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Introduction

Good morning everyone.  Welcome to the Blog site of Mr. Cibubur the native English Teacher who lives in Cibubur Indonesia.

So far since August 2015,  I have posted more than 300 lessons on a variety of different topics.

The aim is to provide easy English to students anywhere around the world who wants to learn and improve their English.

I have been asked by a number of people to provide either a RSS feed or alternative news feed from my blogsite.

I am not a technical person and I have stumbled across the free platform which I use from WordPress more by accident than intention but it works for me and I am pleased to hear that the blogsite can be easily accessed.

So far as I understand, links to all my blogs appear on Facebook, Linked In and Twitter.

I encourage visitors to my blogsite to post comments so that I know what you think about the blogsite itself and the material on it.

In time – when I have time, I plan to expose my blogsite material to greater traffic and to commercial potential.

At the moment, the WordPress platform suits me fine and I am happy with it

Good luck with your learning of English and I hope I can be a good teacher to help you along the way.

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THE LIFE STORY OF A STONE

I am a Stone and this is my short life story.

They say that I have the heart of a stone.

Who knows?  Stone the crows!

They say you can’t get blood out of a stone.

Stone me!

So I must be done for then,  well and truly,

Because take a look at this Rolling Stone that gathers no moss.

Ok I know.

I can sink like a stone

And I am only a stone’s throw away from infinity.

In fact, everything I do in this life is a stepping stone ‘indeed’ to the next.

And my legacy might be carved in stone.

Am I really stone-cold sober as I pen this?

Or am I just stoned?

Hey good people, they say that if you live in a glass house, don’t throw stones

And that sticks and stones will break my bones, but do you know, words will never hurt me.

So let me remind you then that he who casts the first stone

Might just leave no stone unturned.

Ridicule is a funny thing.

And I might as well kill two birds with one stone, so to speak.

Stone me!

Alas, a stony silence prevails.

I’ve reached my milestone, the end of my life story.

 

SIXTY YEARS

I have given speeches all my entire life but never given one as I am givng you tonight.

Sixty years have I lived on this earth and dedicated myself to the scientific advancement of mankind.  Unlike others before me, I am not a maker of gadgets but pure in my experimentation of the mind.

A man can be at the very height of his career in his sixtieth year and yet it can take only a single moment of indiscretion to cause his fall from grace.

Sincerely friends, if it can happen to me, then it can surely happen to you too.

In another five years on a cold Good Friday morning in the north London parish of Highgate, I swear Iwill draw my last breath and the world at large will come to wonder of my legacy both then and for years thereafter, as you might wonder now.

You might visit St. Michaels Church in the city of St. Albans and look at both my statue and the crypt where I shall be supposedly be laid to rest.

You might visit the country estate in the environs of St.  Albans where I shall shortly go to write up my memoirs and the substance of my legacy.

I am a man of royal blood, of that I am absolutely certain, and I was born to be a king.

By the same token, I am the Queen’s bastard, conceived by a noble woman who would produce no natural heir to the throne of England and by her lover, Robert Dudley, a beast of a man who would stop at nothing to get his way.

What dastardly thing did the Queen contrive in the summer of 1571 so that no rightful successor such as I could ever be allowed to fulfil his destiny according to God.

Contrived by the Queen’s conjurer-in-chief, William Cecil, later his son Robert, who made things happen as only they could..

I cannot put to words how I felt when my foster mother, Anne Bacon, a relation of the Cecils, let it slip that we shared no common blood but in truth that I had always known,

My few years to serve as asssistant ambassador in France as soon as I completed my scholarship at Trinity College Cambridge ought to have been recognition and deserving credit of a mother’s pride for a son as well as providing training for his future regal role.

Alas, nothing could be further from the reality as she set about distancing herself from me as a mother and embarking on a sham which stills mocks me to this day as it did then and will continue to mock me beyond this night.

France and the ambassadorial travels I made across the European continent were a whole episode in my life which I cannot and I do not regret.

I would not have met Queen Marguerite of Dubois and experienced the youthful exuberance of infatuation and love.

I would not have written the 154 Sonnets – was it really that many? – that gave testimony to true love and which I kept preciously secret until a trusted housekeeper came upon them in my absence and saw opportunity to financially benefit from their publication in 1609.

If I did not go to France, perhaps I might not have been inspired to provide the source, the material and at times the collaboration to many of the theatrical plays which many of you here tonight have enjoyed in all their gore and glory by the Shakespeare name.

If my dear beloved mother Elizabeth Tudor had not seen fit to refuse her consent to my intended marriage to Marguerite, how I might wonder how different my life would and could have been.

My Queen Marguerite, and she will always be such in my heart, was the most gracious and ingraciating woman I have ever  known.

It matters not to me one iota that she was a catholic and would have  had to divorce her King in order to be my partner before God and challenge  the constitution of the English state which I always felt,  it was my duty to rule.

Marguerite ultimately chose exile and lived out the remaining years of her life from a quaint, modest hostel on the banks of the Seine, as I shall live out mine with equal modesty in St. Albans when this speech is done and dusted and the consequences of it have been addressed.

It be a little less than six years since her mortal demise and I miss her dearly, my dearest marigold now resting peacefully in the garden of her eden.

My foster father, Nicholas, the Queen’s senior legal adviser and keeper by another name, a man quick to get the bottle, passed away while I was amidst the French commission and I was hastily withdrawn back to England.

My foster brother, Anthony, forever a confidante, was always supportive, even when the news broke that I would inherit nothing from Nicholas Bacon’s estate.

If fortune favours the brave, then I would suggest that I was always at least one stop short of the grant of the favour, for whatever reason.

Debt has plagued me almost all my life, yet I have enjoyed economic privilege, been educated well and I am not a man without means.  I am possessed by a need to give away what I have and I must admit it is a need which I do not know how to control.

My thanks to Anthony for more than once coming to my rescue and securing my release from a debtor’s gaol, a shaming but humbling experience for any man, whatever his status and station in life.

Of course, the plague of debt  had an impact on my second attempt at romance and to get married, inevitably so.

It is true that I was very much interested for the hand in marriage of Elizabeth Cecil, grand-daughter of William Cecil, niece to Robert, widowed at 20 by Sir William Hatton and snatched from my eternal grasp by Sir Edward Coke, a rival in all aspects of life ever since we first crossed swords..

A few years later, a couple after the passing of Queen Elizabeth and on the persuasion of your majesty King James, I did eventually marry, Alice Barnham, the fourteen year old daughter of a London councillor..

Our marriage has produced no children, through no fault of mine or hers.  It may just be an indisputable fact that I prefer bedfellows but I dare anyone to say I have ever solicited rent-boys or been homosexual by nature.

Dear brethren before me, I am at heart a humble man and it has been my lifelong project to establish an intelectual community dedicated to the discovery of scientific knowledge for the use and benfit of all mankind.

Those who know me just a little know that knowledge is my province.

I am probably done as a lawyer, counseller, politician.  As Lord Chanceller, I have surely reached the highest station in life to which God is allowing me to aspire.

I vow to spend my remaining years devoted to the literary, scientific and philosophical cultural legacy destined to bless the modern world.

Edward Coke, I hold no grudge against you over the affair with Elizabeth or indeed the political humiliation you have had me endure for best part of twenty odd years.

Allow no man to challenge where my loyalty lies as I stand before you now and to deny that royal prerogative is superior to common law.

And yes, there is blood on my hands from the duties I have carried out.  I have played my part according to law to execute two people who were once good friends and who shared their genius so readily at the Good Pens Meeting I hosted back in Twickenham in 1596.

Richard Devereux, Earl of Essex, and more recently Walter Raleigh,

These sixty years, I have learnt to be vocal in so many different ways.  If I had been King on my mothers death, then certainly the name of William Shakespeare would not be up there in neon-flashy lights, if one day they ever exist.

Because I could not have devoted time to inspiring the Bard to write the plays and Ben Jonson, Earl Pembroke, to mention but two, would not be in the final stages of putting together a fantastic collection of the plays in one volume.

Yes brethren, good people, I am one just like you.

I have been a scholar.

I have been a lawyer,

I have been a politician.

I have been a diplomat.

I have been a scientist.

I have been a crytologist.

I have been a philosopher.

I have been a writer.

It is I, John Barclay, pseudonomously speaking.

It is I, Francis Bacon.  It is I.  Thank you very much.  And good night..

THE TAUREAN – THE MOURNING

It is the mourning after the day before.

There is a vacant berth at the quayside in the harbour.

The Taurean is missing

Whereas yesterday was destructive in its wake with strong gusts of wind and torrential downfall of rain, today is infinitely calm.

A local reporter is quick to the scene.  He senses a sensational story

The local reporter can ask all the questions he wants but he will not get the answers he yearns for

I was once he, inquisitive, curious, fresh, ambitious, determined, brazen questing fame but I charter a different course now.

Freedom is a wonderful thing and you can only really know what it is once you have removed yourself from all the shackles which are placed upon you in a lifetime.

As a human or as a boat, you are as one.

In life, you do not choose where you want to go but the place inexplicably chooses you and you must allow fate rather than faith to blindly lead you..

Now I am totally free to go wherever I wish to go, with whoever I choose, whenever I choose and in whatever form I choose.  There are no perameters.

Believe me, I am a vessel at peace.

It was many years ago that I left my homeland and sailed to foreign pastures thousands of miles away to a place with a different culture and set of customs alien to anything I had previously experienced.

I have been accepted within the community of the harbour more for heritage and privilege than sociality because the locals boast of having an Englander in their midst.

We refer in life to baggage and I carry a burdensome cargo of three marriages and four children.  This is where my journey took me.  I can thank my lucky stars that I was blessed.

The woman who reported my disappearance yesterday to the local constabulary, has returned to the scene and is questioned by the reporter.

The bouquet of flowers she lay at the scene yesterday at day-break has long been blown away.

The odd thing is that she can still see the Taurean at its moorings.

The reality is that her vision is not shared by others.

That which has perished is still with the living world  and has become an onlooker to the mourning of its passing.

If a man can be a ghost, then why not a boat?

The woman loved the Taurean with all her heart and soul, offering humble sacifice in the knowledge that her rewards in so doing would never be just or tangible.

She sailed on the Taurean more times than she will ever wish to divulge.  She was his mistress in every imaginable sense.

Her children know not.  It was a well-kept secret.  For harmony sake.

How ironic is it that I cannot swim and that  I have had a fear of deep water all my life.

To be therefore a boat upon the ocean waters of the planet, there can be no greater contrast.

Or indeed any greater legacy.

Sixty years is a lifetime.  Photographs, letters,documents and a family tree are testimony to that fact and the marinology of life itself.

The realization is that my journey in life has not ended but that it has just begun.

The Taurean has entered a realm of eternal freedom and peace.

So much for the Mourning.

A CHRISTMAS DAY STORY (AN ANALOGY) (THE BOAT)

The boat has left its moorings at the quayside of the harbour and is drifting aimlessly out at sea, orientated only by the will of the wind and the grace of God.

Its absence from the berth goes unnoticed because everyone is too busy leading their own lives to even notice that the boat slipped out in the darkness of the night, that it was not secured to its anchor by those who are conscienable for the task.

The elements will take the boat to where it will ever go.  Sixty years more or less on the waters of the earth and it comes to this, thrashed in the centric cradle of the ocean.

It is a boat without a paddle, an udder, an engine, a sail, a mast or a navigator to bring it back,

Wishfulness, hope, play into the hands of despair on the wasteful wings of prayer.

When the dawn breaks, as it will soon, the craft will be no more than debris, sunken below the waves and lost to the world in which it once sailed, shipwrecked on the ocean sea-bed and never seen again.

And you come to wonder how did it come to this?

Whatever happened to the TLC (tender loving care) which was supposed to have been shown by a keeper, a guardian, a custodian, for such a loving vessel of these waters?

A boat is, after all, everything in life that we are as as human being.  It has a life.  It has a heart and soul.  It breathes the same air we do.  It reaches out to the heavens and touches the sky.  It sails the waters and it lives our dreams as we live the dream of it.

The family and friends of the boat are now in mourning.  The tears of inner-most terror raid out from a grey winter sky and a kindly woman with her three young children, suitably dressed for a church gathering on this Christmas Day morning, pass by the vacant berth in the harbour.

It is as if she knows this story but in truth she does not.  She lays a small bouquet of flowers at the quayside and walks away.  Her children gaze out to the open sea beyond the harbour, beyond the white house of the harbour-master and the distant shape of the lighthouse on the foggy horizon.

The boat has sunk and sixty years are but a memory to the ocean.

AMAZING GRACE

A repentent slave trader humbled the words of the first stanza to a modest gathering of folk at a prayer meeting on the first day of 1773.

It was barely a year since the itinerant clergyman had been admitted to Gods ministry and twenty since he had, whether by intention or fate, given up the debauchery of his previous vocation.

It would have taken more than just a shipwreck for this shattered soul to become found when once he was lost and to be able to see when once he was blind.

Here was a man who sought reconciliation with humanity, forgiveness and redemption in exchange for freedom and peace.

But he knew not if he would make it through heaven’s pearly gates while twenty thousand ghosts were haunting him day and night to his grave.

They were not going away anytime soon.

In two hundred and fifty years, the stanza has hardly been modified, though there were many additions to it by the clergyman’s own hand.

A tune was added and the stanzas formed into a hymn which in turn became a popular anthem, sung rejoicingly and reflectively by millions of people across the world of every creed.

The stanzas do not intend to convey anti-slavery sentiment and yet there are those who looked beyond the persona of the evangelist who wrote them and applied them to campaign and fight for the cause to remove chains from every man woman and child who was deemed not free.

It is a hark from a bygone era but still strikes a cord in the world today.

Slavery and Colonialism went very much hand-in-hand

And the chains were coming off.

The author of the stanzas lived for eighty-two years between the years 1725 and 1807.

He lived just long enough to see laws passed in his homeland which abolished slavery.

He wrote the lyrics for many more hymns but none more meaningful than the one which the London seaman derived from his own personal experience.

This, as you may have gathered, is the background story to ‘Amazing Grace’, written by John Newton and the inspiration for a Yorkshire member of parliament, William Wilberforce, to finally win the day for the abolition of slavery at the fourteenth attempt in 1807.

Both John Newton and William Wilberfore lost a parent in childhood.

They both claim to have seen the light when once they were blind.

They were drawn together and united for the cause of abolishing slavery.

John Newton was ironically blind in his last years but this did not prevent him reciting ‘Amazing Grace’ one more time before he died and in the presence of William Wilberforce.

This was the stanza which struck the chord on that occasion:

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail

And mortal life shall cease,

I shall possess within the veil

A life of joy and peace.

It was a surreal moment in time and a testament of faith.

Amazing Grace.

DELIVERANCE

I have no idea who E.S. Whipple is but I stumbled upon his quote in a school library. It was he who said that ‘a book is a lighthouse erected in the great sea of time’.

It is that quote which has inspired this poem.

Put a book into the palm of my hand

And I will be its reader.

Without any limitation to what I can readily understand

Or the fodder of the feeder.

 

Once just a thought, then written down, later published

To a waiting world not yet suspecting.

But in a thousand years could it ever be wished

That the prize of knowledge is worth collecting?

 

Books are, after all, the cradle of our knowledge,

If not a lighthouse erected in the great sea of time.

They are the benevolence of our cultured college,

Leading us to where we’re surely goin’

 

Without you, Book, as some part of my life,

I would be despondent and distinctly destitute.

Can there ever be a failing of mankind to permit such suffering and such outright strife

When the force and power of literature is absolute.

 

Gosh, I still remember that delirious day

When first as a young child, I could read.

How the blessing and good fortune of Gods grace came my way

And showed me difference between greed and need..

 

Books have an uncanny way of saying things

To you no human being ever can.

Deliverance is simply sourced from eternal springs

To every able-bodied man.

 

I see the lighthouse over yonder

As I stroll along the beach.

This is a moment to wonder

And feel a sense of destiny within my reach.

 

What if all the words ever written

Are no more than an inglorious monsoon?

Let rip the sudden storm,  unrestrained and unforbidden.

On this October afternoon.

 

The words have found me, as they will find you too,

So be gladdened and  heartily contented.

A poet must do what a poet must surely do,

Write passionate poetry unlamented.

 

And so I come to express my greatest gratitude

To that lighthouse erected in the great sea of time.

God has willed from me this mystical and marvellous mood

As I have put pen to paper and words to rhyme.

 

As I stroll further, I’m enveloped by a mist

But the shadow outline of the lighthouse remains.

I have written this poem now.  I have reminisced

And Deliverance reigns.

NEED A FRIEND

I need a friend who listens

And pays me due attention.

I need a friend who reasons

The rationale of my comprehension.

I need a friend.

 

I need a friend who reaches out

In every possible dimension.

I need a friend who is all about

The measure of my extension.

I need such a friend.

 

I need a friend who’s ears and eyes

To everything that I do.

I need a friend who can spring that element of surprise

And yet be so totally true.

I need that kind of friend.

 

I need a friend who laughs and cries

And on whom I can definitely depend.

I need a friend who is wonderful and worldly-wise,

I need that faithful friend.

 

I need a friend who sees what I see

And hears what I hear.

I need a friend who is everything to me,

Who’s honest, humble and sincere.

I need that friend.

 

I need a friend who’s the very fabric of my existence

And the essence of who I am within.

I need a friend who has zero resistance

To the gravity of my sin.

I need that friend.

 

I need a friend who touches a nerve

And feels as I do indeed.

I need a friend who’s possessed of veritable verve

To be my one true friend in need.

Oh how I need that friend.

 

I need a friend who represents an ideal

Of life itself on earth.

I need a friend who is not just real

But the calculation of my life’s worth.

I need a friend.

 

I need a friend who drives and motivates

As a spiritual pioneer.

I need a friend who thrives and necessitates

I need you now dear.

Friend, I need you dear.