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Alyssa Underwood Jul 2017
There are times when the Lord will take from us every familiar thing and send all the others away to have us to Himself, uprooting and dismantling our earthly anchors until we find no safe place of attachment but to Him alone. And though we search feverishly to secure another, He will faithfully cut off our efforts at every pass and every attempted by-pass, almost as though we could see them being escorted out the door, marching one after the other in file and possibly taking our sanity with them. “No, not another one! Where are they all going and why am I not invited?” But it is His alone to give or not to give, to give and take away.

The One Who took up the cross and took the cup of the Father’s wrath for us has the absolute right to take anything and everything from us at any time for whatever reasons might please Him. But know this for certain: concerning His redeemed, those reasons will always involve two things—glory and intimacy. They are the overriding answers to every lingering question of “Why?”.

But if we fail to understand His glorious and intimate intentions we may misconstrue our losses to be a sign that He is actually withdrawing His affection from us. The very things which He is doing for love’s sake to perfect our pathway to intimacy might be taken instead for obstacles blocking it, causing us to doubt His love. We could not be more wrong, but sometimes it's so hard to see through the veil of pain.

For it's a strange and bewildering thing to feel that you belong to no place and no person in this world, to have nowhere to call home and no one to share it with if you did. A severe untethering indeed that though meant to prepare us for flying can seem to us more like drowning. The sobering truth is that none of us belong to this life or the things of this earth; all sense of it is only an illusion, and pain and loss are simply the dispelling of the myth—the rude awakening from a bewitching dream we once had. But oh how we fight the disillusionment.

Maybe we remember a time when we had prayed to be refined, to be made more like Jesus, but we didn’t know it would have to hurt so bad and take so long and look so dark and feel so lonely. Even if we have understood and embraced His call to deeper intimacy we may after a while, when nothing seems improved either around us or in us, start to resent our belonging to such a determined and jealous Lover, though He is doing exactly what we had once asked Him to. We may start to think we can no longer bear anything except that which superficially distracts us from our grief. We may even start to give up hope, for if not anchored exclusively “behind the curtain” and if repeatedly crushed it threatens to **** our hearts for good should we have to face one more disappointment.

We may feel very much like we are flailing around in a deep and darkening ocean, repeatedly pulled under by the powerful tow and thrashing waves of overwhelming emotion and continuously knocked back by the brutal winds of confusion. Yet we can still see the unshakable boat of faith and truth standing solidly only a small distance away. We know it is real and that if we could just reach it we would be safe. We hear someone shouting through the din, “Just hold onto the boat! The boat will save you. Look beyond your feelings and walk by faith. Hold onto truth!” But can’t they see that as hard as we may try we have no strength to swim to the boat? Can’t they see that we are sinking?

And so we are left with nothing but to cry out to Jesus, to cry out to Him to bring the boat to us, to come Himself and rescue us. Do we have that much faith? Enough to just say, “Jesus, help me! I’m drowning!”? Enough to see that He is our only hope and nothing else matters apart from Him?

Because when we do, we will understand that this hope in Him alone is the very lifeline by which He will pull us to safety—back to faith, back to truth, back into His intimate arms of love, back into a peace which passes all understanding and into a joy that gives us strength for the journey.

As difficult as it can be in our grief to hear the Lord whispering truth to our hearts above the constant clanging of our feelings, we must now more than ever choose to take the time to be still and seek our soul’s rest in Him and in His promises. But how amidst such clamor and confusion?

Simply decide to cast your cares on Him, if only for the moment, by climbing into His Shepherd’s lap to look and loiter and listen. And if you have no energy to climb up, then just lift your arms and ask Him to pick you up. And if you haven’t the strength even for that, only raise your eyes toward Him and you will soon find your sanity restored as you behold His love for you. Ask Him earnestly to let you see it afresh, for perhaps you have been temporarily blinded from recognizing it.

Stop everything; cease just for this minute from all worry, anxiety, fear and anger. Forget the past and do not look toward the future. Focus only on this moment right now, as if you knew it would be your last, as if it were the very one to lead you into eternity. Inhale like fresh air the powerful promises of God’s Word. Soak in their grace and drink in their healing, keeping your eyes fixed on Jesus’ face. Can you see Him longing for you? Exhale every distraction, conflict and uncertainty of this world. Then listen... What is He saying to you right now? Wait for it, then let your soul rest in it, and let go of everything else. Rest in the grace of this present moment and in His strong, sure arms. Let Him take care of you, wounded one, for you are His beloved, and He longs to tend your broken and needy heart.
~~~

"Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
    my hope comes from Him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation;
    He is my fortress, I will not be shaken."
~ Psalm 62:5-6

"The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
    my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
    my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I called to the LORD, who is worthy of praise,
    and I have been saved from my enemies.
The cords of death entangled me;
    the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
The cords of the grave coiled around me;
    the snares of death confronted me.
In my distress I called to the LORD;
    I cried to my God for help.
From His temple He heard my voice;
    my cry came before Him, into His ears...
He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
    He drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
    from my foes, who were too strong for me.
They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
    but the LORD was my support.
He brought me out into a spacious place;
    He rescued me because He delighted in me."
~ Psalm 18:2-6,16-19

"We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf..."
~ Hebrews 6:19-20a
The trees are coming into leaf
Like something almost being said;
The recent buds relax and spread,
Their greenness is a kind of grief.

Is it that they are born again
And we grow old? No, they die too.
Their yearly trick of looking new
Is written down in rings of grain.

Yet still the unresting castles thresh
In fullgrown thickness every May.
Last year is dead, they seem to say,
Begin afresh, afresh, afresh.
seasonalskins May 2014
i wish to unmeet you
         only to meet you again.
jane taylor May 2016
and there i am in the midst of it all, conscious of what appears to be existent, yet knowing it is illusory.  and if time is occurring synchronously then how can i look back with contrition?  for if i have the capacity to move backwards and forwards in quantum leaps, i can erase the past like pastel chalk on an antique blackboard, then start anew.  is not the sky my canvas and the arc of the rainbow my palette?  and the stars in lustrous luminosity light my way so that ev’n at dusk I can paint.  yet pain ne’er ceases to hollow me out.  then through a barren vessel i catch more rain, and pour it out upon the parched terrain.  just when i thought enlightenment was nigh, a sharp edge is discovered.  must it necessitate additional sandpapering from the wind?  when will the gemstone sparkle without further pressure?  does it lie in its power to simply shimmer sans duress?  perhaps it was dazzling at its inception, relinquishing its luster upon domestication.  with this proviso, as it nears twilight i shall tarry and blend with the night.  i’ll dance with a moonbeam knowing the jewel will glisten afresh upon the rise of the golden sun.

@2016janetaylor
pcbzzzt Sep 2009
Softly she tiptoes across the lawn
Warm muffin hand snuggled in mine
Off we go to watch the sunrise
see the dawn get born

Hungrily I turn for more of the dream
Another re-run - my favorite one
Wide-eyed she tastes the fresh new air
Dips her piggies in the stream

Why does it smell so different dad?
Willow trees heave a sigh and blink
Frogs smile and wink in the sparkly dew
Well you see darling... gone! begad!

Don't stop now! More I implore
Play how she skated to me down the hill
long before she learned to drive
the thrills, the spills, kissing her sore
Now the  **** crows a new dawn, fresh
Someday soon I'll see what she saw
Return O Lord! restore shalom
as it was in the beginning - afresh
Faint as a climate-changing bird that flies
All night across the darkness, and at dawn
Falls on the threshold of her native land,
And can no more, thou camest, O my child,
Led upward by the God of ghosts and dreams,
Who laid thee at Eleusis, dazed and dumb,
With passing thro' at once from state to state,
Until I brought thee hither, that the day,
When here thy hands let fall the gather'd flower,
Might break thro' clouded memories once again
On thy lost self. A sudden nightingale
Saw thee, and flash'd into a frolic of song
And welcome; and a gleam as of the moon,
When first she peers along the tremulous deep,
Fled wavering o'er thy face, and chased away
That shadow of a likeness to the king
Of shadows, thy dark mate. Persephone!
Queen of the dead no more--my child! Thine eyes
Again were human-godlike, and the Sun
Burst from a swimming fleece of winter gray,
And robed thee in his day from head to feet--
"Mother!" and I was folded in thine arms.

Child, those imperial, disimpassion'd eyes
Awed even me at first, thy mother--eyes
That oft had seen the serpent-wanded power
Draw downward into Hades with his drift
Of fickering spectres, lighted from below
By the red race of fiery Phlegethon;
But when before have Gods or men beheld
The Life that had descended re-arise,
And lighted from above him by the Sun?
So mighty was the mother's childless cry,
A cry that ran thro' Hades, Earth, and Heaven!

So in this pleasant vale we stand again,
The field of Enna, now once more ablaze
With flowers that brighten as thy footstep falls,
All flowers--but for one black blur of earth
Left by that closing chasm, thro' which the car
Of dark Aidoneus rising rapt thee hence.
And here, my child, tho' folded in thine arms,
I feel the deathless heart of motherhood
Within me shudder, lest the naked glebe
Should yawn once more into the gulf, and thence
The shrilly whinnyings of the team of Hell,
Ascending, pierce the glad and songful air,
And all at once their arch'd necks, midnight-maned,
Jet upward thro' the mid-day blossom. No!
For, see, thy foot has touch'd it; all the space
Of blank earth-baldness clothes itself afresh,
And breaks into the crocus-purple hour
That saw thee vanish.

Child, when thou wert gone,
I envied human wives, and nested birds,
Yea, the cubb'd lioness; went in search of thee
Thro' many a palace, many a cot, and gave
Thy breast to ailing infants in the night,
And set the mother waking in amaze
To find her sick one whole; and forth again
Among the wail of midnight winds, and cried,
"Where is my loved one? Wherefore do ye wail?"
And out from all the night an answer shrill'd,
"We know not, and we know not why we wail."
I climb'd on all the cliffs of all the seas,
And ask'd the waves that moan about the world
"Where? do ye make your moaning for my child?"
And round from all the world the voices came
"We know not, and we know not why we moan."
"Where?" and I stared from every eagle-peak,
I thridded the black heart of all the woods,
I peer'd thro' tomb and cave, and in the storms
Of Autumn swept across the city, and heard
The murmur of their temples chanting me,
Me, me, the desolate Mother! "Where"?--and turn'd,
And fled by many a waste, forlorn of man,
And grieved for man thro' all my grief for thee,--
The jungle rooted in his shatter'd hearth,
The serpent coil'd about his broken shaft,
The scorpion crawling over naked skulls;--
I saw the tiger in the ruin'd fane
Spring from his fallen God, but trace of thee
I saw not; and far on, and, following out
A league of labyrinthine darkness, came
On three gray heads beneath a gleaming rift.
"Where"? and I heard one voice from all the three
"We know not, for we spin the lives of men,
And not of Gods, and know not why we spin!
There is a Fate beyond us." Nothing knew.

Last as the likeness of a dying man,
Without his knowledge, from him flits to warn
A far-off friendship that he comes no more,
So he, the God of dreams, who heard my cry,
Drew from thyself the likeness of thyself
Without thy knowledge, and thy shadow past
Before me, crying "The Bright one in the highest
Is brother of the Dark one in the lowest,
And Bright and Dark have sworn that I, the child
Of thee, the great Earth-Mother, thee, the Power
That lifts her buried life from loom to bloom,
Should be for ever and for evermore
The Bride of Darkness."

So the Shadow wail'd.
Then I, Earth-Goddess, cursed the Gods of Heaven.
I would not mingle with their feasts; to me
Their nectar smack'd of hemlock on the lips,
Their rich ambrosia tasted aconite.
The man, that only lives and loves an hour,
Seem'd nobler than their hard Eternities.
My quick tears ****'d the flower, my ravings hush'd
The bird, and lost in utter grief I fail'd
To send my life thro' olive-yard and vine
And golden grain, my gift to helpless man.
Rain-rotten died the wheat, the barley-spears
Were hollow-husk'd, the leaf fell, and the sun,
Pale at my grief, drew down before his time
Sickening, and Aetna kept her winter snow.
Then He, the brother of this Darkness, He
Who still is highest, glancing from his height
On earth a fruitless fallow, when he miss'd
The wonted steam of sacrifice, the praise
And prayer of men, decreed that thou should'st dwell
For nine white moons of each whole year with me,
Three dark ones in the shadow with thy King.

Once more the reaper in the gleam of dawn
Will see me by the landmark far away,
Blessing his field, or seated in the dusk
Of even, by the lonely threshing-floor,
Rejoicing in the harvest and the grange.
Yet I, Earth-Goddess, am but ill-content
With them, who still are highest. Those gray heads,
What meant they by their "Fate beyond the Fates"
But younger kindlier Gods to bear us down,
As we bore down the Gods before us? Gods,
To quench, not hurl the thunderbolt, to stay,
Not spread the plague, the famine; Gods indeed,
To send the noon into the night and break
The sunless halls of Hades into Heaven?
Till thy dark lord accept and love the Sun,
And all the Shadow die into the Light,
When thou shalt dwell the whole bright year with me,
And souls of men, who grew beyond their race,
And made themselves as Gods against the fear
Of Death and Hell; and thou that hast from men,
As Queen of Death, that worship which is Fear,
Henceforth, as having risen from out the dead,
Shalt ever send thy life along with mine
From buried grain thro' springing blade, and bless
Their garner'd Autumn also, reap with me,
Earth-mother, in the harvest hymns of Earth
The worship which is Love, and see no more
The Stone, the Wheel, the dimly-glimmering lawns
Of that Elysium, all the hateful fires
Of torment, and the shadowy warrior glide
Along the silent field of Asphodel.
Natalie Neo Nov 2014
Sweep the dust off
Polish and buff the edges
Clean and wipe the surfaces.

I start afresh.
ChildofGodyay Jul 2018
Sitting on the floor.
In the cold and dusty corridoor.
My ears placed on the floor.
The waters carried memories.
The wet mossy floor carried the memories of those who lived here before.
It's careful hands hugged those little lights tight.
The moonlight shone with silver light.
The promises of tomorrow held in his hands.
As the savior slowly lands.
Taking back the land.

Sitting on the floor.
On the once ***** corridoor.
My ears placed on his chest.
His mercies afresh.
Thank you Lord.
Akhil Bhadwal Mar 2015
Sky, giving the possibility to fly
Like a hovercraft, every time in my eye
Endless, it seems as seen every time
Timeless, drawn with a blue line

Thoughts, giving the possibility to think
Transforming, into ideas that act like an ink
To write, the clean sheet of Karma
With, ecstasy(ies) and trauma(s)

End, gives the possibility to start
Afresh, anew, straight from the heart
Waves, the brain continuously sends
Possibility, it never ends


|AB|
Follows a a b b rhyme scheme. Possibility explores the numerous combinations of discrete ideas and actions.
Here come I to my own again,
Fed, forgiven and known again,
Claimed by bone of my bone again
And cheered by flesh of my flesh.
The fatted calf is dressed for me,
But the husks have greater zest for me,
I think my pigs will be best for me,
So I’m off to the Yards afresh.

I never was very refined, you see,
(And it weighs on my brother’s mind, you see)
But there’s no reproach among swine, d’you see,
For being a bit of a swine.
So I’m off with wallet and staff to eat
The bread that is three parts chaff to wheat,
But glory be!—there’s a laugh to it,
Which isn’t the case when we dine.

My father glooms and advises me,
My brother sulks and despises me,
And Mother catechises me
Till I want to go out and swear.
And, in spite of the butler’s gravity,
I know that the servants have it I
Am a monster of moral depravity,
And I’m ****** if I think it’s fair!

I wasted my substance, I know I did,
On riotous living, so I did,
But there’s nothing on record to show I did
Worse than my betters have done.
They talk of the money I spent out there—
They hint at the pace that I went out there—
But they all forget I was sent out there
Alone as a rich man’s son.

So I was a mark for plunder at once,
And lost my cash (can you wonder?) at once,
But I didn’t give up and knock under at once,
I worked in the Yards, for a spell,
Where I spent my nights and my days with hogs.
And shared their milk and maize with hogs,
Till, I guess, I have learned what pays with hogs
And—I have that knowledge to sell!

So back I go to my job again,
Not so easy to rob again,
Or quite so ready to sob again
On any neck that’s around.
I’m leaving, Pater.  Good-bye to you!
God bless you, Mater! I’ll write to you!
I wouldn’t be impolite to you,
But, Brother, you are a hound!
You were forever finding some new play.
So when I saw you down on hands and knees
I the meadow, busy with the new-cut hay,
Trying, I thought, to set it up on end,
I went to show you how to make it stay,
If that was your idea, against the breeze,
And, if you asked me, even help pretend
To make it root again and grow afresh.
But ’twas no make-believe with you today,
Nor was the grass itself your real concern,
Though I found your hand full of wilted fern,
Steel-bright June-grass, and blackening heads of clovers.
’Twas a nest full of young birds on the ground
The cutter-bar had just gone champing over
(Miraculously without tasking flesh)
And left defenseless to the heat and light.
You wanted to restore them to their right
Of something interposed between their sight
And too much world at once—could means be found.
The way the nest-full every time we stirred
Stood up to us as to a mother-bird
Whose coming home has been too long deferred,
Made me ask would the mother-bird return
And care for them in such a change of scene
And might out meddling make her more afraid.
That was a thing we could not wait to learn.
We saw the risk we took in doing good,
But dared not spare to do the best we could
Though harm should come of it; so built the screen
You had begun, and gave them back their shade.
All this to prove we cared. Why is there then
No more to tell? We turned to other things.
I haven’t any memory—have you?—
Of ever coming to the place again
To see if the birds lived the first night through,
And so at last to learn to use their wings.
Nico Reznick Mar 2016
I recently had the great privilege of editing Mike Essig's latest poetry collection, THE BIOLOGY OF STRANGENESS, and I'm honoured to have been entrusted with such fantastic material. Putting together a book like this is every poetry geek's dream.

It's a beautifully textured assortment of poems, earthy yet lyrical, narrated by a voice that's uniquely grained with experience. There are pieces that will make you smile, think, wince; there are pieces that hit you in the gut out of nowhere; there are pieces that welcome you into them like old, worn-in shoes; there are pieces you will remember late some night when you're by yourself, and remembering them will make you feel less alone.

This collection of poetry makes you look at the banal and the everyday afresh; it finds magic and mystery in the mundane, and even Hawaiian shirts are poem-worthy when Mike Essig's writing about them.

The Kindle version is already available through Amazon.

A paperback edition is due out next month, and I can't wait to have a copy of this book on my shelf as well as on my e-reader.

Mike's previous poetry books, Never Forgotten and Huck Finn Is Dead are also available through Amazon and are excellent.  

From his author profile on B Star Kitty Press:

"Mike Essig is a veteran of Vietnam and a retired English teacher. He’s also been recruited by the muse as a poet, like he hadn’t already been through enough."

Sample poems, links to sales pages and more info can be found at the B Star Kitty Press website.  www(dot)bstarkittypress(dot)com.

Please do support this very talented indie author.
Paras Bajaj Jan 2019
I am starting afresh, starting new,
not with the many, only with a few.
I left behind what did not grow,
held the door open, asked them to go.

For this year, my head is very clear,
who doesn't uplift you, really ain't your dear.
For this year, my heart is very aligned,
who is not kind, really ain't worth your time.


-Paras Bajaj #PoetrybyParas
Instagram : @mr.parasbajaj
Shivani Lalan Dec 2014
Begin anew.
Start afresh.
I want to go
to a place
where there is nought
but my heart
splayed out like
waves over the rocky beach.

My emotions will flow as
the waves caress,
gently,
each grain of sand,
every grain of sand
in the teeming lifelessness
of the sea
that cannot be
fathomed.

The tides ebb
and the tides
flow;
but the water moves not.
It is still and will be,
for change does not
skim the beach.

Begin anew?
Start afresh?

You try it first.

The waves will,
for once,
wait
and
watch.
zebra Oct 2017
Here is a primer on the history of poetry

Features of Modernism

To varying extents, writing of the Modernist period exhibits these features:

1. experimentation

belief that previous writing was stereotyped and inadequate
ceaseless technical innovation, sometimes for its own sake
originality: deviation from the norm, or from usual reader expectations
ruthless rejection of the past, even iconoclasm

2. anti-realism

sacralisation of art, which must represent itself, not something beyond preference for allusion (often private) rather than description
world seen through the artist's inner feelings and mental states
themes and vantage points chosen to question the conventional view
use of myth and unconscious forces rather than motivations of conventional plot

3. individualism

promotion of the artist's viewpoint, at the expense of the communal
cultivation of an individual consciousness, which alone is the final arbiter
estrangement from religion, nature, science, economy or social mechanisms
maintenance of a wary intellectual independence
artists and not society should judge the arts: extreme self-consciousness
search for the primary image, devoid of comment: stream of consciousness
exclusiveness, an aristocracy of the avant-garde

4. intellectualism

writing more cerebral than emotional
work is tentative, analytical and fragmentary, more posing questions more than answering them
cool observation: viewpoints and characters detached and depersonalized
open-ended work, not finished, nor aiming at formal perfection
involuted: the subject is often act of writing itself and not the ostensible referent

............
Expressionism

Expressionism was a phase of twentieth-century writing that rejected naturalism and romanticism to express important inner truths. The style was generally declamatory or even apocalyptic, endeavoring to awaken the fears and aspirations that belong to all men, and which European civilization had rendered effete or inauthentic. The movement drew on Rimbaud and Nietzsche, and was best represented by German poetry of the 1910-20 period. Benn, Becher, Heym, Lasker-Schüler, Stadler, Stramm, Schnack and Werfel are its characteristic proponents, {1} though Trakl is the best known to English readers. {2} {3}

Like most movements, there was little of a manifesto, or consensus of beliefs and programmes. Many German poets were distrustful of contemporary society — particularly its commercial and capitalist attitudes — though others again saw technology as the escape from a perceived "crisis in the old order". Expressionism was very heterogeneous, touching base with Imagism, Vorticism, Futurism, Dadaism and early Surrealism, many of which crop up in English, French, Russian and Italian poetry of the period. Political attitudes tended to the revolutionary, and technique was overtly experimental. Nonetheless, for all the images of death and destruction, sometimes mixed with messianic utopianism, there was also a tone of resignation, a sadness of "the evening lands" as Spengler called them.

Expressionism also applies to painting, and here the characteristics are more illuminating. The label refers to painting that uses visual gestures to transmit emotions and emotionally charged messages. In the expressive work of Michelangelo and El Greco, for example, the content remains of first importance, but content is overshadowed by technique in such later artists as van Gogh, Ensor and Munch. By the mid twentieth-century even this attenuated content had been replaced by abstract painterly qualities — by the sheer scale and dimensions of the work, by colour and shape, by the verve of the brushwork and other effects.

Expressionism often coincided with rapid social change. Germany, after suffering the horrors of the First World War, and ineffectual governments afterwards, fragmented into violently opposed political movements, each with their antagonistic coteries and milieu. The painting of these groups was very variable, but often showed a mixture of aggression and naivety. Understandably unpopular with the establishment  — denounced as degenerate by the Nazis — the style also met with mixed reactions from the picture-buying public. It seemed to question what the middle classes stood for: convention, decency, professional expertise. A great sobbing child had been let loose in the artist's studio, and the results seemed elementally challenging. Perhaps German painting was returning to its Nordic roots, to small communities, apocalyptic visions, monotone starkness and anguished introspection.

What could poetry achieve in its turn? Could it use some equivalent to visual gestures, i.e. concentrate on aspects of the craft of poetry, and to the exclusion of content? Poetry can never be wholly abstract, a pure poetry bereft of content. But clearly there would be a rejection of naturalism. To represent anything faithfully requires considerable skill, and such skill was what the Expressionists were determined to avoid. That would call on traditions that were not Nordic, and that were not sufficiently opposed to bourgeois values for the writer's individuality to escape subversion. Raw power had to tap something deeper and more universal.

Hence the turn inward to private torments. Poets became the judges of poetry, since only they knew the value of originating emotions. Intensity was essential.  Artists had to believe passionately in their responses, and find ways of purifying and deepening those responses — through working practices, lifestyles, and philosophies. Freud was becoming popular, and his investigations into dreams, hallucinations and paranoia offered a rich field of exploration. Artists would have to glory in their isolation, moreover, and turn their anger and frustration at being overlooked into a belief in their own genius. Finally, there would be a need to pull down and start afresh, even though that contributed to a gradual breakdown in the social fabric and the apocalypse of the Second World War.

Expressionism is still with us. Commerce has invaded bohemia, and created an elaborate body of theory to justify, support and overtake what might otherwise appear infantile and irrational. And if traditional art cannot be pure emotional expression, then a new art would have to be forged. Such poetry would not be an intoxication of life (Nietzsche's phrase) and still less its sanctification.  Great strains on the creative process were inevitable, moreover, as they were in Georg Trakl's case, who committed suicide shortly after writing the haunting and beautiful piece given below

................
SYMBOLIST POETS
symbolism in poetry

Symbolism in literature was a complex movement that deliberately extended the evocative power of words to express the feelings, sensations and states of mind that lie beyond everyday awareness. The open-ended symbols created by Charles Baudelaire (1821-67) brought the invisible into being through the visible, and linked the invisible through other sensory perceptions, notably smell and sound. Stéphane Mallarmé (1842-98), the high priest of the French movement, theorized that symbols were of two types. One was created by the projection of inner feelings onto the world outside. The other existed as nascent words that slowly permeated the consciousness and expressed a state of mind initially unknown to their originator.

None of this came about without cultivation, and indeed dedication. Poets focused on the inner life. They explored strange cults and countries. They wrote in allusive, enigmatic, musical and ambiguous styles. Rimbaud deranged his senses and declared "Je est un autre". Von Hofmannstahl created his own language. Valéry retired from the world as a private secretary, before returning to a mastery of traditional French verse. Rilke renounced wife and human society to be attentive to the message when it came.

Not all were great theoreticians or technicians, but the two interests tended to go together, in Mallarmé most of all. He painstakingly developed his art of suggestion, what he called his "fictions". Rare words were introduced, syntactical intricacies, private associations and baffling images. Metonymy replaced metaphor as symbol, and was in turn replaced by single words which opened in imagination to multiple levels of signification. Time was suspended, and the usual supports of plot and narrative removed. Even the implied poet faded away, and there were then only objects, enigmatically introduced but somehow made right and necessary by verse skill. Music indeed was the condition to which poetry aspired, and Verlaine, Jimenez and Valéry were among many who concentrated efforts to that end.

So appeared a dichotomy between the inner and outer lives. In actuality, poets led humdrum existences, but what they described was rich and often illicit: the festering beauties of courtesans and dance-hall entertainers; far away countries and their native peoples; a world-weariness that came with drugs, isolation, alcohol and bought ***. Much was mixed up in this movement — decadence, aestheticism, romanticism, and the occult — but its isms had a rational purpose, which is still pertinent. In what way are these poets different from our own sixties generation? Or from the young today: clubbing, experimenting with relationships and drugs, backpacking to distant parts? And was the mixing of sensory perceptions so very novel or irrational? Synaesthesia was used by the Greek poets, and indeed has a properly documented basis in brain physiology.

What of the intellectual bases, which are not commonly presented as matters that should engage the contemporary mind, still less the writing poet? Symbolism was built on nebulous and somewhat dubious notions: it inspired beautiful and historically important work: it is now dead: that might be the blunt summary. But Symbolist poetry was not empty of content, indeed expressed matters of great interest to continental philosophers, then and now. The contents of consciousness were the concern of Edmund Husserl (1859-1938), and he developed a terminology later employed by Heidegger (1889-1976), the Existentialists and hermeneutics. Current theories on metaphor and brain functioning extend these concepts, and offer a rapprochement between impersonal science and irrational literary theory.

So why has the Symbolism legacy dwindled into its current narrow concepts? Denied influence in the everyday world, poets turned inward, to private thoughts, associations and the unconscious. Like good Marxist intellectuals they policed the area they arrogated to themselves, and sought to correct and purify the language that would evoke its powers. Syntax was rearranged by Mallarmé. Rhythm, rhyme and stanza patterning were loosened or rejected. Words were purged of past associations (Modernism), of non-visual associations (Imagism), of histories of usage (Futurism), of social restraint (Dadaism) and of practical purpose (Surrealism). By a sort of belated Romanticism, poetry was returned to the exploration of the inner lands of the irrational. Even Postmodernism, with its bric-a-brac of received media images and current vulgarisms, ensures that gaps are left for the emerging unconscious to engage our interest

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IMAGIST POETRY
imagist poetry

Even by twentieth-century standards, Imagism was soon over. In 1912 Ezra Pound published the Complete Poetical Works of its founder, T.E. Hulme (five short poems) and by 1917 the movement, then overseen by Amy Lowell, had run its course. {1} {2} {3} {4} {5} The output in all amounted to a few score poems, and none of these captured the public's heart. Why the importance?

First there are the personalities involved — notably Ezra Pound, James Joyce, William Carlos Williams {6} {7} {8} {9} — who became famous later. If ever the (continuing) importance to poets of networking, of being involved in movements from their inception, is attested, it is in these early days of post-Victorian revolt.

Then there are the manifestos of the movement, which became the cornerstones of Modernism, responsible for a much taught in universities until recently, and for the difficulties poets still find themselves in. The Imagists stressed clarity, exactness and concreteness of detail. Their aims, briefly set out, were that:

1. Content should be presented directly, through specific images where possible.
2. Every word should be functional, with nothing included that was not essential to the effect intended.
3. Rhythm should be composed by the musical phrase rather than the metronome.

Also understood — if not spelled out, or perhaps fully recognized at the time — was the hope that poems could intensify a sense of objective reality through the immediacy of images.

Imagism itself gave rise to fairly negligible lines like:

You crash over the trees,
You crack the live branch…  (Storm by H.D.)

Nonetheless, the reliance on images provided poets with these types of freedom:

1. Poems could dispense with classical rhetoric, emotion being generated much more directly through what Eliot called an objective correlate: "The only way of expressing emotion in the form of art is by finding an 'objective correlative'; in other words, a set of objects, a situation, a chain of events which shall be the formula of that particular emotion; such that when the external facts, which must terminate in sensory experience, are given, the emotion is immediately evoked." {10}

2. By being shorn of context or supporting argument, images could appear with fresh interest and power.

3. Thoughts could be treated as images, i.e. as non-discursive elements that added emotional colouring without issues of truth or relevance intruding too mu
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PROSE BASED POETRY
prose based poetry

When free verse lacks rhythmic patterning, appearing as a lineated prose stripped of unnecessary ornament and rhetoric, it becomes the staple of much contemporary work. The focus is on what the words are being used to say, and their authenticity. The language is not heightened, and the poem differs from prose only by being more self-aware, innovative and/or cogent in its exposition.

Nonetheless, what looks normal at first becomes challenging on closer reading — thwarting expectations, and turning back on itself to make us think more deeply about the seemingly innocuous words used. And from there we are compelled to look at the world with sharper eyes, unprotected by commonplace phrases or easy assumptions. Often an awkward and fighting poetry, therefore, not indulging in ceremony or outmoded traditions.
What is Prose?

If we say that contemporary free verse is often built from what was once regarded as mere prose, then we shall have to distinguish prose from poetry, which is not so easy now. Prose was once the lesser vehicle, the medium of everyday thought and conversation, what we used to express facts, opinions, humour, arguments, feelings and the like. And while the better writers developed individual styles, and styles varied according to their purpose and social occasion, prose of some sort could be written by anyone. Beauty was not a requirement, and prose articles could be rephrased without great loss in meaning or effectiveness.

Poetry, though, had grander aims. William Lyon Phelps on Thomas Hardy's work: {1}

"The greatest poetry always transports us, and although I read and reread the Wessex poet with never-lagging attention — I find even the drawings in "Wessex Poems" so fascinating that I wish he had illustrated all his books — I am always conscious of the time and the place. I never get the unmistakable spinal chill. He has too thorough a command of his thoughts; they never possess him, and they never soar away with him. Prose may be controlled, but poetry is a possession. Mr. Hardy is too keenly aware of what he is about. In spite of the fact that he has written verse all his life, he seldom writes unwrinkled song. He is, in the last analysis, a master of prose who has learned the technique of verse, and who now chooses to express his thoughts and his observations in rime and rhythm."

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OPEN FORMS IN POETRY
open forms in poetry

Poets who write in open forms usually insist on the form growing out of the writing process, i.e. the poems follow what the words and phrase suggest during the composition
I

My love, this is the bitterest, that thou
Who art all truth and who dost love me now
As thine eyes say, as thy voice breaks to say—
Shouldst love so truly and couldst love me still
A whole long life through, had but love its will,
Would death that leads me from thee brook delay!

II

I have but to be by thee, and thy hand
Would never let mine go, thy heart withstand
The beating of my heart to reach its place.
When should I look for thee and feel thee gone?
When cry for the old comfort and find none?
Never, I know! Thy soul is in thy face.

III

Oh, I should fade—’tis willed so! might I save,
Galdly I would, whatever beauty gave
Joy to thy sense, for that was precious too.
It is not to be granted. But the soul
Whence the love comes, all ravage leaves that whole;
Vainly the flesh fades—soul makes all things new.

IV

And ’twould not be because my eye grew dim
Thou couldst not find the love there, thanks to Him
Who never is dishonoured in the spark
He gave us from his fire of fires, and bade
Remember whence it sprang nor be afraid
While that burns on, though all the rest grow dark.

V

So, how thou wouldst be perfect, white and clean
Outside as inside, soul and soul’s demesne
Alike, this body given to show it by!
Oh, three-parts through the worst of life’s abyss,
What plaudits from the next world after this,
Couldst thou repeat a stroke and gain the sky!

VI

And is it not the bitterer to think
That, disengage our hands and thou wilt sink
Although thy love was love in very deed?
I know that nature! Pass a festive day
Thou dost not throw its relic-flower away
Nor bid its music’s loitering echo speed.

VII

Thou let’st the stranger’s glove lie where it fell;
If old things remain old things all is well,
For thou art grateful as becomes man best:
And hadst thou only heard me play one tune,
Or viewed me from a window, not so soon
With thee would such things fade as with the rest.

VIII

I seem to see! we meet and part: ’tis brief:
The book I opened keeps a folded leaf,
The very chair I sat on, breaks the rank;
That is a portrait of me on the wall—
Three lines, my face comes at so slight a call;
And for all this, one little hour’s to thank.

IX

But now, because the hour through years was fixed,
Because our inmost beings met amd mixed,
Because thou once hast loved me—wilt thou dare
Say to thy soul and Who may list beside,
“Therefore she is immortally my bride,
Chance cannot change that love, nor time impair.

X

“So, what if in the dusk of life that’s left,
I, a tired traveller, of my sun bereft,
Look from my path when, mimicking the same,
The fire-fly glimpses past me, come and gone?
- Where was it till the sunset? where anon
It will be at the sunrise! what’s to blame?”

XI

Is it so helpful to thee? canst thou take
The mimic up, nor, for the true thing’s sake,
Put gently by such efforts at at beam?
Is the remainder of the way so long
Thou need’st the little solace, thou the strong?
Watch out thy watch, let weak ones doze and dream!

XII

“—Ah, but the fresher faces! Is it true,”
Thou’lt ask, “some eyes are beautiful and new?
Some hair,—how can one choose but grasp such wealth?
And if a man would press his lips to lips
Fresh as the wilding hedge-rose-cup there slips
The dew-drop out of, must it be by stealth?

XIII

“It cannot change the love kept still for Her,
Much more than, such a picture to prefer
Passing a day with, to a room’s bare side.
The painted form takes nothing she possessed,
Yet while the Titian’s Venus lies at rest
A man looks. Once more, what is there to chide?”

XIV

So must I see, from where I sit and watch,
My own self sell myself, my hand attach
Its warrant to the very thefts from me—
Thy singleness of soul that made me proud,
Thy purity of heart I loved aloud,
Thy man’s truth I was bold to bid God see!

XV

Love so, then, if thou wilt! Give all thou canst
Away to the new faces—disentranced—
(Say it and think it) obdurate no more,
Re-issue looks and words from the old mint—
Pass them afresh, no matter whose the print
Image and superscription once they bore!

XVI

Re-coin thyself and give it them to spend,—
It all comes to the same thing at the end,
Since mine thou wast, mine art, and mine shalt be,
Faithful or faithless, sealing up the sum
Or lavish of my treasure, thou must come
Back to the heart’s place here I keep for thee!

XVII

Only, why should it be with stain at all?
Why must I, ‘twixt the leaves of coronal,
Put any kiss of pardon on thy brow?
Why need the other women know so much
And talk together, “Such the look and such
The smile he used to love with, then as now!”

XVIII

Might I die last and shew thee! Should I find
Such hardship in the few years left behind,
If free to take and light my lamp, and go
Into thy tomb, and shut the door and sit
Seeing thy face on those four sides of it
The better that they are so blank, I know!

XIX

Why, time was what I wanted, to turn o’er
Within my mind each look, get more and more
By heart each word, too much to learn at first,
And join thee all the fitter for the pause
’Neath the low door-way’s lintel. That were cause
For lingering, though thou called’st, If I durst!

**

And yet thou art the nobler of us two.
What dare I dream of, that thou canst not do,
Outstripping my ten small steps with one stride?
I’ll say then, here’s a trial and a task—
Is it to bear?—if easy, I’ll not ask—
Though love fail, I can trust on in thy pride.

XXI

Pride?—when those eyes forestall the life behind
The death I have to go through!—when I find,
Now that I want thy help most, all of thee!
What did I fear? Thy love shall hold me fast
Until the little minute’s sleep is past
And I wake saved.—And yet, it will not be!
Mateuš Conrad Jan 2017
that's 3 weeks without a keyboard,
that's 3 weeks on a dual-detox -
         that's that: roughly: antagonism
of: once upon a time...
           there can only be one Hans Andersen,
and as the story goes: ol' granny
   passed on the tales, without which:
no talk of posterity, and seances at
the theatre; alternatively: what if Kierkegård
opted for opera, rather than theatre?
    well: horrid is the task of dropping names,
as if being a village idiot, in that
capacity: giving directions... no such thing!
  nonetheless: a horrid task...
3 weeks... without this horrid world-entanglement...
amphetamines in the wild west,
                   and yet... everything slows down...
that's 3 weeks without such ''luxury''...
    and would you believe it?
3 weeks went by: in a blink of an eye.
             strange, or what 21st century writers
fail to recognise: the ******* canvas has changed!
any-single-one-of-them bothered to scrutinise
this new canvas? anyone?
     ah yes, it's still in its adolescence -
it's still: Dostoyevsky, scuttering in the grand
dungeon: that's the Moscow underground.
             the canvas! the canvas!
                             and indeed, if this be some
bellowing horn, from the depths of some forsaken
place... i'll go into the street, and sabotage
civilisation with graffiti...
                     then again: i have the least
expectations, such that capitalism works...
poetry... and what investment have you made?
nil, or almost nil... evidently: zilch!
      ah, but to have invested in canvases,
a studio, paints, brushes... see... no one sees
investment in poetry: primarily because the poet
has done the minimal...
            unless of course it turns out to ****
with a hot poker something once resembling
nations... which now resides in the insane asylum
(even though those, have been abolished)
                           , nation - ooh! what a ***** word!
the left irksome sometimes uses it:
in theory: the nation-state...
                        and then there's the resurgence of
ancient Greece... in a sing-along:
maybe 'cos i'm a Londoner... brother! brother!
Athenian! Athenian!
                                       but we are born into
a Spartan wedlock... no one really bothers to
**** our gob with Shakespeare...
    then again that is the schizophrenia (alias
dualism) in humanity... thus, to be frank,
psychiatry can be congratulated, it has provided
one useful term... and i will use it, over and over again,
in a non-symptomatic way, because, i find,
it stands, as if the Olympic Graeae (Zeus, Poseidon
and Hades) eating the carcass of some inhabitant
of Tartarus...
                               evidently: tartar steak...
doubly evident: tartars, or the remnants of mongols,
settled in crimea, and elsewhere in the Ukraine...
   tartar                      tra-ta-ta-ta... ku ku ryku!
a ja fu! krecha! a ja znow... fu!       radowitą
uprzejmość... skłaniam...  
    or what i call: rising spontaneously from the depths...
polymaths applauded, the tribunal resides in
bilingualism... trenches... history... perspectives
and current affairs... wicker man media...
                        so... an example of pedantry?
ó....               that's an orthographic dignitary -
        an aesthetic muddle... as is
c-ha                               contending with samo-ha...
     ch                            came from antagonism of
cz                                   which was later antagonised
by č               in česka.... say that: hen party
bound to Prague... in the Czech republic...
                                          ch      k..­.
i am, quiet frankly... standing at the feet of the tower
of babel... and i'm looking up, and i see
correlations, and i see decimal marks,
which, when given enough geography,
can seem like England and the isles,
       and central Europe...
    Iberia? phantom of Seneca...
  eureka! let's begin, once again...
  why is there a continuum beginning with
Plato and Aristotle?
                                           we could become
reasonable people... told to deal with madmen...
we could claim beginnings with Seneca...
and Cicero...
                      and why? the Romans loved poetry...
the Greeks antagonised Homer...
            the Romans loved Horace, Virgil,
                           Ovid... perhaps we should really forget
beginning with Plato and Aristotle...
       the former has become a church,
the latter a dentist's assistant (minus the ancients'
concept of a joke).
                      evidently i have to finish off reading
Seneca... his educational letters to Lucilius....
      moralising ******* that he was, thus, perhaps
a nibble at Cicero? but i must say:
                           it has to begin somewhere,
so not necessarily in stale-bread Athens...
                      and having such perspectives helps
in claiming casual conversation?
   assuredly - if it doesn't involve talking about
the weather...
                                which is always a great mystery
   if it's given enough aurora.
   onto the mystery of dialectics,
as discovered by Alfred Jarry in his Faustroll
Pataphysics contraband...
                                                nag­ging agreement...
nodding without approval... (chapter 10) -
beginning with αληθη λεγεις εφη
        (you speak the truth, he replies) -
   and ending with ως δoκεì
                              (how true that seems)...
and then some dub-step...
        know nothing dROP! boom! jiggy jiggy,
get the rhythm.
   as i always find it hard to look at
    diacritical arithmetic...
                                  given the following
represent a prolonging: hangman:
       å, ā and ä...
                             esp. in Finnish -
stratum: hedningarna täss on nainen.
                        rolling yarn, plateau, two dips;
and i will never say something profound...
i'll just say something no one else has said,
benefit of the doubt? somewhere, someone,
                                      kneels at the same altar.
  such are the distinction - invaders from the
north, and invaders from the south...
                                           even with
crusading Golgotha mann -
the times? many bats, supers, spiders,
but not enough readings of thomas mann...
                              easily befallen into prune-nosed
high-airs... it comes with the diet of literature...
   unfortunately.
                              and with yet another book:
i have burried yet another living person
i could have had a beer with, and conversed.
it always happens, every time i read a book
i have to attend a funeral... by reading a book
i have burried someone alive...
                          shame, in all frankness...
    i will sit in a congested train, touch a breathing
body, and consecrate the touch with
a warring genuflect - harbringer of a Teutonic
passion for initiation: a komtur's slap across the cheek.
   chequers played with passions...
           and some have to be approached like
caged animals, their vocabulary as cages,
                and the whole world before them:
cageless!
             some have indeed become so encrusted in
their daily: routine, that it would take a zoologist
(thrice oh, begs some sort of diacritical marking)
rather than a psychologist to understand them...
    like the darting dupes they are, enshrined in
20% gratis! smile! have a nice day! boxing day sales!
all but pleasantries, fathoming the grave.
   stiff vocab and all other kinds of perfume...
                           a king and his charlatan knights,
who are merely ditto-heads.
                  and not of this world, afresh -
among the nimble hands prior to birth -
surely there is: more grandeour in birth
   that entry via a ******...
                            the greatest pain of ****...
and when the ancient treaty was signed
under the name: Augustus Cesarean - or
recommended for a need of aristocracy -
    it was, for a time, the mana magnetism:
and such was the rule of poetry:
rather than a crown, donned the laurel leaves...
donned the laurel leaves...
    and such was the covenant from ancient
foes when trying to assimilate the Jew...
three kings from Babylon,
                         the child in Egypt...
          no good tides from Nazareth...
         a crown of myrrh - later overshadowed
by dogmatic sprechen, simpler: thorns...
yella things... or rzepak, Essex is filled with it...
rzepak... so why bother adding a dot above
the z, when you get capricious and use rz to
denote the same?! thus a science:
voiced retroflex fricative... Stalingrad!
                       can you really stomach this kind
of jargon? if it wasn't for science fiction:
science would be twice removed from gott ist tot,
*******' worth of pondering, given the close
proximity rhyme... nothing that rhymes should
ever be taken seriously, it should be hymnal!
                         Horatio! mein lyre!
   mein Guinness leier! rabbi krähe -
     and they deem that ****** white when talking:
thinking? i'd prefer Cezanne in real life -
   maggot wriggling and all...
                                          as much eroticism
as bound to a dog slobbering its testicles:
which means ****-all in an almighty stance
   for a dollop of halleluyah in Nepal.
well: pretty talk, pretty pretty pretty: i feel pretty,
oh so butter-fly-e.
                                    2 week stance,
***** in autumn... but so many Swiss hues
coming from the same concentration of decay!
shweet!  zeit-ser!        and that's me talking
kindergarten german: innovation begins with
a fork and a spoon, should the tongue come to it...
            i see a poem,
i see something worth bugging... c.i.a.,
f.b.i., hannibal's lecture in Florence, Venice for
the rats... bugging... shoving...
  shovelling... necro grounding, rattling...
    windy via north... Icelandic...
drums along incisors of abstract gallop:
violins... fringes of the mustang... airy airy...
all regresses toward the Vulgate...
         like ****, like said, and the only pristine
stress comes with vanilla ice-cream,
or a medium-rare beef ****! hmph!
                         fa fa fa excesses with that hurling
puff...
                      and i did finish Kant's
critique of pure reason... minus two calendars...
but, so help me god, the 2nd volume was hiding
under some corner...
                           thus, from transcendental methodology
came plump apricots, plums and pears...
             sweet decay fruit baron...
              and it's called sugars in the intricacy of pulp...
lazily grown, dangling on that caricature of
a formerly known: full crop of wheat-crude fringe.
    2 years... honest to god!
         but so many books in between...
i was given a recommendation...
i cited it already... kraszewski's magnum opus...
29 books...
                       although that's history fictionalised...
but nonetheless, it really was about
     the cossack uprising in the 17th century...
   and it was, as i once said, something i can forgive
sienkiewicz - the film version,
as in: i will not read a book once it has been adapted
to a movie... it's self-evident that too many
people have read a piece of work and are gagging
for a conversation... but where's the playground?
           ******* cherades!
  chinese whispers and a Manchurian candidate!
  i thought as much.
                          and whenever it's not a preplaned
escapade, what becomes of the day?
     was it always about a stance for carpe diem?
  syllables: di                em.
                            carpe is said with more lubricant.
corpus diem. well, that's an alternative, however
you care to think about it.
                and whenever you care to think about,
the proof is there: mishandling misnomers:
poets as tattoo artists... although no one sees the ink,
signatures on a reader's brian (purposively altered,
toward a Michael Jackon he-he, and other:
albino castratos the church venerates!)...
   that's 3 weeks in a catholic country...
  3 weeks... if only the football was better,
      i'd be called Juan Sanchez...
               but, evidently, the football is bad...
     so it's catholicism on par with a sleeping inquisition...
no one really expected Monty Python to conjure
that one... because it never really took place,
not until a trans-generational exodus
postscript 2004... once western brothels were exhausted,
and the Arab started ******* a hippo...
              then it was all about lakes and rivers
and Las Vegas 2.0 in Dubai!
                     you say quack... i say:
                                                    easy target.
and they did receive a blessing from Allah...
enough ink to write out Dante's revision of the Koran,
and some Al-Sha'ke'pir to write a play called:
the Merchant of Mecca.
  last time i heard, when the reformation was
plauging Christendom, no one invited the Arabs...
these days i think the little Lutherans of Islam
watched too many historical movies...
me? pick up a crucifix and march to Jerusalem?
  and is that going to translate into:
   blame the populists! blame the nationalists!
it's like watching a circus... why is the Islamic
reformation asking for third party associates?
                  i was happy listening to
the klinik... albums: eat your heart out...
time + plague...
                             once again: the world narrative
gags for enough people to conjure up
     a placebo solipsism... and that's placebo
with a squiggly prefix (meaning? how far
that ambiguity will take you) - ~placebo...
well: since existentialists were bores...
it's about time to head for Scandinavia
   and ask: is that " ''                 for passing on
an inheritance, or better still: ripe for
acknowledging ambiguity?
                          and if you can shove this
  into your daily narrative... you better be
a connaisseur of chinese antiques...
                frailty... then again, theres: ******;
well hell yeah *****'h, it's a murky underwold
after all.
                     and yes: that's called a petting word...
some say hombre, and we'll all be amigos
and muskateers at the end of the story.
                                    finally... i feel like i'm writing
a poem that i'll never end...
              why? it was supposed to be about
how John Casimir of Sweden championed
  the crown away from his brother Prince Charles
(volume 1)...
                      the bishop of Breslau...
a recluse... couldn't ride a horse...
    then again: nothing worthy imitation...
beginning with a donkey...
                               the transfiguration of palms
into whips... 2000 years later
talk of Hercules is madness... that other bit?
complete sanity.
                              well... if that be the case...
the book is there... i signed it, 2nd volume of
Kant's critique...
  
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        an oak... in a forest of pine...
an oak in pine wood...

then onto the wood of sighs:

aH aH aH aH aH aH aH aH
aH aH aH aH aH aH aH aH
aH aH aH aH aH aH aH aH
aH aH aH aH aH aH aH aH
aH aH aH aH aH aH aH aH
aH aH aH aH aH aH aH aH
aH aH aH aH aH aH aH aH
          (somehow the surd escapes,
and later morphs into, but prior to)

a short script: variation on MW...

      pears' worth of blunting runes:
opulance s and ᛋ - versus z,
    congregation minor: the interchange, ß,
buttocks and *****, minus phantoms of erotica.
yet, taking into account trigonometry...
sine (genesis 0), and cosine (genesis 1),
or            M                                   W
(no Jew would dare believe the Latins have
the second 'alf of the proof: that loophole of all
things qab-cannibal-mystic - cravat donning
mystique - a flit's worth of sharpening,
or dental grit... flappy tongue,
flabby oyster, lazing for a crab's palette)...
so?

1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0
1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0
1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0
1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0
1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0
1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0
1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0

of course there's an
1.

Each of us like you
has died once,
has passed through drift of wood-leaves,
cracked and bent
and tortured and unbent
in the winter-frost,
the burnt into gold points,
lighted afresh,
crisp amber, scales of gold-leaf,
gold turned and re-welded
in the sun;

each of us like you
has died once,
each of us has crossed an old wood-path
and found the winter-leaves
so golden in the sun-fire
that even the live wood-flowers
were dark.

2.

Not the gold on the temple-front
where you stand
is as gold as this,
not the gold that fastens your sandals,
nor thee gold reft
through your chiselled locks,
is as gold as this last year's leaf,
not all the gold hammered and wrought
and beaten
on your lover's face.
brow and bare breast
is as golden as this:

each of us like you
has died once,
each of us like you
stands apart, like you
fit to be worshipped.
Jenny Gordon Apr 2019
Hopefully if you're unfamiliar with that song google will comply and locate it for you.


(sonnet #MMMMMMMDCCCXXXVI)


Blue skies out West look deeper in a sense
Than Illinois e'er knows, clouds in betrayl
'Non floating laz'ly in such vast seas they'll
Assure ye rare pools know, til I from thence
Half ache to be in those dear prairies hence
As childhood fondly knew, swept to avail
Clean of these houses clustered sans aught bail,
And where the Thunderbirds roar through fr'intents.
I said I'd join the Air Force, but Dad fer
All that said: No.  And that is better too.
Yet oh! the Rocky Mountains!  O those pure,
Unfathomed bluest skies!  What is't that'd woo
Me from their depths?  I feel it 'non bestir
My soul, just watching from afar.  And you?

31Mar19d
Or mebbe I'll record myself singing it one of these days...only the chorus, though--"Colorado, THAT's King Sooper's Way, That's King Sooper's Way...." Is it called Aldi's in the armpit?
Tanya Chaudhary Jan 2015
We can be strangers again.
Laugh again. Flirt again.
Cry again. Smirk again.
Create memories afresh.
When in doubt, hit refresh.

But memories, they are tricky.
The moments that you love or hate,
simply go away in time-lapse
and somehow become the scars in your heart
that seem to define you.
© TanyaC. 2015.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RB-RcX5DS5A
Grace Tahiti Dec 2012
Ten years old again,
In a tree ten feet high again,
In scuffed shorts with tangled hair,
And with the boys I longed to be.

Sanctimonious girls in dresses and frills,
Boredom and constraint personified,
Stare up in incredulity
As I heave myself over mossy branches.

“Girls don’t climb trees.”
I do. I roll in mud, play racing games,
Never brush my hair.
“You’d be pretty if only you tried.”

You’d feel alive if only you tried.
The wind on my bare arms,
Dirt beneath fingernails,
Scrapes on my shins
Red and out of place
Like smudged lipstick
On children’s faces.

I’m not you. I’m me.
Boxes serve to keep us in,
Deliver us neatly packaged
To a society which cannot cope
With fluidity,
Individuality,
Uncertainty.
Boo!

She says those two misguided words:
“Make over”.
Impossible. One cannot start afresh.
This is the result of every waking moment,
Of every word heard and spoken,
Each memory joyous and painful,
A piece of art nineteen years in the making.
Not to be destroyed in one act of disguise.

Yet curiosity is my mistress.
She leads me to boundaries
I never knew existed.
Up goliath trees,
Into foreign beds,
To the brink of reality
In mind-bending worlds
Of parallels.

Like a mannequin, devoid of identity
I give my image to you
And you place yours jarringly
Onto my reticent body.

The obliging cheers
At my transformation
Into an eloquent femininity
Feel hollow and worthless.
I have done nothing of merit.

I totter like a toddler
Uncomfortable in my own skin.
I’m on stage, an act,
A project. Not a person.

How bizarre it feels
To wear a stranger’s façade
Of dresses and frills,
When you know you belong
To a different world
Of dirt, and treetops,
And freedom.
[It's]
Something like
4 a.m. on the third day of Autumn,
riding about a fifth of a gram of some ****-ing fire Sass,
drinking Lagunitas Maximus IPA from an ornate glass goblet
with two batches of homemade chocolate chunk cookies
and Gunpowder/White Peone tea steeping,
jamming some killer music with rather passionate and talented friends;
when, suddenly, a voice of reason:

"Dude, you have work at noon."

And then, it came to me:
"Everything is as it needs to be:
this and every moment is a cosmic joke
and I am laughing through it
and I am laughing with it
and I am laughing as it."


I'll just drink a fuckton of coffee (or maybe just take a nap),
and/or another tenthish of a gram at about 11, regardless;
and bust some serious ***
and confine most of my obvious ******-up-ed-ness to my head
all the while dishwashing to ******* some bomb-*** music
on some ******-*** speakers, backstage,
at a super chill restaurant in my fairly chill foothill Berg
one calm, otherwise ordinary, Autumn lunch;
and it will be so much fun,
so mercilessly ******* amazing
after this
MDA "inspired" all-nighter:

Work
at noon on Wednesday
and then
Band Practice
after work
for a show
in Sacramento
this coming Friday
(Fun Fact: my third live performance ever, second with this band).

This is a form of coping, I suppose.
Some dope-*** ******* cope.

The things I do
to make me happy:
Life is ******* amazing.
Life makes me crazy.

I do this to myself;
this is the Life.

I do this to myself;
willingly and knowingly
and I don't much care;
that is,
I certainly recognize the concept of consequence,
but I give it the one-finger salute from time to time
when the only thing it's really gunna hurt
is poor, mortal, otherwise temporary
me.

This is not self-destructive, though,
it is constructive as ****;
a means of letting go
and moving on:
Empathic, introspective, enlightening;
not to mention a shitload of fun!
Evermore, let it be known:
that in terms of Ecstasy;
moderation
truly is
key.

Don't you see?
The only way to ever know
is to ride it out and to simply be.


All in all,
what a way
to close the ******* book on this Summer
and begin afresh a new one for Autumn;

Autumn's where my Heart is.

I'd say
all that
plus change to spare and share,
is fifty bucks **** well spent,
especially now-a-days
in a place like this
and, moreover;
with friends like these.
It's good to know yourself
and to push your envelope
one iota at a time.
-

THIS MOMENT IS A COSMIC JOKE
LAUGH WITH IT
anastasiad Apr 2016
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When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes new wail my dear time’s waste.
Then can I drown an eye, unused to flow,
For precious friends hid in death’s dateless night,
And weep afresh love’s long since cancelled woe,
And moan th’ expense of many a vanished sight.
Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,
And heavily from woe to woe tell o’er
The sad account of fore-bemoanèd moan,
Which I new pay as if not paid before.
    But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
    All losses are restored and sorrows end.
Poetic T Apr 2015
The world will breath and
Expel all that was foul.

We will be but leaves in the wind,
Never to touch mother earth again.

For we will be but dust grains once
Whole but she expelled on her breath

Man woman & child were swept
Away, and cleansed was her skin.
You know its coming, she will only stand for so much..
Janus has a grand auld pair of heads:

One looks backwards on all the **** and grime, on the ****, on the limescale, on the mould, on the excrement, on the muck and grit and gunge and gunk, on all that wastage of human time, toiling away, scraping at the rot and the filth and slime, and besmearing the earth afresh, and blessing it.

The other looks forwards on all the **** and grime, on the ****, on the limescale, on the mould, on the excrement, on the muck and grit and gunge and gunk, on all that wastage of human time, toiling away, scraping at the rot and the filth and slime, and besmearing the earth afresh, and blessing it.
I work all day, and get half-drunk at night.
Waking at four to soundless dark, I stare.
In time the curtain-edges will grow light.
Till then I see what's really always there:
Unresting death, a whole day nearer now,
Making all thought impossible but how
And where and when I shall myself die.
Arid interrogation: yet the dread
Of dying, and being dead,
Flashes afresh to hold and horrify.
The mind blanks at the glare. Not in remorse
- The good not done, the love not given, time
Torn off unused - nor wretchedly because
An only life can take so long to climb
Clear of its wrong beginnings, and may never;
But at the total emptiness for ever,
The sure extinction that we travel to
And shall be lost in always. Not to be here,
Not to be anywhere,
And soon; nothing more terrible, nothing more true.

This is a special way of being afraid
No trick dispels. Religion used to try,
That vast, moth-eaten musical brocade
Created to pretend we never die,
And specious stuff that says No rational being
Can fear a thing it will not feel, not seeing
That this is what we fear - no sight, no sound,
No touch or taste or smell, nothing to think with,
Nothing to love or link with,
The anasthetic from which none come round.

And so it stays just on the edge of vision,
A small, unfocused blur, a standing chill
That slows each impulse down to indecision.
Most things may never happen: this one will,
And realisation of it rages out
In furnace-fear when we are caught without
People or drink. Courage is no good:
It means not scaring others. Being brave
Lets no one off the grave.
Death is no different whined at than withstood.

Slowly light strengthens, and the room takes shape.
It stands plain as a wardrobe, what we know,
Have always known, know that we can't escape,
Yet can't accept. One side will have to go.
Meanwhile telephones crouch, getting ready to ring
In locked-up offices, and all the uncaring
Intricate rented world begins to rouse.
The sky is white as clay, with no sun.
Work has to be done.
Postmen like doctors go from house to house.
brandon nagley Feb 2017
Tis I am just a man, a boy if thou want to sayest, a foolish lad; who hast hurt his blessing of a queen.

Tis I am just a man, a sinner, a prehistoric bringer; of sorrows
Where bird's dont sing.

O' wretched man I am; overlooking this perfect flower, she's arrayed as a petal neath the tropical hours.

O' im just the rain that brings the flood of many woes.

I wish, O' how I wish, I couldst pour all contentment and merriment into her lonesome soul.

Tis she's the rainbow, I the dusky storm. O' how her glow maketh mine day's liveable; O' how her voice is opulent galore.

If only she knew, she is mine better, mine best; mine breath of yellow dew.

Though I've not shown her the worth that she is; mine trials and tribulations hast become
mine abyss.

Though I shalt get through
This passage of gloom.

With God All is possible;

Even being set free from this tomb.

Tis I am just a man, a boy if thou want to sayest, a foolish lad.

Who if couldst wouldst start all afresh; re-giving mine love, and to get all mine best.

How a simpleton ive been;

To not seest heaven's eastern gem, glimmer her perfect wing's, for mine foolishness, these word's shalt I sing.

(Goes into song form, words "I love you jane, please forgive me" sung in spanish, greek, cebuano, tagalog/filipino).......

(Spanish)
Te amo jane,
por favor perdoname.

(Greek)
Se 'agapó Jane,
Se parakaló synchóresé me.

(Cebuano)
ako nahigugma kanimo Jane,
palihug pasayloa ako.

(Tagalog/filipino)
Mahal kita jane,
patawarin mo ako.


©Brandon nagley
©lonesome poets poetry
©earl Jane nagley dedication (agapi mou dedicated)
This is not a normal poem dedicated to Jane of course all my works are archaic/ancient style as truly you can say im not one from this millennial time or even this century or past centuries time,  but this is a poem until it gets to the last four lines which are not spoken but sung by me as its a poem yet a song at the end where I use the words ( I love you Jane, please forgive me) I sing those four dialects in spanish tongue, greek tongue, cebuano tongue (in Philippines) and janes main tongue tagalog (Filipino dialect) if want to hear poem as is can hear on sound cloud, under my name Brandon nagley and under this poem title: her worth is worth more than a poem.

Word meanings:
Tis:it is
Thou:you
Sayest: say.
Hast: has.
Couldst: could.
Maketh) makes or make ( I use it as makes).
Mine: my.
Wouldst: would.
Simpleton: foolish person.
Seest: see.

Wrote this few days back finally did rest of it (:
If wanna hear actual version hear on soundcloud under my name the spoken/sung version of it under its title,
There was a maiden named Lucy
Her face pretty her body healthy
She had a boyfriend named Damien
He'd strong muscles and dainty skin

She was a poet he was a student
She was robust he was diligent
She loved to write stories he adored
She was so glad he never got bored

One day he woke from his repose
Out he wandered to buy a rose
It was his mother's grand birthday
His face lighted as he made his way

He found a strange ******* the streets
He walked forth but she came to greet
She had lost her bag and wallet
While passing by the old garret

She looked dizzy and fairly drowsy
Reminded him of girlfriend Lucy
On he went to help find her bag
Until the sun flew from the shack

Full of sweat did Damien retire
From his errand beside the fire
In a mansion that's the lady's
Forgotten was the day's duties

Wait and wait did Lucy for him
In her gown she looked splendid slim
Expecting Damien was she now
Cheeks like a doll in a stage show

Asleep was her love in the chair
Tired from the day and the whole affair
The fair lady resting on the stairs
With glowing red eyes and golden hair

He had not known that blood was wanted
In this mansion which was haunted
He'd been deceived and awesomely fooled
The lady woke and laughed and growled

Kneeling by him she showed her fangs
Sharp and bitter like the dark winter
Out as the moon began to hang
She drank his blood and made him like her

The morning came gray and dreary
With chills that sent everyone sickly
Young Lucy wept cried on her bed
For trusting the dull vow they'd made

She retained her blanket in vain
'Oh 'tis so cold', she thought in pain
Just closed her eyes when there's a knock
Hurry did she to wear her frock

Thirst did he feel when he woke up
A sultry heat from his long nap
Jump did he from his cozy seat
Full of raw fear of what it did!

Startled was he as his teeth moved!
What are these things that have been mute?
Out he fled to find a mirror
The people instantly screamed in terror!

He was astounded by his speed
And how rapid he could now flit!
Out he burst into gay laughter
As he start'd to think this over!

The lady 'peared in front of him
Satisfied yet her smirk looked grim
'Art thou glad?', she turned to question
He nodded in shy admiration

A mirror was in her pocket
Out she tore it to his eyes red
He shrieked in loud astonishment
His tone but full of excitement

'Thou'rt a vampire now,' she explained
'Fill your thirst don't ever let it drain'
'Human blood shall be your favour'
'You can't deny its sweet flavour!'

'I'm not a monster!' Damien whined
Can I instead drink just some wine?
'Fate is not to be abolished,
Fate is just to be accomplished!'

'We are so blessed,' said the lady
'For endless days of immortality,
For real power and true beauty,
We are praised more than the Almighty!'

Poor Damien could just cry and wail
But by thirst his firmness began to fail
Still he wanted to find Lucy
Putting black glasses he turned away and flee

Arrived he at her little hut
In one swift step but it was still shut
He knocked on the door and waited
The maiden came with her hair plaited

She shrieked as he pulled his glasses
The soul of sins the eyes of darkness
Pushed him away she slammed the door
Fire and rage rang took him inside his core

Flash of madness groans and outcries
Tears were welling in poor Lucy's eyes
Tears that to him were shadows of blood
Quickened the pace of his unheart

He sniffed nature he sniffed the flesh
Hidden behind all the tears afresh
With one small leap he's in the house
Where Lucy screamed like a tortured mouse!

In one second he's before her
The smell stronger as he went closer
He was blinded and could not desist
By a mad thirst no-one could resist!

And did he weep and deeply shrieked
Cursing himself as a ****** freak
As his thirst filled his lover dead
He was sullied he went home all mad

On his way back he saw a river
With a huge mass of black hot water
He recalled a tale of a group of vampires
Living in peace in a rustic empire

But they died of the heat of the sun
Whilst the river was brimming with swans
Unthinkingly he splashed downwards
Ditching himself into those boiling shards!

Failed but he had to **** Lucy!
She woke but in great beauty!
Adoring herself in the closest mirror
Pulled outdoors just to face horror

A young man found dead in the lake!
His chest stabbed by a wooden stake!
Away then she ran from the scene,
nearly fainted at what she'd seen.

Wept and wept she in agony,
could not believe in her misery!
What was then the use of the Almighty,
of it was but of lies and cruelty?

Lift herself up o then she did,
tired as she was of her idle feet!
Moving about 'till the hunger came,
when no more care she had for shame!

No regret did she find to have,
until no more blood for her left;
in her hands were a child's remains,
whose mother her very best friend!

The blood rose herself to full speed,
and raised her newer sense of greed!
She growled and gnarled and looked around;
her face was pale, her eyes were round.

Her nails grew sharper instantly!
Her lips bloomed and her cheeks rosy!
Thrice a day she hunted gaily,
'till a small lad saw her mutiny!

She had him and felt triumphant,
but she needed to run away!
Unseen hath she been since that sad day,
though the knights'd searched from December to May!

Tales foretell she's somewhere unknown
Hiding amongst bushes and their tall thorns
For men still disappear and get lost
At midnights and in winter frosts

A hidden question it is indeed
Finding her is but a must need
While the moon is blunt bristly and grey
and when the thin dusk starts to decay.
Marshal Gebbie May 2010
Have you wondered how tomorrow looks
When you've lied about today ?
Have you squandered opportunities
When you've refused to play ?
Have you sought the possibilities ?
Have you broken through the ruse ?
Have you shed your limitations
And tried to fill some bigger shoes ?


Will you spread your wings to fly
Across the chasm in your life ?
Have you shared your closest fears
With the one you call your wife ?
Do you long to break the mold
And try to start the day afresh ?
Is there courage there to stride out,
Have you the will to make it mesh ?


Is there a shade of self deception,
Is a colour bar installed ?
Are there feelings of inadequacy
Has your darling not yet called ?
Does your flacid nature falter
When pinned against the wall ?
Have you moments of reluctance
To recall it all, at all ?


Does it all really matter
That your world is locked within,
That the things which hold you back
Are simply things you revel in ?
That the greatest limitations
Are the ones you self impose,
That the key which locks the door
Is locked outside the door you close ?


Marshalg
reflecting@theBach
Mangere Bridge
28 July 2009
1

Suddenly, out of its stale and drowsy lair, the lair of slaves,
Like lightning it le’pt forth, half startled at itself,
Its feet upon the ashes and the rags—its hands tight to the throats of kings.

O hope and faith!
O aching close of exiled patriots’ lives!
O many a sicken’d heart!
Turn back unto this day, and make yourselves afresh.

And you, paid to defile the People! you liars, mark!
Not for numberless agonies, murders, lusts,
For court thieving in its manifold mean forms, worming from his simplicity the poor man’s wages,
For many a promise sworn by royal lips, and broken, and laugh’d at in the breaking,
Then in their power, not for all these, did the blows strike revenge, or the heads of the nobles fall;
The People scorn’d the ferocity of kings.

2

But the sweetness of mercy brew’d bitter destruction, and the frighten’d monarchs come back;
Each comes in state, with his train—hangman, priest, tax-gatherer,
Soldier, lawyer, lord, jailer, and sycophant.

Yet behind all, lowering, stealing—lo, a Shape,
Vague as the night, draped interminably, head, front and form, in scarlet folds,
Whose face and eyes none may see,
Out of its robes only this—the red robes, lifted by the arm,
One finger, crook’d, pointed high over the top, like the head of a snake appears.

3

Meanwhile, corpses lie in new-made graves—****** corpses of young men;
The rope of the gibbet hangs heavily, the bullets of princes are flying, the creatures of power laugh aloud,
And all these things bear fruits—and they are good.

Those corpses of young men,
Those martyrs that hang from the gibbets—those hearts pierc’d by the gray lead,
Cold and motionless as they seem, live elsewhere with unslaughter’d vitality.

They live in other young men, O kings!
They live in brothers, again ready to defy you!
They were purified by death—they were taught and exalted.

Not a grave of the ******’d for freedom, but grows seed for freedom, in its turn to bear seed,
Which the winds carry afar and re-sow, and the rains and the snows nourish.

Not a disembodied spirit can the weapons of tyrants let loose,
But it stalks invisibly over the earth, whispering, counseling, cautioning.

4

Liberty! let others despair of you! I never despair of you.

Is the house shut? Is the master away?
Nevertheless, be ready—be not weary of watching;
He will soon return—his messengers come anon.
Who are these? Why sit they here in twilight?
Wherefore rock they, purgatorial shadows,
Drooping tongues from jaws that slob their relish,
Baring teeth that leer like skulls' teeth wicked?
Stroke on stroke of pain, - but what slow panic,
Gouged these chasms round their fretted sockets?
Ever from their hair and through their hands' palms
Misery swelters. Surely we have perished
Sleeping, and walk hell; but who these hellish?


- These are men whose minds the Dead have ravished.
Memory fingers in their hair of murders,
Multitudinous murders they once witnessed.
Wading sloughs of flesh these helpless wander,
Treading blood from lings that had loved laughter.
Always they must see these things and hear them,
Batter of guns and shatter of flying muscles,
Carnage incomparable, and human squander
Rucked too thick for these men's extrication.


Therefore still their eyeballs shrink tormented
Back into their brains, because on their sense
Sunlight seems a blood-smear; night comes blood-black;
Dawn breaks open like a wound that bleeds afresh.
- Thus their heads wear this hilarious, hideous,
Awful falseness of set-smiling corpses.
- Thus their hands are plucking at each other;
Picking at the rope-knouts of their scourging;
Snatching after us who smote them, brother,
Pawing us who dealt them war and madness.
(C) Wilfred Owen
Susan O'Reilly Apr 2013
Degree of guilt
tortured to the hilt
sanity can easily tilt

feelings of remorse
ending in divorce
taken a wrong course

fell for temptation
no path of redemption
time for contemplation

Must keep demons at bay
start afresh, a new day
regret a price to pay
Vikram sikki Aug 2016
What do you think
When I say
And when I don't
What you like
And things you don't

Say things you think
So that I can link
And try afresh, try anew
A joke on me or two on you

But say it please
Clear and loud
My junk-head is all
Smog and cloud
With silly adventures of my own
with words and friends
In times bygone

I know me self
I miss the point
To make a point
You get it?

No ; I knew it
Missed it too!!

So bear with me
for I need you
To bear the self
When not with you.
Paul Silbert Sep 2012
At last the time had come to disembark:
Noah lead out the species one by one.
They squinted in the unfamiliar sun
After their long confinement in the ark,

Ready, it seemed, to start the world afresh,
When from the ravaged plains below there rose,
To turn the stomach and attack the nose,
An overwhelming stench of rotting flesh.

Noah threw up; his wife and family too;
Even the beasts began behaving oddly:
The world, though cleansed of sinners, smelled ungodly,

But everyone eventually grew
Accustomed to that ghastly odour, save
Noah, who drank himself into the grave.
Timothy Sep 2012
And must this body die?
This mortal frame decay?
And must these active limbs of mine
Lie mould'ring in the clay?

Corruption, earth, and worms
Shall but refine this flesh;
'Til my triumphant spirit comes
 To put it on afresh.

God my redeemer lives,
And often from the skies;
Looks down and watches all my dust,
'Til He shall bid it rise.

Arrayed in glorious grace,
Shall these vile bodies shine;
And ev'ry shape and ev'ry face,
Look heav'nly and divine.

**~Isaac Watts~
Resting on a fallen tree looking up into a shaded sky
At orange and yellow spectacles aglow
I faintly hear the ancient forest breathing in a sigh
Drifting to my wonder here below

A glistening dewdrop shudders in a crystal mesh
High above from a speckled leaf
Aching to just let go and begin its life afresh
Grasping for a taste of relief

I hear a lively rustling in a nest way above me
Joyful chattering of a tiny squirrel
If he knew, I was here now, listening to his glee
Such a hush would fall upon his world

A song of jubilation rings through changing leaves
Planning a journey to warmer climes
Singing winter is a showing, cold wind we will receive
Gather round all my family, it is time

Countless hours I have rested on this fallen tree
Looking up into a shaded sky
I too can feel a cooler breeze setting winter free
Along with the ancient forest I now sigh
Copyright *Neva Flores @2010
Inner not outer, without gnash of teeth
  Or weeping, save quiet sobs of some who pray
  And feel the Everlasting Arms beneath,--
Blackness of darkness this, but not for aye;
  Darkness that even in gathering fleeteth fast,
  Blackness of blackest darkness close to day.
Lord Jesus, through Thy darkened pillar cast,
  Thy gracious eyes all-seeing cast on me
  Until this tyranny be overpast.
Me, Lord, remember who remember Thee,
  And cleave to Thee, and see Thee without sight,
  And choose Thee still in dire extremity,
And in this darkness worship Thee my Light,
  And Thee my Life adore in shadow of death,
  Thee loved by day, and still beloved by night.
It is the Voice of my Beloved that saith:
  "I am the Way, the Truth, the Life, I go
  Whither that soul knows well that followeth"--

O Lord, I follow, little as I know;
  At this eleventh hour I rise and take
  My life into my hand, and follow so,
With tears and heart-misgivings and heart-ache;
  Thy feeblest follower, yet Thy follower
  Indomitable for Thine only sake.
To-night I gird my will afresh, and stir
  My strength, and brace my heart to do and dare,
  Marvelling: Will to-morrow wake the whirr
Of the great rending wheel, or from his lair
  Startle the jubilant lion in his rage,
  Or clench the headsman's hand within my hair,
Or kindle fire to speed my pilgrimage,
  Chariot of fire and horses of sheer fire
  Whirling me home to heaven by one fierce stage?
Thy Will I will, I Thy desire desire;
  Let not the waters close above my head,
  Uphold me that I sink not in this mire:
For flesh and blood are frail and sore afraid;
  And young I am, unsatisfied and young,
  With memories, hopes, with cravings all unfed,
My song half sung, its sweetest notes unsung,
  All plans cut short, all possibilities,
  Because my cord of life is soon unstrung.
Was I a careless woman set at ease
  That this so bitter cup is brimmed for me?

  Had mine own vintage settled on the lees?
A word, a puff of smoke, would set me free;
  A word, a puff of smoke, over and gone:...
  Howbeit, whom have I, Lord, in heaven but Thee?
Yea, only Thee my choice is fixed upon
  In heaven or earth, eternity or time:--
  Lord, hold me fast, Lord, leave me not alone,
Thy silly heartless dove that sees the lime
  Yet almost flutters to the tempting bough:
  Cover me, hide me, pluck me from this crime.
A word, a puff of smoke, would save me now:...
  But who, my God, would save me in the day
  Of Thy fierce anger? only Saviour Thou.
Preoccupy my heart, and turn away
  And cover up mine eyes from frantic fear,
  And stop mine ears lest I be driven astray:
For one stands ever dinning in mine ear
  How my gray Father withers in the blight
  Of love for me, who cruel am and dear;
And how my Mother through this lingering night
  Until the day, sits tearless in her woe,
  Loathing for love of me the happy light
Which brings to pass a concourse and a show
  To glut the hungry faces merciless,
The thousand faces swaying to and fro,
  Feasting on me unveiled in helplessness

  Alone,--yet not alone: Lord, stand by me
  As once by lonely Paul in his distress.
As blossoms to the sun I turn to Thee;
  Thy dove turns to her window, think no scorn;
  As one dove to an ark on shoreless sea,
To Thee I turn mine eyes, my heart forlorn;
  Put forth Thy scarred right Hand, kind Lord, take hold
  Of me Thine all-forsaken dove who mourn:
For Thou hast loved me since the days of old,
  And I love Thee Whom loving I will love
  Through life's short fever-fits of heat and cold;
Thy Name will I extol and sing thereof,
  Will flee for refuge to Thy Blessed Name.
  Lord, look upon me from thy bliss above:
Look down on me, who shrink from all the shame
  And pangs and desolation of my death,
  Wrenched piecemeal or devoured or set on flame,
While all the world around me holds its breath
  With eyes glued on me for a gazing-stock,
  Pitiless eyes, while no man pitieth.
The floods are risen, I stagger in their shock,
  My heart reels and is faint, I fail, I faint:
  My God, set Thou me up upon the rock,
Thou Who didst long ago Thyself acquaint
  With death, our death; Thou Who didst long ago

  Pour forth Thy soul for sinner and for saint.
Bear me in mind, whom no one else will know;
  Thou Whom Thy friends forsook, take Thou my part,
  Of all forsaken in mine overthrow;
Carry me in Thy *****, in Thy heart,
  Carry me out of darkness into light,
  To-morrow make me see Thee as Thou art.
Lover and friend Thou hidest from my sight:--
  Alas, alas, mine earthly love, alas,
  For whom I thought to don the garments white
And white wreath of a bride, this rugged pass
  Hath utterly divorced me from thy care;
  Yea, I am to thee as a shattered glass
Worthless, with no more beauty lodging there,
  Abhorred, lest I involve thee in my doom:
  For sweet are sunshine and this upper air,
And life and youth are sweet, and give us room
  For all most sweetest sweetnesses we taste:
  Dear, what hast thou in common with a tomb?
I bow my head in silence, I make haste
  Alone, I make haste out into the dark,
  My life and youth and hope all run to waste.
Is this my body cold and stiff and stark,
  Ashes made ashes, earth becoming earth,
  Is this a prize for man to make his mark?

Am I, that very I who laughed in mirth
  A while ago, a little, little while,
  Yet all the while a-dying since my birth?
Now am I tired, too tired to strive or smile;
  I sit alone, my mouth is in the dust:
  Look Thou upon me, Lord, for I am vile.
In Thee is all my hope, is all my trust,
  On Thee I centre all my self that dies,
  And self that dies not with its mortal crust,
But sleeps and wakes, and in the end will rise
  With hymns and hallelujahs on its lips,
  Thee loving with the love that satisfies.
As once in Thine unutterable eclipse
  The sun and moon grew dark for sympathy,
  And earth cowered quaking underneath the drips
Of Thy slow Blood priceless exceedingly,
  So now a little spare me, and show forth
  Some pity, O my God, some pity of me.
If trouble comes not from the south or north,
  But meted to us by Thy tender hand,
  Let me not in Thine eyes be nothing worth:
Behold me where in agony I stand,
  Behold me no man caring for my soul,
  And take me to Thee in the far-off land,
Shorten the race and lift me to the goal.
Paul M Chafer Aug 2015
Reflecting upon the ambitions of my youth,
What happened to the man I never became?
My roots, once anchored firmly, no longer sit
In countryside soil, oh dear, what a shame!
For my heart, town-life has staked its claim.

Whenever viewing those years through the *****
Lenses of memory’s filmy glass, I can always see
The discarded ideals to which I never could
Aspire, my failure, such a huge relief for me,
Not having to face the music, of a rural melody.

I seemed fairly happy then, driving a tractor.
Making a living from having, a field to plough.
The simple pleasure, a reward I had forgotten,
Somehow ashamed, as if I had broken a vow.
Or maybe just guilty, because, I’m happier now.

Auden had said. “You spend twenty five years
Learning to be yourself.” Is this to fully mature?
The wisdom of age wiping my lenses clean.
Seeing an unsullied panorama afresh, is a cure,
The man I’ve become, at ease, at peace, secure.
Written when recovering from a severely debilitating illness, finding life had twisted through turmoil and chaos until I no longer knew who it was that I had become. I know now; I am me!
Jenny Gordon Sep 2016
Some of you go so far as to disclaim any ability to find you, but I've got you.



(sonnet #MMDCCXCV)


Dare claim your writing does not breathe a strain
Of your dear essence: to be fooled. Thereby
Petrarca's soul distills its fervour aye;
And Wyatt cool good sense; while Surrey feign
With mildest touch and Spenser's pure refrain,
Sweet Shakespeare beauing hearts, dare cry
Amain. From Milton's kingly strength's reply
To Wordsworth's cold hauteur, yea come again?
Twas Samuel Taylor Coleridge roused me
To think afresh, his lively fancy through
Each line with his impress. From Shelley's plea
To Keats' indulgence, Missus Browning's blue
Yet mystic charm, don't think all cannot see.
You don't know me? But ah, I do know you.

31Aug13b
Yes, yes, ye that join Barry Cornwall in revelling in fantasies do leave me scanter means to ascertain you...

— The End —