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Red Robregado Nov 2021
Once upon a time, a traveler was carrying seven big bags of pain. He went to a sanctuary, and people welcomed him—one waved at him, another smiled at him. But nobody offered to help him with his bags.

The people in the sanctuary were carrying their little bags, too. Besides, they were busy studying and talking about accommodation and companionship, so they couldn’t afford to waste time.

The traveler has traveled for seven years with no rest. He was tired and thirsty.

So despite being a stranger in the place, he immediately asked, “Can somebody give me a drink? I’m so thirsty!”

The people looked at him but ignored his inquiry. Nobody offered him a drink because they were busy identifying the ingredients for the perfect refreshment for travelers. They couldn’t afford to waste time.

While being exhausted and thirsty still, the traveler kept on walking around the sanctuary until he finally saw a pantry. He was happy and excited to taste food since he fed on some junk for years.

So with all his remaining strength, he grabbed the menu and asked for roasted beef, but the caterers offered him a roasted chicken instead.

The traveler didn’t take it. The people thought he was being prideful and demanding; little did they know that he's allergic to chicken meat.

The traveler was mindful of people’s business and busyness, so he thought it would be best for him to just keep the pain, hunger, and thirst to himself. And so he did.

Several days after, the people in the sanctuary remembered the traveler. They were finally done with their conversations; the refreshments and roasted beef were already available, too, so they looked for him.

They looked and looked, but the traveler was no more.
Red Robregado Aug 2021
I long to be a patient companion
who stays to listen to every unspoken word & whispered plea
when all else run out of compassion
for an anxious pilgrim in deep, tiresome agony

Through fires and rains,
An enduring and trusting friend as a friend can be
guilty pleasures and pains,
understanding as Christ has been, you’ve been to me

I long to be a faithful companion
‘cause despite hurting still
you have not left me abandoned
rather daily still, you make me want to live and will
to overcome life’s bitter ordeals
and see His manifold glory revealed

So let me be your companion
write stories of mercy ’til we fill up an entire canon
Through the devil's canyon,
conquering the flames of angered dragons,
all the while marvelling at the Creator of the Grand Canyon
Journeying today and tomorrow with zealous passion
Together, until the day we arrive home in Zion.
Birthday Poem for ***’s 27th Year
Lawrence Hall Apr 2021
Lawrence Hall

                       A Footprint on the Road to Santiago

A footprint on the road to Santiago
It has meaning - a footprint, and another
An indent from the ferrule of a stick
Toward a vision of a Field of Stars

Sin-weary and sunburnt, a pilgrim plods
Through weeds and dust and sometimes traffic lights
And idlers mocking from across the road
Toward a vision of a Field of Stars

Where free from sin and pain and blood and scars
He may at last find peace in that Field of Stars
A poem is itself.
Jordan Gee Aug 2020
I had went to visit some friends
some acquaintances
these people i used to know
I was a ghost in my hometown,
where no one used my given name.
they brought me in through a screen door and
sat me down in the kitchen.
their voices were like underwater sounds
they told me to be still while he said hello.
I looked down a flight of basement stairs
where bathed in a blue light like Chopin’s  no. 19 in E minor
sat a tiger burning bright.
up the stairs it bounded forth in muted strides
to the floor it pinned me under protest
in cemetery stillness it said hello.
the kitchen was an autoclave
I never asked for help.

my hometown calls to me in my sleep
like an indian death wail on a buffalo robe
so my eyes sink back into the firmament.
bathing in the predawn light
my bones are an old horse I ride,
I score one for the body then I get onto a plane
then I score one for the body and I get onto a plane
then i score one for the body as it lays dying without complaint.
kneeling before the Holy Cross by the roadside
I take note of really just how much room there is on the bed beside me
strange bedfellows are I and the space I’ve been given.
there is a queen sized outer darkness within my twin sized
gestures of self control.
the dusk is day now and the moon is the sun
and my hometown calls to me like Jericho’s Trumpet
sounding from inside the Pale.

in my hometown I am a pilgrim
I saunter towards the seaboard
where the docks hold greek columns that soar into the air
like the elephant’s legs in Salvador Dali’s “The Temptation of St. Anthony”.
nostalgia burns my throat like acids and bases
and the columns lead up to nowhere and this place isn’t
how i remember it beyond the Pale.
limping with thin soles
dragging a dull hypothalamus like a dead mule chained to my ankle
we would sit and watch our forefathers stare at the static on the TV
from their arm chairs in the dark.
we would offer them coffee and ask how their day was and they
would tell us that sometimes they feel like a lone alley cat.
It’s like my buddy's roommate when I would go to visit; always alone inside his room.
sometimes I would see him around town and say hello and notice his face and
see that he was still alone inside his room.

well, I have skin in the game and I have a reputation
and i’m attached to my non-attachment.
sometimes a subtle brand of disgust creeps in to replace my avarice
and sometimes I starve to death holding a long handled spoon
seated at Caligula’s table.
sometimes i can’t tell their maidenhood from their madness
so i hoard one for the body.
sometimes i remember the way bees will talk to each other by dancing
and how old men will tell you they’re afraid to die.
Sometimes I hand a *** a 20 and weep as I watch him fold it
into an origami crane.

while I was in town I looked up my former landlord
I held a fondness for the times when they didn’t use my given name.
I wanted to see my old room and I had kept a raven back then and
he assured me it was still around.
the room was now and attic and was much bigger than I had held it
in my memory, vast almost.
I ask the dust as it was thick upon the floor boards and something
felt abandoned in the air.
the roof was in disrepair and one whole side was nearly completely gone.
tranquil ribbons of cirrus clouds stood in the sky through the roof like
a child’s drawing.
“Is it like you remember?”, he asked.
“Way over in the corner there was a couch my brother would sometimes sit in” I replied.
I asked after my raven and he pointed to the part of the roof that still was.
from the shadows came a bird song like an irish low whistle from above the Pale.
“That doesn’t sound like him”, I said (more to myself than to my host),
“that’s an owl or something.”  listen to chopin
Michael R Burch Jun 2020
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
Dylan McFadden Feb 2020
Life is short
And time is borrowed;
“If freed today,
I’ll preach tomorrow”

...spoken from
His prison cell,
The faithful one
Who conquered hell

When kings and men
Put him to flight
He stood his ground
Without a fight

And gladly took
To shackles – chains –
To prove to all
His Faith remained


Life is short
And time is borrowed;
“If freed today,
I’ll preach tomorrow”

See, he had been a
Prisoner, freed,
From far more
Fearful enemies

The first of which
Was his own flesh:
A death which died
Its death in Death

The Death of the
Triumphant King –
The Holy One –
The King of kings!


The One who
Traded life for Life –
Who gave it all
And took the knife…

…that he would sing
Without a sorrow:
“If freed today,
I’ll preach tomorrow!”

Inspired by the story of the English writer, John Bunyan, best remembered for his book *The Pilgrim's Progress* (the second best-selling book of all time)
Ylzm Feb 2020
As far as the eye sees
To the horizon and all around
Nothing but endless emptiness
I cannot go back for futility it’s not

The voice whispering within
This is the way walk in it
Not a sound, not a soul, not a wind
But all light, bright, silent and peace

The strangeness in my heart
I bear to the land beyond
Strange tongues surrounded me
Too long, too long, away from home

Renewed in every step
Refreshed by the stars
Strengthened in every breathe
And my food is my heart

As the blind sees not the stars
The prophet knows not the future
But only the assurance of the truth
Thus I walk the endless vastness
Blessed are those whose strength is in You,
whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
they make it a place of springs;
even the autumn rain covers it with pools.
They go from strength to strength,
until each appears before God in Zion.
[Ps 84:5-7]
This love is sanctifying me,
wines of ecstasy are pouring on my lips, injuring my soul with moaning,
I desire you only,
I desire the sweetness of our heavenly flavours from which the sun is melting and turning its gaze towards bottomless oceans,
let me drown my being in your absolute existence,
this shy soul of mine is giving fresh buds,
my tears are holy churches springing on Earth, where humble pilgrims search in quest for your graces and succour.
Chris Saitta Aug 2019
Love has become less and less than the loneliness that abides,
Shaped by death after death into morphological surmise,
A sense of evolution without atavistic ties,
(Like her lips forever disjoined from mine).
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