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Nigel Morgan Dec 2013
A Tale for the Mid-Winter Season after the Mural by Carl Larrson

On the shortest day I wake before our maids from the surrounding farms have converged on Sundborn. Greta lives with us so she will be asleep in that deep slumber only girls of her age seem to own. Her tiny room has barely more than a bed and a chest for her clothes. There is my first painting of her on the wall, little more a sketch, but she was entranced, at seeing herself so. To the household she is a maid who looks after me and my studio,  though she is a literate, intelligent girl, city-bred from Gamla Stan but from a poor home, a widowed mother, her late father a drunkard.  These were my roots, my beginning, exactly. But her eyes already see a world beyond Sundborn. She covets postcards from my distant friends: in Paris, London, Jean in South America, and will arrange them on my writing desk, sometimes take them to her room at night to dream in the candlelight. I think this summer I shall paint her, at my desk, reading my cards, or perhaps writing her own. The window will be open and a morning breeze will make the flowers on the desk tremble.

Karin sleeps too, a desperate sleep born of too much work and thought and interruption. These days before Christmas put a strain on her usually calm disposition. The responsibilities of our home, our life, the constant visitors, they weigh upon her, and dispel her private time. Time in her studio seems impossible. I often catch her poised to disappear from a family coming-together. She is here, and then gone, as if by magic. With the older children home from their distant schools, and Suzanne arrived from England just yesterday morning, they all cannot do without lengthy conferences. They know better than disturb me. Why do you think there is a window set into my studio door? So, if I am at my easel there should be no knock to disturb. There is another reason, but that is between Karin and I.

This was once a summer-only house, but over the years we have made it our whole-year home. There was much attention given to making it snug and warm. My architect replaced all the windows and all the doors and there is this straw insulation between the walls. Now, as I open the curtains around my bed, I can see my breath float out into the cool air. When, later, I descend to my studio, the stove, damped down against the night, when opened and raddled will soon warm the space. I shall draw back the heavy drapes and open the wooden shutters onto the dark land outside. Only then I will stand before my current painting: *Brita and the Sleigh
.

Current!? I have been working on this painting intermittently for five years, and Brita is no longer the Brita of this picture, though I remember her then as yesterday. It is a picture of a winter journey for a six-year-old, only that journey is just across the yard to the washhouse. Snow, frost, birds gathered in the leafless trees, a sun dog in the sky, Brita pushing her empty sledge, wearing fur boots, Lisbeth’s old coat, and that black knitted hat made by old Anna. It is the nearest I have come to suggesting the outer landscape of this place. I bring it out every year at this time so I can check the light and the shadows against what I see now, not what I remember seeing then. But there will be a more pressing concern for me today, this shortest day.

Since my first thoughts for the final mural in my cycle for the Nationalmuseum I have always put this day aside, whatever I might be doing, wherever I may be. I pull out my first sketches, that book of imaginary tableaux filled in a day and a night in my tiny garden studio in Grez, thinking of home, of snow, the mid-winter, feeling the extraordinary power and shake of Adam of Bremen’s description of 10th C pre-Christian Uppsala, written to describe how barbaric and immoral were the practices and religion of the pagans, to defend the fragile position of the Christian church in Sweden at the time. But as I gaze at these rough beginnings made during those strange winter days in my rooms at the Hotel Chevilon, I feel myself that twenty-five year old discovering my artistic vision, abandoning oils for the flow and smudge of watercolour, and then, of course, Karin. We were part of the Swedish colony at Grez-sur-Loing. Karin lived with the ladies in Pension Laurent, but was every minute beside me until we found our own place, to be alone and be together, in a cupboard of a house by the river, in Marlotte.

Everyone who painted en-plein-air, writers, composers, they all flocked to Grez just south of Fontainebleau, to visit, sometimes to stay. I recall Strindberg writing to Karin after his first visit: It was as if there were no pronounced shadows, no hard lines, the air with its violet complexion is almost always misty; and I painting constantly, and against the style and medium of the time. How the French scoffed at my watercolours, but my work sold immediately in Stockholm. . . and Karin, tall, slim, Karin, my muse, my lover, my model, her boy-like figure lying naked (but for a hat) in the long grass outside my studio. We learned each other there, the technique of bodies in intimate closeness, the way of no words, the sharing of silent thoughts, together on those soft, damp winter days when our thoughts were of home, of Karin’s childhood home at Sundborn. I had no childhood thoughts I wanted to return to, but Karin, yes. That is why we are here now.

In Grez-sur-Loing, on a sullen December day, mist lying on the river, our garden dead to winter, we received a visitor, a Swedish writer and journalist travelling with a very young Italian, Mariano Fortuny, a painter living in Paris, and his mentor the Spaniard Egusquiza. There was a woman too who Karin took away, a Parisienne seamstress I think, Fortuny’s lover. Bayreuth and Wagner, Wagner, Wagner was all they could talk about. Of course Sweden has its own Nordic Mythology I ventured. But where is it? What is it? they cried, and there was laughter and more mulled wine, and then talk again of Wagner.

When the party left I realized there was something deep in my soul that had been woken by talk of the grandeur and scale of Wagner’s cocktail of German and Scandinavian myths and folk tales. For a day and night I sketched relentlessly, ransacking my memory for those old tales, drawing strong men and stalwart, flaxen-haired women in Nordic dress and ornament. But as a new day presented itself I closed my sketch book and let the matter drop until, years later, in a Stockholm bookshop I chanced upon a volume in Latin by Adam of Bremen, his Gesta Hammaburgensis Ecclesiae Pontificum, the most famous source to pagan ritual practice in Sweden. That cold winter afternoon in Grez returned to me and I felt, as I had then, something stir within me, something missing from my comfortable world of images of home and farm, family and the country life.

Back in Sundborn this little volume printed in the 18th C lay on my desk like a question mark without a sentence. My Latin was only sufficient to get a gist, but the gist was enough. Here was the story of the palace of Uppsala, the great centre of the pre-Christian pagan cults that brought us Odin and Freyr. I sought out our village priest Dag Sandahl, a good Lutheran but who regularly tagged Latin in his sermons. Yes, he knew the book, and from his study bookshelf brought down an even earlier copy than my own. And there and then we sat down together and read. After an hour I was impatient to be back in my studio and draw, draw these extraordinary images this text brought to life unbidden in my imagination. But I did not leave until I had persuaded Pastor Sandahl to agree to translate the Uppsala section of the Adam of Bremen’s book, and just before Christmas that year, on the day before the Shortest Day, he delivered his translation to my studio. He would not stay, but said I should read the passages about King Domalde and his sacrifice at the Winter Solstice. And so, on the day of the Winter Solstice, I did.

This people have a widely renowned sanctuary called Uppsala.

By this temple is a very large tree with extending branches. It is always green, both in winter and in summer. No one knows what kind of tree this is. There is also a spring there, where the heathens usually perform their sacrificial rites. They throw a live human being into the spring. If he does not resurface, the wishes of the people will come true.

The Temple is girdled by a chain of gold that hangs above the roof of the building and shines from afar, so that people may see it from a distance when they approach there. The sanctuary itself is situated on a plain, surrounded by mountains, so that the form a theatre.

It is not far from the town of Sigtuna. This sanctuary is completely covered with golden ornaments. There, people worship the carved idols of three gods: Thor, the most powerful of them, has his throne in the middle of the hall, on either side of him, Odin and Freyr have their seats. They have these functions: “Thor,” they say, “rules the air, he rules thunder and lightning, wind and rain, good weather and harvests. The other, Odin, he who rages, he rules the war and give courage to people in their battle against enemies. The third is Freyr, he offers to mortals lust and peace and happiness.” And his image they make with a very large phallus. Odin they present armed, the way we usually present Mars, while Thor with the scepter seems to resemble Jupiter. As gods they also worship some that have earlier been human. They give them immortality for the sake of their great deeds, as we may read in Vita sancti Ansgarii that they did with King Eirik.

For all these gods have particular persons who are to bring forward the sacrificial gifts of the people. If plague and famine threatens, they offer to the image of Thor, if the matter is about war, they offer to Odin, but if a wedding is to be celebrated, they offer to Freyr. And every ninth year in Uppsala a great religious ceremony is held that is common to people from all parts of Sweden.”
Snorri also relates how human sacrifice began in Uppsala, with the sacrifice of a king.

Domalde took the heritage after his father Visbur, and ruled over the land. As in his time there was great famine and distress, the Swedes made great offerings of sacrifice at Upsal. The first autumn they sacrificed oxen, but the succeeding season was not improved thereby. The following autumn they sacrificed men, but the succeeding year was rather worse. The third autumn, when the offer of sacrifices should begin, a great multitude of Swedes came to Upsal; and now the chiefs held consultations with each other, and all agreed that the times of scarcity were on account of their king Domalde, and they resolved to offer him for good seasons, and to assault and **** him, and sprinkle the stall of the gods with his blood. And they did so.


There it was, at the end of Adam of Bremen’s description of Uppsala, this description of King Domalde upon which my mural would be based. It is not difficult to imagine, or rather the event itself can be richly embroidered, as I have over the years made my painting so. Karin and I have the books of William Morris on our shelves and I see little difference between his fixation on the legends of the Arthur and the Grail. We are on the cusp here between the pagan and the Christian.  What was Christ’s Crucifixion but a self sacrifice: as God in man he could have saved himself but chose to die for Redemption’s sake. His blood was not scattered to the fields as was Domalde’s, but his body and blood remains a continuing symbol in our right of Communion.

I unroll the latest watercolour cartoon of my mural. It is almost the length of this studio. Later I will ask Greta to collect the other easels we have in the house and barn and then I shall view it properly. But for now, as it unrolls, my drama of the Winter Solstice comes alive. It begins on from the right with body of warriors, bronze shields and helmets, long shafted spears, all set against the side of Uppsala Temple and more distant frost-hoared trees. Then we see the King himself, standing on a sled hauled by temple slaves. He is naked as he removes the furs in which he has travelled, a circuit of the temple to display himself to his starving people. In the centre, back to the viewer, a priest-like figure in a red cloak, a dagger held for us to see behind his back. Facing him, in druidic white, a high priest holds above his head a gold pagan monstrance. To his left there are white cloaked players of long, straight horns, blue cloaked players of the curled horns, and guiding the shaft of the sled a grizzled shaman dressed in the skins and furs of animals. The final quarter of my one- day-to-be-a-mural unfolds to show the women of temple and palace writhing in gestures of grief and hysteria whilst their queen kneels prostate on the ground, her head to the earth, her ladies ***** behind her. Above them all stands the forever-green tree whose origin no one knows.

Greta has entered the studio in her practiced, silent way carrying coffee and rolls from the kitchen. She has seen Midvinterblot many times, but I sense her gaze of fascination, yet again, at the figure of the naked king. She remembers the model, the sailor who came to stay at Kartbacken three summers ago. He was like the harpooner Queequeg in Moby ****. A tattooed man who was to be seen swimming in Toftan Lake and walking bare-chested in our woods. A tall, well-muscled, almost silent man, whom I patiently courted to be my model for King Dolmade. I have a book of sketches of him striding purposefully through the trees, the tattooed lines on his shoulders and chest like deep cuts into his body. This striding figure I hid from the children for some time, but from Greta that was impossible. She whispered to me once that when she could not have my substantial chest against her she would imagine the sailor’s, imagine touching and following his tattooed lines. This way, she said, helped her have respite from those stirrings she would so often feel for me. My painting, she knew, had stirred her fellow maids Clara and Solveig. Surely you know this, she had said, in her resolute and direct city manner. I have to remember she is the age of my eldest, who too must hold such thoughts and feelings. Karin dislikes my sailor king and wishes I would not hide the face of his distraught queen.

Today the sunrise is at 9.0, just a half hour away, and it will set before 3.0pm. So, after this coffee I will put on my boots and fur coat, be well scarfed and hatted (as my son Pontus would say) and walk out onto my estate. I will walk east across the fields towards Spardasvvägen. The sky is already waiting for the sun, but waits without colour, hardly even a tinge of red one might expect.

I have given Greta her orders to collect every easel she can find so we can take Midvinterblot off the floor and see it in all its vivid colour and form. In February I shall begin again to persuade the Nationalmuseum to accept this work. We have a moratorium just now. I will not accept their reasoning that there is no historical premise for such a subject, that such a scene has no place in a public gallery. A suggestion has been made that the Historiska museet might house it. But I shall not think of this today.

Karin is here, her face at the studio window beckons entry. My Darling, yes, it is midwinter’s day and I am dressing to greet the solstice. I will dress, she says, to see Edgar who will be here in half an hour to discuss my designs for this new furniture. We will be lunching at noon. Know you are welcome. Suzanne is talking constantly of England, England, and of course Oxford, this place of dreaming spires and good looking boys. We touch hands and kiss. I sense the perfume of sleep, of her bed.

Outside I must walk quickly to be quite alone, quite apart from the house, in the fields, alone. It is on its way: this light that will bathe the snowed-over land and will be my promise of the year’s turn towards new life.

As I walk the drama of Midvinterblot unfolds in a confusion of noise, the weeping of women, the physical exertions of the temple slaves, the priests’ incantations, the riot of horns, and then suddenly, as I stand in this frozen field, there is silence. The sun rises. It stagge
To see images of the world of Sundborn and Carl Larrson (including Mitvinterblot) see http://www.clg.se/encarl.aspx
AM I told what to think? Without gaining knowledge on how to think.
AM I taught how to feel? without understanding why I feel.
AM I raised in what to believe?  Not given the freedom in what I want to believe.
AM I told what to be?  Without allowing to simply be.
To know thy self is to gain understanding and knowledge of self. That is to individually and authentically  find who I am and what my purpose is .
How do I gain knowledge on what I retain in my mind including:    subconsciously and consciously
and how do I learn to understand my emotions, feelings and hear the purpose of my soul
physiological identity crisis in me is so surreal that I do not how to be real
In progress of Inner child work
bob Jun 2013
Lost in the snowstorm,
The sun is nowhere.

How rare...
This is what it's like trapped behind walls with only AI as your access to the outside.
So much for summer "break".
brandon nagley May 2015
Acclimate away you accustom to rabble streets, calculate thy cantankerous beef with another diabolic past!!
Destine connoisseur,

Old things get older while thy love stays newer!!!
What a hope to hope for something!!!!

Bare faced sophomore,
Soporific enducing trips to styles of maxed out galore....

Domineers on every corner,
Where youngest of mourners art ourn own children,
Gravitational to all pull ins,
Guided by ourn own sins we set our own adversities!!!!

When wilt we climb out of ourn own hutch?
Our brittled bunch doesn't think of two but one!!

Jilt all thou will falsifiers,
Killers and liars,
Were all wrapped tight to the same metropolis line!!!

Okaying thyself?
Canst we OK what's wrong and not fine?

Schzoid scribble ******* in,
Undeniable on planet green earth!!!

Underhanded,
Diploma drop ins,
Morphine moratorium so Grey thy sounds are!!!!

Yet thy smiles so beautifully wide!!!!!

Seek as thou finds,
Find all though you mayeth hide!!!

The scorch is over to be bear!!

Where is the opulent Queen who I seek?
Yet hasn't found me yet...
Thomas Dec 2012
I’ve sat with Silence
As she cast silhouettes
Moving in the likes
of Ballerinas across
My hair.

I’ve moved with them too.
That’s how I’ve come
To know their names
Or natures
As such:

1) The one who sold her soul to the Devil
For pennies and a dollar
So her mother could
Come off the
Corner

2) The one who put Fireflies and Rainbows
In mason jars and played make
Believe with running fingers
And a wounded
Moon

3) The one whose only trace of a father is
The bloodstain on the wall like a
Family photo with X’s over
The faces because he
Destroyed more
Than his own
Soul

4) The one who strung sorrow to the ceiling
To play its marionette with dancing
Shadows weeping and frightfully
Abandoned, hiding under
A candle in shameful
Bliss

5) The one who wandered though fields
Of whispering epitaphs that
Made nursery rhymes
From the likes of
Madness

6) The one who locked her heart in
A vault within ashen walls and
Wrote letters to stars that
Wrote it’s not her fault
She’s infinitesimally
Small

I told myself I would never return
To sleep
To dream
To surrender my mind to its own
Devices
Vices.

But here am I, Lord
Swinging with the wind
Under a purple tinged twilight
Making friends with twisted tongues,
and braided hearts slinking through the alley.

I’ve bore my heart like a cross,
Carried it past moratorium
Marching east for west
Until my frantic feet
Cease to move
Me.
It is for my heart which I write this requiem
Upon it placed, a pensive moratorium

One that could last a life time
Or leaving one more hill to climb

I have but one choice
And need my inner voice

Do I dare start at the bottom?
I remember that hill from last autumn

River bluffs hill we raced up that day
A race U won in an impressive way
A picture of which U gave on my birthday
Hung so that I am reminded each day
That there is always a price to pay

The picture may remain
But U, my dear, have become profane

At the bottom of this hill I now stand
With the memory of my heart in a cold hand

I think back to that first kiss
A moment of perfect bliss

I would never trade what we had
Keeping the good and the bad

But it is at this hill I now loom
Wondering if another climb ends in gloom

I am reminded of that hill from that day
Just as I am the mountain on which I lost my way

I should not be afraid this hill to ascend
But daunting it is with a heart on the mend

For now I am quite jaded
For love to me has quietly faded

Faded away into the dusk
Leaving my heart a mere husk

If the winds of time do not blow that husk away
I may live to love another day
Outside the realm of romantic love I am standing tall and strong always able to overcome any hill.  I am merely wrestling with the idea of ever being vulnerable again and do not harbor that ***** four letter word (hate) for anyone currently, or in the past, who has turned the hike up the hill into gloom.

Live 4 Love
The age of men and women
Taking grand heroic action
Or making small significant gestures
Which changed the world
Are over.
Enter the age of indifference
Failing economics
And aging alcoholics
Dot the skyline
Of forclosures
And reposessions
Where once stood
Raised Fists

We ignored the warnings
The unemployment rate
Rises faster than global warming
Al Gore is an adulterer
Another inconvenient truth
Lining the landscape of sephulchre

Failing motivation
Spreads like an infectuous disease
And e-mails to God go unanswered
Replaced by homicidal tendency
The philosophers and writers
Visionaries and fighters
Have all been diagnosed with
Social disorder
And put on lithium
The public would rather watch
The latest news on the off-shore drilling Moratorium
Its just getting boring.

The smallest voice has ceased to be listened
So instead of pulling out my hair
I resign to not care
And stopped acting like it makes a difference.
Will Storck  Nov 2010
Us
Will Storck Nov 2010
Us
Take a look at all of you down there
So sure of yourselves
So full of the hustle-bustle of life itself
Never stopping to see what could be
Potentially the greatest things of your lives
Jutting through the stream like hot knives
No all simply let life pass them by
Not seeing all the things
Looking you in the eye
And will watch even when you lie asleep
For the final time
You all think you’re hot ****
All hit and no miss
No questions
All answers
Obsess with self worth
Convinced that you’re dust with a value
Just because a god you’re not even sure exists told you so
When the urge to **** is gone
What’s the difference between you and the dirt you walk on
You all rise and fall like the waves in the oceans
Like a glissando of smoker coughs
New ideas are thrown against the scoffs and scrutiny
Of those obstinate practitioners of organized ignorance
You are the only one who should impose sanction on your life
Not some pretty news anchor
Who nods at the teleprompter with total belief
You all chase after superficiality like a poor animal
At the snap of some fat fingers
Call yourselves Pavlov’s pet
You fattened the hand that feeds you yourselves
Have you met the total of life’s offer
Have you looked at yourself in the mirror
And not seen cheap narcissism winking back
Self-imposed limits are acceptable to live by
A moratorium of thought is not
You have free speech
Now learn free thought
Explain the intricacies of a fast food drive through
To the children of Darfur
Explain how you didn’t want to learn how to finish your schoolwork
To the little girl who can’t afford to buy pencils for hers
She will tell you with chagrin how she aspires to be a writer and a poet
But can’t afford the books to help her help herself
You express yourself by exerting as little effort
While she isn’t able to put in the effort to express herself
It’s the ultimate irony
Religion ceased to be the ****** of the masses
When it got it reached one-million views
You all can ask where do I get off
And I will only smile and tell you how I am just like you
I watch the same TV
Eat the same food
Wear the same clothes
The only difference is you can be different
And by simply choosing to do so or not is a step in the right direction
You are your own Atlas
Carry your own world
Anyone else is just liable to drop it
Satsih Verma  Apr 2017
Moratorium
Satsih Verma Apr 2017
A city burns.
The child carries the father
on his head.

The museum of skulls.
Nudes had blue veins
and scars on thighs.

The names were inherited.
Gettysburg water
refuses to mend the bones.

Ah, daisies are throwing
up the seeds in despair.
Civilization has come very far.

Progeny of death
were searching the mother
of all sins.
Pale blue
baleful too
Mourning
morning
and the day begins
grins at me from behind the sky
slyly
wryly
I arise
wash the sleep
and my eyes
blue
sorrowful too
and I grin from behind the mask
all I ask is all there
glaring at times
and at times
daring me to break away
the day reins me in
from behind the sky comes another grin
a guffaw
and then more than my ears care to hear.

Fear the day
fear the way it captures the heart and wants you to live
carry a shiv
stab at it
grab at its glory
make a story from the fear that would trap you
wrap it round your little finger
**** on it and let its sweet taste linger
but fear the day just the same as it plays its frames about the screen that is your eyes
pale blue
behind the sky
we die just enough to enjoy and it's tough
to live
and then say,
'give me more are you waiting for an invitation
do you want each day to change and for every situation
to halt and arrange a moratorium?'

The crematorium will burn just as well
whether we're going to Heaven or bound in chains and heading for hell
this soul would do well to remember and write this in his journal.
The infernal cacophony of philosophy does me no good
I am the tree that cannot see but locked in a wooden embrace
with a wooden face
and behind the sky grins
at my wonderings
and I,
mourning
morning
place my hopes on a tomorrow that does not come.
For some it seems
those that live and die in dreams
tomorrow
is a shadow in the waking of the day which in a way is what I see
but what I see is not what I get
the day reins me in and once again I forget the story line
in time
I will
forget it all.
daniela Jun 2015
it's tempting sometimes.
the impulse to withdraw all the money from my bank account
and drive down I70 until the scenery changes,
the impulse to wander without bothering to find anything
let alone myself.
the impulse to disappear.
but impulses are just impulses,
i think this is just the way my mind convulses
and, obviously, i can't do any of those things.
or maybe i just feel like i can't do any of those things.
i mean, i've got responsibilities i've got people counting on me.  
i can't just up and leave my life
even though sometimes i'm itching to like i've got poison ivy
crawling all over my skin.
speaking of poison, i've heard people theorize that
maybe oxygen is slow-acting poison, taking all of our lives
to **** us under the guise of "natural causes"
i think if you stay anywhere long enough
the air becomes polluted, the air gets toxic.
my highschool art teacher,
who was incidentally a real conspiracy theory kind of guy,
once told our class that we're all too locked into our realities.
that life is only what we perceive it.
i had snickered along with the rest of the class,
the rest of the unwilling congregation to his soapbox pulpit,
because that's what people do when they're uncomfortable.
now i guess i wish i was a little less locked into my own reality.
i guess i wish i could be the kind of person
who bought plane one-way plane tickets and could be reckless
without first getting tangled in the repercussions.
i think the problem with running is
that no matter where i ran i'd still be me.
most people tie their feet to the train tracks of inevitability,
they will build a house there until it falls down around them.
they will live there until they're evicted,
with their hands still clenched in the sheets
and their feet planted in the backyard.
most people never leave where they grew roots.
but, see, the problem with roots is that unless you want to die
you can't ever pull them out completely.
i am always going to be from somewhere.
i am always going to be from here.
i am always going to be myself.
but life is a work in progress and i'm ******* working on it,
i'm not where i want to be
but as long as i know where i've been,
i don’t ever have to go back to where i was again.
my head is so crowded that sometimes i think it's exceeding its occupancy.
i think that i'm going to start having to get rid
of pieces of myself to make everything fit.
sometimes i just want to lose all my thoughts along the interstate
like i lose them halfway through a poem
i'm not quick enough to write down.
my head is like a graveyard with good ideas
buried under cracked tombstones that no one leaves flowers on.
sometimes i think of my brain as a black hole,
a place where light gets lost and doesn't come back out the same.
sometimes i think of my brain as a moratorium,
a place where dreams go
to get dressed for their funeral processions.
but sometimes i think of my brain as midas,
any idea can be golden if i get my hands on it.
sometimes i just want to hold my coalmine heart so tightly
that all that's left is diamonds.
the thing is, sometimes my brain is a like a black hole
and sometimes my brain is like a galaxy.
on my good days i'm golden, on my bad days i'm falling apart
and i lose a couple more more of my pieces every time i hit the ground.
but it's all internal; i think if i were to self-destruct
it wouldn't even make a sound.
and so often i think of the world as a battlefield,
i think i was born in the trenches instead of the home front.
i think i found myself in the worst place to get lost.
we went to bed as children
and woke up with the world on our shoulders
we went to bed as innocent and woke up as soldiers.
and you can't save people from themselves,
even though we've spent the last few millennia trying to.
we're like that sometimes, we never learn.
and even when i was drowning six feet under gasping for air,
you never needed to save me from myself,
my shadow is more than just the reflection of somebody else.
so go on, get your armor
so go on, get your battle scars
so take aim, so don't be ashamed
it's uphill sometimes but i kind of think we're getting there,
even if i don't always know where is.
sometimes you don't sink or swim,
you just thrash around until you start floating
our life jackets are all labeled "here's to hoping, here's to coping"
so **** your horoscopes.
you only listen to it when it tells you what you want to hear anyways.
so don't go to bed, kid, stay wide awake.
it's better for dreaming, it's better for scheming.
nobody is going to hand you your destiny,
you've got to ******* fight for it.
and we're all learning how to open our eyes
when we get pulled under by the tide and lick the salt off our teeth.
and if you're searching for purpose,
for something that might be worth this,
i can tell you where not to look.
kid, i've been there.
**** it, most days i still am there.
i built a house out of deflated life preservers there
and was surprised when it didn't float me home.
but this is what i know now:
i know i have a choice in how i look at this world.
am i going to focus on the brutal or the beautiful?
because for all the ugly there is so much that’s still lovely,
so don't let this ******* of a world steal your bright eyes,
cutting your eyelashes down to size.
don't let this ******* of a world tell you to settle for anything.
and when they tell you about icarus like a warning sign,
ask them "what good is a cautionary tale that doesn't **** up?"
new piece i've been working on. kinda digging it and wondering what people think. also let's play a game called "how many times will daniela reference icarus in her poetry even though she knows it's hella cliche because she doesn't care and loves it anyway?"
Pauline Morris  Mar 2016
Expired
Pauline Morris Mar 2016
My birth certificate has expired
It's time to burn me in the fire
Send me off to the crematorium
My life is a moratorium
Appearance of the New Courier
(with namesake "Georgia Ives")
flew into the courtroom
faster than Bold face WingDings!

After the judge opened
the waxed sealed envelope stamped
with the official legal imprimatur
sound of silence filled the courtroom.

After perusing highlighted principle details,
a noticeable con jug gay shun
didst Impact countenance of attired judge.

Recess announced at authority decree
(spelled out with quotation marks high
lighting dotted i's and crossed t's)
figuratively a nouns sing moratorium
for those accused of run on sentences,
split infinitives, then versus than...
incorrect usage of ellipses, et cetera.

The justice of supreme court
critically espied quotation marks
(underscoring reductio ad absurdum
Times New Roman regulation)
against stiff penalty asper those
who commit rhetorical perturbations!    

This lenient fiat occurred immediate
by innocent omission of a colon,
which subsequently, naturally,
and immediately affected
every future jury presiding over
a defendant applying incorrect punctuation!

A favorite comma cull anecdote
often repeated by my late english
grammar (a palliative to me psyche
despite the multi-generational
difference in age) happened
when she celebrated twenty  
and counting punctual marks, whence time
in utero came to an end period.

Many question marks still abound
as per the specific circumstances
of this generally uneventful birth,
only that she seemed to dash
from the womb (of her mother –

mine great grandmother christened
Latina Greco) with a pointed
exclamation declaration
of independence while ****** constitution
adorned with supposedly shimmering
invisible golden braces
and a full set of teeth.

Somewhat averse to authoritarianism
and mores of assuming the sir name
of the groom, she maintained nom
de plume affixed on her birth certificate.

If born that way today, and ready
to pledge marital vow, would
probably follow the common custom
and hyphenate name of beau similar
to newlyweds of this day and at this very moment.

Back in those days though,
town’s folk exclaimed with
pointed superstition that a baby born
after being bracketed nine months

within the womb (which seemed
like an eternal sentence), and equipped
with the means to chew would
most likely experience little colon difficulty.

As a dignified divine dowager,
she willingly shared her cradle
to graveside tidbits (populated
with many wisecracks and
marked quotations from a life
that spanned more than a century21.

Smart as a whip or pin
(the latter term somewhat out of vogue),
this independent woman
(who married into nobility

from humble roots) frequently evinced
el shaped lips when the un
suspecting recipient ensnared
of her harmless ingenious pranks.

Aside from what many considered
childlike antics (which characteristic
salient trait appealed to this grandson),
she excelled at verbal adroitness

and could spin a jesting lightly
mocking pun, which seemed
to quiver with an invisible
apostrophe shaped blackened barb.

Though privileged per parochial parents,
her inherited empire and peers, the people
of the proletariat class felt
figuratively parenthetically
included as persons of concern
to this genteel dame.

She exemplified and wore that moniker
noblesse oblige with utmost
august excellence, and whenever
the need or wont arose to address
the madding crowd (this
crowned empress) resorted
to non-verbal communication ala semaphore.

Her lily-white hands (most often
remained sheathed in Palmolive
clad ding silken gloves - exuded
a faint patrician touch) partitioned

the air with arabesques accentuated
with sign language for those
among the teeming masses
unable to hear or in fact deaf.

Regular adherence to being grammatically
(yet not necessarily politically) correct
witnessed the air being sliced with even
less familiar punctuation symbols
such as the emdash, en-dash.

Even doctorates of English and
strict task masters (whose
frowning scowls strongly resembled
semicolons when even minor indiscretions,
infractions, transgressions, et cetera
with english language observed)

never found fault with this
former bohemian, whose rhapsodic,
melodic, linguistic voice ameliorated
dark memories from dereliction dis
played by former queen.

She also received the treatment of
a champion lyricist, whereby every lyre
(got set on fire) from utterance akin
to a choir of hells angels, yet this

chanteuse voice rang thru the
azure vault causing the small hairs
of the spine to experience a pleasant
electric shock therapy.

— The End —