Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
Path Humble Mar 2018
this title has begrudgingly waited for some loving kindness, fulfillment-needy, since October of Two Thousand and Seventeen

which is not quite as long as the decades I have been waiting to
accumulate the words to provide us both, an inspired solution

my days are numbered
in decades, decals, varying lengths of hair,
belts with notches that ain’t reachable,
suits various, both too big and too small to fit,
the who who used to own them,
begrudgingly, writes this

city born and bred, with the pale skin needed to prove my urbanity, each day came unto me begrudgingly,
even, especially, the good ones

when I was ten and rode my bike from freedom to mystery,
and back again in a city that was ok, if you stayed out of its way
and knew the city’s vocabulary and its erogenous zones

when nothing come easy, when even the easy, when it comes, comes begrudgingly

when you think of love, and the next immediate thought is:
how great the cost - recalling too well,
the pain of childbirth and child rearing
and the staining, paining fluid is in perm-attendence,
that doesn’t ever fully departs and
is not never entirely stain-stick-removable,
and the children come ‘n go according to their schedule,
someone else’s vast eternal plan

life in the same apartment  
where my parents died,
listening to the stories of joined lives,
listen to the sisters telling them
over and over to a stream of visitors
earned from and of a 98 year life,
given up willing but, begrudgingly as well.

the story-telling skill because of them,
my mist-matched parents who did ok
and their very best,
gifted us hyperbole innate genetic
and all of us now registered
tall tale tellers;

some write for a living,
some live to write,
some write to make themselves clearer,
after honestly confronting their subway reflection  

words acquired bot ‘n sold,
they too are stains unerasable,
very always handy,
the one thing we shared, word skill,
was never at loss, words never held a grudge
no matter how long they waited to serve

this fact, begrudgingly confess;
all my-word skill was freely inherited...
and I hope it satisfied the title
and you, those that waited patiently but,
2/10/18 6:42pm
Cyril Blythe Nov 2012
Janie pushes the metal book cart back into its parking space in the Document Delivery Department of the St. Louis Public Library and hangs the last sticky note for October 30, 2012 on the wall by the head of the department’s closed door. She retightens her brown scarf under her chin, tucking the wispy hairs above her ears back into hiding. Having your hair begin to prematurely gray as a teenager has dramatic effects on a person. Her mother wore scarves around her wrists when Janie was growing up and when Janie begin to wear scarves to conceal her salt-and-pepper hair, her mother just smiled. The clock hanging on the wall above the children’s section reads 11:28pm.
Two more minutes.
She reorganized the pens and books on her desk and set the box reading NOTES onto the right corner or her desk with three blue pens and a stack of note cards. Her coworkers learned fast that Janie does not like to talk. She does not like eye contact. She loves the silence, and never ever to ask her about her hair. Her manager gave her the NOTES box after about a month of horrible miscommunication and everyday it fills with requests for books or tasks that Janie has to complete. She completes the tasks one by one, alone, in her back office in the Reference Department and hangs the completed sticky notes on the wall by her manager’s door. She works the night shift and locks the library up every night. When she’s alone she can talk out loud to herself and those are the only voices she cares to hear.
“Goodnight, books. Good night, rooms.” Janie shut the heavy wooden door to the library, placed the color-coded keys in the front right pocket of her jacket, and began her walk to the bus stop one corner away. She avoids the main road, taking her first right onto a side street that she knows would spit her out right beside the bus stop.
“Goodnight Taco Bell Sign. Goodnight Rite-Aide. Goodnight Westside Apartments. Goodnight Jack-o-Lantern smile.” She stopped in the middle of the alley and peered up at the Jack-o-Lantern grinning down at her from the third story window above. “Mother wouldn’t’ve liked your smirk, Jack. She would’ve slapped that **** right off your face.” Janie, satisfied the pumpkin was put in its rightful place, smiled as she trotted on.
“Mother carved smiles into her arms and that’s why Daddy left, it is, it is.” She kicked at a crushed Mountain Dew can as she remembered that night from years ago.

“Mommy?” Janie pushed opened the door to her mother’s bedroom and saw the moving-boxes torn open and all their contents scattered across the floor. She tiptoed through piles of scarves and silverware and corkscrews until she reached the bathroom in her mom’s room.
“Come to us like rain, oh lord, come and stay and sting a while more, oh lord…” her mother’s voice was slipping off the tiled bathroom walls. Janie pushed open the door and saw the blood for the first time pouring from her mother’s wrist. Her mother was naked and perched on the bathroom sink, singing to a red razor blade.
“GET OUT!” Her mother jumped from the counter and perched on all fours on the floor. She began to growl and speak in a voice too deep to be coming from her own throat.
“Mommy! It’s Janie!” She began to cry as her mother, still naked and bleeding, twisted and writhed onto her back and began to crawl towards the door that Janie hid behind.

“Thirty-Three percent, dear. Just a thirty-three percent chance.” She shivered trying to clear the last memory of her mother with the words that all the shrinks had echoed to her over the years. “Schizophrenia is directly related to genetics, little is known about the type of Schizophrenia mother was diagnosed with except that it is definitely passed on genetically. But, there is only a thirty-three percent chance you could have it, dear. Thirty-three percent.” The sound of the bus stop ahead reminds her it is time to be silent again.
“Disorganized Schizophrenia.” She mouthed to herself as she stepped back out onto the busy street from her alleyway. She tightened her scarf and saw the bus pull into the pickup spot. She walked forward to the bus, again immersed in her self-imposed silence.
Stepping out of the February cold, Janie removes her wool scarf as the bus doors close behind her.
“Where to baby?” The driver smiles a sticky smile. Her nametag reads, “Shannon” and has a decaying Hello-Kitty sticker in the bottom left corner.
“The Clinton Street drop.” She hands the driver her $2.50 fare and avoids the woman’s questioning eyes. The night drivers are always more talkative, curious.
“Your ticket hon.” She tears Janie a ticket stub. “Everything is pretty dead this late, I’ll have you there in ten minutes top.”
Janie begins to shuffle towards the seats, ignoring the woman.
“You mind if I crank up the music?” The bus driver asks, purple fingernails scratching in her thick blonde hair. “I need to keep my eyes open and blood flowing and music is my fire of choice you know?”
“Sure.” Janie shrugs her bag onto her shoulder and walks on before the woman can say anything else.
“Route E-2, homebound.” Shannon’s voice crackles over the loudspeaker.
She shuffles down the bus towards her usual seat; second from the back right side.  Shannon starts the bus rolling before she reaches her seat and Janie can hear her singing along to “Summertime” by Janis Joplin. The bus floor, today, is sticky because of the morning rain. Two years of riding public transportation has taught Janie that staring at the floor as she walks to her seat is better than the risk of making eye contact. The bus is usually empty this late but if there ever happens to be anyone else on, it’s better not to converse. Safer that way.
She plops into her seat filling the indention that ghosts of past passengers left. The seat is still warm and Janie squirms around until the stranger heat is forgotten. She tightens her scarf and sighs. The brown pleather seatback in front of her is peeling towards the top. Janie leans forward and idly picks at the scab-like dangles of brown as she watches the sodden city canvas roll past her out the foggy window. As she picks, the hole grows. She twists and digs her unpainted nails into the seat until her hands feel wet, warm. Looking down, they are covered in blood and mud.
“What. The. Actual. ****.” she whispers, wiping her hands on her pants leg. She cautiously picks off another piece of pleather and a trickle of deep red begins to run from the seat back, clumps of mud now falling onto her knees. A puddle of blood and mire splatter down her legs and pool around her feet as she picks at the seat. Her white tights are definitely beyond saving now, so she digs faster until her thumbnail catches on something, bends back, and cracks. She gasps and withdraws her shaking hand, watching her own blood mix with the clotting muck in the seat, half of her thumbnail completely stripped off.
Looking around, all else seems normal. The driver is now muttering along to some banter by Kanye West, completely unaware of Janie’s predicament. She closes her eyes.
This is a dream, this is a dream, wake the **** up.
She opens her eyes to see the pool of filth around her feet trickling towards the front of the bus. Panic sets in with a whisper, They’re going to think it was you, your fault, you’ll be thrown in jail.
“But I didn’t do this.” She lashes out to herself. “I didn’t hurt anyone.”
Next stop, E-2. Shannon blares on the intercom.
“It’s just a dream, get your **** together, Janie.” She laughs at herself, manic.
Prove it! Her subconscious screams.
Convinced to end this moment she has to continue; Janie plunges her hand into the pleather grave one more time. Frantic and confused she laughs as she digs, spittle of muck splashing on her bus window.
Faster, faster, faster.
Deeper, deeper, deeper.
Realer, realer, real.
Wake up, now!
Then, as the bus slows, one last chuck of mud splatters to the floor and Janie sees a pink piece of her thumbnail stabbed into the white of a bone in the bottom of the seatback pit. Her white Ked’s were becoming so red they were almost black. She pulls her knees up to her chest and begins to rock back and forth. Clenching shut her eyes she begins to hum. Janie’s sweet soprano harmonizes with the buses deep droning purr, their wet melody interweaving with the driver’s alto and Lil Wayne’s screech made her feel dizzy as the bus turned right.
She take my money when I'm in need
Yeah she's a trifling friend indeed
Oh she's a gold digger way over town
That dig's on me
The bus slows to a stop and the bass is shaking. Janie is cold. She slowly peeks out of her right eye, expecting to be instantly immersed into the same dismal scene. The seatback is whole again. Releasing her knees, her feet fall back to the floor and her shaking fingers stroke the solid pleather.

“Ma’am? We’re at the Clinton Drop.”
Janie hurriedly picks up her bag and flees down the aisle to the bus doors.
“Everything alright, dear?” The bus driver asks, smiling.
“Fine, just fine.”
“You be safe out there tonight. The night is dark and only ghouls stroll the streets this late.”  Shannon laughed as Janie’s jaw dropped. “Happy Halloween, dear. It’s midnight, today is October 31st.”
The bus doors opened and a cold wind ****** the warm bot-air surrounding Janie into the streets. She begrudgingly followed, her mind spinning as she stepped onto the pavement. The doors slammed behind her and she turned to see Shannon pull out a tube of lipstick and smear it, red, across her cracked lips. Shannon made a duck-face in the mirror and reached down to crank up the music as loud as it would go. The bus exhaled and rolled forward, leaving Janie behind as it splashed through the potholes.
She surveys the surrounding midnight gloom and the street is quiet and dark. Even the stars are hidden behind swirling clouds. She begins to hum, hands in her pocket, and shuffle towards her apartment.
“Goodnight, stars. Goodnight, street.”
As she approaches her single-bedroom apartment, digging through her coat pocket for her keys, her thumb pulsates. She grasps the keys and pulls them out as she steps up to the apartment. Sticking the cold, silver key in the lock she looks down at her thumb and in the shadows of the porch sees half of the nail completely missing. She laughs as she pushes the door open to her bare apartment, light flooding out. Without any hesitation she closes the door behind her, sheds her clothes, and slips onto the mattress in the corner of the room gripping her thumb tight. She reaches out for the glass of milk on the floor beside her bed from the morning and it’s still cold. Nursing the milk, surrounded by blankets and solitude, she reminds herself,  “Only a thirty-three percent chance. A nice, small, round number. Small.”  
She sets down the empty glass and curls into the fetal position under the heavy blankets, pointer finger tracing circles on her thumb. Only when she has heated her blanket cocoon enough to feel safe does she remove her scarf and allow her thick white hair to fall around her face.
“Goodnight, room. Goodnight, mother,”
The arctic cold has brushed my cheek once again
The skies are stained white
and the ringing in my ears
is louder than ever
I wonder what the clouds are doing, I never see them anymore
The night doesnt come but the sun doesn't shine
I have a silver notebook
I write, spearmint
Because my eyes are watering but I feel nothing
The world is dry while the air is full
And the heavens take their morning pills
Wash their face
Head off sleepily to begrudgingly watch the icy seas
The wind bites my cheeks
But moves in such silence I wonder if the feeling is not just my routine punishment
At least I'm used to my spirits
At least I have a jacket on
At least the heavens didnt take a sick day all together.
Emilie Sep 2013
When we break something we have to pick up all the pieces
so begrudgingly
we walk around with a noisy
plastic bag shoveling,
paper and
inside and everyone we’ve wronged is breathing down our necks
like a prison warden.
An array of emotions
clenched fists ready for another go,
a second loop around the track
but some of us can’t make that, not enough stamina or endurance or the sheer ability
to drag ourselves out of the **** we wallow in daily.
It’s useless to sit there and repeat
hurt people hurt people hurt people hurt people
like it’s somehow ok,
as if we’ll find some counsel in the fact that our affliction was fundamental to the big picture
we were merely an unfortunate branch in the bigger psychological
meltdown of
It’s not okay; it’s not okay to make someone feel like ****.
Because you’ve been hurt you’ve somehow earned a right to do the same
but no one has that right.
Still, the world isn’t *******
but it’s okay to say *******
because that’s how I feel,
I feel like exploding
because hurt people don't have the right to hurt people.
No one has that right.  
No one should feel entitled to making you clean up your mess.
It's not weak
to say you're sorry,
there's no shame in expressing raw emotion.
It is okay to cry.
And it’s okay to feel alone
as long as you know
you're not. It's weak to think that you
to make someone feel like ****,
but you're the victim and hurt people hurt people
and they always will.
harlon rivers Nov 2017
The nakedness of winter lies heavy upon
the tolling Sunday quietude
Shed  leaves perish into yesterday
and the dream of another
dawning  someday wanes

The  sun ― lay low
the drudging  ashen  skyline  
Barerd emerald moss scaffolds
draw much more distantness
to the pallid shadowed horizon

The evergreens step forth,
roots grasping sacred heart,
soil  and  rock
In the swelling aloneness
you can feel the grain
of  the  heartwood
rooted in your soul

There are no hard feelings
but there's an enduring ache,
like a tree with a rotting limb
languishing  within
its blackened bark sacrifice

It's not just the grinding time
that slips away begrudgingly;
more of the same takes a toll 
as if another unrung belfry hour
in an empty bell tower
without a song rang out in vain,

peeling  reflections
of reluctant hours  c r a w l  by
in the insensible apathy

A so called holiday passes ―
its footprint bears down
hard  and  deep
as if a paling winter rose
grieves its own passing

A dry wishbone unbroken
lay bare the poignant
truth  it  holds;

it takes two to make
this wish come true

Written by:  harlon rivers
a winter Sunday
11. 26. 2017

Note : alternative title before
accidentally published
by write/ public/default

"Unlucky Wishbone"
city of flips Aug 2018
men and their egos (I turned twenty this summer) are

they admit “guess you were right”
believing that will make them heroes,
by full on confessing they are *******

I turned twenty in the summer

my tan legs in cutoffs (it’s summer) drives them to madness,
accused, you are pitiless, for their dreams of you involve ransom  
still, you
search and quiet plead like Abraham, to the heated air,
while listening to Whitney Houston and Ed Sheeran,
(on your earbuds just so nobody knows your weakness)
for just that one good man in the township of
***** and Gomorrah

my mother bitter sneers good luck with that,
forgetting I am now twenty years
so old, so advanced,
that my hopes and aspirations are no longer those
the ones in my high school yearbook

my poetry fills pages,
a human urban renewal,
laying out a city of hope

recalling that ***** and Gemorrah were destroyed
Bailey B Sep 2010
I tiptoe hence from
crack to crack in the
asphalt of our parking lot
trying not to hit the yardlines like
we did in marching band
practice, carefully, steadily
with six steps to a stripe
six-to-five six-to-five
left right left

and I'm trying not to notice
that the trees, their leaves are
turning now to the colors of
the hairs upon my head

and ash
blonde brownish
and the sweetest of
on my left
right left

and I'm not doing a very good job
of not noticing these things
like how I pretend not to notice how
you smile when I'm not looking but
you are, you're smiling, you're
looking at me and perhaps catching
glimpse of the rainbow of follicles
emerging from my scalp

which is great and all, but still it
makes me nervous makes me jittery
pocketwatch in my ribcage

I scuff my foot across the yellow
paint of parking spaces and joke that
we would have pretty children
because that's always been a topic
that's one of those half-joking, half-not
topics that all
boy and girl friends have even if
they aren't boyfriends or girlfriends they're
just friends, it's still a tender subject
and today I'm feeling
brave except for when I
trip over a word and widen my
eyeballs in embarrassment
until they can see the very
tips of my eyelashes and I
feel very odd indeed
because I realize no one thinks of that
except of course for
six-to-five six-to-five

and I've mapped out my life in bottle caps
and those pepperminty things you
can only find at wedding receptions

and I ****** them in a jar until I stir
them into prophecy and they tell me
if you were another boy if you had a signet
for a seal and possibly a stallion or at
very least a cloak
or a practicality for inventions more useful
than those of divinities
but you aren't no you aren't

and in another life were you a
nine-to-five nine-to-five
and in another time you could've passed
and we could laugh our days away by
the fires and read Whitman to our
Siamese and drape ourselves with kaleidoscope
quilts in lavish armchairs and just

honey, honey for your toast

breathe, don't cry
crying is for
the weak

and in another life I could've smiled
without abandon I could've
let your fingers brush my jawline let
you read over my shoulder and occasionally
turn the pages for me and I
could've seen our future and let you tell
me I was beautiful and possibly loved you
...but I can't love you.
This is not another life.
this is mine I tiptoe fragilely
from crack to crack and breath to
breath to keep myself from falling off
the edge and so I murmur quietly in my brain

ash blonde brown auburn burgundy and
yes, six-to-five
and let me close my eyes to blink

you tell me
you're not foolish enough to tell me
what you really think
and you laugh and I tell you I'm stopping this
of thought before it derails itself and causes those
catastrophes where thousands die
of head-on collisions and
butterfly feelings
and stricken-through unfinished

like I'm in a game of hide
and seek but you're pretending
not to know where I am hiding
so I can be the last one
right left

so I halt myself at six-to-five
and let you kiss me anyway

you don't know that in those
few choice words
you've given myself away
Madison Aug 2018
Our story's beginnings are rather plain
Set in a town built on the mundane.
In this town, there lived a boy
Devoid of ambition, love, or joy.

He sleepwalked through his days
Aimless and alone.
Drowning in a melancholy haze
He longed for something lovely to call his own.

Now, I shan't tell you the young man's name
For fear he'd hang his head in shame
But his story you should know.
For it's not the name that marked this boy
But the places he would go.  

One day, an idea dawned
To take a day trip out of town.
The boy made a map
And a line was drawn
To the path he would walk down.

He followed the map with surprising ease
Over the hills and through the trees.
Though the boy was thrilled
He couldn't wrap his mind
Around the treasure
He would soon find.

The path came to an end
Without the map's warning
Causing the boy's plans to upend
Before it was even midmorning.
But the boy was in awe
Despite the offset.
He knew what he saw
He would not soon forget.
In the middle of the golden field
Stood a tall ivory castle.
His chronic disenchantment healed
The boy vowed to see inside
Whatever the hassle.

So he searched for a door
Until he could search no more.
He attempted to climb
With no regard for time.
He searched for a ****
Or a lock
Or a key.
Only when he was about to give up
Did the answer break free.

Against all reason
The castle began to glow.
When the transformation came to completion
A strange voice let him know.

"Come in," coaxed the disembodied voice
Honeyed and assured.
Feeling as if he had no choice
Inside, the boy was lured.

"My, you are a rude one," the voice began to chide.
"A lady invites you into her home, and without a word, you come inside?
I'm not expecting you to write me a sonnet, but at least have a bit of tact!
If we're being honest, boy, I believe your manners lack."

Sure this was some sort of stunt
The boy calmly shook his head.
"Forgive me, Miss, for being so blunt
But I believe the fault is yours instead.
You expect me to believe I was propositioned
By a castle that spoke?
I am certain one of my peers commissioned
Some sort of pricey joke.
I'm sorry, Castle Lady Dear
But I must be on my way.
I'm afraid I can't stay here
Perhaps we'll finish another day.
It's truly nothing personal
I simply have a hunch
That if I stick around for now
I'll miss my mother's lunch."

The boy turned on his heel
Not saying any more.
He soon let out a pitiful squeal
When he found there was no longer a door.

The Castle Lady countered his squeal
With a sinister cackle.
"Did you really believe you could leave me here
Without it becoming a debacle?
I'm sorry, dear
But for now
To this place, you are shackled."

Heart suddenly stricken with fear
The boy's eyes filled with tears
And he began to cry.
"Please let me go!" he cried out.
"I am far too young to die!"

Much to the boy's chagrin
The Castle Lady only laughed again.
"Goodness me, my dear!
You must be some sort of fool!
I do not plan to **** you here.
How could I ever be so cruel?"

Angered by the castle woman's taunts
The boy's eye began to twitch.
"If you won't **** me, what do you want?
Let me go, you witch!"

Unphased by his outburst
The Castle Lady simply tsked.
"Are you sure the witch is me
When you're the one being so mean?
I know what a statement this might be
But I believe you're the meanest boy I've seen.
But you can relax
For I've had my fun.
I simply have a favor to ask
Before you turn and run."

Against all logic
And stranger-danger talks
The notion of adventure
Overpowered his urge to balk.
"What is it?" he asked the Castle Lady
As curiosity struck.
When the Castle Lady responded
He could not believe his luck.

"Resting in one of my rooms
Is an awe-inspiring prize.
It holds power and beauty few men ever get to witness
With their own two eyes.
In fact, it holds too much power
So much that it's making me sick.
Only the brightest of young men can bear it
And you're the one I've picked."

The boy's heart raced.
For that prize, he yearned.
Still, he said:
"There must be some mistake.
Are you sure this is a prize I've earned?"

Overtaken by laughter
The Castle Lady began to roar.
"I am not that sick, dear boy!
Of course I am sure!
I can not make any mistake
No matter how small.
Didn't your mother teach you
That divine beings know all?
Now, you are an imaginative lad
With the charisma to match.
I'd dare say you are the best equipped child
Out of the local batch."

The boy couldn't help but crack a grin
Flattered by the Castle Lady's assessment.
"I suppose you must be right, then.
Now where do I get my present?"

"It is not a difficult journey at all," the Castle Lady replied.
"Just walk a bit down this here hall
And look to your left side."

Suddenly, the room filled with bright light
To help him find his way around.
In saying the journey was not difficult, the Castle Lady was right
As another glowing doorway
Was soon found.

"Very good, you clever boy!" the Castle Lady cried.
"Just give your fingers a quick snap
And take a step inside."

Proudly, the boy followed her advice.
The snap of his fingers reverberated
Sounding quite nice.
Secretly, the simple action
Gave him a small thrill
For he was the only child in his town
Who had such a skill.

Just as the lady promised
The door opened right away.
Thus, he took that fateful step inside
As she said he may.

Alas, it seemed the boy had been cheated by his wanderlust.
The only thing inside the room
Was a wooden box
Coated in dust.

All sense of wonder gone
The boy was certain it was a trick.
"You horrid con!
What in here is making you sick?"

Unamused, the Castle Lady sighed.
This was not the first time a child had thought she lied.
"You're jumping to conclusions, boy.
I'm not that sly a fox.
If you want to find the treasure
Look inside the box."

Begrudgingly, the boy obliged
Lifting up the top.
In the moment he saw what was inside
The whole world seemed to stop.

The boy's jaw dropped
As the box glowed
As if it contained all of heaven's rumored light.
It was true that he was unlikely
To ever again see such a wonderful sight.

"Well?" the Castle Lady inquired.
"Would you like to keep it?
You have all the qualities required
It's only fair that you reap it."

"Of course I'd like to keep it," said the boy.
"But what should I do?
What power do I have
To take care of this box
Any better than you?"

"The box can do anything," said the Castle Lady.
"Perhaps that's why I can not have it.
Still, you need not engage in special care and keeping
Or develop any new habits.

The box can do whatever you wish
Cure disease and famine
Or make your family rich.
I can not tell you what to do
Just use your own discretion.
Besides, it wouldn't truly be yours to use
If you did so under my direction.
So simply take it home
And do with it what you will
But before you choose to roam
I have one more message for you still."

Holding the box to him
The boy lifted an ear
Regarding her as a friend.
"What is it, Castle Lady?
Please say what needs to be said!"

When she spoke again
The boy could swear her voice contained a smile.
"When you leave me, the castle will come to an end
And this part of me will be dead.
Though I'd love for you to stay a while
So we could become better acquainted
I'm afraid that would be against the rules
And the prophecy would be tainted.
So, clever boy
For now, I'll bid you adieu.
You deserve to be given joy
And I hope that is what the box will do."

No sooner than she spoke
Did the castle vanish
In a puff of smoke.
Once again, the boy stood in the field.
In his hands rested the box
The closed lid keeping its powers concealed.
Somewhere between satisfied and sad.

He gave her a eulogy
However unorthodox.
"Goodbye, Castle Lady Dear, I enjoyed our little talks.
Maybe we'll meet in another world...
Oh, and thank you for the box!"
Having said all he needed to say
The boy knew he should be leaving soon.
He turned to walk the other way.
Walking home, his fingers snapped a tune.

It wasn't long before the whole town
Knew about his treasured box.
The boy made sure all his friend knew.
In school, he stopped all of the clocks.

He provided his class with great delight.
As a school day
Melted away
Into a Friday night.
The grown-ups none the wiser
He pulled off the perfect crime.
Forever the improvisor
He also did away with bedtime.

He gave his family money
As the Castle Lady said he could.
Though his old bullies looked at him funny
His clothes had never looked so good.

He gave himself popularity
A Labrador puppy
A brand new bike.
The ones who teased him
Spoke apologetically
And there wasn't a single girl
By whom he wasn't liked.

It wasn't long, however
Before the fun began to fade.
As much power as he had, he never intended
To share his gift with his whole grade.

"Can you tell me
If my pet goldfish is really watching from above?"
"Can you please help me
Make my parents fall back in love?"
"Can you make it so that
My grandpa isn't sick anymore?"
"Can you invent a robot
To help me do my chores?"
"Can you make sure
That my family keeps our home?"
"Oh-- and while you're at it
Help me write my girlfriend a nice poem?"

Alas, the boy paid no mind
To their wants and needs.
He had left his charitable days behind
In favor of his newfound greed.
Though his box could do anything
It really wasn't his job.
No matter what happiness to others it might bring
Of his power, he'd feel robbed.

He didn't know that at night
His friends went home to cry
Asking their nonexistent treasured boxes
"If he can have something special
Why can't I?"

Life went on like this
Until one day, he was greeted by a bird.
It landed on his shoulder
And hissed,
"You'll never guess what I heard."

The boy was quite frightened
Both by the bird's familiar voice
And what it said.
Still, his eyes brightened
When he shouted
"Castle Lady?
I thought that you were dead!"

"Too bad," the bird crowed.
"For I'm very much alive.
And I figure you should know
I won't allow you to continue to connive."

At her choice of words
The boy sputtered.
"What do you mean, bird?"
He nervously stuttered.

The Bird Lady stared at him
With beady black eyes.
"I mean, I saw what you've done with your gift
And I was unpleasantly surprised.
You didn't disrupt any tradition.
I told you to do what you would.
It was just that I had the premonition
That you'd use your power for good.
You're no better than any of your classmates
You silly sap!
Did it ever occur to you
That you were only picked
Because you can snap?
When my last life came to an end
You thanked me for the box
And ran home to your mother.
My spirit would have been able to rest
If you had used the box to help others.
I am older than most earthly things
And some sights I've seen are hellish.
This in mind
It's beyond me
Why you'd choose to be so selfish.
See, this box was once mine
Changing owners as it does
And when it fell into my hands I wished
To be anything but the girl I was.
From then on, I've been trapped
In the form of many objects
And, whenever I try to go from this world to the next
Fate always interjects.
I'm the keeper of this box
Until it falls into the hands of someone good enough
And I'm here to say, dear boy
I'm afraid you must give it up."

Without warning
The boy broke down
Dropping to his knees.
For the first time since that fateful day
His sense of superiority ceased
And truth began to reign.
Head in his hands, he grieved
For those he had caused pain.

The Bird Lady remained by his side
Trying her hardest to soothe.
"Now, clever boy, you need not cry
But the box does need to move.
Now, I need you to calm down and listen to me
And let me make myself clear.
I need you to go to the sea
And that's the last wish you will make here."

Suddenly, the boy understood.
When it was far too late, he used his powers for good.
So he wished for the ocean, heeding the Bird Lady's advice.
The two of them were at the beach
Before he could think twice.

"Very good," the Bird Lady praised.
"All you have to do now is let go.
Don't worry, my dear boy
When the box finds its forever home
I'll be sure to let you know."

The boy nodded.
With shaking hands, he looked down.
Taking a deep breath, he dropped the box
And all his wrongdoings drowned.

"Thank you very much," the Bird Lady chirped.
"Now, relax, and let your conscience be cleared.
You can go home
And I'll take it from here.
One last thing
I should tell you, my friend.
All this can be fixed
If you just have an ear to lend.
No matter how heartfelt
Apologies only take you so far.
What you should do now
Is fix your regrets with actions
To show them what a lovely boy you are."

With that
The Bird Lady dove
Picking up the box with her magnificent beak.
The boy returned home
With redemption to seek.

All these years later
Our nameless boy is now a man.
He's ordinary, yes
But ordinary is good enough.
He doesn't look down on others
Or even try to act tough.
Though he's no longer a heartthrob
One girl remained by his side.
When she is there
He never has to hide.
When a friend has a problem
He is there to listen.
And, though he holds no glowing box
His eyes still glisten.

Meanwhile, our Lady's soul
Now rests within a spaniel dog.
Though the box still has no permanant owner
She doesn't think it will be long.
Though that might seem unlikely
Divine beings do know all
Though everyone makes mistakes
Both big and small.
She may chastise others
For poor choices and self-control
But in the end, she knows the box only needs one thing:
To be cared for by a beautiful soul.
Reece Apr 2013
There's a sickness in me, something I hide
At night I log on and search my inside demons
Low grade image on HD monitors
Guts and glory

I watch the videos, and smile, post a comment
Boy's body torn to shreds, eighteen wheeler destruction
I see you in Mexico, gangland violence
Remove three heads in a four minute clip, machete madness

Lean back in a leather chair, comfort in freedom
Adolescent boy, hung by the ankles
"Allah Hu Akbar", whip his *** ******
Family takes turns, mother holds a bedpan

Black man beats white woman, dominant dictator
***** shouldn't have kissed another man
Beat sense past the bleach on her scalp
Sister apathetically asks him to stop
Weak willed humanity

Who were you, before your face was gone?
Fighting this war, none shall win
Cannot see your brothers
One steals your wedding ring

There is a sickness in me
I derive pleasure from these pictures
"Zlo'radstvo", the sick man vomits

What jail cell is this
That one shoots up so freely
Gambling ***** cash
Am I, a free man, allowed to do the same?

Poor boy, cut the noose from round your neck
The poor girls are fighting in the streets
Childhoods are lost
It's hot out here, getting hotter still

Police brutality, gas station punch-up
Families fight, prostitutes steal
Streetlights are gallows
and the town burns to ashes,
with a skeletal man stumbling through the smog

Incestuous family, filming sick fantasy
Little sister scorned, crying to sleep
Bleeding orifice of a broken *****
Bleed for daddy, bleed, bleed

There is a sickness inside of me

Terrorist, hooded infidel, story to tell
Death to the west and other such messages
Bomb your city
Bomb your school
Upload it all to YouTube

A couple thousand hits of a girl beneath a truck
Dead-eyed cameraman zooms into a strewn liver
Back to her once pretty mouth
Anonymous comments, ****** deviants

There is a sickness in me and I want it gone

Secret currency, pays for a secret vice
I enjoy watching violence erupt,
Warring girls in the schoolyard
Cuts her hair, kicks to the face
I *******, feeling disgraced

Grainy suicide, bounce from the ground
Racist attack on a bus, perpetrator not found
Baby ***** in a crib, video with no sound
TheYNC profits from this,
The human condition keeps me coming around

There is a sickness in me
I call it humanity

Hours whiled away, begrudgingly sordid pixels
Opening new links, delving into insanity
Curiosity got the better of me
Tonight I probably won't sleep
When I say I, I mean not I
But actually we, he or she
There is a sickness in all of us
   A sickness I always see

Please, be loving and stop the violence.
Evynne Apr 2013
Just like love, just like how you know life
With your heart beating and your eyes big with wonder and awe
You want to feel each day slip away as you long to get closer to death
For death seems to be the only logical escape
The way you view the world, there is too much evil, too many horrible things going on
Not enough goodness, no justice
You long to possess the right to inform people about how mankind has managed to lose its soul and fervor to pain, hurt, evil
Evolving in all of the wrongs ways, developing all the wrong ideals
You try to say the words right, try to make them coherent
And at night you think and think
And in your mind, things look so little but so unattainable

You are a spirit of light
Your left hand longs to be held by another's right hand
Your face longs to be caressed, to be admired and remembered
You need some reason to keep on living
For on your own, you are just waiting for death to sweep you off your feet and take you away
It is the only thing that seems to feel right
The only thing that really makes sense to you

You choose to remain in your thoughts and in your head
For it is a good place to be
You can smile a new smile, take your hands and dig them deep within the sun and the moon
You can hold the universe and maybe even restore the hope that was once present and flourishing within you
But once you must leave your mind and your dreams and your thoughts
You slowly and begrudgingly come back to reality and your stomach falls to your feet as you hear the pangs of the outside world coming back alive inside of you
You ponder the concept of the word "home" and remember an old body that you used to seek safety in
Cold and dark tears contemplate falling and you wish to live in the sky, gone from the world, slipping away in your dreams, leaving behind the dreadful drone of your own existence
You ache to be left alone in your thoughts
Your mind travels back to the days that once consisted of innocence and simplicity
So alluring and true
Withholding pure and utter bliss
Now, so unattainable and distant
Forever gone

You try to stop your mind from traveling further but you think about the person you used to be, the girl you once knew
Her lips are now forever gasping for more and more air and the feeling of fear is hard and sharp in her heart that is broken beyond repair
You long for better days, for better things to come to you
But there is something dark and black that rests deep within you and you cannot live a moment without noticing its lurking presence
You long to be free of it
But death is so far away and sleep is only temporary
Your eyes are open but there's a path behind them compiled of pasts years that you continuously walk day after day after day
And they don't taste sweet and your breath is trapped within you, making it seem as if blood tastes better than this
And once again, death and truth seem attainable but so very, very out of reach

The weather is gloomy and rain is falling from the clouds above
You stand and let the rain kiss every inch of your warm and tingling flesh and you feel happy as you turn with the wind and taste the raindrops on your lips
Your heart is red with fire and warmth, beating graciously as you believe each and every raindrop is a healing kiss to your troubled and aching soul
Times of hate and despair trickle down your body with the rain and you feel both dead and alive all at once, waiting for something other than hurt and emptiness to be your dearest friend, waiting for the loneliness that swims through your veins to go looking for someone else to invade with its poisonous ways
The rain is trying to help but the loneliness was there before the rain ever existed and it cannot die inside of you
For it is very much alive as it stands in the room behind your ribcage, holding out its arms, loudening its voice today and every day, this morning and every morning, until it is eventually noticed tonight and every night
With its feet imbedded to the floor of your body and your bones, forever attempting to taint the beauty of your soul
You try to forget, but instead you understand
You lay in bed and it all feels so real as you look desperately to the stars
The same stars you have been looking to and wishing on ever since you were a small child
And you recall the first time you ever saw a star, still so full of innocence and ambition and wonder
But innocence isn't a permanent friend like loneliness which lies at the door to your heart
Innocence is forced to change its shape until it disintegrates all together
Just as you have sat and watched the stars for all these years, you sat and watched your innocence slowly fade away with age and the progression of life and time
Then comes the wonder of the beloved memories when you still possessed that innocence and its hurts and everything seems lonely once more
So you write as you look to the moon and the earth and the song they sing each night
And even though you have grown accustomed to the darkness
You are sure it was once was something that took too frequently and took too soon until it became a friend instead of an enemy
Because what other choice did you have other than to form an alliance with it?
And soon enough the words flowed from your fingers and nothing mattered as long as you could write and feel something, whether it was the pain from under a razor blade or the earth beneath your feet or the taste of wine on your tongue
It was still something

Oh little miss silence, the quiet and unnoticed observer
Seen by no one, your head high in the clouds as you continuously demand the reason for why you are living
You lay and wait for the great and warm sea to scoop you up and break you apart until you are nothing but particles floating about, forming other unknown entities
But people lie and we are all terrible human beings
Spiteful and cold
Although you have always felt different from the rest, small and everything less than perfect
Always thinking thoroughly, slowly, deeply
Always acting as a caretaker to others and their wants, and needs, and feelings
You discovered at a very young age that helping others makes your heart dance and that fighting for those who are in need is of utmost importance
You always speak so softly because your efforts are never enough to change anyone or anything
You are kind when others are mean, strong when others are weak
Every single night you lay your head down to sleep and pray and pray for better things and better people to reign, just as you did every single night as a child
But things get harder as youth diminishes
And once it finally leaves, you find that you are the person you'd never thought you'd become
And knowing that is extremely painful
It is a constant, stabbing feeling

You look for peace, talk of it, listen for it
Longing to make your insides bright again
Searching for a reason to keep on living
But your mouth is locked shut and you hide with the trees and hold dear true laughter and listen to the music in everything as you see reality through one set of eyes, and the world within your mind, through another
You feel sorry as you look for some person or some place to build a home
And you long to grow with the trees that will rest beside it and to float with the clouds that will rest above it
A world to live and breathe comfortably in is all that you long for
But you are living in hell as this world is the farthest thing from comfortable
You lay beneath the sky and ache and ache as you listen to the voices that sing above you
And you feel apart from everything and the sad feelings surface once more and you try and try to escape but instead more things wake inside of you and walls build up and around you until your story is just another poem you will write in the future

You watch the tree from your window and try to remember what you felt like before you lost everything
hiroki Sep 2014
"we broke up"

we did not
"break up"

you left me
you gave up
and quit
just like that
like it was nothing

it was never mutual
and i never agreed
yet i just had to accept it

i couldn't then
but now i do...
Irate Watcher Sep 2018
the monster,
is black sludge.
He engulfs
all alive,
about the ongoing
where to go.
harlon rivers Mar 2018
Crimson maple buds magically pucker
under brightening skies
Lenten rose reluctantly unfolds
absolving the shadowed snow,
stemming the wintertide

Spring's impending bloom
mystically stirs the delicate human heart  
soothing from outside its sheltering shell

A converging pleasantness
of a sunshine sown awakening
cleanses each morning breath drawn
to sate an urgent restrained longing

The wilderness carpet comes alive
with a burgeoning salient sweetness
drawing out a glimmer of gladness
from stale suffocating darkness’
wallowing in the winter ennui

Another kind of poignant balm sinks
from the tall mountain willow tree
touching the sprouting blue sky

Furry fragrant catkins blossom sweetly
like the remnants of a love once known
softly brushing against a fading memory
of unerasable stains begrudgingly beget

Like fawning flowers falling fallow
in a passing season’s pollination breeze
Manipulating frayed heartstrings,
unhealed as the deer peeled scars
and rubbed bark of a mountain willow,
scarred  from another season past

Some protective shell ― never grows back
when benign heartwood is brought to light

harlon rivers ... Spring 2018
Searle Jul 2014
As i lay asleep last night
my mind wondered through the window and out of sight
catching a ride on a passing crow
it went places i’ll never go

Gliding it passed over palms and rivers
swooping under waterfalls left me with shivers
rising on a warm sea breeze high
it watched the golden sun set and with a sigh

Returned begrudgingly to where bedridden i lay
paralysed, a vegetable as they say
Angila Sep 2013
A loud knock,
was what I heard.
At this hour of the night,
who might that be,
I wordered.
I opened the door,
only to meet a giant,
and all so hairy man,
(not in a **** way though).

Hey young lady,
I'm Rubeus Hagrid,
here to pick you up.
You are not a muggle,
you do not belong here.
There is a school for you,
Hogwarts is its name,
school of witchcraft,
and wizardry,
(not a regular school per say).

We better hurry up child,
or the train will leave us.
It awaits at Platform 9¾,
and if we are not on time,
Dumbledore will have my head.
If we are late,
you will miss the sorting hat,
which makes me wonder,
are you a Slytherin,
or a  Gryffindor.

Anyway hurry up,
so go on and pack.
I would give you my wand,
but you do not know how to use it.
Do not look confused my child,
instead be happy.
being a muggle is no fun,
you will realise soon.
So hurry up lets go,
( I already hear snape grumbling).
James Nigh Jul 2012
we were driving home
taking side roads in a roundabout way.

and you spotted something on the side of the road.
bloodied, broken and (i assumed to be) dead.

you pulled over and we inspected it.
i was rather disgusted, but you picked it up and coddled it 'cause it had fur.

you kept coo'ing at it and asked it what it's name was (expecting no answer)
but it struggled to utter "Love".

we begrudgingly decided to take it home
and made a bed for it and nourished it back to health.

a week later we were drinking Earl Grey by the fireplace,
heard a rumbling
and looked around to see it standing there looking at us.
it was 7' tall and had an expression of awe, wonder, and terror
as if it thought we would ****** it at any second.

each night it had a different face, resembling one of your former playthings.
you never called it the same name twice.

a week later, it couldn't fit through any of the doorways.
we always came home to plaster, paint and drywall scattered everywhere.

i complained.
"Love has broad shoulders", you quipped.
it had grown too much for us.

a week later, i spent the afternoon at the bar and you were shopping.
we rendezvoused back home at 3PM.

only to find a gaping hole where the front door used to be.
everything inside totaled.
precious collections, expensive technology, jewelry...
all gone (or destroyed beyond recognition).

i railed, "Love ruined EVERYTHING!!!"
you seemed to take no note, kept your composure and muttered, "It always does" and just began sweeping.

the next day we got a kitten from the animal shelter,
and were laying in bed with it at night.
i asked, "Do you think Love will ever come back?"

you answered coldly, "It never does".
Bailey B Dec 2009
I lift my eyelids.
The rain invites me to play.
Her cold fingers curl around the doorframe,
"Come on, come sing again! Sing, just like you used to!"
She burbles gleefully.
"Come on, old friend.
We used to be ballerinas, whirling and laughing.
We used to be one
one and the same."
Her fingertips inch through my solid oak door.
I frown and shove the door closed
throw down the lock
yank my curtains closed
Closed to the scent of moss
to the wail of the wind
to the percussion of the weather.
(I prefer the smell of coffee
the sound of silence
of security.)
"I used to be a lot of things," I call.
"But then I grew up."

She knocks at my door.
Again. (memories are persistent.)
Teasing me with her calm voice
whispering lofty and cool.
I sigh
begrudgingly I follow
sliding into my raincoat
tugging up the hood
drawing the string tight around my jaw.
She dances in watery windchimes
sluicing across the slick sidewalk,
she pirouettes
beckons for me to follow.
My galoshes are not as forgiving as toe shoes; I trip.
I reach out my hand tentatively
feel a cold ***** of water slide down my index finger.
Icy. Biting.
I gasp and flick it off.
The world is a box of watercolors
but all smeared together in shades of earth.
Shadow, cornflower, lilac, mud
muddy colors I identify straight away.
They bring a smudgy comfort
a hesitant nostalgia.
I feel a note catch in my throat
like trapping a dragonfly in a glass jar.
It flits violently to escape,
but I dare not let it out.
It is sunny under my umbrella.

Late late night
midnight and a half (to be exact.)
I hear her call
frosting my windows with condensation.
I etch into my foggy breath,
feeling the panes hard against my pale skin.
"Come." says her voice.
"Listen--" I protest.
"Live." urges her whisper.
So I fling back the door
let the coolness trickle down my head.
Silver bullets sparkle in the moonlight
I tilt my face towards the crystal beads,
watch them pour across my face.
I shake my flimsy nightgown
sodden with tears never shed.
I twirl, laughing across the yard.
"Old friend, how I have missed you!"
The rain calls to me.
My tears melt with hers
tumbling down my neck.
My words burst forth, a crescendoing horn
swelling across the rooftops
resounding to the deepest roots of the trees.
"I don't want to grow up."
Warren Erasmus Aug 2011
The announcement came in whisper
Enough to halt my step - before I casually dismissed it
And tended to normality
The sound hardly raised an echo through the hills and valleys
- Just an eyebrow -
With a puzzled, momentary stare
Not dissimilar to the glitch in an 8mm reel
A slight rattle before the return to the hum of the wheel

The following fall the snow came early
Hills donned their blanket begrudgingly – while surely
Icy wind still found a way under the covers
Like rolling over onto cold during the night of an absent lover
He noticed icicles forming in remotest parts of him
Memories once buried and forgotten
Pushing through colder earth
Waiting to be heard and no sign of melting
For how long could he tread stubbornness through a winter eternal?
Endless, far-reaching – stretching on…and on

His cheeky smile of macho, at first
Reflecting comically on smooth ice
Fast turned to a grimace
As pain set in…and in
Seeping through to his secret room
Secret reserves of softer flesh
Secret underbelly of man, secret…my secret
Behind the vault of my mind

And when I put my ear against the steel
I heard the words:
“Find the sun”

The words became warmth – no glow
Just rising mercury – no winter thaw
Just heart pounding harder – no volcano
Just a chest expanding – no spectacle fireworks
Just shoulders pulling back
Head tilting forward
Back straightening
Frown smoothing
Eyes focusing their blue
Turning inward
Reflecting my soul back to me

On the surface of this unpolished armour
I began to see
The form of a man I once knew
I studied his contour
Piecing together the shapes - as if with fingers in my mind
Of this recognizable stranger
Brainwork searching voraciously, linking spaces

Between brief gaps in this blizzard
I peered into the blackness

And as I searched for this seeming phantom
The more lost I became – the more wanton,
In a strange twist of mood and fate
The more I vainly called to him
The louder, the clearer, even through mist
So great was my craving
My despair at the thought of being too late
But when I still and silent was
While listening patiently for a clue
Then did I see him – glimpses at first
Then everywhere, in full colour, bold in hue

Humbled now and ever more quiet
I immersed myself in this tapestry of being
All around me the ice had melted
And for a while now I could not remember the night
Nor the cold, nor the fear, nor even the fright
Behind not knowing
Just who it was that began this journey
That prompted the call that started the learning
That whispered the word that so, so long ago
Ignited the spark that led to the rage of this inferno
That broke the seal on all that
At one time, appeared so real -
That drove me to that forsaken place
Where I was forced to stare at a twisted face
Contorted in pain and unknown
To me and lined with the strain
Of bearing dreams so not my own
Liam Feb 2014
Something is amiss
you begrudgingly beat
blood barely flows
in survival mode

Your rhythm echoes
as habitual hope
lacking in conviction
weary and wary

Do you hibernate
unable to sustain
in a landscape
frigid and barren

A passionate void
fills with apathy
dreams lie dormant
awaiting your awakening

My foolish heart
i asked you
to be still
not to stop
Brandon Barnett Sep 2012
my dad was a workin man
mud on his boots and rust colored hands
cigarette in his mouth and Carhart pants
covered in sawdust from the projects he'd sand

we were family but how he saw us I'll never understand
and there was always my mother so he always needed another plan

we were technically a family, the few of us just us three
in a house like a boxing ring the loving was left up to me
four poor walls held together by two wedding rings begrudgingly
you could starve to death there if you were the one hungry for sympathy

my mom was a violent woman, a true fighter
hot tempered and her temper would start hot fires
at a young age I was inspired to learn to fight back because I was tired
of the beatings, of the yelling, of fake apologies, of the mire

we were a family but how she handled us I will never admire
she wanted us forever but the fates conspired

we were a family through all of the calls to the police
we were a family through the jealousy, the paranoia, and the deepening grief
we were a family that went to war and ignored peace
we were a sick body on it's knees that knew only disease and no relief

then of course we were a sailing ship forced on it's inevitable course
then us three became him, and her, and me, the source
now I have no recourse to heal those old sores

my dad was a boxer and my mom was a volatile pyre
fourteen years on that noose and fears are all I acquired
what transpired has made me hollow and lonely and scared of today because of the prior
and whoever tells you that you could survive that unscarred is the worst kind of liar
Lexi Vinton Nov 2013
The rattling
of an empty plastic water bottle
on a trash-ridden street
at 3 a.m.
is so exceedingly hopeless
that it makes me want to

Seeing the two drops of water
lingering in the bottom
causes me to untie
my beat-up shoes,
take off
my plain grey socks,
and place them in a neat
and hopeless
next to the overpass.

The label
peeling away from the bottle
forces me to climb over the railing
onto the little ledge,
high above the busy street

Glancing at the forlorn
plastic water bottle,
I prepare to jump.

A ****** homeless man
shuffles down the ***** street
picks up the bottle
and puts it in his bag.
“'scuse me miss,
do ya have any spare change?”

I stare at him with dead eyes
and begrudgingly climb down
from the railing.
Rhianecdote Nov 2015
Sometimes I put my headphones in
No music playin
Just to muffle out the background noise
Of all they're sayin ,
all the empty conversation
I'm secretly sat here craving
From Better days when
This paranoia wasn't constantly
Invading my brain and
I could entertain it
Sit here without fear
Cause I was going somewhere
With people I could call friends
Without questioning motivations

Unquestioning motivation
Now sleign , altered
And warped by blame
checked into the Awk-ward
I wait in urgency
hoping This was no accident
And I'll imerge and see
The bigger picture
But for now I shrink
Weight droppin off of me
still feelin heavy
Propped up on this bus seat
Weighing up whether
I should miss my stop
Cause I'm not sat near the bell
And God forbid I ask someone for help

Cause then they'd have to look at me

But don't look at me,
Don't you dare look at me!
I can't face you today
I can't even face me
That's why I don't take a window seat
And you have to begrudgingly
Shimmy past me to take yours
Or walk past to the back
Silently cursing me

I wish you'd sing instead
I've got no music playin
Clear my head
lend an Ear-nestle next to me
Did I not earn your earnesty?
If I've got your back
Won't you back me?
Or will I turn round
Reach out
Only to find your shadow stretchin
Out of reach
Like a weary soul-dier
you take your leave...

I try to shake mine off
Break some branches,
Tryin to get free
They Silently scream
But I'm struggling
To even make it off my seat
Go live
In three
But I can no longer perform
Go on without me
Forget me
Only thing on the way up
Is mum's spaghetti!
Need some Bob Marley
Get up, stand up
But my legs won't let me!
Musics off
So it's down to me
Get up, stand up
Used to be so easy
Get up stand up

Your bus stop is here

No music playin in my ear
But right now I could do
With a mellowdy
When ringing the bell on the bus  becomes a struggle! Maybe I should start carrying my own haha!
“CAAAAMON-CAAAMON-CAAMON-CAMON. *******. *******, YOU STUPID *******!!!!”  I slam on the brakes as the traffic light turns red, the front end of my car now parked in the middle of the intersection.  

A bunch of headlights begin to move towards me, and I rev the engine, slamming the car into reverse.   Now behind the white line, I lean back and take a few breaths.  I sound like my old man.  That nasty, fat ***** was always screaming at those useless racehorses as his soggy, limp cigar would bounce from his lips, spit landing all over the paid-in-full fakies of whatever blonde ***** was cuddled up next to him for the afternoon.  Having lost everything by the end of the day, he would always plod home and deposit his soiled, checkered pants on the laundry room floor and crawl into bed to make love to my mom.  

Ugh. I need to stop thinking about him.  I already wish I could be one of those old horses who gets shot in the head.  Today was my five-year work anniversary, and on behalf of the entire department, volcano-face Emily bestowed upon me a massive dog bone, which now sits tauntingly on my passenger seat.  As she suppressed that nasty giggle of hers and handed me the bone, the room erupted with laughter, someone shouting from the back corner, “Hey, Ed! Get it?!  You’re always like a dog with a bone!”  Maybe I should go back to work and make that ***** play fetch.

No. I’ll save that for later.  Right now I am going to go get that Philly Cheese Steak sandwich that’s been on my mind all afternoon.  That is if this light ever turns green again.  But ******* is my mouth salivating just thinking about that sandwich.  

What the hell is that?

A Ford Bronco is blazing towards the intersection, directly into oncoming traffic.  It swerves onto the shoulder, speeding past the rows of stopped cars and blasting through the red light.  The driver is leaning out the window, swinging around a sword.  He notices me staring and looks straight into my eyes, solidifying his unspoken threat by pointing his medieval weapon straight at my heart.  

Fine.  If that ******* wants a duel, I would hardly be a gentleman if I did not oblige.  I reach behind the passenger seat and grab the antique cop light that’s been gathering dust on the floor ever since I purchased it at the neighborhood thrift store.  I slap the thing on the top of my car and punch through the red light, cranking the steering wheel to make a quick u-ey.  As I gain some distance, I can just barely make out the license plate.


You’ve got to be kidding me.

Dr. Pepper ignores the fact that I am only 20 feet behind him and turns up his stereo, blasting a Renaissance dance tune from hell.

I’m going to end this, and I’m going to end it by sticking that sword up that Shakespeare *******’s ***.  

Dr. Pepper slams on his brakes, the sudden jolt causing him to drop his sword.  The passengers in the back of the cab burst into a slow-motion uproar, and I take the opportunity to cut off their escape route.  Now stopped, I pull out my mocha-flavored e-cig from my front pocket and look over at my dog bone as the vapor fills the car.  I snag the bone and step outside, feeling the weight of the rawhide in my hand as I approach the truck. Not stopping to bother with the driver, I head towards the back, kicking the forgotten sword into traffic.  My clothes are bathed in red from the brake lights, and the coked-out frenzy of the Renaissance men reaches a ****** as I stand before them, looking like the devil himself.

Adrenaline is surging through me.  As I take a drag of mocha, I scan the faces of the annoying pukes in the back of the truck and locate the nastiest in the bunch sitting in the middle of his troupe, completely stiff with fear.  I look deep into his eyes and slowly exhale.  I pull one more drag as I raise the massive bone and bring it crashing down, making full contact with the left brake light.  The red shards explode into the sky, and I do not hesitate to follow up with the other break light.  Adrenaline coursing through my veins, I can’t help but swing even harder.  

Wow - what a beautiful explosion.  

“Unsheathe thy sword!  UNSHEATHE THY SWORD!”

Dr. Pepper searches frantically for his sword as I casually approach his door. “Dr. Pepper,” I say calmly. He continues to desperately ***** around the truck, so I lean forward, “DR. PEPPER.” He turns begrudgingly to look at me.  Wanting to bid farewell to my defeated adversary, I raise my right hand into a 90 degree angle and wiggle my fingers “bye-bye” in his direction. His blood-shot, brown eyes widen, and it’s clear that he is terrified that his face will be the source of my next fireworks display.  Lucky for him my stomach growls, reminding me that my quest for a Philly Cheese Steak sandwich remains unfulfilled.

I walk away, the cherry light still flashing on top my car, so I take my bone and take a hard swing, unleashing the last set of fireworks in my perfectly-directed scene.  I get in the car, and as I start the engine, the oldies station is blaring Clarence the Frogman Henry’s song, “Ain’t Got No Home”.  It’s the best part of the song, and without hesitation I begin to tap out the rhythms on my steering wheel and sing along with Clarence in that high-pitched voice of his:

“I ain’t got no sister,
I ain’t got a brother,
I ain’t got a father,
not even a mother,
I’m a lonely boy,
I ain’t got a home.
Mitchell Duran Jun 2014
The night of the last Monday of October, Rowley Fair was in the back alley of The Purple Panda fist to fist with an Englishman who had told Wan to “get her rice-picking-*** an English beer and not any of that ***** stuff”. Rowley had never understood racism. He was also out of money and knew if he won, Wan would let him drink for free. Rowley was not a hero. He didn’t understand what that was. Rowley reacted, perhaps skimming the surface of the ideal when forced to do the hard thing to get what he wanted, but never on purpose. Also, he liked Wan and drinking. Mostly drinking.
He threw his fist up into Terry’s (the Englishman’s) chin. They both heard a loud crunch – Terry clearer than Rowley. Terry lurched his head back. It fell in between his shoulders, dangling there like a meat-filled apple about to fall from its branch. Rowley tapped Terry’s chest with the toe of his boot and down went Terry onto his back. Cody Horn handed Rowley a shot and a beer. He threw back the brown, finished half of the suds, and poured the rest on Terry’s face. Everyone laughed. Someone shouted, “Give’em another! Put tea time to bed!” Rowley swung his right foot back and brought it up into Terry’s jaw, feeling his bottom teeth smash and split into his top ones. There were a few scattered, lazy claps from the drunken hands that had been watching, but soon the coliseum fell away, leaving only the victor and the defeated. A seagull called out.
“Another round, Wan,” Rowley said, gently touching the crown of his head, “****** punched me on the top of my head. Who does that?” He looked around for Cody. He was talking to K, the local bike. They were leaving.
“Beer and a shot,” Wan said disinterested, placing the drinks in front of him. “You clean up the mess back there?”
Rowley nodded.
“Good.” Wan took a rag from somewhere and cleaned blood off the bar.
"Place slow tonight," Wan noted, "Why?"
Rowley shrugged, "Cold out there."
"How you know?"
"I was just out there fighting that englishmen," Rowley reminded her. He took a sip of his beer and noticed blood leaking into the frothy gold.
"Oh yeah," Wan nodded, "I forget. Where he anyway?"
"Who? The englishmen?"
"Yeah," she snapped, "Who the hell you think I talking about?"
"****," Rowley snorted, "Probably still back there. He called you rice-picker."
"I been called worse."
An hour passed and the englishmen still hadn't come back into the bar. The crowd had thinned. It was only Wan, Rowley, and a few college students that looked too soft to be there. Rowley contemplated following them out the bar, down an alleyway, and robbing them, but told himself he'd already had enough blood on his hands for one day. A seagull screeched outside as a distant police siren wailed over a few blowing fog horns from ships bobbing along in the bay. Everything was still and crisp, close and far away, silent and precise.
"One more, Wan," Rowley ordered, putting up his hand, "Another Anchor."
"You put on tab?"
"I thought I was drinking for free?"
"Why you think you drink for me?" she sneered, "Cause' you always ******' here?"
"Cause' of the englishmen, remember?" Rowley was getting tired of reminding her of this.
"I didn't ask you to do nothing," she countered, "Why I gotta' pay for something I don't even want?"
Rowley knew this was going to be an argument he would eventually lose, so he threw up his hands and pushed the stool out away from the bar.
"You leaving?" Wan asked, suddenly desperate.
"I'm broke," he admitted, "I got nothing left on me. Been broke since my first drink."
"Sit down. I get you beer."
Rowley looked towards the door, then down at the bar. He sat down.
"Thanks Wan."
She cracked the beer and put it in front of Rowley. "Don't tell no one. Next thing I know, I got every ******* *** in San Francisco coming here to fight foreigners for free beers."
"Lock and key are safe with me."
"Good." Wan waddled back to the far corner of the bar, slipped on her extra large reading glasses, and re-opened her Chinese newspaper. Rowley read the headline: KIDNAPPING SCARES CHINESE. He couldn't read anything else. It was all in Chinese. He looked down into his beer and watched the bubbles build up and explode. He finished that one, had another, then another with a shot, and then another. After that, Rowley had one more, noticed the college kids were gone and that it was 3AM. Wan was asleep with her bare feet up on the bar. Rowley shook her awake, where she instinctively attacked by swatting for his neck. She caught him in the arm pit and was going for another, but Rowley somehow drunkenly caught her hand and looked her in the eyes.
"******* Wan," Rowley blurted, "It's me!"
"Me who?!" she yelped.
"Rowley you little demon!"
"Oh..." she said, calming down, "I'm sorry. I can't see a thing in these glasses. They only to read."
Rowley let her go slowly, making sure she wasn't faking it, and took a few groggy steps back towards the door. "I'm heading out..." he gasped - He was surprisingly out of breath. "You'll be alright?"
"Huh?" Wan asked, startled, waking up, "Yeah! I be fine! What time is it?" But Rowley was gone, already out onto the streets trying to catch the last 1 bus to the outer sunset, which he caught just in time and rode alone until his stop on 44th. He nodded to the bus driver who sat motionless staring out the windshield, a cigarette dangling between their lips. The fog above was still rolling in thick and heavy as he walked to his apartment and entered. He undressed at the foot of his bed, leaving his clothes strewn on the ground, and climbed in to sleep a few hours before he'd have to get up in the morning to go to work.
The phone rang, startling Rowley out of his sleep. He rose out of bed, blinking into the morning sun that came in through blinds of the window. He looked at his nightstand clock. It read 4:45 AM. That left him with exactly two hours of shut eye. He moaned and rolled over, clapping his one extra pillow over his ear. The ringing stopped, but then, did a very curious thing: it started again. Rowley mumbled something to the affect of motherfugginleftbrainedhalfwitteddonkeylizardblowjobaskinforeski­nwearingcamelbackeddrunkpedderassmangocravingfreeeek out loud as he got up, but just as he reached the phone, it shut off again.
"Are you ******' kiddin'?" he asked out loud. He went to the bathroom to *** and poured himself a glass of water from the kitchen faucet. He lived in an in-law. Everything was conveniently near by.
As he started for his bed he calculated that if he slept one more hour, he could get a good three hours in before work. Sleep was of little importance to Rowley. As long as he got two, two and a half hours, he could do his job without killing anybody. He sat on the edge and started to finish the glass of water he'd poured, but the phone rang again. It startled Rowley so much that his hand shook, pouring water all over himself.
"*******!" he screamed, "WHO THE HELL IS CALLING ME RIGHT NOW!?"
He darted toward the phone and ripped it off the receiver.
There was silence on the other end of the line.
"HELLO!" Rowley shouted again.
"This is an automated message for Rowley Rubens. If this is Rowley Rubens please press one."
Rowley viciously pounded the one key on the receiver.
"You, Rowley Rubens, are not required to come in to work today. If you have any questions, please contact..." Rowley slammed the phone down on the receiver.
"*******..." he moaned, "Another pass."
And with that, Rowley threw himself on the bed and slept as long as he **** well pleased.
In the morning, Rowley rose at noon and made himself a cup of strong, black coffee. There was a single piece of bread and a single egg in the house. No milk. He couldn't remember the last time he went grocery shopping. He scoured his pantries for some form of food, be it crackers, moldy fruits, or canned goods, but there was nothing but soy sauce packets and half empty bottles of hot sauce. Dust lined the pantries where food should be and the plates he did own already looked *****, though they hadn't been used in weeks. Rowley gingerly took down a cup and placed it near coffee maker. Soon, he told himself.
There was a Splenda packet in the back of his tool drawer which consisted of: a baggy of rusted bobby pins, a tin of very old Pomade hair gel which he pocketed immediately, loose change of nickels and pennies, year old utility bills, old unpaid parking tickets back when he owned the 75' GMC truck (he was forced to sell it to pay rent and has been regretting it ever since), an empty pack of Marlboro Red's, a pocket knife, and various other tools and electrical wiring he picked up on the street thinking he'd use one day, but never did. He ripped open the baby pink Splenda bag and poured its chemically goodness inside.
"Now," he spoke aloud, "For the entrée."
He cracked the single egg on a lightly oiled skillet and tossed the egg shell in the garbage disposal. The single piece of bread sat there on the counter to the side. Rowley watched the egg as it popped and sizzled on the pan underneath the heat. He craftily flipped the egg over with a fork and watched and waited as the other side cooked. Once he believed it was finished, he took the pan off of the heat, turned it down, then placed the piece of bread on the burner. Dark circular burn marks quickly started to form, along with tiny trails of smoke. Rowley flipped the bread, let it sit for no more then 15 seconds, then placed it on a plate. He slid the egg from the pan to the plate and smiled.
After breakfast, he took a shower to wake himself up and threw on the clothes he had been wearing the night before: a slightly wrinkled plain white t-shirt, loose blue jeans that were two sizes too big, a clean pair of knee high socks, fresh boxer shorts he'd found in the back of his dresser drawers, and his work boots because they were the only pair of shoes he owned. Yet, once Rowley was dressed, he was at a loss of what to do with himself for the day. He checked his wallet. He had five bucks, which would get him lunch and a cup of coffee, but he thought he'd like a drink on his day off, so he remembered to reserve the five for a loaf of bread and a drink. He'd already had coffee today anyway. Anymore and he would get all jumpy.
Rowley walked down the hill to the Sutro Baths. Once a destination for the people of the city to swim and socialize, now it was just another tourist mark and outlook to the great expanse of the Pacific Ocean. There was a great diner on the edge of a cliff that Rowley loved to go, but since he'd already had his breakfast, he passed it by with a wistful indifference, breathing in the ocean air while the sun hit the back of his neck, warming it. He felt good trotting down the hillside toward the ocean, listening to the rumble of the waves and screeches of the seagulls overhead. For a moment, any worry he may have had dissipated like the morning fog and all was clear.
There was a large boulder, 30 yards wide and 25 yards in length, that sat at the edge of the water in the middle of the beach. The surface was made of jagged rocks and was very difficult to climb. Seagulls and young men stood at the peak of the boulder while Rowley stood looking up from the bottom. Behind him, European tourists snapped photos of their fit children, laughing and flexing with the blue sky with streaks of white clouds behind them. Behind the boulder, loud claps of the ocean slapping against the rock wall echoed across the beach. A dog ran down the length of the beach chasing a tennis ball while a young asian couple nervously asked a man who was walking alone to take their picture with the water behind them. The man begrudgingly snapped their photo, handed their camera back, and continued on to wherever he was going. Rowley watched this exchange and worried he had seen himself in the man in later years. People like me, he told himself, I'll never be a man alone on the beach wondering where to go next.
On the right side of the boulder, he watched a pair of two young boys make their way down along a narrow path. Rowley waited until they were on the beach, then clambered up the steep side from which they had came. There were other ways to go up the boulder, and Rowley had done them all, but this one to Rowley's surprise, was definitely the easiest. He was at the peak gazing out at the great Pacific with the Cliff House restaurant to the right of him in no more than three minutes. It usually took him ten if he went his usual way. Out of shape, he coughed and realized he was out of breath. He found a small rock that doubled as a seat on the edge of the boulder. In front of him was a great drop down to the ocean. He sat down and tried to catch his breath. After a minute or two, he wiped his brow, patted his pants pockets, and was elated to discover he'd remembered his cigarettes and lighter. He took one out and smoked.
He inhaled and exhaled and watched the grey smoke get caught in the wind. The knife edged waves rose and fell with an easy flow. A large oil tanker puttered behind the skipper's line like a great big dumb dog. Rowley thought it funny that sometimes there was such personality in man-made things. Why were they like that? The line connecting the skipper to the tanker looked so thin to Rowley, that he thought it should snap at any minute, but then, he remembered that he was very far away and that the line was much bigger than it appeared from where he was sitting. A "V" of pelicans drifted by Rowley. He followed them until they flew out of sight and out of his mind. His cigarette was nearly finished, so he decided to punch it out on the dry rock where he sat, proceeding to flick the **** out over the side. The cigarette soared from Rowley's hand as if leaping from it and dove down towards the cold ocean. It slid for a moment against the jagged edge of the rock until it finally landed softly onto the surface of the water. For a moment, it rocked back and forth with the ocean waves, but quickly, the filter became water logged, heavy, and sunk to the ocean floor. Rowley, unconscious of what his discarded cigarette **** was doing, looked forward and wondered what time exactly the sun would be setting and if he had enough time to get lunch, take a nap, and get to The Purple Panda before nightfall.
Rowley walked back up the hill to the cafe that overlooked the water. He ordered a coffee with an everything bagel,  butter on the side. As he sipped his coffee, he watched the waitress toast his bagel on the skillet. She wore a simple red dress with a floral pattern and had her hair up in a tight bun. Rowley already knew her name from her name tag, but asked it anyway.
"Nora," she told him, "How's your coffee?"
"Very good," he nodded.
The waitress eyed him, paused, and then asked, "You're that Rowley guy, aren't you?"
He looked down into his cup of coffee, then up into the waitresses eyes. Rowley didn't say anything.
"I've seen you before," she nodded, thinking where, "You live around here?"
"Kinda," he muttered.
A bell dinged. Rowley's food was ready. The waitress swiveled around on her heel and walked to the cook. The cook said something under his breath. The waitress smiled uneasily and shook her head. Rowley could see he wasn't wanted, at least wasn't wanted by the cook. He had no idea why. The waitress arrived back at Rowley's table with his order: a plain hamburger with everything on the side and french fries. She placed it gently in front of Rowley.
"I know where I've seen you," she smiled, "The Purple Panda."
Rowley looked up again at her grinning face, trying to remember it. He noticed how her crows feet on the outer edge of her eyes squeezed together tightly and her bright red cheeks were pushed up into a little ball. He had never seen her before in his life, but she seemed to think he was some kind of celebrity.
"Yeah," she started again, a twinkle in her eye now that she saw that it was him, "You're the guy always getting in fights at that place? Didn't you beat a guy up there just yesterday?"
"Had to," Rowley shrugged, starting to dress his hamburger, "******* called Wan a rice picker."
"Thats terrible!" she gasped.
"Yeah," he said, "I guess it is. I just don't like
Steve Page Apr 2020
Queuing -
When I was growing
it was second nature.
Then we got out the habit -
and started congregating and lingering,
vaguely hovering til the bus arrives
and then converging
with no reference to order
or deference to aging.
Or begrudgingly taking a number
and waiting our turn
til called forward, bringing us
out of our revelry.

It's different now.
Now we get there early,
expecting a wait, a line,
spaced out like it's leprosy
that we're suffering -
Like we're resisting
being associated with the others
who are queuing.



And once arriving,
being begrudgingly admitted
by the high-viz guy who's masking,
and he's insisting
that our partner
has to wait outside
where it's freezing.

Now queuing
is our new necessity -
our communal normality.

Maybe it'll stick
and we'll be sticklers
for a queue that's orderly.

And maybe - just maybe
we'll find that the queues move
a little
Experience of shopping has changed here in London
Ayeshah Mar 2010
Abstract love's &
( "Lover's" )
like abstract art-

You see what you want to see
Believe what your gonna believe

I've shared my linguistic
knowledge & observations
too many time to count.
Trying to help & wok this out

Begrudgingly l held onto
this imprisonment called

Let it stain & detain me,

Overpower myself & my thinking....
Even allowing this

Abstraction to consume my very soul

The every essence of what I once "was"

My dysfunctional state's
isn't no longer in question...

After the mistreatment(s)
I know there's nothing left.

Suicides a gift- my anchor  
It's my only way out of this-
Abstract "Love"!

Always Me Ayeshah
Copyright © Ayeshah K.C.L.N 1977-Present YEAR(s)
All right reserved
Alaia Feb 2012
The grass bends down beneath my feet accordingly, only to rise,
rise again
The waves break on pebbles, sand, only to crash again on
distant shores
Pulled back through quiet memories, the soft smoked smell of
mesquite & juniper
Lying in the heart of a gray metal shell, laid length-wise, molded into
a mad-mans image
Falling through old, tired, lives, with such innocence, clean &
unburdened by life
Accumulating this tiredness, begrudgingly ground down, absently
tossed aside
Never asking why, like beasts led to slaughter, not of flesh & bone,
put principle & ideal
Dreams of silver, fading into tarnished piles of rust, distorted image,
mocking faded beauty
Quiet nights spent in the shade of moonlight, watching the stars go
down with you
Dreaming of sunshine as the dew collects on our sleeping
Awakened by the fleeting song of cardinals, staring into lattice-work
Lyn-Purcell Sep 2018
EᔕᔕᕼI  ᑕOᑎT.
~ ⚪♫⚪ ~
"You do that and your mother will make sure
you have nothing but kale meals for a
month or three!" Ainhara snickers. "She only
wants you to eat more healthy meals."
"She's the one who likes the green devil,"
Lyn snaps. "I don't have to!"
"You seem to forget, My Lady," Esshi
points out, "Mothers know best!"
She can tell the young queen wants
to retort but she begrudgingly nods with
a small smile.

~ ⚪♫⚪ ~
"Alright," Lyn groans, "I'll eat it."
She dips her spoon into the soup, lifts
some kale, lamb, potatoes and broth,
blows away the steam, eats,
chews slowly.
"Hmm!" Lyn smiles and eats happily.
"It's actually not half-bad!"
She looks around. "Don't tell her I said
that. She wouldn't let me live it down."
"Your secret is safe with us, My Lady."
Esshi giggles as they watch her eat.

~ ⚪♫⚪ ~
"If there's more, you two should have some."
Ainhara cut a slice of freshly baked honey
-bread and places it by her mistress' side
while Esshi makes some fresh Jasmine
Pearl tea.
"I thought you were not hungry!" Ainhara
teases. Their Queen had the grace to flush.
"It certainly helped... Compliments to Bael
and his team! Thank you, but now, I need
to get back to work. Letters to respond to,
gathering my things for the morrow-"
Mothers, right? Looool
Enjoy part 9!
Lyn ***
Brandon Barnett Apr 2012
my dad was a workin man
mud on his boots and rust colored hands
cigarette in his mouth and Carhart pants
covered in sawdust from the projects he'd sand

we were family but how he saw us I'll never understand
and there was always my mother so he always needed another plan

we were technically a family, the few of us just us three
in a house like a boxing ring the loving was left up to me
four poor walls held together by two wedding rings begrudgingly
you could starve to death there if you were the one hungry for sympathy

my mom was a violent woman, a true fighter
hot tempered and her temper would start hot fires
at a young age I was inspired to learn to fight back because I was tired
of the beatings, of the yelling, of fake apologies, of the mire

we were a family but how she handled us I will never admire
she wanted us forever but the fates conspired

we were a family through all of the calls to the police
we were a family through the jealousy, the paranoia, and the deepening grief
we were a family that went to war and ignored peace
we were a sick body on it's knees that knew only disease and no relief

then of course we were a sailing ship forced on it's inevitable course
then us three became him, and her, and me, the source
now I have no recourse to heal those old sores

My dad was a boxer and my mom was a volatile pyre
fourteen years on that noose and fears are all I've acquired
what transpired has made me hollow and lonely and scared of today because of the prior
and whoever tells you, you could survive that unscarred is the worst kind of liar
stéphane noir Oct 2013
there are no more turtles in turtle bay.

the last one packed up his ****
and moved out just recently.
i think he was quoted in the paper
as saying, well this place
sure went straight to hell
… soon as those **** toads
started moving in here.

luckily, there wasn’t even 5 miles
until the next bay where
that turtle from before
could go to live with some
other people like him, resoundingly
intolerant of toads in any shapes

he built a house for himself,
that turtle from before,
and found a wife who
was going through a rough patch,
he gave her some good advice:
follow your heart because life is short.
[he was full of good slogans.]
they thought about having kids
[and tried]
but decided in the end
that they were better off
just the two of them.

one night she put a cigarette out
on his shell while he was asleep
and he woke up and screamed
what the hell did you do that for?!
and she fell over, passed out drunk.
[might as well be a toad, right?]
he coughed up a bit of slime,
but didn’t pursue the matter further.
he just laid her down on the bed,
and left without saying goodbye.

the road to tucson was quite long
and he was an amazingly slow walker.
and a few days later he hadn’t even
really gone anywhere because he
decided to stay for like two weeks
at his buddy’s across the street from High Dive,
some bar they always went to
if it was after 1 am.
[no special reason- just proximity.]

but there’s only so many
times someone can watch
“fear and loathing in las vegas”
before anyone is going to feel
like he spent that last twenty years
on acid and wasting every second.
so he begrudgingly moved out,
and bumped into his wife at the grocery store.

i thought you were gone.
i was at Tino’s, but his wife is back now.
where was she?
her mother’s.
what was she doing there
house sitting- you remember her mom does that quilting contest every year?
do you remember that?
yea… listen why didn’t you tell me you tried to **** yourself?
mary saw you…
oh jesus
... through the window sitting in the garage with your car running a while.
no- what? i can’t believe we’re even talking about this
well, did you or didn’t you?
didn’t i what?
try to.
yes i tried to, but i didn’t expect mary to be watching or anything.
no reason
i did it- i was just, tired
don’t you think it’s funny the way we eat out on wednesdays? every wednesday we always eat out
i have to go, actually
i didn’t mean anything

eventually, the turtles moved back to turtle bay,
when a pet shop moved in there
around seventeen years later.
[you know, turtles do live very long]
and that turtle from before
solitarily revisited his homeland.
JR Rhine Feb 2017
The Comeback snapped the ball
and looked desperately for somebody open--

I stood in the endzone
franticallywaving my


With an eye-roll hardly concealed
within a muddy helmet,
he begrudgingly tossed me the ball--

The buzzer sounded
and the fourth quarter ended
just as the ball was in my sweaty clutch--

But the visiting team had already clapped
each other on the backs and
my team waited for me in the
locker room
smelly and defeated.

Alas, I was the most distressed,
standing on the field alone
with the winning boon
a moment
                                 too late.
Jackie Mead Oct 2017
Is back..
It gives you a smile a mile wide to see Gypsy John is back

Gypsy John with cart, horse and dog by his side
People call from far and wide to deliver parcels of food for Gypsy John and his crew.

Gypsy John sets up camp in the middle of the road, on what's called a roundabout.

Gypsy John is getting old and sits around a camp fire to warm his cold bones and cook his food.

Gypsy John does not like favours and takes his food begrudgingly, instead he will work all day for his pay, locals find him work indoors.

When one cold winter came, locals crowd funded to buy him a new cart, his horse was retired as very old, £12000 was raised to keep Gypsy John and his animals well.

Gypsy John comes with the change of season as summer turns to fall.
Gypsy John is a reminder and reason to us all to keep going work hard and live long.

Long live Gypsy John.
More a story than a poem, all true gypsy John is a legend around these parts and it warms your heart to see him every year.
Francie Lynch Mar 2016
I won't accept the end
Gently or gracefuly,
But begrudgingly,
In private anguish:
That is truth;
And sure.
I've not dealt with the vanish
Of comrades in battle;
Or happened upon
A loved one
At the end of the rope.
I've felt the tug,
The smell of CO,
The hardness beneath
The Bluewater Bridge;
The bottle, blade and pill
On the frozen faces of friends,
On family:
Michael, Marlene, Jimmy, Eucheria.
The family innocents
Whisked off
In the maelstrom of bounding youth.

But you must know your father lost a father,
That father lost, lost his, and the survivor bound
In filial obligation for some time..

Claudius speaks the cold hard truth,
But Claudius was childless;
Such guileless advice.
And Shakespeare's kids were playing
In the yard
As he penned his tragedy.
Bury a child
And have an eternal membership
In the
******* for Life Club.
Good friend lost a daughter.
Shakespeare's kids were alive when he wrote Hamlet.
Aztec Warrior Feb 2016

"How long shall they **** our prophets as we stand aside and look?”    
             ‑‑ Bob Marley

Saturday morning,
the scene's the same
round and round
suds and foam,
round and round
energetic flashes of life
play, giggle and roam.
"Can I have a quarter
to play video games?
Hey mom, can I get a
soda and some chips?"
It's always bedlam,
even at 3 am,
always the same
neighborhood faces
some smiling, others
wrinkled like
clothes with a stain problem.
Clothes and lives
sharing destinies.
***** clothes, old and worn,
*****, hard driven lives.
Both, beat and torn,
both trying to get clean
fresh from this
bone weariness
reflected like patched knees,
lost buttons,
mismatched  sox
or  those brown  streaked ******,  
reflecting our brown stained lives.
Round and round go the clothes.
Round and round so goes our lives
that no matter what we do
seems always in need of mending.
Round and round
women, kids
and clothes in tow.
Men, if  there,
in the background,
but always  fighting for control.
Sometimes though the  juke wails
joyful music prevails
causing feet to tap
and lips to smile.
Maybe some Miles
or hip hop Coup
announce a new rinse cycle.
Some young'un dropped the  coin
but you can see
all are keeping time
with  these way out songs.
Finally,  eyes  reveal hidden,
no more suppressed,
clothes  are folded musically.
The kid knows his tunes,
out jumps a "classic";
"Redemption Songs".
Marley at his best
conscious style, a request.
"Won't you help me  sing
these  songs of freedom.
Redemption songs.
They're all I ever had
redemption songs."
You can see it in
lint filled air swirling,
eyes  gleaming,
kids screaming;
you can taste the hope
and dreams.
A  joyous hunger
of patched  jeans,
men and women sway
in unison. For 3 minutes, 25 seconds,
on this very early morn,
the possibilities of relations
rinsed  clean
of men and women
folding clothes
smelling fresh,
wishing for a better way.
It is only a glimpse
this Saturday morning.
A round and round
that holds promise
as old, worn clothes
and leave refreshed,
On this morn
a few eyes, alert
leave singing;
"Redemption songs,
they're  all  I ever  had,
these  songs  of  freedom."

~~redzone 5.22.99~~
(posted by Aztec Warrior writing as redzone)
This is a poem I wrote a while ago. I thought it was a different kind of Valentine's Day card. I hope you enjoy. The music is Bob Marley's "Redemption Songs"
A 70th Birthday Poem

My mother had a series of rules
     by which we lived
And by which I think I still do

For instance,
     to keep my brothers and I from fighting
         fighting to cause star-shaped pain,
two-dimensional and primary colored, like on Batman
         fighting to cause welts from
rising like tectonic plates heralding the end of Pangaea
         fighting to bring forth blood
     red blood
      red blood
       burgundy and green and iridescent blood
she said,
         “As long as you’re laughing when you hit them,
it doesn’t count,”
     and it became true
     as the forced, adrenaline-driven guffaws
           tumbled up and over one another
            like rocks shattering one another
              into pebbles exfoliating one another
                into sand
     white and soft and meandering
seaside to tomorrow and forever.
         Know what I mean?

My mother had a series of rules
     by which we lived
And by which I think I still do

For instance,
     to keep from clashing
in a fashionable/unfashionable dissonance,
it’s important to remember:
     “Just because two things are red,
doesn’t mean they’re the same,”
or blue or white or black
     that when held together like paint swatches
each holds a different value,
         and the painter tries to make the best choice
because a purple shirt can be pretty,
     but . . .
“Nobody wants to live in a purple house.”  

My mother had a series of rules
     by which we lived
And by which I think I still do

For instance,
     housecleaning should be done to a polka,
or not at all
         joyfully or begrudgingly
as best suits the cleaner
         and the polka,
     because . . .
“Doesn’t a little accordian make everything better?”
         Well, doesn’t it?

My mother had a series of rules
     by which we lived
And by which I think I still do

For instance,
     today is the 31st anniversary
         of her 39th birthday
     just as it will soon be
            the 15th anniversary
         of my 29th birthday

Of *course, it is.
Breeze-Mist Jun 2017
I'm walking down a path I know
I got the volume on full blast
I've still got thousands of verses to go
I intend to make each last
But someone walks up to me
Telling me to cease and desist
I begrudgingly comply
But in my mind, I say this:

Don't talk to me now, my headphones are on
I'm dancing in my mind to my song
My feet match the kicker, my heart beats the snare
In this moment, I don't have a care
So while I've got my headphones on
Please take note, I'll carry on

It's the end of the day, I'm finally home
All homework and chores have been done
So I walk up to my room, warm and alone
And soon the phone's concert has begun

So I say
Don't talk to me now, my headphones are on
I'm dancing in my mind to my song
My feet match the kicker, my heart beats the snare
In this moment, I don't have a care
So while I've got my headphones on
Please take note, I'll carry on

I've got two more hours on this ride
Through a long and quiet night
But I've got a little help by my side
To get me to the morning light

So I say
Don't talk to me now, my headphones are on
I'm dancing in my mind to my song
My feet match the kicker, my heart beats the snare
In this moment, I don't have a care
So while I've got my headphones on
Please take note, I'll carry on

Don't talk to me now, my headphones are on
I'm dancing in my mind to my song
My feet match the kicker, my heart beats the snare
In this moment, I don't have a care
So while I've got my headphones on
Please take note, I'll carry on
AP Staunton Feb 2016
In B and B flop-houses, poems I wrote,
Stuffed into damp pockets, of a Donkey-Jacket coat.
Poems about building-sites and too much beer,
Being far from home, despair and fear.
I read them to comrades, who all nodded their heads,
Then went back to sleep, in one room with eight beds.
I read them to lads, who for the first time,
Sat and listened, to words, their rhythm and rhyme.

Folkestone, Dover, Hastings, Brighton and Hove,
I wrote poems, by the light of a Camping Gaz stove,
Describing MY feelings, MY way of life,
Cut straight to the bone, like a Stanley Craft Knife.
The Channel Tunnel, dumpers and cranes,
Concrete burns, bruises, hangovers. . .shame.
Days without eating, nights full of drinking,
Hours on a Shovel, digging without thinking.

Then along came the books, I started reading at night,
Discovered Jack London, by wind-up torchlight.
I read more and more, captivated by books charms,
As my work-mates pursued , bar-maids down the Kings Arms.

Then one day, McNamara, with his belly full of beer,
Came looking for me, called me a queer.
". . .Reading and writing ??? Its NOT for the likes of us. . ."
I agreed begrudgingly, with this. . .. back-end of a bus.
He helped me gather up, my words and my books,
Into a couple of barrows, like scrap-metal crooks,
And wheeled them over, to where we burned the pallets,
Electric cable(for the copper)and broken slab-laying mallets.
They went on the embers, which began to ignite,
And from my caravan window, I watched them burn through the night.
As they glowed, I felt pity, not anger,
At the ****** ignorance, of this eighteen stone Ganger,
Who believed words were impotent, compared to the fist,
Our lives were mapped out, digging trenches, getting ******.

But the books had given me hope, that life was for living,
Not dying at Sixty, when your body just gives in,
Knees knackered, back broken, knuckles dead with rheumatics,
From working in all weathers, holding hammers, pneumatic.

Days later, on a Porta-Loo, McNamara settled down,
With a copy of ******* and a hard-on to pound.
He never smelled the petrol, mesmerised by *******
And pleasured himself, quickly, across the bottom of his vest.
Sparked up a rollie, relieved and relaxed,
Thinking of Fridays time-sheets to be faxed.


We heard the explosion, looked to the sky,
Saw Doctor Who 's Tardis go flying by.
But it wasn't a Time Lord, just a burning box,
With a melting Eighteen stone Ganger, still holding his ****.
McNamara, was identified by the fillings in his teeth,
And buried, by the Council, just outside Haywards Heath.
If I hadn't continued writing, McNamaras threats, defied
No-one would know about him, or the way that he died.

Books and words are everything, they lift the mind
and they raise the anchor,
And they let me tell your tale, McNamara. . . .
How you lived and died. . .a ******.
Poetry is for everyone, not just a select few.
Aaron LaLux Aug 2016
Hello & Goodbye

All melodramatics aside,
maybe I’ll die tomorrow,
I ask myself every day,
what am I living for anyways,

sure I’ve got my friends,
friends such as you,
but honestly after I’ve given up the ghost and gone,
maybe you’ll mourn a bit but then that’ll be it,

I’m sick with something drugs can’t cure so why not quit,
I mean I’m bored of this life anyways,
I suppose I can’t go until my parents die though,
because no parent should ever see their son pass,

or daughter,
I authored,
a collection of poetry larger,
than any other author every who bothered,
to even write poetry,
and this includes Emily Dickinson,
but I’m not here to compare,
I’m here to make a statement,

all melodramatics aside,
maybe I’ll die tomorrow,
I ask myself every day,
what am I living for anyways,

chasing my addictions,
not the least of which is women,
not to objectify women,
but honestly every thing and one is a drug,

even you,
even me,
even the words,
that create this poetry,

I’m searching,
for some relief,
or at least,
something to fill the hole in my heart,

I’m missing something,
and I can’t quite find what it is,
I suppose it’s difficult to get what you’re looking for,
if you don’t know what what your looking for is,

fck this,
and no I didn’t mean to cuss,
but sometimes that happens,
when recording stream of consciousness,

this is me,
in all my honestness,
no apologies no excuses,
just these thoughts that turn into muses,

that I’ve learned to describe,
in away attractive enough to get paid,
two #1 books in a row,
and I just give all the profits away,

randomly picking a charity,
because any charity can use the money better than I can,
I just spend it out speeding up my time of death,
and I can’t help it but don’t blame me it’s not like it was part of my plan,

I’ve given all that I can,
dedicated my everything to the words that compose these books,
I’ve sacrificed any resemblance of a normal life,
so that others can live and learn through these words,

I have no children,
and I left every good woman that wanted to marry me,
what many don’t understand is in order to be one of the greats,
you have to dedicate your whole life to the craft,

and that makes for a lonely road,
I guess that’s why every artist is disturbed,
but it’s the pain in the poetry that numbs the pains of reality,
and this much I’ve begrudgingly understood,
since I when I started writing,
wrote my way back from suicide,
had slashed my wrist ready to reset,
because sometimes to really live you’ve gotta die,

I write,
at a fervorous pace,
making up words as I go no time to conform to literary norms,
I’ve got a date with Destiny and we have History to make.

Get it?

A date with Destiny,
get married and have a baby called History,
it’s just another parallel analogy,
see I’m a double entendre monster with this poetry,

addicted to the way these words feel,
like I’m addicted to the way a women feels,
for the love of God,
I love her so much in this surreal world sometimes she’s the only one that feels real,

come here,
hold me I’m slipping,
I’m losing sight of life I need a reminder why I’m alive,

I need you,
I’m not joking,
alone as a tombstone on a deserted island with no cemetery,
alone as a miner trapped in a coal mine or rather as alone as the canary,

feeling sick from the carbon monoxide and other toxins that this civilization spews,
and like I said before all melodramatics aside I’m lost and ready to die but that’s old news,

there is no new news,
I’ve done it all win lose or draw,
I’ve played every game walked every avenue,
I’ve written everything I’ve seen and I’ve seen it all,

so all melodramatics aside,
maybe I’ll die tomorrow,
I ask myself every day,
what am I living for anyways,

sure I’ve got my friends,
friends such as you,
but honestly after I’ve given up the ghost and gone,
maybe you’ll mourn a bit but then that’ll be it,

my body will die but my books will still live,
because every word I write is given as a gift,
I was given this gift of gab so I use it,
to scribe our collective consciousness,
it’s a ***** job but somebody’s got to do it,
so I guess I’ve been elected with is fine it’s not like I have any kids,
and sure when I’m gone I might be missed,
but you’ll always have my books and I’ll live through these words,
immortalized like a statue of stone erected in the museum of life,

I’ll take this one for the team don’t worry I’ll be just fine,

I feel sick,
I’m ready to sleep,
I’ve given this world every word that ever came to me,
now please,
just let me be,

lonely as an abandoned house becomes,
after all the children have grown and gone away,
after the parents become old and pass,
and nature begins to reclaim every inch of him,

ivy grows along the outer walls,
tree roots crack the foundation,
the roof finally caves from the incessant rains of time,
and the soul of the home is sent to another destination,

I’ve been waiting,
for someone anyone to come here and hold me,
to tell me that they are here that they love me and will never leave me,
but no one’s come yet and if they did and they said that they’d be lying because everyone eventually leaves,


all melodramatics aside,
maybe I’ll die tomorrow,
I ask myself every day,
what am I living for anyways…

∆ Aaron LA Lux ∆


Sintra, Portugal
What more can I say?

— The End —