The Rag Tree



Small libraries can contain important books; RT has found this to be the case on more than one occasion, and several times with the library he currently frequents, the Berkeley County Public Library. RT is pretty sure that he will continue to post on this remarkable public resource, but in the meanwhile he is focusing on yet another worthwhile book he has stumbled across in the stacks: The Revelation of the Magi by Brent Landau.

Reasons why this particular volume is important:

1) It contains the first English translation of a single surviving manuscript that claims to report the entire story of the Magi–going as far back as the Garden of Eden.

2) The story contained in TRM varies significantly from the accounts in the Gospels; for instance, it claims that the Magi came from the extreme east of the world (China?)

3) The story does parallel…

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The Rag Tree



what a beautiful story!   RT

(reposted from Toemail)


Free School Under The Bridge, New Delhi, India.

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The Rag Tree


File:Érable entouré d'herbes d'automne (détail) par Hasegawa Tōhaku.jpg



the boy was a hero once;

he fell from the sky like his father

down the long pale streets of summer,

looking for his words


written over, those purposes

by pleasure, by anger;

he forgets his appointment

forgets the time, the place


remembers only the lady

seen once in turmoil,

lost herself in forgetting–

in the unmaking of time.


the streets are glistening,

rain pouring

leaves rolling in

long waves–


they remember


let me ripple

in the waking, your kiss.


© 2013, The Rag Tree


Photo:  Tree in Summer (1852); Hasegawa Tōhaku; WikiCmns; Public Domain.

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Whistling In The Wind

Hell used to be a central part of Christianity, playing as big a role as Heaven. Yet growing up as a practicing Catholic and even as an altar boy, I don’t remember ever hearing anything about Hell. It is as though priests are embarrassed to mention it and would rather forget all about it. In some places Hell as been down played to the point of merely being the absence of Heaven. Yet the thing about religion is that you can’t throw any of it away and the threat of Hell still simmers on. It still exercises a grip of fear over many believers and revulsion among non-believers.

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The Rag Tree




Well, folks, it could be just another arts organization start-up, what with the economy being the way it is and Martinsburg and West Virginia not having the best reputations in the arts world. Things could peter out or, worse, develop into a runaway arts success story, with the emphasis on the word “success.”

But RT isn’t inclined to think so. The Berkeley Arts Council is starting in a relatively humble location, downtown Martinsburg, but one that is filled with seasoned artists in every medium and a local population of people who, thanks to the town’s railroad background, have a mechanical genius. There’s  something about this town that’s sympathetic to artists–and their needs.

And then there’s the poetry. RT is a believer in the early origins of art–the need for beauty is buried deep in the brain, and it can emerge in the talk of a bricklayer as suddenly…

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