...True in mind were those colors...

Alexander Volenski


The 'Cluster' LINKS

Volenski's page: Home site of all pages, books, tapes.
Judee's page: Poetry by a woman...you'll like it.
Silk: Cosmic poetry.
MountRainier: Home site of a nature-book in 8-chapters.
The Ancient Book & River Beyond Time: Chapters 5 & 6--from Journeys-2.
Wafting: A Song for Science...excerpt from LoveVerse96.
Miss Love: The meadows of Miss Love.
Henry Miller: Essay...some quotes/comments...interesting stuff.
The Vesuvian: A little piece on Italy.
UFO's: The visionary and para-normal realms.
Overtures: A few lines for the musically inclined...Bach.
Ewe's Milk: Another piece on Mount Vesuvius.
Genji: The Tale of Genji, 1000AD, Murasaki Shikibu authoress, review/poetry.

Essay/Bruce Chatwin

Love Verse 96, (C)1996, (C)2005 A. Alexander Volenski

Love verse 96, is a book of analogy's and essays on various subjects;
love, nature, music, famous authors/authoress's, etc.;
an interesting piece of information and thoughts.

The following unedited excerpt is from Love Verse 96.

Bruce Chatwin (1942-1989).

Mr. Chatwin traveled extensively, and he wrote and published six
books: In Patagonia (1977), The Viceroy of Ouidah (1980), On The Black
Hill (1982), The Songlines (1987), Utz (1988),
What Am I Doing Here (1989).

Bruce Chatwin, a traveler, one who went the extra-mile, he was said to
be an adventurer too, a man often hard to find, a writer always in
search of the extraordinary feature or hidden...the mysterious
unknown the unexpected, and to understand...

And where does it all begin, where do we start, and can we ever
understand...do we take the time to share thoughts and ideas with
others, or are we just interested in the next TV program...there must
be more to this (waking time) than such a day to day.

As I walk the path of my life and see the various things, read the 
various expressions, and listen to the harmonic musical tones, smell
the sweetness of spring and of course know of the warmth of woman...
still I wonder many things of others now gone on, of those who took
the time to share and speak with us...speak as in some expression of
word...art...or musical composition......and I smile a little, but
feel in truth a multitude of expression is lost or missing.

'Many things I find plausible with depth as I recline, and in this
great depth, I even find grace and hope for the things wrote.  As one
reads they will surely find that my peace of mind too was really
filled with hope, except when viewing the end...'

And the music on the radio plays: "on and on the rain must fall...like
tears from the stars," and I feel quite alone in all of this, yet know
that I am not the only one who feels this way.

The Autumn of life I would re-define as a place where we learn to be
graceful with hope, yet I realize hope is not enough.  For as the
seasons turn and as we yearn and learn to cope, so do we learn to
re-define our peace of mind.  Now and then, there is a line which
re-defined, enchances peace of mind within a gentle kind.

And a blessing from the future is not difficult to accept, although it
does take some effort, effort to accept in the beginning...


A few excerpts from the books of Bruce Chatwin.

In Patagonia

In my grandmother's dining-room there was a glass-fronted cabinet and
in the cabinet a piece of skin...a piece of brontosaurus...

The Patagonian desert is not a desert of sand or gravel, but a low
thicket of grey-leaved thorns which give off a bitter smell when

All along the Southern Andes you hear stories of the 'bandoleros
norteamericanos.'  I have taken this one from the second volume of
Memorias de un Carrero Patagonico (Memoirs of a Patagonian Carter) by
Asencio Abeijon; "in January 1908 [that is, a month after Butch
Cassidy sold Cholila], a man riding over the Pampa de Castillo passed
four horsemen with a string of hot-blooded horses.  They were three
gringos and a Chilean peon.  They carried Winchesters with wooden
handles.  One of them was a woman dressed as a man..."

Around the Tropic of Cancer, the crew came down with scurvy.  Their
ankles swelled and their chests, and their parts swelled so horribly
that 'they could neither stand nor lie nor go'.  The Captain could
scarcely speak for sorrow.  Again he prayed for a speedy end.  He
asked the men to be patient; to give thanks to God and accept his
chastisement.  But the men were raging mad and the ship howled with
the groans and curses of the dying.  Only Davis and the ship's boy
were in health, of the seventy-six who left Plymouth.  By the end
there were five men who could move and work the ship...

In the morning I walked with Eberhard in driving rain.  He wore a
fur-lined greatcoat and glared fiercely at the storm from under a
Cossack hat.  He said his favourite writer was Sven Hedin, the
explorer of Mongolia.

The Viceroy Of Ouidah

The family of Francisco Manoel da Silva had assembled at Ouidah to 
honor his memory with a Requiem Mass and dinner.  It was the usual
suffocating afternoon in March.  He had been dead a hundred and
seventeen years.

He was a young man called Cyriaque Cabochichi, with a shaved gourd-
like head, skin so black it blinted blue and [was] the most serious
approach to his profession.  On the back of his sleeveless orange
jumpsuit were a purple lamb and letters reading,
'Foto Studio Agnew Pascal'.

He landed at Ouidah between two and three of a murky May afternoon
smelling of mangrove and dead fish.  A band of foam stretched as far
as the eye could reach.  Inland, there were tall grey trees which, at
a distance of three miles, anyone might mistake for waterspouts.  He
was the only passenger on the canoe: the crew knew better than to set
foot in the Kingdom of Dahomey.

On The Black Hill

Every morning their alarm went off at six.  They listened to the
farmers' broadcast as they shaved and dressed.  Down-stairs, they
tapped the barometer, lit the fire and boiled a kettle for tea.  Then
they did the milking and foddering before coming back for breakfast.

All the birds were silent in the sillness that precedes a storm.
Thistledown floated upwards, and a shriek tore out across the valley.
The labour pains had begun...

The oarsman was a boy in a red-striped blazer; and in the stern, half-
hidden under a white parasol, sat a girl in a lilac dress.  Her fair
hair hung in thick tresses, and she trailed her fingers through the
lapping green wavelets.

She was a good woman who hoped the world was not as bad as everyone
said.  She had a bad heart brought on by poverty and overwork...
...She never forgot an insult and she never forgot a kindness.  She
felt crushed and ashamed -- ashamed of her boys and ashamed of being
ashamed of them.

The Reverend Thomas Tuke was a classical scholar of private means...
...He knew the whole of Homer by heart: each morning, between a cold
bath and breakfast, he would compose a few hexameters of his own...
...Most of the women were in love with him -- or transported by the
timbre of his voice.

The Songlines

...the labyrinth of invisible pathways which meander all over
Australia and are known to Europeans as 'Dreaming-tracks' or
'Songlines'; to the Aboriginals as the 'footprints of the Ancestors'
or the 'Way of the Law'.

...over the continent in the Dreamtime, singing out the name of 
everything that crossed their path -- birds, animals, plants, rocks,
waterholes - and so singing the world into existence.

...an Aboriginal family on the move...lean, angular people...they 
went about naked...their skin very black, not the glitterblack of
negroes but matt black, as if the sun had sucked away all possiblity
of reflection...the woman carried a dilly-bag and a baby at her breast.

...Aboriginals had an earthbound philosophy.  The earth gave life to a
man; gave him his food, language and intelligence; and the earth took
him back when he died... ...the land left untouched...as it was in the
Dreamtime when Ancestors sang the world into existence.

...when they wished to thank the earth for gifts, they would simply
slit a vein in their forearms and let their own blood spatter the

...a song...was both map and direction-finder...song is a kind of 
passport...a distance between two such sites can be measured as a
stretch of song... 'Walkabout' was making a ritual journey...in the
Dreamtime, the country had not existed until the Ancestors sang it...
to exist is to be perceived.

...the Pintupi were the last 'wild tribe' to be brought in out of the
Western Desert...late 1950's...forage naked in the sand hills...
carefree and open-minded people...always laughing...she tells her tale
in a patter of staccato bursts...traces the Ancestor's 'foot prints'
...double dotted line on the ground...erases each scene...palm of hand
...makes a circle with a line passing through it...marks the spot
where the Ancestor, exhausted by the labours of Creation, has gone
'back in'.

...the baby's first kick...corresponds to the moment of 'spirit-
conception'...mother-to-be then marks the spot and rushes off to fetch
the Elders...interpret the lie of the land and decide which Ancestor
walked that way...stanzas will be the child's private property...
reserve him a 'conception site'...coinciding with the nearest
landmark on the Songline...


...in Prague, I asked a friend, a historian who specialized in the
Iron Curtain countries, if there was anyone he'd recommend me to see.
He replied that Prague was still the most mysterious of European
cities, where the supernatural was always a possibility.

...Utz was the owner of a spectacular collection of Meissen porcelain
which, through his adroit manoeuvres, had survived the Second World
War and the years of Stalinism in Czechoslovakia.

Utz and I spent the rest of the afternoon strolling through the thinly
peopled streets of Mala Strana, pausing now and then to admire the
blistering facade of a merchant's house, or some Baroque or Rococo
palace - the Vrtba, the Palffy, the Lobkovic: he recited their names
as though the builders were intimate friends.

Chinese porcelian, he continued, was one of those legendary
substances, like unicorn horn or alchemical gold, for which men hoped
to drink the Fountain of Youth.  A porcelian cup was said to crack or
discolour if poison were poured into it.

What did I know of the homunculus of Paracelsus?  Nothing?  Well,
Paracelsus had claimed to create a homunculus from a fermentation of
blood, sperm and urine.  'A kind of test-tube baby?'  'More probably
a kind of golem...'

I unlatched a wicket-gate.  A snow-white gander flapped towards me,
craning his neck and hissing.  An old peasant woman came to the door.
She wore a flowered housecoat, and a white scarf low over her
forehead.  She frowned.  I murmured a word or two and her face lit up
in an astounded smile.  And she raised her eyes to the rainbow and
said, 'Ja! Ich bin die Baronin von Utz.'

What Am I Doing Here

Last spring, having recovered from a very rare Chinese fungus of the
bone-marrow, I went to Ghana where a film-director friend was making
a film based on one of my books.

...Hemingway's principle that if you obliterate something it will
always be there.

Her glass of neat vodka sat on the white damask tablecloth.  Beyond
the smear of lipstick, a twist of lemon floated among the ice-cubes.
We were sitting side by side, on a banquette.  'What are you writing
about, Bruce?'  'Wales, Diana.'  The lower lip shot forward.  Her
painted cheeks swivelled through an angle of ninety degrees.  'Whales!'
she said.  'Blue whales!...Sperrrm whales!...THE WHITE WHALE!  'No...
no, Diana!  Wales!  Welsh Wales!  The country to the west of England.'
'Oh! Wales.  I do know Wales.  Little grey houses...covered in roses..
...in the rain...' [clear minded Diana V.]

...Romans policiers!  Next time you come to Moscow you must bring me
real TRASH!  But when I pulled out three jars of my mother's Seville
orange marmalade, she stubbed out the cigarette and smiled.  'Thank
you, my dear.  Marmalade, it is my childhood.'  '...tell me...are
there any grand poets...of the stature of Joyce or Eliot?'
[Nadezhda M.]

Like a sculptor, too, she understood the subtle beauty of the female
body in motion, and knew that graceful moments were enhanced by 
assymetry of cut.  She wanted the body to show itself through the
dress.  The dress was to be a second or more seductive skin, which
smiled when its wearer smiled.  [Madeleine V.]

...She stands more than six feet tall.  Despite her thinness, her legs
are straight and muscular.  'One's legs are always so reliable.'  Her
fair hair has gone a streaky white, but her blue eyes are clear and
lively, and her expression, which can at times be quite fierce, is
usually one of girlish naivety and enthusiasm for life.  'I feel
things germinating inside me all the time.  And at my age!  But then I
was very barren as a girl.'
[Maria R.] The Riddle of the Pampa.


Some closing comments.

And can we tell, can we perceive, can we ever understand a high
percentage of what is available within the lines and pages of an
author such as Bruce Chatwin.

The 'spirit' of a book is very as to the gentle motion of a wave, or
perhaps a passing cloud within calm blue sky...or the spirit can be
quite different...it can be rough like windy waves of sea, cold like
the inner chill to the bone, or foreboding like dark black hovering

But, in all of this writing whether man or woman, are we finding more
than just the lines, a comma, period, sentence, paragraph...are we
just looking at the overs never reading the content...are we self-
censoring, you know, blocking out our own minds, by not developing
and reading?

We hear so much about censorship, yet, I discovered that less than
7% of the population read the newspaper...is it true?  That is quite
alarming to hear such a small percentage of American's read...for in
the reading are so many experiences which cannot be found anywhere, I
mean, they cannot be artificially manufactured even by Hollywood.

There is much power in books...over the centuries since printing
started there have been many era's when book-burning did take palce,
because of the influence books can have on whole populations...yet
now in a free world, as it is sometimes defined, where one can have
their pick of everything and anything in book form...now no one seems
interested, 'interested in reading that is,'...and why is this?

Does anyone have an answer?

Has anyone even considered the 'implications' that a non-reading
society transmits, let alone what such a society will eventually
manifest itself into...

But returning to Mr. Chatwin...if my memory is correct, it seems that
when he finished The Songlines, the review was not good in this
country [USA]...however, it was published and became a best-seller
instantly...thus the critic's and publishing experts were proven

And what is it about that book of an ancient people of Australia, and
that vast open area of the Outback, what is it about that place which
everyone finds interesting?

I found a kind of truth woven within the pages of The Songlines, and 
that sincerity seemed to speak to the inner part of myself...and I am
not the only one with that impression.  Thus, there is a kind of 
mystery there along with innocence, heart felt regard, there is 
humility and simplicity entwined within a kind of complexity; a very
complex system is 'to go A Dreaming,'...a Walkabout...an Ancestor
with a message...a message form, of immortality.

The list is long as one begins to think about it, even over a cup of
Espresso one will find a vast area of newness to explore and also
something very mysterious...'in some of the messages'.

It is very possible that the Aboriginal's of Australia are one of the
most important links.

There is more to tell...and the subconscious regard for that
information is indicated by the popularity of that book, The Songlines
by Bruce Chatwin...need more be said...yes, there is much to express
about that part of the planet Earth...and Mr. Chatwin did his best to
help carry along the important message.


                                           This page created April 98