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                                  Asphalt Man
                                  Phantasm La
                                  Shaman Plat
                                  Asthma Plan
****** Hast
****** Hats
****** Shat
Napalms Hat
Plasma Than
Sampan Halt
Sampan Lath
                                                            ­        Manta Plash
                                                           ­         A Plasma Nth
                                                             ­       A Ham Plants
                                                          ­          A Hams Plant
A Mash Plant
A Sham Plant
A Maths Plan
A Math Plans
A Than Palms
A Than Lamps
A Than Psalm
Aha Plant Ms
Alpha Tan Ms
Alpha Ant Ms
Lama Pas Nth
Lama Asp Nth
Lama Spa Nth
Lama Sap Nth
Lamas Pa Nth
**** Path Ms
**** Phat Ms
Natal Hap Ms
Alas Amp Nth
Alas Map Nth
Ha Lam Pants
Ha Palm Tans
Ha Palm Ants
Ha Lamp Tans
Ha Lamp Ants
Ha Palms Tan
Ha Palms Ant
Ha Lamps Tan
Ha Lamps Ant
Ha Psalm Tan
Ha Psalm Ant
Ha Lams Pant
Ha Alms Pant
Ha Slam Pant
Ha Malts Nap
Ha Malts Pan
Ha Malt Pans
Ha Malt Snap
Ha Malt Naps
Ha Malt Span
Ha Plan Tams
Ha Plan Mast
Ha Plan Mats
Ha Plans Tam
Ha Plans Mat
                               Ha Plants Ma
Ha Plants Am
Ha Plant Sam
Ha Plant Mas
                               Ha Slant Amp
Ha Slant Map
Ha Splat Man
Ha Plats Man
                               Ha Plat Mans
Ah Lam Pants
Ah Palm Tans
Ah Palm Ants
Ah Lamp Tans
Ah Lamp Ants
Ah Palms Tan
Ah Palms Ant
Ah Lamps Tan
Ah Lamps Ant
Ah Psalm Tan
Ah Psalm Ant
Ah Lams Pant
Ah Alms Pant
Ah Slam Pant
Ah Malts Nap
Ah Malts Pan
Ah Malt Pans
Ah Malt Snap
Ah Malt Naps
Ah Malt Span
Ah Plan Tams
Ah Plan Mast
  Ah Plan Mats
   Ah Plans Tam
    Ah Plans Mat
     Ah Plants Ma
      Ah Plants Am
       Ah Plant Sam
        Ah Plant Mas
         Ah Slant Amp
          Ah Slant Map
           Ah Splat Man
            Ah Plats Man
             Ah Plat Mans
              Plash Ma Tan
Plash Ma Ant
Plash Am Tan
Plash Am Ant
Plash Man At
Plash Tam An
Plash Mat An
Lash Ma Pant
Lash Am Pant
Lash Man Tap
Lash Man Apt
Lash Man Pat
Lash Amp Tan
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Lash Map Tan
Lash Map Ant
Lash Tamp An
Lash Tam Nap
Lash Tam Pan
Lash Mat Nap
Lash Mat Pan
Laths Ma Nap
Laths Ma Pan
Laths Am Nap
Laths Am Pan
Laths Man Pa
Laths Amp An
Laths Map An
Halts Ma Nap
Halts Ma Pan
Halts Am Nap
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Halts Man Pa
Halts Amp An
Halts Map An
Shalt Ma Nap
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Shalt Man Pa
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Halt Ma Pans
Halt Ma Snap
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Halt Am Snap
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Halt Man Asp
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Halt Mans Pa
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Halt Amps An
Halt Sam Nap
Halt Sam Pan
Halt Mas Nap
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Lath Ma Pans
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Lath Am Snap
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Lath Man Asp
Lath Man Spa
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Lath Map San
Lath Maps An
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Lath Sam Nap
Lath Sam Pan
Lath Mas Nap
Lath Mas Pan
Ham La Pants
Ham Plan Sat
Ham Plans At
Ham Plant As
Ham Slant Pa
Ham Alp Tans
Ham Alp Ants
Ham Lap Tans
Ham Lap Ants
Ham Pal Tans
Ham Pal Ants
Ham Laps Tan
Ham Laps Ant
Ham Pals Tan
Ham Pals Ant
Ham Alps Tan
Ham Alps Ant
Ham Slap Tan
Ham Slap Ant
Ham Splat An
Ham Plats An
Ham Plat San
Ham Las Pant
Ham Slat Nap
Ham Slat Pan
Ham Salt Nap
Ham Salt Pan
Ham Last Nap
Ham Last Pan
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Hams Alp Tan
Hams Alp Ant
Hams Lap Tan
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Hams Pal Tan
Hams Pal Ant
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Mash Alp Ant
Mash Lap Tan
Mash Lap Ant
Mash Pal Tan
Mash Pal Ant
Mash Plat An
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Sham Alp Ant
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Sham Pal Ant
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Maths La Pan
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Math La Naps
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Than Lams Pa
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Than Alp Mas
Than Lap Sam
Than Lap Mas
Than Pal Sam
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Than Pals Ma
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Hap Lam Tans
Hap Lam Ants
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Hap Lams Ant
Hap Alms Tan
Hap Alms Ant
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Hap Slam Ant
Hap Malts An
Hap Malt San
Hap Slant Ma
Hap Slant Am
Hap Slat Man
Hap Salt Man
Hap Last Man
Hasp Lam Tan
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Hasp Malt An
Haps Lam Tan
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Haps Malt An
Paths La Man
Paths Lam An
Staph La Man
Staph Lam An
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Path Lam San
Path Lams An
Path Alms An
Path Slam An
Path Las Man
Phat La Mans
Phat Lam San
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Has Lam Pant
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Has Lamp Ant
Has Malt Nap
Has Malt Pan
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Has Plan Mat
Has Plant Ma
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Has Plat Man
Ash Lam Pant
Ash Palm Tan
Ash Palm Ant
Ash Lamp Tan
Ash Lamp Ant
Ash Malt Nap
Ash Malt Pan
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Ash Plan Mat
Ash Plant Ma
Ash Plant Am
Ash Plat Man
Hast Lam Nap
Hast Lam Pan
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Hast Lamp An
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Hast Plan Am
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Hats Lam Pan
Hats Palm An
Hats Lamp An
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Hats Plan Am
Hats Alp Man
Hats Lap Man
Hats Pal Man
Shat Lam Nap
Shat Lam Pan
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Shat Lamp An
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Shat Plan Am
Shat Alp Man
Shat Lap Man
Shat Pal Man
Hat Lam Pans
Hat Lam Snap
Hat Lam Naps
Hat Lam Span
Hat Palm San
Hat Lamp San
Hat Palms An
Hat Lamps An
Hat Psalm An
Hat Lams Nap
Hat Lams Pan
Hat Alms Nap
Hat Alms Pan
Hat Slam Nap
Hat Slam Pan
Hat Plan Sam
Hat Plan Mas
Hat Plans Ma
Hat Plans Am
Hat Alp Mans
Hat Lap Mans
Hat Pal Mans
Hat Laps Man
Hat Pals Man
Hat Alps Man
Hat Slap Man
A Ha Plant Ms
A Ah Plant Ms
A Halt Nap Ms
A Halt Pan Ms
A Lath Nap Ms
A Lath Pan Ms
A Than Alp Ms
A Than Lap Ms
A Than Pal Ms
A Hat Plan Ms
A La Maps Nth
A La Amps Nth
A Lam Pas Nth
A Lam Asp Nth
A Lam Spa Nth
A Lam Sap Nth
A Palm As Nth
A Lamp As Nth
A Lams Pa Nth
A Alms Pa Nth
A Slam Pa Nth
A Alp Sam Nth
A Alp Mas Nth
A Lap Sam Nth
A Lap Mas Nth
A Pal Sam Nth
A Pal Mas Nth
A Laps Ma Nth
A Laps Am Nth
A Pals Ma Nth
A Pals Am Nth
A Alps Ma Nth
A Alps Am Nth
A Slap Ma Nth
A Slap Am Nth
A Las Amp Nth
A Las Map Nth
Ha La Pant Ms
Ha Plan At Ms
Ha Alp Tan Ms
Ha Alp Ant Ms
Ha Lap Tan Ms
Ha Lap Ant Ms
Ha Pal Tan Ms
Ha Pal Ant Ms
Ha Plat An Ms
Ah La Pant Ms
Ah Plan At Ms
Ah Alp Tan Ms
Ah Alp Ant Ms
Ah Lap Tan Ms
Ah Lap Ant Ms
Ah Pal Tan Ms
Ah Pal Ant Ms
Ah Plat An Ms
Halt An Pa Ms
Lath An Pa Ms
Than La Pa Ms
Hap La Tan Ms
Hap La Ant Ms
Path La An Ms
Phat La An Ms
Hat La Nap Ms
Hat La Pan Ms
Hat Alp An Ms
Hat Lap An Ms
Hat Pal An Ms
La Ma Pas Nth
La Ma Asp Nth
La Ma Spa Nth
La Ma Sap Nth
La Am Pas Nth
La Am Asp Nth
La Am Spa Nth
La Am Sap Nth
La Amp As Nth
La Map As Nth
La Sam Pa Nth
La Mas Pa Nth
Lam Pa As Nth
Alp Ma As Nth
Alp Am As Nth
Lap Ma As Nth
Lap Am As Nth
Pal Ma As Nth
Pal Am As Nth
Las Ma Pa Nth
Las Am Pa Nth
A La Pa Nth Ms
a criminal is a dust of ashes
a criminal ash is a criminal dust of ashes
mass is mass of masses
mass is mass of ashes
ash is ash of ashes
ash is ash of masses
a criminal ash is his ash of ashes

dust to mass,mass to dust
dust to mass,mass to ashes
dust to mass,ashes to ashes
beauty is a mass of beauty
beauty is a mass of ashes
beauty beholds beauty to its ashes
beholder of beauty is beholder of a mass criminal

a criminal is a mass criminal of beauty
a mass criminal is a mass of beauty
a mass criminal is a beauty of ashes
a mass criminal is a dust of dust
dust of dust,ash of ash,beauty of beauty
dust of dust,ash of ash,beauty of ash
dust of dust,ash of ash,mass of mass
my writing is called philosophical writing. i only uses middle ages words,words liked gracious,extravaganza,etc… this poem is about a mass of beauty is a mass criminal. i don’t add capitalization’s on my writing.
DJ Mar 17
Ash Haffner,
she was only 16.
Was living it up,
smiling all the way.
Until that day,
bullies were coming from the left & the right.
Knocking her down with their ruthless cutting edge words,
she just wanted to be accepted by all.
Girls were snickering it up,
“Hey look, is that a girl or a guy?!”
At school,
in the gym locker rooms.
Ash Haffner couldn’t even get dressed,
& two the other girls were uncomfortable.
Ash wasn’t just being bullied by the youths,
she was also being bullied by adults as well.
One mother wouldn’t let her daughter anywhere near Ash,
afraid that “she would become gay.”
On December 28th,
she had enough.
Texting her friends up later that night,
“I’m done & I’m ready to die.”
On December 28th,
tragedy struck….
Ash walked into oncoming traffic & was hit by a jeep…
She later died the very next morning.
Ash was being hated and discriminated against,
especially by her parents as well.
This tragic event claimed worldwide attention,
writing a suicide note down from on Tumblr.
Stating that: “She would never be happy with her appearance
or with the way her voice sounds,  
nor will a man wanna ever love her either.”
Ash is & forever always will be a symbol for Transgender Justice,
bringing fourth awareness world nation wide.
When Ash first came out as a transgender girl to her mother,
it went downhill from there.
Her mother was ******,
sending Ash to Christian Conversion Therapy.
Where she will realize & see that God had truly made her a boy,
& that he has made no mistakes.
Ash soon became depressed,
her parents caged her from being around friends,
including all electronics.
Locking her away from the world,
denying her right to be forever happy.
The parents buried Ash as a boy,
their little girl.
Engraving her birth name,
Joshua Jeremy Alcorn.
It was the ultimate disrespect this world has ever seen,
it has a lotta people.
Including the LGBTQ Community in hysterics,
even Kim Kardashian & Lavern ***
have stated their claims upon
the matter at hand as well.
Ash, Ash

Ash, Ash descend on me
I'm burning but I am not free
I'm looking at too much to see
A rock untouched by gravity

Ash, Ash I'll ask once more
These stables are an endless chore
I am at best a simple *****
But no one pays me anymore
Zizile Tantsi Jun 2019
Burn ash to the ground and take my soul with.
Burn ash to the ground, cause that’s the only way I’ll become one with nature.
Burn ash to the ground, cause my soul is restless, worrying about vanity and stature
How long have I been here I wonder, in this dim, four cornered prison of loneliness,
Made with concrete walls of empty promises, promises of happiness and completeness,
Promises that have turned to rubble, burned alongside my hope

Burn ash to the ground and take my dreams with.
As I witness my dreams rolling down a *****
Withering as they fade in the distance. Away from my eyes and away from my life.
I realise it was said before, but I just didn’t listen
They said I’ll be broken. I am now, so it was true
Forsaken, I cry out burn ash to the ground and take my life too.

For all has been said, all has been forgotten but the scars of yesterday are still marked on my skin.
The pain that living brought me still caresses my skin till this very day.
Burn ash to the ground for I am low and broken.
A soul begging to be mended, and made alive again
I watch as memories of a past life are collected, set alight by my pain,
I watch as they waste away in the palm of my hand turning to ash, as I try to keep them
My soul tearful as it listens to the world shouting Burn ash to the ground, for she doesn’t deserve happiness.
Hannah Apr 2017
Entry ~
*I'm lost in my head, staring at an ash tray in the middle of the coffee table. It amazes me how a simple object can hold so many memories. I've had that ash tray for so many years. It's moved with me from 5 different houses in the last 10 years. It holds a piece of my soul locked up between its clear glass walls. I can't even remember where I got it, but I remember it wasn't always an ash tray. I used it to hold random little trinkets, like necklaces and earrings that didn't have a match. That was when I was about 13, before I really even took up smoking. By the time I was 17 it was used for cigarettes. I remember opening my bedroom window, climbing out to the flat roof of the sun porch, lighting up my camel cigarette, and staring up at the stars. I would sit there for an hour after my last drag, my glass ash tray sitting on the open windowsill, contemplating my existence in the hundreds of galaxies swirling above my head. I remember thinking they were close enough to know they exist, but far enough away for you to doubt it. By the time I was 19, I was no longer using that ash tray for cigarettes, but for joints and spliffs. It sat on the corner of my mahogany dresser, right next to my incense and antique lamp. It sat there for about a year. Until I left it behind to drive across the country. That was just a few months ago. I'm 20 now, and have just returned from my journey. I've come home to the same house I lived in before, to my glass ash tray sitting in the middle of the coffee table. I can only imagine what it saw from its resting spot. I'm glad it sat there, collecting memories like settling dust. It makes me feel like I never left at all. Like a piece of me remained here with the people I love. They just didn't know it. I think when I leave for good, I'll leave it behind once again. It'll be like leaving a piece of my soul with them, to leave my mark on their existence. They may not realize it at first, but at some point they'll look down at that ash tray, and think of it's origins. When they do I'll cross their life for just a brief moment. They may not even know it was my ash tray, but it won't matter. They don't need to know it was mine for our paths to intersect. The past is a witness, and I can live with that.
I've been messing around with prose lately. It's a nice change of pace.
**
Benji James Apr 2018
As I awake from eternal slumber
I rise from the ground covered with ash
Bound in a circle of fire
You can call me Johnny Cash
Hands through the fire
They don't burn, no pain
I am immune to fire it seems
Walk right through
surrounded by lightning skies
Thunder rattles my ears
Though I don't burn
I can feel the heat
A thousand degrees
Memories flash before my eyes
Of a past life
I remember monsters and me
Locked together in purgatory

Resurrection
Need a new direction
A new chance I've been given
May have a chance to mend my ways
First I need to figure where I am
Was I resurrected by a holy man
It seems I'm not in heaven
This doesn't feel like the earth
Nothing around but Ash and Dirt
A wasteland I find myself in
Maybe this is my hell
I must have been ******
Because of the sins branded in me
Nobody around in sight
I'm on my own again this time

I've wandered these deserts for many years
No hope in sight
Not sure if in circles I have been walking
Because all the scenery I've seen
All looks the same to me
Trapped in this box
Just a Jack waiting to be set free
Wind me up so I can breathe
See the light just one more time
My mind has slowly deteriorated, insane
Not sure I'll ever be the same
This is torture, this is the pain
This burns even more than the flame
Trapped in this place
I cannot stay
I need to break free of this cell
Can't stay here trapped in hell

Resurrection
Need a new direction
A new chance I've been given
May have a chance to mend my ways
First I need to figure where I am
Was I resurrected by a holy man
It seems I'm not in heaven
This doesn't feel like the earth
Nothing around but Ash and Dirt
A wasteland I find myself in
Maybe this is my hell
I must have been ******
Because of the sins branded in me
Nobody around in sight
I'm on my own again this time

Fed myself holy water,
It burns me inside
Too late for confessing past sins
Can't be forgiven for this
Keep hearing voices taunting me
Saying I'll never be good enough
Can't save myself from the pain I've been dealt
You have failed yourself and everyone else
Them words on repeat, the laughs and the screams
Making fun of me
I'm nothing more than an empty shell
Of who I once was
Tried to be too strong on my own
Now I see it takes more to fight demons and monster alone
The mistakes that I've made
Are put on parade through my dreams
Bound and chained to never leave me

Resurrection
Need a new direction
A new chance I've been given
May have a chance to mend my ways
First I need to figure where I am
Was I resurrected by a holy man
It seems I'm not in heaven
This doesn't feel like the earth
Nothing around but Ash and Dirt
A wasteland I find myself in
Maybe this is my hell
I must have been ******
Because of the sins branded in me
Nobody around in sight
I'm on my own again this time

My soul was torn to shreds
Now just an empty vessel
Eyes pitch black
Not a light left inside
My heart was ripped from my chest
Follow your heart, Now just a distant memory
Said I wouldn't fade
Soulless and Heartless maybe I am
But I'll fight with everything I have left
Until broken in pieces upon the floor
Until I'm unable to move anymore

Resurrection
Need a new direction
A new chance I've been given
May have a chance to mend my ways
First I need to figure where I am
Was I resurrected by a holy man
It seems I'm not in heaven
This doesn't feel like the earth
Nothing around but Ash and Dirt
A wasteland I find myself in
Maybe this is my hell
I must have been ******
Because of the sins branded in me
Nobody around in sight
I'm on my own again this time

It was just monsters and me in Purgatory
Now I see I'm trapped in myself
Fighting the monsters that I had become
To my own demons, I was forced to succumb
But I won't stand for it no more
I'll do what it takes
To claim my throne
Needed a little help
Needed a little guidance
From my angels of light
Help me to reclaim my life
So I'm here praying
Drenched in tears
I need you to help me beat these fears
I need you to support me out of here
Hear my prayers and all I have to say
I need purification
Plunge me beneath these holy seas
Wash me clean, help me heal
I want the power to feel

Resurrection
Need a new direction
A new chance I've been given
May have a chance to mend my ways
Found out where it is I am
Wasn't resurrected by a holy man
It seems I'm not in heaven
But this feels like home
Nothing around but Ash and Dirt
A wasteland I once found myself in
Maybe this was hell
I may have been ******
But I found beauty in who I am
Because of the sins branded in me
They gave me the strength
to find a new way
Nobody was around in sight
There was one beyond my eyes
He filled me with eternal light
Now I've got to let it shine.

©2018 Written By Benji James
I want you to know
one thing.

You know how this is:
if I look
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch
near the fire
the impalpable ash
or the wrinkled body of the log,
everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists,
aromas, light, metals,
were little boats
that sail
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.

Well, now,
if little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you little by little.

If suddenly
you forget me
do not look for me,
for I shall already have forgotten you.

If you think it long and mad,
the wind of banners
that passes through my life,
and you decide
to leave me at the shore
of the heart where I have roots,
remember
that on that day,
at that hour,
I shall lift my arms
and my roots will set off
to seek another land.

But
if each day,
each hour,
you feel that you are destined for me
with implacable sweetness,
if each day a flower
climbs up to your lips to seek me,
ah my love, ah my own,
in me all that fire is repeated,
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,
my love feeds on your love, beloved,
and as long as you live it will be in your arms
without leaving mine
Lucia Delarosa Sep 2011
Tendrils that lick my skin
Tearing into me,
Pulling me apart bit by bit,
Leaving nothing
But tender pink flesh in its wake.

The horrid sounds I hear
I find are my own.
Ripped from my throat
so vehemently,
so vivaciously.

Soon consciousness ebbs
away from me.
Numbed beyond anything,
A feeling beyond anything,
Both detested and welcome,
despised and loved.

The twisted screams and cries
are my final swan song.
My flesh crumbles away
Becoming blissfully nothing,
Regrettably something.

Nothing but ash.
I think to myself.
Nothing but ash.
I scream to myself.
Nothing but ash.
I whisper to myself.
Nothing but ash,
Nothing but ash,
And then there is only smoke.
Max Evans May 2013
Leftovers from a red hot feast
My heart turns gray with ash.
As smoke clouds infect my lungs and flow into my blood stream
Soon enough I was destined for suffocation from within

Volcanoes spit ash out into the atmosphere
I inhale ash and exhale happiness
Gone with every breath goes every smile I have thought of.
Disappearing with every breath my motivation flies into the atmosphere and burns up into ash.

A crackle and a pop and a slow burning fire in the brick fireplace.
Heating homes the old fashioned way,
I am ****** into a vortex to the sky where I can fully appreciate life.
Where the sun smiles down on all of the boys and girls and makes ashes glow with embers just wishing for life once more.
But after all, all stars burn out.

A forest fire rips through northern Montana.
Smoke filling the air while ash fills the heart full of burned memories and homes
Part of what once was life turns into the most innocent of monsters.

A volcano erupts in Pompeii.
A city paved in ash I am lost.
A family buried in an unmarked tomb
that they once called home.

Writing on the walls suggests propaganda existed since time has.
A man wrapped in a lambs wool tunic and a one inch coating of ash
Lays his head in a museum.

After all,
Ashes, Ashes.
We all fall down.
I walk this field
All turned to ash
The fire will never yield
So I turn and I ask
“How did this forest
Once beautiful and strong
Become so dark?”
It just all seemed wrong
There was none to answer
My question was fate
It cried to wind
Still not answered to date
So I strolled on in the ash
Walking through the burning
All in worse state than trash
As I walked I began to weep
No longer able to stand
All the pain that I saw
I fell with my head in hand
And I wept and I cried
At seeing all this beauty
And imaging how it died
I couldn’t imagine
Anything good coming from this
So I cried and I wished
That it would just burn me up too
Then maybe I wouldn’t have to see
And I could just be
It would all be well
If I never had to tell
And I never had to see
All the ash
And blatant misery
But from my sobbing I paused
When I looked up
And to my surprise I saw
A young flower
A daisy
All yellow and golden
I was suddenly cold then
As chills ran down me
And I could no longer weep
I stood up
I began to leap
For in the ash
And through the flame
Had produced such beauty of fame
Something so amazing
And elegant
My mind now fervently spent
I saw that through it all
There was still good
And there was more than just the ash
I was talking to a friend about seeing the good in the world despite the pain and anyway that conversation inspired this so there.
Deb Jones Sep 2017
For personal reasons I don't have a deep faith, like most of you have, to wrap around myself like a mantle during a tragedy like this.

And I truly believe that Ashley's death is a tragedy.

I have wrote and rewrote this. Trying to find the right words to tell you how wonderful Ashley is. "Is" because she will live forever in our hearts. There is no "was"

And I finally realized I couldn't. It would take a lifetime. Or 22 years.

This started out to be my commemoration of Ash. Instead it has turned into something I probably won't share entirely.

Because I have lived a long life already, I know how the passing years eventually make grief bearable. How it knocks you to your knees and bends your back. But over time it becomes part of you and you learn to live in a new reality.

No one forgets a loved ones death. You just learn to live with the pain. We absorb it and carry the pain around with us forever.

My new reality is a life without Ashley in it. Where she never gets to grow older. But she also doesn't have to grow sicker. That gives me little solace. As I am selfishly wanting her back.

Type 1 Diabetes killed Ashley. It's an illness that is a battle every day. You fight to get through the day. To do the best you can and then get up the next day and fight the same battle all over again. You don't get a day off. Or a vacation from it. Because if you stop fighting for even one day you will have to fight 100 times harder to get back on track.

Ashley wanted to live a normal life. She wanted to do everything that her friends were doing. And her sister, made that possible. She watched over her, especially the last 2 years. They were together almost every day and night. I am proud of her. She grew into the adult she is by loving and treating Ash like a normal young woman. Adventuring with her.

Ashley lived with me from the time she was a toddler until she was 21. She was a daughter to my heart.

She was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes the very same day I was. She was 18. We learned how to live with it together.

She was doing so well. Only hospitalized a few times. While I was hospitalized monthly.

Her last hospitalization, I picked her up after her discharge. She was still vomiting a lot.

I called and made her an appointment with my Endocrinologist for the next morning.

I want to go back to that minute. The one right before I reached out to touch her shoulder to wake her for the appointment the next morning. The minute before I realized something was wrong.

She wouldn't wake up. I pulled her over, her eyes were open in a blank stare.

By doing chest compressions on her, arguably the scariest experience any loved one can go through, I saved Ashley.

A helicopter landed in one of my fields and flew her to the nearest Trauma Center.

So we could have almost 6 days to say goodbye to her. We are all forever grateful for that.

She was declared brain dead the first day she was in the hospital. But I already knew that.

I am so angry at Ashley's senseless death. Losing a beautiful young girl. One who tried to wrap everyone in a kindness that was her unique specialty.

But, I know Ashley was tired. So very tired. She went 16 days without eating. Only drinking water or juice she vomited back up.

I KNOW how she was just so tired. I know that kind of tiredness. Not only of your body, but of your spirit and soul. When you want to isolate yourself from everyone because it's too much to face. To deal with. There is no bravery or sacrifice. Just the silent chant of pleas. Pleas to make it stop. Pleas for solace. For surcease.

The hospital failed her. Looking at laboratory values versus a patient's physical self.

And I wasn't there to advocate for her. The family that was there with her were scared. And helpless to fix her. How do you hold a hospital accountable, with its anonymous staff, without holding me accountable too?

There are things I should have taught Ashley. How to ask for things she needed. How to demand. How to scream.

But I didn't. I talked with her about things she needed. But I didn't see the ramifications of her not using all avenues to get help. I didn't teach her how to scream.

Even though my screams are just as silent.

I knew she was severely brain damaged the morning I first saw her. But really...I was in denial too.

It helped to be the one all the information was funneled through. But the cost to me was denial. I could explain everything to everyone. Over and over again. To family groups. To individuals as they arrived at the hospital and I walked them down that long corridor to the intensive care.

Using that walk to prepare them. To stand beside so many that came to say goodbye to her. But still suppress my grief into a hot ball that I choked on every day she was on life support.

I could only really grieve the way I needed to once I was alone. My sobs were private. Thinking of Ashley when I went to sleep. And of her when I woke.

Every thing Ashley did during that 6 days she was on life support was talked about. And used to foster hope. The rare blinking of her eyelids. The few tears that coursed down her temples.

I knew they had pressure cuffs on her legs. To help keep her blood pressure up. Until I saw the damage to her legs...I still thought there was a chance. The chance I refused to say outloud. As if I challenged what I knew to be true with false hope.

I knew she had significant brain damage but I still thought there might be a chance she would recover, be a different Ashley than we were used to, an Ashley that would need rehabilitation. An outcome that would allow us to keep her here.

Then I saw her legs. I was alone and noticed the pressure cuffs were off. I lifted the blanket and saw her legs. They were blue and mottled with large sections of skin gone. I knew then that she really was not going to recover.

The surgeon even discussed taking one or both of her legs at the hip in order to save her from the infection. But he said she was too fragile and wouldn't make it through surgery. And even if they did the surgery it would not save her brain injury.

My family and I privately discussed ***** donation for Ash. We knew Ashley would have wanted that too. I called a friend of mine that works with the donor network and she said of course Ashley could be evaluated for any donation. I kept in contact with her while Ashley was in the hospital and asked when we could talk to the ***** donor advocate/liaison. That became a moot point when Ashley started spiking temperatures with the infections ravaging her body.

When she was finally completely off sedation she was unresponsive. That poor baby. That poor, poor baby.

Her brain damage was severe. And her legs were poisoning the rest of her body. She really just stayed for us. To give us a chance to say what we needed to say and what she needed to hear in her final moments. And we held her and told her we were walking with her into the sunlight.

Because I have many medical credentials, I was the one that talked for the family. And then talked for the physicians.

I asked all my family to come to a designated conference room. When I talked to my family about removing her life support there was anger. But as I continued to explain to them there was just a deep inconsolable sadness.

When 4 of the doctors came in I told them we didn't need a rundown of all the reasons to remove her from the ventilator. We had already made our decision.

When we turned the ventilator off she could breathe on her own for a little bit. I told my family that she would go fast. But seeing that she was breathing they all left the room. To smoke, to text, to make phone calls.

After they were gone about 4-5 minutes Ashley's breathing began to slow down. I was the only one in the room. I asked the nurses at the desk to call my family overhead.

They still didn't come back soon enough.

I climbed into the bed with Ash and pulled her into my arms. I rocked her and crooned to her. Told her how loved she was.

She took her last breath in my arms.

When my family funneled back into the room I heard over and over again how Ashley must have waited until they left the room to die so they wouldn't suffer more.

My heart cried. What about me? What about me.

I am supposed to tell people how loved she was. How she shined. I think they all know that already.

I keep trying to commemorate her. To write a speech detailing her life and how much she gave of herself to others. How she was the hub a lot of her family circled around. She was unceasingly happy. She was so loved.

You know what I want to do? I want to scream. I want to rant and rave about the unfairness. Point to other people, people I don't know and say why couldn't they have been taken instead? I don't love them like I do Ash. Point to myself also. Why wasn't I taken?

I will tell everyone what they already know. About how wonderful a person Ashley was and how much we love and miss her. How we will grieve the rest of our lives for her.

The night I came home after Ashley died I went right to my mother. I told her Ashley was gone. And she held me, in the dark, with my head in her lap while I cried. She didn't talk while I sobbed. Just made soothing noises.

And that was what I needed. What my heart craved.

I appreciate everyone that called me just to listen to me cry. Some would not even talk other than the first hello. Just soothing comforting sounds. I won't forget the gift you gave me of just listening to me sobbing.

I want to share something that was happening to me the first 2 months during the time she was on life support and the months after. I have never experienced hallucinations before. But I did during that period.  I would wake up with my arms out to people. In the middle of a conversation. Trying to soothe them. Help them. I don't understand why I needed certain things, like the way I woke while dragging dining chairs in my room. Arguing I needed them when my son tried to stop me. Or the way I would stop breathing in my sleep and knowingly maintain it as long as I could. Or the other private personal things I hallucinated.

I called a psychiatrist and talked to her about what I was experiencing. And she told me that it was normal. It stopped after about 2 months.

Part of me knows I was trying to carry the grief I knew my sister and her kids were trying to carry. If I could, I would take their grief and add it to mine. Just to give them some peace.

My niece, Ashley's sister had a little girl a month ago. Her name is Ashley Michelle.

There is no death, only a change of worlds. —NATIVE AMERICAN PROVERB
September 20 was the first Anniversary of Ashley's death day.
Test Ting Won To Tree
By
Charles Fleischer







Rifleman decal water is to Tiny basket liners as Strained yo-yo string is to?
Dark wool glowing is to Oldest lost oddity as First genetic engine is to?
Black quail taint is to Nut curdled paint as Hemp biscuit dominoes are to?
Steam traced paper is to Lemon ash vapor as Digital ****** wig is to?
Eccentric brine mimes are to Electric silk slacks as Spark formed lava is to?
Sunchoked black hornets are to as Rescued orphan doves as Retold cat jokes are to?
Hand traced videos are to Braided rubber spines as Opal rain dancers are to?
Halogen anchor gong is to Annoying bread portraits as Soft bracelet lockers are to?
Old troll bios are to Select cherub echoes as Broken matchstick parasols are to?
Dome nine chariots are to Frayed lunar remnants as Fuming honey flasks are to?
Bluing assault operas is to Beading fluted flowers as Magnetic lawn tweezers are to?
Converted flea sponges are to Floating dog murals as Frozen Archie comics are to?
Molded road pads are to Crusty gumdrop thread as Straw ribbed pelicans are to?
Inflatable diamond vowel is to Single gender raffle as Groovy desert coffee is to?
Temporary solution radiation is to Idiotic witness mumble as Motorized marshmallow kit is to?
Panoramic utopian paranoia is to Aggravated **** silhouettes as Unhinged gun sellers are to?
Homesick ghost pajamas is to Virtuous fly fungus as Royal sandpaper gloves are to?
Gangster hayride tickets are to Deer milk Oreos as Turnip fairy maps are to?
Glue gun **** is to Nocturnal cabin mice as Cab fare corn is to?
Speckled fish nickels are to Under water bric-a-brac as Epic snakeskin paisley is to?
******* bungalow pranks are to Drowsy vapid oafs as Quantized cavern fish are to?
Raunchy snail kimono is to Coiled time dice as Smeared equator malt is to?
Metallic centaur franchise is to Transparent cheese chess as Spotted glacial remnants is to?
Sky fused pong is to Rustic mothers brattle as Granulated canister ointment is to?
Overgrown maze mule is to Mated smugglers hugging as Floating thesaurus exam is to?
Sliding coed sprinkler is to Soapy whitefish rebate as Precious lamb diaper is to?
Mushy acorn luster is to Lilac protein rings as Slapstick wrestler dialect is to?
Freaky plankton bells is to Rolling horse divorce as Morphing morphine lips are to?
Sticky razor sparkle is to Emerald muscle spasm as Glaring cat cipher is to?
Peppy unisex mustache is to Pelican fighter syndrome as Clumping night grumble is to?
Scanning paired pearls are to Ruby rubbed roaches as Satanic sailor flotsam  are to?
Glowing asteroid solder is to Ideal shark data as Failed frail doilies are to?
Numb nuts boredom is to Fantastic icy phantoms as Sporadic silk creations is to?
Crooks crow chow is to Loading spackled bonder as Gargled snowdrop blasters are to?
Outdid myself today is to Outside myself again as Outlived myself controls is to?
Venting shuttlecock upset is to Texting badminton kitten as Settler tested motels are to?
Prepare paired vents is to Prefer paid events as Pretender predicts fiction is to
Crunchy mental fender is to Catching mentor menace as Poorly seasoned lettuce is to?
Outside sidewalk inside is to Seaside outcast input as Sideways landslide victory is to?  
Compile fake password is to Compost world poo as Compose village anthem is to?
Crooked crotch blunder is to Loud crowd thunder as Divine vine finder is to?
Chucks’ wooden truck is to Bucks good luck as Sticky ducks tucked is to?  
Overhaul underway overseas is to Overturned downsized pickup as Underground onramp overloaded is to?
I’ll bite there is to Aisle byte their as Isle bight there is to?
Gnat gnawed wrist is to ***** show beans as See through putty is to?
Flapping floppy guppies are to Buzzing zipped dozers as Muddy ****** strippers are to?
Dark diagonal dialogue is to Diabolical dihedral die as Interesting circadian exposition is to?
Experimental flossing expectations are to Waxed dental traps as Permanent impermanence resolution is to?  
Outran ringside intrigue is to Sidetracked onboard boatload as Loaded firearm topside is to?
Phony ****** phone is to Chewy ego honey as Yogi Mama’s dada is to?
Nimble teardrop squiggle is to Humble cage curtains as Loyal truckstop morals are to?
Torching curled elastic is to Sonic neighbor clamor as Golden droplet integers are to?
Duplex pupil scanners are to Nacreous cloud clocks as Shrouded flute shops are to?
Lawn rocket tendrils are to Finding surreal borders as Sheep monarchs children is to?
Gloating ungloved squires are to Busting double doubters as Pushing woeful doctors are to?
Tricking snowbelt firedogs is to Panmixing blackened haywires as Unclothed shameful leaders are to?
Malicious ranch ritual is to Internal puppet bubble as Ornate underworld masquerade is to?
Rustic debonair Eskimos are to Mindless sassy elves as Gorgeous somber acrobats are to?
Learned earthy pimps are to Fearless sneaky Queens as Somber gentle vagrants are to?
Shocking horse wear is to Glossy sled fluid as Damaged chipmunk tongue is to?
Traditional agony chart is to Damp voodoo motel as Backwoods museum quote is to?
Magical cat cabin is to Dapper porpoise humor as Malicious graveyard foam is to?
Therapeutic gazelle cushion is to Stored alibi equipment as Stunning tempo light is to?
Fantastic rascal art is to Wasted prune dust as Jupiter’s ****** law is to?
Little nut razor is to Gigantic hyena shield as Hourglass pillow fever is to?
Coiled rain clouds are to Dizzy tycoon clowns as Lime eating cowards are to?
Possessive epicurean demonstrators are to Faded eavesdropping giants as Determined swanky drunks are to?
Aquatic preview pocket is to Soggy judicial topiary as Finicky hamster fabric is to?
Enlarged fruit cuff is to Obedient mumbling orchestra as Dark tenant tariff is to?
Recycled flash thermometer is to Botched temptation probe as Pet glider grid is to?
Seriously shy idols are to Costly driving perfumes as Ferryboat chapel wine is to?
Winged jalopy details are to Faithful spectral fathers as Sprinkled mint rainbows are to?
Spelling unneeded words is to Sprouting donut ***** as Blaming mellow mallrats are to?
Eroding loom keepsake is to Magnificent accordion canoe as ***** bongo fumes are to?
Souring violet ink is to Juvenile insult park as Periodic ferret envy is to?
Obedient boyfriend aroma is to Sanitized fat lozenges as Dramatic jailer garb is to?
Mysterious patrol group is to Dynamic maiden discharge as Captured hurricane ratio is to?
Lackadaisical bigot bingo is to Oblong care merchant as Expensive swamp shampoo is to?
Petite orifice worship is to Atomic barge pet as Plucked hair exhibit is to?
Elite officer wallop is to Automatic yard rake as Healing ****** glitter is to?
Needless swan costume is to Giant jungle goat as Organic picnic napkin is to?
Leaky jet steam is to Innovative fascist whistle as Enchanting idol evidence is to?
Plastic mascara seduction is to Greasy thermal ointment as Attractive muskrat crease is to?
Lucky camel pills are to White coral Torah as Eternal stage clutter is to?
Roasted oat **** is to Sloppy *** glue as Nylon table debt is to?
Steep nook catastrophe is to Empty dome damage as Pulsing breeze powder is to?
Empty sack power is to Hitched buck stroke as Red claw warning is to?
Ultra brief slogan is to Yummy lab mutant as Pathetic ball armor is to?
Nauseating fish splatter is to Obstinate ****** twitch as Strained ***** coffee is to?
Mezzanine intermission fossil is to Proven **** apathy as Golden duck shroud is to?
Civil tutors torment is to Thor’s posted theory as Yellow melon rain is to?
Immense olive raft is to Exploding kangaroo buffet as Ethereal witness index is to?  
Marching dark speeders are to Searing scribble fighters as **** tripping sinners are to?
Seeping viral angst is to Aged hermit tea as Murky bowl nibble is to?
Condensed blister guzzle is to Pink dorsal pie as Lavish speckled runt is to?
Needy insult poet is to Sedated acorn trader as Dry honey zoo is to?
Veiled trust flicker is to Deranged poser fashion as Flat sizzle tangent is to?
Purified diet spray is to Nebulous wishing target as Thrilling screen dope is to?
Majestic ribbon astronomy is to Bizarre formation sector as Rebel bell gimmick is to?
Sealed dart whisper is to Green silk draft as Cold vacuum varnish is to?
Clumsy raven power is to Insect island circus as Minted mink drapes are to?
Curved map ruler is to Tiny lethal radio as Blue fused metal is to?
Inverted laser invasion is to Damp sheep dump as Puffy gown smoke is to?
Saucy Channel blazer is to Leather goat filament as Starched locomotive hat is to?
Broken jumper leads are to Disgraced mini exorcists as Designer shamrock caulk is to?
Tweaked poachers smokes are to Assorted sulfur pathways as Collected bedlamp trickle is to?
******* bungalow pranks are to Drowsy vapid oafs as Quantized cavern fish are to?
Crawling battle worms are to Vibrating metal pedals as Mentholated matrix wax is to?
Missing meshed rafts are to Liquid rock pipes as Crinkled bean bikinis are to?
Tithing **** joggers are to Perforated buck fronds as Leather zither picks are to?
Fearing truthful cowards is to Rambling preachers mumble as Gazebo ambulance gasoline is to?
Shelving elder’s whiskers is to Poaching goalies pesto as Radical tricycle angst is to?
Mucky gunboat polymer is to Primeval maypole flameout as Cathedral greenhouse intercom is to?
Diaphanous safety prize is to Unleashed saucer lion as Dorky blonde ropewalker is to?
Tapered spring meter is to Silver silo mythology as Misguided judges medallions are to?
Alligator x-ray money is to Cherry unicorn water as Coyote cactus toy is to?
Cowardly dorm scrooge is to Atomized pewter script as Flattened spore smoothies are to?
Trash can yodel is to Flashing wired spam as Exploding chocolate pudding is to?
Sonar blasted bushings are to Threading ruined wheels as Forty shifting boxes are to?
Tiny balloon rebellion is to Softened square cleanser as Iconic soul sucker is to?
Harmony night light is to Spanish nitrogen desire as Squirrel cavern iodine is to?

Lazy winter secret is to Slow airport widget as Silly mustard binder is to?
Elephants raising raisins are to Microscopic lamb planet as Purple hay puppets are to?
Caribou venom vaccine is to Electronic lemonade choir as Demonic princess massage is to?
Beet coated bridge is to Fattened needle point as Mylar monkey spine is to?
Ashy ink dust is to Youngest rabbi planet as Orange cartoon geometry is to?
Cold green chalk is to Cobalt ladder farce as ***** river filters are to?
Sublime sheep master is to Sleeping past rapture as Subliminal bliss jelly is to?
Ocean crust slippers are to Twigged germ radar as Popping sharpie scope is to?
Zen wrapped beep is to Oak foamed code as Wicked flashing sizzle is to?
Dew eyed sleigh is to Say I do as Act as me is to?
Humpback on hammock is to Ham hocking hummer as Hunchback with knapsack is to?
Corned flag jelly is to Draped wing chewers as Tripping swan acid is to?
Futuristic Rembrandt chant is to Almond likened meadows as Asian timber blue is to?
Nap in sack is to Flap on Jack as Ducks dig crack is to?
Flowing flavored lava is to Gleaming optic layers as Enhanced goose gibberish is to?      
Flag tied pajamas are to Saline checker choir as Speed reading quotas is to?
Whipped spam spasms are to Misted shaman scripture as Testing pitched bells is to?
Cave aged eggs are to Crowded tiger cages as ****** wagon pegs are to?
Pigeon towed car is to a Man toad art as Wolf whisker wish is to?
Second hand clothes are to Minute hand gestures as Final hour prayer is to?
Slick wicked shavers are to Tricky watch boxes as Sprouting pine tattoos are to?
Waxed stick ravens are to Match stick foxes as Narrowed thermal towers are to?
Ice cave rice is to Laced face lice as Gourmet pet **** is to?
Diamond lane anniversary is to Space age appropriate as Time travel agency is to?
Lime bark violin is to Lemon twig guitar as Lunar sky waffles are to?
Fake rat **** is to Smart cake batter as Rugged fur tax is to?
Tarred raft fluff is to Flaked rafter dust as Lined liquor flask is to?
Flakes will fall is to Take Bills call as Broken maze compass is to?
First faked voter is to Entombed cartoon honey as Smallest aching smurf is to?
Fancy bared ******* are to Flaky fairy treats as Kings amp filter is to?
Bone window folio is to Whittled fake pillow as Little fitted jackets are to?
Nine nuts brittle is to Ate pear pie as Six packed poppers are to?
Incandescent playground pencil is to Elastic hand worm as Perfumed piano ink is to?
Opal shifting anode is to a Windup lion decoy as Pale paisley trolley is to?
Stacked black boxes are to Old packed tracks as a Throwing micron hammers is to?
Apricot bark furnace is to Merry Orchid Choir as an Ivory rinsing funnel is to?  
Narcotic honey nuts are to Slick flag toffees as Silk fig sugar is to?
Orange coin raisins are to Low note candies as Smelling balled roses is to?
Pocket packed monotints are to Tragic ladder hayracks as Ravishing speed traders are to?
Crayon spider resin is to Coral squirrel forceps as Wolf tumbled loaf is to?  
Silver wheat flies are to Width shifting wheels as Golden blister blankets are to?
Really tiny hippopotamus is to Masked fat podiatrist as a Sad sack psychiatrist is to?
Miniature Mesopotamian monuments are to Apple minted elephants as Raising wise ravens is to?
Lathered nymph nacre is to Sonic ion constellations as Concealed iron craft is to?  
Epic gene toy is to Ladies bubble sled as Jagged data bowl is to?
Bugged dagger bag is to Pop sliced meld as Atom bending moonlight to?  
Rural madam’s deed is to Dyed dew dipper as Eight sprayed dukes are to?
Jiffy grand puffer is to Floating altar myth as Vintage dark mirth is to?
Undercover overnight underwear is to Overpaid undertaker overdosing as Overheard understudy freebasing is to?

Black grape crackle is to Red cactus ruffle as Installing padded pets are to?
Snide snobs sniffing are to Sneaky snails snoring as Snared snipes sneezing are to?
Exploring explosive exits is to Explaining expansive exports as Expecting expert exchange is to?
Shrewd logic ledger is to Puppets dropping cupcakes as Placated topaz octopi are to?
Door roof tools are to Cool wool boots as Wood cooked root is to?
Bright fight light is to Night flight fright as Mites bite site is to?
Floor flood fluid is to Wooden door Druid as Nasty **** broom is to?
Accurate police photography is to Intelligent microbe geography as Condensed aerosol biography is to?
Cowardly cowboy grime is to Corpulent corporate crime as Bosnian dwarf necromancer is to?
Jell-O clearing shaker is to Brillo cleaning shiner as Cheerios bowling shields are to?
Mumbled mindless hokey is to Fumbled found money as Humming kinder bunny is to?
Daisy’s clock setter is to Lilly’s boxer toxin as Poodles rose paddle is to?
Watch Bozo Copernicus is to Hire Clarabelle Newton as Find ***-wee Einstein is to?
Amethyst thistle whistles is to Lapis pistol whip as Diamond bomb scar is to?
Dandelion seahorse rescue is to Crabapple dogwood farm as Faux foxglove lover is to?    
Optical poppy stopper is to Polar halo lens as Day-Glo rainbow sticker is to?
Savanna leopard spotted is to Eskimo lassos kisses as Alligator lemonade standard is to?
Bill of Rights is to Will of left as Thrill of night is to?
Baptize floozies quickly is to Useless outsized nozzles as Puzzled wizard wanders is to?        
Chaps wearing chaps are to Chaps contesting contests as Consoling concealed consoles is to?
Quiet squirming squirrels are to Aeon beauty queens as Queasy greasy luaus is to?
Knew new gnu is to Sense scents cents as We’ll wheal wheel is to?
Blazing zingers ringing are to Wheezing singers flinging as Freezing finger number are to?
Lamb tomb jogger is to Dumb numb **** as Thumbed crumb bug is to?

Blue accordion casket is to Jaded scholar ***** as German mushroom circus is to?
President George Flintstone is to Funny Fred Washington as Abraham Jetson’s dog is to?
Google Desmond Tutu is to Kalamazoo Zoo Park as Zodiac actors Guru is to?
Swamp cradled whisperer is to Cherished drawbridge cello as Bludgeoned prankster outlaws are to?
Dukes pink mittens are to Smeared nest carava
FIRST DAY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chicago,
could this be
Sandburg’s City?

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

Chicago,
Sandburg’s Chicago,
Could it be?

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

Now also
tourist attractions
for a cafe society.

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

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

Great restaurants
serve liquid jazz
al la carte.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Its mouth our Dixie Trumpet
guarded by righteous Cajun brethren.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3.
There is faith in everything in Chicago!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4.
Does Chicago have a future?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The analysts say
it’s all about capturing liquidity.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sorghum,
I think its hardy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is an efficient market
that crosses the globe.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Many striver rows compose
its many neighborhoods.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


SECOND DAY

1.
Out my window
the sun has risen.

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

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

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

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

I set my watch
to Central Standard Time.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Always more.
Much much more
in Chicago.

2.
Sandburg
spoke all the dialects.

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

Sandburg understood
what it meant to laugh
and be happy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What level
is he speaking of?

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

I wonder
if I detect
condensation
in his voice?

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

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

This seditious talk!

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is the true level
of this city.

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

Splashing
the nation,
anointing
its people
with its
blessing.

A blessing,
Chicago?

All rivers
come here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sandburg knew
a Chicago
I will never know.

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

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

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

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

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

Hell even Chicago
got its own brand
of Blues.

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

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

The Blues live
on in Chicago.

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

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

Music:

Robert Johnson
Sweet Home Chicago


jbm
Chicago
1/7/99
Added today to commemorate the birthday of Carl Sandburg
Kewayne Wadley Apr 2018
And like incense our scent takes to the air.
Ascending before we fall.
Her and I.
We burst into fire.
Our eyes a gaseous mixture. 
Ignited by the touch of skin.
Kindling the many thoughts we keep of each other.
A crackle blown out.
Accented in desire,
Our yearning ignites.
We hold ourselves unselfish,
Keeping warm.
Separate stems bonded as one. 
Our inner voice visible. 
Bypassing worry, our doubt.
A piece of us both, dissipating in a slow burning.
To give more than we've taken in unspoken communication.
We fell in ash.
Our scent a prayer sent to heaven. 
To always remain this way. 
Even after our extinguishing.
May we linger.
Forever more.
Falling fast asleep in each other's arms.
Leading each other to a place we call love.
Until the last ash drops
Omnis Atrum Nov 2014
The smoke that billowed outwards following wind current
was visible even from the horizon,
and served as a beacon for a curious mind.
So the troubadour wandered to find what did warrant
a terrible curse that could brighten
the sky with fires furious enough to blind.

He heard a proclamation from the city's king
as it burned down before his eyes
that it was not worth his time to save.
A gift of buckets the man did bring
in hopes that he could make the flames subside
as its owner abandoned it and walked away.

The supports of each tired building that collapsed
reached out its fiery tendrils to the next
until all that was left of this city was Ash.
The time to save the molten city had lapsed
and though the troubadour was vexed
he continued with buckets of water unabashed.

The foundation survived the hateful flames
and the inhabitants of the city flooded the streets
to salvage the jewels that had been hidden inside.
A lyricist knows nothing of building frames
or the noise of impact as the hammer beats
so as not not impeded progress he stood aside.

He watched as the builders replaced
the crowded wooden buildings that had fallen to fire
with heavy and beautiful marble walls.
After each travel into the world he quickly raced
back to this city to inquire
if the buildings within had been reinstalled.

He pleaded with the builders to not neglect
the necessity of the simple buildings that were
a house for those without houses for so long.
Again and again the builders did reject
until he begged enough that they would concur
as long as he continued to bribe them with song.

He wandered the world and wrote every word
that the concert of the world whispered to him
and he learned to play every riff.
To make sure he inspired the builders that heard
the truth of this city's love hymn
and he played it to them every day as a gift.

If he inspired  the builders he could not know
but they built a city worthy of the praise
that claimed her the most beautiful city of all.
When they finished they brought him in to show
the new buildings that they did raise
of gold and gems that would never fall.

Each night was spent singing in her ear
as he traveled through the darker places
that the builders forgot to place lights.
He did not have the wisdom to hear
her whispers or feel her missed embraces
as he reveled in her delights.

A lyricist knows nothing of structural support
so how could he know he was to blame
that the city was collapsing under the weight of its beauty.
Further the city suffered because of his tort
as plunderers with their war wagons came
to claim this city as their *****.

They burned what was left to the ground
as they left with what they desired
and forgot about the the wreckage that remained.
The troubadour sat without a sound
for an elegy his voice was too tired
and his tears could no longer be contained.

The city he loved was Ash as he had found it
and he did not know what could be done
to show the world the beauty it held.
Travelers and merchants that passed were astounded
as he stood by it in the rain or the sun
because none could see the beauty that he beheld.

His clothes became damp and torn
and his singing voice a shrill
as he continued his labor of love.
He began to believe his welcome was worn
and his sadness began to make him ill
as he watched from the mountain above.

A troubadour knows how to sing
of the beautiful things in the world
yet knows not how to sustain them.
But if he finds his words can bring
hope to a city or a smile to a girl
he will collapse from producing constant hymn.
I have done it again.
One year in every ten
I manage it----

A sort of walking miracle, my skin
Bright as a **** lampshade,
My right foot

A paperweight,
My face a featureless, fine
Jew linen.

Peel off the napkin
0 my enemy.
Do I terrify?----

The nose, the eye pits, the full set of teeth?
The sour breath
Will vanish in a day.

Soon, soon the flesh
The grave cave ate will be
At home on me

And I a smiling woman.
I am only thirty.
And like the cat I have nine times to die.

This is Number Three.
What a trash
To annihilate each decade.

What a million filaments.
The peanut-crunching crowd
Shoves in to see

Them unwrap me hand and foot
The big strip tease.
Gentlemen, ladies

These are my hands
My knees.
I may be skin and bone,

Nevertheless, I am the same, identical woman.
The first time it happened I was ten.
It was an accident.

The second time I meant
To last it out and not come back at all.
I rocked shut

As a seashell.
They had to call and call
And pick the worms off me like sticky pearls.

Dying
Is an art, like everything else,
I do it exceptionally well.

I do it so it feels like hell.
I do it so it feels real.
I guess you could say I've a call.

It's easy enough to do it in a cell.
It's easy enough to do it and stay put.
It's the theatrical

Comeback in broad day
To the same place, the same face, the same brute
Amused shout:

'A miracle!'
That knocks me out.
There is a charge

For the eyeing of my scars, there is a charge
For the hearing of my heart----
It really goes.

And there is a charge, a very large charge
For a word or a touch
Or a bit of blood

Or a piece of my hair or my clothes.
So, so, Herr Doktor.
So, Herr Enemy.

I am your opus,
I am your valuable,
The pure gold baby

That melts to a shriek.
I turn and burn.
Do not think I underestimate your great concern.

Ash, ash ---
You poke and stir.
Flesh, bone, there is nothing there----

A cake of soap,
A wedding ring,
A gold filling.

Herr God, Herr Lucifer
Beware
Beware.

Out of the ash
I rise with my red hair
And I eat men like air.
Cade Apr 2014
Ash
Ash,
A beautiful sight,
A horrific one,
Floating around like snowflakes,
Remnants of death,
And destruction,

That's what I am,
Ash,
A simple word,
Yet so full,
Of feeling,
Despair,
Hope,
The toppling of things,
A new beginning,

Ash,
Grey,  
The perfect in-between,
Tears,
Of sadness,  
Of joy,
The falling of tyrants,
The rising of new hope,
And occasionally,
Love.
This poem is completely out of control. It's one of my earlier poems from a couple years ago.
Ix Ryley Jan 2011
That velvety black rose from depths of cold ash,
Thirst quenched by the tears of the thundering red sky,
The crashes chase fiery hairlines, cold flashes,
From cold, thorny velvet, the wet petals fly--
Like the drenched rose could cry.

Whirlwinds whip, ash rose shrouded in black.
The blossom still fights through the rain, sharp as glass.
The glow of the sun’s what the thorny rose lacks,
But, at dawn’s dim grey glow, withered rose is cold ash--
Ash, like the others before it.

A rose, as it grows, is a rose, still, at death
Through wind and the rain, and the frost's icey breath
For a rose and its seed and the ash when it's gone
Will wither and die in the time before dawn.
What's ash can't come back.
It's gone.
Benji James Jan 2019
As I awake from eternal slumber
I rise from the ground covered with ash
Bound in a circle of fire
You can call me Johnny Cash
Hands through the fire
They don't burn, no pain
I am immune to fire it seems
Walk right through
surrounded by lightning skies
Thunder rattles my ears
Though I don't burn
I can feel the heat
A thousand degrees
Memories flash before my eyes
Of a past life
I remember monsters and me
Locked together in purgatory

Resurrection
Need a new direction
A new chance I've been given
May have a chance to mend my ways
First I need to figure where I am
Was I resurrected by a holy man
It seems I'm not in heaven
This doesn't feel like the earth
Nothing around but Ash and Dirt
A wasteland I find myself in
Maybe this is my hell
I must have been ******
Because of the sins branded in me
Nobody around in sight
I'm on my own again this time

I've wandered these deserts for many years
No hope in sight
Not sure if in circles I have been walking
Because all the scenery I've seen
All looks the same to me
Trapped in this box
Just a Jack waiting to be set free
Wind me up so I can breathe
See the light just one more time
My mind has slowly deteriorated, insane
Not sure I'll ever be the same
This is torture, this is the pain
This burns even more than the flame
Trapped in this place
I cannot stay
I need to break free of this cell
Can't stay here trapped in hell

Resurrection
Need a new direction
A new chance I've been given
May have a chance to mend my ways
First I need to figure where I am
Was I resurrected by a holy man
It seems I'm not in heaven
This doesn't feel like the earth
Nothing around but Ash and Dirt
A wasteland I find myself in
Maybe this is my hell
I must have been ******
Because of the sins branded in me
Nobody around in sight
I'm on my own again this time

Fed myself holy water,
It burns me inside
Too late for confessing past sins
Can't be forgiven for this
Keep hearing voices taunting me
Saying I'll never be good enough
Can't save myself from the pain I've been dealt
You have failed yourself and everyone else
Them words on repeat, the laughs and the screams
Making fun of me
I'm nothing more than an empty shell
Of who I once was
Tried to be too strong on my own
Now I see it takes more to fight demons and monster alone
The mistakes that I've made
Are put on parade through my dreams
Bound and chained to never leave me

Resurrection
Need a new direction
A new chance I've been given
May have a chance to mend my ways
First I need to figure where I am
Was I resurrected by a holy man
It seems I'm not in heaven
This doesn't feel like the earth
Nothing around but Ash and Dirt
A wasteland I find myself in
Maybe this is my hell
I must have been ******
Because of the sins branded in me
Nobody around in sight
I'm on my own again this time

My soul was torn to shreds
Now just an empty vessel
Eyes pitch black
Not a light left inside
My heart was ripped from my chest
Follow your heart, Now just a distant memory
Said I wouldn't fade
Soulless and Heartless maybe I am
But I'll fight with everything I have left
Until broken in pieces upon the floor
Until I'm unable to move anymore

Resurrection
Need a new direction
A new chance I've been given
May have a chance to mend my ways
First I need to figure where I am
Was I resurrected by a holy man
It seems I'm not in heaven
This doesn't feel like the earth
Nothing around but Ash and Dirt
A wasteland I find myself in
Maybe this is my hell
I must have been ******
Because of the sins branded in me
Nobody around in sight
I'm on my own again this time

It was just monsters and me in Purgatory
Now I see I'm trapped in myself
Fighting the monsters that I had become
To my own demons, I was forced to succumb
But I won't stand for it no more
I'll do what it takes
To claim my throne
Needed a little help
Needed a little guidance
From my angels of light
Help me to reclaim my life
So I'm here praying
Drenched in tears
I need you to help me beat these fears
I need you to support me out of here
Hear my prayers and all I have to say
I need purification
Plunge me beneath these holy seas
Wash me clean, help me heal
I want the power to feel

Resurrection
Need a new direction
A new chance I've been given
May have a chance to mend my ways
Found out where it is I am
Wasn't resurrected by a holy man
It seems I'm not in heaven
But this feels like home
Nothing around but Ash and Dirt
A wasteland I once found myself in
Maybe this was hell
I may have been ******
But I found beauty in who I am
Because of the sins branded in me
They gave me the strength
to find a new way
Nobody was around in sight
There was one beyond my eyes
He filled me with eternal light
Now I've got to let it shine.

©2019 Written By Benji James
Blue Flask Aug 2015
when drunken dreams
become indistinguishable
from the sober reality
When the world is spinning
even when your mind is clean
when every cry of
I love you
just rings in your ears
barely even a whisper of a memory
When your thoughts turn dust to ash
and ash to dust
thats where you will be
like know just time mind life feel world lost say we're things think love there's does people night away way thought got words long reality want better left make end eyes day man human dark experience remember really right death memory going place high good live city thoughts soul meaning great pain home sky believe shall change living oh fall light choice god consciousness existence years cause hard feeling thinking fear times 'cause dreams ask alive heart need past felt days dream sensation truth true use power knowledge wrong stars understand baby tell state thing face wave broken old you'll wave new broken nature you'll **** mental look far ah drug moment best ago air lose sleep dare try leave beautiful blue born lives escape sublime doesn't body dawn friends waiting feels young daze game control perception gone story mean sun head given writing act difference reason poetry philosophy psyche little trying touch deep greatest wonder choose drugs exist we'll moments score hold play set run self forget coming hope word future dead wish burn music emotion rain stop gaze pleasure glass one's what's lies sense wake hit remain real work bad stay open brain art seek space present happy spent acid pill social we've they're half-light used land held gotta help lie path finally listen actually longing rave water cold seeking caught energy reflection information anymore venturous goes came red hide start truly hand evil divine subtle matter kind lonely yes told eternity keeps line black edge ego context dusk horizon gonna spiritual tripping dimension data die white **** seen means care getting saw places sure freedom looking hurt fool wind flow search chance la took broke existential summer content flowing belief praise empyrean empathy discovery chemical aeon couldn't who's turn forth bit question eye judgement pray passion sound personal worth memories sanity accept universe embrace lack knows free makes rise language decide consider temporal society gain wander conscious stuff religious comprehend particle psychedelic metaphysics you've entheon absurdia entactus maybe ready fate realize family meant return perfect learn miss spirit doubt rest loved minds health moving mortal bring expression sleeping cast lines purpose quiet known strange infinite king months madness haze depths ate party patterns oneself psychedelion inside guess crowd later silent clear soft breath hours hate dust forgotten arms drink fast year war longer close searching morning ashes calm beauty darkness different justice fell friend shadows knowing fine youth heavy standing sweet enjoy explain vain simple chasing hidden ends smoke gold heaven follow point person breaking necessary today relief action cool possible bass generation lying listening machine yeah substance hath engine forlorn problem subject intangible study effort quantum definitions dopamine psychedelics we'd sigma cybran apotheon isn't empathion clouds practice gave warm wanted stand poem wait storm met asleep course skies crime surely grow depression write loose fair ecstasy knew dreaming humanity waves share taken simply faith playing sands view fix winter afraid began wise welcome comprehension sought late big zero table says bliss changed repetition everybody blame unto maze understanding mr explore states ignore addiction venture define teenage american humans billion she's wasn't 'til sonder walk smile tonight speak dance skin blood breathe fears illuminate worse peace girl crave easily emotions feelings **** having force ways lets catch meet hair doors worlds hearts destroy heard walking near hurricane wisdom lights second suicide ignorance fresh waking sadness grand happiness appear rising scared save join adventure neon outside alike liberty particles wonderful compounds killed somebody grace merely closer company desert master twisted realm respect trance ridiculous *** exile pondering noble dangerous absurd nation progress culture contradiction perceive irish urban 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ethics survived definition reasoning internet feedback vibrancy serotonin cyclone hacker sardonic surreality virtuality here's he's sunyata temporality ******'s empathos apotheotelos flash shining green forever anger carry son moon selfish written supposed feed ya quite loop hooked pure feet hole paper flag sick voice burning attention fly utter wicked tremble endless form infinity talking piece shores verse chest rules food placed plan hallelujah called gun fading drinking emotional measure inspiration suffering belong west read sly instead bear erase furious shame conclusion drunk roll ******* depressed calls taught died defined tire everyday answers sacred acknowledge speaks perfection games ground spoke stood motion sway keeping pretend hell movement magic park key spin kick sake jump hanging animal begins orange streetlights fade crazy honest warp puppet chained survive apathy chains claim prey science diamonds begging grip tale hang powerful wonderland heal dealing plant twice 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remains stained insane reached lot discovered plain poison streets killing ending tried session vs poor woke stare watching grass slick emptiness falling box painter series children virtues awareness clean rolling reach advice heavens rend half cherish bay started relax focus laughed ashamed fiend melody drop exhale void occurs beneath win chose robes thrall shield ended sons normal sunrise road forged onward burden actions unlike colors curious street observe chosen silence shades returns technology race vengeance swept bag civilization strive reconcile trouble cloud described replaced substances whilst finding euphoria dear chemistry events deal message eternal masses beliefs vision apparent honestly dr seeing idea domain soar books frames rule law pleasures eat dread bare blaze raise compassion kindness wandered objects expressed sin declare mistake smoking drum heavenly honor lands fountain renew happening aspect gotten issues divinity teach matters pills goal follows significant job romantic gazed envelope elements identity group sell foolish lucid dimensions brothers owe education november difficult recognition express properties glitter considering illusion appreciate discover resonance derived transcendental buzz notion risk scares riot rainy teaching drizzle direct experiences elation normality quote evolution versus lamplight method reflective endeavour cloth eats teenagers eventually haul club result relative breed threat subjective concerning solstice interpretations allows rational ultimately basis aligned numbness hypocrite charade morality dope chaser continuum undead exploits aeons research freeman appropriate ion ****** teachings dilation binge beatific intuitive transcendent escapism psychedelia metaphysical beta untitled mescaline otherworldly dreampt contextual experiential symbiosis codex dissociation cybernetic weren't life's let's mirror's well-being any-more entheogenic junkiedom signifiers mescalito zero-summing won't 'pataphysics window 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chances abuse palm week existed ignorant blind dice sheep agree joke spy spill odds immeasurable *** pushing wanderlust softly midst presents blade guided ripped round ball lovely rhythms beats cars glaze wash fates evening vein gloss juvenile sides faces graces month circular rung wheel rises permeates father supreme portal liked rip fades october sitting grin showing surrounded explored opened confused wall quietly deftly scene sighs lingering radio altered evaporated suns dreamed vibration important appetite exactly devil inhabiting brains ordinary beckons constant local organic soothing linger meditation moonlight lads height ethereal simplicity kinda cigarette suggest violence blew bombs arise trips predict surface guy movements grey car stepped large bank forward landed lied ancient purely crash direction inspired release warned melodic rhythmic telling mysticism blues riddle blur floating drama neck lover nerve poisonous glare factory wage character suburbia escaped gates 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Composed on 00:53, 21/09/2016 using Hello Poetry's 'Words' algorithm. We don't assume this means something.
Shiv-man Jul 2014
I try to reach to the top but every time i fail
Yet I try over and over again
because every climb brings me closer to my aim.

I wish to reach the summit- as do my fellow mates,
Some of them are strangers
but some of them I know
But in the end you have to climb all alone.

Every climb I learn something new,
Every climb breaks my spirit
but every climbs gets me closer
to The Dragon on the summit.

After countless tries I reach that peak yearned by all
and I see the white Dragon standing tall

The lustrous snow blinds my eyes
and I feel the cold winds blow
through clear blue skies

The dragon stares right into my eyes
and I see that this world is just a web of lies

All these falls and climb were just fiction
and my real self was far beyond the horizon





He shoots a wall of fire at me
that is the last thing I see

It burns my eyes
              my heart
                  my thought
             my soul



I am just ash.
Ash that cannot be burnt again,
Ash that flies in the skies,
Ash that flows with the rivers,
Ash that is free-
**Forever
The poem is inspired by the hindu/budhist concept of 'moksha'
It is liberation from endless cycle of birth-death and the suffering which comes with it.
It is knowing who you truly are
It is escaping the Matrix forever
Paul S Eifert Nov 2012
I am at the fire as I would likely be, come the chill
hours of inactivity, having gathered up the dead
detritus from the yard and put to match some old
wood rested on it. The lifeless pile took flame
with greed, as if surprised by need of it,
and gratefully gave itself to be consumed by fire.
For a time the world is all ablaze, all red
and yellow hot upon my face, flush with pregnant
sparks giving birth to ever greater iterations of fire.

Then I think let it all burn, all that is useless;
let it burn, all that is cast off and idle; in my mind
an eternal flame, even as the wood before my eyes
melts to ash and climbs to heaven on a pillar
of smoke. Ash settles down to earth with me,
ash in the air darting through shadows, bitter
on the tongue, gray in the hair. The universe
is cold; the space between the stars blank.
The bodies of the universe are all ash.

As long as there is flame I stay with it. I inch
closer as the cold elbows in, jealous of my place.
I stir. Chars catch a breath and come to light,
soon fading, embers weary of their work, blinking
heavy eyed, nodding off to sleep. When at length
all that can burn has burned, refined to its last
remains, glowing scarlet crystal, intensity wanting fuel
denied, I leave it to its vultures, satisfied
all becomes at last what does endure.
r0b0t Jun 2014
Ash
sun
has never meant
much to her
she's always found solace
in the ash of the clouds
like the ash
between her teeth
and she surveys the wreckage
of what once mattered
and doesn't anymore
because she stopped caring
and this
has come
from the hell
we endure
for just
one more kiss
these clouds
and the sunburn that can still come from between them
and she's always wanted to see the zoo in winter
and he promised she would
and he never took her
and now he's gone
into the ash
leaving nothing
but a whisper
behind to tell her
"remember."
I've been missing her a lot lately.
AS Jul 2011
How do you explain

to your children that the

horrors of the world are real?

How will I tell my son, We

found a place you can call home but

your bus might not make it to school.

Do not look too Jewish in this part of town

Do not play in the train station

Do not get used

to the weight

of a machine gun.

Or look my

daughter in the eye and say, someday

you might say “no” and someone stronger than you might

not listen

You will not tell me

Know that this happens a lot

Know that your wrists pinned against a

backboard will

echo in the way you move your hands

for as long as you let it

But

human hands aren’t as heavy as metal shackles

And I’m so sorry

but I won’t be able to

take the weight for you

You’ll wake up in the morning

That I can promise you

You’ll wake up

and your lungs will fill with air

whether you tell them to or not.

One day

I will hold someone

small, with my face

and they’ll cry and I’ll say,

*I know.

I know you’re tied with little yarn strings to the last life

I know it hurts to be here and

(honestly)

you’re never going back

But

the older you get the less you’ll remember

what it was like

before you had a body

when you were made of ash and infinite light

You’ll convince yourself you live here and

that your hands are you,

But remember that once you were boundless

Inside my body, without yours.
Cyril Blythe Sep 2012
I followed him down the trail until we got to the mouth of the mines. The life and energy of the surrounding maples and birches seemed to come to a still and then die as we walked closer, closer. The air was cold and dark and damp and smelt of mold and moths. Delvos stepped into the darkness anyways.
“Well, girl, you coming or aren’t you?”
I could see his yellowed tobacco teeth form into a slimy smile as I stepped out of the sun. It was still inside. The canary chirped.
“This tunnel is just the mouth to over two hundred others exactly like it. Stay close. Last thing I need this month is National Geographic on my *** for losing one of their puppet girls.”
“Delvos, ****. I have two masters degrees.” He rolled his eyes.
“Spare me.” He trotted off around the corner to the left, whistling.
“I survived alone in the jungles of Bolivia alone for two months chasing an Azara’s Spinetail. I climbed the tallest mountain in Nepal shooting Satyr Tragopans along the cliff faces. In Peru I…” Suddenly I felt the weight of the darkness. In my blinding anger I lost track of his lantern. I stopped, my heartbeat picked up, and I tried to remind myself of what I did in Peru.
I followed a Diurnal Peruvian Pygmy-Owl across the gravel tops of the Andes Mountains, no light but the Southern Cross and waning moon above. I am not scared of darkness. I am not scared of darkness.
I stopped to listen. Somewhere in front of me the canary chirped.

When I first got the job in Vermont I couldn’t have been more frustrated. Mining canaries? Never had I ever ‘chased’ a more mundane bird. Nonetheless, when Jack Reynolds sends you on a shoot you don’t say no, so I packed up my camera bag and hoped on the next plane out of Washington.
“His name is John Delvos.” Jack said. He handed me the manila case envelope. “He’s lived in rural Vermont his entire life. Apparently his family bred the canaries for the miners of the Sheldon Quarry since the early twenties. When the accident happened the whole town basically shut down. There were no canaries in the mines the day the gas killed the miners. His mother died in a fire of some sort shortly after. The town blamed the Delvos family and ran them into the woods. His father built a cabin and once his father died, Delvos continued to breed the birds. He ships them to other mining towns across the country now. We want to run a piece about the inhumanity of breeding animals to die so humans won’t.” I stood in silence in front of his deep mahogany desk, suddenly aware of the lack of make-up on my face. He smiled, “You’re leaving on Tuesday.”
“Yes sir.”
“Don’t look so smug, Lila. This may not be the most exotic bird you’ve shot but the humanity of this piece has the potential to be a cover story. Get the shots, write the story.”

“Do you understand the darkness now, Ms. Rivers? Your prestigious masters degrees don’t mean **** down here.” Delvos reappeared behind the crack of his match in a side tunnel not twenty yards in front of me. He relit the oily lantern and turned his back without another word. I reluctantly followed deeper into the damp darkness.
“Why were there no canaries in the mine on, you know, that day?” The shadows of the lantern flickered against the iron canary cage chained on his hip and the yellow bird hopped inside.
“I was nine, Ms. Rivers. I didn’t understand much at the time.” We turned right into the next tunnel and our shoes crunched on jagged stones. All the stones were black.
“But surely you understand now?”
The canary chirped.

When I first got to Sheldon and began asking about the location of the Delvos’ cabin you would have thought I was asking where the first gate to hell was located. Mothers would smile and say, “Sorry, Miss, I can’t say,” and hurriedly flock their children in the opposite direction. After two hours of polite refusals I gave up. I spent the rest of the first day photographing the town square. It was quaint; old stone barbershops surrounded by oaks and black squirrels, a western themed whiskey bar, and a few greasy spoon restaurants interspersed in-between. I booked a room in the Walking Horse Motel for Wednesday night, determined to get a good nights sleep and defeat this towns fear of John Delvos tomorrow.
My room was a tiny one bed square with no TV. Surprise, surprise. At least I had my camera and computer to entertain myself. I reached into the side of my camera bag and pulled out my Turkish Golds and Macaw-beak yellow BIC. I stepped out onto the dirt in front of my door and lit up. I looked up and the stars stole all the oxygen surrounding me. They were dancing and smiling above me and I forgot Delvos, Jack, and all of Sheldon except it’s sky. Puffing away, I stepped farther and farther from my door and deeper into the darkness of night. The father into the darkness the more dizzying the stars dancing became.
“Ma’am? Everything okay?”
Startled, I dropped my cigarette on the ground and the ember fell off.
“I’m sorry, sir. I was just, um, the stars…” I snuffed out the orange glow in the dirt with my boot and extended my hand, “Lila Waters, and you are?”
“Ian Benet. I haven’t seen you around here before, Ms. Waters, are you new to town?”
“I’m here for work. I’m a bird photographer and journalist for National Geographic. I’m looking for John Delvos but I’m starting to think he’s going to be harder to track than a Magpie Robin.”
The stars tiptoed in their tiny circles above in the silence. Then, they disappeared with a spark as Ian lit up his wooden pipe. It was a light colored wood, stained with rich brown tobacco and ash. He passed me his matches, smiling.
“What do you want with that old *******? Don’t tell me National Geographic is interested in the Delvos canaries.”
I lit up another stick and took a drag. “Shocking, right?”
“Actually, it’s about time their story is told.” Benet walked to the wooden bench to our left and patted the seat beside him. I walked over. “The Delvos canaries saved hundreds of Sheldonian lives over the years. But the day a crew went into the mines without one, my father came out of the ground as cold as when we put him back into it in his coffin.”
I sat in silence, unsure what to say. “Mr. Benet, I’m so sorry…”
“Please, just Ian. My father was the last Mr. Benet.”
We sat on the wooden bench, heat leaving our bodies to warm the dead wood beneath our legs. I shivered; the stars dance suddenly colder and more violent.
“Delvos canaries are martyrs, Ms. Waters. This whole town indebted to those tiny yellow birds, but nobody cares to remember that anymore.”
“Can you tell me where I can find Mr. Delvos and his, erm, martyrs?” The ember of my second cigarette was close to my pinching fingertips.
“Follow me.” Ian stood up and walked to the edge of the woods in front of us. We crunched the cold dust beneath our feet, making me aware of how silent it was. Ian stopped at a large elm and pointed, “See that yellow notch?” Sure enough, there was a notch cut and dyed yellow at his finger’s end. “If you follow true north from this tree into the woods you’ll find this notch about every fifty yards or so. Follow the yellow and it’ll spit you out onto the Delvos property.”
“Thank you, Ian. I really can’t begin to tell you how thankful I am to find out where to find this elusive Mr. Delvos and his canaries.”
“You don’t have to,” he knocked the ash out of his pipe against the tree, “Just do those birds justice in your article. Remember, martyrs. Tell old Delvos Ian Benet sends his regards.” He turned and walked back to the motel and I stood and watched in silence. It was then I realized I hadn’t heard a single bird since I got to Sheldon. The stars dance was manic above me as I walked back to my room and shut the door.

The canary chirped and Delvos stopped.
“This is a good place to break out fast. Sit.”
I sat obediently, squirming around until the rocks formed a more comfortable nest around my bony hips. We left for the mines as the stars were fading in the vermillion Vermont sky this morning and had been walking for what seemed like an eternity. I was definitely ready to eat. He handed me a gallon Ziploc bag from his backpack filled with raisins, nuts, various dried fruits, and a stiff piece of bread. I attacked the food like a raven.
“I was the reason no canaries entered the mines that day, Ms. Waters.” Delvos broke a piece of his bread off and wrapped it around a dried piece of apricot, or maybe apple. I was suddenly aware of my every motion and swallowed, loudly. I crinkled into my Ziploc and crunched on the pecans I dug out, waiting.
“Aren’t you going to ask why?”
“I’m not a parrot, Mr. Delvos, I don’t answer expectedly on command. You’ll tell me if you want.” I hurriedly stuffed a fistful of dried pears into my mouth.
Delvos chuckled and my nerves eased, “You’ve got steel in you, Ms. Rivers, I’ll give you that much.”
I nodded and continued cramming pears in my mouth.
“I was only nine. The canaries were my pets, all of them. I hated when Dad would send them into the mines to die for men I couldn’t give two ***** about. It was my birthday and I asked for an afternoon of freedom with my pets and Dad obliged. I was in the aviary with pocketfuls of sunflower-seeds. Whenever I threw a handful into the air above me, the air came to life with flickering yellow brushes and songs of joy. It was the happiest I have ever been, wholly surrounded and protected by my friends. Around twelve thirty that afternoon the Sheriff pulled up, lights ablaze. The blue and red lights stilled my yellow sky to green again and that’s when I heard the shouting. He cuffed my Dad on the hood of the car and Mom was crying and pushing her fists into the sheriff’s chest. I didn’t understand at all. The Sheriff ended up putting Mom in the car too and they all left me in the aviary. I sat there until around four that afternoon before they sent anyone to come get me.”
Delvos took a small bite of his bread and chewed a moment. “No matter how many handfuls of seeds I threw in the air after that, the birds wouldn’t stir. They wouldn’t even sing. I think they knew what was happening.”
I was at a loss for words so of course I blurted, “I didn’t see an aviary at your house…”
Delvos laughed. “Someone burnt down the house I was raised in the next week while we were sleeping. Mom died that night. The whole dark was burning with screams and my yellow canaries were orange and hot against the black sky. That’s the only night I’ve seen black canaries and the only night I’ve heard them scream.”
I swallowed some mixed nuts and they rubbed against my dry throat.
“They never caught the person. A week later Dad took the remainder of the birds and we marched into the woods. We worked for months clearing the land and rebuilding our lives. We spent most of the time in silence, except for the canary cries. When the house was finally built and the birds little coops were as well, Dad finally talked. The only thing he could say was ‘Canaries are not the same as a Phoenix, John. Not the same at all.”
The canary chirped, still only visible by the lanterns flame. Not fully yellow, I realized, here in the mines, but not fully orange either.

When I first walked onto John Delvos’ property on Thursday morning he was scattering feed into the bird coops in the front of his cabin. Everything was made of wood and still wet with the morning’s dew.
“Mr. Delvos?” He spun around, startled, and walked up to me a little too fast.
“Why are you here? Who are you?”
“My name is Lila Waters, sir, I am a photographer and journalist for National Geographic Magazine and we are going to run an article on your canaries.”
“Not interested”
“Please, sir, can I ask you just a few quick questions as take a couple pictures of your, erm, martyrs?”
His eyes narrowed and he walked up to me, studying my face with an intense, glowering gaze. He spit a mouthful of dip onto the ground without breaking eye contact. I shifted my camera bag’s weight to the other shoulder.
“Who told you to call them that?”
“I met Ian Benet last night, he told me how important your birds are to this community, sir. He sends his regards.”
Delvos laughed and motioned for me to follow as he turned his back. “You can take pictures but I have to approve which ones you publish. That’s my rule.”
“Sir, it’s really not up to me, you see, my boss, Jack Reynolds, is one of the CEO’s for the magazine and he...”
“Those are my rules, Ms. Waters.” He turned and picked back up the bucket of seed and began to walk back to the birds. “You want to interview me then we do it in the mine. Be back here at four thirty in the morning.”
“Sir…?”
“Get some sleep, Ms. Waters. You’ll want to be rested for the mine.” He turned, walked up his wooden stairs, and closed the door to his cabin.
I was left alone in the woods and spent the next hour snapping pictures of the little, yellow canaries in their cages. I took a couple pictures of his house and the surrounding trees, packed up my camera and trekked back to my motel.

“You finished yet?” Delvos stood up and the memory of his green and brown wooded homestead fled from my memory as the mine again consumed my consciousness. Dark, quiet, and stagnant. I closed the Ziploc and stuffed the bag, mainly filled with the raisins I sifted through, into my pocket.
Delvos grunted and the canary flapped in its cage as he stood again and, swinging the lantern, rounded another corner. The path we were on began to take a noticeable ***** downward and the moisture on the walls and air multiplied.
The canary chirped.
The lantern flickered against the moist, black stones, sleek and piled in the corners we past. The path stopped ahead at a wall of solid black and brown Earth.
The canary chirped twice.
It smelt of clay and mildew and Delvos said, “Go on, touch it.”
I reached my hand out, camera uselessly hanging like a bat over my shoulder. The rock was cold and hard. It felt dead.
The Canary was flitting its wings in the cage now, chirping every few seconds.
“This is the last tunnel they were digging when the gas under our feet broke free from hell and killed those men.”
Delvos hoisted the lantern above our heads, illuminating the surrounding gloom. All was completely still and even my own vapor seemed to fall out of my mouth and simply die. The canary was dancing a frantic jig, now, similar to the mating dance of the Great Frigate Bird I shot in the Amazon jungle. As I watched the canary and listened to its small wings beat against the cold metal cage I begin to feel dizzy. The bird’s cries had transformed into a scream colder than fire and somehow more fierce.
The ability to fly is what always made me jealous of birds as a child, but as my temple throbbed and the canary danced I realized I was amiss. Screaming, yellow feathers whipped and the entire inside of the cage was instantaneously filled. It was beautiful until the very end. Dizzying, really.
Defeated, the canary sank to the floor, one beaten wing hanging out of the iron bars at a most unnatural angle. Its claws were opening and closing, grasping the tainted cave air, or, perhaps, trying to push it away. Delvos unclipped the cage and sat it on the floor in the space between us, lantern still held swaying above his head. The bird was aflame now, the silent red blood absorbing into the apologetic, yellow feathers. Orange, a living fire. I pulled out my camera as I sat on the ground beside the cage. I took a few shots, the camera’s clicks louder than the feeble chirps sounding out of the canary’s tattered, yellow beak. My head was spinning. Its coal-black eyes reflected the lantern’s flame above. I could see its tiny, red tongue in the bottom of its mouth.
Opening.
Closing.
Opening, wider, too wide, then,
Silence.


I felt dizzy. I remember feeling the darkness surround me; it felt warm.

“I vaguely remember Delvos helping me to my feet, but leaving the mine was a complete haze.” I told the panel back in D.C., “It wasn’t until we had crossed the stream on the way back to the cabin that I began to feel myself again. Even then, I felt like I was living a dream. When we got back to the cabin the sight of the lively yellow canaries in their coops made me cry. Delvos brought me a bottle of water and told me I needed to hit the trail because the sun set early in the winter, so I le
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Composed on 01:33, 27/02/2017 using Hello Poetry's 'Words' algorithm. We still don't assume this means something.
Ira Jun 2019
Ash
The sky is ablaze with ash,
For I am having a clash.
My father is working in hell,
Not concerned with Earth's well.

And as I rise out of death to fix His mess,
Many humans will rise to atest.
I mean all well and wish to simply clean,
But there is far to much for me not be mean.

God cares little for what I do,
For humans all burn with a deadly hue.
And as I clean out the gutter,
All will cry in a hellish mutter.

Bodies will line the street as I see fit,
And Lucifer's work will get fuller by a bit.
Yet ash is simply an inconvience to Him,
But it loves to ask for God's penance.

Now I clean out ash,
As sin makes any human black.
Doo Doo do da do Doo BING - Mario Theme
Tommy N Dec 2010
The thing about running into your house
after it has been on
fire is the amount of cinder and ash.
Something I didn’t know
was after the fire department puts all of the fire out,
the family goes back in.

I was afraid to go in-
-side. I thought the house
would collapse. The idea was to pick out
everything I wanted cleaned and put it on
“the pile.” Photo-albums, Baptism gowns, no-
tes from the war. All covered in ash.

I don’t remember what I picked, but I remember the ash
For some reason I open-
-ed my particle-board nightstand. No
valuables, but books, and a CD. How is
that I remember that it was a Rugrats Computer game lying on
a stack of Goosebumps books, but I can’t pick out

anything but the out-
line of an ash-
-free cd-shape on
books. In,
my whole family, how is
it that no

one else knows,
no one else figured out
that my mother got everyone out of the house
and was so desperate for cash
that she went back in
and turned the iron

on.
No-
-thing was accidental. The en-
-tirety of my childhood smoked out
by sheets of ash.
Coming out of the house

That day I learned some things: When you clean ash out and when
you leave it in, when lies go on and up and build a house of lies to live in.
when to say “I love you” and when to say, “No Mom, I don’t”
Written 2010 as an exercise for the MFA program at Columbia College Chicago
Crushing Love May 2015
Charmanders are Red, Squirtles are blue
If you were a Pokemon I'd choose you.
Your smile is stronger then a Hyper-beam.
Like Jessie and James  we'd make the perfect
Team.

I'll stay by your side like  Pikachu and Ash,
And I'll love you more then a level 80 Rapidash.
You're more legendary then a Zapados,
Entei, or Mew.

But out of all 450, I choose you.
Just something cute and fun!
Lotus May 2012
Three piles of stones…

Three I held most dear to my heart,
Three are those that perished,
Now three piles of stones fill the gaps,
That their ashen bodies have left.

Black reflective stones for my mother,
Who taught me all I know,
Who named me Green for my love of the garden,
My mother, who preferred blue-jay feathers to her pearls,
My mother, whose gap,
Occupied now by black stones.

Silver clear stones for my father,
Who was strong and honest,
My father, who once whistled a tune,
A tune returned by the surrounding sparrows,
My father, whose gap,
Occupied now by silver stones.

Pure white stones for my sister,
Who was beautiful and wild,
Who ran through the woods laughing
Who chased frogs through the mud,
My sister, who shone more bright than the moon,
Her gap,
Occupied now by pure white stones.

Three are those that perished,
The same number that I held most dear to my heart,
Ashes are their body remains,
Three piles of stones,
Now fill their gaps.

Ashes and stones…

Ashes and stones are all that is left,
Of the garden I loved to tend.
Zucchini and purple onions,
Peppers and blueberry bushes,
Row after row of prolific treasures,
Burned,
Banished,
Out of existence.

Onion and Ghost…

Onion,
My sister’s little terrier,
Who knew exactly what happened,
Who barked at the ash filled sky,
Onion,
The little terrier,
Who missed Aurora,
His watcher,
My sister…
My beautiful and wild sister.

Ghost,
The white grey hound,
A ghost dog,
White as a cloud,
Moving through the woods like mist,
The ghost dog,
Who resembled sorrow.

Onion and Ghost,
My two constant companions,
Who like me,
Have had their lives split into two halves,
The first, one of happiness and abundance,
The second, one of ashes and stones.

My neighbor…

The old woman,
Whose house stood in the woods,
Surrounded by an apple orchard,
The old woman,
Who had thrown stones to drive away,
The looters in my garden.

The old woman,
Who I repaid,
With a bucket and mop,
And made her house shine.

This old woman,
Wise and friendly,
Who traded birdseeds
For my bread loafs.

The Forgetting Shack…

The Forgetting Shack,
Where boys and girls drink gin to forget,
Where Heather Jones, with her white dress,
Dances around the fire,
Alone and lost.

Heather Jones,
Whose parents had perished,
Just as mine had.
Heather Jones,
Whom I gave my mother’s blue dress.

Heather Jones,
Who danced around the fire at the Forgetting Shack,
Whose feet were ****** from dancing all night,
Whose eyes were empty and sad.

Heather Jones,
Who soon disappeared,
Too busy with trying to forget.

Heather Jones,
Whose blue dress,
I found in torn pieces,
In the ashes of the fire.

Diamond…

The boy who ran from the fire,
Ran across the river,
In search of his mother,
Her portrait close to his heart.

The boy who didn’t speak,
The boy who was tired of running,
Who stood still as a shadow in my doorway,
Who wore his black hood to hide his eyes.

This boy,
Who I named Diamond…

Diamond,
With his hidden voice,
Me,
With my clouded eyes.

Leafs that were once black, now an apple green…

There was Onion and Ghost,
The sparrows and the wind,
And now there was Diamond.

I soon found myself singing,
Dancing,
Smiling.

The black ink leaves,
The black ink roses…
Slowly transforming into
Apple green.

Where did this change come from?
I was Ash,
With black ink in my skin,
With gray clouded eyes…

Green…*

Diamond is gone,
Diamond, who brought about change,
Diamond…
Who kissed me goodbye.

I missed Diamond,
Who painted watercolors,
Who believed the garden would grow again.

I missed Heather Jones,
Who wore my mother’s blue dress,
Who danced too close to the fire.

I missed Ghost,
A white mist through the trees,
A ghost dog,
Who resembled sorrow.

Most of all,
I missed my sister,
Aurora,
My beautiful, wild sister,
Who chased frogs through the mud.

I dreamed of those I missed,
I woke crying,
I cried away the cloudiness in my eyes,
Sun shown out the window,
Seedlings grew in the garden.

From then on, there was no Ash,
Ash blew away with the wind.

I was Green again,
Green who tended the garden,
Green who sang with the sparrows,
Green who danced in the sun,
Green who smiled.











*For my english class, we were assigned an independent reading project, and I chose to write a poem from the main character's perspective. The book is called "Green Angel" and the author is Alice Hoffman. Hoffman is one of the most beautiful writers of all time, and her books are extroadinary! I strongly suggest all you hello poetry friends to read it!
George was lying in his trailer, flat on his back, watching a small portable T.V. His
dinner dishes were undone, his breakfast dishes were undone, he needed a shave, and ash
from his rolled cigarettes dropped onto his undershirt. Some of the ash was still burning.
Sometimes the burning ash missed the undershirt and hit his skin, then he cursed, brushing
it away. There was a knock on the trailer door. He got slowly to his feet and answered the
door. It was Constance. She had a fifth of unopened whiskey in a bag.
"George, I left that *******, I couldn't stand that *******
anymore."
"Sit down."
George opened the fifth, got two glasses, filled each a third with whiskey, two thirds
with water. He sat down on the bed with Constance. She took a cigarette out of her purse
and lit it. She was drunk and her hands trembled.
"I took his **** money too. I took his **** money and split while he was at work.
You don't know how I've suffered with that *******." "
Lemme have a smoke," said George. She handed it to him and as she leaned near,
George put his arm around her, pulled her over and kissed her.
"You *******," she said, "I missed you."
"I miss those good legs of yours , Connie. I've really missed those good
legs."
"You still like 'em?"
"I get hot just looking."
"I could never make it with a college guy," said Connie. "They're too
soft, they're milktoast. And he kept his house clean. George , it was like having a maid.
He did it all. The place was spotless. You could eat beef stew right off the crapper. He
was antisceptic, that's what he was."
"Drink up, you'll feel better."
"And he couldn't make love."
"You mean he couldn't get it up?"
"Oh he got it up, he got it up all the time. But he didn't know how to make a
woman happy, you know. He didn't know what to do. All that money, all that education, he
was useless."
"I wish I had a college education."
"You don't need one. You have everything you need, George."
"I'm just a flunkey. All the **** jobs."
"I said you have everything you need, George. You know how to make a woman
happy."
"Yeh?"
"Yes. And you know what else? His mother came around! His mother! Two or three
times a week. And she'd sit there looking at me, pretending to like me but all the time
she was treating me like I was a *****. Like I was a big bad ***** stealing her son away
from her! Her precious Wallace! Christ! What a mess!" "He claimed he loved me.
And I'd say, 'Look at my *****, Walter!' And he wouldn't look at my *****. He said, 'I
don't want to look at that thing.' That thing! That's what he called it! You're not afraid
of my *****, are you, George?"
"It's never bit me yet." "But you've bit it, you've nibbled it, haven't
you George?"
"I suppose I have."
"And you've licked it , ****** it?"
"I suppose so."
"You know **** well, George, what you've done."
"How much money did you get?"
"Six hundred dollars."
"I don't like people who rob other people, Connie."
"That's why you're a ******* dishwasher. You're honest. But he's such an ***,
George. And he can afford the money, and I've earned it... him and his mother and his
love, his mother-love, his clean l;ittle wash bowls and toilets and disposal bags and
breath chasers and after shave lotions and his little hard-ons and his precious
love-making. All for himself, you understand, all for himself! You know what a woman
wants, George."
"Thanks for the whiskey, Connie. Lemme have another cigarette."
George filled them up again. "I missed your legs, Connie. I've really missed those
legs. I like the way you wear those high heels. They drive me crazy. These modern women
don't know what they're missing. The high heel shapes the calf, the thigh, the ***; it
puts rythm into the walk. It really turns me on!"
"You talk like a poet, George. Sometimes you talk like that. You are one hell of a
dishwasher."
"You know what I'd really like to do?"
"What?"
"I'd like to whip you with my belt on the legs, the ***, the thighs. I'd like to
make you quiver and cry and then when you're quivering and crying I'd slam it into you
pure love."
"I don't want that, George. You've never talked like that to me before. You've
always done right with me."
"Pull your dress up higher."
"What?"
"Pull your dress up higher, I want to see more of your legs."
"You like my legs, don't you, George?"
"Let the light shine on them!"
Constance hiked her dress.
"God christ ****," said George.
"You like my legs?"
"I love your legs!" Then george reached across the bed and slapped Constance
hard across the face. Her cigarette flipped out of her mouth.
"what'd you do that for?"
"You ****** Walter! You ****** Walter!"
"So what the hell?"
"So pull your dress up higher!"
"No!"
"Do what I say!" George slapped again, harder. Constance hiked her skirt.
"Just up to the *******!" shouted George. "I don't quite want to see the
*******!"
"Christ, george, what's gone wrong with you?"
"You ****** Walter!"
"George, I swear, you've gone crazy. I want to leave. Let me out of here,
George!"
"Don't move or I'll **** you!"
"You'd **** me?"
"I swear it!" George got up and poured himself a shot of straight whiskey,
drank it, and sat down next to Constance. He took the cigarette and held it against her
wrist. She screamed. HE held it there, firmly, then pulled it away.
"I'm a man , baby, understand that?"
"I know you're a man , George."
"Here, look at my muscles!" george sat up and flexed both of his arms.
"Beautiful, eh ,baby? Look at that muscle! Feel it! Feel it!"
Constance felt one of the arms, then the other.
"Yes, you have a beautiful body, George."
"I'm a man. I'm a dishwasher but I'm a man, a real man."
"I know it, George." "I'm not the milkshit you left."
"I know it."
"And I can sing, too. You ought to hear my voice."
Constance sat there. George began to sing. He sang "Old man River." Then he
sang "Nobody knows the trouble I've seen." He sang "The St. Louis
Blues." He sasng "God Bless America," stopping several times and laughing.
Then he sat down next to Constance. He said, "Connie, you have beautiful legs."
He asked for another cigarette. He smoked it, drank two more drinks, then put his head
down on Connie's legs, against the stockings, in her lap, and he said, "Connie, I
guess I'm no good, I guess I'm crazy, I'm sorry I hit you, I'm sorry I burned you with
that cigarette."
Constance sat there. She ran her fingers through George's hair, stroking him, soothing
him. Soon he was asleep. She waited a while longer. Then she lifted his head and placed it
on the pillow, lifted his legs and straightened them out on the bed. She stood up, walked
to the fifth, poured a jolt of good whiskey in to her glass, added a touch of water and
drank it sown. She walked to the trailer door, pulled it open, stepped out, closed it. She
walked through the backyard, opened the fence gate, walked up the alley under the one
o'clock moon. The sky was clear of clouds. The same skyful of clouds was up there. She got
out on the boulevard and walked east and reached the entrance of The Blue Mirror. She
walked in, and there was Walter sitting alone and drunk at the end of the bar. She walked
up and sat down next to him. "Missed me, baby?" she asked. Walter looked up. He
recognized her. He didn't answer. He looked at the bartender and the bartender walked
toward them They all knew eachother.
CK Baker Dec 2016
The napalan man in a violet cape  
descended the stair with a lopsided gait
a wretched procession, subscribers in cue
rattling off as they stream from the pew  

sounds and smells from a shadowy place
a catholic priest to gin up base
lanterns strung from bolted doors
cobbled streets and wooden floors  

stepping stones and iron bell
fortified by the citadel
hallowed halls and sepulcher
dragon cane for the horse drawn tour

castle turret,  archer holes
centaur scribed in chamber bowls
garden columns in courtyard view
the blood ballet and hullabaloo  

ancient tombs on warrior grounds
gods and saints who made their rounds
goliath still with battered scythe
knelt in prayer and mummified  

battle fires and crowds that roar
gallows, caves, abysmal war  
gargoyles flock the terraced *****
pearly gates to bring on hope  

serpents, snakes and burning ash
lava bombs and trident clash
mariners drift in absentee
as neptune rises from the Tyrrhenian Sea
rained-on parade Dec 2015
I.

I’ve swallowed too many I love you’s
to be afraid of coughing up blood.
They cut you on secret.
Who knew it was drinking gasoline
and sawdust and every little inflammable thing
and then sitting down cross-legged
in the heart of a howitzer; soft.

II.

You are a soft explosion.
You are streaks of a rebel orange
in a sky that is supposed to be blue.
You are steel rods in the curve of my spine,
holding me straight.

III.

I love you’s are like death notes written in ash:
you’ll have to smoke your way to it.
Smoke cigarettes, journals, curtains,
and yourself to get that much ash in your lungs;
trying to blow smoke rings into your finger;
my ceiling knows more about my sadness than you do.

IV.

Saying an I love you once will have you
chanting “don’t leave me” on a rosary;
love will take your bones and leave you
lusting for somebody whose back
is the last thing you’ll see, and whose
skin you’ll think you left your keys in:
and now you’ve locked yourself out
of your own house, in a storm
whose sirens wail in your ears and remind
you, you’re hopeless and homeless.

V.

I love you’s leave no exit wounds,
no shell casings, and when the time comes
you’ll be telling them all how his bullet
ricochets in your ribs,
but emotion never made up for evidence
in the court of settlements for a broken heart.

VI.

Telling someone you love them is like cutting your jugular
and not expecting to bleed out.

VII.

I love you like the pages of a mad girl’s journal.

VIII.

The moon turns from an ally
to the haunting image of science and realisation:
you share the same sky, but no longer the same bed.
And astronomy keeps ******* you over
when you look up at the sky
and no longer understand constellations.

IX.

Love makes it more getting-back-at-you
than getting-back-together-with-you.

X.

Every time you taste blood,
you’ll know you kissed somebody
with teeth like needles
and they cut you everywhere; they
bit you, they bit you, they bit you
and you kept letting them.
22/12/2015
3:11AM
THERE is a woman on Michigan Boulevard keeps a parrot and goldfish and two white mice.
  
She used to keep a houseful of girls in kimonos and three pushbuttons on the front door.
  
Now she is alone with a parrot and goldfish and two white mice ... but these are some of her thoughts:
  
The love of a soldier on furlough or a sailor on shore leave burns with a bonfire red and saffron.
  
The love of an emigrant workman whose wife is a thousand miles away burns with a blue smoke.
  
The love of a young man whose sweetheart married an older man for money burns with a sputtering uncertain flame.
  
And there is a love ... one in a thousand ... burns clean and is gone leaving a white ash....
  
And this is a thought she never explains to the parrot and goldfish and two white mice.
He poured the coffee
Into the cup
He put the milk
Into the cup of coffee
He put the sugar
Into the coffee with milk
With a small spoon
He churned
He drank the coffee
And he put down the cup
Without any word to me
He emptied the coffee with milk
And he put down the cup
Without any word to me
He lighted
One cigarette
He made circles
With the smoke
He shook off the ash
Into the ashtray
Without any word to me
Without any look at me
He got up
He put on
A hat on his head
He put on
A raincoat
Because it was raining
And he left
Into the rain
Without any word to me
Without any look at me
And I buried
My face in my hands
And I cried

— The End —