April 4, 2014

The Bunny in Winter


Headshots, taken at the Former Playboy Bunny Reunion in Las Vegas by photographer Robyn Twomey

The Leaden Echo And The Golden Echo
(Maidens' song from St. Winefred's Well)

How to keep--is there any any, is there none such, nowhere known some, bow or brooch or braid or brace, lace, latch or catch or key to keep
Back beauty, keep it, beauty, beauty, beauty, . . . from vanishing away?
O is there no frowning of these wrinkles, ranked wrinkles deep,
Down? no waving off of these most mournful messengers, still messengers, sad and stealing messengers of grey?
No there's none, there's none, O no there's none,
Nor can you long be, what you now are, called fair,
Do what you may do, what, do what you may,
And wisdom is early to despair:
Be beginning; since, no, nothing can be done
To keep at bay
Age and age's evils, hoar hair,
Ruck and wrinkle, drooping, dying, death's worst, winding sheets, tombs and worms and tumbling to decay;
So be beginning, be beginning to despair.
O there's none; no no no there's none:
Be beginning to despair, to despair,
Despair, despair, despair, despair.


There is one, yes I have one (Hush there!);
Only not within seeing of the sun,
Not within the singeing of the strong sun,
Tall sun's tingeing, or treacherous the tainting of the earth's air.
Somewhere elsewhere there is ah well where! one,
One. Yes I can tell such a key, I do know such a place,
Where whatever's prized and passes of us, everything that's fresh and fast flying of us, seems to us sweet of us and swiftly away with, done away with, undone,
Undone, done with, soon done with, and yet dearly and dangerously sweet
Of us, the wimpled-water-dimpled, not-by-morning-matched face,
The flower of beauty, fleece of beauty, too too apt to, ah! to fleet,
Never fleets more, fastened with the tenderest truth
To its own best being and its loveliness of youth: it is an ever-lastingness of, O it is an all youth!
Come then, your ways and airs and looks, locks, maiden gear, gallantry and gaiety and grace,
Winning ways, airs innocent, maiden manners, sweet looks, loose locks, long locks, lovelocks, gaygear, going gallant, girlgrace--
Resign them, sign them, seal them, send them, motion them with breath,
And with sighs soaring, soaring sighs deliver
Them; beauty-in-the-ghost, deliver it, early now, long before death
Give beauty back, beauty, beauty, beauty, back to God, beauty's self and beauty's giver.
See; not a hair is, not an eyelash, not the least lash lost; every hair
Is, hair of the head, numbered.
Nay, what we had lighthanded left in surly the mere mould
Will have waked and have waxed and have walked with the wind what while we slept,
This side, that side hurling a heavyheaded hundredfold
What while we, while we slumbered.
O then, weary then why should we tread? O why are we so haggard at the heart, so care-coiled, care-killed, so fagged, so fashed, so cogged, so cumbered,
When the thing we freely forfeit is kept with fonder a care,
Fonder a care kept than we could have kept it, kept
Far with fonder a care (and we, we should have lost it) finer, fonder
A care kept. Where kept? Do but tell us where kept, where.--
Yonder.--What high as that! We follow, now we follow.--
Yonder, yes yonder, yonder,

Posted by gerardvanderleun at April 4, 2014 3:58 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Time has not been kind.

"Yes, star crossed in pleasure the stream flows on by
Yes, as we're sated in leisure, we watch it fly
And time waits for no one, and it won't wait for me
And time waits for no one, and it won't wait for me
Time can tear down a building or destroy a woman's face
Hours are like diamonds, don't let them waste
Time waits for no one, no favours has he
Time waits for no one, and he won't wait for me..."

Posted by: itor at April 4, 2014 4:48 PM

Hey, not too bad.
Depends on how old you is.

Posted by: Cletus Socrates at April 4, 2014 5:25 PM

Yeah, they're not 23 anymore, but ya know what...they look pretty good.

Posted by: Mumblix Grumph at April 4, 2014 5:31 PM

A slight bitter-sweet vibe; not sad, perhaps melancholy is the word. I'm 67 and I think they look pretty good. They are within my range and they keep themselves well. It is worth the time to go to the web site and click through the rest of 'em.

I'd be curious to know what is behind the faces though. Just like all of us, they have stories, they have a life. They are not "containers".

Posted by: chasmatic at April 4, 2014 7:38 PM

Don't look bad to me either. they're at least 10 years older than "the most beautiful woman in the world(the first wookie)" and their buts don't require their own zip codes

Posted by: ck at April 4, 2014 8:46 PM

MILFS all. On second thought . . . .

Posted by: Jersey Jehu at April 4, 2014 8:52 PM

Yo, Jersey: you mean GILFs don'tcha? grandmas.
As a ring of gold in a swine's snout, so is a beautiful woman who lacks discretion. — Proverbs 11:22

Posted by: chasmatic at April 4, 2014 9:38 PM

Number 9 in the line up is Gloria Steinem at age 80.

Posted by: Frank at April 4, 2014 10:42 PM

Look great to me (b.1949) if not a little hard-used.

Posted by: Estoy Listo at April 5, 2014 6:58 AM

Rode hard and put away wet.....

Posted by: Hangtown Bob at April 5, 2014 7:09 AM

Reading these comments cracks me up. All of us guys (yes me too) we come down on these gals, grade 'em so to speak, judge 'em like "uh, Bob, I'd give her a seven ..." and I can imagine what we look like. I'm sixty-seven and I ain't no hunk anymore. I certainly earned the body I live in and I don't spend too much time in front of a mirror.

One thing good, I still have all my own teeth and half my hair. The chemo treatments take care of the other half, haw haw.

You guys, you're all handsome to be so choosy, uh? Or, like me, find a woman that doesn't see so good and runs slow. That'll do it.

Posted by: chasmatic at April 5, 2014 7:40 AM

Hey Chas, I wasn't talkin' figuratively. I was talkin' literally. LOL

Posted by: Hangtown Bob at April 5, 2014 8:52 AM

ake a look at my body
Look at my hands
There's so much here that I don't understand
Your face-saving promises
Whispered like prayers
I don't need them

'Cause I've been treated so wrong,
I've been treated so long
As if I'm becoming untouchable

Well, contempt loves the silence,
it thrives in the dark
With fine winding tendrils that
strangle the heart
They say that promises sweeten the blow
But I don't need them, no I don't need them

I've been treated so wrong,
I've been treated so long
As if I'm becoming untouchable

I'm a slow-dying flower
In the frost-killing hour
Sweet turning sour and untouchable

Oh, I need the darkness,
the sweetness,
the sadness,
the weakness
Oh I need this
I need a lullaby,
a kiss goodnight,
angel, sweet love of my life
Oh I need this

I'm a slow-dying flower
Frost-killing hour
The sweet turning sour and untouchable

Do you remember the way that you touched me before
All the trembling sweetness I loved and adored
Your face-saving promises
Whispered liked prayers
I don't need them

Oh, I need the darkness,
the sweetness,
the sadness,
the weakness
Oh, I need this
I need a lullaby,
a kiss goodnight,
angel, sweet love of my life
Oh, I need this

Well is it dark enough
Can you see me
Do you want me
Can you reach me
Oh, I'm leaving

Better shut your mouth, and hold your breath
You kiss me now, you catch your death
Oh, I mean this
Oh, I mean this

"My Skin" ~Natalie Merchant

www . youtube . com/watch?v=ADgYKvTWssM

Posted by: cond0011 at April 5, 2014 2:09 PM

This post would benefit being paired with Youtube clip of Richard Burton's rendering of Gerard Manley Hopkins' poem 'The Leaden Echo & The Golden Echo' linked elsewhere in Gerard's archives. "Give beauty back".

Posted by: John Hinds at April 5, 2014 3:01 PM

The upper right woman looks angry that she has aged and other younger women have come along.

Posted by: qqqq at April 5, 2014 3:02 PM

The upper right woman looks angry that she has aged and other younger women have come along.

Posted by: qqqq at April 5, 2014 3:02 PM

Good idea John, Done and done.

Posted by: vanderleun at April 5, 2014 3:10 PM

Gerard, don't take this as a delving into the personal. But the picture you posted of your mother well into her 90's, the one where she's sitting on a bench in Chico, with legs pulled up, puts any of these to shame. Age isn't a matter of wrinkles, but of mind and a life well lived.

Posted by: Frank at April 5, 2014 8:18 PM