in the morning
we struggle with the bed sheets that
wrap us, bind us
in the afternoon
we crawl to our desks
and burn our faces
from our phones, from our laptops
reasoning, pleading, typing, and clicking
away the words and sentences
that could decide our fates
in the evening
the voices sharing laughter and stories are
to be found in the dinner table
there is only the hurried clanging
of forks and knives against porcelain
we swallow several morsels of reheated leftovers
and just drown our stomachs with coffee and pills
the breath of our sighs fill the air
and bring us to suffocation
we drag our limbs
the answers and solutions may be
with all our might,
we anchor ourselves against the world's spin
our sunken weary eyes
glance at each other from time to time
no words are spoken
but from those fleeting moments
we know the burdens that the other carries
as much as our hearts ache to
we can't help each other
because we're already too lost helping ourselves
i've seen you before...
skin paler with the glow of screens and pixels
whether because of your strong feminist opinions (reasons not to wear a shirt and throw glitter at your family, and then run away)
or because hey, you only had a towel, but you still wanted to talk to me and watch the telly
or because you like wearing comfortable but ill-fitting pajamas,
i've seen you
i've seen your body.
i'm not going to pretend like i didn't care or like i didn't look, because i did. i do.
but i just thought you should know
that every inch of you
and you really
shouldn't slice yourself so deep
that the gashes on your ivory skin
so that you wonder and ask me
if it's normal
and if they usually do that, when i have cuts,
because you say that for you, they always do
and that's just
because mine nearly never go that deep
but i couldn't tell you that
i began writing this a very long time ago and kept it as a draft for a long time and this is about as far as i'm ever going to get with it so pfft here it is
it is said that
a prophet finds no honor
in his own country
their hard truths
are heard as a
threatening to melt
the caked wax
blocking the closed
intolerant ears of
once found no
in his homeland
his people driven
from their land
gobbling the land
people from villages
and regions they
since the dawn
spilling Zulu blood
into roiling rivers
petitions of the
the blood of
against the innocent
by corralling them onto
where rivers do not
flow, grass never grows,
game cannot graze;
only the dust doth blow
riddling the captives
with torments of
mocking the speakers
of mother tongues with
the fained eloquence
of bastardized Afrikaans
the dominion of the
and affirmed by exiling
a people from their land,
outlawing their language,
dividing the nations into
a fallacy of separate
destinies where a forgetful
history blessed with amnesia
will anoint the conquerors
with the spoils of abundance
stolen from the vanquished
Madiba spoke of these things
and was awarded a prison
cell for twenty seven years
but the hostages of feigned
justice are always destined
to be freed by the arrival
of an accepted truth
set free by the very words
prisons cannot contain truth
steel bars cannot imprison
the divine justice of an idea
it slips through the smallest openings
like a wafting fragrance of the first day of spring
it saws away at the rust strewn steel bars
like the surest movement of a master carpenter’s arm
it melts the thickest links of iron chains
in the fiery forges that burn in the hearts
of all freedom loving people
the truth of justice
is born and takes flight
on the wings of history
covering the globes
nesting in the most
and mean estates
on God’s good earth
truth and reconciliation
can never be separated
planted together to grow
healthy nations and
trust and restoration
Madiba, you always
found honor with
the salt of the earth
the children of light
who seek to dispel
the darkness of
we continue to
walk your way
guided by your
we take the first steps
asking liberators to join
with oppressors, pairing
in a magnanimous walk
along wholesome pathways
perceiving the buena vistas
of reconciled communities
of peace, equality
and justice for all citizens
I caught a fleeting glimpse of Madiba
as he rolled by in the Canyon of Heros
showered under a June blizzard of confetti
and a resounding acclimation of love.
I was a plebe inhabiting a lower floor
Broadway office, yet my station blessedly
brought me closer to Madiba. As he passed
I was moved by his miraculous smile and felt
the colossal reverberations of his waving arm
triumphantly hailing the sweet freedom of
liberation all hostages of feigned justice
exude in the vindication of divine justice
enraptured in the joy of affirmed truth.
we are enriched
and blessed for
the time you walked
the good fight
for we shall resume
the climb to
the next mountaintop.
Well done Madiba
Rolihlahla “Nelson” Mandela
7/18/18 - 12/5/13
Ladysmith Black Mombazo
Jaylin was scared and detrimental -
with runaway scars,
his heavy breathing,
and the wolves chasing such a forgotten soul.
"I'm more afraid of death then before,
more afraid of the teeth ripping through my skull,
I have to end this dream.",
He said screaming, knowing it was but of no dream.
Is the end just above the harassing, or still just a mere speck waiting to be seen.
he screamed again, as the snow touched his face
- wishing his fellow friends could hear.
the mindless memories all over his body warned him.
It warned him he was still wanted by them.
Still yearned by the ones of which owned the forest.
"Jaylin, run! Run now!"
this wasn't his mind, but the mysteries' wind that ran next to him.
He heard it, but didn't know what it said until he saw them -
barking, running and almost screaming.
Jaylin stopped to listen to this screaming,
as if the screaming was the sound of a thousand ghosts that the Wolves killed.
Hearing all this he knew he wasn't the first.
"How could the wind know?,
Why are there some many voices in my head!?,
I don't want to be trapped like the other lost and forgotten souls!,
I don't want to be screaming in endless time of death !",
what was wished for was soon put away in the hollow sound of the universe.
they found him.
and the taste of death
where all things felt when Jaylin was bitten.
Bitten by The Wolves.
Given to hours just two alone
I find my way far gone.
I visit a world of alone emptiness.
No comforts just lack of dis-
When I return,
I look at loved ones like strangers.
Forgetting names and myself.
I smile more but care less.
My life of thunder slides away.
In it cracks the sound of nothing.
No futures, no pain, and just those eyes.
They peer soft as fire and hard as time.
If Love is a crown, her smile a kingdom.
I'm becoming obsessed
When I'm with you my life is complete
When you are away, all I do is miss you and want you here
I don't want you
I need you
But you don't care
You have moved on
You are finally happy again
Who am I to ruin that?
I just want you to love me
I want you to see the stars and the moon when you look at me
All you see are my mistakes
Crazy about you
I built this frail skeleton
To keep my foolish heart
From floating away.
But your black hole beauty
Began to pull me in.
My heart began to expand,
As it ate up more and more of my dreams
My ribs began breaking, and soon
My heart began
To push at my chest
Slowly stretching the skin.
Until one day
My skin began to tear.
I frantically began
To stitch it up,
But it was too late.
My chest burst open
And my heart flew
Out, crazed with
It's new found passion.
I saw it rush away
Through the city
Lit by the beams of moonlight.
Until it found you.
Now it floats above your head
Waiting for the moment
You would notice it
And reach up and
Thread it to your
There were some things young Hildegard
Believed deep down in her heart,
And it affected how
She treated all her friends.
"If you're not a part of my parade,
You're just another useless part
That will get tossed out with all the
Other odds and ends.
She told Rolph Johnson
To go on home..
He simply did not suit her taste.
And little Mary Fennel
To have a life,
But Hildegard had one
She had no plans to waste.
"I'm not sorry," she told them all.
"Because it's you. It isn't me!
If I let you hang around,
Someone important may just see.
And I will not allow that.
Where I am you cannot go.
I'm twice as good as you are.
And I know you know I know!"
She told her Mom one late summer day
She preferred to do things her own way.
She did not need her parent's care.
She had no need to worry there.
"I'm smart. I'm strong.
I'm quick. I'm wise.
And I think I've
Outgrown you guys.
You just don't understand.
I'm a some one
You can never be!"
"Even my Teacher
Thinks I'm bright.
And I must admit.
My Teacher's right."
And she's usually
Sort of clueless, so
It's kind of good she
Seems to know."
Her friends, they vanished,
One by one.
They were in the way,
And they weren't much fun.
They did not understand
Was twice the girl
They could be.
Once, or twice,
T'was true, they heard:
"Supercilious is a silly word."
And Hildegard would turn away,
Without another word
She had so very
Much to do.
She'd planned her life.
T'was true, so true.
It was a life she would not be denied,
A future she'd not toss aside.
She'd be incisive and demure.
They'd never undervalue her.
And to this day,
She's made her case.
No arroganace upon her face.
She's a belle of substance, and rightly so,
Trapped in a very lonely place.
Copyright © 2013 Richard D. Remler
"I call everyone 'Darling' because I
can't remember their names."
~Zsa Zsa Gabor
when I was a young kid there was no room in our house so I had to sleep in the crawlspace above the house
It was winter and the crawlspace was uninsulated and there was
a small old space heater from the 1970’s that didn’t do anything
unless you were right up next to it. Sometimes I would get up
next to it and the sleeping bag would start to burn on the edges
melt. I’d wake up and move away from it because it would burn
the sleeping bag. One night it was very cold but I didn’t turn on
the heater because I didn’t want to melt a giant hole in the
sleeping bag for good and maybe burn myself. That night
while I was sleeping a brown recluse spider bit
me on the hip. It must crawled in to the sleeping
bag with me because it was cold
The next morning the bite had swollen
up like half a golf ball and in the middle was
a sort of purple spot where the skin was most affected by
necrosis and that spot already looked like it wanted to let
out all the pus inside. I knew that there was pus inside
because it had swollen so much and sort of felt solid but
squishy. I didn’t do anything about it that day
because I didn’t know what kind of a bite it was. The next night
was very cold because it was early february but I didn’t want to
melt my sleeping bag again. The temperature gauge in the crawl
space said it was 34 because some of the heat from the
house did leak in to the crawlspace because it was uninsulated.
I had lots of clothes on but only had a pair of baggy
jeans and my legs were bare under that. That night the
same spider must have crawled in to the sleeping bag
up my pants leg. The next morning the bite from two
nights before had gone to hell because I hadn’t done
anything to treat it right away and I had rolled on to
it the next night and it had turned yellow and purple
and the skin on the whole area was necrotic but on top
of the first bite was a second bite that had started to swell
up as well. I thought this was funny because I was young
and nasty stuff is funny when you’re young.
I sort of squeezed at the fleshy mass and a bit of
liquid came out but not a whole lot of liquid.
There was obviously an obstruction. So I took
a metal needle and heated it up with a lighter to
make it easier to pierce the skin. When it
was red hot I pushed right in to
the top of the hole where the purple was and
it started letting out little bits of pus. I wasn’t
satisfied with the amount it was producin
g but since the hole from the needle went in really deep
I figured a lot more would come out if I pushed on
either side of the lump. At first there was mostly
light red blood and some white pus that was watery
and it sort of ran out. No matter how hard
I pushed it only a little bit of puss would come out.
I left it alone but came back to it later on and by
this time a scab had formed over the top of the hole
. I ripped this off and continued to push on to the
sides of the lump which by this time had lost some
of its original form because the skin was dead
on and around the lump. It had caved in like little
indentations of my fingers where I had pressed
but no liquid came out. The second bite had taken
care of any skin on the first bite that might have
missed the necrosis and even it had its own little lump
coming out of the first. My entire leg was sore
because the muscle tissue was necrotic deep down.
By the next day the skin had died and changed in such a
way I never thought I would ever see a part of myself.
It had turned a dark yellow and the purple was a
solid purple that didn’t mix with the yellow. As
I scratched at it, the skin peeled off in layers and
I kept scratching at the skin and it kept peeling off.
It got to a point where I knew I could just bust
the whole thing open if I really squeezed at it and
it all just came out. The blood in the middle
was blackish and the pus was thick and lumpy
like oatmeal. There was lots and lots of it in there.
After that the spider bit me again on the same hip
but about a month later. By this time the first bites
had healed to an indented scar where the skin had healed
but not come back. The third bite wasn’t as bad as the first
but it still died like the first. Spiders are ok because they don’
t bite people who didn’t have it coming. As much as I’d like to
think I could have prevented that from happening I
would gladly let the spider in to my sleeping bag again
if it was cold but with no guarantee I wouldn’t roll on to it and I say this with warm feelings.
He was known as the local Mycophagist
In the dales, the woods and the hills,
What happened was sad, for he wasn’t so bad
Just a tad underdone, Toby Gills,
They say that the cord was around his neck,
He was born with a carroty mop,
And a pale white head, he was almost dead
When the doctor had called out ‘Stop!’
They cut the cord and they let him breathe,
The damage was already done,
The blood had been stopped to his carroty top
So they said that he’d always be dumb.
But he found a niche where the fungi creeps
And went out collecting the spore,
In a year or two he knew more than you
And the college Professor next door.
He studied his mushrooms with loving intent,
He knew about hen of the woods,
He knew about bracket and shaggy manes, magic
And paddy straw, they were the goods;
He fostered his lobster and hedgehog and oyster
And coral fungi and stinkhorns,
But didn’t discern between fly agarics
And toadstools that grew in the lawn.
He grew his spore in a deep, dark cellar
And sold to the folk who came by,
And never would judge between Widow Weller
And the ordinary witches of Rye,
He’d sell death caps, and pigskin puffballs
Not thinking to question them why,
Or who would be eating his laughing Jim’s
And whether they knew they would die.
The air was thick and the air was damp
And he fell in the dark one day,
Scattering toadstools into the air
And their spores had floated away,
He breathed the spores right into his lungs
For he hadn’t been wearing a mask,
But sucked them in right over his tongue
And they came to his lungs, at last.
I happened to see him out in the street
He was finding it hard to breathe,
He could only take a couple of steps
Then sit on the kerb, to heave,
I tried to help but he waved me away
And his eyes were yellow and cruel,
Then I saw what he’d thrown up on the kerb
Some yellow and red toadstools.
The man was a walking toadstool spore
They were popping up out of his hair,
Pushing their way though his carroty top
In a bid to get to the air,
And his skin was blotched like a puffball, he
Looked up at me, and he cried,
As a giant toadstool grew from his throat
And he lay on his side, and died.
David Lewis Paget