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Christine Ueri May 2015
Said the aloe to the agave
Neighbour
here in a foreign soil
the old world meets the new

Said the agave to the aloe
they forget
once we were related
can hardly tell the difference still
the human eye is quite deceptive
and what to say about the human heart . . .

Said the aloe to the agave
my blood turns to heal the ill
my fibres pulp to an ageless skin . . .

Said the agave to the aloe
my blood turns to a song and dance
my fibres pulp to a rope and cloth . . .
but what do the humans offer us

Said the aloe to the agave
not much
08/05/2015
ConnectHook Feb 2016
by John Greenleaf Whittier  (1807 – 1892)

“As the Spirits of Darkness be stronger in the dark, so Good Spirits which be Angels of Light are augmented not only by the Divine Light of the Sun, but also by our common Wood fire: and as the celestial Fire drives away dark spirits, so also this our Fire of Wood doth the same.”

COR. AGRIPPA, Occult Philosophy, Book I. chap. v.

“Announced by all the trumpets of the sky,
Arrives the snow; and, driving o’er the fields,
Seems nowhere to alight; the whited air
Hides hills and woods, the river and the heaven,
And veils the farm-house at the garden’s end.
The sled and traveller stopped, the courier’s feet
Delayed, all friends shut out, the housemates sit
Around the radiant fireplace, enclosed
In a tumultuous privacy of storm.”


EMERSON

The sun that brief December day
Rose cheerless over hills of gray,
And, darkly circled, gave at noon
A sadder light than waning moon.
Slow tracing down the thickening sky
Its mute and ominous prophecy,
A portent seeming less than threat,
It sank from sight before it set.
A chill no coat, however stout,
Of homespun stuff could quite shut out,
A hard, dull bitterness of cold,
That checked, mid-vein, the circling race
Of life-blood in the sharpened face,
The coming of the snow-storm told.
The wind blew east; we heard the roar
Of Ocean on his wintry shore,
And felt the strong pulse throbbing there
Beat with low rhythm our inland air.

Meanwhile we did our nightly chores, —
Brought in the wood from out of doors,
Littered the stalls, and from the mows
Raked down the herd’s-grass for the cows;
Heard the horse whinnying for his corn;
And, sharply clashing horn on horn,
Impatient down the stanchion rows
The cattle shake their walnut bows;
While, peering from his early perch
Upon the scaffold’s pole of birch,
The **** his crested helmet bent
And down his querulous challenge sent.

Unwarmed by any sunset light
The gray day darkened into night,
A night made hoary with the swarm
And whirl-dance of the blinding storm,
As zigzag, wavering to and fro,
Crossed and recrossed the wingàd snow:
And ere the early bedtime came
The white drift piled the window-frame,
And through the glass the clothes-line posts
Looked in like tall and sheeted ghosts.

So all night long the storm roared on:
The morning broke without a sun;
In tiny spherule traced with lines
Of Nature’s geometric signs,
And, when the second morning shone,
We looked upon a world unknown,
On nothing we could call our own.
Around the glistening wonder bent
The blue walls of the firmament,
No cloud above, no earth below, —
A universe of sky and snow!
The old familiar sights of ours
Took marvellous shapes; strange domes and towers
Rose up where sty or corn-crib stood,
Or garden-wall, or belt of wood;
A smooth white mound the brush-pile showed,
A fenceless drift what once was road;
The bridle-post an old man sat
With loose-flung coat and high cocked hat;
The well-curb had a Chinese roof;
And even the long sweep, high aloof,
In its slant spendor, seemed to tell
Of Pisa’s leaning miracle.

A prompt, decisive man, no breath
Our father wasted: “Boys, a path!”
Well pleased, (for when did farmer boy
Count such a summons less than joy?)
Our buskins on our feet we drew;
With mittened hands, and caps drawn low,
To guard our necks and ears from snow,
We cut the solid whiteness through.
And, where the drift was deepest, made
A tunnel walled and overlaid
With dazzling crystal: we had read
Of rare Aladdin’s wondrous cave,
And to our own his name we gave,
With many a wish the luck were ours
To test his lamp’s supernal powers.
We reached the barn with merry din,
And roused the prisoned brutes within.
The old horse ****** his long head out,
And grave with wonder gazed about;
The **** his ***** greeting said,
And forth his speckled harem led;
The oxen lashed their tails, and hooked,
And mild reproach of hunger looked;
The hornëd patriarch of the sheep,
Like Egypt’s Amun roused from sleep,
Shook his sage head with gesture mute,
And emphasized with stamp of foot.

All day the gusty north-wind bore
The loosening drift its breath before;
Low circling round its southern zone,
The sun through dazzling snow-mist shone.
No church-bell lent its Christian tone
To the savage air, no social smoke
Curled over woods of snow-hung oak.
A solitude made more intense
By dreary-voicëd elements,
The shrieking of the mindless wind,
The moaning tree-boughs swaying blind,
And on the glass the unmeaning beat
Of ghostly finger-tips of sleet.
Beyond the circle of our hearth
No welcome sound of toil or mirth
Unbound the spell, and testified
Of human life and thought outside.
We minded that the sharpest ear
The buried brooklet could not hear,
The music of whose liquid lip
Had been to us companionship,
And, in our lonely life, had grown
To have an almost human tone.

As night drew on, and, from the crest
Of wooded knolls that ridged the west,
The sun, a snow-blown traveller, sank
From sight beneath the smothering bank,
We piled, with care, our nightly stack
Of wood against the chimney-back, —
The oaken log, green, huge, and thick,
And on its top the stout back-stick;
The knotty forestick laid apart,
And filled between with curious art

The ragged brush; then, hovering near,
We watched the first red blaze appear,
Heard the sharp crackle, caught the gleam
On whitewashed wall and sagging beam,
Until the old, rude-furnished room
Burst, flower-like, into rosy bloom;
While radiant with a mimic flame
Outside the sparkling drift became,
And through the bare-boughed lilac-tree
Our own warm hearth seemed blazing free.
The crane and pendent trammels showed,
The Turks’ heads on the andirons glowed;
While childish fancy, prompt to tell
The meaning of the miracle,
Whispered the old rhyme: “Under the tree,
When fire outdoors burns merrily,
There the witches are making tea.”

The moon above the eastern wood
Shone at its full; the hill-range stood
Transfigured in the silver flood,
Its blown snows flashing cold and keen,
Dead white, save where some sharp ravine
Took shadow, or the sombre green
Of hemlocks turned to pitchy black
Against the whiteness at their back.
For such a world and such a night
Most fitting that unwarming light,
Which only seemed where’er it fell
To make the coldness visible.

Shut in from all the world without,
We sat the clean-winged hearth about,
Content to let the north-wind roar
In baffled rage at pane and door,
While the red logs before us beat
The frost-line back with tropic heat;
And ever, when a louder blast
Shook beam and rafter as it passed,
The merrier up its roaring draught
The great throat of the chimney laughed;
The house-dog on his paws outspread
Laid to the fire his drowsy head,
The cat’s dark silhouette on the wall
A couchant tiger’s seemed to fall;
And, for the winter fireside meet,
Between the andirons’ straddling feet,
The mug of cider simmered slow,
The apples sputtered in a row,
And, close at hand, the basket stood
With nuts from brown October’s wood.

What matter how the night behaved?
What matter how the north-wind raved?
Blow high, blow low, not all its snow
Could quench our hearth-fire’s ruddy glow.
O Time and Change! — with hair as gray
As was my sire’s that winter day,
How strange it seems, with so much gone
Of life and love, to still live on!
Ah, brother! only I and thou
Are left of all that circle now, —
The dear home faces whereupon
That fitful firelight paled and shone.
Henceforward, listen as we will,
The voices of that hearth are still;
Look where we may, the wide earth o’er,
Those lighted faces smile no more.

We tread the paths their feet have worn,
We sit beneath their orchard trees,
We hear, like them, the hum of bees
And rustle of the bladed corn;
We turn the pages that they read,
Their written words we linger o’er,
But in the sun they cast no shade,
No voice is heard, no sign is made,
No step is on the conscious floor!
Yet Love will dream, and Faith will trust,
(Since He who knows our need is just,)
That somehow, somewhere, meet we must.
Alas for him who never sees
The stars shine through his cypress-trees!
Who, hopeless, lays his dead away,
Nor looks to see the breaking day
Across the mournful marbles play!
Who hath not learned, in hours of faith,
The truth to flesh and sense unknown,
That Life is ever lord of Death,
And Love can never lose its own!

We sped the time with stories old,
Wrought puzzles out, and riddles told,
Or stammered from our school-book lore
“The Chief of Gambia’s golden shore.”
How often since, when all the land
Was clay in Slavery’s shaping hand,
As if a far-blown trumpet stirred
Dame Mercy Warren’s rousing word:
“Does not the voice of reason cry,
Claim the first right which Nature gave,
From the red scourge of ******* to fly,
Nor deign to live a burdened slave!”
Our father rode again his ride
On Memphremagog’s wooded side;
Sat down again to moose and samp
In trapper’s hut and Indian camp;
Lived o’er the old idyllic ease
Beneath St. François’ hemlock-trees;
Again for him the moonlight shone
On Norman cap and bodiced zone;
Again he heard the violin play
Which led the village dance away.
And mingled in its merry whirl
The grandam and the laughing girl.
Or, nearer home, our steps he led
Where Salisbury’s level marshes spread
Mile-wide as flies the laden bee;
Where merry mowers, hale and strong,
Swept, scythe on scythe, their swaths along
The low green prairies of the sea.
We shared the fishing off Boar’s Head,
And round the rocky Isles of Shoals
The hake-broil on the drift-wood coals;
The chowder on the sand-beach made,
Dipped by the hungry, steaming hot,
With spoons of clam-shell from the ***.
We heard the tales of witchcraft old,
And dream and sign and marvel told
To sleepy listeners as they lay
Stretched idly on the salted hay,
Adrift along the winding shores,
When favoring breezes deigned to blow
The square sail of the gundelow
And idle lay the useless oars.

Our mother, while she turned her wheel
Or run the new-knit stocking-heel,
Told how the Indian hordes came down
At midnight on Concheco town,
And how her own great-uncle bore
His cruel scalp-mark to fourscore.
Recalling, in her fitting phrase,
So rich and picturesque and free
(The common unrhymed poetry
Of simple life and country ways,)
The story of her early days, —
She made us welcome to her home;
Old hearths grew wide to give us room;
We stole with her a frightened look
At the gray wizard’s conjuring-book,
The fame whereof went far and wide
Through all the simple country side;
We heard the hawks at twilight play,
The boat-horn on Piscataqua,
The loon’s weird laughter far away;
We fished her little trout-brook, knew
What flowers in wood and meadow grew,
What sunny hillsides autumn-brown
She climbed to shake the ripe nuts down,
Saw where in sheltered cove and bay,
The ducks’ black squadron anchored lay,
And heard the wild-geese calling loud
Beneath the gray November cloud.
Then, haply, with a look more grave,
And soberer tone, some tale she gave
From painful Sewel’s ancient tome,
Beloved in every Quaker home,
Of faith fire-winged by martyrdom,
Or Chalkley’s Journal, old and quaint, —
Gentlest of skippers, rare sea-saint! —
Who, when the dreary calms prevailed,
And water-**** and bread-cask failed,
And cruel, hungry eyes pursued
His portly presence mad for food,
With dark hints muttered under breath
Of casting lots for life or death,

Offered, if Heaven withheld supplies,
To be himself the sacrifice.
Then, suddenly, as if to save
The good man from his living grave,
A ripple on the water grew,
A school of porpoise flashed in view.
“Take, eat,” he said, “and be content;
These fishes in my stead are sent
By Him who gave the tangled ram
To spare the child of Abraham.”
Our uncle, innocent of books,
Was rich in lore of fields and brooks,
The ancient teachers never dumb
Of Nature’s unhoused lyceum.
In moons and tides and weather wise,
He read the clouds as prophecies,
And foul or fair could well divine,
By many an occult hint and sign,
Holding the cunning-warded keys
To all the woodcraft mysteries;
Himself to Nature’s heart so near
v That all her voices in his ear
Of beast or bird had meanings clear,
Like Apollonius of old,
Who knew the tales the sparrows told,
Or Hermes, who interpreted
What the sage cranes of Nilus said;
A simple, guileless, childlike man,
Content to live where life began;
Strong only on his native grounds,
The little world of sights and sounds
Whose girdle was the parish bounds,
Whereof his fondly partial pride
The common features magnified,
As Surrey hills to mountains grew
In White of Selborne’s loving view, —
He told how teal and loon he shot,
And how the eagle’s eggs he got,
The feats on pond and river done,
The prodigies of rod and gun;
Till, warming with the tales he told,
Forgotten was the outside cold,
The bitter wind unheeded blew,
From ripening corn the pigeons flew,
The partridge drummed i’ the wood, the mink
Went fishing down the river-brink.
In fields with bean or clover gay,
The woodchuck, like a hermit gray,
Peered from the doorway of his cell;
The muskrat plied the mason’s trade,
And tier by tier his mud-walls laid;
And from the shagbark overhead
The grizzled squirrel dropped his shell.

Next, the dear aunt, whose smile of cheer
And voice in dreams I see and hear, —
The sweetest woman ever Fate
Perverse denied a household mate,
Who, lonely, homeless, not the less
Found peace in love’s unselfishness,
And welcome wheresoe’er she went,
A calm and gracious element,
Whose presence seemed the sweet income
And womanly atmosphere of home, —
Called up her girlhood memories,
The huskings and the apple-bees,
The sleigh-rides and the summer sails,
Weaving through all the poor details
And homespun warp of circumstance
A golden woof-thread of romance.
For well she kept her genial mood
And simple faith of maidenhood;
Before her still a cloud-land lay,
The mirage loomed across her way;
The morning dew, that dries so soon
With others, glistened at her noon;
Through years of toil and soil and care,
From glossy tress to thin gray hair,
All unprofaned she held apart
The ****** fancies of the heart.
Be shame to him of woman born
Who hath for such but thought of scorn.
There, too, our elder sister plied
Her evening task the stand beside;
A full, rich nature, free to trust,
Truthful and almost sternly just,
Impulsive, earnest, prompt to act,
And make her generous thought a fact,
Keeping with many a light disguise
The secret of self-sacrifice.

O heart sore-tried! thou hast the best
That Heaven itself could give thee, — rest,
Rest from all bitter thoughts and things!
How many a poor one’s blessing went
With thee beneath the low green tent
Whose curtain never outward swings!

As one who held herself a part
Of all she saw, and let her heart
Against the household ***** lean,
Upon the motley-braided mat
Our youngest and our dearest sat,
Lifting her large, sweet, asking eyes,
Now bathed in the unfading green
And holy peace of Paradise.
Oh, looking from some heavenly hill,
Or from the shade of saintly palms,
Or silver reach of river calms,
Do those large eyes behold me still?
With me one little year ago: —
The chill weight of the winter snow
For months upon her grave has lain;
And now, when summer south-winds blow
And brier and harebell bloom again,
I tread the pleasant paths we trod,
I see the violet-sprinkled sod
Whereon she leaned, too frail and weak
The hillside flowers she loved to seek,
Yet following me where’er I went
With dark eyes full of love’s content.
The birds are glad; the brier-rose fills
The air with sweetness; all the hills
Stretch green to June’s unclouded sky;
But still I wait with ear and eye
For something gone which should be nigh,
A loss in all familiar things,
In flower that blooms, and bird that sings.
And yet, dear heart! remembering thee,
Am I not richer than of old?
Safe in thy immortality,
What change can reach the wealth I hold?
What chance can mar the pearl and gold
Thy love hath left in trust with me?
And while in life’s late afternoon,
Where cool and long the shadows grow,
I walk to meet the night that soon
Shall shape and shadow overflow,
I cannot feel that thou art far,
Since near at need the angels are;
And when the sunset gates unbar,
Shall I not see thee waiting stand,
And, white against the evening star,
The welcome of thy beckoning hand?

Brisk wielder of the birch and rule,
The master of the district school
Held at the fire his favored place,
Its warm glow lit a laughing face
Fresh-hued and fair, where scarce appeared
The uncertain prophecy of beard.
He teased the mitten-blinded cat,
Played cross-pins on my uncle’s hat,
Sang songs, and told us what befalls
In classic Dartmouth’s college halls.
Born the wild Northern hills among,
From whence his yeoman father wrung
By patient toil subsistence scant,
Not competence and yet not want,
He early gained the power to pay
His cheerful, self-reliant way;
Could doff at ease his scholar’s gown
To peddle wares from town to town;
Or through the long vacation’s reach
In lonely lowland districts teach,
Where all the droll experience found
At stranger hearths in boarding round,
The moonlit skater’s keen delight,
The sleigh-drive through the frosty night,
The rustic party, with its rough
Accompaniment of blind-man’s-buff,
And whirling-plate, and forfeits paid,
His winter task a pastime made.
Happy the snow-locked homes wherein
He tuned his merry violin,

Or played the athlete in the barn,
Or held the good dame’s winding-yarn,
Or mirth-provoking versions told
Of classic legends rare and old,
Wherein the scenes of Greece and Rome
Had all the commonplace of home,
And little seemed at best the odds
‘Twixt Yankee pedlers and old gods;
Where Pindus-born Arachthus took
The guise of any grist-mill brook,
And dread Olympus at his will
Became a huckleberry hill.

A careless boy that night he seemed;
But at his desk he had the look
And air of one who wisely schemed,
And hostage from the future took
In trainëd thought and lore of book.
Large-brained, clear-eyed, of such as he
Shall Freedom’s young apostles be,
Who, following in War’s ****** trail,
Shall every lingering wrong assail;
All chains from limb and spirit strike,
Uplift the black and white alike;
Scatter before their swift advance
The darkness and the ignorance,
The pride, the lust, the squalid sloth,
Which nurtured Treason’s monstrous growth,
Made ****** pastime, and the hell
Of prison-torture possible;
The cruel lie of caste refute,
Old forms remould, and substitute
For Slavery’s lash the freeman’s will,
For blind routine, wise-handed skill;
A school-house plant on every hill,
Stretching in radiate nerve-lines thence
The quick wires of intelligence;
Till North and South together brought
Shall own the same electric thought,
In peace a common flag salute,
And, side by side in labor’s free
And unresentful rivalry,
Harvest the fields wherein they fought.

Another guest that winter night
Flashed back from lustrous eyes the light.
Unmarked by time, and yet not young,
The honeyed music of her tongue
And words of meekness scarcely told
A nature passionate and bold,

Strong, self-concentred, spurning guide,
Its milder features dwarfed beside
Her unbent will’s majestic pride.
She sat among us, at the best,
A not unfeared, half-welcome guest,
Rebuking with her cultured phrase
Our homeliness of words and ways.
A certain pard-like, treacherous grace
Swayed the lithe limbs and drooped the lash,
Lent the white teeth their dazzling flash;
And under low brows, black with night,
Rayed out at times a dangerous light;
The sharp heat-lightnings of her face
Presaging ill to him whom Fate
Condemned to share her love or hate.
A woman tropical, intense
In thought and act, in soul and sense,
She blended in a like degree
The ***** and the devotee,
Revealing with each freak or feint
The temper of Petruchio’s Kate,
The raptures of Siena’s saint.
Her tapering hand and rounded wrist
Had facile power to form a fist;
The warm, dark languish of her eyes
Was never safe from wrath’s surprise.
Brows saintly calm and lips devout
Knew every change of scowl and pout;
And the sweet voice had notes more high
And shrill for social battle-cry.

Since then what old cathedral town
Has missed her pilgrim staff and gown,
What convent-gate has held its lock
Against the challenge of her knock!
Through Smyrna’s plague-hushed thoroughfares,
Up sea-set Malta’s rocky stairs,
Gray olive slopes of hills that hem
Thy tombs and shrines, Jerusalem,
Or startling on her desert throne
The crazy Queen of Lebanon
With claims fantastic as her own,
Her tireless feet have held their way;
And still, unrestful, bowed, and gray,
She watches under Eastern skies,
With hope each day renewed and fresh,
The Lord’s quick coming in the flesh,
Whereof she dreams and prophesies!
Where’er her troubled path may be,
The Lord’s sweet pity with her go!
The outward wayward life we see,
The hidden springs we may not know.
Nor is it given us to discern
What threads the fatal sisters spun,
Through what ancestral years has run
The sorrow with the woman born,
What forged her cruel chain of moods,
What set her feet in solitudes,
And held the love within her mute,
What mingled madness in the blood,
A life-long discord and annoy,
Water of tears with oil of joy,
And hid within the folded bud
Perversities of flower and fruit.
It is not ours to separate
The tangled skein of will and fate,
To show what metes and bounds should stand
Upon the soul’s debatable land,
And between choice and Providence
Divide the circle of events;
But He who knows our frame is just,
Merciful and compassionate,
And full of sweet assurances
And hope for all the language is,
That He remembereth we are dust!

At last the great logs, crumbling low,
Sent out a dull and duller glow,
The bull’s-eye watch that hung in view,
Ticking its weary circuit through,
Pointed with mutely warning sign
Its black hand to the hour of nine.
That sign the pleasant circle broke:
My uncle ceased his pipe to smoke,
Knocked from its bowl the refuse gray,
And laid it tenderly away;
Then roused himself to safely cover
The dull red brands with ashes over.
And while, with care, our mother laid
The work aside, her steps she stayed
One moment, seeking to express
Her grateful sense of happiness
For food and shelter, warmth and health,
And love’s contentment more than wealth,
With simple wishes (not the weak,
Vain prayers which no fulfilment seek,
But such as warm the generous heart,
O’er-prompt to do with Heaven its part)
That none might lack, that bitter night,
For bread and clothing, warmth and light.

Within our beds awhile we heard
The wind that round the gables roared,
With now and then a ruder shock,
Which made our very bedsteads rock.
We heard the loosened clapboards tost,
The board-nails snapping in the frost;
And on us, through the unplastered wall,
Felt the light sifted snow-flakes fall.
But sleep stole on, as sleep will do
When hearts are light and life is new;
Faint and more faint the murmurs grew,
Till in the summer-land of dreams
They softened to the sound of streams,
Low stir of leaves, and dip of oars,
And lapsing waves on quiet shores.
Of merry voices high and clear;
And saw the teamsters drawing near
To break the drifted highways out.
Down the long hillside treading slow
We saw the half-buried oxen go,
Shaking the snow from heads uptost,
Their straining nostrils white with frost.
Before our door the straggling train
Drew up, an added team to gain.
The elders threshed their hands a-cold,
Passed, with the cider-mug, their jokes
From lip to lip; the younger folks
Down the loose snow-banks, wrestling, rolled,
Then toiled again the cavalcade
O’er windy hill, through clogged ravine,
And woodland paths that wound between
Low drooping pine-boughs winter-weighed.
From every barn a team afoot,
At every house a new recruit,
Where, drawn by Nature’s subtlest law,
Haply the watchful young men saw
Sweet doorway pictures of the curls
And curious eyes of merry girls,
Lifting their hands in mock defence
Against the snow-ball’s compliments,
And reading in each missive tost
The charm with Eden never lost.
We heard once more the sleigh-bells’ sound;
And, following where the teamsters led,
The wise old Doctor went his round,
Just pausing at our door to say,
In the brief autocratic way
Of one who, prompt at Duty’s call,
Was free to urge her claim on all,
That some poor neighbor sick abed
At night our mother’s aid would need.
For, one in generous thought and deed,
What mattered in the sufferer’s sight
The Quaker matron’s inward light,
The Doctor’s mail of Calvin’s creed?
All hearts confess the saints elect
Who, twain in faith, in love agree,
And melt not in an acid sect
The Christian pearl of charity!

So days went on: a week had passed
Since the great world was heard from last.
The Almanac we studied o’er,
Read and reread our little store
Of books and pamphlets, scarce a score;
One harmless novel, mostly hid
From younger eyes, a book forbid,
And poetry, (or good or bad,
A single book was all we had,)
Where Ellwood’s meek, drab-skirted Muse,
A stranger to the heathen Nine,
Sang, with a somewhat nasal whine,
The wars of David and the Jews.
At last the floundering carrier bore
The village paper to our door.
Lo! broadening outward as we read,
To warmer zones the horizon spread
In panoramic length unrolled
We saw the marvels that it told.
Before us passed the painted Creeks,
A   nd daft McGregor on his raids
In Costa Rica’s everglades.
And up Taygetos winding slow
Rode Ypsilanti’s Mainote Greeks,
A Turk’s head at each saddle-bow!
Welcome to us its week-old news,
Its corner for the rustic Muse,
Its monthly gauge of snow and rain,
Its record, mingling in a breath
The wedding bell and dirge of death:
Jest, anecdote, and love-lorn tale,
The latest culprit sent to jail;
Its hue and cry of stolen and lost,
Its vendue sales and goods at cost,
And traffic calling loud for gain.
We felt the stir of hall and street,
The pulse of life that round us beat;
The chill embargo of the snow
Was melted in the genial glow;
Wide swung again our ice-locked door,
And all the world was ours once more!

Clasp, Angel of the backword look
And folded wings of ashen gray
And voice of echoes far away,
The brazen covers of thy book;
The weird palimpsest old and vast,
Wherein thou hid’st the spectral past;
Where, closely mingling, pale and glow
The characters of joy and woe;
The monographs of outlived years,
Or smile-illumed or dim with tears,
Green hills of life that ***** to death,
And haunts of home, whose vistaed trees
Shade off to mournful cypresses
With the white amaranths underneath.
Even while I look, I can but heed
The restless sands’ incessant fall,
Importunate hours that hours succeed,
Each clamorous with its own sharp need,
And duty keeping pace with all.
Shut down and clasp with heavy lids;
I hear again the voice that bids
The dreamer leave his dream midway
For larger hopes and graver fears:
Life greatens in these later years,
The century’s aloe flowers to-day!

Yet, haply, in some lull of life,
Some Truce of God which breaks its strife,
The worldling’s eyes shall gather dew,
Dreaming in throngful city ways
Of winter joys his boyhood knew;
And dear and early friends — the few
Who yet remain — shall pause to view
These Flemish pictures of old days;
Sit with me by the homestead hearth,
And stretch the hands of memory forth
To warm them at the wood-fire’s blaze!
And thanks untraced to lips unknown
Shall greet me like the odors blown
From unseen meadows newly mown,
Wood-fringed, the wayside gaze beyond;
The traveller owns the grateful sense
Of sweetness near, he knows not whence,
And, pausing, takes with forehead bare
The benediction of the air.

Written in  1865
In its day, 'twas a best-seller and earned significant income for Whittier
Lauren Rose Aug 2012
I write the words
that my heart screams at me at night
in my ever waking sleep
a pen in my hand
and pad at my fingertips
the only remedy
to the sleepless nights
because words can burn and sear and cut
but they calm me, cool me and heal me
like aloe on sunburned skin
Jonathan Howard Feb 2015
Remind me
again
when the
funeral is.
My suit
needs
to be
dry cleaned
to abolish
moth *****.
Also,
mother gave
up and
drowned
in tissues
lined with
aloe. Thats
all I can
smell above
her coffin.
SøułSurvivør Jun 2016
graceful
as the orient
but yet
a western plant
aloes
are
indigenous
to the desert's
rock and sand

delicate
white flowers
or
bold red
on slender stems
the flaming
torches
burning
bring
hummingbirds
to them

from the tiny
Aloe Pepe
to the mighty
Century
those plants
upon a hillside
are there
for all
to
see

there's the wierd
Octopus Aloe
small leafy plants appeal
one type of
Aloaceae
has a pulp which
soothes
and
heals

in my father's
cactus garden
he has
all types to show
please sit in my
Sanctuary
where
the
lovely

aloes grow


SoulSurvivor
(C) 6/19/2016
Here's another post for my dad
He loves cacti and succulents

Most know the aloe vera
We have some growing in our backyard


Happy Father's Day!
Grahame Jun 2014
THE BANSHEE*

Late at night, whilst lying in bed,
two sisters hear a sound of dread.
Mixed in with the beating hail,
is the dreaded Banshee’s wail.

The storm is directly overhead,
and the thunder so loud, no word is said
Because the sisters cannot hear
anything spoken, even shouted in ear.

However, over the storm’s great row,
they hear the Banshee even now,
Howling around the chimney top,
Oh, will that screaming never stop?

Fiona and Caitlín look at each other,
with fingers in ears, the noise to smother.
The Banshee, a dire harbinger of death,
is wailing louder with every breath.

Who will die in that house tonight?
It really doesn’t seem to be right.
Only the two girls live there now,
for either to die would be a blow.

Eventually, after a couple of hours,
the storm decreases to merely showers.
Quieter now calls the Banshee,
it seems to pleading, “Please help me!”

Fiona and Caitlín become afraid.
Why is the Banshee begging for aid?
It only cries, a death to foretell,
is it predicting its own death as well?

Finally the storm blows out,
and Fiona and Caitlín think about
The Banshee, is it still around?
Then they hear a moaning sound.

It abates, then rises again,
like some creature suffering pain.
The two sisters decide they should
try to help if they could.

With dawn’s approach it is getting light,
and so the sisters think they might
Go outside and try to see
if they can find the groaning Banshee.

The sisters live on a little croft,
in a cottage that’s got a goodly loft
With a sloping ceiling overhead,
in which they’d placed a double bed.

A few outbuildings dotted around,
a meagre crop grows in the ground.
A pig, some sheep and one milk-cow.
that has sustained them both ere now.

A donkey, more a pet than use,
and fattening for Christmas, one grey goose.
A flock of hens and one old duck,
the sisters haven’t had much luck.

The cottage, a mere but-and-ben,
the but, a parlour, the ben, a kitchen.
This hovel is heated by one hearth,
and chinks in the walls are stopped with earth.

The roof is only thatched with turf,
there’s a constant background noise of surf,
And though their homestead looks forlorn,
they have lived there since they were born.

The croft is quite close to the sea,
and seaweed, obtainable for free,
Is often collected by the sisters,
carried in buckets which gives them blisters.

They use it to fertilise their crop,
and work all day until ready to drop.
Their father had been lost at sea,
their mother, heartbroken, soon after died she.

The sisters dress and go outside,
to find the Banshee where’er it may hide.
They can no longer hear its moan,
and wonder if by now it’s flown.

They slowly walk around to try,
the importunate Banshee to spy.
It isn’t now on the roof at all,
it is lying huddled by the wall.

No longer seeming a creature of dread,
only a shivering person, nearly dead.
The sisters kneel down by her side,
they cannot just let her there bide.

“What can we to to help?” asks Fi.
“Nothing, please just let me die.”
“Not an option,” then declares Cait,
“I’ll fetch a blanket, you two wait.”

The Banshee turns her face away,
“I thought to be gone ere break of day.
I was flying across your croft
when the lightning struck down from aloft.”

“I’ve never been hit like that before,
I couldn’t then fly any more.
I tumbled down from out of the sky
in terrible pain. I thought I’d die.”

“And in my agony I screamed out,
not knowing you would hear me shout.
I am not here, your deaths to foretell,
I would for you that fear dispel.”

Then Caitlín does soon return,
Fiona says, “Our help she’d spurn.”
“Oh no she shan't,” Caitlín said,
“we’ll just to carry her to bed.”

To the girls the Banshee appears light,
extremely pale, albino white.
She hardly seems to have any weight,
and looks as though she rarely ate.

On her shoulders two white wings,
tiny little vestigial things.
Her only clothes, a vestment white,
ripped to shreds by the storm in the night.

Cait carefully lays the blanket down flat,
and they place the Banshee onto that.
Then lifting the blanket between them both,
they carry her in, though the Banshee’s loath.

They go into the but, through the ben,
noticing as they do so, when
The Banshee is shaken around,
she bites her lip hard to prevent any sound.

They lay the Banshee down on their settle,
realising she is full of mettle.
She obviously is still in great pain,
though will not show it, that is plain.

Fiona back into the kitchen goes,
intending to heat up some brose.
Caitlín with the Banshee does stay,
determined to help as best she may.

Beneath the Banshee’s head she lays
a pillow then to the Banshee says,
“You should get out of your wet clothes,
you could catch you death from wearing those.”

Caitlín realised as soon as she spoke,
to the Banshee that would be no joke.
“I’m sorry if I’ve offended you,
that’s the last thing I would want to do.”

“It is just that when *we
were wet,
these words from our mother we would get.”
The Banshee replies, “I don’t mind,
I know you’re trying to be kind.”

“And there’s something you should know,
no-one’s seen my body ere now.
However, although shy I may be,
I will try to let you undress me.”

Fiona at that moment comes in,
carrying on a tray of tin,
A bowl of brose with slices of bread,
then seeming surprised, to her sister said,

“Haven’t you yet the wight undressed
and warmed her up to help her rest?
If she stays in that dress, cold and wet,
she might catch her death from cold, yet!”

The Banshee and Caitlín glance at each other,
and then both snirt, which they try to smother
By each pretending to need to cough
while Fiona snaps, “Let’s get them off.”

Fiona places the tray on a table,
then kindly says, “I think I’ll be able,
If you sit up, to remove your gown,”
then worries, hearing the Banshee groan.

“I’m sorry, I am still in pain,
it came on when I moved again
As the result of having to cough.
Please do your best to get my robe off.”

Caitlín sits by the Banshee’s side,
and across her back her arm does slide.
She helps the Banshee to sit up straight,
who winces and then smiles at Cait.

Fiona manages to ease the robe down
to the Banshee’s waist then gives a frown.
“No wonder so much pain you’ve had,
the lightning seems to have burnt you bad.”

The Banshee’s skin is bleeding and raw,
the robe stuck in places making it sore.
Caitlín asks, “Why didn’t you say?
You don’t need to suffer this way.”

The Banshee begs, “Please don’t be mad,
until now my life’s been bad.
You’re the first mortals I have known,
until now I’ve been alone.”

Overcome with emotion, she cries,
the tears, in rivulets, fall from her eyes.
Caitlín hugs her close to her breast,
saying, “Soon you will be able to rest.”

“Fi, get some scissors and cut her robe free,
then bring some Aloe Vera to me.
I’ll use the sap to coat each wound,
and with strips of cloth they can be bound.”

So Fiona with scissors cuts the cloth,
while the Banshee closes her eyes, both
To avoid watching the scissors being used,
and not see the cloth to her body fused.

After cutting through as much cloth as she may,
Fiona picks the pieces away.
And then Caitlín does tenderly use,
to soothe the wounds, Aloe juice.

Fiona cuts the Banshee’s dress
into strips, which, more or less,
Provide enough cloth, the wounds to cover,
which they hope will soon heal over.

Fiona then goes to the bedroom to get,
to cover the Banshee, a dry blanket.
Caitlín stays sitting with her on the settle,
hoping the Banshee’ll soon be in fine fettle.

The blanket warms her up a treat,
then the sisters help the Banshee to eat.
Caitlín supports the Banshee’s head,
while Fiona feeds her brose and bread.

They leave her sleeping on the settee,
and go to the kitchen to brew some tea,
Then sitting down, they discuss what to do,
it’s new to them, they haven’t a clue.

Cait says, “I thought her a creature of myth,
a fable, though mentioned long sith.”
Fiona remarks, “And I thought as well,
she only appeared, a death to foretell.”

“This, she has said, is not why she’s here,
and also her life’s bad, so I fear
If we don’t help her to try to mend,
she might think her own life to end.”

At that the sisters feel so sad,
how can the Banshee’s life be so bad?
Since she’s a poor creature in so much need,
they’ll try to help and not ask for meed.

Into the parlour they quietly peep,
the Banshee still seems to be asleep.
So Fiona and Caitlín each start on a chore,
Fi feeds the hens, Cait goes to the shore.

On the beach Cait harvests seaweed,
collecting only as much as they need,
Then carries it back to the croft, up the lane,
trying to ignore, caused by blisters, the pain.

Cait leaves the buckets and enters the ben,
and sees the Banshee is awake, then
She goes to her and sitting down,
asks, “Why’ve you always been on your own?”

The Banshee replies, “That’s just how it is.
There’s never been a time ywis,
That I’ve ever met another like me.
Mayhap I’m the only one to be.”

At that the Banshee seems so sad,
and continues, “And what else is bad
Is that I feel Death draw near
to mortals. That’s the time I fear.”

“I cannot stop that ‘sergeant fell,’
however, I feel his pull too well.
I feel so sad at what he does,
and try to help by being close.”

“That is why when he is present,
I always try not to be absent.
I give warning as best I might,
by screaming loudly in the night.”

“People hear me and suppose,
I am there, a life to foreclose.
Then I feel the awful hate,
which from the mortals does emanate.”

Caitlín then goes back outside,
leaving the Banshee safe inside.
Fiona and Cait continue the work
that they must do and should not shirk.

Fiona finally milks the cow,
and hoping the Banshee’s feeling less low,
Pours some warm milk into a cup,
and carries it in for the Banshee to sup.

The Banshee wakes as Fiona comes in,
Fi says to her, giving a grin,
“I can’t believe you’re really here,
I must say, you are quite a dear!”

The Banshee gratefully takes the cup,
and with Fi’s help drinks the milk up.
Then back down on the couch she does lie,
and Fiona, embarrassed, again sees her cry.

Fiona sits down by her side,
while the Banshee tries, her face to hide.
Fiona, silent, her hand does hold,
noticing it’s very cold.

She strokes the Banshee’s silvery hair,
and waits for the tears to disappear.
The Banshee, eventually, does her eyes dry,
and then gives out a heartfelt sigh.

“I am so happy here with you,
without you I’d not know what to do.
Please forgive my moody tears,
I haven’t cried like this for years.”

“The first time was when I experienced Death.
I was drawn to a blasted heath,
Where a woman had a babe, stillborn,
and was gazing at it so forlorn.”

“She’d been constuprated in a wood,
by a man who’d left as soon as he could.
She was overcome with shame,
she hadn’t even known his name.”

“The babe was born before its time,
the ground was cold and hard with rime.
The woman did not even have
a ***** to dig the baby’s grave.”

“She opened the clothes across her chest,
and wrapped it tightly to her breast,
Then untied the cincture from her waist,
moving slowly not in haste.”

“When, going to a nearby tree,
not knowing I was there to see,
Around a branch she did it thread,
and hanged herself. She soon was dead.”

“Death knew what there would occur,
and therefore, to lay claim to her,
Had gone to the heath to watch her die,
and I’d been drawn, by Death, nearby.”

“I could feel the woman’s pain.
It came in waves again and again.
I didn’t know what it did mean,
and in my anguish I did keen.”

“My voice grew louder, I did scream,
Death looked at me and it did seem
At that moment, in pity, said,
‘She really is now better off dead.’”

They then hear the back door open
as Caitlín enters into the ben.
She shuts it close and locks it tight,
as she comes inside for the night.

“The animals are safely put away,
and now it’s time to hit the hay.
I’ll make supper and a *** of tea,
then it’s off to bed for me.”

Fiona says, “I’ll give you a hand.”
Then slowly stretches and up does stand.
She goes with Cait to make the tea,
leaving behind the poor Banshee.

Fiona tells Cait of the Banshee’s plight,
though they cannot think how to make it right.
They place three bowls and cups on a tray,
and back to the parlour make their way.

The Banshee sits up, with her feet on the ground,
it seems as though some strength she’s found.
She takes a bowl and says, “I suppose
it’s another delicious helping of brose.”

She beams at the sisters, who feel a glow
deep inside them slowly grow.
They realise that perhaps this is how
the Banshee is able, her feelings to show.

The Banshee asks, “Will it be all right
if I go outside for a stroll tonight?
I’ll only take a turn round the croft,
I will not try to fly aloft.”

“I am a denizen of the night,
which is why I thought I might
Have a walk by the light of the moon.
I promise I will be back soon.”
  
Round the Banshee’s waist Cait ties some rope
so that the blanket will not ope,
Then walks with her across the floor,
to help her get to the back door.
  
Caitlín unlocks it and opens it out,
though, for the Banshee, has some doubt.
Suppose the effort is too great?
She can only watch and wait.

Meanwhile Fi does the washing up,
and then she shouts, “I’m going up
To make our bed, don’t be late!”
Caitlín replies, “All right, don’t wait.”

Fiona goes to the top of the stair,
she makes up the bed then brushes her hair.
She quickly undresses and gets into bed,
and on the pillow rests her head.

Caitlín’s still standing at the door,
she’s not anxious any more.
The Banshee seems to be doing fine,
walking slowly in the bright moonshine.

As she walks she seems to get stronger,
so Caitlín, waiting for her for longer
Than she’d thought that she might do,
steps outside to have a walk too.

She takes the Banshee by the hand,
For a time they slowly walk round and
Then the Banshee asks to stop,
to rest before she’s likely to drop.

Still on her feet the Banshee sways,
and seems to be in a sort of daze.
So Caitlín holds her in her arms tight,
and thus they stand in the bright moonlight.

Hugging the Banshee close to her breast,
she’s aware of her nearness to their guest.
Caitlín feels her heart start to pound,
and in some confusion stands stilly and stound.

Then she pulls herself together,
at the same time wondering whether
She has experienced her first love,
or if this feeling false will prove.

So fragile and helpless the Banshee appears,
Caitlín can’t help but be moved to tears.
She lifts her up, and carries her inside,
and places her onto the sofa to bide.

Caitlín then stumbles up the stairs,
Fiona is shocked to see her in tears,
And asks her if she is all right,
and if anything’s happened out there in the night.

Caitlín, crying, lies down on the bed,
then Fiona, on her *****, pillows Caits head.
She gently wipes Caitlín’s tears away,
and waits to hear what she might say.

Caitlín then cuddles up to Fi,
saying, “Thank you for looking after me.
Really, I am quite all right,
nothing bad happened out there in the night.”

“It’s just that the Banshee is still frail,
she appeared to be getting a little more hale,
And then she seemed to become weak again,
so I carried her in, on the sofa she’s lain.”

Cait then stands and doffs her dress,
and gets into bed, still feeling a mess.
Fiona holds Cait as to sleep they go,
and they stay like that the whole night through.

Fiona and Caitlín wake up together,
and happily smile at one another.
It’s the start of a brand new day
which they’ll face together, come what may.

Fiona dresses and downstairs goes she,
into the kitchen to make some tea.
Caitlín shortly comes down too,
entering the parlour, the Banshee to view.

The Banshee wakes as Caitlín goes in,
still looking pale and painfully thin.
Caitlín sits on the sofa with care,
saying, “Last night you gave me quite a scare.”

“You seemed to get stronger in the moonlight,
so I thought everything was going all right.
Then I feared that you might fall down,
and so I carried you back here on my own.”

The Banshee responded, “I’m ever so sorry.
I didn’t mean to cause you worry.
I also felt I was getting str
Martin Narrod Mar 2014
I can sing the letters and numbers of the desktop, the pictures and the album covers too. I just wanna write the emu and the llama, this pretty little song for us two. You were the cleft of my pen, in my pocket; a red and white hen made the song for us together. Patriotic poultry and poetry inverse, backwards ***** parties, in the ringing of the bells- leather fairy tales do come true.

You can rub my lamp if I can peel your onion, build your rocks and roll 'em up hills. Get Sisyphus's number and call him every Sunday, help him heal his sunburn with the Solarcaine, plus Aloe Vera from Jewel.

The grocery standard, the man standing there, Walgreen's jerks that have weaves in their hair. I can pick a postcard, write a little letter, exercise my legs in my sleep. You can cry while you're still happy, I can cheer for laughter, your backpack has this picture of Asian imported meats. My sheets they are bleeding, cotton and polyester, eiderdown goose-feathered quills. We search for the highways and take a lot of pictures, I give two rings, the second has black onyx or may be moonstone. Either way it's hard to tell who's who.

The penguins in the pantry, the wockets in your pockets, the socks with the letters and codes. Black and white paper bills, money for monkeys, colorful elephants in zoos. You can soak them in the water, but don't use more than three, because under the age is a rotten assortment of youth faulted in disease.

After we left the party, I bought a little artwork, we spoke in country voices to a drunk man with a trollop bar-hop at the movie theater in downtown suburbia, he was very *****, really such ******, at fifty he flirted with girls in black uniforms. I have just turned thirty, you are twenty-one, my phone rings, it's my mother- pause....

"The food is here. Pizza every-one."

I said, "Pizza." For E-V-E-R-Y One. It can't eat itself so we've got to be going. Coca-Cola maraschino drinks. A brownie with a sundae, even vegan almond ice cream can be considered ordering the kitchen sink. Just around the corner in the village outside of So-**, I opened a store for a gag-hag who is tall. He's a **** on one cylinder, provocative and insular, he also has a sunburn too. Each one of his cycles is hiding on an icicle, the intern we hired doesn't eat so often that he doesn't even poo.
An impromptu song about my girlfriend, her and I, ordering pizza, and the items in my iTunes and on my desktop
Tupelo Jul 2015
Sun swept like father's knowing gaze,
Burned every bit of my body that showed,
Left me all red and pulsing
Felt like a fire underneath the skin,
It blazed for weeks than months,
Boiled the insides to the surface,
Left ash like december across my body,
Covered in all the scolding of summer,
And I still don't feel a thing
(PIANO DI SORRENTO.)

Fortu, Frotu, my beloved one,
Sit here by my side,
On my knees put up both little feet!
I was sure, if I tried,
I could make you laugh spite of Scirocco;
Now, open your eyes—
Let me keep you amused till he vanish
In black from the skies,
With telling my memories over
As you tell your beads;
All the memories plucked at Sorrento
—The flowers, or the weeds,
Time for rain! for your long hot dry Autumn
Had net-worked with brown
The white skin of each grape on the bunches,
Marked like a quail’s crown,
Those creatures you make such account of,
Whose heads,—specked with white
Over brown like a great spider’s back,
As I told you last night,—
Your mother bites off for her supper;
Red-ripe as could be.
Pomegranates were chapping and splitting
In halves on the tree:
And betwixt the loose walls of great flintstone,
Or in the thick dust
On the path, or straight out of the rock side,
Wherever could ******
Some burnt sprig of bold hardy rock-flower
Its yellow face up,
For the prize were great butterflies fighting,
Some five for one cup.
So, I guessed, ere I got up this morning,
What change was in store,
By the quick rustle-down of the quail-nets
Which woke me before
I could open my shutter, made fast
With a bough and a stone,
And look through the twisted dead vine-twigs,
Sole lattice that’s known!
Quick and sharp rang the rings down the net-poles,
While, busy beneath,
Your priest and his brother tugged at them,
The rain in their teeth:
And out upon all the flat house-roofs
Where split figs lay drying,
The girls took the frails under cover:
Nor use seemed in trying
To get out the boats and go fishing,
For, under the cliff,
Fierce the black water frothed o’er the blind-rock
No seeing our skiff
Arrive about noon from Amalfi,
—Our fisher arrive,
And pitch down his basket before us,
All trembling alive
With pink and grey jellies, your sea-fruit,
—You touch the strange lumps,
And mouths gape there, eyes open, all manner
Of horns and of humps.
Which only the fisher looks grave at,
While round him like imps
Cling screaming the children as naked
And brown as his shrimps;
Himself too as bare to the middle—
—You see round his neck
The string and its brass coin suspended,
That saves him from wreck.
But today not a boat reached Salerno,
So back to a man
Came our friends, with whose help in the vineyards
Grape-harvest began:
In the vat, half-way up in our house-side,
Like blood the juice spins,
While your brother all bare-legged is dancing
Till breathless he grins
Dead-beaten, in effort on effort
To keep the grapes under,
Since still when he seems all but master,
In pours the fresh plunder
From girls who keep coming and going
With basket on shoulder,
And eyes shut against the rain’s driving,
Your girls that are older,—
For under the hedges of aloe,
And where, on its bed
Of the orchard’s black mould, the love-apple
Lies pulpy and red,
All the young ones are kneeling and filling
Their laps with the snails
Tempted out by this first rainy weather,—
Your best of regales,
As tonight will be proved to my sorrow,
When, supping in state,
We shall feast our grape-gleaners (two dozen,
Three over one plate)
With lasagne so tempting to swallow
In slippery ropes,
And gourds fried in great purple slices,
That colour of popes.
Meantime, see the grape-bunch they’ve brought you,—
The rain-water slips
O’er the heavy blue bloom on each globe
Which the wasp to your lips
Still follows with fretful persistence—
Nay, taste, while awake,
This half of a curd-white smooth cheese-ball,
That peels, flake by flake,
Like an onion’s, each smoother and whiter;
Next, sip this weak wine
From the thin green glass flask, with its stopper,
A leaf of the vine,—
And end with the prickly-pear’s red flesh
That leaves through its juice
The stony black seeds on your pearl-teeth
…Scirocco is loose!
Hark! the quick, whistling pelt of the olives
Which, thick in one’s track,
Tempt the stranger to pick up and bite them,
Though not yet half black!
How the old twisted olive trunks shudder!
The medlars let fall
Their hard fruit, and the brittle great fig-trees
Snap off, figs and all,—
For here comes the whole of the tempest
No refuge, but creep
Back again to my side and my shoulder,
And listen or sleep.

O how will your country show next week
When all the vine-boughs
Have been stripped of their foliage to pasture
The mules and the cows?
Last eve, I rode over the mountains;
Your brother, my guide,
Soon left me, to feast on the myrtles
That offered, each side,
Their fruit-*****, black, glossy and luscious,—
Or strip from the sorbs
A treasure, so rosy and wondrous,
Of hairy gold orbs!
But my mule picked his sure, sober path out,
Just stopping to neigh
When he recognized down in the valley
His mates on their way
With the *******, and barrels of water;
And soon we emerged
From the plain, where the woods could scarce follow
And still as we urged
Our way, the woods wondered, and left us,
As up still we trudged
Though the wild path grew wilder each instant,
And place was e’en grudged
’Mid the rock-chasms, and piles of loose stones
(Like the loose broken teeth
Of some monster, which climbed there to die
From the ocean beneath)
Place was grudged to the silver-grey fume-****
That clung to the path,
And dark rosemary, ever a-dying,
That, ’spite the wind’s wrath,
So loves the salt rock’s face to seaward,—
And lentisks as staunch
To the stone where they root and bear berries,—
And… what shows a branch
Coral-coloured, transparent, with circlets
Of pale seagreen leaves—
Over all trod my mule with the caution
Of gleaners o’er sheaves,
Still, foot after foot like a lady—
So, round after round,
He climbed to the top of Calvano,
And God’s own profound
Was above me, and round me the mountains,
And under, the sea,
And within me, my heart to bear witness
What was and shall be!
Oh Heaven, and the terrible crystal!
No rampart excludes
Your eye from the life to be lived
In the blue solitudes!
Oh, those mountains, their infinite movement!
Still moving with you—
For, ever some new head and breast of them
Thrusts into view
To observe the intruder—you see it
If quickly you turn
And, before they escape you, surprise them—
They grudge you should learn
How the soft plains they look on, lean over,
And love (they pretend)
-Cower beneath them; the flat sea-pine crouches
The wild fruit-trees bend,
E’en the myrtle-leaves curl, shrink and shut—
All is silent and grave—
’Tis a sensual and timorous beauty—
How fair, but a slave!
So, I turned to the sea,—and there slumbered
As greenly as ever
Those isles of the siren, your Galli;
No ages can sever
The Three, nor enable their sister
To join them,—half-way
On the voyage, she looked at Ulysses—
No farther today;
Though the small one, just launched in the wave,
Watches breast-high and steady
From under the rock, her bold sister
Swum half-way already.
Fortu, shall we sail there together
And see from the sides
Quite new rocks show their faces—new haunts
Where the siren abides?
Shall we sail round and round them, close over
The rocks, though unseen,
That ruffle the grey glassy water
To glorious green?
Then scramble from splinter to splinter,
Reach land and explore,
On the largest, the strange square black turret
With never a door,
Just a loop to admit the quick lizards;
Then, stand there and hear
The birds’ quiet singing, that tells us
What life is, so clear!
The secret they sang to Ulysses,
When, ages ago,
He heard and he knew this life’s secret,
I hear and I know!

Ah, see! The sun breaks o’er Calvano—
He strikes the great gloom
And flutters it o’er the mount’s summit
In airy gold fume!
All is over! Look out, see the gipsy,
Our tinker and smith,
Has arrived, set up bellows and forge,
And down-squatted forthwith
To his hammering, under the wall there;
One eye keeps aloof
The urchins that itch to be putting
His jews’-harps to proof,
While the other, through locks of curled wire,
Is watching how sleek
Shines the hog, come to share in the windfalls
—An abbot’s own cheek!
All is over! Wake up and come out now,
And down let us go,
And see the fine things got in order
At Church for the show
Of the Sacrament, set forth this evening;
Tomorrow’s the Feast
Of the Rosary’s ******, by no means
Of Virgins the least—
As you’ll hear in the off-hand discourse
Which (all nature, no art)
The Dominican brother, these three weeks,
Was getting by heart.
Not a post nor a pillar but’s dizened
With red and blue papers;
All the roof waves with ribbons, each altar
A-blaze with long tapers;
But the great masterpiece is the scaffold
Rigged glorious to hold
All the fiddlers and fifers and drummers
And trumpeters bold,
Not afraid of Bellini nor Auber,
Who, when the priest’s hoarse,
Will strike us up something that’s brisk
For the feast’s second course.
And then will the flaxen-wigged Image
Be carried in pomp
Through the plain, while in gallant procession
The priests mean to stomp.
And all round the glad church lie old bottles
With gunpowder stopped,
Which will be, when the Image re-enters,
Religiously popped.
And at night from the crest of Calvano
Great bonfires will hang,
On the plain will the trumpets join chorus,
And more poppers bang!
At all events, come—to the garden,
As far as the wall,
See me tap with a *** on the plaster
Till out there shall fall
A scorpion with wide angry nippers!

…”Such trifles”—you say?
Fortu, in my England at home,
Men meet gravely today
And debate, if abolishing Corn-laws
Is righteous and wise
—If ’tis proper, Scirocco should vanish
In black from the skies!
Jimmy King Apr 2015
I thought of you today when I noticed the dirt underneath my fingernails
And when I felt the wind in my hair as I flew down a hill on my bike
And when I stared at the Hocking River again as it gently swirled downstream.
When I realized I’d be going to bed early and
When I thought about sleeping alone,
As I do almost every night.
When I decided to go the long way home.
When I sat down on a bench, ate a granola bar, and sipped away the rest of my water.
When I threw my shovel aside and dug with my hands.
When I wiped the sweat from my brow.
When I looked at my Aloe Vera plant and realized I hadn’t watered it in a while.
When I watered my Aloe Vera plant.
When I left the dinner table before the rest of my friends to call my grandma
Who once told me that you and I should get married.
When I laughed at my own thoughts
And when Ani DiFranco came on my Spotify.

I don’t exactly know what I mean
When I say I thought of you.
I don’t know anything exactly, I mean
What if the universe jumps erratically through temporal space,
And each moment only seems continuous cuz we only remember what came “before” it, as we say?
When I say that, when I think about that,
I guess I’d call that thinking about you.

I thought about you when I thought about
Getting ice cream
And when I thought I got a splinter,
Neither of which
Actually happened.
Your seduction has been unfair,
Though you could not help it, my dear.
My heart melts with the thoughts you share
And aloe smoothness of your hair.

Executed so ruthlessly,
You constantly seducing me,
With love given innocently,
You did it all so carelessly.

I’m smitten and I can’t let go,
Seduced by all the things you know,
You made my desire overflow,
Just by affection that you show.

I’m a slave to your seduction,
Mastermind of will’s abduction,
From our very introduction,
I was lost to your seduction.
Instagram @insightshurt
www.insightshurt.com
Buy “Insights Hurt: Bringing Healing Thoughts To Life” at store.bookbaby.com/book/insights-hurt
Above the forest of the parakeets,
A parakeet of parakeets prevails,
A pip of life amid a mort of tails.

(The rudiments of tropics are around,
Aloe of ivory, pear of rusty rind.)
His lids are white because his eyes are blind.

He is not paradise of parakeets,
Of his gold ether, golden alguazil,
Except because he broods there and is still.

Panache upon panache, his tails deploy
Upward and outward, in green-vented forms,
His tip a drop of water full of storms.

But though the turbulent tinges undulate
As his pure intellect applies its laws,
He moves not on his coppery, keen claws.

He munches a dry shell while he exerts
His will, yet never ceases, perfect ****,
To flare, in the sun-pallor of his rock.
A lovely lady I once knew
With golden laces that looped her shoes
It was out within that noxious rye,
Where cautiously, she caught my eye!

Oh how her heart could sing,
Delicate as though an angel's wing!
From her shone such a glow
Like Sun to seed her soul could grow.

Without the choir with which she inspires
This nature of living will soon expire.
Like the dirt road tore with bore
Neglected with scorn, troubled by chore.

She was the antidote in all this mess
That special gal among all the rest
Whom I wish could cure the barrenness
Which poisons me so, I do attest!
Misnomer Nov 2011
legions of aloe vera lick my
toes, persuading in dissonance.
a herpetic grin streaks your
teeth, grease and yellowed
pages harrowed in stem.

now, i will tell you these
roses (that are everyanything
of a colour)--

sizzle against soft fingers,
the waft of yesterday
scribbling strikes of sense.
all of these are dabblings.
dont be so certain with me
you are always free to change
today a thirty year old said 20 till now
was too short
where did it all go i asked
the good times never seem to last
she said stretching the truth, my age, and my suit
i laughed and we had nothing more to talk about
she was stuck
not her life, no it was she
blocked behind the past that was playing before her mind

i wished i could be there
kiss her for the first time
when it wouldn't have been a matter of age
thanked her for the first random act of kindness she embarked on
held her during her first harsh break up
i couldn't
so i walked away
saying a common courtesy over my shoulder

its always the summer
where i chose to spend my time

its always the summer
in the darkest ***** of the winter

----------------
ads flood in like balloons
release with fireworks above
my chinese isn't that good
i just need to eat
wheres your nearest hostel
preferably one next to a mcdonalds
no excuse for comfort food?
right this way!, my profit

paralyzed
synchronized ceilings
thought it was my mothers
no mine
my room
my memories
touching
touching you
inside
its not as warm
as the Dead give away
im fading
dancing above this bed
collection of the
fading

i drew you once
blood we used to be friends
what happened
blood you were almost inside of me
what happened
blood music drifting in the windows
what windows
this room is windowless
when in doubt

comfort in voices hidden in my mind
i used to love you
ya you knew that
before you died
what happened
blood didn't need to be so cold

happenstance
ill ******* **** you
happenstance you cunning fool
happenstance, is my worst enemy folks
are you ready for the execution?

awake again. i can't remember
did i sleep
is this real
is there a light on
is that a tv

heart rate
skips

-----------------
here the sound of music drifting down the halls
the sound of prozac aloe vera the sound of smell
drifting all the same

man next to me can't tell his laughs from fears
tears separate the faint from the lack of faith
in front of his family of three  , jump in front of a moving train

no one is going down here no one is going up
this is the sound of everything you never wanted to hear
waiting for the day they let you feel

soul gaze and scream more
sending faint taps of morse code
my neighbors one of the wonders of the world


plumper , and no one cares
quieter , and no one can tell
no one care , no one can tell

-------
one of my favorite numbers
for who, i can't tell
but it means something
for when will they agree?

man fighting in the form of words
how stupid is he, to fight with spells
witchcraft the checkmate, one step bellow divinity?
without the divine, sorcery snaps the spine

here i am, with my horns showing again
they step around me on the streets,
when they used to rub against me
did they rub off?
my uncle used to file them down to less than stubs
400 bucks
no one will tell

here i am , yelling at you again
you said i was going to burn
thats a compliment
Dantes first levels freeze the weak

-----------

eagerly meak
give me a more simple smile please
let me know youre human

equally bleak
your words scattered across this page
lets get you out of your clothes

gravity takes over
so
you are with child i heard
does that mean we dont need timing
my stomach no longer turns
thinking of the pulling burn
pulling and pulling till it hurt

sometimes i want him back
we gave away such a fighter
how many times did we drink him away?
how many eyelids did we keep awake

i swear the whole apartment knew of our lust.

-------------------

crying me a river

no thanks
or apologies

-------------------

the bathrooms here smell like a hotel
did we mistake them for cleanliness?
latino hands and the beds tight as guillotines

side tracked minute of phone called wasted
are they still listening
sorry for the last time
what was it that i called you?
oh yeah-- the past

morose only word i know
for this - this woah that is - is me

stumble while kissing you
like i do when i lie the lie
that is
i love you

-----------------------
remember that night before our lips met?
sorry i mean the one in the cemetery
the night you lost your strength
was that all an act? you know
the self esteem?
no , not the way i kissed you
that was real
i mean the way that you really feel
about yourself , on this serpents wheel

send me away
please
stamps
boxes
peanuts
everything
send me away
iwannastiIIIive

------------------------

they say my phone privileges are switched with an extra shrink

eat me
drink me

--------------------

the last telegraph was explanation enough
I'm writing you again
sorry i haven't learned french

i dont know any of these instruments playing anymore
but i think they kinda sound like you
thanks so much for listening along
to the symphonies i make in my head


what would we do with each other he asked me



i answered by cutting him out of  my life







---------------------------

6 years later

--- the liar


-----------------------



i decided to stop telling the truth
and it worked
they let me out and off the meds
the good times never seem to last

they let me step off of the stage
easier than it was to get played
i tried the capsule and i tried the tablet
but i found the best thing was lighting money up
in smoke
the rain keeps reminding me of the times you would come
in the rain, i would feel closer to you again
when in the rain, i remember your funeral
and before that when i told you off
i never think of the space in-between
of when you could of thought of me

did you, dont answer
dont do anything but hug me
For Nathan Flint, Our Red Robin, and the for the most manic of the mankind.
david badgerow Oct 2011
if i was a tree i'd have roots so ******* deep
you wouldn't ******* believe it.

if i was a drunk man i'd hold the ground
steady with my face.

if i was sunlight i'd burn the **** outta your shoulders
and then change into Aloe
before you even ******* noticed.

if i was a racecar i could only be driven backwards
but i'd go fast as **** because
my rubber is hot.

if i was a huge cedar chest i'd keep secrets inside myself
because no one ******* cares about them
and i'd keep hope there too in case someone
started to.

if i was an alarm clock i'd let you pound me in your sleep
but i'd still scream at you in the
early hours of the morning
because without me you'd ******* die.

if i was a hurricane i'd blow right through your back yard
but leave everything untouched
and you standing there admiring my girth.
Marti Oct 2013
Free fall sensation in the dark
invited dizzy dreams
spark singed skin

the last time I felt like I do when you touch me
I had stuck a necklace in an electrical socket
to try and figure out how the lights work
I thought I could take the energy
I thought by touching it I could understand

Except for that hurt, and you are the opposite of hurt on the same intensity
just with fingertips
except for I understand alternating current now but not this

You make me want to make sculptures
and bad jokes
you make me write but the words come out like dogs off the leash in the park

Next to you is the place where I fell asleep at the beach
and woke up warm and sun-washed
where my body felt like it belonged to me
and the waves had washed away the smell of wet cities and
old growth trees

Next to you is banana pancakes with strawberries
and silence is a round comfortable thing
like hobbit feet
like blanket forts
safe and temporary constructions
inventive nomadic shelters
lovely places to spend rainy days

You are like aloe-vera gel
and I've been forgetful and spent to much time in the sun
trying to breath in life but got hurt
but it doesn't feel raw when you slide over my skin
instead its tingly bits of mint and blue
like gypsy wind chimes and spicy food
OnwardFlame Nov 2016
I burnt my forehead
The day before election day
I broke some aloe vera plants
Prepared to needle and thread
The damage I had done.

Check the bag
A blood red
The ointment the plant creates
Oozing and healed up in red
Like a severe cut
I had laid upon them
To heal my wound.

I'm full of white guilt
I've been so angry
We out here
Those I love and respect take the streets
And I plan to partake
I'm with you, I'm so with you
I'm so with you.

I think perhaps
Theres something innate in those
That choose blue
And those that choose red.

Heres some fruit
Some almonds
I'm writing, I'm trying
Its not for vanity anymore
It never was meant to be.

I asked myself in the heat of the charcoal
What can I do
To be a better human?

Blood in the aloe vera bag
White guilt in the peak of the darkness
All I can do is be the strongest I can be.
kristine marie Jun 2013
They say that fire and ice don’t mix;
“They are opposites, two different sides of the spectrum,”
But I guess no one ever thought of them as anything more than elements.

When you burn, the fire sears your skin,
melts, stripping new layer after new layer,
Until nothing but ash remains.

That’s if the burn continues.
if you sit in the fire, you’ll char to a fine dust.
You’ll sprinkle by when the wind picks up,
floating and floating until you find a nice place to rest.
If you run from the flames licking at your feet,
your burns get a little treat - some ice water,
some aloe, more ice water, and a bandage.
No little solid squares pressed to your wounds;
After all, they say that fire and ice don’t mix -
Hold ice on your burn for too long,
and your burn will only worsen.

I burned myself with fire.
I sought solace with ice.
My first degrees turned to seconds,
and seconds into thirds;
Ice burned me, with her cool exterior,
her icy heart.

And I kept her there, pressed to my wound,
cooling my skin,
and burning within.

Let’s call her the Ice Queen,
the crystal clear little gem that I press
So tight against my skin.
Those green eyes and her devilish grin,
I’m sure she had the power to lure anyone in.
And it was me that she chose,
already down and wounded.
She picked up my pieces and mended them together,
She iced my burns, she sewed me together.

I thought I knew who I was before I met her.
Even in pieces, I was sure that my life
was put-together.
The picture perfect model child,
until small events led to big encounters,
and higher falls and harder drops.
I shattered when I fell, but I still felt
like I was put-together
Until the Ice Queen came with
her lace and leather, her tattoos
and Newports, her tights and her boots.
She found me there, mere shards of broken memories
that dripped with tears; she sewed me together,
Maybe synchronized me to her weather.

Now, excuse me if I sound brash,
but I fall at the Ice Queen’s every batting lash.
I embraced her with open arms,
My burning skin and her cooling touch,
and sought help from a body of ice.

It’s a funny thing about fire,
The way that it sometimes soothes
and other times hurts.
A wick to a flame releases a
Heavenly scent;
Gasoline to a flame sets
a house, a car, a building,
all aflame.

And when all goes up in flames,
even firefighters struggle to
Put it out; like it’s really so
hard to wrestle with what
Spews from the Devil’s mouth.

They’d never throw ice into the
Mouth of a flame. No huge cubes
Dto try and tame the flame.
Reason why is simple, easy, matter of fact;
Ice melts in heat, and flames pack quite a singe.

So what happens next,
When fire and ice intertwine?
They maintain their solidity just
As long as they can sustain.

It isn’t very long before the flame is left
in vain.
written in april 2013. 1/3 of a series.
Montana Sep 2012
I used to do things, you know,
with my time.
I used to read;
books, sometimes magazines.

I used to garden.
(Can you imagine?)
I planted tomatoes
and an aloe plant, some flowers.

I used to write, on occasion
mostly short stories
and some essays
here and there.

I liked to cook
and not just scrambled eggs,
(though you always liked my scrambled eggs)
but whole meals
and bake too.

I used to do things, you know
before you.
Billo Mar 2013
Lady,
          lady,
                   lady,
It made no sense then
and still I'm at a lack.

Those days I'd read and fall asleep,
take the cheap warmth of the sun on my cheeks
(and literacy) for granted, then
wake to a sunburn on my back.

Aloe evenings, peeling loose skin
revealing goose-flesh, feeling foolish
again, by my garden
on my deck
off my guard
and lonely.

Heck, this is only one instance where I had chills that summer
Another was under the orange glow of a poorly funded lighthouse,
Us there - just sitting - perched
on my car, parked
              on
          a
*****

West River lay ahead and below -
Behind were the kinds of smiles and glances
people give before they know
each other and the chances
of where they both may go

So,
I took my time
not giving a ****
despite the dame's insistence
on a kiss the tourists planned -

Too many instants
spent looking, fearing leaping
peering,
              keeping
                            distance
     ­                                      sparse.
Alas, a tour de farce?
Thanks to pop-rocks when our lips touched
we chuckled at the sparks

Lip gloss
Then my loss of control
Utterly unable to console
Is it any wonder the cunning fox we saw just wandered home?

With this rhetoric I am ready to admit that
I lack(ed) certainty

Was the mist real or is't only foggy in my memory?
In hindsight I do mind causing pain
Though my brain,
it sure likes hurting me

And lo,
À l'acadie we go
...for academia!
My ego can't stand seein' ya
so the strained "Hello" is ignored -

Please impale it on the sword
of vanity and estrangement!
As I sway toward derangement
or insanity, I lurch forward
lacksidaisically

Need to learn to curb these feelings
to watch out for those of others
As the sun or lighthouse over us
this message resolutely hovers:
I hurt
Brynn Louise Aug 2014
The aloe to the sunburn
The blanket to the cold
The bandage on the cut
And the laughter to a joke

The you to me
You just make me better
JAC Aug 2017
He was going to get her a little plant,
and would be teensy-tiny and green
and the little plant would never die.

He would name it "Neville",
and she would giggle at the name
and the little plant would never die.

He would find her a little cactus,
or an aloe plant that had no spikes
(so she wouldn't ***** her fingers),
and the little plant would never die.

He would remind her to water it,
and she would tell him she forgot,
and it was a good thing he reminded her,
and the little plant would never die.

He would go over and visit it,
and he would visit her while he was at it,
and the little plant would never die.

He would bring her books about plants,
so she would know all about hers,
and the little plant would never die.

He would sing the plant little songs
when he visited the plant and her,
and she would like those little songs,
and the little plant would never die.

He would whisper I love you
to the plant, of course,
but she would hear it,
and the little plant would never die.

He would hear her say it too,
and he would understand,
and the little plant would never die.

But he did not get her a little plant.
The little plant would never die,
but she was not a little plant.
I don't mean for the title to be so cliché, but at the same time, I do. Clichés happen.
boy may move

make moves

the coast sways blue

ghostly grey quaaludes

gasp and gather and get gone

see gulls

see “get out of dodge” a la roget

sunburnt skin Rośe

aloe

vera ****

saint white

more saint than yves laurent

freighter; only witness

speak now

or hold your peace

see “forever” a la webster
James Aug 2019
barely spoken with my book open
wearing aprons with hay fever in full affect
woke up the neighbours four doors down with the shouting
and she calls me unreasonable
did they water this ******* aloe vera plant
or am I making up that it looks dry
shifting through these papers and the paperclip
that's holding everything together
stabbed into the tip of my thumb
and I can't afford my daughters wedding
brilliant that. cats that spat,
sat next to the lamp that leaks lies
like her on the third wine
she used to burn the union jack
now she laughs aleesha or mahil
because they don't look like
jack, jill me or him.
close the books, ask the waiter
bring my breakfast in the morning
under the name surrender
call the banks, tell the teller
rebuild my economy
without the one percenters
we can't agree
which is worse
surrendering
or halving our net worth.

she wants a divorce
who could blame her
she wanted a husband
and we left her in labour
Kitten Yvad Mar 2019
Ow my fire burns
Hello just throw me
Into the sea but
not to loud

I am sleeping like
a little aloe vera plant
Soothe
Sia Jane Jan 2015
Pain, so irrevocable
Always too late once muttered.

You slice & dice me
And, I
Sprinkle you with lovers dust.

You pour petrol on an already lit fire
The smell still lingers days later
And, I
Seek out sweet medicine
Caressing your wounds;
Aloe Vera grows abundantly besides what we once called home.

You're the dog with her tail between her legs,
And, I
Gather you in my arms as you cry
A baby ripped from the womb
too soon.

© Sia Jane
Just something noted on my way home tonight xxxx
Adasyev Jul 2016
A few blooms in Bohemia
for your hair do a duty
and make their red heavier
to fit the brown of your beauty.

But how many gallows
morals have built along the trees!
Joyful sin, tell me, in their shadow,
are flowers allowed to please?

The burdock and nettles
are growing as every year
and so people of Protectus settle
with their tracts everyone's ear.

Praying is just a waste
as it was at the time I was born.
The blooming aloe is my taste
of your black hair adorned.
From Melancholic Journey (1906)
Lvice Feb 2018
What heals
The burn in the
Back of your
Throat?

— The End —