A book I'm reading says the Buddha talks about four qualities of horses: the excellent horse, who moves upon merely seeing the shadow of the whip; the good horse that runs upon feeling the lightest touch of the whip; the poor horse, which doesn't go until it feels pain; and the very worst horse doesn't budge until the pain penetrates to the very marrow of its bones. What the hell kind of buddha would say such a thing? These may be qualities of horses as seen by the cart-driver, as though the only reason to be a horse is to serve man. What does the Buddha know about being a horse? Old Arem feels that among horses, the most revered is doubtless the mustang, the wild cayuse running free, while the hardest-working Dobbin is probably thought to be the biggest fool. An even bigger fool, though, might be a person who without question follows any man-god-myth, whether the Big G., the Big A., the Big B., or whomever. ~ RM
Of course, the "coexist" bumper sticker is the property of someone else, some genius, somewhere. One of my very favorite things. I hope my satirical addition to the icon is slightly offensive, but not outright illegal. If it's yours, your lawyers can contact me at the address listed elsewhere on this site. Perhaps we'll coexist in copyright court. ~ RM
Just knocked out a little oil painting I thought you might like to see. Each year, The Hardy Gallery, situated in an old warehouse on the Anderson Dock, which projects out into Eagle Harbor at Ephraim, Wisconsin, sponsors a project wherein a couple hundred of us do work on 6" x 6" canvasses which are then assembled into a community mosaic, which is displayed for a while, then disassembled with the individual pieces going to buyers from near and far. The trick is that the buyer has no idea which piece he or she will receive. For an inspiration for my piece, I was thinking about some of the classic sculptures located in harbors, and thought I'd paint something based on one of them. Which would be fitting for Ephraim? The Colossus of Rhodes? Nah, a bit grandiose. The Statue of Liberty? Hmmm . . . maybe. Then I hit upon it. The Little Mermaid? YES. She fits. By the way, don't get creeped-out by her flesh tones, she's bronze, OK? It sure was fun to drag out my oils, which I hadn't seen for about five years. ~ Ralph Murre
Ralph Murre is the author of "Crude Red Boat" and "The Price of Gravity, both books of poetry; author and illustrator of "Psalms", a book of poetry and art, co-author, (with Sharon Auberle)of "Wind Where Music Was", a book of poems of experience, and he is editor/publisher of several books of prose, poetry, photography, and drawings from Little Eagle Press, which he founded. Ordering information for these books is available from
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