Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
 
6.8k · Jun 2015
No Other Name
Joel Frye Jun 2015
isn't it odd
how we can know
human nature
well enough
to write poems
that move others
to tears
yet must hear
the words of others
to cry
alone
.
Peter, Paul and Mary - "No Other Name" www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GdB3oWRS04
2.0k · Jun 2015
Crucible
Joel Frye Jun 2015
What
           ((holds)) you
to unyielding self?

Petrified
you stone your sins
and still miss the mark;
attempt to beat soul
into healing.

Fool.

Even this
nascent struggle
to understand
casts another rock.

Would you lobotomize...
****** a stick
into your eye socket
to see more clearly?

The peine forte et dure is
in the resistance;
you know,
and do not accept
grace
in the hands
easing you toward
the gentle current
of Spirit
washing around you.

Why?

Entombed by need
to atone,
you cannot roll
the rock aside alone.

Stop asking for
"more weight",
Giles Corey...
you are a fearsome man
standing upright.
1.5k · Jul 2015
mash
Joel Frye Jul 2015
we poets spend lives
writing praise and penances;
the wine of our souls.
A response to Vicki's "on some days".
http://hellopoetry.com/poem/1278628/on-some-days/
1.4k · Jul 2015
Librarian
Joel Frye Jul 2015
Shopworn covers, brittle pages,
faded, handled carelessly -
dime-store dreams locked up for ages
in the musty library.

Risks untaken, words unspoken
stacked in cornered memories
beside the shelves that hold the broken
spines of bound-up fantasies.
Joel Frye Jul 2015
The deepest bruises
stay numb for the longest time;
self-preservation.
Romeo: Courage, man, the hurt cannot be deep.
Mercutio: No, 'tis not so deep as a well,
                  nor so wide as a church door,
                  but 'tis enough, 'twill serve.
"Romeo and Juliet", act 3, scene 1.
1.2k · Sep 2015
why
Joel Frye Sep 2015
why
Some days there are no
needs that matter; other days,
I need a reason.
1.1k · Sep 2015
Une nuit enchantée
Joel Frye Sep 2015
Naked, moaning softly, bathed in sweat,
jaw agape and panting. Such a sight;
a perfect beauty I'll not soon forget.

Charming evening's prelude to a night
where passion grinds your voice to feral growl,
jaw agape and panting.  Such a sight.

The gentle purring now belies the howl
from shattering release that takes you whole
where passion grinds your voice to feral growl.

Your strong yet silken legs enfold my soul,
as you recover life from petite mort,
from shattering release that takes you whole.

No need to contemplate what's still in store,
I'll hold this waking dream until we sleep
as you recover life from petite mort.

Tomorrow's work and worries all will keep,
I'll hold this waking dream until I sleep.
Naked, moaning softly, bathed in sweat,
a perfect beauty I'll not soon forget.
Reprint from my old version, with thanks to Stephanie for the correction.
1.1k · Oct 2015
In Memory of Cayman Whent
Joel Frye Oct 2015
He was a simple man of simple words,
or high-school girl with broken heart who thought
they had a message, or a call, or not.
Arriving with a sense of the absurd,
a bittersweet purview on life and love,
together with a gift for nuanced phrase,
appreciating how the language plays
upon the mind and tongue, they rise above
the well-worn similes, the tired cliches
for days, perhaps for weeks.  Then comes the time
when human ugliness shows up to flay
the budding poet.  The evidence of crimes
committed: smoky circles, nameless gray
reminders of whose gifts they took away.
A tribute to those who have left disheartened or disgusted.
1.1k · Jun 2015
Eternally Yours
Joel Frye Jun 2015
In wistful sojourn through a thousand lives,
across the chasmed centuries gone past,
he calls her name; it never quite arrives
to fall upon her ear.  Just at the last,
she leaves the hall, or shutters windows closed.
The fading echoes rebound, fall, despair
upon the careless earth, alone who knows
how many times he's haunted up her stairs
and stood before her door, unwilling hand
hung limply at his side. The heavy years
passed by them both again; he hadn't planned
that they would not meet. This chance disappears  
to speak the truth he knows she knows as well;
two ancient souls in broken bodies dwell.

Two ancient souls in broken bodies dwell,
a karmic double-helix twists through time.
They spiral 'round, attracted and repelled
by cosmic force, the space between defined
as two arms' lengths apart. Their fingertips
will brush by chance; the spark that generates
ignites the kindling lust, the heated lips
which speak the wildfire words of love. The fates
dictate the places, times where their paths cross;
circumstances, consequences feed
the choices made.  They've chosen fire, the loss
of reason, stoking starving naked need,
dance with abandon, passion, without pride;
they trip light-years fantastic side by side.

They trip light-years fantastic side by side.
The pas de deux began in ancient court
of some small city-state.  He is a knight
sent by his Queen, a diplomatic sort
of mission.  At a dinner hosted by
the local King, the knight, while taking in
who might be helpful or a hindrance spies
a shaken mane of gold, blue eyes within
her stunning face, struck slack with ennui
until she meets his eyes.  An eyebrow lifts,
a corner of her mouth curls up, unseen
by all save the old man beside.  He shifts,
and stands to pound his staff. The hall is still;
bound by an angered mage's curs'ed spell

Bound by an angered mage's curs'ed spell:
"Your burning gaze, Sir Knight...your smile, milass;
returned. You want each other?  Very well!
So mote it be; I'll have it come to pass.
She will be linked to you, eternally
yours, to have, to hold and never love;
to consummate and quench your lust will be
your death. And you shall lust, by Jove above!
I hereby mate your everlasting souls;
condemn you with a love like Hades' fires,
passion's heat incinerates you whole.
You'll take him, child, and **** him with desire.
You'll die for her; she'll bring you to her knees
across uncharted lands, bedragoned seas."

Across uncharted lands, bedragoned seas
uncounted years of wandering, he seeks
asylum from the memory of her eyes.
The softest skin, most gently blushing cheeks,
wildest fingers raking skin from back,
ever-changing hips which ****** and thrash;
the tavern *****, the courtesan, all lack
whatever power it would take to smash
his crushing need.  An aching pilgrimage,
life spent in shameless chase to slake the lust
imposed by jealous wizard in his rage.
Now weak and old, he walks alone through dust
and sandstorm, seeking solace, final rest
in desert's scalding carborundum breath

In desert's scalding carborundum breath
she oversees construction of her tomb.
Her father started it; upon his death,
she left the mage to build the solemn room
of memory. The waves of slaves pour sweat
in rivers onto stones, their muscles scream
and ripple in the undulating heat.
Mirage becomes a staggering man, unseen
by all but she. She mounts and rides to bring
some water, some relief.  When their eyes meet,
their souls enmesh, their spirits start to sing,
his failing body falls about her feet.
They're found again, and still there's no release; 
not even end of life can bring surcease.

Not even end of life can bring surcease;
she lived another twenty years beyond.
His final gaze of longing gave no peace,
but chained her in the everlasting bond
of arcane condemnation. Her ****** heart
is pierced by passing seconds, every one
a blunted needle, mildly poisoned dart
not strong enough to stop her pulse's run.
The mage's gift to her: the agony
of life remembering her lover's kiss,
then a death too short to set her free.
It sends her toward another fatal tryst,
spun round again the universe's width;
their love a measured minuet with death.

Their love a measured minuet with death,
a dance with destiny.  They wake again
to unfamiliar bodies, unknown paths
meandering across the haunted plain
of time.  A muddy pasture, half a million
blissful stoners join in raucous song:
"...and you make it hard". Among the hills run
****** lovers who can do no wrong,
all sharing bodies, needles 'til the smack
runs out. Her shaking arms strapped 'cross his chest;
he huddles close, awaiting the next stack
of Methadone. He shivers; breathes his last.
She cries and rocks his body, they will spoon
throughout the summer's thundered afternoon.

Throughout the summer's thundered afternoon
as heavy clouds erupt on thirsty soil,
cooler air meets skin on fire, a boon
to Magdalene and lover.  The sweet oil
washes off, the rain obscures the sound
of marching feet.  Centurions approach
and ****** him from her side. "So now you're found
beside this one, whose last ride gave us such
an evil time.  We strung him up, but now
his body's gone, and you were seen beside
the tomb. You'll die just as he did, and how."
She watched another man be crucified.
Supported by her love, in peace he passed
between first breath of spring and winter's last.

Between first breath of spring and winter's last,
the royal courtyard at Versailles in bloom
is laid out for the party.  Every face
is rouged, each powdered wig precisely groomed.
The hundred soldiers stand down, raise a toast,
Vive le roi!  One teasing courtier
seduces a queen's guard to leave his post.
Behind a hedge, they make love unaware
of peasants, women milling through the gate
in search of bread and royal blood, not cake.
He runs to save the Queen, and seals his fate;
the mob will **** for revolution's sake.
The oaks a silent witness to his doom
in autumn colors, reds and golds festooned.

In autumn colors, reds and golds festooned,
the twin moons rise and set, reflecting sun
upon the biodomes.  Earth shines down, ruined
by man's neglect, what could not be undone.
The population by law zero sum;
resource conservation held above
the joy of new life.  Parents here must come
to know the anguish of requited love.
She bears his child; they knew too well the chance
they took.  The court will force a choice be made:
the father or the child. A tear, a glance
as he's locked out. She watches as he fades
in cryogenic punishment, life lashed
to winter's icy shackles holding fast.

To winter's icy shackles holding fast
her soul, she proffers prayer, slogs through the sleet
toward her cloistered cell.  One chilling blast
wraps habit 'round her, knocks her off her feet.
The heavy, sodden cloth, the wind prevents
her gaining purchase on the frozen ground.
From monastery cot, the monk could sense
distress.  In thin burnoose he dashed and found
her, cold as stone, yet breathing; swept her up
and rushed her to the hearth.  His warm embrace
brings on familiar heat.  Their pasts stirred up,
relived, decision made within a trace: 
"'Tis best this time we live, and never start."
Their minds attuned, yet cleft by broken heart.

Their minds attuned, yet cleft by broken heart;
the aching need grows stronger day by day.
He tends her failing health without regard
to duty, vows.  Her weak voice strains to say,
"I will be gone before you this time. Hear
me out; this may be what we need to break
our curse.  Stay with me as my time grows near;
and love me as the Reaper comes to take
my soul, and finish with me after I
have left.  God will forgive sins we'll commit
for man alone has ****** us.  We must try
or curse ourselves, continue to submit
to endless pain, remain just as we are:
connected, blessed, and doomed to be apart."

Connected, blessed, and doomed to be apart,
they cling to every moment here and now;
the priceless beating of her failing heart,
his passions roil in an unending flow.
He gazes deep in her eternal eyes
as they glaze over, looking past his face
into the hollow stare of death.  She lies
suspended between life and time and space,
to hear an old, familiar voice sound in
her ears.  "To dance with death before him
as you rut...how clever!  Most astounding
that you'd carry out this futile whim.
He dies; you'll live, just as the curse defines,
in wistful sojourn through a thousand lives."

In wistful sojourn through a thousand lives,
Two ancient souls in broken bodies dwell.
They trip light-years fantastic side by side
Bound by an angered mage's curs'ed spell.
Across uncharted lands, bedragoned seas,
In desert's scalding carborundum breath
Not even end of life can bring surcease;
Their love a measured minuet with death.
Throughout the summer's thundered afternoon,
Between first breath of spring and winter's last,
In autumn colors, reds and golds festooned,
To winter's icy shackles holding fast;
Their minds attuned, yet cleft by broken heart:
Connected, blessed, and doomed to be apart.
A re-post of my magnum opus to date, a heroic crown of sonnets.  It was on my original page; now I have to read that page like everyone else due to some glitch.  If you'd like to see some of my older work, look up Joel M Frye.
1.0k · Jul 2015
manipulation
Joel Frye Jul 2015
two grand masters
play checkers;
chess is a lost cause
1.0k · Jul 2015
State of Platonia
Joel Frye Jul 2015
no of course
you would not notice me
the guy who walks your dog
those nights you go out
for dinner and combat

why yes i'd love to
fill in as your partner
for mixed doubles
flashing a smile at you
as you score and walk off the court

the one who gets you giggling
through your tears
those nights when
the handsome *******
earn their names

me, who'll you'll trust
with your car
with your plants
with your house
with your life
but not your heart

you tell me i'm first
in your syntax of friends
yet I'm so starved for you
that leftovers
will feed me for days
A response to Vidya Ravilochan's  "ode to handsome *******".  A flashback to my days of "love you like a brother".
1.0k · Jul 2015
vigilant
Joel Frye Jul 2015
the pack of demons
who run with me must know that
i'm the alpha male
"...i don't wanna do your ***** work...no more...."
932 · Jun 2015
Blessing of the Brds
Joel Frye Jun 2015
You are light itself;
you are blessed, you are blessing.
Peace always with you.
A response to PrttyBrd's "To Make It All Better".  I needed that this morning.
921 · Jun 2015
The Hermitage
Joel Frye Jun 2015
To live life in intensive clarity
you must prepare yourself a lonely house.
A friend or three, of course. Perhaps a spouse
or three, as well, though even they won't see
how deep the silent spring that feeds your soul.
Intensity, in truth, is rarely loud
or boastful; more like one who's been allowed
perspective broad enough to see the whole.
Many come to visit, few will stay.
Some believe one lesson will suffice
until they understand in full the price,
the cost it takes to find and walk your Way.
For wisdom's earned not doing as you're bid
by those who knew much better than you did.
You can order peace of mind for carry-out.  In fact, it's most strongly advised.
891 · Oct 2015
Prayer
Joel Frye Oct 2015
can i give thanks
any impossible way
for wholly grace?

You, whose soul
beats in every heart
in every poem

futile words flail
their feeble reach
to grasp your beauty

a simple man
whose simple thought
cannot encompass Your All;

i am alive
because Spirit of Life
breathes within me

may that simple life
be fully spent
exalting Your glory.
It is good to feel alive again.
886 · Nov 2015
To grow, perchance to bloom
Joel Frye Nov 2015
the simple knowledge that
you are
will nourish
the stony soul
wherein
my heart
takes tenuous
root
851 · Jun 2015
Sniper
Joel Frye Jun 2015
Be troll assassin;
to be ignored is to die
on the internet.
I still maintain that Gandhi would have loved the Internet.  When enough people ignore trolls for long enough, they lose interest, and go away.
833 · Jan 2016
Oompa Loompa
Joel Frye Jan 2016
You ever wonder
why (with so many poems)
why we keep writing?
830 · Jun 2015
A new recipe
Joel Frye Jun 2015
a cacophonous clash
of undertones;
     soy and beef,
     ginger and garlic,
     vinegar and brown sugar
musky and heavy
until brought to heat
simmering
in patient build
to mutual ******
the struggle for dominance
ends
with heavenly concordance
of aroma
and sprawling afterglow
of satisfied
hunger
Tried a recipe for Korean Beef today.
807 · Aug 2015
the snows of yesteryear
Joel Frye Aug 2015
broadcast words echo
down memory's empty hallways;
footsteps, a door shuts.
800 · May 2015
Y'gotta have heart....
Joel Frye May 2015
Thinking your feelings?
Try tasting with your earlobe...
wrong ***** is used.
742 · Oct 2015
simple song
Joel Frye Oct 2015
in whispered words
you sing along with
the song of my heart

unconcerned with tune
or harmony
a simple chorus
in unison

the reverb swells
as the presence
multiplies
you and i and love;
with Spirit
adding contrabass
more felt than heard
723 · May 2015
Beggared
Joel Frye May 2015
I once worked the sign
at the intersection
of Facebook and HelloPoetry.
All those years when
secure in my job,
flush with cash,
I'd not meet the eyes
of those who muttered
"thank you, sir"
on those rare occasions
when a crumpled dollar
fell from my hand into theirs.
So I now tell on myself
to bleed the shame
from the arrogance,
never knowing the courage
it takes to look the privileged
in the eyes and ask for help
until I stood on the corner
clothed only in my naked need.
To those who know who you are...I mutter, "thank you".
721 · Oct 2015
Cleansed
Joel Frye Oct 2015
Returning from a
walk impossible last week;
grateful for my breath.
Was in the hospital this week for dialysis.  I have no words for how much better I feel.
695 · Dec 2015
Autumn
Joel Frye Dec 2015
Some people change their
colors and fall away; a
few are evergreen.
681 · May 2015
Walk on by
Joel Frye May 2015
Even twenty years ago
I wouldn't have
stood a chance.
No one is ever too old in their mind.
659 · Jul 2015
Third-degree
Joel Frye Jul 2015
To truly know the fire,
one must taste the ashes.
A response to Helen's "Unrestrained".
639 · Oct 2015
Acserbic Acronym
Joel Frye Oct 2015
I will
FIGHT
life's pain;

****,
It's
Gonna
Hurt.
Tough.
626 · Aug 2015
Old age and treachery
Joel Frye Aug 2015
Woman's fortress is
more oft breached through their headlands,
not their netherlands.
A word to the young.
604 · Jun 2015
Mater Deus
Joel Frye Jun 2015
angular
the memories
of the body drawn
by god's own french curve
the soul un(re)touched
by human hardship
the eyes brown warm
acknowledging sin
accepting the sinner
the sacred heart
still wearing
bearing the
crown of ignorance
set upon it
thorny years ago

and still pumping love
into the universal void
free
to any willing to
stand in the rain
and catch it on their tongues
Mother Mary came to me...and I let her be.
601 · Oct 2015
Forced
Joel Frye Oct 2015
When life is good, I force myself to look,
for smaller miracles will go unseen
when I'm not led by Spirit's finger crooked.
When life is good, I force myself to look;
my poet's eye would sleep in shaded nook,
content with heaven, earth and all between.
When life is good, I force myself to look,
for smaller miracles will go unseen.
Sometimes y'just gotta take the bit in your teeth....
596 · May 2015
Family affairs
Joel Frye May 2015
My father died
before he could tell me
that your lungs fill
and you drown in yourself
as your heart fails.

My sister died
silent with the knowledge
that you taste the waste
your kidneys can't expel
as they slowly shut down.

My brother died
within the shell washed up
by the rolling tide of blood
from the bursting of
cerebral arteries.

My mother died
desiccated, emaciated,
her bitterness consumed
in the uncontrolled growth
of her cancerous sweetbreads.

One never lives
until they learn for themselves
the lessons of the lives
the histories and the deaths
of their inheritances.
554 · Jul 2015
Ne m'oublie pas
Joel Frye Jul 2015
While I still breathe, I write to save my life
in compact form; mistakes, the lessons learned,
triumphant days and nights of needless strife
brought on by willful dreams and bridges burned.
One day too soon, a final page will turn,
the book will close. My fine and fragile chain
to life will break.  A loneliness unearned
will mark your passing days in ink of pain.  
Then if you wish to hear my voice again
one silent morning when you wake alone,
I leave you songs and poems.  Each refrain
will resurrect the soul you've always known.
So when my fated moment shall arrive,
my words are here; come read me back alive.
ne m'oublie pas - forget me not.
Spenserian sonnet.
534 · Jul 2015
Caught
Joel Frye Jul 2015
the words tied
together carefully,
with a natural
nonchalance
belying the
concentration,
looking for all the world
like a harmless insect
cast into the
atmosphere
with such a
casual flick
of a wrist
to float lightly
upon the waters
of consciousness
relaxed wary hands
await the emergence
of the subconscious
from the depths
the hook is strong
and snelled
to set deep.
But I only keep what I will eat....
532 · Jul 2015
Try it, you'll like it!
Joel Frye Jul 2015
Read the poems
your favorite poets read;
expand your mind.
Go to your favorite poets' home pages, look just below and to the right of their banner, and click on "Favorites".  I promise you, it's worth the journey.
526 · May 2015
Supernova
Joel Frye May 2015
I must be a star;
not a heavenly body,
just a gaseous one.
Go ahead...pull my finger....
521 · Jul 2015
Awash
Joel Frye Jul 2015
sipping cold water
the desk lamp
pooling light
in the ocean of
dark morning
wondering at the waves
of electronic soul
washing over my heart
cleansing my blood
of bitterness
faces i may never see
looking at me
with love
through the eyes
of their words
You are light itself;
you are blessed, you are blessing.
Peace always with you.
Joel Frye Sep 2015
Great Spirit, I'm too tired to offer prayer,
too worn to ask for grace or strength divine,
so I must trust that You will still be there.

I speak far less; some think that I don't care,
it's more that I cannot abide to whine.
Great Spirit, I'm too tired to offer prayer.

My friends have precious little left to share,
no muttered reassurance all is fine,
so I must trust that You will still be there.

I sit at night beside her empty chair
with sleepless memories to fill my mind.
Great Spirit, I'm too tired to offer prayer.

Her footsteps echoes hanging in thin air
remind me of lost chances and lost time,
so I must trust that You will still be there.

My silence does not leave me unaware;
what words are left when one is left behind?
Great Spirit, I'm too tired to offer prayer,
so I must trust that You will still be there.
My brother in arms Ivan Giles lost his woman to cancer this weekend.
511 · Jun 2015
Mille merci, docteur
Joel Frye Jun 2015
having exchanged
three days of life
suspended together
between realities
my life is richer
and poorer
three days impossible
without the forty
years apart
forty forging years
that hammered us
mellow and malleable
to fit comfortably
in conversation
and silence alike.
You are and will be missed.
497 · Jul 2015
here we go loop de loop...
Joel Frye Jul 2015
Fear the Mobius
strip mind: one-sided, closed-off
and severely kinked.
477 · Sep 2015
Oops.
Joel Frye Sep 2015
I stepped on my rose-
tinted hippie shades looking
for my gratitude.
@/@
473 · Nov 2015
Je pleure
Joel Frye Nov 2015
people, stop killing
each other for god's sake; then
we will live in peace
466 · Oct 2015
Discards
Joel Frye Oct 2015
A dozen chairs
haphazard
in the service entrance
the boss says
you can have
any or all;
the junk man comes tomorrow.
None are broken.
Perhaps too firm,
or too soft,
not supportive enough
or someone
just couldn't get
comfortable
with this one.
The one I found
on the third try
is plain and strong,
has my back
where needed
and holds me
at the proper height
where I see best.
Strange who
some will toss aside
as worthless.
I'm not everyone's cup of tea, either.
456 · May 2015
Self-amuse
Joel Frye May 2015
So many mornings
I'm both amused and bemused
by my viciousness.
439 · Oct 2015
Not sure what
Joel Frye Oct 2015
fighting a
nascent
lassitude;
words and worlds
are brewing
within.
433 · Jul 2015
Can't live....
Joel Frye Jul 2015
a musician's blessing:
there's always a song
in your mind.

a musician's curse:
you are not always
the program manager.
...you always smile, but in your eyes, your sorrow shows...yes, it shows....
433 · Oct 2015
Thirst
Joel Frye Oct 2015
As a youth I chugged
life with open throat; now each
day a precious sip.
423 · Aug 2015
Storm and Fury
Joel Frye Aug 2015
For all its Times Square
activity, HP is
eerily silent.
"Nobody goes there any more.  It's too busy." - Yogi Berra
423 · Jul 2015
For Miss Raugh
Joel Frye Jul 2015
You came back in 1968
from teaching Kenyans
to speak English
to teach Americans
how to see the world.

A nine-year-old boy
was in your fifth-grade class,
precocious, gifted
and quite full of himself
and ignorance.

It was magical, that connection;
the world-wise teacher
and the barely contained
bolt of potential.
It was his only year of school
where he never missed a day
or dropped a class.

Amazing how subtle,
blunt and gentle you were with him,
tapping walls of arrogance
with a wrecking ball,
allowing him to maintain
his structure
while rocking and rebuilding
his foundation.

You saw the boy
who danced on the the tightrope
between genius and insanity...
and quietly fed the jukebox.

He wanted to write;
you gave him Frost and cummings.
He yearned to draw;
you showed him Van Gogh.
He thirsted to learn;
you taught him how
to slake his parched mind.

He left your classroom,
but you continued to teach him.
You still do,
nearly fifty years later.

The last time he saw you,
he hurt you,
in that casual,
caustic way
of the high-school senior.
Still, when his nieces and nephews
with his last name
passed through,
you'd ask them
how he was doing,
and asked them to tell him
to stop in, or call.

He never did,
so he's now reduced
to offering words
you would have loved to read
in their full futility
telling you
that you
are
immortal.
I hope that you've all had at least that one special teacher.
414 · Sep 2015
impulse
Joel Frye Sep 2015
Run away with me;
tomorrow we shall laugh at
the foolish children.
Next page