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Keith J Collard Jun 2013
The Quest for the Damsel Fish  by Keith Collard

Author's  Atmosphere

On the bow of the boat, with the cold cloud of the dismal day brushing your back conjuring goose bumped flesh you hold an anchor.  For the first time, you can pick this silver anchor up with only one hand and hold it over your head. It resembles the Morning Star, a brutal medieval weapon that bludgeons and impales its victims.  Drop it into the dark world beyond the security of your boat--watch the anchor descend.
        Watch this silver anchor--this Morning Star--descend away from the boat and you, it becomes swarmed over with darkness.  It forms a ******-metallic grin at first as it sinks, then the sinking silver anchor takes its last shape at its last visible glimpse.  It is so small now as if it could be hung from a necklace.  It is a silver sword.  
Peering over the side of the boat, the depths collectively look like the mouth of a Cannibalistic Crab, throwing the shadows of its mandibles over everything that sinks down into it--black mandibles that have joints with the same angle of a Reaper's Scythe.  

I am scared looking at this sinking phantasm.  I see something from my youth down there in this dark cold Atlantic.  I see the silver Morning Star again, now in golden armor.  I remember a magnificent kingdom, in a saltwater fish tank I had once and never had again.  A tropical paradise that I see again as I stare down into the depths.  This fish tank was so beautiful with the most beautiful inhabitants who I miss.  Before I could lift the silver anchor--the Morning Star--over my head with only one hand, turning gold in that morning sun-- I was a boy who sat indian style, cross legged--peering into this brilliant spectacle of light I thought awesome.  I thought all the darkness of home and the world was kept at bay by this kingdom of light...

Chapter  1 Begins the Story

The Grey Skies of Mass is the Name of This Chapter.

                                                      ­­                        
    
 Air, in bubbles--it was a world beauty of darkness revealed in slashes of light from dashing fluorescent bulbs overhead this fish tank.
Silver swords of fluorescent energy daring to the bottom, every slash revealing every color of the zodiac--from the Gold of Scorpio to the purple of Libra combining into the jade of the Gemini. 
In the center, like a dark Stonehenge were rocks. The exterior rocks had tropical colors like that of cotton candy, but the interior shadows of the rocks that was the Stonehenge, did not possess one photon of light. The silver messengers of the florescent energy from above would tire and die at their base.  The shadows of the Stonehenge rocks would stand over them as they died.

 
          When the boy named Sake climbed the rickety wood stairs of the house, he did so in fear of making noise, as if to not wake each step.
   Until he could see the glowing aura of his fish tank then he would start down that eerie hall, With pictures of ghosts and ghosts of pictures staring down at him as he walked down that rickety hallway of this towering old colonial home.  He hurried to the glowing tank to escape the black and white gazing picture frames.
                    The faint gurgling, bubbling of the saltwater tank became stronger in his ear, and that sound guided him from the last haunt of the hallway-- the empty room that was perpendicular to  his room.   He only looked to his bright tank as soon as he entered the hallway from the creaky wooden steps.  Then he proceeded to sit in front of this great tropical fish tank in Indian style with his legs folded over one another as children so often would sit.
  The sun was setting.  The reflections from the tank were beginning to send ripples down the dark walls. Increasing  wave after wave reflecting down his dark walls.  He thought they to be seagulls flapping into the darkness until they were overcome as he was listening to the bubbling water of his tank.
                " Hello my fish, hello Angel, hello Tang, hello  Hoomah, hello Clown and hello Damsel … and hello to you Crab...even though I do not like you," he said in half jest not looking at the crab in the entrance of the rocks.  The rocks were the color of cotton candy, but the interior shadows did not possess a photon of luminescence.  All other shadows not caused by the rocks--but by bright swaying ornament--were like the glaze on a candy apple--dark but delicious.  Besides the crab's layer in the rock jumble at the center of the tank which was a Stonehenge within a Stonehenge--the tank was a world of bright inviting light.
                The crab was in its routine,  motionless in the entrance to his foyer, with his scythe-like claws in the air, in expectation of catching one of the bright fish someday.  For that reason the boy tried to remove the crab in the past, but even though the boy was fast with his hand, the optical illusion of the tank would always send his hand where the crab no longer was.  He did not know how to use two hands to rid the crab in the future by trapping and destroying the Cannibal Crab ;  his father, on a weekend visit, gave the Crab to the boy to put into the bright world of the saltwater tank, which Sake quickly regretted.  His father promised him that the Crab would not be able to catch any of the fish he said " ...***** only eat anything that has fallen to the bottom or each other..."

         A scream from the living room downstairs ran up the rickety wood and down the long hall and startled the boy.  His mother sent her shrieks out to grab the boy, allowing her to not have to waste any time nor calorie on her son; for she would tire from the stairs, but her screams would not, allowing her to stay curled up on the couch.  If she was not screaming for Sake, she was talking as loud as screams on the phone with her girlfriends.  The decibels from her laugh was torture for all in the silent house.   A haughty laugh in a gossipy conversation, that overpowered the sound of the bright tropical fish tank in Sake's room that was above and far opposite her in the living room.
               " Sake you have to get a paper-route to pay for the tank, the electricity bill is outrageous," she said while not taking her eyes off the TV and her legs curled up beside her.  He would glad fully get a paper-route even if it was for a made up reason.  He turned to go, and looked back at his mother, and a shudder ran through him with a new thought:  someday her appearance will match her voice.  

              Upon reaching his tank,  Hoomah was trying to get his attention as always.  Taking up pebbles in his big pouty pursed lips and spitting them out of his lips like a weak musket.  The Hoomah was a very silly fish, it looked like one of Sake’s aunts, with too much make up on, slightly overweight, and hovering on two little fins that looked incapable of keeping it afloat, but they did.  The fins reminded him of the legs of his aunt--skinny under not so skinny.’

               The Tang was doing his usual aquanautics , darting and sailing was his trick.  He was fast, the fastest with his bright yellow triangular sail cutting the water.  Next was the aggressive Clown fish, the boy thought she was always aggresive because she didn't have an anemone to sleep on.  The Clown was strong and sleek with an orange jaw and body that was built like a tigress.
  Sake thought something tragic about the body if the  orange Clown and the three silver traces that clawed her body as decoration -they reminded him of the incandescent orange glow of a street lamp being viewed through the rainy back windshield of a car.   The Clown fish was a distraction that craved attention.
The Clown would chase around some of the other fish and jump out of the water to catch the boy's eye. 
                 Next is the Queen Angel fish, she is the queen of the tank, she sits in back all alone, waving like a marvelous banner, iridescent purple and golden jade.  Her forehead slopes back in a French braid style that streams over her back like a kings standard waving before battle, but her standard is of a house of beauty, and that of royal purple.

                    Lastly is the Damsel Fish, the smallest and most vulnerable in the tank.  She has royal purple also, rivaling the queen. Her eyes are lashed but not lidded like the Hoomah.  Her eyes are elliptical, and perhaps the most human, or in the boy’s opinion, she is the most lady like, the Hoomah and the Queen Angel come to her defence if she is chased around by the Clown.  Her eyes penetrate the boys, to the point of him looking away.  

                      Before the tank, in its place in the corner was a painting, an oil painting of another type of Clown donning a hat with orange partial make-up on his face (only around eyes nose and mouth there was ghost white paint) and it  had two tears coming down from its right eye.  The Clown painting was given to him by his mother, it seems he could not be rid of them, but Sake at first was taken in by the brightness of the Clown, and the smooth salacious wet look of the painting. it looked dripping, or submerged, like another alternate reality.  The wet surreal glaze of the painting seemed a portal, especially the orange glow of the Clown's skin without make-up.  .  If he tried to remember of times  before the Clown painting that preceded the Clown fish, he thought of the orange saffron twilight of sunset, and watching it from the high window from his room in the towering house.  How that light changed everything that it touched, from the tree tops and the clouds, to even the dark hallway leading up to his room.  The painting and the Clown fish did not feel the same as those distant memories of sunset, especially the summer sunset when his mother would put him to bed long before the sun had set.  
Sake did not voice opposition to the Clown.
Then he was once again trapped by the Clown.  
            The boy was extremely afraid of this painting that replaced the sunsets , being confined alone with it by all those early bedtimes.
Sake once asked his mother if he could take it down, whereas she said " No."  That clown would follow him into his dreams, always he would be down the hill from the tall house on the hill, trying to walk back to the house, but to walk away or run in a dream was like walking underwater or in black space, and he would make no distance as the ground opened up and the clown came out of the ground hugging him with the pryless grip of eight arms.  He would then wake up amid screams and a tearful hatted clown staring somberly down at him from the wall where it was hung.  Night made him fear the Clown painting more;  that ghost white make-up decorating around the eyes and mouth seeming to form another painting in entirety.  He could only look at the painting after a while when the lights were on, and the wet looking painting was mostly orange from the skin, neck, and forearms of the hat wearing clown.  But the painting is gone now, and the magnificent light display of the tank is there now.  

                Sake pulled out the fish food, all the fish bestirred in anticipation of being fed.  The only time they would all come together; and that was to mumble the bits of falling flakes: a chomp from the Clown, a pucker from the Hoomah, the fast mumble of the Tang, and the dainty chew of the Damsel.  The Queen Angelfish would stay near the bottom, and kiss a flake over and over.   She would not deign herself to go into a friendly frenzy like the other fish; she stayed calm, yet alluring like a flag dancing rhythmically in the breeze, but never repeating the same move as the wind never repeats the same breeze.  She is the only fish to change colors.  When the grey skies of Mass emit through every portal in the house at the height of its bleakness, her colors would turn more fantastic, perhaps why she is queen.

                 He put his finger in the top of the watery world; the warmth was felt all the way up his arm.  After feeding, his favorite thing to do was to trace his finger on the top of the warm water and have the Damsel follow it. She loved it, it was her only time to dance, for the Clown would descend down in somewhat fear ( or annoyance) of the boys finger, and the Damsel and he would dance.  The boy, thought that extraordinary.

                     Sake bedded down that night, to his usual watery world of his room.  The reflective waves running down the walls like seagulls of light, with the rhythmic gurgling sound and it's occasional splash of the Clown, or the Hoomah swooping into the pebbly bottom to scoop up some pebbles for spitting making the sound "ccchhhhh" --cachinging  like a distant underwater register.  The tank’s nocturne sound was therapeutic to the boy.

                      Among waking up, and being greeted by his sparkling treasure tank--that was always of the faintest light in the morning due to the grey skies of Mass coming through every portal to lessen the tropical spectrum-- the boy would render his salutations " Good morning my Hoomah.....good morning Tang, my Damsel, and your majesty Queen Angel.....and so forth.  Until the scream would come to get him, and he would walk briskly past the empty room and the looming family pictures of strangers.  His mother put him to work that day, to "pay for the fish tank" but really to buy her a new cocktail dress for her nightly forays.  The boy did not care, the tank was his sun, emitting through the bleak skies of Mass, and even if the tank was reduced to a haze by the overcast of his life, it only added a log to the fire that was the tropical world at night, in turn making him welcome the dismal day.
                  On a day, when the overcast was so thick, he felt he could not picture his rectangular orb waiting for him at night. He had trouble remembering what houses to deliver the paper.  He delivered to the same house three times.  Newspapers seemed to disappear in his hands, due to their color relation to the sky.   Leaves were falling from the trees—butterfly like—he went to catch one, he missed--a first. For Sake could walk through dense thorned brambles and avoid every barb, as a knight in combat or someone’s whose heart felt the painful sting of the barb before.  He would stand under a tree in late fall, and roll around to avoid every falling leaf, and pierce them to the ground deftly with a stick fashioned as a sword.  He could slither between snow flakes, almost like a fish nimbly avoiding small flakes.  
                  After he finished his paper-route , he went to his usual spot under an oak tree to fence with falling leaves.  As the other boys walked by and poked fun he would stall his imagination, and look to the brown landscape of the dry fall.  The crisp brown leaves of the trees were sword shapes to him.  He held the battle ax shape of the oak leaf over his eye held up by the stick it was pierced through, and spied the woodline through the sinus of the oak leaf lobe.  The brown white speckled scenery, were all trying to hide behind eachother by blending in bleakfully; he pretended the leaf was Hector’s helmet from the Illiad—donned over his eyes.
“ Whatchya doing Sake?” asked a young girl named Summer.  Sake only mumbled something nervously and stood there.  And a pretty Summer passed on after Sake once again denied himself of her pretty company.  He looked to the woodline again, a mist was now concealing the tall apical trees.  It now looked like the brown woodland was not trying to retreat behind eachother in fall concealment, but trying to emerge forth out of the greyness to say "save us."

“ Damgf” he uttered, and could not even grasp a word correctly.  His head lifted to the sky repeatedly, there was no orb, and the shadows were looming larger than ever; fractioned shadows from tree branches were forming scythes all over the ground.
             He entered the large shadow that was his front door, into the house that rose high into the sky, with the simplicity of Stonehenge.  He climbed the rickety petrified stairs and went down the hall.  Grey light had spotlighted every frame on the wall.  He looked into the empty room, nothingness, then his room, the tank seemed at its faintest, and it was nearing twilight.  He walked past the tank to look out the w
Helena Feb 2019
forsake me, anemone
forsake me
I´ll paint every other
flower red
while you stain away my tears

forsake me, anemone
forsake me
you never gave me permission
to only find God in you
you´re not to blame

the sun´s dull filter
a heart next to her name
so I´m drunk
with his saliva
on my face
(your hand
like an invisible string)
forsake me anemone
forsake me
It is full summer now, the heart of June;
Not yet the sunburnt reapers are astir
Upon the upland meadow where too soon
Rich autumn time, the season’s usurer,
Will lend his hoarded gold to all the trees,
And see his treasure scattered by the wild and spendthrift breeze.

Too soon indeed! yet here the daffodil,
That love-child of the Spring, has lingered on
To vex the rose with jealousy, and still
The harebell spreads her azure pavilion,
And like a strayed and wandering reveller
Abandoned of its brothers, whom long since June’s messenger

The missel-thrush has frighted from the glade,
One pale narcissus loiters fearfully
Close to a shadowy nook, where half afraid
Of their own loveliness some violets lie
That will not look the gold sun in the face
For fear of too much splendour,—ah! methinks it is a place

Which should be trodden by Persephone
When wearied of the flowerless fields of Dis!
Or danced on by the lads of Arcady!
The hidden secret of eternal bliss
Known to the Grecian here a man might find,
Ah! you and I may find it now if Love and Sleep be kind.

There are the flowers which mourning Herakles
Strewed on the tomb of Hylas, columbine,
Its white doves all a-flutter where the breeze
Kissed them too harshly, the small celandine,
That yellow-kirtled chorister of eve,
And lilac lady’s-smock,—but let them bloom alone, and leave

Yon spired hollyhock red-crocketed
To sway its silent chimes, else must the bee,
Its little bellringer, go seek instead
Some other pleasaunce; the anemone
That weeps at daybreak, like a silly girl
Before her love, and hardly lets the butterflies unfurl

Their painted wings beside it,—bid it pine
In pale virginity; the winter snow
Will suit it better than those lips of thine
Whose fires would but scorch it, rather go
And pluck that amorous flower which blooms alone,
Fed by the pander wind with dust of kisses not its own.

The trumpet-mouths of red convolvulus
So dear to maidens, creamy meadow-sweet
Whiter than Juno’s throat and odorous
As all Arabia, hyacinths the feet
Of Huntress Dian would be loth to mar
For any dappled fawn,—pluck these, and those fond flowers which
are

Fairer than what Queen Venus trod upon
Beneath the pines of Ida, eucharis,
That morning star which does not dread the sun,
And budding marjoram which but to kiss
Would sweeten Cytheraea’s lips and make
Adonis jealous,—these for thy head,—and for thy girdle take

Yon curving spray of purple clematis
Whose gorgeous dye outflames the Tyrian King,
And foxgloves with their nodding chalices,
But that one narciss which the startled Spring
Let from her kirtle fall when first she heard
In her own woods the wild tempestuous song of summer’s bird,

Ah! leave it for a subtle memory
Of those sweet tremulous days of rain and sun,
When April laughed between her tears to see
The early primrose with shy footsteps run
From the gnarled oak-tree roots till all the wold,
Spite of its brown and trampled leaves, grew bright with shimmering
gold.

Nay, pluck it too, it is not half so sweet
As thou thyself, my soul’s idolatry!
And when thou art a-wearied at thy feet
Shall oxlips weave their brightest tapestry,
For thee the woodbine shall forget its pride
And veil its tangled whorls, and thou shalt walk on daisies pied.

And I will cut a reed by yonder spring
And make the wood-gods jealous, and old Pan
Wonder what young intruder dares to sing
In these still haunts, where never foot of man
Should tread at evening, lest he chance to spy
The marble limbs of Artemis and all her company.

And I will tell thee why the jacinth wears
Such dread embroidery of dolorous moan,
And why the hapless nightingale forbears
To sing her song at noon, but weeps alone
When the fleet swallow sleeps, and rich men feast,
And why the laurel trembles when she sees the lightening east.

And I will sing how sad Proserpina
Unto a grave and gloomy Lord was wed,
And lure the silver-breasted Helena
Back from the lotus meadows of the dead,
So shalt thou see that awful loveliness
For which two mighty Hosts met fearfully in war’s abyss!

And then I’ll pipe to thee that Grecian tale
How Cynthia loves the lad Endymion,
And hidden in a grey and misty veil
Hies to the cliffs of Latmos once the Sun
Leaps from his ocean bed in fruitless chase
Of those pale flying feet which fade away in his embrace.

And if my flute can breathe sweet melody,
We may behold Her face who long ago
Dwelt among men by the AEgean sea,
And whose sad house with pillaged portico
And friezeless wall and columns toppled down
Looms o’er the ruins of that fair and violet cinctured town.

Spirit of Beauty! tarry still awhile,
They are not dead, thine ancient votaries;
Some few there are to whom thy radiant smile
Is better than a thousand victories,
Though all the nobly slain of Waterloo
Rise up in wrath against them! tarry still, there are a few

Who for thy sake would give their manlihood
And consecrate their being; I at least
Have done so, made thy lips my daily food,
And in thy temples found a goodlier feast
Than this starved age can give me, spite of all
Its new-found creeds so sceptical and so dogmatical.

Here not Cephissos, not Ilissos flows,
The woods of white Colonos are not here,
On our bleak hills the olive never blows,
No simple priest conducts his lowing steer
Up the steep marble way, nor through the town
Do laughing maidens bear to thee the crocus-flowered gown.

Yet tarry! for the boy who loved thee best,
Whose very name should be a memory
To make thee linger, sleeps in silent rest
Beneath the Roman walls, and melody
Still mourns her sweetest lyre; none can play
The lute of Adonais:  with his lips Song passed away.

Nay, when Keats died the Muses still had left
One silver voice to sing his threnody,
But ah! too soon of it we were bereft
When on that riven night and stormy sea
Panthea claimed her singer as her own,
And slew the mouth that praised her; since which time we walk
alone,

Save for that fiery heart, that morning star
Of re-arisen England, whose clear eye
Saw from our tottering throne and waste of war
The grand Greek limbs of young Democracy
Rise mightily like Hesperus and bring
The great Republic! him at least thy love hath taught to sing,

And he hath been with thee at Thessaly,
And seen white Atalanta fleet of foot
In passionless and fierce virginity
Hunting the tusked boar, his honied lute
Hath pierced the cavern of the hollow hill,
And Venus laughs to know one knee will bow before her still.

And he hath kissed the lips of Proserpine,
And sung the Galilaean’s requiem,
That wounded forehead dashed with blood and wine
He hath discrowned, the Ancient Gods in him
Have found their last, most ardent worshipper,
And the new Sign grows grey and dim before its conqueror.

Spirit of Beauty! tarry with us still,
It is not quenched the torch of poesy,
The star that shook above the Eastern hill
Holds unassailed its argent armoury
From all the gathering gloom and fretful fight—
O tarry with us still! for through the long and common night,

Morris, our sweet and simple Chaucer’s child,
Dear heritor of Spenser’s tuneful reed,
With soft and sylvan pipe has oft beguiled
The weary soul of man in troublous need,
And from the far and flowerless fields of ice
Has brought fair flowers to make an earthly paradise.

We know them all, Gudrun the strong men’s bride,
Aslaug and Olafson we know them all,
How giant Grettir fought and Sigurd died,
And what enchantment held the king in thrall
When lonely Brynhild wrestled with the powers
That war against all passion, ah! how oft through summer hours,

Long listless summer hours when the noon
Being enamoured of a damask rose
Forgets to journey westward, till the moon
The pale usurper of its tribute grows
From a thin sickle to a silver shield
And chides its loitering car—how oft, in some cool grassy field

Far from the cricket-ground and noisy eight,
At Bagley, where the rustling bluebells come
Almost before the blackbird finds a mate
And overstay the swallow, and the hum
Of many murmuring bees flits through the leaves,
Have I lain poring on the dreamy tales his fancy weaves,

And through their unreal woes and mimic pain
Wept for myself, and so was purified,
And in their simple mirth grew glad again;
For as I sailed upon that pictured tide
The strength and splendour of the storm was mine
Without the storm’s red ruin, for the singer is divine;

The little laugh of water falling down
Is not so musical, the clammy gold
Close hoarded in the tiny waxen town
Has less of sweetness in it, and the old
Half-withered reeds that waved in Arcady
Touched by his lips break forth again to fresher harmony.

Spirit of Beauty, tarry yet awhile!
Although the cheating merchants of the mart
With iron roads profane our lovely isle,
And break on whirling wheels the limbs of Art,
Ay! though the crowded factories beget
The blindworm Ignorance that slays the soul, O tarry yet!

For One at least there is,—He bears his name
From Dante and the seraph Gabriel,—
Whose double laurels burn with deathless flame
To light thine altar; He too loves thee well,
Who saw old Merlin lured in Vivien’s snare,
And the white feet of angels coming down the golden stair,

Loves thee so well, that all the World for him
A gorgeous-coloured vestiture must wear,
And Sorrow take a purple diadem,
Or else be no more Sorrow, and Despair
Gild its own thorns, and Pain, like Adon, be
Even in anguish beautiful;—such is the empery

Which Painters hold, and such the heritage
This gentle solemn Spirit doth possess,
Being a better mirror of his age
In all his pity, love, and weariness,
Than those who can but copy common things,
And leave the Soul unpainted with its mighty questionings.

But they are few, and all romance has flown,
And men can prophesy about the sun,
And lecture on his arrows—how, alone,
Through a waste void the soulless atoms run,
How from each tree its weeping nymph has fled,
And that no more ’mid English reeds a Naiad shows her head.

Methinks these new Actaeons boast too soon
That they have spied on beauty; what if we
Have analysed the rainbow, robbed the moon
Of her most ancient, chastest mystery,
Shall I, the last Endymion, lose all hope
Because rude eyes peer at my mistress through a telescope!

What profit if this scientific age
Burst through our gates with all its retinue
Of modern miracles!  Can it assuage
One lover’s breaking heart? what can it do
To make one life more beautiful, one day
More godlike in its period? but now the Age of Clay

Returns in horrid cycle, and the earth
Hath borne again a noisy progeny
Of ignorant Titans, whose ungodly birth
Hurls them against the august hierarchy
Which sat upon Olympus; to the Dust
They have appealed, and to that barren arbiter they must

Repair for judgment; let them, if they can,
From Natural Warfare and insensate Chance,
Create the new Ideal rule for man!
Methinks that was not my inheritance;
For I was nurtured otherwise, my soul
Passes from higher heights of life to a more supreme goal.

Lo! while we spake the earth did turn away
Her visage from the God, and Hecate’s boat
Rose silver-laden, till the jealous day
Blew all its torches out:  I did not note
The waning hours, to young Endymions
Time’s palsied fingers count in vain his rosary of suns!

Mark how the yellow iris wearily
Leans back its throat, as though it would be kissed
By its false chamberer, the dragon-fly,
Who, like a blue vein on a girl’s white wrist,
Sleeps on that snowy primrose of the night,
Which ‘gins to flush with crimson shame, and die beneath the light.

Come let us go, against the pallid shield
Of the wan sky the almond blossoms gleam,
The corncrake nested in the unmown field
Answers its mate, across the misty stream
On fitful wing the startled curlews fly,
And in his sedgy bed the lark, for joy that Day is nigh,

Scatters the pearled dew from off the grass,
In tremulous ecstasy to greet the sun,
Who soon in gilded panoply will pass
Forth from yon orange-curtained pavilion
Hung in the burning east:  see, the red rim
O’ertops the expectant hills! it is the God! for love of him

Already the shrill lark is out of sight,
Flooding with waves of song this silent dell,—
Ah! there is something more in that bird’s flight
Than could be tested in a crucible!—
But the air freshens, let us go, why soon
The woodmen will be here; how we have lived this night of June!
King Panda Mar 2016
I laid an anemone
on the mask of a crying girl
the young mother
the crouching woman
I am beautiful
says the sirens
says the ever-youthful vegetation
of God

I mixed my blood and nectar
on the mask of a dying man
the decay of kiss
the resurrection
I am beautiful
says the anemone
says Adonis in his grave

I burned their leaf-stems
on the mask of an artist
the eternal springtime
the life-death-rebirth deity
I am beautiful
says the martyr
says girl as she wakes
to the sirens

I am beautiful
says the head on the platter
I am beautiful

and the woman descends
the bronze invading
the bronze high-handed
the bronze opening
to the gates of hell
Charles Schubert Sep 2015
Cold and closed, each green
tidal lull lingers over rocks.

A line of pelicans heads home.
Before you arrived, days passed slower.

Th salt-grass, the anemone
blossom in cycles set up by the moon.

I wait like a spring tide.
Photos will prove changes

happen in increments.
Birds wait for sand *****,

limpets, littoral fish.
You practice naming each in order.
Grahame Jun 2014
’Twas in the nineteen-twenties, when young people were bright and gay,
A flapper left Southampton, on a cruiser bound for Bombay.
Her fiancé was a subaltern, in India, in the cavalry,
And she had taken passage there, intending, him to marry.

She shared a cabin with a girl, ’cause money was quite tight,
And though they had met as strangers, they were getting on all right.
The flapper had met some nice people, and things were going fine,
Until they reached the equator, and had to ‘cross the line’.

People who before, had never the equator crossed,
Paraded around in fancy dress, and some into the pool were tossed.
The crew were dressed as pirates, and one as King Neptune,
And some of the passengers ‘walked the plank’, it was all done in fun.

During the proceedings, cocktails and champagne were drunk,
And the pirates, lots of passengers, into the pool did dunk.
The flapper’s chosen costume was that of a mermaid,
And with her legs placed in the tail, she hopped in the parade.

Because of her restricting costume, she hadn’t been tossed in the pool,
Now eventime was coming on, the air was turning cool.
She thought she’d look at the wake of the ship, so she hopped to the after-rail,
And stood there drinking a Planter’s Punch, whilst balancing on her tail.

Standing there, under the stars, she gazed down at the sea,
And saw something jump out of the water and wondered what it could be.
Then, leaning over further, to try to make it out,
She lost her balance and fell overboard, no time to even shout.

She crashed to the water on her front, and couldn’t clearly think.
She was winded and rather drunk, because of all the drink.
She struggled hard to keep afloat, her arms were all a-flail,
And for a time she was helped by air trapped in the tail.

Back on board the ship, her cabin-mate was drunk,
And didn’t think that she’d be able to get back to her bunk.
She went to a saloon, and stretched out on a sofa,
Then closed her eyes and went to sleep, the drunken little loafer.

In the morning she awoke and staggered to her berth,
With a frightful headache, no longer full of mirth.
She took some Alka Seltzer, in a glass of water,
Then slept again, not missing the flapper, although she should have ought to.

In the sea the flapper was floundering and thought that drowned she’d be.
The ship showed no sign of turning back, and went on its way steadily.
Her tail was slowly losing air and filling up with sea,
Her last thoughts, as she started to sink, were, “Why is this happening to me?”

Her past life flashed before her eyes, it didn’t take too long.
She’d really led a quiet life, and had done nothing wrong.
“That, I’ll rectify,” she thought, “if ever I get back.”
Then the air bubbled out of her lungs, and everything went black.

“Am I in heaven?” were her first thoughts, assuming she was dead.
When she heard a quiet voice, which unto her, it said
“I thought you were a mermaid, now I think you’re a mortal,
If I’d known, I never would have brought you through my portal.”

The flapper struggled to sit up straight, ’cause her legs were still in the tail.
She opened her eyes, tried to see in the gloom, and then she started to wail.
“Please tell me just where I am, whatever is this place?”
Then she tried hard not to scream, when in front of her eyes loomed a face.

In the dark it seemed to glow with a phosphorescent light,
And this was the reason it had given her such an awful fright.
Then, as she scrutinised it, she thought it did look kind,
So asked, “Why did you think me a mermaid? Are you out of your mind?”

The face moved back and regarded her, and then to her it said,
“Aren’t you at all curious to find you are not dead?
Luckily for you I was on the surface, looking at your ship,
When I saw you standing staring down, and then I saw you slip.”

“I swam back under the water, so I would not be seen,
And heard you splashing in the water, and wondered what it did mean.
Then, looking at you from beneath, as you your arms did flail,
I saw to my surprise, that instead of legs, you’d a tail!”

“I could not work out why a mermaid was on that boat,
Nor why you seemed to not be able to swim or even float.
Then you started sinking and your gills I couldn’t see,
And you obviously weren’t breathing, so you needed help from me.”

“Then I thought of the quickest way that your life I could save.
I towed you to the sea-bed, and brought you to my cave.
There is lots of air in here and I saw to my relief,
When I laid you on my bed, you started then to breathe.”

The flapper was quite shocked at this and couldn’t believe her ears.
She thought she was trapped with a lunatic and her mind was filled with fears.
So sitting up, she undid the belt that held her tail on tight,
Then wiggled a bit and pulled it off so her legs were now in sight.

“There are no such things as mermaids!” the flapper then did shout.
“Why are you keeping me captive? Oh won’t you let me out?”
“You really are then human,” the mermaid, startled, said,
“And I brought you here inside my home! I really feel afraid.”

“I don’t believe in mermaids,” the flapper again did wail.
“So far I’ve only seen your face, I haven’t seen a tail.”
The mermaid said, with trembling voice, “If that is what you wish.”
She then lay back upon the bed, and gave her tail a swish.

“No, no, it’s just your fancy dress, like mine for the parade,”
The flapper said, and like the mermaid, she was sore afraid.
They both sat up and looked at each other,  tears running down their faces,
And each, feeling sorry for the other, each, the other embraces.

As they hugged together, they started to calm down,
And the flapper said to the mermaid, “I think that you have shown
Great compassion in saving me and bringing me safely here.”
And though overcome by emotion, she managed to sound sincere.

The mermaid said, “You’re trembling, may I be so bold
As to ask if you’re still frightened?” The flapper said, “I’m cold.
I’m shivering to warm myself, my clothes are chilly and wet.”
The mermaid told her, “I know what, some dry clothes I will get.”

Sliding down from off the bed, into a pool she slipped,
And swam to the far side of the cave, and there a case she gripped.
Rolling over onto her back, she balanced it on her chest,
Then swam back to the flapper, who hoped it hadn’t squashed her breast.

The flapper helped to lift the heavy case onto the bed.
“I hope you haven’t hurt yourself bringing it here,” she said.
“Oh no,” replied the mermaid, “I’m stronger than I look,”
Then she opened it, and from the inside, several garments took.

The flapper then looked thoughtful and said, with a little frown,
“I hope this case hasn’t come from someone who did drown.”
“Oh no!” said the mermaid, as she that thought abhored,
“I often find stuff from ships that has fallen overboard.”

The flapper quickly then took off all her sodden clothes,
And picked up a lace hankie, and on it blew her nose.
She dried herself upon a towel, and sorting out clothes to wear,
Picked out some silken knickers and a strapless brassiere.

Then the flapper noticed that the mermaid was quite bare.
She obviously wouldn’t wear knickers, so she held out the brassiere.
“What is that?” the mermaid asked, “Do you wear it on your head?”
“Turn around, lift up your arms and I’ll show you,” the flapper said.

The mermaid swivelled round and raised her arms up high,
While the flapper knelt behind her, putting her arms round her to try
To fit her with the brassiere, and though she did her best,
She managed, inadvertently, in each hand to clasp a breast.

The flapper and the mermaid both froze there in that place.
The flapper felt a crimson flush, blush across her face.
The mermaid slowly lowered her arms, each covered a flapper’s hand,
And she murmured, “What are you doing? I just don’t understand.”

The flapper’s arms were locked in place and the mermaid she leant back.
The flapper felt her ***** flattened as the mermaid squashed her rack.
The mermaid muttered, “Don’t get dressed, I’ve a better idea instead.
Why don’t we lie down together? I’ll warm you up in bed.”

The mermaid released the flapper’s hands and slowly turned around.
Then she saw the flapper’s eyes looking down upon the ground.
The flapper spoke. “I know you meant the offer kindly, though
While I’m really flattered, in India, I’ve a beau.”

“I was on my way to meet him at Bombay, to be married.
I’d still be on my way there, if the cruise had not miscarried.
You have been so kind to me and managed to save my life,
Now will you help me on my way so I can be a wife?”

The mermaid looked unhappy, however, she concurred,
Albeit quite reluctantly, and then spoke so she’d be heard,
“I will try to help you, though yet we must delay.
There will be many sharks outside at this time of day.”

“If I take you outside now, to try to get you back,
There’s a real chance that the sharks they will attack.
Why don’t you finish drying yourself and find clothes to get dressed,
Then lie back down upon the bed and try to get some rest?”

The flapper started dressing and put on the brassiere,
And helped the mermaid put one on, who felt awkward not being bare.
When the flapper stood up, and stepped into the knickers,
The mermaid couldn’t help but stare, her eyes made up-and-down flickers.

“Please show me how you use your legs,” the mermaid did implore,
“It’s strange to see you standing up,  not lying on the floor.”
The flapper bent and stretched her knees to show how they did work.
Then turned around and squatted down and got her *** to twerk.

Then as the flapper, legs apart, upon the bed did kneel,
The mermaid, stretching out her arm, between those legs did feel.
And then very slowly, rubbed her hand forth and back,
And murmured, “It must feel very strange, because a tail you lack.”

The flapper, with a quavering voice, said, “It’s quite normal for me.
Now, though, what about you? May I your tail closely see?”
And with that, the flapper stretched out flat upon the bed,
Then on the mermaid’s tail, gently rested her head.

She put her hand upon the tail and stroked it up and down,
And feeling it crissate, gave a little frown.
It felt smooth when caressed downwards and rough the other way,
And then the mermaid arched her back and suddenly did spray.

From somewhere at the tail’s front squirted forth a spout.
That the mermaid did enjoy it, the flapper was not in doubt.
The liquid jet subsided and the mermaid gave a moan,
And a quite delightful odour suffused throughout the room.

The fluid showered the flapper, who wasn’t sure what to do.
Though when she wiped her hair, it foamed up like shampoo.
She rubbed it to a lather, and washed her body too,
And felt totally refreshed, as though she had washed in dew.

She stood, removed her underwear, because she thought she ought to
Rinse off the mermaid’s glorious shower by washing in some water.
She walked to a fissure in the cave where the water ran down in rills,
And as she rinsed her face and neck, she felt a pair of gills.

In shock she stumbled backwards and fell upon the floor,
Where her legs fused into a tail, which wasn’t there before.
She looked at it in horror and then with fear she cried,
When instantly, the mermaid lay down by her side.

The mermaid clasped her in her arms and rolling across the floor,
Pulled the flapper to the edge of the pool and pushed her in, before
Sliding in to the water herself, and pulling the flapper under,
Where, to her surprise, the flapper could breathe, it really was a wonder.

The flapper hung suspended, floating there in shock,
Then gradually realising she was all right, started to take stock.
Thinking that now, perhaps, she could swim just like a fish,
She gathered up her strength, and gave her tail a swish.

Unwittingly, she flapped her tail with all the strength she’d got,
And happening to be facing the cave door, right through it she shot.
Then coming out in daylight, she stared in disbelief
At all the spectacular marine life round about the reef.

There was coral in profusion, as far as the eye could see,
Of many shapes and colours, like a garden beautifully
Laid out on the sea-bed, with fishes swimming round,
Each of them making it their home; the sea-life did really abound.

The mermaid caught up with the flapper and took her by the hand,
Then said to her, “I’m confused, I just don’t understand
How you became a mermaid, then I saw you couldn’t breathe,
So I pushed you underwater, to try to give you ease.”

“I realised that you’d grown gills and couldn’t breathe in air,
So I thought that being in water was best, because it’s where
We mermaids live, so that is the place you had better be.”
“Thank you, you’ve saved my life again,” said the flapper gratefully.

Then, although still puzzled, they swam on, hand-in-hand,
The mermaid helping the flapper, ’til she could understand
How to use her tail well, to control where she did swim,
And to make fine adjustments, by using the tail’s fin.

Eventually the flapper grew tired, so to the cave they both swam back,
The flapper taking the lead, because she’d got the knack
Of how to control her tail, and adjust direction and speed,
Then a thought suddenly struck her, in air, her lungs she would need.

They reached the cave and while in the pool, the flapper to the mermaid said,
“How am I going to breathe back in air? I can’t get it into my head.”
The mermaid replied, “I think you should try, we mermaids can manage ok.
Just try to do what comes naturally, that will be the best way.”

“In for a penny, in for a pound,” bravely declared the flapper.
She hauled herself out, then she choked, the mermaid, on her back did slap her.
The flapper coughed, and gave a gasp, then shouted in relief,
“I think I’m going to be all right, my lungs have started to breathe.”

They both lay there in silence, thinking of what had passed.
Then the flapper turned to the mermaid, and she said, “These last
Few hours I’ve spent with you have been just like a dream.
Now I’m tired, shall we go to bed? I think you know what I mean!”

They pulled themselves into the bed, and together they did huddle.
The mermaid put her arms round the flapper and together they did cuddle.
And this time, as the two of them laid together in rest,
It was now the mermaid who cupped the flapper’s breast.

The mermaid asked, “Remember when you stroked my tail and I gushed?”
The flapper felt embarrassed and again on her face she blushed.
The mermaid said, “It was really nice, wouldn’t you like to try?”
The flapper replied, “I’m afraid it’s too late, and here’s the reason why.”

“That would be an experience I’d really like to try.
However, it is too late now, ’cause as my tail got dry,
I felt it metamorphosise, have a feel, I beg.”
The mermaid reached down with her hand, and felt the flapper’s leg.

Nevertheless, she stroked it, and rubbed it up and down,
And accidentally touched some hair, which caused her then to frown.
“I think you’ve got a problem, you’d best hear it from me.
Stuck between your legs, I think there’s a sea anemone.”

The flapper remembered the last time that the mermaid there had felt.
She’d had on silken *******, so had seemed smooth and svelte.
Now, she’d got her legs back which were absolutely bare,
And of course, instead of feeling silk, the mermaid felt her hair.

“That’s not an anemone, in fact, it is my......frizz.
I am used to it being there, that’s just the way it is.
I try to keep it neatly trimmed, so there is not a lot,
Besides, I think it’s there to protect the entrance of my grot.”

“When you say you’ve got a grot, I assume you mean a cave.
Is it as big as this one, holding all the treasures you have?”
The flapper answered the mermaid, “Oh no, it’s very small,
And held safe within it is my most precious possession of all.”

“I have carefully guarded it so that it won’t get lost.
I expect my husband to have it soon, a few weeks at the most.
And so, my dearest mermaid, until I am a bride,
Nobody will ever know just what I keep inside.”

The mermaid gently smoothed the ‘frizz’, and said, “I understand.
Now, don’t you think it’s time we got you back to land?”
I would like to help you, and I think I know a way
Of quickly getting you safely all the way to Bombay.”

“Thank you,” responded the flapper, “however, if we may,
I’d like to go to another port, one before Bombay.
Then, if at all possible, I can rejoin my cruise ship there,
And may I take some of your clothes, so I’m not on
This English Thames is holier far than Rome,
Those harebells like a sudden flush of sea
Breaking across the woodland, with the foam
Of meadow-sweet and white anemone
To fleck their blue waves,—God is likelier there
Than hidden in that crystal-hearted star the pale monks bear!

Those violet-gleaming butterflies that take
Yon creamy lily for their pavilion
Are monsignores, and where the rushes shake
A lazy pike lies basking in the sun,
His eyes half shut,—he is some mitred old
Bishop in partibus! look at those gaudy scales all green and gold.

The wind the restless prisoner of the trees
Does well for Palaestrina, one would say
The mighty master’s hands were on the keys
Of the Maria *****, which they play
When early on some sapphire Easter morn
In a high litter red as blood or sin the Pope is borne

From his dark House out to the Balcony
Above the bronze gates and the crowded square,
Whose very fountains seem for ecstasy
To toss their silver lances in the air,
And stretching out weak hands to East and West
In vain sends peace to peaceless lands, to restless nations rest.

Is not yon lingering orange after-glow
That stays to vex the moon more fair than all
Rome’s lordliest pageants! strange, a year ago
I knelt before some crimson Cardinal
Who bare the Host across the Esquiline,
And now—those common poppies in the wheat seem twice as fine.

The blue-green beanfields yonder, tremulous
With the last shower, sweeter perfume bring
Through this cool evening than the odorous
Flame-jewelled censers the young deacons swing,
When the grey priest unlocks the curtained shrine,
And makes God’s body from the common fruit of corn and vine.

Poor Fra Giovanni bawling at the mass
Were out of tune now, for a small brown bird
Sings overhead, and through the long cool grass
I see that throbbing throat which once I heard
On starlit hills of flower-starred Arcady,
Once where the white and crescent sand of Salamis meets sea.

Sweet is the swallow twittering on the eaves
At daybreak, when the mower whets his scythe,
And stock-doves murmur, and the milkmaid leaves
Her little lonely bed, and carols blithe
To see the heavy-lowing cattle wait
Stretching their huge and dripping mouths across the farmyard gate.

And sweet the hops upon the Kentish leas,
And sweet the wind that lifts the new-mown hay,
And sweet the fretful swarms of grumbling bees
That round and round the linden blossoms play;
And sweet the heifer breathing in the stall,
And the green bursting figs that hang upon the red-brick wall,

And sweet to hear the cuckoo mock the spring
While the last violet loiters by the well,
And sweet to hear the shepherd Daphnis sing
The song of Linus through a sunny dell
Of warm Arcadia where the corn is gold
And the slight lithe-limbed reapers dance about the wattled fold.

And sweet with young Lycoris to recline
In some Illyrian valley far away,
Where canopied on herbs amaracine
We too might waste the summer-tranced day
Matching our reeds in sportive rivalry,
While far beneath us frets the troubled purple of the sea.

But sweeter far if silver-sandalled foot
Of some long-hidden God should ever tread
The Nuneham meadows, if with reeded flute
Pressed to his lips some Faun might raise his head
By the green water-flags, ah! sweet indeed
To see the heavenly herdsman call his white-fleeced flock to feed.

Then sing to me thou tuneful chorister,
Though what thou sing’st be thine own requiem!
Tell me thy tale thou hapless chronicler
Of thine own tragedies! do not contemn
These unfamiliar haunts, this English field,
For many a lovely coronal our northern isle can yield

Which Grecian meadows know not, many a rose
Which all day long in vales AEolian
A lad might seek in vain for over-grows
Our hedges like a wanton courtesan
Unthrifty of its beauty; lilies too
Ilissos never mirrored star our streams, and cockles blue

Dot the green wheat which, though they are the signs
For swallows going south, would never spread
Their azure tents between the Attic vines;
Even that little **** of ragged red,
Which bids the robin pipe, in Arcady
Would be a trespasser, and many an unsung elegy

Sleeps in the reeds that fringe our winding Thames
Which to awake were sweeter ravishment
Than ever Syrinx wept for; diadems
Of brown bee-studded orchids which were meant
For Cytheraea’s brows are hidden here
Unknown to Cytheraea, and by yonder pasturing steer

There is a tiny yellow daffodil,
The butterfly can see it from afar,
Although one summer evening’s dew could fill
Its little cup twice over ere the star
Had called the lazy shepherd to his fold
And be no prodigal; each leaf is flecked with spotted gold

As if Jove’s gorgeous leman Danae
Hot from his gilded arms had stooped to kiss
The trembling petals, or young Mercury
Low-flying to the dusky ford of Dis
Had with one feather of his pinions
Just brushed them! the slight stem which bears the burden of its suns

Is hardly thicker than the gossamer,
Or poor Arachne’s silver tapestry,—
Men say it bloomed upon the sepulchre
Of One I sometime worshipped, but to me
It seems to bring diviner memories
Of faun-loved Heliconian glades and blue nymph-haunted seas,

Of an untrodden vale at Tempe where
On the clear river’s marge Narcissus lies,
The tangle of the forest in his hair,
The silence of the woodland in his eyes,
Wooing that drifting imagery which is
No sooner kissed than broken; memories of Salmacis

Who is not boy nor girl and yet is both,
Fed by two fires and unsatisfied
Through their excess, each passion being loth
For love’s own sake to leave the other’s side
Yet killing love by staying; memories
Of Oreads peeping through the leaves of silent moonlit trees,

Of lonely Ariadne on the wharf
At Naxos, when she saw the treacherous crew
Far out at sea, and waved her crimson scarf
And called false Theseus back again nor knew
That Dionysos on an amber pard
Was close behind her; memories of what Maeonia’s bard

With sightless eyes beheld, the wall of Troy,
Queen Helen lying in the ivory room,
And at her side an amorous red-lipped boy
Trimming with dainty hand his helmet’s plume,
And far away the moil, the shout, the groan,
As Hector shielded off the spear and Ajax hurled the stone;

Of winged Perseus with his flawless sword
Cleaving the snaky tresses of the witch,
And all those tales imperishably stored
In little Grecian urns, freightage more rich
Than any gaudy galleon of Spain
Bare from the Indies ever! these at least bring back again,

For well I know they are not dead at all,
The ancient Gods of Grecian poesy:
They are asleep, and when they hear thee call
Will wake and think ‘t is very Thessaly,
This Thames the Daulian waters, this cool glade
The yellow-irised mead where once young Itys laughed and played.

If it was thou dear jasmine-cradled bird
Who from the leafy stillness of thy throne
Sang to the wondrous boy, until he heard
The horn of Atalanta faintly blown
Across the Cumnor hills, and wandering
Through Bagley wood at evening found the Attic poets’ spring,—

Ah! tiny sober-suited advocate
That pleadest for the moon against the day!
If thou didst make the shepherd seek his mate
On that sweet questing, when Proserpina
Forgot it was not Sicily and leant
Across the mossy Sandford stile in ravished wonderment,—

Light-winged and bright-eyed miracle of the wood!
If ever thou didst soothe with melody
One of that little clan, that brotherhood
Which loved the morning-star of Tuscany
More than the perfect sun of Raphael
And is immortal, sing to me! for I too love thee well.

Sing on! sing on! let the dull world grow young,
Let elemental things take form again,
And the old shapes of Beauty walk among
The simple garths and open crofts, as when
The son of Leto bare the willow rod,
And the soft sheep and shaggy goats followed the boyish God.

Sing on! sing on! and Bacchus will be here
Astride upon his gorgeous Indian throne,
And over whimpering tigers shake the spear
With yellow ivy crowned and gummy cone,
While at his side the wanton Bassarid
Will throw the lion by the mane and catch the mountain kid!

Sing on! and I will wear the leopard skin,
And steal the mooned wings of Ashtaroth,
Upon whose icy chariot we could win
Cithaeron in an hour ere the froth
Has over-brimmed the wine-vat or the Faun
Ceased from the treading! ay, before the flickering lamp of dawn

Has scared the hooting owlet to its nest,
And warned the bat to close its filmy vans,
Some Maenad girl with vine-leaves on her breast
Will filch their beech-nuts from the sleeping Pans
So softly that the little nested thrush
Will never wake, and then with shrilly laugh and leap will rush

Down the green valley where the fallen dew
Lies thick beneath the elm and count her store,
Till the brown Satyrs in a jolly crew
Trample the loosestrife down along the shore,
And where their horned master sits in state
Bring strawberries and bloomy plums upon a wicker crate!

Sing on! and soon with passion-wearied face
Through the cool leaves Apollo’s lad will come,
The Tyrian prince his bristled boar will chase
Adown the chestnut-copses all a-bloom,
And ivory-limbed, grey-eyed, with look of pride,
After yon velvet-coated deer the ****** maid will ride.

Sing on! and I the dying boy will see
Stain with his purple blood the waxen bell
That overweighs the jacinth, and to me
The wretched Cyprian her woe will tell,
And I will kiss her mouth and streaming eyes,
And lead her to the myrtle-hidden grove where Adon lies!

Cry out aloud on Itys! memory
That foster-brother of remorse and pain
Drops poison in mine ear,—O to be free,
To burn one’s old ships! and to launch again
Into the white-plumed battle of the waves
And fight old Proteus for the spoil of coral-flowered caves!

O for Medea with her poppied spell!
O for the secret of the Colchian shrine!
O for one leaf of that pale asphodel
Which binds the tired brows of Proserpine,
And sheds such wondrous dews at eve that she
Dreams of the fields of Enna, by the far Sicilian sea,

Where oft the golden-girdled bee she chased
From lily to lily on the level mead,
Ere yet her sombre Lord had bid her taste
The deadly fruit of that pomegranate seed,
Ere the black steeds had harried her away
Down to the faint and flowerless land, the sick and sunless day.

O for one midnight and as paramour
The Venus of the little Melian farm!
O that some antique statue for one hour
Might wake to passion, and that I could charm
The Dawn at Florence from its dumb despair,
Mix with those mighty limbs and make that giant breast my lair!

Sing on! sing on!  I would be drunk with life,
Drunk with the trampled vintage of my youth,
I would forget the wearying wasted strife,
The riven veil, the Gorgon eyes of Truth,
The prayerless vigil and the cry for prayer,
The barren gifts, the lifted arms, the dull insensate air!

Sing on! sing on!  O feathered Niobe,
Thou canst make sorrow beautiful, and steal
From joy its sweetest music, not as we
Who by dead voiceless silence strive to heal
Our too untented wounds, and do but keep
Pain barricadoed in our hearts, and ****** pillowed sleep.

Sing louder yet, why must I still behold
The wan white face of that deserted Christ,
Whose bleeding hands my hands did once enfold,
Whose smitten lips my lips so oft have kissed,
And now in mute and marble misery
Sits in his lone dishonoured House and weeps, perchance for me?

O Memory cast down thy wreathed shell!
Break thy hoarse lute O sad Melpomene!
O Sorrow, Sorrow keep thy cloistered cell
Nor dim with tears this limpid Castaly!
Cease, Philomel, thou dost the forest wrong
To vex its sylvan quiet with such wild impassioned song!

Cease, cease, or if ‘t is anguish to be dumb
Take from the pastoral thrush her simpler air,
Whose jocund carelessness doth more become
This English woodland than thy keen despair,
Ah! cease and let the north wind bear thy lay
Back to the rocky hills of Thrace, the stormy Daulian bay.

A moment more, the startled leaves had stirred,
Endymion would have passed across the mead
Moonstruck with love, and this still Thames had heard
Pan plash and paddle groping for some reed
To lure from her blue cave that Naiad maid
Who for such piping listens half in joy and half afraid.

A moment more, the waking dove had cooed,
The silver daughter of the silver sea
With the fond gyves of clinging hands had wooed
Her wanton from the chase, and Dryope
Had ****** aside the branches of her oak
To see the ***** gold-haired lad rein in his snorting yoke.

A moment more, the trees had stooped to kiss
Pale Daphne just awakening from the swoon
Of tremulous laurels, lonely Salmacis
Had bared his barren beauty to the moon,
And through the vale with sad voluptuous smile
Antinous had wandered, the red lotus of the Nile

Down leaning from his black and clustering hair,
To shade those slumberous eyelids’ caverned bliss,
Or else on yonder grassy ***** with bare
High-tuniced limbs unravished Artemis
Had bade her hounds give tongue, and roused the deer
From his green ambuscade with shrill halloo and pricking spear.

Lie still, lie still, O passionate heart, lie still!
O Melancholy, fold thy raven wing!
O sobbing Dryad, from thy hollow hill
Come not with such despondent answering!
No more thou winged Marsyas complain,
Apollo loveth not to hear such troubled songs of pain!

It was a dream, the glade is tenantless,
No soft Ionian laughter moves the air,
The Thames creeps on in sluggish leadenness,
And from the copse left desolate and bare
Fled is young Bacchus with his revelry,
Yet still from Nuneham wood there comes that thrilling melody

So sad, that one might think a human heart
Brake in each separate note, a quality
Which music sometimes has, being the Art
Which is most nigh to tears and memory;
Poor mourning Philomel, what dost thou fear?
Thy sister doth not haunt these fields, Pandion is not here,

Here is no cruel Lord with murderous blade,
No woven web of ****** heraldries,
But mossy dells for roving comrades made,
Warm valleys where the tired student lies
With half-shut book, and many a winding walk
Where rustic lovers stray at eve in happy simple talk.

The harmless rabbit gambols with its young
Across the trampled towing-path, where late
A troop of laughing boys in jostling throng
Cheered with their noisy cries the racing eight;
The gossamer, with ravelled silver threads,
Works at its little loom, and from the dusky red-eaved sheds

Of the lone Farm a flickering light shines out
Where the swinked shepherd drives his bleating flock
Back to their wattled sheep-cotes, a faint shout
Comes from some Oxford boat at Sandford lock,
And starts the moor-hen from the sedgy rill,
And the dim lengthening shadows flit like swallows up the hill.

The heron passes homeward to the mere,
The blue mist creeps among the shivering trees,
Gold world by world the silent stars appear,
And like a blossom blown before the breeze
A white moon drifts across the shimmering sky,
Mute arbitress of all thy sad, thy rapturous threnody.

She does not heed thee, wherefore should she heed,
She knows Endymion is not far away;
’Tis I, ’tis I, whose soul is as the reed
Which has no message of its own to play,
So pipes another’s bidding, it is I,
Drifting with every wind on the wide sea of misery.

Ah! the brown bird has ceased:  one exquisite trill
About the sombre woodland seems to cling
Dying in music, else the air is still,
So still that one might hear the bat’s small wing
Wander and wheel above the pines, or tell
Each tiny dew-drop dripping from the bluebell’s brimming cell.

And far away across the lengthening wold,
Across the willowy flats and thickets brown,
Magdalen’s tall tower tipped with tremulous gold
Marks the long High Street of the little town,
And warns me to return; I must not wait,
Hark! ’Tis the curfew booming from the bell at Christ Church gate.
You've asked me what the lobster is weaving there with
        his golden feet?
I reply, the ocean knows this.
You say, what is the ascidia waiting for in its transparent
        bell? What is it waiting for?
I tell you it is waiting for time, like you.
You ask me whom the Macrocystis alga hugs in its arms?
Study, study it, at a certain hour, in a certain sea I know.
You question me about the wicked tusk of the narwhal,
        and I reply by describing
how the sea unicorn with the harpoon in it dies.
You enquire about the kingfisher's feathers,
which tremble in the pure springs of the southern tides?
Or you've found in the cards a new question touching on
        the crystal architecture
of the sea anemone, and you'll deal that to me now?
You want to understand the electric nature of the ocean
        spines?
     The armored stalactite that breaks as it walks?
     The hook of the angler fish, the music stretched out
     in the deep places like a thread in the water?
    
     I want to tell you the ocean knows this, that life in its
        jewel boxes
     is endless as the sand, impossible to count, pure,
     and among the blood-colored grapes time has made the
        petal
     hard and shiny, made the jellyfish full of light
     and untied its knot, letting its musical threads fall
     from a horn of plenty made of infinite mother-of-pearl.

     I am nothing but the empty net which has gone on ahead
     of human eyes, dead in those darknesses,
     of fingers accustomed to the triangle, longitudes
     on the timid globe of an orange.

     I walked around as you do, investigating
     the endless star,
     and in my net, during the night, I woke up naked,
     the only thing caught, a fish trapped inside the wind.
Bright vegetables of the sea,
disordered hair, thin arms.

Tubes protrude among vivid coral,
an array of shades against a sapphire canvas.

Wobbly vermilion wires poke out
from under rust-coloured rocks.

A clown swims quick through the middle,
orange in a forest of fingers.

Pink bonbons, candy canes,
an underwater confectionery store.

Some throb with electricity,
small pools of violet light near their homes.

Others ***** rainbows
from deep open mouths.

Waltzing in solitude
as tangerine horses gallop.

More creatures weave past,
realise they are in a multi-hued hug.

Hidden paint splatters,
are they aliens of the deep?
Written: January and March 2013.
Explanation: A poem written in my own time for university. As such, it is a work in progress and is subject to change over the next month or two.
Simon Obirek Jun 2015
When I was around her
she pulled the colour out of space,
tore the fabric apart, left no trace.
I knew her
inside out,
upside down,
forwards and backwards,
she called the shots,
but I shot the calls.

She liked her anemone,
it was her friend to be
it was buried, caught in a sea
of nettles, but she ripped off all the petals
as easily as
time and space itself.
Seán Mac Falls Aug 2012
I remember that day on Mount Tamalpais.
We picnicked under the loving sky
On Bolinas ridge, atop Wicklow hill,
The maiden’s breast.  We found those apple trees,
Who’d gone wild and fell into their world.
A blossom on the way.

I took your picture and you developed into
A sea-horse, or was it a mermaid?  The ridge
Was foaming about you and birds were swimming
Like fish underneath.  We found a tree, an umbrella
Left at the beach.  The coral-grass became our bed
And wine turned into water.

A spiral dance in arms of anemone, it was
All embrace!  That reef was spawning heaven.
At the treasure chest under the sea maiden,
Like children on highland pap, we played
At the beach that day in a castle above the clouds,
Beneath the wave.
*The name Tamalpais was first recorded in 1845. The meaning of the name is not well-established and there are several versions of the etymology of the name. One version holds that the name comes from ostensibly Coast Miwok words for "coast mountain" (tamal pais). Another holds that it comes from the Spanish Tamal pais, meaning "Tamal country," Tamal being the name that the Spanish missionaries gave to the Coast Miwok peoples. Yet another version holds that the name is the Coast Miwok word for "sleeping maiden" and is taken from a "Legend of the Sleeping Maiden."[13][14][15] However, this legend actually has no basis in Coast Miwok myth and is instead a piece of Victorian-era apocrypha.*
The beautiful, the fair, the elegant,
Is that which pleases us, says Kant,
Without a thought of interest or advantage.

I used to watch men when they spoke of beauty
And measure their enthusiasm. One
An old man, seeing a ( ) setting sun,
Praised it ( ) a certain sense of duty
To the calm evening and his time of life.
I know another man that never says a Beauty
But of a horse; ( )

Men seldom speak of beauty, beauty as such,
Not even lovers think about it much.
Women of course consider it for hours
In mirrors; ( )

A shrapnel ball -
Just where the wet skin glistened when he swam -
Like a fully-opened sea-anemone.
We both said 'What a beauty! What a beauty, lad'
I knew that in that flower he saw a hope
Of living on, and seeing again the roses of his home.
Beauty is that which pleases and delights,
Not bringing personal advantage - Kant.
But later on I heard
A canker worked into that crimson flower
And that he sank with it
And laid it with the anemones off Dover
Onion,
luminous flask,
your beauty formed
petal by petal,
crystal scales expanded you
and in the secrecy of the dark earth
your belly grew round with dew.
Under the earth
the miracle
happened
and when your clumsy
green stem appeared,
and your leaves were born
like swords
in the garden,
the earth heaped up her power
showing your naked transparency,
and as the remote sea
in lifting the ******* of Aphrodite
duplicating the magnolia,
so did the earth
make you,
onion
clear as a planet
and destined
to shine,
constant constellation,
round rose of water,
upon
the table
of the poor.

You make us cry without hurting us.
I have praised everything that exists,
but to me, onion, you are
more beautiful than a bird
of dazzling feathers,
heavenly globe, platinum goblet,
unmoving dance
of the snowy anemone

and the fragrance of the earth lives
in your crystalline nature.
Danzel May 2015
Here, the gods did not listen
When you cried
Here, disarmed
Here, fallen
Here, I laid you down
With kisses soft
Until you fell asleep forever

Here, the gods did not listen
When I cried
But I made sure the earth remembered
When you died
Here, in the pool of ichor
I planted my heart in disguise
And blood-red windflowers grew

Here, here and here –
I have loved you
A poem based on the story of Adonis and Aphrodite as told by Ovid in Metamorphoses
(The Dry Salvages—presumably les trois sauvages
      — is a small group of rocks, with a beacon, off the N.E.
      coast of Cape Ann, Massachusetts. Salvages is pronounced
      to rhyme with assuages. Groaner: a whistling buoy.)

I

I do not know much about gods; but I think that the river
Is a strong brown god—sullen, untamed and intractable,
Patient to some degree, at first recognised as a frontier;
Useful, untrustworthy, as a conveyor of commerce;
Then only a problem confronting the builder of bridges.
The problem once solved, the brown god is almost forgotten
By the dwellers in cities—ever, however, implacable.
Keeping his seasons and rages, destroyer, reminder
Of what men choose to forget. Unhonoured, unpropitiated
By worshippers of the machine, but waiting, watching and waiting.
His rhythm was present in the nursery bedroom,
In the rank ailanthus of the April dooryard,
In the smell of grapes on the autumn table,
And the evening circle in the winter gaslight.

The river is within us, the sea is all about us;
The sea is the land’s edge also, the granite
Into which it reaches, the beaches where it tosses
Its hints of earlier and other creation:
The starfish, the horseshoe crab, the whale’s backbone;
The pools where it offers to our curiosity
The more delicate algae and the sea anemone.
It tosses up our losses, the torn seine,
The shattered lobsterpot, the broken oar
And the gear of foreign dead men. The sea has many voices,
Many gods and many voices.
                                       The salt is on the briar rose,
The fog is in the fir trees.
                                       The sea howl
And the sea yelp, are different voices
Often together heard: the whine in the rigging,
The menace and caress of wave that breaks on water,
The distant rote in the granite teeth,
And the wailing warning from the approaching headland
Are all sea voices, and the heaving groaner
Rounded homewards, and the seagull:
And under the oppression of the silent fog
The tolling bell
Measures time not our time, rung by the unhurried
Ground swell, a time
Older than the time of chronometers, older
Than time counted by anxious worried women
Lying awake, calculating the future,
Trying to unweave, unwind, unravel
And piece together the past and the future,
Between midnight and dawn, when the past is all deception,
The future futureless, before the morning watch
When time stops and time is never ending;
And the ground swell, that is and was from the beginning,
Clangs
The bell.

II

Where is there an end of it, the soundless wailing,
The silent withering of autumn flowers
Dropping their petals and remaining motionless;
Where is there and end to the drifting wreckage,
The prayer of the bone on the beach, the unprayable
Prayer at the calamitous annunciation?

There is no end, but addition: the trailing
Consequence of further days and hours,
While emotion takes to itself the emotionless
Years of living among the breakage
Of what was believed in as the most reliable—
And therefore the fittest for renunciation.

There is the final addition, the failing
Pride or resentment at failing powers,
The unattached devotion which might pass for devotionless,
In a drifting boat with a slow leakage,
The silent listening to the undeniable
Clamour of the bell of the last annunciation.

Where is the end of them, the fishermen sailing
Into the wind’s tail, where the fog cowers?
We cannot think of a time that is oceanless
Or of an ocean not littered with wastage
Or of a future that is not liable
Like the past, to have no destination.

We have to think of them as forever bailing,
Setting and hauling, while the North East lowers
Over shallow banks unchanging and erosionless
Or drawing their money, drying sails at dockage;
Not as making a trip that will be unpayable
For a haul that will not bear examination.

There is no end of it, the voiceless wailing,
No end to the withering of withered flowers,
To the movement of pain that is painless and motionless,
To the drift of the sea and the drifting wreckage,
The bone’s prayer to Death its God. Only the hardly, barely prayable
Prayer of the one Annunciation.

It seems, as one becomes older,
That the past has another pattern, and ceases to be a mere sequence—
Or even development: the latter a partial fallacy
Encouraged by superficial notions of evolution,
Which becomes, in the popular mind, a means of disowning the past.
The moments of happiness—not the sense of well-being,
Fruition, fulfilment, security or affection,
Or even a very good dinner, but the sudden illumination—
We had the experience but missed the meaning,
And approach to the meaning restores the experience
In a different form, beyond any meaning
We can assign to happiness. I have said before
That the past experience revived in the meaning
Is not the experience of one life only
But of many generations—not forgetting
Something that is probably quite ineffable:
The backward look behind the assurance
Of recorded history, the backward half-look
Over the shoulder, towards the primitive terror.
Now, we come to discover that the moments of agony
(Whether, or not, due to misunderstanding,
Having hoped for the wrong things or dreaded the wrong things,
Is not in question) are likewise permanent
With such permanence as time has. We appreciate this better
In the agony of others, nearly experienced,
Involving ourselves, than in our own.
For our own past is covered by the currents of action,
But the torment of others remains an experience
Unqualified, unworn by subsequent attrition.
People change, and smile: but the agony abides.
Time the destroyer is time the preserver,
Like the river with its cargo of dead negroes, cows and chicken coops,
The bitter apple, and the bite in the apple.
And the ragged rock in the restless waters,
Waves wash over it, fogs conceal it;
On a halcyon day it is merely a monument,
In navigable weather it is always a seamark
To lay a course by: but in the sombre season
Or the sudden fury, is what it always was.

III

I sometimes wonder if that is what Krishna meant—
Among other things—or one way of putting the same thing:
That the future is a faded song, a Royal Rose or a lavender spray
Of wistful regret for those who are not yet here to regret,
Pressed between yellow leaves of a book that has never been opened.
And the way up is the way down, the way forward is the way back.
You cannot face it steadily, but this thing is sure,
That time is no healer: the patient is no longer here.
When the train starts, and the passengers are settled
To fruit, periodicals and business letters
(And those who saw them off have left the platform)
Their faces relax from grief into relief,
To the sleepy rhythm of a hundred hours.
Fare forward, travellers! not escaping from the past
Into different lives, or into any future;
You are not the same people who left that station
Or who will arrive at any terminus,
While the narrowing rails slide together behind you;
And on the deck of the drumming liner
Watching the furrow that widens behind you,
You shall not think ‘the past is finished’
Or ‘the future is before us’.
At nightfall, in the rigging and the aerial,
Is a voice descanting (though not to the ear,
The murmuring shell of time, and not in any language)
‘Fare forward, you who think that you are voyaging;
You are not those who saw the harbour
Receding, or those who will disembark.
Here between the hither and the farther shore
While time is withdrawn, consider the future
And the past with an equal mind.
At the moment which is not of action or inaction
You can receive this: “on whatever sphere of being
The mind of a man may be intent
At the time of death”—that is the one action
(And the time of death is every moment)
Which shall fructify in the lives of others:
And do not think of the fruit of action.
Fare forward.
                      O voyagers, O ******,
You who came to port, and you whose bodies
Will suffer the trial and judgement of the sea,
Or whatever event, this is your real destination.’
So Krishna, as when he admonished Arjuna
On the field of battle.
                                  Not fare well,
But fare forward, voyagers.

IV

Lady, whose shrine stands on the promontory,
Pray for all those who are in ships, those
Whose business has to do with fish, and
Those concerned with every lawful traffic
And those who conduct them.

Repeat a prayer also on behalf of
Women who have seen their sons or husbands
Setting forth, and not returning:
Figlia del tuo figlio,
Queen of Heaven.

Also pray for those who were in ships, and
Ended their voyage on the sand, in the sea’s lips
Or in the dark throat which will not reject them
Or wherever cannot reach them the sound of the sea bell’s
Perpetual angelus.

V

To communicate with Mars, converse with spirits,
To report the behaviour of the sea monster,
Describe the horoscope, haruspicate or scry,
Observe disease in signatures, evoke
Biography from the wrinkles of the palm
And tragedy from fingers; release omens
By sortilege, or tea leaves, riddle the inevitable
With playing cards, fiddle with pentagrams
Or barbituric acids, or dissect
The recurrent image into pre-conscious terrors—
To explore the womb, or tomb, or dreams; all these are usual
Pastimes and drugs, and features of the press:
And always will be, some of them especially
When there is distress of nations and perplexity
Whether on the shores of Asia, or in the Edgware Road.
Men’s curiosity searches past and future
And clings to that dimension. But to apprehend
The point of intersection of the timeless
With time, is an occupation for the saint—
No occupation either, but something given
And taken, in a lifetime’s death in love,
Ardour and selflessness and self-surrender.
For most of us, there is only the unattended
Moment, the moment in and out of time,
The distraction fit, lost in a shaft of sunlight,
The wild thyme unseen, or the winter lightning
Or the waterfall, or music heard so deeply
That it is not heard at all, but you are the music
While the music lasts. These are only hints and guesses,
Hints followed by guesses; and the rest
Is prayer, observance, discipline, thought and action.
The hint half guessed, the gift half understood, is Incarnation.
Here the impossible union
Of spheres of existence is actual,
Here the past and future
Are conquered, and reconciled,
Where action were otherwise movement
Of that which is only moved
And has in it no source of movement—
Driven by dæmonic, chthonic
Powers. And right action is freedom
From past and future also.
For most of us, this is the aim
Never here to be realised;
Who are only undefeated
Because we have gone on trying;
We, content at the last
If our temporal reversion nourish
(Not too far from the yew-tree)
The life of significant soil.
Pure white in flight
brown rivers rush
a seagull

Swooping under the bridge
a pure white flash
seagull

Brown river flowing
under the dark bridge
white gull

Seagull swoops
under the bridge of brown
pure white flash

White moment
an arched shape of pure white
seagull

White flying flash
in the shape of an arc
a seagull

Under the bridge
one white flower blooms
spring

Below the dark bridge
an anemone flowers
full moon

Brown waters
the river flows fast
one wood anemone
I caught sight of a seagull swooping under the bridge, the moment I leant over to look down into the brown water flowing fast, it seemed a moment I wanted to record somehow, so I thought the short haiku-like poems would do. Do you have alternatives?
cd Aug 2014
"so."
"what's your type?"

"parasite," i say,
with a prayer of
symbiosis
in my voice
this
time
around
Talk to me
let's walk and talk to me
tell me of misery
show me a mercy.

The twenty third psalm of the twenty first century.

Abducted
Abused
Corrupted
Confused.

What do I know,
a rainbow,
yesterday,
or
was it long ago?
the colours blinded me
show me a mercy.

In sunlight's last romance
I get but
one last chance
come walk and talk with me
show me your mysteries,
mistress of destiny.
Viciousness in the kitchen!
The potatoes hiss.
It is all Hollywood, windowless,
The fluorescent light wincing on and off like a terrible migraine,
Coy paper strips for doors --
Stage curtains, a widow's frizz.
And I, love, am a pathological liar,
And my child -- look at her, face down on the floor,
Little unstrung puppet, kicking to disappear --
Why she is schizophrenic,
Her face is red and white, a panic,
You have stuck her kittens outside your window
In a sort of cement well
Where they crap and puke and cry and she can't hear.
You say you can't stand her,
The *******'s a girl.
You who have blown your tubes like a bad radio
Clear of voices and history, the staticky
Noise of the new.
You say I should drown the kittens. Their smell!
You say I should drown my girl.
She'll cut her throat at ten if she's mad at two.
The baby smiles, fat snail,
From the polished lozenges of orange linoleum.
You could eat him. He's a boy.
You say your husband is just no good to you.
His Jew-Mama guards his sweet *** like a pearl.
You have one baby, I have two.
I should sit on a rock off Cornwall and comb my hair.
I should wear tiger pants, I should have an affair.
We should meet in another life, we should meet in air,
Me and you.

Meanwhile there's a stink of fat and baby crap.
I'm doped and thick from my last sleeping pill.
The smog of cooking, the smog of hell
Floats our heads, two venemous opposites,
Our bones, our hair.
I call you Orphan, orphan. You are ill.
The sun gives you ulcers, the wind gives you T.B.
Once you were beautiful.
In New York, in Hollywood, the men said: 'Through?
Gee baby, you are rare.'
You acted, acted for the thrill.
The impotent husband slumps out for a coffee.
I try to keep him in,
An old pole for the lightning,
The acid baths, the skyfuls off of you.
He lumps it down the plastic cobbled hill,
Flogged trolley. The sparks are blue.
The blue sparks spill,
Splitting like quartz into a million bits.

O jewel! O valuable!
That night the moon
Dragged its blood bag, sick
Animal
Up over the harbor lights.
And then grew normal,
Hard and apart and white.
The scale-sheen on the sand scared me to death.
We kept picking up handfuls, loving it,
Working it like dough, a mulatto body,
The silk grits.
A dog picked up your doggy husband. He went on.

Now I am silent, hate
Up to my neck,
Thick, thick.
I do not speak.
I am packing the hard potatoes like good clothes,
I am packing the babies,
I am packing the sick cats.
O vase of acid,
It is love you are full of. You know who you hate.
He is hugging his ball and chain down by the gate
That opens to the sea
Where it drives in, white and black,
Then spews it back.
Every day you fill him with soul-stuff, like a pitcher.
You are so exhausted.
Your voice my ear-ring,
Flapping and *******, blood-loving bat.
That is that. That is that.
You peer from the door,
Sad hag. 'Every woman's a *****.
I can't communicate.'

I see your cute décor
Close on you like the fist of a baby
Or an anemone, that sea
Sweetheart, that kleptomaniac.
I am still raw.
I say I may be back.
You know what lies are for.

Even in your Zen heaven we shan't meet.
Boi Nov 2018
You, my garden of Anemone;
of periwinkle, plum, and mauve.

A fragrance of Lilacs; for my springs and summers.
A snow's aroma of a rare, rich branch of Daphne  

Fenced by shrouds of Lavender and Sage.
Adorned with Irises and virulent Vervain.

The Verbena that consumes me
As I yield to it's amethyst.
Anemone for her complexions, Lilacs and Daphne for her grace, Lavender and Sage for her appeal, Irises for her beauty, and Vervain for her poison.

Written with a pleasure of knowing someone for 24 hours.



To Krista & Alexa: A Special Thank You
Olivia Kent Jun 2014
Am I to be an anemone,
with florescent blue petals,
chalky stamens hid inside,
dwelt within my calyx,
I  have waited impatiently to break free,
dusted in vibrant blue.
I digress, for I am not an anemone,
Find my only friendship in bees,
stripy buzzing vested bees,
For I am a lady locked up,
I am beginning to gush.
(C) Livvi
Aye, but she?
  Your other sister and my other soul
  Grave Silence, lovelier
  Than the three loveliest maidens, what of her?
  Clio, not you,
  Not you, Calliope,
  Nor all your wanton line,
  Not Beauty’s perfect self shall comfort me
  For Silence once departed,
  For her the cool-tongued, her the tranquil-hearted,
  Whom evermore I follow wistfully,
Wandering Heaven and Earth and Hell and the four seasons through;
Thalia, not you,
Not you, Melpomene,
Not your incomparable feet, O thin Terpsichore,
I seek in this great hall,
But one more pale, more pensive, most beloved of you all.
I seek her from afar,
I come from temples where her altars are,
From groves that bear her name,
Noisy with stricken victims now and sacrificial flame,
And cymbals struck on high and strident faces
Obstreperous in her praise
They neither love nor know,
A goddess of gone days,
Departed long ago,
Abandoning the invaded shrines and fanes
Of her old sanctuary,
A deity obscure and legendary,
Of whom there now remains,
For sages to decipher and priests to garble,
Only and for a little while her letters wedged in marble,
Which even now, behold, the friendly mumbling rain erases,
And the inarticulate snow,
Leaving at last of her least signs and traces
None whatsoever, nor whither she is vanished from these places.
“She will love well,” I said,
“If love be of that heart inhabiter,
The flowers of the dead;
The red anemone that with no sound
Moves in the wind, and from another wound
That sprang, the heavily-sweet blue hyacinth,
That blossoms underground,
And sallow poppies, will be dear to her.
And will not Silence know
In the black shade of what obsidian steep
Stiffens the white narcissus numb with sleep?
(Seed which Demeter’s daughter bore from home,
Uptorn by desperate fingers long ago,
Reluctant even as she,
Undone Persephone,
And even as she set out again to grow
In twilight, in perdition’s lean and inauspicious loam).
She will love well,” I said,
“The flowers of the dead;
Where dark Persephone the winter round,
Uncomforted for home, uncomforted,
Lacking a sunny southern ***** in northern Sicily,
With sullen pupils focussed on a dream,
Stares on the stagnant stream
That moats the unequivocable battlements of Hell,
There, there will she be found,
She that is Beauty veiled from men and Music in a swound.”

“I long for Silence as they long for breath
Whose helpless nostrils drink the bitter sea;
What thing can be
So stout, what so redoubtable, in Death
What fury, what considerable rage, if only she,
Upon whose icy breast,
Unquestioned, uncaressed,
One time I lay,
And whom always I lack,
Even to this day,
Being by no means from that frigid ***** weaned away,
If only she therewith be given me back?”
I sought her down that dolorous labyrinth,
Wherein no shaft of sunlight ever fell,
And in among the bloodless everywhere
I sought her, but the air,
Breathed many times and spent,
Was fretful with a whispering discontent,
And questioning me, importuning me to tell
Some slightest tidings of the light of day they know no more,
Plucking my sleeve, the eager shades were with me where I went.
I paused at every grievous door,
And harked a moment, holding up my hand,—and for a space
A hush was on them, while they watched my face;
And then they fell a-whispering as before;
So that I smiled at them and left them, seeing she was not there.
I sought her, too,
Among the upper gods, although I knew
She was not like to be where feasting is,
Nor near to Heaven’s lord,
Being a thing abhorred
And shunned of him, although a child of his,
(Not yours, not yours; to you she owes not breath,
Mother of Song, being sown of Zeus upon a dream of Death).
Fearing to pass unvisited some place
And later learn, too late, how all the while,
With her still face,
She had been standing there and seen me pass, without a smile,
I sought her even to the sagging board whereat
The stout immortals sat;
But such a laughter shook the mighty hall
No one could hear me say:
Had she been seen upon the Hill that day?
And no one knew at all
How long I stood, or when at last I sighed and went away.

There is a garden lying in a lull
Between the mountains and the mountainous sea,
I know not where, but which a dream diurnal
Paints on my lids a moment till the hull
Be lifted from the kernel
And Slumber fed to me.
Your foot-print is not there, Mnemosene,
Though it would seem a ruined place and after
Your lichenous heart, being full
Of broken columns, caryatides
Thrown to the earth and fallen forward on their jointless knees,
And urns funereal altered into dust
Minuter than the ashes of the dead,
And Psyche’s lamp out of the earth up-******,
Dripping itself in marble wax on what was once the bed
Of Love, and his young body asleep, but now is dust instead.

There twists the bitter-sweet, the white wisteria
Fastens its fingers in the strangling wall,
And the wide crannies quicken with bright weeds;
There dumbly like a worm all day the still white orchid feeds;
But never an echo of your daughters’ laughter
Is there, nor any sign of you at all
Swells fungous from the rotten bough, grey mother of Pieria!

Only her shadow once upon a stone
I saw,—and, lo, the shadow and the garden, too, were gone.

I tell you you have done her body an ill,
You chatterers, you noisy crew!
She is not anywhere!
I sought her in deep Hell;
And through the world as well;
I thought of Heaven and I sought her there;
Above nor under ground
Is Silence to be found,
That was the very warp and woof of you,
Lovely before your songs began and after they were through!
Oh, say if on this hill
Somewhere your sister’s body lies in death,
So I may follow there, and make a wreath
Of my locked hands, that on her quiet breast
Shall lie till age has withered them!

                        (Ah, sweetly from the rest
I see
Turn and consider me
Compassionate Euterpe!)
“There is a gate beyond the gate of Death,
Beyond the gate of everlasting Life,
Beyond the gates of Heaven and Hell,” she saith,
“Whereon but to believe is horror!
Whereon to meditate engendereth
Even in deathless spirits such as I
A tumult in the breath,
A chilling of the inexhaustible blood
Even in my veins that never will be dry,
And in the austere, divine monotony
That is my being, the madness of an unaccustomed mood.

This is her province whom you lack and seek;
And seek her not elsewhere.
Hell is a thoroughfare
For pilgrims,—Herakles,
And he that loved Euridice too well,
Have walked therein; and many more than these;
And witnessed the desire and the despair
Of souls that passed reluctantly and sicken for the air;
You, too, have entered Hell,
And issued thence; but thence whereof I speak
None has returned;—for thither fury brings
Only the driven ghosts of them that flee before all things.
Oblivion is the name of this abode: and she is there.”

Oh, radiant Song!  Oh, gracious Memory!
Be long upon this height
I shall not climb again!
I know the way you mean,—the little night,
And the long empty day,—never to see
Again the angry light,
Or hear the hungry noises cry my brain!
Ah, but she,
Your other sister and my other soul,
She shall again be mine;
And I shall drink her from a silver bowl,
A chilly thin green wine,
Not bitter to the taste,
Not sweet,
Not of your press, oh, restless, clamorous nine,—
To foam beneath the frantic hoofs of mirth—
But savoring faintly of the acid earth,
And trod by pensive feet
From perfect clusters ripened without haste
Out of the urgent heat
In some clear glimmering vaulted twilight under the odorous vine.

Lift up your lyres!  Sing on!
But as for me, I seek your sister whither she is gone.
1.

A star-shaped
patch of snow,
achingly white,
rests against the base
of the little white
pine, wrapped
in glittering
golds and reds, gifts
for the Christ Child.

No claw or paw
or beak or wing
has touched the snow.
Only a hidden pitch
of grass pushes
it skyward.

It shirks
its shrinkage
north
of the pine.
It will not
winnow until
the bright star burns.

I pass the snow
and think of nothing
.

2.

Lightning split
the hide
of the 80-year-old
oak that shaded
our little tan house
each summer.

Its bark ripped
apart like
wallpaper,
life leeching out
of its crooked limbs
in sap-soaked
streams of sorrow,
making room
for the little white pine
to thrive
in the dead of winter.

Nature is not
our friend
.

3.

The pine prays to preserve
some piece of the oak
I used to love. Its needles,
like shark’s teeth,
fend off friend and foe
alike, granting it
the right to grow
wherever it likes,
even here,
at the foot of giants.

Dead, the pin oak loans
its beauty to no one,
boasts only of its hard,
straight wood,
an abiding abode
for birds and squirrels
and barking boys.

I climb to its top
each Christmas,
straining toward
the Epiphany star.

The tree sways, and
I think of nothing
.

 4.

The burgeoning pine
pines for such power.
You cannot cut it
without exposing
its darkened knots,
like aging spots
on my hands
and face.

It rises bright with
anemone-like cones
dappled on its coat
of single color:
      evergreen,
      ever young.
      Ever gone,
my pilgrim oak.

I stretch toward the star
of Bethlehem,
dreaming my way
to Heaven, saying No
to the punishing
star of snow below.
Hanging high
above the Earth,
I sense the Christ Child
in my branches.

Wet, wild grasses
brush His cradle,
push me skyward,
His star my home
.
Written on a rare Epiphany Sunday.
Sara L Russell Sep 2009
I


"My dearest, sweetest love" the Baron said,
"Now that we two affianced souls are one,
What's mine is thine, for joy that we are wed
And through this house I bid thee freely run.

Enjoy the drawing room, the stately hall,
The bedchamber where thee and I shall play;
The blue room for each annual summer ball,
All draped in swags of blue and silver grey;

Enjoy the music room, my fine spinet,
The gilded harpsichord that sweetly sings,
With music to dispel all past regret -
Thou hast free rein of all my treasured things.

But go with caution to the library,
And only ever in my company."



II


With that, the Baron shewed her all around
His mighty chambers, all the corridors;
The quarters where the servants could be found,
The painted ceilings and mosaic floors.

The library he shewed her last of all;
The key hung on his chest, on a gold chain.
The secrecy thereof held her in thrall;
It seemed the library was his domain.

"Love, touch ye not the Book of Samothrace,
Don't venture to the pages held inside!
For when the sun hath turned about its face,
Malevolence finds shadow lands to hide!

The pages of our lives are clean and bright,
The Book of Samothrace is endless night!"



III


"My handsome sweetheart" Said the Baroness,
I'm humbled by thy generosity,
And when my maid has helped me from this dress,
Thou shalt discern how grateful I can be.

Thou gavest jewels for my neck and hair
That shine as well by day or candlelight;
And I shall kiss thee all and everywhere -
Prepare for not a wink of sleep tonight!"

With that, she led him to their master bed,
Undressed and pressed him down on sheepskin furs;
There proving true to everything she said
Till he declared his soul forever hers.

Anon, with trembling lips and blissful sighs,
Yielding to sleep, the Baron closed his eyes.


IV


How eloquent is beauty in repose
The Baroness reflected, as he lay
With lips half-open, like a dewy rose,
His night-black hair in tousled disarray;

And in the central furrow of his chest
One hand lay, as if half-protectively,
Next to the key more treasured than the rest -
The one that could unlock the library.

"Love touch ye not The Book of Samothrace"
She heard her love's words echo in her head.
Remembering, her heart began to race,
That such forbidden pages might be read.

Thus, yielding unto curiosity,
She let her fingers tiptoe to the key...



V


The golden catch was easy to undo,
Seconds before the Baron turned away
In blissful dreams of love. He never knew
How vicious time was leading fate astray.

The key was gone, while in the corridor,
His wife was creeping, ever-stealthily,
Drawn to the library's beguiling door,
Enchanted by base curiosity.

Only one lamp revealed the tall bookshelves
Which bore the most illustrious of tomes;
Huge hide-bound celebrations of themselves
Where God and science found unequal homes.

Herein her questing fingers came to trace
The cover of The Book of Samothrace.



VI


An ancient script met her enchanted gaze,
Whose Foreword mentioned a young sorcerer:
The fabled author of this book of days
And book of spells, unfolding now for her.

The spells were fashioned with one grand design,
To be recited in a secret place,
To call upon a spirit most malign -
A terrible demon, named Samothrace.

"...And mighty magick shall infuse the one
Who looks the longest in the daemon's eyes;
Undreamed-of power, burning like the sun,
With insights into Hell and Paradise.

Go to the garden seat and draw the ring,
Be seated and begin the summoning!"



VII


If hindsight were the author of our fate
We might find ways to live with less regret.
The Baron woke to realise, too late,
The secrets of his book were safer kept.

'Twere better had he mentioned not at all
The Book of Samothrace, so markedly,
For now she did not answer to his call
- He guessed she must be in the library.

He raced downstairs to find the door ajar,
The Book of Samothrace had gone astray,
Into the garden, yet it seemed too far -
He tried to walk, his legs would not obey.

Beyond the French door glass, a dreadful sight
Had rendered him immobile, mute with fright.



VIII


His wife sat rigid on the garden seat,
Her hair splayed like a sea anemone,
With a wine chalice lying at her feet,
Her mouth was open, screaming silently.

A doppelganger, like in every way,
Unto his mistress, with red splayed-out hair
Was screaming, still he could not turn away
To flee the image of her wild-eyed stare.

As time stood still, the Book of Samothrace
Floating on air, was burning by her side,
Eerie green smoke began to veil her face
The earth within the circle opened wide.

Out sprang the demon, withered, smoky-grey,
With cruel teeth and eyes as bright as day.



IX


Hereby the demon Samothrace was freed,
A great evil unleashed upon mankind,
That all life must remember how to bleed
Within a world grown dark and mercy-blind.

The terrible futility of war
Decay and all the tyranny of flies
Futility and struggle, all the poor,
A hidden curse on every new sunrise.

"Love, touch ye not The Book of Samothrace,
Don't venture to the pages held inside"
The Baron, frozen still in giving chase,
Watched and remembered, grieving for his bride.

The book, having now caused the demon's birth
Fell deep into the chasm in the earth.



-------END------


NOTE: This was inspired by a painting of the same title by the brilliant fantasy artist, Barry Windsor-Smith. I emailed the poem and was delighted to get a reply and positive feedback about it from him.
Seán Mac Falls Jun 2013
She rides the chanting waves
At the seas horizon,
In fires of star sheen and moon shine,
Sweet Niamh of the golden hair, and aqua eyes,

Princess of the green sea turtles,
Of the coral sea grottos,
Anemone naves and kelpie skins,
Trailing the rainbow schools of the whirling fin,

The whole twining ocean globe of blue is swooning
Under the milky waving skies and unfathoming deeps,
Her laughter lighting the unremembered bottom of the seas.
In Irish mythology, Niamh ( "bright" or "radiant". Niav, Neve, Neave, Neeve and Nieve ) was a goddess, the daughter of the god of the sea ( Manannán mac Lir ) and one of the queens of Tír na nÓg, the land of eternal youth. She was the lover of the poet-hero Oisín.
The bows glided down, and the coast
Blackened with birds took a last look
At his thrashing hair and whale-blue eye;
The trodden town rang its cobbles for luck.

Then good-bye to the fishermanned
Boat with its anchor free and fast
As a bird hooking over the sea,
High and dry by the top of the mast,

Whispered the affectionate sand
And the bulwarks of the dazzled quay.
For my sake sail, and never look back,
Said the looking land.

Sails drank the wind, and white as milk
He sped into the drinking dark;
The sun shipwrecked west on a pearl
And the moon swam out of its hulk.

Funnels and masts went by in a whirl.
Good-bye to the man on the sea-legged deck
To the gold gut that sings on his reel
To the bait that stalked out of the sack,

For we saw him throw to the swift flood
A girl alive with his hooks through her lips;
All the fishes were rayed in blood,
Said the dwindling ships.

Good-bye to chimneys and funnels,
Old wives that spin in the smoke,
He was blind to the eyes of candles
In the praying windows of waves

But heard his bait buck in the wake
And tussle in a shoal of loves.
Now cast down your rod, for the whole
Of the sea is hilly with whales,

She longs among horses and angels,
The rainbow-fish bend in her joys,
Floated the lost cathedral
Chimes of the rocked buoys.

Where the anchor rode like a gull
Miles over the moonstruck boat
A squall of birds bellowed and fell,
A cloud blew the rain from its throat;

He saw the storm smoke out to ****
With fuming bows and ram of ice,
Fire on starlight, rake Jesu's stream;
And nothing shone on the water's face

But the oil and bubble of the moon,
Plunging and piercing in his course
The lured fish under the foam
Witnessed with a kiss.

Whales in the wake like capes and Alps
Quaked the sick sea and snouted deep,
Deep the great bushed bait with raining lips
Slipped the fins of those humpbacked tons

And fled their love in a weaving dip.
Oh, Jericho was falling in their lungs!
She nipped and dived in the nick of love,
Spun on a spout like a long-legged ball

Till every beast blared down in a swerve
Till every turtle crushed from his shell
Till every bone in the rushing grave
Rose and crowed and fell!

Good luck to the hand on the rod,
There is thunder under its thumbs;
Gold gut is a lightning thread,
His fiery reel sings off its flames,

The whirled boat in the burn of his blood
Is crying from nets to knives,
Oh the shearwater birds and their boatsized brood
Oh the bulls of Biscay and their calves

Are making under the green, laid veil
The long-legged beautiful bait their wives.
Break the black news and paint on a sail
Huge weddings in the waves,

Over the wakeward-flashing spray
Over the gardens of the floor
Clash out the mounting dolphin's day,
My mast is a bell-spire,

Strike and smoothe, for my decks are drums,
Sing through the water-spoken prow
The octopus walking into her limbs
The polar eagle with his tread of snow.

From salt-lipped beak to the kick of the stern
Sing how the seal has kissed her dead!
The long, laid minute's bride drifts on
Old in her cruel bed.

Over the graveyard in the water
Mountains and galleries beneath
Nightingale and hyena
Rejoicing for that drifting death

Sing and howl through sand and anemone
Valley and sahara in a shell,
Oh all the wanting flesh his enemy
Thrown to the sea in the shell of a girl

Is old as water and plain as an eel;
Always good-bye to the long-legged bread
Scattered in the paths of his heels
For the salty birds fluttered and fed

And the tall grains foamed in their bills;
Always good-bye to the fires of the face,
For the crab-backed dead on the sea-bed rose
And scuttled over her eyes,

The blind, clawed stare is cold as sleet.
The tempter under the eyelid
Who shows to the selves asleep
Mast-high moon-white women naked

Walking in wishes and lovely for shame
Is dumb and gone with his flame of brides.
Susannah's drowned in the bearded stream
And no-one stirs at Sheba's side

But the hungry kings of the tides;
Sin who had a woman's shape
Sleeps till Silence blows on a cloud
And all the lifted waters walk and leap.

Lucifer that bird's dropping
Out of the sides of the north
Has melted away and is lost
Is always lost in her vaulted breath,

Venus lies star-struck in her wound
And the sensual ruins make
Seasons over the liquid world,
White springs in the dark.

Always good-bye, cried the voices through the shell,
Good-bye always, for the flesh is cast
And the fisherman winds his reel
With no more desire than a ghost.

Always good luck, praised the finned in the feather
Bird after dark and the laughing fish
As the sails drank up the hail of thunder
And the long-tailed lightning lit his catch.

The boat swims into the six-year weather,
A wind throws a shadow and it freezes fast.
See what the gold gut drags from under
Mountains and galleries to the crest!

See what clings to hair and skull
As the boat skims on with drinking wings!
The statues of great rain stand still,
And the flakes fall like hills.

Sing and strike his heavy haul
Toppling up the boatside in a snow of light!
His decks are drenched with miracles.
Oh miracle of fishes! The long dead bite!

Out of the urn a size of a man
Out of the room the weight of his trouble
Out of the house that holds a town
In the continent of a fossil

One by one in dust and shawl,
Dry as echoes and insect-faced,
His fathers cling to the hand of the girl
And the dead hand leads the past,

Leads them as children and as air
On to the blindly tossing tops;
The centuries throw back their hair
And the old men sing from newborn lips:

Time is bearing another son.
**** Time! She turns in her pain!
The oak is felled in the acorn
And the hawk in the egg kills the wren.

He who blew the great fire in
And died on a hiss of flames
Or walked the earth in the evening
Counting the denials of the grains

Clings to her drifting hair, and climbs;
And he who taught their lips to sing
Weeps like the risen sun among
The liquid choirs of his tribes.

The rod bends low, divining land,
And through the sundered water crawls
A garden holding to her hand
With birds and animals

With men and women and waterfalls
Trees cool and dry in the whirlpool of ships
And stunned and still on the green, laid veil
Sand with legends in its ****** laps

And prophets loud on the burned dunes;
Insects and valleys hold her thighs hard,
Times and places grip her breast bone,
She is breaking with seasons and clouds;

Round her trailed wrist fresh water weaves,
with moving fish and rounded stones
Up and down the greater waves
A separate river breathes and runs;

Strike and sing his catch of fields
For the surge is sown with barley,
The cattle graze on the covered foam,
The hills have footed the waves away,

With wild sea fillies and soaking bridles
With salty colts and gales in their limbs
All the horses of his haul of miracles
Gallop through the arched, green farms,

Trot and gallop with gulls upon them
And thunderbolts in their manes.
O Rome and ***** To-morrow and London
The country tide is cobbled with towns

And steeples pierce the cloud on her shoulder
And the streets that the fisherman combed
When his long-legged flesh was a wind on fire
And his **** was a hunting flame

Coil from the thoroughfares of her hair
And terribly lead him home alive
Lead her prodigal home to his terror,
The furious ox-killing house of love.

Down, down, down, under the ground,
Under the floating villages,
Turns the moon-chained and water-wound
Metropolis of fishes,

There is nothing left of the sea but its sound,
Under the earth the loud sea walks,
In deathbeds of orchards the boat dies down
And the bait is drowned among hayricks,

Land, land, land, nothing remains
Of the pacing, famous sea but its speech,
And into its talkative seven tombs
The anchor dives through the floors of a church.

Good-bye, good luck, struck the sun and the moon,
To the fisherman lost on the land.
He stands alone in the door of his home,
With his long-legged heart in his hand.
Judgson blessing Jun 2015
king Cophetua and Beggar Maid is inspired of the painting of Sir Edward Burne-Jones (1884 , England ) the painting run about an old legend of king that found that his love for Beggar Maid was greater than anything his possess : wealth and power . In that painting of Burne-Jones , the king Cophetua was moon stroke of the beauty of a Beggar Maid ,instead of her naked appearance in regard to this earthing consideration  , though he was allured by her state and deemed the Beggar Maid  would trade her natural beauty upon worldly elevation .But anemones was thrown about around the Beggar Maid standing . Anemone is the sign of refused love , to the king most astonishment and great deceit .Here lain the elevation of love above all thing consideration ; wealth , power and others .the painting also ran another significant meaning to Sir Edward Burne-Jones : its an undercurrent self resentments about chaos upon Frances Graham , a lady he was so devoted that got married one year earlier the painting .


What beauty , did behold a lady .
for what a fame completely shadowy.
lo, in dim recess of England a lady did dwell .
from head to toe a feature exquisitely so well .
her face is the panorama of crimson hue .
with dimple and frown so divinely imbue .
she is effigy of the culmination of word beauty .
peeping her through day long ; you will never feel thirsty.
all her face is settled in heavenly attire of smile .
for her possession of beauty is unique worldly simile .
her body had the mark of excellent work of art .
no nymph , no fairy could possess her frame impart .
princess of heaven ,celestial beauty of holy attire .
for your rendition of beauty a painter worship at your retire .
a smile ; radiant and blatant a devotion of all thing heavenly .
a couple of lips very in regular design , most delicate  work of father holy.
the short up turn of the upper golden lip in rosy glow .
with lower lip so justly fitted as lid and bowl .
nay it deemed the most work of legendary painter hand .
but now what a glorious gait of cadence did withstand .
where in remotest antique could we withheld such beauty ?
from head to toe all the feature luridly in unity .
little upwards the average height with magnificent bearing .
her arms and legs proportionally fitted in good caring .
the neck is culmination of adjusted rings darting as snake .
when she depart all her part spring like a dance at music .
slim and fitted with fitting body as a young mutated snake .
but i warrant all thing upon her hip jingling spring like .
her look naked you and everything with impure world .
well begrounded as reflex through giant mirror .
meeting with her personality is a kind of celestial discovery.
like discovery of a gold pit or gas gush in desert of misery .
she betoken of kind of aura that prevails peace .
but Beggar she was at her secluded place .
with a smile she attracts but beg worldly sympathy .
not a corrupted heart or soul she believe in the holy trinity .
what a beauty to wasted but in shameful mendicancy .
the sagacious spirited dimly alluded with grin .
for all the hole tandem dwelt but in rich lustrine .
the quantity is the mother of all pain and sin .
but chastity is holy devotion all in pure spiriting .
oh, what good for us if we just live in nothing but lust .
money, fame and other elevations are vile and endless lost .
pure beauty you behold with pure noble spirit .
rich or poor do only one thing :run away from ignominy .
the Beggar Maid was sitting upon her recess and shadowy .
lo, trodden king Cophetua back of horse of finely white garb .
and riding sat majestically ***** like state pole in richly parade.
perfume and the richness of articulation stole through and filled the momentum .
with guards and valet finely polite and alerted at the extremum .
what a cadence ! what a sight ! as heaven trotting herd .
but lulled in mostly attire and paraded mostly in gold .
with a look the purest radiant and the noblest ever been .
nothing but a grandeur and riches were what to be seen .
settled on horse so holy that was moved as not touching the soil .
king Cophetua trotted and commanded but with moderate majestic control .
beheld with the Beggar Maid that beauty was a heavenly allure .
halt he made and laid his feet on ground with real frantic gesture .
in obsequious and excess real gesture drove to his knees .
and held altogether ***** airy and up tall .
upon the King procession on his knees the Maid took on in respect.
with stature all slanted flat across the ground all beaming in light .
what grandeur or glory fitted before the Maid most alluring ?
nay,fame ,riches ,noble , power ,cunning nor learning .
all but are subjected and tamed ,transformed into nothing.
king Cophetua is a glory ,but pure beauty is holy not a thing stand pure beauty.
for the worship of our splendor is the betoken kind spiritually .
the Beggar Maid is a right down deprived and seemed a cursed sin .
but pure beauty beholds with pure resplendent holy garden .
what life led you through ?behold there is no wealth down here more your soul .
and you are diving in filthy abode and lamenting your spirit in foul .
nay, beauty keep out of lust and covetousness and preserve your spirit .
cause none ,but only you will stand when is the last verdict .

the maid garbed in silken attire float so soft and dainty .
king Cophetua in his mighty clad covered with gold is holy .
i seen you are a beauty , entreated he in lowest musical resonant voice .
and i deemed make you you the praise of my ever unique choice .
yet before God and before mortal i would worship you as holy throne .
the Maid as voice as lute and lyre sang but in sweet musical tune .
my King im as much obliged though unworthy servant of your kingdom .
all the honor is for me ,and upon my foil state is for me a bloom .
my honor is regardless said he ,i fain treat you as an equal .
now deign tell me what can i do to you cause i feel towards you loyal .
glory be to Lord !for you philanthropic reverence my Lord .
for i need nothing more but, 'give me today my daily bread '.
appalled but aghast upon the Maid humble and unequivocal demand .
he stretched ***** in mournful and sad air of command .
and took quite survey of the Maid that is nothing but pretty creature .
for his wildness dreams he never seen such purity upon his pasture .
yet abashed with the Maid demand ,a lesson of life of great enormity .
something somehow weird and unusual stroke him about the Maid personality.
but he restated once more i feel hearty and  kind towards you then .
you might tell me that you need in life now and then .
and sat ***** fancying himself of new pleasant answer .
oh King retorted the latter i had formulated my need .
for faith under and heaven above i have no greed .
nettled he settled his curled hair back thrown .
and so should it be as you but did deem .
and nothing but here receive a dime .
John Hill Jun 2013
Caressing my face,
Bubbles rush to greet me
Tickling like a sweet spring sigh.

This is only the first.
I am still half
A visitor. Stuck in suspension
Between this world and mine.

Slowly I pass
Through the threshold.
My air-sick ears adjust
To the sounds of the sea.

I stare down
At the small colony
On the sea floor,
My landing gear is down.

Customs arrives.
A grey, French Angelfish
Of the most industrious kind.
But he isn’t obtrusive.

As he flits in and out
Checking my bubbles
Ensuring I am not bringing
Any more air than I should.

No doubt he will stay near
Most of my stay
I have finally arrived,
The coral city stretches before me.

I catch the current trolley
And it whisks me past
Rocky storefronts and coral motels.
Lobster shopkeeps

Rush out of dark
Stores and stand in the street
Giant claws raised
Toward me in supplication.

Beckoning me to come
And browse his wares
While a fish I don’t know
Is busy cleaning homes and stores.

They must’ve dropped out of the school
Which passes by
The pupils in matching uniforms
Of flashing silver and black.

Clown fish wave
To me from their Lawns
Of sea anemone
Before darting back inside.

Here is the kind of place
Where I could put down roots.
Live out an idyllic life
Living in a coral townhouse.  

But for me to stay
Would be severely fatal.
I’m just a visitor
And my visa is about to expire.

I look back one more time
As my head breaks the surface.
The sun stings, I blink.
When I was a child, I thought,
Casually, that solitude
Never needed to be sought.
Something everybody had,
Like nakedness, it lay at hand,
Not specially right or specially wrong,
A plentiful and obvious thing
Not at all hard to understand.

Then, after twenty, it became
At once more difficult to get
And more desired - though all the same
More undesirable; for what
You are alone has, to achieve
The rank of fact, to be expressed
In terms of others, or it's just
A compensating make-believe.

Much better stay in company!
To love you must have someone else,
Giving requires a legatee,
Good neighbours need whole parishfuls
Of folk to do it on - in short,
Our virtues are all social; if,
Deprived of solitude, you chafe,
It's clear you're not the virtuous sort.

Viciously, then, I lock my door.
The gas-fire breathes. The wind outside
Ushers in evening rain. Once more
Uncontradicting solitude
Supports me on its giant palm;
And like a sea-anemone
Or simple snail, there cautiously
Unfolds, emerges, what I am.
Nishu Mathur Mar 2017
There's spring and there's summer, there's all that's in between
no listless skies of anodyne; now nature flaunts and preens

What beauty fills the hungry eye 'neath a sky of blue, serene
verdant vales soaked in sun, awash in palettes of green

There are pastels that awaken and deep shades that passion brews
created hues that trickle...sprinkled with 'chartreuse'

There's the green of 'asparagus' and that of 'artichokes'
Of 'forest', 'ferns' , of 'moss', a brush of different strokes

Fragrant plants of 'mint', then 'myrtle' and 'green tea'
'Emerald', 'jade' or 'harlequin' and 'malachites' that be

Off creamy shells, just 'pistachio', 'green apples', then of 'pines'
It lies too in 'sap' and 'teal', in 'avocados' and tangy 'lime'

There's green of the 'mantis', in 'jungle', 'hunters' and 'shamrock'
The lithe 'parakeet' fluttering and the lazy sanguine 'croc'

In blessed 'basil', ' pickle', in 'pear', 'olives' in 'bottle green'
'Gourds' and 'peas' that farmers grow in cultivars pristine

'Tis there in 'aqua' and 'seaweed', in the ripple of 'sea green' waves
In 'turtles', 'sea foam', 'anemone' and a 'tropical glistening lake'

From 'laurel green' to an 'army green' , in 'sage' ( a shade of grey )
The color of 'grass' , the murky 'swamp' , hues in array

There's 'neon' and an 'Indian green', a 'Persian' one to mystify
A 'midnight green' to bright 'fluorescent', oh, for green rainbows in the eye
Martin Narrod Apr 2014
Oakes-photo, hypocrisy and flagrant mirky plateau. Brimming celestial warrants overcrowding public housing systems. North-South lights, sell costly iPhone Apps; and then there are Social Societies of non-verbal delight. Password protected non-profitable and over-costly educations of no reward or biblical synonyms. Catastrophizing hash-tag dot.com. Weary party going poster children with glowing anemone guts, fruity looped cantlings, ravenous scattered supper clubbed coughing up ******* on their strange and central affairs unit. Overcome the candisation and sugary affairs of any of the ***** and pops that erstwhile matter less and less. We are speaking of nomenclatures that don't arise. Promises and by which confession aloof romanticizes every Tom dicking Mary that carries the theory of sustainable energy, prussian blue, and irregular browsing.
Seán Mac Falls Mar 2013
She rides the chanting waves
At the seas horizon,
In fires of star sheen and moon shine,
Sweet Niamh of the golden hair, and aqua eyes,

Princess of the green sea turtles,
Of the coral sea grottos,
Anemone naves and kelpie skins,
Trailing the rainbow schools of the whirling fin,

The whole twining ocean globe of blue is swooning
Under the milky waving skies and unfathoming deeps,
Her laughter lighting the unremembered bottom of the seas.
In Irish mythology, Niamh ( "bright" or "radiant". Niav, Neve, Neave, Neeve and Nieve ) was a goddess, the daughter of the god of the sea ( Manannán mac Lir ) and one of the queens of Tír na nÓg, the land of eternal youth. She was the lover of the poet-hero Oisín.

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