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A soft desire and Angel’s fire,    
Surrounds the ghost of you,
A lonely man will take my hand,
Pretend he’s born anew.

He’ll string his woes around my head,
And I won’t know for sure,
The truth amongst these sordid tales,
He knows I won’t implore.

He’ll tell me that he loves me so,
With hands around my throat,
He’ll push my body deeper down,
To try and stay afloat.

And so deep I make these valleys,
The kind upon the skin,
In hopes that something may grow there,
In hopes to hide within.

He always seemed to like the way,
Despair danced on my tongue,
I think it made him feel at peace,
I think he knows it’s wrong.

I think the day I realised,
The smoke began to clear,
The fire raging in his eyes,
Was built to hide the fear,

I know the grip of fear too well,
The way it digs its claws.
The way it darkens every face,
Of those you loved before,

But I do not believe in this,
The way you chose to cope,
Setting ablaze the things you loved,
To hide amongst the smoke,

And I will not lie in this grave,
Just waiting for the day,
That finally they bury me,
The memories wash away,

I will not let you be the one,
That took away my love,
My trust my hope my **** belief,
In anything above,

I’ll rise amongst the pain you wrought,
The death left in your wake,
I’ll make it something beautiful,
A thing you’ll never take,

And though these ghosts still linger here,
They’re quieter of late,
And every day that passes now,
I bear less of their weight,

I will not write again for you,
Those words are all but gone,
And though some still may slip on through,
I know, with you, I’m done,

A soft desire and Angel’s fire,
Surrounds the ghost of you,
I’d let it burn you down to ash,
That’s how I know I’m through.
I will make surviving you a victory
The Drummer Brothers of Ikku Ukku
Heard from the bathers that-
The Princess had been abducted
By the Dark Beast.
A bounty of thousand gold coins was announced
If you brought her back alive and the beast dead
And Death if you brought the beast alive and the Princess dead.

The Drummer Brothers of Ikku Ukku
Hung their drums around their necks
And drummed their way
Through the Forest Dark

When  the Elder Brother drummed the sleep-inducing roll,
The storks that roosted in the trees
Dropped as if they were one big bunch.
He picked them up one by one
While the younger one,
Shouted 'Pelicans!' and drummed the defeathering roll
Upon which the plumage came off
The Elder Brother drummed the roasting roll
And the birdflesh caught fire.

On the second day a leopard that looked-
More like a boulder in leopard's clothing
Lurched at the brothers.
The Elder Brother drummed the age-reversing roll
And the poor old leopard grew younger and younger
Until it became a watery foetus which-
The Drummer Brothers ate,
Dabbing crushed chillies, and sprinkling salt.

On the third day a bear of grisly proportions
Ambled, roaring, into their sight
The Younger Brother drummed an *****-enlarging roll that-
Stretched the bear's mammaries far too long-
They dragged on the ground like two pythons.
The Elder Brother drummed the light-the- candle roll
And the oily **** caught fire like wicks.

Having vanquished the two deadly beasts
The Drummer Brothers of Ikku Ukku met,
On the fourth day of their journey,
The Dark Beast.
The Dark Beast, as it turned out,
Was no beast as such
But an Outcast once expelled
Into the heart of darkness
Who wrapped himself
In the dark of the Dawn
And became one with All the Beasts
And rumbled.

The Princess' pygmy horse was impaled
With the stake coming out of its mouth
Grossly gory, its hindlegs missing
And the blood, coagulated, hanging like icicles.
Near it was the Princess herself,
Naked, except for the gold waist chain
And the anklets.

The Drummer Brothers of Ikku Ukku
Drummed a very ordinary roll,
Steady and throbbing.
The Dark Beast who listened to it
Was transported into his past,
His memory of listening
To the old drummers of Ikku Ukku.
He spun on his heels and stretched out his arms
He gyrated and pirouetted-
And on reaching the peak of his frenzy
Exploded, like a watermelon
The pieces flew in all directions.
The Drummer Brothers picked them up
And licked
While the Princess, shaken out of her languor,
Rose and sauntered towards them.
Holding out her honey hands
She said, "Now I belong to both of you."

The Younger Brother came up with a plan:
The elder one would have her from the waist up
While he would have her from the waist down.
The Elder Brother approved.
Vain and coquettish,
The Princess rammed her fists into either drum
And said: "I loathe their sound- too unrefined."

On the fifth day,
The Drummer Brother  drummed a jazzed up roll
On their new drumhead
Made of the Princess' hide.
Kairosclere Jun 12
This, a story
Of love and endurance
A survival match
Among the wilderness
From a house displaced
Lived a cat
Out of place,
In this cruel world.
He changed his hues
Trying to fit in
This troubled cat,
Only to seek a soul
Much like its own.
He loitered about
Day and night long
Picked prey by hounds
Clean, from all use,
By these bunch of hyenas
That saw the cat
As everything
But their own.
Trying to escape
With each tick of the clock
From an inescapable fate
Which led him
To his cub.
As their eyes met,
Their souls intertwined,
He had found his world
Alas, one he could
Never call "mine"
With the days
Of their lives
Brimming with joy
The cat found himself,
Rediscovered, stupefied.
He decided
That a life
Without her, a lioness,
Would amount to nothing,
A life given meaning
Simply with every
Breath she took.
Alas, she breathed
For her lions instead,
Where she was one
Among the royals,
As entitled.
The cat, heartbroken,
Lost himself once again
The way he claimed back
From the void
He lost, once and for all.
As his cub
Grew with grace,
Into a fearless hunter
It finally reached him
They they might
Never live together.
Yet their small lives
Are still bound
By little promises made
He is,
In her broken mirror's world,
A black cat.
An Excelente Balade of Charitie (“An Excellent Ballad of Charity”)
by Thomas Chatterton, age 17
modernization/translation by Michael R. Burch

As wroten bie the goode Prieste
Thomas Rowley 1464

In Virgynë the swelt'ring sun grew keen,
Then hot upon the meadows cast his ray;
The apple ruddied from its pallid green
And the fat pear did bend its leafy spray;
The pied goldfinches sang the livelong day;
'Twas now the pride, the manhood of the year,
And the ground was mantled in fine green cashmere.

The sun was gleaming in the bright mid-day,
Dead-still the air, and likewise the heavens blue,
When from the sea arose, in drear array,
A heap of clouds of sullen sable hue,
Which full and fast unto the woodlands drew,
Hiding at once the sun's fair festive face,
As the black tempest swelled and gathered up apace.

Beneath a holly tree, by a pathway's side,
Which did unto Saint Godwin's convent lead,
A hapless pilgrim moaning did abide.
Poor in his sight, ungentle in his ****,
Long brimful of the miseries of need,
Where from the hailstones could the beggar fly?
He had no shelter there, nor any convent nigh.

Look in his gloomy face; his sprite there scan;
How woebegone, how withered, dried-up, dead!
Haste to thy parsonage, accursèd man!
Haste to thy crypt, thy only restful bed.
Cold, as the clay which will grow on thy head,
Is Charity and Love among high elves;
Knights and Barons live for pleasure and themselves.

The gathered storm is ripe; the huge drops fall;
The sunburnt meadows smoke and drink the rain;
The coming aghastness makes the cattle pale;
And the full flocks are driving o'er the plain;
Dashed from the clouds, the waters float again;
The heavens gape; the yellow lightning flies;
And the hot fiery steam in the wide flamepot dies.

Hark! now the thunder's rattling, clamoring sound
Heaves slowly on, and then enswollen clangs,
Shakes the high spire, and lost, dispended, drown'd,
Still on the coward ear of terror hangs;
The winds are up; the lofty elm-tree swings;
Again the lightning―then the thunder pours,
And the full clouds are burst at once in stormy showers.

Spurring his palfrey o'er the watery plain,
The Abbot of Saint Godwin's convent came;
His chapournette was drenchèd with the rain,
And his pinched girdle met with enormous shame;
He cursing backwards gave his hymns the same;
The storm increasing, and he drew aside
With the poor alms-craver, near the holly tree to bide.

His cape was all of Lincoln-cloth so fine,
With a gold button fasten'd near his chin;
His ermine robe was edged with golden twine,
And his high-heeled shoes a Baron's might have been;
Full well it proved he considered cost no sin;
The trammels of the palfrey pleased his sight
For the horse-milliner loved rosy ribbons bright.

"An alms, Sir Priest!" the drooping pilgrim said,
"Oh, let me wait within your convent door,
Till the sun shineth high above our head,
And the loud tempest of the air is o'er;
Helpless and old am I, alas!, and poor;
No house, no friend, no money in my purse;
All that I call my own is this―my silver cross.

"Varlet," replied the Abbott, "cease your din;
This is no season alms and prayers to give;
My porter never lets a beggar in;
None touch my ring who in dishonor live."
And now the sun with the blackened clouds did strive,
And shed upon the ground his glaring ray;
The Abbot spurred his steed, and swiftly rode away.

Once more the sky grew black; the thunder rolled;
Fast running o'er the plain a priest was seen;
Not full of pride, not buttoned up in gold;
His cape and jape were gray, and also clean;
A Limitour he was, his order serene;
And from the pathway side he turned to see
Where the poor almer lay beneath the holly tree.

"An alms, Sir Priest!" the drooping pilgrim said,
"For sweet Saint Mary and your order's sake."
The Limitour then loosen'd his purse's thread,
And from it did a groat of silver take;
The needy pilgrim did for happiness shake.
"Here, take this silver, it may ease thy care;
"We are God's stewards all, naught of our own we bear."

"But ah! unhappy pilgrim, learn of me,
Scarce any give a rentroll to their Lord.
Here, take my cloak, as thou are bare, I see;
'Tis thine; the Saints will give me my reward."
He left the pilgrim, went his way abroad.
****** and happy Saints, in glory showered,
Let the mighty bend, or the good man be empowered!

TRANSLATOR'S NOTE: It is possible that some words used by Chatterton were his own coinages; some of them apparently cannot be found in medieval literature. In a few places I have used similar-sounding words that seem to not overly disturb the meaning of the poem. Keywords/Tags: Chatterton, Romantic, Rowley, fraud, forger, forgery, ballad, charity, alms, almer, varlet, beggar, pilgrim, storm, thunderstorm, tempest, holly, Abbot, Saint, Godwin, priest, Limitour
AditiKo May 28
Sometimes I take a little stroll
Through the minds and verses
Of others.

Mind strolling through
Vivid colours and memories,
Flowers and fantasies.

I walk across the lines, my feet tapping
To the rhythm and rhyme;
Iambic heart beats with mine

I stop by sometimes, by the meadows
With a ballad, sonnet,
Free verse or couplet.

Just reading through some poems.
Poems bloom as flowers; azure, flushed pink. Watered by the poet's tears.
What Works
by Michael R. Burch

for David Gosselin

What works—
hewn stone;
the blush the iris shows the sun;
the lilac’s pale-remembered bloom.

The frenzied fly: mad-lively, gay,
as seconds tick his time away,
his sentence—one brief day in May,
a period. And then decay.

A frenzied rhyme’s mad tip-toed time,
a ballad’s languid as the sea,
seek, striving—immortality.

When gloss peels off, what works will shine.
When polish fades, what works will gleam.
When intellectual prattle pales,
the dying buzzing in the hive
of tedious incessant bees,
what works will soar and wheel and dive
and milk all honey, leap and thrive,

and teach the pallid poem to seethe.

Keywords/Tags: poets, poetry, writing, art, work, works, rhyme, ballad, immortality, passion, emotion, desire
Andrei Marin Apr 15
There is a sign in the sky,
the winds are changing,
flags are set to fly,
people are raging.

Stars are falling down,
people receive visions,
everyone is fighting for the crown,
marching divisions.

And as the dust is rising,
among the cries of war,
there comes a lone traveler,
never seen before.

He speaks of the future,
of destruction and death,
he says this could be,
humanity's last breath.

His words are wise,
will no one heed, but,
the people are enraged,
they attack with speed,
yet the traveler is gone,
he is nowhere to be found,
but on his way to others,
of minds more sound.

In the meantime,
the wars go on,
brave warriors proven,
yet still none won,
the battle of futility,
of empty pride and shame,
hoping all along,
someone will remember their name.

Why are all people so proud?
Why are all so desperate to stand out from the crowd?

Is it because they're afraid of oblivion?
The traveler asks himself.
They seem to want to become another book on the shelf...

So they sign their name in fire, blood and steel,
forcing thousands of innocents to kneel,
thinking by this they will be remembered as great conquerors, chosen by destiny,
truly they are wanderers,
soon to be forgotten...
This is just a rhyming prophecy/ballad leftover from a story I'm writing.
This dog of a sun
And how it remains
As it stains the hole
Of larklights in blue
Obstinate nuns in the hold
As they fold on forever

What a blessing, Sue
To see vicious sounds
In the halls of commotion
Now we surround
With our teeth, amber glow
As it sows a piece of forever

Fever, fever honey
You know what begets
The regret that you feel
Dance in the garret
Now, I hear in my fear
The hounds of forever

Think of what will never come
And it breaks the hollow sound
Of sweet repetition
Where pain is not mentioned
Hold your lover sweet
And you will fall, complete

See, hear, taste that sibilance eye
I shan't cry, nor state why
For freedom, despite its size
Will fail me in time

Wallace, come here
See the face I faithfully
Made in the image of you
I hope you find
The beauty that you
Have lost to old forever

Goddess, be soft
Know you're not known
By the people that hurt you
Stay in your loft
And let the lamp resound
The drums of forever

Don't fall to greed
By planning for fates
That are best left forgotten
Knowledge will wait
Unlike the sun or the moon
For they deny forever

Think of what will never come
And it breaks the hollow wound
Of sweet repetition
Where pain is not mentioned
Hold your lover sweet
And you will fall, complete

Strenuous, this malarkey eye
Waning clock in tentative sky
Do not take life for granted
Even when not wanted

Strong Héloise
Lay upon me
With your shackled aroma
Let it release
And scatter away
In your piercing gaze of forever

Héloise, come to me, see
That I haven't stopped
My attempts to capture you
On a damp canvas
Of trickling hues
That dare to uproot forever

I'll start with your nose
And give you a pose
That mimics your stature
Rock in your chair
As shadows deface
Your grace, lasting and tethered

Think of what will never come
And it breaks the hollow wound
A sophomore face
With sweet ******'s gaze
These gibbous hours cease
As the day finds peace

Your fur shambles so
Your fingers corrode
As the deluge below
Now blows us into forever
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