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Twice
by Michael R. Burch

Now twice she has left me
and twice I have listened
and taken her back, remembering days

when love lay upon us
and sparkled and glistened
with the brightness of dew through a gathering haze.

But twice she has left me
to start my life over,
and twice I have gathered up embers, to learn:

rekindle a fire
from ash, soot and cinder
and softly it sputters, refusing to burn.

Originally published by The Lyric. Keywords/Tags: relationship, reunion, reuniting, parting, breakup, breaking up, fire, embers, soot, cinder, cinders, sputter, sputters, sputtering, cold, ash, ashes
Nyx Lilith Nov 2019
the ocean is black
black for the soot,
black for the stress,
black for the death,
black for the way their eyes fade out and stare at the starless sky listlessly.

the trees are black
black for the lifelessness,
black for the melancholy,
black for the emptiness,
black for the way the remains look after abandonment all those years ago.

the sky is black
black for the pollution,
black for the harshness,
black for the hopelessness,
black for the way the world looks even when the snow falls, when there's no one left to watch its filthy black chunks mar the earth anyway.
this is part three of a three-part poem, preceding both the past and the present.
TheMystiqueTrail Sep 2018
I watched the coal-black smoke
of the ancient chimney
as it chased a messianic dream
swirling up the smoggy expanse
to the freedom of the blue sky
for a lungful of sanity.

I watched the gloom
of the soot-smeared boy
in tattered khaki
as he longed for the dark wings of smoke
to take him on its pilgrimage to freedom.

Withered by the corrupting fumes of the chimney
he lay there.

With no hands to hold to the smoke
as it spiralled up,
with no breath to feel
the freedom of the azure sky,
he lay there.

Like a faint twig
feeding the wrath of a funeral pyre
he lay there!
Gary Brocks Aug 2018
My work day woke to Monk,
the click of typing keys,
clock watched, Spotify playing,
random thoughts rose like bees
to freeze in these jagged lines,
then swarm in threatening flight.

Hours of data entry later,
on a stool, in a bar, a clock's
hands tock, I flick a wrist,
and slur my words concluding  
an anguished monologue,
“They call it work, you know.”

Awash at home, in the strobe of
pixelated panel light,
visions surge and dissipate
with the pulse of the night. Osip,
were you tempered to embrace
attention’s fugitive caress?

You etched memory’s texture
with candle soot for ink,
and the gulag’s blackened gaze -
I type lines by hunt and peck
humming Monk’s WELL YOU NEEDN’T,
hoping for an adequate phrase.

Copyright © 2004 Gary Brocks
180826F

Osip Mandelstam was a Russian poet and essayist. He a leading member of the Acmeist school of poets. He was arrested by Joseph Stalin's government in 1934, and sent into internal exile.  After a reprieve, he was rearrested and sent to a camp in Siberia in 1938, where he died that year.
— From Wikipedia: "Acmeist poetry"
===
The Acmeists strove for compactness of form and clarity of expression; they preferred "direct expression through images", in contrast to the Russian symbolist poets who strove for "intimations through symbols"
Osip Mandelstam defined the movement as "a yearning for world culture", and as a "neo-classical form of modernism", which essentialized "poetic craft and cultural continuity".
Each major acmeist poet, interpreted acmeism in a different stylistic light, for example from intimate poems on topics of love and relationships to narrative verse.
— From Wikipedia: "Osip Mandelstam"
Tanaya Aug 2018
Flames.
Flames result in something burning into ashes.
The stronger ones, that resist, are not saved from the effects either.
                                                                ­                             They blacken.

And when a fire and passion as strong as ours burns out, one of us is going to be reduced to ashes and the other one is going to carry the weight of the darkest heart around.

I strive to keep us ablaze because somewhere I know that the pain of being reduced to nothingness is much lesser than carrying around a broken piece of what once was.

                                                           ­                     Burnt from all sides.

And I know that I'm the one who's going to resist.
                                                         ­                                         Oh, I fear.
This particular musing is the closest to my heart,
Because it's four years since I wrote it first,
And now my hands are covered in soot.
Ron Gavalik Jul 2018
I came up in Pittsburgh,
the Rust Belt of hard labor
with a deep love of community.
As children, we collected railroad spikes
from the tracks and we cut our shins
on random iron shards in **** hills.
Some of us were union middle-class
and others breathed the gray air of poverty.
That hardly mattered. As we stood atop
foothills that overlooked the city skyline,
soot embedded under our fingernails,
we lived as kings and queens
that oversaw the future.

-Ron Gavalik
Hit my Patreon, you scurvy freeloaders. Patreon.com/rongavalik
Ron Gavalik Mar 2018
I lived with my grandparents
as a boy before kindergarten.
My grandfather, a union boilermaker,
always left for the job early in the morning before I woke.
In the evenings, pap would stumble through
the back door, covered in soot, exhausted.
Sometimes I'd run up to him and hug his leg,
a sign of appreciation, true love.
Pap always laughed in delight at the affection
and then he’d pat my back in approval.

As I clung to pap’s ***** work pants,
the sharp smell of burnt metal filled my world.
It was the scent of the Rust Belt
that often hung in the air around the steel mills
and so many manufacturing centers.
That familiar smell reflected the gritty region,
its culture of hard day labor and heavy Sunday dinners,
the only way of life we understood.

Fifteen years later, sitting together
on pap’s back porch next to his stack of books,
his retirement library, the metallic scent was gone,
along with the steel mills and the rail yards.
‘I miss that smell,’ I said.
Pap kind of frowned and rolled his eyes
in that way when we hear the young and naive
speak without wisdom or experience.
‘I don’t,’ he said.
AJ Sep 2016
God peers down from towering heights
at the lawless land covered in the soot
of an anarchy so fine

Where dirt and dust
replace oceans of skin

Where smoke and ash
scoff at crystal skies

Where corpses in sheets
line asphalt roads

And musical men strike weary chords
in alleys wet with voiceless bards

Will death be proud to call broken names
while hungry vandals raze bleeding hills

Fear not this time
for there’s proof enough
that you will stand agape at the smoky forests
of concrete trees
in this flustering night
Arlo Disarray Nov 2015
like grains of sand, we all get mixed up and stepped on
sifted by the waves that try their best to leave us clean

we all sit as soot in the same filthy pile
and sometimes it's difficult to sort your ashes from mine
we all suffer from a flawed and untested design

each robot clanks the same as the next
each missing parts from the same places
and begging for oil from the wrong sources

what color cardboard box do you want to live inside?
mine is the hole where i most often hide
the world looks flat from where i stand
and maybe history disagrees with me
but i'm not usually one to care what anyone else has to say
Mara W Kayh Sep 2015
All hearts bruise
But not all fester
And turn black
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