of the Day, Jett suggested, “Blue-Eyed Ann” by the Scottish poet Tobias Smollett, who died on this day in 1771 in Livorno, Italy.  This goes out to Adele from Jett.

Blue-Eyed Ann

When the rough North forgets to howl,
And Ocean’s billows cease to roll;
When Libyan sands are bound in frost,
And cold to Nova Zembla’s lost!
When heavenly bodies cease to move,
My blue-eyed Ann I’ll cease to love.

No more shall flowers the meads adorn;
Nor sweetness deck the rosy thorn;
Nor swelling buds proclaim the spring;
Nor parching heats the dogstar bring;
Nor laughing lilies paint the grove,
When blue-eyed Ann I cease to love.

No more shall joy in hope be found;
Nor pleasures dance their frolic round;
Nor Love’s light god inhabit earth;
Nor beauty give to passion birth;
Nor heat to summer sunshine cleave,
When blue-eyed Annie I deceive.

When rolling seasons cease to change,
Inconstancy forgets to range;
When lavish May no more shall bloom,
Nor gardens yield a rich perfume;
When Nature from her sphere shall start,
I’ll tear my Annie from my heart.

The Song of the Day is “Blue Eyed Girl” by Ida Jensush.  Again, this goes out to Adele from Jett.

Émile Augier
Émile Augier by Adam-Salomon c1870s.jpg

Augier by Antoine Samuel Adam-Salomon, circa 1870s

Today is the birthday of Guillaume Victor Émile Augier (Valence, Drôme; 17 September 1820 – 25 October 1889 Croissy-sur-Seine); French dramatist.


L’Aventurière (1848)

  • L’amour chez les vieillards a d’étranges racines,
    Et trouve, comme un lierre aux fentes des ruines,
    Dans ces cœurs ravagés par le temps et les maux,
    Cent brèches où pousser ses tenaces rameaux.

    • Act I., Scene V. (translation by Fabrice).
    • From strangest roots love in old men doth grow;
      Like ivy on a ruin it doth show,
      And in these hearts laid waste by grief and time,
      By myriad clefts its clinging branches climb.
William Carlos Williams
William Carlos Williams passport photograph 1921.jpg

William Carlos Williams passport photograph,1921

Today is the birthday of William Carlos Williams (Rutherford, New Jersey; September 17, 1883 – March 4, 1963 Rutherford); poet closely associated with modernism and imagism.  He is among the group of four major American poets born in the twelve-year period following 1874, including Robert Frost, born in 1874; Wallace Stevens, born in 1879; and H.D. (Hilda Doolittle), born in 1886.  His work has an affinity with painting, in which he had a lifelong interest.

In addition to his writing, Williams had a long career as a physician practicing both pediatrics and general medicine.  He was affiliated with what was then known as Passaic General Hospital in Passaic, New Jersey, where he served as the hospital’s chief of pediatrics from 1924 until his death.  The hospital, which is now known as St. Mary’s General Hospital, paid tribute to Williams with a memorial plaque that states “we walk the wards that Williams walked”.


Marriage (1916)

  • So different, this man
    And this woman:
    A stream flowing
    In a field.

    • Poetry Chicago, 1916)

Al Que Quiere! (1917)

  • The earth cracks and
    is shriveled up;
    the wind moans piteously;
    the sky goes out
    if you should fail.

    • “Chicory and Daisies”
  • Why do I write today?
  • The beauty of
    the terrible faces
    of our nonentities
    stirs me to it
  • “Apology”
  • I lie here thinking of you:—the stain of love
    is upon the world!

    • “Love Song”
  • It’s a strange courage
    you give me ancient star:
  • Shine alone in the sunrise
    toward which you lend no part!

    • “El Hombre”
  • Brother!
    — if we were rich
    we’d stick our chests out
    and hold our heads high!
  • It is dreams that have destroyed us.There is no more pride
    in horses or in rein holding.
    We sit hunched together brooding
    our fate.Well —
    all things turn bitter in the end
    whether you choose the right or
    the left way
    and —
    dreams are not a bad thing.

    • “Libertad! Igualidad! Fraternidad!”
  • Who shall say I am not
    the happy genius of my household?

    • “Danse Russe”

Sour Grapes (1921)

  • Among the rain
    and lights
    I saw the figure 5
    in gold
    on a red
    to gong clangs
    siren howls
    and wheels rumbling
    through the dark city.

    • “The Great Figure”
  • Old age is
    a flight of small
    cheeping birds
    bare trees
    above a snow glaze.
    Gaining and failing
    they are buffeted
    by a dark wind —
    But what?
    On harsh weedstalks
    the flock has rested —
    the snow
    is covered
    with broken
    seed husks
    and the wind tempered
    with a shrill
    piping of plenty.

    • “To Awaken an Old Lady”, originally publised in The Dial (August 1920)

Collected Poems 1921-1931 (1934)

  • “He’s come out of the man
    and he’s let
    the man go —
the liar
his eyes
rolled up out of
the light — a mockery

love cannot touch —just bury it
and hide its face
for shame.

  • “Death”

An Early Martyr and Other Poems (1935)

  • Among

    • “The Locust Tree in Flower”

Complete Collected Poems (1938)

  • These
  • are the desolate, dark weeks
    when nature in its barrenness
    equals the stupidity of man.The year plunges into night
    and the heart plunges
    lower than night

    • “These”

Collected Later Poems (1950)

  • Not now. Love itself a flower
    with roots in a parched ground.

    Empty pockets make empty heads.
    Cure it if you can but
    do not believe that we can live
    today in the country
    for the country will bring us
    no peace.

    • “Raleigh Was Right” (1940)

The Desert Music and Other Poems (1954)

  • I think
    of the poetry
    of René Char
    and all he must have seen
    and suffered
    that has brought him
    to speak only of
    sedgy rivers,
    of daffodils and tulips
    whose roots they water
    even to the free-flowing river
    that laves the rootlets
    of those sweet-scented flowers
    that people the

    • “To a Dog Injured in the Street”
  • The cries of a dying dog
    are to be blotted out
    as best I can.
    René Char
    you are a poet who believes
    in the power of beauty
    to right all wrongs.
    I believe it also.
    With invention and courage
    we shall surpass
    the pitiful dumb beasts,
    let all men believe it,
    as you have taught me also
    to believe it.

    • “To a Dog Injured in the Street”

Journey to Love (1955)

Asphodel, That Greeny Flower

  • Of asphodel, that greeny flower,
like a buttercup

upon its branching stem —
save that’s green and wooden —

I come, my sweet,

to sing to you.
We lived long together,

a life filled,

if you will,
with flowers. So that

I was cheered

when I first came to know
that there were flowers also

in hell.

I’m filled with the fading memory of those flowers

that we both loved,

even to this poor
colorless thing —

I saw it

when I was a child —
little prized among the living

but the dead see,

asking among themselves:
What do I remember

that was shaped

as this thing is shaped?
while our eyes fill

with tears.

Of love, abiding love
it will be telling

though too weak a wash of crimson

colors it
to make it wholly credible.

There is something

something urgent
I have to say to you

and you alone

but it must wait
while I drink in

the joy of your approach,

perhaps for the last time.
And so

with fear in my heart

I drag it out
and keep on talking

for I dare not stop.
  • Only give me time,
time to recall them

before I shall speak out.
Give me time,

When I was a boy

I kept a book

to which, from time
to time,

I added pressed flowers

until, after a time,
I had a good collection.

The asphodel,

among them.

I bring you,

a memory of those flowers.

They were sweet

when I pressed them
and retained

something of their sweetness

a long time.
It is a curious odor,

a moral odor,

that brings me
near to you.
  • Endless wealth,
I thought,

held out its arms to me.
A thousand tropics

in an apple blossom.

The generous earth itself
gave us lief.

The whole world

became my garden!
But the sea

which no one tends

is also a garden
when the sun strikes it

and the waves

are wakened.
I have seen it

and so have you

when it puts all flowers
to shame.
  • I cannot say
that I have gone to hell

for your love
but often

found myself there

in your pursuit.
I do not like it

and wanted to be

in heaven. Hear me out.
Do not turn away.
I have learned much in my life

from books

and out of them
about love.


is not the end of it.
  • The storm unfolds.

plays about the edges of the clouds.
The sky to the north

is placid,

blue in the afterglow
as the storm piles up.

It is a flower

that will soon reach
the apex of its bloom.
  • When I speak
of flowers

it is to recall

that at one time
we were young.

All women are not Helen,

I know that,
but have Helen in their hearts.

My sweet,

you have it also, therefore
I love you

and could not love you otherwise.
  • The storm bursts
or fades! it is not
the end of the world.

Love is something else,

or so I thought it,
a garden which expands,

though I knew you as a woman

and never thought otherwise,
until the whole sea

has been taken up

and all its gardens.
It was the love of love,

the love that swallows up all else,

a grateful love,
a love of nature, of people,

of animals,

a love engendering
gentleness and goodness

that moved me

and that I saw in you.


  • I come, my sweet,
to sing to you!
My heart rouses

thinking to bring you news

of something
that concerns you

and concerns many men. Look at

what passes for the new.
You will not find it there but in

despised poems.
  •     It is difficult
    to get the news from poems
yet men die miserably every day

for lack
of what is found there.
Hank Williams
Hank Williams Promotional Photo.jpg

Williams in 1951










Today is the birthday of Hiram KingHankWilliams, (Mount Olive, Alabama; September 17, 1923 – January 1, 1953 Oak Hill, West Virginia); American singer-songwriter and musician.  In my opinion, one of the most significant and influential American singers and songwriters of the 20th century, Williams recorded 35 singles (five released posthumously) that reached the Top 10 of the Billboard Country & Western Best Sellers chart, including 11 that ranked number one (three posthumously).  Among the hits he wrote were “Your Cheatin’ Heart”, “Hey, Good Lookin'”, “Jambalaya (On the Bayou)” and “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”.

On December 15, 1944, Williams married Audrey Sheppard.  It was her second marriage and his first.  Their son, Randall Hank Williams, who would achieve fame in his own right as Hank Williams, Jr., was born on May 26, 1949.  The marriage, always turbulent, rapidly disintegrated.  The couple divorced on May 29, 1952.

A relationship with a woman named Bobbie Jett resulted in a daughter, Jett Williams, who was born five days after Williams’ death.

On October 18, 1952, Williams and Billie Jean Jones Eshlimar were married in Minden, Louisiana by a justice of the peace.  It was the second marriage for both (both being divorced with children).  After Williams’ death, a judge ruled that the wedding was not legal because Jones Eshlimar’s divorce had not become final until eleven days after she married Williams.  Williams’ first wife, Audrey, and his mother, Lillie Williams, were the driving forces behind having the marriage declared invalid and pursued the matter for years.

Several years of back pain, alcoholism, and prescription drug abuse severely damaged Williams’ health.  Williams died at the age of 29, from heart failure exacerbated by pills and alcohol.  Despite his short life, Williams has had a major influence on 20th-century popular music, especially country music.  The songs he wrote and recorded have been covered by numerous artists and have been hits in various genres.  He has been inducted into multiple music halls of fame, such as the Country Music Hall of Fame (1961), the Songwriters Hall of Fame (1970), and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1987).


  • You wore out a brand new trunk,
    packin’ and unpackin your junk.

    • “You’re gonna change (or I’m gonna leave)” (1949)
  • No matter how I struggle and strive,
    I’ll never get out of this world alive.

    • “I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive” (1952)
  • We’ll put aside a little time to fix a flat or 2,
    my tires and tubes are doing fine but the air is showing through

    • “Settin’ the Woods on Fire” (1952)

Mac Tag

It is difficult to get the news from poems, yet men die miserably every day for lack of what is found there. – Simone de Beauvoir

I am in love, hence free to live by heart, to ad lib as I caress.Vera Pavlova

We are blind and live our blind lives out in blindness. Poets are damned but they are not blind, they see with the eyes of angels. – William Carlos Williams

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The Lover’s Almanac 16 September

Dear Zazie,   Here is today’s Lover’s Almanac from Mac Tag dedicated to his muse.  Follow us on twitter @cowboycoleridge.


The Lover’s Almanac

Dear Muse,

Alfred Noyes
Portrait of Alfred Noyes.jpg

Portrait of Alfred Noyes, by Alexander Bassano, 1922

Today is the birthday of Alfred Noyes (Wolverhampton; 16 September 1880 – 25 June 1958 Isle of Wight); English poet, short-story writer and playwright, best known for his ballads, “The Highwayman” and “The Barrel-Organ”.

In 1907, Noyes married Garnett Daniels, youngest daughter of US Army Colonel Byron G. Daniels, a Civil War veteran.  She died in 1926 at Saint-Jean-de-Luz, France, where she and Noyes were staying with friends.

In 1927, the year after his first wife’s death, Noyes married Mary Angela née Mayne (1889–1976), widow of Lieutenant Richard Shireburn Weld-Blundell.  In 1929, Noyes and Mary Angela settled at Lisle Combe, on the Undercliff near Ventnor, Isle of Wight.


  • Enough of dreams! No longer mock
    The burdened hearts of men!
    Not on the cloud, but on the rock
    Build thou thy faith again
    ;O range no more the realms of air,
    Stoop to the glen-bound streams;
    Thy hope was all too like despair:
    Enough, enough of dreams.

    • “The Secret Inn : ‘The Kingdom is Within You'” in Master Mind Magazine, Vol. VII, No. 3 (December 1914), p. 99.
  • Descend, descend, Urania, speak
    To men in their own tongue!
    Leave not the breaking heart to break
    Because thine own is strong.

    This is the law, in dream and deed,
    That heaven must walk on earth!
    O, shine upon the humble creed
    That holds the heavenly birth.

    • “The Secret Inn : ‘The Kingdom is Within You'” in Master Mind Magazine, Vol. VII, No. 3 (December 1914), p. 99.
  • A shadow leaned over me, whispering, in the darkness,
    Thoughts without sound;
    Sorrowful thoughts that filled me with helpless wonder
    And held me bound.

    • “The Shadow” in The Empire Review (1923) Vol. 37, p. 620.
  • Soundlessly, shadow with shadow, we wrestled together,
    Till the grey dawn.

    • “The Shadow” in The Empire Review (1923) Vol. 37, p. 620.

The Highwayman (1907)

  • The wind was a torrent of darkness upon the gusty trees,
    The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
    The road was a ribbon of moonlight looping the purple moor,
    And the highwayman came riding —
    Riding — riding —
    The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn door.
  • One kiss, my bonny sweetheart; I’m after a prize tonight,
    But I shall be back with the yellow gold before the morning light.
    Yet if they press me sharply, and harry me through the day,
    Then look for me by moonlight,
    Watch for me by moonlight,
    I’ll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way.


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The Lover’s Almanac 15 September – Waitin’ – verse by Bocage

Dear Zazie,   Here is today’s Lover’s Almanac from Mac Tag dedicated to his muse.  Follow us on twitter @cowboycoleridge.


The Lover’s Almanac

Dear Muse,

mactagwaitinawake somewhere
around three-thirty
was it a spirit
likely not
they no longer
speak to me
as they once did

was it the moonbeam
movin’ across my bed
was it you
most likely
I arrange
my many pillows
and wait

then from afar, the music
a strange medley,
slow and mournful
beginnin’ with two or three
high notes, and descendin’
at each couplet

descendin’, almost
into solemnity
a smothered
enchanted, enchantin’
then it diminishes,
& dies away
into silence

© copyright 2017 mac tag/cowboy Coleridge all rights reserved

Manuel Maria Barbosa l’Hedois du Bocage
Manuel Maria Barbosa du Bocage.jpg

Today is the birthday of Manuel Maria Barbosa du Bocage (Setubal; 15 September 1765 – 21 December 1805 Lisbon); Portuguese Neoclassic poet, writing at the beginning of his career under the pen name Elmano Sadino.


A self-portrait in verse…

Magro, de olhos azuis, carão moreno,

Bem servido de pés, meão na altura,
Triste de facha, o mesmo de figura,

Nariz alto no meio, e não pequeno;

Incapaz de assistir num só terreno,
Mais propenso ao furor do que à ternura;
Bebendo em níveas mãos, por taça escura,
De zelos infernais letal veneno;
Devoto incensador de mil deidades
(Digo, de moças mil) num só memento,
E somente no altar amando os frades,
Eis Bocage, em quem luz algum talento;
Saíram dele mesmo estas verdades,
Num dia em que se achou mais pachorrento.

Translated from Portugese:

Thin, blue eyes, tanned face,

His fair share of feet, middlin’ height,

Sad of face, the same of figure,

High nose in the middle, and not small;

Incapable of stayin’ in just one place,
More prone to furor than to tenderness;
Drinkin’ in his pale hands, out of a dark cup,
From hellish zeal lethal poison;
Devote incense burner to a thousand deities
(I mean, a thousand girls) in a single moment,
Lovin’ the friars only at the altar,
This is Bocage, in whom some talent shines;
From himself these truths have come,
On a day that he felt more dull.

O vento não se mexe, nem respira ;
Deixam de namorar-se os passarinhos,
Para me ouvir chorar ao som da lira.
– Soneto XXIX in “Rimas”. Tomo II

Max Tag


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The Lover’s Almanac 14 September – Show Me – Remembrance – the art and love and sorrow of Richard Gerstl

Dear Zazie,   Here is today’s Lover’s Almanac from Mac Tag dedicated to his muse.  Follow us on twitter @cowboycoleridge.  What first kiss special memories do you have?   Rhett

The Lover’s Almanac

Dear Muse,

have you been intimate
with beauty and sorrow
then we are kindred
nothin’ else matters
aside from beauty
and sorrow

and I will only ever
ask one thing of you
show me, share with me
your beauty and sorrow

© copyright mac tag/cowboy Coleridge all rights reserved


Age has chilled my blood
And my pleasures are past
If nothin’ else
I will have this
My dearest remembrance
Will be till the last
The memory
Of that first kiss

© copyright 2012 mac tag/Cowboy Coleridge all rights reserved

Today I was thinkin’ about a very special first kiss, which occured on this day and a first kiss that never happened.  Jett told me about a conversation he had with his great unrequited love.  He said he remembered tellin’ her that first kisses were his favorite memories from past relationships.  She told him she understood but she preferred the prelude to the kiss –  the build-up, the “playing it out in your head” dozens of times before it happens, the “you know it’s going to happen, it’s just a matter of time.”  They never had that first kiss.  It is Jett’s biggest regret.

The Poem of the Day comes to us from Lord Byron:

The First Kiss Of Love

Away with your fictions of flimsy romance;
Those tissues of falsehood which folly has wove!
Give me the mild beam of the soul-breathing glance,
Or the rapture which dwells on the first kiss of love.

Ye rhymers, whose bosoms with phantasy glow,
Whose pastoral passions are made for the grove;
From what blest inpiration your sonnets would flow,
Could you ever have tasted the first kiss of love!

If Apollo should e’er his assistance refuse,
Or the Nine be desposed from your service to rove,
Invoke them no more, bid adieu to the muse,
and try the effect of the first kiss of love.

I hate you, ye cold compositions of art!
Though prudes may condemn me, and bigots reprove,
I court the effusions that spring from the heart,
Which throbes with delight to the first kiss of love.

Your shepherds, your flocks, those fantastical themes,
Perhapes may amuse, yet they never can move:
Arcadia displays but a region of dreams:
What are visions like these to the first kiss of love?

Oh! cease to affirm that man, since his birth,
From Adam till now, has with wretchedness strove,
Some portion of paradise still is on earth,
And Eden revives in the first kiss of love.

When age chills the blood, when our pleasures are past-
For years fleet away with the wings of the dove-
The dearest rememberance will still be the last,
Our sweetest memorial the first kiss of love.

The Song of the Day is “First Kiss” by Ryan O’Shaughnessy. 

Francisco de Quevedo
Quevedo (copia de Velázquez).jpg

Francisco de Quevedo, Juan van der Hamen? after a painting by Diego Velázquez

Today is the birthday of Francisco Gómez de Quevedo y Santibáñez Villegas (Madrid; 14 September 1580 – 8 September 1645 Villanueva de los Infantes); Spanish nobleman, politician and writer of the Baroque era.  Along with his lifelong rival, Luis de Góngora, Quevedo was one of the most prominent Spanish poets of the age.  His style is characterized by what was called conceptismo.  This style existed in stark contrast to Góngora’s culteranismo.


Ayer se fue, mañana no ha llegado,
Hoy se está yendo sin parar un punto;
Soy un fue, y un seré y un es cansado 

Pues amarga la verdad
quiero echarla de mi boca
Un nuevo corazón, un hombre nuevo
ha menester, señor, el alma mía.
¡Desnúdame de mí, que ser podría
que a tu piedad pagase lo que debo!
(soneto “Un nuevo corazón, un hombre nuevo…”)

Semi-nude Self-portrait against a Blue Background, 1904/5

Today is the birthday of Richard Gerstl (14 September 1883 – 4 November 1908); Austrian painter and draughtsman known for his expressive psychologically insightful portraits, his lack of critical acclaim during his lifetime, and his affair with the wife of Arnold Schoenberg which led to his suicide.

Arnold Schoenberg by Gerstl

Lake Traun with Mountain Sleeping Greek Woman

Around 1907, he began to associate with composers Arnold Schoenberg and Alexander von Zemlinsky, who lived in the same building at the time. Gerstl and Schoenberg developed a mutual admiration based upon their individual talents. Gerstl apparently instructed Schoenberg in art.

During this time, Gerstl moved into a flat in the same house and painted several portraits of Schoenberg, his family, and his friends. These portraits also included paintings of Schoenberg’s wife Mathilde, Alban Berg and Zemlinsky. His highly stylized heads anticipated German expressionism and used pastels as in the works by Oskar Kokoschka. Gerstl and Mathilde became extremely close and, in the summer of 1908, she left her husband and children to travel to Vienna with Gerstl. Schoenberg was in the midst of composing his Second String Quartet, which he dedicated to her. Mathilde rejoined her husband in October.

Distraught by the loss of Mathilde, his isolation from his associates, and his lack of artistic acceptance, Gerstl entered his studio during the night of 4 November 1908 and apparently burned every letter and piece of paper he could find. Although many paintings survived the fire, it is believed that a great deal of his artwork as well as personal papers and letters were destroyed. Other than his paintings, only eight drawings are known to have survived unscathed. Following the burning of his papers, Gerstl hanged himself in front of the studio mirror and somehow managed to stab himself as well. He was 25.

The incident had a significant impact on Arnold Schoenberg and his “drama with music” (i.e., opera) Die Glückliche Hand is based on these events.

Mac Tag
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The Lover’s Almanac 13 September – What Matters – What Time is Love – song by Bret Mosley

Dear Zazie,  Here is today’s Lover’s Almanac from Mac Tag dedicated to his muse.  Follow us on twitter @cowboycoleridge.  Has it ever been time for love for you?  Rhett

The Lover’s Almanac

Dear Muse,

a fine evenin’
a walk without
any definite purpose
a trail that loses itself
at the gate of a cemetery
near the edge of a mesa

buffalo grass, metal angel statue,
granite tombs, rocks, wind,
a forty mile view,
surround us on all sides

we sit on a tomb
and there, seated
in the dyin’ sunlight,
while the valley
and plains below
are already lost in shadow,
we talk together

the pure air playin’ round us,
the magnificent landscape
beneath our feet
impart a certain
serenity to thoughts

we stay up there late
talkin’ of what matters;
of beauty and sorrow
and as of old, we talk
of partin’, may it never happen

© copyright 2017 mac tag/cowboy Coleridge all rights reserved

Bret you are right
it is a fine question
one I asked regularly
for about 40 years
On more than one
occasion, i thought
it was time but no
Reckon it was not
the right question,
for me, anyhow
Now I am asked out
And i just wanna
spin some vinyl,
and spin the totem
May it never wobble
© copyright 2016 Mac tag/cowboy Coleridge All rights reserved

Paradise by Jan Brueghel the Younger (c. 1620). Oil on oak. Gemäldegalerie, Berlin, Germany

Jan Brueghel II A Coastal Landscape with Fishermen with their Catch by a Ruined Tower, oil on panel.

Jan Brueghel II Flora Seated in a Wooded Landscape and Surrounded by Flowers, oil on panel.

Today is the birthday of Jan Brueghel the Younger (Antwerp; 13 September 1601 – 1 September 1678 Antwerp); Flemish Baroque painter, and the son of Jan Brueghel the Elder.

For the song of the day we turn once again to our friend Bret Mosley ( and his song Lawrence KS, in which you find the question of the day.

Mac Tag

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The Lover’s Almanac 12 September – Feelin’ – The Shumanns & The Brownings – art by Eytel

Dear Zazie,  Here is today’s Lover’s Almanac from Mac Tag dedicated to his muse.  Follow us on twitter @cowboycoleridge.  Are you dedicated to the one?  Is someone dedicated to you?  Rhett

The Lover’s Almanac

Dear Muse,

play, play on for me
I shall remain here
all evenin’ and listen

the first hesitatin’ notes
murmured faintly
in the quiet air
of golden twilight
in it, the sighin’
of the wind
& heartrendin’ plaints

I listen, lyin’ here
eyes half shut,
lookin’ out
upon the sun
dyin’ over the plains

a somewhat melancholy feelin’
that my past life & it’s places
are recedin’ in the rearview
at this moment of nightfall
I feel at home

© copyright 2017 mac tag/cowboy Coleridge all rights reserved

Today is a good day here at TLA.  We have two love stories to share with you.

Robert_u_Clara_Schumann_1847On this day in 1840 composer Robert Schumann married German pianist Clara Wieck.  In the year 1840, the immensely talented Clara was eagerly awaitin’ the eve of her 21st birthday, when she would be free to legally marry the 30-year old Schumann. The couple had hoped to wed years earlier, but the match was bitterly opposed by Clara’s father.  Clara and Robert kept in touch by letters, which were sometimes intercepted by Papa Wieck.  Schumann, for his part, buried himself in his music, composin’ furiously until Clara would come of age.

Early in 1840 Clara wrote, “Dear Robert: I love you so much it hurts my heart. Tell me what you’re writing. I would so love to know, oh please, please. A quartet, an overture — even perhaps a symphony? Might it by any chance be — a wedding present?”  When the marriage finally took place, just as she had guessed, Robert presented Clara with a musical weddin’ present: not a quartet, overture, or symphony, but a song cycle, “Myrten,” (Myrtle) consisting of 26 songs, which were published as his Opus 25.  The openin’ song, entitled “Widmung” (Dedication), is a settin’ of a Friedrich Rückert poem which contains this refrain: “You are my heart and soul, my rapture and pain, you are the world I live in and the heaven I aspire to, my good angel, my better self.”

elizabethbarrettbrowningthomas_B._Read_(American,_1822-1872)_-_Portraits_of_Elizabeth_Barrett_Browning_and_Robert_BrowningAnd on this day in 1846, Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning eloped.  They had been courtin’ in secret for a year and a half, through the mail, unbeknownst to her father.  It had begun when Browning wrote Barrett a gushin’ fan letter, sayin’, “I love your verses with all my heart, dear Miss Barrett … and I love you too.”  She wrote a long letter in return, thankin’ him and askin’ him for ways she might improve her writin’. Barrett was an invalid, and was reliant on morphine, and it was some months before Browning convinced her to meet face to face.  Barrett’s father did not like Browning, and viewed him as a fortune hunter.

On the day of the weddin’, Browning posted another letter to Barrett, which read, “Words can never tell you, however, — form them, transform them anyway, — how perfectly dear you are to me — perfectly dear to my heart and soul. I look back, and in every one point, every word and gesture, every letter, every silence — you have been entirely perfect to me — I would not change one word, one look.”  They were married at St. Marylebone Parish Church, and Barrett returned to her father’s house, where she stayed for one more week before she ran off to Italy with Browning.  She never saw her father again.  After the weddin’, she presented Browning with a collection of poems she had written durin’ their courtship.  It was published in 1850 as Sonnets from the Portuguese.

Tough choice for the poem of the day between Rückert and the Brownings, but I think we will go with Rückert because of the tie-in with Schumann’s song.  The poem of the day originally an unnamed poem from a collection of poems called Liebesfrühling (Dawn of Love):


You are my soul, you are my heart,
you are my rapture, you are my pain,
you are my world in which I live,
and the heaven I aspire to
you are my grave, into which
I always put all my grief.
You are rest, you are peace,
you are sent to me from heaven.
That you love me makes me more worthy,
Your glance has transfigured me,
you have me loving beyond myself,
my good spirit, my better self!

For the Song of the Day, we found two versions of Schumann’s “Widmung”; one featurin’ the incomparable Jessye Norman and an instrumental version featurin’ Evgeny Kissin.   

Two examples of dedication.  Dedication to a true love.  Dedication I tried to give.  Dedication I wish I could still give to you.

Carl Eytel
Carl Eytel, artist, sketching on his pad during his trip with George Wharton James to the Colorado River, ca.1900 (CHS-4299).jpg

Eytel sketching – during his trip with George Wharton James

Today is the birthday of Carl Eytel (Maichingen, Böblingen, Kingdom of Württemberg; September 12, 1862 – September 17, 1925 Banning, California); German American artist who built his reputation for paintings and drawings of desert subjects in the American Southwest.  Immigrating to the United States in 1885.  Wanting to be a cowboy, he worked as a cowhand in the San Joaquin Valley and he eventually settled in Palm Springs in 1903.  Living in small cabins he built himself, Palm Springs remained his home.  Eytel often walked on his travels, covering 400 miles in the Colorado Desert on foot.  On one of his travels he was nearly lynched as a horse thief and in 1918, during a trip to northern Arizona, he was threatened with lynching as a German spy.  With an extensive knowledge of the Sonoran Desert, Eytel traveled with author George Wharton James as he wrote the successful Wonders of the Colorado Desert, and contributed over 300 drawings to the 1908 work.  While he enjoyed success as an artist, he lived as an ascetic and eventually died in poverty.  Eytel’s most important work, Desert Near Palm Springs, hangs in the History Room of the California State Library.


 from J. Smeaton Chase Our Araby (1920) 

Desert near Palm Springs


Mac Tag

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