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Ellis Reyes May 2019
Anathema: Cursed by Ecclesiastical Authority

She blamed me for her excommunication
She blamed me for her banishment
She blamed me for her ostracization
She blamed me for her condemnation
She blamed me for her fear
She blamed me for her shame
She blamed me for her loneliness disgrace humiliation suffering
She blamed me for her pain
She blamed me for her agony
She blamed me for her dishonor
She blamed me for her punishment
She blamed me for her tribulation
She blamed me for her immolation

My name is Anathema.
She is my mother
Lizzy Lo Dec 2012
She blamed her dad,
Or lack of one,
Who left when she was a little girl.

She blamed her mom,
And the men she brought home,
Night after night after night after night.

She blamed her school,
Who didn't understand
Why she didn't understand what they told her to do.

She blamed her friends,
Who left her, abandoned,
When she had nothing left she could give.

She blamed the stories
She read as a kid,
Tricking her mind with love and happy endings.

She blamed her first boyfriend
Who stole her virginity,
And left her: scared and cold and alone.

Se blamed society
And all it's minions
For casting her away like she was a freak.

She blamed the doctors
For lying to her.
Telling her she was okay when she knew she wasn't.

But most of all,
She blamed herself.
For being unable to give life a second chance.
Sam Temple Aug 2015
I think, Lorraine, it was the rain
gently pattering upon my pane
creating rhythm in my sleeping brain
encouraging chaos bordering insane
I blamed it ,Lorraine, on the falling rain.

A vison arose of a windswept plain
saddleless riders in the north of Spain
granting a stranger a sultry dame
standing in the pouring rain…
I think, Lorraine, it was the rain.

Her eyes expressed complete distain
looking at fools pretending to reign
over lands with dragons left un-slain
me, I could only sit and complain
I blamed it, Lorraine, on the falling rain.

I heard a ghost howl in pain
bitten by a rabid Dane
fleeting images of regret and shame
flashed across my face again…
I think, Lorraine, it was the rain.

I blamed it, Lorraine, on the falling rain
the day you told me I was your bane
you wished to see me die alone in pain
with nothing but the falling rain….
I think, Lorraine, it was the rain.

Like the blackest tar running through my vein
the three a.m. creature threw me on a plane
sent me sailing down the next of a Crane
U-turn careening into the oncoming lane
I blamed it, Lorraine, on the falling rain.

When at last our eyes met her dusty mane
created an aura I can’t explain
but enveloped the world in love without shame
giving the people joy without pain
I think, Lorraine, it was the rain.

I think, Lorraine, it was the rain
which fed the stranger on the train
looking to rob the Spanish Main
a thought I considered to be to framed…
I blamed it, Lorraine, on the falling rain.

Left in the twilight listening without restrain
these visions creep into my insomniac brain
as drip after drip crash upon my pane
I think, Lorraine, it was the rain…
I blamed it, Lorraine, on the falling rain.
Taylor May 2018
may 24, 2017
last suicide attempt
everyone blamed you
it was him
he hurt you
why do you even talk to him still?

you were never the reason
you broke up with me that night
and i snapped
the only thing that kept me happy
left
and i had
zero reason to
live

it was never your fault...
I should not have blamed only my father, but,
he was the first to introduce me to
raw and stupid hatred.
he was really best at it: anything and everything made him
mad-things of the slightest consequence brought his hatred quickly
to the surface
and I seemed to be the main source of his
irritation.
I did not fear him
but his rages made me ill at heart
for he was most of my world then
and it was a world of horror but I should not have blamed only
my father
for when I left that... home... I found his counterparts
everywhere: my father was only a small part of the
whole, though he was the best at hatred
I was ever to meet.
but others were very good at it too: some of the
foremen, some of the street bums, some of the women
I was to live with,
most of the women, were gifted at
hating-blaming my voice, my actions, my presence
blaming me
for what they, in retrospect, had failed
at.
I was simply the target of their discontent
and in some real sense
they blamed me
for not being able to rouse them
out of a failed past; what they didn't consider was
that I had my troubles too-most of them caused by
simply living with them.

I am a dolt of a man, easily made happy or even
stupidly happy almost without cause
and left alone I am mostly content.

but I've lived so often and so long with this hatred
that
my only freedom, my only peace is when I am away from
them, when I am anywhere else, no matter where-
some fat old waitress bringing me a cup of coffee
is in comparison
like a fresh wild wind blowing.
Smudge Feb 2018
I blamed the universe... Before I blamed you.

You held a blindfold over my eyes with tears in it; allowed me to sight only part of the scene before me.

I blamed the trees with the burnt branches; they bent ever so slightly to tickle you and lure you out to play.
I blamed your tribe; they put you on a pedastal, a pedastal that did not stay still for you to lay.

I blamed the leaves and the salt; they coerced you to mould into someone
Unknown to me.
Unknown to you.
I blamed myself; as I knew the blade would not go as deep as it would, if I Confessed to blaming you.

But

In the end..... You made the choices that brought a shard of glass down upon our ties.
I say you blindfolded me... But in reality I know, it was me, me holding that blindfold....allowing you to recite all those lies.

If only I knew how colourful the world could be without it obstructing my view.

Red and yellow and pink and green
Purple and orange and blue.......

I can now sing a rainbow,
Sing a rainbow,
Sing a rainbow too.
The truth can open your eyes to so much more. Don't ignore it, face it and rise above it.... Begin to live.
Jimmy Solanki Mar 2015
Blamed it
Irresistible gravity around
Blamed it
Sinking in the ground
Faster than the speed of light
Blamed it all
On a tunnel of hyperspace
Faster than the speed of light

Waiting for explanations
Hope and retributions
Waiting for you

A moment passes
Or is it a year?
Questions become mundane
A moment passes
Inimitable carrier
Waiting for explanations

Faster than the speed of light
Blamed it
On nothingness
And blamed
My existence
****** in with no escape
The tape stuck in my head
My resistance
Slowly being replaced
By despair instead
Depression sadness sad low blame introspection wonder despair
Maine Dela Cruz Dec 2017
Forgetting is an act of human will
An animal does not forget the scent of a blood trail
Nor the track of lightning through the trees
It’s the smell of survival
The sound of another day existing.
What is thicker than water
But the blood of our brothers and sisters
Who had forgotten too soon how
We were weaved into a common thread?
The bloodline we shared, forgotten, taken in vain
They have conquered from us the land of our ancestors
Centuries old, stories left untold
They shoved the life out of us
Leaving us indelible marks of shame.

Forgetting is an act of human will
But we have not forgotten how to blame
So we blamed the gods,
We blamed our fathers and the fathers of their fathers
We blamed the books
We blamed the espresso machine
We blamed all that was to blame
We blamed because we were helpless.

Forgetting is an act of human will
But we remember. We do remember how we spoke
To faces with perfect set of teeth
They showed us the rooms of dark wood floors
They stood on the doorway. They moved when our
Eyes passed them. Showing us one corner
Like every other corner.
They showed us how to turn on the water,
Where the light switches are,
Which door would lead to another.
They took our money. They smiled.
“Here is my face,” they always said.
Some hollow, some swollen, some sagging
Flesh and bones. “You will know me by this face.”

Forgetting is an act of human will
But we remember how we mastered the language
Of the wild
A jungle with no trees, they call it “metropolis”
Where streetlamps shone brighter than the stars,
Where shadows aren’t made of animals
Meant for bedtime stories
Where men’s faces, pink and stained
With camouflage, shined with the sweat of the hunt
Their dogs knew us by our accents
The plight wasn’t over after all.

Forgetting is an act of human will
But we chose to remember
We’ll never forget.
"Promdi" is a Filipino slang word derived from the English phrase “from the” which is short for “from the province.”
T Jones Aug 2014
Not a poem but in protest of flagging truth about racism in Traverse City, Michigan


Traverse City, Michigan: Racism is still alive and well in our area.

We weren't always welcoming
Cross burning's (City of Traverse City, MI)
I'm born and raised in Traverse City, Michigan and still living in the same neighborhood where I grew up. I can remember when blacks were not welcome in most parts of town and the one or two around were military visitors.

We had two known cross burning incidents. One back in the late 80's or early 90's the other was around 1924, ******* groups like Ku Klux **** was behind both cross burning incidents. I found old articles on the earlier one but someone is trying hard to white wash history of Traverse City by hiding evidence of the most resent one. Ones like me who were there remember those dark days like it was yesterday. It don't bode well for tourism or the Cherry Festival if there's a record of racism in our city.

Copy pasting one two different retelling of story reported by our sometimes biased Record Eagle articles regarding the first and and will continue to dig for the other one.

January 31, 2009
KKK was active in early '20s

The 1924 bombings and cross burnings in downtown Traverse City were not the first **** activity in northern Michigan.

The Record-Eagle reported flaming crosses in the Mancelona area on Aug. 1, 1923, a full year before. Six weeks later, Traverse City commissioners refused the **** permission to hold a Sept. 17 open-air meeting at the corner of Front and Cass.

About 300 people showed up anyway and marched to a vacant lot west of Front and Union after the unidentified property owner gave permission, carefully noting that it "did not commit him to any relationship with the organization," the newspaper said.

The Record-Eagle also passed on information from an identified **** source in its Sept. 17 report:

Two, maybe three organizers had worked for weeks in Traverse City. About 150 Traverse City men from "among the leading citizens" had joined. An open-air ritual with the traditional fiery cross burning on a hillside would be held "sometime but not yet" in or near Traverse City, and it would be "merely a part of the **** ceremonies and have no special significance."

People who expected to see hooded men in white robes performing rites at the Sept. 17 rally were bound to be disappointed, the paper said. A new state law banned wearing masks in public. It also would be difficult to tell how many in the audience were KKK members because "every person who has signed the Ku Klux card has pledged to keep his membership an absolute secret."


Traverse City, Michigan wasn't always welcoming to people of color.


Traverse City Record-Eagle

February 1, 2009
Ku Klux **** terrorizes TC in 1924

KKK cross burnings, explosions rock city

By LORAINE ANDERSON
Black History Month has special significance, since it begins fewer than two weeks after the nation's historic inauguration of its first black president, Barack Obama.

But there are parts of that history that Traverse City, like the rest of the nation, would rather forget. The city never had a large black population, but it did not escape a visit from the Ku Klux **** during a frightening night of downtown explosions and cross burnings on Aug. 9, 1924.

Traverse City has never seen anything like that night of terror. Buildings shook. Store windows cracked and shattered. Houses as far away as 16th Street quaked, the Record-Eagle reported.

And though outside agitators were blamed, some local people may have been involved.

It started about 8 p.m. after three explosions went off across the river from the Lyric Theatre, where the State is today.

The crowd at the Lyric all but stampeded toward the door as women and children screamed. Panicked shoppers spilled out of downtown stores. City police phones jangled with alarm.

A large cross burned on the north side of the Boardman River near Cass Street. About 50 smaller burning crosses appeared almost simultaneously at the centers of intersections across the city. Each was crudely nailed together and swathed in oil-soaked rags. Sparks flew when several cars struck them. A city fire truck raced through town to douse flames.

Then, a "touring car" with four men, robed and hooded, though not masked, slowly trolled down Front Street carrying a sign surrounded by red flares blazing three letters: KKK.

Copies of the Ku Klux **** newspaper, "The Fiery Cross," later were found downtown, and police determined that at least two cars were involved in planting and lighting the crosses.

**** leaders called the explosions and flaming crosses a recruiting gimmick, but it was more than that. The 1920s was a reactionary time in the United States. The **** had risen again, starting in 1915, widening its anti-black focus to Jews, Catholics and immigrants, particularly those from southeastern Europe. Its membership was strongest in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.

The ****'s most powerful year was 1924, when it reached an all-time high of 5 million members nationwide and virtually controlled the government of Indiana. Its most popular slogan was "100 percent pure American."

The **** had a solid base of support in Michigan. The **** fielded two candidates in the Republican gubernatorial primary in 1924 and a ****-backed candidate was elected mayor of Flint. A write-in **** candidate even made a strong showing in a Detroit mayoral race.

In June 1924, 1,000 men joined the KKK in an Oakland County cross burning attended by about 8,000 people. Traverse City's demonstration took place just two months later. But who was really behind it?

"There is some doubt among the authorities as to whether the offenses were actually committed by local people or men from outside. They believe that local people were associated in the affair," the Record-Eagle reported.

An unidentified spokesman for the local **** denied responsibility, speculating that it was the work of **** enemies or rogue Klansmen. He told the Record-Eagle that the **** repudiated terror tactics and burning of "unwatched crosses."

Two weeks after the bombing, city police obtained felony and misdemeanor arrest warrants accusing Ku Klux **** organizer Basil Carleton of Richmond, Ind., of setting off explosives. Indiana police arrested him on Aug. 29.

Witnesses testified in two trials in December and January that Carleton had purchased 25 pounds of dynamite, fuses and three caps from Hannah & Lay Mercantile Co. about two hours before the explosions. A Park Place Hotel clerk said he saw Carleton hurrying away from the direction of the explosions about 10 minutes later. Two **** members testified that Carleton was not at the scene.

Yet he was never convicted. Juries acquitted him in both cases because the prosecutor could not prove to their satisfaction that he was at the scene of the explosion or that he personally set off the dynamite.

The bomber escaped justice. But the good news was that in Traverse City, no night of terror like that happened again.

It was this event that sparked the cross burning in Traverse City. We had only one black family in our city, when Betty Ponder and her family left Traverse City for the first time due to no one wanting to rent to them, population of blacks in our predominately white city drop to zero.


******* Movement Targets Northern Michigan

by Robert Downes

National Alliance advocates the creation of "two Americas"

Traverse City, Mich., noted primarily for its beaches, tourists and cherry pie values, appears to be erupting as a national battleground of opinion over the ******* movement, with forces on both sides of the issue coming out of the woodwork to vent their outrage over racial issues.
On Thursday, June 5, residents along stretches of Washington and Front streets in town came home to find a slick package of information from the National Alliance hanging from their doorknobs. An outgrowth of the American **** Party, the National Alliance is a ******* group which advocates the creation of "two Americas," one of which would be "White Space only with no Jews or blacks." The Alliance, advocates genocidal practices if need be to achieve its goals, and plans to distribute 1,000 information packets in Northern Michigan.

Protest organized to oppose July "NordicFest"
The incident arose only a day after more than 150 people from throughout Northern Michigan gathered at a "Hate-Free TC" meeting to oppose the NordicFest, a skinhead rock festival sponsored by the Ku Klux ****, to be held at a secret location 20 miles south of town, July 3-6.
The NordicFest is being advertised on the Internet and will feature at least six skinhead bands featured on Stormfront Records and Resistance Records -- both of which are purveyors of neo-**** hate music. It will also reportedly feature speakers from the Ku Klux **** and Aryan Nations.

Thus far, the NordicFest's location has been a closely-kept secret by David Neumann of Bloodbond Enterprizes, the concert organizer and a former director of the Michigan Knights of the Ku Klux ****. Neumann has told local media that 300 tickets have been sold for the concert -- about half the number he expects to sell. Reportedly, concertgoers will be provided with maps to the secret location at a checkpoint.

Bands expected to play at the NordicFest include Intimidation One, Aggravated Assault, Blue Eyed Devils, Max Resist and the Hooligans, and No Alibi.

Local churches offering seminars on the ******* movement and the importance of diversity
GATHERING STORM

Journalists have made inquiries on the NordicFest from as far away as London, New York and Colorado as a result of the Northern Express story circulating on the Internet. A segment for National Public Radio is expected to take the issue nationwide, possibly focusing the world's attention on Traverse City on the eve of the National Cherry Festival -- an event which draws more than half a million visitors, many of them from ethnic minorities.
"We're creating a rainbow ribbon that we hope everyone will wear in rejection of skinheads and the ****," said Rabbi Stacey Fine of Hate-Free TC. "We hope to have hundreds of ribbons during the time the **** is here, available from downtown merchants."

Fine says the group also hopes to march in the National Cherry Royale Parade with a three-by-eight-foot banner covered with thousands of signatures in a show of support for racial and cultural diversity. Thus far, Cherry Festival officials say they have received no applications from Hate-Free T.C., but will consider the request if approached.

Dottie Kye of Hate-Free TC says the group doesn't plan to try stopping the NordicFest despite their opposition ot the concert. "We're ignoring it," Kye says. "We celebrate anyone's right to organize and free speech. But our thing is unity and celebrating diversity." In addition to several church seminars on the ******* movement and the importance of diversity, Hate-Free TC is organizing a three-day "Unity Festival" which will feature dozens of musicians, artists, poets, actors and peace activists at the Traverse City Opera House, July 3-6.

Concert organizers Tim Hall and Tom Emmott say that more than 40 musical acts will send a pro-diversity message to area teens, with performers including Willie Kye, Alright Already, John Greilick, Samantha Moore, the Motor Town Juke Boys, Bentley Filmore, the Sisters Grimm, and Lack of Afro, among many others. A concert with Fishbone is planned for later in the month.

"Even if the NordicFest doesn't happen, something positive is going to come of it because it gets people thinking about the prevention of violence"
THE TEEN CONNECTION

The Unity Fest counter-concert is seen as a vital tool in fighting the influence of the ******* movement on teens in the area. After the initial story broke, the buzz in local high schools was that the NordicFest would be offering free beer to minors. Although that notion is clearly erroneous, a small number of teens in the area still cling to the idea and have also been attracted by the rebellious nature of the skinhead rock scene.
Tim Hall believes that his Unity Fest concert will help turn that tide. The three-day concert will be located in the heart of Traverse City in the old City Opera House, with easy access for the hundreds of teens who hang out downtown, often with little to do. "Our message is going to be one that values racial and cultural diversity," Hall said. "And we've had a great response so far. We had to put a lid on the performers when we reached 40 acts, because everyone wants to play at this event."

The Unity Fest will also coincide with the Annual Reggie Box Memorial Blues Blast, which was created five years ago to bring the heritage of black music to Northern Michigan for the overwhelmingly white Cherry Festival. This year's Blues Blast will feature John Mayall, Marcia Ball and the Bihlman Bros. in a free concert downtown on July 6. The concert will also feature a strong message promoting diversity.

The law enforcement view Traverse City Police Chief Ralph Soffredine says members of the law enforcement community, including the State Police and sheriffs from Grand Traverse and Wexford counties, are taking a wait-and-see approach as to whether the NordicFest will even be held.

"People ask what we would do if the skinheads wanted to march, and it's our position that they have the same rights under the First Amendment as anyone as long as they're obeying the law," Soffredine said. "It's a neutral situation for us. We just want to maintain the peace."

He added that skinheads coming to Traverse City would be treated "no different than if longhairs come into town, or square dancers. We'd certainly observe them and respond if there's trouble."

The chief noted that a similar event occurred in the Buckley area several years ago when several motorcycle gangs gathered for a rally. While the event was monitored by local police agencies, few people in the area knew that it occurred.

"Even if the NordicFest doesn't happen, something positive is going to come of it because it gets people thinking about the prevention of violence, which has become a serious problem in our community and our schools," he concluded. "The unfortunate thing is that it sometimes takes a ******* or a racial issue for people to get active."

"Sheriff Barr implies that people who have the courage to confront them will be put in jail."
ANGER FROM ACTIVISTS

Not everyone is happy with the neutral attitude of law enforcement. Judy Lowenzahn of Traverse City thinks that local police agencies should get tough on the **** concert, which has no legally-required bond or liquor license.
"These hateful groups are using skinhead music to recruit soldiers for their facist movement," Lowenzahn said. "If they are allowed to hold this event, in violation of local, state and federal laws and in violation of common decency, we will be capitve audience to their deranged homophobic, anti-semitic, racist, sexist ideology. Those who protest this message, along with those who are their scapegoats will be targets for hate crimes."

Lowenzahn upbraided Grand Traverse County Sheriff Barr after he made comments in a local paper that "I'd just as soon personally let them have their little event and be on their way." Barr added that if there was a confrontation between the skinheads and protestors, "there's going to be someone in jail."

"Does Sheriff Barr suggest that people of color and others who don't fit the aryan model hide inside their homes for the holiday weekend?" Lowenzhan responded. "Rather than offer a plan to protect the community from the violence that grows whenever white supremecists do outreach, Sheriff Barr implies that people who have the courage to confront them will be put in jail."

Northern Michigan targeted because of the predominantly white population
KLUELESS

Up to now, the vast majority of Northern Michigan residents have been klueless on the **** and the ******* movement. Many, for instance, had no idea that there even was a Ku Klux **** operating in the region until Neumann revealed that there are about 60 members operating mostly as "a fraternal organization" between ******* and the Mackinac Bridge.
Similarly, the existence and agenda of the National Alliance is all-ne
Cyril Blythe Sep 2012
I followed him down the trail until we got to the mouth of the mines. The life and energy of the surrounding maples and birches seemed to come to a still and then die as we walked closer, closer. The air was cold and dark and damp and smelt of mold and moths. Delvos stepped into the darkness anyways.
“Well, girl, you coming or aren’t you?”
I could see his yellowed tobacco teeth form into a slimy smile as I stepped out of the sun. It was still inside. The canary chirped.
“This tunnel is just the mouth to over two hundred others exactly like it. Stay close. Last thing I need this month is National Geographic on my *** for losing one of their puppet girls.”
“Delvos, ****. I have two masters degrees.” He rolled his eyes.
“Spare me.” He trotted off around the corner to the left, whistling.
“I survived alone in the jungles of Bolivia alone for two months chasing an Azara’s Spinetail. I climbed the tallest mountain in Nepal shooting Satyr Tragopans along the cliff faces. In Peru I…” Suddenly I felt the weight of the darkness. In my blinding anger I lost track of his lantern. I stopped, my heartbeat picked up, and I tried to remind myself of what I did in Peru.
I followed a Diurnal Peruvian Pygmy-Owl across the gravel tops of the Andes Mountains, no light but the Southern Cross and waning moon above. I am not scared of darkness. I am not scared of darkness.
I stopped to listen. Somewhere in front of me the canary chirped.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

“I vaguely remember Delvos helping me to my feet, but leaving the mine was a complete haze.” I told the panel back in D.C., “It wasn’t until we had crossed the stream on the way back to the cabin that I began to feel myself again. Even then, I felt like I was living a dream. When we got back to the cabin the sight of the lively yellow canaries in their coops made me cry. Delvos brought me a bottle of water and told me I needed to hit the trail because the sun set early in the winter, so I le
Meena Menon Sep 2021
Flicker Shimmer Glow

The brightest star can shine even with thick black velvet draped over it.  
Quartz, lime and salt crystals formed a glass ball.
The dark womb held me, warm and soft.  
My mom called my cries when I was born the most sorrowful sound she had ever heard.  
She said she’d never heard a baby make a sound like that.    
I’d open my eyes in low light until the world’s light healed rather than hurt.  
The summer before eighth grade, July 1992,
I watched a shooting star burn by at 100,000 miles per hour as I stood on the balcony  
while my family celebrated my birthday inside.  
It made it into the earth’s atmosphere
but it didn’t look like it was coming down;
I know it didn’t hit the ground but it burned something in the time it was here.  
The glass ball of my life cracked inside.  
Light reflected off the salt crystal cracks.  
I saw the beauty of the light within.  
Nacre from my shell kept those cracks from getting worse,
a wild pearl as defense mechanism.  
In 2001, I quit my job after they melted and poured tar all over my life.  
All summer literature class bathtubs filled with rose hip oil cleaned the tar.  
That fall logic and epistemology classes spewed black ink all over my philosophy
written over ten years then.  
Tar turned to asphalt when I met someone from my old job for a drink in November
and it paved a road for my life that went to the hospital I was in that December
where it sealed the roof on my life
when I was almost murdered there
and in February after meeting her for another drink.  
They lit a fire at the top of the glacier and pushed the burning pile of black coal off the edge,
burnt red, looking like flames falling into the valley.  
While that blazed the side of the cliff something lit an incandescent light.  
The electricity from the metal lightbulb ***** went through wires and heated the filament between until it glowed.  
I began putting more work into emotional balance from things I learned at AA meetings.  
In Spring 2003, the damage that the doctors at the hospital in 2001 had done
made it harder for light to reflect from the cracks in the glass ball.
I’d been eating healthy and trying to get regular exercises since 1994
but in Spring 2003 I began swimming for an hour every morning .  
The water washed the pollution from the burning coals off
And then I escaped in July.  
I moved to London to study English Language and Linguistics.  
I would’ve studied English Language and Literature.  
I did well until Spring 2004 when I thought I was being stalked.  
I thought I was manic.  
I thought I was being stalked.  
I went home and didn’t go back for my exams after spring holiday.  
Because I felt traumatized and couldn’t write poetry anymore,
I used black ink to write my notes for my book on trauma and the Russian Revolution.
I started teaching myself German.  
I stayed healthy.  
In 2005, my parents went to visit my mom’s family in Malaysia for two weeks.
I thought I was being stalked.  
I knew I wasn’t manic.  
I thought I was being stalked.  
I told my parents when they came home.  
They thought I was manic.  
I showed them the shoe prints in the snow of different sizes from the woods to the windows.  
They thought I was manic.  
I was outside of my comfort zone.  
I moved to California. I found light.  
I made light,
the light reflected off the salt crystals I used to heal the violence inflicted on me from then on.  
The light turned the traffic lights to not just green from red
but amber and blue.  
The light turned the car signals left and right.  
The light reflected off of salt crystals, light emitting diodes,
electrical energy turned directly to light,
electroluminescence.  
The electrical currents flowed through,
illuminating.  
Alone in the world, I moved to California in July 2005
but in August  I called the person I escaped in 2003,
the sulfur and nitrogen that I hated.  
He didn’t think I was manic but I never said anything.
I never told him why I asked him to move out to California.  
When his coal seemed like only pollution,
I asked him to leave.  
He threatened me.  
I called the authorities.  
They left me there.
He laughed.  
Then the violence came.  
****:  stabbed and punched, my ****** bruised, purple and swollen.  
The light barely reflected from the glass ball wIth cracks through all the acid rain, smoke and haze.
It would take me half an hour to get my body to do what my mind told it to after.  
My dad told me my mom had her cancer removed.
The next day, the coal said if I wanted him to leave he’d leave.  
I booked his ticket.
I drove him to the airport.  
Black clouds gushed the night before for the first time in months,
the sky clear after the rain.  
He was gone and I was free,
melted glass, heated up and poured—
looked like fire,
looked like the Snow Moon in February
with Mercury in the morning sky.  
I worked through ****.  
I worked to overcome trauma.  
Electricity between touch and love caused acid rain, smoke, haze, and mercury
to light the discharge lamps, streetlights and parking lot lights.
Then I changed the direction of the light waves.  
Like lead glass breaks up the light,
lead from the coal, cleaned and replaced by potassium,
glass cut clearly, refracting the light,
electrolytes,
electrical signals lit through my body,
thick black velvet drapes gone.  





















Lava

I think that someone wrote into some palm leaf a manuscript, a gift, a contract.  
After my parents wedding, while they were still in India,
they found out that my dad’s father and my mom’s grandfather worked for kings administering temples and collecting money for their king from the farmers that worked the rice paddies each king owned.  They both left their homes before they left for college.  
My dad, a son of a brahmin’s son,
grew up in his grandmother’s house.  
His mother was not a Brahmin.  
My mother grew up in Malaysia where she saw the children from the rubber plantation
when she walked to school.  
She doesn’t say what caste she is.  
He went to his father’s house, then college.  
He worked, then went to England, then Canada.  
She went to India then Canada.  
They moved to the United States around Christmas 1978
with my brother while she was pregnant with me.  
My father signed a contract with my mother.  
My parents took ashes and formed rock,
the residue left in brass pots in India,
the rocks, so hot, they turned back to lava miles away before turning back to ash again,
then back to rock,
the lava from a super volcano,
the ash purple and red.  


















Circles on a Moss Covered Volcano

The eruption beatifies the magma.  
It becomes obsidian,
only breaks with a fracture,
smooth circles where it breaks.  

My mom was born on the grass
on a lawn
in a moss covered canyon at the top of a volcanic island.  
My grandfather lived in Malaysia before the Japanese occupied.  
When the volcano erupted,
the lava dried at the ocean into black sand.  
The British allied with the Communist Party of Malaysia—
after they organized.  
After the Americans defeated the Japanese at Pearl Harbor,
the British took over Malaysia again.  
They kept different groups apart claiming they were helping them.  
The black sand had smooth pebbles and sharp rocks.  
Ethnic Malay farmers lived in Kampongs, villages.  
Indians lived on plantations.  
The Chinese lived in towns and urban areas.  
Ethnic Malays wanted independence.
In 1946, after strikes, demonstrations, and boycotts
the British agreed to work with them.  
The predominantly Chinese Communist Party of Malaysia went underground,
guerrilla warfare against the British,
claiming their fight was for independence.  
For the British, that emergency required vast powers
of arrest, detention without trial and deportation to defeat terrorism.  
The Emergency became less unpopular as the terrorism became worse.  
The British were the iron that brought oxygen through my mom’s body.  
She loved riding on her father’s motorcycle with him
by the plantations,
through the Kampongs
and to the city, half an hour away.  
The British left Malaysia independent in 1957
with Malaysian nationalists holding most state and federal government offices.  
As the black sand stretches towards the ocean,
it becomes big stones of dried lava, flat and smooth.  

My mom thought her father and her uncle were subservient to the British.  
She thought all things, all people were equal.  
When her father died when she was 16, 1965,
they moved to India,
my mother,
a foreigner in India, though she’s Indian.  
She loved rock and roll and mini skirts
and didn’t speak the local language.  
On the dried black lava,
it can be hard to know the molten lava flickers underneath there.  
Before the Korean War,
though Britain and the United States wanted
an aggressive resolution
condemning North Korea,
they were happy
that India supported a draft resolution
condemning North Korea
for breach of the peace.  
During the Korean War,
India, supported by Third World and other Commonwealth nations,
opposed United States’ proposals.
They were able to change the U.S. resolution
to include the proposals they wanted
and helped end the war.  
China wanted the respect of Third World nations
and saw the United States as imperialist.  
China thought India was a threat to the Third World
by taking aid from the United States and the Soviets.  
Pakistan could help with that and a seat at the United Nations.  
China wanted Taiwan’s seat at the UN.
My mother went to live with her uncle,
a communist negotiator for a corporation,
in India.  
A poet,
he threw parties and invited other artists, musicians and writers.  
I have the same brown hyperpigmentation at my joints that he had.  
During the day, only the steam from the hot lava can be seen.  
In 1965, Pakistani forces went into Jammu and Kashmir with China’s support.  
China threatened India after India sent its troops in.  
Then they threatened again before sending their troops to the Indian border.  
The United States stopped aid to Pakistan and India.
Pakistan agreed to the UN ceasefire agreement.  
Pakistan helped China get a seat at the UN
and tried to keep the west from escalating in Vietnam.  
The smoldering sound of the lava sizzles underneath the dried lava.  
When West Pakistan refused to allow East Pakistan independence,
violence between Bengalis and Biharis developed into upheaval.  
Bengalis moved to India
and India went into East Pakistan.  
Pakistan surrendered in December 1971.  
East Pakistan became independent Bangladesh

The warm light of the melted lava radiates underneath but burns.  
In 1974, India tested the Smiling Buddha,
a nuclear bomb.  
After Indira Gandhi’s conviction for election fraud in 1973,
Marxist Professor Narayan called for total revolution
and students protested all over India.  
With food shortages, inflation and regional disputes
like Sikh separatists training in Pakistan for an independent Punjab,
peasants and laborers joined the protests.  
Railway strikes stopped the economy.  
In 1975, Indira Gandhi, the Iron Lady,
declared an Emergency,
imprisoning political opponents, restricting freedoms and restricting the press,
claiming threats to national security
because the war with Pakistan had just ended.  
The federal government took over Kerala’s communist dominated government and others.  

My mom could’ve been a dandelion, but she’s more like thistle.  
She has the center that dries and flutters in the wind,
beautiful and silky,
spiny and prickly,
but still fluffy, downy,
A daisy.
They say thistle saved Scotland from the Norse.  
Magma from the volcano explodes
and the streams of magma fly into the air.  
In the late 60s,
the civil rights movement rose
against the state in Northern Ireland
for depriving Catholics
of influence and opportunity.
The Northern Irish police,
Protestant and unionist, anti-catholic,
responded violently to the protests and it got worse.  
In 1969, the British placed Arthur Young,
who had worked at the Federation of Malaya
at the time of their Emergency
at the head of the British military in Northern Ireland.
The British military took control over the police,
a counter insurgency rather than a police force,
crowd control, house searches, interrogation, and street patrols,
use of force against suspects and uncooperative citizens.  
Political crimes were tolerated by Protestants but not Catholics.  
The lava burns the rock off the edge of the volcano.  

On January 30, 1972, ****** Sunday,  
British Army policing killed 13 unarmed protesters
fighting for their rights over their neighborhood,
protesting the internment of suspected nationalists.
That led to protests across Ireland.  
When banana leaves are warmed,
oil from the banana leaves flavors the food.  
My dad flew from Canada to India in February 1972.  
On February 4, my dad met my mom.  
On February 11, 1972,
my dad married my mom.  
They went to Canada,
a quartz singing bowl and a wooden mallet wrapped in suede.  
The rock goes down with the lava, breaking through the rocks as it goes down.  
In March 1972, the British government took over
because they considered the Royal Ulster Police and the Ulster Special Constabulary
to be causing most of the violence.  
The lava blocks and reroutes streams,
melts snow and ice,
flooding.  
Days later, there’s still smoke, red.  
My mom could wear the clothes she liked
without being judged
with my dad in Canada.  
She didn’t like asking my dad for money.
My dad, the copper helping my mother use that iron,
wanted her to go to college and finish her bachelors degree.
She got a job.  
In 1976, the police took over again in Northern Ireland
but they were a paramilitary force—
armored SUVs, bullet proof jackets, combat ready
with the largest computerized surveillance system in the UK,
high powered weapons,
trained in counter insurgency.  
Many people were murdered by the police
and few were held accountable.  
Most of the murdered people were not involved in violence or crime.  
People were arrested under special emergency powers
for interrogation and intelligence gathering.  
People tried were tried in non-jury courts.  
My mom learned Malayalam in India
but didn’t speak well until living with my dad.  
She also learned to cook after getting married.  
Her mother sent her recipes; my dad cooked for her—
turmeric, cumin, coriander, cayenne and green chiles.  
Having lived in different countries,
my mom’s food was exposed to many cultures,
Chinese and French.
Ground rock, minerals and glass
covered the ground
from the ash plume.  
She liked working.  

A volcano erupted for 192 years,
an ice age,
disordered ices, deformed under pressure
and ordered ice crystals, brittle in the ice core records.  
My mother liked working.  
Though Khomeini was in exile by the 1970s in Iran,
more people, working and poor,
turned to him and the ****-i-Ulama for help.
My mom didn’t want kids though my dad did.
She agreed and in 1978 my brother was born.
Iran modernized but agriculture and industry changed so quickly.  
In January 1978, students protested—
censorship, surveillance, harassment, illegal detention and torture.  
Young people and the unemployed joined.  
My parents moved to the United States in December 1978.  
The regime used a lot of violence against the protesters,
and in September 1978 declared martial law in Iran.  
Troops were shooting demonstrators.
In January 1979, the Shah and his family fled.  
On February 11, 1979, my parents’ anniversary,
the Iranian army declared neutrality.  
I was born in July 1979.
The chromium in emeralds and rubies colors them.
My brother was born in May and I was born in July.

Obsidian—
iron, copper and chromium—
isn’t a gas
but it isn’t a crystal;
it’s between the two,
the ordered crystal and the disordered gas.  
They made swords out of obsidian.  





Warm Light Shatters

The eruption beatifies the magma.  
It becomes obsidian,
only breaks with a fracture,
smooth circles where it breaks.  

My dad was born on a large flat rock on the edge of the top
of a hill,
Molasses, sweet and dark, the potent flavor dominates,
His father, the son of a Brahmin,
His mother from a lower caste.
His father’s family wouldn’t touch him,
He grew up in his mother’s mother’s house on a farm.  
I have the same brown hyperpigmentation spot on my right hand that he has.

In 1901, D’Arcy bought a 60 year concession for oil exploration In Iran.
The Iranian government extended it for another 32 years in 1933.
At that time oil was Iran’s “main source of income.”
In 1917’s Balfour Declaration, the British government proclaimed that they favored a national home for the Jews in Palestine and their “best endeavors to facilitate the achievement” of that.

The British police were in charge of policing in the mandate of Palestine.  A lot of the policemen they hired were people who had served in the British army before, during the Irish War for Independence.  
The army tried to stop how violent the police were, police used torture and brutality, some that had been used during the Irish War for Independence, like having prisoners tied to armored cars and locomotives and razing the homes of people in prison or people they thought were related to people thought to be rebels.
The police hired Arab police and Jewish police for lower level policing,
Making local people part of the management.
“Let Arab police beat up Arabs and Jewish police beat up Jews.”

The lava blocks and reroutes streams, melts snow and ice, flooding.
In 1922, there were 83,000 Jews, 71,000 Christians, and 589,000 Muslims.
The League If Nations endorsed the British Mandate.
During an emergency, in the 1930s, British regulations allowed collective punishment, punishing villages for incidents.
Local officers in riots often deserted and also shared intelligence with their own people.
The police often stole, destroyed property, tortured and killed people.  
Arab revolts sapped the police power over Palestinians by 1939.

My father’s mother was from a matrilineal family.
My dad remembers tall men lining up on pay day to respectfully wait for her, 5 feet tall.  
She married again after her husband died.
A manager from a tile factory,
He spoke English so he supervised finances and correspondence.
My dad, a sunflower, loved her: she scared all the workers but exuded warmth to the people she loved.

Obsidian shields people from negative energy.
David Cargill founded the Burmah Oil Co. in 1886.
If there were problems with oil exploration in Burma and Indian government licenses, Persian oil would protect the company.  
In July 1906, many European oil companies, BP, Royal Dutch Shell and others, allied to protect against the American oil company, Standard Oil.
D’Arcy needed money because “Persian oil took three times as long to come on stream as anticipated.”
Burmah Oil Co. began the Anglo-Persian Oil Co. as a subsidiary.
Ninety-seven percent of British Petroleum was owned by Burmah Oil Co.
By 1914, the British government owned 51% of the Anglo-Persian Oil Co.  
Anglo-Persian acquired independence from Burmah Oil and Royal Dutch Shell with two million pounds from the British government.

The lava burns the rock off the edge of the volcano.
In 1942, after the Japanese took Burma,
the British destroyed their refineries before leaving.
The United Nations had to find other sources of oil.
In 1943, Japan built the Burma-Thailand Railroad with forced labor from the Malay peninsula who were mostly from the rubber plantations.

The rock goes down with the lava, breaking through the rocks as it goes down.
In 1945. Japan destroyed their refineries before leaving Burma.
Cargill, Watson and Whigham were on the Burmah Oil Co. Board and then the Anglo Iranian Oil Co. Board.  

In 1936 Palestine, boycotts, work stoppages, and violence against British police officials and soldiers compelled the government to appoint an investigatory commission.  
Leaders of Egypt, Trans Jordan, Syria and Iraq helped end the work stoppages.
The British government had the Peel Commission read letters, memoranda, and petitions and speak with British officials, Jews and Arabs.  
The Commission didn’t believe that Arabs and Jews could live together in a single Jewish state.
Because of administrative and financial difficulties the Colonial Secretary stated that to split Palestine into Arab and Jewish states was impracticable.  
The Commission recommended transitioning 250,000 Arabs and 1500 Jews with British control over their oil pipeline, their naval base and Jerusalem.  
The League of Nations approved.
“It will not remove the grievance nor prevent the recurrence,” Lord Peel stated after.
The Arab uprising was much more militant after Peel.  Thousands of Arabs were wounded, ten thousand were detained.  
In Sykes-Picot and the Husain McMahon agreements, the British promised the Arabs an independent state but they did not keep that promise.  
Representatives from the Arab states rejected the Peel recommendations.
United Nations General Assembly Resolution181 partitioned Palestine into Arab and Jewish states with an international regime for the city of Jerusalem backed by the United States and the Soviet Union.  

The Israeli Yishuv had strong military and intelligence organization —-  
the British recognized that their interest was with the Arabs and abstained from the vote.  
In 1948, Israel declared the establishment of its state.  
Ground rock, minerals, and gas covered the ground from the ash plume.
The Palestinian police force was disbanded and the British gave officers the option of serving in Malaya.

Though Truman, Eisenhower and Kennedy supported snd tried to get Israel to offer the Arabs concessions, it wasn’t a major priority and didn’t always approve of Israel’s plans.
Arabs that had supported the British to end Turkish rule stopped supporting the West.  
Many Palestinians joined left wing groups and violent third world movements.  
Seventy-eight percent of the territory of former Palestine was under Israel’s control.  

My dad left for college in 1957 and lived in an apartment above the United States Information services office.
Because he graduated at the top of his class, he was given a job with the public works department of the government on the electricity board.  
“Once in, you’ll never leave.”
When he wanted a job where he could do real work, his father was upset.
He broke the chains with bells for vespers.
He got a job in Calcutta at Kusum Products and left the government, though it was prestigious to work there.
In the chemical engineering division, one of the projects he worked on was to design a *** distillery, bells controlled by hammers, hammers controlled by a keyboard.
His boss worked in the United Kingdom for. 20 years before the company he worked at, part of Power Gas Corporation, asked him to open a branch in Calcutta.
He opened the branch and convinced an Industrialist to open a company doing the same work with him.  The branch he opened closed after that.  
My dad applied for labor certification to work abroad and was selected.  
His boss wrote a reference letter for my him to the company he left in the UK.  My dad sent it telling the company when he was leaving for the UK.  
The day he left for London, he got the letter they sent in the mail telling him to take the train to Sheffield the next day and someone from the firm would meet him at the station.  
His dad didn’t know he left, he didn’t tell him.
He broke the chains with chimes for schisms.


Anglo-Persian Oil became Anglo-Iranian Oil in 1935.
The British government used oil and Anglo-Persian oil to fight communism, have a stronger relationship with the United States and make the United Kingdom more powerful.  
The National Secularists, the Tudeh, and the Communists wanted to nationalize Iran’s oil and mobilized the Iranian people.
The British feared nationalization in Iran would incite political parties like the Secular Nationalists all over the world.  
In 1947, the Iranian government passed the Single Article Law that “[increased] investment In welfare benefits, health, housing, education, and implementation of Iranianization through substitution of foreigners” at Anglo-Iranian Oil Co.
“Anglo-Iranian Oil Company made more profit in 1950 than it paid to the Iranian government in royalties over the previous half century.”
The Anglo-Iranian Oil Company tried to negotiate a new concession and claimed they’d hire more Iranian people into jobs held by British and people from other nationalities at the company.
Their hospitals had segregated wards.  
On May 1, 1951, the Iranian government passed a bill that nationalized Anglo- Iranian Oil Co.’s holdings.  
During the day, only the steam from the hot lava can be seen.
In August 1953, the Iranian people elected Mossadegh from the Secular Nationalist Party as prime minister.
The British government with the CIA overthrew Mossadegh using the Iranian military after inducing protests and violent demonstrations.  
Anglo-Iranian Oil changed its name to British Petroleum in 1954.
Iranians believe that America destroyed Iran’s “last chance for democracy” and blamed America for Iran’s autocracy, its human rights abuses, and secret police.

The smoldering sound of the lava sizzles underneath the dried lava.  
In 1946, Executive Yuan wanted control over 4 groups of Islands in the South China Sea to have a stronger presence there:  the Paracels, the Spratlys, Macclesfield Bank, and the Pratas.
The French forces in the South China Sea would have been stronger than the Chinese Navy then.
French Naval forces were in the Gulf of Tonkin, U.S. forces were in the Taiwan Strait, the British were in Hong Kong, and the Portuguese were in Macao.
In the 1950s, British snd U.S. oil companies thought there might be oil in the Spratlys.  
By 1957, French presence in the South China Sea was hardly there.  

When the volcano erupted, the lava dried at the ocean into black sand.
By 1954, the Tudeh Party’s communist movement and  intelligence organization had been destroyed.  
Because of the Shah and his government’s westernization policies and disrespectful treatment of the Ulama, Iranians began identifying with the Ulama and Khomeini rather than their government.  
Those people joined with secular movements to overthrow the Shah.  

In 1966, Ne Win seized power from U Nu in Burma.
“Soldiers ruled Burma as soldiers.”
Ne Win thought that western political
Institutions “encouraged divisions.”
Minority groups found foreign support for their separatist goals.
The Karens and the Mons supported U Nu in Bangkok.  


Rare copper, a heavy metal, no alloys,
a rock in groundwater,
conducts electricity and heat.
In 1965, my Dad’s cousin met him at Heathrow, gave him a coat and £10 and brought him to a bed and breakfast across from Charing Cross Station where he’d get the train to Sheffield the next morning.
He took the train and someone met him at the train station.  
At the interview they asked him to design a grandry girder, the main weight bearing steel girder as a test.
Iron in the inner and outer core of the earth,
He’d designed many of those.  
He was hired and lived at the YMCA for 2 1/2 years.  
He took his mother’s family name, Menon, instead of his father’s, Varma.
In 1967, he left for Canada and interviewed at Bechtel before getting hired at Seagrams.  
Iron enables blood to carry oxygen.
His boss recommended him for Dale Carnegie’s leadership training classes and my dad joined the National Instrument Society and became President.
He designed a still In Jamaica,
Ordered all the parts, nuts and bolts,
Had all the parts shipped to Jamaica and made sure they got there.
His boss supervised the construction, installation and commission in Jamaica.
Quartz, heat and fade resistant, though he was an engineer and did the work of an engineer, my dad only had the title, technician so my dad’s boss thought he wasn’t getting paid enough but couldn’t get his boss to offer more than an extra $100/week or the title of engineer; he told my dad he thought he should leave.
In 1969, he got a job at Celanese, which made rayon.
He quit Celanese to work at McGill University and they allowed him to take classes to earn his MBA while working.  

The United States and Israel’s alliance was strong by 1967.
United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 at the end of the Third Arab Israeli War didn’t mention the Palestinians but mentioned the refugee problem.
After 1967, the Palestinians weren’t often mentioned and when mentioned only as terrorists.  
Palestinians’ faith in the “American sponsored peace process” diminished, they felt the world community ignored and neglected them also.
Groups like MAN that stopped expecting anything from Arab regimes began hijacking airplanes.
By 1972, the Palestine Liberation Organization had enough international support to get by the United States’ veto in the United Nations Security Council and Arab League recognition as representative of the Palestinian people.
The Palestinians knew the United States stated its support, as the British had, but they weren’t able to accomplish anything.  
The force Israel exerted in Johnson’s United States policy delivered no equilibrium for the Palestinians.  

In 1969, all political parties submitted to the BSPP, Burma Socialist Programme Party.
Ne Win nationalized banks and oil and deprived minorities of opportunities.
Ne Win became U Nu Win, civilian leader of Burma in 1972 and stopped the active role that U Nu defined for Burma internationally
He put military people in power even when they didn’t have experience which triggered “maldistribution of goods and chronic shortages.”  
Resources were located in areas where separatist minorities had control.

The British presence in the South China Sea ended in 1968.  
The United States left Vietnam in 1974 and China went into the Western Paracels.
The U.S. didn’t intervene and Vietnam took the Spratlys.
China wanted to claim the continental shelf In the central part of the South China Sea and needed the Spratlys.
The United States mostly disregarded the Ulama In Iran and bewildered the Iranian people by not supporting their revolution.

Obsidian—
iron, copper and chromium—
isn’t a gas
but it isn’t a crystal;
it’s between the two,
the ordered crystal and the disordered gas.  
They made swords out of obsidian.


Edelweiss

I laid out in my backyard in my bikini.  
I love the feeling of my body in the sun.  
I’d be dark from the end of spring until winter.
The snow froze my bare feet through winter ,
my skin pale.
American towns in 1984,
Free, below glaciers the sunlight melted the snow,
a sea of green and the edelweiss on the edge of the  limestone,
frosted but still strong.    
When the spring warmed the grass,
the grass warmed my feet. 
The whole field looked cold and white from the glacier but in the meadow,
the bright yellow centers of those flowers float free in the center of the white petals.
The bright yellow center of those edelweiss scared the people my parents ran to America from India to get away from.  
On a sidewalk in Queens, New York in 1991, the men stared and yelled comments at me in short shorts and a fitted top in the summer.  
I grabbed my dad’s arm.

























The Bread and Coconut Butter of Aparigraha

Twelve year old flowerhead,
Marigold, yarrow and nettle,
I’d be all emotion
If not for all my work
From the time I was a teenager.
I got depressed a lot.
I related to people I read about
In my weather balloon,
Grasping, ignorant, and desperate,
But couldn’t relate to other twelve year olds.
After school I read Dali’s autobiography,
Young ****** Autosodomized by Her Own Chastity.
Fresh, green nettle with fresh and dried yarrow for purity.
Dead souls enticed to the altar by orange marigolds,
passion and creativity,
Coax sleep and rouse dreams.
Satellites measure indirectly with wave lengths of light.
My weather balloon measures the lower and middle levels of the atmosphere directly,
Fifty thousand feet high,
Metal rod thermometer,
Slide humidity sensor,
Canister for air pressure.

I enjoy rye bread and cold coconut butter in my weather balloon,
But I want Dali, and all the artists and writers.
Rye grows at high altitudes
But papyrus grows in soil and shallow water,
Strips of papyrus pith shucked from their stems.
When an anchor’s weighed, a ship sails,
But when grounded we sail.
Marigolds, yarrow and nettle,
Flowerhead,
I use the marigold for sleep,
The yarrow for endurance and intensity,
toiling for love and truth,
And the nettle for healing.
Strong rye bread needs equally strong flavors.
By the beginning of high school,
I read a lot of Beat literature
And found Buddhism.
I loved what I read
But I didn’t like some things.
I liked attachment.  
I got to the ground.
Mushrooms grow in dry soil.
Attachment to beauty is Buddha activity.
Not being attached to things I don’t find beautiful is Buddha activity.  
I fried mushrooms in a single layer in oil, fleshy.
I roasted mushrooms at high temperatures in the oven, crisp.
I simmered mushrooms in stock with kombu.
Rye bread with cold coconut butter and cremini mushrooms,
raw, soft and firm.  
Life continues, life changes,
Attachments, losses, mourning and suffering,
But change lures growth.
I find stream beds and wet soil.
I lay the strips of papyrus next to each other.
I cross papyrus strips over the first,
Then wet the crossed papyrus strips,
Press and cement them into a sheet.
I hammer it and dry it in the sun,
With no thought of achievement or self,
Flowerhead,
Hands filled with my past,
Head filled with the future,
Dali, artists poets,
Wishes and desires aligned with nature,
Abundance,
Cocoa, caraway, and molasses.

If I ever really like someone,
I’ll be wearing the dress he chooses,
Fresh green nettle and yarrow, the seeds take two years to grow strong,
Lasting love.
Marigolds steer dead souls from the altar to the afterlife,
Antiseptic, healing wounds,
Soothing sore throats and headaches.
Imperturbable, stable flowerhead,
I empty my mind.
When desires are aligned with nature, desire flows.
Papyrus makes paper and cloth.
Papyrus makes sails.
Charcoal from the ash of pulverized papyrus heals wounds.
Without attachment to the fruit of action
There is continuation of life,
Rye bread and melted coconut butter,
The coconut tree in the coconut butter,
The seed comes from the ground out of nothing,
Naturalness.
It has form.
As the seed grows the seed expresses the tree,
The seed expresses the coconut,
The seed expresses the coconut butter.
Rye bread, large open hollows, chambers,
Immersed in melted coconut butter,
Desire for expansion and creation,
No grasping, not desperate.
When the mind is compassion, the mind is boundless.
Every moment,
only that,
Every moment,
a scythe to the papyrus in the stream bed of the past.  

































Sound on Powdery Blue

Potter’s clay, nymph, plum unplumbed, 1993.
Dahlia, ice, powder, musk and rose,
my source of life emerged in darkness, blackness.
Seashell fragments in the sand,
The glass ball of my life cracked inside,
Light reflected off the salt crystal cracks,
Nacre kept those cracks from getting worse.
Young ****** Autosodomized By Her Own Chastity,
Nymph, I didn’t want to give my body,
Torn, *****, ballgown,
To people who wouldn’t understand me,
Piquant.

Outside on the salt flats,
Aphrodite, goddess of beauty, pleasure and fertility and
Asexual Artemis, goddess of animals, and the hunt,
Mistress of nymphs,
Punish with ruthless savagery.

In my bedroom, blue caribou moss covered rocks, pine, and yew trees,
The heartwood writhes as hurricane gales, twisters and whirlwinds
Contort their bark,
Roots strong in the soil.
Orris root dried in the sun, bulbs like wood.
Dahlia runs to baritone soundbath radio waves.
Light has frequencies,
Violet between blue and invisible ultraviolet,
Flame, slate and flint.
Every night is cold.

Torii gates, pain secured as sacred.
An assignation, frost hardy dahlia and a plangent resonant echo.
High frequency sound waves convert to electrical signals,
Breathe from someone I want,
Silt.
Beam, radiate, ensorcel.
I break the bark,
Sap flows and dries,
Resin seals over the tear.
I distill pine,
Resin and oil for turpentine, a solvent.
Quiver, bemired,
I lead sound into my darkness,
Orris butter resin, sweet and warm,
Hot jam drops on snow drops,
Orange ash on smoke,
Balm on lava,
The problem with cotton candy.

Electrical signals give off radiation or light waves,
The narrow frequency range where
The crest of a radio wave and the crest of a light wave overlap,
Infrared.
Glaciers flow, sunlight melts the upper layers of the snow when strong,
A wet snow avalanche,
A torrent, healing.
Brown sugar and whiskey,
Undulant, lavender.
Pine pitch, crystalline, sticky, rich and golden,
And dried pine rosin polishes glass smooth
Like the smell of powdery orris after years.
Softness, flush, worthy/not worthy,
Rich rays thunder,
Intensify my pulse,
Frenzied red,
Violet between blue and invisible ultraviolet.
Babylon—flutter, glow.
Unquenchable cathartic orris.  

















Pink Graphite

Camellias, winter shrubs,
Their shallow roots grow beneath the spongy caribou moss,
Robins egg blue.
After writing a play with my gifted students program in 1991,
I stopped spending all my free time writing short stories,
But the caribou moss was still soft.

In the cold Arctic of that town,
The evergreen protected the camellias from the afternoon sun and storms.
They branded hardy camellias with a brass molded embossing iron;
I had paper and graphite for my pencils.

After my ninth grade honors English teacher asked us to write poems in 1994,
It began raining.
We lived on an overhang.
A vertical rise to the top of the rock.
The rainstorm caused a metamorphic change in the snowpack,
A wet snow avalanche drifted slowly down the moss covered rock,
The snow already destabilized by exposure to the sunlight.

The avalanche formed lakes,
rock basins washed away with rainwater and melted snow,
Streams dammed by the rocks.  
My pencils washed away in the avalanche,
My clothes heavy and cold.
I wove one side of each warp fiber through the eye of the needle and one side through each slot,
Salves, ointments, serums and tinctures.
I was mining for graphite.
They were mining me,
The only winch, the sound through the water.

A steep staircase to the red Torii gates,
I broke the chains with bells for vespers
And chimes for schisms,
And wove the weft across at right angles to the warp.  

On a rocky ledge at the end of winter,
The pink moon, bitters and body butter,
They tried to get  me to want absinthe,
Wormwood for bitterness and regret.
Heat and pressure formed carbon for flakes of graphite.
Heat and pressure,
I made bitters,
Brandy, grapefruit, chocolate, mandarin rind, tamarind and sugar.
I grounded my feet in the pink moss,
paper dried in one hand,
and graphite for my pencils in the other.  



































Flakes

I don’t let people that put me down be part of my life.  
Gardens and trees,
My shadow sunk in the grass in my yard
As I ate bread, turmeric and lemon.
Carbon crystallizes into graphite flakes.
I write to see well,
Graphite on paper.  
A shadow on rock tiles with a shield, a diamond and a bell
Had me ***** to humiliate me.
Though I don’t let people that put me down near me,
A lot of people putting me down seemed like they were following me,
A platform to jump from
While she had her temple.  

There was a pink door to the platform.
I ate bread with caramelized crusts and
Drank turmeric lemonade
Before I opened that door,
Jumped and
Descended into blankets and feathers.
I found matches and rosin
For turpentine to clean,
Dried plums and licorice.  

In the temple,
In diamonds, leather, wool and silk,
She had her shield and bells,
Drugs and technology,
Thermovision 210 and Minox,
And an offering box where people believed
That if their coins went in
Their wishes would come true.

Hollyhock and smudging charcoal for work,  
Belled,
I ground grain in the mill for the bread I baked for breakfast.
The bells are now communal bells
With a watchtower and a prison,
Her shield, a blowtorch and flux,
Her ex rays, my makeshift records
Because Stalin didn’t like people dancing,
He liked them divebombing.
Impurities in the carbon prevent diamonds from forming,
Measured,
The most hard, the most expensive,
But graphite’s soft delocalized electrons move.  






































OCEAN BED

The loneliness of going to sleep by myself.  
I want a bed that’s high off the ground,
a mattress, an ocean.
I want a crush and that  person in my bed.  
Only that,
a crush in my bed,
an ocean in my bed.  
Just love.  
But I sleep with my thumbs sealed.  
I sleep with my hands, palms up.  
I sleep with my hands at my heart.  
They sear my compassion with their noise.  
They hold their iron over their fire and try to carve their noise into my love,
scored by the violence of voices, dark and lurid,  
but not burned.  
I want a man in my bed.  
When I wake up in an earthquake
I want to be held through the aftershocks.  
I like men,
the waves come in and go out
but the ocean was part of my every day.  
I don’t mind being fetishized in the ocean.  
I ran by the ocean every morning.  
I surfed in the ocean.  
I should’ve gone into the ocean that afternoon at Trestles,
holding my water jugs, kneeling at the edge.  














Morning

I want to fall asleep in the warm arms of a fireman.  
I want to wake up to the smell of coffee in my kitchen.  

Morning—the molten lava in the outer core of the earth embeds the iron from the inner core into the earth’s magnetic field.  
The magnetic field flips.  
The sun, so strong, where it gets through the trees it burns everything but the pine.  
The winds change direction.  
Storms cast lightening and rain.  
Iron conducts solar flares and the heavy wind.  
In that pine forest, I shudder every time I see a speck of light for fear of neon and fluorescents.  The eucalyptus cleanses congestion.  
And Kerouac’s stream ululates, crystal bowl sound baths.  
I follow the sound to the water.  
The stream ends at a bluff with a thin rocky beach below.  
The green water turns black not far from the shore.  
Before diving into the ocean, I eat globe mallow from the trees, stems and leaves, the viscous flesh, red, soft and nutty.  
I distill the pine from one of the tree’s bark and smudge the charcoal over my skin.  

Death, the palo santo’s lit, cleansing negative energy.  
It’s been so long since I’ve smelled a man, woodsmoke, citrus and tobacco.  
Jasmine, plum, lime and tuberose oil on the base of my neck comforts.  
Parabolic chambers heal, sound waves through water travel four times faster.  
The sound of the open sea recalibrates.  
I dissolve into the midnight blue of the ocean.  

I want to fall asleep in the warm arms of a fireman.  
I want to wake up to the smell of coffee in my kitchen.  
I want hot water with coconut oil when I get up.  
We’d lay out on the lawn, surrounded by high trees that block the wind.  
Embers flying through the air won’t land in my yard, on my grass, or near my trees.  





Blue Paper

Haze scatters blue light on a planet.  
Frought women, livid, made into peonies by Aphrodites that caught their men flirting and blamed the women, flushed red.
and blamed the women, flushed red.
Frought women, livid, chrysanthemums, dimmed until the end of the season, exchanged and retained like property.  
Blue women enter along the sides of her red Torii gates, belayed, branded and belled, a plangent sound.  
By candles, colored lights and dried flowers she’s sitting inside on a concrete floor, punctures and ruin burnished with paper, making burnt lime from lime mortar.  
Glass ***** on the ceiling, she moves the beads of a Palestinian glass bead bracelet she holds in her hands.  
She bends light to make shadows against  thin wooden slats curbed along the wall, and straight across the ceiling.
A metier, she makes tinctures, juniper berries and cotton *****.
Loamy soil in the center of the room,
A hawthorn tree stands alone,
A gateway for fairies.
large stones at the base protecting,
It’s branches a barrier.  
It’s leaves and shoots make bread and cheese.
It’s berries, red skin and yellow flesh, make jam.
Green bamboo stakes for the peonies when they whither from the weight of their petals.
And lime in the soil.  
She adds wood chips to the burnt lime in the kiln,
Unrolled paper, spools, and wire hanging.
Wood prayer beads connect her to the earth,
The tassels on the end of the beads connect her to spirit, to higher truth.
Minerals, marine mud and warm basins of seawater on a flower covered desk.  
She adds slaked lime to the burnt lime and wood chips.  
The lime converts to paper,
Trauma victims speak,
Light through butterfly wings.  
She’s plumeria with curved petals, thick, holding water
This is what I have written of my book.  I’ll be changing where the poems with the historical research go.  There are four more of those and nine of the other poems.
Kara Rose Trojan Dec 2014
My Second Letter to Allen Ginsberg
Dear Allen,
Almost five years ago, I wrote you a letter, and in
That letter, I purged my drunkenly woeful cries
That seem so first-world now and naïve –
The things I grimed over with luxuries I didn’t
Realize that rubbed against my plump limbs
Like millions of felines poised at the
Tombs of pharaohs.

Oh, Allen, I’m so tired –
These politics, and poly ticks, so many ticks that
Annoy my tics. Allen! I smear your name so liberally
Against this paper like primer because the easiest way
To coerce someone into listening to you like
A mother
or predator
tugging or nibbling on your ear –
Swatches of velvet scalped from a ****’s coat
Are you and I talking to ourselves again?
Candid insanity : Smoky hesitance.

Dear Allen, I’m so tired –
Yes, I love wearing my ovaries on the outside like
Some Amazonian soapbox gem glistening from beneath
The iron boots of what the newspapers tell me while
I cough at them with the hurdled delicacies of alphabet soup.
Give vegetables a gender and call them onions, Allen.
Sullied scratch-hicks pinioned feet from slapping
Society’s last rung on the ladder.
Ignore the swerve of small-town eyes.
Scapulas, stirrups, pap smears, and cervical mucus – now do you know who we are?

That fingernail clipped too short, Allen. We’ve all got AIDs
And AIDs babies, haven’t you heard? Hemorrhaging from the political
****** and out – they haven’t reached the heart.  
Since when have old white men given a **** about some
13 year old’s birth control? I’m riding on the waves of the
Parachute game and I swear this abortion-issue is just a veil outside Tuskegee University
Being further shove over plaintive eyes, swollen and black.
Pay up and
shut up.

I still remember my first broken *****, Allen.
Can you tell me all about your first time?
The vasodilatation that made veins rub against skin,
Delirious brilliance : unfathomable electricity.
I made love during an LSD experience, Allen,
And I am not sorry. I see cosmic visions and
Manifest universal vibrations as if this entire world is
A dish reverberating with textiles and marbles, and
All are plundering the depths of the finished wine
Bottle roasting in the sink like Thanksgiving Turkey.
The patience is in the living. Time opens out to you.
The opening, between you and you, occupied,
zoned for an encounter,
given the histories of you and you—
And always, who is this you?
The start of you, each day,
a presence already—
Hey, you!

Ah, Allen, if you are not safe, then I am not safe.
And where is the safest place when that place
Must be someplace other than in the body?
Am I talking to myself again?
You are not sick, you are injured—
you ache for the rest of life.

Why is it that I have to explain to my students that
sometimes what I'm spouting is prescribed by a pedagogical pharmacy --
but all they want to know is "what do the symbols on the television mean?"
I am completely aghast against the ghosts of future goners --
I am legitimately licensed to speak, write, listen like some mothers --
I am constantly cajoling the complex creations blamed on burned-out educators --
I am following the flagrant, fired-up "*******"s tagging lockers --
Pay up and
shut up.

Yes, and it’s Hopeless. Allen.
Where did we get off leaping and bounding into
The dogpile for chump change jurisdiction, policing
The right and the left for inherent hypocrisies when
Poets are so frightful to turn that introspective judgment
Upon ourselves?
We didn’t see it coming and I heard the flies, Allen.
Mean crocodile tears. Flamingo mascara tracks
Up and down : up and down: bow – bow – bow – bow
Buoyant amongst the misguided ******* floating around
In the swirlpool of lackadaisical introspection.
What good is vague vocab within poetry?
Absolutely none.
Would you leave the porchlight on tonight?
Absolutely, baby.

Dear Allen, would you grow amongst the roots and dirt
At the knuckles of a slackjawed brush of Ever-Pondering Questions
Only to ask them time-and-time-and-time-and-time-again.
Or pinch your forehead with burrowed, furrowed concentration upon those
Feeble branches of progression towards something that recedes further
And further with as much promise as the loving hand
Attempts to guide a lover to the bed?

Allen, I wish to see this world feelingly through the vibrations of billions of bodies, rocking and sobbing, plotting and gnashing like the movement of a million snakes, like the curves collecting and riding the parachute-veil.

Ah, Allen! Say it ain’t so! Sanctified swerve town eyes.
And everything is melting while poets take the weather
Too personally
And all the Holden Caulfields of the world read all the
*******’s written on the walls and all the Invisible Men
Eat Yams and all the Zampanos are blind and blind
And blind and blind and blind and blind
Yet see as much as Gloucester, as much as Homer,
As much as Oedipus.

Oh, Allen, do you see this world feelingly
and wander around the desert?
Colored marbles vibrating on the curtailed parachute paradox.
Lamentation of a small town’s onion. Little do we know, Allen,
That what you cannot see, we cannot see, and we are bubbling
Over in the animal soup of the proud yet weary. I can see,
However, how the peeled back skulls of a million
Workboots and paystubs may never sully the burden
Of an existential angst in miniscule amounts.
Pay up and
shut up.  

My dearest Allen, there is always a question of how
The cigarettes became besmirched with wax to complement
What was once grass, and
What was once a garish night drenching doorknobs.
The night's yawn absorbs you as you lie down at the wrong angle
To the sun ready already to let go of your hand
As you stepped, quivering, on to
The shores of Lethe.
Ellie Jan 2015
We live in a world where no means convince me and flirting is a green light for ***.
Where women are told, don't get ***** and men are rarely told, don't ****.
Where **** shaming is encouraged and victims are blamed.
Where speaking out about **** is a call for attention and **** victims are silenced.
We live in a world where **** culture is normal and that is **unacceptable.
Arielle Oct 2015
I was about 7 years old when I saw my father’s tattoo
I asked if it hurt, he said no, not even a little.
I examined his hand like it was a science project
It was a name, a four lettered name
But,
I didn’t know what it meant.
When I turned 9, I noticed his tattooed hand again
Now, being more curious I asked who “Beth” was
“Beth”, the name that made my mother flinch, whenever she would hear it
My father never answered me, I’m pretty sure he never did
But whenever I would say it, it was like I was torturing my mother in the most painful way.
I finally knew who she was, but I guess it was too late
My mother said she was just going to the market but she never came back.
I was 11 when I finally knew who Beth was
Turns out, she was my father’s first love
They got married and had children just like with my mother.
But my mother already left us
She left us with this woman whose name
is tattooed on my father’s hand together with their children’s names.
It hurt like hell when I realized that we were never his first.
We we’re never his one and only
And he was never our own.
That was the moment when I felt my world crashing down before my eyes,
Burying that one thing
I thought was my own
Burying the laughs
The smiles
The tears
The hugs
The kisses
The love
Burying everything I thought I had with MY family
With my mother,
With my brother,
With my sister,
With MY father
And his tattooed hand reminded me everyday that we will never be his first,
We will never be his one and only,
And he will never be our own.
I blamed him for everything,
I blamed him for so long.
I blamed him why my mama left,
I blamed him for not being his first.
I blamed him for everything,
Like everything was his fault…
But,
I also grew up loving him,
Thanking him,
And appreciating his love for us
That is when I learned to forgive him
To accept him,
and…
to love him again.
Yes, we may never be his first,
His one and only,
And he may never be our own,
But the love he has shown is more than enough
Now, his tattooed hand will be the one,
to remind me
that, being second is never wrong because I know that he will always love us,
as his first.
Samuel Lombardo Jan 2015
For thirty-three years I have been
the person for the abuse, power, and
long-suffering coming from others.
For thirty-three years, I've been ****** up.
My love may have seem real, but
to others love was surreal to fantasy.
I am *******-
the trail of the inevitable battles
over my head-
from uncle to brothers to
an angry *** grandfather who
took my dignity in the grave with him.
Yet, this uncle still walks freely
through the doors and walkways,
and up and down hills-
I am *******.
What justice I seek- only
a hush for repentance
and forgiveness- but I been
through the gates of hell-
from entrance to another,
his tool goes wild, and I am
forced to kick the teeth out of
his mouth-
And when growing and showing up
to the faces of the universe,
I have lived the fear of rejection and hate-
all I have experienced was rejection and hate.
There is no one who understands-
the story of my life.
The assaults of ***, physical abuse, and
tyranny I have was the demon I want no more.

The guilt of my mind-
the obedience of such gross fantasies  
and the tears I share of lost
friendships have made an angry face.
But for thirty-three years nothing has
worked for me- there has to be a new path:
I had to seek repentance and forgiveness,
for hatred had to dispel from the love I
had for others.

This angry face had been exchanged
for a phat face-
the face of love, peace, and understanding;
it was the inspiration of a friend whom I
am now confused.
I am confused of dispelling love for hate
when I been living with fear.
Rejection and hate was my life-
and it became a demon in my life.
This person was drawn to my life to love me-
not love me physically,
but the love that shows my life
living in fantasy.
I was blamed to be a predator-
a reputation ruined by third party wanna-be's.
My fear was confirmed when rejection
called my name in the name of evil,
and hatred became what my friend used.
This was the person I never shared my
problems, because of his rejection.

Why was he a part of my life?
What brought us together?
I am not the **** in the closet-
I am the hetro living in the dark.
I had nowhere to go, and I
trusted that this could be discussed.
And here I thought I was weak.
I have been through so much
that it hurt me to see my best friend go.

I became angry faced-
the loss of friendship over
my actions, now blamed for
harassment and stalking when
I see surveillance in the eyes
of my life.
Why do I have to learn this lesson?
Who do I learn with?
Where is my understanding?
Why do they not understand?
I am none of the things the
universe declares me; and yet
no light they cannot see in me.
Why did you fake me?
Why do you block me of my
freedom to say my story?
What is your story?
What love do you have if
someone sniped me?

I changed my view on love,
because the hate I've been
misjudged on for thirty-three years.
This ******* society is so messed up;
I have to live according to a
controlling and confused society.
You are like the rest-
put an act on, in front of friends,
and then when trouble comes
or the annoying person is
around, your on your way
to the hermit station.
I do not understand you;
I was not able to find
peace within you; and
I am confused about your love.
In fact, the only confirmation
I got was when someone else
said I tricked them until a
business gig that was never paid.  
And when I was blamed for lying,
I knew you people only put me out.
The most hateful thing to do is to lie
about one thing to save your reputation
to ruin others.
The reality is that you place angry faces
on those you love, but do not
understand agape for your own fantasies
are stuck elsewhere.
I am still trying to put the pieces together,
but I do know where the missing pieces are-
they are connected to you-
Until you understand the agape love-
we will both be missing love and peace
for each other in disguised of hatred.
You only hide me to forget me,
but it is the Heavenly hosts who destined us.

I now seek spiritual guidance;
I need to forget you;
I need to understand why I should;
And while I wish you begin to
understand, I realize that this, too
only a fantasy.
I only ask that someone take away
this rejection and hatred from me.
I fear that I will not see my
friend, again-
but who wants someone in their
life who is not understanding,
always faking me in front of others
than hiding me inside a closet-
abusing power over love?
I only know rejection and pain,
who wants to introduce me to
the Happy Face?

It is music which I found you;
It was the creative mind-
when you turned to the left side,
your subconscious has taken away
the right brain empathy,
which was taken for me.

Only hope is what is left;
The hope for new
found agape love and peace.
Let me allow my story-
let me allow my understanding;
let me allow you to tell me.
This poem could be quite graphic,due to the intended message of abuse, obsession, assault, and the fact that I lost friends who gave me more pain.  The idea of this poem is to allow people the opportunity to feel free to express their situation, and to let others who been through this know that I am feeling their pain, too.
That thou art blamed shall not be thy defect,
For slander’s mark was ever yet the fair;
The ornament of beauty is suspect,
A crow that flies in heaven’s sweetest air.
So thou be good, slander doth but approve
Thy worth the greater being wooed of time,
For canker vice the sweetest buds doth love,
And thou present’st a pure unstainèd prime.
Thou hast passed by the ambush of young days,
Either not assailed, or victor being charged;
Yet this thy praise cannot be so thy praise,
To tie up envy, evermore enlarged.
    If some suspect of ill masked not thy show,
    Then thou alone kingdoms of hearts shouldst owe.
Lens of Truth Nov 2014
I truly am pathetic.
But not for the ways you say.
For the way that I let you tear me down.
For the way I said it was my fault.
That everything was my fault.
In truth it was yours darling.
But I thought if I blamed myself,
then you wouldn’t be hurt.
That you would feel better about yourself.
And you did,
But I didn’t.

Now this is what it’s come to?
You, writing these spiteful lies you call poetry?
Now you’ve become pathe-

No…

I can’t speak of you this way.
I never could.
I always let you hurt me
with a smile on my face.
I always blamed myself,
though that was not the case.
I should have said something.
Stood up for myself.
But I didn’t want to hurt you,
Make you sad,
Make you feel the way I do…
I just wish
That these people,
The ones who read your poems
Knew the whole story,
My side of it.
The side that makes the ******, the villain
That makes the abuser,
the awful, disgusting, worm of a man,
just a sad, lonely and broken boy,
willing to destroy himself to see his true love happy.

But words are powerful
And hers may be better than mine.
If so then my story may go untold,
Unbelieved.
But, believed or not,
The truth must be told
I will no longer be that pathetic, submissive soul,
but instead an instrument to show the truth
A lens of truth…
I cant just sit here and let you destroy me. The truth will be known...
I shall never get out of this!  There are two of me now:
This new absolutely white person and the old yellow one,
And the white person is certainly the superior one.
She doesn't need food, she is one of the real saints.
At the beginning I hated her, she had no personality --
She lay in bed with me like a dead body
And I was scared, because she was shaped just the way I was

Only much whiter and unbreakable and with no complaints.
I couldn't sleep for a week, she was so cold.
I blamed her for everything, but she didn't answer.
I couldn't understand her stupid behavior!
When I hit her she held still, like a true pacifist.
Then I realized what she wanted was for me to love her:
She began to warm up, and I saw her advantages.

Without me, she wouldn't exist, so of course she was grateful.
I gave her a soul, I bloomed out of her as a rose
Blooms out of a vase of not very valuable porcelain,
And it was I who attracted everybody's attention,
Not her whiteness and beauty, as I had at first supposed.
I patronized her a little, and she lapped it up --
You could tell almost at once she had a slave mentality.

I didn't mind her waiting on me, and she adored it.
In the morning she woke me early, reflecting the sun
From her amazingly white torso, and I couldn't help but notice
Her tidiness and her calmness and her patience:
She humored my weakness like the best of nurses,
Holding my bones in place so they would mend properly.
In time our relationship grew more intense.

She stopped fitting me so closely and seemed offish.
I felt her criticizing me in spite of herself,
As if my habits offended her in some way.
She let in the drafts and became more and more absent-minded.
And my skin itched and flaked away in soft pieces
Simply because she looked after me so badly.
Then I saw what the trouble was:  she thought she was immortal.

She wanted to leave me, she thought she was superior,
And I'd been keeping her in the dark, and she was resentful --
Wasting her days waiting on a half-corpse!
And secretly she began to hope I'd die.
Then she could cover my mouth and eyes, cover me entirely,
And wear my painted face the way a mummy-case
Wears the face of a pharaoh, though it's made of mud and water.

I wasn't in any position to get rid of her.
She'd supported me for so long I was quite limp --
I had forgotten how to walk or sit,
So I was careful not to upset her in any way
Or brag ahead of time how I'd avenge myself.
Living with her was like living with my own coffin:
Yet I still depended on her, though I did it regretfully.

I used to think we might make a go of it together --
After all, it was a kind of marriage, being so close.
Now I see it must be one or the other of us.
She may be a saint, and I may be ugly and hairy,
But she'll soon find out that that doesn't matter a bit.
I'm collecting my strength; one day I shall manage without her,
And she'll perish with emptiness then, and begin to miss me.
Cyril Blythe Nov 2012
I followed Delvos down the trail until we could see the mouth of the mine. The life and energy of the surrounding birches and sentential pines came to a still and then died as we left the trees shelter behind and walked closer, closer. The air was cold and dark and damp and smelled of mold and moths. Delvos stepped into the darkness anyways.
“Well, girl, you coming or aren’t you?”
I could see his yellowed tobacco teeth form into a smile as I stepped out of the sun. It was still inside. The canary chirped in its cage.
“This tunnel is just the mouth to over two hundred others exactly like it. Stay close. Last thing I need this month is National Geographic on my *** for losing one of their puppet girls.”
“Delvos, ****. I have two masters degrees.” I pulled my mousey hair up into a tight ponytail. “I’ve experienced far more fatal feats than following a canary in a cave.”
He rolled his eyes. “Spare me.” He trotted off around the corner to the left, whistling some Louis Armstrong song.
“I survived alone in the jungles of Bolivia alone for two months chasing an Azara’s Spinetail. I climbed the tallest mountain in Nepal shooting Satyr Tragopans along the cliff faces. In Peru I…” Suddenly I felt the weight of the darkness. I lost track of his lantern completely. I stopped, my heartbeat picked up, and I tried to remind myself of what I had done in Peru. The mine was quiet and cold. I wiped my clammy, calloused hands on my trail pants and took a depth breath.

In through the nose. Out through the mouth. This is nothing. I followed a Diurnal Peruvian Pygmy-Owl across the gravel tops of the Andes Mountains, no light but the Southern Cross and waning moon above. I am not scared of darkness. I am not scared of darkness.
I stopped to listen. Behind me I could hear the wind cooing at the mouth of the mine.
Taunting? No. Reminding me to go forward. Into the darkness.
I shifted my Nikon camera off my shoulder and raised the viewfinder to my eyes, sliding the lens cap into my vest pocket. This routine motion, by now, had become as fluid as walking. I stared readily through the dark black square until I saw reflections from the little red light on top that blinked, telling me the flash was charged. I snapped my finger down and white light filled the void in front of me. Then heavy dark returned. I blinked my eyes attempting to rid the memories of the flash etched, red, onto my retina. I clicked my short fingernails through buttons until the photo I took filled the camera screen. I learned early on that having short fingernails meant more precise control with the camera buttons. I zoomed in on the picture and scrolled to get my bearings of exactly what lay ahead in the narrow mine passageway. As I scrolled to the right I saw Delvos’ boot poking around the tunnel that forked to the left.
Gottcha.
I packed up the camera, licked my drying lips, and stepped confidently into the darkness.

When I first got the assignment in Vermont I couldn’t have been more frustrated. Mining canaries? Never had I ever ‘chased’ a more mundane bird. Nonetheless, when Jack Reynolds sends you on a shoot you don’t say no, so I packed up my camera bag and hoped on the next plane out of Washington.
“His name is John Delvos.” Jack had said as he handed me the manila case envelope. He smiled, “You’re leaving on Tuesday.”
“Yes sir.”
“Don’t look so smug, Lila. This may not be the most exotic bird you’ve shot but the humanity of this piece has the potential to be a cover story. Get the shots, write the story.”
I opened the envelope and read the assignment details in the comfort of my old pajamas back at my apartment later that night.
John Delvos has lived in rural Vermont his entire life. His family bred the canaries for the miners of the Sheldon Quarry since the early twenties. When “the accident” happened the whole town shut down and the mines never reopened. . There were no canaries in the mines the day the gas killed the miners. The town blamed the Delvos family and ran them into the woods. His mother died in a fire of some sort shortly before Delvos and his father retreated into the Vermont woods. His father built a cabin and once his father died, Delvos continued to breed the birds. He currently ships them to other mining towns across the country. The question of the inhumanity of breeding canaries for the sole purpose of dying in the mines so humans don’t has always been controversial. Find out Delvos’ story and opinions on the matter. Good luck, Lila.
I sighed, accepting my dull assignment and slipped into an apathetic sleep.


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

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

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

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

“You finished yet?” Delvos stood up. The mine was dark, quiet, and stagnant. I closed the Ziploc and stuffed the bag, mainly filled with the raisins I had sifted through, into my pocket.
Delvos grunted and the canary flapped in its cage as he stood again and, swinging the lantern, rounded another corner. The path we were on began to take a noticeable ***** downward and the moisture on the walls and air multiplied.  
The lantern flickered against the moist, black stones, sleek and piled in the corners we past. The path stopped ahead at a wall of solid black and brown Earth.
The canary chirped twice.
It smelled of clay and mildew and Delvos said, “Go on, touch it.”
I reached my hand out, camera uselessly hanging like a bat over my shoulder. The rock was cold and hard. It felt dead.
The canary was fluttering its wings in the cage now, chirping every few seconds.
“This is the last tunnel they were digging when the gas under our feet broke free from hell and killed those men.”
Delvos hoisted the lantern above our heads, illuminatin
L Smida Nov 2012
I want innocence for a while
I'm sick of being blamed
Please let me lay low
I'm done being framed
I can't believe this
This isn't where I aimed
I'm not that crazy
I'm seriously well tamed
I can't take it anymore
For I'm too ashamed
I want to be forgiven
And not to be claimed
Jimmy Desire Sep 2010
Hidden Weapon
By: James Desire

See me walking on the vacant street
What’s your first thought?
Black kid up to no good
See me- surrounded by others, my brothers
What is your second thought?
Black kid in some gang
Must be tattooed and tough
Discrimination- Hidden Weapon
See the clothes I am wearing
Big baggy pants, dark Du-Rag and Ripped shirt
What is your final thought?
Poor old ****** living in a ghetto
Discrimination- Hidden Weapon
Now Listen,
You see me jetting through the silent streets
What would you assume then?
Arrest!
Call the cops
Must have been a ******, a robbery,
Another black boy crime
Discrimination- Hidden Weapon
I am just a black boy trying to survive
Trying to enjoy-just to stay alive
On the street
People judging me cause
The blackness of my skin
The types of clothes I’m in
Discrimination- Hidden Weapon  
Unsuspecting black child taunted, haunted…
Fearing that one word-*****
Should I be blamed for crimes committed in the past?
Choice-less decisions made
Pressure reaches ******
Everything seems lost
At the end
I feel blamed
Nevertheless, I blame you
Whites
Rejecting
Hurting
Me- hopeful
Pride-earned-not given
Defending
Defending my dignity
Discrimination- Hidden Weapon  
Should I be judged/blamed for past generations?
Then, blame me for…
The jazz of Louis Armstrong
The voice of Billie Holiday
The poetry of Langston Hughes
The photography of Gordon Parks
The character of Martin Luther King Jr.
The power of Coretta Scott King
The dignity of Fredrick Douglas
Finally, the individuality of James Desire
You seek evil in blacks
The past has also proven a positive…
A positive outcome
That helped the development…
OF OUR WORLD!
Jimmy Desire ©2010
ice
Cold, blue, wet, fragile, brittle, hard, steam solidified, water hardened, anger, fear, white, tensile,

steam solidified,
water hardened; you lie
in her wintered veins.

why?

"If she's awake, I'll **** you."
staccato words spoken
like a knife blade thrown...
...with malice and intent.

Her father's voice
from the bedroom next door
no sound of her mother.

The female child cowered
under her candy-striped sheets
their usual soft comfort
unnoticed

footsteps
door handle moving
light seeping into her sanctuary

her heart thudded
trying to escape her chest
as she held her breath.

"Please, please don't hear me."
a silent plea as
fear snatched her in its icy grip.

She could smell him
smell the cigarettes
smell his power.

She waited.

He backed out
returned to her mother
between her heartbeats
she heard the slap

"You are lucky this time,
*****. She sleeps."
Heavy footsteps down the stairs
punctuated by her mother's tears.

                            ~~~~~~~~~~~

The girl child had only ever blamed her mother
decades of anger and bitterness
the memory of this night buried deep.
Crazed hard ice beneath the tundra of her life.

In the third decade of the girl child's life
her mother died
alone
never forgiven for what she hadn't done
nor for what she had.

The ice remained in the girl child's veins
If anything, thicker...harder.

Then in her fifth decade this ice became water
as with the passage of life the tundra thawed
and rising with it to the surface
the truth.

Then what?

The girl child worked hard at staying warm
at keeping the ice at bay.
Not easy.

Nothing was ever said to her father.

In her sixth decade the girl child's father died
embraced in his daughter's arms
forgiven for what he had done
and for what he hadn't.

The woman had finally thawed
she was properly warm
her own love
finally able to flow
rs Jul 2014
men ask us
"what is a **** culture?"

when a woman's "no"
enters through the mind of a man and comes out as
"convince me"
that is a **** culture

when i cannot walk down the streets at night
without my keys between my fingers
that is a **** culture

when a victim is blamed
and a criminal is sympathized with because
"he had such a bright future"
that is a **** culture

when he was an adult and i was a child
and you dare to ask me what i was wearing
that is a **** culture

so if you're asking me
"what is a **** culture"
i will tell you

*it is our ******* culture
Robin Carretti Aug 2018
Hearts another beat a second
A+ made the grade rare meat
Why is everything told to
us in a heartbeat
This is getting way too sweet
"Lips took Beeswax" bittersweet

Someone got stung B-
Strong sound muffler
Joyride Owl Hoot clever
Sweet and sourpuss
honey babe

Her mustard lips of custard
Hot temperature rising
The spicy lady opening
up new horizon gate

Too many sad rides
empty plates last joyride
Gas empty blame the county
Why did we call this joyride
without knowing
your fate

The others are more noticed
Fashionably they came late
Dine and the Wine joyride
romanced money upfront
advanced

Lips like jewels left their stale
You were the chosen one taken
for a ride from
a crooked male

Like bushel big loot basket
Rock the Kasbah rocket
Golden joyride ticket the
pickpocket
Getting away with ******
****** lips in the gasket

The joyride so beat looked
disheveled new love
unraveled
So messy but **** neat
looking, Lexus,
She looks mighty fine like
Venus, I beg you to zoom

And the love after all the treats
Sherlocked in his room
The devil made me do it
All flushed and deep red
Hearing his joyride of beats
What was really going
through her head
Hard rock ambient
painter deviant

The holiday like racing hot rod
Harvest Halloween of a joyride
Two peas in dark maze pod
Igniting a hot fire
Her lips need to decide
Who was underneath the
fumes of his fire

The coffee taste accelerating
Do we feel the pulsing beat
What a high anxiety peak
High intense flavor
You waiting for his joyride
Christmas and Hannukah
Tree to decide that's easier
But wait for true love above all
the gifts to deliver
Like bedrock meeting
Monster ride plant-eating Bug
More slugs my chinch
Inchworm of books at Joyride
College Dorm horn alarm
Manifestation enjoying
her joyride
What a conniver
Greece with my niece
vacation
Basil New rival tea
Pomegranate Cherry-bomb
Blonde Bombshell
Culture novelty joyride
Ring my servant bell
Met their sanity tomb

Her hand's dainty they shine
and sparkle
Her lips know how to jingle
Arace for hearts of stories
and memories
Always the death hand takes
a ride to the winding road of
the cemeteries
Just stay for the moment
think about the
Joyride forth of July
Our firecrackers went off at
the same time
Brie cheese favorite time
English tea and crackers
Like two lips sublime read
her diaries in his designer dockers

Going to the end of the earth lips
light up New York City galleries

Needing the fresh corner
Sunset taking lowrider Boulevard
Hollywood Oh! No world
Wildly satanic or the carefree type
Her joy smile he's sold on skype
Benevolent triad remembering
The mad magazine
MLM Maserati longevity Master
Of the joyride gun blaster
"Lips build like a Pyramid"
Becoming irresistible
Not to humble

Lips race Joyride to gamble
Nothing weakens to crumble
Baking a crumb cake its
doable stays together but
things unnamed not like
a marriage

We get blamed joyride
got damaged
We become gullible
What becomes of the broken heart
someone isn't reliable
Lips are not responsible
Leadership has you cornered  
To stumble upon her lips
Rendered steamboat surrender
How he tumbles
Mr. Grey Poupon Mustard seed
He plants her like his
only joyride
In need
We are all Jupiter the moon
joy to the world
All the boys and girls being
taken for joyrides

The Beach boy's video games
Spy lips whose to blame
Phillip screwdriver
But they take a ride
All you could pick a hot buffet
feasting she is still wearing
hot lipstick
Men have their choice of
they're next
Joyride Bride about the money
Wall-Street cars of hobbies
investing
Yeah right?
Lips take a joyride can we all please take a moment lets decide what we will do.
Is it really up to you for the road always him light that fire trim lips glow joyride fires out you tell the world what it is all about?
Mr Ketchups first trip on a tram
A Story by ROSALIND






Jun 2014

Title



Mr. Ketchup was ready and waiting for the first tram to run to the Burgh Street airport. It had been years of utter chaos with all the road works and the endless track being laid on every road in Butterworth town.
  ‘About time too - my feet are killing me’ said Ketchup.
  ‘Yes,' answered a bleary eyed Haggis.
  ‘Oh I do wish that these people would stop shoveling’ snapped Ketchup.
  ‘Be patient otherwise we’ll all land up on the floor’ said Haggis.
  ‘It’s hardly surprising, look at everyone all packed in like sardines.’ groaned Ketchup.
  ‘Oh Mr Ketchup why do you have to complain about the least wee thing? Torn-face Tomato frowned.



The tram took ages before reaching the first station, and poor old Ketchup was desperate for a cold drink. He certainly looked annoyed in fact he seemed like he'd pass out at any second. No one could get moving and soon it would be time for the journey to end. But oh dear Mr. Ketchup felt dizzy and stars were floating in front of his eyes. Slowly he lost his balance and landed on the next lot of passengers, knocking them to the floor. Haggis looked like he’d seen a ghost. Well as you can imagine it wasn't a good experience for Mr Ketchup and his friends. The conductor stopped the tram while the other passengers got off in disgust making complaints to the conductor.
Mr Ketchup slowly came around while Haggis returned with a glass of cold water.
   ‘Eek ...what happened, my head feels a bit funny moaned Ketchup.
Neaps and Haggis hardly had time to explain when the ambulance arrived to take him to the hospital. Mr. Ketchup made a big fuss about lying on the stretcher but Haggis insisted on it. He lay wincing all the way to the hospital because of all the bumpy roads. They shouldn't have spent all of that money on the trams - it was shocking. It would have been far better to fix all these holes in the road he thought to himself.

After a long day Mr Ketchup climbed into bed and fell fast asleep. The very next morning the incident appeared in the local newspaper. The transport department were blamed for overcrowding the tram. The council were looking into the health and safety rules. Due to the very serious injuries that poor old Ketchup had suffered, he would be in line for a huge pay out or so he thought.
It wasn't until the first hearing in the court that he realised it would only be a pittance.

   Well I might have known it was too good to be true. He thought If they think that they can fob me off with sweets then they have got another coming. He smirked.      

  ‘What do you have in mind Haggis?’ he said looking worried."
  ‘Just you wait and see’ said Ketchup grinning.



The very next day Ketchup got up early and he had written half a dozen letters to very important people. One too the prime-minster to start with.
Within a matter of a week he received the letter that he longed for, inviting Ketchup to the prime-minister’s office. Mr Ketchup couldn't find his best suit, ‘Oh bother he thought the only one I do have has shrunk at the legs. It looks like my cat has died in them.’ he wailed.
  ‘Oh just look at you’ laughed Neaps and Haggis.
  ‘Why are you laughing at me?’ frowned Ketchup."
  ‘You're going dressed like a *****’ he roared with laughter.
  ‘You do look rather strange Neaps’ he said and looking away trying not to laugh again.
  ‘Well I suppose so if you say so’ he nodded.
  ‘Look why don't you all come down to mine, and I’ll sort you out smiled Torn-Faced Tomato.



Mr Ketchup couldn't believe what he was hearing, had Torn-face turned over a new leaf or maybe she had a soft spot after all. Half an hour later Ketchup looked fit to see the queen, neatly dressed in a tweed jacket with matching trousers and a white shirt with a green tie. He looked ever so smart. Ketchup whistled but oh dear he never noticed the cat tail and went flying, landing right in the cats dinner.  

Oh dear it looks like Mr Ketchup won't be going anywhere for the time being.....
What do you think?




Jun 2014

Title



Mr. Ketchup was ready and waiting for the first tram to run to the Burgh Street airport. It had been years of utter chaos with all the road works and the endless track being laid on every road in Butterworth town.
  ‘About time too - my feet are killing me’ said Ketchup.
  ‘Yes,' answered a bleary eyed Haggis.
  ‘Oh I do wish that these people would stop shoveling’ snapped Ketchup.
  ‘Be patient otherwise we’ll all land up on the floor’ said Haggis.
  ‘It’s hardly surprising, look at everyone all packed in like sardines.’ groaned Ketchup.
  ‘Oh Mr Ketchup why do you have to complain about the least wee thing? Torn-face Tomato frowned.



The tram took ages before reaching the first station, and poor old Ketchup was desperate for a cold drink. He certainly looked annoyed in fact he seemed like he'd pass out at any second. No one could get moving and soon it would be time for the journey to end. But oh dear Mr. Ketchup felt dizzy and stars were floating in front of his eyes. Slowly he lost his balance and landed on the next lot of passengers, knocking them to the floor. Haggis looked like he’d seen a ghost. Well as you can imagine it wasn't a good experience for Mr Ketchup and his friends. The conductor stopped the tram while the other passengers got off in disgust making complaints to the conductor.
Mr Ketchup slowly came around while Haggis returned with a glass of cold water.
   ‘Eek ...what happened, my head feels a bit funny moaned Ketchup.
Neaps and Haggis hardly had time to explain when the ambulance arrived to take him to the hospital. Mr. Ketchup made a big fuss about lying on the stretcher but Haggis insisted on it. He lay wincing all the way to the hospital because of all the bumpy roads. They shouldn't have spent all of that money on the trams - it was shocking. It would have been far better to fix all these holes in the road he thought to himself.

After a long day Mr Ketchup climbed into bed and fell fast asleep. The very next morning the incident appeared in the local newspaper. The transport department were blamed for overcrowding the tram. The council were looking into the health and safety rules. Due to the very serious injuries that poor old Ketchup had suffered, he would be in line for a huge pay out or so he thought.
It wasn't until the first hearing in the court that he realised it would only be a pittance.

   Well I might have known it was too good to be true. He thought If they think that they can fob me off with sweets then they have got another coming. He smirked.      

  ‘What do you have in mind Haggis?’ he said looking worried."
  ‘Just you wait and see’ said Ketchup grinning.



The very next day Ketchup got up early and he had written half a dozen letters to very important people. One too the prime-minster to start with.
Within a matter of a week he received the letter that he longed for, inviting Ketchup to the prime-minister’s office. Mr Ketchup couldn't find his best suit, ‘Oh bother he thought the only one I do have has shrunk at the legs. It looks like my cat has died in them.’ he wailed.
  ‘Oh just look at you’ laughed Neaps and Haggis.
  ‘Why are you laughing at me?’ frowned Ketchup."
  ‘You're going dressed like a *****’ he roared with laughter.
  ‘You do look rather strange Neaps’ he said and looking away trying not to laugh again.
  ‘Well I suppose so if you say so’ he nodded.
  ‘Look why don't you all come down to mine, and I’ll sort you out smiled Torn-Faced Tomato.



Mr Ketchup couldn't believe what he was hearing, had Torn-face turned over a new leaf or maybe she had a soft spot after all. Half an hour later Ketchup looked fit to see the queen, neatly dressed in a tweed jacket with matching trousers and a white shirt with a green tie. He looked ever so smart. Ketchup whistled but oh dear he never noticed the cat tail and went flying, landing right in the cats dinner.  

Oh dear it looks like Mr Ketchup won't be going anywhere for the time being.....
What do you think?





Jun 2014

Title



Mr. Ketchup was ready and waiting for the first tram to run to the Burgh Street airport. It had been years of utter chaos with all the road works and the endless track being laid on every road in Butterworth town.
  ‘About time too - my feet are killing me’ said Ketchup.
  ‘Yes,' answered a bleary eyed Haggis.
  ‘Oh I do wish that these people would stop shoveling’ snapped Ketchup.
  ‘Be patient otherwise we’ll all land up on the floor’ said Haggis.
  ‘It’s hardly surprising, look at everyone all packed in like sardines.’ groaned Ketchup.
  ‘Oh Mr Ketchup why do you have to complain about the least wee thing? Torn-face Tomato frowned.



The tram took ages before reaching the first station, and poor old Ketchup was desperate for a cold drink. He certainly looked annoyed in fact he seemed like he'd pass out at any second. No one could get moving and soon it would be time for the journey to end. But oh dear Mr. Ketchup felt dizzy and stars were floating in front of his eyes. Slowly he lost his balance and landed on the next lot of passengers, knocking them to the floor. Haggis looked like he’d seen a ghost. Well as you can imagine it wasn't a good experience for Mr Ketchup and his friends. The conductor stopped the tram while the other passengers got off in disgust making complaints to the conductor.
Mr Ketchup slowly came around while Haggis returned with a glass of cold water.
   ‘Eek ...what happened, my head feels a bit funny moaned Ketchup.
Neaps and Haggis hardly had time to explain when the ambulance arrived to take him to the hospital. Mr. Ketchup made a big fuss about lying on the stretcher but Haggis insisted on it. He lay wincing all the way to the hospital because of all the bumpy roads. They shouldn't have spent all of that money on the trams - it was shocking. It would have been far better to fix all these holes in the road he thought to himself.

After a long day Mr Ketchup climbed into bed and fell fast asleep. The very next morning the incident appeared in the local newspaper. The transport department were blamed for overcrowding the tram. The council were looking into the health and safety rules. Due to the very serious injuries that poor old Ketchup had suffered, he would be in line for a huge pay out or so he thought.
It wasn't until the first hearing in the court that he realised it would only be a pittance.

   Well I might have known it was too good to be true. He thought If they think that they can fob me off with sweets then they have got another coming. He smirked.      

  ‘What do you have in mind Haggis?’ he said looking worried."
  ‘Just you wait and see’ said Ketchup grinning.



The very next day Ketchup got up early and he had written half a dozen letters to very important people. One too the prime-minster to start with.
Within a matter of a week he received the letter that he longed for, inviting Ketchup to the prime-minister’s office. Mr Ketchup couldn't find his best suit, ‘Oh bother he thought the only one I do have has shrunk at the legs. It looks like my cat has died in them.’ he wailed.
  ‘Oh just look at you’ laughed Neaps and Haggis.
  ‘Why are you laughing at me?’ frowned Ketchup."
  ‘You're going dressed like a *****’ he roared with laughter.
  ‘You do look rather strange Neaps’ he said and looking away trying not to laugh again.
  ‘Well I suppose so if you say so’ he nodded.
  ‘Look why don't you all come down to mine, and I’ll sort you out smiled Torn-Faced Tomato.



Mr Ketchup couldn't believe what he was hearing, had Torn-face turned over a new leaf or maybe she had a soft spot after all. Half an hour later Ketchup looked fit to see the queen, neatly dressed in a tweed jacket with matching trousers and a white shirt with a green tie. He looked ever so smart. Ketchup whistled but oh dear he never noticed the cat tail and went flying, landing right in the cats dinner.  

Oh dear it looks like Mr Ketchup won't be going anywhere for the time being..
What do you think?
Erica R Garcia Feb 2016
For years I blamed me
I blamed me for what you did to me
Since I didn't kick and scream
We had to be a team.
Since I didn't shed a tear
I wasn't in fear.
Since I didn't run and tell
It wasn't really hell.
Since my mouth wasn't taped
I wasn't really *****.

But now I blame you
For what you felt the need to do
Because I didn't need to kick or bite
or really put up that much of a fight
I didn't need to run
or say I wasn't having fun
I didn't need to flail
or go and spread the tale
I didn't need to ball
or even cause a brawl
Because I said no
That's all you had to know
That what you did was wrong.
What you should have known all along
Many years ago I was involved in a situation where I didn't fight back. I didn't attack. But I am still the victim. People today still do not understand that NO MEANS NO.
Mateuš Conrad Apr 2016
talk of empire can be a tedium to say the least,
the Maharajahs of India never felt more
at home with european literature and
culture overall, but class system doubly
emphasised - or as the television series proved -
hardly an affair for the pithy concerns of
pitiable folk - first season i never bothered to
sense a tightening -
you see, looking at colonialism is not looking
at racism - racism has a dynamic to it,
colonialism has a hierarchy - the two differ,
second season in i sense colonialism as the
intelligent form of racism, presuppositions too many,
racism for the poor and the idiotic and
colonialism for the rich and cultured and
Gentlemanly - pork buttocks for the fork to my care,
i said once i'm not into these post-colonial
dynamics in England - the only winners are
Australians, former convicts who care much about
preservation of the populace of crocodiles -
this 2nd season is really piling it in to differentiate
between barbaric discrimination and civilised
discrimination - i guess a prior history of instilled
hierarchy made the Maharajahs akin to the Brits
(the caste system, untouchables in Bengali),
the "great rulers" didn't mind, they were actually
trying to be kept in the commonwealth -
such aristocracy easily scared and even more easily
scarred - the aristocrats of communism came from
the intelligentsia - bookworms and hardly the
pompous old farts ready to hunt tigers replacing
goats with little children tied to wooden poles -
that's what capitalism fears, a coerced class of
intelligent people, coerced into a class, they fear this,
it's hard to control such people, collective ignorance
is too easily dissected and denied, via doubt -
hardly a reason to be a recipient of existence (out of
every instance per se, hence the sigma unfathomable) -
and to only be rewarded with entertainment?
these far-left intellectuals breed on thought to be
the sole existential reward, and subsequently entertainment;
i too find thinking a pleasure, when you assume that
there's no reward for it, or a reliability to it
being a kindred of an ***** phallus -
never mind - you see, this talk of empires has given
me an ideal conclusive remark:
landlocked empires, or, should i say,
empires that thrive on spreading via land alone,
ref. e.g. to the Mongol or the Alexandrian empire...
they're short lived, they increase landmass exponentially
and very successfully - their motto:
strike the iron while it's hot -
they depend on constant success - they require
a bacterial like membrane of being seemingly
invincible - these land locked empires come and go
very quickly -
unlike the second type of empire building,
those which also require more than horse hoofs
at a gallop, the ones that treat the power of the seas
as its arteries, and land as their veins -
the British empire, the Roman empire -
once an empire is dependent on sea and subsequently
trade, it will be convincingly successful and will
outlast all those brutal empires that spread via land alone -
russia is indeed an anomaly - but then again hardly
an anomaly given the harsh terrain it encompasses -
no one wants to live there, who in their right state
of mind would, anyway?
the russian pride has a weakness - siberia -
oh **** looks great, a 12" protruding **** of geography,
but it's Siberia, -40°C... the way i see it, Russia
is the size of from its borders with Ukraine
Belarus and the Baltic states and the Ural mountains...
the rest is Mongolia - the peoples are steppe Eskimos.
so to summarise - ambitions of empire building that
do not utilise the power of the sea are indeed
the largest but also of the shortest lifespan -
like that old fable of an old farmer dividing his land
among his sons - sooner or later it ends up
a complex intricacy akin to the Holy Roman Empire -
or as the Romans said: dub the germans holy
and you're going straight to hell! little princes that became
major beggars and leeches - the louse jealousy took over...
breadcrumb like land ownership:
20 kilograms of potatoes a year for each son,
enough to feed a pig for a month...
and yes, doubly conclusive, i don't know why
Christianity is blamed for the desecration of greek
culture, the so called "robbing of the greek culture" -
i can't imagine any singled out people
to be infused with ****** and keep it up -
Nietzsche blamed Socrates, the modern intellectuals
blamed Jesus of Nazareth... you know who i blame?
Alexander the great, a Macedonian after all,
and Aristotle (partially) -
that's the greeks though - the Mongols had nothing
prior and nothing after of note on the blank page
or care for a library, and perhaps that's all the better,
you hardly hear news from Mongolia in our
present age... they had the wind to write their history
in that great Genghis Khan Stampede;
i did tell you that the communist experiment took
place in Mongolia, didn't i? before it was accepted
as counter-Tsar pyramidal and later in the satellite states
it was first tested in Mongolia...
if you don't believe me, believe the guy who
sat in the UCL history library and was writing up
essay notes roughly 9 years ago.
Devin Ortiz Nov 2016
Is to be told all the ways you don't matter
It is to be angry and afraid
It is to watch people walk on the opposite side of the street to avoid you
It is to be told to get over slavery
It is to be told that I'm not racist I have black friends
It is to be told the definition of racism like you don't already know
It is to be told hey what about reverse racism
It is to have a white terrorist group dedicated to your elimination
It is to be more worried about threats in your own country and those abroad
It is to wonder daily if your family will be safe, if they will get to come home
It is to called a **** for speaking out against the hate
It is to be called lazy when you work full time to provide for your family
It is to walk past folks and watch as the clench their purse or pockets
It is to be to have people fear you, when you feel more threatened then they ever could
It is to be told that privilege doesn't exist
It is to be told you are equal, except you know that in the courtroom, in the eyes of the law, the job market, the housing market, in the classroom, it is a ****** lie
It is to be live in a world where 1 in 3 black men are in prison
It is to know that they have sentences longer than white counterparts
It is to know they use prison labor to exploit them, slavery living on
It is to know that the police which are a relief for some, are a nightmare for you
It is to know that you can do everything right and be killed by someone sworn to protect you
It is to know that you will be blamed for your death inspite of this
It is to have the life choked out of you and a man telling you, **** your breathe
It is to hear what about black on black crime, even though every race commuts crime against their own kind the most
It is to remember white flight and the repercussions of it
It is to have family who have seen the bloodiness of the covil rights movement
It is to be taught in school how great this country is while ignoring the evil its done
It is to be taught in school how little you meant
It is to wake up every 2 weeks to another hashtag of some poor black fella to be forgot in a week
It is to want to simply be acknowledged that things arent right, and being ignored to this day
It is to be villianized in the media
It is to see that flag everyone holds dear and remember that pain it caused you
It is to fight and die for a country that still doesn't care about you
It is to be told to go back to Africa as if this wasnt stolen land
It is to be told I dont see you as black, you're just the same to me
It is to be told well you don't count as black, you don't act black
It is to have your culture stolen
It is to have value placed on your mysic and style and not your skin
It is to hear what would MLK think about these protest
It is to remember that people celebrated his assassination
It is to remember the slurs and the hate he recieved
It is to have people know they don't want to be treated the way you are
It is to want whats always been denied, the privilege of walking in your own skin without fear of persecution
It is to see family, friends and peers celebrate and share racist ideas and beleifs
It is being reassured they still value you
It is to know but not enough to matter

Being black in America is a lot of things, and I love the country all the same.

But I hope and pray for the day, that we can be treated the same.
OdotLondon Sep 2012
Love would be disappointed

to have such an unloving act performed in his name I

guess there was more fish present than I stated

and I was selling them

So afraid to hurt her that I hurt her

A secret turned flame of truth

because that’s what fire does

Two wrongs don’t make a right

just a broken heart

shattered

and we blamed it on love
kyle ekay Jan 2019
it has been over two years and i am proud of my growth. my main focus this year is to finish my grieving so that i may continue my life in an efficient manner.
the process of grieving is commonly known as, but not limited to:

denial
anger
bargaining
depression
acceptance

my denial proces:
many times the easiest way to get over trauma is to repress it. i was 15 when i was ra ped. legal age of consent is 16. he was 18. i was naive, and could not imagine the man i loved doing that to me. i believed that it was an accident and neither of us knew what was right or wrong. I had assumed that because i had previously given him my body, he was able to ignore my pleads to stop this time. i blamed myself more than i blamed him, and he blamed me. i had been so infatuated with him that i had pushed away the people who cared most about me. when i told them about being ***** our bond was already so far gone that they could not feel anything more than pitty. i was terrified of losing him, so i convinced us both it was an accident. ra pe is no accident.

through denial became anger:
i became genuinely angry for the first time in my life. i was angry at him for being somebody that i had trusted and loved. angry that i had let this happen to myself. angry that i had no strength nor respect to stand up for myself. if i had told him to stop one more time he would have. i understand now that i should not have had to say no more than once. i was angry because i let myself down, but I’m more angry that i could not blame him. being angry was the easiest part of grieving. it is okay to he angry.

bargaining is a toxic healing method:
i became really good at bargaining with myself. after he was gone i had begun to understand my emotions, but i could not control them. my fear of more being taken from me fed my overcompensation. i began to give my body away, so that it could not be taken. it was an unhealthy coping mechanism. my body is not meant to be given nor taken.

depression hit hard:
i began to reflect on all of the points in my life that had lead me to this one. i became close to restarting the grieving process. i spent a long portion of the depression stage in denial. then i was angry that i had backtracked to the beginning. i had more meaningless se x that i now regret more than anything. i saw how good his life had been going and how poorly mine was. it was obvious that i needed help.

acceptance:
this entire passage was my process to acceptance. i reached out to my therapist. i made new friends. i stopped wallowing in self pity and i began to recover. i stopped begging to forget my flaws and began to forgive them.
Sarah Jun 2014
I. You told me that you saw the universe in my eyes whenever we stared at each other for longer than six seconds. The universe is infinite and I thought you were comparing it to our love.

II. You fell in love with the way I laughed and acted around you because I reminded you of a rose bud that you planted on your garden. Little did you know, a rose has its thorns and I'm guessing you weren't prepared for that.

III. The first time you looked at me with tears streaming down my cheeks, you blamed me for being so ugly looking. I was cursing myself when you walked out the door and didn't look back.

IV. Months after you left and I was buried deep under the ground, he found me. ***** and covered in mud, he washed me from head to toe. I knew I'd fall for him.

V. He and I had our first kiss on New Year's Eve and he gave me hope more than you ever did. I knew I deserved him.

VI. I saw you walking down the street while I was holding his hand and the next thing I knew, you were screaming so loud I could barely understand what you said. Later, I found out that you were cursing me for being freed by him from where you buried me.

VII. I found a letter by the front door the very next day and all that it said was how the writer could still see the mud on my face and on my back, just like the last time they saw me. I knew the writer was you.

VIII. The night he found out about the letter, he hugged me ever so tightly and he swore he wouldn't let anybody harm me. Let the Power above dealt with the problem.

IX. I'm happier than ever now that I know I have someone whom I can hold on to. I don't even see any mud on my face; it is you who's covered with dirt the most.
I wrote this for my friend and I thought, well, I'd post it here!
Shaurya Pal Jan 2014
As I scarpered away, I could hear the voices,
echoing through the steel walls.
The cries, the vociferations, catching up to me,
couldn't fathom the escape, with a plan full of flaws.

Turning left, bending right,
running in circles, an endless plight.
The drug they induced,
pumping through my veins,
blocking my vision, severing the mains.
Don't know for how long,
I can put up this fight.

The sentinels advanced,
as fast and agile as they ever could be.
The alarm had rung more than once,
red lights poured all over the scene.

Needle in hand, dipped in ataractic,
who were they fooling, with that mild sedative?
I raced with every semblance of life I had,
couldn't survive this hell-hole.
Another day here would've driven me mad.

As the unexpected turn came,
I banged the door with the unknown name.
Fell face first, the momentum it carried me,
Scraped through the floor, stomach felt queasy.
Warm liquid oozed out of my nose,
dripping tardily as I rose,
the environment all but blurry.


Insanity Prevailed


As I blacked out,
I recalled how I came to be,
this house of horrors, delivered to me.
'Magnolia', home of the mentally challenged,
avowed 'care for the community'.

The head-shrink had advised,
you be safe, a feeling I imbibed.
A wry smile and that was it,
'Magnolia' She exclaimed,' would deem you fit.'

Believing in every word of hers,
I opened the door, welcomed
by the smell of fresh carcass,
the shabby floor with spots of dirt,
and people, oh lord the great unwashed,
like walking zombies, feelings inert.
They looked at me, some smiled and some laughed,
others cried, rest merely coughed.
So this is it, the house of the harebrained,
this was going to be my life,
Living among the insane.

I harbored no ill will,
But I couldn't absolve,
this feeling, inside me,
no friends no family, nothing normal.
Lasting with the un-dead,
my new destiny.

They filed me,
Gave a number, names were difficult to process,
66 it was, perfect, contributed  distress.
Admitted to my room, solitary for the neophyte,
'Morning' they said,' begins a new life.'

With a wicked smile they left me alone,
I was meek enough to cry, stiff enough to moan.
I wailed the whole night, the walls resonated,
the shrill of metal, the demons it encouraged.
The lights polished off, staring at the darkness,
all the monsters , the behemoth, dancing around me,
an invitation to their everlasting music.


Insanity Persisted


A specter bobbed up from the tiled floor,
gazed at me and pointed to the door.
'Rise, Awaken, my soul',
and the door opened with a loud crack,
'You must hurry, the guards will be back'.
I sat bolt upright, the apparition never lied.

Nose still bleeding, I took flight with haste,
looked back, they had dropped the chase.
It felt safe after a long time,
The world must know, of their wicked little crime.
They had to be stopped, the Doctor, the Nurse,
all of which were part of the crust,
which protected the whacko who experimented on us.

End of the hall, I noticed the Blue door,
It had to be the one, which will take me off-shore.
Head still paining, the doses that drained,
the vigor and strength, I couldn't sustain.
One last time, I had to draft
my will my power, from within.
To conjure up all my might,
before the shadows cave in.

As I drew nearer, towards the blue threshold.
I knew there was no looking back,  
nothing left to unfold.
I slowed down, one step at a time,
I could taste freedom, a taste so sublime.
My hand reached the door,
and gently turned the ****,
I pushed open the exit
and stared at the waiting mob.

Before I could assimilate,
with my failure and disappointment.
Someone jabbed a needle,
covering my mouth, crackling my vent.
Pushing me again, down the memory lane.


Insanity Pursued


The days were bad,
the nights equally worse.
A thin line existed between illusion and insanity,
indistinguishable they became, virtual and reality.
One could hear screams, begging for mercy,
Which the henchmen showed no sign of,
and continued to treat the already cured.

Those who betrayed, yearning exemption,
were treated with immense brutality.
Straightjackets, shackles and all sorts of gear,
were enough to put a man in psychotic fear.
The staff comprised barbarians and sadists.
Who lacked the basic sense of morality.

Shock therapy, voltage to its max,
bound and gagged, glued to the sacks.
The jolt of the lightning hitting them hard,
enough to churn up the flesh into lard.
They drugged the sufferer, the dupe would tranquil,
the fallout was horrible, it would make them frenzied.

For those beyond cure,
who lived for mere existence,
earned their own private, privileged experiment.
A special space, a hidden chamber,
well beyond, beneath the ground.
Defecated walls, layered flesh and blood,
****** fluids scattered,
in abundance, constituting a flood.
Human torture, vicious and cruel.

In a place so dark even the demons would fear,
how could I survive? This life to me was dear.
And the patients, the patients wouldn't help,
for them it was a game, live a day, reward for the next.
Some were quiet, lost in their own world,
speaking, whispering and talking to themselves.
Some looked sane, but stuck in paranoia,
for them the universe could any day cease to exist,
pertaining to their biggest phobia.
some were smart, they indulged in theories,
the real world mattered less to them.
And then there were the trigger-happy.
The truly maddened ones, violent with rage.
Every day was a battle, they fought within the cage.
They couldn't help me, for I wasn't crazy,
Just your usual guy, a victim of fate.

Magnolia was a place, where people ****** away their souls,
I wasn't ready to sell mine.
I had to escape, make an elaborate design.
There were no doctors at night, just the cruel handy-men,
had all the time in the world to formulate a plan,
question was, to execute when?

One night the attendant came,
wearing  a strange jumpsuit,
pen in breast-pocket,
woke me up and proclaimed, 'Get up you imbecile,
it's your turn in the lab today.
Stand up now, I ain't got all day!'
'HAH! You could try young man, to put me down,
but I ain't going to your lousy town'.
To this he smacked at my retort,
and laughed with a disgusting little snort.
'One more time you test my good nature,
and I swear to God I'll ruin your caricature.'
'Go ahead then give it your best shot,
You want me dead, do you not?'.
His laughter, this time, deafened the silence all around.
'You're dead fool! If it were up to me I'd skin you flesh and bone,
The amount of ruckus you create, the annoyance you hone,
But the good doctor has plans and once he's done with you..'
His unfinished sentence struck a nerve so strong,
my eyes rolled over,
what could possibly go wrong?

So the man with the strange jumpsuit,
dragged me all the way to the office.
The dimly lit room, ornamented a large crucifix.
Dear lord, you see how they mock?
Came back the degenerate with a big round lock.
'Oh yes, this is for you my friend,
chains aren't enough, straightjacket I will get.
Sit still you half-wit, else you'd regret'.
And I smiled and waited.
He returned as promised, with the piece of vestiary,
a twisted sense of humor, whoever built this monstrosity.

He stared where I looked, into his breast pocket.
'What's missing pal?' I asked in amusement.
He stopped everything and looked around.
With a motion so fast, it could only fly by,
gripping the pen, I poked him in the eye.
Ink exuded instead of blood,
the large man fell, loud with a thud.
The immense pain had him in shock,
now was the time for me to run amok.
But I kept focus, and ran for the door,
promised myself never to look back anymore.
Eloped with the only chance I foxed.


Insanity Reigned


The source of light was so strong,
I twitched a lot, just to see what's going on.
Caged in a room, no wait, a theatre!
****! I was so close to getting out.
The staff, I assume, were prepared all along.
Hatched a sinister plot, to show where I belong.
They had me now, tied to a work bench,
metal clasps around my wrist,
belted to the maximum limit.
For some odd reason they had me gagged,
the tape tasted foul, hygiene they lacked.
I wrestled my wrists with the wrought metal clamp.
But they were tight, wouldn't budge,
getting them off needed more than a nudge.

Alas the doctor came, with a frown upon his face,
With great ruefulness, he peeled off the tape.
'You caused us a great deal of trouble today.
None of our methods have impacted on you, what do you have to say?'
'Serves you right, you junk-less freak!' I was happy he was disappointed,
'That's not a very nice thing to say' responded the doctor, almost agitated.

He picked up an instrument,
a big long nail, the pointed end was so sharp,
I could feel it piercing through my brain.
Next he lifted a mallet,
which shone so bright it reflected upon my face.
To what devilish purpose could they serve?
The doctor took his time, and allowed me to observe.
He wore his mask, the mask of a surgeon,
at this time of the night? Surely he wasn't
planning to operate on me.
'Leave me alone, what are you doing?
Surely you know I'm not to be blamed, I don't belong here.
This is insane!'
'Wrong again 66, the society would never accept you.
You killed your wife and children, ******'s on you.'
It was at this moment the specter re-appeared, right behind the doctor.
Calling me, my name,
'They're all lying, you didn't **** anyone, they're framing you.'
'LIAR!' I spat at the doctor, 'You know she's is alive and waiting for me at the doorstep,
As always' I said.
'Yes she is waiting, but only at her death bed.'
'LIAR! You know my kids are sleeping peacefully at home!'
'Yes they are, but the sleep is eternal.'
'LIES! I can't **** a person,not even a fly!'
'And yet you poked my assistant right in the eye!'

The specter now appeared closer,
in a calming tone almost a whisper,
'Do not believe a word they said.
You're not a killer, just a victim of fate.'
Exactly, that's precisely what I meant.

With all the strength my voice box could muster,
I cried so hard the doctors ears could rupture.
' LIES! LIES! ALL LIES! You won't get away with this, the truth will come out.
Why would I ever **** them for crying out loud?'

'You're right, the truth shall come out, but not in this form, not from you.
66 has to die, a fact you always knew.'

No one dies today

'Hold him still.' The good doctor ordered.
A pair of hands inclined my head south,
Another pair, taped away my mouth.
I could hear music, a soft hum.
It had calmed me down ,that bass drum.
It kept beating at regular intervals.
The specter now, beside me,
placing her hand on my shoulders.
I looked up towards the sky, a light bulb
glowed right above my nose.
The doctor raised the nail,
a dot replaced the light source.
As the blot grew in size,
the light dimmed, luminance was minimized.
The music almost placid,
it made me smile, a smile so gentle.
The doctor enounced,
'This will only hurt a little.'
And as he struck, the spirit vanished,
the music stopped.


Insanity Triumphed
Part 2 of The 'Karma' trilogy
Lauren Cole Sep 2014
As a child… were you ever punished for something you didn’t do? 

Maybe your sibling broke a lamp and blamed you.

Do you recall the desperate feelings of helplessness, anger, and frustration?

Well, that. My friend. Is the situation I am in.
SOME may have blamed you that you took away
The verses that could move them on the day
When, the ears being deafened, the sight of the eyes blind
With lightning, you went from me, and I could find
Nothing to make a song about but kings,
Helmets, and swords, and half-forgotten things
That were like memories of you -- but now
We'll out, for the world lives as long ago;
And while we're in our laughing, weeping fit,
Hurl helmets, crowns, and swords into the pit.
But, dear, cling close to me; since you were gone,
My barren thoughts have chilled me to the bone.

— The End —