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 Jan 2021
I look the last this land I leave behind —
Timeless as water, bountiful as sorrow,
Abode today, a memory tomorrow;
Her contours etched untarnished in my mind —
How sweet our first encounter; how unkind
That time which man is wont to beg and borrow
Brought forth this bitter twilight ere a morrow
When all our self-same sunsets will have shined —
    Henceforth sunrise shall tarry ere it greets me;
    The midday sun shall cast a sterner gaze
    As paths unknown reveal their hidden troves;
    Home is the sacrifice for those who journey
    Without return;  We venture through the groves
    Of doubt and fear to set our lives ablaze.
 Dec 2017
Mark Wanless
"Sonnets From a Conversation With a Friend IV"

You merely smiled when I said this till you
Saw my eyes and the gnawing fear in them
And knew that I was serious. Then calm
And slow you reached across the table to
Take my hand in yours and held it just so
Between both your own, and said, This may seem
To simple to be of much use, and no gleam
Of magic light renders it perfect to
Cure in an instant, but just an honest
Caring acceptance, from one, to another
Who is suffering, is a priceless, ancient
Balm.            And so we sat quiet together, for
An hour, hand in hand, in the silence,
Sharing a gift of life, touching each other.
just a flow
 Dec 2017
Mark Wanless
"Sonnets From a Conversation With a Friend VI "

I've told you of my many mind changes
Not just the surface dross, but the living
Core of the root. The blurred symptoms bending
My sight to destruction, the hate of ages
Thriving within, the tainted defenses
Of ego that burned pain with their weak soothing,
This I told you and more. The thorned purging
Of childhood's conjecture, the strength that is
Formed, sturdy and deep, in one days effort,
The acceptance of self, which slow but true
Did lift, this I told you and more. And the vast
Labors of molding the light and dark shape
That frames my world, now glinting a soft burst
Of love's color, this I've told you, and more.
 Dec 2017
Mark Wanless
"Sonnets From a Conversation With a Friend VIII "

We have thrown many hollow words at each
Other in fits of spite and calumny.
Hitting the mark has been very easy
For both of us. I sometimes try to leach
A fawned approval, and in secret reach
Out to shape you into what i truly
Wish existed. You, can with childish glee
Lie about anything, or deign to teach
Me of your rickety opinions as
If they were life's first law. But these course, bare
Faults that sting do not ensphere and compass
Our union, nor do we gasp unaware
Of just remorse, and blooms one clear thought that's
Held jointly,       perfect people live elsewhere.
 Nov 2017
I walked the streets of Dundalk, Maryland
In Baltimore, when winters shiver shook
Bright festive baubles clung in every nook
And flickering lights from windows gaily spanned
And by Papapsco Church I paused to stand
And gazed upon a host of the good book
And open-mouthed I felt compelled to look
Upon a scene obscene to understand
As ragged folk on benches tried to sleep
And county folk with badges moved them on
And pinned a blunt citation to church door
That shamed the reverend that tried to keep
Poor homeless folk from freezing evermore
At Christmas in a land most Christian
 Nov 2017
Red vines growing in the garden of my heart
Twisting and turning such a beautiful art
Every junction, an estuary of blood flow
A brisk of good feeling makes my heart glow
The garden is healthy yet empty from inside
With shades of red it covers from outside
For people who dared visiting this place
Always seeked love and left their trace
A few entered the garden with lust intention
And left the vines dead to bring me to attention
Since then the garden is fenced and locked
Some predicted it won't work but were shocked
Today the garden blooms with healing vines
While I water it everyday with tasty red wines...

Fictional write.
 Nov 2017
Mark Wanless
"Sonnets From a Conversation With a Friend XVIII "

Different language different self, shaped
Of action, shaper of acts, aggregate
Born of body, speech, and mind. Offsprung fate
Mother creator, sentient congealed
Light. The mystery itself a gnawing
Pain stimulation to movement, former
Of distraction, pre-conscious constructer
Of constellations and galaxies swimming
In the great ocean deluded. Ego
Follows function, motivation the door
Magnificent. Change, reality for
The multitudes to nine decimals. No
Brain to small to know the great endless fall
To emptiness, clear waveless base of all.
 Apr 2017
cassie sky
These bars on the window, they keep me in
Though they are not quite what you would expect
They're not strong or thick, but flimsy and thin.
Instead of iron, they're made of plastic

Although they do stop me physically
It is not in the conventional sense
Of "lock her up and throw away the key"
More like the subtle warning of a fence

They shun the thing that is fueling my fire
Leaving me in darkness, too familiar
The heaviness keeps at bay my desire
To leap into unknown, the barely blur

They trap me not like the bird in a cage
Rather, they stifle, like the soul in rage
My students have been writing sonnets as we study Romeo & Juliet and I felt inspired at 10pm to write this when I should have been reading for my book club meeting tomorrow. Oh well! The line about the barely blur is a reference to a song by the band Why? off of their new album Moh Lean.
 Dec 2016
hayley robertson
As I look back on times that have long past,
And think about the good times that we shared,
I start to realize why it didn’t last:
Because we only focused on who cared.
It’s hard at first to let the memories go,
Sometimes I want to relive everyday,
But over time they’ll melt like fallen snow,
And happiness will come in different ways.
I’ll take delight in someone else’s glance,
Allowing light to flood into my life.
The butterflies inside me do a dance,
No more I’ll be weighed down by all the strife.
     I cannot wait for what life has in store.
     My heart wide-open; wings outstretched to soar.
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