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Nolan Willett Jul 16
Ask yourself why you doubt,
Why you fear and cast about.
You are heading the right way,
Who cares what others say?
You have no concerns to allay.

What will be will be,
All wisdoms do agree;
Like a lion and a roar,
A soldier in a war,
You will do what you are made for.

“I am not afraid; I was born to do this”,
Your actions are not remiss,
Nor for nothing,
But for everything:
A singular meaning.

Write, and do it well,
And love until your death knell.
Mind your well-being,
Bitterness is unbecoming,
The world is on the upswing.
One night
5 rose
The skies dimmed
The night grows

Crowned soldier
Give command
Thunder roars
Take a stand

Blades swing
Bullets fly
A soundless scream
A faint goodbye

Twin allies
Come forth
Darkness falls
Lose their worth

Being of evil
Pitch black night
Hated child
Gathered blight

White mask
Cracked, stained
Blades clash
Hell rains

Friends and enemies
They all fall
Echoed laughter
A maiden’s calls

Bright moon
Don’t rise
Dark monster
Pierced skies

Another falls
4 tried
Blooded air
Battle cry

Red flower
bright and bold
upon a pillar
heart of gold

Enemies grow
Gods sigh
Warrior in red
Jump and fly

Weapons fall
Forces clash
Sounds of war
Broken, trashed


United as one
Bonds undone
Commanders rise
War bells rung

Teared skies
Memories flow
Black eclipse
White snow


Chaos spreads
Horses mourn
Winged leviathans
Dragons roar

Came too close
Went too far
Hidden trap
Enemies scar

Descend to darkness
Blacken the day
Let all hope
Shatter away

Reforge your own
Come back alive
All that was real
Was left behind

March on
Stay strong
Head held high
Survive the night

Emerge once more
Let out your roar
Shields up
Spread your wings, soar

Ripped from space
Erased from time
Re-fabricate your will
And once more, rise

Take them down
As they stand
Don’t surrender
Fight till it ends

One more opponent
Anger and pain
Cataclysm incarnate
Heaving flame

Brought with a bond
Crafted from stories
Forge a blade
Of memories

Hack them down
Stand by your will
Unalterable fate
Laid shatter and spilt

Once again
The wind dashed
Leaving behind
Blood and ash
Flight
by Michael R. Burch

Eagle, raven, blackbird, crow . . .
What you are I do not know.
Where you go I do not care.
I’m unconcerned whose meal you bear.
But as you mount the sun-splashed sky,
I only wish that I could fly.
I only wish that I could fly.

Robin, hawk or whippoorwill . . .
Should men care if you hunger still?
I do not wish to see your home.
I do not wonder where you roam.
But as you scale the sky's bright stairs,
I only wish that I were there.
I only wish that I were there.

Sparrow, lark or chickadee . . .
Your markings I disdain to see.
Where you fly concerns me not.
I scarcely give your flight a thought.
But as you wheel and arc and dive,
I, too, would feel so much alive.
I, too, would feel so much alive.

I don’t remember exactly when this poem was written. I believe it was around 1974-1975, which would have made me 16 or 17 at the time. I do remember not being happy with the original version of the poem, and I revised it more than once over the years, including recently at age 61! The original poem was influenced by William Cullen Bryant’s “To a Waterfowl.” Keywords: flight, flying, bird, wheel, arc, dive, nest, scale, eagle, raven, blackbird, crow, robin, hawk, whippoorwill,  sparrow, lark, chickadee
Wonderland
by Michael R. Burch

We stood, kids of the Lamb, to put to test
the beatific anthems of the blessed,
the sentence of the martyr, and the pen’s
sincere religion. Magnified, the lens
shot back absurd reflections of each face—
a carnival-like mirror. In the space
between the silver backing and the glass,
we caught a glimpse of Joan, a frumpy lass
who never brushed her hair or teeth, and failed
to pass on GO, and frequently was jailed
for awe’s beliefs. Like Alice, she grew wee
to fit the door, then couldn’t lift the key.
We failed the test, and so the jury’s hung.
In Oz, “The Witch is Dead” ranks number one.

Keywords/Tags: Alice, Wonderland, Joan, Arc, martyr, blessed, beatific, religion, witch, Oz, carnival, mirror, lens, jury, kids, lamb, beliefs, faith, sonnet
A Yorks Sep 2019
Maybe I'm bitter,
But finally I can see,
That I was to blame.
Nigdaw Sep 2019
We'll wake up and smell the coffee

God counts them in, three by three
rainbow children dancing free
forbidden fruit unfamiliar to Eve

the arc is leaving for the sinful to drown

so bring on the clowns, the jugglers
and actors, luvvies, lovers of flesh
summon them to entertain us
with original sin and panache
we set sail tomorrow at sunset
to wake in the morning to the smell
of coffee and angels burning
burning in Hell
tamia Oct 2016
adam and eve took the forbidden fruit
and were banished from the light of heaven,
the great warrior achilles was defeated
in his pride and grief on the grounds of troy,
mount vesuvius erupted and at once pompeii fell to ashes,
joan of arc was burnt at the stake in the name of her battles,
rome plunged to its failure upon the arrival of vanquishers

these are some of the greatest falls from grace,
and although time is filled to the brim with such,
the world had never seen an undoing quite as great as hers—

**she saw his face,
she heard his song,
and the rest became history.
falling in love or falling apart?
Taylor St Onge Nov 2015
1611: Emilia Lanier became the first Englishwoman to publish and collect patronage from her original poetry with the publication of fifteen poems, all about or dedicated to particular women, in her “booke,” titled in Latin, Hail, God, King of the Jews.  She was the fourth woman in England to publish her poetry, but the first to demand payment in return for it.  The first to see herself as equal to the paid male authors of the era.

This was the same year that the King James Bible was first printed.  This was eight years after the death of Queen Elizabeth I.  This was 180 years after nineteen-year-old Joan of Arc was burned at the stake.

                                                               ­      +

The Querelle des Femmes is “the woman question.”
Frenchmen of the early fifteenth century created a literary debate: what is the role and the nature of women?  Is it stemmed within a “classical” model of  human behavior; gnarled and rooted with misogynistic platonic tradition?  Should women actually be allowed into politics, economics, and religion?  There are scholars that say this debate radiated across several European countries for three centuries before finally fizzling out.  

                                                         ­                   But it is still there; has crossed
continents, has crossed oceans, is sizzling, sparking up fires, flaring out
into the night, leeching onto the trees, onto buildings, onto people, onto
anything flammable.  It is burning down monarchs and their thrones.  It is
raking back the blazing coals.  
                                                   Exposing the charred corpses.  
                 Proving their death.  
                                                   Burning and burning and burning them
                                              twice more to prevent the collection of relics.
                 It is chucking the ashes into the Seine River.

Lilith: who was made at the same time, at the same place, from the same earth, from the same soil as Adam, got herself written out of the Bible because she thought herself to be Man’s equal. Because she got bored of the *******.  Because she wanted to be on top during ***.  Lilith was replaced in the book of Genesis with a more-or-less subservient woman that was made from the rib of man instead of the same dirt and dust.  She was replaced with a woman that Adam named “Eve.”  She was replaced with a woman who served as nothing more than the scapegoat for Man’s downfall.
                                       The original Querelle des Femmes.

                                                                     +

1558-1603: Queen Elizabeth I ruled England in what is considered to be a masculine position. Although a woman can take the throne, can wear the crown, can wield the scepter, can run the country, the actual divine task that goes along with being a part of the monarchy, being a god on Earth, is thought to be the duty of a man.

Nicknamed The ****** Queen, Elizabeth never married,
                                                     never found a proper suitor,
                                             never produced a direct Tudor heir,
                                   (but this is not to prove that she was a ******).  
Chastity, especially of women, is a virtue.  ((To assume that she never had ***
simply because she never married
                                                                ­ is another Querelle des Femmes.))

For nearly forty-five years, Queen Elizabeth I did not need a man by her side while she lead England to both relative stability and prosperity; did not need a man by her side while she became the greatest monarch in English history.  
                                                She held the rainbow, the bridge to God, in her
                                                                ­                     own small hands just fine.

                                                          ­           +

Saturday, February 24, 1431: Joan of Arc was interrogated for the third time in her fifteen-part trial in front of Bishop Cauchon and 62 Assessors.  During her six interrogation sessions, she was questioned over charges ranging from heresy to witchcraft to cross-dressing.

At age twelve Joan of Arc began seeing heavenly visions
                                                                ­               of angels and saints and martyrs;
age thirteen she began hearing the Voice of God—was told to
purify France of the English,                          to make Charles the rightful king—
age sixteen she took a vow of chastity as a part of her divine mission.  

When the court asked about the face and eyes
that belonged to the Voice, she responded:
                                                      ­                      There is a saying among children, that
                                                         “Sometimes one is hanged for speaking the truth.”


Joan of Arc was declared guilty and was killed by the orders of a Bishop during a time when men were beginning to question the role and nature of women in society.  They thought women to be deceitful and immoral.  Innately thought Joan of Arc to be deceitful and immoral.  (Perhaps she was one of the catalysts for the Querelle in the first place.)

((The church blamed Eve for the
fall of mankind.  Identified women as
                                                                     temptation:
                                                               the root of all sins.))

Twenty-five years later she was declared innocent and raised to the level of martyrdom.
The Catholic Church stood back,
saw the blood,
                          the ashes,
                                            the thick smoke and stench of burned body that
                                                                ­               covered their hands, their clothes,
                                                                ­                    their neurons, their synapses;
        a filth that couldn’t be washed off by Holy water—
can’t be washed off by Holy water.

Four hundred and seventy-eight years later Joan of Arc was blessed and gained entrance to Heaven.  Four hundred and eighty-nine years later she was canonized as a saint.

                                                         ­            +

Lines 777-780, “Eve’s Apology in Defense of Women,” Emilia Lanier, 1611:
                         But surely Adam can not be excused,
                         Her fault though great, yet he was most to blame;
                         What Weakness offered, Strength might have refused,
                         Being Lord of all, the greater was his shame…


Adam, distraught and angered that his first wife, Lilith, had flew off into the air after he had refused to lay beneath her, begged God to bring her back.  God, taking pity on his beloved, manly, creation, sent down three angels who threatened Lilith that if she did not return to Adam, one hundred of her sons would die each day.  

                              (This is where the mother of all Jewish demons
                                         merges with the first wife of Man.)  

She refused, said that this was her purpose: she was
created specifically to harm newborn children.  This legend,
dated back to 3,500 BC Babylonia, describes Lilith as a
                                                                       winged feminine demon that
                                                     kills infants and endangers women in childbirth.

In the Christian Middle Ages, Lilith changed form once more:
she became the personification of licentiousness and lust,
she became more than a demon, she became a sin in herself.  Lilith
and her offspring were seen as succubae, were to blame for the
wet dreams of men.  Taking it a step further, Christian leaders then
                                                                ­                           wed Lilith to Satan;
                                                                ­                              charged her with
                                                                ­               populating the world with evil,
                                                   claimed she gave birth to
one hundred demonic children per day.

Lilith is considered evil in the eyes of the church because she was insubordinate to Adam.  Both she and Eve are considered disobedient; are too willful, too independent in the way that Lilith wanted to be on top and Eve wanted to share a knowledge that Adam could have refused.  They are perceived as a threat to the divinely ordered happenings that men see to be true.

Men wrote the history books because only their interpretation was right.  
Emilia Lanier writes:
                                       Yet Men will boast of Knowledge, which he took
                                           From Eve's fair hand, as from a learned Book
(807-808).

The Querelle des Femmes is not just a literary debate in the fifteenth century.  It is a way of life.  It is the divine portion of Queen Elizabeth I’s job being fit for men, and men alone.  It is Joan of Arc being a woman and hearing the Voice of God; it is Joan of Arc being burned three times by the same Catholics that revered in Jesus, a man who, too, heard the Voice of God.  It is Lilith being deemed a demon for not wanting to have *** in the *******.  It is Eve having to apologize in the first place for sharing the apple, for sharing knowledge with her partner.  It is women holding positions of power and yet still feeling powerless to men.  

The Querelle des Femmes is wanting to use gender
to keep one group of people above another.  The Querelle des Femmes
is continually thinking that the ***** is greater than, but
never equal to, the ******. The Querelle des Femmes is
                                                       not understanding the difference between
                                                                ­       ***          and          gender
                                                                ­              in the first place.  
The Querelle des Femmes is me,
burning your dinner and telling you to eat it anyway.
This is part of a larger project that I am working on pertaining to the Querelle des Femmes.
Prabhu Iyer Jan 2015
Rings of light lowering from the skies I called my faith Godly and A universe is birthing somewhere; Transporting peace into this world everyone else infidel. Now I going extinct Dinosaurs in There! Ant-eating stick,

I emerged have divine rights to pillage all.

A galaxy few light-years away, A tool-making ape. And gave the Shoreless ocean knocking the heart. At this very moment, life first
key to St. Peter and walked, walked That I locked away behind a
door. peered at

the firmament of stars. Bequeathing hopers,

A light called forth and I walked forth A supernova ***** all light. memories down epigenetic lines. out a mollusc to the future But peace was alive all along. An arc. Epic. Exodusish. enroute a transcience
called man; Now

in the fear of a mushroom There is a God.

Too bland for our Tossing around in a centrifuge. clouds, she graces
the world in taste, lighting all hearts in peace-fires. Giant wheel. Merry-go-around. her dome-shrines dotting the wide
shores. And now

we like them, deranging conflagrations more.
Intended to mimic Kadinsky's 'Compositions' on the eve of new year, contemplating on our lives, God, peace, resulting in a stream-of-conscious set of couplets in tetrameter. I then used Montage, to create this work, my first in a series of Surrealist 'meditations'. Read it quietly, processing the memes and paying attention to the meter - you will enjoy all the directions the words will then take you to, and hopefully, reflecting on 'peace'
When she smiles,
It's like a baptism
Freeing me from all the worst things in life
Her happiness floods over me like God reforming the world
And I'm adrift on the arc of her love
The only thing keeping me afloat
Above this sea of melancholy and despair

Though sea monsters reach from the bottom,
Trying desperately to sink a claw in my throat
I feel protected by your omnipresence
As if your hand could smite any foe
From a thousand miles away

You are the lighthouse,
That guides me to the safety of your shores
And when I port, I'll step out
And kiss the ground you've laid before me
In eternal gratitude for your safe harbor

I'll always find safety in you
It's a metaphor, yo
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