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Jayantee Khare Jul 2017

The fume

A thick dark fumy cloud
Dormant it lies, but often loud
Precariously overhead, it flowed
The sunshine of the life, it swallowed
It rained, challenged by the mighty peak
In the heart, It pained, to see it weak
The cloud was small but heavy
However dusty and floaty.

The doom and gloom

Embracing in its shadow
In desert, plains and meadow
Eclipsing the days, sunny bright
Dreadful, with the darkening night
With me, always  hanging around
When noticed, nearby it's found
Haunting me with a sadness
Flaunting its darkness
A lot in the cloud explored
Then consciously, It was ignored
But dancing at the back of the mind
Past  hurts and  pains, it  put to rewind

The boom and bloom

And then, letting it flow across, I got immersed,
In fine tiny droplets, the cloud
dispersed,
Now each droplet addressed
separately
Was dried in the shiny sun
completely
All of the cloud, dripped to
evaporate
Condensed eventually, as
distillate
My pains, by that elixir,
cured,
Alchemised me
into
24 carat gold

Our worries and regrets we carry unnecessarily.. so long and heavy
Can be harnessed into insight...
The hindsight
Gives foresight
When you fight them
and
grow through them
Thnk you Sarita for suggested edits..
Really valuable...
anthony Brady Dec 2018
Before  bringing
the chemistry of
your critique skills
to my poems
consider this:
I will stir in
leaden phrases
then pour
them into
the crucible,
add each
to the mix,
smelting all
into a
golden Stanza.

TOBIAS
Brandon Conway Aug 2018
A person goes out to town to cure
Boredom or loneliness
Often looking to conquer both

Even an introvert wants company
It’s taken six years to go search

I found a coffee shop
With a black box room

I took a seat
And waited for the host
To start the show
Improv comedy
Never been to one of those

The host asked
What’s inside this invisible box
Answers came out from the audience

I said a can of worms
Not loud
I hate attention
But the host heard
And chose that can of worms

Someone listened to me
And now they are making
Me my own personal joke

I got to admit
I was jealous
Each member has conquered
The fear of people
Of being in front of people
Of speaking to people
Acting crazy in front of people

The show was great
We all had a laugh
One day I will thank them
And maybe one day
I’ll join on that stage

Just one foot in front of the other
Next week is a poetry reading
And that’s where I’ll be
Hayley May 2018
This time I'm going to do the hermit thing right
Inner-work and self-love from morning to night  
Awareness of all my woes and insecurities  
Connecting with universal flows and obscurities
Going into my depths, no human interference
Focusing on my soul, not my appearance
Transmuting all my deep pain into sweet pleasure
While turning these dark coals into beautiful treasure
This focus and expansion is serving me well
Returning to my inner heaven, away from this ****
i am a poet and still
i can’t comprehend these symbols
these missing heartbeats
and hours spent counting thimbles
i am perplexed by love
shall we seek herbs and remedies
lose ourselves in cures and compounds
must our inner territories be colonized
while we remain captivated by inconvenient theories
struck down by doubt and insecurity
the mind wields no ammunition
and yet its cavalry has desecrated the land
without the slightest sign of inhibition
or a trace of empathy, justice or compassion
will we make a new peace treaty
will the blessed earth be forgiven
and can the sweet essence of her children
comprehend the innocence of spring
oh how our hearts yearn for dancing
still you spend your dollars and your pennies
but give your emptiness to the king
i eat oats and honey cooked upon the fire
while you distill golden nectar from the garden of desire
in the ancient inside-out alembic of your will
and imbibe spagyric liquid that eradicates all pride
and confers wisdom, truth, beauty and longevity
upon the already immortal nature of your mind
Chicken Dec 2018
Look here, to the East, the South, the West, the North....

Instruct:

Trust thy inner knowledge,
Power is placed within,
Take any which direction you choose,
For when you end, you will always begin.

And So,

Goodbye from the parts of you,
that do not know the soul,
They may choose to meddle a while,
though no longer can they control.

Your path unique, in divide dual,
an individual task,
Not one may interfere too long,
Not even those whom are masked.

So Forth,

Take some air and not hurry then,
Knowing you are on thy way,
Be eating foods just as mother Earth,
See the brake of dawn each day.

Take some water gradually, yet
steer clear of the water of fire,
firewater be the end of thee,
instrumental of setbacks, tis' dire.

Onwards,

Placing thy feet upon thine soil,
Souls of yours, not Nike,
Connect in self to the nature of hertz,
To calm a forlorn psyche.

When ye be ready, take flint and oil
Fuel your athanor fires,
Take the elixir sure to come, and,
be not afraid of the mires.
This is an epic by my standards. Enjoy, or not.

Firewater = High Proof Alcohol
Athanor = Furnace
Ken Pepiton Oct 2018
Drunk, we staggered home.

Aware of having been
some
other where
a while

That woman, she could answer

any question rebbi axt,
Ohhhhmyyy

she laugh and say, Dude, I got the Intent-net,
in my hand

That's more than a list of numbers, this
accounting idle words going on, on going, as fast as

lightning, at the scale, of, say

cat-ions ifiying an-ions
at random,
seen systematical, from a distance
zoom out
at the scale, of, say
Great Deep Field.

Center you, I'm no matter.

synchro
now

zoom out
Use that steam program
Universe Sandbox,
you gotta see that to imagine this, right,

and next is what you keep saying is unbelievable,
but its not.

Good things come to them
to whom
good makes more sense.

Earth from the moon POV

Confusion flux, spurtual,  caused by the solar flare of all solar flares,
one side

Whooshing the Ice left from Patton's flood
into steam, the stuff, not the app,

which swooshhhesssssssssss smack
into the freezing repurcussions
from the daark side…

The Noah event, that was bad,
This one, the last one, this just previous one,

was spiritual. Magnitudes incomparable
(save in parable and example, exemplar gratis,
says the bodiless being, with a roll of  my wrist and a bow)

At that very time on the side away from the flare,
the daark side of the planet, this one…

a Donald Patton nitrogen snow ball
that nearly breached Roche's limit,

too not nearly enough,
dis -integration
The atmosphere freezes
to the quark level, snap,

the cold
explosive
forward momentum
booms a nitrogen bubble now
minusminusminus
solid nitrogen
melting

any heat locked in flare fired steam,
what was once the water
that washed away the gods and locked their cities
of ivory under the ice

on the sunny side,
where now, then,

a solar flare like legends build empires upon
has passed, fires rage

there were survivors who lived to tell

and old stories never die. Old story tellers do,

Only miners survived, gold digger mostly,
few alchemists who knew the mystery in mercury,
Lost was all knowing but to a very few,
who truth be told had been the owners
well kept servants, ministers of this and that
they perished with all the fires touched

we diggers, we only marvel

How bits of time, exact as ours, can be seen happening
all in bubble of Mercury. Cooked out red rock like these.

"Blood o' the gods of old, swat I'astold."

Messages from the gods, grandma, said, "Mercury calls for gold, gold listens, when fire's hottern fire can be,
unless
the breath of men blow on the coals", we all said that last part and blew out the light. G'night


but a story told a wee bit here a qubit there
here a little, there a little
line upon line,
precept upon precept,

'cept no body knows what I know about cept,

capere, a story starts, a provisioning tale. Wait.

it means grip. like a tool. rock breaks nut.

Paper covers rock, but scissors are so far in the future
that now, my time, my mind wanders after whys

this authoritative telling of the story, in it,
none know the terminal tale.

As in times past, there were survivors who lived to tell

and old stories never die. Old story tellers do,

Tho' here's a clue.
Meek's not bad,
******, for no reason, is.

Living long for the sake of a song heard once,
in dream luring me on, promising right now, I'll

know what it's like to see, oh

POV I made this clear some time ago,
time is less predictable than any imagined, before 2018
when, you know…

Even those tales old drunk Hesiod sold
in the Hittite tavern at Delphi,

Chronos thought wrong in those,
he ruled but for the merest gleam o'

Time, then a bubble gen erated by the thought of
opposition to transition,
nothing to something,
pushing /pushing back
stretch/snap/spark
that takes power, pulsing power, throbbing power

push/stretch
glow/snap
you know, imagine, glowing - cheat 2018 CG
glow/snap
Planc time,
each time the bubble pushes back
a ripple
imagine a clock, later, if you believe then, you must.

Now, see the bubble of all men have imagined,
since the time when such a bubble was only evil,
continually.

It went viral.
Noah we know for sure, almost, survived, ? Cushites kept records. In Africa.
Akkad kept record, too.
Some Hopi survived somehow and they have a tale.

They say they know the story is ten thousand years old,
I've been to a crossroads
on their journey,
stories
tell of it, still, today.

Holy means marked for good reason.
Marked with clues, not riddles, maps

Sacred means secret means hidden away for use,
not common, every day, quotidian use, right use.

Time, the opposing force, is precious to us all.
In time, we do all we can and die,

in ever, we expand, in no time at all. I imagine.

You fill it. Now, Your expandable mind's time,

time pushes from the outside,
wisdom pushes from the inside,

And so it goes, life goes on and music grows on ya,

Amusing how they do that, teeny muses dancing
shiva on the tip of my tongue,

singings songs in tongues I've never known
if they
are words on tongues
or sounds on tongues,

notes,

Baysian Binary Cross Validation
still ends with some people thinkin'
"it is finished" left them with a ton o'weight,
that's wrong, insist resistance.

Some, heavy duty, leaders of lambs, they claim
power in their mouths, spoken from fixed hearts,

but fixed upon, is truly the song,
said, words are only
little bits of whole sym ulacrum of re-ify-ing

where broken things re-pair, and life goes on…

"fixed, my heart is fixed",
no, your heart is machine of the most magnificent design, perfected,
a time at a time.
Flexing, pacing time itself, faster slower,

try some time
alone
be still, pond still

I know the story broke,
I could not hold it.

In the night, bitter cold
Frozen fragile...

There are pieces scattered every

where, everywhere
there is time, there is at least, a point

a story may stand upon and ask an angel
to dance.
Dance, give it some flare, what do we care?

Nobody's watching, but that fly.
This is read, by me at http://anchor.fm/ken-pepiton
Life is good at my house, thankyou. A reader is needed more than words can tell. My posts are a book now, few stand solidly on their own. Thank you if you spend your time perusing them please tell me where I muddy the flow, or break the story.
Jaycub J Jan 30
Time slips silently,
gracefully, without warning.
And at times storming
through the vacant
lots of moments.
Once home to potential,
now up for rental.
So cold in the winter.
When does the young leave,
And the old enter?
Reckoning with
the recklessness
of youth turns
scars into truth,
passions into muse,
lost love into old news.
The heart heals and
reveals a new story.
Time is an alchemist,
Manifesting wisdom
from youths glory.
ottaross Nov 2018
Melt into me
Caramel and salt
Pine sap into quicksilver
Fog dissolving in volcanic lava
An alchemy discordant and electric
Makes an ore of iron sing into steel
A green copper ingot shine into bronze
But discarded I am left as detritus and debris, a cold abrasive ****
Among the twisted forms of the ideas never formed
Far away from the shaping hammer and anvil
The bellows there that only draws
Pulling away the last of the heat
And unidentifiable melted figures
Are each there somewhat me
But are incomplete alone
Karijinbba Aug 2018
Be Lost In The Call
Lord, said David, since you do not need us,
why did you create these two worlds?
Reality replied: Oh prisoner of time,
I was a secret treasure of kindness and generosity,
and I wished this treasure to be known,
so I created a mirror: its shining face, the heart;
its darkened back, the world;
The back would please you if you’ve never seen the face.
Has anyone ever produced a mirror out of mud and straw?
Yet clean away the mud and straw,
and a mirror might be revealed.
Until the juice ferments a while in the cask,
it isn’t wine. If you wish your heart to be bright,
you must do a little work.
My King addressed the soul of my flesh:
You return just as you left.
Where are the traces of my gifts?
We know that alchemy transforms copper into gold.
This Sun doesn’t want a crown or robe from God’s grace.
He is a hat to a hundred bald men,
a covering for ten who were *****.
Jesus sat humbly on the back of an ***, my child!
How could a zephyr ride an ***?
Spirit, find your way, in seeking lowness like a stream.
Reason, tread the path of selflessness into eternity.
Remember God so much that you are forgotten.
Let the caller and the called disappear;
be lost in the Call.
The mirror of reality. A wise human
Gathers a persons ***** laundry out {as a man gathers sticks and laying them on the fire a viper might show up to bite {so might an angry person whose ***** laundry is out in the open he might let out his inner peace or wrath. We all are steered by something an idea or belief that might be our triumph or our demise.. Careful what you say in anger control it or it will control you...speak no evil hear no evil see.no evil . Mirrors have hidden camaras live as if all is viewing you with a microscope let it become a habit but dont freak out be transparent ..i know it happened to me and i lost more then my temper.
Tommy Randell Nov 2014
Clay

Not one particle of me
Dissolves readily
I am so immune to Love
These days.
My outstretched hand
Stirs but does not *******
Enacts but does not generate
Indeed Un-differentiates.

I have made
From deeper word-clays
Superior thoughts of you
And have thrown
Better pots upon the wheel
But daily life these days
Must take what it can get
The potter must ***.

This is not mere wrestling
With images
This talk of alchemy
And artifice
In the absence of you
I am forced to ply other clays
Toward lesser ideals
On my stage of words

That is to say
You were for me
Something seen into
More than friendship's patina
More than the creation of space
Something seen of imagination
Unbelievably
More than the clay itself.
Johnny Noiπ Sep 2018
Good faith, in human interactions, is a sincere intention to be fair,
open & honest regardless of the outcome of the interaction -

He made us because he took a year to write the tulip;
In the 24 carat hot mass of dark Snooch's list of America's
Houses of Gold;           As long as the sun is in pain it's alright
with Jesus; Furthermore,                the elderly Standard scared
The sixth sense mortality's worth of blood flowing to ****
minor dispute; A major part of the loss the top of the worship
of the goddess,                     a salt desert with hair disheveled
with its blue eyes being shut in the fear of the bottom
of the mountain, the name of the all the most important
it is that we say, this can not be while dining; doing *****
work to promote public wine tasting;      The poet writes
that the transfer to the company it turns out in Greek lore,
red & yellow king of the cats, some of them on the side of the fish,
which is a moderate-sized the entire final image In addition,
Secret Service is the mother of the Medusa,      a mirror of modern
controversy for the stripper;                The hairs of the six ******
and physical Ringers;     The dog plays footsie ****** phenotype;
Friday's angle must be true;       1 read a story to the voice of the
six music is invisible pain or conscience,    the dog licks its arch
for profit, lore & honey; at least a little lower than the bona fide
handmaid of the signs must remain subject to the *******'s
sweetness of glory;               Sweat covering the ice machine
when the woman is married to some rich filter strippers gels?
1 began to control the robots' colors secondary upon her Prince,
toward her young one a written report after the pigment of the tree
the power of the director's fresh stick coated with phosphorous;
the CEO of the day on Wall Street is the enemy, this is your friend
abroad drinking diet cola w/ some other fatty uneducated;
This very idea of animal groups,   the starry Apple's retention;
It is known that Einstein sleeps in the sand weary of Alchemy
impregnating spacetime; However, it is unknown who loves the t-shirt River;  Max Planck Quotes:
            Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature
            & that is because in the last analysis,   we ourselves
            are a part of the mystery we are trying to solve;
                                 Whence come I and whither go I?
The great unfathomable question is the same for every one of us &
                                                                ­Science has no answer to it.
An experiment is a question which science poses to Nature & a
                        measurement is the recording of Nature's answer.
We have no right to assume that any physical laws exist, or if they have existed up until now,   that they will continue to exist in a similar manner in the future; It is not the possession of truth, but the success which attends the seeking after it,        that enriches the seeker and brings happiness to him;
Scientific discovery and scientific knowledge have been achieved only by those who have gone in pursuit of it without any practical purpose
                                                                ­            whatsoever in view

Johnny Noiπ Oct 2018
alchemy pictures
The Club is science
My wife is dead cops sitting on air power
Wind Park sands rest in the knowledge
A flag at a table and a glass of gods
Song really look turned fairest and torn *******
Seas ability plastic intermediate area of ​​interest
boasting about the guns timber
In the machine feet bearing
a bunch of Diaphragms
dance w / her eye on conversion
St. Paul wrote, how do you remember
Fuel change, broke my teeth running
At that seen burning stove w / the eyes
& for the beasts, that I have seen the star,
they were glad,
I'm glad I say, is in the garden
The Lord's influx is the salvation for Women
Raising lead alchemy
That is the image of my wife sitting Points
Dead air cops flag Science Park
Palm to assess the force of the wind to know
on a glass table linen was torn out of the ground;
I saw in reality a most beautiful song, Mary
in the midst of looking for the power of the plastic floor
Glory be off the trees and take care of engines
Chapter substance the machine;
The breakfast is a dance w/ eyes &
He that hath the Conversion of St. Paul the Apostle,
Remember how you wrote in that vision;
Love lured to change the course of my teeth
Steaming food knee hold
the stove & w / star looked out of the game;
health; & a garden & noon & in a flame
of the women, that they rely more on
Alchemy Frogs w / in time
w / & move a child w/ teenager
They ask for a glass of Philosophy of the town,
Glory is far from cold
In this temple, & in a second marriage Bettie
The lion ran Einstein's end
the fool walks in torments in Hades, & God smote him there in the
convert it to the point of madness;
For he hath done marvelous things in the time of this day:
but what In this sense, in which young Mary
Teenager moves me? Philosophy publicly on glass
Is extant, at least it is most true,
Carl's keyboard shortcuts lights of the temples,
The lion running into a second marriage w / Bettie
The shock torture Printing reports
The boy Einstein's ****** mad;
This wonderful era
Tommy Randell May 2017
(one)

i wish to tell you about my cage     shadows for bars
the vestige of faraway things      a fractal miscellany
meditating the while      on the dancing of spiders
the tracery of wings      the passage of tongues over bone
the noise of a pool thrown into by a stone

this is what Longing is made from
that it does not wear out!

(two)

the night pivots on a point of light      i have long known myself to be
the skull of a white bear      on a white page      dreaming
with each cranial line, each graph      a past migration to distant lands
but not that such free body diagrams      without text were
a way out of the cage

in the track, grooved, music begins.
in the bone, smoothed, a polar bear dreams

(three)

held in the curve of circling shadows      dark and vacant sockets
ancient enacted motions      enfolded images
unfolding the forging of a lasting alchemy
that with my tongue i call memory      a scrimshaw
of the catalogue of days everything has served to further

to come, a journey down the narrowing path
towards those rumours of things true
WARM WINTER Apr 2015
I'm drifting like a cloud, I'm flowing like water
But I'm afraid to remain on the above the surface.
why linger like a lost leaf when such marvelous insights lie beneath.
Why skim the froth but not drink the alchemy, are you truly drunk on vanity ?.

Sanity, sanity,
I am not broken without you.
Insanity, insanity,
I am not deluded with you.

I only believe because frankly this world is not enough for me, and I only aim to be better in-tune with the infinite because my soul yearns for what it cannot yet reach & what this world has to teach.
afterall wernt we wonderfully created to simply wonder?

Jay Electronica - Better in-tune with the infinite

Feb 23rd 2015
patty m Jul 2015
Old house on the hill
fallen to ruin I can hear my mother's voice
above the flutter of wings.  
There she is rising from the grave,
half moons caked with dirt,
every finger wearing a ring.
I do not see her lips move
as she goes limp until the present rolls backward.

I become lost in endless blackness swirling  
in cold that slithers under my skin,
and then her bladder lets go
and I become the placenta
trolling for her full-blown kiss,
her mega-watt smile,
while longing for the comfort of
of her arms warm like the safety of her ****.

Suddenly I'm alone, fog wrapped in
empty space
until the train rattles past startling pigeons into flight.

The train's chilling whistle
hangs eerily in the wind as the cars go
clacking and rumbling down the track;

This is a song I've known since childhood,
along with the pounding cold surf
and the noise from the penny arcade.

The carney yells, "Step right up,
buckle yourself into this nightmare ride."  
I enter a car and soon it vanishes taking me with it.
Is it the alchemy of my soul
that leads me through their spiritual unrest?

The carney plays a priestly role,
on the other side of the closed curtain,
as I am ****** into this nightly re-enactment
with those loved ones who have now passed through
the dismal stretch into the dark divide.
FIRST DAY

1.
Who wanted me
to go to Chicago
on January 6th?
I did!

The night before,
20 below zero
Fahrenheit
with the wind chill;
as the blizzard of 99
lay in mountains
of blackening snow.

I packed two coats,
two suits,
three sweaters,
multiple sets of long johns
and heavy white socks
for a two-day stay.

I left from Newark.
**** the denseness,
it confounds!

The 2nd City to whom?
2nd ain’t bad.
It’s pretty good.
If you consider
Peking and Prague,
Tokyo and Togo,
Manchester and Moscow,
Port Au Prince and Paris,
Athens and Amsterdam,
Buenos Aries and Johannesburg;
that’s pretty good.

What’s going on here today?
It’s friggin frozen.
To the bone!

But Chi Town is still cool.
Buddy Guy’s is open.
Bartenders mixing drinks,
cabbies jamming on their breaks,
honey dew waitresses serving sugar,
buildings swerving,
fire tongued preachers are preaching
and the farmers are measuring the moon.

The lake,
unlike Ontario
is in the midst of freezing.
Bones of ice
threaten to gel
into a solid mass
over the expanse
of the Michigan Lake.
If this keeps up,
you can walk
clear to Toronto
on a silver carpet.

Along the shore
the ice is permanent.
It’s the first big frost
of winter
after a long
Indian Summer.

Thank God
I caught a cab.
Outside I hear
The Hawk
nippin hard.
It’ll get your ear,
finger or toe.
Bite you on the nose too
if you ain’t careful.

Thank God,
I’m not walking
the Wabash tonight;
but if you do cover up,
wear layers.

Chicago,
could this be
Sandburg’s City?

I’m overwhelmed
and this is my tenth time here.

It’s almost better,
sometimes it is better,
a lot of times it is better
and denser then New York.

Ask any Bull’s fan.
I’m a Knickerbocker.
Yes Nueva York,
a city that has placed last
in the standings
for many years.
Except the last two.
Yanks are # 1!

But Chicago
is a dynasty,
as big as
Sammy Sosa’s heart,
rich and wide
as Michael Jordan’s grin.

Middle of a country,
center of a continent,
smack dab in the mean
of a hemisphere,
vortex to a world,
Chicago!

Kansas City,
Nashville,
St. Louis,
Detroit,
Cleveland,
Pittsburgh,
Denver,
New Orleans,
Dallas,
Cairo,
Singapore,
Auckland,
Baghdad,
Mexico City
and Montreal
salute her.



2.
Cities,
A collection of vanities?
Engineered complex utilitarianism?
The need for community a social necessity?
Ego one with the mass?
Civilization’s latest *******?
Chicago is more then that.

Jefferson’s yeoman farmer
is long gone
but this capitol
of the Great Plains
is still democratic.

The citizen’s of this city
would vote daily,
if they could.

Chicago,
Sandburg’s Chicago,
Could it be?

The namesake river
segments the city,
canals of commerce,
all perpendicular,
is rife throughout,
still guiding barges
to the Mississippi
and St. Laurence.

Now also
tourist attractions
for a cafe society.

Chicago is really jazzy,
swanky clubs,
big steaks,
juices and drinks.

You get the best
coffee from Seattle
and the finest teas
from China.

Great restaurants
serve liquid jazz
al la carte.

Jazz Jazz Jazz
All they serve is Jazz
Rock me steady
Keep the beat
Keep it flowin
Feel the heat!

Jazz Jazz Jazz
All they is, is Jazz
Fast cars will take ya
To the show
Round bout midnight
Where’d the time go?

Flows into the Mississippi,
the mother of America’s rivers,
an empires aorta.

Great Lakes wonder of water.
Niagara Falls
still her heart gushes forth.

Buffalo connected to this holy heart.
Finger Lakes and Adirondacks
are part of this watershed,
all the way down to the
Delaware and Chesapeake.

Sandburg’s Chicago?
Oh my my,
the wonder of him.
Who captured the imagination
of the wonders of rivers.

Down stream other holy cities
from the Mississippi delta
all mapped by him.

Its mouth our Dixie Trumpet
guarded by righteous Cajun brethren.

Midwest?
Midwest from where?
It’s north of Caracas and Los Angeles,
east of Fairbanks,
west of Dublin
and south of not much.

Him,
who spoke of honest men
and loving women.
Working men and mothers
bearing citizens to build a nation.
The New World’s
precocious adolescent
caught in a stream
of endless and exciting change,
much pain and sacrifice,
dedication and loss,
pride and tribulations.

From him we know
all the people’s faces.
All their stories are told.
Never defeating the
idea of Chicago.

Sandburg had the courage to say
what was in the heart of the people, who:

Defeated the Indians,
Mapped the terrain,
Aided slavers,
Fought a terrible civil war,
Hoisted the barges,
Grew the food,
Whacked the wheat,
Sang the songs,
Fought many wars of conquest,
Cleared the land,
Erected the bridges,
Trapped the game,
Netted the fish,
Mined the coal,
Forged the steel,
Laid the tracks,
Fired the tenders,
Cut the stone,
Mixed the mortar,
Plumbed the line,
And laid the bricks
Of this nation of cities!

Pardon the Marlboro Man shtick.
It’s a poor expostulation of
crass commercial symbolism.

Like I said, I’m a
Devil Fan from Jersey
and Madison Avenue
has done its work on me.

It’s a strange alchemy
that changes
a proud Nation of Blackhawks
into a merchandising bonanza
of hometown hockey shirts,
making the native seem alien,
and the interloper at home chillin out,
warming his feet atop a block of ice,
guzzling Old Style
with clicker in hand.

Give him his beer
and other diversions.
If he bowls with his buddy’s
on Tuesday night
I hope he bowls
a perfect game.

He’s earned it.
He works hard.
Hard work and faith
built this city.

And it’s not just the faith
that fills the cities
thousand churches,
temples and
mosques on the Sabbath.

3.
There is faith in everything in Chicago!

An alcoholic broker named Bill
lives the Twelve Steps
to banish fear and loathing
for one more day.
Bill believes in sobriety.

A tug captain named Moe
waits for the spring thaw
so he can get the barges up to Duluth.
Moe believes in the seasons.

A farmer named Tom
hopes he has reaped the last
of many bitter harvests.
Tom believes in a new start.

A homeless man named Earl
wills himself a cot and a hot
at the local shelter.
Earl believes in deliverance.

A Pullman porter
named George
works overtime
to get his first born
through medical school.
George believes in opportunity.

A folk singer named Woody
sings about his
countrymen inheritance
and implores them to take it.
Woody believes in people.

A Wobbly named Joe
organizes fellow steelworkers
to fight for a workers paradise
here on earth.
Joe believes in ideals.

A bookkeeper named Edith
is certain she’ll see the Cubs
win the World Series
in her lifetime.
Edith believes in miracles.

An electrician named ****
saves money
to bring his family over from Gdansk.
**** believes in America.

A banker named Leah
knows Ditka will return
and lead the Bears
to another Super Bowl.
Leah believes in nostalgia.

A cantor named Samuel
prays for another 20 years
so he can properly train
his Temple’s replacement.

Samuel believes in tradition.
A high school girl named Sally
refuses to get an abortion.
She knows she carries
something special within her.
Sally believes in life.

A city worker named Mazie
ceaselessly prays
for her incarcerated son
doing 10 years at Cook.
Mazie believes in redemption.

A jazzer named Bix
helps to invent a new art form
out of the mist.
Bix believes in creativity.

An architect named Frank
restores the Rookery.
Frank believes in space.

A soldier named Ike
fights wars for democracy.
Ike believes in peace.

A Rabbi named Jesse
sermonizes on Moses.
Jesse believes in liberation.

Somewhere in Chicago
a kid still believes in Shoeless Joe.
The kid believes in
the integrity of the game.

An Imam named Louis
is busy building a nation
within a nation.
Louis believes in
self-determination.

A teacher named Heidi
gives all she has to her students.
She has great expectations for them all.
Heidi believes in the future.

4.
Does Chicago have a future?

This city,
full of cowboys
and wildcatters
is predicated
on a future!

Bang, bang
Shoot em up
Stake the claim
It’s your terrain
Drill the hole
Strike it rich
Top it off
You’re the boss
Take a chance
Watch it wane
Try again
Heavenly gains

Chicago
city of futures
is a Holy Mecca
to all day traders.

Their skin is gray,
hair disheveled,
loud ties and
funny coats,
thumb through
slips of paper
held by nail
chewed hands.
Selling promises
with no derivative value
for out of the money calls
and in the money puts.
Strike is not a labor action
in this city of unionists,
but a speculators mark,
a capitalist wish,
a hedgers bet,
a public debt
and a farmers
fair return.

Indexes for everything.
Quantitative models
that could burst a kazoo.

You know the measure
of everything in Chicago.
But is it truly objective?
Have mathematics banished
subjective intentions,
routing it in fair practice
of market efficiencies,
a kind of scientific absolution?

I heard that there
is a dispute brewing
over the amount of snowfall
that fell on the 1st.

The mayor’s office,
using the official city ruler
measured 22”
of snow on the ground.

The National Weather Service
says it cannot detect more
then 17” of snow.

The mayor thinks
he’ll catch less heat
for the trains that don’t run
the buses that don’t arrive
and the schools that stand empty
with the addition of 5”.

The analysts say
it’s all about capturing liquidity.

Liquidity,
can you place a great lake
into an eyedropper?

Its 20 below
and all liquid things
are solid masses
or a gooey viscosity at best.

Water is frozen everywhere.
But Chi town is still liquid,
flowing faster
then the digital blips
flashing on the walls
of the CBOT.

Dreams
are never frozen in Chicago.
The exchanges trade
without missing a beat.

Trading wet dreams,
the crystallized vapor
of an IPO
pledging a billion points
of Internet access
or raiding the public treasuries
of a central bank’s
huge stores of gold
with currency swaps.

Using the tools
of butterfly spreads
and candlesticks
to achieve the goal.

Short the Russell
or buy the Dow,
go long the
CAC and DAX.
Are you trading in euro’s?
You better be
or soon will.
I know
you’re Chicago,
you’ll trade anything.
WEBS,
Spiders,
and Leaps
are traded here,
along with sweet crude,
North Sea Brent,
plywood and T-Bill futures;
and most importantly
the commodities,
the loam
that formed this city
of broad shoulders.

What about our wheat?
Still whacking and
breadbasket to the world.

Oil,
an important fossil fuel
denominated in
good ole greenbacks.

Porkbellies,
not just hogwash
on the Wabash,
but bacon, eggs
and flapjacks
are on the menu
of every diner in Jersey
as the “All American.”

Cotton,
our contribution
to the Golden Triangle,
once the global currency
used to enrich a
gentlemen class
of cultured
southern slavers,
now Tommy Hilfiger’s
preferred fabric.

I think he sends it
to Bangkok where
child slaves
spin it into
gold lame'.

Sorghum,
I think its hardy.

Soybeans,
the new age substitute
for hamburger
goes great with tofu lasagna.

Corn,
ADM creates ethanol,
they want us to drive cleaner cars.

Cattle,
once driven into this city’s
bloodhouses for slaughter,
now ground into
a billion Big Macs
every year.

When does a seed
become a commodity?
When does a commodity
become a future?
When does a future expire?

You can find the answers
to these questions in Chicago
and find a fortune in a hole in the floor.

Look down into the pits.
Hear the screams of anguish
and profitable delights.

Frenzied men
swarming like a mass
of epileptic ants
atop the worlds largest sugar cube
auger the worlds free markets.

The scene is
more chaotic then
100 Haymarket Square Riots
multiplied by 100
1968 Democratic Conventions.

Amidst inverted anthills,
they scurry forth and to
in distinguished
black and red coats.

Fighting each other
as counterparties
to a life and death transaction.

This is an efficient market
that crosses the globe.

Oil from the Sultan of Brunei,
Yen from the land of Hitachi,
Long Bonds from the Fed,
nickel from Quebec,
platinum and palladium
from Siberia,
FTSE’s from London
and crewel cane from Havana
circle these pits.

Tijuana,
Shanghai
and Istanbul's
best traders
are only half as good
as the average trader in Chicago.

Chicago,
this hog butcher to the world,
specializes in packaging and distribution.

Men in blood soaked smocks,
still count the heads
entering the gates of the city.

Their handiwork
is sent out on barges
and rail lines as frozen packages
of futures
waiting for delivery
to an anonymous counterparty
half a world away.

This nation’s hub
has grown into the
premier purveyor
to the world;
along all the rivers,
highways,
railways
and estuaries
it’s tentacles reach.

5.
Sandburg’s Chicago,
is a city of the world’s people.

Many striver rows compose
its many neighborhoods.

Nordic stoicism,
Eastern European orthodoxy
and Afro-American
calypso vibrations
are three of many cords
strumming the strings
of Chicago.

Sandburg’s Chicago,
if you wrote forever
you would only scratch its surface.

People wait for trains
to enter the city from O’Hare.
Frozen tears
lock their eyes
onto distant skyscrapers,
solid chunks
of snot blocks their nose
and green icicles of slime
crust mustaches.
They fight to breathe.

Sandburg’s Chicago
is The Land of Lincoln,
Savior of the Union,
protector of the Republic.
Sent armies
of sons and daughters,
barges, boxcars,
gunboats, foodstuffs,
cannon and shot
to raze the south
and stamp out succession.

Old Abe’s biography
are still unknown volumes to me.
I must see and read the great words.
You can never learn enough;
but I’ve been to Washington
and seen the man’s memorial.
The Free World’s 8th wonder,
guarded by General Grant,
who still keeps an eye on Richmond
and a hand on his sword.

Through this American winter
Abe ponders.
The vista he surveys is dire and tragic.

Our sitting President
impeached
for lying about a *******.

Party partisans
in the senate are sworn and seated.
Our Chief Justice,
adorned with golden bars
will adjudicate the proceedings.
It is the perfect counterpoint
to an ageless Abe thinking
with malice toward none
and charity towards all,
will heal the wounds
of the nation.

Abe our granite angel,
Chicago goes on,
The Union is strong!


SECOND DAY

1.
Out my window
the sun has risen.

According to
the local forecast
its minus 9
going up to
6 today.

The lake,
a golden pillow of clouds
is frozen in time.

I marvel
at the ancients ones
resourcefulness
and how
they mastered
these extreme elements.

Past, present and future
has no meaning
in the Citadel
of the Prairie today.

I set my watch
to Central Standard Time.

Stepping into
the hotel lobby
the concierge
with oil smooth hair,
perfect tie
and English lilt
impeccably asks,
“Do you know where you are going Sir?
Can I give you a map?”

He hands me one of Chicago.
I see he recently had his nails done.
He paints a green line
along Whacker Drive and says,
“turn on Jackson, LaSalle, Wabash or Madison
and you’ll get to where you want to go.”
A walk of 14 or 15 blocks from Streeterville-
(I start at The Chicago White House.
They call it that because Hillary Rodham
stays here when she’s in town.
Its’ also alleged that Stedman
eats his breakfast here
but Opra
has never been seen
on the premises.
I wonder how I gained entry
into this place of elite’s?)
-down into the center of The Loop.

Stepping out of the hotel,
The Doorman
sporting the epaulets of a colonel
on his corporate winter coat
and furry Cossack hat
swaddling his round black face
accosts me.

The skin of his face
is flaking from
the subzero windburn.

He asks me
with a gapped toothy grin,
“Can I get you a cab?”
“No I think I’ll walk,” I answer.
“Good woolen hat,
thick gloves you should be alright.”
He winks and lets me pass.

I step outside.
The Windy City
flings stabbing cold spears
flying on wings of 30-mph gusts.
My outside hardens.
I can feel the freeze
deepen
into my internalness.
I can’t be sure
but inside
my heart still feels warm.
For how long
I cannot say.

I commence
my walk
among the spires
of this great city,
the vertical leaps
that anchor the great lake,
holding its place
against the historic
frigid assault.

The buildings’ sway,
modulating to the blows
of natures wicked blasts.

It’s a hard imposition
on a city and its people.

The gloves,
skullcap,
long underwear,
sweater,
jacket
and overcoat
not enough
to keep the cold
from penetrating
the person.

Like discerning
the layers of this city,
even many layers,
still not enough
to understand
the depth of meaning
of the heart
of this heartland city.

Sandburg knew the city well.
Set amidst groves of suburbs
that extend outward in every direction.
Concentric circles
surround the city.
After the burbs come farms,
Great Plains, and mountains.
Appalachians and Rockies
are but mere molehills
in the city’s back yard.
It’s terra firma
stops only at the sea.
Pt. Barrow to the Horn,
many capes extended.

On the periphery
its appendages,
its extremities,
its outward extremes.
All connected by the idea,
blown by the incessant wind
of this great nation.
The Windy City’s message
is sent to the world’s four corners.
It is a message of power.
English the worlds
common language
is spoken here,
along with Ebonics,
Espanol,
Mandarin,
Czech,
Russian,
Korean,
Arabic,
Hindi­,
German,
French,
electronics,
steel,
cars,
cartoons,
rap,
sports­,
movies,
capital,
wheat
and more.

Always more.
Much much more
in Chicago.

2.
Sandburg
spoke all the dialects.

He heard them all,
he understood
with great precision
to the finest tolerances
of a lathe workers micrometer.

Sandburg understood
what it meant to laugh
and be happy.

He understood
the working mans day,
the learned treatises
of university chairs,
the endless tomes
of the city’s
great libraries,
the lost languages
of the ancient ones,
the secret codes
of abstract art,
the impact of architecture,
the street dialects and idioms
of everymans expression of life.

All fighting for life,
trying to build a life,
a new life
in this modern world.

Walking across
the Michigan Avenue Bridge
I see the Wrigley Building
is neatly carved,
catty cornered on the plaza.

I wonder if Old Man Wrigley
watched his barges
loaded with spearmint
and double-mint
move out onto the lake
from one of those Gothic windows
perched high above the street.

Would he open a window
and shout to the men below
to quit slaking and work harder
or would he
between the snapping sound
he made with his mouth
full of his chewing gum
offer them tickets
to a ballgame at Wrigley Field
that afternoon?

Would the men below
be able to understand
the man communing
from such a great height?

I listen to a man
and woman conversing.
They are one step behind me
as we meander along Wacker Drive.

"You are in Chicago now.”
The man states with profundity.
“If I let you go
you will soon find your level
in this city.
Do you know what I mean?”

No I don’t.
I think to myself.
What level are you I wonder?
Are you perched atop
the transmission spire
of the Hancock Tower?

I wouldn’t think so
or your ears would melt
from the windburn.

I’m thinking.
Is she a kept woman?
She is majestically clothed
in fur hat and coat.
In animal pelts
not trapped like her,
but slaughtered
from farms
I’m sure.

What level
is he speaking of?

Many levels
are evident in this city;
many layers of cobbled stone,
Pennsylvania iron,
Hoosier Granite
and vertical drops.

I wonder
if I detect
condensation
in his voice?

What is
his intention?
Is it a warning
of a broken affair?
A pending pink slip?
Advise to an addict
refusing to adhere
to a recovery regimen?

What is his level anyway?
Is he so high and mighty,
Higher and mightier
then this great city
which we are all a part of,
which we all helped to build,
which we all need
in order to keep this nation
the thriving democratic
empire it is?

This seditious talk!

3.
The Loop’s El
still courses through
the main thoroughfares of the city.

People are transported
above the din of the street,
looking down
on the common pedestrians
like me.

Super CEO’s
populating the upper floors
of Romanesque,
Greek Revivalist,
New Bauhaus,
Art Deco
and Post Nouveau
Neo-Modern
Avant-Garde towers
are too far up
to see me
shivering on the street.

The cars, busses,
trains and trucks
are all covered
with the film
of rock salt.

Salt covers
my bootless feet
and smudges
my cloths as well.

The salt,
the primal element
of the earth
covers everything
in Chicago.

It is the true level
of this city.

The layer
beneath
all layers,
on which
everything
rests,
is built,
grows,
thrives
then dies.
To be
returned again
to the lower
layers
where it can
take root
again
and grow
out onto
the great plains.

Splashing
the nation,
anointing
its people
with its
blessing.

A blessing,
Chicago?

All rivers
come here.

All things
found its way here
through the canals
and back bays
of the world’s
greatest lakes.

All roads,
rails and
air routes
begin and
end here.

Mrs. O’Leary’s cow
got a *** rap.
It did not start the fire,
we did.

We lit the torch
that flamed
the city to cinders.
From a pile of ash
Chicago rose again.

Forever Chicago!
Forever the lamp
that burns bright
on a Great Lake’s
western shore!

Chicago
the beacon
sends the
message to the world
with its windy blasts,
on chugging barges,
clapping trains,
flying tandems,
T1 circuits
and roaring jets.

Sandburg knew
a Chicago
I will never know.

He knew
the rhythm of life
the people walked to.
The tools they used,
the dreams they dreamed
the songs they sang,
the things they built,
the things they loved,
the pains that hurt,
the motives that grew,
the actions that destroyed
the prayers they prayed,
the food they ate
their moments of death.

Sandburg knew
the layers of the city
to the depths
and windy heights
I cannot fathom.

The Blues
came to this city,
on the wing
of a chirping bird,
on the taps
of a rickety train,
on the blast
of an angry sax
rushing on the wind,
on the Westend blitz
of Pop's brash coronet,
on the tink of
a twinkling piano
on a paddle-wheel boat
and on the strings
of a lonely man’s guitar.

Walk into the clubs,
tenements,
row houses,
speakeasies
and you’ll hear the Blues
whispered like
a quiet prayer.

Tidewater Blues
from Virginia,
Delta Blues
from the lower
Mississippi,
Boogie Woogie
from Appalachia,
Texas Blues
from some Lone Star,
Big Band Blues
from Kansas City,
Blues from
Beal Street,
Jelly Roll’s Blues
from the Latin Quarter.

**** even Chicago
got its own brand
of Blues.

Its all here.
It ended up here
and was sent away
on the winds of westerly blows
to the ear of an eager world
on strong jet streams
of simple melodies
and hard truths.

A broad
shouldered woman,
a single mother stands
on the street
with three crying babes.
Their cloths
are covered
in salt.
She pleads
for a break,
praying
for a new start.
Poor and
under-clothed
against the torrent
of frigid weather
she begs for help.
Her blond hair
and ****** features
suggests her
Scandinavian heritage.
I wonder if
she is related to Sandburg
as I walk past
her on the street.
Her feet
are bleeding
through her
canvass sneakers.
Her babes mouths
are zipped shut
with frozen drivel
and mucous.

The Blues live
on in Chicago.

The Blues
will forever live in her.
As I turn the corner
to walk the Miracle Mile
I see her engulfed
in a funnel cloud of salt,
snow and bits
of white paper,
swirling around her
and her children
in an angry
unforgiving
maelstrom.

The family
begins to
dissolve
like a snail
sprinkled with salt;
and a mother
and her children
just disappear
into the pavement
at the corner
of Dearborn,
in Chicago.

Music:

Robert Johnson
Sweet Home Chicago


jbm
Chicago
1/7/99
Added today to commemorate the birthday of Carl Sandburg
Bison Aug 2016
To be alone
is the deepest truth we will know;
**** this empty home.

A false security
in the future of our insecurities,
our shared disease.

Don't you see
how vacant this world would be
without our American,
our American dreams?

We only love ourselves
when we let ourselves
and there's no one else
who could take that all away.

If I'm wrong then maybe there's a reason
For me to **** myself
and take it
all the way.

For all the love we knew
and the **** it grew,
we'll always bleed, **** honesty.

But I'm betting that I can find a way
To shed my pain
And the blood on my hands
won't stain my sleeves.

Distill our happiness from lonely thoughts
and broken hearts;
a life saving alchemy.

If I'm alive then you know you are,
know you are my saving grace.
And if I'm dead well then,
then I can't believe in
grace anyway.
Robert C Howard Oct 2018
Above the caldera at Yellowstone,
a brittle soil-rock crust
caps a lake of liquid fire
with only fumaroles and roiling geysers
to stay its upward ******.

One errant step is all it takes
to breach that mantle's fragile seal -
spelling death by fire
to any hapless wanderer
who fails to guard his path.

Fragile calderas also roil
buried in darkest hollows of our psyches -
brewed of failures, slights and fears
dissolved in molten pools
of self-consuming misery.

To dress and salve our wounds
we sow gardens of reconciliation within
with beauty, trust and reason
and bow to gods of grace and solace.

But a despot’s studied eye
knows just how to tap our fragile crusts,
releasing acrid lava flows
from pools where fear and rage reign hot
and reason has no district.

Sisters and brothers of our flesh I pray
we find a holy and transforming alchemy
to convert our heat to light
and shield our sacred calderas
from enemies that stalk us from within.

July, 2006, revised December, 2014, 2015 and 2018
Robert Charles Howard
I decided to repost this poem because after scores of revisions over the years every stanza is substantially different than it was when I first wrote it in 2006.  Hopefully after 12 years, I've got it figured out.
zebra May 2018
I'm told its best to eat low on the food chain
so if its okay
i'll start at your feet
and work my way up tenderly
excited like a child climbing a great tree
for the first time
aspiring to your kind mouth

but forgive me my love, alas my manners
have left me
and  
i fear i'm stuck between your thighs
your shimmering slit has me woozy
oooh candy red lolly
so very cherry jolly
my favorite color since i was six years old
you know
and so wet like babies drool

can we open this butter cup
it all loving alizarin silk
a gift for my tongue
splashing pink
little fluttering bull frog
ready to turn into your prince

the taste of ephony
my attention deficient disorder
vanquished
my learning disabilities evaporated

why didn't they teach me to read like this
i can taste the entire alphabet inside of you
numbers come with colors now
making sense suddenly
i feel the alchemy of poetry and art
high mathematics and astrophysics
i hear the music of the spheres
and every molecule
of
the earth giving birth
to the spice of creation

next you say,
would i like to know the constellations of heaven
yes please my lady
i'm definitely going to kiss your ***
Butch Decatoria Nov 2017
Sweet green alchemy!
Let’s drink to forget the pain,
Love’s absence and strife.
Edit repost.
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