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Yue Wang Yitkbel Dec 2019
Introduction:
The Young Poet’s Dreams:

I often dream of the ocean
Dream of the sea
I've been waking up to a longing
Longing for the land
The land of my birth
South of the Clouds
North of the sea
Not bordering either
But close and very near
To the heavens and the world

Overlooked by progress
But not by history
Nature, and life
I was ungrateful of having fallen behind
Though I was still deeply moved
By the primitive nature and land
Still fully alive,
Green as the winding rivers
Firm as its sheltering boulders
This must be a proximity to
The truth I seek
The timelessness I seek


Chorus of Epiphany:


Yes,
There must be Truth
In the unchanged and unchanging
Evergreen, and restlessly flowing
Rituals and rites kept alive
Thousands of years despite
Time, and the forsaken everything

Were the Truth and the eternal
Timeless, and the Faraway
Always so close
To home?


The Eternalist Dream:


Is this the source and origin of
My nightly and whimsical nautical dreams
The fact that I was born near the land
Of ancient and now lost shallow seas

Am I called by the truth, unchanged
In giant columns of limestone
Still marked by waves from near-eon ago
Though we can no longer see them
In Eternalism, the ocean still wavers
As truly as my footprints curved by
The flow of all objects of time and space
As truly as the countless unseeable me
Navigating through life and existence
Bearing all that is forever timeless
Unacknowledged for it is unseen
Through each step taken and each
Subtle yet unmistakable movement
Create a new and continuous ‘to be’
With all of me floating along the unseen

Yet
Fully alive and eternal shallow sea


Chorus of Epiphany:


Yes,
There must be Truth
In the unchanged and unchanging
Evergreen, and restlessly flowing
Rituals and rites kept alive
Thousands of years despite
Time, and the forsaken everything

Were the Truth and the eternal
Timeless, and the Faraway
Always so close
To home?


The Mythical Dream:


It lives on in familiar words and songs
And not just silently carved in stones
To be felt by the more sentient and aware
And ignored by those occupied by more
Present and timely tangible indulgences
Guided by the elders' tales and melodies
The distant dream of purer lives and love
Manifests in this child's untamed heart
Yet searching for a world different to
This mundane and subdued reality
Each stone shadowed with the spirit
Suggestive of a more petrified golem
Granted by even a hint of heads and torsos
Were given a name from myths not stranger
To a young soul lured by the allure of fables
And so an Eastern Stone metamorphosis
Of the Yi Legend of Ashima who turned into
The famed stone still standing proudly
Among the stone forest after being forbidden
A loyal union with her most unbetraying love
Burst into life full of every sung voice and color
Leading the way for the lithic pilgrimage
Of the mythical monk of the "Journey to the West"
They too live on unchanged and unchanging
Through every weathered stone yet standing

Through every named word kept repeating
Through every ancient myth ever recalling
Kept alive and from disappearing
In every child’s
Dreams


Chorus of Epiphany:


Yes,
There must be Truth
In the unchanged and unchanging
Evergreen, and restlessly flowing
Rituals and rites kept alive
Thousands of years despite
Time, and the forsaken everything

Were the Truth and the eternal
Timeless, and the Faraway
Always so close
To home?


The Human Dream:


Ancient tongues often remain unwritten
And even those like the pictographic Dongba
Though befriending my childlike curiosity
Still remain stranger to my understanding
So only vaguely am I acquainted with
The varied rites, rituals, celebrations
Of the people keeping alive the unchanged
Words, traditions, dresses, and mythology
Ever one with nature, the elements, universal
Some dance in the darkness with torches
Others duel playfully with water under tropic sun
Like my childhood dreams of a too optimistic world
Their dresses and symbols, from ox to peacocks
Remain ever hopeful, and full of living colors
Truly, what comprehension do I really need?
When the earth’s heart beats in unison with
Their thundering dance sung with bare feet
When they hand you horns of sweet rice wine
Inviting you to a far more intoxicating dream
You only need to understand and accept
What you can evidently feel and surely see
The unchanging and unchangeable joy
So pure and kind, that will forever,
Perhaps thankfully overlooked by progress,
Timelessly remain.


Chorus of Epiphany:


Yes,
There must be Truth
In the unchanged and unchanging
Evergreen, and restlessly flowing
Rituals and rites kept alive
Thousands of years despite
Time, and the forsaken everything

Were the Truth and the eternal
Timeless, and the Faraway
Always so close
To home?


Conclusion:


It must be,
For in my nautical
Waking and asleep
Eternalist, Mythic, Human Dreams

It calls restlessly to me
From my birth, through its continuation
I’ve risen and gazed upon the violently
Violet obscure and cloudy night sky
And felt a great fear crushing down
Upon this child of an ever searching soul

I was afraid,
I will never KNOW
And know what,
I did not know

I have felt something stirring
Yet, all greatness seemed
Unreachable, unseeable
Undreamable like the hidden stars

I loved the winding rivers between earthen boulders
I loved the rainforest sacred as its wild elephants
I love the stalagmites caves and the dormant volcanoes

Yet, always longing for an unfamiliar faraway
More moved by progress and not overlooked
I was never aware, until now
The truth timeless and unchanging
Though now slow uncovering
That was always
At
HOME
The Timeless Dream of Home
By: Yue Xing Yitkbel ****
Sunday, November 24, 2019
5:53 PM
False Poets Oct 2017
does the moon get tired?

~for the children who never tire of moon gazing upon the dock,
by the light of the fireflies,
till the angels are dispatched by Nana,
to sprinkle sleepy dust in their eyelashes so long and fine~


<•>
while walking the dog I no longer have,
a happenstance glanceable up over the River East,
there you were, mr. moon, in all your fulsomeness ,
surrounded by a potpourri of courtier clouds,
all deferentially bowing, waving,
passing past you at a demure royal speed on their way
perhaps,
to Rebecca's northern London,
of was it south to grace of  v V v's Texas^,
in any event,
the cloudy ladies, all bustling and curvaceous,  
all high stepping in recognition of your exalted place,
Master of the Night Sky

We,
the word careless, poets excessive,
sometimes called silly poppies, old men,
left footed, still crazy after many years,
most assuredly poets false all of us,
without a proper prior organized thought train,
outed,
bludgeon blurted,
an inquiry preposterous and strange,
strait directed to the sombre face,
to mister moon himself!

tell me moon, do you ever tire?*

the obeisant clouds shocked
as that face we all uniform know,
unchanged anywhere you might go  to gaze, be looking upon it,
watched the moon's face turn askew.

He looking down at our rude puzzlement,
with a Most Parisian askance,
a look of French ahem moustacheoed disbelief,
while we watched as the moon cherubic cheeks
filled with airy atmosphere,
then he sighed

so windy winding, was it,
so mountain high and river deep,
that those chubby clouds were blown off course,
from a starless NYC sky
all the way past Victoria Station,
only to stop at Pradip and Bala's
mysterious land of
bolly-dancing India,
on their way to Sally's Bay of Manila,
magic places all!

Mr. Moon looked down at this one tremulous fool representative  
(me) and in a voice
basso beaming and starry sonorous,
befitting its stellar positioning,
squinting to get a closer look at the
who in whom
dare address him in such an emboldened manner!

Mmmmm, recognize you, you are among those
who use my presence, steal my lighted beams, my silver aura,
my supermoon powered light, borrow my eclipses,
reveal my changeling shaped mystery without permission,
only mine to give, you tiny borrowers who write that thing,
p o e t r y

head and kneed, bowed and bent,
I confessed
(on y'alls behalf)

we take your luminosity and don't spare you
even a tuppence, a lonely rupee, no royalties paid
to you-up-so-highness,
and we hereby apologize for all the poets
without exception,
especially those moon besotted,
only love poem writing,
vraiment misbegotten scoundrels....

with another sigh equality powerful,
mr moon pushed those clouds across the Pacifica,
all the way to the  US's West Coast,
up to Colorado,
where moon-takings from the lake's reflecting light
so perfect for rhyming, kayaking,
and moonlight overthrowing,
once more, the moon taken and begotten,
nightly,
as heaven- freely-granted

yes, I tire
and though  here I am much beloved,
usually admired though sometimes even blackened cursed,
seen in every school child's drawing,
in Nasa's calculations,
of my influential gravitational pull,
moving human hearts
to love and giving Leonard a musical compositional hint,
and while this admirable devotion is most delighting,
would it upset some vast eternal plan,
if but one of you once asked,
you fiddler scribblers
my prior permission,
even by just, a lowly
mesmerizing evening tide's tenderizing glance?

yes, I tire,
even though my cycles are variable,
my shape shifting unique, my names so at variance
in all your many musical sing-song dialectical languages,
my sway, my tidal currents so powerful a deterrence,
unlike my boring older sunny cousine  who just cannot get over
how hot looking she is,
I,  so more personally interesting,
yet you use me as if I were a fixture,
on and off with
a tug of the chain string,
never failing to appear,
even when feeling pale yellow and orange wan,
and worse,
mocked as an amore pizza pie,
do you ever ask how I am doing?

yes, I tire,
of my constant circuitous route that changes ever so slowly,
but yet, too fast for me to make some nice human acquaintances, especially those young adoring children
who give me their morn pleasurable squeals when they awake and my presence still there,
a shining ghost of a guardianship protector still
watching over them

how oft in life do we presume,
take for granted
grants so extra-ordinary
that we forget to remember
the extra
and see only the ordinary

how oft in life do we assume,
the every day is always every,
until it is not,
only an only
a now and then,
till then,
is no longer a
now*

<>
oh moon, oh moon,
our richest apologies
we hereby tender and surrender,
our arrogance beyond belief,
what can we offer in relief?

silence heard loud and clear,
mr. moon was gone,
a satellite in motion,
so our words burnt up in the atmosphere
unheard

we did not weep
nor huff and puff,
blow those clouds back to us,
for we knew
the extraordinary
would return tomorrow,
we will be ready,
better another day,
to prepare
a lunar composition,
a psalm of hallelujah praise,
for mr. moon
of which
mr moon will never tire,
for filled with the perma-warmth
of our affection
for the one we call mr.moon
False Poets is a collective of different poets who write here, in a single voice,
hence the confusing interchangeable switching of the pronouns.    sorry bout that.


^ HP - give them back the claimed  V name!
Nat Lipstadt Aug 2018
the angel amongst us

~for Alexander, master splasher~

flexibility is important when poetry writing in a warm tub and a long day ahead is scheduled; so willingly accept the autocorrect
for I am both an experienced poet and bath soaker and
believer in wondrous mystery and unexpected fumbles
that lead to to miracle touchdowns

~•~

the two mathematicians examine the angle, measure the degree of difference at intersection and bless it with an identity,
calling it by its name,
perhaps obtuse, perhaps right, perhaps both

two sets of eyes examine the angle,
study its ****** expression

the old man says:
see the angle on the clock formed by the big handle on the twelve and the little hand on the eight?

this is angle of eight o’clock:
time to stop the splashing and start the get-readying
for we have miles to go before the ocean can say hello!

little angel says angle no go
and slashes the water with both
hands to establish the firmness of his views
and change Einstein’s time from present to future

the angle depends on the perspective of the viewer

the old poet comprehends leaving a warm tub is a regretful thing

but he measures the degree of difference at this
intersection
of time and bath and blesses it with an identity

“time to go”

the angle of my angel is now 2 pointed arms, pointed straight up,
at the twelve o'clock,

as he stands up in fevered protest,
my arms sweep his little legs to
a point at eight o’clock,
angel, commenting on his swift flight
disputes the grandfathers physics

"no go now,
now go later^"

though the angle is unchanged
the perspective of time and space
(and traffic),
yet differs

one sees an angle,
the angel sees time
eternally folding in on itself


that is the angle amongst us
^Surprising as it may be to most non-scientists and even to some scientists, Albert Einstein concluded in his later years that the past, present, and future all exist simultaneously. In 1952, in his book Relativity, in discussing Minkowski's Space World interpretation of his theory of relativity, Einstein writes:

Since there exists in this four dimensional structure [space-time] no longer any sections which represent "now" objectively, the concepts of happening and becoming are indeed not completely suspended, but yet complicated. It appears therefore more natural to think of physical reality as a four dimensional existence, instead of, as hitherto, the evolution of a three dimensional existence.
(gulp)

couldn’t resist a minute more.

Relapse

I again…

After six months sober

Here.

in this pain I know all too well.

Ten years lost to this drug, my veins ache for.

First breath in the morning and last thought at night all consumed by it,

Every cell in me craves it.

That physical euphoria my body portraits.

Feels like someone has poured pure joy into every single muscle and fiber of my being.

It makes me feel so content

I am literally in love the entire world.

Every single bit of me is singing and buzzing with life and love.

It’s like the ecstasy of *******. That first, blissful, pleasurable pulsation of endorphin's and serotonin.

Is what I feel when I first take LOVE.

And then,

And then, the honeymoon stage is over.

Fights erupt,

never-ending debates,

miscommunications,

misperceptions,

no trust,

accusations,

lies,

“I’m done”



Again, it feels like a part of my soul is leaving my body.

Again, sitting here numb.

A toxic love

I’m addicted too,

And there’s no way around it.

It’s already deep intertwined with my veins.

Yet no matter the toxic tragic event that happened before, I sit here, and I want nothing more than to spend my life next to this soul.

To see his eyes unchanged as the skin around it wrinkling and old, is what my heart will always desire, to stare at those eyes for the rest of eternity.

Dead air…


















So here I’ll wait, until you decided to come into my life again and repeat this déjà vu.
Kevin J Taylor Oct 2017
Let each hate, and ours for his,
Be scraped away. Hopefully
He cared for some— At least the few
That may have cared for him.

Allow unchanged what good remains.
At length, with love or hate or both,
We go. In time, some with pause
And some without, return.
.
Alexis J Meighan Oct 2012
An X-ray  of ******* love

They were so soft.
The hands that took control and made the pace
Of the heart that race
Within the mess of a chest
That bravado expels

It was so open.
That mind that reduced his fears Induced tears
Used to indulged his idol chatter
Hitting my wordy pitches
Like a home run "Hey Batter Batter!!"

It felt so right
The places that exposed his **** faces
Things that spread, squeezed, and joy in **** tasting
An inserted pleasure burrowed deep from throat to waisted
Passed out drunk on love lust and **** filled vases

The peak was so brilliant
Joy ride till they collide out of control out of their minds
Writing vandalism like an equations broadside
"E=U & I" , could hate you in this day and time
But starve till withered away the day she ever said goodbye

The splash was so divine
Touched by her personal heaven
An angel as lucky like the # 11
He could never pretend or fake being insatiable.
The main source of his complexity

The view was so vast
A world of flat boring land waiting to be filled
Brought to life by their skills and the pursuit of a thrill
Would feel beheaded if ever they stood still
Feeding their frenzy and bending alls will (to their own)

The potency was such a rush
Too much oh so much, but oh so desired
Craving how much she'd  say " it's you I admire"
Toiling with brow to his navel, igniting the fire
The long kiss goodnight, made the morning quench of the sun a joy to the heart like her sweet face and loving
The monument by which praise and parade of her exploited flesh bare the quill to write paradise that he is inspired

The dream is much too real
While they watch the world turn and the masses conform
We struggle against the tide and tread the waves of the pass they morn
A lottery, marathon, playground, where many have entered her but only one can win the title of "Adored"

The now is not so much of then
They were them sometimes Every now and again engaged in moments when
Them they see and believe "you and me can be...."

But time sprints, and they limp, slower every aging step
Till times out of view and they're  out of breath
Bed bound but not the expected intent
For one is most attentive while the other lay mostly spent
But embraced they lay unchanged in any way
Still in love and still insane
Crazy for each others bane
Awake for the moon, and snooze through the rain
Gentle dreams of forbidden entry, daily flirt but never stray
Away, stay, away, plead for a day. Agreed then rinse, repeat
A treat for the sweet thoughts of the "use to be" but enjoyable right here, right now, someday is today

-Xin-
Mikey Jha Nov 2014
I will never understand
Those who choose to walk away from love
And I will never understand
Why love can't always be enough

Every day is still a struggle
As I try to hold my head and walk with grace
Knowing there is only purpose
And nothing about us was a mistake

Even though I have yet to find the lesson under all this pain
There is one thing I know for certain

I am not unchanged

You didn't leave me
The same way that you found me
So if I had to find a silver lining
I suppose I'd say that I became
A better me for loving you
So I know that

I am not unchanged

..I will never understand
Those who choose to walk away from love
And I will never understand
Why love can't always be enough
Oscar Wilde  Jul 2009
Humanitad
It is full winter now:  the trees are bare,
Save where the cattle huddle from the cold
Beneath the pine, for it doth never wear
The autumn’s gaudy livery whose gold
Her jealous brother pilfers, but is true
To the green doublet; bitter is the wind, as though it blew

From Saturn’s cave; a few thin wisps of hay
Lie on the sharp black hedges, where the wain
Dragged the sweet pillage of a summer’s day
From the low meadows up the narrow lane;
Upon the half-thawed snow the bleating sheep
Press close against the hurdles, and the shivering house-dogs creep

From the shut stable to the frozen stream
And back again disconsolate, and miss
The bawling shepherds and the noisy team;
And overhead in circling listlessness
The cawing rooks whirl round the frosted stack,
Or crowd the dripping boughs; and in the fen the ice-pools crack

Where the gaunt bittern stalks among the reeds
And ***** his wings, and stretches back his neck,
And hoots to see the moon; across the meads
Limps the poor frightened hare, a little speck;
And a stray seamew with its fretful cry
Flits like a sudden drift of snow against the dull grey sky.

Full winter:  and the ***** goodman brings
His load of ******* from the chilly byre,
And stamps his feet upon the hearth, and flings
The sappy billets on the waning fire,
And laughs to see the sudden lightening scare
His children at their play, and yet,—the spring is in the air;

Already the slim crocus stirs the snow,
And soon yon blanched fields will bloom again
With nodding cowslips for some lad to mow,
For with the first warm kisses of the rain
The winter’s icy sorrow breaks to tears,
And the brown thrushes mate, and with bright eyes the rabbit peers

From the dark warren where the fir-cones lie,
And treads one snowdrop under foot, and runs
Over the mossy knoll, and blackbirds fly
Across our path at evening, and the suns
Stay longer with us; ah! how good to see
Grass-girdled spring in all her joy of laughing greenery

Dance through the hedges till the early rose,
(That sweet repentance of the thorny briar!)
Burst from its sheathed emerald and disclose
The little quivering disk of golden fire
Which the bees know so well, for with it come
Pale boy’s-love, sops-in-wine, and daffadillies all in bloom.

Then up and down the field the sower goes,
While close behind the laughing younker scares
With shrilly whoop the black and thievish crows,
And then the chestnut-tree its glory wears,
And on the grass the creamy blossom falls
In odorous excess, and faint half-whispered madrigals

Steal from the bluebells’ nodding carillons
Each breezy morn, and then white jessamine,
That star of its own heaven, snap-dragons
With lolling crimson tongues, and eglantine
In dusty velvets clad usurp the bed
And woodland empery, and when the lingering rose hath shed

Red leaf by leaf its folded panoply,
And pansies closed their purple-lidded eyes,
Chrysanthemums from gilded argosy
Unload their gaudy scentless merchandise,
And violets getting overbold withdraw
From their shy nooks, and scarlet berries dot the leafless haw.

O happy field! and O thrice happy tree!
Soon will your queen in daisy-flowered smock
And crown of flower-de-luce trip down the lea,
Soon will the lazy shepherds drive their flock
Back to the pasture by the pool, and soon
Through the green leaves will float the hum of murmuring bees at noon.

Soon will the glade be bright with bellamour,
The flower which wantons love, and those sweet nuns
Vale-lilies in their snowy vestiture
Will tell their beaded pearls, and carnations
With mitred dusky leaves will scent the wind,
And straggling traveller’s-joy each hedge with yellow stars will bind.

Dear bride of Nature and most bounteous spring,
That canst give increase to the sweet-breath’d kine,
And to the kid its little horns, and bring
The soft and silky blossoms to the vine,
Where is that old nepenthe which of yore
Man got from poppy root and glossy-berried mandragore!

There was a time when any common bird
Could make me sing in unison, a time
When all the strings of boyish life were stirred
To quick response or more melodious rhyme
By every forest idyll;—do I change?
Or rather doth some evil thing through thy fair pleasaunce range?

Nay, nay, thou art the same:  ’tis I who seek
To vex with sighs thy simple solitude,
And because fruitless tears bedew my cheek
Would have thee weep with me in brotherhood;
Fool! shall each wronged and restless spirit dare
To taint such wine with the salt poison of own despair!

Thou art the same:  ’tis I whose wretched soul
Takes discontent to be its paramour,
And gives its kingdom to the rude control
Of what should be its servitor,—for sure
Wisdom is somewhere, though the stormy sea
Contain it not, and the huge deep answer ‘’Tis not in me.’

To burn with one clear flame, to stand *****
In natural honour, not to bend the knee
In profitless prostrations whose effect
Is by itself condemned, what alchemy
Can teach me this? what herb Medea brewed
Will bring the unexultant peace of essence not subdued?

The minor chord which ends the harmony,
And for its answering brother waits in vain
Sobbing for incompleted melody,
Dies a swan’s death; but I the heir of pain,
A silent Memnon with blank lidless eyes,
Wait for the light and music of those suns which never rise.

The quenched-out torch, the lonely cypress-gloom,
The little dust stored in the narrow urn,
The gentle XAIPE of the Attic tomb,—
Were not these better far than to return
To my old fitful restless malady,
Or spend my days within the voiceless cave of misery?

Nay! for perchance that poppy-crowned god
Is like the watcher by a sick man’s bed
Who talks of sleep but gives it not; his rod
Hath lost its virtue, and, when all is said,
Death is too rude, too obvious a key
To solve one single secret in a life’s philosophy.

And Love! that noble madness, whose august
And inextinguishable might can slay
The soul with honeyed drugs,—alas! I must
From such sweet ruin play the runaway,
Although too constant memory never can
Forget the arched splendour of those brows Olympian

Which for a little season made my youth
So soft a swoon of exquisite indolence
That all the chiding of more prudent Truth
Seemed the thin voice of jealousy,—O hence
Thou huntress deadlier than Artemis!
Go seek some other quarry! for of thy too perilous bliss.

My lips have drunk enough,—no more, no more,—
Though Love himself should turn his gilded prow
Back to the troubled waters of this shore
Where I am wrecked and stranded, even now
The chariot wheels of passion sweep too near,
Hence!  Hence!  I pass unto a life more barren, more austere.

More barren—ay, those arms will never lean
Down through the trellised vines and draw my soul
In sweet reluctance through the tangled green;
Some other head must wear that aureole,
For I am hers who loves not any man
Whose white and stainless ***** bears the sign Gorgonian.

Let Venus go and chuck her dainty page,
And kiss his mouth, and toss his curly hair,
With net and spear and hunting equipage
Let young Adonis to his tryst repair,
But me her fond and subtle-fashioned spell
Delights no more, though I could win her dearest citadel.

Ay, though I were that laughing shepherd boy
Who from Mount Ida saw the little cloud
Pass over Tenedos and lofty Troy
And knew the coming of the Queen, and bowed
In wonder at her feet, not for the sake
Of a new Helen would I bid her hand the apple take.

Then rise supreme Athena argent-limbed!
And, if my lips be musicless, inspire
At least my life:  was not thy glory hymned
By One who gave to thee his sword and lyre
Like AEschylos at well-fought Marathon,
And died to show that Milton’s England still could bear a son!

And yet I cannot tread the Portico
And live without desire, fear and pain,
Or nurture that wise calm which long ago
The grave Athenian master taught to men,
Self-poised, self-centred, and self-comforted,
To watch the world’s vain phantasies go by with unbowed head.

Alas! that serene brow, those eloquent lips,
Those eyes that mirrored all eternity,
Rest in their own Colonos, an eclipse
Hath come on Wisdom, and Mnemosyne
Is childless; in the night which she had made
For lofty secure flight Athena’s owl itself hath strayed.

Nor much with Science do I care to climb,
Although by strange and subtle witchery
She drew the moon from heaven:  the Muse Time
Unrolls her gorgeous-coloured tapestry
To no less eager eyes; often indeed
In the great epic of Polymnia’s scroll I love to read

How Asia sent her myriad hosts to war
Against a little town, and panoplied
In gilded mail with jewelled scimitar,
White-shielded, purple-crested, rode the Mede
Between the waving poplars and the sea
Which men call Artemisium, till he saw Thermopylae

Its steep ravine spanned by a narrow wall,
And on the nearer side a little brood
Of careless lions holding festival!
And stood amazed at such hardihood,
And pitched his tent upon the reedy shore,
And stayed two days to wonder, and then crept at midnight o’er

Some unfrequented height, and coming down
The autumn forests treacherously slew
What Sparta held most dear and was the crown
Of far Eurotas, and passed on, nor knew
How God had staked an evil net for him
In the small bay at Salamis,—and yet, the page grows dim,

Its cadenced Greek delights me not, I feel
With such a goodly time too out of tune
To love it much:  for like the Dial’s wheel
That from its blinded darkness strikes the noon
Yet never sees the sun, so do my eyes
Restlessly follow that which from my cheated vision flies.

O for one grand unselfish simple life
To teach us what is Wisdom! speak ye hills
Of lone Helvellyn, for this note of strife
Shunned your untroubled crags and crystal rills,
Where is that Spirit which living blamelessly
Yet dared to kiss the smitten mouth of his own century!

Speak ye Rydalian laurels! where is he
Whose gentle head ye sheltered, that pure soul
Whose gracious days of uncrowned majesty
Through lowliest conduct touched the lofty goal
Where love and duty mingle!  Him at least
The most high Laws were glad of, he had sat at Wisdom’s feast;

But we are Learning’s changelings, know by rote
The clarion watchword of each Grecian school
And follow none, the flawless sword which smote
The pagan Hydra is an effete tool
Which we ourselves have blunted, what man now
Shall scale the august ancient heights and to old Reverence bow?

One such indeed I saw, but, Ichabod!
Gone is that last dear son of Italy,
Who being man died for the sake of God,
And whose unrisen bones sleep peacefully,
O guard him, guard him well, my Giotto’s tower,
Thou marble lily of the lily town! let not the lour

Of the rude tempest vex his slumber, or
The Arno with its tawny troubled gold
O’er-leap its marge, no mightier conqueror
Clomb the high Capitol in the days of old
When Rome was indeed Rome, for Liberty
Walked like a bride beside him, at which sight pale Mystery

Fled shrieking to her farthest sombrest cell
With an old man who grabbled rusty keys,
Fled shuddering, for that immemorial knell
With which oblivion buries dynasties
Swept like a wounded eagle on the blast,
As to the holy heart of Rome the great triumvir passed.

He knew the holiest heart and heights of Rome,
He drave the base wolf from the lion’s lair,
And now lies dead by that empyreal dome
Which overtops Valdarno hung in air
By Brunelleschi—O Melpomene
Breathe through thy melancholy pipe thy sweetest threnody!

Breathe through the tragic stops such melodies
That Joy’s self may grow jealous, and the Nine
Forget awhile their discreet emperies,
Mourning for him who on Rome’s lordliest shrine
Lit for men’s lives the light of Marathon,
And bare to sun-forgotten fields the fire of the sun!

O guard him, guard him well, my Giotto’s tower!
Let some young Florentine each eventide
Bring coronals of that enchanted flower
Which the dim woods of Vallombrosa hide,
And deck the marble tomb wherein he lies
Whose soul is as some mighty orb unseen of mortal eyes;

Some mighty orb whose cycled wanderings,
Being tempest-driven to the farthest rim
Where Chaos meets Creation and the wings
Of the eternal chanting Cherubim
Are pavilioned on Nothing, passed away
Into a moonless void,—and yet, though he is dust and clay,

He is not dead, the immemorial Fates
Forbid it, and the closing shears refrain.
Lift up your heads ye everlasting gates!
Ye argent clarions, sound a loftier strain
For the vile thing he hated lurks within
Its sombre house, alone with God and memories of sin.

Still what avails it that she sought her cave
That murderous mother of red harlotries?
At Munich on the marble architrave
The Grecian boys die smiling, but the seas
Which wash AEgina fret in loneliness
Not mirroring their beauty; so our lives grow colourless

For lack of our ideals, if one star
Flame torch-like in the heavens the unjust
Swift daylight kills it, and no trump of war
Can wake to passionate voice the silent dust
Which was Mazzini once! rich Niobe
For all her stony sorrows hath her sons; but Italy,

What Easter Day shall make her children rise,
Who were not Gods yet suffered? what sure feet
Shall find their grave-clothes folded? what clear eyes
Shall see them ******?  O it were meet
To roll the stone from off the sepulchre
And kiss the bleeding roses of their wounds, in love of her,

Our Italy! our mother visible!
Most blessed among nations and most sad,
For whose dear sake the young Calabrian fell
That day at Aspromonte and was glad
That in an age when God was bought and sold
One man could die for Liberty! but we, burnt out and cold,

See Honour smitten on the cheek and gyves
Bind the sweet feet of Mercy:  Poverty
Creeps through our sunless lanes and with sharp knives
Cuts the warm throats of children stealthily,
And no word said:- O we are wretched men
Unworthy of our great inheritance! where is the pen

Of austere Milton? where the mighty sword
Which slew its master righteously? the years
Have lost their ancient leader, and no word
Breaks from the voiceless tripod on our ears:
While as a ruined mother in some spasm
Bears a base child and loathes it, so our best enthusiasm

Genders unlawful children, Anarchy
Freedom’s own Judas, the vile prodigal
Licence who steals the gold of Liberty
And yet has nothing, Ignorance the real
One Fraticide since Cain, Envy the asp
That stings itself to anguish, Avarice whose palsied grasp

Is in its extent stiffened, moneyed Greed
For whose dull appetite men waste away
Amid the whirr of wheels and are the seed
Of things which slay their sower, these each day
Sees rife in England, and the gentle feet
Of Beauty tread no more the stones of each unlovely street.

What even Cromwell spared is desecrated
By **** and worm, left to the stormy play
Of wind and beating snow, or renovated
By more destructful hands:  Time’s worst decay
Will wreathe its ruins with some loveliness,
But these new Vandals can but make a rain-proof barrenness.

Where is that Art which bade the Angels sing
Through Lincoln’s lofty choir, till the air
Seems from such marble harmonies to ring
With sweeter song than common lips can dare
To draw from actual reed? ah! where is now
The cunning hand which made the flowering hawthorn branches bow

For Southwell’s arch, and carved the House of One
Who loved the lilies of the field with all
Our dearest English flowers? the same sun
Rises for us:  the seasons natural
Weave the same tapestry of green and grey:
The unchanged hills are with us:  but that Spirit hath passed away.

And yet perchance it may be better so,
For Tyranny is an incestuous Queen,
****** her brother is her bedfellow,
And the Plague chambers with her:  in obscene
And ****** paths her treacherous feet are set;
Better the empty desert and a soul inviolate!

For gentle brotherhood, the harmony
Of living in the healthful air, the swift
Clean beauty of strong limbs when men are free
And women chaste, these are the things which lift
Our souls up more than even Agnolo’s
Gaunt blinded Sibyl poring o’er the scroll of human woes,

Or Titian’s little maiden on the stair
White as her own sweet lily and as tall,
Or Mona Lisa smiling through her hair,—
Ah! somehow life is bigger after all
Than any painted angel, could we see
The God that is within us!  The old Greek serenity

Which curbs the passion of that
Graff1980  Jan 2015
Cassandra
Graff1980 Jan 2015
It never ends, fragments of visions collapsing upon themselves painfully. Her swollen eyes opening, and bursting with orange fire. Then closing just as fast. In between those agonizing seconds she sees everything. Thousands of years cycling over and over. Visions of visions within visions.


Cassandra saw her city razed to the ground. The wall which once stood firm against the onslaught of enemies crumbling with the ravages of time. She closed her eyes. When she opened them again she saw her own grief. Her cousin had fallen in battle. She closed her eyes again, and scratched at her itchy eyelids.



Ten weeks passed without a blink, not even a fraction of an opening. She was disciplined, but the longer she fought the more her eyelids would burn. One blink to ease the agony and she was forced to see her father’s skin. A purple mass of dead flesh bubbling swelling, exploding, and rotting, with maggots squirming in out and around till flies formed and flew away. Another corpse left out in a burning city. One among many denied a peaceful death. Buildings crumbled to dust, the bodies became one with the earth. Cassandra cried without opening her eyes. Her father stroked her long soft curls, whispering reassurances. “It’s all right my child.”


Another three or four weeks passed. She had become blinder than Tiresias the blind prophet. Unable to recall if that was a story she had heard, or would hear in the future.  She sobbed spilling each and every sorrow she could. Every tragedy yet to come. Her father smiled gently placing a warm cloth upon her brow. “Shush my child these nightmares will fade soon enough.”


The young girl opened her eyes again. This time a years’ worth of history unfolded. She saw soldiers gathering arms. Battlements born of the Bronze Age burning with righteous rage. Steel blades clanging against bronze shields in preparation for war. Boats fully loaded departed.


She closed her eyes once more. It would be another two months before she opened them. In the meantime she pleaded with her father to leave the city. Day in and day out begging, sobbing, and screaming until she was sent away.


It was becoming harder and harder to keep her eyes closed. There was a burning force aching to escape. She managed five more weeks until she could bare the pain no longer. As her new sisters bathed her pale dry skin with the sweetest scented oils the young girl recited all that she saw and felt.


The first footfalls of the first soldier’s feet to touch the beach. The feel of the sand as it swirled in, out and around the soldier’s sandals. The general howling commands. The green eyes hungry for battle. The faces contorted in controlled rage. All that intensity burning under the once civilized façade. She closed her eyes again.


Cassandra sat silently in exhaustion, as the sisters slowly brushed the knots out of her long brown hair. They brought her a blindfold, which allowed only a small comfort. This time she only managed to resist for two weeks. The vision came upon her with such force that she cried out and collapsed.


Now the city was burning. Citizen screamed as they ran in terror. Brave men rushed forwards to be impaled on the spears of other brave men. Arrows swallowed the moonlight picking at the earth and scavenging for some bare flesh to devour. Blood ran like red rainwater. Streets streamed thin crimson pools diluted by warm summer showers. The stench oh, the stench, it made Cassandra ***** up chunks of soggy bread and half-digested beef mixed with red wine and stomach acid, while she tried to force her eyes to close.


Finally, she closed her eyes again. The sisters tried to sooth her sorrows, to no avail. Within a years’ time the young girl lost the ability to close her eyes. Cassandra eyeballs slowly burnt out until there was nothing left but charcoaled eye sockets. By the next year she could no longer speak. Cassandra became paralyzed by the futility of her existence.


In her mind the war had come and gone. The sieges were no longer an issue. She no longer felt the urge to cry for the dead. What was, will be, and what will be cannot be undone. What cannot be undone has already happened. Apollo had cursed her. Her beauty had enraptured him, her wit had charmed him, but her will had enraged him.


She was only thirteen with brown eyes and long hair of rare quality, soul so powerful that almost anyone who met her could feel its energy. She shamed the gods with her purity, and unwillingly ensnared their affection.


At first Apollo came with strong arms and tender words. Wooing to the point of painful pleasure. Her eyes could not handle such radiance. His skin burned as his chariot burned. Hair golden flames, skin solar yellow, eye orange as the sun. Each kiss burnt like the worse fever, taking her against her will, savaging her sanity. As if, as if being a god gave him the right to take such liberties.


Apollo viewed her early rejections with whimsy, believing them to be some cute token of her modesty. A god can afford to wait, after all eternity was on his side. After the first hundred no’s his affection gave way to anger. Until his desire could not bear rejection any longer.


At last he cried out to Cassandra. “I will have you or else.”


With a firm but fiery hand he swept her up.  Forcing his mouth against hers. Parting her pursed lip with his powerful tongue.  He shoved his tongue into her mouth, until tears streamed down her cheeks. She could not resist with words, because her mouth was occupied, so she took the only action she knew available to her.


She bit down as hard she could. Lava spewed from Apollo’s lips, roughly singing the inside of her mouth. Without realizing what was happening she swallowed. Her skin began to glow, tiny childlike limbs lengthened and tightened. From her eyes radiated the most powerful light ever seen by man or god. For a moment Apollo cowered beneath the awe of her power, stumbling backwards to the ground dumbfounded.


Regaining his composure he slapped her aside. Scowling in rage “How dare you. You. You worthless *****.”


Her lips parted now of her own volition. Her voice raged with a deep and powerful resonance. “How dare you, you whimpering fool.” The power still flowing inwards filled her with confidence. “I see you for what you are. A tool, a man made invention.” The radiance of her skin was slowly fading. “I see too much now.” She cried out in an ******* fury. A smile crossed her lips. “I see what will become of you and your ilk.”


With strength previously unimagined the young girl thrusted her small hands out throttling Apollo’s throat. He trembled in fear. “You cannot hope to contain the power of me. I am generations incarnated. Passing power from one age to the next. I will not be enslaved.” Her skin began to blink, her voice loss much of its force. “I am Cassandra, and you a merely a passing phase. I will tell the world of all I have seen.”


The last bit of godly energy faded from her skin. Cassandra collapsed. “I still see it all, and you will never touch me again.”


Apollo brushed bits of earth off his person. “See all you want, I care not.” He lunged for her. A flash of thin white light flung him back.

Confused, Apollo rose. Glaring he screamed “You may see all now. It is a gift my blood has given you, but soon it will become a curse. For no mortal wishes to believe that the fates have already written their story. They will ignore you, and in doing so you will find that this power you have gained will be for naught. Thus will be your curse to see all, with no power to stop it.”


Cassandra’s eyes opened wide, seconds split into eternity. She felt the passing of all those around her. She felts time’s stench and rot all around her. Her skin would wrinkle to a certain degree but she would be eternal. She saw cities rise and fall. Some to rise again others to be forgotten. She saw herself seeing each of these visions again and again. She lived her immortal life over and over, events unchanged be anything she said.


The only real comfort was that she saw Apollo wither away. As the old gods fell to ruins weakened by the rationality of new gods, then the rationality of structured reason. Then came the rise of something new and better. Reason with abstraction, abstraction with order, a cycle of energy which emboldened and empowered man. She chuckled.
“Go away little godling.”
And like the little thing he was, Apollo ran.
Her father shushed her, wiping the tears from her face.
The sisters bathed her; singing songs of love and adoration.
Troy fell under the onslaught.
Apollo came and went again.


Cassandra’s eyes opened wide closed and open wide once more, seconds split into eternity. She felt the passing of all those around her. She felts time’s stench and rot all around her. Her skin would wrinkle to a certain degree but she would be eternal. She saw cities rise and fall. Some to rise again others to be forgotten. She saw herself seeing each of these visions again and again. She lived her immortal life over and over, events unchanged be anything she said.


The only one real comfort was that she saw Apollo wither away. As the old gods fell to ruins weakened by the rationality of new gods, then the rationality of structured reason. Then came the rise of something new and better. Reason with abstraction, abstraction with order, a cycle of energy which emboldened and empowered man. She chuckled.
“Go away little godling.”
And like the little thing he was, Apollo ran.
Her father shushed her, wiping the tears from her face.
The sisters bathed her; singing songs of love and adoration.
Troy fell under the onslaught.
Apollo came and went again.
Almendra Cáceres  Dec 2014
Clock
Sometimes I wonder if it's even worth fixing,
The clock on my desk has been broken for too long now.
The hands have not move, have not touch.
But time hasn't stop,
And every now and then a second laughs at my clock,
A minute brushes its side,
An hour smiles at the stillness.
Years have passed and my clock has remained unchanged, unrepaired.
It is frozen in a moment of time,
Still in a bundle of memories,
Trapped in the infinity of the universe.
I wonder if it's even worth fixing a brokenness that makes you feel infinite.
I wonder if a life that could end is worth more than a death that persists.

— The End —