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I’m nothing like the girls you like
I’m not exactly you’re perfect type
So why should I even attempt and try

To capture your attention
Steal you for a moment
From all your popular friends
Just let me ruin the moment
Chris Saitta Feb 2022
A sigh is a barebacked rider, soundless along a sandy coast,
A candle tipped with starlight, wheeling in a cosmos of smoke,  
A firefly floating on the ruins of the wind like a winged gyroscope,
A skull in the stomach whose teeth are my own and breathes
With Babel’s thousand tongues telling fragrant untruths.
Clay Face Oct 2021
I’m nothing coming through.
A ******, a let down.
I’m a plan turned mistake.
I slipped out into a world to be forgotten in it.
Cold, slimy, smelly, and stupid.

I’m the putty they use to fill the gaps of history.
The time between now and when.
A time where something, anything happens.
Walk on me, I’m here to move you on.

It feels as though we’re nearing the end.
Centuries before, fate was branded.
In its burned flesh we made our mark.
It’s come time to slaughter.
But we’ll be the squealers.

I’m coming through into nothing.
A mother abused by her young.
******* dry and sagged from their greed.
Fat, weak, and stupid now from gluttony.
Next winter will bring their snuffing.

So pull me out.
This pink portal.
Into somewhere I belong.
The nowhere we are right now.
The nothing we’re going to be.
Io Oct 2021
A blur that breathes, growing and abating,
tides of people, entombed in steel,
flowing and fading on riverbeds of tar.
A place of nomads,
all draped in cloth.
A place of symbols,
of concrete and rebar

Sheets of cold, ice grey
Falling spindles, cold rain
A graceful procession
With a bellyful of tears
A dreadful cortège
A heralder of fears

A young forest paved with ancient crushed stones
Nothing left but the inheritance of a thousand unknowns
Nothing left, but old fossilised bones

All that has happened is what I know
And all I know is what will happen.
All that remains is what I know
And all I know is ruin.
Ayesha Sep 2021
Sepals to skeletal fingers, to yellowed limbs
She watched the moon, all hazy
and small.
So rugged its whites
as sheets with times stained
Watched it on she did.
(So dusty the skin) Oh, I had loved you
Tens a monsoon’s rosy day;
had loved you dry, as
the suns danced and danced—

So shallow the gaze and the dark’s quiet tusks
So deep she
into her noisy withins.

The forth storey roof with
its precarious railings
and the pitiful, grey street, a wound below.
Its drains and gutters all sawed open
and naked—
In the sudden, spinning fright
I almost held her;

a palm or a palm
or an arm
I almost held—

I knew you so ample.
Whispers of touch, and ballads
such and such
rolled so effortlessly now
on the tongues of memory
As birth her I
though tens a monsoon’s rosy prayer
Bead on bead falls

in this wretched, unending rosary

(With drought-coated of lips) I had loved you a petal
so chaste and unbloomed
and a sepal you had—

Not a blossom I,
still she held, as the winds
As vultures reeled around our beds
So frail our bodies
so terrified and alive,
As dirt bowed, and leaves bowed and all
to the vultures mad

Two lambs us, yet gods we stood

'til whites of her wilted to gold to rust
to dust, and slipped
through the cracked of my hold,
Through a thousand guarding winds
and tens a
vacant sepal
(As crowns and cages
of blossoms wilted unused, they stood)
So shallow a gaze

and the dark’s quiet tusks—
Wade I,
swim I, in the caverns of me where an echo
breathes, and
drown I, undying.
Such windless a serenity
As damp of monsoon’s mornings
I had loved you a vulture mad,
but dare I—

How is 'unbloomed' not a word!?
Ayesha Aug 2021
I mistook it for a cry
but it rarely ever is
As a lizard
ugly and still a corpse
under the frail dress
of a tube-light old—

As its eyes
alert and quiet
A sleeping village
where every whisper
every rustle
is tossed around
from dark to dark

and a tail
As the burnt edge of a leaf
Curled up on the wall
once white
—flayed to grey

I mistook it for a cry
Readied a sword
forged by dawns
Carved and beat
a shield
out of nights’ sleepless

But when ruin descends
it binds the dark’s calloused hands
and every whimper,
every crackle
is smothered
In its rusty, dry throat
(Restless tongue, a guard-dog above)

When ruin descends
it does so a flower.
A stone rolled and rolled
down the road—
It does so lovely
and patient;

As a blossom taped
to the cement wall
watching the smoky light
for unfortunate flies
That may appease
its ablaze pyre of a mouth

While I sleep,
I sleep a dusk’s last breath.
Alistair Jun 2021
𝑰'𝒎 𝒕𝒊𝒓𝒆𝒅 𝒐𝒇 e̶v̶e̶r̶y̶t̶h̶i̶n̶g̶.
𝑪𝒂𝒏 𝑰 𝒋𝒖𝒔𝒕 𝒕𝒂𝒌𝒆 𝒂 𝒏𝒂𝒑?
𝑨 𝓅ℯ𝒶𝒸ℯ𝒻𝓊𝓁 𝒐𝒏𝒆?
𝑾𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒆 𝑰 𝒄𝒐𝒖𝒍𝒅 𝒆𝒏𝒅 ᴀʟʟ ᴍʏ ᴀɢᴏɴʏ 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕'𝒔 𝒍𝒆𝒇𝒕 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏 𝒎𝒆?

𝑺𝒉𝒐𝒖𝒍𝒅 𝑰 𝒃𝒖𝒓𝒚 ጠሃነቿረቻ 𝒊𝒏𝒔𝒕𝒆𝒂𝒅?
𝑩𝒖𝒓𝒚 🅜︎🅨︎🅢︎🅔︎🅛︎🅕︎ 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝒈𝒓𝒊𝒆𝒇 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒕𝒐𝒓𝒎𝒆𝒏𝒕?
𝑰 𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒍𝒍𝒚 𝒘𝒂𝒏𝒕 𝒕𝒐 🅴︎🅽︎🅳︎ 𝒊𝒕 𝒂𝒍𝒍,
𝑬𝒏𝒅 𝒂𝒍𝒍 𝒐𝒇 𝒎𝒚 ꪑ𝓲𝘴ꫀ𝘳ꪗ 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝑰'𝒗𝒆 𝒌𝒆𝒑𝒕 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒔𝒐 𝒍𝒐𝒏𝒈.

𝑳𝒐𝒐𝒌 𝒉𝒐𝒘 b̸r̸o̸k̸e̸n̸ 𝑰 𝒂𝒎,
𝑺𝒉𝒂𝒕𝒕𝒆𝒓𝒆𝒅 𝒊𝒏𝒕𝒐 ꎭꀤ꒒꒒ꀤꂦꈤꌚ ꪮᠻ 🄿🄸🄴🄲🄴🅂 𝒂𝒈𝒂𝒊𝒏 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒂𝒈𝒂𝒊𝒏.
f̶r̶u̶s̶t̶r̶a̶t̶e̶d̶, 𝑰 𝒘𝒂𝒔
𝑭𝒐𝒓 𝑰 𝒉𝒂𝒗𝒆 𝒏𝒐𝒕 𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒄𝒉𝒆𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒆 ᵉˣᵖᵉᶜᵗᵃᵗⁱᵒⁿˢ 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝑰 𝒉𝒂𝒅 𝒔𝒆𝒕 𝒕𝒐 𝒎𝒚𝒔𝒆𝒍𝒇.

Ⓘ︎ 𝒂𝒎 𝒋𝒖𝒔𝒕 𝒂 𝒈𝒊𝒓𝒍 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝒎𝒂𝒏𝒚 sʍɐlɟ,
𝑰 𝒉𝒂𝒗𝒆 𝒏𝒐 𝒓𝒊𝒈𝒉𝒕 𝒕𝒐 𝒃𝒆 𝒽𝒶𝓅𝓅𝓎 𝒏𝒐𝒓 𝒊𝒏𝒅𝒆𝒑𝒆𝒏𝒅𝒆𝒏𝒕.
𝑰 𝒉𝒂𝒗𝒆 n̸o̸ 𝒓𝒊𝒈𝒉𝒕 𝒕𝒐 𝒅𝒐 𝒂𝒏𝒚𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒃𝒆𝒄𝒂𝒖𝒔𝒆,
𝕴 ᵃᵐ ɐ f̸a̸i̸l̸u̸r̸e̸.
Michael R Burch May 2021
THE RUIN in a Modern English Translation

"The Ruin" is one of the great poems of English antiquity. This modern English translation of one of the very best Old English/Anglo-Saxon poems is followed by footnotes, a summary and analysis, a discussion of the theme, and the translator's comments.

loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

well-hewn was this wall-stone, till Wyrdes wrecked it
and the Colossus sagged inward ...

broad battlements broken;
the Builders' work battered;

the high ramparts toppled;
tall towers collapsed;

the great roof-beams shattered;
gates groaning, agape ...

mortar mottled and marred by scarring ****-frosts ...
the Giants’ dauntless strongholds decaying with age ...

shattered, the shieldwalls,
the turrets in tatters ...

where now are those mighty Masons, those Wielders and Wrights,
those Samson-like Stonesmiths?

the grasp of the earth, the firm grip of the ground
holds fast those fearless Fathers
men might have forgotten
except that this slow-rotting siege-wall still stands
after countless generations!

for always this edifice, grey-lichened, blood-stained,
stands facing fierce storms with their wild-whipping winds
because those master Builders bound its wall-base together
so cunningly with iron!

it outlasted mighty kings and their claims!

how high rose those regal rooftops!
how kingly their castle-keeps!
how homely their homesteads!
how boisterous their bath-houses and their merry mead-halls!
how heavenward flew their high-flung pinnacles!
how tremendous the tumult of those famous War-Wagers ...
till mighty Fate overturned it all, and with it, them.

then the wide walls fell;
then the bulwarks were broken;
then the dark days of disease descended ...

as death swept the battlements of brave Brawlers;
as their palaces became waste places;
as ruin rained down on their grand Acropolis;
as their great cities and castles collapsed
while those who might have rebuilt them lay gelded in the ground:
those marvelous Men, those mighty master Builders!

therefore these once-decorous courts court decay;
therefore these once-lofty gates gape open;
therefore these roofs' curved arches lie stripped of their shingles;
therefore these streets have sunk into ruin and corroded rubble ...

when in times past light-hearted Titans flushed with wine
strode strutting in gleaming armor, adorned with splendid ladies’ favors,
through this brilliant city of the audacious famous Builders
to compete for bright treasure: gold, silver, amber, gemstones.

here the cobblestoned courts clattered;
here the streams gushed forth their abundant waters;
here the baths steamed, hot at their fiery hearts;
here this wondrous wall embraced it all, with its broad *****.

... that was spacious ...

Footnotes and Translator's Comments
by Michael R. Burch


"The Ruin" is an ancient Anglo-Saxon poem. It appears in the Exeter Book, which has been dated to around 960-990 AD. However, the poem may be older than the manuscript, since many ancient poems were passed down ****** for generations before being written down. The poem is an elegy or lament for the works of "mighty men" of the past that have fallen into disrepair and ruins. Ironically, the poem itself was found in a state of ruin. There are holes in the vellum upon which it was written. It appears that a brand or poker was laid to rest on the venerable book. It is believed the Exeter Book was also used as a cutting board and beer mat. Indeed, we are lucky to have as much of the poem as we do.


The author is an unknown Anglo-Saxon scop (poet).


"The Ruin" may be classified as an elegy, eulogy, dirge and/or lament, depending on how one interprets it.


The poem's theme is one common to Anglo-Saxon poetry and literature: that man and his works cannot escape the hands of wyrde (fate), time and death. Thus men can only face the inevitable with courage, resolve, fortitude and resignation. Having visited Bath myself, I can easily understand how the scop who wrote the poem felt, and why, if I am interpreting the poem correctly.


The plot of "The Ruin" seems rather simple and straightforward: Things fall apart. The author of the poem blames Fate for the destruction he sees. The builders are described as "giants."


"The Ruin" is an alliterative poem; it uses alliteration rather than meter and rhyme to "create a flow" of words. This was typical of Anglo-Saxon poetry.


When the Romans pulled their legions out of Britain around 400 BC, primarily because they faced increasing threats at home, they left behind a number of immense stone works, including Hadrian's Wall, various roads and bridges, and cities like Bath. Bath, known to the Romans as Aquae Sulis, is the only English city fed by hot springs, so it seems likely that the city in question is Bath. Another theory is that the poem refers to Hadrian's Wall and the baths mentioned were heated artificially. The Saxons, who replaced the Romans as rulers of most of Britain, used stone only for churches and their churches were small. So it seems safe to say that the ruins in question were created by Roman builders.


My personal interpretation of the poem is that the poet is simultaneously impressed by the magnificence of the works he is viewing, and discouraged that even the works of the mighty men of the past have fallen to ruin.

Analysis of Characters and References

There are no characters, per se, only an anonymous speaker describing the ruins and the men he imagines to have built things that have survived so long despite battles and the elements.

Related Poems

Other Anglo-Saxon/Old English poems: The Ruin, Wulf and Eadwacer, The Wife's Lament, Deor's Lament, Caedmon's Hymn, Bede's Death Song, The Seafarer, Anglo-Saxon Riddles and Kennings

Keywords/Tags: Anglo-Saxon, Old English, England, translation, elegy, lament, lamentation, Bath, Roman, giant, giants, medieval, builders, ruin, ruins, wall, walls, fate, mrbtr
FC Azaele May 2021
Give me light
that the poppy receives

Give me Rain
to quench my thirst

As I hunger and thirst
for you
I sit here and ask when you’ll return

My skin cracks and my heart aches
As my bones protrude,
I’ve begun to wither into a corpse
of ruin and sallow skin

I want you;
Your rays, Your light.
Burn me until my skin detests —
for all you give

Give me all
I hope to receive
Written on the 3rd of February 2021
Found in an old journal.
TheWitheredSoul Feb 2021
What I lost is something that can never be replaced.
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