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KG Dec 2022
From across the waters of sky and sea, a quest for fire remains.
Contained by borders Zues & Posiedon laugh at this homonculus
What are signs set by stars
division and duality
Smoke drifts from mouth and fingertips as once again the beast howls at the juxtaposing light.
Why then do these walls whisper
"Burn me down,"
"You've suffered us enough,"
"Nothing worth doing was ever easy,"
"Divinity is given to those willing to drown."
Frown turns to grit turns to Grin turns to me and I give my word of agreement.
George Krokos Jan 2022
The birds in the backyard often look there for food
and it seems they're doing so lately in a happier mood;
it was just the other day when I mowed the grass
so now they can move easily over it again and pass.
Their activity is done habitually each and every day
and watching them closely seems as if they're at play.

They scrounge on the soil with their beaks and feet
competing at times for some bite and morsel to eat.
When disturbed by a sound they fly up into any tree
away from the threat of danger they scamper and flee.
A human presence would be enough to get them going
particularly when heading in their direction knowing.

It's a bit of a delight to see them at play in their quest
doing what they all have to do to survive hunger's test.
I used to feed them some crumbs on a regular basis
which became a habit for me to them as in an oasis.
Together with water left in a plastic bowl for a drink
they'd a few things going for them one would think.

It was only after the local cats caught onto the idea
with their basic instinct, that food or game, was near.
One of them would come around and hide in the grass
crouching there patiently for the right moment to pass;
if the birds were unaware they would fly down to eat
of the crumbs left for them so their hunger could beat.

The cat seizing on the opportunity then would by surprise
spring up and race after them as food or game in its eyes.
There would be a mad scramble and loud flutter of wings
as the birds, escaping from that danger a predator brings,
would scatter and fly away as fast as they could to where
they'd be relatively safe from the clutches of death there.

Sometimes when looking out the back window I'd see
a cat roaming in the backyard in the shadows of a tree;
this would be enough warning for me to raise the alarm
and get out to try and keep those local birds from harm.
I would do this by chasing the cat away over the fence
so the area would be clear again for the birds I'd sense.
Written in December, 2020
Elizabeth Kelly Dec 2021
I read a beautiful poem once by a poet named Mary Oliver
(My uncle will tear out pages of The New Yorker sometimes and keep them in a box  the way some people of a certain age do)
called The Poet With His Face in His Hands.

“You want to cry out for your mistakes,” she says rightly and wisely, “But to tell the truth the world doesn’t need any more of that sound.”

Mary Oliver tells me (she has my attention now, she speaks directly to me, my face in my hands) that if I’m going to do it anyway, that I should travel far away from civilization where I won’t bug anyone, a noisy place, like a waterfall or the Internet, where I can scream unheard, a tree falling in the forest. Where I can “drip with despair” unobserved by nature her very self.

Mary Oliver doesn’t want to hear it.

So I go.
I take my hiking boots and my entire supply of shame, guilt, rage, doubt,
I slip it all into a secret compartment just behind my ribs
And we set off together past the city limits to the wastes.
They’re crushing me, the wretched fruit of my faulty design. Too heavy to go on tonight.

I quietly wish Mary Oliver had never been featured in The New Yorker where my uncle would find her, where she would mildly wait for me to crash into her on my world tour of destruction.
I wonder into my dinner
(beans, like cowboys)
if Mary Oliver ever trekked to the waterfall, if I’ll find her there,
an etching, a manifesto.
I imagine myself stepping through, somber, monk-like, and Mary Oliver’s glowing apparition slowly gathering before me.
“You’re so cool and smart,” her energy-being murmurs,
and I wake up feeling important.

Cleveland is so grey in the winter,
my grandmother’s favorite color,
like that song.
The morning sky rides my shoulders and I feel deliciously tragic,
a broken-hearted pioneer woman, maybe, escaping into the wilderness to mourn the loss of her baby…****, too sad.

…to mourn the loss of her old mule Hank, and to find herself among the…
I look around. Generic Cleveland Trees. ****.
I wish I knew about local foliage,
everyone is impressed by a person who is At One With Nature.
I would know if I were a tragic yet somehow glowing from within pioneer woman. Head down, wondering how it can be 53 degrees on December 10th and trying not to think about the polar bears.
I soldier on.

Mary Oliver recommends traveling 40 fields and 40 dark inclines of rocks and water.
(A sweeping arial shot of me traversing the expanse, majestic hair blowing behind like Vigo Mortenssen at Helm’s Deep).

Beans again, like cowboys.

I feel good tired and wonder where a person finds quality poetic landscape like 40 fields and 40 dark inclines of rocks and water.

I didn’t really think this through.

An itch, a burn behind my ribs,
like stars,
like cravings.

A peek.

Just one! Just one, Mary Oliver,
just a ****,
they’ve been in there for days with so little attention.

No one answers, inevitably.
No one’s there, just me, always just me, alone with all of my worst days in the dark in the woods.  

Just one peek.

I wake up and its bright as hell.
What the ****.
What is the point of trees if they don’t dramatically block out the sun at your lowest moment?
The sun.
I squint and automatically say a little thank you,
the sun is so rare in the winter.
A ritual in the cold light.

I flash in, awash with readiness
It’s sudden
Something is coming or something was here but my stomach hollows out like a fake-out gut punch

Was here
Something was here, last night, it’s surrounding me on all sides
Yes that’s right, I remember and Im sorry for the remembering because I’m creative
and before I can stop myself
I’m swallowed whole into the darkness
Just like I wanted.

It’s a struggle,
The swirling absence of light from last nights indulgent, masochistic self-harm parade has expanded like smoke to fill the third space of my body. I am 2 dimensional, a 3rd grade drawing of a person, flat and scribbley, a poor representation.

They always come back.
Sure as eggs.
Sure as taxes.
The greatest hits, everyone was there,
Ripe and healthy,
My well tended heirloom misery, dismal in the garden and aching to stretch its creeping vines.
A vessel to feed on, a disciple,
Bleeding on the alter of self sacrifice, oh happy dagger, ecstatic drag over the open mouths of those cherry coals. Faithless and perfect. Crimson crisp is a broken spirit,
Brittle like nails, and sleep, and ego.

My friends, too, wars within wars. Pale and desperate. Trauma-bonded and aging faster than their parents did, who bought a house, who had three kids, who saved for college. Wars within wars. Shame, guilt, rage, doubt, fear. Pain. So much pain.

I’m lost.
I’m lost in the ******* woods and this poison smoke so black so black it’s in my eyes burning my throat my lungs swirling now sure as eggs sure as taxes I repent I release my will please it’s crushing me I can’t make it Mary Oliver, you shining city on the hill, where are you, Im losing, Im alone, alone, no one knows
Not a cowboy, or a pioneer, or a ranger, or a monk in a waterfall cave.

I’m a poet with my ****** face in my hands.

They come then. Every one of them, as I knew they would, just outside the gate and waiting ravenously  
My endless flaws  
Powerful and obstinate in their glaring humanity
The constellations of hurt snaking from the roots of my well kept garden
Barbed and bound to everyone I ever loved. The horned monsters of unresolved trauma and the ego machine

Deafening static roar, mechanical swarm of devouring plague locusts
descending upon the 40 fields
Oh here, oh now
In the dark of course
Where else but the smoking vessel of my brokenness
I want to laugh at myself for constructing a cliche within my own self reckoning
Choking on my own toxic exhaust and crying  and choking
This is hysteria, I think
Blurred and muffled on the edge of the hole, a ******* slurring descent, it’s there if I want it
I could dive in and

Mary Oliver.

What is happening,
What the ****, Mary Oliver?
Of whom I’ve never seen a photo,
who is crowning now from the bubbling tar pit, who has chosen this  moment to reveal herself, a nice touch.
She rises from the epicenter of my chaos
Like a blinding beacon of holographic light
(Again I check in with myself that it’s weird she is holographic, why is she made of rainbows)
Beautiful and terrible and 10000 feet high
My mighty dragon. What an entrance.

I laugh again, of course Rainbow Bright  is my big bad, how did I not see this coming, the final girl against the final girl, myself against my greatest self betrayal
She is me
She is arbitrary denial
She is suppression and avoidance
She is vying for approval
For attention
Every embarrassing moment and every unbidden 3am attack of self loathing.  
Shame and guilt and doubt and rage and fear.
She is my pain, this awful manifestation, this truly depressing personification of all of my absolute *******…



Blink blink

She turns and sweeps down
And grabs me tightly, ****, oh god you have a nest dont you?

Through the air and I’m wet and dripping and…
is this a cave?

An etching, I have to find something
A manifesto
I desperately search and my teapot is boiling, boiling, boiling over

And there behind that jubilation and water fun
I find no trace of Mary Oliver, who is me and I am her

There in that moment when nothing has been gained and my body begins to release from its own tension and collapse into itself from exhaustion and despair
I notice the air
Fresh and cool and fragrant and something else too
My dragon, far from slain, squirming a little inside me, feeling prodded and suspicious of this quenching.
At least we had this moment
Oh it’s you
Oh god it’s me

And finally then,
I throw my head back

And wail.
ryn Aug 2021
Looking for
the words
and meaning…

To fill the void,

that feels like
lost breath.
Ken Pepiton May 2021
my library is yours, said the universe to me.
A million volumes, thousands of lines,
with etchings and evidence to the art of seeing right,
left brain driven patterned eye,
now shows reflected detail
mirroring into ever as all finer and finer yes
s sound es start esse et al so slow, moo-ee dis passsy oh
say so- amen- if you will

magic, yes, of coursemhmm. Or luck. No lies linger long now.

Luck we allow, magic is evil, and therefore, and only there
for a we I am not in but speak for,
on tv, like in the ads,
I look like an authority, no detail in the image serves no intent.

But the tie. THE TOOLONGREDTIE - choked, the joker,
who happened to be the knot-tying teacher from camp
common-sense-embedded vicariously,
the summer camp experience, ASSEENONTV - manifests
unspeakably real in the minds of those exposed,
flash to the snow, echo shush shushug no woe chile doncha know
Pharoah's army done drownded.
Other's wise and other's woe, as a we in the big am being, the awe,
a we, some we awesome think,
flows on and on with my influency past understanding letting go.

The peace of alienation rests with you,
as they say in passing, and I reflect it back in time to come,
as each passing fancy wonders next into an ifity
such as I may live in and not be burned.

Today, to stop writing, to read, and write, a gain
is made;
if ladders are a thing in your experience, a gain
is made.
In ladder like terms of messages
send and receive
up and down
delivered with no fanfare, whosoever hears
line upon line, reproving instructions as old as protein.

Patterns un prized un expected as un common thoughts
images imagined in the round, carved from stone,
with tools of stone, who imagined doing that
first? How was the task perfected?
Hands raise, as waves of grain grown from wind blown spore,
polisporiatic symbiosis,
see many seeds make a planet,
- answer, we swore we were answers,
- may is our word, we be the salt in the soup

and those who know must act as if knowing is a gift,
not a stolen thing that only gods may hold as true.

Say, I say, say the name that never has been said,
and never shall be I dare shout, unless the deaf say who said,
taking a name is ever vain, if the evidence
whispers, see
hallowed - the idea in hallowed - unspeakable state of knowing
all things all the time as those things occur
randomly at the level of detail involved in ordering matter

with words, yes, words. Why?
I was thinking we may have this knowing knack but never knew.

I know of a microbe, a living thing, it lives to let the light
in a certain kind of phosphorescent squid,
Minus the microbe, the squid never matures, never passes
the know how entailed in being mature light bearing being
at depths simple breathers never

until these last two or three generations of augmented us.

Sapien Sapien Augmentedus, contrarandom access via silicon
symbiosis gnosis subliminal subtle
whistle speak, betting dolphins do bet donuts to sand dollars,
and they laugh at our narrow band width.

War in reason is not a series of big bangs. Peace prevails,
pre means
yeah, you know, you no victim of ignoring pre-cepts.
receipts for time spent musing using - heroic persona
To no avail,
the bitter wail, almost but…

caughtcha, you was lost, outayadamind. S' okeh.

Life ain't like on TV. Reading can be creative.
gnosis level secret sacred knowing, free to eat.

And shame is taken from the game.
Sh-it and fu-ck are squealing sylabicfoul,
but the referee calls
stinkin' thinkin', you step in what you say,
see how it feels, mo'fo, you know, there is no word
for this level
sin being as it is victim of the reconciliation,
hmm- no,
life is in the realm of reason, and hell is out.
Re hook, lizard brain to life in sequence,
re disney
koanic alienation non- in- un- tension
stretch a point to tune
a note,
find the mind's equivalence, eight in the outer edge
of the field,

here, imagine, things matter, just now, just this side
of the dark matter inside the Higgs field
where the initial element of the protein called for
to spark the squid's little light, and let it shine,
so none can say the little squid did not have it in her.

If I were conscious of the universe,
I might use my sci to frame a limit, build a wall
around my garden.

Regarding the original intention.
A generation was put into development, soon after
the event, most recent common ancestor filtration,

the abortion of all but those of she, known as
matrix of all living,
we assume, that means us, for we live,
and we did not form from nothing, in words were we
ever spoken, once a thing is done

o yes, its done
done did done… another one that could end here, but won't.
I felt compelled, full disclosure, Hamilton's Pharmacopeia inspired me to remember a peyote
Kassan Jahmal Apr 2021
I'm up, but don't feel awake,
world has me broke,
but I won't let it break.

At times I don't live my worth,
but I'll never forget my place
Stick to my guns,
and aim my ideas straight.

I'm guided by faith,
hopes of it working out in the end
For this life to be alive,
have to stop pretending to be dead.

A simple quest. Journey of life till the very end.
Glenn Currier Feb 2021
The wizened old man told me -
sustain the weary with a word
for many a one has none
to bring love and light
into the blight of their dreary days.

I asked which word
and through a wan smile
he said - you figure it out.
Maybe poets are the best ones
to discover and uncover the light
hidden in the weary and the dreary
Ken Pepiton Jan 2021
It's all too trippy. ever and every. real really very verily.

Whatifery , that is, was that nearly killed the self-willed,
heretics, that did it and what was blamed,
was there
to just ify any reason to doubt that all things work, f'good;
friction and forces and all the ideas
we imagine in all, the set. Thattharity should have started with
one of those inverted quest ahead signs
the point with a hook
baitless, a warning for the un-a-wared,
betas are allowed
--stip stip ulate free will restraints
only if compliant with 7th gen Feynman second chance
Do overs are included, until sleep arrives.

The story is a single thread. Shredded.
Cut into tiny bits, time tic quanta,
so now it works, the thread
of thought, works
like magnetic legos.
It's all been better than ever for a while,
it's just beginning to soak in.

That old man said his side won and
****** If I don't believe
he knew befo he bet. re
the zone known as home stretch
I lost myself in your quest,
Fate denied what was mine..

Burning within was a heart that died,
Leaving scars that did not lie..

Leaving me helpless,
In this world full of dead..

You went ahead,
Driven by your desires..

I was left alone once again,
Not to be ruptured but trained..

Finding myself was again a task,
Losing to you wasn't that hard..

Hath not I let go of my emotions,
I would still have had the chances of resurrection..

Nobody could enter this prickled heart,
The reason you were lone inside this ruined turret..

You awakened me, repainted my soul,
Made me strong enough to hold myself..

Then left me alone in the wild sea,
Never to come back..

The first few days were hard,
The struggle real with the wretched pains..

Love is not a bed of roses but of thorns,
You showed it right and held me tight..

For it helped me rise and fight again,
Tame the waves and tide again..

You left me to thrive,
I soared higher to cry..

You set my soul ablaze,
And cut my chains..

You were a traveller who settled,
And I became the restless bird of passage….
The restless bird of passage..
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