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nom de plume Oct 12
let's say atlas' body is full of birds
and when he is crushed to death
they will escape
free and resplendent
let's say i am atlas and
you are the face in the mirror
let's say atlas is screaming and
crying and begging
but you are silent and
your face is unmoving
atlas' mother gets that
worried look on her face
and the part of atlas that
still loves himself
is trying to get him to
just put it all down for a second
let's say atlas is smoking
a cigarette
let's say atlas' rib cage
is cracking under the pressure
and it's worth pointing out
that no one will notice
atlas is gone
until the world starts falling down
around his body
Amanda Jul 27
I was remembering when we were new
Love was an uncharted land
Our time was spent navigating
Mapping bodies with both hands

And tough times built us mountains
To ensure we would grow strong
Standing solid through the struggle
You were my rock when things went wrong

All the lovely sleepless nights
Spent texting thoughts and fears
Were the beginning of our voyage
We were unwitting pioneers

Although the departure was scary
I knew I had no choice but to start
Despite the danger and risk of failure
Instincts said 'follow your heart'

So we decided to set sail together
Though neither had yet steered a ship
Our commitment and passion kept us above waves
The duration of our trip

When the water turned rough and choppy
We almost began to sink
On the paper used to draw our course
Temporarily ran out of ink

It was you who saved me from drowning
When I foolishly jumped off the boat
Abandoned our vessel in fear of shipwreck
With one oar you made us float

Forgiveness forged a way to shore
Filled the pen with tears and blood
So we could continue cartography
From the place the picture smudged

We have come a great distance since that day
But still have a lot left to explore
Though the diagram of our hearts is complete
Life is still showing us more

Thick woods
Green fields
Dry deserts of sand
Our feelings guide us through it all
Our graph gets larger as time passes
And harder for you I fall

The route we travelled was complex
There were easier by far
But the difficult terrain molded us
Into the people we now are

Our direction was not influenced
But entirely our own
I'd rather our tumultuous journey
Than a simple one alone

Because you are my final destination
No matter where our path may lead
Location is irrelevant
When your arms are the only home I need

I never knew our relationship
Would be the atlas discovered
But I hope you realize I'm grateful
For each millimeter uncovered

I can't explain the overwhelming attraction
The magnetism connecting us two
But from the moment we met one thing was certain
My soul's compass pointed straight to you
This one was quite the challenge. Even had to bust out the old thesaurus.. hence the word "cartography" haha
Childless
by Michael R. Burch

How can she bear her grief?
Mightier than Atlas, she shoulders the weight
Of one fallen star.

Keywords/Tags: mother, mothers, motherhood, child, childless, death, grief, weight, burden, Atlas, epigram, epitaph, elegy, eulogy, lament
Bardo Apr 25
Not just another dead word from a
   book
But a magical word...straight out of
   childhood
Gathered from a fascination with
   looking at maps and Atlas books
And globes of the World
All the different countries in all their
   different colors
With all their fantastic sounding
   names
All spread out in wonderful greens pinks and oranges, yellows reds and
   purples
And then... that wonderful blue sweep
   of the Pacific...the Pacific ocean.

Through the eyes of a young small
   child
The wondrous...sweet Blue Pacific
   ocean
So vast and so full of romance
With its mermaids, its whales and its
   dolphins
Coconuts and palm trees and
   treasured islands
Its flying fish and grizzled pirates,
Its blue skies forever smiling
   overhead
The surf rolling up onto its sun kissed
   beaches.

.....There long ago I glimpsed the lovely
   blue of her blouse
And the wonderful patterns on it
As she lifted me up and spun me
   around
Just like being up on the swing boats,
And she laughed with her laughing
   smiling face
And her laughing smiling eyes
And I laughed too, out loud and
   unashamed
This was how it should always be
And I didn't want it to end
Wanted it to go on forever,
It brought me a Bluey Bliss
And suddenly all this world it was a
   magic place.

She was like Life or Love itself
Wanting to embrace you and kiss you
And sweep you off your feet
Life, it held so much promise and
   beauty
So much wonder and mystery
Yea! all was magic in those Summer
   months
The coloured pictures in our comic
   books
The kicking football on the lovely
   green lawns,
The fluttering and flapping of the
   clothes on the clothes line
Were like the sails of a Great Ship...
Sweet dreams and sunbeams as we
   ran out to meet the tide.

And still she calls to me today, wild
   blue ocean
How I love... like that sweet feeling of
   blue
The sight of her on a globe or Atlas
   still
And that name like some ancient
   spell
It sends me up into the sky
Delights, makes me feel so peaceful
The sweet blue Pacific ocean
You can...can almost taste it.

Sweet intimations of a world that
   came before,
A world underneath...that still lies
   there...somewhere
Whispering like some sweet lost
   Atlantis
Forever calling you back, calling you
   back home.

I'm afraid I can't be more specific
About the wonderful, the beautiful
...The Blue Pacific.
Some words from childhood still have a magic about them. 'The Blue Pacific " still conjures up a lot of magic for me. The girl in the blouse were older girl cousins of mine who used come to us on summer holidays, they'd give you swings and chocolates and smother you in kisses. The 'swing boats' were in the amusement park, you'd get in with someone opposite you and you'd hold on for dear life as the 'boat' would swing back and forth up in the air.
agatha Apr 16
no such thing as verbal when you just sit
next to me, shoulders burdened by the world
and that is my cue to be pliant as you sigh
and press yourself deeper into my being.

(your face buried in the crook of my neck
as i draw small circles on your arm,
funny how you look like a child
with a halo from the moonlight
kissing your crown)

and i apologize
i cannot make the stars and skies
be within your reach
or I, better than your early lovers.

but if you, so gently, lay your bones
where i could keep them until your soul
jumps right into you, ready to conquer once again,
then be your home I shall.

—2:06AM
songs i listened to while writing:
when you love someone - day6
keshi - atlas
Welcome to suicide city. Where the first nations population dies quickly. Let me be your tour guide for this deep dive about suicide through aboriginal eyes. The youth, grown up in abuse, turn to drugs or a noose. Bruised, *****, used with no escape in view. So they try to run but succumb to the world's weight and numb themselves to just live another day. At last, atlas could take a break, because our children now hold the world's weight. As the parents lay near by, needles riddled near them and beer bottles laid beside. Too weak to stand, to protect or provide, The proper care for their youth so they some coincide with disgrace as the kids stare and face what fate may lay.

Five times more than normal do native men die. Crushed by the world, by the weight of the skies. They are tough on the exterior but broken on the inside. Not taught to talk so they take their own lives.

Young women perish about 8 times quicker. With a voice of her own but no one will hear her. Abused she endures so she drowns herself in liquor. She succumbs to darkness, to the thoughts that no one would miss her.

Our suicide rates are higher than any other. Tear stricken parents burying their sons and daughters. So many are to blame but the true culprits are our mothers and fathers.

We suffer from what I call, cultural deprivation. We suffer of separation of our own. Children were forced to face colonization alone. Put into schools where our people were told. That our way of life was a lie and they're saving our souls. Only to be the harbingers of my peoples demise. They abducted our youth to save them from their "lies". Separated from their families was truly a tragedy. Those priest and nuns messed them up and never taught them to love. So they were release to the world with nothing but a shove and a shrug.
fray narte Feb 6
somewhere in manhattan,
atlas carries the weight of his heart —
a suitcase of battle scars and cigarettes
that strayed too far from his lips.

each vein, a thread
for all these sorry poems
that cannot write themselves.
each valve,
a compartment for spent lights
and all these fallen dandelion clocks —
all centuries' worth
and his body, it longs to rest
like a mass of dahlias and complexities,
coming undone in the arms
of a funeral song.



i remember someone telling me it's easier to talk about yourself in third person.


and yet, how do you depersonalize and say that
in there,
sadness has lovingly grown its flesh —
like wild grass spreading free in abandoned lawns,
albeit carefully contained,
carefully covered by these patches of skin
so as to not flood —
to not spill at every sigh
and yet, there can never be enough
breaths taken,
breaths given away

to keep it all intact,
to fend off all the
pecking,
the gnawing at the skin from its forgotten corners,
now a feast to a flight of vultures.

i now know why it's easier to talk about yourself in third person.


somewhere in manhattan,
atlas shakes, crumbles, collapses.
the flesh gives in;
the arms cave in under all this mass:
this weight of a heart,
this weight of the skies — they just slip right off your hands
and words don't see the difference.
Like Atlas in alabaster dresses
With high collars you girls,
Hold up the almost dark.
Lanterns full of gold,
Carnation, Lily, Lily, rose.
As the sun sets eternal
You stand and will stand,
Seven and lost
In light and fragrant dew.
Your sisters nape exposed,
The same colour
As pale paper.
Juxtaposed by
Black stocking-ed feet,
In meadow grass.
Attempt at an Ekphrastic poem, inspired by John Singer Sargent 1885-6 'Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose'
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