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Thoughtskeeper Mar 2015
Imagine your eyes speaking.
Are you one of those blind followers?
One of those who just let their eyes see good to feel good? Avoiding injustice, poverty, sadness, racism. Imagine what your eyes would tell you.
Keith Collard Jun 2013
The Quest for the Damsel Fish  by Keith Collard

Author's  Atmosphere

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

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

Chapter  1 Begins the Story

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“ Damgf” he uttered, and could not even grasp a word correctly.  His head lifted to the sky repeatedly, there was no orb, and the shadows were looming larger than ever; fractioned shadows from tree branches were forming scythes all over the ground.
             He entered the large shadow that was his front door, into the house that rose high into the sky, with the simplicity of Stonehenge.  He climbed the rickety petrified stairs and went down the hall.  Grey light had spotlighted every frame on the wall.  He looked into the empty room, nothingness, then his room, the tank seemed at its faintest, and it was nearing twilight.  He walked past the tank to look out the w
L B Jul 2018
For my cousin, Chris Goldrick

Lacing my skates
after walking two miles
in girl-strictured delight
Mom's stories of Sonja Henie--
No, not ever

Lacing my skates
with  snow-ball pompoms
felt skirt
and nylon tights
Cute little hat with matching scarf
My thighs and fingers
already freezing
icy burn
from miles on foot

to get there
the lake where--

I must get out
I must get OUT!

Knowing what
to expect from my body
the quick-twitch of muscle
Could always sense
specific--
gravity of water    
at 22 degrees

Desiring to feel
the motion between ice and steel
Read speed's vibrations through my body
The brain registers relation
to weather's effect
Tell of velocity
possibility of fall
Feel the slash of the blades beneath me
Throw my weight sideways, sudden
to hear that furious hiss
An object in motion tending, dire
to stay in motion

Threatening to stay there
always
in its heights-- of speed
away--

from the crowds of skaters
swirling distant in the lights

Seeking instead
the farthest reaches of Porter Lake
speed and speed and more
to overcome
inertia
of what it is to become
undone

at the outer edges, of humanity
A force  
centrifugal unto myself

Avoiding

Pregnant and slow
with years and babes....

The best
must be broken and tamed
of what it takes to stay free

catching the edges with every stride
catching my toe in the quick
180
spray of frost
to the sudden still

Listen to the frigid chill

and the heave of my breath
tumbling into evidence

Gliding
Once

Forever--

on, into darkness
of woods on frozen water

The wildness of it all

So infatuated with flight
so full of grace

I forgot Sonja

The moon rose
from her seat in the treetops
and applauded
Wrote this immediately from a dream a couple months ago.  With all the heat and humidity, it sounded good to go today.

This dream was an actual relived memory of being 12 years old and skating at Porter Lake in Forest Park of Springfield, Massachusetts.  22 degrees F is minus 5.5 C --Just a reference
R Saba Jan 2014
i'm always trying to describe
the wrong things, aren't i?
describing your voice
when it's the words that matter
outlining your face
when it's the smile that really shatters
upon my eyes
trying to write this feeling down
when it's the reasons that are really
important to me
and i guess that's when i realize
i've been avoiding penning this fear
afraid of the reasons, of the causes
that led me here
and this feeling?
it's nothing more than a consequence
or so i tell myself
as i step carefully over
the dark puddles
and onto the hard cement, looking
for the yellow lines
that will tell me where to go
left or right?
right or wrong?
i've been describing the wrong things
i know that now, and i have
each scene played out
in black and white
while the real meaning is lost
in the spaces between the letters
and the missing punctuation
gathers itself into the sky
spelling out the word i am afraid of
fear
gotta love poetry
ashw May 2013
Forever avoiding me,
It has a mind of its own,
I reach out to grab it;
Always too slow.

My fingers once brushed it,
I thought I had won,
It consumed my whole body;
My face felt the sun.

Before I could bask,
The warmth disappeared,
It left me alone;
Confirmed my worst fear:

It's not mine to possess,
No matter how I try,
And I won't try to retrieve it
Next time it goes by.
Big Virge Sep 2014
So …..
  
Who Are The ...  
... " Good Guys " ... ?  
In These Modern Times ... ?  

Osama … Obama ... ? ?  
Or Those … Civil Type Guardia ... ?  
  
What ...  
Makes Them Good ... ?  
  
The Guns They Use ...
As If They ... Should ….  
To RESTRAIN and ... Defuse ...  
VIOLENT … Neighbourhoods … !?!
  
But REALLY …  
Is This ... What They Do … ?!?  
  
I've Heard Stories ...  
That … Relay TRUTH ...  
About The ABUSE ...  
Some Guardia … Choose … !!!  
  
Like …  
STRIPPING Men …  
In … Spanish Streets ...  
To ... Prove To Them ….  
The ... Kinda PROBLEMS ...  
They're ... BOUND To See ...  
If They ... DON'T Respect ...  
The ... " Gendarmerie " … !!!!!  
  
Good Guys ….. !!!?!!!  
  
REALLY … ?!?  
  
Or Employed … BULLIES ...  !?!  
  
The Type Who ... FEED ...  
of … "ABUSE FILLED Deeds" … !!!  
  
The Type That Make ...  
Young People … BLEED … !!!
  
When ...  
Guns They … PARADE …  
Aren't Used … " Properly " …  
  
Kind of Like …. " NEWTOWN " ….  
Where It's CLEAR … Gun Sounds ...  
Will Now … RESOUND ...  
In The ... Hearts and Mouths ...  
of ... Parents Now …  
  
Resound With … " LOSS " … !!!!!  
Cos' A ... LOVED One's Gone … !!!!!
  
WITHOUT A …. Song ….  
Or Farewell ... "Prolonged" ...
  
So …. ???  
  
What Was The Mantra ... ?  
of … Adam Lanza ... ?  
  
To Shoot REPEATEDLY ...  
In A ... KILLING SPREE …  
That Took … SO MANY … !!!!!  
  
Was His Mind So HEAVY ... ?!?  
That His Thoughts … CLEARLY …  
Had Become …  "UNstEAdy" … !!!  
  
So …  
Where Were Connecticut's ...  
GOOD GUYS … Then … ?  
  
With The ... " NRA " ... !?!  
At A ... Shooting Range … ???  
  
Shooting Guns For …  "FUN" … !!!  
  
While The Blood of A MUM ...  
And Youngsters ..... RUN .....................................
  
Down SCHOOL Hallways ...  
In The … Middle of The Day ... !?!
  
Now The NRA Says …  
  
"Bad Guys with guns,  
need to face, good ones !"
  
Okay Okay ...  
But Let's ... Get This Straight … !!!  
  
It's ... OKAY For A Man ...  
Whose Been Paid and Trained ...  
To ... SHOOT TO **** ...
  
Pretty Much AT WILL ...  
Cos' It's Been … " Okayed " …  
By The ….  " NRA " …. !?!  
  
Who Said ...  
They Were Good … !!!???!!!  
  
I Learnt My Lesson ...  
Watching … Charlton Heston ... !!!  
  
It Would ...  
Seem To Me ...  
That ... NRA Peeps …  
  
Care ...  
MORE For ... MONEY ...  
Than When … Children BLEED … !!?!!  
  
It's ... ALL About GREED … !!!  
  
Cos' ...  
Good GUYS ... DON'T NEED ...  
To Have … " ARMOURIES " ... !!!  
To ENSURE The Streets ...  
Are Filled With … "PEACE" ...
  
and I … For One ...  
DON'T Believe That Guns ...
Have … ANY Function …  
In …. Education …. !!!!!!  
  
Educate Our Youth ….. !!!  
About The ...  
  
HARM They Cause ... !!!!!!!  
  
They NEED To Be Schooled ...  
In ….... AVOIDING Wars ............ !!!!!!
  
And In ... Avoiding Depression …  
That Leads To HARSH Lessons ... !!!!!  
  
It Time To STRENGTHEN ... !!!  
Our Fight Against ... Guns ...  
  
And Time To … " LESSEN " …  !!!  
" NRA " ... Type Funds ... !!!!!  
  
That SUPPORT …   " The Lie "  
of …..  " Preservation of life " …  
    
Through The Use of …  
………. GUNS …………  
  
Seeing Blood ... Run …  
DOESN'T ... Signify FUN … !!!!!  
  
NEITHER Does ...  
... The Sight ...  
  
of Police In Schools ...  
With A Gun By Their Side … !!!
  
They Weren't In View …  
When I Was ... Being Schooled … !!!
  
So FOLKS …  
DON'T BE ... Fooled ... !!!  
By ...  Lobbyist Groups … !!!!!  
  
When It Comes To ...  
  
... "Who is Who" …  
  
Who Are THEY To Decide … !???!  
When It Comes To ... Peoples' Lives ...  
  
Who The People Should Believe .....  
    
To Be …………………………  
  
... "The Good Guys !!!" ...
From The On The Virge Album :

https://soundcloud.com/user-16569179/the-good-guys-acapella-mixed-at-shoestring-studios-barbados
st64 Dec 2013
walking along
tormented path



1.
daisies hum hymns in flutter-eyes
weeping willow leans down to whistle
a medley of fifteen-odd tunes you used to know
but never quite did grasp
the axis merry-tilts just a bit and
you try to grab hold of a patch of sullen-sky
but the clouds shift once more
and you're unexpectedly holding rain in your joints
running steady-rivulets in the morrow's wrinkles

2.
you step onto the pavement
avoiding the lines
a knack acquired over years of practice
on the sidelines of others' lives

kerb jumps up like a ***** with no chapeau
its inordinate-syllogism bites your ankle
like a swarm of ants in dread-ire
in disorderly tornado-twirls

step.. step.. step..

walk on*.....


(piece-a-cake....right?)






S T - 4 decked / on / double
wave yer flag at the moon, baby.....wave!
I'll be watching :)
Patricia Rosales Apr 2014
People always seem to misunderstand me,
It's amazing how they can judge so quickly,
That's why I decided to always be the happy one,
The one to make jokes and everything seemed fun,
But what they don't know is that anxiety,
Floods through me.
How much I hold back from the things I really want

You see it's a cruel world out there
I learned how to people can stab you in the back and pretend to care,
How everything you do
is going to be judged by people who have no clue.

So I've learned to sugarcoat my opinions,
Hide behind a lie: a smile
Be the nice one in every situation
Someone who would go that extra mile

Still it wasn't enough,
In the end I was still misunderstood.
Even if my intentions were good
it still got twisted to some bad stuff.

So I just hold myself back
trying to save myself from all the heartache,
Avoiding the trouble my emotions would make
Sugar coating my opinions
In serious situations
Just drowning myself lyrics
Avoiding all the tricky topics

Yet once again they misunderstand me,
They come up with this version of my life story,
they'd assume I'm always lonely,
And honestly it makes me angry,
Because they don't even know me.
bekka walker Mar 2016
I'm avoiding the shower,
because I don't want to watch the remains of you circle down the drain.
I'll have to watch your scent peel from my skin and disappear into a greedy steamy cloud.
I'll look down at my body and miss the way your fingers looked holding the notches in my hips, and then it will remind me of the view from over your shoulder as you hold me deeper into your chest, and that will make me mad with the thought of your face buried in my hair.
I'll wash my neck and accidentally pretend my hand was yours thoughtfully caressing the nape, and then I'll lean my head on my hand and pretend it was your shoulder and linger there a little too long.
I'm avoiding the shower because, I've come to love the dirt cozied beneath my fingernails like I am beneath your arms.
Andreea Iacob Feb 2018
I imagine my life far away from here
I know isn’t easy, but I don’t live with the fear;
The fear to leave or to lose my way
I would stay, but for what? For what to stay?

To show that I’m strong? I don’t think this is right
Sometimes it’s better when you avoid the fight.
Why starting a war when you know you can die?
Just to show you know what means to try?

Who cares at the end? Like always, just I
And now being happy is almost a lie;
Could be so hard, but better than here
I don’t like the tears, I don’t like the fear!
Don’t be scared to try new things when you don’t feel good with what you are  doing
Josiah Israel Aug 2018
I never sleep, and never will, I hold my breath, quiet, still.

The slightest sound puts me on edge, a snapping twig, a rustling hedge.

It matters not how far I go, how fast I run, how high, how low,

There’s a monster after me…


Huge and hungry, filled with hate, this creature would not hesitate, to slice me up, this is my fate, a pile of parts upon his plate… Yuck!

Fear is the price that I must pay,
For fear is what keeps him away, I tremble softly as I lay, or when I rise throughout the day, I’m terrified, I have to say…

My future frozen by my fear, yet, I know the monsters near!
And if I were to persevere, and let my terror disappear, the monster then  would find me here, and chop me up! That much is clear…

Though some would say that I’m a slave, deep... Alone within this cave,

How can they say that this is slavery, actively avoiding bravery? Don’t they know courage is savory, like some tasty monster gravy?!

And, you may say that I am blind, to think that fear is something kind, that fear keeps monsters far behind, well, it’s worked this far, so I don’t mind…
Fear doesn’t keep monsters away kids, it only keeps you locked up! I wrote this to address my own irrational fears. I think it’s silly that I think being afraid of something, somehow keeps it from happening. ;)
Maria Imran Jul 2016
I come here to distract myself
To get caught in the labyrinthine hollows
So I won't have to question myself:
When will you return? And why you left.
literally avoiding avoiding or something
Amy Perry May 2014
My mind is abuzz,
Like a hummingbird does.
It can't be still,
And it was my will
To make everything so,
Because how will I know
The outer limits of my essence
Without spiritual lessons?
Self-taught, fear not,
Happiness is sought
Through a curious burn.
The lessons I learn
From engaging my mind,
Is that I am not blind
To tuning into frequencies,
And avoiding delinquencies
With each new experience,
Learning to control delerience.
My inner being thirsts
For a gift labeled a curse.
I want to break these chains,
Be more than insane.
I want to be free
To be the real me.
Every great individual
Has ideas that are sensational.
So say what you will,
I will have these spiritual spills,
That shakes where I dwell,
And brings me out of my shell.
I have the right to engage
With my mind, uncaged.
Hummingbirds die
If they are caged inside.
Much needed writing session at the nature preserve.
Terry O'Leary Sep 2013
NOTE TO THE READER – Once Apun a Time

This yarn is a flossy fabric woven of several earlier warped works, lightly laced together, adorned with fur-ther braided tails of human frailty. The looms were loosed, purling frantically this febrile fable...

Some pearls may be found wanting – unwanted or unwonted – piled or hanging loose, dangling free within a fuzzy flight of fancy...

The threads of this untethered tissue may be fastened, or be forgotten, or else be stranded by the readers and left unravelling in the knotted corners of their minds...

'twill be perchance that some may  laugh or loll in loopy stitches, else be torn or ripped apart, while others might just simply say “ ’tis made of hole cloth”, “sew what” or “cant seam to get the needle point”...,

yes, a proper disentanglement may take you for a spin on twisted twines of any strings you feel might need attaching or detaching…

picking knits, some may think that
    such strange things ‘have Never happened in our Land’,
    such quaint things ‘could Never happen in our Land’’,
    such murky things ‘will Never happen in our Land’’…

and this may all be true, if credence be dis-carded…

such is that gooey gossamer which vails the human mind...

and thus was born the teasing title of this fabricated Fantasy...

                                NEVER LAND

An ancient man named Peter Pan, disguised but from the past,
with feathered cap and tunic wrap and sabre’s sailed his last.
Though fully grown, on dust he’s flown and perched upon a mast
atop the Walls around the sprawls, unvisited and vast -
and all the while with bitter smile he’s watching us aghast.

As day begins, a spindle spins, it weaves a wanton web;
like puckered prunes, like midday moons, like yesterday’s celebs,
we scrape and *****, we seldom hope - he watches while we ebb:

    The ***** grinder preaches fine on Sunday afternoons -
    he quotes from books but overlooks the Secrets Carved in Runes:
    “You’ve tried and toyed, but can’t avoid or shun the pale monsoons,
    it’s sink or swim as echoed dim in swinging door saloons”.
    The laughingstocks are flinging rocks at ball-and-chained baboons.

    While ghetto boys are looting toys preparing for their doom
    and Mademoiselles are weaving shells on tapestries with looms,
    Cathedral cats and rafter rats are peering in the room,
    where ragged strangers stoop for change, for coppers in the gloom,
    whose thoughts are more upon the doors of crypts in Christmas bloom,
    and gold doubloons and silver spoons that tempt beyond the tomb.

    Mid *** shots from vacant lots, that strike and ricochet
    a painted girl with flaxen curl (named Wendy)’s on her way
    to tantalise with half-clad thighs, to trick again today;
    and indiscreet upon the street she gives her pride away
    to any guy who’s passing by with time and cash to pay.
    (In concert halls beyond the Walls, unjaded girls ballet,
    with flowered thoughts of Camelot and dreams of cabarets.)

    Though rip-off shops and crooked cops are paid not once but thrice,
    the painted girl with flaxen curl is paring down her price
    and loosely tempts cold hands unkempt to touch the merchandise.
    A crazy guy cries “where am I”, a ****** titters twice,
    and double quick a lunatic affects a fight with lice.

    The alleyways within the maze are paved with rats and mice.
    Evangelists with moneyed fists collect the sacrifice
    from losers scorned and rubes reborn, and promise paradise,
    while in the back they cook some crack, inhale, and roll the dice.

    A *** called Boe has stubbed his toe, he’s stumbled in the gutter;
    with broken neck, he looks a wreck, the sparrows all aflutter,
    the passers-by, they close an eye, and turn their heads and mutter:
    “Let’s pray for rains to wash the lanes, to clear away the clutter.”
    A river slows neath mountain snows, and leaves begin to shudder.

    The jungle teems, a siren screams, the air is filled with ****.
    The Reverent Priest and nuns unleash the Holy Shibboleth.
    And Righteous Jane who is insane, as well as Sister Beth,
    while telling tales to no avail of everlasting death,
    at least imbrue Hagg Avenue with whisky on their breath.

    The Reverent Priest combats the Beast, they’re kneeling down to prey,
    to fight the truth with fang and tooth, to toil for yesterday,
    to etch their mark within the dark, to paint their résumé
    on shrouds and sheets which then completes the devil’s dossier.

    Old Dan, he’s drunk and in a funk, all mired in the mud.
    A Monk begins to wash Dan’s sins, and asks “How are you, Bud?”
    “I’m feeling pain and crying rain and flailing in the flood
    and no god’s there inclined to care I’m always coughing blood.”
    The Monk, he turns, Dan’s words he spurns and lets the bible thud.

    Well, Banjo Boy, he will annoy with jangled rhymes that fray:
    “The clanging bells of carousels lead blind men’s minds astray
    to rings of gold they’ll never hold in fingers made of clay.
    But crest and crown will crumble down, when withered roots decay.”

    A pregnant lass with eyes of glass has never learned to cope.
    Once set adrift her fall was swift, she slid a slipp’ry ***** -
    she casts the Curse, the Holy Verse, and shoots a shot of dope,
    then stalks discreet Asylum Street her daily horoscope -
    the stray was struck by random truck which was her only hope.

    So Banjo Boy, with little joy, he strums her life entire:
    “The wayward waif was never safe; her stars were dark and dire.
    Born midst the rues and avenues where lack and want aspire
    where no one heeds the childish needs that little ones require;
    where faith survives in tempest lives, a swirl within the briar,
    Infinity grinds as time unwinds, until the winds expire.
    Her last caprice? The final peace that no one could deny her -
    whipped by the flood, stray beads of blood cling, splattered on the spire;
    though beads of sweat are cool and wet, cold clotted blood is dryer.”

    Though broken there, she’s fled the snare with dying thoughts serene.
    And now she’s dead, the rumours spread: her age? a sweet 16,
    with child, *****, her soul dyed red, her body so unclean.
    A place is sought where she can rot, avoiding churchyard scenes,
    in limey pits, as well befits, behind forbidding screens;
    and all the while a dirge is styled on tattered tambourines
    which echo through the human zoo in valleys of the Queens.

    Without rejoice, in hissing voice, near soil that’s seldom trod
    “In pious role, God bless my soul”, was mouthed with mitred nod,
    neath scarlet trim with black, and grim, behind a robed facade -
    “She’ll burn in hell and sulphur smell”, spat Priest and man of god.

    Well, angels sweet with cloven feet, they sing in girl’s attire,
    but Banjo Boy, he’s playing coy while chanting in the choir:
    “The clueless search within the church to find what they desire,
    but near the nave or gravelled grave, there is no Rectifier.”
    And when he’s through, without ado, he stacks some stones nearby her.

The eyes behind the head inclined reflect a universe
of shanty towns and kings in crowns and parties in a hearse,
of heaping mounds of coffee grounds and pennies in a purse,
of heart attacks in shoddy shacks, of motion in reverse,
of reasons why pale kids must die, quite trite and curtly terse,
of puppet people at the steeple, kneeling down averse,
of ****** tones and megaphones with empty words and worse,
of life’s begin’ in utter sin and other things perverse,
of lewd taboos and residues contained within the Curse,
while poets blind, in gallows’ rind, carve epitaphs in verse.

    A sodden dreg with wooden leg is dancing for a dime
    to sacred psalms and other balms, all ticking with the time.
    He’s 22, he’s almost through, he’s melted in his prime,
    his bane is firm, the canker worm dissolves his brain to slime.
    With slanted scales and twisted jails, his life’s his only crime.

    A beggar clump beside a dump has pencil box in hand.
    With sightless eyes upon the skies he’s lying there unmanned,
    with no relief and bitter grief too dark to understand.
    The backyard blight is hid from sight, it’s covered up and bland,
    and Robin Hood and Brother Hood lie buried in the sand.

    While all night queens carve figurines in gelatine and jade,
    behind a door and on the floor a deal is finally made;
    the painted girl with flaxen curl has plied again her trade
    and now the care within her stare has turned a darker shade.
    Her lack of guile and parting smile are cutting like a blade.

    Some boys with cheek play hide and seek within a house condemned,
    their faces gaunt reflecting want that’s hard to comprehend.
    With no excuse an old recluse is waiting to descend.
    His eyes despair behind the stare, he’s never had a friend
    to talk about his hidden doubt of how the world will end -
    to die alone on empty throne and other Fates impend.

    And soon the boys chase phantom joys and, presto when they’re gone,
    the old recluse, with nimble noose and ****** features drawn,
    no longer waits upon the Fates but yawns his final yawn
    - like Tinker Bell, he spins a spell, in fairy dust chiffon -
    with twisted brow, he’s tranquil now, he’s floating like a swan
    and as he fades from life’s charades, the night awaits the dawn.

    A boomerang with ebon fang is soaring through the air
    to pierce and breach the heart of each and then is called despair.
    And as it grows it will oppose and fester everywhere.
    And yet the crop that’s at the top will still be unaware.

    A lad is stopped by roving cops, who shoot in disregard.
    His face is black, he’s on his back, a breeze is breathing hard,
    he bleeds and dies, his mama cries, the screaming sky is scarred,
    the sheriff and his squad at hand are laughing in the yard.

    Now Railroad Bob’s done lost his job, he’s got no place for working,
    His wife, she cries with desperate eyes, their baby’s head’s a’ jerking.
    The union man don’t give a ****, Big Brother lies a’ lurking,
    the boss’ in cabs are picking scabs, they count their money, smirking.

    Bob walks the streets and begs for eats or little jobs for trying
    “the answer’s no, you ought to know, no use for you applying,
    and don’t be sad, it aint that bad, it’s soon your time for dying.”
    The air is thick, his baby’s sick, the cries are multiplying.

    Bob’s wife’s in town, she’s broken down, she’s ranting with a fury,
    their baby coughs, the doctor scoffs, the snow flies all a’ flurry.
    Hard work’s the sin that’s done them in, they skirmish, scrimp and scurry,
    and midnight dreams abound with screams. Bob knows he needs to hurry.
    It’s getting late, Bob’s tempting fate, his choices cruel and blurry;
    he chooses gas, they breathe their last, there’s no more cause to worry.

    Per protocols near ivied walls arrayed in sage festoons,
    the Countess quips, while giving tips, to crimson caped buffoons:
    “To rise from mass to upper class, like twirly bird tycoons,
    you stretch the treat you always eat, with tiny tablespoons”

    A learned leach begins to teach (with songs upon a liar):
    “Within the thrall of Satan’s call to yield to dim desire
    lie wicked lies that tantalize the flesh and blood Vampire;
    abiding souls with self-control in everyday Hellfire
    will rest assured, when once interred, in afterlife’s Empire”.
    These words reweave the make believe, while slugs in salt expire,
    baptised in tears and rampant fears, all mirrored in the mire.

    It’s getting hot on private yachts, though far from desert plains -
    “Well, come to think, we’ll have a drink”, Sir Captain Hook ordains.
    Beyond the blame and pit of shame, outside the Walled domains,
    they pet their pups and raise their cups, take sips of pale champagnes
    to touch the tips of languid lips with pearls of purple rains.

    Well, Gypsy Guy would rather die than hunker down in chains,
    be ridden south with bit in mouth, or heed the hold of reins.
    The ruling lot are in a spot, the boss man he complains:
    “The gypsies’ soul, I can’t control, my patience wears and wanes;
    they will not cede to common greed, which conquers far domains
    and furtive spies and news that lies have barely baked their brains.
    But in the court of last resort the final fix remains:
    in boxcar bins with violins we’ll freight them out in trains
    and in the bogs, they’ll die like dogs, and everybody gains
    (should one ask why, a quick reply: ‘It’s that which God ordains!’)”

    Arrayed in shawls with crystal *****, and gazing at the moons,
    wiled women tease with melodies and spooky loony tunes
    while making toasts to holey ghosts on rainy day lagoons:
    “Well, here’s to you and others too, embedded in the dunes,
Val Ikelugo May 2014
Avoiding the reality is a tragedy ...
Hiding from the dreams, ambitions, and the needs ..
Deciding to live in the Dark cave of your disappoints ..
Believing that no one cares about you ..
Alone . Afraid .. Tired ..
Repeating the losses again and again ..
Just playing the sad notes on the life piano ...
Trying to play a happy song ..
But you remember again that you where Judged to stay in
your cave ..
Waiting for the savior ..
The one who will throw you the rope ..
The way out ..
Life giving or a Hanging rope ..
Just you don't know ..
But you will finish the suffering in both ..
You pray to be a life giving one .. cause you want to live
more ..
To see more .. To love more ..
It can be a cloud and it will pass ..
Or it could be blindness .. that will leave you lost all your
life ..
You should be strong .. fight to get your smile back ..
Playing a lovely song on the Piano and let the life sway
with you ..
Dance with the trees in a windy day ..
Run with the water in the rivers ..
Singing a beautiful anthem with the breeze ..
Fly with the Birds freely in the clear sky ..
I hope it work as you wish friend ..
To get what you want ..
And to loose that sadness ..
My advice to you dear .. Let it go ..
And wait ..
God will be there for you ..
Cné May 2017
Cné
In my most desperate need
seek out a bush by a tree
rewarded with a rash on my rear end
relieving, with a squat, by poison ivy

No thank you, I will take a chance
in hopes of saving my ***
and hold it until I just can't
and avoiding a nasty rash
even if it means ....
I will possibly *** my pants

Temporal Fugue
*** the least of your worries
as your bladder will expand
making you make decisions
not all that good, or planned

So make your place
and keep your wits
bear, what you can stand
drop your drawers and hold your ****
and ***, as god, demands
Yes, these are very important issue to discuss among friends! **** seriously, it's not funny. # sarcasm
Maple Mathers Feb 2016
My daily activities range between avoiding most things
to avoiding all things.
(All poems original Copyright of Eva Denali Will © 2015, 2016.)
Have you sealed your fate
with the rejection of Him?
Accept Christ now
before your life wears thin.

For in permanent separation
there's no God or peace -
Only continual torment and anguish
without any comfort or release.

Alone in the dark
as fallen angels without light,
you too will become a demon creature
lacking hope of spiritual sight.

Forget about Purgatory,
but make a decision today -
avoiding Hell can be done,
for Christ is the Life, Truth and Way.




Author Note:

Learn more about me and my poetry at:
http://www.squidoo.com/book-isbn-1419650513/
Steve Page Oct 2018
The riled route master and the hacked off hackney carriage weren't bothered by the boris bike, they simply barreled along the bus lane oblivious to the wobble, blind to the blindsided and bent on beating the amber to red, til they were halted by the growth factor of a chelsea tractor straddling lanes and field testing the choice of right or left and failing the screen test set by the sat nav, thereby giving opportunity to the swarm of office staffers snatching their chance and chancing their luck, dancing past with their fat chance of swiping in before nine and avoiding the chagrin of the boss who's been the bane of their short sojourn through the city of lost dreams, chance encounters, thin fortune and rushed hours. This is London.
Route Master = a London bus
Hackney Carriage = a black cab
Boris Bike = rentabike
Chelsea tractor = an oversized suv preferred by families who can afford Kensington & Chelsea
Have you sealed your fate
with the rejection of Him?
Accept Christ now
before your life wears thin.

For in permanent separation
there's no God or peace -
Only continual torment and anguish
without any comfort or release.

Alone in the dark
as fallen angels without light,
you too will become a demon creature
lacking hope of spiritual sight.

Forget about Purgatory,
but make a decision today -
avoiding Hell can be done,
for Christ is the Life, Truth and Way.




Author Note:

Learn more about me and my poetry at:
http://www.squidoo.com/book-isbn-1419650513/
Anthony Williams Jul 2014
It was always going to be black and white
that's the typeface on my preference of late
defining day and night with your choice of tights
those fine dividing lines on your partnered limbs
wrapped tall in belts daring as a Lara Croft climb
a silky striped raggedy ann gone neat sensuous
tight strapped to a two striking sinuous princess
committed to lodge sins inside my Loveland challenge
hemmed in round towers together to never-never unhinge

at home we horse around and rub along together
boosted by the interplay between cotton twill gathered
pulled low one side then canter balance riding high
as you level up to a line up of outbound thigh
saddled with a lovely leg stirrup over here
and a lean waist wobble to match up there
eyebrow lifts to starch arrowroot attention
over the swings and sway of every action
so swift I play catch-up each morning
delayed by fumbling for ones gone matching
it's a wonder you don't just wander away
in a daze from my one legged hopping display

then I would travel far as a bee
long-legged as stilts could be
to sing to your nails and feet
and be spun free flaunting
our google
a red white and blue
pair of giggles unfurled like flags
in your slim line dancers' legs
dangling ideas like fair weather socks
to goggle one direction behind your back
unique like nobody else contains within
thin licked then rolled back ciggie skins
so I pinch holes in the bacci parts
sinking into slats like leaky wooden boats
your avoiding tiptoes gadfly and curl in return
my feet undoing knits with swats and swirls
toeing tinkling notes like piano keys
undertones pink tinged with tingling knees
and when a jukebox plays
my coins are there always
for I've got your pop socks in motion
your vox populi's united under my skin
with impressive pulled tight bands
embedding imprint elastic rings
inky red slinking down
leaving parallel links


ignore my pins and needles
alone in dead of night
longing for your leggings
luminous stripe tights
today it's all me put on the spot
today it's music you might hate
biographies of people you don't like
subtitled movies too deep to bother
blue jeans dull dyed against your garter belt
a one man team can't DIY a drill majorette
spiralling shafts that come to a threaded point
enthralling with alternating knee bend bit pants
so pretty poly soft I'm pulled up like a fool
fully mixed up by your weaving cotton wool
wave me down in your way of sweet patter feet
a patterned cakewalk for you to catwalk sock it
to me in a stand in posey kind of way
this way to stand outs knitted to fancy
uncross your legs and cross-stitch
my path with gaited kisses
closely
by Anthony Williams
Holden Craig Nov 2014
Dear Bliss,
Some day I feel as I I may be able to write an ecstatic poem
Of abstract hues
Of shimmering light
Avoiding the blues
Avoiding the fright

Dear faith,
Some day I feel as if I may be able to write a hopeful poem
Of curious faith
Of embracing hope
Avoiding struggling fate
Avoiding chiseled rope

Dear Me, Myself, and I
Some day I feel as if I may be able to tip toe
Across the ash
Without burning my calloused feat.
Some day
Anti-depressant
the british way, not mentioning
yarn, too much, repeating words,
where no longer necessary. wool
in abundance here, piled on wool
lorries, neatly balanced with

premium  acrylic.

it is a fine line we walk,
gently avoiding peptides,
only just a theory, yet used
independantly, alongside
honest work, for mending.

today is hallow e’en

sbm
Lindee May 2015
IT RESONATES JUST AS MUCH


    
ON LIFE AND LOVE



Ever since I was small, smaller than I am now, I sought out the feeling of companionship and the mutual respect that comes with healthy friendships and relationships. Upon seeing the travesty that was my parents shattered marriage: the endless fights, the bruises on my mother's body I saw in elementary school, the anger, taunting jealousy, and tension that never ebbed. I vowed to find something that made all of that seem impossible to comprehend.

Seeing the tired strings that attach my mom and dad: their children, grandchild and 27 years of dysfunction I shudder at the thought of slipping on my mother shoes again, as I did as a child— prancing around wobbling from balance to stained carpet. It is the scariest thing I have ever done.


"Don't do this in front of the kids, Phil."
"You make me do this, Shannon."

I had an inner turmoil of wanting to be alone and be in the presence of others. My 12th birthday party, (probably the biggest I'll ever have) I had a total of ten girls from my grade stay over. A couple of them, I believe just came for the cake. We had huddled into my parent's expansive living room, painted our nails, braided each others hair, giggled at things 12-year-old girls giggle about, and watched movies. I do not talk to any of the girls from that party now, 6 years later. Not really. They all, one by one, faded in the picture we took the next morning before the storm rolled in. I remember standing in my driveway the following morning with the few laggers from the party, I spotted a few figures appeared in the distance and I had realized it was a few guy friends of mine. They were coming to say happy birthday. I had laughed to myself and felt warmer than the lingering girls. Watching them merge together, the boys and girls. The girls, twirling their hair, nervous. A familiar feeling.

The first boy's hand I ever held with the intent of affection was the year after. I was with a friend at a play put on at her father's church. Heaven and Hell: Melodramatic rendition of sins. The boy was lanky, with long, shaggy hair, tall. A few years older than I. I looked him in the eye, he smiled. My stomach dropped. His hand slipped in mine and we stayed like that for what seemed like the eternity they were talking about onstage. We eventually got in trouble. Scolded by the pastor because of my age. I cried the whole way home, scared of what my parents would say. His smell lingered on my clothes. Terrified my mother would hug me and smell him on my skin and then the secret was out.

"Mommy, I love you."
"I love you too sweetheart."

I eventually got out of hand holding, basic affection. My first kiss was a dare and that dare ignited a different feeling. The shaking of my hands, the flutter of my winged heart. A bird caged. The songs overheard on the radio about love held a different tone to me.


I ran back into the girl from the Heaven and Hell drama at the local skating rink by chance. Met a friend of hers. I watched him long before speaking to him. Quiet. long haired, skateboarding scars fractured his skin. Sitting together, I found myself drawn to him, leaning into a stranger. while others talked of gossip, we kept quiet. I didn't even know his name. I confessed at the end of the night that he was "cute" to my friends. word traveled. We exchanged information and so the experience of my first love began. The weeks after we talked for hours, giggling. Looking back, it was so elementary. Puppy love. The shyness. Timid, mousy girl tried too hard. Same story. Same ending.

My first real tragedy occurred that fall. When it happened, I felt unreal.

"I found your tapes, I'm leaving." Those brave words spoken quietly in a small kitchen.
Bags packed from weekend/week at Nana's, walking down the street, not even crying.

The phone call after, my mother in the background, keeping quiet, watching me clutch the phone, knuckles white:
"You're a beautiful girl, Lindee, I am so sorry. I didn't mean to hurt you." Ineffective apologies and quiet confessions of intentions.
"What, you didn't think I'd find them? You thought that this, what you did, was okay?"
"I wasn't thinking."
Silence
"...How could you do this?"

"You are not to see your grandfather anymore." She said after, holding my hand. her voice held the tone of a loved one passing, finality.
"Why would I want to?"
"You two were so close."

Repeated questions, mostly internalized, even now. Doubts.
"Maybe it was an accident? I don't know. Nana thinks so."
"These things do not happen by accident, Elizabeth."
"Oh."

Words were thrown across a long table with an attorney of video tapes, avoiding a house three doors down from my own, a registry he had to apply to, anxious knocks on doors, and other girls like me. My adulthood holding him captive. Guilt. Guilt. Guilt(y). Him, losing his job, me losing a father figure. Privacy invaded.

"Men do that. It's not uncommon."
My grandmother stayed with him.

"I'll leave."
"No, don't. Nana needs you."

"I love you. "
"I don't believe you. Goodbye."
A goodbye lasted 4 years. I wish they had burned my pictures. They didn't.

I ventured further into affection, losing my virginity at 16. High school exploration. I was fairly unimpressed with the hype of the teenage obsession of *** and "getting some". I liked it sure, but everyone said *** was meaningful; I didn't feel that meaningfulness. It just felt like everything else I did: strictly pleasure. Something to make me feel.

I remember my mother and father talking to each other late one night.
"You don't love me anymore."
I stayed up that whole night trying to figure out what that meant. Not only as a sentence by itself, but for my family, my mother, my father, my sister, and my brother. My world crashed down thanks to two "final" signatures on a paper. Stamped and dated.

I stayed out too late, they complained. I was absorbed with myself, skipping class most of my tenth grade year, smoking bad **** and cigarettes with my friends in abandoned gas stations on rainy Tuesday mornings. Running the streets of the dreary downtown, skies overcast. Stopping by the diner next to the high school my friends and I escaped from through alleyways. Drinking coffee at Benson's, eyes down low, paranoid that a teacher would walk in at lunch and question us. Glory Days. Our *** appeal never was quite what we had imagined, attracting flies.

I met a friend of a friend and we shortly began dating, sitting atop the ferris wheel, fireworks lighting up the summer sky. Everything was just as I had imagined a perfect relationship to be.He was older (a common trend so it seemed) but not by much, intelligent, witty, nice. He appeared as a direct mirror from myself. We were inseparable. The mirror broke though, and revealed cardboard behind it.

"You are worth ****., No wonder your grandfather did what he did. You probably enticed him."
Silence.
"I didn't mean that. No, you're my world. Look how you make me act. You. You. You."
Silence.

"I love you."
"I know I love you too, it's okay.I shouldn't have done that."
Guilt nonexistent. made-up. Fairytaled,

"I'll leave." He said one night.
"You can't. I can be better, I'll fix this. I'll be better, I am so sorry."
"Alright."


Cycling. We crashed from in love to betrayed (Him) and angry (Him)  and scared (me).  I had discovered the root my sexuality earlier than  and became ashamed of who I was before I had met Him. All the previous relationships were unimportant and to be ashamed of. I had no skin. The relationship, paternal and biting, lasted two years. My mother finally stepped in, after seeing the harm that was being done.  Seeing me slip into her own habits: excuses, dependence, and pursed lips saying, "You don't know Him." and said it was not healthy. The whole family had noticed my change in behavior. After several attempts, his threats on his life, I finally ended the relationship with help of family and friends. Told His parents He needed help, recommended the place I was then going to. It's end resembled a natural disaster. Debris scattering, mainly harsh words. Something I was used to by then.

"I love you." Him on the last night.
"No, no!  You don't. How could you? Have you ever ******* loved me, Michael?  If so, how could you do this. After all the **** I've been through. Look at me, ******. Look at me! Look how I am ******* acting. This isn't me. I don't do this. You're hurting me. What am I to you? The ground you walk on? *******. All of this is ******* *******. I am never okay. Stop, let go of me. Let. Go. I'm leaving."
The angriest I have ever gotten with Him.
I felt like screaming, shaking Him, pointing to all the roadsigns passing too fast screaming about the danger. I think I was more angry at myself though, at my shaking whispering voice and it's cracks. Deceit of ownership.  
"Don't. Please."
"I'll never do it if I don't now."
I never felt bad for slamming His parent's front door that day. Tired of the quiet of his house.

I still have repercussions. A constant doubt, lingering. Eyes always searching, straining, sometimes even creating sighs of disappointment, a slight shake of the head in disapproval. I picked out everything wrong about me and my past. I gave the specimens to the professionals to diagnose me with a disease. Showing them the wounds He made. Almost begging to be infected. The results came up negative and I was angry, told them they were wrong. Wanted Him to be right. They patted my head, lab rat, and sent me off to a behavioral hospital. Outpatient. there, I was supplied with a magic wand: intensive behavioral therapy to realign my thinking. To reconstruct myself.  Breathing exercises I could never grasp. Too many questions, long silences, ahem.

"Did He hit you?"
"No. I almost wish He did. I feel like that would have been a lot easier. We wouldn't have lasted as long if He had. "
"You'd turn out like your mother."
Silence. Fear.
" Well, at least you're coming to therapy. That's a big step. Admitting is always the hardest part."
Long pause, watching the grass sway in the window, wishing the clock would say I could leave. Scared of her questions.
"I don't think so. I feel like the hardest part of this is not knowing it was happening."
The healing process requires a sort of truth, not even torture can bring out. The truth you don't even know about until it slides out of your mouth into the air.

Constant reassurances were require. I bit back the urge to call my therapist my whole senior year, fighting through waves of panic attacks, wanted to tell her triggers were strung out in the hallways, reflected in the tile floor. Everyone looked at me and knew. Even the people I didn't know, somehow knew. I found myself rocking back and forth in the back-row seats of classes scared a bomb would drop into my lap, as it did before.

"What happened to you?" Teachers asked when my grades waltzed to no mans land.  
"I don't really know." I had said this flatly. Lying. Tired.  All my emotion had been siphoned out of me.

I remember sitting on the living room floor, phone in hand, hearing Him scream into the receiver; unable to open my mouth to tell Him to leave. That all the things He had said to me, I had carved into my skin and I hated it. Wanted it to stop. It was always my fault. Always. I then went back on the highest dose of anxiety medications and sleeping medications. Things to help me function. Things I would not and could not do otherwise, spoon-feeding me stability. Things I thought I would never have to do again. I had managed to escape them for a year or so when it was happening. He had always said prescription medications were bad, that I could handle my problems on my own. I followed suit.
Good girl.

"You're showing symptoms of PTSD. It's like you were a prisoner of war. You're staying so strong though. " My therapist had said to me. I smiled in response and said thank you quietly as I sat on my trembling hands, an effort trying not to bite at my bleeding nails.
Gulping back the words "When does it  end?"

But there I was, jumping at the backfires of trucks, looking for His car everywhere, avoiding a certain side of the town.. If only she actually knew.  I had to be soothed to sleep numerous times, mother by my bedside, reassuring me the doors and windows were locked
. Safe. Ha. Despite the safety, I always woke up screaming, not remembering my dreams. Regression to childhood night terrors. Never answered my phone if it rang, for fear of a gunshot being fired on the other line. The last threat He posed. Scrubbed myself raw, trying to get the guilt out of mouth and pores. Chain-smoked, He hated that. Constantly checked the driveway through closed curtains expecting His car, Him. Lurking. I contemplated moving, changing my name, not going college although already paid for, staying home huddled in my room, becoming one with my twin-sized mattress. Perpetually cold.

I was my mother.

Eggshells scattered at my feet; wobbling in her brown, close-toed kitten heels. My friends, dwindling badly then and still now, asking me if i am/was okay, the response was always a no in my head. How could you be when your head was constantly swimming? Drowning.

Running into Him the first day of my freshman year in college was the hardest day of my life. Nevermind the courses of court dates, family distress, traumatic loss of trust in the 8th grade: finding the video tapes my grandpa had recorded, watching them, seeing myself undress, the cats running through the house, the sickness afterwards, 3 divorces, two remarriages of a broken home, the late nights lit up with red and blue lights, being ripped from my home.
It all paled in comparison to seeing His face after so long, the causal way He walked. wondering if anyone knew what He had done. What I had done.

I had passed Him in the cafeteria. His eyes lingered on mine, predatory, daring me to say a word. I looked away, kept walking as if it never happened. as if my insides weren't strung up higher than telephone wires. As if I wasn't standing in a room with the person who was my own personal earthquake. I ended up collapsing in a bathroom stall, slouched up against the wall, hands trembling like Haitian sidewalks, not even 5 minutes from the passing. I called crying to my mother to come and get me unable to complete my next class.
"I can't do this, Mom." I  wailed, "I can't see Him."
She came and got me, understood, thankfully kept quiet. I was a bit inconsolable, and shook the whole **** way home.
All the hard work I had done in therapy, the hours of crying, tearing up Kleenex, rebuilding myself from the infrastructure collapsed as I did. The fire I ignited inside myself was burned out; gasoline and matches were unobtainable.


My mother told me to keep a stiff upper lip. She faces her version of my  demon everyday: my father, sleeps the same bed as him, Still holds his hand, wears the ring and the finger with it’s history. She didn't collapse, not yet. She was stronger. Ankles more fit to wear the shoes of abuse, inner destruction.

"I'm going away for the weekend."
"Are you coming back?"
"I don't know."

My mother exited in November, in her kitten-heels and bruises and secrets. Came back a month later and was blinded with a cold front storming out her youngest daughter.

Her choice to leave. My choice to leave. They mirrored each other. She never slammed the door though, left more quietly than I could.

I still have no skin, I keep peeling it away, in hopes to show someone something a little deeper than my shallow body, my bruised knees and the coldness that lingers

I stay substantial though, iridescent, like the tide rolling in. Falling over myself. Finding myself shrinking and rising.
Big Virge Apr 2017
This ... Disrespect thing ...
is ... OUT OF CONTROL ... !!!

from work to ... Street Corners ...
to ... most peoples' ... " Homes " ... !!!

My Poetry .... Roams .............................
just like ... " Mobile Phones " ...

to send out ... " This Vibe " ...

Disrespect ... NEEDS TO ... die ... !!!!!

We NEED TO ... " Respect " ...
This Thing ... we call ... " Life " ...

LOVE ... One Another ... !!!

RESPECT ....
is what's ... Right ... !!!

Take things ... in your stride ...
DISMISS ...................................... foolish pride

cos' ... Pride like they say ...
comes before ... A Fall ... !!!

and next thing ...
You've guessed it ...
You're facing ... A WALL ...

A wall ... FILLED WITH ... Bullies ... !!!
just ready to .... BRAWL ... !!!!!

But bullies ... are Dummies ...
whose thought waves are ... "small" ...

Like those who believe ...
in avoiding ... School Halls ... ?!?

That line's ... for those kids ...
with ... SLEEPLESS ... Eyelids ... !!!

ALWAYS ... think of ... THIS

A Bully is .... weak ... !!!

So Don't ... lose your sleep ... !!!

cos' bullies ... DON'T THINK ...
of the ... " Sows " ... that they reap ... ?!?

OKAY ...
Yes I mean ...
They'll reap ... what they sow ... !!!

Well ... ?
Maybe I don't ... ???

But ...
One Thing ... I KNOW ... !!!

IS ... most bullies ... Don't See ...
that the ... Sickness ... they keep ...

is REALLY ... A Sickness ...
that slowly ...... just Creeps ...

A Sickness ...
That'll give em' ...

YES ...  
One ... " FINAL " ... Sleep.

and this may be ... " Why "... ?
Our Youth ......
Die on streets ..... !!!

The Cycle's ... Complete ...
from Rappers who talk ...
about ... Killing Emcees ... ?!?

to crimes some ... " Commit " ...
Against ... " Humanity " ...

I'm looking for ... " Peace " ...
in places ... I be ...

But let's get things ... STRAIGHT ...
Don't come ... Pushing Me ... !!!!!

Be ... Nice ...
and ... Believe Me ...
I'll be ... Nice to you ... !!!

I may ... turn my cheek ....
if you give me ... Abuse ... ?

But .... !!!!!

That's cos' I choose ...
NOT TO ... act the ... " Fool " ...

but .... Anything's Possible ...
I've got ... Two Hands Too ... !!!!!

I put that verse in ....

to PROVE ... Peace ...
Can Be ... COOL ... !!!

But everyone's temper ...
has Boundaries Too ... !!!!!

So ... what do you do ... ?
when THUGS ... approach you ... ?!?

Well this ...
I CAN'T ... tell you ...
cos' ... I am NOT ... You ... !!!

I'm simply ... Advising ...

Fighting NEEDS ...  " Downsizing " .... !!!!

But .....
This thing ... RESPECT ...

Really NEEDS ...
An ... UPRISING ... !!!!!

cos' Violence ... INFECTS ...
and ... CANNOT ... Protect ...

The world and ...
It's ... People ...

So take time and ... " Check " ...
The thoughts I ... " Collect " ...

and take time ... Before ...

Dishing out ....

" Disrespect " ....
This piece speaks for itself .... It's easy to Disrespect, however, sometimes what's harder to achieve, is better for Humanity
Keith Collard May 2013
"When it occurs to a man that nature does not regard him as important, and that she feels she would not maim the universe by disposing of him, he at first wishes to throw bricks at the temple, and he hates deeply the fact that there are no bricks and no temples.”

― Stephen Crane, The Open Boat

The Ocean Divorce

He rowed away from the sinking hulk. The sky was black, the ocean was black; the rocks emerging out of the inky-eerily-smooth ocean like demonic alters were black. But the ocean nocturne had parts discernible from each other by the same necrotic nuance of a corpse : the calm undulating surface had the stretching wrinkles as if a horde of ***** were trying to break through the skin surface with their claws--that was the waterline; the newly risen rocks were organs, emitting horrible sounds; the sky was the color of a mattress soaked with a rotting corpse--glimpses of white between rotted blackness.  The ocean divorced these survivors from their cruise-ship, and be-told them " you should have went down with the ship." For now, they were with a new family, up from the depths.

They saw their way through the blackness by occasional lightning strikes, stalking the ocean surface for conductive flesh as if a tornado of fifty thousand volts was dancing sinuously with her feet together and her hips out. If the girl at the bow could keep silent, and stop sobbing every time she glanced at the lightning, the rower could steer clear of swimming survivors trying to swamp their hard bottom survivor’s boat. The people in the water were silent and clamored helplessly and spasmodically , as if they were lobsters with the first feeling of heat in a ***.
Patches of white specks in the sky opened up momentarily over the fast moving black clouds, then closed up like clams.  The temporary skylight mixed with the stalking lightning gave visibility in momentary bursts similar to  muzzle flash in a dark room. The rock organs emerging out of the ocean had no nuance and could only be seen by the screams of survivors, who had swam to them for safety. The screams from the newly emerged rocks made the screams of the ships seem like hymns even when the ship split in half and tilted up its two plates—bow and stern--and scooted the sliding passengers into the blazing fire in the fuel and engine rooms as clams in the pan.

A scraping sound over-ruled the screams, they were grounding out on something sharp. The man rowing pressed the oars with all his might and pushed off it, before the rising altar capsized them. In such proximity to the rock all he could hear was "clacking," almost like the rocks were puckering their lips to kiss them repeatedly as if they were babies--and they were just as helpless and lost.

There were four of them in the boat, and they had room for more, but adrenaline made their decisions now. The boat began spinning in circles, as it did a while before, the rip currents tasting them and letting them go. Every time this happened the sobbing women would cry " Oh my God....Oh my God." The man to her left would only grip the gunwhale with alacrity as if he was going to jump out into the ocean. He could not take it, more so than the youngish women, but he was silent about it. The other man, aside from the rower would only stare at the floor, blinking with every lap kissing the bottom of the boat: such a thin piece of wood, separating the devouring liquid blackness from them.

The rower was in a reptilian state, row row, blink, look, row, grit......but slowly he was coming to himself again, with one thought, his son: my son is out there. His son had went into a separate life boat when the stricken vessel was splitting on the giant pitch fork rock that stabbed out of a suddenly black ocean under a suddenly dark sky.

After the rower's shoulder blades completed their circuitous route, an image would appear, then dissipate with a start of another row. But that image was of the last time he had seen his son, before they got onto the cruise liner. They were on a saltwater river, on vacation down the Cape, he had scolded his son harshly for being a… he snapped out of it with the begining of the next row.

He rowed because he was the strongest, and that strength told him to row, for it will sustain his mental vitality at the cost of his physical strength; and by comparison, it was working. The girl to the right of him, was shaking staring at the gunwale, the two men to her left were almost catatonic.

None would look to the horizon of black on black. The lightening cast shadows of the tall rocks they passed on the bottom of the boats making all of them look away, but there was nowhere to look. One of the men, realizing what the rower realized, looked around into the distance, watching the lightening sizzle around the surface like a tornado, watching the lightening was frightening at first but took him away from the mental reflection which was black lightening snake dancing on his closed eye lids.

The Starer looked at that Rower, and without words communicated the first intelligible message among them: keep rowing.

The Sobber, curled up into a fetal postion at a ghastly sound coming from a rock, it was people...not screaming, but people mumbling, babbling, even laughing as if at a cocktail party. Strange.

They hit another current and started spinning rapidly in circles, and that's when the third man became the Babbler. It was like they were loaded like a pinball, wound back, then shot forward on the undulating uncertainty that was this sea that now had a complexion more poisonous than Buckthorn ink. The man pulled up his oars.

Laughs, moans, and ******* noises enveloped them on this real life haunted ocean ride. They all cowered down, they could not look, it was dizzying, like spinning on a ***** inducing amusement park ride. The rock shadows flared on the boat like a flip book of devouring dark monsters. They all hugged eachother.

The Rower, was the first to wake, and notice, the sky was light. He bounce his head up hoping to see society, but alas, no, but they have ran ashore on some rocks just inside a calm clear cove, inky breakers were behind them. A rock island, like a pipe *****, speckled white and black was ahead of them. Over the island, the sky was overcast and still. The Starer looked back beyond the subtle silent breakers, it was black, and the lightening still danced. He looked back to the island.

" We found shore, didn't we, let's go, row, row...." she sobbed.

The Babbler, looked over the side at the clear water. He couldn't tell if it was ten or twenty feet, common to all oceanic still water. The bottom was completely covered in shells of all kinds, but mostly black and white. It looked inviting, and tranquil, and uplifted the Babbler to the Talker.

" Let's go, I'll row if you want--"

The Rower put his oars back in the water without saying anything and rowed toward the ***** shaped island.

They closed, and the Starer said: " look's like it is getting shallower." Then the girl stopped her sobs, and became the ' Complainer."

" Can't you row any faster, what if we get ****** out again...."

The Starer motioned for her to stop, the Rower was responsible for getting them here, and he knew it, and didn't want to change their luck now.

They were a clam skip away from a jagged low lining shoreline that had piers of rock, with coves in between them the length of rowboats. A shark’s ****** grin would be the islands perimeter from an aerial view.

That's when the Starer noticed the cove floor. Every time the Rower rowed, it looked as if he scraped the bottom sea floor. It looked scored, the clam shells moved aside. He took his finger and put it into the water, skimming as the boat moved. He looked aft of his trail; there was a line on the sea floor following his finger. " Must be an optical illusion," he thought.

The bow cracked on the first barnacled rock on dry ground. Well it was not completely dry, it was moist rock and crevice, sharp and inhospitable. The Complainer got out in a hysterical manner, and fell after her second step. She twisted her ankle and skimmed her knee drawing blood. A deafening sound came, almost like it was distant but not; of a mast being broken slowly and painfully broken, the sound was almost on their shoulders but they looked way off to the horizon for the source; the inky breakers of demarcation from the previous location of screams was the only thing they saw. Drip drop noises of an imperceptible ebb was the only sound now, and the survivors welcomed it as they looked away from the necrotic breakers.

" What the hell was that?" the Babbler said rhetorically.

The Rower helped up the woman, and they pulled the boat aboard the jagged shore. " Let's find some level ground for a fire, and look around," he said and they all complied, none of them looking back towards the breakers and the darkness, and it is unfortunate that they didn't.

The island was barren, not even a cave to shelter them from a damp wind, not chilling but heat sapping. They found some sandy level ground and sat in exhaustion.

" What is happening," mumbled the Babbler. None answered, it was immaterial, and dangerous to think of it. The Starer was the first to notice.

" Look at the shore line," he pointed, it was now covered in half shell clams, black and white. They were not there a moment before. A ******* sound, came from the area where the girl skimmed her knee.

" It has to be the tides....." said the Babbler.

" What are we gunna do, we need to build a fire, find food, to wait this out, WHAT IS OUR PLAN...." she yelled breaking the eerie silence.

" We'll build a fire with supplies from the boat, there's enough for some nights, and there is plentiful of shell fish to eat...." as the Rower said that, his stomach turned as he finished the sentence.

" Let's build a fire now, I’m feeling kind of chill, and weak..." said the Babbler. They all were feeling an invisible cold in their bones, not from the wind, but from the rocks, or shells. They made a fire, and huddled down together automatically without thinking. The dampness was unpleasant, the fire felt good. The huddling party looked like muscles clamped together on a rock: still, resting, and quiet. The Babbler was at the outer most of the huddle.

The Rower's dreams were still, quiet, with the occasional seaside cottage breeze. He was with his son, on a salt water river, in an alcove shaped like an L, and they both jumped down into it and the sun bleached stones "chinged" like a register. It was low tide, and he was forcing his son to walk to a sand bar, through the river--rich with life. His son was crying, a horseshoe crab had walked over his foot and a dead sand shark had floated by with a crab crawling out of its eye. " Go," he mouthed to his son, but his words were swept up by the wind. " Be a man, Go." He felt dangerously distant from his son, who was in the middle of the river away from him, and he missed him terribly but still he urged him on. Then the tide started coming in, and bubbled things started to emerge in the water, cries of his son were ate up by a clacking sound, he was so distant, yet he still urged him on. He looked to his right, a jagged sea wall of loose boulders now was opening and shutting like a clam bed posessed, an iron maidon of pinching points. His wife's shadow shone in front of him, her voice came above and behind him on top of the battered-splintered sea wall, the shadow said" That's the last straw, it's over."

He awoke to screams and babbles, and a horrified stare. They were surrounded by one shelled clams, and the Babbler had them up his leg, his arm and one side of his neck. " ahh, they are ....stinging.....me," he tried to pull one off, but it stretched his skin on his arm.

" Help me pull them off him," yelled the Starer at the Rower, and they pulled them off amid screams. Blood was gushing, as the foot or tongue of the soggy clams wiggled in open air. They removed them, and turned to their perimeter, the island was covered in clams making ******* noises.

She ran for the boat, stepping on clams, and picking up her shoe covered feet as if they were getting burned. They formed a boot on her shoe and calf, she tumbled and her face hit the shoreline, depressing into the still water. She moved her arms to her side, as if to do a push up, she struggled to lift her head, it was covered in clams. She gurgled through it and tried to pull them off. The party around the cindering fire just stood motionless. She fell back down, clanging her shell covered head off other shells, picking up more, she tried to raise herself once again, and then dropped her heavy head. She wasn't gurgling, but making moans, as if being caressed, she even rested her body comfortably.

" I can't ....I cat, I can't even see them move......" said the Babbler.

He was right, the clams moved as if they were still underwater, and you were reaching for them, but a wave ripple comes, and they are now more to the right, avoiding your hand.

The Rower started up the fire instinctively; they huddled to it, not speaking. The Babbler became the Trembler, the Starer the Blasempher, and the Rower the Unblinker.

He stared ahead, in a squint, almost like he donned an invisible visor, "hell, war, my son.....and demonic clams" were the words he kept thinking.

" We have to get to the boat, and get the **** out of here," said the Blasphemer despondently.

The Unblinker just staired at the black clouds beyond the breakers, with the lightning dancing gypsy-like and intermitted . He felt it through his pant leg, the cold soggy slush feeling. He looked down, a clam, had moved unnoticed right in front of his field of vision. He pulled at it, but he gave in to the pain, he felt another clam on his other leg, like a cold-squishy french kiss. But the longer they were there, the pain disapeared, and it felt like a warm caressing tongue, and it almost seemed like the sun was coming out on this desolate rock altar. But--he saw a vision of his son wading into the cove. Without looking he pulled the (now) three clams from him-self; his skin snapped back. He crushed the wagging tongued clams under foot. He looked to his side--

The Trembler, was covered, in a clam chain mail, he didn't have the power to pull them off, he became the Wobbler. " Jesus Christ , lets get to the ******* boat," said the Blasphemer.

He looked at the Blasphemer, he was pulling clams off painfully. The Wobbler looked like a Atlantean knight, that just walked out of the sea in his clam armour.

He took steps toward them, clanging his clam armour, with his arms out---

They ran down to the boat, running off a steep clam ridden rock that was once the Sobber--who was now clung with clams making ******* noises. Avoiding the water, the Unblinker made it fully into the row boat, but the Blasphemer's leg submerged into the still water. He screamed, and pulled his leg up then dropped it back down. Massive amounts of clams were forming a deadly anchor on his leg, and slowly ******* him in. He fell into the water as the Unblinker became the Rower again. He looked down at the Blasphemer's sunken shape slowly blending in with the cove's floor. His oars were becoming heavier and heavier; the boat was sinking down more into the waterline, the bottom of the boat was clung with clam also; he could barely move the oars, they clacked and ****** wildly as soon as they were brought out from the still water, as if sea kelp ridden with shrimp was stuffed in his ears. He could hear the sound of a giant mast breaking again, he knew instinctively now what that was, thousands if not millions of clams loosing one of their shells in anticipation of devouring flesh. He pushed off the rock jetty; he screamed and screamed.....row....scream......row..... and before he knew it, he was at deep water, and the clams were gone from his oars. "Thank God, for another second....."

He looked at the blackness beyond the breakers, the breakers that were like black fluid pouring slowly out of a cup into a cauldron, he thought of his son, and rowed into the blackness. He kept on thinking of his son, as he watched the shadows return on the bottom of the boat with the return of lightning stalking on the dark-still-ocean--his heart beat fast, but he was not dead, and he could see his son, he was out there, and
bear Feb 2015
I get more work done
when I'm avoiding other work
like this for instance
Mari Feb 2015
Those who Dance to the Music are
considered Insane by those who cannot Hear it.

But are we not all insane?
Are we not part of the same life of sound, music and death?
Are we not all behind the same wall?

We're all insane. It's just that not everyone knows it.
Which is why they're staring at me because I'm humming.

I'm sure everyone knows they're insane but refuse to admit it.
So they stare and judge.

Probably.
Of course, we're absolutely mental.
We're mad.
All the best people are.
But the really insane ones are those who think they're normal.

Yet they send us to mental institutions.

Because they honestly don't realize . . . we all have monsters.
We stopped running from the ones under our beds, when we realized
they were inside of us.
We're all monsters.
No avoiding it.
To be honest I didn't come up with this on my own. This is a note written between me and a friend of mine. Thank you Sam for willingly having thought provoking conversations with me!
I'm trying out the hashtag thing. Not sure if I did it right. Oh well.
kenny Dec 2015
No Romance,
just the way
you liked it.

Just the way
You ripped off
Your dress

And left me to
romanticize it
balled up
on my floor

Just the way
you teased and
denied
my poetic soul

You said it
felt so foreign

Like you were
never worthy
of the prose

You left me
Writhing and
Alone
and
I know
you know
You’re not perfect

I just wanted
you to feel
like a goddess
I worshiped
beyond words
even if you didn't
believe in something.

Believe me,
I did my best not to be
bitter

But your cynicism
was never ****

No one cares
What you don't
Like

You would
look into the
Grand Canyon
and just see a void.

Avoiding
the obviously
numinous

Like where
your heart
was

Before it was
split with a river
streaming your
constantly
pessimistic
consciousness.

Maybe I was too sweet
finishing last
like a nice guy
that you just
left salty

To
slide
down
the
throat
of your
thesis statement:

NO ROMANCE
Robert Ronnow Mar 2019
Off the train I hit the streets
and start laughing. This is ridiculous,
incomprehensible. How can innumerable bipeds
have individual inner lives. Why are they doing
what they’re doing? I have no answer
New York City but to also go about my business
in this case prepare for surgery, survival.

But why survive with so many exact replicas
to replace me? A swarm of ants or hive of bees,
social organisms they’re called, climbing
over each other, avoiding bumping and amazingly
making way, anticipating the sudden turns
and straight paths of others, strangers but brothers,
sisters incubating, the cells of a small
*****, nodes of a single semi-conscious organism.

The concept of a higher power that cares
for me is also risible yet how else
can I explain the surgeon and his team,
robots and magnetic resonance imaging machines,
all primed and trained to save my life.
They are not particularly interested in what
I do with my time. I am immediately
in love with the Irish brogue of the head nurse,

the Indian skin of the physician’s assistant.
The long extraordinarily thin
fingers of the famous surgeon. All
mine to savor (and the other cancer patients).
Back on the streets, rush to the train.
So many women to choose from! One Asian-American,
a dancer I imagine, stands out, tall
calm, still, graceful. No cell, no hair, no hurry.

Yesterday’s suicidal thoughts: the mind
is a clever servant, insufferable master. Therefore,
meditate on this: absolute need, dependence on the Other.
I still like Hombre, The Shootist and Ulzana’s Raid
but realize those dead heroes
were subordinate to society: the gun manufacturers who armed them.
Thus, I go for cancer tests, accepting, not predicting results.
Hero accepting help.

A torrential rain following five days of flooding,
tornadoes out west busting up wooden towns
all because too many of us are hoarding plastic, herding electrons.
None of us know how it will end, what the outcome will be
(of our surgery). The best that can be said
is Don’t forget to breathe. And you might
as well believe in that higher power.
www.ronnowpoetry.com

--title from a tune by Billy Strayhorn
Flavia Nov 2012
Why do you do this?
Your Army of Nothings
Who lay in the sun
and are all but sweet
who swelter and sweat
in that fresh cut grass
mowed by a man
you can't hope to know.
And you,
you there, with the grin
Who's side are you on anyway?
What made you the prince
of the Army of Nothings;
The leader, the first in command.
You spout and you spit
that ******* and bare
your teeth at me like you're the bomb
dot com
You're such a disgrace.
parading around
with your head up your ***
"So what's new?"
Oh, shut up,
You can't even fill out your pants.
Why should I care for you,
why should I feel?
How will I ever come home?
Where welcoming words
and magical treasure,
and stories that never come true
but are good.
Where futures of light once reigned so supreme
I swore they would never run dry.
I thought you'd missed out,
you know, then and there,
of the life that we talked of in dreams.
No flowers and chocolates,
no diamond rings,
just love.
Made of stuff so much deeper
and denser
and finer
and lovely, and warm, and alive...
But it's over, and done.
and I can't have it back.
So I go on avoiding
the Army of Nothings
as they come marching in
marching in
one two, at the ready
I feel deep in my bones
that breaking and tearing
Help me, archangel!
Save me! You promised!
You said you would always be there
in that carved-out big apple
our home, once upon
when we laughed and were happy and good.
But goodness runs out.
You made that as clear
as a crystal that needs to be smashed.
And I did that, remember?
I left it all broken and you were so proud
So proud I had chosen
the right over wrong.
yet you overlook
all the splinters of glass
all there
all here
all lurking in me.
I don't want to cry
or beg or to fight
But I loved you in ways
that she found unacceptable?

So silly, so stupid,
so big that it keeps you away

Not that I care very much
For your army of nothings
or things that remind me
of memories gone with the wind


**But I do.
In between   (a poem)
.
my mind struggles against its own illusion
nightmare tumbles out into still morning
light is heavy,
a fog of echoes...
and I am caught
.
day dreams the sunlight
dreams light the day
and I am caught in between
mourning echoes...
like a stillborn ghost
who can't take a breath in the present

….
  
I live on a tropical island and just want to go surfing with my husband, but the nausea in the early morning as I try to eat  breakfast and drive with him to the beach is so uncomfortable.  Day after day it makes even surfing a chore, and I consider not going anymore.  Background anxiety and unreasonable irritation interferes with our marriage, frustrates him enough to want me out.  

For me, a trip to the grocery store or meeting a group of people awakens the same dreadful fear as rockclimbing a cliff. Perspective has been lost in the extremes.  I try to gain some control over this hindering nuisance, seeking situations that bring the same surges of adrenaline so I can learn to master it.  If I can just push past the avoidance that would keep me inside doing nothing, if I can just ignore the feeling I want to throw up, if I can just get out there, I am rewarded with life’s potential beauty eventually.  Many days I do enjoy the thrill of mountain biking or connection with nature when surfing, but there are too many days of internal struggle that reduce what should be enjoyable to a relentless chore of wrestling inner demons.

The VA offers a few sessions of marriage counseling, and the doctor begins to explain PTSD.  ***, I’ve learned to cope with an unreliable brain, but now there’s this?  From what I understand (and that’s just me, an amateur philosopher) Sometimes the brain is so traumatized, that the memory is literally sealed off, encapsulated, protecting it from changing.  If later something happens that is similar, the brain triggers avoidance responses as a take-no-chances survival mechanism.  Literally the brain is protecting one’s self from one’s self.  This all-or-nothing strategy works fending off potential dinosaur attacks, but in our complex society, these automatic avoidance behaviors complicate functioning and well being.  Life becomes an attitude of constant reaction instead of motivated intention.

The website for the National center for PTSD says.  “After a trauma or life-threatening event, it is common to have reactions such as upsetting memories of the event, increased jumpiness, or trouble sleeping. If these reactions do not go away or if they get worse, you may have Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.”  

“Common reactions to trauma are:
• Fear or anxiety: In moments of danger, our bodies prepare to fight our enemy, flee the situation, or freeze in the hope that the danger will move past us. But those feelings of alertness may stay even after the danger has passed. You may:feel tense or afraid, be agitated and jumpy, feel on alert.  
• Sadness or depression: Sadness after a trauma may come from a sense of loss---of a loved one, of trust in the world, faith, or a previous way of life. You may:have crying spells, lose interest in things you used to enjoy, want to be alone all the time, feel tired, empty, and numb.  
• Guilt and shame: You may feel guilty that you did not do more to prevent the trauma. You may feel ashamed because during the trauma you acted in ways that you would not otherwise have done. You may:feel responsible for what happened, feel guilty because others were injured or killed and you survived.  
• Anger and irritability: Anger may result from feeling you have been unfairly treated. Anger can make you feel irritated and cause you to be easily set off. You may:lash out at your partner or spouse, have less patience with your children, overreact to small misunderstandings.  
• Behavior changes: You may act in unhealthy ways. You may:drink, use drugs, or smoke too much, drive aggressively, neglect your health, avoid certain people or situations.”   It lists four main symptoms: reliving the event, avoiding situations that remind of the event, feeling numb, and feeling keyed up (also called hyperarousal)”

Four words strung together: Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.  They’ve become a tired cliché, exhausted from the endless threat of random cruelty camouflaged in banality, weary of the weight shouldering back the wall that separates death and gore from the living.  Living was a reflex beyond willpower and devoid of choice. Control was self-deception.  The mind was so preoccupied with A: survival, B: sanity, in that order.  Rest was a cruel illusion.  The tank was drained, no room for emotions ditched.  Empathy took too much effort, fear was greedy.  Hopefully they can be remembered and found on the other side, if there is one.  Sleep deprived cells were left hyper-alert from the imminent, shot up and addicted to adrenaline.  Living was Fate and Chance, and meant leaving that time and place sealed in forgetfulness.  

Now PTSD is a worn out acronym, a cold shadow of what it feels like.  I try to think of something more personal that can describe the way it randomly visits me, now resigned to its familiar unwelcome influence.  It steals through my brain, flying ahead of me with its own agenda of protecting sabotage.  Its like the Guardian Trickster of Native American legend.  Its an archetype but real enough to make mistakes: Chulyen, the black raven.

A decade after the ER, contentment is found in a garden of slow tranquility as a butterfly interrupts a sunbeam.  My heart fills with bittersweet as I’ve finally found something I love and want to keep.  Just then Chulyen’s grasping black claws clamp my heart with painful arrhythmia and it fills to burst, tripping in panic trying to recover its pace.  The sudden pain drops me to my knees, in the dirt between fragrant lavender and cherry tomatoes.  Pain stops breath and time and makes me remember the ER, when my heart rebelled its ordained purpose for a week.  I had tried to throw my bitter life back in God’s face but He didn’t take it.  Now that I have peace and a life that I treasure, He’s taking it now.  The price for my mistake is due.  It was all just borrowed time and I’m still so young, my children just babies.  God with a flick of cruelty reminds me not to put faith in the tangible, especially when its treasured.  The sharp claws finally relent and I can breathe, looking up with a gasp and the Raven takes flight overhead leaving a shadow.  Bright noon warmth, unusually heavy and foreboding, seems to say ‘there will come a time when you will not welcome the sun.’   Doctors run an EKG and diagnose ‘stress’.

The bird perches on my shoulder two more decades later, always seeing death just over there.  So I sit on the porch just a little longer and check my list again, delaying the unavoidable racing heart and rush of tension when I fix the motorcycle helmet strap under my chin.  I know all those stupid drivers have my life in their cell-phone distracted hands and hope my husband knows how much I love him, and my daughters too.  

Chulyen wakes me at 3:00 am when autumn’s wind aggravates the trees.  His rustle of black feathers outside unsettles summer’s calm night.  He brings an end-of-the-world portent that hints this peace is just temporary, borrowed.  Tribulation will return.

Ravens are attracted to bright shiny things.  Chulyen steals off with treasures like intention, and contentment.  I don’t realize they are missing until occasionally I find myself truly living in the moment.  I guess that is another reason why I crave adventure, for those instants and epiphanies that snap me out of that long term modis operandi of reacting, instead of being.  The daily list of ‘I must, or I should’ can for a brief while become ‘I want’  and I am free.

My companion the black bird perches relaxed in the desert on the gatepost of a memory.  A bullet-scarred paint-faded sign dangles by one corner from rusty barbed wire:
    No Trespassing    
    That Means You
I have a haunted idea what's behind the fence.  Chulyen implies the memory with a simple mistaken sound:
a Harley in the distance is for a second the agitating echo of a helicopter...
or those were the very same words they said when...
or I hear a few jangling clinks of forks in our warm kitchen...
hinting a cold cafeteria at 5:00 am smelling of fake eggs and industrial maple flavored corn syrup,
and everything else that happened that day...
My cells recollect, brace with the addictive rush of adrenaline.  But the raven denies access to the memory, distracting with discomfort.  I trip and I fall hard into the gritty dirt of irritation at the person who unknowingly reminded me.  Anxiety floods in along with fatigue of the helplessness of it all, back then and still now.  I can't go further.  Chulyen’s tricking deception says Leave This Memory, you never wanted to come back.
But I already knew from just recognizing the bird patiently sitting there a sentinal,
recalling every other time he tricked me with nausea and depression.
I tried to tell myself again that behind that gate,
the past has dried up from neglect.
Disintegrated into dust,
Blown away,
doesn't
exist.



After everything else, how to work through this?  The VA gave me a manual, a crudely printed set of worksheets with a government-looking blue cover page:  Cognitive Processing Therapy.
“In normal recovery from PTSD symptioms, intrusion, thoughts, and emotions decrease over time and no longer trigger each other.  However, in those who don’t recover, the vivid images, negative thoughts, and strong emotions lead to escape and avoidance.  Avoidance prevents the processing of the trauma that is needed for recovery and works only temporarily.  The ultimate goal is acceptance.  
There may be “stuck points”, conflicting beliefs or strong negative beliefs that create additional unpleasant emotions and unhealthy behavior.  For example, a prior belief may have been “ I am able to protect myself in dangerous situations.”  But after being harmed during military service, a conflicting belief surfaces, “I was harmed during service, and I am to blame.”  If one is ‘stuck’ here, it may take some time until one is able to get feelings out about the trauma, because one is processing a number of rationales.  “I deserved it because…” , or “I misinterpreted what happened, I acted inappropriately, I must be crazy…”  The goal is to change the prior belief to one that does not hinder acceptance.  For example, “I may not be able to protect myself in all situations.”

(chapter continues with recovery methods)
Alexis Apr 2014
I'm so sorry.

For avoiding you,
Ignoring you.

Feeling jealous
When you talk to other girls.
Yet not bothering
To make the first move.

When I do,
I'm sorry
If I appear clingy.

I'm not good enough for you.

But I wonder,

Does all this matter to you?

Sorry, for disturbing you.
Dug out some old stuff I'd written.
ThatKidCarson Jun 2014
My memories are full of misery,
Walkin the streets avoiding police, Tryna make it seem,
That my life is good,
But raised a **** ***** straight from the hood.
jack of spades Feb 2015
I'm a Barbie Girl,
in a Barbie World.
Life's fantastic: I
feel like plastic,
aiming for an eighteen-inch waist because I can afford to throw my internal organs away.
I feel like plastic,
having to choose
between eating and breathing with not enough space for two tubes.
I feel like plastic,
a thirty-nine inch bust and three times the forehead.
I feel like plastic,
a size nine squeezed to a three, spending
three to nine avoiding mealtime because my weight loss book says
'Don't eat.'
I'm a Barbie Girl,
in a Barbie World.
Life's fantastic, but...
I'm not plastic.
I've sat here listening while you complain about society but I don't think you realize that
society is made by you.
You complain about masks but you're masked by your poetry and
trust me,
it's trendy:
Psychiatry.
A bottle of capsules captures your soul and your dreams,
fading
reality.
I cannot be defined because a definition leaves no room for change and I
am a flame,
ready to burn the cardboard box of priority you put over me.
All the cool kids are lesbians and thespians on about repressions
and I care,
I do,
I mean... I'm standing here among you.
But words are just air.
You can stand on this stage and tell me I'm beautiful, but
I am more than my face so
disregard my mild distaste for your
inspirational speech.
Now, this...
This isn't a call for help.
This is a call to arms.
This
is a battle cry because
I
am sick of waiting for a future that should've happened yesterday.
So use this air to live the words you say and
rally.
Do not soothe, because we've already been cocooned by soothed reality in
Shawnee,
Johnson County.
I'm a real girl,
in a real world.
Life's fantastic, and I
refuse to be plastic,
aiming for generic weight range based on content, not scale number.
I refuse to be plastic,
a neck moulded perfectly for both eating and breathing so I don't have to choose.
I refuse to be plastic,
a bust that you don't need to be sizing
when I've got eyes
a green not of romanticized meadows but of drunken
puke.
I refuse to be plastic,
a size nine foot in a size nine shoe,
spending three to nine
enjoying my meal times,
because my weight loss book is
chucked down the chute.
I'm a living girl
in a beautiful world.
Life's fantastic,
because I'm not plastic.
highlight of my career ****

— The End —