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Value of the Week

Every week we explore the relevance of a specific personal value and find inspiration in poetry.


posted 23 Mar 2015, 01:37 by Jordan Mitchell

Definition; "The state of being happy".

Quote; "Remember, happiness doesn't depend on who you are or what you have, it depends solely on what you think".   Dale Carnegie (writer)


On Friday the UNITED NATIONS celebrated International Happiness Day.  There is some information in the above video clip about the event and its importance.


Stephen Dunn


A state you must dare not enter

with hopes of staying,

quicksand in the marshes, and all


the roads leading to a castle

that doesn't exist.

But there it is, as promised,


with its perfect bridge above

the crocodiles,

and its doors forever open


posted 16 Mar 2015, 01:44 by Jordan Mitchell   [ updated 23 Mar 2015, 01:20 ]

Definition; 'The emotional or mental qualities necessary in dealing with difficult or distressing situations'.

Quote;  'A diamond is just a piece of charcoal that handled stress exceptionally well'. Unknown


Prayers of Steel

Carl Sandburg
Lay me on an anvil, O God.
Beat me and hammer me into a crowbar.
Let me pry loose old walls.
Let me lift and loosen old foundations.
Lay me on an anvil, O God. 5
Beat me and hammer me into a steel spike.
Drive me into the girders that hold a skyscraper together.
Take red-hot rivets and fasten me into the central girders.
Let me be the great nail holding a skyscraper through blue nights 
into white stars.


posted 9 Mar 2015, 01:23 by Jordan Mitchell

The value of the week is numeracy. 

Definition; 'The ability to work with and understand numbers'.

Quote;  'The only way to learn mathematics is to do mathematics'.  Paul Halmos 

Let Us Now Praise Prime Numbers

Helen Spalding


Let us now praise prime numbers

With our fathers who begat us:

The power, the peculiar glory of prime numbers

Is that nothing begat them,

No ancestors, no factors,

Adams among the multiplied generations.


None can foretell their coming.

Among the ordinal numbers

They do not reserve their seats, arrive unexpected.

Along the lines of cardinals

They rise like surprising pontiffs,

Each absolute, inscrutable, self-elected.


In the beginning where chaos

Ends and zero resolves,

They crowd the foreground prodigal as forest,

But middle distance thins them,

Far distance to infinity

Yields them rare as unreturning comets.


O prime improbable numbers,

Long may formula-hunters

Steam in abstraction, waste to skeleton patience:

Stay non-conformist, nuisance,

Phenomena irreducible

To system, sequence, pattern or explanation


posted 2 Mar 2015, 00:52 by Jordan Mitchell

The value of the week this week is 'support'.

Definition: Bear all or part of the weight of; hold up.

"In a relationship each person should support the other; they should lift each other up."
Taylor Swift

Taylor Alison Swift (born December 13, 1989) is an American singer-songwriter. Raised in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, Swift moved to Nashville, Tennessee, at the age of 14 to pursue a career in country music. She signed with the independent label Big Machine Records and became the youngest songwriter ever hired by the Sony/ATV Music publishing house.

The Duchess of Cambridge is a patron of a charity that provides emotional help and support in schools and recorded this message recently about mental heath and how we must try to support people who need help.


There is a kind of love called maintenance
Which stores the WD40 and knows when to use it

Which checks the insurance, and doesnt forget
The milkman; which remembers to plant bulbs;

Which answers letters; which knows the way
The money goes; which deals with dentists

And Road Fund Tax and meeting trains,
And postcards to the lonely; which upholds

The permanently rickety elaborate
Structures of living, which is Atlas.

And maintenance is the sensible side of love,
Which knows what time and weather are doing
To my brickwork; insulates my faulty wiring;
Laughs at my dryrotten jokes; remembers
My need for gloss and grouting; which keeps
My suspect edifice upright in air,
As Atlas did the sky.


posted 22 Feb 2015, 23:58 by clive.fenn@oatforge.co.uk   [ updated 22 Feb 2015, 23:59 ]

Preview YouTube video The Power of LiteracyThe Power of Literacy

YouTube Video

The value of the week is literacy.

Definition; 'The ability to read and write'.

Quote; 'Once you learn to read you will be forever free'.  Frederick Douglass

'Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope'.  Koffi Annan

Animal Languages

Chase Twichell


In snow, all tracks

 - animal and human –

speak to one another,


a long conversation that keeps breaking off

then starting up again.


I want to read those pages

instead of the kind

made of human words.


I want to write in the language of those

who have been to that place before me.


posted 9 Feb 2015, 05:19 by clive.fenn@oatforge.co.uk   [ updated 9 Feb 2015, 05:24 ]

Quotes; 'Justice cannot be for one side alone, but must be for both'. Eleanor Roosevelt

'There is a higher court than the court of justice and that is the court of conscience'.  It supercedes all other courts.' Mahatma Gandhi


from All

Antoni Slonimski

…Not at world domination we aim; we dream of freedom

To enjoy the calm of big, old shadowy tress,

The peaceful hours of sunset in our dear village-home,

Lost in listening the soft humming of bees,

The neigh of horses grazing on meadows,

When the dark night is approaching...

We don't want to rule over others, we want to share


In all justice with our own people, at home,

We dream to walk freely through our well-known roads,

And look happily into the deep, starry sky

And sleep in peace under its blue vault

It's so little, and yet it's all.


posted 2 Feb 2015, 00:25 by Jordan Mitchell   [ updated 2 Feb 2015, 00:26 ]

The value this week is Health.

Definition; In good physical or mental condition; in good health.

Quote; It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver. Mahatma Gandhi

It is also World Cancer Day on 4th February.



Julia Darling


I did not imagine being bald

at forty four. I didn’t have a plan.

Perhaps a scar or two from growing old,

hot flushes. I’d sit fluttering a fan.


But I am bald, and hardly ever walk

by day, I’m the invalid of these rooms.

stirring soups, awake in the half dark,

not answering the phone when it rings.


I never thought that life could get this small,

that I would care so much about a cup,

the taste of tea, the texture of a shawl,

and whether or not I should get up.


I’m not unhappy. I have learnt to drift

and sip. The smallest things are gifts.


posted 26 Jan 2015, 00:12 by Jordan Mitchell   [ updated 26 Jan 2015, 01:52 ]

The value of the week is Freedom. 

Definition; The power or right to act, speak or think as one wants. 

Quotes; 'Those who deny freedom for others, deserve it not for themselves'.  Abraham Lincoln 
           'He who overcomes his fears will truly be free'. Aristotle 

The Rebel

D J Enright


When everybody has short hair,

The rebel lets his hair grow long.

When everybody has long hair,

The rebel cuts his hair short.

When everybody talks during the lesson ,

The rebel does’ n say a word.

When nobody talks during the lesson ,

The rebel creates a disturbance.

When everybody wears a uniform ,

The rebel dresses in fantastic clothes.

When everybody wears fantastic clothes

The rebel dresses soberly.

In the company of dog lovers ,

The rebel expresses a preference for cats.

In the company of cat lovers ,

The rebel puts in a good word for dogs.

When everybody is praising the sun ,

The rebel remarks on the need for rain.

When everybody is greeting the rain ,

The rebel regrets the absence of sun.

When everybody goes to the meeting

The rebel stays at home and reads a book.

When everybody stays at home and reads a book ,

The rebel goes to the meeting.

When everybody says , yes please!

The rebel says , No thank you.

When everybody says: No thank you ,

The rebel says , yes please!

It is very good that we have rebels

You may not find it very good to be one.


posted 19 Jan 2015, 00:42 by Jordan Mitchell

Definition 'The quality of being friendly, generous and considerate'.

Quote.   'Be the change you want to see in the world'.  Mahatma Gandhi



Naomi Shihab Nye


Before you know what kindness really is

you must lose things,

feel the future dissolve in a moment

like salt in a weakened broth.

What you held in your hand,

what you counted and carefully saved,

all this must go so you know

how desolate the landscape can be

between the regions of kindness.

How you ride and ride

thinking the bus will never stop,

the passengers eating maize and chicken

will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,

you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho

lies dead by the side of the road.

You must see how this could be you,

how he too was someone

who journeyed through the night with plans

and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,

you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.

You must wake up with sorrow.

You must speak to it till your voice

catches the thread of all sorrows

and you see the size of the cloth.

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,

only kindness that ties your shoes

and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread,

only kindness that raises its head

from the crowd of the world to say

it is I you have been looking for,

and then goes with you everywhere

like a shadow or a friend.


posted 12 Jan 2015, 01:41 by Jordan Mitchell   [ updated 12 Jan 2015, 01:43 ]

Definition; The state of being equal, especially in status, rights, or opportunities

"I speak not for myself but for those without voice...those who have fought for their rights....their right to live in peace, their right to be treated with dignity, their right to equality of opportunity, their right to be educated."    

Antoni Slonimski


Not at world domination we aim; we dream of freedom


To enjoy the calm of big, old shadowy tress,

The peaceful hours of sunset in our dear village-home,

Lost in listening the soft humming of bees,

The neigh of horses grazing on meadows,

When the dark night is approaching...


We don't want to rule over others, we want to share bread

In all justice with our own people, at home,

We dream to walk freely through our well-known roads,

And look happily into the deep, starry sky

And sleep in peace under its blue vault

It's so little, and yet it's all.

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