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Shofi Ahmed Jul 2018
Dancing the billow in the sea
the cool one will show up
in no time with love.
Deep down from the deep
with the flute on the lips.

Listen to the flute!
The chorus clouds bang out
floating by the river blue,
they sing down the sky as they move.

The sun draws in
from the secret valley
ambling with the wonder light
as if it, the punter sun, in the sky
knew it, knows the flutist arty
rose from down the sea!

Every planet is a flying bee
twirling around the inner music
nothing ever stops in the solar disc.

The waning and waxing Moon
in silhouette and at half-light
swings over the sea full of life.

It all starts from the ground;
it was from our sea waterfront
Him the creative sweetheart in the midst
floated the leading light the bumblebee.
All the stars bubble in the galaxy
they know this ancient story!

Since then the brightest bulb
the sun in the solar ring  
leads the bunch’s mindful
butterfly dance on the way home.
Following the enduring haunting melody
of the pre-design command ‘qun’ be!
A poem from my upcoming book Qun: Love is Unconditional
entablature archetypal wrangle arguable arraign arrest ascribe arsenal article artificial artisan ascension austere askance obliquely aspire assail assault assay assert diligence obsequious assimilate stigma perspicacious astute asunder atman atrium attrition intrepid autonomous avarice avert avocation azimuth azure abbreviate aberrant abhorrent relinquish loathe abstinence abstention  abysmal accelerate accordance accoutrement accrue exasperate acquaintance baccalaureate bacillus backbite baggage ballistic baluster bandolier banister barrage barranca barrier bartizan basilica bastion batholiths bathyscaphe battalion batten battle bauble ***** beastly ******* beckon beacon bazaar bizarre Bedouin beguile behavior beleaguer belligerent belvedere berserk beseech bewilder bezant bicker bigamy bight bilk billet billiard billow biogenic biscuit bivouac blatancy blizzard bodacious boggle bollix bombardier boudoir bouquet butte boutique bower brassier mesa breach breech brochure brogue brooch broach bruise brusque buccaneer buffoon bureau buttress buxom caffeine cauldron calisthenics calligraphy callous camouflage campaign campanile cannery cannibal canny cantaloupe cantankerous cantilever capacity capillary capricious carbohydrate caricature carnivorous carouse carriage cartography casserole cassette cataclysm catastrophe cache categorical caterwaul cavalier cauliflower celerity alacrity cellophane cellulose cemetery centennial cereal cerebellum ceremonial cesarean cessation chaff challenge champagne chandelier changeable chaparral charade chargeable chassis chateau chauffer chauvinism Cheshire chiaroscuro chicanery chiffon chigger chrysanthemum cipher circuit citadel clairvoyant clastic clique coalesce coercible coincidental colloquial colossal column combustible communicable community commute complacency compulsory comradery conceit conceal concession confetti conglomerate conjugal connive connoisseur consensus constellation consummate continuity contrivance convalesce convenient convertible convolution copasetic copious corduroy coriolis cornucopia corollary corpse corpuscle correlate correspondent corridor corroborate corrosion corrugate corrupt costume counselor countenance counterfeit courageous courier courtesy covert covetous cranny crease credenza credulity crescent ******* criterion crochet crocodile croissant crotchety crucial cruel cryptic cuddle cuisine cul-de-sac culinary culpable culvert cumbrous cummerbund ******* cunning curare curiosity curtilage curtsy curvaceous custody cylindrical cymbal cynicism cyst dabble daffodil daiquiri damsel dastardly dazzle deceit debilitate debonair debris debutant decency decipher decimate deconcentrate decorum decrepit dedicate defamation defendable defensible deference deficient deficit definitive defoliate delectable deliberate delicatessen delinquent delirious demarcate dementia demolish demure denigrate dentil denunciation deplorable depreciate dereliction derisory derrick descent desirable despair desperate despicable despondent destine deterrent detonate deviance devisal devisor devour dexterous diabolicalness diagnosis dialogue diamond diaphragm diarrhea dichondra dawdle differentia difficulty diffuse dilapidate dilate dilemma diligent dilute diminutive dinghy dinosaur director  dirigible disadvantageous disastrous disperse disciplinary discomfiture discordant discotheque discreet discrete discrepancy disgust disguise dishevel dispersal dissect dissention dissertation dissident dissipate dissolve dissonant distillate distortion distraught disturbance divvy docile docket doctrinal dodder ***** eccentric linguistics domical dominate domineer dominion dossier doubloon douse drawl dreary dubious dulcet dungeon duodenum duress dwindle dynamism dynasty ebullition echinoderm eclectic ecliptic economist ecumenism edifice editor educe effervesce efficacious egalitarian elaborate elapsed eerie elegy eligible eliminate elite elixir elongate elucidate elusion eluviation emaciate embarrass embassy embellish embezzle embroidery embryo emissary emollient emphatic enchilada encore encumbrance endeavor endogenous endure engender ensemble enthusiast entourage entrepreneur epaulet epitome erratic erroneous escapade esophagus espionage esplanade etcetera ethereal etiquette eucalyptus eulogy exaggerate exacerbate excellency exhilarate expectant exquisite facetious Fahrenheit fallacy fanion fealty feisty frisky felicitous fenestration ferocious fertile fervent fickle fictitious fiery finesse finial fjord flaccid fledge flippant flirtatious flivver fluctuate follicle forbearance forbiddance forehand forebode forceps forfeit forgo forlorn formidable foundry foyer fracas fraught frivolous frolic frontier funnel copious furrow fuselage fusillade futile forgone frivolity frolic galaxy galleon galoot galore galoshes gambit gangrene ganglion gargantuan gargoyle gardenia garret garrote gasolier gatling gawky gazebo gazelle gazette geezer geisha gendarme generosity genre genteel gentry genuine geodesic geranium gesticulate ghastly giggle ****** gimmick giraffe gizzard glacier glamour glimmer glimpse glisten glottis gluteus gluttony glyph gnarly gnaw goddess godling gorgeous gorilla gory gossamer gourd gouts gracious gradient granary grandeur granulation grapple gratify gratuitous gregarious grenade committee grievance griffin gristle grotesque gristly grotto grouch groupie grisly grovel grudge gruel gruesome gubernatorial guerrilla guffaw guidable guidon guile guillotine gullet gymnasium gyrate habitable hacienda haggard halibut halitosis hallelujah hallow halyard hammock harangue harass harried hasp hatred haughty hearth hedonism hegira heinous hegemony hemisphere hemophilia hemorrhage herbivorous hereditary heresy heritage heroine hesitate hibiscus hidden hideous hieroglyphic highfalutin high-rise hilarity hippopotamus hoarse holler holocaust holster homicidal horror hosiery hurricane hydrant hydraulic hydronic hyena hygiene hyphen hypnotize hypochondria hypocrisy hypocrite hypotenuse hysteria idiocy igloo ignoramus ignore illicit illiterate illustrate imbecile immaculate immaterial immature immersible immigrant immune impasse impeccable impedance impenetrable impervious imperfect implement implicate implicit important impressible innately inert impression impugn inadequate inanimate inauspicious incandescent incantation incarcerate incentive incinerator inclusion incoercible incompressible incontrovertible controversy indefatigable inconvertible inconvincible incorruptible indices indictment indigent indigestion digestible indignant indiscretion indiscreet indisiplined indiscernible inducible inebriate ineffable inefficacy ineludible inexorable inexpiable inextricable infallible infatuation inferior inflammatory inflexible infuriate inimitable iniquitous infuse infusion ingenuity ingratiate inimical innards innocence innovate innumerable inoculation insatiable insectivorous insincerity insinuation inspection inspirator instability installation insurance insufferable insufficiency insurrection insupportable integrity intellect intelligence intemperance intension interaction interception intercession interdiction interface interference interpolate interrogate interrupt intersperse intervene interstice intractable intergalactic intransigent intravenous intrepid intricate intrigue introductory introject intrude inundate invective invariable invertebrate investigate intuitive invertible investiture inveterate inviable invidious inviolate invigorate invincible invoke invocation invalidate involute invulnerable impregnable ionosphere ipso-facto irascible iridescent eradicable irrational irredeemable irrefragable irrefutable irregular anomalous irrelevant irreproachable irrepressible irresistible irrevocable irreverent irresponsible irritative irrigate irritability isolable isosceles isostasy issuance isthmus italicize iterative itinerary interjection ******* jackhammer jackknife jackpot jackrabbit jaguar jai alai jalopy jalousie jamboree Japanese jacquerie Jacobin jargonize jaunt javelin jealous jehoshaphat jeopardy jocular jouncy journal jubilant jubilee judgment judicature judicious juggernaut jugular juke julep juncture junta jurisprudence juvenilia juxtaposition kahuna kalpa kamikaze kerf kangaroo karat ken katzenjammer katydid kempt kerosene kewpie khaki kibitz kibosh kilter kimono kinesiology kleptomaniac knell knowledge knuckle kook kowtow kulak kyrie labyrinth laccolith laceration lackadaisical laconic lacunar lacquer lagging laissez-faire lamprey languish lanyard lapidary laputan larceny lariat laryngeal larynx lascivious latent latter lattice latrine launderette lavatory laxity lechery legacy bequeath legend leister lei leisure lemming leniency lentic leopard lethal lethargy lettuce leviathan levitate lexical liable levity liaison libation liberate licentious lieutenant ligament lilac limnetic limousine limpid lineage lynchpin lineolate lingerie lingual liniment linoleum liquefy litany literacy lithesome littoral lizard loath local loiter longevous loquacity lottery louver lucidity lucrative ludicrous luminary lummox lurid luscious lyricism machinator machinelike machismo macrocosm besmirched machiavellian mackerel mademoiselle maelstrom maggoty magisterial magnanimous magnifico maintenance malaprop malarkey malediction malamute malicious malign malinger malleable mandarin maneuver mange maniacal mannequin manure manzanita maquette maraca maraschino marauder marbleize marbly marionette marmalade marquee marquetry marrow marshal marshmallow martyr mascara masochism massacre matriarchy maudlin mausoleum maxillary mayonnaise meager meandrous medial medieval megalith mediocre Mediterranean megalomania melancholy melee membrane memorabilia menagerie mercenary mendacity meritorious mesmeric mesquite metallurgy metaphor meticulous metronome metropolitan mezzanine micrometer midriff mien demeanor millennium minarets minion minuscule minutia misanthropic miscellaneous mistletoe moccasin modus operandi monaural mongrel monotony morgue morose morsel moribund mortgage mosaic mosque mosquito motley mottle mucous membrane mucus mullion multifarious munificent museum musketeer mutable mustache mutineer myopic myrmidon mystique naïve narcissism narcosis narrate nausea navigable Neanderthal necklace needle nefarious negligible nemesis neophyte nertsy  nerve-racking nestle nether newfangled nocturnal nonchalant non sequitur normative Norwegian nostalgic nuisance nullify obedient obeisance obelisk obese objectify oblate oblique obliterate oblivious obsess obsolete obsolescence obstacle obstinate occupy occurrence ocelot odious oedipal officiate ogle ogre oligarchy omelet omnificent omniscient ontological argument oodles oomph opaque operable operative opossum optimal orangutan orchard orchestra ordinance oregano orgiastic oriel oriole ornery orphan osculate ostensive ostrich osteology oust overwhelm overwrought oyster pachyderm pacific pageant painstaking palate palaver libel palette pallet palomino pamphleteer panorama pantheism parapet paradigm papier-mâché paraffin paralyze parishioner parliament parody parquetry parsimonious pasteurize pathogenic payola ******* pediment pendant pendentives penicillin pennant pentathlon perception percussion perennial parameter perimeter peripheral peristalsis permissible pernicious perron perseverance persistent persona persnickety personnel persuasion petite pertinacious pessimistic pestilent pestle petticoat petulant phallus phantasmagoria pharaoh pharmaceutical peasant philander phenomenal philosopher phlegm phoenix phooey phosphoresce physique picayune picturesque piety pilfer finagle pilaster pillage pineapple pinnacle piquant pique piteous pitiful pittance pizzazz placate placenta plagiarism plaintiff plateau platypus plausible plinth plunderous pluvial poinsettia pollutant polygamy pommel ponderous portico portiere portentous prairie precipitous predecessor predicate predilection preeminent preempt preferential premier preparation preposition prerogative presumption pretentious preternatural privilege proclivity prodigious proffer progenitor progeny promissory promontory propellant propensity propound proselyte prospectus protégé protocol protuberant pseudonym  ptomaine pulchritudinous pursuant pygmy pylon python qualm quarrel quarry quash queer quell querulous quibble quitter quixotic rabbet rabbit rabbi radiant rambunctious rancor rankle raspberry rethink rebellion recant recital reconcile redundant referral reglet relevant reluctant remiss reminiscent remnant rendezvous renegade repartee reprieve repertoire repetitious reprehensive reprisal repugnant rescind reservoir resistant resurgence resurrect revelry reverie retaliate reticent retrieve retrograde reveille reverberation reversible reversion rhapsody rhetoric rheumatism rhinoceros rhinoceri rhubarb ribaldry ricochet riddance rigmarole risqué rive rollick Romanesque Rosicrucian rotisserie rotunda rogue roulette rubato ruminate rusticate sabotage sabbat saboteur sacrilege sadomasochist salacious salmon salutatory samurai sapphire sarcasm sarcophagus sardonic sarsaparilla sassafras sassy satiate satirical saturate saunter savoir-faire savvy scabbard scaffold scalawag scarcity scathe scenario scenic schism sciatic nerve ******* scintillate scissor scourge scrawny scrimmage scribble scruffy scrounge scrumptious scrunch scrupulous scrutiny scurry scythe sedition seethe seismic self-applause seltzer semiporcelain seniority sensible sensual separate sepulcher sequel sequin sequoia serape serenade sheaves serendipity  servant settee shabby shackle shanghai shanty shellac shenanigan Sherlock shirk shish kebob shoulder shrapnel shriek shrubbery shtick shush shyster Siamese sibyl significant simile simplicity simultaneous sinewy siphon skeptic skiff skillet skirmish skullduggery slaughter ****** sleeve sleuth slither slough sluice smart aleck  smidgen  smithereens  smolder  smorgasbord snazzy sneer snide snivel snorkel sobriety socioeconomic sojourn solder soldier solemn solicit soluble solvent sombrero somersault soothe soprano sophisticate sophomore sortie soufflé sousaphone ***** spiel souvenir sovereign spaghetti spandrel sparrow spatter sphinx spatula species specific spectacle spectral spelt sphincter spinach spinneret spiritual splatter splitting splurge spry  splutter sporadic sprawl sprinkler spree sprightly squawk spurious sputter  squabble squalor squander squeak squeal squeamish squeeze squiggle squinch squirrel stable squoosh stabilizer stagnant stagnate stalactite stalagmite stammer stampede stationary stationery statue statuesque statute staunch stealthy stein stellar stench stencil stoic steppe sterile stickler stifle stimulant stingy stirrup stolid strafe straggle strangulate stratagem strategy strenuous stretch strident stringent strudel streusel strychnine studious stultify stupe stupefy stupendous special stylus stymie styptic sublimate subliminal submergible substitute submersible subpoena subsequent subsidiary substantiate suburb subversion success succession succinct succor succulent succumb sufferance suffocate suggest suicidal sully sultry sumptuous sundae sundry superfluous superior supersede superstitious surreal supplicate surrender surrogate survey surveillance suspension suspicion sustenance swarthy ******* swath swear sweaty swelter swerve swindle swivel swizzle sycamore syllable symphony symposium symptom syndicate syndrome synonym synonymous synopsis synthetic syphilis syringe syrup suffrage tableau tabloid tacit tambourine tandem tangible tarantula tarot taunt technique telekinesis temperamental temperance thence temporal temporary tenuous tequila terrace terrain terrific terrify tetanus tether thatch thistle thither through though throat throttle thwack thwart ticklish tiffany timbre tirade titillate toboggan tolerant tongue top-notch topography  tortoise trauma tortuous torturous tourist tracery tournament tourniquet trachea traffic tragedy tragic traipse traitor tranquility transcend travesty transcribe treachery treatise trellis trepidation trestle trinket triplicate triumphant trivial troglodyte troubadour  trousers truncate tumultuous tundra turbid turpitude turquoise tutelage twixt twiddle twitter tycoon tyke typhoon tyrannical tyrannize tyranny umbrella unfulfilled unanimous usury undulate unequivocally unguent urethra unpre
There was a motion on the floor for the nomination of a proxy to be my epigone.  I feared I didn't have enough votes to challenge so I filibustered.
The memory of you emerges from the night around me.
The river mingles its stubborn lament with the sea.

Deserted like the dwarves at dawn.
It is the hour of departure, oh deserted one!

Cold flower heads are raining over my heart.
Oh pit of debris, fierce cave of the shipwrecked.

In you the wars and the flights accumulated.
From you the wings of the song birds rose.

You swallowed everything, like distance.
Like the sea, like time. In you everything sank!

It was the happy hour of assault and the kiss.
The hour of the spell that blazed like a lighthouse.

Pilot's dread, fury of blind driver,
turbulent drunkenness of love, in you everything sank!

In the childhood of mist my soul, winged and wounded.
Lost discoverer, in you everything sank!

You girdled sorrow, you clung to desire,
sadness stunned you, in you everything sank!

I made the wall of shadow draw back,
beyond desire and act, I walked on.

Oh flesh, my own flesh, woman whom I loved and lost,
I summon you in the moist hour, I raise my song to you.

Like a jar you housed infinite tenderness.
and the infinite oblivion shattered you like a jar.

There was the black solitude of the islands,
and there, woman of love, your arms took me in.

There was thirst and hunger, and you were the fruit.
There were grief and ruins, and you were the miracle.

Ah woman, I do not know how you could contain me
in the earth of your soul, in the cross of your arms!

How terrible and brief my desire was to you!
How difficult and drunken, how tensed and avid.

Cemetery of kisses, there is still fire in your tombs,
still the fruited boughs burn, pecked at by birds.

Oh the bitten mouth, oh the kissed limbs,
oh the hungering teeth, oh the entwined bodies.

Oh the mad coupling of hope and force
in which we merged and despaired.

And the tenderness, light as water and as flour.
And the word scarcely begun on the lips.

This was my destiny and in it was my voyage of my longing,
and in it my longing fell, in you everything sank!

Oh pit of debris, everything fell into you,
what sorrow did you not express, in what sorrow are you not drowned!

From billow to billow you still called and sang.
Standing like a sailor in the prow of a vessel.

You still flowered in songs, you still brike the currents.
Oh pit of debris, open and bitter well.

Pale blind diver, luckless slinger,
lost discoverer, in you everything sank!

It is the hour of departure, the hard cold hour
which the night fastens to all the timetables.

The rustling belt of the sea girdles the shore.
Cold stars heave up, black birds migrate.

Deserted like the wharves at dawn.
Only tremulous shadow twists in my hands.

Oh farther than everything. Oh farther than everything.

It is the hour of departure. Oh abandoned one!
But some good Triton-god had ruth, and bare
The boy’s drowned body back to Grecian land,
And mermaids combed his dank and dripping hair
And smoothed his brow, and loosed his clenching hand;
Some brought sweet spices from far Araby,
And others bade the halcyon sing her softest lullaby.

And when he neared his old Athenian home,
A mighty billow rose up suddenly
Upon whose oily back the clotted foam
Lay diapered in some strange fantasy,
And clasping him unto its glassy breast
Swept landward, like a white-maned steed upon a venturous quest!

Now where Colonos leans unto the sea
There lies a long and level stretch of lawn;
The rabbit knows it, and the mountain bee
For it deserts Hymettus, and the Faun
Is not afraid, for never through the day
Comes a cry ruder than the shout of shepherd lads at play.

But often from the thorny labyrinth
And tangled branches of the circling wood
The stealthy hunter sees young Hyacinth
Hurling the polished disk, and draws his hood
Over his guilty gaze, and creeps away,
Nor dares to wind his horn, or—else at the first break of day

The Dryads come and throw the leathern ball
Along the reedy shore, and circumvent
Some goat-eared Pan to be their seneschal
For fear of bold Poseidon’s ravishment,
And loose their girdles, with shy timorous eyes,
Lest from the surf his azure arms and purple beard should rise.

On this side and on that a rocky cave,
Hung with the yellow-belled laburnum, stands
Smooth is the beach, save where some ebbing wave
Leaves its faint outline etched upon the sands,
As though it feared to be too soon forgot
By the green rush, its playfellow,—and yet, it is a spot

So small, that the inconstant butterfly
Could steal the hoarded money from each flower
Ere it was noon, and still not satisfy
Its over-greedy love,—within an hour
A sailor boy, were he but rude enow
To land and pluck a garland for his galley’s painted prow,

Would almost leave the little meadow bare,
For it knows nothing of great pageantry,
Only a few narcissi here and there
Stand separate in sweet austerity,
Dotting the unmown grass with silver stars,
And here and there a daffodil waves tiny scimitars.

Hither the billow brought him, and was glad
Of such dear servitude, and where the land
Was ****** of all waters laid the lad
Upon the golden margent of the strand,
And like a lingering lover oft returned
To kiss those pallid limbs which once with intense fire burned,

Ere the wet seas had quenched that holocaust,
That self-fed flame, that passionate lustihead,
Ere grisly death with chill and nipping frost
Had withered up those lilies white and red
Which, while the boy would through the forest range,
Answered each other in a sweet antiphonal counter-change.

And when at dawn the wood-nymphs, hand-in-hand,
Threaded the bosky dell, their satyr spied
The boy’s pale body stretched upon the sand,
And feared Poseidon’s treachery, and cried,
And like bright sunbeams flitting through a glade
Each startled Dryad sought some safe and leafy ambuscade.

Save one white girl, who deemed it would not be
So dread a thing to feel a sea-god’s arms
Crushing her ******* in amorous tyranny,
And longed to listen to those subtle charms
Insidious lovers weave when they would win
Some fenced fortress, and stole back again, nor thought it sin

To yield her treasure unto one so fair,
And lay beside him, thirsty with love’s drouth,
Called him soft names, played with his tangled hair,
And with hot lips made havoc of his mouth
Afraid he might not wake, and then afraid
Lest he might wake too soon, fled back, and then, fond renegade,

Returned to fresh assault, and all day long
Sat at his side, and laughed at her new toy,
And held his hand, and sang her sweetest song,
Then frowned to see how froward was the boy
Who would not with her maidenhood entwine,
Nor knew that three days since his eyes had looked on Proserpine;

Nor knew what sacrilege his lips had done,
But said, ‘He will awake, I know him well,
He will awake at evening when the sun
Hangs his red shield on Corinth’s citadel;
This sleep is but a cruel treachery
To make me love him more, and in some cavern of the sea

Deeper than ever falls the fisher’s line
Already a huge Triton blows his horn,
And weaves a garland from the crystalline
And drifting ocean-tendrils to adorn
The emerald pillars of our bridal bed,
For sphered in foaming silver, and with coral crowned head,

We two will sit upon a throne of pearl,
And a blue wave will be our canopy,
And at our feet the water-snakes will curl
In all their amethystine panoply
Of diamonded mail, and we will mark
The mullets swimming by the mast of some storm-foundered bark,

Vermilion-finned with eyes of bossy gold
Like flakes of crimson light, and the great deep
His glassy-portaled chamber will unfold,
And we will see the painted dolphins sleep
Cradled by murmuring halcyons on the rocks
Where Proteus in quaint suit of green pastures his monstrous
flocks.

And tremulous opal-hued anemones
Will wave their purple fringes where we tread
Upon the mirrored floor, and argosies
Of fishes flecked with tawny scales will thread
The drifting cordage of the shattered wreck,
And honey-coloured amber beads our twining limbs will deck.’

But when that baffled Lord of War the Sun
With gaudy pennon flying passed away
Into his brazen House, and one by one
The little yellow stars began to stray
Across the field of heaven, ah! then indeed
She feared his lips upon her lips would never care to feed,

And cried, ‘Awake, already the pale moon
Washes the trees with silver, and the wave
Creeps grey and chilly up this sandy dune,
The croaking frogs are out, and from the cave
The nightjar shrieks, the fluttering bats repass,
And the brown stoat with hollow flanks creeps through the dusky
grass.

Nay, though thou art a god, be not so coy,
For in yon stream there is a little reed
That often whispers how a lovely boy
Lay with her once upon a grassy mead,
Who when his cruel pleasure he had done
Spread wings of rustling gold and soared aloft into the sun.

Be not so coy, the laurel trembles still
With great Apollo’s kisses, and the fir
Whose clustering sisters fringe the seaward hill
Hath many a tale of that bold ravisher
Whom men call Boreas, and I have seen
The mocking eyes of Hermes through the poplar’s silvery sheen.

Even the jealous Naiads call me fair,
And every morn a young and ruddy swain
Woos me with apples and with locks of hair,
And seeks to soothe my virginal disdain
By all the gifts the gentle wood-nymphs love;
But yesterday he brought to me an iris-plumaged dove

With little crimson feet, which with its store
Of seven spotted eggs the cruel lad
Had stolen from the lofty sycamore
At daybreak, when her amorous comrade had
Flown off in search of berried juniper
Which most they love; the fretful wasp, that earliest vintager

Of the blue grapes, hath not persistency
So constant as this simple shepherd-boy
For my poor lips, his joyous purity
And laughing sunny eyes might well decoy
A Dryad from her oath to Artemis;
For very beautiful is he, his mouth was made to kiss;

His argent forehead, like a rising moon
Over the dusky hills of meeting brows,
Is crescent shaped, the hot and Tyrian noon
Leads from the myrtle-grove no goodlier spouse
For Cytheraea, the first silky down
Fringes his blushing cheeks, and his young limbs are strong and
brown;

And he is rich, and fat and fleecy herds
Of bleating sheep upon his meadows lie,
And many an earthen bowl of yellow curds
Is in his homestead for the thievish fly
To swim and drown in, the pink clover mead
Keeps its sweet store for him, and he can pipe on oaten reed.

And yet I love him not; it was for thee
I kept my love; I knew that thou would’st come
To rid me of this pallid chastity,
Thou fairest flower of the flowerless foam
Of all the wide AEgean, brightest star
Of ocean’s azure heavens where the mirrored planets are!

I knew that thou would’st come, for when at first
The dry wood burgeoned, and the sap of spring
Swelled in my green and tender bark or burst
To myriad multitudinous blossoming
Which mocked the midnight with its mimic moons
That did not dread the dawn, and first the thrushes’ rapturous
tunes

Startled the squirrel from its granary,
And cuckoo flowers fringed the narrow lane,
Through my young leaves a sensuous ecstasy
Crept like new wine, and every mossy vein
Throbbed with the fitful pulse of amorous blood,
And the wild winds of passion shook my slim stem’s maidenhood.

The trooping fawns at evening came and laid
Their cool black noses on my lowest boughs,
And on my topmost branch the blackbird made
A little nest of grasses for his spouse,
And now and then a twittering wren would light
On a thin twig which hardly bare the weight of such delight.

I was the Attic shepherd’s trysting place,
Beneath my shadow Amaryllis lay,
And round my trunk would laughing Daphnis chase
The timorous girl, till tired out with play
She felt his hot breath stir her tangled hair,
And turned, and looked, and fled no more from such delightful
snare.

Then come away unto my ambuscade
Where clustering woodbine weaves a canopy
For amorous pleasaunce, and the rustling shade
Of Paphian myrtles seems to sanctify
The dearest rites of love; there in the cool
And green recesses of its farthest depth there is pool,

The ouzel’s haunt, the wild bee’s pasturage,
For round its rim great creamy lilies float
Through their flat leaves in verdant anchorage,
Each cup a white-sailed golden-laden boat
Steered by a dragon-fly,—be not afraid
To leave this wan and wave-kissed shore, surely the place was made

For lovers such as we; the Cyprian Queen,
One arm around her boyish paramour,
Strays often there at eve, and I have seen
The moon strip off her misty vestiture
For young Endymion’s eyes; be not afraid,
The panther feet of Dian never tread that secret glade.

Nay if thou will’st, back to the beating brine,
Back to the boisterous billow let us go,
And walk all day beneath the hyaline
Huge vault of Neptune’s watery portico,
And watch the purple monsters of the deep
Sport in ungainly play, and from his lair keen Xiphias leap.

For if my mistress find me lying here
She will not ruth or gentle pity show,
But lay her boar-spear down, and with austere
Relentless fingers string the cornel bow,
And draw the feathered notch against her breast,
And loose the arched cord; aye, even now upon the quest

I hear her hurrying feet,—awake, awake,
Thou laggard in love’s battle! once at least
Let me drink deep of passion’s wine, and slake
My parched being with the nectarous feast
Which even gods affect!  O come, Love, come,
Still we have time to reach the cavern of thine azure home.’

Scarce had she spoken when the shuddering trees
Shook, and the leaves divided, and the air
Grew conscious of a god, and the grey seas
Crawled backward, and a long and dismal blare
Blew from some tasselled horn, a sleuth-hound bayed,
And like a flame a barbed reed flew whizzing down the glade.

And where the little flowers of her breast
Just brake into their milky blossoming,
This murderous paramour, this unbidden guest,
Pierced and struck deep in horrid chambering,
And ploughed a ****** furrow with its dart,
And dug a long red road, and cleft with winged death her heart.

Sobbing her life out with a bitter cry
On the boy’s body fell the Dryad maid,
Sobbing for incomplete virginity,
And raptures unenjoyed, and pleasures dead,
And all the pain of things unsatisfied,
And the bright drops of crimson youth crept down her throbbing
side.

Ah! pitiful it was to hear her moan,
And very pitiful to see her die
Ere she had yielded up her sweets, or known
The joy of passion, that dread mystery
Which not to know is not to live at all,
And yet to know is to be held in death’s most deadly thrall.

But as it hapt the Queen of Cythere,
Who with Adonis all night long had lain
Within some shepherd’s hut in Arcady,
On team of silver doves and gilded wain
Was journeying Paphos-ward, high up afar
From mortal ken between the mountains and the morning star,

And when low down she spied the hapless pair,
And heard the Oread’s faint despairing cry,
Whose cadence seemed to play upon the air
As though it were a viol, hastily
She bade her pigeons fold each straining plume,
And dropt to earth, and reached the strand, and saw their dolorous
doom.

For as a gardener turning back his head
To catch the last notes of the linnet, mows
With careless scythe too near some flower bed,
And cuts the thorny pillar of the rose,
And with the flower’s loosened loneliness
Strews the brown mould; or as some shepherd lad in wantonness

Driving his little flock along the mead
Treads down two daffodils, which side by aide
Have lured the lady-bird with yellow brede
And made the gaudy moth forget its pride,
Treads down their brimming golden chalices
Under light feet which were not made for such rude ravages;

Or as a schoolboy tired of his book
Flings himself down upon the reedy grass
And plucks two water-lilies from the brook,
And for a time forgets the hour glass,
Then wearies of their sweets, and goes his way,
And lets the hot sun **** them, even go these lovers lay.

And Venus cried, ‘It is dread Artemis
Whose bitter hand hath wrought this cruelty,
Or else that mightier maid whose care it is
To guard her strong and stainless majesty
Upon the hill Athenian,—alas!
That they who loved so well unloved into Death’s house should
pass.’

So with soft hands she laid the boy and girl
In the great golden waggon tenderly
(Her white throat whiter than a moony pearl
Just threaded with a blue vein’s tapestry
Had not yet ceased to throb, and still her breast
Swayed like a wind-stirred lily in ambiguous unrest)

And then each pigeon spread its milky van,
The bright car soared into the dawning sky,
And like a cloud the aerial caravan
Passed over the AEgean silently,
Till the faint air was troubled with the song
From the wan mouths that call on bleeding Thammuz all night long.

But when the doves had reached their wonted goal
Where the wide stair of orbed marble dips
Its snows into the sea, her fluttering soul
Just shook the trembling petals of her lips
And passed into the void, and Venus knew
That one fair maid the less would walk amid her retinue,

And bade her servants carve a cedar chest
With all the wonder of this history,
Within whose scented womb their limbs should rest
Where olive-trees make tender the blue sky
On the low hills of Paphos, and the Faun
Pipes in the noonday, and the nightingale sings on till dawn.

Nor failed they to obey her hest, and ere
The morning bee had stung the daffodil
With tiny fretful spear, or from its lair
The waking stag had leapt across the rill
And roused the ouzel, or the lizard crept
Athwart the sunny rock, beneath the grass their bodies slept.

And when day brake, within that silver shrine
Fed by the flames of cressets tremulous,
Queen Venus knelt and prayed to Proserpine
That she whose beauty made Death amorous
Should beg a guerdon from her pallid Lord,
And let Desire pass across dread Charon’s icy ford.
Lyn-Purcell Aug 2018
~ ⚘ ⚪ ⚘ ~
After days of long studies comes the
days of rest. My violet dreams were
slumber-soft filled with lucent lilies
of curling flames born of ever colour
known and unknown. And I stood
in awe of them as my fears fall back
and cower in the shades of my mind.

~ ⚘ ⚪ ⚘ ~
I muse at how quickly my body
relaxed. Due to my marjoram'd
pillows and sheets of pure silk
and eiderdown? Or due to the
sips of the lavender tea in my in
my teacup decorated with a
butterfly motif?

~ ⚘ ⚪ ⚘ ~
I remember the sips in fours as
I blew the steam from my cup;
The first sip balmed my lips.
The second soothed my throat.
The third lulled my thoughts.
The fourth stilled my soul.

~ ⚘ ⚪ ⚘ ~
Though the tea, the pillow and
sheets were had a hand in my nightly
rest, the real answer is on my brow -
for it was when the night's cool air
blew, and where you placed your
sweet Morphean kiss.

~ ⚘ ⚪ ⚘ ~
With a smile, I wake.
Sat on my golden summer throne
located in my marble gazebo; a
jewel in my private garden. With
thin caryatid pillars, draped in
fine doric chitons encircling me.
Their sculpted limbs hold up the
frieze carved with acanthus
that has a stained glass top of
peacocks and stargazers.

~ ⚘ ⚪ ⚘ ~
The sheer curtains billow when
the eastern winds blow. By me, a
gold side table with a mirrored top
supported by three Greek key legs.
A pewter quill pen with a steel nib
and violet feather rests by its clay
inkpot; both beside a silver sinuous
nouveau vase and a small stack of
poetry books of black leather and
gilt.
~ ⚘ ⚪ ⚘ ~
Part one of my Jasmine Pearls free verse!
(Been having issues with it so I decided to break it down
and make it a collection! ^-^)
A poem dedicated to 'Jasmine Pearl' tea. Inspired y Queen Kim's wonderful 'Golden Hour' and 'Dream Child' poems. I'm very particular about herbal teas, but Jasmine is one of the many few that never fails to relax me when needed. I'm glad I met a fellow Jasmine tea lover in Queen Kim! ^-^
It was rather challenging but I overcame it! Haven't written something
like this since my university days, but I did it!
I really hope you enjoy reading it as I enjoyed writing it!
Anyone else a tea enthusiast?
Do let me know what you think!
Queen Lyn ***
~ ⚘ ⚪ ⚘ ~
ryn Sep 2014
Light train chugging, working to outrun
Over exerting, pulling along your freight
Sand is running out under the diminishing sun
Fastidiously you tug on your enormous weight

Segmented equal in seven hulking proportions
Weaving between sleeping rocky giants
Assertion in your drive gifted from the high heavens
Borne of light your cargo load of tenants

Silver blurred rays glinting back as reply
As you power your way through
Defying seconds, before the last rays should die
Against odds, delivering what is due

Questing to alleviate my inflicted darkness
Spear of brilliance slicing through my mind
Illuminating the farthest and tiniest of crevices
Nook and crannies that willed me blind

Careful manoeuvring to keep your balance
Through scenic views fraught with treachery
Furiously working to keep your cadence
Hopeful of unloading the load you carry

What lies dormant in that cargo of yours?
What sleeps easy within those boxcars?
What stokes the fire to diligently run your course?
What promises you bear, travelling near and far?

Bales of hope and crates of strength
Supplies of kindness and self-worth
Reside within your immense length
Intact and lay quiet within your formidable girth

Reliant on the light that fuels and feeds
Your axles seem tireless guiding forth those wheels
Thundering over land with the power of a thousand steeds
Armed to your teeth with alloys and steels

Expelling grit and dirt as you pummelled across
Grey-white fumes, shoot up to the sky
Flag flogged by wind, billow and toss
Blaring your whistle as you race on by

Propelling forward, horizon up ahead
There it is...in all its tenebrous glory
Darkened locomotive seething mad with dread
Brace for the clash and the loads the two carry
See "Doom Train"
See "Collision Course"
Rob Rutledge Sep 2016
The wise are always troubled
And the troubled seldom sleep.
For the path is dark with
Shadows deep.
The past imparts pressure,
Weary woe marked feet.

The pillow lays drenched.
Sweat beads billow flames of fear.
The sound of all our choices
Rung clear for all to hear.
The cries of countless voices
Found close to passing ears
But ghosts talk most in whispers,
Lest the living hear their tears.
Iska Feb 2018
'Why is it so painful to grow?'

A seed.
Just a seed buried under the ground.
Under the pressure of the soil,
It fights to grow.

The seed cracks,
such a sturdy little seed,
opens with a painful snap.

A sprout coils out.
Out of the cracked little seed.
A sprout now crushed under,
Under the pressure of the unforgiving ground.

Yet still... It grows.

A little sprout,
Now reaches up.
Up and away from the little seed,
and up to the light of the sun.

Pushing and groaning it bursts out.
Out from the unforgiving ground.
Yet now new dangers are to be found.

Will it be trampled
Or eaten alive?
The possibilities are endless,
The ways it could die.

And still.. it grows.

The sprout toils endlessly,
always stretching and growing
Reaching for the crimson sun.

The rain falls down
beating upon the sprout.
Pelting it's skin and whipping it about.
It skin hardens painfully,
and sprout becomes stem.

And still It grows.
The stem keeps reaching,
Stretching to the sky.

The stem then splits
It rips in two a bud appears
A little bud,
With so much to do.

Then the bud breaks
A crack appears
a petal unfurls from within.

Then it's a bloom.
Such a sweet little thing.
Until the crack stretches
So the bloom can grow
In to the beautiful rose
We've all come to know.

And still.. it grows.

Thorns burst free
Breaking out of the stem
And petals billow and grow in the breeze.

Then you see me,
And my beauty delights you,
So you wish to see me every day.
And your scissors encircle me
To give you your way.

They cut me in half.
They slice me in two.
being a rose,
There was naught I could do.

You carry me with you,
Your hands coated in my blood,
I'm dying slowly,
All for your love.

And now... I can't grow.

So as I bleed and wither in pain,
You place me in a vase
Or press me in a book,
All to save the bloom for another day.

And as I gasp for air,
Among your dry pages,
You leech me of all life,
Perfectly preserved
just so I could last the ages.

Or else I am drowning
In glass and water
My beauty wasted
hour by hour
Day by day
All to satisfy your whimsical ways.

And now all I wish to know,
'Why is it so painful to grow?'
Madeysin Jan 2015
Please
Rip this symphony of strategic words,
Curses that Echo and billow,
Like a cloud of smoke from your mouth,
As you inhale over and over again,
Your cigarette dictionary,
Yet am I the one who feels the burn,
Please rip them from your throat,
I can't,
I can't do this much longer,
Idk guys this one was kinda dumb and weird and not like me so idk. I've just been struggling lately. Sorry if it *****. More of thoughts than poetry
THAT HE SANG AT THE COUNCIL ROCK WHEN HE DANCED ON SHERE KHAN’S HIDE

The Song of Mowgli—I, Mowgli, am singing. Let
      the jungle listen to the things I have done.
Shere Khan said he would ****—would ****! At the
      gates in the twilight he would **** Mowgli, the
      Frog!
He ate and he drank. Drink deep, Shere Khan, for
      when wilt thou drink again? Sleep and dream
      of the ****.
I am alone on the grazing-grounds. Gray Brother,
      come to me! Come to me, Lone Wolf, for there
      is big game afoot.
Bring up the great bull-buffaloes, the blue-skinned
      herd-bulls with the angry eyes. Drive them to
      and fro as I order.
Sleepest thou still, Shere Khan? Wake, O wake!
      Here come I, and the bulls are behind.
Rama, the King of the Buffaloes, stamped with his
      foot. Waters of the Waingunga, whither went
      Shere Khan?
He is not Ikki to dig holes, nor Mao, the Peacock, that
      he should fly. He is not Mang, the Bat, to hang
      in the branches. Little bamboos that creak to-
      gether, tell me where he ran?
Ow! He is there. Ahoo! He is there. Under the
      feet of Rama lies the Lame One! Up, Shere
      Khan! Up and ****! Here is meat; break the
      necks of the bulls!
Hsh! He is asleep. We will not wake him, for his
      strength is very great. The kites have come down
      to see it. The black ants have come up to know
      it. There is a great assembly in his honour.
Alala! I have no cloth to wrap me. The kites will
      see that I am naked. I am ashamed to meet all
      these people.
Lend me thy coat, Shere Khan. Lend me thy gay
      striped coat that I may go to the Council Rock.
By the Bull that bought me I have made a promise—
      a little promise. Only thy coat is lacking before I
      keep my word.
With the knife—with the knife that men use—with
      the knife of the hunter, the man, I will stoop down
      for my gift.
Waters of the Waingunga, bear witness that Shere
      Khan gives me his coat for the love that he bears
      me. Pull, Gray Brother! Pull, Akela! Heavy is
      the hide of Shere Khan.
The Man Pack are angry. They throw stones and talk
      child’s talk. My mouth is bleeding. Let us run
      away.
Through the night, through the hot night, run swiftly
      with me, my brothers. We will leave the lights
      of the village and go to the low moon.
Waters of the Waingunga, the Man Pack have cast me
      out. I did them no harm, but they were afraid of
      me. Why?
Wolf Pack, ye have cast me out too. The jungle is
      shut to me and the village gates are shut. Why?
As Mang flies between the beasts and the birds so fly
      I between the village and the jungle. Why?
I dance on the hide of Shere Khan, but my heart is
      very heavy. My mouth is cut and wounded with
      the stones from the village, but my heart is very
      light because I have come back to the jungle.
      Why?
These two things fight together in me as the snakes
      fight in the spring. The water comes out of my
      eyes; yet I laugh while it falls. Why?
I am two Mowglis, but the hide of Shere Khan is under
      my feet.
All the jungle knows that I have killed Shere Khan.
      Look—look well, O Wolves!
Ahae! My heart is heavy with the things that I do
      not understand.

Oh! hush thee, my baby, the night is behind us,
      And black are the waters that sparkled so green.
The moon, o’er the combers, looks downward to find us
      At rest in the hollows that rustle between.
Where billow meets billow, there soft be thy pillow;
      Ah, weary wee flipperling, curl at thy ease!
The storm shall not wake thee, nor shark overtake thee,
      Asleep in the arms of the slow-swinging seas.
Umi Apr 2018
Down like an anchor,
Vision is shrinking as your eardrums burst through the grusome pressure, increasing the deeper you go in the deep, blue, merciless sea
A match unwinnable, a fight to the finish, to ones very last breath,
Tackled something so much greater, it has pulled back, after capsizing we made the decision when it came to swim or sink, that we drown,
Swallowed by the ocean,  these great unfathomable depths, taken away our last breath of fresh, salty, stinging, yet very pleasant flavour
Our blanket is a billow, a stormy night which caused this tragedy,
Darkness under darkness, where light upon light once ruled supreme
Until our bodies have been taken apart, by this greedy sea and its desire to take us in, make us a part of it's glorious wide spread self,
Never to see the glassy surface once more, or will we be ship ghosts?
All lies and all sin, all dreams and all majesty, are swept away by swelling waves of the expanse someone may call the pacific ocean,
All ego and all deception, all freedom and all light is lost in its dephts
But we quietly, gently rest with pride in our hearts.


~ Umi
Paul Mar 2019
Over the bed a ceiling fan revolves
elliptically, beating the hot air back
onto the lone smoker from whose
yellowed fingers the snaking upward blue
smoke of burning tobacco aptly describes
their spiralling tumult. She has gone
back to the world from which they’d run.
Alone in the aftermath now, he inhales
as one grown distant in a moment emptied
of heroism. The sheets, worn and short,
roped round his ankles recall a noose.
This they’d laughed about, often. She'd
done time, and for years. How she assumed
her role in the act, face to the wall, *** up,
expressionless with work-like, jailbreak intensity.

They were good for a time. He inhaled,
and a ring of orange fire glowed briefly
proclaiming love remained a chance. Who
could know? He looks about the room,
at it’s wallpaper, peeling and yellowed
with anxieties exhaled by the lungful
and exhales his own. The open window
frames a field of sky blue emptiness
from which curtains billow, and under which,
in the shadowless heat, a dog limp with thirst
laps at the drips that drip from a pipe.
a re-write and re-post. I've strived for meaningful enjambments and a sense of metre while attempting to sound contemporary
By this, sad Hero, with love unacquainted,
Viewing Leander’s face, fell down and fainted.
He kissed her and breathed life into her lips,
Wherewith as one displeased away she trips.
Yet, as she went, full often looked behind,
And many poor excuses did she find
To linger by the way, and once she stayed,
And would have turned again, but was afraid,
In offering parley, to be counted light.
So on she goes and in her idle flight
Her painted fan of curled plumes let fall,
Thinking to train Leander therewithal.
He, being a novice, knew not what she meant
But stayed, and after her a letter sent,
Which joyful Hero answered in such sort,
As he had hope to scale the beauteous fort
Wherein the liberal Graces locked their wealth,
And therefore to her tower he got by stealth.
Wide open stood the door, he need not climb,
And she herself before the pointed time
Had spread the board, with roses strowed the room,
And oft looked out, and mused he did not come.
At last he came.

O who can tell the greeting
These greedy lovers had at their first meeting.
He asked, she gave, and nothing was denied.
Both to each other quickly were affied.
Look how their hands, so were their hearts united,
And what he did she willingly requited.
(Sweet are the kisses, the embracements sweet,
When like desires and affections meet,
For from the earth to heaven is Cupid raised,
Where fancy is in equal balance peised.)
Yet she this rashness suddenly repented
And turned aside, and to herself lamented
As if her name and honour had been wronged
By being possessed of him for whom she longed.
Ay, and she wished, albeit not from her heart
That he would leave her turret and depart.
The mirthful god of amorous pleasure smiled
To see how he this captive nymph beguiled.
For hitherto he did but fan the fire,
And kept it down that it might mount the higher.
Now waxed she jealous lest his love abated,
Fearing her own thoughts made her to be hated.
Therefore unto him hastily she goes
And, like light Salmacis, her body throws
Upon his ***** where with yielding eyes
She offers up herself a sacrifice
To slake his anger if he were displeased.
O, what god would not therewith be appeased?
Like Aesop’s **** this jewel he enjoyed
And as a brother with his sister toyed
Supposing nothing else was to be done,
Now he her favour and good will had won.
But know you not that creatures wanting sense
By nature have a mutual appetence,
And, wanting organs to advance a step,
Moved by love’s force unto each other lep?
Much more in subjects having intellect
Some hidden influence breeds like effect.
Albeit Leander rude in love and raw,
Long dallying with Hero, nothing saw
That might delight him more, yet he suspected
Some amorous rites or other were neglected.
Therefore unto his body hers he clung.
She, fearing on the rushes to be flung,
Strived with redoubled strength; the more she strived
The more a gentle pleasing heat revived,
Which taught him all that elder lovers know.
And now the same gan so to scorch and glow
As in plain terms (yet cunningly) he craved it.
Love always makes those eloquent that have it.
She, with a kind of granting, put him by it
And ever, as he thought himself most nigh it,
Like to the tree of Tantalus, she fled
And, seeming lavish, saved her maidenhead.
Ne’er king more sought to keep his diadem,
Than Hero this inestimable gem.
Above our life we love a steadfast friend,
Yet when a token of great worth we send,
We often kiss it, often look thereon,
And stay the messenger that would be gone.
No marvel then, though Hero would not yield
So soon to part from that she dearly held.
Jewels being lost are found again, this never;
’Tis lost but once, and once lost, lost forever.

Now had the morn espied her lover’s steeds,
Whereat she starts, puts on her purple weeds,
And red for anger that he stayed so long
All headlong throws herself the clouds among.
And now Leander, fearing to be missed,
Embraced her suddenly, took leave, and kissed.
Long was he taking leave, and loath to go,
And kissed again as lovers use to do.
Sad Hero wrung him by the hand and wept
Saying, “Let your vows and promises be kept.”
Then standing at the door she turned about
As loath to see Leander going out.
And now the sun that through th’ horizon peeps,
As pitying these lovers, downward creeps,
So that in silence of the cloudy night,
Though it was morning, did he take his flight.
But what the secret trusty night concealed
Leander’s amorous habit soon revealed.
With Cupid’s myrtle was his bonnet crowned,
About his arms the purple riband wound
Wherewith she wreathed her largely spreading hair.
Nor could the youth abstain, but he must wear
The sacred ring wherewith she was endowed
When first religious chastity she vowed.
Which made his love through Sestos to be known,
And thence unto Abydos sooner blown
Than he could sail; for incorporeal fame
Whose weight consists in nothing but her name,
Is swifter than the wind, whose tardy plumes
Are reeking water and dull earthly fumes.
Home when he came, he seemed not to be there,
But, like exiled air ****** from his sphere,
Set in a foreign place; and straight from thence,
Alcides like, by mighty violence
He would have chased away the swelling main
That him from her unjustly did detain.
Like as the sun in a diameter
Fires and inflames objects removed far,
And heateth kindly, shining laterally,
So beauty sweetly quickens when ’tis nigh,
But being separated and removed,
Burns where it cherished, murders where it loved.
Therefore even as an index to a book,
So to his mind was young Leander’s look.
O, none but gods have power their love to hide,
Affection by the countenance is descried.
The light of hidden fire itself discovers,
And love that is concealed betrays poor lovers,
His secret flame apparently was seen.
Leander’s father knew where he had been
And for the same mildly rebuked his son,
Thinking to quench the sparkles new begun.
But love resisted once grows passionate,
And nothing more than counsel lovers hate.
For as a hot proud horse highly disdains
To have his head controlled, but breaks the reins,
Spits forth the ringled bit, and with his hooves
Checks the submissive ground; so he that loves,
The more he is restrained, the worse he fares.
What is it now, but mad Leander dares?
“O Hero, Hero!” thus he cried full oft;
And then he got him to a rock aloft,
Where having spied her tower, long stared he on’t,
And prayed the narrow toiling Hellespont
To part in twain, that he might come and go;
But still the rising billows answered, “No.”
With that he stripped him to the ivory skin
And, crying “Love, I come,” leaped lively in.
Whereat the sapphire visaged god grew proud,
And made his capering Triton sound aloud,
Imagining that Ganymede, displeased,
Had left the heavens; therefore on him he seized.
Leander strived; the waves about him wound,
And pulled him to the bottom, where the ground
Was strewed with pearl, and in low coral groves
Sweet singing mermaids sported with their loves
On heaps of heavy gold, and took great pleasure
To spurn in careless sort the shipwrack treasure.
For here the stately azure palace stood
Where kingly Neptune and his train abode.
The ***** god embraced him, called him “Love,”
And swore he never should return to Jove.
But when he knew it was not Ganymede,
For under water he was almost dead,
He heaved him up and, looking on his face,
Beat down the bold waves with his triple mace,
Which mounted up, intending to have kissed him,
And fell in drops like tears because they missed him.
Leander, being up, began to swim
And, looking back, saw Neptune follow him,
Whereat aghast, the poor soul ‘gan to cry
“O, let me visit Hero ere I die!”
The god put Helle’s bracelet on his arm,
And swore the sea should never do him harm.
He clapped his plump cheeks, with his tresses played
And, smiling wantonly, his love bewrayed.
He watched his arms and, as they opened wide
At every stroke, betwixt them would he slide
And steal a kiss, and then run out and dance,
And, as he turned, cast many a lustful glance,
And threw him gaudy toys to please his eye,
And dive into the water, and there pry
Upon his breast, his thighs, and every limb,
And up again, and close beside him swim,
And talk of love.

Leander made reply,
“You are deceived; I am no woman, I.”
Thereat smiled Neptune, and then told a tale,
How that a shepherd, sitting in a vale,
Played with a boy so fair and kind,
As for his love both earth and heaven pined;
That of the cooling river durst not drink,
Lest water nymphs should pull him from the brink.
And when he sported in the fragrant lawns,
Goat footed satyrs and upstaring fauns
Would steal him thence. Ere half this tale was done,
“Ay me,” Leander cried, “th’ enamoured sun
That now should shine on Thetis’ glassy bower,
Descends upon my radiant Hero’s tower.
O, that these tardy arms of mine were wings!”
And, as he spake, upon the waves he springs.
Neptune was angry that he gave no ear,
And in his heart revenging malice bare.
He flung at him his mace but, as it went,
He called it in, for love made him repent.
The mace, returning back, his own hand hit
As meaning to be venged for darting it.
When this fresh bleeding wound Leander viewed,
His colour went and came, as if he rued
The grief which Neptune felt. In gentle *******
Relenting thoughts, remorse, and pity rests.
And who have hard hearts and obdurate minds,
But vicious, harebrained, and illiterate hinds?
The god, seeing him with pity to be moved,
Thereon concluded that he was beloved.
(Love is too full of faith, too credulous,
With folly and false hope deluding us.)
Wherefore, Leander’s fancy to surprise,
To the rich Ocean for gifts he flies.
’tis wisdom to give much; a gift prevails
When deep persuading oratory fails.

By this Leander, being near the land,
Cast down his weary feet and felt the sand.
Breathless albeit he were he rested not
Till to the solitary tower he got,
And knocked and called. At which celestial noise
The longing heart of Hero much more joys
Than nymphs and shepherds when the timbrel rings,
Or crooked dolphin when the sailor sings.
She stayed not for her robes but straight arose
And, drunk with gladness, to the door she goes,
Where seeing a naked man, she screeched for fear
(Such sights as this to tender maids are rare)
And ran into the dark herself to hide.
(Rich jewels in the dark are soonest spied).
Unto her was he led, or rather drawn
By those white limbs which sparkled through the lawn.
The nearer that he came, the more she fled,
And, seeking refuge, slipped into her bed.
Whereon Leander sitting thus began,
Through numbing cold, all feeble, faint, and wan.
“If not for love, yet, love, for pity sake,
Me in thy bed and maiden ***** take.
At least vouchsafe these arms some little room,
Who, hoping to embrace thee, cheerly swum.
This head was beat with many a churlish billow,
And therefore let it rest upon thy pillow.”
Herewith affrighted, Hero shrunk away,
And in her lukewarm place Leander lay,
Whose lively heat, like fire from heaven fet,
Would animate gross clay and higher set
The drooping thoughts of base declining souls
Than dreary Mars carousing nectar bowls.
His hands he cast upon her like a snare.
She, overcome with shame and sallow fear,
Like chaste Diana when Actaeon spied her,
Being suddenly betrayed, dived down to hide her.
And, as her silver body downward went,
With both her hands she made the bed a tent,
And in her own mind thought herself secure,
O’ercast with dim and darksome coverture.
And now she lets him whisper in her ear,
Flatter, entreat, promise, protest and swear;
Yet ever, as he greedily assayed
To touch those dainties, she the harpy played,
And every limb did, as a soldier stout,
Defend the fort, and keep the foeman out.
For though the rising ivory mount he scaled,
Which is with azure circling lines empaled,
Much like a globe (a globe may I term this,
By which love sails to regions full of bliss)
Yet there with Sisyphus he toiled in vain,
Till gentle parley did the truce obtain.
Wherein Leander on her quivering breast
Breathless spoke something, and sighed out the rest;
Which so prevailed, as he with small ado
Enclosed her in his arms and kissed her too.
And every kiss to her was as a charm,
And to Leander as a fresh alarm,
So that the truce was broke and she, alas,
(Poor silly maiden) at his mercy was.
Love is not full of pity (as men say)
But deaf and cruel where he means to prey.
Even as a bird, which in our hands we wring,
Forth plungeth and oft flutters with her wing,
She trembling strove.

This strife of hers (like that
Which made the world) another world begat
Of unknown joy. Treason was in her thought,
And cunningly to yield herself she sought.
Seeming not won, yet won she was at length.
In such wars women use but half their strength.
Leander now, like Theban Hercules,
Entered the orchard of th’ Hesperides;
Whose fruit none rightly can describe but he
That pulls or shakes it from the golden tree.
And now she wished this night were never done,
And sighed to think upon th’ approaching sun;
For much it grieved her that the bright daylight
Should know the pleasure of this blessed night,
And them, like Mars and Erycine, display
Both in each other’s arms chained as they lay.
Again, she knew not how to frame her look,
Or speak to him, who in a moment took
That which so long so charily she kept,
And fain by stealth away she would have crept,
And to some corner secretly have gone,
Leaving Leander in the bed alone.
But as her naked feet were whipping out,
He on the sudden clinged her so about,
That, mermaid-like, unto the floor she slid.
One half appeared, the other half was hid.
Thus near the bed she blushing stood upright,
And from her countenance behold ye might
A kind of twilight break, which through the hair,
As from an orient cloud, glimpsed here and there,
And round about the chamber this false morn
Brought forth the day before the day was born.
So Hero’s ruddy cheek Hero betrayed,
And her all naked to his sight displayed,
Whence his admiring eyes more pleasure took
Than Dis, on heaps of gold fixing his look.
By this, Apollo’s golden harp began
To sound forth music to the ocean,
Which watchful Hesperus no sooner heard
But he the bright day-bearing car prepared
And ran before, as harbinger of light,
And with his flaring beams mocked ugly night,
Till she, o’ercome with anguish, shame, and rage,
Danged down to hell her loathsome carriage.
Wellspring Oct 2018
It begins with the ominous clouds that roil and billow over the sky.
Then they darken:
Soft whites...
Seductive greys...
All the way to the purple black that haunts the skies on the cusp of a winter night.

The smell that follows this sinister nebula of vapor hanging over your head is that of life bringing relief.
The smell of dry earth mingling with that of the fresh water above reminds one of summer breezes, freedom and relaxation.

The cool but warm drops of moisture start gently stroking your shoulders and arms.
The strength increases, forcing you to squint as you take in the beautiful composition of nature above.

Soon you're covering your head as the rain pelts down and you race for shelter.
The puddles appearing on the floor disrupted by the matter consistently falling into them.

You peer into the world, completely changed, as you visibility decreases and smile, the metallic twangs to the rain hitting the patio roof fill your ears and soul with its rhythm and music.
I LOVE the rain.
436

The Wind—tapped like a tired Man—
And like a Host—”Come in”
I boldly answered—entered then
My Residence within

A Rapid—footless Guest—
To offer whom a Chair
Were as impossible as hand
A Sofa to the Air—

No Bone had He to bind Him—
His Speech was like the Push
Of numerous Humming Birds at once
From a superior Bush—

His Countenance—a Billow—
His Fingers, as He passed
Let go a music—as of tunes
Blown tremulous in Glass—

He visited—still flitting—
Then like a timid Man
Again, He tapped—’twas flurriedly—
And I became alone—
Lyn-Purcell Aug 2018
~ ⚘ ⚪ ⚘ ~
But I am relieved.
Not being confined in bright velvets
of the West, or shimmering silks of
the East. Each hand-stitched with
animals and flowers, crystals and
furs, with gold and silver to
parade around in Court.

~ ⚘ ⚪ ⚘ ~
I find far more splendour in a simple
iris-purple kimono-robe, lightweight,
silk-satin and printed with lilies with
a pink silk trim. It strokes my ankles,
and the sleeves, they billow; the sash
firmly fastened around my waist.

~ ⚘ ⚪ ⚘ ~
My handmaid, Ilazi, presents a gilded
bowl with the purest form of fruits -
the ones that were rain-washed. I have
a variety to choose from - strawberries,
blueberries, peaches, green, red and
black grapes which I pick and nibble
on. Hmm, a succulent balance of
sweetness and ****.

~ ⚘ ⚪ ⚘ ~
And then my senior handmaid, Anihana,
arrives with a tray in hand, clearly made
from stainless steel with rose-gold accents.
'Sweet Queen,' says she. At the wave of my
hand, the music stops. 'Forgive me for
keeping you waiting. I know how particular
you are with your pearls so I narrowed
them to your favourite three choices.'

~ ⚘ ⚪ ⚘ ~
'Thank you,' I say and as I lean up, she
presents three cream-hued scrolls.
'Lists,' says she, 'of all the ship's
inventory. Would you like to
inspect them, my lady?'
'I will after some tea, Ainhana,
thank you.'

~ ⚘ ⚪ ⚘ ~
Anihana nods and moves by my side
as my eyes fall on the tray's contents.
A small silver five-minute sand-timer,
a glass teapot with bamboo handle,
an infuser and steel lid half filled
with hot water; steam dancing
out of the spout. Then, a lovely
glass teacup, one of the most
beautiful I've seen yet.
~ ⚘ ⚪ ⚘ ~
Part three of my Jasmine Pearl freeverse!
Lyn ***
vircapio gale Sep 2012
wakefulness demands a certain clearness when asleep . . .
it doesn't come as planned
"tat tvam asi"
LaBerge says to me in dream of me
"this world you are, withstanding even torments thou art never seen."
and that's enough to suffer aching, opaque psyche summit, forward
heart to rise an interspecies knell when danceless fades the bee in droves...
aimless whales who singing deep in love are cut from evolution's murky chain...
fungal blight of hibernaculum, in deafened sonar sending sudden drop of death;
to horror fragment melt, the ocean swill from ancient caps to sunken polar paw
diverse in massacre of tropic forest fertile mists, lives dispersed
and balance tipped from blindness not unlike the sterile statue's, there
                                                          i­n dusty courthouse corner, shadow-lined with infamy...
what imagined cartoon causal Captain Planet              
                            villainy to blare across oneiromantic globe? and (dreaming?) civil strife,                  
       eradication's alter triumph pose to measure blame in inner life?
of empiric meditation's top, in *******
churning out abuse in deeper,
                                                         ­   younger hidden traffics yet to terrorize the net...                                  
                                             the scraping of the sky had punctured through                                
                         ­                                      from metaphor to fact
                                       the sooty barbs
                            in radiance rebound    
and irony affected 'green'
                  folds crisis and solution into one                            we hope
                like what we say we are, becoming change                      in wartime summer fling    
we                                                        
say we can in world of 'me'                                      
in guilt-assuaging verve
                                  the heifer-gift to village fief
    but then to rest against organic pillow-conscience gray                                                             ­       
                                                               soundly snoring smokestacks fill from ground to sky
still for sly investment windfall   fog  billow, shake...                             
transcontinental scape of dream imbued anew:
i am the genie of my ownmost inner lamp
in dreamtime-being spacious constellational of reach distilled
in contemplation's tratak zoom mInute
   with jet black finger trace
    i net                                                              ­                                        from out the inter-earthen air                
                                             ­                                              the lump on lump of coal
                massaging from                                                             ­      as if an ivory atmospheric                  
lift                   of      weight  
                           the sculpture of our past condensed in elephantine ******
                                                 miasmic fossil shower-haze of sporogenic fear,
mneumonic nail-tusk night of carbon-spirit back into its hold -- originary dark,
Dark light from burning black                                                 once again contained                                                      in elemental subterrain                                                       ­                                                       
         ­                                        --now it underlies the ground inside for triple shielding outshine
--outer-- light to cool us breathing once again . , ,    
false convenience in abeyance in a human time!                                
i am right now of inward self my soul supernal carbon imprint copy                             
for accounting every speciesistic mind to open wide enough and quell the "all-too human plagues--                                                                           ­       cheering all penultimates, in beams reflecting ante-truth          
                                                 down halls of mirror-minds that lightly discourse
on the ingress of a centaur saving power
channeling the leylines of inception,
ecstatic dreamworld of apotheosic glee:
parting the eidetic clouds,
commune an avatar intentionality . . .
ensorcelling the foodstuffs of the world to feed a dozen million refugees,
insectile diet pride attends in homes of affluence,
the abstract mass of media, become eupeptic cud of understanding bats and even bees--
for biospheres a Goodall stewardship arrives
(her perfect chimp call too resounds across the earth!)
and dwindled frogs their former ponds (unknown, destroyed without a sound)
return to chirping vibrant green symphonic swooning life
the glacial march of tears to halt . . .
all ecosystems rife withall
the panegyric of marshlands globally reborn  
along with shining waters, algaeic sun alive at play
in double-helix breath of dolphin families' bubble art
a sudden resurrect from ****** harvest cove arise cascading joyous leap
on final absence of the metal herding knock of trapping pods
no longer hacked in waves of pink, mere preparations for a restaurant sink--
they are free to swim the depth of worldheart dreaming unknown dream entire real again
marine apsaras dip in spectra (flicker eyelid) rays, reintroduce the dawn
her fine apparel calling forth transhuman destinies
unsplicing brilliant minds from ****** task of splicing GMOs
recycled randomness accepting death before we die
mycelium in runs of spilling-- all undone --
migrational attuned our resource use
and CSAs to thrive in eco-city scapes
no solopsistic somniac pretends
--the dream imbued in final hue
a momentary lapse, creationary flux--
the bombs defused in flick of wrist
indentured and enslaved, imprisoned innocents, oppressed and even self-deprived released
through selfhood's metaviral claim
ground of each dependent intertwining
whatness will to be
a place in which to hum in tune or out of tune
to heal and in a another dream aside from this perhaps with me partake
in true oneiric panoply of conflict held
--with permeating rigpa geogaze--
colliding ideologies transmuted into trust
in panharmonium of varied vision
and what the ever present boons of real, imagined symbol-real
create awake












.
Oh! hush thee, my baby, the night is behind us,
  And black are the waters that sparkled so green.
The moon, o’er the combers, looks downward to find us
  At rest in the hollows that rustle between.

Where billow meets billow, there soft be thy pillow;
  Ah, weary, wee flipperling, curl at thy ease!
The storm shall not wake thee, nor shark overtake thee,
  Asleep in the arms of the slow-swinging seas.
Melissa S Dec 2011
Sheer curtains billow with the nights breath along my bare skin
Just wishing that it was you... here to taste me again
Slowly my hand traces and reaches down
My eyes closed listening to nights symphony all around
Imagining its your sweet lips and tongue while I touch
Screaming out in delight when it all gets to be too much
Third Eye Candy Jun 2013
MY LONG TREK ON WRONG LEGS, BEG DYNAMITE FROM HUSH DUDS
DAMP CANNONS BILLOW IN THE EAST WIND, LIKE FLACCID DRAGONS
GAGGING ON IRON APPLES
I SURGE IMPOTENT IN MY WRATH, SUNBATHING BY AFTERGLOW
HEROICALLY CONTAINED.    
DISMANTLED...

I CRAFT THE WITHERING OF MY FURY
WITH A STEADY HAND; AND A JADED HEART
STARK BLIGHT, DRAINS  MY CUP OF  THUNDER, WHERE MY LIGHTNING CLOTS
WHERE SOLID DARK
HARKENS

MY YELLOW SUN HARDENS; LIKE AN UNSTRUCK COIN
BLANK IN MY POCKET

SHARDS OF DULL ACHE... UNSHARPEN

MY RED SEA
DEPARTS

MY KELP BEDS
DISMAYED.
Francie Lynch Apr 2015
I've been at hundreds of funerals
Standing beside Fathers
Soon to be posted to Peru
Or to missions for black African babies.
They'd sprinkle caskets like Spring rains,
Burn incense to smudge the dead
With rising smoke signals.
Sounding the advance.
I witnessed pain in the front pews,
The kneelers with thin cushioning.
I prayed fervently for a whosh of wind
To sweep behind me,
Billow my soutane,
  And lift the lid;
Prayed for the candle flame to flare,
For the body to rise
As Rathgar did.
He was a faker.
Not like what I saw.
Up close.
On Friday mornings.
Rathgar Lothbrok: See final episode of this season's "Vikings."
ryn May 2015
Make me your emblem
Adopt my colours
Let them be seen
Through actions and verse

Make me your flag
Fly me high upon the sturdiest masts
Watch me billow with purpose
Catching the wind that forever lasts

Make me your anthem
With truth in words that rings so clear
Sing me loud and true
Sing me always for all to hear

Make me your creed
Pledge yourself to always uphold
My name in thoughts and writes
Emblazoned across as your brand in gold

Make me your home
Your shelter for when the day's done
A safe haven to return to
With the setting of the sun

Or just...

Make me someone...*
Anyone...
So at least I know that I exist
Make me a simple somebody in your life
Not just a name on a forgotten list
Inspired by Depeche Mode's Somebody
Liz Apr 2014
The braches of the faint oak were bewitched to a dark gold under
the orange, thick silk sunset. 
The wood, as the sun lowered, changed from apple green
to golden billow
which swept foamy,
rose clouds along a now cucumber, blurry horizon.
Plump plums and fruit rinds
litter ripe walkways alongside the flower beds who's tickled buds
are closing slightly as the fickle sky, gone nine, turns to a majestic
Indian blue and the June monastery's milky swirls are lit by the sugar lump stars.
Just love writing about trees and sunsets!
Liz Apr 2014
Delightful march
breathes in on the sound of the swallows
chirp, and in the pungent scent of lemonade.

Daffodils brave the curtain call
and splash in yellow fountains which
powder the grass canary
and rich caramel.

Boughs of cherry trees burst
once more with indulgent,
fatuous blossoms of sugared coral,

Their marbled paper florets billow
in the gusts rising and falling like
the flocks of starlings.

The future is close, wide and happy.
Md HUDA Oct 2013
(1)
I am the huckster of love, bibulous in love
She is my bijou, she is my billow
She is my Hob-goblin.
                       2
At dead of night she called me
I fell into oblivion
She came off with flying colors
I was impressed by her green eye
She was a pack of lies
I sailed, I sailed under her false colors
I sailed, I sailed under her false colors
                            3
These are the hows and whats of my love
Waiting to pay the debt of nature
Waiting for the call of my creator
Living to write my swan song, living to write my swan song
Expecting to write it ere long, expecting to write it ere long
                             4
I am the huckster of love, bibulous in love
She is my bijou, she is my billow
She is a hob-goblin.
Huckster of love- the man who travels around with love
Bijou- jewel
billow- grave sea
Hob goblin- Naughty fairy
Swan song- the last work of life.....
ryn Aug 2014
We can only afford to contain our fires
Turning to... Soothsaying waters

Soothsaying rain, empty out your bottles
Irrigate from our heart puddles
Let flow into a singular well
An oasis where our hearts would kiss and silently tell

Submerge us as one being
The water milling and licking
Kissing our warm skins
Wash away as it purges and cleans

Cleansing waters, wash and give birth
Rid of the sadness to reveal the earth

Of this earth, you and I are one
Looking up to idolise the same sun
Wedged between... This expanse of redundant land
Pining for the mixing of our sands

We... We are made of the same
Earth, dirt and gravel placed in different games
Bearing similar stones that beat
Beating away the seconds that flit

Earth biding time... Stay on ground
Let wind take your souls to realms unbound

Casting our souls into the wind
Carved hearts on flags we pinned
Kites of love set to catch the air
Wind be kind... Carry us easy with care

Gift us your gentle airy fingers
As you would the sails of hopeful seafarers
Together we would dance and billow
Frolic upon your light feathered pillow

Ride the wind, on wings that never tire
Tiny bites that keep us afire

Never needing a flint to set alive the flame
Stoking the fire that burns on the same
Rhymes and reasons be our fuel
Combat logic and sense in a cerebral duel

Fight in our eyes, subdued are the blazes
Embers dormant behind glassy tearful gazes
Spark them to life with passionate heat
Fan them to rage till the time our hearts meet

But still... We must contain our fires
With nothing but soothsaying waters
Nico Julleza Dec 2017
∙∙∙◦◦•◎•◦◦∙∙∙
Sitting at the balcony, a sunset to her face
a scent of chamomile, an elated memory rephrases
frolicking aster's in autumn color graced
the imbue of old feelings, her craft of curtain lace

Spinning a rustic harmony, the rustle of leaves
dips a chocolate pudding, her smile swept by me
a dessert like sky, the billow swirls in place
our grandkids tag-along to the hounds that chase

An old love song, a diary of stories we made
halcyon, even her face freckles and her hair is gray
she gave me fields that kisses spring and fall
our magic remains forever, even our time is called
#Love #Relatioship #Song

It Took me many months to finish this poem, to get the inspiration. I'm Glad its finally done.. Enjoy my love story poets.

(NCJ)POETRYProductions. ©2017
I weep for Adonais—he is dead!
O, weep for Adonais! though our tears
Thaw not the frost which binds so dear a head!
And thou, sad Hour, selected from all years
To mourn our loss, rouse thy obscure compeers,
And teach them thine own sorrow, say: “With me
Died Adonais; till the Future dares
Forget the Past, his fate and fame shall be
An echo and a light unto eternity!”

Where wert thou, mighty Mother, when he lay,
When thy Son lay, pierced by the shaft which flies
In darkness? where was lorn Urania
When Adonais died? With veiled eyes,
Mid listening Echoes, in her Paradise
She sate, while one, with soft enamoured breath,
Rekindled all the fading melodies
With which, like flowers that mock the corse beneath,
He had adorned and hid the coming bulk of death.

O, weep for Adonais—he is dead!
Wake, melancholy Mother, wake and weep!
Yet wherefore? Quench within their burning bed
Thy fiery tears, and let thy loud heart keep
Like his, a mute and uncomplaining sleep;
For he is gone, where all things wise and fair
Descend;—oh, dream not that the amorous Deep
Will yet restore him to the vital air;
Death feeds on his mute voice, and laughs at our despair.

Most musical of mourners, weep again!
Lament anew, Urania!—He died,
Who was the Sire of an immortal strain,
Blind, old, and lonely, when his country’s pride,
The priest, the slave, and the liberticide
Trampled and mocked with many a loathed rite
Of lust and blood; he went, unterrified,
Into the gulf of death; but his clear Sprite
Yet reigns o’er earth; the third among the sons of light.

Most musical of mourners, weep anew!
Not all to that bright station dared to climb;
And happier they their happiness who knew,
Whose tapers yet burn through that night of time
In which suns perished; others more sublime,
Struck by the envious wrath of man or god,
Have sunk, extinct in their refulgent prime;
And some yet live, treading the thorny road
Which leads, through toil and hate, to Fame’s serene abode.

But now, thy youngest, dearest one, has perished—
The nursling of thy widowhood, who grew,
Like a pale flower by some sad maiden cherished,
And fed with true-love tears, instead of dew;
Most musical of mourners, weep anew!
Thy extreme hope, the loveliest and the last,
The bloom, whose petals nipped before they blew
Died on the promise of the fruit, is waste;
The broken lily lies—the storm is overpast.

To that high Capital, where kingly Death
Keeps his pale court in beauty and decay,
He came; and bought, with price of purest breath,
A grave among the eternal.—Come away!
Haste, while the vault of blue Italian day
Is yet his fitting charnel-roof! while still
He lies, as if in dewy sleep he lay;
Awake him not! surely he takes his fill
Of deep and liquid rest, forgetful of all ill.

He will awake no more, oh, never more!—
Within the twilight chamber spreads apace
The shadow of white Death, and at the door
Invisible Corruption waits to trace
His extreme way to her dim dwelling-place;
The eternal Hunger sits, but pity and awe
Soothe her pale rage, nor dares she to deface
So fair a prey, till darkness, and the law
Of change, shall o’er his sleep the mortal curtain draw.

O, weep for Adonais!—The quick Dreams,
The passion-winged Ministers of thought,
Who were his flocks, whom near the living streams
Of his young spirit he fed, and whom he taught
The love which was its music, wander not,—
Wander no more, from kindling brain to brain,
But droop there, whence they sprung; and mourn their lot
Round the cold heart, where, after their sweet pain,
They ne’er will gather strength, or find a home again.

And one with trembling hands clasps his cold head,
And fans him with her moonlight wings, and cries,
“Our love, our hope, our sorrow, is not dead;
See, on the silken fringe of his faint eyes,
Like dew upon a sleeping flower, there lies
A tear some Dream has loosened from his brain.”
Lost Angel of a ruined Paradise!
She knew not ’twas her own; as with no stain
She faded, like a cloud which had outwept its rain.

One from a lucid urn of starry dew
Washed his light limbs as if embalming them;
Another clipped her profuse locks, and threw
The wreath upon him, like an anadem,
Which frozen tears instead of pearls begem;
Another in her wilful grief would break
Her bow and winged reeds, as if to stem
A greater loss with one which was more weak;
And dull the barbed fire against his frozen cheek.

Another Splendour on his mouth alit,
That mouth, whence it was wont to draw the breath
Which gave it strength to pierce the guarded wit,
And pass into the panting heart beneath
With lightning and with music: the damp death
Quenched its caress upon his icy lips;
And, as a dying meteor stains a wreath
Of moonlight vapour, which the cold night clips,
It flushed through his pale limbs, and passed to its eclipse.

And others came… Desires and Adorations,
Winged Persuasions and veiled Destinies,
Splendours, and Glooms, and glimmering Incarnations
Of hopes and fears, and twilight Phantasies;
And Sorrow, with her family of Sighs,
And Pleasure, blind with tears, led by the gleam
Of her own dying smile instead of eyes,
Came in slow pomp;—the moving pomp might seem
Like pageantry of mist on an autumnal stream.

All he had loved, and moulded into thought,
From shape, and hue, and odour, and sweet sound,
Lamented Adonais. Morning sought
Her eastern watch-tower, and her hair unbound,
Wet with the tears which should adorn the ground,
Dimmed the aereal eyes that kindle day;
Afar the melancholy thunder moaned,
Pale Ocean in unquiet slumber lay,
And the wild Winds flew round, sobbing in their dismay.

Lost Echo sits amid the voiceless mountains,
And feeds her grief with his remembered lay,
And will no more reply to winds or fountains,
Or amorous birds perched on the young green spray,
Or herdsman’s horn, or bell at closing day;
Since she can mimic not his lips, more dear
Than those for whose disdain she pined away
Into a shadow of all sounds:—a drear
Murmur, between their songs, is all the woodmen hear.

Grief made the young Spring wild, and she threw down
Her kindling buds, as if she Autumn were,
Or they dead leaves; since her delight is flown,
For whom should she have waked the sullen year?
To Phoebus was not Hyacinth so dear
Nor to himself Narcissus, as to both
Thou, Adonais: wan they stand and sere
Amid the faint companions of their youth,
With dew all turned to tears; odour, to sighing ruth.

Thy spirit’s sister, the lorn nightingale
Mourns not her mate with such melodious pain;
Not so the eagle, who like thee could scale
Heaven, and could nourish in the sun’s domain
Her mighty youth with morning, doth complain,
Soaring and screaming round her empty nest,
As Albion wails for thee: the curse of Cain
Light on his head who pierced thy innocent breast,
And scared the angel soul that was its earthly guest!

Ah, woe is me! Winter is come and gone,
But grief returns with the revolving year;
The airs and streams renew their joyous tone;
The ants, the bees, the swallows reappear;
Fresh leaves and flowers deck the dead Season’s bier;
The amorous birds now pair in every brake,
And build their mossy homes in field and brere;
And the green lizard, and the golden snake,
Like unimprisoned flames, out of their trance awake.

Through wood and stream and field and hill and Ocean
A quickening life from the Earth’s heart has burst
As it has ever done, with change and motion,
From the great morning of the world when first
God dawned on Chaos; in its stream immersed,
The lamps of Heaven flash with a softer light;
All baser things pant with life’s sacred thirst;
Diffuse themselves; and spend in love’s delight
The beauty and the joy of their renewed might.

The leprous corpse, touched by this spirit tender,
Exhales itself in flowers of gentle breath;
Like incarnations of the stars, when splendour
Is changed to fragrance, they illumine death
And mock the merry worm that wakes beneath;
Nought we know, dies. Shall that alone which knows
Be as a sword consumed before the sheath
By sightless lightning?—the intense atom glows
A moment, then is quenched in a most cold repose.

Alas! that all we loved of him should be,
But for our grief, as if it had not been,
And grief itself be mortal! Woe is me!
Whence are we, and why are we? of what scene
The actors or spectators? Great and mean
Meet massed in death, who lends what life must borrow.
As long as skies are blue, and fields are green,
Evening must usher night, night urge the morrow,
Month follow month with woe, and year wake year to sorrow.

He will awake no more, oh, never more!
“Wake thou,” cried Misery, “childless Mother, rise
Out of thy sleep, and slake, in thy heart’s core,
A wound more fierce than his with tears and sighs.”
And all the Dreams that watched Urania’s eyes,
And all the Echoes whom their sister’s song
Had held in holy silence, cried: “Arise!”
Swift as a Thought by the snake Memory stung,
From her ambrosial rest the fading Splendour sprung.

She rose like an autumnal Night, that springs
Our of the East, and follows wild and drear
The golden Day, which, on eternal wings,
Even as a ghost abandoning a bier,
Had left the Earth a corpse. Sorrow and fear
So struck, so roused, so rapt Urania;
So saddened round her like an atmosphere
Of stormy mist; so swept her on her way
Even to the mournful place where Adonais lay.

Our of her secret Paradise she sped,
Through camps and cities rough with stone, and steel,
And human hearts, which to her aery tread
Yielding not, wounded the invisible
Palms of her tender feet where’er they fell:
And barbed tongues, and thoughts more sharp than they,
Rent the soft Form they never could repel,
Whose sacred blood, like the young tears of May,
Paved with eternal flowers that undeserving way.

In the death-chamber for a moment Death,
Shamed by the presence of that living Might,
Blushed to annihilation, and the breath
Revisited those lips, and Life’s pale light
Flashed through those limbs, so late her dear delight.
“Leave me not wild and drear and comfortless,
As silent lightning leaves the starless night!
Leave me not!” cried Urania: her distress
Roused Death: Death rose and smiled, and met her vain caress.

“‘Stay yet awhile! speak to me once again;
Kiss me, so long but as a kiss may live;
And in my heartless breast and burning brain
That word, that kiss, shall all thoughts else survive,
With food of saddest memory kept alive,
Now thou art dead, as if it were a part
Of thee, my Adonais! I would give
All that I am to be as thou now art!
But I am chained to Time, and cannot thence depart!

“O gentle child, beautiful as thou wert,
Why didst thou leave the trodden paths of men
Too soon, and with weak hands though mighty heart
Dare the unpastured dragon in his den?
Defenceless as thou wert, oh, where was then
Wisdom the mirrored shield, or scorn the spear?
Or hadst thou waited the full cycle, when
Thy spirit should have filled its crescent sphere,
The monsters of life’s waste had fled from thee like deer.

“The herded wolves, bold only to pursue;
The obscene ravens, clamorous o’er the dead;
The vultures to the conqueror’s banner true
Who feed where Desolation first has fed,
And whose wings rain contagion;—how they fled,
When, like Apollo, from his golden bow
The Pythian of the age one arrow sped
And smiled!—The spoilers tempt no second blow,
They fawn on the proud feet that spurn them lying low.

“The sun comes forth, and many reptiles spawn;
He sets, and each ephemeral insect then
Is gathered into death without a dawn,
And the immortal stars awake again;
So is it in the world of living men:
A godlike mind soars forth, in its delight
Making earth bare and veiling heaven, and when
It sinks, the swarms that dimmed or shared its light
Leave to its kindred lamps the spirit’s awful night.”

Thus ceased she: and the mountain shepherds came,
Their garlands sere, their magic mantles rent;
The Pilgrim of Eternity, whose fame
Over his living head like Heaven is bent,
An early but enduring monument,
Came, veiling all the lightnings of his song
In sorrow; from her wilds Irene sent
The sweetest lyrist of her saddest wrong,
And Love taught Grief to fall like music from his tongue.

Midst others of less note, came one frail Form,
A phantom among men; companionless
As the last cloud of an expiring storm
Whose thunder is its knell; he, as I guess,
Had gazed on Nature’s naked loveliness,
Actaeon-like, and now he fled astray
With feeble steps o’er the world’s wilderness,
And his own thoughts, along that rugged way,
Pursued, like raging hounds, their father and their prey.

A pardlike Spirit beautiful and swift—
A Love in desolation masked;—a Power
Girt round with weakness;—it can scarce uplift
The weight of the superincumbent hour;
It is a dying lamp, a falling shower,
A breaking billow;—even whilst we speak
Is it not broken? On the withering flower
The killing sun smiles brightly: on a cheek
The life can burn in blood, even while the heart may break.

His head was bound with pansies overblown,
And faded violets, white, and pied, and blue;
And a light spear topped with a cypress cone,
Round whose rude shaft dark ivy-tresses grew
Yet dripping with the forest’s noonday dew,
Vibrated, as the ever-beating heart
Shook the weak hand that grasped it; of that crew
He came the last, neglected and apart;
A herd-abandoned deer struck by the hunter’s dart.

All stood aloof, and at his partial moan
Smiled through their tears; well knew that gentle band
Who in another’s fate now wept his own,
As in the accents of an unknown land
He sung new sorrow; sad Urania scanned
The Stranger’s mien, and murmured: “Who art thou?”
He answered not, but with a sudden hand
Made bare his branded and ensanguined brow,
Which was like Cain’s or Christ’s—oh! that it should be so!

What softer voice is hushed over the dead?
Athwart what brow is that dark mantle thrown?
What form leans sadly o’er the white death-bed,
In mockery of monumental stone,
The heavy heart heaving without a moan?
If it be He, who, gentlest of the wise,
Taught, soothed, loved, honoured the departed one,
Let me not vex, with inharmonious sighs,
The silence of that heart’s accepted sacrifice.

Our Adonais has drunk poison—oh!
What deaf and viperous murderer could crown
Life’s early cup with such a draught of woe?
The nameless worm would now itself disown:
It felt, yet could escape, the magic tone
Whose prelude held all envy, hate, and wrong,
But what was howling in one breast alone,
Silent with expectation of the song,
Whose master’s hand is cold, whose silver lyre unstrung.

Live thou, whose infamy is not thy fame!
Live! fear no heavier chastisement from me,
Thou noteless blot on a remembered name!
But be thyself, and know thyself to be!
And ever at thy season be thou free
To spill the venom when thy fangs o’erflow:
Remorse and Self-contempt shall cling to thee;
Hot Shame shall burn upon thy secret brow,
And like a beaten hound tremble thou shalt—as now.

Nor let us weep that our delight is fled
Far from these carrion kites that scream below;
He wakes or sleeps with the enduring dead;
Thou canst not soar where he is sitting now—
Dust to the dust! but the pure spirit shall flow
Back to the burning fountain whence it came,
A portion of the Eternal, which must glow
Through time and change, unquenchably the same,
Whilst thy cold embers choke the sordid hearth of shame.

Peace, peace! he is not dead, he doth not sleep—
He hath awakened from the dream of life—
’Tis we, who lost in stormy visions, keep
With phantoms an unprofitable strife,
And in mad trance, strike with our spirit’s knife
Invulnerable nothings.—We decay
Like corpses in a charnel; fear and grief
Convulse us and consume us day by day,
And cold hopes swarm like worms within our living clay.

He has outsoared the shadow of our night;
Envy and calumny and hate and pain,
And that unrest which men miscall delight,
Can touch him not and torture not again;
From the contagion of the world’s slow stain
He is secure, and now can never mourn
A heart grown cold, a head grown grey in vain;
Nor, when the spirit’s self has ceased to burn,
With sparkless ashes load an unlamented urn.

He lives, he wakes—’tis Death is dead, not he;
Mourn not for Adonais.—Thou young Dawn,
Turn all thy dew to splendour, for from thee
The spirit thou lamentest is not gone;
Ye caverns and ye forests, cease to moan!
Cease, ye faint flowers and fountains, and thou Air
Which like a mourning veil
Corey J Grace Dec 2013
I stand on the edge of a growing storm.
Great clouds billow and burst.
Streaks of light chased by tremendous thunder.
But it's on the horizon.
I'm watching it shift and swirl.
I can feel it.
The ground beneath my feet.
That thud, thumping, thump.
The bass at your back.
The beat in your veins.
I pick up my youth right where I left it.
I forgot how to shake and rattle and roll.
Souls are earned not given.
There's a lie in alive,
when you're too busy getting it wrong.
I used to build and watch it break.
Now I'll break all I've ever built.
Ashes to ashes,
dust and rust.
I can feel it...
Burning, ebbing, glowing.
Sweet saccharine life.
A recklessness reserved for the young.
A wisdom earned by age.
Thud, thud, thump.
There's a rush only achieved,
when you've been bent and broken.
Crushed and cornered.
Taken right to the cusp.
And you fight.
You kick, you scratch, you claw.
You get on your ******* feet.
Thump, thump, THUD.
There's is blood under your nails.
Blood in your eyes.
Blood in the water.
You fight.
You win.
There is always a silver lining.
There is always a sunset worth seeing.
There is always a way back.
There is a way in always...
as long as you do it right.
Lou Costello’s
bronze semblance
dipped and danced atop
his granite pedestal
spinning miasmatic tales
of enigmatic hope and
resplendent labor

“the sweet
unbounded
expectation of
hope once
surged down
this city’s streets”
... said Lou

"I was a self made man
until someone thought up
the idea to cast a bronze
caricature of me and
bolt it to this grand rock”

nostalgia
is the boldest form
of fiction
culling from the past
the things hoped for
in the now

“growing up
here
I clipped school,
played ball,
rolled drunks
and fought
nickel ante
prize fights
to get my
daily bread,
I literally
punched my
way out
of this town”

a smith smelts a
batch of liquid bronze
pouring molds full of
a fervent wish
a madman's delusion
a priestly promise
a Pollyannaish illusion?

baskets overflowed
gushing hope, offered
at the holy altars by
honorable workers

it was said that
a morsel of labor
could feed 5000
starved families
breeding hopes as large
as a half cup of water

hope
the size of a
mustard seed sparked
recovery of 1000 sick children
dying from the Asian Flu
at St. Joe's

hope
willed an end to war’s slaughter
which ironically was bad for
Paterson's war profiteers
forcing layoffs
sparking labor actions

hope
ignited conflagrations firing
the resurrection of dead industries
lately there is a lot of hope
circling this one

miracles spring
from the pronounced
lips of trembling hearts

the hopeful amassed
slogging forth on bloodied toes
along razor thin slices
of expectation
hoping to begin again
eager to build anew

new starts sometimes
grow old fast soon
hope expires
winging back home
on broken wings of
misspent labor

hoping for the snow to stop
a lump of coal to last
the labor of a budding crocus
rewarded, breaking through
the hard crust of winters end
blooms for a day then expires

hope is a beggars wish
gods give yearnings heft
prayers earnestly chanted
willing paradigm shifts

prayers of absolution
play the angles
calculating odds
of probabilistic mathematics
a sure thing long shot
the prayers of the
righteous availeth much

we hoped for jobs
we hoped for leisure
we hoped for love
we hoped for labor
we hoped for rest
we hoped for luck
we hoped for a life
wealth health blest

laughing at our follies
crying over defeats
our city a tragic star
a comedy of schemes

our
hope and labor
is the keystone of
our self construction
cornerstone of
a grand city’s edifice
its negation our
deconstruction

tragedy and comedy
invested and spent
falling and laughing
foibles and faith

belief trumps evidence
happenstance slays surety
horror and beauty
compose a life's mural
nothing happens
by mistake

learning and ignorance
fate and chance
the risk of randomness
expiration dates arrive fast

predetermination a bold
conviction, suspicion,
intention a splendid  
kismet  

banality becomes
sublime  
laughter is ******

...the mystery is in
the loam... says WCW
...the finished product
is what I’m after...

“what the
**** are you
doing here?"
the bronzed Louis
gagged

"Hey Abbott
look at these clowns
in the yellow plastic
garbage bags!

bobbing in a sea of
midnight mist

a posse of
neon clowns
donning glad bags
on the most dismal
night of the year

twinkling under the
gloom of my playgrounds
faltering streetlamps

“twinkling targets
easily tracked,
a trained eye,
a steady hand
could pick you off
at a thousand paces
what gives?

“what the **** are
you doing here?

“what the **** am I doin
here for that matter?”

“the second question
is easy to answer,

“I’m Paterson’s
finest son....

...“Wherever he is tonight, I want him to hear me," and went on with the show. No one in the audience knew of the death until after the show when Bud Abbott explained the events of the day, and how the phrase "The show must go on" had been epitomized by Lou that night....

"Mr. Bacciagalupe
he use to live on
Cianci Street

“who’s on first?
what’s on second?
I don’t know is on third?
was a riddle one recited
to get into his speak

“his Ginnie Red was legendary
and no one was ever known to
die from drinking his bathtub gin”

the old world ways
are made new
by the arrival of
new old worlds
supplanting old Italiano

“where is all the goodwill capital
we invested in this place?”

successive generations
thought it best to export
the capital of the
expired generations
elsewhere

it was ferried
across the river,
crossed the
city boundaries,
leaving for Wayne
and the fairer lawns
of Wyckoff and the
greener grasses of
Franklin Lakes

all the old wise guys
died off or were sentenced
to life by their children,
some still doin time in
old age homes in
Rockaway

all the sport clubs
boarded up but their spirit
lingers like an espresso
ring on a post slurp
demitasse cup

“hell my body is buried
in Hollywood but here
I am, holding court in
Costello Park
talking with you
knuckleheads
a baseball bat
my royal scepter
a brown derby
my crown, truly a
King of Nothing,
Lord of All

“the soul of my city is
eternal,  like the comedy
of tragedy or is it
tragic comic?

“here I remain
omnipresent,
spinning about
frozen forever
in a magnificent
bronze age,
erected to my likeness
beholding me
to stand witness
to this litter strewn park
decorated with corrugated
Big Mac boxes, plastic
Big Gulp tops and discarded
rubbers bagging the ****
of this cities arrested
citizenry”

never actualized
never naturalized
citizenship denied
at the commencement
of ejaculatory flows
of joy

unfulfilled spirit
of citizenship
never to experience
the splendor
of yesterday’s
modernist
metropolis and
Lou’s stand up
routines

“look at that John
over there, that guy
wheezing like a
ruptured blacksmith’s
billow, pounding away
laboring to get off

“the poor little
******* just hopes it
will end soon

it does
**** he’s done

I” knew that guys
grandfather,
getting off
runs in the family
and remains one
of the few things
that draws the progeny back
to the old neighborhood

“you can still glimpse
snippets of the old ways
rising in new ways

“an Armenian
sports club
around the corner
is a new
incarnation of
the old Neapolitan
social clubs that
once demarcated the
neighborhoods

“these days
great grandsons
of once proud
Sons of Italy
come back to the
old neighborhoods
begging for hand-jobs
from crack ******

“welcome to my
burlesque world

“since the Gumbas
moved to Franklin Lakes
the wannabe wise guys
became ***** whipped
dumb *****
making ***** of
themselves with
their painted ****-job
Jersey Housewives

“they ***** their families
out for a bit parts on
MTV and a free lunch
at the Brownstone

“their grandfathers
labored long hours
to assure the well being
of their families in the expectant
hope of a better shot at life
but the children squandered
the hard earned bequest lovingly
bequeathed by reverent forebears

“in the wee hours
one can sometimes hear
a weeping chorus
of concrete Madonnas
musing melodious lullabies
to the sleeping
Lombard's lying
in uneasy repose at
Holy Sepulchre Cemetery

“they twist in their graves
dreaming of a last dance with the
Lady of Unending Sorrows
at weddings for unrepentant
wayward daughters and prodigal sons

“its small
recompense for a
lifetime of an
honest day’s work”

the dashed hope
of squandered labor
begets a city of ruin”

at the
parks northern corner
the Salvation Army’s
rumbling bivouac rests
in a dreamless sleep
its residents
patiently waiting to
inherit this city
abandoned by
nuevo wise guys

this tragedy
is all comedy
the comedic hope
of tragic labor
buried snoring
the millenniums away
awaiting resurrection
day

Lou was getting ******...
“get outta my park

“the artists
in the rehabbed
factories across
the street
are resting

“nothing much
going on there

“if you're hoping
to find some
homeless slogs
head over to the river
you should find some there”....

Music Selection:
Frank Sinatra, High Hopes

jbm
Oakland
3/26/13
Part 5 of extended poem Silk City PIT.  PIT is an acronym for Point In Time.  PIT is an annual census American cities conduct to count the homeless population.  Hope and Labor is the city motto of Paterson NJ, nick named The Silk City.
Shofi Ahmed Aug 2018
Truth is big
it's imminent.
Little is in the know.

I wonder though
what if we knew it a lot
will we not die no more?

Pondering me
ended up on the water.
There was land no more.
Or the colossal ocean
at the end of the earth
is its backdrop who knows?

If this little soil earth
can stand in the midst
of the giant ocean
why can't a life's
bottomless backdrop
billow up when the
momentary death swoop?
(Thus propelling it into its
deathless eternal portion.)
Against the groaning mast I stand,
  The Atlantic surges swell,
To bear me from my native land
  And Zoe's wild farewell.

From billow upon billow hurl'd
  I can yet hear her say,
'And is there nothing in the world
  Worth one short hour's delay?'

'Alas, my Zoe! were it thus,
  I should not sail alone,
Nor seas nor fates had parted us,
  But are you all my own?'

Thus were it, never would burst forth
  My sighs, Heaven knows how true!
But, though to me of little worth,
  The world is much to you.

'Yes,' you shall say, when once the dream
  (So hard to break!) is o'er,
'My love was very dear to him,
  My fame and peace were more.'
scaled your apartment in one of my favorite dresses
right before sundown
watched the wind billow the blue silk up my thighs,
parachute like
as i looked down,
several stories above your neighbors
(wonder if anyone looked up)
swallowed my human fear, counted the rungs
had opened our forties prematurely in your apartment
sure didn't make climbing any easier
that big map stretched out yawning across the bricks in your living room
spotted the city you were headed for
blame it on uninformed geography but didn't
realize you'd be completely across the country
(didn't tell you but
your cat kissed my nose from the bathroom counter
while i was peeing
and i thought it was one of the most endearing things
that probably ever happened to me)
got to your roof outta breath
all adrenaline and eyes
took off that big leather jacket lined with fleece,
wrapped it around our backs and sat
facing the city you'd be leaving and i'd be entertaining
watched the traffic crawl on the BQE
the sunset bored, you spilled your beer-
kept rolling in it innocently- ******
laughing, god i just
wanted to keep touching you
couldn't decide what to eat
both didn't wanna impose
neither of us could remember the name of that tree
littering pink slippery offspring in spring
for you and me to exclaim fondness over
you were the birth of a simplicity
it was so
terribly easy to be happy
Stormy Grey Dec 2014
There comes a time
In everyday,
Where sense of reality
Withers away,

In hours or seconds-
Days or years,
Your soul will awaken,
Along with your tears.

Red as the roses
And weeping like willows,
The windows start crying
While your lungs start to billow.

But when this time comes,
And you cant get away,
Please stick around
For at least one more day.

I know things are hard,
But they will be okay,
Please let down your guard,
We will make it someday.

Stormy
STROPHE IV

Though Zeus plan all things right,
Yet is his heart's desire full hard to trace;
Nathless in every place
Brightly it gleameth, e'en in darkest night,
Fraught with black fate to man's speech-gifted race.

ANTISTROPHE IV

Steadfast, ne'er thrown in fight,
The deed in brow of Zeus to ripeness brought;
For wrapt in shadowy night,
Tangled, unscanned by mortal sight,
Extend the pathways of his secret thought.

STROPHE V

From towering hopes mortals he hurleth prone
To utter doom; but for their fall
No force arrayeth he; for all
That gods devise is without effort wrought.
A mindful Spirit aloft on holy throne
By inborn energy achieves his thought.

ANTISTROPHE V

But let him mortal insolence behold:--
How with proud contumacy rife,
Wantons the stem in ***** life
My marriage craving;--frenzy over-bold,
Spur ever-pricking, goads them on to fate,
By ruin taught their folly all too late.

STROPHE VI

Thus I complain, in piteous strain,
Grief-laden, tear-evoking, shrill;
Ah woe is me! woe! woe!
Dirge-like it sounds; mine own death-trill
I pour, yet breathing vital air.
Hear, hill-crowned Apia, hear my prayer!
Full well, O land,
My voice barbaric thou canst understand;
While oft with rendings I assail
My byssine vesture and Sidonian veil.

ANTISTROPHE VI

My nuptial right in Heaven's pure sight
Pollution were, death-laden, rude;
Ah woe is me! woe! woe!
Alas for sorrow's murky brood!
Where will this billow hurl me? Where?
Hear, hill-crowned Apia, hear my prayer;
Full well, O land,
My voice barbaric thou canst understand,
While oft with rendings I assail
My byssine vesture and Sidonian veil.

STROPHE VII

The oar indeed and home with sails
Flax-tissued, swelled with favoring gales,
Staunch to the wave, from spear-storm free,
Have to this shore escorted me,
Nor so far blame I destiny.
But may the all-seeing Father send
In fitting time propitious end;
So our dread Mother's mighty brood,
The lordly couch may 'scape, ah me,
Unwedded, unsubdued!

ANTISTROPHE VII

Meeting my will with will divine,
Daughter of Zeus, who here dost hold
Steadfast thy sacred shrine,--
Me, Artemis unstained, behold,
Do thou, who sovereign might dost wield,
****** thyself, a ****** shield;

So our dread Mother's mighty brood
The lordly couch may 'scape, ah me,
Unwedded, unsubdued!
No Name Oct 2012
I’ll conceal your shifting hands,
Palms pressed,
Calluses to torn cuticles,
All thumbs and knuckles and nails,
And I don’t know her, violet-scented creeping infestation
and
How you’ve worn me down, there’s a hole in my sleeve-
And I’ve let you chew on me, sweat on me, I’ve
I’ve kept you warm
And
You used me,
You used me to conceal
illicit activities,
hands in pockets, shrugging eyes off,
never been cigarettes in there, nope,

And you let her peel me off of you, the one with violet hands
that weren’t so gentle, but violent,
voracious,
tearing in at you,
as I watched from the floor
she scratched the skin that I kept safe and warm,
and
and
Why did you leave me crumpled on the floor and then
And then let her take me home, draped over her bony shoulders
to billow like a parachute,
before she squeezed me half to death that night in her sleep?
“Build me straight, O worthy Master!
Stanch and strong, a goodly vessel,
That shall laugh at all disaster,
And with wave and whirlwind wrestle!”

The merchant’s word
Delighted the Master heard;
For his heart was in his work, and the heart
Giveth grace unto every Art.
A quiet smile played round his lips,
As the eddies and dimples of the tide
Play round the bows of ships,
That steadily at anchor ride.
And with a voice that was full of glee,
He answered, “Erelong we will launch
A vessel as goodly, and strong, and stanch,
As ever weathered a wintry sea!”
And first with nicest skill and art,
Perfect and finished in every part,
A little model the Master wrought,
Which should be to the larger plan
What the child is to the man,
Its counterpart in miniature;
That with a hand more swift and sure
The greater labor might be brought
To answer to his inward thought.
And as he labored, his mind ran o’er
The various ships that were built of yore,
And above them all, and strangest of all
Towered the Great Harry, crank and tall,
Whose picture was hanging on the wall,
With bows and stern raised high in air,
And balconies hanging here and there,
And signal lanterns and flags afloat,
And eight round towers, like those that frown
From some old castle, looking down
Upon the drawbridge and the moat.
And he said with a smile, “Our ship, I wis,
Shall be of another form than this!”
It was of another form, indeed;
Built for freight, and yet for speed,
A beautiful and gallant craft;
Broad in the beam, that the stress of the blast,
Pressing down upon sail and mast,
Might not the sharp bows overwhelm;
Broad in the beam, but sloping aft
With graceful curve and slow degrees,
That she might be docile to the helm,
And that the currents of parted seas,
Closing behind, with mighty force,
Might aid and not impede her course.

In the ship-yard stood the Master,
With the model of the vessel,
That should laugh at all disaster,
And with wave and whirlwind wrestle!
Covering many a rood of ground,
Lay the timber piled around;
Timber of chestnut, and elm, and oak,
And scattered here and there, with these,
The knarred and crooked cedar knees;
Brought from regions far away,
From Pascagoula’s sunny bay,
And the banks of the roaring Roanoke!
Ah! what a wondrous thing it is
To note how many wheels of toil
One thought, one word, can set in motion!
There ’s not a ship that sails the ocean,
But every climate, every soil,
Must bring its tribute, great or small,
And help to build the wooden wall!

The sun was rising o’er the sea,
And long the level shadows lay,
As if they, too, the beams would be
Of some great, airy argosy,
Framed and launched in a single day.
That silent architect, the sun,
Had hewn and laid them every one,
Ere the work of man was yet begun.
Beside the Master, when he spoke,
A youth, against an anchor leaning,
Listened, to catch his slightest meaning.
Only the long waves, as they broke
In ripples on the pebbly beach,
Interrupted the old man’s speech.
Beautiful they were, in sooth,
The old man and the fiery youth!
The old man, in whose busy brain
Many a ship that sailed the main
Was modelled o’er and o’er again;—
The fiery youth, who was to be
The heir of his dexterity,
The heir of his house, and his daughter’s hand,
When he had built and launched from land
What the elder head had planned.

“Thus,” said he, “will we build this ship!
Lay square the blocks upon the slip,
And follow well this plan of mine.
Choose the timbers with greatest care;
Of all that is unsound beware;
For only what is sound and strong
To this vessel shall belong.
Cedar of Maine and Georgia pine
Here together shall combine.
A goodly frame, and a goodly fame,
And the Union be her name!
For the day that gives her to the sea
Shall give my daughter unto thee!”

The Master’s word
Enraptured the young man heard;
And as he turned his face aside,
With a look of joy and a thrill of pride
Standing before
Her father’s door,
He saw the form of his promised bride.
The sun shone on her golden hair,
And her cheek was glowing fresh and fair,
With the breath of morn and the soft sea air.
Like a beauteous barge was she,
Still at rest on the sandy beach,
Just beyond the billow’s reach;
But he
Was the restless, seething, stormy sea!
Ah, how skilful grows the hand
That obeyeth Love’s command!
It is the heart, and not the brain,
That to the highest doth attain,
And he who followeth Love’s behest
Far excelleth all the rest!

Thus with the rising of the sun
Was the noble task begun,
And soon throughout the ship-yard’s bounds
Were heard the intermingled sounds
Of axes and of mallets, plied
With vigorous arms on every side;
Plied so deftly and so well,
That, ere the shadows of evening fell,
The keel of oak for a noble ship,
Scarfed and bolted, straight and strong,
Was lying ready, and stretched along
The blocks, well placed upon the slip.
Happy, thrice happy, every one
Who sees his labor well begun,
And not perplexed and multiplied,
By idly waiting for time and tide!

And when the hot, long day was o’er,
The young man at the Master’s door
Sat with the maiden calm and still,
And within the porch, a little more
Removed beyond the evening chill,
The father sat, and told them tales
Of wrecks in the great September gales,
Of pirates coasting the Spanish Main,
And ships that never came back again,
The chance and change of a sailor’s life,
Want and plenty, rest and strife,
His roving fancy, like the wind,
That nothing can stay and nothing can bind,
And the magic charm of foreign lands,
With shadows of palms, and shining sands,
Where the tumbling surf,
O’er the coral reefs of Madagascar,
Washes the feet of the swarthy Lascar,
As he lies alone and asleep on the turf.
And the trembling maiden held her breath
At the tales of that awful, pitiless sea,
With all its terror and mystery,
The dim, dark sea, so like unto Death,
That divides and yet unites mankind!
And whenever the old man paused, a gleam
From the bowl of his pipe would awhile illume
The silent group in the twilight gloom,
And thoughtful faces, as in a dream;
And for a moment one might mark
What had been hidden by the dark,
That the head of the maiden lay at rest,
Tenderly, on the young man’s breast!

Day by day the vessel grew,
With timbers fashioned strong and true,
Stemson and keelson and sternson-knee,
Till, framed with perfect symmetry,
A skeleton ship rose up to view!
And around the bows and along the side
The heavy hammers and mallets plied,
Till after many a week, at length,
Wonderful for form and strength,
Sublime in its enormous bulk,
Loomed aloft the shadowy hulk!
And around it columns of smoke, upwreathing,
Rose from the boiling, bubbling, seething
Caldron, that glowed,
And overflowed
With the black tar, heated for the sheathing.
And amid the clamors
Of clattering hammers,
He who listened heard now and then
The song of the Master and his men:—

“Build me straight, O worthy Master,
    Staunch and strong, a goodly vessel,
That shall laugh at all disaster,
    And with wave and whirlwind wrestle!”

With oaken brace and copper band,
Lay the rudder on the sand,
That, like a thought, should have control
Over the movement of the whole;
And near it the anchor, whose giant hand
Would reach down and grapple with the land,
And immovable and fast
Hold the great ship against the bellowing blast!
And at the bows an image stood,
By a cunning artist carved in wood,
With robes of white, that far behind
Seemed to be fluttering in the wind.
It was not shaped in a classic mould,
Not like a Nymph or Goddess of old,
Or Naiad rising from the water,
But modelled from the Master’s daughter!
On many a dreary and misty night,
‘T will be seen by the rays of the signal light,
Speeding along through the rain and the dark,
Like a ghost in its snow-white sark,
The pilot of some phantom bark,
Guiding the vessel, in its flight,
By a path none other knows aright!

Behold, at last,
Each tall and tapering mast
Is swung into its place;
Shrouds and stays
Holding it firm and fast!

Long ago,
In the deer-haunted forests of Maine,
When upon mountain and plain
Lay the snow,
They fell,—those lordly pines!
Those grand, majestic pines!
’Mid shouts and cheers
The jaded steers,
Panting beneath the goad,
Dragged down the weary, winding road
Those captive kings so straight and tall,
To be shorn of their streaming hair,
And naked and bare,
To feel the stress and the strain
Of the wind and the reeling main,
Whose roar
Would remind them forevermore
Of their native forests they should not see again.
And everywhere
The slender, graceful spars
Poise aloft in the air,
And at the mast-head,
White, blue, and red,
A flag unrolls the stripes and stars.
Ah! when the wanderer, lonely, friendless,
In foreign harbors shall behold
That flag unrolled,
‘T will be as a friendly hand
Stretched out from his native land,
Filling his heart with memories sweet and endless!

All is finished! and at length
Has come the bridal day
Of beauty and of strength.
To-day the vessel shall be launched!
With fleecy clouds the sky is blanched,
And o’er the bay,
Slowly, in all his splendors dight,
The great sun rises to behold the sight.

The ocean old,
Centuries old,
Strong as youth, and as uncontrolled,
Paces restless to and fro,
Up and down the sands of gold.
His beating heart is not at rest;
And far and wide,
With ceaseless flow,
His beard of snow
Heaves with the heaving of his breast.
He waits impatient for his bride.
There she stands,
With her foot upon the sands,
Decked with flags and streamers gay,
In honor of her marriage day,
Her snow-white signals fluttering, blending,
Round her like a veil descending,
Ready to be
The bride of the gray old sea.

On the deck another bride
Is standing by her lover’s side.
Shadows from the flags and shrouds,
Like the shadows cast by clouds,
Broken by many a sunny fleck,
Fall around them on the deck.

The prayer is said,
The service read,
The joyous bridegroom bows his head;
And in tears the good old Master
Shakes the brown hand of his son,
Kisses his daughter’s glowing cheek
In silence, for he cannot speak,
And ever faster
Down his own the tears begin to run.
The worthy pastor—
The shepherd of that wandering flock,
That has the ocean for its wold,
That has the vessel for its fold,
Leaping ever from rock to rock—
Spake, with accents mild and clear,
Words of warning, words of cheer,
But tedious to the bridegroom’s ear.
He knew the chart
Of the sailor’s heart,
All its pleasures and its griefs,
All its shallows and rocky reefs,
All those secret currents, that flow
With such resistless undertow,
And lift and drift, with terrible force,
The will from its moorings and its course.
Therefore he spake, and thus said he:—

“Like unto ships far off at sea,
Outward or homeward bound, are we.
Before, behind, and all around,
Floats and swings the horizon’s bound,
Seems at its distant rim to rise
And climb the crystal wall of the skies,
And then again to turn and sink,
As if we could slide from its outer brink.
Ah! it is not the sea,
It is not the sea that sinks and shelves,
But ourselves
That rock and rise
With endless and uneasy motion,
Now touching the very skies,
Now sinking into the depths of ocean.
Ah! if our souls but poise and swing
Like the compass in its brazen ring,
Ever level and ever true
To the toil and the task we have to do,
We shall sail securely, and safely reach
The Fortunate Isles, on whose shining beach
The sights we see, and the sounds we hear,
Will be those of joy and not of fear!”

Then the Master,
With a gesture of command,
Waved his hand;
And at the word,
Loud and sudden there was heard,
All around them and below,
The sound of hammers, blow on blow,
Knocking away the shores and spurs.
And see! she stirs!
She starts,—she moves,—she seems to feel
The thrill of life along her keel,
And, spurning with her foot the ground,
With one exulting, joyous bound,
She leaps into the ocean’s arms!

And lo! from the assembled crowd
There rose a shout, prolonged and loud,
That to the ocean seemed to say,
“Take her, O bridegroom, old and gray,
Take her to thy protecting arms,
With all her youth and all her charms!”

How beautiful she is! How fair
She lies within those arms, that press
Her form with many a soft caress
Of tenderness and watchful care!
Sail forth into the sea, O ship!
Through wind and wave, right onward steer!
The moistened eye, the trembling lip,
Are not the signs of doubt or fear.
Sail forth into the sea of life,
O gentle, loving, trusting wife,
And safe from all adversity
Upon the ***** of that sea
Thy comings and thy goings be!
For gentleness and love and trust
Prevail o’er angry wave and gust;
And in the wreck of noble lives
Something immortal still survives!

Thou, too, sail on, O Ship of State!
Sail on, O Union, strong and great!
Humanity with all its fears,
With all the hopes of future years,
Is hanging breathless on thy fate!
We know what Master laid thy keel,
What Workmen wrought thy ribs of steel,
Who made each mast, and sail, and rope,
What anvils rang, what hammers beat,
In what a forge and what a heat
Were shaped the anchors of thy hope!
Fear not each sudden sound and shock,
‘T is of the wave and not the rock;
‘T is but the flapping of the sail,
And not a rent made by the gale!
In spite of rock and tempest’s roar,
In spite of false lights on the shore,
Sail on, nor fear to breast the sea!
Our hearts, our hopes, are all with thee,
Our hearts, our hopes, our prayers, our tears,
Our faith triumphant o’er our fears,
Are all with thee,—are all with thee!
This silk is eager for damp skin.
It clings greedily to the peaks of
your topography, obscuring, like
fog, only the depressions.
I am a basin filled with fluid,
eager to capsize,
to spill out over this tile floor
like so much vanilla bath water.
At your heat, I boil.
I billow out from beneath
cream and sugar taffeta
with the whispered sigh of
softly hissing steam and
in tendrils, my tempestuous
mist and moisture form
settles lightly into your
crevices.
April 2019
Against the groaning mast I stand,
The Atlantic surges swell,
To bear me from my native land
And Zoл's wild farewell.

From billow upon billow hurl'd
I can yet hear her say,
'And is there nothing in the world
Worth one short hour's delay?'

'Alas, my Zoл! were it thus,
I should not sail alone,
Nor seas nor fates had parted us,
But are you all my own?'

Thus were it, never would burst forth
My sighs, Heaven knows how true!
But, though to me of little worth,
The world is much to you.

'Yes,' you shall say, when once the dream
(So hard to break!) is o'er,
'My love was very dear to him,
My fame and peace were more.'
Nigel Morgan Oct 2013
In the clear light of morning, an October morning, at the beginning of this properly autumn month, he had felt sad: that he’d broken a promise to himself the afternoon before. It was her voice on the phone, and then that text. He had promised he would no longer write intimately, about their intimacy, remembering what has passed between them, which had so marked him. All it took was this flavour of her voice, a slowness in her diction, and he could not help himself: such a rush of images, of moments, sensations. He knew it was unwise to linger over any of these things because he felt sure she did not. That was no longer her way, if it ever had been her way, and he imagined that, with her accustomed kindness and generosity, she had quietly put such things aside. So on this gentle morning, he was upset that he had once again visited that box of treasures in the white room that he kept for her in his imagination house. This was not the route to happiness. He would throw away the key.

He needed consolation. Once he had turned to her letters, to catch that flavour of her, those things that surrounded her, a kind of aura that held within it her secret self. Now, there was a print above his desk that he loved (Spurn marks: seaweed #4), her origami bird, the print of a painting of an African woman and child given to him on his birthday (when he had first kissed her, tentatively on her left cheek,) and her dear photograph, dear because he knew he looked at it more times in a day than he could possibly admit to.

It needed to be a book, a passage he could read to remind him there were so many other joys in life alongside the joy he felt at the thought of her, a joy he felt he might never consummate. He took Ronald Blythe’s Word from Wormingford off the shelf and turned to the essay for the beginning of October. Ronnie had been watching the late September clouds, those armadas sailing across the skies. In a moment he was somewhere else, in a life he recognised so acutely, those East Anglian places of his early manhood. In this present time, in North Yorkshire, he would sit and watched such clouds from a bench above Filey Bay, clouds that David Hockney celebrated in his paintings of the Wolds.

Yesterday afternoon there had been a break in the weather after a week of mist and rain. It had found him gazing at a drama in the skies above the trees in his park. He had walked to the Rose Garden with its redundant conservatory and paired Pelicans atop its gateposts, where once he’d sat with his infant children as they’d slept. There were roses still, a little tattered, but colourful. Like Ronnie he had spent time cloud watching, until the geese from the nearby lake erupted into flight. Always a marvel of movement !

Blythe’s essays were always so rich in the sheer breadth and content of their meditations. There was always some new knowledge to be had, things to Google or better still ‘go to the book.’ This was when he loved what few books now remained from his library. He had Luke Howard’s essay on The Modification of Clouds. A Quaker, Howard was admired by Goethe (they corresponded) and Shelley, John Constable and John Ruskin (who used Howard’s cloud classifications in his Modern Painters). He then went to find Shelley’s The Cloud (and in so doing uncovered several books that he’d forgotten he owned). He read the last verse that once he had learnt by heart . . .

I am the daughter of Earth and Water,
And the nursling of the Sky;
I pass through the pores, of the ocean and shores;
I change, but I cannot die --
For after the rain, when with never a stain
The pavilion of Heaven is bare,
And the winds and sunbeams, with their convex gleams,
Build up the blue dome of Air
I silently laugh at my own cenotaph
And out of the caverns of rain,
Like a child from the womb, live a ghost from the tomb,
I arise, and unbuild it again.

Hmm, he thought, such rhyme and rhythm. And, via Blythe recalling the Chinese, he then pictured the official from the emperor’s counting house bringing guests home after work to gaze at the cloudscapes over the Tai Mountains from his humble balcony. Nothing was to be said, an hour of silence was the convention. In a blink he remembered the autumn poem by Lai Bai where ‘floating clouds seem to have no end.’

I climb up high and look on the four seas,
Heaven and earth spreading out so far.
Frost blankets all the stuff of autumn,
The wind blows with the great desert's cold.
The eastward-flowing water is immense,
All the ten thousand things billow.
The white sun's passing brightness fades,
Floating clouds seem to have no end.
Swallows and sparrows nest in the wutong tree,
Yuan and luan birds perch among jujube thorns.
Now it's time to head on back again,
I flick my sword and sing Taking the Hard Road.

He had to take a deep breath not to think too deeply about The Clouds and Rain, that metaphor for the arts of the bedchamber. But Ronnie’s 500 words sent him back to Wormingford and the bedbound old lady he describes who spent her days watching the clouds.

As he closed the book he felt a little better, ready to face the day, and more important ready to place his thoughts in a right place, a comfortable and secure place, quiet and respectful, however much he might seek to possess each night her Lotus pond and make those flowers of fire blossom within

— The End —