Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
In my childhood rumors ran
   Of a world beyond our door—
Terrors to the life of man
   That the highroad held in store.

Of mermaids' doleful game
   In deep water I heard tell,
Of lofty dragons belching flame,
   Of the hornèd fiend of Hell.

Tales like these were too absurd
   For my laughter-loving ear:
Soon I mocked at all I heard,
   Though with cause indeed for fear.

Now I know the mermaid kin
   I find them bound by natural laws:
They have neither tail nor fin,
   But are deadlier for that cause.

Dragons have no darting tongues,
   Teeth saw-edged, nor rattling scales;
No fire issues from their lungs,
   No black poison from their tails:

For they are creatures of dark air,
   Unsubstantial tossing forms,
Thunderclaps of man's despair
   In mid-whirl of mental storms.

And there's a true and only fiend
   Worse than prophets prophesy,
Whose full powers to hurt are screened
   Lest the race of man should die.

Ever in vain will courage plot
   The dragon's death, in coat of proof;
Or love abjure the mermaid grot;
   Or faith denounce the cloven hoof.

Mermaids will not be denied
   The last bubbles of our shame,
The Dragon flaunts an unpierced hide,
   The true fiend governs in God's name.
Amy Lowell  Nov 2010
A Fairy Tale
On winter nights beside the nursery fire
We read the fairy tale, while glowing coals
Builded its pictures. There before our eyes
We saw the vaulted hall of traceried stone
Uprear itself, the distant ceiling hung
With pendent stalactites like frozen vines;
And all along the walls at intervals,
Curled upwards into pillars, roses climbed,
And ramped and were confined, and clustered leaves
Divided where there peered a laughing face.
The foliage seemed to rustle in the wind,
A silent murmur, carved in still, gray stone.
High pointed windows pierced the southern wall
Whence proud escutcheons flung prismatic fires
To stain the tessellated marble floor
With pools of red, and quivering green, and blue;
And in the shade beyond the further door,
Its sober squares of black and white were hid
Beneath a restless, shuffling, wide-eyed mob
Of lackeys and retainers come to view
The Christening.
A sudden blare of trumpets, and the throng
About the entrance parted as the guests
Filed singly in with rare and precious gifts.
Our eager fancies noted all they brought,
The glorious, unattainable delights!
But always there was one unbidden guest
Who cursed the child and left it bitterness.


The fire falls asunder, all is changed,
I am no more a child, and what I see
Is not a fairy tale, but life, my life.
The gifts are there, the many pleasant things:
Health, wealth, long-settled friendships, with a name
Which honors all who bear it, and the power
Of making words obedient. This is much;
But overshadowing all is still the curse,
That never shall I be fulfilled by love!
Along the parching highroad of the world
No other soul shall bear mine company.
Always shall I be teased with semblances,
With cruel impostures, which I trust awhile
Then dash to pieces, as a careless boy
Flings a kaleidoscope, which shattering
Strews all the ground about with coloured shards.
So I behold my visions on the ground
No longer radiant, an ignoble heap
Of broken, dusty glass. And so, unlit,
Even by hope or faith, my dragging steps
Force me forever through the passing days.
I

I, in my intricate image, stride on two levels,
Forged in man's minerals, the brassy orator
Laying my ghost in metal,
The scales of this twin world tread on the double,
My half ghost in armour hold hard in death's corridor,
To my man-iron sidle.

Beginning with doom in the bulb, the spring unravels,
Bright as her spinning-wheels, the colic season
Worked on a world of petals;
She threads off the sap and needles, blood and bubble
Casts to the pine roots, raising man like a mountain
Out of the naked entrail.

Beginning with doom in the ghost, and the springing marvels,
Image of images, my metal phantom
Forcing forth through the harebell,
My man of leaves and the bronze root, mortal, unmortal,
I, in my fusion of rose and male motion,
Create this twin miracle.

This is the fortune of manhood: the natural peril,
A steeplejack tower, bonerailed and masterless,
No death more natural;
Thus the shadowless man or ox, and the pictured devil,
In seizure of silence commit the dead nuisance.
The natural parallel.

My images stalk the trees and the slant sap's tunnel,
No tread more perilous, the green steps and spire
Mount on man's footfall,
I with the wooden insect in the tree of nettles,
In the glass bed of grapes with snail and flower,
Hearing the weather fall.

Intricate manhood of ending, the invalid rivals,
Voyaging clockwise off the symboled harbour,
Finding the water final,
On the consumptives' terrace taking their two farewells,
Sail on the level, the departing adventure,
To the sea-blown arrival.

II

They climb the country pinnacle,
Twelve winds encounter by the white host at pasture,
Corner the mounted meadows in the hill corral;
They see the squirrel stumble,
The haring snail go giddily round the flower,
A quarrel of weathers and trees in the windy spiral.

As they dive, the dust settles,
The cadaverous gravels, falls thick and steadily,
The highroad of water where the seabear and mackerel
Turn the long sea arterial
Turning a petrol face blind to the enemy
Turning the riderless dead by the channel wall.

(Death instrumental,
Splitting the long eye open, and the spiral turnkey,
Your corkscrew grave centred in navel and ******,
The neck of the nostril,
Under the mask and the ether, they making ******
The tray of knives, the antiseptic funeral;

Bring out the black patrol,
Your monstrous officers and the decaying army,
The sexton sentinel, garrisoned under thistles,
A ****-on-a-dunghill
Crowing to Lazarus the morning is vanity,
Dust be your saviour under the conjured soil.)

As they drown, the chime travels,
Sweetly the diver's bell in the steeple of spindrift
Rings out the Dead Sea scale;
And, clapped in water till the triton dangles,
Strung by the flaxen whale-****, from the hangman's raft,
Hear they the salt glass breakers and the tongues of burial.

(Turn the sea-spindle lateral,
The grooved land rotating, that the stylus of lightning
Dazzle this face of voices on the moon-turned table,
Let the wax disk babble
Shames and the damp dishonours, the relic scraping.
These are your years' recorders. The circular world stands still.)

III

They suffer the undead water where the turtle nibbles,
Come unto sea-stuck towers, at the fibre scaling,
The flight of the carnal skull
And the cell-stepped thimble;
Suffer, my topsy-turvies, that a double angel
Sprout from the stony lockers like a tree on Aran.

Be by your one ghost pierced, his pointed ferrule,
Brass and the bodiless image, on a stick of folly
Star-set at Jacob's angle,
Smoke hill and hophead's valley,
And the five-fathomed Hamlet on his father's coral
Thrusting the tom-thumb vision up the iron mile.

Suffer the slash of vision by the fin-green stubble,
Be by the ships' sea broken at the manstring anchored
The stoved bones' voyage downward
In the shipwreck of muscle;
Give over, lovers, locking, and the seawax struggle,
Love like a mist or fire through the bed of eels.

And in the pincers of the boiling circle,
The sea and instrument, nicked in the locks of time,
My great blood's iron single
In the pouring town,
I, in a wind on fire, from green Adam's cradle,
No man more magical, clawed out the crocodile.

Man was the scales, the death birds on enamel,
Tail, Nile, and snout, a saddler of the rushes,
Time in the hourless houses
Shaking the sea-hatched skull,
And, as for oils and ointments on the flying grail,
All-hollowed man wept for his white apparel.

Man was Cadaver's masker, the harnessing mantle,
Windily master of man was the rotten fathom,
My ghost in his metal neptune
Forged in man's mineral.
This was the god of beginning in the intricate seawhirl,
And my images roared and rose on heaven's hill.
Alee  May 2013
this is the first
Alee May 2013
it’s been a while
it’s been even longer since i’ve thought of you
since i’ve thought of us
and this is the first time i’ve realized my own strength

i will not condemn you by listing everything you did wrong against me because,
this is the first realization:
i am beautiful, i am strong, and i am lucky

i was lost in a dark and lonely space
but i yearned and fought to free myself
tears, memories and self-doubt will no longer shackle me
i've picked myself up off the floor, i've made tough choices
i've taken the highroad, i've paved difficult paths
and i've walked this tunnel

and here i am at the end.
my world is burning brighter than i could have imagined.
today: i begin a new chapter in my life.
There's a field of gaslit torches
(Running through a systematic jungle of judicial anarchy).

"This anxiety's a neverending ball that sits like a crater in my chest".

Send me down this walking highroad
(For a mesmerizing death wish that has no merit on its own).

"Shouting makes my throat burn with the most satisfying sensation".

This slowly reverberating tonal droning
(It's holding my hands back from these chemical companions).

"My veins are pumping treated oils into a less than used ****** husk".

The line is endless and dusk is nigh
(Surrounded on all sides by the sad, gross, stench of normality).

Together we stride into punctured shadows, lurking through punctuations**.
Strange, pointless, stupid thoughts, "I know what's wrong but it doesn't stop".

helpmeplease
shifting between polar bears
man i’m ******* bipolar
i hate you i love you, hell knows
should i have let you walk?

we were a **** show
brutally perfect kind of picture
hung on my toilet bowl
looking at you
as i puke up the xan bars of last night's party
while you lit up ur blunt

sending u my nudes
while writing love letters
we’re having a rad time
until we a mess

corruption
******* the pain away in our basement
i'm hurting i'm screaming onto the highroad
pulled up my skirt on the curb like a side ***
pick me up pick me up again
car lights flashing

i’ll be your own girl
I’ll do you right doe
while you flying in from LA
crashing your cute face
******* wrecking it against the ground boy

— The End —