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May 2018 · 567
Death of Aleppo
Sara L Russell May 2018
Death of Aleppo
Sara L Russell   1st May 2018

When I saw your before-and-after
how I cried
  I died a thousand deaths
       on your bleak soil
a golden city built on hope and pride
  now rubble, bloodied waters
    and turmoil

Despoil is not the word
  to fit the scene
Annihilate seems closer
     to the mark
a land devoured by the war machine
  once here, a fountain
there a local park

In stark contrast to
  all that's left today
bereft of everything you once
  held dear
What went before is lost and blown away
  the aftermath seems now
   forever here

When we saw your before and after
flat epitaphs of never-
   ending pain
condolences in tiny paragraphs
  appeared in hollow hashtags
     once again.
Before and after (the war) photos of Aleppo can be found all over the internet and in YouTube videos. Other countries (including the UK) often send targeted missile strikes when sending food and medical aid would be so much better.
Dec 2017 · 328
Holding the Light
Sara L Russell Dec 2017
Light light beings
Sara L Russell, 10/10/16

So if we are light beings, then is the aura a fountain of white
  diamond fire reflecting the sun, dancing in the air
in a million drops of exploding starlight from the seventh universe.
  If we are light beings, we are beholden to shun the darkness.

Always shun the darkness, for it is full of the shadows of djinn;
  those shadow people know your comings and goings,
behold, they are legion, they hunt the starlight children
fly like a moth to the light; since it holds only the luminescence of love.

We are light, we are strong, we are wingbeats of angels,
  we are the blameless abiders of law from our leaders,
like a million dancing raindrops, we can weather the maelstroms,
  holding the light as a feather; since it is fragile and needs our belief.

And if we are light beings, being lighter than air or arias,
  then is the aura like haloes of sunbeams reflected in sea;
only then we are free to ascend in the spirit of freedom,
being the love light and keepers of tranquility.
Aug 2016 · 1.4k
Coming Full Circle
Sara L Russell Aug 2016
Sara L Russell  29th August 2016

Time to retire now, ladies,
the drawing room awaits
as the gentlemen go to smoke
and drink brandy
or tell ribald stories
unsuitable for a lady's delicate ears.
Time to work on our embroidery
or retire to bed.
The men shall retire whenever they wish,
and the stars are too many for us to count.
Now we must lie abed
dreaming of Mr. Darcy
or perhaps a future career,
If only one's gender
might permit such a thing.

Time to adjourn now, ladies,
Mrs. Pankhurst has said her piece
and the rozzers are coming
to break up our meeting of like minds.
I heard that she was in prison for a time,
and went on hunger strike!
oh yes, my dear,
I heard they beat her,
force-fed her
then left her to cry alone in her cell.
Only she didn't cry. She never cries.
They say one day we women
will be able to vote!
Yes, of course it could happen.
We deserve it, after all.

Time to adjourn now, people,
it's been a long session
and even ministers need a lunch break.
Mrs. Thatcher no doubt will carry on
making notes for yet another meeting,
I don't think that woman ever sleeps.
Even if she never does,
she has razor-sharp concentration
and a sharper mind.
You don't want to get
on the wrong side of that one.
Funny, years ago,
they never dreamed we'd have
a woman Prime Minister.
Not everyone agrees with her
yet few dare to disagree.

Time to retire now, ladies.
The men have important things
to discuss, too serious for our lowly ears.
Theirs is the sun and the daylight;
ours are the shadows that herald the dusk.
Gather your prayer beads
and lower your gaze.
Do not look into the eyes
of the Imam as you pass by
on the way to your rooms.
Do not let any breeze from the window
displace your veil.
Guard your modesty
at all times;
protect your respectability,
for it is all you have in the world.
Sara L Russell Jun 2016
Sara L Russell 8th June 2016*

Dear Sir or Madam, we regret to say
your manuscript is not quite what we need;
so therefore we're returning it today,
with all good wishes that you will succeed.
* * *
Dear [your name here] regretfully these days
we do not read submitted manuscripts;
we're mainly doing television plays
and cannot give out full critiques or tips.
* * *
"I'm sorry but our editor's away
and he's the only one for poetry
what was your name again? But I will say
we will get back to you eventually."
* * *
No news is good news, so we carry on
till everything but desperation's gone.
Jan 2016 · 4.6k
Queen of the Selfie
Sara L Russell Jan 2016
Sara L Russell, 15th January 2016, 00:04

So yeah this is me and Julie outside H&M;…
trying too hard to look ****?
Desperate tarts more like.
We went to Starbucks after that, then the pub,
and then… the rest of the afternoon's a blur. Haha.


Oh yes and this one's me with Foo Foo,
stupid cat's sitting on top of my presentation.
She can be useless at times but she makes a good hot water bottle
when it's like, really cold? You know? Cats are great for that.
Dead sympathetic too. Good listeners.


Oh now this is a good one. This is me
with that **** actor off I'm a Celebrity.
He was in… actually I can't remember what he was in?
Really like, **** though? Yet I've only seen him on I'm a Celebrity?
Anyway he was cool with stopping for a selfie. God love him.
(Whoever he is).


Ahh… this one is me with Julie again. She's such a ******.
She's got one of those light up Santa hats on. Daft *****.
Never did get one for me. Not that I'd wear one.
I prefer those furry reindeer antlers.
See? There's one of me with antlers on.


Oh here's one of me and Mum.
Yeah very sad I know. She tries so hard to be cool, bless her.
Embarrassing really. I gave her my old phone and
she still hasn't worked out how to use it.
Takes loads of photos of herself though.
So sad.
Dec 2015 · 5.5k
Screaming Blue Purdah
Sara L Russell Dec 2015
Sara L Russell 5/12/2015*

How can birds sing, if taken from the meadow?
Cloistered away in silent fear
envious of the boundless skies
Even her wings are held earthbound
defenceless is she, and silent as the grave.

✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿

What sun may rise for she who walks in shadow,
the blackness that makes her disappear
hidden away from prying eyes
Too fearful to make the smallest sound
accepting of pain, and living as a slave.

✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿
Sara L Russell Dec 2015
Sara L. Russell, 30th November 2015, 17:00pm*

Let the man and the woman be free to choose one another in marriage;
For therein lieth domestic accord.
Let the woman be free to obey the man solely out of love,
only because he deserveth her love through his loving kindness,
therefore she loveth him above all others (with the exception of God).
The man must, in turn, deserve her love; and if he does not, by reason of cruetly,
the woman may flee, with God's blessing, never to return.

✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿

Let the man and the woman live and work together in equality;
For woman is the greatest ally of man.
Let them pray together at the holy temples of the Lord our God,
kneeling side by side in devotional acts of love and worship.
There is no room for oppression in the House of the Lord;
no flowers can bloom in a garden of burning thorns.
Be gentle with one another; or else incur the maelstrom of God's holy wrath.

✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿

Mark this well, brethren; cut not the fragile Flower of Life.
A woman's body is sacrosanct unto herself and unto God;
therefore mutilate her at your peril, for the Flower of Life
is also the Flower of Love. Herein is a font of ultimate power and purity.
No man can exist without the prior existence of woman,
for out of the body of woman cometh the infancy of man.
Whosoever causeth harm to this bloom shall be punished by God.

✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿

Let the men and women of the world be free to express true love and desire,
For out of desire cometh the sweetest songs and most joyous of dreams.
Bring forth thy children in the blessed spirit of love and gentleness.
Be not warlike in your dealings with outsiders; negotiate the ways of
free trading through cooperation and sharing.
There is enough land, grain and livestock for everyone.
Be tolerant and fair; let tolerance guide the destiny of mankind.

✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿
[Notes: Islam's Sharia Law has contributed to much of the oppression of women. I like to think that if Solomon had written those rules, they might have been more just and humane.]
Sara L Russell Nov 2015
Sara L Russell 11/11/2015, 01:45am*

I wanted to end writer's block.
So I got on my magic carpet and said "Take me to India."
It took off at fantastic speed.
Clouds flew past like frantic ghosts.
I thought I saw Lord Ganesh
smoking a hookah by the Taj Mahal.
The sparkling waters of the Ganges soon came into view.
I dismounted the magic carpet and waded out
in my long chiffon dress, into the cool water.
Candles shaped like lotus flowers drifted idly by.
Suddenly I caught my toes on a reed and was falling,
falling, falling...
the magic carpet flew away.
Woke up in ****** Carpet Right.
To be continued...
Oct 2015 · 1.7k
Creator Song
Sara L Russell Oct 2015
Sara L Russell, 27th Oct 2015, 00:50am*

I send you out into the world my dear ones.
Here is light and shade; and I see that it is good.
Here are the waters of life poured forth in shimmering splendour
all for your delight and to nurture your thirst;
behold, here is a paradise of sunlight scattering
diamonds of fire on the ocean,
sunlight filtering through the leaves of tall palms and little olive trees
in splinters of dappled emerald light and shade;
here are dazzling white sands and shady mangroves
it is all for you, for I love you, my children;
you belong to me
and to all of the earth.

I send you out, dear ones, amid the steamy jungles,
out to swim free in the dancing liquid light of rivers and streams,
I set you free in a garden of plenty.
Here are fountains and waterfalls overhung with intoxicating
  swags of white jasmine and scarlet hibiscus
entwining with vines heavy with ripened grapes.
Flamingoes and bright parakeets fly out of the
greenery before you, in a flurry of rainbow fire.
Rejoice in this life I give you
and take care of this beautiful domain.
Keep it safe; make it last
and you in turn will last;
safe in an infinity of peace.

I send you out into the world my treasured ones,
free to walk naked, resplendent in the satin of your skin;
needing to conceal nothing from the sun's nurturing rays
or the eyes of beasts, or each other's loving gaze.
Behold, you are pure and untainted with shame;
you have the freedom of earth's bountiful beauty
and you are lovely as the flowers that carpet the forest floor.
Taste freely of the berries and the sweet delight of earth's nectar,
Let the pollen of the lotus bring you dreams of deep serenity.
Only touch not the fruit of the tree by the dark
fountain sealed. The Tree of Knowledge
is mine to know and yours only
to behold in silent wonder.
Mark this well, my children,
for it is my only rule.
Jul 2015 · 1.1k
For Oscar
Sara L Russell Jul 2015
( July 16th 01:10am)

Dear boy! The love that dare not speak it's name
which caused you suffering, expounds these days;
no golden sphynxes fold their wings in shame,
there's pride in gaiety and all it's ways.

To think that tiny window on the sky
was all you had, to show the world was real!
For bigotry and hate will always try
to break a butterfly upon a wheel.

Bereft and broken, still by love possessed,
you were vanquished by prejudicial law;
and yet, with trusting candour, you confessed
to all the passion you were fighting for.

From Paradise to gutter, behind bars,
Oscar was always looking at the stars.
Jun 2015 · 1.1k
Outbreak of Peace
Sara L Russell Jun 2015
June 28th 2015, 02:53am*

The sun shall ascend in the morning, in a benediction of golden light.
Birdsong shall scatter through the air as brightly as sunlight on water,
butterflies shall rise in ragged flight, seeking out meadow nectars,
  as peace breaks out throughout the peaks and valleys.

The man who works the land shall return, hungry and weary from his toil
to find his house still standing, as it always was before.
The rivers shall leap and dance over rocks and crash into waterfall ravines,
  and no influx of blood shall taint their waters.

Peace shall resound in the calls of birds and laughter of children;
man shall lie with woman in untroubled spiritual and physical accord;
curve into hollow to curve, softly entwining and cradled in love,
  and no sudden sounds shall disturb their loving.

The moon shall rise in the evening; swathed in luminescent clouds.
Retiring songs of birds shall herald the coming of twilight.
Peaceful breath of slumber shall rise and fall as night descends,
  and all closed eyes shall be open again at sunrise.
Jun 2015 · 2.2k
Shadow People
Sara L Russell Jun 2015
A Poem in 3 Parts by Sara L Russell, 4/6/15; 00:51am*


There is a grey area between
this world and the next.
People can be foolish; they dabble in ouija, in
dowsing, in automatic writing;
and - wittingly or unwittingly,
they may open a portal
to the other side.
That is how they enter.
Beware of inviting them in.

Shadow people are there
where needle pierces skin; where the ******
sits, glassy-eyed, on the precipice of oblivion;
they lurk in unholy places where godless
politicians declare themselves to be
speaking for God;
they haunt the dreams of drunkards,
schizophrenics, junkies
and the paranoid.
But they are not spun out of dreams,
they are real.

Shadow people were there
when the ancient pharaohs of Egypt
were interred, with all their gold;
they took them to Hades
for also burying their wives
and servants, alive.
They were there
in **** concentration camps,
sitting on the left shoulders
of those who blindly carried out
orders of death and torture.

They subsist in underworlds of catacombs,
they lurk in the spaces between
our conscious and unconscious minds;
In blackened mirrors they seek out a vortex,
My friends, be the light that
keeps out the darkness,
Do not seek to question the dear and foregone,
No matter how much they are missed;
for there are others lurking in the shadows.
Be not the portal inviting them in.


Did I see you in Bohemian Grove,
smiling at the Cremation of the Care?
Were you there,
and did you have more than one shadow?

Did I see you in that Great Hall
with chequered floors,
where the Eye of Horus
watched over a pyramid of gold?

Did you lift a cup of
the good red wine,
did blood brothers drink each other's health,
gazing through a glass darkly?

Did we toast the Cremation of the Care,
and how many others were there?


Sometimes we visit Hell in our dreams,
though we may fervently pray before sleep.
There is no shame in sleeping with the light on.
Wear a cross, if you think that it will help.

Sometimes the citizens of Hell visit us,
in that stasis between sleep and wakefulnes;
they are only ever seen at the outer periphery of our vision.
It's never a good idea to look at them directly.

Sometimes they venture a little closer than the rules allow.
Sometimes the line between their domain and ours is blurred.
Occasionally, the breeze seems to whisper your name -
only, it's not the breeze.

Be vigilant.
Always try to see them first.
Apr 2015 · 755
Missing Pieces of Time
Sara L Russell Apr 2015
Sara L Russell 18/4/15 at 23:58*

The past is redundant time.
Only the people who populate it are truly worthwhile,
weaving their ways through our dreams and memories;
every one as precious as spun gold.

Time cannot diminish their brightness,
nor soften the pain that strikes like a spear at the
thought that they are gone.

Time is taking its toll on us all, eroding the distant gleam
of the future, consigning our dreams to
the scattered wastelands of the past. It steals away hope,
it steals away people;

change creates havoc and death leaves its mark on us all.
The past is gone. The future gleams brightly with
a cold, two-dimensional sun.

I miss you.
Mar 2015 · 3.9k
The Sun, The Moon and Love
Sara L Russell Mar 2015
by Sara L Russell (2003)*

"Who is this goddess?" Whispered the sun,
As the moon traversed the sky,
"This angel, silent as a nun,
This silver dragonfly?"

He moved in for a closer gaze,
His heart began to speed,
As through a misty, cloud-spun haze,
He watched the moon proceed;

Soft silver tresses graced her brow,
Her dress, mother-of-pearl,
billowed like sails on a dream-ship's prow,
or curved tsunami-swirl.

"Oh Lady Moon" murmured the sun,
"I burn, I swoon for you.
"Come let me kiss you, gentle one,
Before night passes through."

"Come languish in my warming arms,
To music of nightjars,
Come let me taste those subtle charms,
Dear lady of the stars."

"Ah, do not court frivolity"
He heard the moon reply.
"My purpose is to steer the sea
And yours to light the sky;"

"Why, if I languished here with you,
Tall ships would run aground,
And you must light each day anew
Or all nature confound."

The sun-god would not be deterred,
But kissed her trembling lips.
As they embraced, no sound was heard
Throughout the first eclipse;

Waves lay as mirrors where they kissed,
Until they drew away,
To drift back into heaven's mist,
As night melted to day.
Written 2003, sharing here because of the eclipse earlier today.
Mar 2015 · 1.6k
The Name of Cameron
Sara L Russell Mar 2015
Sara L Russell 17/3/15 at 13:25

What will they say of you in future times?
Were they duped by your duplicity
or did you fall on your double-edged sword?
Was the devil we knew any better than the unknown?

The future has a way of arriving early.
Are you ready now, for what it yet may bring?
Will you be knighted, or, benighted and beleaguered,
Fall fallow by the wayside of your ways?

Will the name of Cameron carry on,
Whatever else is lost or left behind?
Will David slay the apocolyptic giant of global warming,
yet terminate the service of National Health?

Was it wealth, or a poverty of emotional maturity
that led to such flotations and privatisations?
what sensations did you feel, did you reach referendum,
did you feel the earth move?

We never saw your manifesto made manifest.
We, the voters who voted not for you,
yet saw you rise, anticipate your fall.
Do promises count as any kind of plan?

And the future is arriving post-haste,
like a present waiting to be unwrapped.
Elections have a way of arriving early.
We are ready, with a big sharp X.
Jan 2015 · 4.8k
Windows of Opportunity
Sara L Russell Jan 2015
Sara L Russell 20/1/15 11:32*

Windows of opportunity
ways of touching base
teamwork with alacrity
cutting to the chase
jingoist linguistics
speaking business tongues
ladders of loquaciousness
rushing up the rungs

See all the little workmates
running for the bus
trying not to be late
not to cause a fuss
every day frenetic
 a speeding metronome
a life too energetic
so glad I work from home.
Sara L Russell Dec 2014
Sara L Russell, 19/12/14 00:58am*

White gulls fly against darkness of winter trees
swirling in a reeling easterly;
bare branches stand in earthbound traceries
behind the birds that dance weightless and free.

There is a rhythm in this circling flight.
a lazy, slightly tipsy minuet;
a majesty in gliding wings of white,
a sign that better times are coming yet.

The dew has barely faded on the green,
two fountains bend before the icy breeze,
as seagulls, with a grace I've rarely seen
swirl heavenward, like flights of fantasies.
Dec 2014 · 938
Sara L Russell Dec 2014
Sara L Russell

A songwriter sat down to write
and tried and tried with all this might
to make the inspiration come
until the bowels of his soul were numb
until he almost screeched in pain
and forced an idea in his brain.
He strained, then like a thunderclap,
out came a song - and it was crap.

Established DJ's tapped their feet,
they thought it sounded rather sweet;
it had nothing unsafe to say
and so they played it night and day
and so they played it day and night
ad nauseam, as if in spite.
It should have been hurled down the nearest drain
but was played again and again and again

And so it got to Number One
and bored the **** off everyone
and so eventually went gold
as down the river the world was sold
as grannies bought it in their droves
(as if grannyhood behoves
the buying of such awful things)
And thus the turkey spread it's wings.

One day, a man with a broken heart
whose business venture fell apart
whose grandmother was very ill
stood high upon a window sill
and wondered, should he jump, or no?
And was six floors high enough to go?
As his aching heart began to thump,
He heard the song - and decided to jump.
*Written a fewyears ago and revised tonight; this poem was inspired by the song "Achy Beeaky Heart" by Billy Ray Cyrus, which I have always hated with a passionate, red-eyed, fire-spitting hate. I also dedicate it to every Christmas record that ever made me gag.*
Sara L Russell Nov 2014

Sunset sky
Late leaves fall
as litter flies


All night
feels strange
I crack

Late flight
I break
I'll change
come back


I don't know why she never really knew me
I wish I knew why she was so unkind
And why she cut my clothes to shreds so rudely
And ripped the peace cleanly out of my mind


i hate myself
i hate my life
my fingers close around the knife
my cuts are mouths screaming in vain
as blood mixes with streaming rain


Hey lonely -
your poem ******.
Read more, get out more,
eat meat or forever hold your peas.


Nightfall comes
wood smoke curls
as lights go out.


N E 1 want 2 chat?
Notes: I wrote this in several different styles to represent several different poets in a poetry forum. Some are dreamers, one is suicidal, one is a flippant self-styled critic. The haiku poet opens and closes the night's poetry discussions, but a latecomer has the last word. Inspired by the newsgroup alt.arts.poetry.comments
Oct 2014 · 8.9k
Sunlight and Cinnamon
Sara L Russell Oct 2014
Sara L Russell, 23rd October 2014, 01:01*

She was sunlight and cinnamon;
all wide eyes,
auburn hair, fair complexion
freckles and fleeting laughter.
She was an enigma to her friends,
a golden girl to her parents…

Dappled sunlight turned her into
fragments of an autumn impressionist panting;
all her reds, golds and peach tones
wildly blazing,
vividly flaming in a sunset's haze.

She could make people laugh
with a dry turn of phrase.
She could silence a room just by walking in
through the door.
She could silence cruel words
with a withering look.

She was going to be somebody;
the world was going to know her name,
the future was forever -
he caught her, used her,
left her under autumn leaves
in a ditch by the roadside;

and he became somebody
and she became the face
of the girl killed by him.
Hollywood made a thriller about him
and his crime;
and her mother made an album of photos of her;
and the local paper published
her brief obituary.
Sep 2014 · 1.1k
Home At Last
Sara L Russell Sep 2014
by Sara L Russell
(For the casualties of Manchester Kennels, 12/9/14, 21:05)

Old trusty Bob, sure-footed in the lead,
Truffles and Sandy bringing up the rear;
And all the others, with no faith or creed,
Yet representing all that's loved and dear.

They run along the path to Paradise
To where no faithful hound need ever die;
A playful eagerness lights up their eyes,
As clouds and gliding seraphim go by.

Garlands of stars and quasars light the way
The scent of incense lifts their spirits high
Nobody shouts commands to sit or stay;
Freedom is calling from beyond the sky.

Saint Peter tells each one "Rest easy, friend;
Your earthy suffering is at an end."
(Please look up the twitter tag #ManchesterDogsHome to find out how to donate for the rebuilding of the kennels)
Sep 2014 · 1.1k
Sara L Russell Sep 2014
By Sara L Russell 31st August 2014 at 04:26am

After he died,
his spirit was determined to
apologise to her
in the next life,
for all the abuse.
He came back as a spider
In her bath.
She washed him down the plughole.
Aug 2014 · 7.4k
The First-Born Blues
Sara L Russell Aug 2014
The First-Born Blues
Sara L Russell 22nd August 2014 20:59 revised 27th Aug 2014, 13:58

So I bite down on bitter words
and I eat my humble pie
for those who will not understand me
Until the day I die.
self-pity's for the birds,
where the golden egos fly;
if you will not understand me
should I bother to ask why?

So you know I'm always me
and I never will be her
and you know she's gone forever
things can't be the way they were
I survived, unworthily
though you think I should concur
that death struck out unfairly
- should have taken me, not her.

So I wear my comfort cross
and I carry my cross of woe -
each a spiritual placebo
from the God I used to know;
and an eerie sense of loss
follows everywhere I go
for this poor downtrodden ego
that you always overthrow.
Sara L Russell Jun 2014
Sara L Russell*

Bright colours in a pool of crystal clarity
reflecting all the spectrum of our days
slip down into a quagmire of nonentity
with nothing left to sully or erase.

This cold disease that strips a man of human soul,
is worst of all the ravages of time;
behold those eyes, devoid of everything you stole,
yet blissfully unknowing of your crime.

This bright man, worn away to barest minimum,
this one-time writer and great raconteur,
this poet - will not travel to Byzantium;
his world is fading to a senseless blur.
(For my Father)
May 2014 · 1.4k
I, Critic
Sara L Russell May 2014
Sara L Russell, 17/5/14 00:29am*

I speak, therefore I ****.
Complacent in my seat of ancient learning,
  I can and will
undo your fragile notions,
your vapid little dreams;
I'll pierce your ego with a word.
  Your ego is absurd.

I sleep in blameless peace.
Reclining on my cloud of contemplation,
  I can and do
lampoon your trite devotions,
tug on their fraying seams;
I'll take your confidence away
  with everything I say.

You're weaker than I am,
Regurgitated clichés haunt your writing,
  you know it's true
You wear the same emotions;
no common sense redeems
the foolish things you write
- till I slay them with spite.
Inspired by a war of words between an editor and ex-co-editor of an anthology of poetry. The editor who was dismissed from co-editing wrote a very damning review of said anthology on amazon(dot)com. The original editor was very upset by his words and a battle of counter-reviews began. This poem is a satire of critics in general, especially self-styled poetry critics.
Apr 2014 · 1.2k
Last Rite of Passage
Sara L Russell Apr 2014
(for Elizabeth) 30th January 03:11am*

Through towering colonnades of stars
She rises with the daybreak's fire,
As angels strum on lute and lyre
And frost sparkles like fractured glass;

And when dark clouds have filled your eyes
Pray do not yield to let them cry;
For she is where the white doves fly
Amid the glades of Paradise.
Mar 2014 · 603
When You Were There
Sara L Russell Mar 2014
(for Elizabeth, 1962-2013)
Sara L. Russell, 16th December 2013, 17:14

Somewhere out of reach
in memory's inner eye
is a windswept sandy beach
with an endless summer sky
and a mischievous light breeze
always messing up my hair
and always calmer seas
in the days when you were there.

Somewhere in childhood days
there was so much to believe
always so much to amaze
it was never time to leave
there was always time to run
to let imagination fly
no harm came to anyone
no-one ever said goodbye

Sometime long ago
when the warmest summers blazed
or when winter brought the snow
we were endlessly amazed
and everything seemed light
as a snowflake on the air
and the whole world seemed all right
in the days when you were there.
Feb 2014 · 1.1k
All in Good Time
Sara L Russell Feb 2014
Sara L Russell, 28/2/14, 00:30

Given time
the inner eye of memory sees with softer reverie,
as through a muslin curtain; softly veiled and far away -
and how temptingly tranquil seem the waters of the past.

Given time
lost minutes lengthen into hours, to long-remembered days,
lost words that needed saying fall like petals in the rain
Turning slowly in the air until they fade to dust at last.

Given time
a distant haunting melody's translated into sighs
birdsong at morning lilting like a glimmering of streams;
and moments of reflection spill too swiftly through our hands.

Given time
dry leaves fly through the chilly air and scatter in the sky
summer will have her finery returned from green to gold,
and snow will cover everything, like time's relentless sands.
Feb 2014 · 2.2k
Illuminati Diabolus
Sara L Russell Feb 2014
14th Feb 2014

They are all around us, 
within, without, above, behind and before us;
Fanning the flames of the famous, the wealthy and fortunate
with secret agendas and infamous fame of their own.

I throw a stone
send it crashing through houses of glass; I see their
comings and goings in the Grove of Bohemia;
drinkers and liars; role-playing fraternity fools.

There are rules.
It takes more than just peeing at trees to be properly manly;
secrecy more than life is at stake when the fodder is human,
throw off your cares to the punitive furnace of hate.

Such ill-fate
that begets our world leaders, hatched out of a tangible darkness;
parasitic, calamitous, venomous world-gobbling evil
Mammon, devourer of souls, will preside at the feast.

And the Beast,
Fourth Beast of Daniel, squats at the head of the table,
fabled for pitiless torture of souls in transgression,
slavers and gloats over innocence lost and despoiled.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
To those who are not worried by what our world leaders get up to at Bohemian Grove: perhaps you should be.
Jan 2014 · 1.6k
My Sister's Things
Sara L Russell Jan 2014
Sara L Russell, 22nd January 2014, 01:26*

Sometimes things make it harder letting go.
We made some progress on
the first day; gathered clothes and books,
some random pieces of costume jewellery,
laptop cables, pens, lighters,
shampoo and makeup.

I could see her in everything;
the rock chick aura of her CD collection,
the dalek key ring, a book on Camelot;
only she could carry off that Wonder Woman tee shirt,
only she could stand outside in Mum's garden, in that
fleecy dressing gown with hearts,
cawing back at the crows,
cigarette in hand.

The photographs hit us the hardest.
To look into those merry blue eyes
and know that they no longer look back into ours;
They only keep their smile lines for eternity,
laughing at a secret we will never know,
lost in two dimensions,
In the flat worlds of the past.
Nov 2013 · 1.1k
Sara L Russell Nov 2013
Sara L Russell 6/11/13, 07:56

The baby Chinese girl
discarded from the world
I am she
and she is me

The wife with ravaged face
where acid left its trace
I am she
and she is me

The girl who had to wed
and share an old man's bed
I am she
and she is me

The one deflowered by knife
to live a "purer" life
I am she
and she is me

Come world sisters, unite
and keep your souls alight
like the sun
shining as one.
Oct 2013 · 2.1k
To Ward off Nightmares
Sara L Russell Oct 2013
by Sara L. Russell, 30/10/13 at 01:03am*

I am a force of fiery integrity of soul; a garden sealed;
  I carry my soul deep within, all of Heaven enfolds me;
My cross is my talisman, my banner and protector,
  All of Dante's angels ascending and descending surround me.

My bed is a vessel of peace on a sea of tranquil clouds;
  Oceans of rolling vapour bear me up in the azure sky,
Distant birds give voice in the soporific hush of twilight,
  as angels sing out blessings of love and everlasting accord.

I am a harp of harmony, a lyre of languid repose;
  My heartbeat as steadfast as any jewelled timepiece of gold,
My dreaming skies are filled with wingbeats of migrating birds,
  Streams shimmer with moonlight; all the forests thrum with life.

I am a force of fiery integrity of soul, protected from the night;
  I carry my soul deep behind the portals of my mind,
My Lord and Creator guides me through the labyrinths of dreams,
  Shadows flee from angels, wingbeats carry me till dawn.
Oct 2013 · 4.5k
Illuminati Party
Sara L Russell Oct 2013
(a satirical pop at the Illuminati)*

It's time to slay fatted consumer cows
It's time to fumigate the Great Unwashed;
To sow mutation's seeds behind the ploughs
To see the dullard's dreams forever quashed.

How movingly they pray not to be harmed!
How doggedly they work to make a wage!
How prettily they line up to be farmed,
Yet, how they long to be at centre stage!

The Useless Eaters eat their pizzas deep,
Their double fries and creamy mayonnaise;
Produce only some methane while asleep,
And fodder for landfill, throughout their days.

It's time for the superiors to win;
Unleash the virus, let the cull begin.
Sep 2013 · 1.1k
Eulogy For Harley
Sara L Russell Sep 2013
By Sara L Russell*

Do you hear unspoken thought,
  Do you fly now, with the birds,
As the rest of us stay caught between our futile deeds and words?
 In the endless dome of sky
  Make a territory of dreams
While we can only cry for how finite a lifetime seems

Are you floating down the styx
  Like Egyptian cats of old?
Do you dine with Tut and Ramesis in palaces of gold?
 In the finite span of life
  And the cyles of the moon
We can only make short plans for anything that ends too soon

A final resting place
  Is no prison for a soul;
We are elemental as the air that keeps our planet whole.
  In your light and playful way
You will always follow me
Outside in the garden where the angels set you free.
Sep 2013 · 1.6k
The Astral Plane
Sara L Russell Sep 2013
Sara L Russell*
(inspired by painting "She's Leaving Home" by Mike Kaluta)

High-rolling dunes; the landscape where I fly
With wingbeats of an eagle overhead
While to the east, the ocean's waves roll high
My astral body's light years from my bed.

My magic carpet's hung with golden bells
Festooned with lanterns, steeped in sandalwood;
Carries me higher; as the ocean swells
The sighing of the sea is understood.

A warm wind runs its whispers through my hair
The azure sky is darkening to grey
A stormy ozone crackles in the air
Like laughter, as the eagle soars away.

I cross dimensions, cheat the hand of fate,
As easily as opening a gate.

(To be continued...)
Aug 2013 · 3.1k
Sara L Russell Aug 2013
(A poem to be recited by actors)*



Jokanaan, such is my desire for thee,
The moon and stars hath turned away their face
I thirst to kiss thy sullen lips, softly,
I love thy lips, thine eyes that darkly gaze.

Fain would I strip thy garments all away
Replacing each with kisses to thy skin
Just as the dark of night becalms the day
Mine open arms shall gather thee within.

I burn to taste the kisses of thy lips
Just as the hummingbird sips from a rose
Stealing thy nectar with such tender sips
As melt thy sternest aspect, till it goes.

O let me taste thy kisses, holy man,
And quench desire as only woman can.


[John The Baptist]

Depart from me, daughter of Babylon,
That look'st on me with such covetous gaze!
Siren of *****'s mire, harlot, begone!
Away with thee and all thy wanton ways!

How canst thou speak with such depravity
Addressed unto a holy man of God?
How canst thou dance in merry liberty
Where our forefathers, seers and sages trod?

Look not upon me with thine eyes of lust,
With salivating, ravenous desire!
Love's purity shall outlive mortal dust
When thy dark soul burneth in Hades' fire!

Harlot of Babylon, strumpet, begone!
I am not thine to crudely gaze upon.


[King Herod]

Salome dances, circling the hall,
Gold lamplight shimmers in her dove-like eyes;
Her flame-red chiffon swirls with each footfall,
She glides like a bright bird of paradise.

Behold, she throws a veil onto the floor,
Exposing but a fleeting glimpse of breast;
Allowing but a small promise of more,
Another veil she throws, at my behest.

She sinuously sways her slender hips
And not one moment do her eyes leave mine;
She dances closer, smiles play on her lips
Those lips that could be sweet as Muscat wine.

And still she dances, ravaging my sight,
This light-skinned girl with hair as black as night.


[John The Baptist]

Behold! She dances now before the king,
Whose eyes are full of lust incestuous;
For *****'s daughter, wildly gyrating
Whose very presence here is blasphemous!

I hear the music from my dungeon cell
Her light footsteps, distracting me from prayer,
She dances like a dervish sprung from hell,
I reel with loathing, knowing she is there.

Beware thy sins, Herod, Herodias!
Thy fall from grace approacheth like a storm!
Beware daughter of *****! None shall pass
Beyond the pit, the flames, the locust swarm!

Thy kingdom shall be cast into the flames;
Thy souls struck from the book of living names!


[King Herod]

Ah! Now the last veil flutters to the floor,
Her body holds no secrets from mine eyes;
Like ripened fruit making me thirst for more,
But I have promised more than may be wise.

Now I make good my promise unto you,
Salome, fairer sister to the moon;
Come now, I am thy slave; what can I do,
Name thy reward, and thou shalt have it soon.

Come hither, precious girl, I wish to share,
Take from the riches offered up to thee;
Choose from the sweetest wines beyond compare,
The rarest rubies of my treasury.

From treasured gems to pleasures of the vine,
Pray name thy heart's desire; it shall be thine.



My heart's desire cares nothing for my love
What jewel can ever love me in return?
My regal beauty's deemed as not enough
For Jokanaan. I see him, and I burn.

I spurn thy earthly treasures set in gold,
I yearn not for their dancing play of light
There was but one pleasure I could behold
And he regaileth me with words of spite.

Thy precious cellar brimming full of wine
All taste divine; yet never quite as sweet
As luscious lips of he who can't be mine
Whose savage beauty stings me like defeat!

Therefore I say, reward me if you can;
Bring me the severed head of Jokanaan!



Salome, you have asked a dreadful thing,
Such monstrous words flame from thy pretty lips!
I offer thee my finest emerald ring
The choicest clipper from my fleet of ships;

Thou canst prevail upon me for my land
My fields and vineyards all lain at thy feet;
Stables of horses all at thy command,
All of these gifts might make thy joy complete.

But do not ask of me the baptist's head,
His eyes disturb me far enough in life;
I listened well to everything he said,
His death would be a curse; a flaying knife!

Salome, quell the anger in thy breast,
I beg thee, reconsider thy request.



Thou shalt not swerve the purpose of my mind,
My mind is set, this action must be done.
There is no greater gift that thou might find
Than that Jokanaan's eyes forsake the sun.

I prithee, take that scurvy **** away,
His eyes stare so, his tongue derides my name;
Silence his prating tongue, he's had his say
Now he must suffer for his words of flame!

I shall not sleep with that voice in my ears,
Sever that head, that mask of insolence!
He rants of prophecies, preys on thy fears,
Now he must make his final recompense.

I danced for thee. Reward me like a man,
Bring me the severed head of Jokanaan!


[John The Baptist]

A famine on thy fields, monarch of shame!
Locusts shall take thy vineyards and thy corn!
Rivers of blood have stained thy royal name
Thou art forever doomed, thy kingdom torn!

Thy family are coiled like nesting snakes
Thy daughter whispers with thy feckless queen,
They die along with thee, when the earth quakes
And fall into the bottomless ravine!

I hear thy soldiers storming through the halls
Approaching now, to my decrepit cell;
I shiver at the sound of their footfalls,
Though I'll not be the one condemned to hell.

May God send Raphael down from the sky;
Take me to somewhere better when I die!



Ah now, thine eyes that once held so much fire,
Forever hide their light of righteousness;
I almost miss that shiver of desire
I once felt in their presence, I confess.

Thy tongue is silent now, that once cried out
In shards of venom, wounding blades of words;
And I'm at liberty to pluck it out,
If I desire; and throw it to the birds.

Thy rosy lips, as sullen as thy brow,
Soft petals, rendered harmless in repose;
They spurned me once, but I shall kiss them now,
As easily as one might steal a rose.

Thou once dared to refuse me, holy man,
Now I will kiss thy dead lips, Jokanaan!

The End.
Jun 2013 · 1.1k
Summer Sun
Sara L Russell Jun 2013
17th June 2013, 20:09*

And now the sun seems as a sunflower of living flame
caught in a sky of limpid azure coolness;
flocks of white gulls sky-dance above shimmering horizons of forever
and the sea reflects it faithfully, in ripples of sparkling fire.

And now the sun sets like a pearl in a veil of moonbeams,
cloud-spun swathes of gossamer form her mantle;
Streaks of dove-grey cirrus glide slowly over skylines of umber
as sky fades to sea in a seamless turquoise haze.
Sara L Russell Jun 2013
(disgraced artist Graham Ovenden)

First thing they do is wash it all away
Destroying evidence that could be used
Sometimes they cry, or hug themselves and sway
There is no real solace for the abused.

Sometimes victims will cut off all their hair
In trying to be less provocative;
Sometimes they stay indoors, some cease to care
Whether they live or die; much less forgive.

First act of perpetrators is deceive
Deceive intended victims with false charm
Then say children are too young to believe,
And they themselves too old to inflict harm.

They say he is too old; it must be true,
Therefore, suspended sentencing will do.
May 2013 · 2.7k
Martha's Deserter
Sara L Russell May 2013
306 British & Commonwealth soldiers were shot at dawn for desertion in WW1.
Inspired by this fact and by BBC1's drama The Village*


Good-hearted soldier marched away to war,
Sad-eyed mother and father watched him leave
To help a noble cause worth fighting for;
Or so the government had us believe.

Bereavements swiftly followed. He returned
For time on leave, a changed, embittered soul;
Troubled by death where distant fires burned
As month on month the shelling took its toll.

Mentor and loving brother, man of peace,
Such was this force of nature we once knew;
Now weighed down with all war's catastrpohes
So guilty to be of the living few.

Oh bitter hindsight, cruel hand of fate,
That says what we must do when it's too late!


I saw him walking back along the path
That headed to the seaport, bound for France;
So full of care, lost in the aftermath
Of ****** conflict, as if in a trance.

Then suddenly he stumbled to his knees
And crawled, down on his belly, cautiously
As though bullets were coming through the trees
As though to shelter from the enemy.

He raked the grass with darting, trembling hands,
His staring eyes were wide with urgency
His legs would not obey his brain's commands
His lips whispered a plea for clemency

I saw my love, he didn't see me there
Longing to save his broken soul with prayer.


Never was a more terrifying sight
Than naked terror, screaming from his eyes;
I still recall him staring, every night;
It haunts my dreams from dusk into sunrise.

I wanted to embrace him, stroke his hair,
To whisper words of solace from the Lord;
But sometimes prayer hangs on the empty air,
Sometimes we cannot rescue the adored.

Later I visited his lonely room
To find him on his bed, facing the wall.
He turned to meet my gaze, eyes full of gloom
As if no soul resided there at all.

I made him pray with me, for love Divine;
Heedless of God, he pressed his lips to mine.


I blush, I burn with shame, when I recall
I gave in to his kisses willingly;
He wanted heaven's solace not at all
But took his earthly comfort all from me.

So long I'd waited, through his years away,
Wishing to win his love through some kind deed
Now in his trembling grasp, too lost to pray,
I lay entranced by passion's burning greed.

When it was over, I looked at his face
He seemed to see some bright epiphany
Perhaps at last he knew our Saviour's grace
At last his breath came slowly; evenly.

He murmured something as I rose to go
I knew I loved him, but never said so.


I never said I loved him. With the dawn,
His doomsday clock was ticking down his hours.
I never said I loved him, I was torn;
For what love sanctifies, wartime deflowers.

Hindsight has pierced my heart with bitter thorns,
Trampled my dreams, stolen all future joy;
For in that worst of cataclysmic dawns,
I never said I love you to that boy.

I never even said a last farewell
Though warm kisses still echoed on my skin;
My silence tortures me, I am in hell
I burn in silent wars I cannot win.

The Redcaps came and took away my Joe.
I loved him; and now he will never know.
May 2013 · 1.2k
Fishing With Lucy
Sara L Russell May 2013
2007, revised May 2nd, 2013*

How neatly northerly she points her tail,
With fluffsome front paws pointing to the south;
Whiskers point west and eastwards, without fail,
Each side of her benignly-smiling mouth.

She navigates from rockery to pond
And slyly measures distances ahead,
With whiskers poised, behind a ferny frond,
Waiting to stalk fishes, with stealthy tread.

A water pistol thwarts her cunning scheme,
Fired from the door with some accuracy;
And like one rudely wakened from a dream,
She leaps into the air, and bolts to flee.

But soon her equanimity returns;
She's back smiling at fishes, through the ferns.
Apr 2013 · 901
Light Beings
Sara L Russell Apr 2013
inspired by the performances of Maxine Pearce & Nico Mirallegro in BBC1's The Village,
this is from the point of view of a mother to a son who has to go to war*

01.20am, 30/4/13

Wherever life may send you
However far away
May light beings befriend you
Angels, to light your way

Four angels for protection
To guard the path ahead
Three more for introspection
To drive out fear and dread

May archangels placate you
And sanctify your dreams
May love illuminate you
However dark life seems.

Wingbeating high above you
To guide you on your way
The angels and I love you
A little more each day.
Sara L Russell Apr 2013
Every day was the same as the one before. She
Every day was the same as the one before. She
went to the cupboard and took out a box of Wheetie Krisps
went to the cupboard and took out a box of Kheetie Wisps
just to survive another morning shift, or so it seemed.
just to survive another afternoon shift, or so it seemed.

Why wouldn't Sam in Sales notice her? After all,
  Why wouldn't Irving in the Post Room notice her? After all,
he was only a Trainee Executive; and she was good enough for him.
  he was only a souped-up errands boy; and she was desperate.
Of course today, as with yesterday, he would simply walk past her.
  Of course today, like yesterday, he would just run away.

The ground floor cafe queue never seemed to get any shorter at lunchtime
  The sandwich trolley lady seemed to get shorter and shorter of sandwiches
The bistro down the road was no less crowded; the food was expensive,
  The local pub's parrot kept screaming "TIME!" and the food was crap,
No-one ever spoke to anyone outside of their clique; it was just another working day.
  No-one ever had any time to chat; it was just another pointless day.

And so the days went on. Until one day her reflection reached out and pulled her into the mirror.
And so the days went on. Until one night, her dream reached out and pulled her through the vortex.

**To be Continued...
Apr 2013 · 1.8k
Sara L Russell Apr 2013
19/4/13 12.01am

Like fragile bubbles, children fly
so swiftly as we set them free
between the earth and cloudswept sky
with colours swirling magically.

I watched my sweet boy go to war
so sad-eyed, in his uniform
his colours darker than before
like greying clouds before a storm.

Go carefully into the fray
beloved boy, return to me
all I can do is wait and pray
as once again, I set you free.

Inspired by a scene from BBC1's The Village, in which Joe (Nico Mirallegro) was about to return to
the front line in WW1 and his mother Grace (Maxine Peake) had been showing very poignant hints of
the fear she felt for his survival in the trenches.
Mar 2013 · 5.5k
Spa Music
Sara L Russell Mar 2013

Bring me celestial music of the spheres
Such notes as dance in colours in the mind
The shimmering of distant hemispheres
Where streams of rainbow nebulae unwind

Bright notes cascade in sparkling waterfalls
Light motes resound in echoes through the breeze
From secret gardens hid behind stone walls
Paradise plays enticing symphonies

Our earthly plane is rife with vexing noise
Cacophanies of thundering machines;
Barkings of dogs, vexed babies in full voice
keep us earthbound, locked into dull routines.

Reach for the headphones, cover up your ears,
Take in celestial music of the spheres.
Sara L Russell Mar 2013
Sara L Russell 6/3/13 16:18 

Just look at him, sitting in the corner 
Hogging the remote control
Seemingly so deaf but he can hear us when he likes
Leaves such a mess around the toilet bowl

Just look at him stagger to the ****** 
Just because we've hidden all the *****
He remembers where to drink but can't remember where he lives
Maybe a nursing home will help him choose

Look at that poor old man sat in the corner
He had no visitors again today
He sings all the old songs but doesn't quite recall his name
And never seems to have a lot to say.
Feb 2013 · 3.7k
Sara L Russell Feb 2013
March 2002
(inspired by William Shakespeare; and an eerie
floating drowned woman in the movie Titanic)*

Adrift amid the bindweed, through the reeds,
Watching the sky with deep unblinking eyes,
She passes where the turquoise mayfly feeds,
Oblivious of all that swims or flies.
Red flowered chiffon billows to her hands
Open like water lilies in the sun,
Her skin's the colour of tropical sands,
Her russet hair shines bright as copper spun.
Fabulous jewels languish on her breast,
Rich spoils of love rendered useless in death,
Her parted lips make unspoken behest;
The rosy portal of her final breath.
Now all is cold where roiling passion flamed,
As jealous earth mourns what the river claimed.
Jan 2013 · 767
Fading Fast (for my father)
Sara L Russell Jan 2013
Though the sky may fade,
your eyes grow dim and rheumy
and the sun lose its golden halo
I’ll still see you
I’ll carry a torch to
light your  corner of darkness in the world

Though your voice may quake
and few may stop to listen
as you fight to convey opinion
I’ll still hear you
I’ll listen to find a
meaning through confusion in the words

Though most sound is quelled
and as if in sleep
your ears miss the sounds of morning
I’ll still speak to you
remind you of
who you are, both to yourself and those who care.
Dec 2012 · 1.7k
Year of The Acorn
Sara L Russell Dec 2012
22/12/12 @ 21:21 pm

Out on a winter walk one day
you solemnly put an acorn into my hand.
Something in my head whispered
"Keep it safe
and he'll be safe".
I kept it to this day.

Year one.
One candle on my cake,
burned into my mind's eye forever.
You took a photograph
to keep me in the picture.

Year four.
My sister arrived in the world. 
You took me to feed the swans.
Back home
she greeted us with screams.
I fled, covering my ears.

Year thirteen.
Mother told me the facts of life.
You kept well out of it.

Year nineteen,
A disco at the end of a long, quiet road.
You always drove me safely there and back.
You were judge and jury
of all boyfriends.

Year twenty three.
You gave me away
to the best boyfriend of all.

A montage of eras
replay in the bright lens of memory
till the year of the walk
and the acorn.

And I kept it safe
so you'd be safe,
only now it looks cracked and old;
not quite like an acorn

and you are not quite like you.

Dec 2012 · 2.1k
Rage of Angels
Sara L Russell Dec 2012
7/12/12   16:25pm

At what price does man find favour with God?
Down through the roiling clouds, from heavenly heights to earthly clay,
where scribes had written scrolls of doctrines;
down through old crumbling architraves, temples of cold ideals,
 man spawned the Vengeful Word.
With rage of angels,
like effigies of gods, there sprang forth lords and hypocrites;
all claimed to speak for God. 
Then, in the maelstrom,
came genocide of innocents, and hellfire fell like rain.

When does a tower become too tall for God?
Out of a clear blue sky came silver harbingers of doom,
where men were writing drafts and spreadsheets;
now crumbling down around them, swathed in hate-begotten fire;
spawned from a vengeful god.
No mortal angels
could save the ones who perished, caught above the line of flame;
while some below survived.
Yet, in the chaos,
sworn enemies in faith came out to save each other's fall.

At what price can man enter Paradise?
High above the minarets, the veiled dome of the sky
students look up with wistful longing;
yearning to be good radicals and cross the lines of fire
to reap heaven's reward.
Hate's vengeful angels
pretenders to the throne of God take many shapes and forms,
while moderates stay quiet;
and with their silence
give passive leave for lunatics to prate at heaven's door.
Nov 2012 · 5.4k
Hope (sonnet)
Sara L Russell Nov 2012
Rising like smoke from the eternal spring
Approaching with rose petals at her feet
Angel of hope sheds light on everything
Whenever life is bitter more than sweet

Within our secret gardens of desire
Fountains of sparkling passion locked away
Therein lies hope, forever to inspire
lest optimism ever goes astray

Age sometimes dims the dancing flame of hope
And drudgery weakens vitality
Darkness and sorrow sometimes interlope
Between us and our dearest fantasy

Yet human spirit finds a way to cope
As long as we find inroads back to hope.
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