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shakespeare, shakespeare’s plays, william shakespeare, shakespearean, as you like it, touchstone, shakespeare in art, shakespear's fools, analysis of shakespeare’s writing, art on shakespeare, touchstone the fool, hannah tompkins, artist hannah tompkins, shakespeare art collection, profiles of shakespearean characters, shakespeare in paintings, arden forest, shakespeare art museum
Last night, I rode with Touchstone on a bus
From Ludgate Hill to World's End.  It was he!
Despite the broad cloth and the bowler hat,
I knew him, Touchstone, the wild flower of folly,
The whetstone of his age, the scourge of kings,
The madcap morning-star of elfin-land,
Who used to wrap his legs around his neck
For warmth on winter nights. He had slipped back,
To see what men were doing in a world
That should be wiser. He had watched a play,
Read several books, heard men discourse of art
And life: and he sat bubbling like a spring
In Arden. Never did blackbird, drenched with may,
Chuckle as Touchstone chuckled on that ride,

Lord, what a world!  Lord, what a mad, mad world!

Then, to the jolt and jingle of the engine,
He burst into the bunch of madcap rhymes:

"Touchstone As You Like It"
Description of Wood-cut 15 colors 10" x 14"
by Hannah Tompkins

Touchstone, is one of the gentlest and happiest clowns in all of Shakespeare. He comments on the action, makes jokes at other people's expense, and offers ironic insights about their situation.
Touchstone is a traditional 'court fool'. He wears the customary garments of parti-colored cowl, cap and bells and long coat with pointed sleeves.
shakespeare, shakespeare’s plays, william shakespeare, shakespearean, as you like it, touchstone, shakespeare in art, shakespear's fools, analysis of shakespeare’s writing, art on shakespeare, touchstone the fool, hannah tompkins, artist hannah tompkins, shakespeare art collection, profiles of shakespearean characters, shakespeare in paintings, arden forest, shakespeare art museum
Wisdom - Folly
Consciousness - Unconsciousness
Life - Death
Like all the brothers of this cloth, he serves as a commentator on the human comedy which he observes at close range in Arden Forest.

Though he is witty and wise, it is a wisdom shackled to Folly and leavened with cynicism, so evident in his profound remark:
" from hour to hour we ripe and ripe,
then from hour to hour we rot and rot."( II.vi.)
Touchstone, in a posture of ascension, has climbed up and picked the rich, red, ripe fruit from a tree that partitions light and darkness, and in this environment is itself a divided victim of simultaneous life and death.

While holding the fruit in his grasp, the Fool looks wistfully at the withered core in his other palm, which is framed by a dead, broken branch on a ground of gray oblivion.

Thanks to the Shakespeare Art  Museum for the story simply put about Touchstone.


It made Alfred Noyes short Poem really stand out for people like myself had totally forgotten my childhood Shakespeare.

 Story of The Bold Beggar  

arrated by: Kanai L Mukherjee (Grandpa)

Edited by: Preshona Ghose
Courtesy: Association of Grandparents of Indian Immigrants (AGII)
Picture Acknowledgement: India Book House Ltd.,Bombay, India.
A story from Chhandogya Upanishad

Once there were two sages (rishis) who lived in a hermitage located in a forest. They spent most of their timeworshipping Vayu, the wind god

One afternoon, as the sages were beginning their meal, a Brahmachari (an unmarried monk) beggar arrived holding his begging bowl.

The Brahmachari pleaded to the sages, "Pardon me respectful sages, could I beg for a part of your excess meal?"
"Sorry young man, we cannot spare you any food," sourly replied one of the sages.
The persistent young monk continued, "May I ask you most humbly, which Deva (God) do you worship?"

"We worship Vayu, the wind god" answered the sage with pride. "He is also know as Prana, the breath of life."

"Ah! Then you must know that Prana pervades the whole universe" said the young Brahmachari.

The sages were getting impatient, "Yes, yes, we know all that young man."

The beggar than asked firmly, "Oh honorable sages, could you tell me to whom did you make this food-offering?"

"Prana, the life, who else?" said the irritated sage.

The young monk smiled and retorted, "If life pervades the universe, it pervades me too. Am I not a part of that universe?"

"Yes, that's right" replied the sage, in a puzzled state of mind.
t is Prana, or life, that pulsates in me, as this hungry body of mine stands before you and speaks," appealed the beggar.

The sages were trapped in the argument and admitted, "You speak the truth."

The beggar then made his final appeal, "Then Oh revered rishis (sages), in denying me food, you are denying Prana for whom you have prepared the food."

The rishis had no answer. They realized that merely the reading of scriptures can not assure them of their assimilation and true understanding. Ashamed at their ignorance, the sages gladly shared their food with the young Brahmachari

The Bold Beggar

By Kanai L Mukherjee

A small quiz on The Bold Beggar

1. What does 'rishis' mean?





2. What does 'Vayu" mean?

    The sun God.

    The fire God.

    The wind god.

    The water god.

3. 'Deva" means:



    Good humans


4. Vayu is also known as?






AsianParent.com --
Offering a large selection of Chinese children's Books and DVDs for 0-12 year olds.
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Here are a few of the characters from our fairy tale books.

Enjoy them here, and also at the bottom of this page xx

If you have any ideas do leave a message for me at

Sweet Relief
Who will Love the Child
The Little Girl Plays
The Homecoming

Another Chance
The Apple Tree
Wonder and Enchantment
They have Stolen the Sun

Love in the Mist

Strangled by nature, turned brown under sodden strands of wilting yellow.
Choked stems try to reach up to catch hold of the suns powerful rays.
Thorns dig deep into the fragile growth of youth,
gouging out crevasses that will never be healed.
yellow flower
Dying....all around the cries of starvation can be heard on the wind.
Then new voices are heard, hands wrestle with the undergrowth,
pulling, twisting, turning, letting light through to the darkened soil.
Oh sweet relief.... I can feel a breeze upon my face.

Look, look, there is a light. There, high above me, a faint light shining.
Is this me, saved. Are we all to be saved from this hell that has befallen us.
Reach out, reach up, climb the sunbeam to a new life,

stretch your backs, flex your arms, lift your heads high.
Fresh mown hay gives way to a blanket of green.  
Birds sing in the trees above us, bees fly deep into our bellies,
taste the sweet honey which flows freely from within us.
daffodilDays pass by, life gets stronger, hearts begin to beat again.
Peach and purple, azure and turquoise, russet and gold.
Colour creeps across the horizon like a rainbow reborn.
Scarlet fuchsia dance gaily above the chamomile lawn.
Tangerine montbretia sway to and fro, like fronds of fire, swaying beneath the lilac buddleia which is, in turn kissed gently by the painted lady.

Sweet... sweet perfume fills the air, carried on the wind to each hidden corner.
The sickly smell of the honeysuckle tells us that night is descending,

Scented stock adds to the evenings mystic aroma.
Tomorrow we shall awake and feel the dew on our petals,

see the whiteness of the clouds in the summer sky,
feel the softness of the rose petals as they fall upon our delicate blades.

yellow bellswe shall fill our bodies with the silver raindrops
as they fall to the sepia ground beneath our leaves.
Tenderly stretch our roots deeper into the soft earth below.
But now to sleep, to dream in the shadows.
Sleeping quietly, waking sometime, then drifting back to sleep.
The moonlight kisses us whilst we rest, then comes the morning and we awake knowing we have been blessed.   
D M S. 1998

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who will love the childWho will love the child when the Mother steps aside?
Who  will love the child when the father wanders far and wide?
Will the wild wind feed it,
will the moonlight and the foxes suckle it
or the owls bring it titbits and worms
or the pine forest sing it lullabies beneath the twinkling stars?
O the night is very cold, and the little child is naked.

Who will teach the child when the Mother turns her face away,
who will instruct the child when the father has no word to say?
Will the badger or the scarecrow educate it in the simple ways of survival?
will the little sparrow share its store of wisdom and joy
or the squirrel show it where to look for nuts?
Will it build itself a nest of moss and snow,
will the pale winter sunlight warm it
or the busy bee of summer share its golden wealth of honey?
O how long will the little child live, - days or merely hours?

Who will look after the parent-less child,angels
the little bundle on the battlefield -
who will give him milk to drink and fill his hungry belly,
who will wrap him in a shawl of rags and let him suck their fingers?
Who will protect him from the rain of shells,
from the teeth of predators and carrion-eaters,
from the guns of soldiers and the bayonets of the depraved?
Whose sweet breast will he nestle against
when the Mother steps aside,
who will shelter and provide for him
when the father wanders far and wide –
who will look after the little child,
O who will love the child?

MW 1990
fairy childShare Share

 The Little Girl Plays

A little girl plays with the dirty mud outside her parents hut,
humming happily to herself, oblivious to the flies, the stench of refuse, the not so furtive scuffling of rats looking for scraps
that the dogs have not yet found.
She mould's the mud into a little figure and gives it eyes and a mouth.
She laughs with delight and very quietly sings a song to her new friend,
holding a hand to her mouth so that her brother,watching from the open doorway of their shack, will not hear and tease her.
“Listen, my dolly,” says the little girl.
“Today Papa brought home some rice and fish from the market
and Mama is busy cooking it. Hmmm, how delicious it smells!
If you are very good I will keep some for you and bring it to you later.”
Suddenly there is a great commotion.
The air is full of loud shouting and women screaming.
People are rushing everywhere, dogs barking, chickens squawking.
A silver bullet smacks into the side of the little girls head, shattering the skull completely and jerking her naked brown body forward into theThis is what the holiday maker doesn't see or hear. stagnant river, full of filth and mud, where it is soon trampled to pulp by the feet of the many women and children running and the boots of the soldiers pursuing them. When the evening falls and the monsoon rains fall, dampening the fires of the smouldering huts, the dogs and the rats return to the village to tear and nibble at the charred and steaming scraps.

Manilla 1990's MW.

Donna and MollyJack and Donna with my beautiful Molly Jae
 The Homecoming             Share Share

Six months ago I left your arms in search of who knows what,
    To spend some time with my own little girl, watch her grow into a tot.

    I've taught her about the alphabet, to count from one to twenty,
    she's an expert gymnast and drama queen and tantrums - she has plenty

    I watch her play with her dolls house as girlie as can be,
    Then off she trots to play her trains, and she could be a he.

    Her eyes are big, deep brown and round, like looking in a mirror,
    her locks of golden hair one day will darken like her mothers

    Becoming a mum has changed my life, so much, I can't explain,
    But being apart from     my mum has taught me about your pain.    

    I can't wait to see your face when you meet your Molly Jae,
    You'll laugh, and chat, and probably cry but most of all you'll play.

    So today our journey starts back home, our passage back to Wales
    to join again the generations for all love beyond this pales.

    Donna Michelle Cartwright 2006 returning from Spain

mountains to climb
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At twenty five, three lovely boys, one angry husband, more broken toys.
Messy nappies, childhood dreams, open sorrow, the pain and screams.
First husband, is life cursed? Many chances, all un-rehearsed.
Smashed up body,  broken jaws. Gone the threshold of marital laws.
Keep on trying, just gets worse. Children growing, empty purse.
Tears of laughter, tears of pain, tears of anguish. No .... not again.

Now thirty five, children four, another husband, through another door.
Slight perversion, loves another. A girl this time, for the older brothers.
Gone the romance, back the pain, children feeling all the strain.
Disruptive schooling, stealing,  bled. Mother says, “you’ve made your bed”.
Still keep on trying, do your best. Another solicitor, another test.
More tears of pain, none of laughter. House that’s wrecked from floor to rafter.

By fourty one, another child, another husband. But this one’s wild.
Hell on Earth from the time they met. More forgiveness, yet she can’t forget.
Build the wall against the lying.  God .... she wished that she was dying.
Kids in prison, they’ve paid the price, for love turned sour. No, it’s not nice.
Left for another, kisses a penny. She was just the start of many.
Another divorce but, he did not leave. Free, but chained his lust to feed.

Fifty two, could this be fate. A chance meeting. But is it too late?
His smile is gently, his touch is sure. Full of passion, her spirits soar.
Is she dreaming? Will she awake, to find it’s yet - one more mistake.
Passion burning, loving, sighing, no more heartache, no more crying.
Wall is lowered, thorns are parted. Fresh roses bloom, new future started.
Full of yearning, desire, romance. To live again .... another chance.

Seligor   July 16th 1996

Mountains to Climb
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And I absolutely love every instant of every clip and the music, supberb.
I apologise for the repeats but I do love these tracks.

 Apples, red and juicyThe Apple Tree

An apple tree grows in the garden on a quiet and solitary isle.
As the dying sun of each day paints the sky with colour and covers the world with gold, theApples, red and juicy tiny, wrinkled apples burn, becoming sweeter and sweeter.
Who will pluck these golden apples on a solitary isle in a darkening violet sea?
Will it be some wandering youth, or some old man.
Some fair, freckled maid or some withered old crone?
Will some young child claim these succulent apples or will they fall and rot, their sweetness and vigour never tasted?Apples, red and juicy

The tiny, wrinkled apples burn, the tiny, wrinkled seasons turn.
Who is this I see rowing across the ocean to greet me, in such a small and wretched boat?
Who is the hero, this plunderer, this conqueror?Apples, red and juicy
Is he wise enough,
Is he hungry enough.
Is he brave or innocent enough to grasp and taste these final golden apples -
burning in the dying sun?

 Wonder and Enchantment
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I was living in some old tale of wonder and enchantment when the Snow King came and carried your soul away.
I put it aside, deeming it, as it was still early September, as curious weather for the time of year.
When, one by one, the birds ceased to sing, I looked in vain through the newspapers for mention of some new avian disease.
When the river running through the town froze and the faces of shopkeepers and market  girls became more sour daily, I imagined there must be a bug of some sort going about, and humorously took to imagining rats coming out of the sewers dressed in woollen hats and scarves, to skate upon the frozen water, before keeling over in pools of their own gushing vomit.
When Christmas came and the church bells failed to chime, I thought it very peculiar, and it put me to thinking of when the last time was that I actually saw you smile.
I was living in some old tale of wonder and enchantment when the Snow King came and carried your soul away.
It was only when I woke on New Years Day and found your hand turned to ice in mine that I realised I’d been dreaming and that wonder and enchantment had passed forever out of the world.

they have stolen the sun and broken the moonDarkness,
They have Stolen the Sun

They have stolen the Sun, and broken the Moon.
They have put bars on the Sky and reduced the ocean
to a tiny lake to sail their yachts and battleships on.
They have thrown down the mountains and set fire to the forests
to light their cigarettes and barbeque baby pigs.

They have stolen the Sun and broken the Moon.
They have pulled down the stars and imprisoned them
in their towers of concrete and glass and the headlamps of their cars;
They have torn the wings off the Angels

and set them to work in their factories and mines,
making plastic toys and digging for diamonds
and uranium.

They have stolen the Sun, and broken the Moon.....

Cheer up, Have a wonderful time watching the wee songs from all our Fairy Tale books.

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