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Who wanted me
to go to Chicago
on January 6th?
I did!

The night before,
20 below zero
with the wind chill;
as the blizzard of 99
lay in mountains
of blackening snow.

I packed two coats,
two suits,
three sweaters,
multiple sets of long johns
and heavy white socks
for a two-day stay.

I left from Newark.
**** the denseness,
it confounds!

The 2nd City to whom?
2nd ain’t bad.
It’s pretty good.
If you consider
Peking and Prague,
Tokyo and Togo,
Manchester and Moscow,
Port Au Prince and Paris,
Athens and Amsterdam,
Buenos Aries and Johannesburg;
that’s pretty good.

What’s going on here today?
It’s friggin frozen.
To the bone!

But Chi Town is still cool.
Buddy Guy’s is open.
Bartenders mixing drinks,
cabbies jamming on their breaks,
honey dew waitresses serving sugar,
buildings swerving,
fire tongued preachers are preaching
and the farmers are measuring the moon.

The lake,
unlike Ontario
is in the midst of freezing.
Bones of ice
threaten to gel
into a solid mass
over the expanse
of the Michigan Lake.
If this keeps up,
you can walk
clear to Toronto
on a silver carpet.

Along the shore
the ice is permanent.
It’s the first big frost
of winter
after a long
Indian Summer.

Thank God
I caught a cab.
Outside I hear
The Hawk
nippin hard.
It’ll get your ear,
finger or toe.
Bite you on the nose too
if you ain’t careful.

Thank God,
I’m not walking
the Wabash tonight;
but if you do cover up,
wear layers.

could this be
Sandburg’s City?

I’m overwhelmed
and this is my tenth time here.

It’s almost better,
sometimes it is better,
a lot of times it is better
and denser then New York.

Ask any Bull’s fan.
I’m a Knickerbocker.
Yes Nueva York,
a city that has placed last
in the standings
for many years.
Except the last two.
Yanks are # 1!

But Chicago
is a dynasty,
as big as
Sammy Sosa’s heart,
rich and wide
as Michael Jordan’s grin.

Middle of a country,
center of a continent,
smack dab in the mean
of a hemisphere,
vortex to a world,

Kansas City,
St. Louis,
New Orleans,
Mexico City
and Montreal
salute her.

A collection of vanities?
Engineered complex utilitarianism?
The need for community a social necessity?
Ego one with the mass?
Civilization’s latest *******?
Chicago is more then that.

Jefferson’s yeoman farmer
is long gone
but this capitol
of the Great Plains
is still democratic.

The citizen’s of this city
would vote daily,
if they could.

Sandburg’s Chicago,
Could it be?

The namesake river
segments the city,
canals of commerce,
all perpendicular,
is rife throughout,
still guiding barges
to the Mississippi
and St. Laurence.

Now also
tourist attractions
for a cafe society.

Chicago is really jazzy,
swanky clubs,
big steaks,
juices and drinks.

You get the best
coffee from Seattle
and the finest teas
from China.

Great restaurants
serve liquid jazz
al la carte.

Jazz Jazz Jazz
All they serve is Jazz
Rock me steady
Keep the beat
Keep it flowin
Feel the heat!

Jazz Jazz Jazz
All they is, is Jazz
Fast cars will take ya
To the show
Round bout midnight
Where’d the time go?

Flows into the Mississippi,
the mother of America’s rivers,
an empires aorta.

Great Lakes wonder of water.
Niagara Falls
still her heart gushes forth.

Buffalo connected to this holy heart.
Finger Lakes and Adirondacks
are part of this watershed,
all the way down to the
Delaware and Chesapeake.

Sandburg’s Chicago?
Oh my my,
the wonder of him.
Who captured the imagination
of the wonders of rivers.

Down stream other holy cities
from the Mississippi delta
all mapped by him.

Its mouth our Dixie Trumpet
guarded by righteous Cajun brethren.

Midwest from where?
It’s north of Caracas and Los Angeles,
east of Fairbanks,
west of Dublin
and south of not much.

who spoke of honest men
and loving women.
Working men and mothers
bearing citizens to build a nation.
The New World’s
precocious adolescent
caught in a stream
of endless and exciting change,
much pain and sacrifice,
dedication and loss,
pride and tribulations.

From him we know
all the people’s faces.
All their stories are told.
Never defeating the
idea of Chicago.

Sandburg had the courage to say
what was in the heart of the people, who:

Defeated the Indians,
Mapped the terrain,
Aided slavers,
Fought a terrible civil war,
Hoisted the barges,
Grew the food,
Whacked the wheat,
Sang the songs,
Fought many wars of conquest,
Cleared the land,
Erected the bridges,
Trapped the game,
Netted the fish,
Mined the coal,
Forged the steel,
Laid the tracks,
Fired the tenders,
Cut the stone,
Mixed the mortar,
Plumbed the line,
And laid the bricks
Of this nation of cities!

Pardon the Marlboro Man shtick.
It’s a poor expostulation of
crass commercial symbolism.

Like I said, I’m a
Devil Fan from Jersey
and Madison Avenue
has done its work on me.

It’s a strange alchemy
that changes
a proud Nation of Blackhawks
into a merchandising bonanza
of hometown hockey shirts,
making the native seem alien,
and the interloper at home chillin out,
warming his feet atop a block of ice,
guzzling Old Style
with clicker in hand.

Give him his beer
and other diversions.
If he bowls with his buddy’s
on Tuesday night
I hope he bowls
a perfect game.

He’s earned it.
He works hard.
Hard work and faith
built this city.

And it’s not just the faith
that fills the cities
thousand churches,
temples and
mosques on the Sabbath.

There is faith in everything in Chicago!

An alcoholic broker named Bill
lives the Twelve Steps
to banish fear and loathing
for one more day.
Bill believes in sobriety.

A tug captain named Moe
waits for the spring thaw
so he can get the barges up to Duluth.
Moe believes in the seasons.

A farmer named Tom
hopes he has reaped the last
of many bitter harvests.
Tom believes in a new start.

A homeless man named Earl
wills himself a cot and a hot
at the local shelter.
Earl believes in deliverance.

A Pullman porter
named George
works overtime
to get his first born
through medical school.
George believes in opportunity.

A folk singer named Woody
sings about his
countrymen inheritance
and implores them to take it.
Woody believes in people.

A Wobbly named Joe
organizes fellow steelworkers
to fight for a workers paradise
here on earth.
Joe believes in ideals.

A bookkeeper named Edith
is certain she’ll see the Cubs
win the World Series
in her lifetime.
Edith believes in miracles.

An electrician named ****
saves money
to bring his family over from Gdansk.
**** believes in America.

A banker named Leah
knows Ditka will return
and lead the Bears
to another Super Bowl.
Leah believes in nostalgia.

A cantor named Samuel
prays for another 20 years
so he can properly train
his Temple’s replacement.

Samuel believes in tradition.
A high school girl named Sally
refuses to get an abortion.
She knows she carries
something special within her.
Sally believes in life.

A city worker named Mazie
ceaselessly prays
for her incarcerated son
doing 10 years at Cook.
Mazie believes in redemption.

A jazzer named Bix
helps to invent a new art form
out of the mist.
Bix believes in creativity.

An architect named Frank
restores the Rookery.
Frank believes in space.

A soldier named Ike
fights wars for democracy.
Ike believes in peace.

A Rabbi named Jesse
sermonizes on Moses.
Jesse believes in liberation.

Somewhere in Chicago
a kid still believes in Shoeless Joe.
The kid believes in
the integrity of the game.

An Imam named Louis
is busy building a nation
within a nation.
Louis believes in

A teacher named Heidi
gives all she has to her students.
She has great expectations for them all.
Heidi believes in the future.

Does Chicago have a future?

This city,
full of cowboys
and wildcatters
is predicated
on a future!

Bang, bang
Shoot em up
Stake the claim
It’s your terrain
Drill the hole
Strike it rich
Top it off
You’re the boss
Take a chance
Watch it wane
Try again
Heavenly gains

city of futures
is a Holy Mecca
to all day traders.

Their skin is gray,
hair disheveled,
loud ties and
funny coats,
thumb through
slips of paper
held by nail
chewed hands.
Selling promises
with no derivative value
for out of the money calls
and in the money puts.
Strike is not a labor action
in this city of unionists,
but a speculators mark,
a capitalist wish,
a hedgers bet,
a public debt
and a farmers
fair return.

Indexes for everything.
Quantitative models
that could burst a kazoo.

You know the measure
of everything in Chicago.
But is it truly objective?
Have mathematics banished
subjective intentions,
routing it in fair practice
of market efficiencies,
a kind of scientific absolution?

I heard that there
is a dispute brewing
over the amount of snowfall
that fell on the 1st.

The mayor’s office,
using the official city ruler
measured 22”
of snow on the ground.

The National Weather Service
says it cannot detect more
then 17” of snow.

The mayor thinks
he’ll catch less heat
for the trains that don’t run
the buses that don’t arrive
and the schools that stand empty
with the addition of 5”.

The analysts say
it’s all about capturing liquidity.

can you place a great lake
into an eyedropper?

Its 20 below
and all liquid things
are solid masses
or a gooey viscosity at best.

Water is frozen everywhere.
But Chi town is still liquid,
flowing faster
then the digital blips
flashing on the walls
of the CBOT.

are never frozen in Chicago.
The exchanges trade
without missing a beat.

Trading wet dreams,
the crystallized vapor
of an IPO
pledging a billion points
of Internet access
or raiding the public treasuries
of a central bank’s
huge stores of gold
with currency swaps.

Using the tools
of butterfly spreads
and candlesticks
to achieve the goal.

Short the Russell
or buy the Dow,
go long the
CAC and DAX.
Are you trading in euro’s?
You better be
or soon will.
I know
you’re Chicago,
you’ll trade anything.
and Leaps
are traded here,
along with sweet crude,
North Sea Brent,
plywood and T-Bill futures;
and most importantly
the commodities,
the loam
that formed this city
of broad shoulders.

What about our wheat?
Still whacking and
breadbasket to the world.

an important fossil fuel
denominated in
good ole greenbacks.

not just hogwash
on the Wabash,
but bacon, eggs
and flapjacks
are on the menu
of every diner in Jersey
as the “All American.”

our contribution
to the Golden Triangle,
once the global currency
used to enrich a
gentlemen class
of cultured
southern slavers,
now Tommy Hilfiger’s
preferred fabric.

I think he sends it
to Bangkok where
child slaves
spin it into
gold lame'.

I think its hardy.

the new age substitute
for hamburger
goes great with tofu lasagna.

ADM creates ethanol,
they want us to drive cleaner cars.

once driven into this city’s
bloodhouses for slaughter,
now ground into
a billion Big Macs
every year.

When does a seed
become a commodity?
When does a commodity
become a future?
When does a future expire?

You can find the answers
to these questions in Chicago
and find a fortune in a hole in the floor.

Look down into the pits.
Hear the screams of anguish
and profitable delights.

Frenzied men
swarming like a mass
of epileptic ants
atop the worlds largest sugar cube
auger the worlds free markets.

The scene is
more chaotic then
100 Haymarket Square Riots
multiplied by 100
1968 Democratic Conventions.

Amidst inverted anthills,
they scurry forth and to
in distinguished
black and red coats.

Fighting each other
as counterparties
to a life and death transaction.

This is an efficient market
that crosses the globe.

Oil from the Sultan of Brunei,
Yen from the land of Hitachi,
Long Bonds from the Fed,
nickel from Quebec,
platinum and palladium
from Siberia,
FTSE’s from London
and crewel cane from Havana
circle these pits.

and Istanbul's
best traders
are only half as good
as the average trader in Chicago.

this hog butcher to the world,
specializes in packaging and distribution.

Men in blood soaked smocks,
still count the heads
entering the gates of the city.

Their handiwork
is sent out on barges
and rail lines as frozen packages
of futures
waiting for delivery
to an anonymous counterparty
half a world away.

This nation’s hub
has grown into the
premier purveyor
to the world;
along all the rivers,
and estuaries
it’s tentacles reach.

Sandburg’s Chicago,
is a city of the world’s people.

Many striver rows compose
its many neighborhoods.

Nordic stoicism,
Eastern European orthodoxy
and Afro-American
calypso vibrations
are three of many cords
strumming the strings
of Chicago.

Sandburg’s Chicago,
if you wrote forever
you would only scratch its surface.

People wait for trains
to enter the city from O’Hare.
Frozen tears
lock their eyes
onto distant skyscrapers,
solid chunks
of snot blocks their nose
and green icicles of slime
crust mustaches.
They fight to breathe.

Sandburg’s Chicago
is The Land of Lincoln,
Savior of the Union,
protector of the Republic.
Sent armies
of sons and daughters,
barges, boxcars,
gunboats, foodstuffs,
cannon and shot
to raze the south
and stamp out succession.

Old Abe’s biography
are still unknown volumes to me.
I must see and read the great words.
You can never learn enough;
but I’ve been to Washington
and seen the man’s memorial.
The Free World’s 8th wonder,
guarded by General Grant,
who still keeps an eye on Richmond
and a hand on his sword.

Through this American winter
Abe ponders.
The vista he surveys is dire and tragic.

Our sitting President
for lying about a *******.

Party partisans
in the senate are sworn and seated.
Our Chief Justice,
adorned with golden bars
will adjudicate the proceedings.
It is the perfect counterpoint
to an ageless Abe thinking
with malice toward none
and charity towards all,
will heal the wounds
of the nation.

Abe our granite angel,
Chicago goes on,
The Union is strong!


Out my window
the sun has risen.

According to
the local forecast
its minus 9
going up to
6 today.

The lake,
a golden pillow of clouds
is frozen in time.

I marvel
at the ancients ones
and how
they mastered
these extreme elements.

Past, present and future
has no meaning
in the Citadel
of the Prairie today.

I set my watch
to Central Standard Time.

Stepping into
the hotel lobby
the concierge
with oil smooth hair,
perfect tie
and English lilt
impeccably asks,
“Do you know where you are going Sir?
Can I give you a map?”

He hands me one of Chicago.
I see he recently had his nails done.
He paints a green line
along Whacker Drive and says,
“turn on Jackson, LaSalle, Wabash or Madison
and you’ll get to where you want to go.”
A walk of 14 or 15 blocks from Streeterville-
(I start at The Chicago White House.
They call it that because Hillary Rodham
stays here when she’s in town.
Its’ also alleged that Stedman
eats his breakfast here
but Opra
has never been seen
on the premises.
I wonder how I gained entry
into this place of elite’s?)
-down into the center of The Loop.

Stepping out of the hotel,
The Doorman
sporting the epaulets of a colonel
on his corporate winter coat
and furry Cossack hat
swaddling his round black face
accosts me.

The skin of his face
is flaking from
the subzero windburn.

He asks me
with a gapped toothy grin,
“Can I get you a cab?”
“No I think I’ll walk,” I answer.
“Good woolen hat,
thick gloves you should be alright.”
He winks and lets me pass.

I step outside.
The Windy City
flings stabbing cold spears
flying on wings of 30-mph gusts.
My outside hardens.
I can feel the freeze
into my internalness.
I can’t be sure
but inside
my heart still feels warm.
For how long
I cannot say.

I commence
my walk
among the spires
of this great city,
the vertical leaps
that anchor the great lake,
holding its place
against the historic
frigid assault.

The buildings’ sway,
modulating to the blows
of natures wicked blasts.

It’s a hard imposition
on a city and its people.

The gloves,
long underwear,
and overcoat
not enough
to keep the cold
from penetrating
the person.

Like discerning
the layers of this city,
even many layers,
still not enough
to understand
the depth of meaning
of the heart
of this heartland city.

Sandburg knew the city well.
Set amidst groves of suburbs
that extend outward in every direction.
Concentric circles
surround the city.
After the burbs come farms,
Great Plains, and mountains.
Appalachians and Rockies
are but mere molehills
in the city’s back yard.
It’s terra firma
stops only at the sea.
Pt. Barrow to the Horn,
many capes extended.

On the periphery
its appendages,
its extremities,
its outward extremes.
All connected by the idea,
blown by the incessant wind
of this great nation.
The Windy City’s message
is sent to the world’s four corners.
It is a message of power.
English the worlds
common language
is spoken here,
along with Ebonics,
and more.

Always more.
Much much more
in Chicago.

spoke all the dialects.

He heard them all,
he understood
with great precision
to the finest tolerances
of a lathe workers micrometer.

Sandburg understood
what it meant to laugh
and be happy.

He understood
the working mans day,
the learned treatises
of university chairs,
the endless tomes
of the city’s
great libraries,
the lost languages
of the ancient ones,
the secret codes
of abstract art,
the impact of architecture,
the street dialects and idioms
of everymans expression of life.

All fighting for life,
trying to build a life,
a new life
in this modern world.

Walking across
the Michigan Avenue Bridge
I see the Wrigley Building
is neatly carved,
catty cornered on the plaza.

I wonder if Old Man Wrigley
watched his barges
loaded with spearmint
and double-mint
move out onto the lake
from one of those Gothic windows
perched high above the street.

Would he open a window
and shout to the men below
to quit slaking and work harder
or would he
between the snapping sound
he made with his mouth
full of his chewing gum
offer them tickets
to a ballgame at Wrigley Field
that afternoon?

Would the men below
be able to understand
the man communing
from such a great height?

I listen to a man
and woman conversing.
They are one step behind me
as we meander along Wacker Drive.

"You are in Chicago now.”
The man states with profundity.
“If I let you go
you will soon find your level
in this city.
Do you know what I mean?”

No I don’t.
I think to myself.
What level are you I wonder?
Are you perched atop
the transmission spire
of the Hancock Tower?

I wouldn’t think so
or your ears would melt
from the windburn.

I’m thinking.
Is she a kept woman?
She is majestically clothed
in fur hat and coat.
In animal pelts
not trapped like her,
but slaughtered
from farms
I’m sure.

What level
is he speaking of?

Many levels
are evident in this city;
many layers of cobbled stone,
Pennsylvania iron,
Hoosier Granite
and vertical drops.

I wonder
if I detect
in his voice?

What is
his intention?
Is it a warning
of a broken affair?
A pending pink slip?
Advise to an addict
refusing to adhere
to a recovery regimen?

What is his level anyway?
Is he so high and mighty,
Higher and mightier
then this great city
which we are all a part of,
which we all helped to build,
which we all need
in order to keep this nation
the thriving democratic
empire it is?

This seditious talk!

The Loop’s El
still courses through
the main thoroughfares of the city.

People are transported
above the din of the street,
looking down
on the common pedestrians
like me.

Super CEO’s
populating the upper floors
of Romanesque,
Greek Revivalist,
New Bauhaus,
Art Deco
and Post Nouveau
Avant-Garde towers
are too far up
to see me
shivering on the street.

The cars, busses,
trains and trucks
are all covered
with the film
of rock salt.

Salt covers
my bootless feet
and smudges
my cloths as well.

The salt,
the primal element
of the earth
covers everything
in Chicago.

It is the true level
of this city.

The layer
all layers,
on which
is built,
then dies.
To be
returned again
to the lower
where it can
take root
and grow
out onto
the great plains.

the nation,
its people
with its

A blessing,

All rivers
come here.

All things
found its way here
through the canals
and back bays
of the world’s
greatest lakes.

All roads,
rails and
air routes
begin and
end here.

Mrs. O’Leary’s cow
got a *** rap.
It did not start the fire,
we did.

We lit the torch
that flamed
the city to cinders.
From a pile of ash
Chicago rose again.

Forever Chicago!
Forever the lamp
that burns bright
on a Great Lake’s
western shore!

the beacon
sends the
message to the world
with its windy blasts,
on chugging barges,
clapping trains,
flying tandems,
T1 circuits
and roaring jets.

Sandburg knew
a Chicago
I will never know.

He knew
the rhythm of life
the people walked to.
The tools they used,
the dreams they dreamed
the songs they sang,
the things they built,
the things they loved,
the pains that hurt,
the motives that grew,
the actions that destroyed
the prayers they prayed,
the food they ate
their moments of death.

Sandburg knew
the layers of the city
to the depths
and windy heights
I cannot fathom.

The Blues
came to this city,
on the wing
of a chirping bird,
on the taps
of a rickety train,
on the blast
of an angry sax
rushing on the wind,
on the Westend blitz
of Pop's brash coronet,
on the tink of
a twinkling piano
on a paddle-wheel boat
and on the strings
of a lonely man’s guitar.

Walk into the clubs,
row houses,
and you’ll hear the Blues
whispered like
a quiet prayer.

Tidewater Blues
from Virginia,
Delta Blues
from the lower
Boogie Woogie
from Appalachia,
Texas Blues
from some Lone Star,
Big Band Blues
from Kansas City,
Blues from
Beal Street,
Jelly Roll’s Blues
from the Latin Quarter.

Hell even Chicago
got its own brand
of Blues.

Its all here.
It ended up here
and was sent away
on the winds of westerly blows
to the ear of an eager world
on strong jet streams
of simple melodies
and hard truths.

A broad
shouldered woman,
a single mother stands
on the street
with three crying babes.
Their cloths
are covered
in salt.
She pleads
for a break,
for a new start.
Poor and
against the torrent
of frigid weather
she begs for help.
Her blond hair
and ****** features
suggests her
Scandinavian heritage.
I wonder if
she is related to Sandburg
as I walk past
her on the street.
Her feet
are bleeding
through her
canvass sneakers.
Her babes mouths
are zipped shut
with frozen drivel
and mucous.

The Blues live
on in Chicago.

The Blues
will forever live in her.
As I turn the corner
to walk the Miracle Mile
I see her engulfed
in a funnel cloud of salt,
snow and bits
of white paper,
swirling around her
and her children
in an angry

The family
begins to
like a snail
sprinkled with salt;
and a mother
and her children
just disappear
into the pavement
at the corner
of Dearborn,
in Chicago.


Robert Johnson
Sweet Home Chicago

Added today to commemorate the birthday of Carl Sandburg
Mateuš Conrad Aug 2018
.i'm pretty sure that someone like Mozart, composed, in total silence, didn't hum out a tune, given that he had to micromanage symphony, or rather, the latter stage of polyphony - synchronization of all subsequent parts... whereby music was more optical in its genesis than people might like to believe... of course auditory in its exodus from the godhead, but... i'm pretty sure the composition process for classical music, would never amount to the sort of fun impromptu of jazz... must be a black privilege sort of, "thing" to have found jazz lying around...

how did the beatniks even believe that
a cross-generational mongrel of an art
form, fusing poetry with jazz could ever work?
robert pinsky still has the dream -
but it's a bit like:
      you think you can smoke marijuana
and listen to blues?
              not drink a drop of the devil liquor
and take blues seriously?
       just like sonny clark would have
said: 'if you don't shoot it,
     you don't smoke it'...
         given that... this is not stoner rock
type of wasp hive droning, humming,
heavily repeated rhythm...
              nothing wacky like
thievery corporation doing a live
rendition of the forgotten people
                                             live on KEXP...
what's that phrase?
    i feel monged -
   i.e. so ****** that you don't know
if it's a brain or a jelly,
         a stomach or krāng...
an 8th of an ounce could last me a week...
never mind...
   but how could they even suppose
that, somehow... jazz would dissolve
into acid jazz...
   that ****** variant you don't hear
in a jazz club...
   sure... the one up in Edinburgh was
jazz by name only...
   one night i heard the cover
of neil young's song old man...
yeah... very ******* jazzy...
                what's next, a banjo quartet?
first jazz song i ever heard was
art blakey & the jazz messangers'
      opening track from the album
   of the same name - moanin'...
           had to stash on some of the records...
but did i really want to speak over
the music?
             did i want to contaminate
the music and produce some ****** mash-up
akin to the beatnik experiment?
     *******... high on dope...
              never bothered to call jazz...
the black man's equivalent status of
what white man's classical music is...
     and where's jazz now?
joshua redman isn't exactly a lifejacket
when a boat with 20 is sinking...
jazz has been neglected...
    relegated as posh black boy music
heading off to Yale... wap... or wrap it up...
talk with a mouth but forget playing
the ******* horns, the sax...
              can't exactly see a revival...
   but would i really want to speak to this music?
feels a bit like talking over an opera...
made sense back then, makes little or no sense
                    beside the point...
      there's still a heatwave in england...
every morning i wake up in a furnace -
    or as if attired in a metallurgy suit working
raw metals...
       and i always ask myself the question...
to rehydrate...
   would i rather eat half a watermelon,
or drink a big glass of water?
                         it's always the first.
Voice Rejoice**
by Roger W Hancock

Victory Voice,
voicing calmly,
enunciating clearly,
slow deliberate talking,
battling the stuttering.
Fighting the stammering,
during my conversing,
when heard clearly,
spoken calmly,
Victory’s rejoice.

© 12-07-2011 Roger W Hancock,
Roger W Hancock's webiste is

More poetry on stuttering at
It was hard in the Moonta Mines that year
For the miners, down in the pit,
It wasn’t a place for a weak man, but
The Cornish Miners had grit,
They burrowed deeper with every day
Extracting the copper ore,
And the skimps grew high in the heaps that piled
Not far from the Moonta shore.

They wore their helmets deep in the mine
With a candle fixed to the brim,
And worked in the glow of the candlelight
While the pumps pumped out and in,
They pumped for water, they pumped for air
For the air in the mine was rank,
And water seeped at the lowest lode
Where the atmosphere was dank.

They built their cottages out of lime
And mud, with a building board,
On Sundays, that was the only time
Once they had prayed to the Lord,
The Cornish Miners were Methodists
Built numerous churches there,
And Cap’n Hancock had said, ‘Attend!
Or your job is gone – Beware!’

Those men of flint had hearts of gold
And they raised their children fine,
Sons would follow their fathers then
And go to work in the mine,
One Christmas Eve they were gathered there
By their hundreds, on the green,
A candle lit on their helmets each
Like a glittering starlit scene.

The wives and children were there as well
With their voices raised in praise,
The swelling sound of an angel choir
With their humble miners ways,
They called it Carols by Candlelight
And the movement grew apace,
It spread all over the world from this
The Moonta Miners grace.

David Lewis Paget
Glenn McCrary May 2012
Fringed by putrescent dusk
Fingernails dig beneath graveyard wounds
Fostered by lexical warfare
Within the harrowing fiascos of tomorrow
Nothing but bated memories
Braided by skin, coffee, and cigarettes
Branded by concrete whispers
brooke Nov 2014
robert slept in the back
enveloped in fresh cigarette
with his green sweater hung
over his face and in the front
where we smelled like lotion
and pumpkin hand sanitizer
we tried the lullabies that
were soaked in old lovers
and you invited me over
for dinner, it's so easy
to say that God has
sent me no one
so even if you
do move back
to New York, I
will be able to say
that yes, I made a friend
all on my own and found
that it is so easy to laugh, that
I can be easy to love.
(c) Brooke Otto 2014
John F McCullagh Apr 2016
Sickles' corps had broken; the Rebels had them on the run.
Hancock foresaw disaster; perhaps a worse one than Bull Run
How could he plug the gap in the line and rally men to stand?
"What Regiment is this? " he asked of Colville, in command.
The First Minnesota volunteers- they were sorely undermanned.

They were Lincoln's first volunteers, staunch Union men in Blue
Hancock ordered them to charge; a death sentence, they knew.
With bayonets fixed they made their charge outnumbered twelve to Two.

The Rebel regiments were shocked, disbelieving what they saw;
The company sized regiment who'd come through three years of war.
Canister ripped through their lines; there was no time to weep.
Five minutes Hancock needed; for that long their grief would keep.

This field knows many heroes; so many fought and bled.
But let us pause and honor these brave Minnesota dead.
They bought time for the General; the Union held the Ridge.
We might not have a country had they not done what they did.
on 7/2/1863 the 262 men of the First Minnisota volunteers charged into history buying with their lives the five minutes General Hancock needed to reform the Union Center and repulse the Rebel advance.
Only 47 me3n were able to answer the roll call on the morning of the third. The title of the poem is the motto of the regiment
Mateuš Conrad Feb 2017
******* wanna tango... hell... let's tango! we'll be heading to Argentina to bag us a few nazis and then cruise to Nuremberg... trying to forget that Buenos Aires hot-tilt night of adventure... i ******* love celibacy... you get to take the **** out of so many people that they thankfully never mattered in their bedrooms, as what was the best method to keep them entertained; could they never keep it to themselves? so i'm writing! there's no other reason to counter their need to share that frolicking! it's inverse *******... these people actually needed a ******!

there's a me in an alternative reality,
screaming... *i'd rather be a bus-driver!
  apparently that's how
capitalists translate the joke
about someone... listening to the amazing
atheist... and not getting paid for it!
wait wait, that's what? beggar gotta squael?
eek! piggy farming for ****'s sake;
comedy, it really should return to
that silent movie period where ambiguity
was allowed... too much effort slurping clean
a chicken bone... it's like you're about
to perform an orchestra...
i give it to herbie hancock though...
    but what of sonny clark? ******, orverdose,
played a piano like a ******, dead before
he's 30... the only tragedy being,
i dare to remember him...
watching too much of that crap...
the watermelon joke had me...
and then in started listening to herbie hancock...
the ****'s up with these watermelons?
      and what's with herb and cantaloupe?
i bought that double-disk in russia...
   now i'm thinking: triple distillation,
and double that for standard...
   i'm not going to speak this sort of crap
at a street corner anyway...
         just hollywood and thieves of shadows...
the scary part is:
there aren't any nazis knocking on doors
these days,
     so why am i asking for a me in an alternative /
"what if"              reality?
    asking a question tell a joke...
      isn't that what english is resembled as
across the Atlantic?
        counter that, i moved to Sicily and lived to be
a century old...
     'cos' i really gave a ****.
last time i checked, jazz had no script,
thelonious monk could be questioned
writing scripts on the side...
       but it would never be impromptu...
  it could never be: snapping your fingers....
or what the head of hector spoke when achilles
decapitated it...
             the **** am i here for?!
plus hector is a better sounding name...
    not that the gods really matter,
what matters is: why did this whole freak show
go on for so long?
   and god... it will go on for so much longer...
given how frisky and kink prone we're becoming...
    thus as rare as to cite macbeth...
   and say: from this, we are to feel?
    is this the only kindness toward stating a genuine
human heart? from this?!
        then indeed it is from this,
outside the biblical spectrum of constipated imagery...
  but ah... aren't the lucky ones telling us apart,
and providing us with a quasi-gravity impetus,
that rather than unifying us... drives us apart;
for thus: we fake or at least accept:
     a sense of contempt, that is thus a mode of faking
the fakeness of contentment...
   what is man in his faking? a magician?
a chauvanist? something this that or the other?
         man is man set against the elemental...
mas is parasite set against manhood...
           a man can't be if another man thinks
nothing of thought beyond the realm of freedom,
to only implement the exercise of thought
toward slavery... i really could find more abhorrent
things to eat, beside pork, beside crab...
i could take my ego-tongue, and tell it to eat by
the digestion that's thought: islam...
i'm just starving and i've been drinking and i've
been listening to herbie hancock and
i resent the notion of real-time and a "care" for
an "audience"... and all that ******* that is *******...
and how you eventually replicate the apathetic mood
of what you see around you when you begin
investing something in a project, or art...
         i'll watch the oscar ceremony tomorrow
and could begin with: the way people said i sounded
like... but won't...
                because i'll thankfully say:
the world's too big, to distinguish a seagull from a flock
of seagulls.
                      this world exists, only via
a tired god; it really was born from an argument reaching
an end... the tired god said: boom!
    and from his tiresome effort,
                never bothered to be given an argument to exist;
unless you argued some quasi 3G...
   and got all that dough and ***** and B.F.G.;
20 hours fasting can really make you think the oddest ****
when you actually, just want to eat a curry....
or really go through that experiment of adding sourcrout
to kebab meat... with all the toppings... pickled chillies...
raw cabbage... cucumbers... tomatoes...
   what would a kebab with sourcrout and pickled chillies
and all the toppings taste like?
       probably like that david bowie blackstar song...
heaven heaven; speak to me of heaven as if i were eleven.
you arrived midwinter
into the loving embrace
of young able parents
eager to nurture and
prepare you for a
hard edged world
filled with trepidation
and uncertainty

boasting citizenship
of two great nations
your honored presence
fearlessly extends
the lineage of proud  
ancient clans

you are a favorite son
hailing from two continents
and a beloved descendant
of two joyous families

your face is a monument,
perfectly chiseled,
expressing the
bold features of
resilient ancestors
rich in the history
of struggle, conquests,
sorrows and countless joys

your blue streaked
eyes reflect the
gleaming vistas
of timeless
ancestral journeys
guided by high ideals
and noble aspirations

your suckling lips
bespeak smiles
of happiness
born from the
achievement of
a successful birth
and the warm embrace
from the ***** of  
parental love

your blithe hair exudes
the fragrance of
melodious Irish poetry

your gifted hands
appear eager
to grasp the promise
of fine Bavarian

your strong legs
limbered by
Scottish Highland trails
stand ready to conquer
the grandest Alpine peaks

your nose is filled
with the briny snort of
great expectations
European immigrants
inhaled during intrepid
Transatlantic passages
making a way to a New World
marking a family presence
that bestrides the expanse
of a great ocean

in your infant heart beats
with the possibilities
of our family’s
greatest aspirations
and fondest hope

within your DNA
stirs the passion of artists
the fortitude of workers
the faithfulness of farmers
the courage of warriors
the prayers of POWs
the casualties of war
survivors of great wars
reconstructors of
ravaged cities and
masters of industry

as you commence
your earthly walk
we pledge our
help, heart and hope
during your blessed sojourn

we offer up
holy hosannas
that your heart
may fill with a
thirst for truth,
beauty and love

may it overflow
with compassion
to serve humanity
and to stand firm
in the light of justice

may you always walk
as an upright man,
keen of vision,
eager to meet
challenges and seize
opportunity when it arises

may you create
a wholesome place
for yourself and others
by generously sharing
your presence and
the fruits of an
abundant life  

may your mind discern
the right course of action

may you find
reward for your labor
and honor a hard day's work

may your soul
seek to affirm
the Holy Spirit in
all that you do

may you champion love
through a lifelong commitment
to the things you love

may you find
trusted friendship
in the companionship
with animals

may you walk softly
upon the earth and
be a conscientious
steward of its
miraculous provision

may you appreciate the
beauty of art, experience the
freedom of dance,  be inspired
by the revelation of music,
find rejuvenation in athletics,
maintain physical health
and find a long active life
in clean living

may you attempt
difficult things
and be endowed with
intelligence, courage
and fortitude to
steadfastly meet
the challenges of life
and achieve
personal growth

may you receive solace
and garner strength from
a fathomless faith

may God’s
abiding grace
empower you to
perceive the
many miracles
each day richly
confers upon you

may you find
a soul mate
and trust in the
freedom and
beauty of love

may you too
be blessed
with children and
pass on the
good things you
were given by
your parents
and loved ones

may you experience
unconditional love
and unconditionally love

and please remember,
you are the miraculous
expression of a perfect love
may your perfection
light good pathways
throughout your life
as you find your way
in this imperfect world

with joy, reverence
love , hope  and
deep gratitude
we welcome you
our dearest

God’s Blessing
be always with you

Theodore James McCallum
February 5, 2016
In Ardua Tendit

Music Selection:

Wane Shorter: Infant Eyes
Herbie Hancock: Speak Like a Child
Thad Jones: A Child is Born
Claude Debussy: Children's Corner

a poem to commemorate the arrival of my first grandchild
Rafael Torres Sep 2018
Small print
What a way
To cheat another day
History has taught
How to respond
And Play

There's nothing to fear
But fear itself
Knowing this is wealth
Theres one word
A join of two
Reveals theres nothing had to do


A hole of loops
Every loophole has a loophole
How significant

Thats why its called

Endless DNA
Theres just one name
That keeps it sane
The name lives to this day

John Hancock
Sign that sh*t
Big and bold
No fear
Showing that
No cowardice
Is within
Is clear

Let the loopholes
Noose the necks
Of those with bad intent
Now thats enough
Wasting thought on this
My mind is not for rent

Just remember
Three little birds that sang
Killed by the bell
Welcome to hell
Theres no one else to blame.
Written Sept. 19. 2018 8:37 AM
Mateuš Conrad Aug 2018
.Roger Moore!
  what? Roger Moore!
the definite Mishter Bond...
yeah yeah...
Sean Connery -
the, "original"....
  but Roger Moore had
Duran Duran to back him up!

First Name: Matthew
Surname: Elert
Address 1: 294 Havering Road
Address 2 (Rise Park) /  left blank
Town / City: Romford
Postcode: RM1 4TH
Tel: (+44) 01708 766 994
Date of Birth: 15      05       1985
Gender: Male.

Is this the first time you have bought Henry Westons Vintage cider?

Where did you buy this bottle of Henry Westons Vintage cider?

Where do you do your main shop?
CO-OP on days when Russian Standard is on offer, given that CO-OP has your cider on a constant 3 for £5 all the time, otherwise Tesco, 15 minute walk, but still CO-OP for your cider.

In a few words, what made you buy Henry Westons Vintage?
I feigned a desire to drink more Magners, or for what matter the Swedish ciders (Kopparberg, Rekorderlig, etc.) - it's actually genius how your cider, standing at a whopping 8.2% alcohol volume... can't be branded an alcoholic's wet-dream like Carlsberg's Export most assuredly could. What a pristine balance of combating the sugars, that, other ciders, don't allow... I mean, at surfacing just shy of 5% in the Swedish examples? Near suffocating over-sweetness, taking a dog for a walk that was adamant on pulling the leash and hanging itself in the horizontal canvas would be more enjoyable than, walking with a bottle of those ciders... not enough alcohol to equilobrate the sweetness of a cider, per se... simply perfecto! I've already made the same point  on so, suma summarum: nothing, exactly made me buy the cider, originally, perhaps the logo, or some plain boredom from the Magners' and Swedish standards... but on 2nd purchase? The ****** quality, that simply transcends this question, in terms of advertisement "concerns"; p.s. you don't need to expand into pear cider. Any chance of hearing some Sonny Clark or Herbie Hancock at the festival? What about Joshua Redman?

you never know...
i might have a chance of visiting America...
if i win the Westons' Cider lucky draw...
and head over to the New Orleans' Jazz festival...
i like jazz...
   more than classical music...
well... within the reasonable constraints
of ******* on Handel's conductor's wand...

    smoochy smoochy...
   a helium balloon...
   dipped in either honey
or vanilla extract...
        chasing it...
     while a baby in a tram,
by accident,
                       releases it.
Don Brenner Oct 2010
next to prime rib
is a miniature fir
or bush
lumberjacked at
the trunk
you press like a bobblehead
plugging nostrils with green
steam and shake and
nobody wants to spitspoil red meat
and everyone agrees
so you collect veggie trees
arrange them in a forest
and reenact little red riding hood
with a cherry tomato
you bite -

you ******* werewolf
vampire where were you
when the fetus
crowned like a tulip pistil
harnesses by an umbilical noose
and the nurse paused and said
she's dead
and cried
and she cried too
while I waited with her father
her mother
and mine
and three friends
and nine months of this
for that
you ******* ******

not even john hancock
can sign a birth certificate
and a death certificate
in a nightmare
let alone in one night
You've got highstandards; I come high as standard.
You don't find me irasciaffably
tibrickling as everytetchyman, Tone Hancock,
so moan O yr kingstomachdom for a sock
when e'er I do my ironichronic act
& asque if it was 'Jaq Chiraq'
who ne gungho pas to 'Irack',
or 'Jark Chirark'
thart did nart embark urpon 'Irark', I arsk?

If Lynndie England manwich
was sanctioned at Sangatte, if 4 & 20
ownbusinessminding madrasa mortarboarders
were waterboarded & frogfrogmarched
into a Sansgate sangwich , w/ burlap hoods
of le Soldat Inconnu giftshopbags turnedround turned
avalcalabs, blinding a human mullahpede
w/ backcombed manbunches  thru eyelets,
then the 5th Republic kept sucha draconian dramatised
daisychain off the Beeb. Not that I wouldabeen
rushing to recreationally riot aboutit,
being le roast beef blanc trash & all.

Besides, knowing Johnny Crappo, 420 of
the Flydubai Bedouins doing all the beheadouins
& actual Allahu Akbar hoohas
would be waterbombed & frogfrogmanhandled
into a Doverbound baguette of fineboat stature.

A stye for a stye will only endup making the whole world
staphylococcally suppurate about the eyelash follicle.

— The End —