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    "There are obviously two educations. One should teach us how to make a living and the other how to live."
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    We're a Canadian family of five, farming, home schooling, and building our own house. I'm nowhere near as regular a blogger as I used to be.

    The kids are 18/Grade 12, 16/Grade 11, and 14/Grade 10.

    Contact me at becky(dot)farmschool(at)gmail(dot)com

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Poetry Friday I: Where the flyin’-fishes play

Mandalay
by Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

By the old Moulmein Pagoda, lookin’ eastward to the sea,
There’s a Burma girl a-settin’, an’ I know she thinks o’ me;
For the wind is in the palm-trees, an’ the temple-bells they say:
“Come you back, you British soldier; come you back to Mandalay!”
Come you back to Mandalay,
Where the old Flotilla lay:
Can’t you ‘ear their paddles chunkin’ from Rangoon to Mandalay?
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the flyin’-fishes play,
An’ the dawn comes up like thunder outer China ‘crost the Bay!

‘Er petticut was yaller an’ ‘er little cap was green,
An’ ‘er name was Supi-yaw-let — jes’ the same as Theebaw’s Queen,
An’ I seed her first a-smokin’ of a whackin’ white cheroot,
An’ a-wastin’ Christian kisses on an ‘eathen idol’s foot:
Bloomin’ idol made o’ mud —
Wot they called the Great Gawd Budd —
Plucky lot she cared for idols when I kissed ‘er where she stud!
On the road to Mandalay —

When the mist was on the rice-fields an’ the sun was droppin’ slow,
She’d git ‘er little banjo an’ she’d sing “Kulla-lo-lo!”
With ‘er arm upon my shoulder an’ her cheek agin my cheek
We useter watch the steamers an’ the hathis pilin’ teak.
Elephints a-pilin’ teak
In the sludgy, squdgy creek,
Where the silence ‘ung that ‘eavy you was ‘arf afraid to speak!
On the road to Mandalay —

But that’s all shove be’ind me — long ago an’ fur away,
An’ there ain’t no ‘busses runnin’ from the Bank to Mandalay;
An’ I’m learnin’ ‘ere in London what the ten-year sodger tells:
“If you’ve ‘eard the East a-callin’, you won’t ‘eed nothin’ else.”
No! you won’t ‘eed nothin’ else
But them spicy garlic smells
An’ the sunshine an’ the palm-trees an’ the tinkly temple-bells!
On the road to Mandalay —

I am sick o’ wastin’ leather on these gritty pavin’-stones,
An’ the blasted Henglish drizzle wakes the fever in my bones;
‘Tho’ I walks with fifty ‘ousemaids outer Chelsea to the Strand,
An’ they talks a lot o’ lovin’, but wot do they understand?
Beefy face an’ grubby ‘and —
Law! wot do they understand?
I’ve a neater, sweeter maiden in a cleaner, greener land!
On the road to Mandalay —

Ship me somewheres east of Suez, where the best is like the worst,
Where there aren’t no Ten Commandments, an’ a man can raise a thirst:
For the temple-bells are callin’, an’ it’s there that I would be —
By the old Moulmein Pagoda, lookin’ lazy at the sea —
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the old Flotilla lay,
With our sick beneath the awnings when we went to Mandalay!
Oh, the road to Mandalay,
Where the flyin’-fishes play,
An’ the dawn comes up like thunder outer China ‘crost the Bay!

* * *

Emily at Whimsy Books has today’s Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks for hosting, Emily.

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