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Pagan Paul Aug 2018
.
i.
Smoke coils up and dissipates,
soon the images will be clear,
as she stares with cold contempt,
into the depths of the Seers Sphere.
And she stands toking her pipe,
watching as the story unfolds,
soon her hate will boil once more,
unleashing her vengeance of old.

ii.
Smoke coils up and dissipates,
a thousand lifetime's away,
blackened stone and charred bodies,
the remains of a village destroyed.
The flames still licking at the flesh
and melting mortar of cottage walls.
Raiding horsemen ride off cheering,
with swords, shields and firebrands,
carrying amidst them a prisoner,
their prize and sport for the victory feast.
Savages are these violent men,
barbaric in their wanton lust for war,
the red mist and the ****** fury,
it's all they really have a care for.

iii.
She waits with patient seething,
her moments will arrive so soon,
the spilling of her black arts,
witnessed by a Woman's Moon.

iv.
The Vale was so beautiful lush and green.
Steep sided, oak trees, clear blue stream.
With fresh grass on which horses grazed,
and smooth rocks where wild fowl lazed.

v.
But the leader here was not a man,
she was the daughter of this warrior clan.
Fierce, cold, she barked out her orders;
build a fire, make food, secure the borders.
Her status unquestioned by her riders,
they would all fight and die beside her,
and as the camp grew out much wider,
her boot casually crushes a hated spider.

vi.
Manacles held her ankle fast,
shackled as she was to a tree.
Withdrawn, shivering with cold,
still seeing her burning family.
Images scorch her private intimacy,
awaiting the moment of her epiphany,
eyes watching with careless vacancy,
preparations for the nights ceremony.
But she would not co-operate,
would not give her jailers pleasure,
as she knows these last few hours
would seem to her like forever …

and Nature weeps with a prelude to grieve,
as the Maiden pulls a dagger from her sleeve.


… deny them their sport she will,
placing the dagger 'neath her breast,
a sharp tug towards her heart,
a thousand nightmares laid to rest.

vii.
A thousand lifetime's away,
smoke coils up and dissipates,
a cackle rents the air like ice,
the time her Woman's Moon anticipates.
And the instant arrives with joy,
as the Seers Sphere is thrown,
shattering and cackling hold hands,
as the glass touches solid stone.
At that moment of contact with rock,
time slips into a reverberating shock.

viii.
The Vale was so beautiful lush and green.
Steep sided, oak trees, clear blue stream.
With fresh grass on which horses grazed,
and smooth rocks where wild fowl lazed.

And the earth heaved and tremored,
shaking the Vales languid peace,
uprooting trees with tremendous urge,
rending the loamy soil from beneath.
Frenzied horses scatter with fright,
and men are thrown up high,
screams and shouts of piercing pain,
and the stream suddenly runs dry.
The quake unsettles the warriors camp,
leaving many broken bones and blood.
Then an ominous deafening roar
heralds the arrival of the coming flood.
And water coursed fast into the Vale,
no longer pretending to be calmer.
All living men drowned and dead,
encumbered by their heavy armour.
But she was much fleeter of foot
and ran hard as the waters rose.
Tripped by a treacherous branch,
head banged, stunned, her eyes closed.

ix.
Sunrise saw many things.
Smoke coiling up and dissipating,
over the ruins of a village,
crows and dogs feasting well.
It saw
the hooded robed figure of a woman,
squatting on top a new grave,
smoke coiling up from her pipe,
cackling …

x.
She awoke in darkness.
It didn't take long to panic and scream.
It took no time to realise,
she was sealed naked in a coffin.
And she screamed and screamed.
Pushing at the sides, the lid.
The air was heavy, stifling, stifling, stifling.
Precious oxygen running out.
The coffin moved, and she screamed,
desperately scratching and scratching.
And in the box she heard … cackling.
Her frantic screams turn to sobs of pleading
to be let out, to breathe, to live.
She felt something touch her inner thigh,
she screamed, as it touched again feint.
Brushing it away as the voice cackled on,
more tickles on her thighs, she screamed.
And something landed on her face.
The feel of a large spider on her mouth,
and she screamed and screamed.
But the cackling persisted
as she scratched at the wood,
her fingernails shredding to pieces,
but the wooden prison gave no quarter,
the skin raw and bloodied,
scratching, scratching, scratching.
And in her tomb she screams,
she screams and screams and screams.

xi.
… sunrise saw many things.
It saw a new river,
wending its way to the sea,
caressing the contoured land,
it saw horses running wild,
across the lush grass on plains.
It saw
the hooded robed figure of a woman,
standing beside a new grave,
as she places the flame dagger
upon the Maiden's final resting place,
it saw
ice blue eyes of fire and malevolence.
Weeping.


© Pagan Paul (02/08/18)
.
3rd poem in Judderwitch series.
https://hellopoetry.com/poem/2076298/judderwitch-the-beginning/
https://hellopoetry.com/poem/1923972/judderwitch/

Today, Aug 2nd, marks two years on hp for me.
Thankyou to all those who have supported and helped me over these last 2 years. You are all greatly appreciated :) PPx xox
CK Baker Mar 2017
lady craighead played the blues
on a stand-up samick
in the ***** room
along side the parsons project
and squabbling dogs
and night moves

stairs creek
up the mezzanine trek
wool sheets slide
on finished floors
little angels
play late into the seventh
(a closing match nearing
the midnight hour)

croaking toads and cicada
sing in the blue moon
musty smells and mothballs
settle deep in the vault
the kettle boils
and cat coils
as the pump house rolls
its heavy drawl

the red phone rings
and bird clock sings
(behind the ruddy stall)
a sleeman variation of the ruy lopez
employed heartily
by the incomparable master jack
marble toast burning
wringer wash churning
chris craft running
near the old carp canoe

rooster calls
and west wind squalls
rustle through the porch screen door
chicken *** pies
and rogue flies linger
a rocker chair placed
near the  sepia face
(softened by the intricate frame)

donkey in tow
(with a fastened ***)
maggie in her dreams
of green tambourines
the nocturnes
reflections
and whispering gospel bells

tractors pull on
the grinder stone
horses lay still
in the mid-day sun
a trump card is fingered
at the furnace click
(crosswords and puzzles are next!)
while the sparrow
and that **** rabid fox
are drowning
deep in castles well
everly Sep 2018
I take pride in my roots
I take pride in my melanin
And my ancestors
All those who have persevered
To get me to where I am today.
I take pride en mi pelo rizo
Gracias a Dios..

I carry my culture in my curls to
The poetry that runs through my
Veins
rushing
pulsing
sweat on the furrow of thy lip
beading
ache of the toil in their fieldwork
sweet
azucar negra
my ancestors blood was sweeter
they still don’t want us here
but some things never change
but we are able
and no beautiful ignorant person
Will ever take that away.
The darker the berry the sweeter the seeds
plant them because you sow what you reap.
My skin is magical you see...for I am a special kind of breed.
When I'm in the sun my melanin boils, plus heat is good for my ***** coils.
A shade darker I've just became...
From honey brown to a cocoa shade.
Time to untwist my bantu knots and free my natural fro.
The curly crown of victory as my melanin glows. I strut through the grasslands in tune with my inner goddess. My legs are thick and long, so now its time to flaunt this.
shaking my hair from left to right & pump my fist in the air.
Wish I was alive in the civil rights, but then I wouldn't be hear.
People they envy my complexion, they wish they had my perfection. But honestly you can't hate on something God gave.
Melanin queen, you reign in the lands.
Zion queen, lets do a foreign dance.
Melanin runs within my veins and pores.
Melanin I love to be, I'm wading
in the shores.
Clive Blake  Mar 2018
Re: Coils
Clive Blake Mar 2018
What a great reptile,
A Royal Python - no less,
A serpent so dapper;
Never seen in a mess,
Non-poisonous, deaf, mute;
Except for its hiss,
It likes nothing more
Than to hug and to kiss!

Though it has no arms,
Harmless it is not,
Make no mis-snake a
Mean streak it has got,
Outside of its coils
The view is just fine,
But if invited inside
You'd be wise to decline!

Don't be enticed in
By its hypnotic stare,
For when those coils tense,
They act like a snare,
For those patterned coils;
Look brill' from without,
But lose their appeal
When wrapped
Around your snout!
Kiernan Norman Oct 2012
I
There is a 3% chance I'll find you here. But if in each pair of eyes I dip, I find 1/8 of you; I'll be there soon.

II
I didn't crawl here; I took a plane. I spent six hours tracing the Atlantic from my window and you rose from the sea, dry and unsalted, twice each nautical mile. I would say it was my imagination, or the California wine, but I wear glasses now and never lie about what I see. It was you. And you and you and you.


III
Stealing is easier here. Maybe it's the crowds or the way the men smile at me like I'm harmless, but my hands move without question. They don't fumble or miss pockets, my heartbeat doesn't even protest. In prayer beads, silkworm cocoons, oils and sea rings, I am in debt to a city who doesn't know it.


IV
I have no ethnicity. Deep in bone coils the apathy and flight of someone's non-heritage. But I am forgiven; in a world of paranoia, brown eyes are always trusted and the way my hair falls reminds them that I'm on their side. Even my name curls within itself, folded flat and dead before it's over. It's better this way; no allegiance, no responsibility.

V
From a curb in district nine, I see your star. It's hanging where you said it would be but I can't see god in it the way you promised.

VI
On the other side of the world you told me about a quad of green. You waxed flowers of every color, the sky I've only ever painted and the people, beautiful and dark, who will save me. I found it. In broken French and broken sandals I found it and the sun was setting and you had just left. So now we both know you won't be the one to save me.

VII
With one foot in the slanting gutter I walk until the city circles and I'm back where I started. In a daydream I found you. I smiled and quoted your book, the part that said 'When we heard the guidance, we believed in it' and you looked at me in a way that scared me. A way that translated your face into thousands of alphabets, ancient and invented. And I knew none of them. Suddenly I'm illiterate to you. Suddenly I'm gone.

VIII
I'm with a man who's made of smoke and each strawberry ring that escapes my lips is dedicated to someone that I’ve laughed with.

IX
With the intensity of archives on fire, I withdraw. You are still a body; a few hundred bones calcified and aging, a mind of words streaming like spider webs, blood you never shed, and  muscles that cross in blinding precision, but you are not who you used to be. You bound to me in a way that's irreversible and now we're both stitching. Awkward and broken we pull at flesh to remove each other. We have scars now, like stickers ripped from wallpaper. The outline of a palm stains my shoulder, a thumb the size of yours in the crook of my elbow. Small, white fingerprints tattoo your neck.


X
I might be free. Over cobble stones with broken sandals I don't trip until I realize that a city where I loved is now part of me. I can get as far away from her as the modern map allows but the red and gold bangles that crowd my wrists are not to be taken off. They're a part of me too. Like blood spilled on a cobble stone, you will walk over us every day of your life.
written January 2008. Seventeen.
Terry O'Leary Dec 2016
My chamber teems with tensions, taut, that logic can’t withstand,
fragmenting mental masonry with memories unplanned,
as bitter tears from hazel eyes reduce the stone to sand.

Dim shadows cast by candles flit across the haunted room,
beleaguer apparitions, pale, that stalk me through the gloom,
usurping purloined purple forms forgotten ghosts assume.

The tick-tock clock of time rewinds within the mirrored hall
and pendula suspended, pause, while creatures creep and crawl
on images of effigies, through memories that maul.

The madness of the midnight mass! Perchance it interferes
with spiders spinning spiral threads which bridge the chandeliers
when weaving minds' discarded coils to silken souvenirs.

Reflections graced the vacant gaze of idols as they fled!
Their futile, feigned, far-flung farewells now hammer in my head,
marooned like frozen silhouettes in footprints of the dead.

My lovers smile through marbled masks before they turn their backs
(like furnace flames deserting ash or phantoms fleeing cracks)
with faded, painted, wrinkled faces nightmares carve in wax.

Sometimes a gust disturbs the dust and secrets reappear,
which dance in silver slippers through the dusk of yesteryear -
it's not the screams that drown my dreams, but whispers which I fear.

The hangman posts a letter home, his message indiscreet
about the vestal ****** in the café (where we meet
to savour tea and crumpets) down a one-way dead-end street.

The rapping and the tapping at my tattered, time-worn door
repeat reports of migrant myths, of tales of nevermore,
strung far across a sullen sea, most shipwrecked near the shore.

Forget-me-nots, enwrapped in rain the while a wan wind blows,
recall the faintly fickle fates this drifter undergoes –
alone, unknown with tracks interred in teardrop undertows.

My feet, no longer tied or tethered, traipse within a squall
pursuing profiles long forsaken, buried in the sprawl
of spectres spread amongst the dead, some tattooed to the wall.

At times, the belfry towers toll of anarchy and gin,
of smoke and mirrors, rolling dice and other things akin,
impaled on forks down byway roads, and things that might-have-been.

The skies outside, beyond the night with shutters shut and drawn,
begin to glow on shattered shapes escaping ’fore the dawn
as clouds undone beneath the sun release this captive pawn.
Terry O'Leary Feb 2014
THE MEETING

Alone one night neath lantern light, I trudged a weary mile.
Forlorn, I went with shoulders bent (the storms around me howled)
until I met a Silhouette behind a sultry smile –
She gazed with eyes that mesmerize (Her body caped and cowled)
and stayed my way with question fey, ‘Why don’t you while awhile?’

Though timorous (with slow address and gestures pantomimed)
Her voice was gracing echoes chasing waves in evening’s tide.
The churchyard groaned, an ***** moaned, the bells of midnight chimed
while wanton winds awoke and dinned, and mistrals multiplied.
The Persian moon, like stray balloon, arose and blithely climbed.

The Silhouette (a pale brunette) arched eyebrows meant to please,
and down the lanes, on windowpanes, the shadows danced and sighed.
A meadowlark within the dark, somewhere behind the breeze,
ennobled Her with wisps of myrrh while deigning to confide
to nightingales veiled whispered tales of human vanities.

She doffed her cloak before She spoke with sighs of sorrow sung
(like mandolins, as night begins, when mourning day’s demise)
and spun Her tale of grim travail and tears She'd shed when young.
As jagged volts of thunderbolts lit up the dismal skies,
a velvet fog embraced a bog in coils of curling tongues.

Through summer vales and winter gales Her secret thoughts were voiced.
Midst storms so cruel (neath lightning’s jewel that glistered on the ridge)
She reminisced, She touched... we kissed... Her lips were wet and moist...
A lighthouse dimmed, while moonbeams skimmed across a distant bridge
to avenues where residues of shallow shades rejoiced.

                        HER TRAGIC TALE

“Midst sweet perfume of youthful bloom, the lonely spirit braves
and often cries and sometimes dies in quest of her amour.”

While starry-eyed, a ship I spied, a’ sail upon the waves –
the galleon docked, the gannets flocked, the Captain swept ashore
where, debonair with gypsy flair, he led his salty knaves.

In passing by, he caught my eye - I tried to hide a blush,
but ambiance of innocence left fervour’s flames revealed.
His gaze (defined by eyes that shined) beheld my cheek a’ flush.
I bowed my head while caution fled, I felt my fate was sealed
- a bird in spring with fledgling wing - he’d snared a  falling thrush.

He said ‘Hello’ - I answered ‘No’ and yet before he’d gone
said I, ‘I’ll wait at Heaven’s Gate not far beyond the Pale’.
At dusk he came neath moon aflame, and left before the dawn
just humming tunes between the dunes that lined the sandy trail
beside a pond where morning yawned, where swam an ebon swan.

We met again, and once again, and once again, again
entangled in a love called sin, in whirls of make-believe.
While in my arms, with voice that charms, said he ‘I must explain -
the tide awaits in distant straits and I must take my leave’.
Then tempests stormed as passions swarmed through ardor’s hurricane.

‘Forsake your home and we may roam’ he smiled as if to tease
and still naive, said I ‘I’ll leave, in silver buckled shoes’.
He took the helm in search of realms, and quickly quit the quays -
with tearful eyes, I bade goodbyes to fare-thee-well adieus
and sailed above a wave of love across the seven seas.

We swept one morn around Cape Thorne while bound for Bullion Bay.
With naught to reck, I strolled on deck, a baby at my breast,
while flurries blew and seagulls flew within the ocean’s spray.
Our ship soon moored, we went ashore and off to Fortune’s Quest -
with gold doubloons which shone like moons, he gambled through the day.

‘The deuce is wild’ he thinly smiled; another card was drawn -
he’d staked and raised with eyes half glazed, was dealt a dismal three.
With betting tight throughout the night, the final ace long gone,
meant all was lost, at what a cost; alas, the prize was me.
To my dismay he slunk away and left me doomed at dawn.

A buccaneer with ring in ear sneered ‘now, my dear, you’re mine’.
He held my wrists to thwart my fists and then... my honor stained.
On sullied swash, the sky awash with bitter tears of brine,
I broke his clutch with nothing much of me that still remained:
a residue when he was through, left clinging to a vine.

In morning dew, the good folk knew, and spurned me in my plight.
The preacher man pronounced a ban and wouldn’t condescend,
ignored my pleas on bended knees and prayers by candlelight.
While cast aside, my baby died... my world was at an end.
Until this day, I’ve made my way beneath the shades of night.


                        AT HEAVEN’S GATES

To set Her free from destiny was far from my design,
but, though unplanned, I touched Her hand to give Her peace of mind.
She told me then, and then again, that providence Divine
had cast a curse, and even worse: despised by all mankind,
She walked alone, unseen, unknown, Her soul incarnadine.

To break this spell of living hell, of loneliness enshrined,
and end Her days within the haze, a sole redeeming deed
would give reprieve and maybe leave our destinies entwined -
Her final quest be put to rest if only I agreed,
but no surcease nor perfect peace nor hope if I declined.

The shadows, shawled in silence, crawled, the night Her fate was sealed
as vespers tolled across the wold beneath the muted fog.
The heavens cracked and sorrow slacked as chimes of children pealed
while in the hills (where midnight chills) there wailed a daemon dog -
with no delay I lead the way, the path to Potter’s Field.

Her weathered face was lined with Grace, Her eyes shone emerald green.
With me as guide She stepped inside to grieve and mourn Her loss,
and thereupon, though pale and wan, the night took on a sheen.
With weary eyes as Her disguise, She placed a wooden cross
upon a mound (unhallowed ground) and whispered ‘Sibylline...’.

A falling star flared in the far and burst, a bolide flame -
beneath the light, the Final Rite no longer hid undone.
And kneeling there in silent prayer, we seemed to share the shame
but could atone if left alone, forevermore as one.
Before we both could breathe an oath, I asked Her once Her name.

Through lips, pale red, She simply said ‘Some called me Abigail’,
and neath a birch where white doves perch, I took Her for my bride,
beheld Her smile a little while, but all to no avail...
Her cloak and cape, and shrivelled shape lie empty at my side...
for now She waits at Heaven’s Gates, not far beyond the Pale.
Iska  Feb 2018
Bloody Rose
Iska Feb 2018
'Why is it so painful to grow?'

A seed.
Just a seed buried under the ground.
Under the pressure of the soil,
It fights to grow.

The seed cracks,
such a sturdy little seed,
opens with a painful snap.

A sprout coils out.
Out of the cracked little seed.
A sprout now crushed under,
Under the pressure of the unforgiving ground.

Yet still... It grows.

A little sprout,
Now reaches up.
Up and away from the little seed,
and up to the light of the sun.

Pushing and groaning it bursts out.
Out from the unforgiving ground.
Yet now new dangers are to be found.

Will it be trampled
Or eaten alive?
The possibilities are endless,
The ways it could die.

And still.. it grows.

The sprout toils endlessly,
always stretching and growing
Reaching for the crimson sun.

The rain falls down
beating upon the sprout.
Pelting it's skin and whipping it about.
It skin hardens painfully,
and sprout becomes stem.

And still It grows.
The stem keeps reaching,
Stretching to the sky.

The stem then splits
It rips in two a bud appears
A little bud,
With so much to do.

Then the bud breaks
A crack appears
a petal unfurls from within.

Then it's a bloom.
Such a sweet little thing.
Until the crack stretches
So the bloom can grow
In to the beautiful rose
We've all come to know.

And still.. it grows.

Thorns burst free
Breaking out of the stem
And petals billow and grow in the breeze.

Then you see me,
And my beauty delights you,
So you wish to see me every day.
And your scissors encircle me
To give you your way.

They cut me in half.
They slice me in two.
being a rose,
There was naught I could do.

You carry me with you,
Your hands coated in my blood,
I'm dying slowly,
All for your love.

And now... I can't grow.

So as I bleed and wither in pain,
You place me in a vase
Or press me in a book,
All to save the bloom for another day.

And as I gasp for air,
Among your dry pages,
You leech me of all life,
Perfectly preserved
just so I could last the ages.

Or else I am drowning
In glass and water
My beauty wasted
hour by hour
Day by day
All to satisfy your whimsical ways.

And now all I wish to know,
'Why is it so painful to grow?'
You take your throne as winter comes,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
Secrets rest as the Dead rise up,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
We the Lost who few can see,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
We hear your call of winter winds,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
A fire lit that once was cold,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
On winter winds you find your own,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
The year grows nigh as time does stop,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
The time has come for cold Misrule,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
The Gates of Life and Gates of Death,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
Flutter open to part the Veil,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
Speak to me, oh cold Cold One,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
Whom once rode forth all teeth and eyes,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
Your time has come, the dice are cast,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
Coils of ice and coils of snow,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
The Serpent form among the trees,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
The moving sway of Serpent hips,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
The Ice Queen sits as Hallow's Eve,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
Finds its way to All Hallow's,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
The Regent sits high in the North,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
And know her time has come again,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
Hail to you Keeper of the Lost,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
Hail to you who brings the tears,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
The pale Blue Flame of Winter's Night,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
We know your face and Serpent's Tongue,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
The cold Black Altar in the Hall of Stone,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
The Cutter there before the Black Gates,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
Her Black Knife raised to cut the threads,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
And Death's wings spread beside the Gates,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
To guide the Living and the Dead,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
For now the Veil is open wide,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
The Gates are open and swing both ways,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
The Mighty Dead we praise tonight,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
The Blessed Dead we call your names,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
The pulsing call of Bloodline blood,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
The pulsing call of Loreline blood,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
The pulsing call of Fateline blood,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
Blood does call, it calls to Blood,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
Bones do wake and speak once more,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
Memory sleeps in sleeping Bones,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
And Blood awakens the sleeping Bones,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
And quickens now what once was dead,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
On altar top and in the Halls,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
We call you now to come to us,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
To breathe again the breath we breathe,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
And speak this night and speak again,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
And as the Darkness now recedes,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
The Darkling Twin awaits the Bright,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
Misrule reigns and all is Öð,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
Öð and odd, and Wyrd and weird,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
And may the Hunt now pass us by,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
Or may we ride the frightful ride,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
By Winter's Night and crossroad light,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
And ghost roads stretch into the night,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
And troll roads strange and faerie roads,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
That lead out there between the worlds,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
Guide our way with lantern bright,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
We are the Lost, you children tonight,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
Toss your dice for us just right,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
And may the year we now head to,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
Find the dreams the Dreamer dreamed,
Hail, oh, Builder of Storms,
This year manifest this next.

~Hail, oh, Builder of Storms, a Hallow poem by Bethany "Lorekeeper" Davis, November 1, 2015
SMOKE of the fields in spring is one,
Smoke of the leaves in autumn another.
Smoke of a steel-mill roof or a battleship funnel,
They all go up in a line with a smokestack,
Or they twist ... in the slow twist ... of the wind.
  
If the north wind comes they run to the south.
If the west wind comes they run to the east.
  By this sign
  all smokes
  know each other.
Smoke of the fields in spring and leaves in autumn,
Smoke of the finished steel, chilled and blue,
By the oath of work they swear: "I know you."
  
Hunted and hissed from the center
Deep down long ago when God made us over,
Deep down are the cinders we came from-
You and I and our heads of smoke.
  
Some of the smokes God dropped on the job
Cross on the sky and count our years
And sing in the secrets of our numbers;
Sing their dawns and sing their evenings,
Sing an old log-fire song:
  
You may put the damper up,
You may put the damper down,
The smoke goes up the chimney just the same.
  
Smoke of a city sunset skyline,
Smoke of a country dusk horizon-
  They cross on the sky and count our years.
  
Smoke of a brick-red dust
  Winds on a spiral
  Out of the stacks
For a hidden and glimpsing moon.
This, said the bar-iron shed to the blooming mill,
This is the slang of coal and steel.
The day-gang hands it to the night-gang,
The night-gang hands it back.
  
Stammer at the slang of this-
Let us understand half of it.
  In the rolling mills and sheet mills,
  In the harr and boom of the blast fires,
  The smoke changes its shadow
  And men change their shadow;
  A ******, a ***, a bohunk changes.
  
  A bar of steel-it is only
Smoke at the heart of it, smoke and the blood of a man.
A runner of fire ran in it, ran out, ran somewhere else,
And left-smoke and the blood of a man
And the finished steel, chilled and blue.
  
So fire runs in, runs out, runs somewhere else again,
And the bar of steel is a gun, a wheel, a nail, a shovel,
A rudder under the sea, a steering-gear in the sky;
And always dark in the heart and through it,
  Smoke and the blood of a man.
Pittsburg, Youngstown, Gary-they make their steel with men.
  
In the blood of men and the ink of chimneys
The smoke nights write their oaths:
Smoke into steel and blood into steel;
Homestead, Braddock, Birmingham, they make their steel with men.
Smoke and blood is the mix of steel.
  
  The birdmen drone
  in the blue; it is steel
  a motor sings and zooms.
  
Steel barb-wire around The Works.
Steel guns in the holsters of the guards at the gates of The Works.
Steel ore-boats bring the loads clawed from the earth by steel, lifted and lugged by arms of steel, sung on its way by the clanking clam-shells.
The runners now, the handlers now, are steel; they dig and clutch and haul; they hoist their automatic knuckles from job to job; they are steel making steel.
Fire and dust and air fight in the furnaces; the pour is timed, the billets wriggle; the clinkers are dumped:
Liners on the sea, skyscrapers on the land; diving steel in the sea, climbing steel in the sky.
  
Finders in the dark, you Steve with a dinner bucket, you Steve clumping in the dusk on the sidewalks with an evening paper for the woman and kids, you Steve with your head wondering where we all end up-
Finders in the dark, Steve: I hook my arm in cinder sleeves; we go down the street together; it is all the same to us; you Steve and the rest of us end on the same stars; we all wear a hat in hell together, in hell or heaven.
  
Smoke nights now, Steve.
Smoke, smoke, lost in the sieves of yesterday;
Dumped again to the scoops and hooks today.
Smoke like the clocks and whistles, always.
  Smoke nights now.
  To-morrow something else.
  
Luck moons come and go:
Five men swim in a *** of red steel.
Their bones are kneaded into the bread of steel:
Their bones are knocked into coils and anvils
And the ******* plungers of sea-fighting turbines.
Look for them in the woven frame of a wireless station.
So ghosts hide in steel like heavy-armed men in mirrors.
Peepers, skulkers-they shadow-dance in laughing tombs.
They are always there and they never answer.
  
One of them said: "I like my job, the company is good to me, America is a wonderful country."
One: "Jesus, my bones ache; the company is a liar; this is a free country, like hell."
One: "I got a girl, a peach; we save up and go on a farm and raise pigs and be the boss ourselves."
And the others were roughneck singers a long ways from home.
Look for them back of a steel vault door.
  
They laugh at the cost.
They lift the birdmen into the blue.
It is steel a motor sings and zooms.
  
In the subway plugs and drums,
In the slow hydraulic drills, in gumbo or gravel,
Under dynamo shafts in the webs of armature spiders,
They shadow-dance and laugh at the cost.
  
The ovens light a red dome.
Spools of fire wind and wind.
Quadrangles of crimson sputter.
The lashes of dying maroon let down.
Fire and wind wash out the ****.
Forever the **** gets washed in fire and wind.
The anthem learned by the steel is:
  Do this or go hungry.
Look for our rust on a plow.
Listen to us in a threshing-engine razz.
Look at our job in the running wagon wheat.
  
Fire and wind wash at the ****.
Box-cars, clocks, steam-shovels, churns, pistons, boilers, scissors-
Oh, the sleeping **** from the mountains, the ****-heavy pig-iron will go down many roads.
Men will stab and shoot with it, and make butter and tunnel rivers, and mow hay in swaths, and slit hogs and skin beeves, and steer airplanes across North America, Europe, Asia, round the world.
  
Hacked from a hard rock country, broken and baked in mills and smelters, the rusty dust waits
Till the clean hard weave of its atoms cripples and blunts the drills chewing a hole in it.
The steel of its plinths and flanges is reckoned, O God, in one-millionth of an inch.
  
Once when I saw the curves of fire, the rough scarf women dancing,
Dancing out of the flues and smoke-stacks-flying hair of fire, flying feet upside down;
Buckets and baskets of fire exploding and chortling, fire running wild out of the steady and fastened ovens;
Sparks cracking a harr-harr-huff from a solar-plexus of rock-ribs of the earth taking a laugh for themselves;
Ears and noses of fire, gibbering gorilla arms of fire, gold mud-pies, gold bird-wings, red jackets riding purple mules, scarlet autocrats tumbling from the humps of camels, assassinated czars straddling vermillion balloons;
I saw then the fires flash one by one: good-by: then smoke, smoke;
And in the screens the great sisters of night and cool stars, sitting women arranging their hair,
Waiting in the sky, waiting with slow easy eyes, waiting and half-murmuring:
  "Since you know all
  and I know nothing,
  tell me what I dreamed last night."
  
Pearl cobwebs in the windy rain,
in only a flicker of wind,
are caught and lost and never known again.
  
A pool of moonshine comes and waits,
but never waits long: the wind picks up
loose gold like this and is gone.
  
A bar of steel sleeps and looks slant-eyed
on the pearl cobwebs, the pools of moonshine;
sleeps slant-eyed a million years,
sleeps with a coat of rust, a vest of moths,
a shirt of gathering sod and loam.
  
The wind never bothers ... a bar of steel.
The wind picks only .. pearl cobwebs .. pools of moonshine.
Àŧùl Nov 2013
Thinking about me,
She starts longing,
For me & my touch.

She coils in her bed,
Missing me she smiles,
The pillow in her clutch.

Twinkling in the sockets,
The two dwindling stars,
She sinks deep in the bed.

But she could only imagine it,
How my manly touch would be,
Soft & sensual or strong & rough.

Pitch dark nights she spends awake,
Whispering my name from far away,
She swings alone in crests & troughs.

Missing me dearly & often complains,
Satiating her with my words & poems,
That's all that I could supply her with.
Just wait for a day after few years for us to meet.

Inverted Wine Flask

My HP Poem #478
©Atul Kaushal
Martin Narrod Apr 2014
Your colors are so heavy, how dare I, I cannot sleep. Years inundated under, through skin coils, marigold fields. Yellow crocuses, orange California poppies. Moors of cattle ranchers, yokes of oxen. Plasticine uber-confidence, silky white-skinned testubular thrice people harmonies. Blisses of contagion, contagious bliss. Wrists and incisors, tying down in a bedroom, waking up to live harps and choruses. You dance like you're so alive, but I'm so alive I can't dance. Or breathe. Or knead my fists of earthen wears, or sell my soul completely. I drove off a cliff last night, but the four foot fall ended neatly. The plateau authors my chance to sew my bright, beyond- my fortunes. But the hour before I fall asleep, seems to be the greatest torture.

— The End —