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May 2015 · 3.4k
Final Tour
Skylar May 2015
Yank myself out of bed
Peel the film of sleep from 'round my head
It's 4:00 AM
And all the world is dead.

It's 4:00 AM and all the world is dead.
From the streets every man has fled.
But in hours it again shall be
Brimming with potential; energy set free.

I assemble my appearance.
Staring into the mirror,
I say to myself: "One last time.
"One final tour."

The door is open, before it I stand
To face morning's faint chill
Surrounded by paling blue.
There! The first bird's trill.

The air is sweet
And free of smog.
The faintest fog
Is draped on the trees.

The empty street beckons
And freely I obey.
I have things I need to do
Before the commencement of the day.

I pass the playground on the corner,
Where I wasted time as a child.
Where many a battle was fought
And we had adventures in the wild.

Past the playground and to my left
There is the river bank
Where I went fishing with my father
And my friends and I made our mothers mad:

Where we lit our little fires
And we had our first drinks.
Where we shared our first joint
And came to talk and think.

Our school is down the way.
We all can safely say
It's the place where we first learned
Classes and books have less to say than the real world.
  
    We became:
        Artists.
        Athletes.
        Academics.

    Our achievements
        Are scrawled upon
            The stone walls
                That lined that same river.

A little further on,
And there's the little store
Where I kissed my first fleeting love
Just outside the door.

I keep walking, I keep walking,
Until I reach the shore.
I put my back against a rock
And rest on that sandy floor.

The life that I'll soon be leaving
Lies behind me asleep
While I watch the sun lazily rise
Over the mysterious, unexplored deep.

I built myself in this town
And it built me as well.
But I cannot stay much longer:
In a few hours I will bid it farewell.

Will I ever make it back?
Will I ever return
To trace the scrawlings by the riverbank
With bare fingers full of nostalgia?

Nothing at all is sure.
Therefore I must take this last chance
To make my final tour.
May 2015 · 682
Spring in Snow
Skylar May 2015
It is in the midst of cruel December
That cynicism springs forth
Lush, verdant and fruitful.

As people sit
Firmly fastened in front of computers and televisions,
    Their pale, two-dimensional illumination
    A vicious imitation of the golden glow
    Of which we have been deprived,
The trite uniqueness of each falling flake
Is regarded with the same appreciation
Held by a prisoner for the peculiarities of each bar of his cell
While mercantile endorsements
Perform their annual joyless Yuletide jig
Complete with sullenly cheery music.

Indifference plods with a purpose across the pavement
On feet uncomfortably shoved into boots
And sometimes wielding a shovel.

My own feet angrily railed against the bus-stop sidewalk
On this particular day.

I forfeited the ice-block bench on this occasion,
Preferring to crush my feet into the ground
Than to risk cryogenesis by the unfriendly seat.

I was waiting for the next vessel to drift in on a tide of noxious diesel
And take me home
So that I could put cables through my ears
And stare blankly into a vividly opaque window;
Fingers performing a well-choreographed dance
While I wrap myself in warm, gas-heated euthanasia.

As the bench reclined behind me,
She sat down upon it like a ghost.
Slight and spritish.
Silky black strands dance in brave escape
From their woolen armour
And guard green isles floating on white seas.

Where have I seen her?
This person so maddeningly, forgettably familiar?

A breath of persimmon and greenery.

She extends forth a creamy hand.
The snow eats the vibrant blood as it leaks from her wrist.

Seized by panic,
I leap from my station,
A lifesaving scarf in my hand.

Hers presses to my chest.
Her pale-sunrise lips move to my ear.

"Wait and see." She says.
"Read between the drear to find what you seek:
"That which you remember and yet have forgotten."
The vital stream returns to its tributary by a volition of its own.

Did I faint at this surreality?
Did I go into shock by it and return to my abode in an ****** ambulation?
Did it take place at all?
I awoke at home, seated in my parlour
And watered by the melted rime.

For weeks after,
I would, with expectation and intrigue,
Await her arrival at the same stop,
Search for the silky black strands playing in the crowd,
I even sought her in vain through my nocturnal oneiric haze.

Indeed, she must have been a spectre,
Either of our world or that of my brain.

Nevertheless, this I know is true:
I did feel her gentle hand against my panicked heart
And her delicate voice still echoes in my ears.

It is Spring now, and still my memory of her persists
As does my recollection what she had to tell me.
Her whisper is in the snow-melt water
And her eyes cry joyful tears from icicles.
May 2015 · 1.3k
The Protest
Skylar May 2015
The human being is an inherently contentious creature.

Seven billion rock-wall eyes;
Eyes staring belligerently down seven billion sharp noses;
Noses affixed to seven billion faces;
Faces covered in creases and scars,
Framed in unruly hair
And outlined in stark exactness
By the flames cowering in bipedal shadows.

Into the human heart is chiseled "inexorable".
We are an incongruence:
We row up the rapids,
Scale the waterfall
And taunt the oily heavens from atop Devil's Tower.

We will always get what we want,
Whether it involves killing the albatross
Or playing Gondorff's chess.
Whether we wrest it from Gaia's grasp
Or that of our more miserly peers.

Robert C. crystalised our resolve.

The riot gear-clad Blue and Green with timers in their throats
Stand abreast.
Chanting "Listen to Mother. Mother knows best.",
They begin the forward press.

When an impish grenade leaps our way,
We fling it back between mouthfuls of chips.

The barricades erected
By Mother and ourselves alike
Are many and implacable and incessant,
But they will be broken and overtaken.

They will be broken and overtaken by us,
The humans,
Because we are.
May 2015 · 1.7k
Elegy to the Worker
Skylar May 2015
The bricks of the human world are dying.

Others are being born as we speak,
But others still are dying
And the world is dying and changing with them.

Some are dying in bleachy hospital rooms
With blood-smeared hands,
But others are not.

The world is dying in fields
With a back lain-upon by fresh harvest,
Hands caked in loam
And a face creased by sun.

The world is dying in factories,
Gazing its brains out through the smog
And over clamorous machinery,
Bleeding tears into cheap t-shirts.

The world is dying in offices,
Dreams pulled out and splayed about
Like a salmon's innards
Upon the printer-paper butcher board.

The world is dying at sea,
With salt-crusted hair
And burning, split calluses,
Beety droplets staining the passive blue.

The world dies in death:
In rusty mill bones
And hollow farms
Rented out to memories.

The world is dying,
And where is the ceremony?
Where is the procession?
Where is the twenty-one gun salute?

The world goes into many graves
Packaged in a homemade box,
With Duty fulfilled
And not a single note of "Taps".
May 2015 · 1.3k
Banned Books
Skylar May 2015
The libraries and bookstores of the world
Are stocked with pleasantries:
Prim, proper, peach juice-oozing volumes
That made the grade.

These books are all well and good,
        And are not unworthy of examination,
Simply because they were deemed so
By a jury of your peers.

Make note, however,
Of the myopia inherent
In limiting yourself
To the savoury.

Observe:

Past the shelves of
        Well-lit,
        Worn-covered
        Thoroughly thumbed delicacies,
There is more to be seen.

Do not hesitate to approach the shelves
Wreathed in thorns and security tape
And kept under dim bulbs.

The books that lurk there
Are sealed tight
And wear jackets plastered in sludge:
Sludge laid thick by heavy-handed brushstrokes.

Prying open the padlock
Will sometimes reveal
Further grime coagulated upon the pages.

Further prying, however,
Will split open tomes
Scrawled with fractures of light,
Lending to the eye
An illumination unique
To such tarred works.

Do not fear these banned books,
These veiled wonders,
For they contain pure, unscreened scrawlings
Soulfully wrought upon simple scraps of paper.

It is within these that truth can be found.
May 2015 · 757
Rust
Skylar May 2015
Around my white vinyl house
Is scattered an assortment of mills:
Motley brick bones
With salted ****** cement cartilage
And cracked, uninhabited eyes
Staring down apathy and progress.

Pillars that once asphyxiated the sky
With black and grey
Now sigh dust into the breeze;
The dust of men and machines
Long-silent and long-still.

Poisonous paint peels off of memories
As cancerous flakes lazily snow from the ceiling.
Snake skins of creeping ruddy corrosion climb pistons
And embrace wheels.

Vines strangle arteries and musty furniture.
Trees breach the foundation
And claw open the rotted eaves,
Eager to drink the sticky August heat.

A crow grips a window-frame
    Which has long outlived its purpose
And casts a numb eye over her domain.

A breath of moisture in the air:
A nor'easter approaches.
May 2015 · 480
Centralian
Skylar May 2015
The soil is boiling.
Noxious fumes rise from fissures.


Ice cubes and air-fresheners
Are thrown down from the mansion windows
And we are expected to go to war.


To war, where we will get to be
    Harvested by machine guns,
    Throttled by creeping yellow-green,
    And drowned in ice
        While our blackened feet fall to pieces.


Blind old Nikolai
Can't see the flames
Burning behind thousand-yard-staring eyes
Sunken into one hundred million hollow faces.
    Hollow faces etched into the night
    By the glow of mortar blasts
    And factory fires


He revels in ineptitude
While our agonizing joy
Is found in the next teasing grey sunrise
As we seek to one day return
To the torn and tear-dampened recollections in our pockets.


While a colonel weeps into a photograph,
The wife of his brother weeps into a telegram
    As her cousin is getting his vocal cords clipped out in the streets of Petrograd
        And his father is being eviscerated upon factory

Yes, Nikolai;
The soil is boiling
And I will live, I must live
If only to see the day
That it crumbles beneath you.
Mar 2015 · 624
Inside the Vault
Skylar Mar 2015
The Vault stands resolute
Against acidic Time.
It must have much to say.
There is much it must have seen.

It's steady, stony gaze
Is all that now remains
To stand guard over nothing;
Duty-bound to stay.

What resides within?
It is aching to become known.
What resides within?

We rush the beckoning gate,
We push and pry and pull.
Today is a first for the Vault:
For the first time it loses a fight.

The darkness confronts us,
Accusing and severe.
Apprehension crawls up our spines:
What has been hidden here?

What resides within?
It is aching to be known.
What resides within?

We set foot inside,
Our steps unnervingly loud.
The cold sun nips our heels.
The darkness caresses our brow.

What's that ahead?
I believe it is light.
The faintest of glimmers:
Thin golden thread.

What resides within?
It is aching to be known.
What resides within?

With the greatest of caution
We open this new door.
Beyond is a strange old creature,
Back to the wall, sitting on the floor.

His flesh is pale and creased,
But his eyes are anything but idle.
"What is this place?", we ask.
His answer comes with a smile:

"This is Man's Vault.
It is a reservoir of what we were
Long before the missiles or the disease
Or by both we all were burned".

"Who are you?"

"I am the Curator, the Chronicler.
This place is of my own work.
I've spent day and night here,
Building it with record, picture and book."

"What may we do with it?"

"That is for you alone to decide.
The collection must pass to new hands.
My purpose here has been served.
In this present realm I will not much longer bide."

On concluding his final, heavy quatrain,
He breathed his long life out.
And the liveliness from out his eyes did drain

For several minutes, we stood in silence.
As a weight pulled down on our hearts.
A race had died before our eyes,
And left to us its inheritance.
Mar 2015 · 858
Skeletal
Skylar Mar 2015
[Dead. It's all dead.]
____

The world lies frozen
At our feet.
Rusted monoliths
Stand watch.

The bones lie scattered
In the street.
Wrapped in burnt,
Decaying cloth.

Air echoes with
A deathly peace.
The empty roads
Are long un-crossed.

As we walk on,
Instruments scream:
"There's danger here,
Please don't proceed."

Nothing's here but
These machines,
Screaming signals
To our feeds.

On this harsh day,
Lonely shadows play:
The watermarks
Of a forgotten age.

Glowing decay
And burnt-out plague.
And mysterious vaults
Locked fore'r away.
Mar 2015 · 336
Final Tour
Skylar Mar 2015
Yank myself out of bed
Peel the film of sleep from 'round my head
It's 4:00 AM
And all the world is dead.

It's 4:00 AM and all the world is dead.
From the streets every man has fled.
But in hours it again shall be
Brimming with potential; energy set free.

I assemble my appearance.
Staring into the mirror,
I say to myself: "One last time.
"One final tour."

The door is open, before it I stand
To face morning's faint chill
Surrounded by paling blue.
There! The first bird's trill.

The air is sweet
And free of smog.
The faintest fog
Hangs on the trees.

The empty street beckons
And freely I obey.
I have things I need to do
Before the commencement of the day.

I pass the playground on the corner,
Where I wasted time as a child.
Where many a battle was fought
And we had adventures in the wild.

Past the playground and to my left
There is the river bank
Where I went fishing with my father
And my friends and I made our mothers mad:

Where we lit our little fires
And we had our first drinks.
Where we shared our first joint
And came to talk and think.

Our school is down the way.
We all can safely say
It's the place where we first learned
Classes and books have less to say than the real world

A little further on,
And there's the little store
Where I kissed my first fleeting love
Just outside the door.

I keep walking, I keep walking,
Until I reach the shore.
I put my back against a rock
And rest on that sandy floor.

The life that I'll soon be leaving
Lies behind me asleep
While I watch the sun lazily rise
Over the mysterious, unexplored deep.

I built myself in this town
And it built me as well.
But I cannot stay much longer:
In a few hours I will bid it farewell.

Will I ever make it back?
Nothing at all is sure.
Therefore I must take this last chance
To make my final tour.

— The End —