December 21st 2011
The Camel's Hump

The Camel's hump is an ugly lump
Which well you may see at the Zoo;
But uglier yet is the hump we get
From having too little to do.

Kiddies and grown-ups too-oo-oo,
If we haven't enough to do-oo-oo,
We get the hump-
Cameelious hump-
The hump that is black and blue!

We climb out of bed with a frouzly head,
And a snarly-yarly voice.
We shiver and scowl and we grunt and we growl
At our... Read Post
November 23rd 2011

Our mother has given away our meal to an elderly woman three houses down, her husband passing some time in the night. With the woman's children already

en route, my mother swaddled our turkey in aluminum foil, stacked the tins of buttered rolls, and sealed casseroles beneath glass-top lids. As the assailable son,

I was enlisted at once, carrying over dish upon dish, my brother and his bride allowed to sleep in. I expected to see the postures of... Read Post
September 23rd 2011
by W.H. Auden When there are so many we shall have to mourn, when grief has been made so public, and exposed to the critique of a whole epoch the frailty of our conscience and anguish, of whom shall we speak? For every day they die among us, those who were doing us some good, who knew it was never enough but hoped to improve a little by living. Such was this doctor: still at eighty he wished to think of our life from whose unruliness so many plausible young futures with threats or flattery... Read Post
July 26th 2011

In a dark wood Prince Kano lost his way
And searching in vain through the long summer's day.
At last, when night was near, he came in sight
Of a small clearing filled with yellow light,
And there, bending beside his brazier, stood
A charcoal burner wearing a black hood.
The Prince cried out for joy: 'Good friend, I'll give
What you will ask: guide me to where I live.'
The man pulled back his hood: he had no face -
Where it... Read Post
July 12th 2011
This Thursday is going to be unusually busy at the Libraries. Here's what we have planned in addition to our regular Thursday programs (Storytime for 3 to 5 year olds at Central at 11:00 a.m. and ESL classes at the West Branch at 6:00 and 7:15 p.m.)

Kidstock presents Jack & Jill & the Beanstalk
2:00 p.m. at the Central Library
For many years, Kidstock has been coming to the Library in the summer, offering a unique chance for kids and families to see children... Read Post
May 28th 2011
Oranges and Lemons Gay go up and gay go down
To ring the bells of London Town.

Oranges and Lemons
Say the bells of St. Clement's
You owe me five farthings
Say the bells of St. Martin's
When will you pay me?
Say the bells of Old Bailey
When I grow rich
Say the bells of Shoreditch
When will that be?
Say the bells of Stepney
I do not know
Says the great bell of Bow
Here comes a candle to light you to bed... Read Post
April 25th 2011
The Immigrant

He'll work for no one.
"Such a man," the uncles
grumble. "Such a man."
"Six years!" he says,
unbuttoning a cuff
and rolling up his sleeve.
Six years bending over a machine,
pressing knee pants and jackets,
until his eyes go bad
and he can't raise his head
without lifting up this arm.
"Six years!" he'll say
and show the arm
as if it told the story.
Son of horse dealers
in... Read Post
April 13th 2011
by Robert Penn Warren So hangs the hour like fruit fullblown and sweet, Our strict and desperate avatar, Despite that antique westward gulls lament Over enormous waters which retreat Weary unto the white and sensual star. Accept these images for what they are-- Out of the past a fragile element Of substance into accident. I would speak honestly and of a full heart; I would speak surely for the tale is short, And the soul's remorseless catalogue Assumes its quick and piteous sum. Think you,... Read Post
April 11th 2011
Prologue for the Silverdale Village Players: Easter 1924 NEIGHBOURS, to-night we come once more In this our home beside the shore To turn ourselves to other men And other women once again, And for a passing hour or so Make ourselves not the folk you know But strangers come from other places Or other times or other races To please you with old tales and new Of things that men and women do In every place and every time. And, as we make believe and mime, Beneath the fun and passion and glow Of... Read Post
April 3rd 2011
Dead Men Tell No Tales They say that dead men tell no tales! Except of barges with red sails And sailors mad for nightingales; Except of jongleurs stretched at ease Beside old highways through the trees; Except of dying moons that break The hearts of lads who lie awake; Except of fortresses in shade And heroes crumbled and betrayed. But dead men tell no tales, they say! Except old tales that burn away The stifling tapestries of day; Old tales of life, of love and hate, Of time and space... Read Post
March 21st 2011
Alcove John Ashbery Is it possible that spring could be once more approaching? We forget each time what a mindless business it is, porous like sleep, adrift on the horizon, refusing to take sides, "mugwump of the final hour," lest an agenda—horrors!—be imputed to it, and the whole point of its being spring collapse like a hole dug in sand. It's breathy, though, you have to say that for it. And should further seasons coagulate into years, like spilled, dried paint, why, who's to say we weren't... Read Post
March 4th 2011

Monday we in the U.S. lost a living connection to a crucial period in modern history: Frank Buckles, the last living American veteran of World War I, died at his home in West Virginia at the age of 110. The First World War takes a back seat in our imagination and memory to the Second, but it was every bit as overwhelming in its consequences. As a result of the war Europe was devastated. Nearly an entire generation of young French and British men died. The war destabilized the Czarist regime... Read Post

December 28th 2010
The world has held great Heroes, As history-books have showed; But never a name to go down to fame Compared with that of Toad! The clever men at Oxford Know all that there is to be knowed. But they none of them know one half so much As intelligent Mr. Toad! The animals sat in the Ark and cried, Their tears in torrents flowed. Who was it said, "There's land ahead?" Encouraging Mr. Toad! The army all saluted As they marched along the road. Was it the King? Or Kitchener? No. It was Mr. Toad... Read Post
November 27th 2010
Around Us by Marvin Bell We need some pines to assuage the darkness when it blankets the mind, we need a silvery stream that banks as smoothly as a plane's wing, and a worn bed of needles to pad the rumble that fills the mind, and a blur or two of a wild thing that sees and is not seen. We need these things between appointments, after work, and, if we keep them, then someone someday, lying down after a walk and supper, with the fire hole wet down, the whole night sky set at a particular time... Read Post
November 12th 2010

On Saturday at 2:00 p.m., join us for "I Dwell in Possibility," an original one-act musical play about the little known friendship between Emily Dickinson and Mabel Loomis Todd.  The friendship began as a mutual admiration between the shy, secretive Emily and the radiant and sophisticated Mabel, a writer and friend of the Dickinson family. Later, Mabel found through Emily a voice for her own painful secret and became determined to share her discovery with the world. Emily and... Read Post