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I expected a chariot,
was trained to hold reins,
feed horses,
and know when to whip them.
Hours I spent shuffling across sheer faces
to teach me the balance necessary.
I took notes from oaks on how to keep my feet firmly planted,
legs bending, never breaking.
I suffered the hurricane
to learn to not blink with wind in my face.
I humored Time, to learn from its spinning wheel
so that I might know my own.
I turned to the trust of beasts
thinking they might one day guide me.
I glared at charioteers,
My coliseum competition.
I sat, eyes closed, by the ocean
To acquaint me with a roar
I would expect from an audience.
I stripped myself bare
So that I may learn the choices of judges.
I was prepared for a chariot.

But what arrived was a ratty coup of unknown make;
a wheezing, rusted contraption with wobbling wheels,
a cracked, insect-stained windscreen,
valves of leaky ichor,
a missing cigarette lighter,
a lockless glove box,
a tailpipe that belched black omen,
windows that rolled by hand and got stuck,
seats of the kind of leather your skin sticks to in the summer and froze in winter,
and an AM/FM radio filled with static.
No spare tire.

I was livid.


This vehicle was to carry me to my onward days,
to the paradise of my imagination?
I was to collude with my romantics in the passenger seat
of this rolling mausoleum?
To commute to my place of wage
and not have my vessel reflect my value?
To pass my days of leisure
knowing a bunker of my perturbation watched from the driveway?

I tried to hew a chariot of my own,
but first the wood of the trees of my garden proved too weak.
Then my crooked wheels seemed to want to separate away from each other.
And the only beasts to pull it were dogs,
made fat from the gristle of my meals that I threw them
in my days of anticipation.
I conceded to the coup.

Misery so often my chauffeur,
I plotted and plodded along with the wheels I was given,
Diverting my eyes from Apollos in the sky,
Pulled by glistening pegasi.

A friend,
also couped up,
Told me to make the most of it.
So I’ve been trying.

I tried to take its namelessness as something to which I might give a name.
As it wheezed I heard it breathing, liable to collapse, but
Alive
nonetheless.
The warped wheels wove their own way,
and I imagined the invisible burden of unseen beasts
with greater senses of direction than mine.
I saw the insects in front of me as company.
As the pipes oozed, I conjured hopes that they were like a gallbladder,
concentrating bile then removing it.
I sensed that the missing lighter meant I shouldn’t be smoking.
The glove box lacked a latch for ease of access,
and I read from the messages scrawled in smoke in my rear-view mirror.
The effort made to breathe through the manual windows
made me appreciate the breaths I took.
The broken sound system taught me to make my own music.
And the lack of a spare tire taught me to drive very, very carefully;
There would be no second chances.

The coup is a symptom of my broken hopes for my future’s reality.
But,
unlike the chariot,
it is real,
and its state of breaking can
Hopefully
be fixed.
I can sit when I wish to be seated.
I can bring others with me wherever.
The direction is dictated by me and not the whims of beasts.
The AC stutters, but it’s there.
There’s a trunk where I can put my memories.
And,
also unlike the chariot,
I can go very, very fast
if I want to.
a piece on life expectations
Mark Parker Sep 7
Apollo’s chariot rests
below the horizon’s layers
yellow, pink, and blue.
Breathing in the sunset,
night’s chill takes the air
with chirping crickets
hooting owls
and starlike fire flies.
Nature stuns me on a regular basis.
A Surfeit of Light
by Michael R. Burch

There was always a surfeit of light in your presence.
You stood distinctly apart, not of the humdrum world—
a chariot of gold in a procession of plywood.

We were all pioneers of the modern expedient race,
raising the ante: Home Depot to Lowe’s.
Yours was an antique grace—Thrace’s or Mesopotamia’s.

We were never quite sure of your silver allure,
of your trillium-and-platinum diadem,
of your utter lack of flatware-like utility.

You told us that night—your wound would not scar.
The black moment passed, then you were no more.
The darker the sky, how much brighter the Star!

The day of your funeral, I ripped out the crown mold.
You were this fool’s gold.

Keywords/Tags: surfeit, light, presence, chariot, Thrace, Mesopotamia, silver, gold, platinum, antique, grace, heirloom, diadem, crown, tiara
Proctor Ehrling Nov 2019
Belltowers chariot signalling distance
Towering gallows where I've been sentenced
The iridescence of coming doom
Graveyard daisies are in bloom
Their season is unusually sober
They've been growing whole October
So I got high and the next morning found this in my notebook.
the softless slip of your
fingernail across the
bloodside of my wrist
sends shivers up my
arm straight to the
shoulder and neck
          I imagine

there is so little reward
in being sad at our
distance I'd rather
kiss the gates that keep
us apart and wish softly
sweetly that they open
          I wish
This poem was written while listening to "Jaipur" by the Mountain Goats.
Angelique Jul 2018
hello, hello - who's here to welcome me home?
where's the committee with the chariot
the very one Hades rode on

i traveled alone
with people
in search of a salvation
they said existed
but only
with death

oh joy!
bring it to me in the form of love
in the form of a six three
forty year old man
Richard Grahn Sep 2017
Riding through your fields
I lost my chariot wheels
Now head over heels
I’ll never forget--your smile
Or the green grass in my pants
Seema Aug 2017
My body is a chariot
Pulled by five horses
Each day duly proletariat
Surrounded by many forces

The horses are my senses
Tied by the rope of feelings
The driver wears filtered lenses
It's my brain that does the dealings

The rider is my humble soul
Doing its deed each day
The horses alert of the foul
When the driver changes its way*



©sim
"My body is a chariot,
Chariot has five senses such that the horses
Horses tied with ropes, these ropes are my feelings
Feelings in the hands of a driver which is my brain
Brain consoles the rider, and this rider is my soul..."

Inspired by a discourse
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