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20.8k · Dec 2013
Silent City
Terry O'Leary Dec 2013
Ill-fated crowd neath foreign cloud: the Silent City braves
against a sudden sullen flood, unleashing lashing waves,
which washes stony structures clean with radiance that laves.

Deserted streets, once dense retreats, spin yarns of yesterday,
with  faded words no longer heard (though having much to say)
since teeming life (at one time, rife), surceased and slipped away.

Within its walls? Whist buildings, tall... Outside the City? Dunes...
They frame a frail forgotten tale,  in carved unwritten runes
with symbols hung like halos strung in lifeless, limp festoons.

The City’s blur? A sepulcher for Christians, Muslims, Jews –
Cathedrals, Temples, vacant now, enshrine their residues,
though churches, mosques and synagogues abide without a bruise.

A church’s Gothic ceilings guard the empty pews below
and, windswept blown above the stones, a maiden’s blue jabot.
The Saints, in crypts, though nondescript, grace halos now aglow.

Stilled chapel chimes! Their clapper rope (that tongue-tied confidante)
won’t writhe to ring the carillons, alone and lean and gaunt –
its flocks of jute, now fallen mute, adorn the holy font.

Stray footsteps swarm  through church no more (apostates that profane) -
their echoes in the nave ring thin, while chalice cups maintain
a taste of brine in altar wine decaying in the rain.


No face will come with jagged tongue to sing a silent psalm
nor paint pale lips with languid quips to pierce the deathly calm,
nor pray for mercy, grace deferred, or beg lethean balm.


Six steeple towers, steel and stone, drab daggers in the sky!
Their hallowed halls no longer call when breezes wander by –
for, filled with dread to wake the dead, they've ceased to sough or sigh.

No cantillation, belfry bells, monastic chants inspire
and Minarets, though standing yet, host neither voice nor crier -
abodes and buildings silhouette a muted spectral choir.

Coiled candle sticks! Their twisted wicks no longer 'lume the cracks
with dying flame in smoky swirl mid pendant pearls of wax,
since deference to innocence dissolved in melting tracks.

Above! The dismal ditch of dusk reveals a velvet streak,
through which the winter’s wicked winds will sometimes weave and sneak,
and faraway a cable sways, a bridge clings hushed and bleak.

Thin shadows shift, like silver shafts, across a cruel moraine
reflecting white a wisp of light in ebon beads of bane
which casts a crooked smile across a faceless window pane.

Wan neon lights glow through the nights, through darkness sleek as slate,
while lanterns (hovered, high above, in silent swinging gait),
haunt ballrooms, bars, bereft bazaars, with no one left to fete.

Death's silhouettes show no regrets, 'twixt twilight’s ashen shrouds,
oblivious she always was to cries in dying crowds –
in foggy neap the spirits creep... a clutch of clammy clouds.


No breath will come  'cross jagged tongue to sing a silent psalm
nor paint pale lips with languid quips to pierce the deathly calm,
nor yet redress the emptiness that shifting shades embalm.



The castle clock, unwound, defrocks! Those peerless speechless spokes
unfurl the blight of reigning Night by spinning off her cloaks,
and flaunt the dun oblivion, her Baroness evokes.

Green trees gone dark, in palace parks, where children paused to play –
now voiceless things on phantom swings, like statues made of clay,
mark marbled tombs in graveyards groomed for grievers bent to pray.  

The sun-bleached bones of those who've flown lie scattered down the lanes
while other souls who hid in holes left bones with yellow stains
of plaintive tears (shed insincere, for no one felt the pains).

The terrors wrought by conscience fraught once stalked and lurked nearby
to rip the shrouds from  curtained clouds, frail fabrics on the sky –
now wraiths that scream in sleepless dreams no longer terrify.

And fog no longer leaks beyond the edge of doom’s café,
for when she trails her mourning veils, she fills the cabaret
with sallow smears of misty tears  in sheets of shallow gray.

Beyond the suburbs, farmers’ fields (where donkeys often brayed)
exhale a gust of barren dust where living seed once laid
and in the haze a scarecrow sways, impaled upon a *****.

A silo, still! Like hollowed quill, a ravished feather’s vane,
with traces of bespattered blood, once flowing through a vein.
The fruits of life, destroyed in strife... ’twas truly all in vain.


No souls will come with jagged tongues to sing a silent psalm
nor paint pale lips with languid quips to pierce the deathly calm –
they've seen, you see, life’s brevity, beneath a neutron bomb.


EPILOGUE

Beyond the Silent City’s walls, the victors laugh and play...
They’re celebrating PEACE ON EARTH, the devil’s sobriquet
for neutron radiation death in places far away.
14.8k · Sep 2015
Now and Then and Now Again...
Terry O'Leary Sep 2015
1
Though still within our infancy,
we strive to thrive, but woefully
we flash and flaunt our 'primacy',
display our trophies pridefully.

Our terra firma ecstasy
destroys survival's harmony,
lays waste to life on land and sea.
Mankind, thy name is vanity!

By doubting Nature's regnancy,
defying laws with levity,
we strain our spheroid's symmetry
(perhaps a fatal fallacy?)

for, swallowed in the 'world of we',
we feed on vain insanity
with thoughts beyond eternity -
so strange when looked at mortally.

No use to seek a remedy
ensconced in ancient prophecy
for if not handled skillfully,
as clay we'll pay the penalty.

                              2
The Moguls rule with cruel decree,
control the crowds like puppetry,
pursuing greed addictively
with no accountability.

The wind, it reeks of Royalty
(awash in waves of perfidy)
while blowing ’cross the peasantry
(eclipsed in clouds of treachery).

The Queen, well steeped in snobbery,
sits, preening proud Her pedigree,
on throne of sculpted ebony
while sipping Sect immodestly;

to sate Her Regal Majesty,
a caviar clad canapé
is served with golden cutlery
by maidens bent submissively.

The King is bailed from bankruptcy
by Knaves who hoodwink artfully
the down-and-outer evictee
who wallows in their lenity.

Forsooth, the Money Monarchy
exalts the dollar dynasty
engaged in highway robbery
by Peacocks plumed in finery.

Yes, Jesters and the Fools agree
to truckle to duplicity
and laugh about it witlessly.
Long live the peon's penury!

                          3
To champion an oddity
(like two times twelve is fifty three)  
one reaches to theology
through paths of circularity.

In bygone trials of travesty
the doubters, draped in blasphemy,
endured the pain and agony
inflicted by the papacy.

Inspired by the Trinity
fanatics bent cosmology
in geocentric fantasy
while Bruno burned for heresy;

and aged women, randomly
accused of wicked witchery
by justice framed in infamy,
were racked and shown no clemency

That epoch of credulity
(when savants fostered sorcery
and practiced ancient alchemy)
arose in dark age quackery

as clerics dripping piety
(while raging, raving rabidly)
pervaded thralled society
with callous inhumanity;

'repent', they bellowed, 'verily,
forsake the world's iniquity,
live lives of want and chastity,
and give your gelt to God through me'.

                    4
The Masters make a mockery
of freedom and democracy
by holding down the uppity,
released from shackled slavery,

now fettered in a factory
else strewn across the Bowery,
still chained in bonds of bigotry,
immersed in seas of poverty.

And colliers, tapping balefully
in sunken-mine solemnity,
yet thrum a mournful monody
some call the digger's elegy.

To children, pale and raggedy
(behind a day of drudgery),
the boss man, oh so gallantly,
bestows a penny, niggardly;

though some are fed (belatedly),
their eyes recede in apathy
while bellies bulge, inflatedly,
with mothers watching, wretchedly.

When met with health adversity
or broken bone infirmity,
the pauper dangles helplessly
with no insurance policy;

and those engulfed in lunacy
are ailing blobs left floating free
in ******-dream obscurity -
a mired madhouse odyssey.

Ignoring mankind's unity,
the rich and poor dichotomy
breeds dismal doomed finality,
eventual nihility.

                        5
Renewing days of chivalry,
wild warriors fighting valiantly
bring freedom neath the gallows tree
while blending blood and burgundy

to toast the slaughtered enemy,
and so convince the colony
to cede with smile on bended knee
and yield her diamonds, silk and tea.

At first they call the cavalry
and then again the infantry,
so proudly primped in panoply,
with arms from finest armory

(embraced in hands so tenderly
bestow benign atrocity) -
and soon atomic weaponry
will extirpate posterity.

                          6
Misusing high technology
(to feed the face of gluttony)
depletes our Rock of energy,
now slowly dying thermally.

Our gadgets breathing CFC
fuel ozone holes' immensity
while cloud bursts, raining acidly,
wilt woods in their entirety,

and rivers, tainted chemically,
polluted biologically,
refill our cups methodically
and drown our souls organically.

Adjusting genes mechanically
may well blot out the bumble bee
annulling fruits' fecundity,
but brings big bucks reliably.

We wager perpetuity
to revel momentarily
in shadow-like obscurity
ignoring the futility,

but if we bet unknowingly
on fickle fate's contingency
and thereby act haphazardly
we're doomed to lose the lottery.

                 7
The modern day bureaucracy
abuses trust egregiously ,
embeds itself in obloquy
and offers no apology.

It paints the past in reverie
to camouflage the tendency
to strip away our privacy
which paves the path to tyranny.

With earlobes lurking furtively
that listen surreptitiously,
and eyeballs peering piercingly
we've lost cerebral sovereignty,

and those who dare to disagree
must hide away in secrecy
else crowd a black facility
(with water board anxiety).

                  8
Yes, sans responsibility,
our marble in this galaxy
will crumble in catastrophe
ere ever reaching puberty…
14.6k · Nov 2013
The Flame
Terry O'Leary Nov 2013
PROLOGUE
The Flame, aflicker, licks and flays,
illuming evening’s negligees
With braided curls she swirls and sways,
and flits and floats in light ballets

           APOLOGUE
A Flame, to conquer creeping fog,
flew dancing towards a random log
Her flight perplexed a leery frog
beside a silent somber bog

The Flame, a ripple, all alone
alit on leaves where birds had flown
The aching twigs began to moan
A rising breeze began to groan

The Flame arrayed an ancient oak
with torrid tongues and veils of smoke
A ****** bailed, the dam had broke
The leery frog soon ceased to croak

The Flame uncoiled and lashed midair,
consuming crowns with utmost care
A crazed coyote fled her lair,
left in the lurch bewildered bear

The Flame, unfurled, went wild and grew,
enkindled cats and caribou
Remaining... not a residue,
as reeking vapors bade adieu

The Flame revealed her strength unshackled
Flora, fauna crisped and crackled
Fire Witches clucked and cackled
One more forest stripped, then hackled

           EPILOGUE
The arsonists were well aware
the Flame would travel everywhere
The weirs are gone, the land is bare,
and soon you’ll find a city there
13.1k · Sep 2013
NeverLand
Terry O'Leary Sep 2013
NOTE TO THE READER – Once Apun a Time

This yarn is a flossy fabric woven of several earlier warped works, lightly laced together, adorned with fur-ther braided tails of human frailty. The looms were loosed, purling frantically this febrile fable...

Some pearls may be found wanting – unwanted or unwonted – piled or hanging loose, dangling free within a fuzzy flight of fancy...

The threads of this untethered tissue may be fastened, or be forgotten, or else be stranded by the readers and left unravelling in the knotted corners of their minds...

'twill be perchance that some may  laugh or loll in loopy stitches, else be torn or ripped apart, while others might just simply say “ ’tis made of hole cloth”, “sew what” or “cant seam to get the needle point”...,

yes, a proper disentanglement may take you for a spin on twisted twines of any strings you feel might need attaching or detaching…

picking knits, some may think that
    such strange things ‘have Never happened in our Land’,
    such quaint things ‘could Never happen in our Land’’,
    such murky things ‘will Never happen in our Land’’…

and this may all be true, if credence be dis-carded…

such is that gooey gossamer which vails the human mind...

and thus was born the teasing title of this fabricated Fantasy...

                                NEVER LAND

An ancient man named Peter Pan, disguised but from the past,
with feathered cap and tunic wrap and sabre’s sailed his last.
Though fully grown, on dust he’s flown and perched upon a mast
atop the Walls around the sprawls, unvisited and vast -
and all the while with bitter smile he’s watching us aghast.

As day begins, a spindle spins, it weaves a wanton web;
like puckered prunes, like midday moons, like yesterday’s celebs,
we scrape and *****, we seldom hope - he watches while we ebb:

    The ***** grinder preaches fine on Sunday afternoons -
    he quotes from books but overlooks the Secrets Carved in Runes:
    “You’ve tried and toyed, but can’t avoid or shun the pale monsoons,
    it’s sink or swim as echoed dim in swinging door saloons”.
    The laughingstocks are flinging rocks at ball-and-chained baboons.

    While ghetto boys are looting toys preparing for their doom
    and Mademoiselles are weaving shells on tapestries with looms,
    Cathedral cats and rafter rats are peering in the room,
    where ragged strangers stoop for change, for coppers in the gloom,
    whose thoughts are more upon the doors of crypts in Christmas bloom,
    and gold doubloons and silver spoons that tempt beyond the tomb.

    Mid *** shots from vacant lots, that strike and ricochet
    a painted girl with flaxen curl (named Wendy)’s on her way
    to tantalise with half-clad thighs, to trick again today;
    and indiscreet upon the street she gives her pride away
    to any guy who’s passing by with time and cash to pay.
    (In concert halls beyond the Walls, unjaded girls ballet,
    with flowered thoughts of Camelot and dreams of cabarets.)

    Though rip-off shops and crooked cops are paid not once but thrice,
    the painted girl with flaxen curl is paring down her price
    and loosely tempts cold hands unkempt to touch the merchandise.
    A crazy guy cries “where am I”, a ****** titters twice,
    and double quick a lunatic affects a fight with lice.

    The alleyways within the maze are paved with rats and mice.
    Evangelists with moneyed fists collect the sacrifice
    from losers scorned and rubes reborn, and promise paradise,
    while in the back they cook some crack, inhale, and roll the dice.

    A *** called Boe has stubbed his toe, he’s stumbled in the gutter;
    with broken neck, he looks a wreck, the sparrows all aflutter,
    the passers-by, they close an eye, and turn their heads and mutter:
    “Let’s pray for rains to wash the lanes, to clear away the clutter.”
    A river slows neath mountain snows, and leaves begin to shudder.

    The jungle teems, a siren screams, the air is filled with ****.
    The Reverent Priest and nuns unleash the Holy Shibboleth.
    And Righteous Jane who is insane, as well as Sister Beth,
    while telling tales to no avail of everlasting death,
    at least imbrue Hagg Avenue with whisky on their breath.

    The Reverent Priest combats the Beast, they’re kneeling down to prey,
    to fight the truth with fang and tooth, to toil for yesterday,
    to etch their mark within the dark, to paint their résumé
    on shrouds and sheets which then completes the devil’s dossier.

    Old Dan, he’s drunk and in a funk, all mired in the mud.
    A Monk begins to wash Dan’s sins, and asks “How are you, Bud?”
    “I’m feeling pain and crying rain and flailing in the flood
    and no god’s there inclined to care I’m always coughing blood.”
    The Monk, he turns, Dan’s words he spurns and lets the bible thud.

    Well, Banjo Boy, he will annoy with jangled rhymes that fray:
    “The clanging bells of carousels lead blind men’s minds astray
    to rings of gold they’ll never hold in fingers made of clay.
    But crest and crown will crumble down, when withered roots decay.”

    A pregnant lass with eyes of glass has never learned to cope.
    Once set adrift her fall was swift, she slid a slipp’ry ***** -
    she casts the Curse, the Holy Verse, and shoots a shot of dope,
    then stalks discreet Asylum Street her daily horoscope -
    the stray was struck by random truck which was her only hope.

    So Banjo Boy, with little joy, he strums her life entire:
    “The wayward waif was never safe; her stars were dark and dire.
    Born midst the rues and avenues where lack and want aspire
    where no one heeds the childish needs that little ones require;
    where faith survives in tempest lives, a swirl within the briar,
    Infinity grinds as time unwinds, until the winds expire.
    Her last caprice? The final peace that no one could deny her -
    whipped by the flood, stray beads of blood cling, splattered on the spire;
    though beads of sweat are cool and wet, cold clotted blood is dryer.”

    Though broken there, she’s fled the snare with dying thoughts serene.
    And now she’s dead, the rumours spread: her age? a sweet 16,
    with child, *****, her soul dyed red, her body so unclean.
    A place is sought where she can rot, avoiding churchyard scenes,
    in limey pits, as well befits, behind forbidding screens;
    and all the while a dirge is styled on tattered tambourines
    which echo through the human zoo in valleys of the Queens.

    Without rejoice, in hissing voice, near soil that’s seldom trod
    “In pious role, God bless my soul”, was mouthed with mitred nod,
    neath scarlet trim with black, and grim, behind a robed facade -
    “She’ll burn in hell and sulphur smell”, spat Priest and man of god.

    Well, angels sweet with cloven feet, they sing in girl’s attire,
    but Banjo Boy, he’s playing coy while chanting in the choir:
    “The clueless search within the church to find what they desire,
    but near the nave or gravelled grave, there is no Rectifier.”
    And when he’s through, without ado, he stacks some stones nearby her.

The eyes behind the head inclined reflect a universe
of shanty towns and kings in crowns and parties in a hearse,
of heaping mounds of coffee grounds and pennies in a purse,
of heart attacks in shoddy shacks, of motion in reverse,
of reasons why pale kids must die, quite trite and curtly terse,
of puppet people at the steeple, kneeling down averse,
of ****** tones and megaphones with empty words and worse,
of life’s begin’ in utter sin and other things perverse,
of lewd taboos and residues contained within the Curse,
while poets blind, in gallows’ rind, carve epitaphs in verse.

    A sodden dreg with wooden leg is dancing for a dime
    to sacred psalms and other balms, all ticking with the time.
    He’s 22, he’s almost through, he’s melted in his prime,
    his bane is firm, the canker worm dissolves his brain to slime.
    With slanted scales and twisted jails, his life’s his only crime.

    A beggar clump beside a dump has pencil box in hand.
    With sightless eyes upon the skies he’s lying there unmanned,
    with no relief and bitter grief too dark to understand.
    The backyard blight is hid from sight, it’s covered up and bland,
    and Robin Hood and Brother Hood lie buried in the sand.

    While all night queens carve figurines in gelatine and jade,
    behind a door and on the floor a deal is finally made;
    the painted girl with flaxen curl has plied again her trade
    and now the care within her stare has turned a darker shade.
    Her lack of guile and parting smile are cutting like a blade.

    Some boys with cheek play hide and seek within a house condemned,
    their faces gaunt reflecting want that’s hard to comprehend.
    With no excuse an old recluse is waiting to descend.
    His eyes despair behind the stare, he’s never had a friend
    to talk about his hidden doubt of how the world will end -
    to die alone on empty throne and other Fates impend.

    And soon the boys chase phantom joys and, presto when they’re gone,
    the old recluse, with nimble noose and ****** features drawn,
    no longer waits upon the Fates but yawns his final yawn
    - like Tinker Bell, he spins a spell, in fairy dust chiffon -
    with twisted brow, he’s tranquil now, he’s floating like a swan
    and as he fades from life’s charades, the night awaits the dawn.

    A boomerang with ebon fang is soaring through the air
    to pierce and breach the heart of each and then is called despair.
    And as it grows it will oppose and fester everywhere.
    And yet the crop that’s at the top will still be unaware.

    A lad is stopped by roving cops, who shoot in disregard.
    His face is black, he’s on his back, a breeze is breathing hard,
    he bleeds and dies, his mama cries, the screaming sky is scarred,
    the sheriff and his squad at hand are laughing in the yard.

    Now Railroad Bob’s done lost his job, he’s got no place for working,
    His wife, she cries with desperate eyes, their baby’s head’s a’ jerking.
    The union man don’t give a ****, Big Brother lies a’ lurking,
    the boss’ in cabs are picking scabs, they count their money, smirking.

    Bob walks the streets and begs for eats or little jobs for trying
    “the answer’s no, you ought to know, no use for you applying,
    and don’t be sad, it aint that bad, it’s soon your time for dying.”
    The air is thick, his baby’s sick, the cries are multiplying.

    Bob’s wife’s in town, she’s broken down, she’s ranting with a fury,
    their baby coughs, the doctor scoffs, the snow flies all a’ flurry.
    Hard work’s the sin that’s done them in, they skirmish, scrimp and scurry,
    and midnight dreams abound with screams. Bob knows he needs to hurry.
    It’s getting late, Bob’s tempting fate, his choices cruel and blurry;
    he chooses gas, they breathe their last, there’s no more cause to worry.

    Per protocols near ivied walls arrayed in sage festoons,
    the Countess quips, while giving tips, to crimson caped buffoons:
    “To rise from mass to upper class, like twirly bird tycoons,
    you stretch the treat you always eat, with tiny tablespoons”

    A learned leach begins to teach (with songs upon a liar):
    “Within the thrall of Satan’s call to yield to dim desire
    lie wicked lies that tantalize the flesh and blood Vampire;
    abiding souls with self-control in everyday Hellfire
    will rest assured, when once interred, in afterlife’s Empire”.
    These words reweave the make believe, while slugs in salt expire,
    baptised in tears and rampant fears, all mirrored in the mire.

    It’s getting hot on private yachts, though far from desert plains -
    “Well, come to think, we’ll have a drink”, Sir Captain Hook ordains.
    Beyond the blame and pit of shame, outside the Walled domains,
    they pet their pups and raise their cups, take sips of pale champagnes
    to touch the tips of languid lips with pearls of purple rains.

    Well, Gypsy Guy would rather die than hunker down in chains,
    be ridden south with bit in mouth, or heed the hold of reins.
    The ruling lot are in a spot, the boss man he complains:
    “The gypsies’ soul, I can’t control, my patience wears and wanes;
    they will not cede to common greed, which conquers far domains
    and furtive spies and news that lies have barely baked their brains.
    But in the court of last resort the final fix remains:
    in boxcar bins with violins we’ll freight them out in trains
    and in the bogs, they’ll die like dogs, and everybody gains
    (should one ask why, a quick reply: ‘It’s that which God ordains!’)”

    Arrayed in shawls with crystal *****, and gazing at the moons,
    wiled women tease with melodies and spooky loony tunes
    while making toasts to holey ghosts on rainy day lagoons:
    “Well, here’s to you and others too, embedded in the dunes,
12.3k · Dec 2016
Gothic Nights
Terry O'Leary Dec 2016
My chamber teems with tensions, taut, that logic can’t withstand,
fragmenting mental masonry with memories unplanned,
as bitter tears from hazel eyes reduce the stone to sand.

Dim shadows cast by candles flit across the haunted room,
beleaguer apparitions, pale, that stalk me through the gloom,
usurping purloined purple forms forgotten ghosts assume.

The tick-tock clock of time rewinds within the mirrored hall
and pendula suspended, pause, while creatures creep and crawl
on images of effigies, through memories that maul.

The madness of the midnight mass! Perchance it interferes
with spiders spinning spiral threads which bridge the chandeliers
when weaving minds' discarded coils to silken souvenirs.

Reflections graced the vacant gaze of idols as they fled!
Their futile, feigned, far-flung farewells now hammer in my head,
marooned like frozen silhouettes in footprints of the dead.

My lovers smile through marbled masks before they turn their backs
(like furnace flames deserting ash or phantoms fleeing cracks)
with faded, painted, wrinkled faces nightmares carve in wax.

Sometimes a gust disturbs the dust and secrets reappear,
which dance in silver slippers through the dusk of yesteryear -
it's not the screams that drown my dreams, but whispers which I fear.

The hangman posts a letter home, his message indiscreet
about the vestal ****** in the café (where we meet
to savour tea and crumpets) down a one-way dead-end street.

The rapping and the tapping at my tattered, time-worn door
repeat reports of migrant myths, of tales of nevermore,
strung far across a sullen sea, most shipwrecked near the shore.

Forget-me-nots, enwrapped in rain the while a wan wind blows,
recall the faintly fickle fates this drifter undergoes –
alone, unknown with tracks interred in teardrop undertows.

My feet, no longer tied or tethered, traipse within a squall
pursuing profiles long forsaken, buried in the sprawl
of spectres spread amongst the dead, some tattooed to the wall.

At times, the belfry towers toll of anarchy and gin,
of smoke and mirrors, rolling dice and other things akin,
impaled on forks down byway roads, and things that might-have-been.

The skies outside, beyond the night with shutters shut and drawn,
begin to glow on shattered shapes escaping ’fore the dawn
as clouds undone beneath the sun release this captive pawn.
12.3k · Aug 2014
The Evil Eye
Terry O'Leary Aug 2014
The darkness, now descending, floods the city as it dies
while shadows lurk in legions 'neath the looming Evil Eye.
Its frozen stare envelops all, it penetrates and pries,
denouncing loathed dissenters to the keepers in the sky.

One’s inner thoughts are well descried before they’ve passed one’s lips
and cruelly crushed with grim contempt twixt despots’ fingertips;
but if no taboo-idea’s found, with which to come to grips,
the stymied Eye dispenses pus as fabrication drips.

The Eye peers down upon us now, to conquer and control,
and mark our every movement, whether hiding in a hole
or preening like a purple parrot perched upon a pole.
Our welfare and our happiness? No, certainly not the goal.

While phantoms fade, then reappear within the urban sprawl,
the gloom (adorned with Evil Eyes which pierce the livid pall)
pervades the ache and agony that poets sometimes scrawl
of plenitude to penury, how life endures the fall.

And should the herd dare whisper words of freedom's fragrant bloom
or murmur sighs of worriment at earth's impending doom,
the Evil Eye will squint a bit at those who so presume,
condemning nascent unchained thoughts to wither in the womb.

The Evil Eye bores everywhere, a tattletale to Kings,
who scrutinize their puppet people, strumming on their strings,
extracting secrets of their souls like spiders plucking wings
that flutter with the hangman’s knot as the corpse of freedom swings.

Yes, Princes rule with tungsten fists wherever they may roam
and sip from golden goblets, nectar, sweet as honeycomb
while peons (stripped of mind and soul) stray never far from home,
with faces 'neath the iron boot, ****** deep below the loam.

And peasants pass, parading by to fill the golden urn
with pennies for the afterlife wherefore the faithful yearn,
though screams of babes with empty eyes are never of concern
to those who covet silver coins, eyes cold and taciturn.

To hide the pains of purgatory, far-flung distant shores
(on islands of containment) cache the dingy dungeon doors
and inquisition water-boards that buoy their holy wars,
while sandmen drape our eyes with dust, with rainbow metaphors.

We’ll know the party's over when there's little left to eat
and all the learned scholars, lean, stay silent when they meet -
the Eye, withal, will spawn distrust on matters indiscreet.
The signs are all around us - even sheep no longer bleat.

                        Epilogue
One sightless seer scans the skies and mourns the heretofore.
Nine limbless men descend the stairs to find there is no floor.
Eight tongueless women babble, telling tales of nevermore.
Four earless children drown within the ocean's muted roar.

When hope becomes defiance, ask: Will bedlam soon arrive?
Will doves appear above us all? Or drones to guard the hive
while fed with milk and honey by the Queen and kept alive
to gut the gale below them? Will we let the Eye survive?
11.6k · Jan 2014
the PLAGUE
Terry O'Leary Jan 2014
as the PROPHETS of profits, WE lead and WE’re fair
while WE’re living the life of the poor BILLIONAIRE
– silver yachts, pearly castles, cash (plenty to spare) –
with the world on OUR backs... ah! the burdens WE bear!

being HAVES (not the have-nots) as nature decrees
means WE’re certainly the better (they’re vermin on ******).
if they pray for a lift in their dark fantasies,
WE just kick ’em downstairs, get ’em off of their knees.

yes, WE offer great jobs (much too busy OURSELVES!)
for maintaining the toilets, restacking the shelves,
and WE teach ’em to fear god and play with the elves,
thus dispelling ideas where the dark demon delves.

though they build mighty bridges, twin towers and more,
peddle pizzas and popcorn, sell guns door-to-door,
still they gotta have BOSSES to tell ’em the score
else WE’d never be needed, WE’d thrive nevermore.

when OUR profits are plunging, they do their part too
for they dine on the dole! yes, no hullabaloo!
soon OUR fortunes  redouble, rebound and accrue –
since WE fare well without ’em, WE bid ’em adieu.

’stead of wishing for welfare and standing in queues
or parading with pickets (look! holes in their shoes!),
they’d be better off scabbing to save union dues.
while WE whistle and warble, they’re singing the blues.

whether heroes or hoboes, like spiders and lice
they just crawl all around us in life’s paradise,
but WE’re patient, big hearted and oft sacrifice,
spewing charity, kindness (though each has its price).

if they’re beaten or punctured or suffer assault,
are unhealthy or crippled or walk with a halt,
or ******* or helpless, it’s all their own fault –
just like US they should worship the DOLLAR exalt’!

protesters and loud mouths, you’ll find ’em aplenty
some older, some younger, the worst not yet twenty.
they’re shameless and brazen (unwashed, soiled and scenty)
impugning the prestige of brave COGNOSCENTI.

if they’ve got clashing colors (or shades in between)
or opposing beliefs in the hidden unseen,
well, WE’ll always exploit it, deflecting their spleen,
for with god on each side, would WE dare intervene?

WE maintain many methods to keep ’em in chains –
daily rags and the tube spin OUR circus campaigns:
“to pretend you’ve a voice”, an announcement explains,
“you can vote and decide on which ONE of US reigns”.

OUR policemen protect US, they stay on the ball
(they arrest ’em, no questions per law’s protocol,
and then jam ’em in jail with their backs to the wall) –
if you’ve lucre for lawyers there’s justice for all.

down the ROYAL road of justice WE march all alone
– WE condemn their defiance, set ways to atone –
since WE’re sinless, unsullied, WE cast the first stone
(while WE cloak REGAL fetor with eau de cologne).

politicians, bald bankers, grand idols galore,
attend meetings, fete banquets in which they explore
how to rid US of rodents (the weak and the poor) –
well, just round up the riff-raff, dispatch ’em to war!

ah! OUR wars are, well, just...... just a thing of the past
........... and the present............... and future... WE sure make them last!
if they frown as they gaze (Armageddon!) aghast,
then WE smile back with pleasure, OUR treasures amassed.

useless ranting and raving (in rags, when they’re clad),
leads to losing their teeth (my! their gums are... egad!).
WE’re unselfish, indulgent, WE’d never be mad
if they drowned in the sounds of themselves feeling sad.

as the paupers are princes in midnight’s domain,
they have pipe dreams to lose, certainly nothing to gain
if they’re hoping OUR fortunes will wither and wane –
for “WE’re here by god’s will” as WE often explain.

yes, they wish to be US, with OUR wisdom and grace,
keeping up with ol’ CROESUS, maintaining the pace.  
but perverseness or rancor? they’ll see not a trace –
for WE hold ’em at bay with a fist in the face.

WE’re la CRÈME de la CRÈME, yes! the proud UPPER CRUST,
and OUR clothes are the finest, OUR hair never mussed –
WE imbue ’em with piety, duty and trust
and they’re fed bread and water (if feed ’em WE must).

but they’re thieving, aggrieved, want a piece of OUR PIE
and request WE endure ’em, see EYE to black eye.
since they live in OUR land where OUR strict rules apply,
they must feast on the crumbs that We cast to the sty.

though OUR largesse and bounty WE don’t mean to flaunt,
yet the pittance WE pay ’em they surely can vaunt –
salty peanuts and pretzels (what more could they want?)
thereby keeping their kiddies so healthily gaunt.

yes, there’s room for the rabble (the back of the bus)
’cause WE treat ’em like equals, so what’s all the fuss?
all can rise to the top (yes! it’s always been thus),
to the suites in OUR penthouse (to sweep up and dust).

while OUR CHILDREN have tutors, the finest of schools
(being bred for the forefront, THEY’re nobody’s fools),
their own school of hard knocks teaches: “follow the rules”,
building brawn ’stead of brains and broad backs strong as mules’.

and to keep ’em in line (to ensure WE prevail)
WE now monitor phone calls and read all their mail
(civil rights? what a notion! at best a detail!)
and if worse comes to worst...... well...... guantanamo jail!

WE’ve OUR quandaries and questions and headaches full blown
(like deciding design and decor of OUR throne...
whether diamonds or rubies... to gemstones WE’re prone) .
when WE deign to appease ’em, WE chuck ’em a bone.

now you know all OUR problems, OUR pains and travails
– like preparing foreclosures, evictions  and sales –
but WE’ve no need for worries or gnawed fingernails,
’cause WE’re sailing OUR yachts through tempestuous gales
(with them bailing OUR banks when OUR stock market fails)
sipping daiquiri sours, champagnes, ****** ales.
:-)
10.3k · Feb 2014
At Heaven's Gate
Terry O'Leary Feb 2014
THE MEETING

Alone one night neath lantern light, I trudged a weary mile.
Forlorn, I went with shoulders bent (the storms around me howled)
until I met a Silhouette behind a sultry smile –
She gazed with eyes that mesmerize (Her body caped and cowled)
and stayed my way with question fey, ‘Why don’t you while awhile?’

Though timorous (with slow address and gestures pantomimed)
Her voice was gracing echoes chasing waves in evening’s tide.
The churchyard groaned, an ***** moaned, the bells of midnight chimed
while wanton winds awoke and dinned, and mistrals multiplied.
The Persian moon, like stray balloon, arose and blithely climbed.

The Silhouette (a pale brunette) arched eyebrows meant to please,
and down the lanes, on windowpanes, the shadows danced and sighed.
A meadowlark within the dark, somewhere behind the breeze,
ennobled Her with wisps of myrrh while deigning to confide
to nightingales veiled whispered tales of human vanities.

She doffed her cloak before She spoke with sighs of sorrow sung
(like mandolins, as night begins, when mourning day’s demise)
and spun Her tale of grim travail and tears She'd shed when young.
As jagged volts of thunderbolts lit up the dismal skies,
a velvet fog embraced a bog in coils of curling tongues.

Through summer vales and winter gales Her secret thoughts were voiced.
Midst storms so cruel (neath lightning’s jewel that glistered on the ridge)
She reminisced, She touched... we kissed... Her lips were wet and moist...
A lighthouse dimmed, while moonbeams skimmed across a distant bridge
to avenues where residues of shallow shades rejoiced.

                        HER TRAGIC TALE

“Midst sweet perfume of youthful bloom, the lonely spirit braves
and often cries and sometimes dies in quest of her amour.”

While starry-eyed, a ship I spied, a’ sail upon the waves –
the galleon docked, the gannets flocked, the Captain swept ashore
where, debonair with gypsy flair, he led his salty knaves.

In passing by, he caught my eye - I tried to hide a blush,
but ambiance of innocence left fervour’s flames revealed.
His gaze (defined by eyes that shined) beheld my cheek a’ flush.
I bowed my head while caution fled, I felt my fate was sealed
- a bird in spring with fledgling wing - he’d snared a  falling thrush.

He said ‘Hello’ - I answered ‘No’ and yet before he’d gone
said I, ‘I’ll wait at Heaven’s Gate not far beyond the Pale’.
At dusk he came neath moon aflame, and left before the dawn
just humming tunes between the dunes that lined the sandy trail
beside a pond where morning yawned, where swam an ebon swan.

We met again, and once again, and once again, again
entangled in a love called sin, in whirls of make-believe.
While in my arms, with voice that charms, said he ‘I must explain -
the tide awaits in distant straits and I must take my leave’.
Then tempests stormed as passions swarmed through ardor’s hurricane.

‘Forsake your home and we may roam’ he smiled as if to tease
and still naive, said I ‘I’ll leave, in silver buckled shoes’.
He took the helm in search of realms, and quickly quit the quays -
with tearful eyes, I bade goodbyes to fare-thee-well adieus
and sailed above a wave of love across the seven seas.

We swept one morn around Cape Thorne while bound for Bullion Bay.
With naught to reck, I strolled on deck, a baby at my breast,
while flurries blew and seagulls flew within the ocean’s spray.
Our ship soon moored, we went ashore and off to Fortune’s Quest -
with gold doubloons which shone like moons, he gambled through the day.

‘The deuce is wild’ he thinly smiled; another card was drawn -
he’d staked and raised with eyes half glazed, was dealt a dismal three.
With betting tight throughout the night, the final ace long gone,
meant all was lost, at what a cost; alas, the prize was me.
To my dismay he slunk away and left me doomed at dawn.

A buccaneer with ring in ear sneered ‘now, my dear, you’re mine’.
He held my wrists to thwart my fists and then... my honor stained.
On sullied swash, the sky awash with bitter tears of brine,
I broke his clutch with nothing much of me that still remained:
a residue when he was through, left clinging to a vine.

In morning dew, the good folk knew, and spurned me in my plight.
The preacher man pronounced a ban and wouldn’t condescend,
ignored my pleas on bended knees and prayers by candlelight.
While cast aside, my baby died... my world was at an end.
Until this day, I’ve made my way beneath the shades of night.


                        AT HEAVEN’S GATES

To set Her free from destiny was far from my design,
but, though unplanned, I touched Her hand to give Her peace of mind.
She told me then, and then again, that providence Divine
had cast a curse, and even worse: despised by all mankind,
She walked alone, unseen, unknown, Her soul incarnadine.

To break this spell of living hell, of loneliness enshrined,
and end Her days within the haze, a sole redeeming deed
would give reprieve and maybe leave our destinies entwined -
Her final quest be put to rest if only I agreed,
but no surcease nor perfect peace nor hope if I declined.

The shadows, shawled in silence, crawled, the night Her fate was sealed
as vespers tolled across the wold beneath the muted fog.
The heavens cracked and sorrow slacked as chimes of children pealed
while in the hills (where midnight chills) there wailed a daemon dog -
with no delay I lead the way, the path to Potter’s Field.

Her weathered face was lined with Grace, Her eyes shone emerald green.
With me as guide She stepped inside to grieve and mourn Her loss,
and thereupon, though pale and wan, the night took on a sheen.
With weary eyes as Her disguise, She placed a wooden cross
upon a mound (unhallowed ground) and whispered ‘Sibylline...’.

A falling star flared in the far and burst, a bolide flame -
beneath the light, the Final Rite no longer hid undone.
And kneeling there in silent prayer, we seemed to share the shame
but could atone if left alone, forevermore as one.
Before we both could breathe an oath, I asked Her once Her name.

Through lips, pale red, She simply said ‘Some called me Abigail’,
and neath a birch where white doves perch, I took Her for my bride,
beheld Her smile a little while, but all to no avail...
Her cloak and cape, and shrivelled shape lie empty at my side...
for now She waits at Heaven’s Gates, not far beyond the Pale.
9.7k · Sep 2014
Sweet Butterfly
Terry O'Leary Sep 2014
Sweet Butterfly, with wings now dry 'tis time to break away
and light upon the leaves of dawn while weeping willows sway,
not reminisce 'bout chrysalis discarded yesterday,
but treasure life, with colors rife in nature's cabaret.

Sweet Butterfly, you sometimes sigh "terrene so strange and new”,
but take a chance, with winged expanse of fairy-like bijou,
to taste delight in random flight, to drift beyond the blue
and then collect her naked nectar, sipped in morning dew.

Sweet Butterfly, you question why the breeze is seldom soft
when swirling you, your wings askew, while floating free aloft.
Some seem to find their peace of mind believing gods have coughed,
but others, downed, have often found more freedom when they've scoffed.

Sweet Butterfly, you needn't cry, the fields are full of clover,
and meadowlands bare braided strands that winds in waves flow over -
but if you fear that, more than here, another mead is mauver,
just flutter by, beneath the sky, unfettered flitting rover.

Sweet Butterfly, farewell, goodbye, you've left this world behind.
I oft gaze back along the track of flowers that you've mined
recalling days of light sashays and movements unconfined
that complement the firmament where beauty lies enshrined.
8.9k · Feb 2017
The World Around US
Terry O'Leary Feb 2017
Awaking blithe each morning,
with eyes upon the World,
I wonder, are we mourning
with ebon flags unfurled –
or are they but a warning,
some draped like snakes and curled,
stray stars and stripes adorning,
sent from the netherworld.

I wander through the garden
with nothing on my mind
and say 'I beg your pardon'
alarmed at what I find
as winds begin to harden
and fate begins to grind.

Confused, I watch my neighbours,
they're wide-eyed, unafraid
to halt all useful labours
and join the death brigade;
the ritters rattle sabres,
the frail and fragile fade,
morticians tap on tabors,
the potentates parade.

The military blesses
(in tunics somewhat browned)
its crimson-stained successes,
hell bent and heaven bound.
Such scenes no more distress us:
a ****** battleground,
dissevered heads with tresses
and arms and legs abound;
the fourth estate suppresses
the heaps of bodies  found
(collateral excesses
discarded in a mound).

Society regresses,
now living by the sword,
with torture and its stresses
upon a waterboard;
a captive kid confesses,
his innocence ignored -
fallacious facts and guesses,
the guts of justice gored!

With canting vindication
a big brass bully brags
(with pearls of perspiration
and swollen tongue that gags)
of third world  subjugation
for gelt and oily swags,
of human rights' castration,
and on and on it drags.

The manifold migration
of refugees in rags
while searching for salvation
soon finds compassion lags;
uprooted populations
are fleeing from their flags
else dying of starvation
as naked hunger nags.

With trump cards politicking,
two little hands (all thumbs)
may send the Mad Dog siccing.
Insane! All sense succumbs.

Atomic timepiece ticking
until the Reaper comes
as Geiger counters clicking
drown out the droning drums.

Cast out for not conforming,
I wander day by day
to find the earth deforming
as nature wastes away,
with bees no longer swarming
(expunged with garden spray)
and ocean depths transforming
(neath plastic overlay).

With CO2 performing
the climate's led astray,
the atmosphere's been warming,
the grasses ashen gray,
eternal tempest storming
while permafrosts decay,
and ozone holes are forming
in deadly disarray.

The people profiteering
descend a slip'ry *****
destroying, never fearing        
of running out of rope;
instead they sit back sneering
“our wealth’s your only hope”.

Yes, Armageddon's nearing,
it's doubtful that we'll cope,
for Evolution's jeering,
she's scanned our horoscope:
we'll soon be disappearing
with whale and antelope.


           Epitaph

The multitudes were jumbled,
some milling ’round the mall,
while politicians bumbled
when bracing for the brawl.

The World around us rumbled,
our backs against the wall,
as bombs were tossed and tumbled
across our broken ball.

My kneecaps creaked and crumbled
but I, too proud to crawl,
took but a step and stumbled  
yet found no place to fall.

And no one heard me grumble
although I tried to call,
or maybe I just mumbled,
as strength began to pall.

Well now the World’s been humbled
I seek an urban sprawl,
but since the feuds were fumbled
there’s nothing left at all.
8.5k · Jul 2015
A View From A Window
Terry O'Leary Jul 2015
The dawn unfolds beyond my fractured windowpane
and breezes tease while drapes, like serpents, slip aside
exposing worlds that race and run aground, insane,
displaying scenes obscene that savants strive to mask and hide.

Outside, the streets are stark (last night they seemed so cruel
when demons danced as lanterns 'lumed the lynching tree -
its shadow shuddered, lurking in my vestibule -
within the night, I sense these things I sometimes cannot see).

Perdu in darkened doorways (those which watch the ones that weep)
men hide their shame in crevices in search of cloaked relief.
The ladies of the evening leave (their time to sleep!)
the alleyways, retaining bitter tastes of untold grief.

Soon drifters (distraught dregs that stray from street to street)
abandon benches, squat on curbstones some call home,
appeal to strangers for a coin or simple bite to eat -
refused… gaze down… left empty-handed in the morning gloam.

Observe with me, beyond my fractured windowpane,
the boy with crooked smile - the one who's seen the  beast -
with tears, he stoops and clasps the cross while wiping off the stain -
the abbey door along the lane conceals a pious priest.

While at the mall, Mike sees some cigs, and stealth'ly steals a pack;
the Man, observing, thinks ‘Hey Boy, this caper calls for blood’,
takes aim, then shoots the fated stripling eight times in the back.
Come, mourn for Mike and brother Justice, facedown in the mud.

Fatigued and bored, some kids harass the alley now -
to pass the time, Joe smokes a joint and Lizzy snorts a line;
computer games (which quake with doom) can help somehow,
so Eric plays with Dylan on the road to Columbine.

The shanty towns have hunkered down as if in mortal sport
while broken bodies' shattered bones repose supine,
and mamas (now bereft of child) in anguished pain contort,
their eyes drip drops of wrath which wither on a twisted vine.

Now Mr Baxter, private bankster (cruising down the road,
pursuing profit pushers, waving magic mushroom wands),
adores addiction to the bailout (coffers overflowed)
and jests with all the junkies, while he's dealing with the bonds.

Marauders man the marketplace (with billions guaranteed)  
while kids with swollen bellies beg neath hollow sunken eyes,
and (cut to naught) the down-and-out (like trodden beet roots) bleed.
Life's carousel invites us all, though few can ring the prize.

A washerwoman, timeworn, totters from the tram -
she shuffles to her hovel on a lonesome distant hill,
despondent, shuts the shutters, downs her final dram -
a magpie quickly picks at crumbs forsaken on the sill.

Jihadist and Crusader warders faithfully guard the gates,
behead impious infidels, else burn them at the stake
(yes, God incites each side for good, the other side He hates),
with saintly satisfaction gained provoking pagan ache.

The watchers pry behind our fractured windowpanes
inspect us all, tear down the walls of privacy
controlling every point of view opinion entertains,
forbidding thoughts one mustn't think, with which they don’t agree.

Come, cast a furtive glance… there's something in the far…
from towns to dunes in deserts dry, the welkin belches sudden death
by dint of soulless drones that stalk beneath a straying star
erasing life in random ways in freedom’s final breath.

But closer lies an island, where the keepers keep the wards.
No sense, no charges nor defense - a verdict? Yes! … grotesque -
the guiltless gush confessions, born and bred on waterboards.
Impartial trials? A travesty instead, indeed quite Kafkaesque.

Now dusk draws near beyond my fractured windowpane
while mankind drowns like burnt-out suns in fading lurid light;
and scarlet clots of grim deceit and ebon beads of bane
flow, deified, within the rotting corpse of human night.
6.7k · Mar 2016
Rat-A-Tat-Tat
Terry O'Leary Mar 2016
The typewriters tap,
with a rat-a-tat-tat,
like a fourth estate rap
to provide us the pap
(that serves as a snack with a rat-a-tat-tat)
in a newspaper scrap
crammed with meaningless crap
from the editor's yap
(spewing flimflamy flak, booming rat-a-tat-tat)
after gashing a gap
in the daily recap
with a snip in a snap-
sounding thundery clap
crackng rat-a-tat-tat and a rat-a-tat-tat.

And the talking heads speak
with a rat-a-tat-tat,
of the news of the week,
tweaking tongue in the cheek
(with a click and a clack like a rat-a-tat-tat),
thus ignoring critique
'cause they're mild and too meek
in the midst of the reek
to report of the wrack (except rat-a-tat-tat)
whilst the pundits (oblique
when protecting the chic
of the upper class clique
at the top of the peak)
chatter rat-a-tat-tat and a rat-a-tat-tat.

The NRA ghouls
plug a rat-a-tat-tat
while their blood money tools
fill the Hill’s vestibules
(where deceit behind drapes drips a rat-a-tat-tat),
spreading folly that fuels
frenzied hands of young fools
bringing guns into schools
(at the drop of a hat there's a rat-a-tat-tat
splashing blood in warm pools)
for now anarchy rules
(which the hype ridicules
'til the temperature cools)
hailing rat-a-tat-tat and a rat-a-tat-tat.

Lawless cops, cutting loose
with a rat-a-tat-tat
spraying bullets profuse
without any excuse
(just a split second splat with a rat-a-tat-tat),
splay a rattled recluse
like a Thanksgiving goose
gushing cranberry juice
from six slugs in the back (with a rat-a-tat-tat).
To redress such abuse,
bend the branch of a spruce
with a neck in a noose
while Death's drums beat diffuse’
rolling rat-a-tat-tat and a rat-a-tat-tat.

War brings freedom to all
with a rat-a-tat-tat
(well, excluding the thrall
with fear, facing the wall
[ often smacked with a bat, throbbing rat-a-tat-tat ],
until feeling the call
to creep out of the kraal
biting back with a gall
[ with a *** for a tat and a rat-a-tat-tat ],
or to mangle and maul
if still able to crawl
and be part of the brawl
in a freak free-for-all,
midst a rat-a-tat-tat and a rat-a-tat-tat).

Holy warmongers praise,
with a rat-a-tat-tat,
any soldier that slays
and all rockets that raze
(the drones zoom with a vroom and a rat-a-tat-tat)
leaving smoky arrays
of gray ghosts in the haze
cloaking mute cabarets
(hushed, the hip and the hop, by the rat-a-tat-tat)
while ol’ Cerberus bays
with mankind in his gaze,
so society prays  
as it rots and decays
(Satan's trumpets of doom blare a rat-a-tat-tat)
until one of these days
in a flash through the maze
mighty mushrooms will blaze
with invisible  rays,
fin’lly braising the craze
of the rat-a-tat-tat,
   and the
            rat-
                 a-
                    tat-
                          tat.
6.1k · May 2013
Lost Love Deliria
Terry O'Leary May 2013
AWAKENING

Sleep and slumber, dreams of wonder... weaving,
morning’s vacuum broke the spell
Pitted pillow, note of parting... leaving,
“from your friend, a fond farewell”
Sunrise throbbing, twilight aching... grieving,
daydreams, flashbacks, nightmares knell
Pale phantasms, visions sneaking... thieving,
plot to fill the empty shell

12 DELIRIA

1st Delirium: COLLAPSES

Fractured sky bolts, billows bursting... rumbling,
heavens tighten, turn the vise
Horsemen saddle shafts of lightning... tumbling,
jagged highways must suffice
Ruptured skyways, hailstones crackling... crumbling,
naked pearls of paradise
Toxic tongues of laughter stinging... stumbling,
ocean buckets choked with ice
Droplets drumming, thunder muzzled... mumbling,
washed out whispers pay the price
Smothered blazes, cinders smoking... humbling,
ashes shaped in sacrifice

2nd Delirium: DESCENTS

Asphalt alleys, ashen faces... frowning,
blowing bubbles, chewing gum
Drinking ale from tavern tankards... downing,
moonlit beads of painted ***
Stony stars and sea misshapen... drowning,
humble rivers’ rhythms hum
Apparitions aspirating... clowning,
diamonds dying , minstrels strum
Incandescent candles conquered... crowning,
vacant vapours, cold and numb

3rd Delirium: FATES

Tempest turmoil, tapered turrets... holding,
dungeons, dragons, chains and racks
Wheels of fortune, Tarot temptress... molding,
Hangmen, Towers, One Eyed Jacks
Sand dune castles, cryptic candles... folding,
warping walls of liquid wax
Idols colder, combed and coddled... scolding,
hide in fissures, peek through cracks

4th Delirium: LOST SOULS

Sunken cities, pilgrims peering... gawking,
squinting eyeballs, blazing sun
Janus facing, shepherds chasing... stalking,
friends embrace before they shun
Tearooms steaming, tumult teeming... talking,
lovers listen, poets pun
Broken stones unanchored, quaking... rocking,
slipping, falling, one by one
Beaten pathways, footsteps marking... mocking,
wedged in webs which spiders spun
Circus shelters, big tops tumbling... locking,
people pacing, soon they’re none
Numbered exits, zeros numbing... knocking,
midnight daylight’s days undone
Moon blood shackles, shivers shaming... shocking,
starlight striders streaking, stun
Hushed but harried hermits waiting... walking,
restless rainbows on the run
Pixies, elves, and echoes bouncing... balking,
fading fast when dawn’s begun
Bantum butterflies are flitting... flocking
sometimes conquered, overrun
Hocus pokus, seers focus... squawking,
voodoo wavered, witchcraft won

5th Delirium: INTROSPECTION

Sundown furnace, fires fading... coughing,
dusky dew drops drain the air
Empty chalice, sipped in silence... quaffing,
thirsting shadows unaware
Looking glass and lattice scorning... scoffing,
local loser gapes and stares
Faces covered, dancing naked... doffing,
peering inside, hope despairs

6th Delirium: THE VOID

Tales of taboos, mystic mythos... missing,
windows shuttered, bolted door
Kindled candles, tongues and anvils... hissing,
heavy hammers, echoes roar
Dark deceivers, raven charmers... kissing,
draging demons from the shore
Hopeless hollows filled with doubters... dissing
standing empty - nevermore

7th Delirium: SEARCHING

Martyred monks haunt runic ruins ... waiting,
banging broken bells below
Vaulted hallways, voided voices... grating,
churning Chinese chimes aglow
Granite graveyards, spectres spooking... skating,
blackened bushes, roses grow
****** dwarfs seek mutant migrants... mating,
packing parcels, ice and snow

8th Delirium: NIGHTTIME

Throbbing drumheads, fingers blazing... steaming,
coins of copper, beggars plea
Rusty residues of resin... streaming,
opal amber filigree
Orphan shades in shallow shadows... teeming,
steeping twigs in twilight tea
Cloister doorsteps, Prophets gaming... scheming,
tracing tracks of destiny
Blacksmiths blanching, horseshoes glowing... gleaming,
partially sheathed in black debris
Phantoms feigning, nightmares scathing... screaming,
dusty dreamers drifting free

9th Delerium: EMPTYNESS

Water wheels in wastelands... turning,
drowning relics in the slum
Rumpled rags of fashioned burlap... burning,
lit by bandits blind and dumb
Pastured prisons, ponies bridled ... yearning,
forest fairies under thumb
Sounds inside of cauldrons coughing... churning,
blaring bugles, tattooed drum

10th Delirium: ALIENATION

Rain unravelling, wistfully weeping... falling,
treacle trickling, fickle sky
Mushrooms sprinkled, visions sprouting... sprawling,
seagulls drowning, dolphins die
Rabble gasping, spirits broken... crawling,
lonely lonesome swallows cry
Babbling brooks and breakers ebbing... bawling
puppies paddle, puppets sigh
People passing ripple past me... calling,
rainbow colours, collars high
Chaos seething, lepers looting... stalling,
stealing stallions on the sly
Pencils pausing, scholars scrambling... scrawling,
scratching scribbles, asking why

11th Delirium: JETSAM

Silver sails sway pallid pirates... prowling,
Jolly Rogers, wind and sound
Parrots perching, tattered feathers... fouling,
tethered talons, tied and bound
Shipwrecked foghorns, trumpets stranded... howling,
spiral springs of time unwound
Magic moonlight, shimmers shaking... scowling,
burnt out matchsticks washed aground
Prairie wolfs, coyotes calling... yowling,
witching hours, midnight hounds
Tightrope walkers, grizzlies grunting... growling,
seeking islands, lost and found

12th Delirium: RELIEF

Slumber shattered, vapours captive... haunting,
chained in mirrors, breaking free
Scarlet skylines, daylight dawning... daunting,
rivers rushing to the sea
Silence softens, sandmen whisper... wanting,
piercing rafters, turning keys
Shadows shudder, notions fluster... flaunting,
moonbeam bullets meant for me
Mind in migraine, meadows trembling... taunting,
sparrows speak in harmony

REAWAKENING

Pitter patter, teardrops paling... pearling,
salting scarves in secret drawers
Mist amongst us, smoke rings rising... curling,
climbing from the ocean floors
See-saw circles, senses swerving... swirling,
swept away with silver oars
Courtyard jesters, sceptres twisting... twirling,
push the past to foreign shores
Passing pangs of passions heaving... hurling,
burning bridges, closing doors
Roses wither, icons waning... whirling,
time decays and time restores
5.6k · Feb 2014
The Stone
Terry O'Leary Feb 2014
The Tale below was carved one night
Upon the Stone, by candlelight
...most won’t believe, but some just might
.........most won’t believe, but some just might



                         Preface

Well James made Beth his lovely bride
(And angels smiled, though teary eyed)
...their bodies bound, their spirits tied
.........their bodies bound, their spirits tied

Upon her hand, a shimmer shone,
As bright as blood, a ruby Stone
...and brighter still, as love had grown
.........and brighter still, as love had grown

Soon James was sent to man a sail
So Beth removed her wedding veil
...her eyes were moist, her face was pale
.........her eyes were moist, her face was pale

“Well, I’ll be here when you return”
Said Beth to James, who kissed in turn
...a kiss that made her body burn
.........a kiss that made her body burn



                         BETH’S TALE

1.              The Dream

One night, within a dream deformed,
The cawing of a Crow informed
“...the Ship was struck where winter stormed
.........the Ship was struck where winter stormed

Midst winds and waves the thunder boomed
The Ship of Death was surely doomed
...the sea engulfed, the surf entombed
.........the sea engulfed, the surf entombed

Your James… deceived by Davy Jones!
With spirit freed, his flesh and bones
...now rest amongst the ashen Stones
.........now rest amongst the ashen Stones”



2.               The Quest

Awoken by the ebon Wight
And beckoned by the baneful bight
...I left before the morning light
.........I left before the morning light

Throughout the realm I rode a roan
Until, in time, I reached the Stone
...where shades in dreams of darkness groan
.........where shades in dreams of darkness groan

While skipping up and down the sky
A missing moonbeam mocked my eye
...enough to make a Swallow cry
.........enough to make a Swallow cry

For someone stole a star or two
And something else that fate withdrew -
...my jewel of joy, my James Bijou  
.........my jewel of joy, my James Bijou

The shadows of the evening swelled
Where demons of the dusk had dwelled
...and in the far, a vesper knelled
.........and in the far, a vesper knelled

The Stone, beneath the sky, stood cold -
Between the runes, a vapour strolled
...a cloak of fleecy fog consoled
.........a cloak of fleecy fog consoled

A Raven on a branch, enthroned,
Her wings waved once, a wail intoned
...beyond the bay, a banshee moaned
.........beyond the bay, a banshee moaned

I lay beside the Stone, his bride
I lay beside the Stone and cried
...but were it I, instead, that died
.........but were it I, instead, that died

The rainbow of the moon fell dim
A midnight Swan soon ceased to swim
...as if to hide all hint of him
.........as if to hide all hint of him

Between the willows in the swale
Bewailed a Bird, a Nightingale
...which left me faint, my body frail
.........which left me faint, my body frail



3.              Contact

I felt him breathe within a breeze  
Responding to my anguished pleas
...and leaves blew by abandoned trees
.........and leaves blew by abandoned trees

“Eternal love, my darling Beth”
Enshrined within a final breath
...re-echoed from the Ship of Death
.........re-echoed from the Ship of Death

The Stone lit up a ruby sheen
And clouds were kindled crystalline
...with consequences, unforeseen
.........with consequences, unforeseen

Above, a wretched Raven soared
To where the Ship of Death’d been moored
...below, the icy ocean roared
.........below, the icy ocean roared



4.               Release

I’m joined with James beneath the Stone,
Though to the Ship my spirit’s flown,
...for nevermore to be alone
.........for nevermore to be alone



                         Epilogue
That night the wayward winds were weird
The Ship of Death had disappeared
...coyotes called and mortals feared
.........coyotes called and mortals feared

At dusk, the craven shadows crawled
At dawn, the winds of mourning called
...upon the Stone two names were scrawled
.........upon the Stone two names were scrawled

The Raven sits, with wings outspread,
Atop the Stone which shades the dead
...it sometimes shimmers ruby red
.........it sometimes shimmers ruby red



                         Epitaph
Between the sounds, where silence seeps,
Their love lives on and never sleeps
...and yet, the weeping willow weeps
.........and yet, the weeping willow weeps
5.4k · Apr 2014
Neanderthal
Terry O'Leary Apr 2014
In times gone by, now recondite,
Neanderthal, *****, upright,
spoke softly, tones so lily-white,
and tried to put the world aright.

He taught us how the flame ignites
that wearing furs will warm the nights,
just why the rolling wheel excites,
and how the beveled flint stone bites.

Before the days of dynamite
he fought his foes with spit and spite,
and swung big sticks with all his might,
and rendered death with stones in flight.

Engaged in never-ending fight
(arenas were a global sight)
he forced his forces to unite
to sate his oily appetite.

To quell rude thoughts that may incite
he ruled the realm with fly-by-nights
and culled the winds of words in flight,
and darkened minds to anthracite.

With fairy tales of evil sprites
and how the fist of freedom smites,
he washed the world with flames alight
to vanquish hoards of parasites.

Each dawn the damage brought delight,
the foe was bent, a bit contrite…
yet battled on with no respite
until the dusk and evening light.

Encamped beside the firelight
Neanderthal, that shiny Knight,
awaited morn while sitting tight
assured the end would be alright.

Yes, conquest seemed his sacred right…
Forevermore?… well, no, not quite…
Neanderthal's extinct tonight
and lies beside the Trilobite…


MORAL
The Oreo is round, not bright:
while rolling near the candlelight
at first the searing seemed so slight,
the molten cream an oversight…
This screed has nothing to do with the noble Neanderthal (whose brain size exceeded our own).
it has nothing to do with' times gone by' (though who knows what future beings may think)
it has nothing to do with anything…
and even less to do with something…  
unless of course, you think it does…
4.9k · Jun 2015
A Willow Tree
Terry O'Leary Jun 2015
Someday I'd like to wander free
like butterfly, like bumblebee,
perhaps to plant a willow tree
beside the silent solemn sea,

before these things exist no more,
from mountain top to shifting shore,
when, soon, bald eagles cease to soar
and build their aeries nevermore,

and fish forsake polluted streams
(where sulfur swims and typhoid teems
since no one really cares it seems)
to die inside our toxic dreams
while ice caps melt and winter steams,

and all the air surrounding reeks
as children choke, for no one speaks
of fracking wells or oily leaks
(Big Brother's silenced all critiques!),

and rancid rains acidify
so woods no longer multiply
(for God so wills, we can't deny,
which is, of course, our alibi).

And as the deepest ocean fills
with plastic bags, and garbage spills
upon the plains, across the hills
and turns to poison dust that kills
wild dingo dogs and daffodils
which sink in swamps’ forsaken swills,

the mocking bird makes light and trills
(midst waning wails of whippoorwills)
"Behold the surreal scene that chills
and greet the dread that death distills!
You've had your day with all the frills
that brought the flood and final ills
that can't be cured with bitter pills
nor yet undone with further thrills
of profit gained that grinds and fills
dead desert sands with dollar bills."

              EPILOGUE

Though swaddled still in infancy,
we feel we’ve reached our primacy
(aloof, though preaching piously,
disdaining deeds of decency)
and have no need of augury.

But in the pit of prophecy
the crucial questions seem to be:

“Is doom Earth’s fate, our destiny
to twist in tides of agony
destroying nature’s progeny
with no return a certainty
assured by death’s finality?”

and

        ”Should we plant a willow tree
to someday weep for you and me?”
4.6k · Feb 2015
New World Order
Terry O'Leary Feb 2015
The Rulers wield their silver shields,
             wear golden coronets
while warders guard the prison yard,
             boast brazen bayonets
and unicorns flaunt ivory horns
             defending martinets.

While Bankers beam Their self-esteem
             (bailed out of broker's debts),
and Bureaucrats grow rich and fat
             in six-star luncheonettes,
the deep, devout and down and out
             survive as silhouettes.

The Press take pains to wash our brains,
             Their words have mesmerized.
So, mild and meek, we fear to speak
             in worlds They’ve polarized,
and rush to war, through Satan's door,
             watch cities vaporized.

The Lord of Lore tells tales of war,
             of victories far away,
where eyes stare stark within the dark
             and death is painted gray
on faces cold, some young, some old,
             in spectral disarray.

We're taught at school the Golden Rule
             for all to live in bliss,
but in the wars on foreign shores
             the only rule is this:
“Yo! You and I must fight and die
             inside the black abyss!”

But well alive, the Merchants thrive
            on sales of armaments
that Barons built (with pride, not guilt)
            to quell the dissidents,
while Partisans are posing plans
             to conquer continents.

And back at home, the rumors roam
             “Good times are soon to come,
despite the breeze on frozen seas
             in weathers wet and numb.”
When we’re in need, They’ll intercede
             with prayers if we succumb.

A Tabloid screams of phantom dreams
             to keep our minds at sea
and TV skews the evening news,
             ensures we all agree:
“With dynamite we fight for right
             and not for tyranny.”

The brain aborts when drugged with sports
               and fashions of the day,
and sevenfold, men think as told
              and so are led astray;
and like some sheep (unless asleep)
             they baa when they obey.  

In search of sense in sounds intense
             of droning drum tattoos
(the beat sustains the endless reigns
             which swamp the avenues)
souls, thin and worn, traipse by, forlorn,
             delayed by shackled shoes.

Ten thousand eyes belong to Spies
            who watch us day and night
to track our trails and read our mails
             and say They have the right
to know our thoughts and thwart our plots
             to cease Their oversight.

Behind the scenes, behind the screens,
             the rules are fixed, arranged
(contorted smiles conceal Their wiles -
             Their goals have never changed).
When upside-down, a grin is frown
             and common sense deranged.

Along the roads, the future bodes
             in legends made of dust,
and ashes gray the alleyway
             'neath lampposts scaled with rust.
While Divas dine with cakes and wine
             pale orphans share a crust.

Dead colonies of humble bees,
             a ravaged hornets' hive,
rain forests, dales and minke whales
             soon nothing left alive…        
a world laid waste is to Their taste,
             as long as They survive.

As sunlight wanes in winter rains
             and sullen shadows crawl,
the evening ebbs, and spider's webs
             seem tattooed on the wall.
Upon the night the Masters write
             The Final Protocol.
4.3k · Jan 2014
I've Got To Go
Terry O'Leary Jan 2014
I’m on my way, I’ve got to go
(the reasons why you’ll never know),
whisked away in winter’s winds, your sleeping sighs remind me.
And I’ll ramble where I please,
sometimes slipping to my knees,
phantom memories a’ chasing close behind me.

Well, I’ve often made my way
within the dark before the day,
but it’s never that I’ve ever felt this lonely.
So I leave this parting note,
the first farewell I ever wrote,
though these lines embody more than farewell only.

I’m on my way, I’ve got to go,
’n what I’ll find you’ll never know,
concealed in clouds of untamed clover, tussled hair reminds me.
And I’ll ramble where I please,
sometimes slipping to my knees,
phantom memories a’ chasing close behind me.

Alas, my love has grown too strong
for I’ve lain with you so long
with your every need perceived, though never spoken.
’n as I try to disengage,
I’m like a tiger in a cage,
hesitating ’fore a padlock hanging broken.

I’m on my way, I’ve got to go
(across a bridge you’ll never know),
to quench abandoned burning hills, your yearning lips remind me.
And I’ll ramble where I please,
sometimes slipping to my knees,
phantom memories a’ chasing close behind me.

Should you wake and shed a tear
finding me no longer here,
save your weeping for another, not so ghostly.
’n if you scan the spangled sky,
as you ache when asking why,
realize ’twas really you I wanted mostly.

I’m on my way, I’ve got to go
(reshuffling cards you’ll never know),
defying fate beneath the stars, your diamond eyes remind me.
And I’ll ramble where I please,
sometimes slipping to my knees,
phantom memories a’ chasing close behind me.

Shun the shadows in the late
disappearing through your gate,
aghast and groping through their early morning sorrows,
like the echoes of my thought,
flitting, fleeting, overwrought,
as reflected in the realms of vague tomorrows.

I’m on my way, I’ve got to go
(’n what I’ll see you’ll never know),
pursuing pebbles on a beach, your freckled nose reminds me.
And I’ll ramble where I please,
sometimes slipping to my knees,
phantom memories a’ chasing close behind me.

Should you glimpse a troubled form
within a restless ruby storm,
turn your collar 'gainst the wind and never follow.
For by then it’s much too late
(yes the distance far too great)
and you’d only find the feathers of a swallow.

I’m on my way, I’ve got to go
(along a road you’ll never know),
adrift on half-forbidden paths, your slender back reminds me.
And I’ll ramble where I please,
sometimes slipping to my knees,
phantom memories a’ chasing close behind me.

Should you yearn once more to tease,
unleash your breath upon a breeze
’n let the whispered winds of yesterday caress me,
and perchance recall the time
(when our love was in its prime),
I relied upon your laughter to possess me.

I’m on my way, I’ve got to go
(’n it’s so hard you’ll never know),
entwined in twirls of fortune’s wheel, embracing arms remind me.
And I’ll ramble where I please,
sometimes slipping to my knees,
phantom memories a’ chasing close behind me.

Once I was yours and you were mine
sipping pearls of purple wine –
except these haunting hints, there’ll be no spectres chasing.
’n if the flashbacks grow acute,
I’ll strum the strings upon my lute
subduing bygone ancient ghosts, still standing, facing.

I’m on my way, I’ve got to go,
’n what I’ll hear you’ll never know,
though echoed in a thousand drums, your throbbing ******* remind me.
And I’ll ramble where I please,
sometimes slipping to my knees,
phantom memories a’ chasing close behind me.

Well, the candle by my side
has now melted down and died,
though its fire blazes on within the mirror.
And the clock behind the door
is throbbing, pounding with a roar,
as my moment to depart approaches nearer.

I’m on my way, I’ve got to go
(along a shore you’ll never know),
engulfed in deep and distant tides, your restless thighs remind me.
And I’ll ramble where I please,
sometimes slipping to my knees,
phantom memories a’ chasing close behind me.

But I’ll take along the ring,
the one you carved for me in spring,
though it journeyed as an orphan on my finger.
And I’ll hang it from my neck
while I ***** a lonesome trek,
as a keepsake of your ardor, while it lingers.

I’m on my way, I’ve got to go
(’n what I’ll see you’ll never know),
immersed in fields of flowers wild, your amber eyes remind me.
And I’ll ramble where I please,
sometimes slipping to my knees,
phantom memories a’ chasing close behind me.

Now I’ll kiss your sleeping eyes
ere I mount the blushing skies
as I bid farewell, adieu, in morning’s splendour.
Then I’ll fade within the haze,
immured in miles of my own maze
as I wander, breaking chains of love’s surrender.

I’m on my way, I’ve got to go,
’n when I rue you’ll never know
the pulsing passions of the past and shadows that remind me.
And I’ll ramble where I please,
sometimes slipping to my knees,
till the phantoms start a’ fading far behind me.
3.6k · Feb 2014
The Verdict
Terry O'Leary Feb 2014
NOW

Well, GI Jack is welcome back, he left his legs in 'Nam.
He wakes at night in sweat and fright, then drinks another dram.
He doesn't know quite where to go, so seeks his uncle, Sam.


                           BEFORE

One can't ignore - his ma was poor, and seasons sometimes cruel,
yet Jack was brave and well behaved and surely no one's fool
so joined the ranks that man the tanks, as soon as he left school

He learned to **** our foes at will (ordained a sacred rite)
then packed his bag, unfurled his flag, when sent away to fight.
And yes, the tide was on our side (for, clearly, might makes right)

Through tangled days in jungles' maze, he sought the enemy
behind the trees where, ill at ease, he fought the Yellow sea -
upon the waves of gravelled graves he sailed a killing spree

The ****** dropped and cooked the crops, charred huts along the way
and tanks, with zest, erased the rest, their villages of clay.
(Yes, turret guns are loads of fun with roaring roundelay.)

While on the hunt with other grunts, he burned some babes alive
and wondered why frail things must die, while evil's phantoms thrive -
<When folly ends, he'll make amends if only he'll survive>

With ***** traps (sticks smeared with crap), yes, Charlie fought unfair.
He hid in holes with snakes and voles and snuck up everywhere
and like a mite within the night, caught Jackie unaware

At battle's end, Jack sought his friends - their souls were washed away
and only he and destiny were left in disarray -
with bed and pan, just half a man, the man of yesterday

When Jack awoke beyond the smoke, his frame no longer whole,
he found instead some suture thread neath wraps to hide the hole,
and realized a further prize: a chair on wheels to roll

His head felt light, as well it might, at Victory Day Parade
(across his chest, you've surely guessed, his medals shone, arrayed)
for when he rolled, while others strolled, his boots no longer weighed


                           AFTER

Well, Jack stayed home (no roads to Rome) to start his life anew
receiving dole which took its toll as largess went askew
for sure enough, when times got tough, his uncle, Sam, withdrew

To walk the streets with fine elites (or else some *** who begs)
or find a job (or even rob) requires both your legs.
And those who can't, are viewed askant like those we call the dregs.

For getting by he tried to ply and mine his medals' worth -
a wooden cup, a mangy pup, a smirk when miming mirth,
and best of all, at midnight’s call, beneath a bridge, a ‘berth’

He clutched a sign 'A dime to dine?', if anybody cared,
but soon he found, as time unwound, that victors seldom shared.
And Jackie's pride was slowly fried by vacant eyes that stared


                           ENLIGHTENMENT

He took to drink to break the link with thoughts of what he'd done
and threads of doubt began to flout the yarns Big Brother spun
of freedom's ring and other things, like what it was we'd won

His vague unease arrayed a breeze
with words that chilled the air
and like the fogs above the bogs, they floated through the square
where people sat at tea to chat, and shrieked 'How could he dare?'

Yes, freedom's price is never nice: like storms before the flood
the Daily Rag was on a jag, was looking out for blood,
deemed Jackie's thoughts untamed and fraught, then dragged him through the mud

By hacking clues, they plucked his views like grapes upon the vine.
Big Brother came, blamed Jackie's name for thinking out of line,
shut Jack away from light of day, eclipsing freedom’s shine

The Junto Brass, with eyes of glass, were robed in fine array
to hear the words (though slightly slurred) the witness gasped to say,
while Justice snored (the waterboard awash with Perrier)

Well, Jack was charged with laws enlarged in secret dossiers
within the guise of spreading lies and leading thoughts astray -
The Jury's out... the rabble shout “well someone's gotta pay”

The Judge (who fears the mind’s frontiers) inclined his head to yawn
while making haste through courtroom waste, though slightly pale and wan.
(A voodoo Loon withdraws as soon as Night condemns the Dawn.)


                           ETERNITY

While in his cell, the verdict fell - the sighs of Silence, rife
While in his cell, the verdict fell - the Reaper played a fife
While in his cell, the verdict fell - the price was Jackie's life


                           EPILOGUE

Well Jackie's ghost, unlike the most, still mused upon the praise
for misdeeds done in victories won when cruising in a craze,
and once again upon the sin of thinking, nowadays
where, cunningly, humanity’s served lies, and trust betrays.
Then, reconciled, it simply smiled at fortune's wanton ways.


                           EPITAPH

A mind was caught while thinking thoughts neath Sammy’s prying gaze
and forced to stop by concept cops, else join the castaways.
For now it's law to hold in awe the brave new world's malaise
and cerebrate with programmed pate, adorned with thorned bouquets,
then mimic mimes in troubled times - and no one disobeys.
With freedom’s death, truth holds its breath awaiting better days.
3.5k · Sep 2013
Boa's Ark
Terry O'Leary Sep 2013
MORNING HAS BROKEN
The men, in lines, ***** two by two,
forgetting all the women who
indulged them through a night of tricks
(their lips designed with crimson sticks,
their eyes a wild mascara mix)

and think instead on times ahead
when they’ll be gone, their bodies dead
(some rotting slow’, some mummified)
though once they were their mummy’s pride.

Attired bright in uniforms,
they strew their bombs in desert storms -
like melting sands, the sky deforms
with darkness, death - and doomsday swarms
through ravished lands where fires warm
the corpses, cold and puriform.

Their eyes flash forward towards the backs
of lucky ones who have the knack
of never being in the way
of bursts of bullets as they stray
(effacing phantoms faraway)
and dodging doom’s Redemption Day.

They’re wishing for a foggy morn
or best of all to be unborn,
and peering down to mark the sway
of wings in webs while spiders prey,

they wonder when their time will come
and they can cease their fleeing from
the sights they’ve seen, the deeds they’ve done,
the life they’ve lost, the death they’ve won,

then muse a while upon the child
they killed today when they went wild,
and when they’re finally reconciled
with broken bodies stacked and piled,

they ponder, does she have a kin
to curse them for their burning sin?

And if she does, will god reply
with tooth for tooth and eye for eye?

Or will her clan be mild and meek
and simply turn the other cheek?

2. MIDDAY MUSINGS
They’re counting steps to pass the time
and puzzle if they’ll reach their prime
or if instead they’ll serve the worm
their carnal flesh and aching *****

when soon, perhaps, they sleep in berth
provided by the chilling earth,
and fret about the fate they’ll find
below the stones that slowly grind.

And once or twice will come to mind
a sultry smile they left behind
(the distant past - a tepid trace –
another time, another place),
reflected in the gray grimace
that paints a frightened fading face.

And on they trek through guilt and gloom
to track their own and others' doom
and soon they’ll  grace another pool
with blood of other beings who’ll

inhale no more the evening airs,
unlike the wily Functionaires
who brutalize the fighting men
and send them far away and then

(relaxed, unwound, with victories made)
confer with sword an accolade
on those who’ve lopped bowed heads, with blade,
so someone bent must turn a *****

to hack a hole which then is filled
with all the cloven bodies killed
then cloaked with clay or loamy dirt,
as if to hide the pain and hurt.

3. TEATIME INTROSPECTION
Amongst the many are the few
who maim and **** and think it’s true
that purple war’s a parlour game
when really they’re submerged in shame
for crimes for which they are to blame
and can’t expunge with searing flame

while plodding through an endless time,
or pealing bells with holy chime,
or posing in a paradigm
where paradox and riddle rhyme.

And when they die (as die they must),
forevermore their putrid dust,
still soaked with gore and carmine lust,
will conjure thoughts of cold disgust.

And even though torrential rain
(which tastes at times like cool champagne)
can wash away the scarlet stain
which soaks the sands of god’s terrain,

it cannot ever cleanse the hands
that work the guns and burning brands,
or purge the throats that give commands
to him who never understands.

Nor can the raging hurricane
from blackened souls the white regain,
rescind the sins or void the banes
or loose the ****** from Satan’s chains
who line the pits of hell’s domains.

4. EVENING REFLECTIONS
When through the day to night they pass,
their eyes avoid the looking glass
displaying dim a pale phantasm
plunging deeper down a chasm,
surging through a blood ******,
smiling thin unveiled sarcasm

for the chances lost to taste
the many fruits that went to waste
when each was still a joyous lad,
who went to school and learned to add
and danced in rivers, barefoot clad,

attended church with mom and dad
(which tends the poor and cheers the sad),
to pray for good and curse the bad,
before, in war insanely mad,
he fought the fight (no Galahad)

by flinging flames and slashing throats,
immersing bods in  midnight moats
between the broken battered boats
where babes and booted bodies float,

and leaving bags of bones to bloat
in bullet-ridden overcoats,
and wondered if the goblins gloat
or spot (behind his eyes, the motes),

then strode away without a thought
that mortal lives had come to naught,
sedated by his conscience brought
to nothing more than dripping snot,
while Others sit upon a yacht
and pluck the eyes of fish They’ve caught,

for, when they die, fish seem to see
The Ones behind the tyranny
(with bellies round from gluttony)
in future dangling from a tree
(with leaves as black as ebony),
for that’s, They fear, Their destiny.

5. MIDNIGHT DREAMS**
At night the soldiers sometimes dream
of many things which make them scream,
like
                      floating down a gelid stream
             with burning flesh and cold ice cream
             upon their lips, which makes it seem
             as though their salt they can’t redeem
             when looking back at bold extremes
             of valiant warriors’ victory schemes.

Or ofter yet,
                      they sometimes meet
             a broken skull upon the street
             with gaping eyes, its mouth replete
             with swollen tongue that can’t repeat
             mere words of joy when lovers greet,
             or yell aloud or indiscreet’,

             or talk about the grand deceit
             of Those Who live on Easy Street,
             Who plot, destroy and overeat,
             while others bide beneath a sheet
             on bed of steely cold concrete,

             with final gift a flag or wreath
             that soon will wither like their teeth
             when once they’re settled underneath
             a mound of muck on mouldy heath,
             to lurk in Limbo Land beneath.

And ever more before they wake,
appear quaint dreams not quite opaque,  
like
                      upside down upon a lake
             keeps popping up a pregnant Drake
             who says “there must be some mistake,
             I only have a bellyache”,
             while high above’s a flying Snake,
             (a sight to make a killer quake).

             She cries aloud “for mercy’s sake
             your foresight’s blind, your wisdom’s fake
             the fragile bodies that you break,
             impale or burn upon a stake,
             then stack in layers like a cake,
             reflect a lust that death can’t slake”.

             And turquoise Turtles on the make
             (though taking time to overtake,
             each slurping down a chocolate shake)
             rev up to plead “let us explain,
             we think you men are all insane
            with morals thin as cellophane;

             for, peering through god’s window pane,
             we see quite clearly those you’ve slain,
             enough to fill the Dim Domain
             with blood and guts and tears and pain,
             Chimeras of a frenzied brain.”

             A worn and weary weather vane
             announces floods of claret rain
             that forty days and nights sustain,
             submerging mountains, raising Cain,
             while flushing mankind’s acid reign
             down nature’s evolution drain.

             The Serpent hails a hydroplane
             “because”, she hissed, “we can’t remain;
             behind the hill, the atom’s spark
             has vaporized the palace park,
             reduced to dust the Meadowlark
             and nullified the Rainbow’s arc”.

             And while the others hush and hark,
             a feline Toad begins to bark
             “This plane is certainly Boa’s Ark.

             Let’s flee the Human hierarch,
             forsake all Men to sate the Shark
             which swim within the Waters Dark,
             and purge all traces of the Mark
             in Eden when we disembark.”

             The beasts, in lines, by twos embark.

The dreamers wake, they’re staring, stark,
behind their eyes, a watermark.
3.4k · Oct 2014
The Gnat
Terry O'Leary Oct 2014
The spider Queen, aloofly vain!
She rules a silent ruthless reign,
with black-bead eyes like pearls of rain
that damp the depths of her demesne.
          .
                     .
                                .
A spider spins, with nimble feet,
a sticky web of grim deceit
that drapes the corners, dark, discreet,
in catacombs of her retreat.

Her jointed legs (in number, eight)
traverse the threads with stilted gait,
but often more she'll lie in wait
within the hub of her estate.

Shy spiders live their lives alone
ensconced within a silky throne;
unless a transient guest comes flown,
their lives bide empty, monotone.
          .
                     .
Well, now and then, a sullen breeze
may twitch the toils, begin to tease –
yet nothing's caught and nothing pleas,
so patience's bid  at times like these.

But then again, when stars ignite,
may maunder by a gnat, by night,
be taught a dance, a writhing rite,
within a lace of death, wrapped tight.

Sometimes a spider's in the mood
and waits awhile, whilst being wooed –
and then, to later feed her brood,
the widow slays her mate for food.

In time a spider dies, 'tis true,
bequeathing but a residue
entwined, devoid of retinue,
in fibers decked in silver dew.
          .
                     .
                                .
One asks "What purpose serves the GNAT –
to feed and make the spider fat?
Well, 'tis perchance just naught but that
within a mindless habitat.
          .
                     .
"Yet, what's the aim?” you may inquire,
“at the heart of MAN's desire.
To which goals should WE aspire
reaching high and reaching higher?"

We've, through the ages, left the mire,
trundling wheels and taming fire,
doing deeds that must inspire,
nursing needy, calming crier, …

Such things as these, most may admire:
          - placid dove and war defier
            (some are bolder, some are shyer)
          - patience (mess-up mollifier);

          - humankind (Life's justifier)
          - charity (charmed self-denier)
          - tolerance (proud pacifier )
          - love of Life (folk unifier).


What more could we, as flesh, require?
Needless kneeling neath the spire?
Childish chanting in the choir?
Preaching hell's impending pyre?


No, Death's the only rectifier,
comes the instant we expire,
nothing after, sentience prior.

So, treasure Life and don't deny Her.
"if not the gnat,
the gnat is naught..."
ANON

Hmmm... wonder what that means...
3.4k · Jun 2013
The Wolf
Terry O'Leary Jun 2013
A cruel Jack Frost blows icy floss
          (in front of spring a’ burstin’)
while shiftin’ sheaves of withered leaves
          near freezin’ streams a’ thirstin’.
A pack reviled runs roamin’ wild,
          the alpha wolf wakes howlin’
then scents a lean and lonesome scene
          while on the lurk a’ prowlin’.

A cloud revolts with spangled bolts,
          and starry skies start closin’
as wild geese soar beyond death’s door
          neath naked moon a’ posin’.
Electric shafts, like fractured rafts,
          sail night’s cathedral caldrons –
their cracking curse makes herds disperse
          in random splayed and sprawled runs.

A she-wolf sighs with hungry eyes;
          the ancient wolf waits, bayin’ -
with weary back, he’s lost the track,
          his bandied legs betrayin’.
The brood’s somewhere in shrouded lair
          with mama left to mind ’em -
the wolf, a’ drag with empty swag,
          is on his way to find ’em.

The pack rejoins with weary ***** -
          perhaps its days are numbered.
In evening’s night, he’s feeling tight,
          with aches and pains encumbered.
As morning nears, with shaggy ears
          (one droopin’ down, hung over)
he’ll set the course with renewed force,
          for, yes, he’s still the rover.

When snow enshrines the timberlines
          and skies are ripped asunder
though young, lupine, they’ll stifle whines,
          as gullies fill with thunder;
mid echoes in the mouth o’ death,
          they bid farewell the lair
while panting puffs o’ crystal breath
          float, hanging in the air.

Their path is black (they can’t look back
          for herds long gone a’ missin’)
as dusk profanes the snow-bound plains
          the sinkin’ sun was kissin’.
Neath northern lights, with barks and bites,
          he keeps ’em all in motion –
the speckled scars of fallin’ stars
          display the night’s devotion.

The sky’s a’ blushin’ in the east,
          and hollow wind’s are sighin’
while buzzards freeze in gallows trees,
          a’ roostin’, rapt and eyein’.
These ghouls of prey, they’re spooked away,
          like tumbleweeds a’ blowin’,
by tilted head, white fangs tipped red,
          and warnin’ wail’s a’ growin’.

With snout upturned the moon’s discerned
          as well as wafts a wendin’
and muzzled growls and shriekin’ howls
          mark wolves in quests unendin’.
With fragrant hint, the wolf’s a’ sprint,
          the pack begins t’ rally –
in swift descent they’ve seized a scent,
          that’s flowin’ down the valley.

The wolf moves on behind the dawn
          and shades the pale horizon
as she-wolfs vet his silhouette
          each time they lay their eyes on.
With trek discreet, a trail is beat
          across a river frozen –
when day’s complete, just mice to eat,
          a choice despised, but chosen.

A stillness jeers the shaggy ears
          (one droopin’ down, hung over),
while caribou, with much ado,
          drift, seekin’ blades o’ clover;
the wearied pack picks up their track
          (with stony stomachs pangin’)
through endless seas of barren trees
          with ice like daggers hangin’.

The wolf invades forgotten glades,
          the pack stays close behind ’im;
the caribou, in his purview,
          seem far too far to mind ’im.
Above, a baleful moonbeam wails,
          “oh god he’s gonna’ catch ’em”;
the scene is grim, the Reaper dim,
          the night has gone to fetch ’im.

A moanin’ mynah’s crying loud
          as birds of prey are preachin’
to cravin’ ravens prayin’ proud
          and wide-eyed owls a’ screechin’.
The wolf, unrushed, is breathin’ hushed,
          his hollow eyes a’ narrowin’
and focused hard in fixed regard
          on herds they'll soon be harrowin’.

The morning breeze is ill at ease,  
          a surge brings sudden silence –
then haggard swarms launch poundin’ storms
          and hurricanes of vi’lence;
the herd’s surprised and paralyzed
          all over hell’s half acre –
the leadin’ buck’s run out of luck,
          he’s soon to meet his maker.

The old wolf creeps, the old wolf leaps
          on prey he’s been a’ trackin’ –
a deer adorned with branchin’ horns
          is torn by beasts attackin’.
The morning quakes, a shadow shakes,
          tined antlers left a’ lyin’,
and spattered spots and scarlet clots
          repaint the point o’ dyin’.

A magpie flies with frightened eyes
          (on ebon wings a’ wavin’),
spies wolfin’ jaws and sated maws
          of wolves no longer cravin’.
The snowdrift clears, a cool wind veers,
          a dying breath, moreover –
a wraith appears, with shaggy ears,
          (one droopin’ down, hung over).

Dawn’s sunbeams crowd, ignite a cloud,
          its threaded strands a’ weavin’.
The pack awakes and twists and shakes,
          for soon it’s time for leavin’;
it’s bleak, it chills on shallow hills,
          as she-wolfs come a’ nuzzlin’,
but north winds scold, the wolf lies cold,
          the pack stands back a’ puzzlin’.

On crimson snows neath perchin’ crows,
          the pack abides a’ guardin’;
while nights are tight with Harpy kites,
          the she-wolves wait an’ harden,
until a groanin’ blizzard stones
          the barren forest stowin’
his shaggy ears beneath the weirs,
          with icy hails ’a blowin’.

The storm abates and terminates,
          the glacial wind’s subsidin’;
the past is past or passin’ fast
          and life goes on abidin’.
The herds, today, roam far away,
          not thinkin’ of the dyin’;
the pack’ll stray from day to day,
          ’a stalkin’ hard and tryin’.

As spring sneaks forth upon the north,
          they’re lean without their leader.
A she-wolf (bound with belly round)
          strains neath a budding cedar.
Upon the morn a whelp is born
           (the future forest drover)
in new frontiers, with shaggy ears
          (one droopin’ down, hung over).
Terry O'Leary Oct 2013
The Bishops bathe in Babylon
while Princes, prancing on the lawn,
watch Queen deflowered, pale and wan.
            The King dares not defend her.

The Horsemen, holding broken reins
the Morning of the Hurricanes,
sigh “it’s no use, it’s all in vain,
            the Saints will soon surrender”.

They wonder why they ever came,
they have No One whom they can blame,
they have no face, they have no name,
            and even less, a gender.


The empty-handed Vagabonds
smoke stale cigars, stroke faded Blondes
while waiting at the walls beyond,
            but kneel as Chaos enters.

They’re gazing through the window panes
in hopes that distant Hurricanes
will twist and break their iron chains
            defying life’s tormentors.

The Fantom of the Opera frowns
as feeble minded Cleric-clowns
mouth hollow hurdy-gurdy sounds
           when blessing doomed dissenters.


The Pirate wields a wooden leg,
with pupils dull and visage vague,
and if by chance he spreads the plague,
            it really doesn’t matter.

His Princess, pale, no longer feigns,
foresees instead (down ancient lanes)
the coming of the Hurricanes -
            the Stones stir, staring at her.

And Jackals scrape the river bed
as Savants soothe the underfed
and Crows, collecting scattered bread,
            adorn, with crumbs, the platter.


The Jokers Wild and One Eyed Janes
weep, winding up in rundown trains
mid whispers of the Hurricanes,
            and Priests refuse to christen.

They’re fleeing from the Leprechauns,
the cuckoo birds, the dying swans;
while pitching pennies into ponds
            their eyes opaquely glisten.

The spectral Clocks with spindled spokes
remind the Mimes to tell the  Folks
the time of day and other jokes,
            yet No One looks to listen.


The Hunchbacks with contorted canes
galumph before the Hurricanes,
in melted sleet, in frozen rains,
            in bruised and battered sandals.

Their Groans engulf the land of gulls,
the land of stones, the land of nulls,
and lurk between the blackened lulls,
            for Nighttime brooks no candles.

Their prayers to Dogs and Nuns and Dukes,
(and other long forgotten Spooks)
are more than random crazed rebukes,
            though taunting to the Vandals.


The Beggars ’neath the balustrades,
and broken Children, Chambermaids,
are running wild from wraiths, afraid
            of dreams where death redoubles.

They fritter time with tattered threads
(from ragged clothes they’ve left in shreds),
crocheting hoods to hide their heads
            and faces, full of rubble.

But many things will not remain
the Morning of the Hurricanes,
when goblets filled with cool champagne
           evaporate in bubbles.


The White-Robed Maid adorns the trash
with charnel urns awash in ash,
then fumbles with an untied sash
            while pacing in the Palace.

Her hopes congeal in coffee spoons
with memories adrift in dunes;
yet, still she smiles with teeth like prunes
            and lips of painted callus.

And long before the midnight drains,
the Saviour wakes, the Loser gains,
the waters of the Hurricanes
            will fill her empty chalice.


The storm (behind the clarinets,
the silver flutes, the castanets,
the foghorns belching in quartets,
            the bagpipes, puffed and swollen)

is keeping time to tambourines
while Tom Thumb and the Four-Inch Queen,
pick up the shards and smithereens
            of moments lost or stolen.

They’re trekking through the Dim Domains
(where fountains weep, the mountain wanes),
yet can’t escape the Hurricanes
            with trundling eyes patrollin’.


The Crowds (arrayed in jewels) in jails,
stoop, peering through a fence of nails
while light behind their eyeballs pales
            with plastic flame that sputters.

They huddle there because they must
(with eyelids hung like peeling rust,
their tears, palled pellets in the dust),
            behind the bolted shutters.

They’ll reawake without their pains
the Morning of the Hurricanes,
without their sores, without their stains,
their agonies will fill the drains
            and overflow the gutters.
3.0k · Dec 2013
One-Way Ships
Terry O'Leary Dec 2013
Flings and wings and rings rejected…
Cupid’s arrows fly deflected…
“It clearly is too late” she signed, “to love, adore or pay me mind”

Penciled lines drew cruel conclusions
mocking mirror’s cracked illusions…
Sometimes, in time, I hang awhile, reflected in her parting smile

Drifting wan, below unheeding
worried, wounded suns a’ bleeding…
Struck dumb by night, no way to say “Let’s sound the stars another way”

Shaking sands frame distant smokestacks,
shanty towns, forsaken oak shacks…
Pursuing dusk, collapsed and dyed, the docile dolphin deftly stride
beyond behind the ebbing tide, towards One-Way Ships of sunken pride


Gypsy dreamer in denial…
Sleep and slumber standing trial…
I never really ever slept inside the cryptic walls she kept

Martian moons provoke the oceans…
Strange enchantments stir the potions…
The mutant molten purple skies ignite subconscious fireflies

Voiceless echoes feigning laughter…
Crushing quiet screaming after…
Vague vagaries pretend to sleep, my conscience crumbles in a heap

Startled stars at dawn are slacking…
Still her tempest sail is tacking…
In fractured dreams sere silhouettes blow foghorns, trumpets, clarinets…
Discarded glowing cigarettes tinge One-Way Ships with pale regrets


Cold cathedral clocks upended…
Frozen second hands suspended…
Beneath the gauze of time I try to while away somewhere nearby

Ticking-tocking time’s a’ tolling…
Cruel eternity’s cajoling…
The future, tattered, calls bereft, with nothing but her shadows left

Brigantines skim gated grottos…
Distant divas voice vibratos…
Though eons pass, then intermix, I’m trapped ’tween time’s untallied ticks

Conquered candles flicker faintly…
Braided tresses quiver quaintly…
Demystified, untamed in time, her face is traced in puppet mime…
Amorphous tongues of jangled rhyme hail One-Way Ships that glide sublime


Bolts of lightning flash unkindly…
******, alone, I huddle blindly…
I drain another dram and bray “she’s far too far too far away”

Twisted waterwheels a’ thirsting…
Flaming flower buds a’ bursting…
Adrift, I stagger far below their unchained magic rainbow glow

White crowned wave crests break unbounded…
Shackled seashore sands lie pounded…
Unleashed, beyond the bridled world, her silver sails, cut loose, unfurled

Captive bluebirds nest in baskets…
Morning glories cover caskets…
Wee ballerinas swirl and spin while giant jokers smirk and grin
and, wasted, I withdraw within carved One-Way Ships in flasks of gin


Hungary hounds harangue the highlands,
howl at skies and desert islands…
Below, unfettered carbon crows conceal the parting path she chose

Lighthouse lamps and lanterns lolling…
Mute abandoned fleets are calling…
The shallow shadowed portholes vaunt dim traces of the past that haunt

Curved magnetic curtained faces
yearn contorted brief embraces…
Her fairy-tale like tattoo touch was serpentine but soft as such

Coffee cups and spoons corroding…
Mystic tea leaves, visions boding…
A cabaret calls, standing bare, beneath a splintered footloose stair,
vain vapors drape her vacant chair in One-Way Ships beyond repair


Splattered days are dripping dreary…
Shattered nights are wearing weary…
Without her footfall at my side I steal away within to hide

Fancies flame, persist to flaunt her…
Wanton whispers hiss I want her…
Hyenas, haggard, held at bay, still gnaw on bones of yesterday

Graveled graveyards grey and ghastly…
Apparitions pacing past me…
The answers to my whys and sighs have veiled her limpid pale blue eyes

Lurid figments storm the valleys
****** the helms of spectral galleys…
The coughing phantoms at the wheel, they make it all seem so unreal…
Rebounding cracks of thunder’s peal, shake One-Way Ships while seagulls squeal


Yesterday’s unsung, unspoken…
Bygone paths fold, draped and broken…
The weary winds of winter cling to voiceless nightingales and sting

Desert blossoms growing colder…
Drifting sand dunes pause, enfold her…
An arctic kiss and blush revealed forbidden pipe dreams flung afield

Weeping willows’ wilting snow drops
drip on tips of tiny toe tops…
Their opal fires bleed and fade while suns explode in icy jade

Jagged hours hangin’ heavy…
Footsteps pace the barren levee…
While pros and cons and kings debate, acclaim and blame and fame equate
the ruin’s remnants left to fate with One-Way Ships that fail to wait


Blazing blades of love surrender…
Memories and thoughts transcend her…
The Persian gazer’s crystal shows I’ve truly lost my ruby rose

Buried deep in evening’s embers
dust forgets what flesh remembers…
The bitter taste of farewell’s haste has laid the ****** skies to waste

Ruffled ravaged ravens ranting…
Churlish ancient churchmen chanting
resounding what she told me true “There’s nothing more that you can do”

Trial adjourned by judge and jury…
Freed, she flees, absolved of worry…
Remaining runes and relics burn to feed the ashes of the urn…
Six seers, wiser, soon discern the One-Way Ships of no return
2.2k · Nov 2013
Green Spanish Eyes
Terry O'Leary Nov 2013
Ah Consuela! Invoking vast vistas for visions of green Spanish eyes,
I discern them again where she left me back then,
                 as we kissed when she parted, my friend.
Through those ruins I tread towards the footlights, now dead,
                 where I’ll muse as her shadows ascend.

                  .
                          .
Ah Consuela! I’m watching, she teases the mirror with green Spanish eyes;
her serape entangles her brooches and bangles
                 like lace on the sorcerer’s looms,
and her cape of the night, she drapes tight to excite,
                 and her fan is embellished with plumes.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching as spectators savour her green Spanish eyes;
taming wild concertinas, the dark ballerina
                 performs on the music hall stage,
but she shies from the sound of ovation unbound
                 like a timorous bird in a cage.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching, she quickens the pit with her green Spanish eyes;
as the cymbals shake, clashing, the floodlights wake, flashing,
                 igniting the wild fireflies,
and the piccolo piper’s inviting the vipers
                 to coil neath the cold caldron skies.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching the shimmering shadows in green Spanish eyes
as I rise from my chair and proceed to the stair
                 with a hesitant sip of my wine.
Though she doesn’t deny me, she wanders right by me
                 with neither a look nor a sign.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching, she looks to the stage with her green Spanish eyes,
(for her senses scoff, scorning the biblical warning
                 of kisses of Judas that sting,
with her pierced ears defeating the echoes repeating)
                 and smiles at the magpie that sings.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching faint embers a’ stir in her green Spanish eyes,
for a soft spoken stranger enveloping danger
                 has captured the rhyme in the room
as he slips into sight through a crack in the night
                 midst the breath of her heavy perfume.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching, she gauges his guise through her green Spanish eyes
– from his gypsy-like mane, to his diamond stud cane,
                 to the raven engraved on his vest –
for a faraway form, a tempestuous storm,
                 lurks and heaves neath the cleav’e of her *******.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching the caravels cruising her green Spanish eyes;
with the castanets clacking like ancient masts cracking
                 he whips ’round his cloak with a ****
and without sacrificing, at mien so enticing,
                 she floats with her face facing his.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching the vertigo veiling her green Spanish eyes,
while the drumbeat pounds, droning, the rhythm sounds, moaning,
                 of jungles Jamaican entwined
in the valleys concealing the vineyards revealing
                 the vaults in the caves of her mind.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching life’s carnivals call to her green Spanish eyes,
and with paused palpitations the tom-tom temptations
                 come taunting her tremulous feet
with her toe tips a’ tingle while jute boxes jingle
                 for jesters that jive on the street.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching, she rides ocean tides in her green Spanish eyes,
and her silhouette’s travelling on ripples unravelling
                 and shaking the shipwracking shores,
as she strides from the light to the black cauldron night
                 through the candlelit cabaret doors.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching, she dances till dawn flashing green Spanish eyes,
with her movements adorning a trickle of morning
                 as sipped by the mouth of the moon,
while her tresses twirl, shaming the filaments flaming
                 that flow from the sun’s oval spoon.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching, she masks for a moment her green Spanish eyes.
Then the magpie that sings ceases preening her wings
                 and descends as a lean bird of prey –
as she flutters her ’lashes and laughs in broad splashes,
                 his narrowing eyes start to stray.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching fey carousels spin in her green Spanish eyes,
and the porcelain ponies and leprechaun cronies
                 race, reaching for gold and such things,
even being reminded that only the blinded
                 are fooled by the brass in the rings.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching, she shepherds the shadows with green Spanish eyes,
but as evening sinks, ebbing, the skyline climbs, webbing,
                 and weaves through the temples of stone,
while the nightingales sing of a kiss on the wing
                 in the depths of the dunes all alone.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching the music and magic in green Spanish eyes,
as she dances enchanted, while firmly implanted
                 in tugs of his turbulent arms,
till he cuts through the strings, tames the magpie that sings,
                 and seduces once more with his charms.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching, the citadel steams in her green Spanish eyes,
but behind the dark curtain the savants seem certain
                 that nothing and no one exists,
and though vapours look vacant, the vagabond vagrants
                 remain within mythical mists.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching as lightning at midnight in green Spanish eyes
kindles cracks within crystals like flashes from pistols
                 residing inside of the gloom
as it hovers above us betraying a dove as
                 she flees from the fountain of doom.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching, distilling despair in her green Spanish eyes,
and the bitterness stings like the snap of the strings
                 when a mystical  mandolin sighs
as the vampire shades **** the life from charades
                 neath the resinous residue skies.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching, she looks to the ledge with her green Spanish eyes,
for the terrace hangs high and she’s thinking to fly
                 and abandon fate’s merry-go-round.
At the edge I perceive her and rush to retrieve her –
                 she stumbles, falls far to the ground.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching the sparkles a’ spilling from green Spanish eyes.
As I peer from the railing, with evening exhaling,
                 I cry out a lover’s lament –
there she lies midst the crowd with her spirit unbowed,
                 but her body’s all broken and bent.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching, she beckons me hither with green Spanish eyes,
and I’m slightly amazed being snared in her gaze
                 and a’ swirl in a hurricane way,
but the seconds are slipping, my courage is dripping,
                 the moment is bleeding away.

Ah Consuela! I touch her - she weeps tender tears from her green Spanish eyes;
as the breezes cease blowing, her essence leaves, flowing,
                 in streams neath the ambient light,
and the droplets drip swarming, so silent, yet warming,
                 like rain in a midsummer night.

Ah Consuela! I hold her, am hushed by the hints in her green Spanish eyes,
while her whispers are breathing the breaths of the seething
                 electrical skeletal winds,
and the words paint the poems that rivers a’ slowin’
                 reveal where the waterfall ends.

Ah Consuela! I’m fading in fires a’ flicker in green Spanish eyes,
as she plays back the past, she abandons and casts
                 away matters that no longer mend.
           .
                  .
And she reached out instead, as she lifted her head,
                 and we kissed as she parted, my friend.
           .
                  .
                          .
Ah Consuela! I’m tangled, entombed, trapped in tales of your green Spanish eyes,
in forsaken cantinas beyond the arenas
                 where night-time illusions once flowed,
for the ash neath my shoulder still throbs as it smoulders
                 some place near the end of the road.
2.1k · Jul 2013
Gypsy Guy
Terry O'Leary Jul 2013
Well, Gypsy Guy would rather die than hunker down in chains,

be ridden south with bit in mouth, or heed the hold of reins.



The ruling lot are in a spot, the boss man he complains:

“The gypsies’ soul, I can’t control, my patience wears and wanes;

they will not cede to common greed, which conquers far domains

and furtive spies and news that lies have barely baked their brains.



“But in the court of last resort the final fix remains:

in boxcar bins with violins we’ll freight them out in trains

(should one ask why, a quick reply: ‘It’s that which God ordains!’),

and in the bogs, they’ll die like dogs, and everybody gains.”
2.1k · Mar 2014
In An OldCathedral
Terry O'Leary Mar 2014
In An Old Cathedral**

She knelt upon a plank, old oaken,
(sable cloak, her mourning guise),
and sensed the breath of distant sighs,
pale shades of pain behind blue eyes…

While clasping close a cross-like token
(holding hope for those in need)
she prayed her Lord "please intercede,
my woe be washed, my soul be freed"…

Archangels, in the skies evoken
(candles flickered, shadows shivered),
through the panes, the moonlight quivered,
summoned forth, the wish delivered…  

Forgotten words he once had spoken
(echoed dim beneath the dome)
swept sweetness of the honeycomb
o'er distant realms they used to roam…

At midnight's knell, in dreams awoken,
memories of love unchained…
Though loneliness of grief remained,
she still held hope… hope hadn't waned…

And when the dawn had early broken,
by the font, in peace she lay…
As sudden as a sunset ray
the light of life had slipped away…
2.0k · Apr 2013
Clouds
Terry O'Leary Apr 2013
Clouds, the clouds diffuse a sad and somewhat somber hue;
Wind, the wind bemoans her loss of reins and calm control;
Crows, the crows flee men of straw, sleeves slapping at the wind;

Grass, the grass defends with blades, impaling truant gusts;
Rain, the rain descends aslant from angry ashen skies;
Stones, the stones repulse the pearls, exploding tears of gloom;

Woods, the woods assuage the angst of misty brooding trees;
Leaves, the leaves desert their branches, dropping one by one;
Fields, the fields imbibe a quaff to quench an arid thirst;

Streams, the streams meander, hushed, to distant vapid shores;
Breeze, the breeze intones a tune, a mourning monody;
Sands, the sands, in chaos, dance across the dappled dunes;

Shades, the shades appear confused, alone in lurid haze;
Mice, the mice discern the dawn, their beady eyes ablaze;
Clouds, the clouds diffuse a sad and somewhat somber hue.
2.0k · Sep 2013
The Wind is Isolde
Terry O'Leary Sep 2013
The warden’s bewildered, the keeper’s amazed
as the gate gapes behind us, a hole in the haze.
Our steps seem uncertain, the cobblestones crazed,
pearly stars burn above us like pinwheels ablaze.
Though lanterns hang vacant in streets staring blind,
broken paths paved in puzzles compel me to roam,
                                       I’ll not leave you behind.

The cannons keep calling, the piccolos shriek
and the druids drift, drumming, while pale pagans speak.
They’re urging me forward, my senses they’ve mined,
and the trail is erupting, come hie to the hills
                                       I’ll not leave you behind.

The looking glass glistens, a firefly glows,
and the brownies leap lightly on tiny tip toes
for the twilight’s collapsing, which serves to remind
that as dusk turns to dust, with no time for farewells,
                                       I’ll not leave you behind.

The ponies of plunder prance, passing nearby,
as crusaders on stallions cast stones from the sky.
The figments they’re facing have paid them no mind,
but our broncos are bolting. Corral what you need,
                                        I’ll not leave you behind.

My visions are swirling, they flash from the crown,
from the rainbows of summer, the tinsel in town.
While the compass wheel’s spinning, the minutes unwind
inside evening’s auroras – so cling to my cape,  
                                       I’ll not leave you behind.

Drooping droplets of wax adorn pinched candle wicks
while the vampire steeple’s cathedral clock ticks
of the terrors in tombs where ****** flames lie reclined
with their flickers fast fading – abandon the glim,
                                       I’ll not leave you behind.

The orphans and widows lean into the breeze
watching horrified hangmen descend to their knees
for the angel of mercy’s no longer inclined
to forgive vengeful  phantoms (oh Furies of night!) ,
                                       I’ll not leave you behind.

The bandits are brazen, the highwaymen lurk,
some imbibing dark brews of a hag’s handiwork,
mostly gulping from goblets like goblins maligned.
Woman! Widen your wings, catching wisps of the wind
                                       I’ll not leave you behind.

The lepers laugh, leaping from tombstones of steel
chasing rollaway caskets on luminous wheels;
while their shadows shake, shrouded, twixt trees intertwined,
twisted time melts at midnight, take hold of my hand,
                                       I’ll not leave you behind.

The gremlins *****, grinning face down in the dust,
while the sprites and the pixies are watching nonplussed.
They sling bolted arrows at spectres enshrined
within winds somewhat flustered, just fly from your fears
                                       I’ll not leave you behind.

The tattered toy teddies and raggedy Anns
have escaped to the skyways in kid caravans
but now, spellbound by fancies, know not that they’ll find
their parade’s evanesced into echoes of dawn –
                                       I’ll not leave you behind.

The wind’s my enchantress, beguiles and commands
me to search for my fortune in faraway lands
and whispers her mysteries of passions entwined,
for the wind is Isolde – unfurling my sails
                                        I’ll not leave you behind.
1.9k · Jul 2013
Daytime Crystalline
Terry O'Leary Jul 2013
Fat midnight bats feast, gnawing gnats, and flit away serene
      while on the trails in distant dales the lonesome wolverine
            sate appetites as dawn alights and daytime's crystalline.

A migrant feeds on rotting seeds with fingers far from clean
      and thereby’s blessed with barren breast (the easier to wean) -
            her baby ***** an arid flux and fades away unseen.
1.9k · Sep 2014
IMPROBABLE ME
Terry O'Leary Sep 2014
<> The human genome consists of 20 000 paired genes… about…

<> During meiosis, gametes are generated by randomly swapping genetic material… let's shout…

<> 2^(20 000)  = 10^(6 000) possible ***** (proud of daddy)… boy scout…

<> 2^(20 000)  = 10^(6 000) possible ova (proud of mommy)… far-out…

<> 2^(40 000)  = 10^(12 000) possible zygotes… freak out…

<> 1 zygote in 10^(12 000)  = Improbable Me… no doubt!


;-))
I recall a little of high school biology... sort of...
I had a good biology teacher... sort of...
I forget his name... sort of...
Terry O'Leary Jul 2013
Remember all the Wise Men on their knees upon your yacht?
With orphans on their backs they’d crawled (with others that they’d brought)
Through rubble on the highway sands and residues of Lot.
They came from severed cities selling postcards of your thoughts,
Though offered for a penny piece, not even worth a jot.

They mused
               “How are you feeling? What it is you want, you’ve got.
               The words you scrawl on calling cards: ‘I AM – the others NOT’
               Shun wisdoms of the Seven Seas: ‘Salvation can’t be bought’ –
               Your fathers tried before you and your fathers came to naught.

               “You started out by gelding goats and then by casting lots
               Of bodies to the battlefields, contorted, tight and taut,
               Then wallowed in the wake of trails the dervish devil trots.

               “With marching bands of fatherlands, and drums of Hottentots,
               You lure your legions in harm’s way like giant juggernauts.
               Like Tweedle Dum your minions come (the sober and the sots,
               The troglodytes, barbarians, and mislead patriots,
               The Vandals, Huns and Hannibals and seaport Cypriots,
               The Japanese, the Congolese, Americans and Scots)
               To vanquish bows and arrows, spears and catapulted shots
               Of those who hide in bamboo huts their families, pale, distraught,
               (Their withered wives with dried up *******, their swollen babes in cots)
               Who swoon, engulfed in poison darts and vats of acid hot,
               Consumed by magic mushroom clouds, atomic megawatts.

               “In churches of your deities, your Holy Huguenots,
               Your Imams, Rabbis, Voodoo Dolls and Mitered Lancelots
               Lit wicked kindled candled walls in temples (while we fought)
               (Used pins and needles, magic spells on makeshift mock whatnots)
               And mosques, cathedrals, synagogues have blessed each new onslaught
               With prayers for pipers, puppets, pawns, your rigid armed robots.

               “Upon your knees in golden naves, while peeking through the slots,
               You horded thirty silver pieces, downed a whiskey shot,
               Then crossed yourself and wrapped yourself in furs of ocelots,
               And danced on cleated cloven hoofs in purple polka-dots,
               Then drank His blood from chalice cups with pious afterthoughts.

               “You’ve treated men like mongrels chained, like little flies to swat,
               By doing what you wanted to, instead of what you aught;
               You’ve wiped your nose with dollar bills and paid your serfs with snot,
               But when you’ve paused to preen your pride, you’ve scrubbed a scarlet blot.

               “In ashes of our victories: the diamonds that you sought,
               The crock of gold, the Golden fleece of bogus Argonauts -
               In mirrors of your lifelessness, the evils you begot.
              
               “The haunted winds strew leaves of time across a shallow plot
               Where now, beneath the frozen stones blanched bodies bathe in rot,
               Disintegrate, return to dust to feed Forget-Me-Nots
               Amidst the bane and pits of pain where broken bones lie caught.

               “In fields above the catacombs and tombs of Camelot
               The black and withered tree of Death arises from the spot
               Where oft beneath a bleeding moon you hid your gold in pots
               Embedding doubts neath barren bogs where roots of wormwood squat.

               “While waiting at the river Styx, in twisted time untaught,
               From branches of the gallows tree, in recollections wrought,
               Your soul, a beggar’s blanket, hangs in crazy quilted knots,
               With dangling pearls and diamond studs mid dripping crimson clots
               And gaping wounds with bulging eyes like fouling apricots,
               For wrapped in chains around your throat, the Reaper’s grim garrote.”

Yes, that’s the fate of all your kind, disclosed by Wise Men taught.

But that was, oh, so long ago, by now you have forgot…
1.8k · May 2013
A Pregnant Lass
Terry O'Leary May 2013
A pregnant lass with eyes of glass has never learned to cope.
Once set adrift her fall was swift, she slid a slipp’ry ***** -
She casts the Curse, the Holy Verse, and shoots a shot of dope,
And stalks discreet Asylum Street her daily horoscope -
The stray was struck by random truck which was her only hope.

Well, Banjo Boy, with little joy, he strums her life entire:
“The wayward waif was never safe; her stars were dark and dire.
Born midst the rues and avenues where lack and want aspire
Where no one heeds the childish needs that little ones require;
Where faith survives in tempest lives, a swirl within the briar,
Infinity grinds as time unwinds, until the winds expire.
Her last caprice? The final peace that no one could deny her -
Whipped by the flood, stray beads of blood are spattered on the spire;
Though beads of sweat are cool and wet, cold clotted blood is dryer.”

Though broken there, she’s fled the snare with dying thoughts serene.
And now she’s dead, the rumours spread:  “her age? a sweet 16,
With child, *****, her soul dyed red, her body so unclean.”
A place is sought where she can rot, avoiding churchyard scenes,
In limey pits, as well befits, behind forbidding screens;
And all the while a dirge is styled on tattered tambourines
Which echo through the human zoo in valleys of the Queens.

Without rejoice, in hissing voice, near soil that’s seldom trod
“In pious role, God bless my soul”, was mouthed with mitred nod,
Neath scarlet trim with black, and grim, behind a robed facade -
“She’ll burn in hell and sulphur smell”, spat Priest and man of god.

Well, angels sweet with cloven feet, they sing in girl’s attire,
But Banjo Boy, he’s playing coy while chanting in the choir:
“The clueless search within the church to find what they desire -
Beyond the nave, a gravelled grave, the final Rectifier”
And when he’s through, without ado, he stacks some stones nearby her.
1.8k · Oct 2013
Sleepless in Whereis
Terry O'Leary Oct 2013
I’m stealing through a twilit realm, the ancient pale of Whereis,
passing chambers of an Heiress
(though no need to feel embarrassed)
through a magic mystic mirror hanging curtainless.

A glimpse near naked alleyways (denuded by the moon) ex-
poses Ghosts in gauzy tunics
carving symbols, round and runic,
in distended dingy dungeons of uncertainness.

Down misty streets of cobblestone – ancestral avenues –
patchwork paths consume my shoes
(chasing foggy curlicues
twisting, twirling by in twos,
floating anywhere they choose),
leaving footprints that confuse
vagrant wispy retinues
of the threaded wooden sticks that stalk a Puppet wandering.

Condensed in drops of fantasy, distilled in evening dew,
shifting Shadows I pursue
(wearing faces I once knew,
slipping slowly from my view)
turn their backs to bid adieu
leaving stars to tempt me through
Awful Tower residues
mocking treasures time outgrew
in the birth of old from new
framing pageants in review
midst the visions of the painted past I can’t help pondering.

Contorted candelabra claw the skyline’s walled suspension
caught in twilight’s intervention
– still unlit (in stark dissension),
therefore seething with a tension
in the quiet apprehension
of the Watchman’s inattention
to the night-time’s bold pretension
to her power, not to mention,
to her hyperspace extension
(far beyond my comprehension
of the sundown’s bleak dimension) –  
on exhausted beaten boulevards of foolish fretfulness.

Oblivion depletes me, voiding haste and hurried hassles,
me, a simple abject vassal,
trailing moonlit floating castles,
– fickle feet, but fingers facile
grasping straws and pendant tassels –
as I stumble through the rubble of forgetfulness.

I think I must be dreaming as I seem to see these things,
neath a sky alive with wings
(hear the Nightingale, she sings),
midst the whispered murmurings
soughed by Phantoms clad as Kings
pacing palaces in rings,
while their hapless footfall clings
to the sagging sinking sands of midnight’s splintered splattered ruins.

Entangled in the swirling leaves that spin in dizzy flurries,
(while the wind beside me scurries
as an ermined hermit hurries)
lurk my sleepy woes and worries
(glowing faint’ but growing blurry)
which, when plundered by the demon dusk, I’d left behind me strewn.

The forgery of Multitudes between the Silhouettes
(and discarded cigarettes,
neath the haunted parapets)
mock my lonely echoed steps
         – mock my lonely echoed steps –
(struck like clicking castanets
         – struck like clicking castanets –)
as I lace unlabeled lanes, erasing silence’ sullen treason.

The mossy stones condole with me (within the oubliettes
draped in blood and tears and sweat
sometimes dry, more often wet
quite like drops of anisette
sipped in moments one forgets
self-reproach and raw regrets)
midst the midnight minuets
and the purling pirouettes
of the fugitive Grisettes
(flaunting charms and amulets)
who, in flitting shades of arching bridges, linger longer, teasin’.

Along the When I’m drifting, but a stardust castaway,
weaving, threading by cafés
and deserted cabarets,
just a gauzy appliqué
on the river’s rippled spray,
chasing Fools along the way
through the strands of yesterday,
neath the throbbing peal of sobbing bells in spectral cloisters, quaking.

In belfries, high and haughty, alabaster Knights perform,
riding stiff against a storm,
steeped in cloudlike chloroform,
while the raven skies deform
and my shrivelled shovelled form
(rapt, while bats in steeples swarm
close to candles waxing warm)
hangs in hallowed hallways, hiding, shoulders weary, weak and aching.

Around me hover grinning masks, veiled visages of Queens,
feigning fatal final scenes
of demented doomed Dauphines
(against the scarlet sky they lean,
dreary dripping guillotines),
traced in opalescent ballrooms only tattered time remembers.

The hidden hands of Harlequins (while floating free, unseen
disbursing secrets sibylline,
amongst the manes of Halloween),
tap (on tumbrel tambourines
behind abandoned shuttered screens)
a dirge (with tattooed tones pristine)
for me (a heap in ragged jeans
in these crazy cluttered scenes),
trapped interred in toppled stone chateaus that dismal dawn dismembers.

Rogue breezes pierce, benumbing me, my ears and toes a’ freezin’
(in the Cockcrow’s purple season
as when nightmares should be easin’
and the Zephyr winds appeasin’),
so I reach for  rhyme and reason,
which endeavours leave me wheezin’,
caught impaled upon the jagged edge of early morning’s breaking.

The chill evoking silver chimes of Nodomain start knelling
as the searing sun looms swelling,
and their monodies hang dwelling
in the cloud drifts’ care, revelling,
but the Sandman’s too compelling
and my weariness impelling
– since my eyelids risk rebelling,
when they’ll fall, there’s no foretelling
for the starry sky’s past telling –
as I fade beneath the flaming forge while embers tremble, waking.
1.7k · Feb 2013
Gypsy Eyes
Terry O'Leary Feb 2013
You’ve mirrored me in gypsy eyes,
                                         which never take but borrow

You’ve bathed me in your gypsy eyes,
                                         which are your pools of sorrow

You’ve gazed at me with gypsy eyes,
                                         which never see tomorrow ...
1.7k · Sep 2013
Forbidden Valley (Haiku)
Terry O'Leary Sep 2013
Forbidden valley

Twin peaks arousing passion

Tulips on the tips

;-)
Terry O'Leary Jan 2014
1.   Beginnings

Her babe was her joy, such a beautiful boy,
and he suckled her breast till the end.
The slaver sought cash, bestowed mammy a thrash,
sold her babe to a gentrified friend.
Yes, life flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
yet another cruel link in their chain.

With mammy not there, Sammy dared not to dare
but to bide near the edge of the night.
Yet nevertheless one must always outguess
else absorb burning stings of the bite.
Yes, it flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
yet another cruel link in their chain.

Though learning the rules in the shadows of fools
as he grew to a leery lean lad
he often defied but he never once cried
although whipped at the post whene’er bad.
Yes, it flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
yet another cruel link in their chain.


2.   Youth

The cotton gin broke and nobody spoke,
so ol’ ***** said  “BENNY’S TO BLAME”.
But Sammy said ‘No...  *****, jus’ cain’t be so,
no ’tain’t Benny, ’tain’t Benny’s sore name’.
Yes, it flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
yet another cruel link in their chain.

“LOOK, SEE IN HIS EYES HOW THAT NG** BOY LIES!”
- replied Sam ‘no I’s tellin da truth’.
But daring to speak earned him scars for his cheek
and thus blemished the bloom of his youth.
Yes, it flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
yet another cruel link in their chain.

“THE COTTON GIN’S BROKE, AND THAT JUST AIN’T NO JOKE”
and he called upon Benny to pay:
“BENNY GOT NO EXCUSE, DRAPE HIS NECK WITH THE NOOSE”,
just as Sam feared ol’ ***** would say.
Yes, it flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
yet another cruel link in their chain.

Black faces soon blanched as Ben bended a branch
near the base of a broken oak tree.
His body hung bare as it swung in the air
while the buzzards and crows shrieked with glee.
Yes, it flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
yet another cruel link in their chain.


3.   Flight

Sam’s feet were unclad, as befitting the lad
(as alone as a stone in his path)
when  he started to run neath the sly sliding sun  
being followed and fearing God’s wrath.
Yes, it flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
yet another cruel link in their chain.

Surrounded and caught brought his efforts to naught,
child in chains at the end of his trek;
winds wept as he went, with his spirit unbent,
a cold collar of steel ’round his neck.
Yes, it flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
yet another cruel link in their chain.

“FLOG THE BOY FROM HIS TOES TO THE TIP OF HIS NOSE”
- only so could a lesson be taught -
for to set an example, Sam’s death might be ample
was what the ol’ ***** first thought.
Yes, it flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
yet another cruel link in their chain.

But since boughten at birth, Sam had proven his worth
so his loss would be too much to bear
and as Sam was a child the ol’ ***** was mild,
said “ENOUGH” when Sam’s back was laid bare.      
Yes, it flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
yet another cruel link in their chain.


4.   Life

Sam grew to a man, branded ‘boy’ by the clan,
as they spat on the trails that he tread;
should he dare raise his gaze with a gander that strays
they’d be certain to sever his head.
Yes, it flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
yet another cruel link in their chain.

Once Sam found a wife whom they ripped from his life,
yes along with the babe at her breast
(was it simply their greed or by heaven decreed?).
Well, with hindsight you might guess the rest.
Yes, it flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
yet another cruel link in their chain.


5.   Destiny

From phantoms of fright neath the frail foggy night
Sammy soared as he fled to escape
and he no longer crawled (lady liberty called!)
through the darkness, a black hole agape.
Yes, it flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
yet another cruel link in their chain.

Unleashed! Frenzied dogs hounded Sam through the bogs,
(baying beasts neath the ****** red moon).
White fangs intermeshed as they mangled his flesh,
freedom flayed through the pale afternoon.
Yes, it flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
yet another cruel link in their chain.

Sam’s body was torn leaving little to mourn
but there’s really no need to despair
and there’s no need to cry for his spirit can’t die,
being borne by bound men everywhere.
Yes, it flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
yet another cruel link in their chain.



                          EPITAPH

                    SAM
Revolted and clashed ’gainst the cruel leather lash
and broke free from the choke of their chain.



                         EPILOGUE

Those parts of the past that we gaze at aghast
reveal harrowing questions quite plain –

Why people quite free, just like you, just like me,
were so happy inflicting such pain?

Why we bask in the throes of humanity’s woes
while the tyrants and tyrannies reign?

Why we sit back and watch, sometimes scratching our crotch,
as it happens again and again?

And I’m wondering too (’cause I don’t have a clue),
might we each be a link in their chain?
Terry O'Leary Mar 2013
The midnight clings to dwarfish kings
while robot drones, adorning thrones,
       kneel, bowing to the Old...Guard.
Arrhythmic clocks and wooden box
       grace FRiar Small-Bro’s grave...yard.

The diplohacks, like melting wax,
have swept along the clueless throng,
       some dying for a life...guard.
And Nun, alone, has beached their bones
       in FRiar Small-Bro’s grave...yard.

Beyond the streams, a raven screams
at loser fish that swarm and swish;
       Nun slowly drains her dreams...jarred.
There are no thanks along the banks
       near FRiar Small-Bro’s grave...yard.

While FRiar smiles and prowls the aisles
the hierarch obeys the bark
       from maw that oozes pure...lard.
There's much ado throughout the zoo
       in FRiar Small-Bro’s grave...yard.

Well, FRiar’s pets are in a sweat;
he calls the tunes near burning dunes
       and taps his cloven feet...charred.
They roast in rooms, their future tombs,
       in FRiar Small-Bro’s grave...yard.

His myrmidons, they drool and fawn
reciting verse near FRiar’s hearse,
       extolling wild the van...guard.
Remote controls abet the trolls
       in FRiar Small-Bro’s grave...yard.

With faces straight, in bent debate,
they advertise their empty lies
       to every passing re...****.
Grey zombies groom white flies in bloom
       in FRiar Small-Bro’s grave...yard.

With ghouls, unlearned, no stone’s unturned
to burnish blame with Nun’s proud name
       and leave the midnight sky... scarred.
They raise their hats to copy cats
       in FRiar Small-Bro’s grave...yard.

While rumours spread amongst the dead,
Nun stays the pace with saving grace,
       and phantoms keep their face...marred.
The maggot digs neath twisted twigs
       in FRiar Small-Bro’s grave...yard.

In tempests strong, Nun rings the gong
but fails to rise in vacant eyes -
       he palms a one-eyed trump...card.
Nun sets her sail, to no avail
       in FRiar Small-Bro’s grave...yard.

Nun asks him why a bird can’t fly.
His mouth, a rut, replies “tut, tut”,
       with conscience painted white...tarred.
A mushroom mold has taken hold
       in FRiar Small-Bro’s grave...yard.

“To fly aloft," he laughed and scoffed
“lay bare your breast! I’ll do the rest,
       I’ll bless you in the church...yard”.
The golden rule's contrived for fools
       in FRiar Small-Bro’s grave...yard.

He cast the bait and wouldn't wait -
once more defied, her wings denied,
       the Kingfish is a bass...****.
A 'no' said twice must pay the price
       in FRiar Small-Bro’s grave...yard.

When day’s undone, and night’s begun,
Nun stirs a cup and turns face up;
       she's feeling that she’s ill...starred.
’Tis such a crime to waste her prime
       in FRiar Small-Bro’s grave...yard.

Nun plans to dine with sparkling wine
but sips instead a bitter red
       served with a crystal glass...shard,
Behind the bog, beneath the fog
       in FRiar Small-Bro’s grave...yard.

Well, minstrels fight beyond the night
and demons fete behind the gate,
       while silence chokes the host...bard.
The angel sings with broken wings  
       in FRiar Small-Bro’s grave...yard.

The webs are spun neath dying sun;
and caught ensnared, her flight impaired,
       Nun’s thoughts are how they’ll die...hard.
The puppet people storm the stee-
       pled FRiar Small-Bro’s grave...yard.

And voices wail beyond the pale
“The old taboo - it echoes true -
       Nun’s bound to have her way...barred”.
The schemes are strange and minds deranged
       in FRiar Small-Bro’s grave...yard.

Ms.! Cast your nets, but hedge your bets -
there are no odds, where purple gods
       and hungry idle ghosts...sparred
with nameless gnomes in catacombs
       in FRiar Small-Bro’s grave...yard.
1.6k · Aug 2013
Malimar (Monorhyme)
Terry O'Leary Aug 2013
Inhaling, hushed, from hashed cigars
    my mind implodes in Malimar
        where Naiads bathe in caviar -
            I dream of dwarves and three-eyed tsars.

The captive kiss of Princess Mars
    (who talks in tongues at seminars)
        burns red beyond Her blue boudoir -
            I writhe within Her pale peignoir.

Her Maids gloss lips with cinnabar,
    bedizen cheeks in dusts that mar,
        serve teas beside the reservoir -
            I sip them from a samovar.

Disguised in smoke and lamps of spar
    Her Genies gender gold dinars,
        evoking flames in ****** jars -
            I plea before the Commissar.

At Princess’ neighbourhood bazaar,
    white shadows slip through doors ajar
        to drape my dreams in ash and char -
            I long await the Avatar.

Her Merchants (preening, proud Hussars)
    paint pretty scenes on VCR’s
        while sailing ships to Zanzibar -
            I strum the strings of warped sitars.

Her Prophets sometimes cruise in cars
    else while at each and every bar
        to speak of space and time bizarre -
            I pass my pride for small pourboires.

Her Necromancers trace in tar
    tall tales of wisdom flung afar,
        transported by the Registrars -
            I hitchhike on their handlebars.

Her seers conjure repertoires
    where She and I are on a par
         in infinite surreal memoirs -
             I sometimes sense the void is ours.

My Princess never sees the scars
    cut by Her whispered “au revoirs” -
        I often wake to ask ‘who are
            these Gods that sail the distant stars?’
1.6k · Jun 2013
Buried in the Sand
Terry O'Leary Jun 2013
A beggar clump adorns a dump, his pencil box in hand -
With sightless eyes upon the skies he’s lying there unmanned.

He’s fallen down in Shantytown, his knees too weak to stand,
With no relief and bitter grief too dark to understand.

The Bowery blight is hid from sight, it’s covered up offhand
While Robin Hood and Brother Hood are buried in the sand.
1.6k · Nov 2013
Ramblers
Terry O'Leary Nov 2013
’Tween hither and thither we wended our way
skipping, dancing through sand dunes, in seascape croquet.
While woven in waves watching dolphins at play
I first tasted her lips in the ocean’s wild spray.

Mystic moonbeams, suffusing clouds’ shimmering sails,
unleashed us and whisked us down sensuous trails,
soon evoking the trills of untamed nightingales
as our passions pervaded green valleys and dales.

Being spectres of splendour in wanton sashay
we mastered our meaning in love’s matinee –
the breezes, in passing, slowed down to survey
blazing bodies embraced in youth’s blooming bouquet.

With the wind as our wings, till the Never we flew,
two gypsies, on junkets through dusk’s residue
gently floating like pollen to everywhere new,
so eluding pearled teardrops that paint the past blue.

Yes, we gamboled and gambled, two waifs led astray,
with our shackles afire and anchors aweigh –
rising higher and higher, the sun lured our sleigh,
teasing time was our temptress, night’n day after day.

Having stars in our eyes and all time as our view,
we’ve drifted, like dreamers where sprites rendezvous
and feasted on laughter and sipped morning dew
while rambling forever as one made of two.
Terry O'Leary Dec 2015
1.        Eugene And the Pumpkin Pie

Wee Eugene's but a lonely boy
(arrayed in cap and corduroy),
has Jungle Jim (a ragged toy)
and fancied Friends his only joy.

Well, Jim appears from time to time
behind a pane of pantomime,
a charmed mirage, or dream sublime
inside a Cuckoo's nursery rhyme.

Still Eugene always finds a way
(while riding on his magic Sleigh)
to meet with Jim somewhere halfway
between the Moon and Yesterday.

When Jim brought Eu to Timbuktu
to kiss the Queen (a Kangaroo)
and tweak her tail (bright shiny blue),
Eu sneezed instead “achoo, achoo”.  

The baby Roo, surprised, awoke
and thought 'twas but a funny joke
beholding Eugene cough and choke...
well, sounding like old Froggy's croak.

Said Jim to Roo "Eu has a cold,
we mustn't laugh, we mustn't scold
instead we'll let the tale unfold
and frolic in the marigold".

With runny eyes and mighty sniffle
Eu could hardly get a whiffle,
climbed a hill to reach the cliffle ,
searched the sea for ship or skiffle.

Behind the breeze, some sloops were seen,
a grand delight that pleased Eugene,
and Jim, and Roo, and yes, the Queen;
they then set sail for Halloween.

Above the sea, below the sky
they saw a skinny Scarecrow fly -
within its beak (one couldn't deny),
surprise, surprise, a Pumpkin Pie!

The Scarecrow wore a veil and shawl
so really couldn't see at all
and swooped too near the sunny ball,
got grilled and let the pastry fall,

which bounced upon the waves below,
then slid beneath the undertow.
"Why did it fall, where did it go?"
cried Eugene with a gasp of woe.

Roo wondered would it reappear
(for where it went was certainly queer),
but where it went became quite clear
to Eu and Jim while standing near

the Queen who, hungry, hopped awhile
observing Crunch the Crocodile
come floating down the river Nil
with belly full and toothy smile.

2.        Eugene and the Wolverine

Within the sandbox played Eugene,
as well, his little friend named Dean,
a simple-minded Wolverine.

But yesterday was Halloween
when they collected sweets unseen,
all stuffed inside a sad Sardine.

And making sure their hands were clean,
they shared a snack - a tangerine,
a cantaloupe and big fat bean.

But they forgot the Sandbox Queen
whose hungry name was sweet Pauline -
with no invite she felt so mean
and woke the naughty Sand Machine.

Sand trickled in their fine cuisine
which scratched their gums and set the scene
to brush their teeth and in between.

Poor Dean was sad he hadn’t seen
the sandy specks with sparkly sheen,
all hidden like a submarine.

Eu sold his cookie magazine
And bought a brand new limousine
To flee the naughty Sand Machine.

Next time their food they’ll try to screen
from something hard and unforeseen
while tapping on a tambourine
to sooth the hungry Sandbox Queen
and trick the naughty Sand Machine.


3.        Eugene and Antoine

Eugene awoke and looked upon
his Mirror in the morning Dawn.
He saw himself and stopped to yawn
then saw instead his friend Antoine.

Well Antoine said ‘come in, come on
I’ll whisk you with this Magic Wand
then we can journey to the Pond
and sail astride the Silver Swan’.

And once inside the Looking Glass
amazing conquests came to pass
before the midday hourglass
released its sands upon the grass.

Well, first they sought and found the Pond
and hypnotized the Silver Swan
to sail them to the edge beyond,
to Charles, the Froggy Vagabond.

Well Charles was said to be ‘a King’
(whose Crown was hanging from a String)
while hopping with a golden Ring
just waiting for a Kiss in Spring.

Now Antoine said he’d kiss ‘the King’,
(or better said, ‘the Froggy Thing’)
but Eu refused to do such thing
unless the Frog removed the Ring.

The Ring transfixed poor Froggy’s Nose
instead of round his tiny Toes
to keep away the Midnight Crows
(as far as anybody knows).

When Froggy’s Nose was finally free
there was a sudden kissing spree
with Ant and Eu (and Swan made three)
to fix old Froggy’s Destiny.

The Rest is rather imprecise.
As to the trio’s Sacrifice,
the facts alone should now suffice -
the Pond and Froggy turned to ice!

And Swan became a Toucan Bird,
the strangest thing I ever heard,
instead of chirp she only purred
and even then she sometimes slurred.

Though Charles the Frog was mighty cold,
upon the Pond he stiffly strolled
behind the The Ring that slowly rolled
in search of one more nose to hold.

Well, Eu watched Antoine set the Pace
when beating Toucan in the Race
to seek and find a warmer Space
in front of Mother’s Fireplace.

So Antoine waved his charmed Baton
and whisked Eu back to Mum’s Salon -
But looking back, Eu’s friend was yon
behind the silvered Amazon.


4.            Eugene and the Milky Way

Eugene stayed in to play today
inside his secret hideaway;
he laughed and ate a Milky Way
with little fear of tooth decay.

But Dean, his friend, was far away
just driving in a Chevrolet
and didn't wish to disobey
so hurried home with no delay.

What took so long, I couldn't say
but Dean came late, in disarray -
he'd lost, alas, the Milky Way
that he had hidden Yesterday.

When asked, Eugene led Dean astray
about the missing Milky Way,
blamed Pauline in her negligee
who'd fed her little Popinjay.

Then Dean said sadly, in dismay,
"It was a gift for your birthday".
Well Eu felt bad, no longer ***
and offered Dean ice cream frappé.

Soon afterwards they romped in hay
beside the forest near the bay;
but when the sky turned somewhat gray
they flew back home to hide away.

At home, with all his toys at play,
Eugene confessed to Dean, to say
"Dear Dean, look here, I can't betray,
I ate the sweet, it made my day."

Said Dean, "I knew it anyway,
I saw the traces straightaway,
your chocolate lips, the giveaway;
but we're best friends, so that's OK."


5.         Eugene and the Gold Doubloon

Eugene took his nap at noon
and dreamt about Loraine the Loon
reclining in the long Lagoon
adorned in birdie pantaloons.

Then Eu suggested to the Loon
“Let’s pay a visit to the Dune
we’ll search and seek and very soon
we’ll find a shiny Gold Doubloon.”

But naughty Sand Machine typhoons
arrived and whisked them to the Moon
and left the playmate pals marooned
where gold of pirate ships was strewn.

Pale moonbeams played a mystic tune,
and touching on a magic rune,
Wee Eu, he found a pink harpoon
and in his hand a Gold Doubloon.

Instead of sitting on cocoons,
Loraine, she hatched the Gold Doubloon
when suddenly popped a blue Balloon
revealing Royce the red Raccoon.

Well Eu, awaking from his swoon,
was sad he’d lost the Gold Doubloon.
Instead he found a Macaroon
and munched and munched all afternoon.


6.        Eugene and the Dragonfly

When Eugene climbed a mountain high
and wandered down a dale nearby,
he came upon Doug Dragonfly
asleep beside a Tiger’s eye.

Soon Eu was thinking “Now’s the time
to take a rest from my long climb
and waken Doug to tell him I’m
about to pick a bunch of thyme”.

But Doug was quite a grumpy guy
when woken from his dream whereby
he’s dancing with a Butterfly
in magic realms that mystify.

So Doug complained “My dream's now gone
of dancing to the carillon
with Butterflies upon the lawn,
which won’t come back until I yawn.”

Then Eugene said “Well I know what!
A mug of tea and hazelnuts
served with a chocolate Buttercup
will surely help to cheer you up!”

Thereafter, picking tufts of thyme,
they heard the distant bluebells chime
and watched the Fairies pantomime
and dance till Eugene’s suppertime.


7.        Eugene and the Eskimo

Not so very long ago,
a bit before the morning’s glow,
Wee Eugene met an Eskimo
while trudging through the windblown snow.

Bedecked in boots and winter fur,
the Eskimo said “I’m Jack Spur.
Or call me Jack if you prefer,
it might be somewhat easier.”

Soon Jack was passing by to say
“Well could you help me find my way
back through the door to Yesterday,
to where I left my silver Sleigh?”

So Eugene said “I’ll come along,
but listen, hear the breakfast gong,
my Mama’s made the porridge strong
and chocolate milk, if I’m not wrong.”

So, filled with porridge to the brim
and feeling vigor, full of vim,
Wee Eu called Jack and said to him
“Well now we’ll travel on a whim.”

While seeking Yesterday and more
they searched an unseen corridor.
Somewhere behind the mirrored door
was Yesterday, the day before!

Without a fear they slid within,
with Jackie playing violin.
And Moon above was seen to grin
’cause Jackie’s tune was kind of thin.

Though searching long to find the Sleigh
they heard instead an echo stray
quite sounding like the Donkey’s bray,
the Donkey’s bray of Yesterday.

The Donkey’d left to find some food -
well, something fresh and not yet chewed
by Fran the Cow that always mooed
(and sometimes burped when she was rude).

The Sleigh was at the Donkey’s back
and nowhere’s near the railway track,
so Jack took Eugene piggyback,
just stopping once to eat a snack.

The Donkey heard the munch of chips
and wondered if his hungry lips
would ever taste some bacon strips
before the midnight Moon Eclipse.

Well Fran and Donkey, unforeseen,
found Jack at lunch with Wee Eugene
and shared a mighty fine cuisine,
provided by the Sandbox Queen.

Well ,Franny chewed her little cud
and Donkey ate a shiny spud,
and Jacky said “Now we must scud
before the coming springtime flood".

So Jack jumped back upon his Sleigh,
the Donkey droned a farewell bray,
(and Franny burped, need I to say?)
while Eu returned from Yesterday,
surprised to hear his Mother say
“Well, now it’s time for you to play!”


8.        Eugene and the Christmas Tree

Eugene awoke on Christmas morn
to find the Christmas Tree'd been shorn
and presents strewn around, forlorn,
midst bows and tinselled paper torn.

So blowing on his little Horn,
Eu called Eunice, the Unicorn.
The duo flew away airborne
(straped to Eu's side his Sword, a Thorn).

Escaping back to Yesterday,
in search of thyme and Santa's Sleigh,
Eu sought to brave the grinchy Fay,
reclaim the joy of Christmas Day .

Then Eunice and the Reindeer Corps
chased fey Fay to a sandy Shore
where Santa banned forevermore
the Fay to mop and scrub the floor.

Then Santa iced the windowpane
(thus waking Eu from dreams again),
left gifts arrayed, and candy cane,
beneath a Tree with candled mane.
1.4k · Dec 2013
The Poet
Terry O'Leary Dec 2013
THE POET’S PANEGYRIC

“There’s someone I knew with talent unleashed
and a heart that had for so many relentlessly reached
This poet sought inspiration from the living and the dead
But I can tell you this about the poet who has moved me by what this poet had ever said
I read the words from a comfort zone
which this poet created, surrounded by friends or by foes or simply alone”

His essence of soul sweeps down deserted dead streets
where the thunder still crackles, the burial bell bleats
He laughed at himself as a Royal Rhymester Clown
but bore the black pains of those all around,
He echoed regrets but never a grudge
... of this I’ll say little... let his lines be the judge

THE POET’S PEN

Blind shots cry out beneath the night,
a car is cruising by.
A stripling’s blood streams words to write
... Wry rhymes to ask us why

A silly girl with child, *****...
to many, but a ****.
The baby at her breast is dead
... Cruel couplets meant to cut

A drifter, broken, cast aside,
lies lifeless in the cold.
Tap tattoos on a tattered hide
... Some scarlet stanzas scold

Two lovers clutch a turtledove,
enraptured by her coo,
impaled on pangs of Ladylove
... A sultry song for two

A drone of drums in distant wars
beguiling bold dragoons
who sell their souls like wanton ******
... Raw rhythms writ in runes

The stars ablaze, like tiger-eyes
reflecting candlelight,
’lume angels singing Lullabies
... A sonnet stuns the night

The soulless eyes of shackled slaves
drip tears that burn and blur.
Their ash, like dust, set free in graves
... Emblazing ballads stir

A hurricane, foretold, unfurled,
unravels mystic signs
as Demons dance, destroy the World
... Limned lurid lyric lines

Some die a death neath hangmen’s hands
where tainted justice reigns
for ‘thou shalt ****’, Revenge commands
... A quiet quatrain pains

While well-to-dos amass and flaunt
And follow fashion’s trends,
pale children starve and die of want
... And so an epic ends

THE POET’S EPITAPH**

His words lie strewn along the sand
While breakers wash ashore
The ripples weave designs unplanned
... a verse forevermore

His tales, entwined in cryptic airs
where freedom seeds are blown,
warn Guarders of the Realm ‘beware’
... his heresy is sown

His life outlined a chronicle
along a lonesome road
It started out as doggerel
... and ended as an ode
The italicised text was written by Jeffrey C
1.4k · Mar 2013
My Guitar
Terry O'Leary Mar 2013
With burdens bearing heavy down a road that’s hard and long
My body’s bent and weary so I’m reaching for a song;
My sorrows flicker – fading ..., faint ... - beneath the morning star,
While worried fingers seethe across the strings of my guitar.

Though seagulls fly forever, streaking, striving for the strand,
My troubles ebb, evaporate, with my guitar in hand;
Their turbulency’s writhing neath the notes within the air -
And hunted by the haunting beat, they’re vanquished everywhere.

With melodies erupting, bursting, splashing night with dawn,
The drifting dancing demons die, as time goes swirling on;
Refrains are roaming randomly across the rusty skies,
While cares have vanished, draped in dust of distant lullabies.
1.4k · Mar 2013
The Acrobat
Terry O'Leary Mar 2013
The Circus gongs excite the Throngs in nighttime Never Land –
They swarm to see the destiny of Freaks at their command,
While Acrobats step pitapat above the shifting sands
And Lady Fat sits down to chat and oozes charm unplanned.

The Dwarfs in suits, so small and cute when marching with the Band,
Ask crimson Clowns with frozen frowns, to hold a mutant hand,
While Tamers’ whips with withered tips, throughout the winter land,
Lure Cats entranced through hoops enhanced with flames of fires fanned.
  
White Elephants in big-top tents boast black-tusk contraband
To regiments of Sycophants who overflow the stands,
But No One sees anomalies, and No One understands.
  
At night’s demise, the dither dies, the lonesome Crowd disbands,
Down dead-end streets the Horde retreats, their tattered rags in strands,
And Janes and Joes reweave their woes, for thoughts of change are banned.
  
To play a part in Three-Ring Art, I thought I’d try my hand –
I mastered skills, I felt the thrills, I breathed and seethed firsthand –
But destiny denied to me to taste a lifetime spanned
With tightrope walks and trapeze chalks ... excepting second-hand...

For alcohol provoked a fall, as if a reprimand,
And now, a heap, I sometimes keep the ticket office manned...
Terry O'Leary Aug 2013
PROLOGUE

Umpteen billion years
Big Bang, supernova, gas
Brief eclipse of time

Gases swirling, fall
Sun and planets, water, goo
Brief eclipse of time

Another billion
life, amoeba, fishes swim
Brief eclipse of time

Movement, change and flux
slither, crawl, climb, walk and talk
Brief eclipse of time

Ra, Sol, Helios,
Mithra and the Mighty Eye
Brief eclipse of time

Life begins and ends
birth, joy, laugh, cry, death, and dust
Brief eclipse of time

Waves cleave seas, shores, skies
forever folding, pulsing
Brief eclipse of time


            
CHRONICLE

The Mighty Eye begins to slip and slowly sink,
(unfocused, stained, diffuse)
while frizzled waves imbibe her searing tears,
with salted languid lips.

The Mighty Eye, now weary, thin,
is gazing through the frozen cracks,
as sundry straying clouds,
bloated,
sidle feebly by
and wax their billowed tracks
upon the heated sky,
and cool the rush of rolling waves
beneath the blotted sky.

The waves
(impaled on time and space inside me),
gently tumbling aging pebbles
and lifeless shells across the shifting sands,
seem unaware
as they once again arise
to greet the Mighty Eye,
to close the Mighty Eye,
to ***** the Mighty Eye.

But then again,
perhaps the waves are well aware indeed,
yet simply unconcerned
and feel no need to care.

For, as the frazzled froth is rushing forward
madly towards the sandy shores beyond,
before retreating slowly,
then careening brashly forth ahead again,
eternally,
it matters little if the Mighty Eye will cast
her blazing glance from high above,
or else retire for the night,
kissed sweetly by the liquid lips
of distant faithless waves
in a brief eclipse of time.

The trees, they hang in time and space around me –
trees, which in time before had swayed,
so gently tugged by ocean breezes,
trees, which in time before were lightly lit
with emerald tinted leaves,
trees, which in time before had reached to space above
with twisted tangled fingers,
grasping fingers,
fingers drenched with golden tears
shed by the Mighty Eye.

The trees, they hang in space and time,
benumbed and frozen motionless around me
chilled with rooted premonitions of the void,
their branches clutching darkness  
and their leaves foreboding doom.

The muted winds begin to whisper tales
of many frightened things,
which, with mournful apprehension
have hunkered down behind the haze
and ceased their joyful play.

And all the while dank shadows gaily dance
a dismal dance,
for their time is soon to come.

The fitful shore lies suddenly still.

Unfeeling stones and hollow shells,
are paused a little,
stalled,
and dropped haphazardly,
midst their mindless random journey,
now abandoned by the sea,

for fickle waves have slipped away
to greet a falling prey.

And as the Mighty Eye droops lower,
laminated molten lips
are pursed and pucker higher,
******* in the sky.

Within a trice the Mighty Eye
submits and squints, distended red,
perhaps tormented by fantastic thoughts
of imminent demise,
or else of being lashed beneath a lid
of distant faithless waves.

And as her dying flash dissolves,
two lurid lips arise,
three ***** lips -
a thousand parted limpid lips
which asudden,
though with little haste,
consume the Mighty Eye.

                  
EPILOGUE**

The trees are now but lurking shades
amongst the murky shadows.

Relentless fog slips slowly by -
her floating tongues drip silence
as they slink like snakes in stealth nearby.

The lacerated faithless lips have once again returned
to kiss the vacant vapid shores
in a brief eclipse of time.
1.4k · Mar 2013
The Drummer
Terry O'Leary Mar 2013
1

The drummer beats slowly, the drummer beats loud
     as he beats of humanity wrapped in a shroud.

Well he beats of the **** and the killing of war
     and the mind mangling sorrow we blithely ignore
          and he beats of combatants who’re dying deceived
               while the merchants of ****** count profits received.

And he beats of civilians so savagely slain
     and of bundles of bodies cast off in distain,
          and he beats of the butch'ry that's feeding the flood,
               clogging drains with our flesh, filling swamps with our blood.

And he beats of cadavers, by famine defined
     that has ravished and plagued since the dawn of mankind,
          and he beats of big biz letting oranges decay
               while a child suffers scurvy and passes away.

He beats and he pounds till our consciences gnaw
     and his fingers are battered and ****** and raw
          and his hands are all broken and bleeding and raw.

2

The drummer beats slowly, the drummer beats loud
     as he beats of abuse that we try to becloud.

Well he beats of the barons and princes and kings
     who have broken broad backs with their clubs and their slings,
          and he beats of the toll of divine royal rights
               when the droit du seigneur sullied white wedding nights.

     And he beats of the bribes that the powerful make
          to the pale politicians who wax in their wake,
               and he beats of the waifs bound by chains to machines,
                    and of slaves sporting nooses, and other such scenes.

And he beats of the tyrants in clerical garb
     who have tortured with ******* and thumbscrews and barb
          and he beats of decrees claiming all men are free
               while ignoring cowed thralls and their agonised plea.


He beats and he pounds till revealing the flaw
     and his fingers are battered and ****** and raw
           and his hands are all broken and bleeding and raw.

3

The drummer beats slowly, the drummer beats loud
     as he beats of the strength of the rebels so proud.

Well he beats of the spirit the rack couldn’t break,
     and the fragrance of flesh that was burned at the stake,
          and he beats of gray witches submerged in a pond,
               being swum to nirvana and even beyond.

And he beats of the minds that could never be chained
     by the faith that was living while ignorance reigned;
          and he beats of bold battles when Spartacus rose        
               having tired of shackles and slavery’s woes.

And he beats of bent women who’ll fight to be freed
     and will never give up till they finally succeed,
          and he beats of their progress, belying the jeers,
               overwhelming the pessimists' fatuous sneers.

He beats and he pounds till we stand back in awe
     and his fingers are battered and ****** and raw
          and his hands are all broken and bleeding and raw.

4

The drummer beats slowly, the drummer beats loud
     as he beats of the sights that he’s seen from a cloud.

Well he beats of the passion when lovers have lain
     with their bodies entwined midst a field of fresh grain;
          and he beats of the joy when a mother has smiled
               while she’s nursing a baby, her newly born child.

And he beats of the sorrow upsurging inside
     leaving shadows and ruins when loved ones have died.
          Then he beats of an image that looms as a dream
               of a time when compassion and love reign supreme.

And he beats of lush meadows pale yellow and green,
     shining lakes in a woodland, a river serene.
          Then he beats of a planet that dies in a sweat,
               and of smirks of the dullards denying the threat.

He beats and he pounds till we see what he saw
     and his fingers are battered and ****** and raw
          and his hands are all broken and bleeding and raw.

*

The drummer beats slowly, the drummer beats loud
    
     And he beats of humanity wrapped in a shroud
          And he beats of abuse that we try to becloud
               And he beats of the strength of the rebels so proud
                    And he beats of the sights that he’s seen from a cloud.

     And he beats and he pounds till our consciences gnaw
          And he beats and he pounds till revealing the flaw
               And he beats and he pounds till we stand back in awe
                    And he beats and he pounds till we see what he saw.

And his fingers are battered and ****** and raw
     And his hands are all broken and bleeding and raw.

          And his hands are all
               broken
                   and bleeding
                        and raw.
1.4k · May 2016
The Circus Is In Town
Terry O'Leary May 2016
Come join the unraveling circus
quite soon to be passing our way,
with the clowns in a clamor to twerk us -
line up as they lead us astray!

Arriving, the elephant trumpets
agendas of aberrant acts
while the donkeys drool, dunking their crumpets
and twirlers spin, twisting the facts.

The big top’s now open to breezes,
so pundits soar spreading their wings
to convince us to tread the trapezes,
for it's they who'll be pulling the strings.

The merry-go-round’s so amazing
(black horses bound, chasing the cart)
as the brass ring of change wanders wildly
till stealing straight back to the start.

The moldy old model of Ptolemy
(at the hub of this three ring domain)
mixes marvels of magic with alchemy
in the bowels of the mastodon’s brain.

Neglecting the gulls who’ll be eating
stale crumbs that have dropped from the plate,
the vain vulture of virtue’s oft tweeting  
of Circus Land once again great.

The tamer, adorned in fine trumpery
(pate garnished with fiery mane)
has endeavored to wall the ring's boundary,
keep millipede migrants in rein.

The dwarves and their antics are funny
while juggling to balance the books,
so the titans laugh, grappling the money
extracted by hook or by crooks.

The sideshows provide a composite
of fails of the frizzed billionaire,
some disclosing the bones in his closet
caught clutched in the arms of the bear.
    
From towers the trumpet is blowing
fake messages, fetid but full,
but as long as the cattle keep lowing,
he’ll hasten to serve them the bull.

The masses, persuaded to follow,
float foolishly into the fog
overwhelmed by the vapors they swallow,
choked up like the ruff-collared dog.

The snap of the whip as it whooshes
maintains the domains of the dupes
so the cats won’t escape to the bushes,
refusing to hop through the hoops.

With the promise to call out the cavalry,
the hearts of the crowds beat athrob
for in spite of their struggles and rivalry
the Don’s still controlling the mob.

Humbled Empress on *******’s hilarious,
parading her ***** and mules,
with her fabulous tales (mostly spurious)
wagging only the naive and fools.

Mounting ponies in circles, she rode 'em
through lobbies where influence crawls
with her claws clinging tight to the totem
while seals on the banks balanced *****.

Yes, the pack’s still pre-paid by the PAC men,
some wolfing their ways through the maze,
while fey fables are hawked by the packmen
who canvass our eyes with a glaze.

The pretender defender of females
is actu'ly one of the hawks;
secrets hidden in spills of her re-mails
means pillory, stuck in the stocks.

The swine in the central arenas
(immersed in the fat of the throne)
begin dancing like wee ballerinas
’fore pitching the proles a bare bone.

Jesters Cruzo and Bozo, while boozin'
(dealt cards which were ******* by the ****),
ruled “not winning the hand would be losin’
and need for an armed Minuteman.”

Well the ray gun's still loaded and toted
(the gall’ry forbidding all bans)
and the NRA gang’s become bloated
shooting **** in the face of the fans.

One day when the mad house has folded
and sawdust’s been wafted aside,
Human Race will be racing, remolded,
surmounting life’s hurdles in stride.
1.4k · May 2013
Bitterness
Terry O'Leary May 2013
The fire in her eyes tonight
calls forth the thought that they invite,
though I recall, not long ago
my absence seemed more apropos.

The smile that lingers on her lips
says more than many verbal slips -
the times it pierced me, sad and grim
lie in the past, though far from dim.

She flayed me once... nay, more than twice,
she flayed me both with flame and ice,
and once again, predictably,
she primes me for catastrophe.

The curious naively watch
her try to carve a deeper notch,
for even they don’t claim to know
the depths to which she’d really go.

Upon my face a smile appears
which hides my thoughts, obscures my sneers,
for now I too have learned the rules
from her - ah, yes, the best of schools.

Because I’m acting somewhat cool,
thus pouring on her fire, fuel,
she  burns and yearns and wants me more
than when I was her cuspidor.

Since, unbeknownst I’m not the same,
she plans again her guileful game.
But when her teardrops seep and swell,
will she be proud she taught me well?

The others leave, I stay behind
(they all know what she has in mind)
and take her in my arms once more
then slip her through her bedroom door.

She whispers secrets in my ear,
as I once did (she didn’t hear);
I listen with a mirthless smile
while thinking of a desert isle.

The night is passed, her trusting grows;
I leave before the morning glows.
Aroused, she’ll seek a waking thrill
but find instead a dollar bill.
1.3k · Apr 2013
Famine
Terry O'Leary Apr 2013
The sinking sun is now undone,
                                   the sky is fading red
and shadows prowl neath cloak and cowl
                                   for midnight lies ahead.

Above the heap, the bosses sleep
                                   with bloated bellies fed;
for, yes indeed, no one's in need,
                                   at least, that's what they've said.

Amongst the ones that hunger shuns,
                                   in day's retreating tread,
are spiders black ensnaring snacks
                                   while spinning silken thread.

But as it stands, in conquered lands
                                   a famine reigns instead -
and kids at noon, collapse and swoon
                                   on stones they call a bed.

With aching eyes they fantasize
                                  and dream of gingerbread,
and after while, they wake and smile,
                                   now dining with the dead.
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