Groucho Marx Quotes

Some people have a way with words. Groucho was one of the best. Bumba reminded me yesterday!

Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them… well, I have others.

“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.”

“I have had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn’t it.”

“I never forget a face, but in your case I’ll be glad to make an exception.”

“There is one way to find out if a man is honest; ask him! If he says yes you know he’s crooked.”

“I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.”

“Next time I see you, remind me not to talk to you.”

“I intend to live forever, or die trying.”

Poetry – Torrential Rain

Torrential Rain

Torrential rain fell down like truth

On the heads of the people walking home

Staccato rhythms

On wellington’d minds

This is another of those little haiku type poems I wrote back in the 90s. It seemed very fitting at this time of election fever!

My spellcheck says that there is no such word as welllington’d. There is now.

We are all surrounded with information and truth yet ignore it. We prefer to live in our little insular bubble. As long as we are comfortable and getting our needs met we can forget about the nasty things going on all around us. Besides there is nothing we can do about it.

Reality check – the reason ISIS is rampaging and the chimps are being slaughtered is precisely because people do not care.

We can make a difference!

Poetry – Between Something & Nothing

Between Something & Nothing

Between something and nothing

The ebb and the flow

The words that have meaning

And the ones we let go.

Between truth and fiction

And the dreams that we make

The life that we live

Asleep or awake

Between now and never

What is and is not

The ones that are guilty

And the ones that get shot

Between all we hold dear

And the things we must fear

Lie the questions we ask

As we peek through this mask

At a dream that’s not clear

We appear

To be here.

OPHER  26.11.96

On our first day we open our eyes into a brand new universe. It blinks into existence.

We accept the majesty of it as real and base our lives on the concrete character of its unchanging nature.

We only see a fraction of its reality. We glimpse the rest at best. Our instruments are our spectacles.

So what is this consciousness we hold so dear? A product of biochemistry? An evolutionary phenomenon?

Our awareness is an incredible and amazing delight.

Without it where would we be?

Poetry – Across the bounds of reason

Across the bounds of reason

From here in my head to your eyes

Across the bounds of reason

Is a leap of imagination.

Between us lies the universe

A tangled web of conjecture

With reasoned insinuation.

From here to there is too far

To be sure of anything

Least of all substantiation.

And from here to here is too near

To form an opinion

When all life is just infatuation.

What I see may be as it seems

Or just one of my dreams

Without seams to separate me from the gleam

That streams

From your eyes

Across the enormity of size

Despite it all we may yet be real

With time stood still

In a smile

Opher  8.12.96

We all live in universes within our own heads. Nobody knows what goes on inside that world; nobody can be sure that the colours are true or the symbols we use convey the same meaning.

I have my philosophy and who can ever understand?

We try to communicate between the polyverses of our existence. Reason tells us that we must fall short.

Our consciousnesses are islands; our words are semaphore messages across a void.

Poems are written in Morse Code with rhythm and rhyme to make the journey sweeter.

Even our own perception of reality is partial and subjective. We do not even see the universe we inhabit. I am in love with the mystical force of celestial magnificence. I cannot convey it.

Yet communication is all we have, and we love and reach out with sight and touch to taste each other’s worlds.

Poetry – A Message

A Message

I have just received a message

From a star

Two million light years away.

It said

Shine.

I took it personally.

I thought

It was a sign.

Opher – 8.11.2020

It is no good hiding ourselves away. We only get so many chances. One life is all we have.

The worst that can happen is we fail.

I’m getting good at that.

I have plenty of practice.

Poetry – Everything is the first.

Everything is the first.

I was the first

To do everything

I have ever done.

It was always different

Each time.

Within the moment

Is everything.

We only

Have to experience

It perfectly,

Just once.

Opher – 8.11.2020

I was having one of my transcendental moments of realisation. I often get them when contemplating nature, watching a sunset or staring into a burning fire.

It is a kind of realisation of the nature of reality.

We are in harmony with a dynamic system. In the moment you capture it there is perfect peace.

Everything is the first.

I was the first

To do everything

I have ever done.

It was always different

Each time.

Within the moment

Is everything.

We only

Have to experience

It perfectly,

Just once.

Opher – 8.11.2020

I was having one of my transcendental moments of realisation. I often get them when contemplating nature, watching a sunset or staring into a burning fire.

It is a kind of realisation of the nature of reality.

We are in harmony with a dynamic system. In the moment you capture it there is perfect peace.

Poetry – A Gesture

A Gesture

All life lived in a futile gesture,

An attempt to block the hole in the dyke

As the waters rise.

All life spent in pointless

Futility, pointing to the gathering clouds

The incoming surprise.

A gesture in the face of a hurricane

Standing tall against the rain.

Battered and ignored

By the bored.

All life encouraging hope

As the forces of greed devastate the land

For short-term gain.

Educating the blind to see

The possibility that we could put it right

And ease the pain.

A gesture in the face of a hurricane

Standing tall against the rain.

Battered and ignored

By the bored.

Opher – 25.10.2020

Sometimes it all seems hopeless. Instead of tackling the immense problems we are busily creating through our own belligerence, cruelty and greed, we are happily gallivanting along to our doom.

It seems that the mindless morons who lead us, the greedy fools who selfishly guide us and the bored majority who can’t be bothered (as long as they can have a bit of fun, watch strictly on the box and shag each other), don’t give a damn.

The game is too advanced. There’s no stopping it. The world will burn. But I believe in gestures.

Poetry – Once

Once

Once there was hope.

Now we can cope.

Once there was impetus.

Now we don’t make a fuss.

Once we could dream.

Now it’s what it seems.

Once the music meant something.

Now the music’s for the dustbin.

Once there was no spin.

Now we can’t believe anything.

Once we had the world.

Now the trees are felled.

Once there was much to learn.

Now there’s a world to burn.

Once things looked bright.

Now there’s excuses to cite.

Once we knew we could.

Now we’re busy playing god.

Opher – 8.10.2020

Perhaps it’s age, perhaps it’s the zeitgeist. But has the world become more cynical?

It feels to me that we are swamping the planet with our vast numbers, destroying nature and poisoning everything we touch.

It seems to me that there is no wisdom, that we are out of control, and heavily controlled.

Poetry – Lost in Infinity

Lost in Infinity

Lost in infinity.

                Adrift from gravity,

                                With no memory,

                                                No clarity.

Does the universe exist

                If we are not there?

If nobody exists

                Does it spin everywhere?

Is there darkness

                With no light?

Distance

                Without matter?

If there

                Is nothing

Do dreams

                Shatter?

Opher – 6.10.2020

It is interesting to allow the mind to wander through infinity. We take our lives, our reality, for granted. We accept the proof of our senses. But those senses are wrong.

Reality is much weirder than we think. It probably doesn’t exist at all.

Is it our consciousness that creates the whole of the universe? Nothing more?

The Land is Free – for Moshe.

Once upon a time, the land was free,

As free as the wind, rain and sea.

Then, on the African plain

A mutation created man.

We prospered and increased in number

Moving out across the world

Dispersing.

We formed little clans and tribes.

We were hunter-gatherers and began to think of the tracts of land we hunted in as ours.

It brought us into conflict with neighbouring tribes.

But the land was not owned. It belonged to all.

The tribes prospered and coalesced and we invented nations.

The nations had leaders who became kings and religious leaders.

They claimed the land as theirs.

They waged war against other tribes to seize their land, to pillage and plunder

And increase their own wealth and power.

The robber barons who helped them subjugate the people and conquer were rewarded.

The kings and religious leaders gave them big tracts of land.

The robber barons sold or leased off small parcels of land to the people

Thus increasing their wealth.

The people farmed or lived on the small parcels of land they were sold.

The robber barons fenced off the land and called it private.

The kings, religious leaders and robber barons waged war, set up empires and increased their wealth and power.

The ordinary masses of people were enslaved, exploited, used and abused.

Down through history.

The descendants of the robber barons, kings and religious leaders still ‘own’ the vast tracts of land they purloined from the people. They use this land to generate vast wealth.

The descendants of ordinary people still cling on to their tiny parcels of land or rent their space.

The same wealthy robber barons own Britain, the USA and Israel. They still seize land, plunder and pillage out of greed and selfishness. They do it through war, corruption, manipulation and economic control. They manipulate us through the media, through patriotism, religion, politics, nationalism, xenophobia and racism. They divide people so that we turn on each other and not on them.

So, my friend Moshe, we are the exploited ones, We are not responsible for our rulers. They are the robber barons of old. They manipulate us. History is the story of the exploits of the robber barons – not our folk.

The land is as free as we want it to be. It is never owned, only borrowed or stolen. We are just passing through.

One day we will take all the land back. Hopefully, we will find a better way of living – not part of this system of greed, inequality and environmental destruction. We will all be equally important and there will not be this inherent racism and artificial division. There will not be nations or races. There will be people.

That is why I support the UN – because it is a way of taking power from those who are presently abusing it and exploiting us, and damaging our planet.

I am idealistic, realistic and far from stupid. I clearly see what is going on.

You, Moshe, are playing into their hands.

The land is free.