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Nat Lipstadt  Sep 2013
Ferry Me
Nat Lipstadt Sep 2013
Ferry Me

Ferry me, but once more.

The last ferry rides of Indian Summer,
Always arrives on schedule which is
Always and precisely, too soon.

Then, the imprisonment months,
Sentence, indeterminate.

A Grand Jury trial of months,
I, and my co-defendant,
My sanity, this time, the Oddsmakers say,
Won't survive the lockup.

The source perfume of driftwood words,
Very ferry distinguishing marks,
Sails and seagulls, diesel fumes and saltwater,
Sunsets and seagrass, flying fish and multi-mollusks,
The stuffing of my summer turkey, the currants of
Poems and dreams, sad-eyed longings...

Now,
Evidence used by prosecution,
Confession freely uncoerced,
I Am A Summer Man
Adjudged and convicted,
Guilty of Winter's Discontent.


But it is these last few passages,
Not of words, but over water,
The absence thereof, crush, ravage,
Worse than any grey calendar captivity,
Forlornly, I mouth silently, repeatedly,
Ferry me, but once more.

The course, straightforward,
Voyager, but a few minutes, but long enough to
Love it deeply, need it like a fix,
The mania of the mainland left behind,
The island, thinly lit, more shadow than real,
The approaching dark, shelters, comforts, embraces.

Perhaps, likely, I deceive myself.
No matter how the island comforts,
The brain always rumbling,
Can never make stop questioning,
Prisoner of 24/7,
But it is lessened, left behind,
As I am ferried away both,
In body and in mind.
leon miller  Jul 2017
The Journey
leon miller Jul 2017
The Journey

In our journey down the long road of life
we have weather some storms some trouble and strife
we have travelled down some sunlit plains
some awesome places to hard to explain

Then a fork in the road appeared in sight
you went to the left, I took the right
but the landscape was changing as we travelled our ways
from lush tranquil plains to a dark barren day

Our paths came together on the banks of a river
we stood there together and looked out at the vista
the splendour over there was somewhat a dream
the sun was shinning the earth was so peaceful and green
but the river was running deep and wide
how was it possible to get to the other side

Then magic occurred and a ferry appeared
a tall dark man at the helm with a long flowing beard
“To get us to the other side I asked what would be the fare”
“It is what you shall pay” came the answer so clear
“A deposit will be paid before you may board
the balance will come before we reach the other shore”

The dues I paid with pain emotion and fear
then I boarded the ferry and departure was near
the river was ruff with wind and tide
but calmness could be seen on the other side
as the ferry departed I looked back to see
you were standing on the bank, you were looking at me

So i’m crossing this river all on my lone
and so far in the journey I feel I have grown
I am feeling  and learning as much as I can
changing my ways to be a better man

When finally I reach the other shore
the splendour and peace I shall embrace and adore
but wait I shall with emotion love and bliss
for you to make the journey I pray you do not miss

I turn to look if you were there for me to see
my eyes can’t believe that you are waving at me
I turn to the ferryman “you must stop this vessel hence
we must return to the side we have just left
my girl has decided she will take this ride
so we can land together when we reach the other side”

We return to the shore you leap in my arms
the ferry departs I melt in your charms
“but her dues are in debt for she has not paid”
“what sum is required she has already made”

It might take some time for this voyage to complete
the learning thats to come in its self will be a feat
we don’t have to worry about the outcome
the ferryman’s been paid the job has been done

In our journey  to the other side
we  battle fierce wind and very strong tide
our ferry has taken water the pumps I have manned
the cables have strained beyond their command

At times our ferry seemed to have wings
flying along at the speed of the wind
that distant shore was truly in site
I was sure we would make it I was willing to fight

A storm now comes bigger than before
my hopes are now fading of reaching that far shore
the waves start to surge the cables do strain
hull planks are cracking and here comes the rain

The ferries cables are now parting its the end of the ride
when the ferry brakes free we’ll be at the mercy of tide
we will drift with the stream and land were we may
regardless of the site its were we will stay

But fight I will so we can survive
I will splice that cable and keep us alive
I will pump that bilge and mend broken wood
keep this ferry afloat like I promised I would

My heart is bleeding with the strain of the toil
you come to my aid with river in boil
you help with the splice and repairs to be done
the team is back we surely have won

The sun brakes through the waves do abate
the air starts to clear and not to late
we feel a bump and concerned Ive become
but its the shore we have reached the journey is done

We open our eyes to a vision so sweet
we step from the ferry pure sand at our feet
the landscape is lush filled with sweet peace and love
birds sing in harmony from trees high above

I turn to the ferryman “thank your my friend”
a smile returns and a shake of the head
“The journeys is over and you both saved my ship
let karma be with you and thanks for the tip”
been with my girl 35 years, a couple of years ago we started to grow apart this poem is about the journey back, its written in 3 parts over the journey.
Dont take anything for granted
1
Flood-Tide below me! I see you face to face!
Clouds of the west—sun there half an hour high—I see you also face
   to face.

Crowds of men and women attired in the usual costumes, how curious
   you are to me!
On the ferry-boats the hundreds and hundreds that cross, returning
   home, are more curious to me than you suppose,
And you that shall cross from shore to shore years hence are more
   to me, and more in my meditations, than you might suppose.

2
The impalpable sustenance of me from all things at all hours of the
   day,
The simple, compact, well-join’d scheme, myself disintegrated, every
   one disintegrated yet part of the scheme,
The similitudes of the past and those of the future,
The glories strung like beads on my smallest sights and hearings, on
   the walk in the street and the passage over the river,
The current rushing so swiftly and swimming with me far away,
The others that are to follow me, the ties between me and them,
The certainty of others, the life, love, sight, hearing of others.

Others will enter the gates of the ferry and cross from shore to
   shore,
Others will watch the run of the flood-tide,
Others will see the shipping of Manhattan north and west, and the
   heights of Brooklyn to the south and east,
Others will see the islands large and small;
Fifty years hence, others will see them as they cross, the sun half
   an hour high,
A hundred years hence, or ever so many hundred years hence, others
   will see them,
Will enjoy the sunset, the pouring-in of the flood-tide, the
   falling-back to the sea of the ebb-tide.

3
It avails not, time nor place—distance avails not,
I am with you, you men and women of a generation, or ever so many
   generations hence,
Just as you feel when you look on the river and sky, so I felt,
Just as any of you is one of a living crowd, I was one of a crowd,
Just as you are refresh’d by the gladness of the river and the
   bright flow, I was refresh’d,
Just as you stand and lean on the rail, yet hurry with the swift
   current, I stood yet was hurried,
Just as you look on the numberless masts of ships and the
   thick-stemm’d pipes of steamboats, I look’d.

I too many and many a time cross’d the river of old,
Watched the Twelfth-month sea-gulls, saw them high in the air
   floating with motionless wings, oscillating their bodies,
Saw how the glistening yellow lit up parts of their bodies and left
   the rest in strong shadow,
Saw the slow-wheeling circles and the gradual edging toward the
   south,
Saw the reflection of the summer sky in the water,
Had my eyes dazzled by the shimmering track of beams,
Look’d at the fine centrifugal spokes of light round the shape of my
   head in the sunlit water,
Look’d on the haze on the hills southward and south-westward,
Look’d on the vapor as it flew in fleeces tinged with violet,
Look’d toward the lower bay to notice the vessels arriving,
Saw their approach, saw aboard those that were near me,
Saw the white sails of schooners and sloops, saw the ships at
   anchor,
The sailors at work in the rigging or out astride the spars,
The round masts, the swinging motion of the hulls, the slender
   serpentine pennants,
The large and small steamers in motion, the pilots in their
   pilothouses,

The white wake left by the passage, the quick tremulous whirl of the
   wheels,
The flags of all nations, the falling of them at sunset,
The scallop-edged waves in the twilight, the ladled cups, the
   frolic-some crests and glistening,
The stretch afar growing dimmer and dimmer, the gray walls of the
   granite storehouses by the docks,
On the river the shadowy group, the big steam-tug closely flank’d on
   each side by the barges, the hay-boat, the belated lighter,
On the neighboring shore the fires from the foundry chimneys burning
   high and glaringly into the night,
Casting their flicker of black contrasted with wild red and yellow
   light over the tops of houses, and down into the clefts of
   streets.

4
These and all else were to me the same as they are to you,
I loved well those cities, loved well the stately and rapid river,
The men and women I saw were all near to me,
Others the same-others who look back on me because I look’d forward
   to them,
(The time will come, though I stop here to-day and to-night.)

5
What is it then between us?
What is the count of the scores or hundreds of years between us?

Whatever it is, it avails not—distance avails not, and place avails
   not,
I too lived, Brooklyn of ample hills was mine,
I too walk’d the streets of Manhattan island, and bathed in the
   waters around it,
I too felt the curious abrupt questionings stir within me,
In the day among crowds of people sometimes they came upon me,
In my walks home late at night or as I lay in my bed they came upon
   me,
I too had been struck from the float forever held in solution,
I too had receiv’d identity by my body,
That I was I knew was of my body, and what I should be I knew I
   should be of my body.

6
It is not upon you alone the dark patches fall,
The dark threw its patches down upon me also,

The best I had done seem’d to me blank and suspicious,
My great thoughts as I supposed them, were they not in reality
   meagre?
Nor is it you alone who know what it is to be evil,
I am he who knew what it was to be evil,
I too knitted the old knot of contrariety,
Blabb’d, blush’d, resented, lied, stole, grudg’d,
Had guile, anger, lust, hot wishes I dared not speak,
Was wayward, vain, greedy, shallow, sly, cowardly, malignant,
The wolf, the snake, the hog, not wanting in me.
The cheating look, the frivolous word, the adulterous wish, not
   wanting,

Refusals, hates, postponements, meanness, laziness, none of these
   wanting,
Was one with the rest, the days and haps of the rest,
Was call’d by my nighest name by clear loud voices of young men as
   they saw me approaching or passing,
Felt their arms on my neck as I stood, or the negligent leaning of
   their flesh against me as I sat,
Saw many I loved in the street or ferry-boat or public assembly, yet
   never told them a word,
Lived the same life with the rest, the same old laughing, gnawing,
   sleeping,
Play’d the part that still looks back on the actor or actress,
The same old role, the role that is what we make it, as great as we
   like,
Or as small as we like, or both great and small.

7
Closer yet I approach you,
What thought you have of me now, I had as much of you—I laid in my
   stores in advance,
I consider’d long and seriously of you before you were born.

Who was to know what should come home to me?
Who knows but I am enjoying this?
Who knows, for all the distance, but I am as good as looking at you
   now, for all you cannot see me?

8
Ah, what can ever be more stately and admirable to me than
   mast-hemm’d Manhattan?
River and sunset and scallop-edg’d waves of flood-tide?
The sea-gulls oscillating their bodies, the hay-boat in the
   twilight, and the belated lighter?

What gods can exceed these that clasp me by the hand, and with
   voices I love call me promptly and loudly by my nighest name as
   approach?
What is more subtle than this which ties me to the woman or man that
   looks in my face?
Which fuses me into you now, and pours my meaning into you?

We understand then do we not?
What I promis’d without mentioning it, have you not accepted?
What the study could not teach—what the preaching could not
   accomplish is accomplish’d, is it not?

9
Flow on, river! flow with the flood-tide, and ebb with the ebb-tide!
Frolic on, crested and scallop-edg’d waves!
Gorgeous clouds of the sunset! drench with your splendor me, or the
   men and women generations after me!
Cross from shore to shore, countless crowds of passengers!
Stand up, tall masts of Mannahatta! stand up, beautiful hills of
   Brooklyn!
Throb, baffled and curious brain! throw out questions and answers!
Suspend here and everywhere, eternal float of solution!
Gaze, loving and thirsting eyes, in the house or street or public
   assembly!
Sound out, voices of young men! loudly and musically call me by my
   nighest name!
Live, old life! play the part that looks back on the actor or
   actress!
Play the old role, the role that is great or small according as one
   makes it!
Consider, you who peruse me, whether I may not in unknown ways be
   looking upon you;
Be firm, rail over the river, to support those who lean idly, yet
   haste with the hasting current;
Fly on, sea-birds! fly sideways, or wheel in large circles high in
   the air;
Receive the summer sky, you water, and faithfully hold it till all
   downcast eyes have time to take it from you!
Diverge, fine spokes of light, from the shape of my head, or any
   one’s head, in the sunlit water!
Come on, ships from the lower bay! pass up or down, white-sail’d
   schooners, sloops, lighters!
Flaunt away, flags of all nations! be duly lower’d at sunset!
Burn high your fires, foundry chimneys! cast black shadows at
   nightfall! cast red and yellow light over the tops of the houses!

Appearances, now or henceforth, indicate what you are,
You necessary film, continue to envelop the soul,
About my body for me, and your body for you, be hung our divinest
   aromas,
Thrive, cities—bring your freight, bring your shows, ample and
   sufficient rivers,
Expand, being than which none else is perhaps more spiritual,
Keep your places, objects than which none else is more lasting.

You have waited, you always wait, you dumb, beautiful ministers,
We receive you with free sense at last, and are insatiate
   henceforward,
Not you any more shall be able to foil us, or withhold yourselves
   from us,
We use you, and do not cast you aside—we plant you permanently
   within us,
We fathom you not—we love you—there is perfection in you also,
You furnish your parts toward eternity,
Great or small, you furnish your parts toward the soul.
Patrick Austin Oct 2018
My backpack ready for anything, I left for a voyage across the pond. As fellow passengers climb aboard I met a 27 year old traveling musician named Russ carrying his cajòn. He told me of his travels from Massachusetts and pending divorce. We related on this and exchanged CD's. Behind us sitting on the Ferry were two young girls working on a puzzle. Russ imposed himself and tried to impress them with his musical endeavors. These girls were in America from Germany attending college. One was 17 and the other was 18 but I am sure they knew better than to play into his hand. After talk of language and culture we disembarked. Russ invited me to his show that night but I had plans to meet a girl at a board game pub. I walked to the bus stop while smoking my pipe and caught the number 40 from downtown to a trendy neighborhood up north.

After I stepped off I found myself amongst the overgrown players of games and drinkers of fine beer. Brittany arrived and we chatted over IPA's. I explained my recent challenges to get the topic of divorce out of the way before we left for Mexican food. She was very open in saying I should play the field and not have a serious relationship. I agreed with her take but could not read her as well as I had hoped. She said I need to get the rebounding out of the way and explained that she too is struggling with commitment. Being 34 with no marriage or children under her belt she feels that therapy is essential to figuring this out.

We walked to our happy hour destination and shared Nacho's while drinking "Colorado Kool-Aid". Both of us having spent a lot of time in Denver we could relate on much but I felt there was an elephant in the room. Afterwards we walked to a nearby record store and browsed while talking about music and interests. She needed to leave soon having obligations to housesit and watch pets. Dog walking is her profession since her departure from the world of corporate accounting. We walked to her unkempt sedan and she gave me a ride back downtown. We talked of hanging out again but our schedule may not permit for some time. I wonder if she will entertain my company without reservation, only time will tell.

I decided to phone my old friend from Denver who lives near and devise another plan for the evening. The sun was still shining and I had no reason to return home yet. I walked to a nearby brew pub while waiting for him to meet me. I sat at the bar with another traveler named Dave. He is an airline pilot close to retirement from the state of Texas. We talked about my time in the Navy and my pending legal woes. He's been proudly married for 30 years and counts his blessings that he is still in harmony with his wife. My friend decided to meet me at a concert in close proximity to my date with Brittany. Once again I would take the number 40 uptown. Dave bought my IPA and gave me words of encouragement and complimented my persona. It meant a lot and I thanked him as I said goodbye.

While waiting for the bus I asked for information from a woman in her early 50's. She works for a tech company nearby but was happy to help as I had a more pleasant vibe than most of her young, urban, unprofessional colleagues. While unsure of my way she directed my move to get off at the next stop. I walked up the hill another seven blocks to the show. While smoking my pipe along the way another bus rider was two steps ahead named Nate. He was curious about my pipe tobacco and we gave brief anecdotes about ourselves. He offered to buy me a quick beer before my concert. I took him up on this offer as we walked into a nearby market. He purchased several large cans of domestics and afterwards we headed back down the dark boulevard towards the Abbey drinking our brew. As I arrived at the former church venue we parted ways peacefully.

I ventured into the bustling scene concealing my open container while finding my friend. I sat just as the opening act started. We enjoyed three musical performances but the star of the show was the beautiful woman from Denver that we both enjoyed during our time there. Feeling that we should explore the venue where Russ was performing we made our way there. I was sad to discover the brewery was shutting down before 10pm and the band was long gone. We decided to walk to the nearby singles bar playing music so loudly it could be heard from a block away. This strange place was crawling with many folks of the beautiful sort but nothing seemed to be attractive about it. We had a glass of wine and a shot of bourbon. I spoke to the fellow DJ for a moment but there was no dancefloor to be found. We decided to venture on.

We walked up and down the avenue and discovered another Mexican food restaurant, beaming with the young and the foolish. Our community seating was met with overly affectionate couples to our left and valley girls to our right. Our Tequila mules hit the spot with our Nacho's and late night platter. The girls spoke of Denver people which I thought strange. Why so much co(lorado)-incidence in one evening? I injected myself into the discussion and was met with friendly conversation. Unable to finish my Nacho's I knew I had fulfilled my share of fun for the night. This was the fourth time I had eaten nachos this week. We proceeded back to the urban adventure wagon and made our way to the slums of the tech-boom. My 2am slumber was met with an air mattress of great quality and woolen blankets.

I awoke at 7am to the clouded sunlight peering through the sliding glass door. I laid awake with my stomach turning from the many Nachos not yet digested. My housemates called me about needing to move my car for restriping the parking lot. Fortunately I left my keys so they were able to do this for me. I smoked my pipe on the patio while my friend "hit the gym". When he returned we decided to walk through the arboretum by the university and enjoy the sunny autumn day. Afterwards he dropped me off by the ferry where I waited an hour drinking beer at the commuter dive.

During my ferry ride home I walked up and down the passenger compartment looking for a fellow rider to play cribbage. I had no such luck and headed for the observation deck. While the city vanished behind us I struck up a conversation with a young lady from Manchester who had just returned to living in the US. We talked about the nature of selfies and the conflict of living in the moment. As we spoke a man approached me who had overheard my request for a card game. We walked back inside and sat next to an abandoned puzzle with pieces scattered about the deck. Mark introduced himself and we shook hands. It was not until he shuffled and dealt the cards that I realized this 45 year old Asian man only had one arm. His ability to shuffle and deal was impressive. His skill with cribbage was more than rusty, after one game I had a victory so great I felt guilty. He too is going through divorce and seeking a new job. It was a great way to pass the time with a fellow passenger.

As I readied myself for the porting I noticed a familiar face, a young sailor I served with in Mississippi. Our time spent together was met with sorrow as we faced similar career challenges. I had not seen him for several months but he almost did not recognize me. I had lost 50 pounds, left the Navy and become single all in a matter of a few months. I assured him I was on the dawn of newfound joy and wished him luck on his upcoming deployment. I patted him on the head as he seems like such a lovable scamp to me at this point. I exited the terminal to saunter back home. I smoked my pipe while crossing the bridge enjoying the last hour of sunlight.

I settled my belongings at home while serving myself a can of chili and a cold IPA on draft from my housemates tap. I joined him for the end of a baseball game in the den and shared a few moments with my community. I slept for a couple hours and then made my way to work. So much can happen in a day.
Not poetry, but what is life, if not poetry in motion?
Nat Lipstadt Apr 2016
~
words given life's first breath by this comment from
SE Reimer  
"thy tiller has found a storied port"

~~

captain of a city street ferry,
upon the choppy holy waters of
scarlet fevered spotted gum stained
christened concrete streets

daylight guided by the starlight
of quartz sparklers sidewalk embedded,
resurrecting, overwhelming,
the grayness of men's mortared materialism,
these textured bright city lights,
from murk morn steam-pipe risen,
signposts of a city boys life,
navigation tools on his
steerage cruises

'tis only my poor torso
I captain,
my bus driving days retired,
single masted, obedient to the sun's paths plotted
on a personalized AAA TripTik,^
my cargo, my tiring physique,
the refined mettle product of a
sixty five year too short voyage of
deep diving mining defining,
and for surety, water divining

city walking life driving,
debtor-in-possession of a
city infection
of perpetual motion sickness

enabled inability
for standing stilled,
lane weaving,
people receiving and perceiving
as buoyed obstacle objects
to be passed by
in a higher lane
of shaken and stirred
city waterways

muscle's squeak in sonnet speak

Why speed thy errant boots
upon lanes of wandering men,
is there not time enough,
words suffice,
in history's future present
unlived long life,
to recompense
all your recorded stanzas,
mariner's tales and wrote recitations of seafaring voices?

sea nat run.
sea nat go.

dodging tween his fellow citified citizens
and the puzzled and puzzling drowning tourists,
sea nat write his unsecreted visions,
sailing from street to shining street poetry

this glorious grime,
this delicious dirt,
stuff of my blood,
genes of my children's children inheritance,
of thee I sing,
in thee I revel,
of thee I am composed

when my decomposing time scheduled arrival
lately comes on time,
bury me in its cemetery of memories,
within the soft earth of a watery grave
that the jackhammers drill bit paddles can uncover,
in rough canvas toss my worn smooth
failed frame overboard,
so I may become but one more
fable
in your fabulous liquefying
cement oceans

~~~

3:53 am
5/18/16
nyc

^
http://pearlsoftravelwisdom.boardingarea.com/2014/01/remember-triptix/
with apologies to all the great poets from  I liberally borrowed
Connor Apr 2016
"O!
That the earth
Had to be given to
You
This Way"* - Charles Olson
                
Impermanence is romantic because you
have to make the most of love
while it's still there.

Music doesn't play for birds anymore.

I'm having a conversation with myself
that has never stopped, and honestly, I want him
(the other guy) to shut up!

Recounting recent Vancouver,
humid commercial streets all lit up in midday
cafes cafes cafes
Sweet Cherubim with it's tobacco free cigarettes
and appearance of smallest India!
Traincarts full of familiar faces as time makes these tracks easier to travel.
My shoes are stained with fences, Seagulls do nothing but
complain and **** beautifully!

Here I am now, April 16th, Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal, I can smell the overcast and the expensive perfume behind my seat.
We have the French tourists, Chinese grandmothers,
and millenials wearing thick red lipstick, hair braided back
"What the heck"
to something by the SNB (more coffee)
read Gerry Gilbert's stuff, continuing "MOBY JANE" and it's
refreshing to be engaged with a local poet who makes
direct references to
Nanaimo, Vancouver, Victoria, etc.

Wind is calm today,
I find most poets go into the details of their daily lives and perceptions, while I've made it a habit to try and write about everyone's lives all at once, even when I don't know a **** thing about them (but that's the most interesting part to me)
anybody could by anybody else
who's to say?
I bet I am not as interesting as some may think,
I bet I am not as interesting as I may think,
I can't land a solid date!
aboard the last ferry I saw someone with the face of Andy Warhol and now I see someone with the hair of Andy Warhol.

OK OK
Back to Vancouver,
shorts while it rains outside (not me)
Gastown tangerine reflections off buildings &
my friend points out the non profit office she works in weekly/
10 floors or more of archaic steelwork/heavy foundation/smoothed edges/copper ceiling.
I hardly miss the smell of this place (or rather some areas of it)
the ***** and suited cologne, frequent pizzerias, vintage two-floor aged wood shops, perspiring neon Granville hysteria, Vogue Theater advertising a future appearance by Parov Stelar, I think Robin Pecknold was here recently as well but hell if I can remember the comings & goings of everybody!
Raga band plays beneath the window cleaners one year earlier emitting
audible visions of Calcutta's disorganized theatrics.
Some of these skyscrapers look almost imaginary in their modern sheer.
Glass and more glass with solar panels added in/absorbed heat and people's despondent attention.

Big blow-ups of spectacular strangers, *** is in high demand and marriage has become commodity///

"THE FUTURE IS NOW
COME AND CATCH IT BEFORE IT LEAVES WITHOUT YOU
AS IT WILL APOLOGETICALLY,
INNOVATION/WIRES UPON WIRES/LOSS OF CEMENT/A CEMETERY OF GLASS PANELS AND **** ADVERTISING THAT CUTS OFF TOO QUICKLY TO READ"

"EACH AND EVERY CHILD IS LOOKING UP AT THESE MODELS AND FALLING INTO THE MESH OF SURFACES AND FACELESS BODIES/NICE JAPANESE CARS/THE KIND THAT DON'T NEED GAS OR EVEN DRIVERS"

"WE'RE ALL LIVING LONGER AND DYING EARLIER/WHERE IS IT HAPPENING NOW/WHERE WILL THE RECENTLY WED GO FOR SECLUSION? WHERE WILL THE OLD GO TO RETIRE WITHOUT THE FEAR OF BEING FORGOTTEN AND ABUSED BY THEIR FAMILIES AND CARETAKERS?"

"WHERE IS THE COLOR ON THE CLOCK?
DON'T EVEN GLANCE AT YOUR NEIGHBOR/
WE'RE ALREADY BEHIND BARS \\"

"WHERE IS UNIVERSALLY PREFERABLE BEHAVIOR?
WHERE IS EDUCATION?
WHERE IS MY SELF
AND YOUR SELF?
WHERE'S THE NEXT TRAIN TO MATERIAL RELEVANCY?
CAN I FIND THE ADDRESS IN THE PHONE BOOK?
DO I REALLY HAVE TO WALK THAT FAR?
**** THAT!"

"MY FINGERS ARE WILTING/
FLOWERS ARE DEFENSELESS AGAINST AIRPLANES/
DINERS ARE GOOD FOR REST STOPS AND NOT MUCH ELSE"

"HEY COWBOY
YOU DON'T WANT THOSE FILTERED POISONS
YOU WANT THESE ONES!"

"HEY DARLING DOES THE RING FIT THE EGO?"

"HEY ******* WATCH MY BUMPER!"

"I FORGOT TO FILL IN MY TAX SHEETS ANOTHER MONTH IN A ROW THEY'LL FINE ME AGAIN"

"HOW DO YOU DEFINE "UNIQUE"

"I CAN'T HEAR MY COMMERCIALS OVER THE VACUUM CAN YOU PLEASE KEEP IT DOWN"

"THE BIRDHOUSE FINALLY ROTTED TO THE POINT IT'S FALLEN APART"

"I CAN'T AFFORD MY DAUGHTERS PIANO LESSONS I WISH I WAS A BETTER FATHER"

"WHAT DO YOU MEAN I CAN'T TAKE MY CAT HOME WITH ME TILL I PAY UP FRONT?  I DON'T HAVE THE MONEY RIGHT NOW/YOU'RE KEEPING HIM AND CHARGING ME PER NIGHT?
'no sir if the cat is young we usually find a way around euthanasia'
'thank god for that'"

"CAN'T WAIT TO GET TENURE/
ABOUT TIME"

"A SALES MAGAZINE RECOMMENDED TO ME PASTEL LITERATURE IT WAS SENSELESS AND LACKED IN ANY INTELLECTUAL VALUE BUT SHOULD I BE SO SURPRISED?"

"MY HOUSE IS GOING UP IN VALUE! now how can I implement this value to my life?"

"BUY NOW/SAVE MORE/SPEND LESS/
PAY OFF YOUR LOANS EARLIER/
WE ARE NOW /CLOSED/"

An Orca is alongside the ferry,
it's a lovely sunset beyond the series of islands to reach Schwartz Bay
this afternoon. I put the book down, stretch myself out on the seat, arms relaxed to my sides.
I only write the poems I don't need to think about.
Here I am, so distant from shopping carts
or drums or physical isolation, people talk of travelling
to New York and Italy, a group of young girls console their friend who's being bullied (I have a bad habit of eavesdropping)
There's people snapping pictures of the whale, now stopping as it
returns to the blue mirror.
Days never tie up their loose ends, instead it's up to the day after that, and so the next one, yadayada.

Suddenly the weight of this year floods in,
a specter of eager fields, goodbyes,
and leaving myself behind.
Where am I going?
Terry Collett Apr 2015
Miriam sat on the coach next to the boy Benedict shed met him at Dover Priory Station as they both got in the double decker bus to the ferry port can I sit next to you? shed asked him sure hed said and moved over in the seat to allow her to sit on the already crowded bus and the bus took off to the ferry port with its packed bus of passengers Miriam didnt want to spend the next two weeks of her holiday abroad alone and even though there would be about thirty in the holiday package she knew no one and some were in couples married or otherwise or lone girls like her or the single boys whom she felt were not her kind except this boy seemed a bit different although she couldnt quite put her finger on what it was and when they got off the bus and onto the ferry she stayed near him as much as possible talking when she could or stood next to him as they looked out at the sea once the ferry had left the port and once they had arrived at Calais and disembarked from the ferry she followed him onto the coach where she said can I sit next to you? if you like he said  did you want to sit by the window? if I could she said and he allowed her to go in first and once she was settled in her seat he moved in beside her and lay his head on the back of the seat and closed his eyes she looked out the window waiting for the coach to take off are you sure you dont mind me sitting here? she asked no of course not he said not opening his eyes good to have company and pretty company she smiled and turned and gazed at her reflection in the glass of the window as best she could she never considered herself pretty what with her tight red  curly hair and her freckled face and bright blue eyes and a mouth she thought too wide she pulled a face at herself and looked away she settled back in the seat and lay her head on the rest at the back of the seat and tried to sleep for a while but she was too restless and opened her eyes and sat gazing at the passengers still boarding the coach her hands were restless she wanted to do something with them so she tucked them between her thighs out of the way and stared out the window a few stragglers were still waiting to board the coach she ought to have got the book out of her case to read on the journey now she had nothing to do but look out the window or at her fellow passengers or close her eyes and sleep she gazed at the boy Benedict beside her his eyes still closed soon be off she said to him hope its soon he replied me too she said hoping he would open his eyes and look at her but he didnt he just lay there with his eyes closed then after a few minutes the coach started up and the coach began to move from the Calais port and onto a road were off she said he opened his eyes and looked past her head about time he said and looked at the passing view she studied him sitting there with his hazel eyes and quiff of hair brown and wavy isnt it exciting she said to be actually taking off he gazed at her and smiled taking off what? from the port she said catching his smile what did you think I meant? nothing its my imagination goes riot at times she looked at him what did you think Id take off something? she said well could take off that jumper its too hot for it at the moment she raised an eyebrow is it? she said aren't you hot? he asked she supposed she was rather when she thought about and so she took of her jumper and tucked it behind her and sat back on it is that better? she asked I like the tee shirt he said she looked down at the tee shirt it had two rabbits where her ******* were what are their names? he asked what? she said the rabbits what are their names? he said I dont know she said I havent given them names he smiled how can you not name rabbits with names? she shrugged theyre not real rabbits theyre only printed rabbits on cloth she said still rabbits though he said printed or otherwise she smiled ok what shall I call them then?she asked thats up to you he said what names do rabbits have? all sorts of names she said did you have rabbits as a child? he asked yes I did she said reflecting back two white ones Fluffy and Snowy she said smiling so which one will be Fluffy and which Snowy he asked pointing to the two printed rabbits on her tee shirt you choose she said which one looks most like Fluffy? he studied the two rabbits closely mmm think the one of the right looks more fluffy than the one of the left so that one is Snowy? she asked yes I guess so he said the driver switched on the radio and classic music filled the coach thats Chopin Benedict said what is? she said I thought we decided on Snowy no the music he said its a Chopin piece is it? she said yes a sonata I think she gazed at him and he looked at her so how often will you feed the rabbits? feed them? she said sure you got to feed rabbits or theyll die of hunger he said smiling theyre not real rabbits she said smiling at him they look real he said sitting there all kind of innocent and hungry but theyre not real except maybe I will feed them later just to please you she said o good he said and dont forget to give them plenty of strokes rabbits like to be stroked maybe later I will she said looking at him taking in his bright hazel eyes gazing at her eyes of bright blue maybe later she said you can stroke them too.
A BOY AND GIRL SET OUT FROM DOVER FOR A HOLIDAY WITH THIRTY OTHER PASSENGERS ABROAD IN 1970.
Joe Fogg  Oct 2011
Mersey Ferry
Joe Fogg Oct 2011
Mersey Ferry, Mersey Ferry,
Go across the sea,
Take them a Daffodil,
Take them an Iris,
Tell them I love them
And tell them I care
Return them back safely
And you shall be queens
So, go bring my loved ones
Back home to me

copyright/all rights reserved Joe Fogg 2011
A simple rhyme in a new series I'm writing and invite people to add to. This one recalls how the Mersey Ferries became 'Royal' (e.g. the Iris became, the Royal Iris, as with the Daffodil) following their involvement in the evacuation from France following the failed invasion. The style is intended to be used with skipping games.
Mahatma Jones Feb 2015
My friend Gerard, (who is alive), looks like an Arabian slave-boy, though swarthier and longer of hair than Tony Curtis; an olive –skinned Mowgli, ape boy of Kipling’s  “Jungle Book”, although I have never seen Gerard swinging through any trees, nor eating any insects, nor even kissing a sultan’s foot. But looks can be deceiving, or receiving, with the proper pen, the zen pen of a poet, this proper poet who lives upstairs with his multitude of books piled on the floors, walking on Whitman, sitting on Shakespeare; tripping over Ginsberg, sleeping on Sartre; not a single shelf for this Jung man.
“A place for everything, and for everything it’s place”, he stands and stares out of a window overlooking the jungle of five-foot high weeds that serves as our backyard and wonders aloud “whither Oregon?”; questions our alleged enlightened sense of awareness, his disposition toward liberalness in a world gone madder than usual. Have I convinced him yet, my naïve, trusting neighbor? Yes, he realizes with a sigh that it is so, now that he has finally succumbed and bought a thirteen inch, black & white television of his own, now he can see with his own brown eyes in his own living room, far off wars, instant coffee & instant karma, depersonalized tragedies, faceless fatalities, insidious soap operas and humorless sitcoms, adverse advertisements, Howard Stern; “whither sanity?” we both cry and laugh out loud at this mediocre media, the global sewage, the Marshall McClueless, me and Gerard Rizza, my friend who is alive.

Gerard, (who is healthy), is gay, yet straighter than most men, and has been complaining quite a bit about the ferry service lately; contemplating a move off of Staten Island, and leaving his sporadic substitute teaching gig at a nearby high school, a mere six block walk from our house atop Winter Hill, where he is trying to convince me, a wide-eyed cynic, that a blank, white, unused canvas, surrounded by a wooden picture frame hung upon his wall is indeed a work of art; the job is very convenient, but again the ******* about the ferry, not the boat ride per se, but the incongruities of the ****** schedule, which anybody who has ever just missed a three a.m. boat and had to wait for an hour in the Hierynomous Bosch triptych known as the Whitehall Ferry terminal ,will definitely attest to; and Gerard has this thing about Staten Islanders, like the homophobes at a recent anti-peace rally in New Dorp, supporting the carpet bombing of an oil rich yet still poor third-world country, throwing beer cans at him and his companions while shouting “we know where you live, *******!”. Rizz came home that evening, visibly shaken and pale, (not his usual olive-skinned self), knocked on my door and pleaded “whither ******?”. I went upstairs, sat on his couch and rolled a joint. Gerard puts on the new 10,000 Maniacs tape and tries, once again, to bait me in a conversation about his “work of art”, my work of naught; he speaks of the horrific details of his day. “Isn’t this picture of Doc Gooden on my refrigerator door proof enough of my manhood, my patriotic intent, for those *******? The ******’ Mets, fuh chrissakes!” We sit out on his porch, watching the sun set over our backyard jungle as Natalie sings wireless Verdi cries, and I pass the burning joint to Gerard, my friend who is still healthy.

My friend Gerard, who is *** positive, was quite possibly a cat in a former life, probably a Siamese, thin, dark and aloof; yes, I can see ol’ Rizz now, sprawled out on an old tapestry rug, getting his belly scratched by his owner, perhaps Emily Dickinson or Georgia O’Keefe, Rizz purring like the engine of an old bi-winged barnstormer; abruptly rolls over, gets on all fours, tail waving *****, slinks over to lap water out of a bowl marked “Gerard”. He’d sleep all day on books and original manuscripts, and play all night amongst oil & acrylic, knocking over an occasional blank canvas, which he, in a future incarnation, will try to convince me, in his feline manner, is art. Sitting and staring from his usual spot on the windowsill, his cat eyes blink slowly as he wonders, “whither dinner?”; and begins to clean himself with tongue and paw, this cat who might be Gerard, my friend who is *** positive.

Gerard, who is sick, recently moved to Manhattan, Chelsea, to be precise, in with his best friend; and has stopped ******* about the Staten Island ferry, having far more pressing matters to ***** about, i.e. the ever-rising cost of homeopathic medicine and the lack of coverage for holistic and alternative care; any number of political and social concerns (Gerard was never the silent type); the lateness of his first published book of poems, entitled “Regard for Junction”; his rapidly deteriorating health, etc., etc.; and is now a true city dweller, a zen denizen, a proper poet with high regard for junction. That’s all that remains when it’s all over anyway, this junction, that junction, petticoat junction, petticoat junction – “I always wanted to **** the brunette sister”, I’d once told him; “I prefer uncle Joe!”, he laughingly replied; dejection, rejection, reclamation, defamation, cremation, conjecture, conjunction, all junctions happening at the same time, at now, a single place, a single moment, this forever junction with Gerard, my friend who is dying.

My friend Gerard, who is dead, officially passed from this life on a Saturday morning in early April, a mere two weeks before his junction with publication, although Gerard my friend passed away much earlier, leaving a sick and emaciated body behind to play host to his bedside guests, to help bear the pain of his family and friends; so doped-up on morphine, no longer able to remember any names, he called me “*****” when I entered the hospital room, where this barely physical manifestation of what had once been Gerard Rizza was being kept alive like the barest glimmer of hope, and displayed like some recently fallen leader, lying in state;  “whither Gerard withers” I thought, saying goodbye to this Rizza impersonator, this imposter, this visitor from a shadow world, an abstraction of a friend, whom the nurses told us, his disbelieving visitors, was our friend Gerard, who though technically still alive, was already dead.

My friend Gerard, who is laughing
My friend Gerard, who is singing
My friend Gerard, who is coughing
My friend Gerard, who is sleeping
My friend Gerard, who is holy
My friend Gerard, who is missed.
(c) 1994 PreMortem Publishing
Clayton Woolery Dec 2010
Empty humans echo when tapped
Ceramic heartbeats crunch through riverside air
BETWEEN IGNORANCE AND WORTHLESSNESS TRAPPED
Their senses vaporous, impaired.

Those which melancholy cannot reach
Across the Styx with curling hands
DO NOT EXIST; THEIR WALLS WERE BREACHED
With icy fingers, buzzing bland.

Empty humans echo when tapped
With icy fingers, buzzing bland
FROM THE NIGHT BREEZE WHICH LAPPED
Across the Styx with curling hands.

Those which melancholy cannot reach,
Their senses vaporous, impaired
ARE A MIASMA ON THE BEACH
Ceramic heartbeats crunch through riverside air.

*Pottery people are all appearance
And their hollows are touched rarely
By their own sentience
While waiting for the ferry--
recycling lines.

— The End —