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Mortality 101 – or; Catullus at the graveside

‘I want to explain about the Catullus poem … Catullus wrote poem 101 for his brother who died in the Troad.’ — Anne Carson

I have come, my brother,
over lands and oceans,
to this field of bones
to observe the rituals
of the final hour,
and mumble pointless words
above your ashes.

Misfortune took you from me –
wrong brother,
wrongly taken –
but all the same
I here perform
the old traditions
of our grim forefathers.

I admit it, I am crying.

to eternity, my brother.
The night is coming
…………– and so goodbye.


Your Full Name, Rank, and Serial Number (Special Ops Edition) is:


Intellectual MOT

Some thoughts on the enquiring mind, slang, and judging a book by its cover - in correspondence with Tia Goonaratna.

For The Sunday Leader


for Harry

When Edward was king, Harold,
an English earl, and his horsemen rode to
Bosham, to the church there.
Harold then crossed the sea,
his sails full of wind, and came into the domain of Count Guy.

Guy took Harold prisoner, and
leading him away to Beaurain,
held him captive there.
Harold and Guy spoke much together.
Messengers from Duke William came to
Guy, and, in turn,
a messenger was sent back to Duke William.
Guy surrendered Harold to
William, Duke of the Normans.
Duke William and Harold
returned to William’s palace.

Duke William
and his army drew near to Mont Saint-Michel,
and there crossed over the Couesnon -
Earl Harold pulling many of them from the quicksands -
to Dol.
Conan turned and fled, at Rennes.
Duke William’s soldiers fought
against the men of Dinan, and
Conan gave up the keys to the city. William gave Harold arms.
William then returned to Bayeux,
where Harold swore an oath to him.

.                                                    Earl Harold
then returned
to England, and came
to King Edward. From his bed,
King Edward addressed his subjects, and then he died.
His body was taken to the church of St Peter
the Apostle. They gave
his crown to Harold, in the presence of Archbishop Stigant,
and so he was enthroned, King of the English.
The people wondered at a passing comet.

A ship from England
took the news to Duke William’s country. William
gave instruction ships be built,
and they dragged them down to the sea
and, taking carts, carried arms and wine to them.
Duke William, in the biggest boat,
crossed the sea
and landed at Pevensey.
The horses disembarked
from the ships and the soldiers hastened away
to Hastings, to burn houses and to pillage food.
Animals were roasted, and served up by the servants.
Bishop Odo blessed the food and drink,
and they made their feast. The order was given
for the digging of a stronghold in the camp at Hastings.

News of Harold came to William,
and his knights rode out from Hastings
to the place where they would
fight against the king.
Duke William questioned one
Vital, if he had himself set eyes on Harold’s army.
Another man gave word of William’s
forces to King Harold. Duke William
exhorted his men to ready
themselves both wisely and
courageously for the fight against
the English army.

The battle was joined, and
here were struck down
Leofwine and Gyrth, the brothers of King
Harold. Bishop Odo
bearing his staff, fortified the young soldiers -
and as many died, both French and English,
in the fighting.
But the French fought hard,
Duke William in the midst of them,
and those who were with Harold
began to fall.
Then Harold was killed,
and the English turned, and fled.


Review of three books on Ancient Egypt: Egypt: People, Pharaohs, Gods, by Rose-Marie and Rainer Hagen; Egyptomania: A History of Fascination, Obsession and Fantasy, by Ronald H. Fritze; and Writings from Ancient Egypt, by Toby Wilkinson.

For The Spectator

Lines composed upon a can of Stella, spilt over my laptop

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.             +/88-9+63


.             +-20300.20
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.             ]+-3



Your Carthaginian-General-who-is-Unfairly-Deemed-Less-Noteworthy-than-his-Carthaginian-General-Brother Name is:


Dr Johnfon’s Ducktionary – or; fome juvenilia, revifed upon mature confideration

In this place (as oppofed to that)
Is repofited horizontally a
Hearty, wholefome and falubrious
Young male exemplum of fub-genus
Water fowl (be it wild or be it tame),

The accufative fingular of which
Samuel Johnson – Artium Magifter,
Legum Doctor (honoris caufa) -
Did trample and crufh most
Contemptibly beneath his foot;

Suppofing it be granted that
The neutral demonftrative had
Continued in a ftate of animation,
The fituation manifefting thereupon
Were fome condition of felicity,

On account that confequentially
The firft perfon plural pronoun
Had found themfelves in poffeffion
Of a number of the aforementioned animal
Not readily divifible into equal portions.

The Top Fifteen Or So Wittiest Oscar Wilde Quotes – according to his Twitter output (last 24hrs)

1) ‘Think tattoos have to be bold and dark? Think again! Check out these stunning white ink tats!’

2) ‘You can’t get your childhood back but you can recreate it! Check out these awesome recreation photos.’

3) ‘Wanna see a real-life Barbie doll? This is not Photoshopped! You’ve gotta see this to believe it’

4) ‘Watch Miley Cyrus transform before your eyes… Hard to believe it’s the same person in all these pics!’

5) ‘Trying to win a girl’s heart? You MUST read these tips first – We bet you didn’t know #6!’

6) ‘Fox Village Is Probably The Cutest Place On Earth!’

7) ‘WTF Wedding Pictures! I can’t believe these are real wedding photos!’

8) ‘Would you ever pose intimately with a stranger? These people did! #9 will make you laugh!’

9) ‘Better Options At Quarterback For The Jets’

10) ‘We’ve all heard #11, but some of these lies men tell might surprise you!’

11) ‘Understanding this will make your life easier: Girlfriends Logic’

12) ‘Why would anyone announce their pregnancy via text? It’s probably not a good idea!’

13) ‘These Piercings Take Pain to a New Level! Why would you put a hole there?’

14) ‘Ugly ducking celebs: I can’t believe Taylor Swift used to look like this!’

15) ‘WTF strikes again! These tattoos are cringeworthy.’

16) ‘Think u know all there is to know about kissing? Think u can identify these kisses? Go ahead and try them, if u dare.’

17) ‘This Is Why Women Live Longer Than Men :D These guys are all probably dead. (Not really dead)’

18) ‘I must wish Morrissey a happy birthday!’

19) ‘When it comes to relationships, technology is not always your friend. Make sure you send to the right person’


Your Afrikaans-Translator Name is

L’Angoustine Bezuidenhout