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Shofi Ahmed Jul 2018
My sea is far away
let's meet closer anywhere
under the one same cloud.

My blue water is for the sun.
I sing beneath the wave.

My rose is for the show
I am imbued in the fragrance.
Love is in the air
the scent wafts into my heart.

My sky is open wide
beyond the rainbow
beyond the peacock's eyes.
It hugs the earth
reaching out far afar.

Catch it too
see from beneath the blue.
It casts the birdseye
slips out a butterfly!
A poem from my upcoming book Qun: Love is Unconditional
Mateuš Conrad Nov 2018
when the moon resembles a Cheshire smile,
a sickle, or a scythe,
away from the two-dimensional
experience of a full-moon,
when the moon looks two-dimensional...
the night comes,
and then the shadow of
the earth is launched
against the moon...
a full-moon is when the sun
can "see" the moon in
its orbit, a perfect orb...
but when the moon
resembles a Cheshire smile,
a sickle, a scythe,
or a scimitar...
   the moon is peeking
from behind the earth...
only partially exposed
to the sun...
i've watched, i've tried to listen
to the sound of the vacuum,
being filled with Holst...
  sorry... no...
yet... light reflected,
rather than initiated, sourced...
can allow you to see
a three-dimensional shadow-object,
which is earth, projected
onto the face of the moon,
when it is...
  Cheshire smile, sickle, scythe or
scimitar shaped...
i always thought...
ever peer at the canyons on
the moon, the darkened spots?
ever think that if another world
existed outside our own...
the white bits in between
the canyons of meteoric impact
where the landmasses
on another world, similar
to ours?
             that's why the moon
is not a perfect orb...
the earth casts a shadow onto
the moon...
               i.e. when the moon
is a fullness orb...
it is in-front of us...
    that's why i was asking for
what substance emits light
on the moon... light from the sun
hits earth, the seas,
and illuminates the moon
in its pristine orb glory...
  or so i think...
   only when the moon is behind
the earth in orbit,
so we only see fractions of it,
fractions of the Cheshire smile,
the sickle, the scythe, the scimitar...
that's when the earth is in-front
of the moon, and the moon is behind
earth, hence the moon is partially exposed...
earth casts a shadow onto the moon...
hence?    )   and the variant degrees of it...
you wouldn't think it,
but when there's a full moon,
and no shadow cast:
  the moon looks two dimensional,
or... what became known as the flat-earth
argument...
but if you look at the partial moon...
you can see the shadow...
and the shadow looks three-dimensional!
i'm not kidding...
i might be drunk but then, by being drunk,
i see no monopoly on lying...
drunks hate lying,
drunks hate lying because there
is no ******, no 100m run parallel in
a straight line...
  the whole labyrinth tract
of "truths" while sober?
   it, doesn't, work, on, drunks...
i just want to get this observation
out of the way, and return to my
gingerbread man cocktail
of pepsi and whiskey...
and that wes borland album...
  wait a minute...
the sky is blue because when
light hits the oceans,
       the blue moves into and construct
the atmosphere...
so a full moon is when
the moon is completely hidden
from the sun,
or fully exposed to it?
   ****...
    what's copernican in terms of north,
east, west or south?
    ah...
so a full moon implies...
the moon is wholly hidden behind
the earth...
     the light sourced from the sun,
travels into the Pacific ocean,
and a light refraction occurs,
a bending of light...
and those of us on the Atlantic scale,
who are experiencing night
while those on the Pacific ocean
experience day...
               so the moon is illuminated,
hence... light refraction,
  hence the moon is "not really" an orb,
but, given its orbit, a curvature ) or (
although momentarily being an orb...
to reiterate...
    a full moon is when the moon is
in front of the earth,
or a full moon is when the moon is
behind earth?
            well... given Einstein...
and the gravity dip...
   how light bends and doesn't travel
in straight lines...
  d'uh... the ) or ( curve of:
              half the moon in light,
half of the moon in shadow -
          and thereby other fractional exposures
of the orb, and thereby other
fractional hiding places of the orb...
i have my excuses:
i'm either drunk, or i'm drinking...
but to think, of these sober people,
having serious problems with videos,
comments, opinions,
           whatever you want to call it,
sober people?
    sober people drunk on resentment?!
i'm a drunk with a resentment at...
having "my" jukebox being ****** with...
i don't listen to any new music,
i turn into an anemic,
or an albino...
   no new music, my thinking enters
a period of involuntary starvation from
a lack of: a chaotic new playlist...
and like i "said"... looks like the freedom
of speech cue has become overrated...
writing is what would always become
the Georgian Stalin of Russia,
or the Austrian ****** of Germany...
writing would always subvert free-speech /
video commentary...
it would subvert it...
after all: the devil makes work of idle hands...
just as: god makes idle work of excessively
waggling tongues.
zebra Jul 2018
like cellophane wraps hard candy
like ink loves to dry
like hot sauce drenches noodles
like sunrise casts shadows
like band-aids sooth cut flesh
like irons crease linens
like origami folds paper
like water floats boats
like a tempest loves a teapot
like syrup and bananas drench waffles
like spoons love soup
like cats love fish
like french fries love ketchup
like wild girls dance
like a crow loves road ****
like eyes love beauty
like a circle loves a square
like buttered buns fit a bikini
like a kissed mouth hungers for wet lips
like moths love a flame
like dogs love *******
and like ******* hug butts

like howling ******* pulse hearts
like vampires love blood and castles
like dark grapes ferment in bubbling cauldrons
like madness loves a straight jacket
like a ***** loves a ****
and music gets you dancing

like suns fall through cobalt night all smashing diamonds
  
that's
how i love you
love
Terry O'Leary Dec 2013
Ill-fated crowd neath foreign cloud: the Silent City braves
against a sudden sullen flood, unleashing lashing waves,
which washes stony structures clean with radiance that laves.

Deserted streets, once dense retreats, spin yarns of yesterday,
with  faded words no longer heard (though having much to say)
since teeming life (at one time, rife), surceased and slipped away.

Within its walls? Whist buildings, tall... Outside the City? Dunes...
They frame a frail forgotten tale,  in carved unwritten runes
with symbols hung like halos strung in lifeless, limp festoons.

The City’s blur? A sepulcher for Christians, Muslims, Jews –
Cathedrals, Temples, vacant now, enshrine their residues,
though churches, mosques and synagogues abide without a bruise.

A church’s Gothic ceilings guard the empty pews below
and, windswept blown above the stones, a maiden’s blue jabot.
The Saints, in crypts, though nondescript, grace halos now aglow.

Stilled chapel chimes! Their clapper rope (that tongue-tied confidante)
won’t writhe to ring the carillons, alone and lean and gaunt –
its flocks of jute, now fallen mute, adorn the holy font.

Stray footsteps swarm  through church no more (apostates that profane) -
their echoes in the nave ring thin, while chalice cups maintain
a taste of brine in altar wine decaying in the rain.


No face will come with jagged tongue to sing a silent psalm
nor paint pale lips with languid quips to pierce the deathly calm,
nor pray for mercy, grace deferred, or beg lethean balm.


Six steeple towers, steel and stone, drab daggers in the sky!
Their hallowed halls no longer call when breezes wander by –
for, filled with dread to wake the dead, they've ceased to sough or sigh.

No cantillation, belfry bells, monastic chants inspire
and Minarets, though standing yet, host neither voice nor crier -
abodes and buildings silhouette a muted spectral choir.

Coiled candle sticks! Their twisted wicks no longer 'lume the cracks
with dying flame in smoky swirl mid pendant pearls of wax,
since deference to innocence dissolved in melting tracks.

Above! The dismal ditch of dusk reveals a velvet streak,
through which the winter’s wicked winds will sometimes weave and sneak,
and faraway a cable sways, a bridge clings hushed and bleak.

Thin shadows shift, like silver shafts, across a cruel moraine
reflecting white a wisp of light in ebon beads of bane
which casts a crooked smile across a faceless window pane.

Wan neon lights glow through the nights, through darkness sleek as slate,
while lanterns (hovered, high above, in silent swinging gait),
haunt ballrooms, bars, bereft bazaars, with no one left to fete.

Death's silhouettes show no regrets, 'twixt twilight’s ashen shrouds,
oblivious she always was to cries in dying crowds –
in foggy neap the spirits creep... a clutch of clammy clouds.


No breath will come  'cross jagged tongue to sing a silent psalm
nor paint pale lips with languid quips to pierce the deathly calm,
nor yet redress the emptiness that shifting shades embalm.



The castle clock, unwound, defrocks! Those peerless speechless spokes
unfurl the blight of reigning Night by spinning off her cloaks,
and flaunt the dun oblivion, her Baroness evokes.

Green trees gone dark, in palace parks, where children paused to play –
now voiceless things on phantom swings, like statues made of clay,
mark marbled tombs in graveyards groomed for grievers bent to pray.  

The sun-bleached bones of those who've flown lie scattered down the lanes
while other souls who hid in holes left bones with yellow stains
of plaintive tears (shed insincere, for no one felt the pains).

The terrors wrought by conscience fraught once stalked and lurked nearby
to rip the shrouds from  curtained clouds, frail fabrics on the sky –
now wraiths that scream in sleepless dreams no longer terrify.

And fog no longer leaks beyond the edge of doom’s café,
for when she trails her mourning veils, she fills the cabaret
with sallow smears of misty tears  in sheets of shallow gray.

Beyond the suburbs, farmers’ fields (where donkeys often brayed)
exhale a gust of barren dust where living seed once laid
and in the haze a scarecrow sways, impaled upon a *****.

A silo, still! Like hollowed quill, a ravished feather’s vane,
with traces of bespattered blood, once flowing through a vein.
The fruits of life, destroyed in strife... ’twas truly all in vain.


No souls will come with jagged tongues to sing a silent psalm
nor paint pale lips with languid quips to pierce the deathly calm –
they've seen, you see, life’s brevity, beneath a neutron bomb.


EPILOGUE

Beyond the Silent City’s walls, the victors laugh and play...
They’re celebrating PEACE ON EARTH, the devil’s sobriquet
for neutron radiation death in places far away.
The chestnut casts his flambeaux, and the flowers
Stream from the hawthorn on the wind away,
The doors clap to, the pane is blind with showers.
Pass me the can, lad; there's an end of May.

There's one spoilt spring to scant our mortal lot,
One season ruined of your little store.
May will be fine next year as like as not:
But ay, but then we shall be twenty-four.

We for a certainty are not the first
Have sat in taverns while the tempest hurled
Their hopeful plans to emptiness, and cursed
Whatever brute and blackguard made the world.

It is in truth iniquity on high
To cheat our sentenced souls of aught they crave,
And mar the merriment as you and I
Fare on our long fool's-errand to the grave.

Iniquity it is; but pass the can.
My lad, no pair of kings our mothers bore;
Our only portion is the estate of man:
We want the moon, but we shall get no more.

If here to-day the cloud of thunder lours
To-morrow it will hie on far behests;
The flesh will grieve on other bones than ours
Soon, and the soul will mourn in other *******.

The troubles of our proud and angry dust
Are from eternity, and shall not fail.
Bear them we can, and if we can we must.
Shoulder the sky, my lad, and drink your ale.
Sarah Spang Aug 2015
Sometimes beneath close eyelids
I quest to bring you back
As if you were driftwood floating
Downstream on your back.
I dip my hands beneath the veil
And dry away the death
And from my parting, weeping lips
I give you back your breath-
Just like the rising sunset burning
In the summer sky
Paints and saints the mountaintops
And casts their colors bright.



Unrhymed Notes:

Sometimes I dream I can bring you back
Just as simply as dipping my hands into the water
To retrieve a floating piece of driftwood;
Dry the death from your skin
And breath life back into you
The way the sunrise reanimates
The Dark Mountains
Each and every day.

I see your Ocean eyes open
Embrace you like I'm trying to
Fold you into my skin
Where I can keep you always
And feel your summer peach warm flesh
Tangible against my permafrost fingers.

If the dead could talk
Nothing profound would leave your lips
They'd only quirk into a Cheshire smile
And you'd tell me to let go
Relinquish
Move along and stop standing still
Life is for the Living
Death is for the dead
And dreams are for the foolish.


"You *******."
Terry O'Leary Sep 2013
NOTE TO THE READER – Once Apun a Time

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                NEVER LAND

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Arrayed in shawls with crystal *****, and gazing at the moons,
    wiled women tease with melodies and spooky loony tunes
    while making toasts to holey ghosts on rainy day lagoons:
    “Well, here’s to you and others too, embedded in the dunes,
Lyn-Purcell Aug 2018
~ ⚘ ⚪ ⚘ ~
And so the Pu'erh and Jasmine Lily
pearls are covered, my attention on
the Phoenix Eye pearls, and I peel back
the foil of a small handful. Ainhana had
carefully remove the infuser and I pour
in the pearls, listening as they gently
hit the glass.

~ ⚘ ⚪ ⚘ ~
As soon as Ainhana places the infuser
back in the tea ***, I turn the sand-dial
and watch the cream sands run, and the
pearls steep. I dare not let it run for the
full five minutes - I find the perfect brew is
made in three. The pearls now unfurl, the
green leaves now floating. The clear water
turns into the colour of the finest champagne.

~ ⚘ ⚪ ⚘ ~
After three minutes, Ainhara pours me a cup,
the aroma itself puts me more at ease.
'Do not waste it,' I tell her, holding the
handle and saucer. 'Such fine pearls can
be steeped twice, and I will make sure that
I treasure every single cup.'
'Yes, My Lady,' She says with a curtsy.

~ ⚘ ⚪ ⚘ ~
With my eyes closed, I blow away some
steam and proceed to sip short and brief.
It is a pleasure that is most welcome, indeed!
Teeming with the fires of the Phoenix itself
and caressing my tongue with floral sweetness.
A delicious moan escapes me as I relax in
my Summer Throne.

~ ⚘ ⚪ ⚘ ~
My breathing is calmed as I look at
the horizon with redolent eyes.
The choirs sing as I drink such fine
ambrosia! By a cup of Pearls, mine
own eyes feel inspired, as I think of
the lovely vision that is the Phoenix
that is born of the lotus.
Adieu, stresses of Court!
Adieu, plagues of doubt and anger!
Thy Queen is now jocund dove.

~ ⚘ ⚪ ⚘ ~
'Truly the finest Jasmine Pearls I've
had in years!' I beam. 'Be sure to share
this with my fellow Kings and Queens.
Especially Queen Kim. In such a golden
hour, we shall become Dream Children,
to be lost in gardens of distant China.'
'Yes, My Queen.' Ainhara waves her hand,
Semui and Ilazi now resume play.

~ ⚘ ⚪ ⚘ ~
As I sip once again, the summer
showers come. Lo! My gazebo
glistens! Cleansed by the light,
and life for my fields of my
fair gardens.

~ ⚘ ⚪ ⚘ ~
This blend cleanses the fire of my heart.
This blend casts out sorrows for me to
drink beauty.

~ ⚘ ⚪ ⚘ ~
A  liquor the shade of champagne with
the flames of life budding from a
delicate flavour.

~ ⚘ ⚪ ⚘ ~
The Phoenix merges with me, for I
am the star of the morn that graces
my Aurelinaea!

~ ⚘ ⚪ ⚘ ~
Such a blend of elegance in my tongue,
a heavenly euphony. How I'm forever in
awe of the power of
my Jasmine Pearls.
~ ⚘ ⚪ ⚘ ~
Final part of my Jasmine Pearls free verse!
Thank you so much for reading! I really hope you enjoyed it! ^-^
Lyn ***
Slow sinks, more lovely ere his race be run,
Along Morea’s hills the setting Sun;
Not, as in northern climes, obscurely bright,
But one unclouded blaze of living light;
O’er the hushed deep the yellow beam he throws,
Gilds the green wave that trembles as it glows;
On old ægina’s rock and Hydra’s isle
The God of gladness sheds his parting smile;
O’er his own regions lingering loves to shine,
Though there his altars are no more divine.
Descending fast, the mountain-shadows kiss
Thy glorious Gulf, unconquered Salamis!
Their azure arches through the long expanse,
More deeply purpled, meet his mellowing glance,
And tenderest tints, along their summits driven,
Mark his gay course, and own the hues of Heaven;
Till, darkly shaded from the land and deep,
Behind his Delphian rock he sinks to sleep.

  On such an eve his palest beam he cast
When, Athens! here thy Wisest looked his last.
How watched thy better sons his farewell ray,
That closed their murdered Sage’s latest day!
Not yet—not yet—Sol pauses on the hill,
The precious hour of parting lingers still;
But sad his light to agonizing eyes,
And dark the mountain’s once delightful dyes;
Gloom o’er the lovely land he seemed to pour,
The land where Phoebus never frowned before;
But ere he sunk below Cithaeron’s head,
The cup of Woe was quaffed—the Spirit fled;
The soul of Him that scorned to fear or fly,
Who lived and died as none can live or die.

  But lo! from high Hymettus to the plain
The Queen of Night asserts her silent reign;
No murky vapour, herald of the storm,
Hides her fair face, or girds her glowing form;
With cornice glimmering as the moonbeams play,
There the white column greets her grateful ray,
And bright around, with quivering beams beset,
Her emblem sparkles o’er the Minaret;
The groves of olive scattered dark and wide,
Where meek Cephisus sheds his scanty tide,
The cypress saddening by the sacred mosque,
The gleaming turret of the gay kiosk,
And sad and sombre ’mid the holy calm,
Near Theseus’ fane, yon solitary palm;
All, tinged with varied hues, arrest the eye;
And dull were his that passed them heedless by.
Again the ægean, heard no more afar,
Lulls his chafed breast from elemental war:
Again his waves in milder tints unfold
Their long expanse of sapphire and of gold,
Mixed with the shades of many a distant isle
That frown, where gentler Ocean deigns to smile.

  As thus, within the walls of Pallas’ fane,
I marked the beauties of the land and main,
Alone, and friendless, on the magic shore,
Whose arts and arms but live in poets’ lore;
Oft as the matchless dome I turned to scan,
Sacred to Gods, but not secure from Man,
The Past returned, the Present seemed to cease,
And Glory knew no clime beyond her Greece!

  Hour rolled along, and Dian’******on high
Had gained the centre of her softest sky;
And yet unwearied still my footsteps trod
O’er the vain shrine of many a vanished God:
But chiefly, Pallas! thine, when Hecate’s glare
Checked by thy columns, fell more sadly fair
O’er the chill marble, where the startling tread
Thrills the lone heart like echoes from the dead.
Long had I mused, and treasured every trace
The wreck of Greece recorded of her race,
When, lo! a giant-form before me strode,
And Pallas hailed me in her own Abode!

  Yes,’twas Minerva’s self; but, ah! how changed,
Since o’er the Dardan field in arms she ranged!
Not such as erst, by her divine command,
Her form appeared from Phidias’ plastic hand:
Gone were the terrors of her awful brow,
Her idle ægis bore no Gorgon now;
Her helm was dinted, and the broken lance
Seemed weak and shaftless e’en to mortal glance;
The Olive Branch, which still she deigned to clasp,
Shrunk from her touch, and withered in her grasp;
And, ah! though still the brightest of the sky,
Celestial tears bedimmed her large blue eye;
Round the rent casque her owlet circled slow,
And mourned his mistress with a shriek of woe!

  “Mortal!”—’twas thus she spake—”that blush of shame
Proclaims thee Briton, once a noble name;
First of the mighty, foremost of the free,
Now honoured ‘less’ by all, and ‘least’ by me:
Chief of thy foes shall Pallas still be found.
Seek’st thou the cause of loathing!—look around.
Lo! here, despite of war and wasting fire,
I saw successive Tyrannies expire;
‘Scaped from the ravage of the Turk and Goth,
Thy country sends a spoiler worse than both.
Survey this vacant, violated fane;
Recount the relics torn that yet remain:
‘These’ Cecrops placed, ‘this’ Pericles adorned,
‘That’ Adrian reared when drooping Science mourned.
What more I owe let Gratitude attest—
Know, Alaric and Elgin did the rest.
That all may learn from whence the plunderer came,
The insulted wall sustains his hated name:
For Elgin’s fame thus grateful Pallas pleads,
Below, his name—above, behold his deeds!
Be ever hailed with equal honour here
The Gothic monarch and the Pictish peer:
Arms gave the first his right, the last had none,
But basely stole what less barbarians won.
So when the Lion quits his fell repast,
Next prowls the Wolf, the filthy Jackal last:
Flesh, limbs, and blood the former make their own,
The last poor brute securely gnaws the bone.
Yet still the Gods are just, and crimes are crossed:
See here what Elgin won, and what he lost!
Another name with his pollutes my shrine:
Behold where Dian’s beams disdain to shine!
Some retribution still might Pallas claim,
When Venus half avenged Minerva’s shame.”

  She ceased awhile, and thus I dared reply,
To soothe the vengeance kindling in her eye:
“Daughter of Jove! in Britain’s injured name,
A true-born Briton may the deed disclaim.
Frown not on England; England owns him not:
Athena, no! thy plunderer was a Scot.
Ask’st thou the difference? From fair Phyles’ towers
Survey Boeotia;—Caledonia’s ours.
And well I know within that ******* land
Hath Wisdom’s goddess never held command;
A barren soil, where Nature’s germs, confined
To stern sterility, can stint the mind;
Whose thistle well betrays the niggard earth,
Emblem of all to whom the Land gives birth;
Each genial influence nurtured to resist;
A land of meanness, sophistry, and mist.
Each breeze from foggy mount and marshy plain
Dilutes with drivel every drizzly brain,
Till, burst at length, each wat’ry head o’erflows,
Foul as their soil, and frigid as their snows:
Then thousand schemes of petulance and pride
Despatch her scheming children far and wide;
Some East, some West, some—everywhere but North!
In quest of lawless gain, they issue forth.
And thus—accursed be the day and year!
She sent a Pict to play the felon here.
Yet Caledonia claims some native worth,
As dull Boeotia gave a Pindar birth;
So may her few, the lettered and the brave,
Bound to no clime, and victors of the grave,
Shake off the sordid dust of such a land,
And shine like children of a happier strand;
As once, of yore, in some obnoxious place,
Ten names (if found) had saved a wretched race.”

  “Mortal!” the blue-eyed maid resumed, “once more
Bear back my mandate to thy native shore.
Though fallen, alas! this vengeance yet is mine,
To turn my counsels far from lands like thine.
Hear then in silence Pallas’ stern behest;
Hear and believe, for Time will tell the rest.

  “First on the head of him who did this deed
My curse shall light,—on him and all his seed:
Without one spark of intellectual fire,
Be all the sons as senseless as the sire:
If one with wit the parent brood disgrace,
Believe him ******* of a brighter race:
Still with his hireling artists let him prate,
And Folly’s praise repay for Wisdom’s hate;
Long of their Patron’s gusto let them tell,
Whose noblest, native gusto is—to sell:
To sell, and make—may shame record the day!—
The State—Receiver of his pilfered prey.
Meantime, the flattering, feeble dotard, West,
Europe’s worst dauber, and poor Britain’s best,
With palsied hand shall turn each model o’er,
And own himself an infant of fourscore.
Be all the Bruisers culled from all St. Giles’,
That Art and Nature may compare their styles;
While brawny brutes in stupid wonder stare,
And marvel at his Lordship’s ’stone shop’ there.
Round the thronged gate shall sauntering coxcombs creep
To lounge and lucubrate, to prate and peep;
While many a languid maid, with longing sigh,
On giant statues casts the curious eye;
The room with transient glance appears to skim,
Yet marks the mighty back and length of limb;
Mourns o’er the difference of now and then;
Exclaims, ‘These Greeks indeed were proper men!’
Draws slight comparisons of ‘these’ with ‘those’,
And envies Laïs all her Attic beaux.
When shall a modern maid have swains like these?
Alas! Sir Harry is no Hercules!
And last of all, amidst the gaping crew,
Some calm spectator, as he takes his view,
In silent indignation mixed with grief,
Admires the plunder, but abhors the thief.
Oh, loathed in life, nor pardoned in the dust,
May Hate pursue his sacrilegious lust!
Linked with the fool that fired the Ephesian dome,
Shall vengeance follow far beyond the tomb,
And Eratostratus and Elgin shine
In many a branding page and burning line;
Alike reserved for aye to stand accursed,
Perchance the second blacker than the first.

  “So let him stand, through ages yet unborn,
Fixed statue on the pedestal of Scorn;
Though not for him alone revenge shall wait,
But fits thy country for her coming fate:
Hers were the deeds that taught her lawless son
To do what oft Britannia’s self had done.
Look to the Baltic—blazing from afar,
Your old Ally yet mourns perfidious war.
Not to such deeds did Pallas lend her aid,
Or break the compact which herself had made;
Far from such counsels, from the faithless field
She fled—but left behind her Gorgon shield;
A fatal gift that turned your friends to stone,
And left lost Albion hated and alone.

“Look to the East, where Ganges’ swarthy race
Shall shake your tyrant empire to its base;
Lo! there Rebellion rears her ghastly head,
And glares the Nemesis of native dead;
Till Indus rolls a deep purpureal flood,
And claims his long arrear of northern blood.
So may ye perish!—Pallas, when she gave
Your free-born rights, forbade ye to enslave.

  “Look on your Spain!—she clasps the hand she hates,
But boldly clasps, and thrusts you from her gates.
Bear witness, bright Barossa! thou canst tell
Whose were the sons that bravely fought and fell.
But Lusitania, kind and dear ally,
Can spare a few to fight, and sometimes fly.
Oh glorious field! by Famine fiercely won,
The Gaul retires for once, and all is done!
But when did Pallas teach, that one retreat
Retrieved three long Olympiads of defeat?

  “Look last at home—ye love not to look there
On the grim smile of comfortless despair:
Your city saddens: loud though Revel howls,
Here Famine faints, and yonder Rapine prowls.
See all alike of more or less bereft;
No misers tremble when there’s nothing left.
‘Blest paper credit;’ who shall dare to sing?
It clogs like lead Corruption’s weary wing.
Yet Pallas pluck’d each Premier by the ear,
Who Gods and men alike disdained to hear;
But one, repentant o’er a bankrupt state,
On Pallas calls,—but calls, alas! too late:
Then raves for’——’; to that Mentor bends,
Though he and Pallas never yet were friends.
Him senates hear, whom never yet they heard,
Contemptuous once, and now no less absurd.
So, once of yore, each reasonable frog,
Swore faith and fealty to his sovereign ‘log.’
Thus hailed your rulers their patrician clod,
As Egypt chose an onion for a God.

  “Now fare ye well! enjoy your little hour;
Go, grasp the shadow of your vanished power;
Gloss o’er the failure of each fondest scheme;
Your strength a name, your bloated wealth a dream.
Gone is that Gold, the marvel of mankind.
And Pirates barter all that’s left behind.
No more the hirelings, purchased near and far,
Crowd to the ranks of mercenary war.
The idle merchant on the useless quay
Droops o’er the bales no bark may bear away;
Or, back returning, sees rejected stores
Rot piecemeal on his own encumbered shores:
The starved mechanic breaks his rusting loom,
And desperate mans him ‘gainst the coming doom.
Then in the Senates of your sinking state
Show me the man whose counsels may have weight.
Vain is each voice where tones could once command;
E’en factions cease to charm a factious land:
Yet jarring sects convulse a sister Isle,
And light with maddening hands the mutual pile.

  “’Tis done, ’tis past—since Pallas warns in vain;
The Furies seize her abdicated reign:
Wide o’er the realm they wave their kindling brands,
And wring her vitals with their fiery hands.
But one convulsive struggle still remains,
And Gaul shall weep ere Albion wear her chains,
The bannered pomp of war, the glittering files,
O’er whose gay trappings stern Bellona smiles;
The brazen trump, the spirit-stirring drum,
That bid the foe defiance ere they come;
The hero bounding at his country’s call,
The glorious death that consecrates his fall,
Swell the young heart with visionary charms.
And bid it antedate the joys of arms.
But know, a lesson you may yet be taught,
With death alone are laurels cheaply bought;
Not in the conflict Havoc seeks delight,
His day of mercy is the day of fight.
But when the field is fought, the battle won,
Though drenched with gore, his woes are but begun:
His deeper deeds as yet ye know by name;
The slaughtered peasant and the ravished dame,
The rifled mansion and the foe-reaped field,
Ill suit with souls at home, untaught to yield.
Say with what eye along the distant down
Would flying burghers mark the blazing town?
How view the column of ascending flames
Shake his red shadow o’er the startled Thames?
Nay, frown not, Albion! for the torch was thine
That lit such pyres from Tagus to the Rhine:
Now should they burst on thy devoted coast,
Go, ask thy ***** who deserves them most?
The law of Heaven and Earth is life for life,
And she who raised, in vain regrets, the strife.”
O fast day that trembles at the sight of Moon -
when will your warm arms bend again
the night's thick armor
that shades the world of joyous muse?
 
It is most facetious in its illusion,
that renegade of pale indifference,
when daylight dwindles and leaves more to imagine
than can be seen with naked eye.
 
Beneath the gaze of Her taunting face,
people do not walk as done in light -
suddenly, trudging and stumbling are hip style.
Faces covered in guilt, remorse, fatigue -
all the things Sun can wash away with a simple,
lucid grin.
 
If brightest bright were set ablaze amidst the night,
would people be plucked from this false sanctuary
which darkness so convincingly provides?
Then many a Lost could be freed;
if only to see clearly through effervescent
haze.
 
O blessed Sun!
With your arousal, Truth and Freedom will also renew -
until again that blank stare casts its malevolent glow on
Delusion.
prose from a street-lit bench.
Will Rogers III Mar 2015
and the light of the
empty parking
garage

casts shadows of
delirious days
before
me

thank God
there is light to
see the shadows
(originally accompanied with video of my shadow walking under lights) [composed on March 20, 2014]
George Krokos Oct 2011
A fisherman casts his net out in the waters where fish are to be caught
then has to haul it back in again for the catch that his livelihood sought.
From "Simple Observations" - ongoing writings since the early '90's
Ellen Joyce Apr 2014
This poem casts a line from insomnia to morning
On the wind of a prayer that whatever bites, holds on.

See I have counted eleven score and ten,
with rainbow like curves of my neck -
contemptuous beasts leaping in formation
each bleating out a preach of vague platitudes;
A narrative for the night sky.

My hands clamour at keys for escape
until I tumble headfirst into a web so vast
it has ensnared the whole world wide -
millennials are living in-ter-net over in-the-world;
a new ultraviolence against humanity.

I beat my words into the screen until it breaks;
shattering scarlet emoticons like confetti
pouring over language as if it were a compliment.
My mind massages shapeless polypous thoughts
like tight constricted muscles aching for release.

3am casts these philosophies into horses,
whipping them into shape and speed
before the eyes of this statuesque ******.
This anxious wakefulness begs my manic self to dance;
suggestively ******* tickets to ride like cleavage.

Sleep is fast becoming a neglected former engagement;
as my mind trips over fallen heroes
wades through my favourite mistakes
in a wonderland unfolding faster than I can fall
while the world beyond my window remains dark.
This poem was written in response to prompts by a friend of mine who is throwing a competition offering a signed first edition copy of her poetry book as a prize.  Visit her facebook page for details of the twenty word prompts and details on how to submit.
https://www.facebook.com/Siajanewords?fref=ts
They say "beauty lies skin deep",
Well yes it does lie skin deep,
It just shouldn't lie dormant,
Let it shine.
Inward beauty,
Is for eternity,
It glows through the eyes,
Probably casts out doubts and lies,
Its free for all,
We don't have to spend anything at all
For us to attain it,
We have to recognise it
Within ourselves and nurture it.
Nurture it with goodness in thoughts,deeds and living,
With laughter,optimism and loving,

What's inside reflects on the outside,
As within so without.
Internal beauty is eternal.
Jenny Jul 2018
the electricity runs through our veins
and past the street signs we rumble by
in the car you stole, we go fifty above the speed limit,
the roof of the car is the noir sky above
and the midnight rain pelts our upturned faces
the dancing drops of water drip onto our smiling lips
the sound of the sky collapsing
echoes the flashes that streak the sky,
the flickering light casts paved roads with a brief brightness
(as if god were wearing light up sketchers)
the lacy brallette that wears me
gives me the bravery to stand up in the speeding car
the velvet pants that ripple with the wind
drink up the nighttime rain
and the rare headlights race past us,
heading into homes and hearts
the mellow playlist that connects the aux cord to our ears blasts
so loud, we can no longer hear our insecurity
the mascara that once clung to my eyelashes
now streams down my face.
on a two way street,
we drive down the middle
unafraid in the face of direct dangers
so unaware of the towering empty skyscrapers
and instead highly exhilarated
from the street signs we drive by
too fast to read the blocky lettering
the road signs glint, smiling as we wave and reach towards them
the cigarettes you smoked are thrown through the open window,
still smothering slightly.
i can still taste the smoke on your lips
and your hand tucks my hair behind my ear
and as the wind objects and inhales
unreal in the hazy a.m. car trip
the tunnel rushes towards us,
and we both hold our breaths,
as if breathing would contaminate us.
the lights that glint, cast a yellow-white glow
and for once, i see you for who you are
a boy too buzzed to feel
a kid who only felt "sort of"
a person who couldn't heal
and a lover who could never give love
about a boy who was my living teenage dream // nothing scarier than finding a broken loveless boy who makes you the same
jane taylor Apr 2016
The chill in the frigid night air
casts tremors of lingering shadows
upon an ancient windowsill
where a liquescent candle’s glow dims.

Peering into shattered mirrors’
silver hued jagged edges
that no longer reflect counterfeit images
a nascent paradigm unfurls in the wind.

Terrifying diminutive steps are taken
in directions au courant
enabled by years of refinement
in torrid near incessant fires.

An excrescence of wisdom
has broken the weathered mold
allowing a senescent wisdom
to shimmer a phosphorescent glow.

The venerable map leading
to this transcendent destination
is not read but perceived
through intuition’s faint whisperings.

©2015 janetaylor
address to soundcloud version
https://soundcloud.com/user-229781433/whispers-1
Of Man’s first disobedience, and the fruit
Of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste
Brought death into the World, and all our woe,
With loss of Eden, till one greater Man
Restore us, and regain the blissful seat,
Sing, Heavenly Muse, that, on the secret top
Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire
That shepherd who first taught the chosen seed
In the beginning how the heavens and earth
Rose out of Chaos: or, if Sion hill
Delight thee more, and Siloa’s brook that flowed
Fast by the oracle of God, I thence
Invoke thy aid to my adventurous song,
That with no middle flight intends to soar
Above th’ Aonian mount, while it pursues
Things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme.
And chiefly thou, O Spirit, that dost prefer
Before all temples th’ upright heart and pure,
Instruct me, for thou know’st; thou from the first
Wast present, and, with mighty wings outspread,
Dove-like sat’st brooding on the vast Abyss,
And mad’st it pregnant: what in me is dark
Illumine, what is low raise and support;
That, to the height of this great argument,
I may assert Eternal Providence,
And justify the ways of God to men.
  Say first—for Heaven hides nothing from thy view,
Nor the deep tract of Hell—say first what cause
Moved our grand parents, in that happy state,
Favoured of Heaven so highly, to fall off
From their Creator, and transgress his will
For one restraint, lords of the World besides.
Who first seduced them to that foul revolt?
  Th’ infernal Serpent; he it was whose guile,
Stirred up with envy and revenge, deceived
The mother of mankind, what time his pride
Had cast him out from Heaven, with all his host
Of rebel Angels, by whose aid, aspiring
To set himself in glory above his peers,
He trusted to have equalled the Most High,
If he opposed, and with ambitious aim
Against the throne and monarchy of God,
Raised impious war in Heaven and battle proud,
With vain attempt. Him the Almighty Power
Hurled headlong flaming from th’ ethereal sky,
With hideous ruin and combustion, down
To bottomless perdition, there to dwell
In adamantine chains and penal fire,
Who durst defy th’ Omnipotent to arms.
  Nine times the space that measures day and night
To mortal men, he, with his horrid crew,
Lay vanquished, rolling in the fiery gulf,
Confounded, though immortal. But his doom
Reserved him to more wrath; for now the thought
Both of lost happiness and lasting pain
Torments him: round he throws his baleful eyes,
That witnessed huge affliction and dismay,
Mixed with obdurate pride and steadfast hate.
At once, as far as Angels ken, he views
The dismal situation waste and wild.
A dungeon horrible, on all sides round,
As one great furnace flamed; yet from those flames
No light; but rather darkness visible
Served only to discover sights of woe,
Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace
And rest can never dwell, hope never comes
That comes to all, but torture without end
Still urges, and a fiery deluge, fed
With ever-burning sulphur unconsumed.
Such place Eternal Justice has prepared
For those rebellious; here their prison ordained
In utter darkness, and their portion set,
As far removed from God and light of Heaven
As from the centre thrice to th’ utmost pole.
Oh how unlike the place from whence they fell!
There the companions of his fall, o’erwhelmed
With floods and whirlwinds of tempestuous fire,
He soon discerns; and, weltering by his side,
One next himself in power, and next in crime,
Long after known in Palestine, and named
Beelzebub. To whom th’ Arch-Enemy,
And thence in Heaven called Satan, with bold words
Breaking the horrid silence, thus began:—
  “If thou beest he—but O how fallen! how changed
From him who, in the happy realms of light
Clothed with transcendent brightness, didst outshine
Myriads, though bright!—if he whom mutual league,
United thoughts and counsels, equal hope
And hazard in the glorious enterprise
Joined with me once, now misery hath joined
In equal ruin; into what pit thou seest
From what height fallen: so much the stronger proved
He with his thunder; and till then who knew
The force of those dire arms? Yet not for those,
Nor what the potent Victor in his rage
Can else inflict, do I repent, or change,
Though changed in outward lustre, that fixed mind,
And high disdain from sense of injured merit,
That with the Mightiest raised me to contend,
And to the fierce contentions brought along
Innumerable force of Spirits armed,
That durst dislike his reign, and, me preferring,
His utmost power with adverse power opposed
In dubious battle on the plains of Heaven,
And shook his throne. What though the field be lost?
All is not lost—the unconquerable will,
And study of revenge, immortal hate,
And courage never to submit or yield:
And what is else not to be overcome?
That glory never shall his wrath or might
Extort from me. To bow and sue for grace
With suppliant knee, and deify his power
Who, from the terror of this arm, so late
Doubted his empire—that were low indeed;
That were an ignominy and shame beneath
This downfall; since, by fate, the strength of Gods,
And this empyreal sybstance, cannot fail;
Since, through experience of this great event,
In arms not worse, in foresight much advanced,
We may with more successful hope resolve
To wage by force or guile eternal war,
Irreconcilable to our grand Foe,
Who now triumphs, and in th’ excess of joy
Sole reigning holds the tyranny of Heaven.”
  So spake th’ apostate Angel, though in pain,
Vaunting aloud, but racked with deep despair;
And him thus answered soon his bold compeer:—
  “O Prince, O Chief of many throned Powers
That led th’ embattled Seraphim to war
Under thy conduct, and, in dreadful deeds
Fearless, endangered Heaven’s perpetual King,
And put to proof his high supremacy,
Whether upheld by strength, or chance, or fate,
Too well I see and rue the dire event
That, with sad overthrow and foul defeat,
Hath lost us Heaven, and all this mighty host
In horrible destruction laid thus low,
As far as Gods and heavenly Essences
Can perish: for the mind and spirit remains
Invincible, and vigour soon returns,
Though all our glory extinct, and happy state
Here swallowed up in endless misery.
But what if he our Conqueror (whom I now
Of force believe almighty, since no less
Than such could have o’erpowered such force as ours)
Have left us this our spirit and strength entire,
Strongly to suffer and support our pains,
That we may so suffice his vengeful ire,
Or do him mightier service as his thralls
By right of war, whate’er his business be,
Here in the heart of Hell to work in fire,
Or do his errands in the gloomy Deep?
What can it the avail though yet we feel
Strength undiminished, or eternal being
To undergo eternal punishment?”
  Whereto with speedy words th’ Arch-Fiend replied:—
“Fallen Cherub, to be weak is miserable,
Doing or suffering: but of this be sure—
To do aught good never will be our task,
But ever to do ill our sole delight,
As being the contrary to his high will
Whom we resist. If then his providence
Out of our evil seek to bring forth good,
Our labour must be to pervert that end,
And out of good still to find means of evil;
Which ofttimes may succeed so as perhaps
Shall grieve him, if I fail not, and disturb
His inmost counsels from their destined aim.
But see! the angry Victor hath recalled
His ministers of vengeance and pursuit
Back to the gates of Heaven: the sulphurous hail,
Shot after us in storm, o’erblown hath laid
The fiery surge that from the precipice
Of Heaven received us falling; and the thunder,
Winged with red lightning and impetuous rage,
Perhaps hath spent his shafts, and ceases now
To bellow through the vast and boundless Deep.
Let us not slip th’ occasion, whether scorn
Or satiate fury yield it from our Foe.
Seest thou yon dreary plain, forlorn and wild,
The seat of desolation, void of light,
Save what the glimmering of these livid flames
Casts pale and dreadful? Thither let us tend
From off the tossing of these fiery waves;
There rest, if any rest can harbour there;
And, re-assembling our afflicted powers,
Consult how we may henceforth most offend
Our enemy, our own loss how repair,
How overcome this dire calamity,
What reinforcement we may gain from hope,
If not, what resolution from despair.”
  Thus Satan, talking to his nearest mate,
With head uplift above the wave, and eyes
That sparkling blazed; his other parts besides
Prone on the flood, extended long and large,
Lay floating many a rood, in bulk as huge
As whom the fables name of monstrous size,
Titanian or Earth-born, that warred on Jove,
Briareos or Typhon, whom the den
By ancient Tarsus held, or that sea-beast
Leviathan, which God of all his works
Created hugest that swim th’ ocean-stream.
Him, haply slumbering on the Norway foam,
The pilot of some small night-foundered skiff,
Deeming some island, oft, as ****** tell,
With fixed anchor in his scaly rind,
Moors by his side under the lee, while night
Invests the sea, and wished morn delays.
So stretched out huge in length the Arch-fiend lay,
Chained on the burning lake; nor ever thence
Had risen, or heaved his head, but that the will
And high permission of all-ruling Heaven
Left him at large to his own dark designs,
That with reiterated crimes he might
Heap on himself damnation, while he sought
Evil to others, and enraged might see
How all his malice served but to bring forth
Infinite goodness, grace, and mercy, shewn
On Man by him seduced, but on himself
Treble confusion, wrath, and vengeance poured.
  Forthwith upright he rears from off the pool
His mighty stature; on each hand the flames
Driven backward ***** their pointing spires, and,rolled
In billows, leave i’ th’ midst a horrid vale.
Then with expanded wings he steers his flight
Aloft, incumbent on the dusky air,
That felt unusual weight; till on dry land
He lights—if it were land that ever burned
With solid, as the lake with liquid fire,
And such appeared in hue as when the force
Of subterranean wind transprots a hill
Torn from Pelorus, or the shattered side
Of thundering Etna, whose combustible
And fuelled entrails, thence conceiving fire,
Sublimed with mineral fury, aid the winds,
And leave a singed bottom all involved
With stench and smoke. Such resting found the sole
Of unblest feet. Him followed his next mate;
Both glorying to have scaped the Stygian flood
As gods, and by their own recovered strength,
Not by the sufferance of supernal Power.
  “Is this the region, this the soil, the clime,”
Said then the lost Archangel, “this the seat
That we must change for Heaven?—this mournful gloom
For that celestial light? Be it so, since he
Who now is sovereign can dispose and bid
What shall be right: farthest from him is best
Whom reason hath equalled, force hath made supreme
Above his equals. Farewell, happy fields,
Where joy for ever dwells! Hail, horrors! hail,
Infernal world! and thou, profoundest Hell,
Receive thy new possessor—one who brings
A mind not to be changed by place or time.
The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.
What matter where, if I be still the same,
And what I should be, all but less than he
Whom thunder hath made greater? Here at least
We shall be free; th’ Almighty hath not built
Here for his envy, will not drive us hence:
Here we may reigh secure; and, in my choice,
To reign is worth ambition, though in Hell:
Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven.
But wherefore let we then our faithful friends,
Th’ associates and co-partners of our loss,
Lie thus astonished on th’ oblivious pool,
And call them not to share with us their part
In this unhappy mansion, or once more
With rallied arms to try what may be yet
Regained in Heaven, or what more lost in Hell?”
  So Satan spake; and him Beelzebub
Thus answered:—”Leader of those armies bright
Which, but th’ Omnipotent, none could have foiled!
If once they hear that voice, their liveliest pledge
Of hope in fears and dangers—heard so oft
In worst extremes, and on the perilous edge
Of battle, when it raged, in all assaults
Their surest signal—they will soon resume
New courage and revive, though now they lie
Grovelling and prostrate on yon lake of fire,
As we erewhile, astounded and amazed;
No wonder, fallen such a pernicious height!”
  He scare had ceased when the superior Fiend
Was moving toward the shore; his ponderous shield,
Ethereal temper, massy, large, and round,
Behind him cast. The broad circumference
Hung on his shoulders like the moon, whose orb
Through optic glass the Tuscan artist views
At evening, from the top of Fesole,
Or in Valdarno, to descry new lands,
Rivers, or mountains, in her spotty globe.
His spear—to equal which the tallest pine
Hewn on Norwegian hills, to be the mast
Of some great ammiral, were but a wand—
He walked with, to support uneasy steps
Over the burning marl, not like those steps
On Heaven’s azure; and the torrid clime
Smote on him sore besides, vaulted with fire.
Nathless he so endured, till on the beach
Of that inflamed sea he stood, and called
His legions—Angel Forms, who lay entranced
Thick as autumnal leaves that strow the brooks
In Vallombrosa, where th’ Etrurian shades
High over-arched embower; or scattered sedge
Afloat, when with fierce winds Orion armed
Hath vexed the Red-Sea coast, whose waves o’erthrew
Busiris and his Memphian chivalry,
While with perfidious hatred they pursued
The sojourners of Goshen, who beheld
From the safe shore their floating carcases
And broken chariot-wheels. So thick bestrown,
Abject and lost, lay these, covering the flood,
Under amazement of their hideous change.
He called so loud that all the hollow deep
Of Hell resounded:—”Princes, Potentates,
Warriors, the Flower of Heaven—once yours; now lost,
If such astonishment as this can seize
Eternal Spirits! Or have ye chosen this place
After the toil of battle to repose
Your wearied virtue, for the ease you find
To slumber here, as in the vales of Heaven?
Or in this abject posture have ye sworn
To adore the Conqueror, who now beholds
Cherub and Seraph rolling in the flood
With scattered arms and ensigns, till anon
His swift pursuers from Heaven-gates discern
Th’ advantage, and, descending, tread us down
Thus drooping, or with linked thunderbolts
Transfix us to the bottom of this gulf?
Awake, arise, or be for ever fallen!”
  They heard, and were abashed, and up they sprung
Upon the wing, as when men wont to watch
On duty, sleeping found by whom they dread,
Rouse and bestir themselves ere well awake.
Nor did they not perceive the evil plight
In which they were, or the fierce pains not feel;
Yet to their General’s voice they soon obeyed
Innumerable. As when the potent rod
Of Amram’s son, in Egypt’s evil day,
Waved round the coast, up-called a pitchy cloud
Of locusts, warping on the eastern wind,
That o’er the realm of impious Pharaoh hung
Like Night, and darkened all the land of Nile;
So numberless were those bad Angels seen
Hovering on wing under the cope of Hell,
‘Twixt upper, nether, and surrounding fires;
Till, as a signal given, th’ uplifted spear
Of their great Sultan waving to direct
Their course, in even balance down they light
On the firm brimstone, and fill all the plain:
A multitude like which the populous North
Poured never from her frozen ***** to pass
Rhene or the Danaw, when her barbarous sons
Came like a deluge on the South, and spread
Beneath Gibraltar to the Libyan sands.
Forthwith, form every squadron and each band,
The heads and leaders thither haste where stood
Their great Commander—godlike Shapes, and Forms
Excelling human; princely Dignities;
And Powers that erst in Heaven sat on thrones,
Though on their names in Heavenly records now
Be no memorial, blotted out and rased
By their rebellion from the Books of Life.
Nor had they yet among the sons of Eve
Got them new names, till, wandering o’er the earth,
Through God’s high sufferance for the trial of man,
By falsities and lies the greatest part
Of mankind they corrupted to forsake
God their Creator, and th’ invisible
Glory of him that made them to transform
Oft to the image of a brute, adorned
With gay religions full of pomp and gold,
And devils to adore for deities:
Then were they known to men by various names,
And various idols through the heathen world.
  Say, Muse, their names then known, who first, who last,
Roused fr
Nick Strong Jun 2014
Breathing fire, from below,
Spitting a molten soul skywards,
Flinging pumice, ash, and fear,
The angry Vulcan casts,  
His ever darkening shadow cross,
As the timely reminder , of
The fragility of this existence.

© Nick Strong 2014
Mateuš Conrad Aug 2018
kate beckinsale & anne hathaway
can speak
the name... matthew all
day long...
                 and right into the night...
i'll try to fall asleep...
must be an Oedipus complex
sort of thing,
   in primary school my school
friends thought that my
mother had the visage for
   sandra bullock...
   ha ha! good luck to the men fathering
daughters!
          you ever find it easier
to pet casts, and cage tigers?!
              **** me...
my shatten is soliloquy central...
           i drink to excess and
listen to excess erotica latex ****
music...
      and then? do nothing about it...
i like cinema...
                         **** me...
a fetish for leather that extends
past a ******...
    i would have asked her sincere self:
can we drop the ******
so that i might attire myself
in gimp?
      she evidently replied
a no with her 19 years of existence...
oh... under-baked apple pie
my dear...
            ha ha!
           no, i have more cherries
to pick, i''m beyond stalking some famous grimace...
you are here           .



and i?



                                           .              am here...

who needs the excess of
quasi-journalistic coverage anyway?
    
           that transitioning harem
of rock stars...
     like Kafka said:
i'll be waiting for something
i never had,
and missing it,
            by never having touched
a peek behind the curtain...

   i'll wait... for what i could never have...
and within the confines
of what i could never have,
          i'll settle for what i can already, have.

kate beckinsale & anne hathaway
can speak the name matthew
all day long, and i won't mind...
        
      would i be the one following them?
train-spotting....
         taxi counts...
                 ******* crows that
croak mid-flight count...
           the number of canadian geese
in b-54 formation
migrating come mid-autumn...

          geek without the cartoons...
push me...
   keep pushing...
     i want the shove
and the ****** wording of auto-suggestive
courting of -
                           courtesy...

              thank you...
i'd rather stalk my own shadow...
looking out for the plot-line of
an eased out **** doing the olympic
gold medal dive into
the crapper pool,
via analyzing the shadow of plop
pop gold...

        zero splash...

                a ******* harmonium
on the neck of a Polish teenager,
traveling on a Warsaw tram
      to reach a girl who...
              was counting petals,
and the worth(s) of considering
the concise surmount of love...

             yeah... next time?
i'll be the one used to invigorating
the stance on stalking
one's own shadow...
             why?
because i fidget...
i get all jerky...
                  the hype instigator
movement...
   ******* a woman
like a piston of a car's momentum...

               does it really matter?
i thought the Madonna-***** complex
wasn't a man-"thing"?
   if man owns the Freudian Oedipus
complex...
  does man also have to lend in his
strap-on dictum for the
Madonna-***** complex?
   so...
              that's not a wholly woman "thing"?
she's doesn't own that
complex?
   it's man's fault?!

             i know the Rastafarian Putin
isn't rasp -
but you know that Israeli ******
are better than the Russian ones...
so the story goes...

               which kinda explains...
impotent with women trapped
within the Madonna-***** complex...
with Bulgarian prostitutes?
a limp **** only, and only when
i forgot to trim my ***** hair,
my Eden...

  i have the Oedipus complex...
am i also responsible for
the Madonna-***** complex?!
really?
                        you sure that women
are not supposed to attend to question
this trans-schizophrenic,
   squint / split /
           dichotomy?

                   prior mothers,
that prerequisite motherhood
with the basis of ******* themselves...

   the Madonna-***** complex
is outside the realm of the male constraint /
castration of rules...

   i already mentioned it...
i couldn't be circumcised...
   protruding veins, that met at the zenith
of the *******...
if they circumcised me...
        i would have bled to death...
the, "crime" of ******* is
a lot easier to handle...
   if you haven't been circumcised...

because?
   circumcision is a motivational tactic...
you are... technically... not allowed
to ******* once you've been
circumcised...
  
               you're free, to *******...
if you haven't been circumcised...
as a male...
            no problem...
problem of ******* comes...
when you persist in the act...
but you don't actually possess the excess
skin, that might allow you
the prime, solipsistic act...

    ergo?
******* is worth a justified critique...
ONLY, and only IF...
you've been circumcised...
sorry if you have...
           notably because?
your priest isn't a rabbi...
and there's no fiddler on the roof
matchmaker song
to boot.

oh no, there's no problem with the act
of *******...
  but there is... if you have been
circumcised...
  why?
    during ******* i used to pull my *******
back...
  and **** with an unsheathed
****...

      but in private?
the ******* was rolled back on,
to counter the imitation of experiencing ****
***... with a clenched fist.
jacky Dec 2014
It all began with a ‘he’
he who said I was pretty
  when my face turns sideways and
  the right amount of sunlight casts shadows
  on the planes of my cheeks
he who kissed me in 6th grade
  in front of my best friend – whom he used to date,
  his lips were cool and moist
  moist – it didn’t feel anything.
he who requested love songs during our high school intramurals
  when all of my friends and all of his friends
  cheer us up like we were the sweetest thing they’ve seen.
he who danced with me the whole night of our junior prom,
  my shoes dangling behind him, my arms and his arms were sweating
  he whispers now, “You look beautiful.”
he who gave me wilting flowers on the 15th of February
  because I skipped school – too scared to face the truth
  that no one would do what he just did. He proved me wrong.
he who said “I love you” too late.
he who said “I love you” too early.
He who made me believe that fate, destiny, sparks, forever, and all that *******
  were real, written in His holy book. Should I still believe in you?
he who said would wait – the next month telling me he realized
  it wasn’t me he was waiting for.
he who told me to stay.
he who left. he who never went back.
and oh – he
he who was never here in the first place.

it all began with a “she”
she who danced in front of the class
  with all her sass, snaps, and we laugh.
she whose hair used to be straight
  swaying down her waist, flows smoothly when she walks,
  falls perfectly down her collarbones. Let’s not start with collarbones.
she whose eyelids flutter like butterfly wings
  making the ones inside my stomach dance like hummingbird’s wings
  her eyelashes are thick, outlining her brown eyes – her perfect brown eyes.
she who throws he head back when she laughs
  not knowing I drift and crash back to the sea
  like a wave thrown back by her chuckles and laughter
she who reads and reads tons of books
  when she could write about her day
  and that’ll still be the greatest stories I could read
she who held me close when she stumbles towards the bus station
  when she’s drunk
she who wanted nothing between us – worried it will not work.
but she made the raindrops of yesterday meaningful
  so it could wash off all the hurt from everything, from everyone.
she who changed me. – no.
she who made me face the mirrors I’ve been running away from
  all those lies I’ve been hiding alone
  all those pain, all those bad memories
she washed them all away, like a hurricane
   she dragged my whole town with her
she who made me forget.
she who makes me ache at times but it’s the kind of ache
  you’d gladly take – a suffering worth all the suffering
she who outshined all of – in the best possible way I could imagine
she who made the stars insignificant.

It doesn’t end with a ‘he’
It doesn’t end with a ‘she’
it all ends up with a simple ‘who’
that person who will always come through
for you

I learned that love sometimes doesn’t last that long
sometimes it doesn’t even start at all.
But I know one thing, you cannot fight it.
I don’t know where – maybe in his hands
or in her eyes. It will make you move like you
have no choice at all – like a puppet stuck
******* and down nylon strings
by the puppeteer
dictating your life
like you have no choice, at all.
This is supposed to be for Slam Poetry =) But I guess, it's okay to post it here.
A Masque Presented At Ludlow Castle, 1634, Before

The Earl Of Bridgewater, Then President Of Wales.

The Persons

        The ATTENDANT SPIRIT, afterwards in the habit of THYRSIS.
COMUS, with his Crew.
The LADY.
FIRST BROTHER.
SECOND BROTHER.
SABRINA, the Nymph.

The Chief Persons which presented were:—

The Lord Brackley;
Mr. Thomas Egerton, his Brother;
The Lady Alice Egerton.


The first Scene discovers a wild wood.
The ATTENDANT SPIRIT descends or enters.


Before the starry threshold of Jove’s court
My mansion is, where those immortal shapes
Of bright aerial spirits live insphered
In regions mild of calm and serene air,
Above the smoke and stir of this dim spot
Which men call Earth, and, with low-thoughted care,
Confined and pestered in this pinfold here,
Strive to keep up a frail and feverish being,
Unmindful of the crown that Virtue gives,
After this mortal change, to her true servants
Amongst the enthroned gods on sainted seats.
Yet some there be that by due steps aspire
To lay their just hands on that golden key
That opes the palace of eternity.
To Such my errand is; and, but for such,
I would not soil these pure ambrosial weeds
With the rank vapours of this sin-worn mould.
         But to my task. Neptune, besides the sway
Of every salt flood and each ebbing stream,
Took in by lot, ‘twixt high and nether Jove,
Imperial rule of all the sea-girt isles
That, like to rich and various gems, inlay
The unadorned ***** of the deep;
Which he, to grace his tributary gods,
By course commits to several government,
And gives them leave to wear their sapphire crowns
And wield their little tridents. But this Isle,
The greatest and the best of all the main,
He quarters to his blue-haired deities;
And all this tract that fronts the falling sun
A noble Peer of mickle trust and power
Has in his charge, with tempered awe to guide
An old and haughty nation, proud in arms:
Where his fair offspring, nursed in princely lore,
Are coming to attend their father’s state,
And new-intrusted sceptre. But their way
Lies through the perplexed paths of this drear wood,
The nodding horror of whose shady brows
Threats the forlorn and wandering passenger;
And here their tender age might suffer peril,
But that, by quick command from sovran Jove,
I was despatched for their defence and guard:
And listen why; for I will tell you now
What never yet was heard in tale or song,
From old or modern bard, in hall or bower.
         Bacchus, that first from out the purple grape
Crushed the sweet poison of misused wine,
After the Tuscan mariners transformed,
Coasting the Tyrrhene shore, as the winds listed,
On Circe’s island fell. (Who knows not Circe,
The daughter of the Sun, whose charmed cup
Whoever tasted lost his upright shape,
And downward fell into a grovelling swine?)
This Nymph, that gazed upon his clustering locks,
With ivy berries wreathed, and his blithe youth,
Had by him, ere he parted thence, a son
Much like his father, but his mother more,
Whom therefore she brought up, and Comus named:
Who, ripe and frolic of his full-grown age,
Roving the Celtic and Iberian fields,
At last betakes him to this ominous wood,
And, in thick shelter of black shades imbowered,
Excels his mother at her mighty art;
Offering to every weary traveller
His orient liquor in a crystal glass,
To quench the drouth of Phoebus; which as they taste
(For most do taste through fond intemperate thirst),
Soon as the potion works, their human count’nance,
The express resemblance of the gods, is changed
Into some brutish form of wolf or bear,
Or ounce or tiger, hog, or bearded goat,
All other parts remaining as they were.
And they, so perfect is their misery,
Not once perceive their foul disfigurement,
But boast themselves more comely than before,
And all their friends and native home forget,
To roll with pleasure in a sensual sty.
Therefore, when any favoured of high Jove
Chances to pass through this adventurous glade,
Swift as the sparkle of a glancing star
I shoot from heaven, to give him safe convoy,
As now I do. But first I must put off
These my sky-robes, spun out of Iris’ woof,
And take the weeds and likeness of a swain
That to the service of this house belongs,
Who, with his soft pipe and smooth-dittied song,
Well knows to still the wild winds when they roar,
And hush the waving woods; nor of less faith
And in this office of his mountain watch
Likeliest, and nearest to the present aid
Of this occasion. But I hear the tread
Of hateful steps; I must be viewless now.


COMUS enters, with a charming-rod in one hand, his glass in the
other: with him a rout of monsters, headed like sundry sorts of
wild
beasts, but otherwise like men and women, their apparel
glistering.
They come in making a riotous and unruly noise, with torches in
their hands.


         COMUS. The star that bids the shepherd fold
Now the top of heaven doth hold;
And the gilded car of day
His glowing axle doth allay
In the steep Atlantic stream;
And the ***** sun his upward beam
Shoots against the dusky pole,
Pacing toward the other goal
Of his chamber in the east.
Meanwhile, welcome joy and feast,
Midnight shout and revelry,
Tipsy dance and jollity.
Braid your locks with rosy twine,
Dropping odours, dropping wine.
Rigour now is gone to bed;
And Advice with scrupulous head,
Strict Age, and sour Severity,
With their grave saws, in slumber lie.
We, that are of purer fire,
Imitate the starry quire,
Who, in their nightly watchful spheres,
Lead in swift round the months and years.
The sounds and seas, with all their finny drove,
Now to the moon in wavering morrice move;
And on the tawny sands and shelves
Trip the pert fairies and the dapper elves.
By dimpled brook and fountain-brim,
The wood-nymphs, decked with daisies trim,
Their merry wakes and pastimes keep:
What hath night to do with sleep?
Night hath better sweets to prove;
Venus now wakes, and wakens Love.
Come, let us our rights begin;
‘T is only daylight that makes sin,
Which these dun shades will ne’er report.
Hail, goddess of nocturnal sport,
Dark-veiled Cotytto, to whom the secret flame
Of midnight torches burns! mysterious dame,
That ne’er art called but when the dragon womb
Of Stygian darkness spets her thickest gloom,
And makes one blot of all the air!
Stay thy cloudy ebon chair,
Wherein thou ridest with Hecat’, and befriend
Us thy vowed priests, till utmost end
Of all thy dues be done, and none left out,
Ere the blabbing eastern scout,
The nice Morn on the Indian steep,
From her cabined loop-hole peep,
And to the tell-tale Sun descry
Our concealed solemnity.
Come, knit hands, and beat the ground
In a light fantastic round.

                              The Measure.

         Break off, break off! I feel the different pace
Of some chaste footing near about this ground.
Run to your shrouds within these brakes and trees;
Our number may affright. Some ****** sure
(For so I can distinguish by mine art)
Benighted in these woods! Now to my charms,
And to my wily trains: I shall ere long
Be well stocked with as fair a herd as grazed
About my mother Circe. Thus I hurl
My dazzling spells into the spongy air,
Of power to cheat the eye with blear illusion,
And give it false presentments, lest the place
And my quaint habits breed astonishment,
And put the damsel to suspicious flight;
Which must not be, for that’s against my course.
I, under fair pretence of friendly ends,
And well-placed words of glozing courtesy,
Baited with reasons not unplausible,
Wind me into the easy-hearted man,
And hug him into snares. When once her eye
Hath met the virtue of this magic dust,
I shall appear some harmless villager
Whom thrift keeps up about his country gear.
But here she comes; I fairly step aside,
And hearken, if I may her business hear.

The LADY enters.

         LADY. This way the noise was, if mine ear be true,
My best guide now. Methought it was the sound
Of riot and ill-managed merriment,
Such as the jocund flute or gamesome pipe
Stirs up among the loose unlettered hinds,
When, for their teeming flocks and granges full,
In wanton dance they praise the bounteous Pan,
And thank the gods amiss. I should be loth
To meet the rudeness and swilled insolence
Of such late wassailers; yet, oh! where else
Shall I inform my unacquainted feet
In the blind mazes of this tangled wood?
My brothers, when they saw me wearied out
With this long way, resolving here to lodge
Under the spreading favour of these pines,
Stepped, as they said, to the next thicket-side
To bring me berries, or such cooling fruit
As the kind hospitable woods provide.
They left me then when the grey-hooded Even,
Like a sad votarist in palmer’s ****,
Rose from the hindmost wheels of Phoebus’ wain.
But where they are, and why they came not back,
Is now the labour of my thoughts. TTis likeliest
They had engaged their wandering steps too far;
And envious darkness, ere they could return,
Had stole them from me. Else, O thievish Night,
Why shouldst thou, but for some felonious end,
In thy dark lantern thus close up the stars
That Nature hung in heaven, and filled their lamps
With everlasting oil to give due light
To the misled and lonely traveller?
This is the place, as well as I may guess,
Whence even now the tumult of loud mirth
Was rife, and perfect in my listening ear;
Yet nought but single darkness do I find.
What might this be ? A thousand fantasies
Begin to throng into my memory,
Of calling shapes, and beckoning shadows dire,
And airy tongues that syllable men’s names
On sands and shores and desert wildernesses.
These thoughts may startle well, but not astound
The virtuous mind, that ever walks attended
By a strong siding champion, Conscience.
O, welcome, pure-eyed Faith, white-handed Hope,
Thou hovering angel girt with golden wings,
And thou unblemished form of Chastity!
I see ye visibly, and now believe
That He, the Supreme Good, to whom all things ill
Are but as slavish officers of vengeance,
Would send a glistering guardian, if need were,
To keep my life and honour unassailed. . . .
Was I deceived, or did a sable cloud
Turn forth her silver lining on the night?
I did not err: there does a sable cloud
Turn forth her silver lining on the night,
And casts a gleam over this tufted grove.
I cannot hallo to my brothers, but
Such noise as I can make to be heard farthest
I’ll venture; for my new-enlivened spirits
Prompt me, and they perhaps are not far off.

Song.

Sweet Echo, sweetest nymph, that liv’st unseen
                 Within thy airy shell
         By slow Meander’s margent green,
And in the violet-embroidered vale
         Where the love-lorn nightingale
Nightly to thee her sad song mourneth well:
Canst thou not tell me of a gentle pair
         That likest thy Narcissus are?
                  O, if thou have
         Hid them in some flowery cave,
                  Tell me but where,
         Sweet Queen of Parley, Daughter of the Sphere!
         So may’st thou be translated to the skies,
And give resounding grace to all Heaven’s harmonies!


         COMUS. Can any mortal mixture of earthUs mould
Breathe such divine enchanting ravishment?
Sure something holy lodges in that breast,
And with these raptures moves the vocal air
To testify his hidden residence.
How sweetly did they float upon the wings
Of silence, through the empty-vaulted night,
At every fall smoothing the raven down
Of darkness till it smiled! I have oft heard
My mother Circe with the Sirens three,
Amidst the flowery-kirtled Naiades,
Culling their potent herbs and baleful drugs,
Who, as they sung, would take the prisoned soul,
And lap it in Elysium: Scylla wept,
And chid her barking waves into attention,
And fell Charybdis murmured soft applause.
Yet they in pleasing slumber lulled the sense,
And in sweet madness robbed it of itself;
But such a sacred and home-felt delight,
Such sober certainty of waking bliss,
I never heard till now. I’ll speak to her,
And she shall be my queen.QHail, foreign wonder!
Whom certain these rough shades did never breed,
Unless the goddess that in rural shrine
Dwell’st here with Pan or Sylvan, by blest song
Forbidding every bleak unkindly fog
To touch the prosperous growth of this tall wood.
         LADY. Nay, gentle shepherd, ill is lost that praise
That is addressed to unattending ears.
Not any boast of skill, but extreme shift
How to regain my severed company,
Compelled me to awake the courteous Echo
To give me answer from her mossy couch.
         COMUS: What chance, good lady, hath bereft you thus?
         LADY. Dim darkness and this leafy labyrinth.
         COMUS. Could that divide you from near-ushering guides?
         LADY. They left me weary on a grassy turf.
         COMUS. By falsehood, or discourtesy, or why?
         LADY. To seek i’ the valley some cool friendly spring.
         COMUS. And left your fair side all unguarded, Lady?
         LADY. They were but twain, and purposed quick return.
         COMUS. Perhaps forestalling night prevented them.
         LADY. How easy my misfortune is to hit!
         COMUS. Imports their loss, beside the present need?
         LADY. No less than if I should my brothers lose.
         COMUS. Were they of manly prime, or youthful bloom?
         LADY. As smooth as ****’s their unrazored lips.
         COMUS. Two such I saw, what time the laboured ox
In his loose traces from the furrow came,
And the swinked hedger at his supper sat.
I saw them under a green mantling vine,
That crawls along the side of yon small hill,
Plucking ripe clusters from the tender shoots;
Their port was more than human, as they stood.
I took it for a faery vision
Of some gay creatures of the element,
That in the colours of the rainbow live,
And play i’ the plighted clouds. I was awe-strook,
And, as I passed, I worshiped. If those you seek,
It were a journey like the path to Heaven
To help you find them.
         LADY.                          Gentle villager,
What readiest way would bring me to that place?
         COMUS. Due west it rises from this shrubby point.
         LADY. To find out that, good shepherd, I suppose,
In such a scant allowance of star-light,
Would overtask the best land-pilot’s art,
Without the sure guess of well-practised feet.
        COMUS. I know each lane, and every alley green,
******, or bushy dell, of this wild wood,
And every bosky bourn from side to side,
My daily walks and ancient neighbourhood;
And, if your stray attendance be yet lodged,
Or shroud within these limits, I shall know
Ere morrow wake, or the low-roosted lark
From her thatched pallet rouse. If otherwise,
I can c
Beth Ivy Sep 2014
Dancing at my windowsill she calls,
black bottomless eyes and a jagged smile
tug me from sleep with a broken-glass laugh.
Beckoning, this pixie traces softly across my jaw--
fingertips so slightly ***** the skin.
Wordless but for laughter she pulls at me until
charmed I rise to follow where she leads.

Open evening air greets my night-dressed body
with cool wakening breezes and wild sounds.
Stumbling through rocks and over roots
I chase through the wood behind my manic guide.
Toes grip at undergrowth, slip, falling to arrive
on my knees
scraped and panting slightly
in a clearing otherworldly,
aglow with fey light.

A curious night-shine looms--yet Luna's face is hidden.
All attentions focus now on this central luminescence.
From its core jangles sweet, unearthly music
twisting its way into my heart
teasing at the edges of my fragile mind.
Compelled forward I follow sound--
my waker cannot outstrip me as we hurtle on.
Before our eyes the glow casts shadows
forming structure in this mystifying vision
eyes drink in your very first glimpse:
The Carnival.

Light and shadow compose sweeping tents
striped ebony and ivory, seeming strong as each
element yet smooth, sculpted by a master's hands.
Leaping black flames skip along their summits,
performing their nocturnal dance,
illuminating darkness, engulfing light.

Revelers' song soars and forms carouse,
                                                  lively­--but shadows only--to the eyes outside.

The air bears heady perfumes, enticing scents:            
rich, melting creams and toasting sugar
enveloping baked warmth and intoxicating spice.
Last, encircling all this wonder,
cries of mirth and sights to amaze:
an unadorned, unflinching iron fence.

Drunk with sound and smell and scene
wildly spinning through the breeze,
my rousing sprite whirls ahead
bound as if in a trance
her body flinging against
the forbidding blackened gates--
                                        her laughter only extinguished
                                                         as her delicate form dissolves into smoke
                                         holding momentarily the blue of night
                                                         her wasted shape, lost to the barrier.


But Curiosity will blind
eyes far more chaste than mine,
and Allure sings only such songs
that no heart suffers long.

Heedless mortal as I am, I grasp the solid frame
decay crumbles rough against my palms.
Bodies of other spirits caked by time
or the innocent work of oxidation
I do not pause to wonder,
merely vault myself over the fence
and brush from my hands
the black dust of portentous iron.

Inside the gate, vibrant figures flood my vision
ornately costumed in gowns of orange, violet, green
arrayed in shirts and trousers dazzling in spectrum.
These gorgeous apparitions loop around me
peddling beauty, selling fame.
They mesmerize  the eye with stunning wares:
an emerald beast to carry your heavy burdens
sapphire wine to cool your burning tongue
the music of a thousand crystal seas
kept in a bottle to drown your babbling mind.

                "What do they cost?"
                            "Not a dime, not a dime!
                              Just your Now, just a Moment,
                                                         ­                  only Passing Time."

Wandering deeper into the mysteries of night
a band of revelers swing beside and catch me
laughing, bear my bewildered form in arms
and deposit me into a large tent, wherein I find
a man at a canvas the size of a wall
before which are seven stone bowls.
He dashes his brush before the amazed,
and the canvas remains blank
until my companions urge me closer.
Couching myself upon a cushion shapes appear:
Here is a man who will paint your heart's desires
so vivid you can lose all you have
so intimate you fear to move,
lest any see the embers of your fire.

Spin and turn, the Revelers never stay long,
nor draw too near to any one spectacle,
but only joy for new tents, new delights.
No passion was left to grow cold,
no enchantment to lose its power.

Spin
See the girl of flawless grace,
her body painted like the stars--
                                                  the stars the carnival hid
painted like the stars and lithe as the air
ethereal in her arts,
ascending the pole, traversing the rope!
See her twine around stakes and over fire,
dive through hoops and drop
through that needle-loop in your eye.

Spin
Step up to the tent of glistening blue
the fountain that gushes without source.
Marvel at its lucent clarity, it's chilling foam!
Fill your goblet to the brim and drink!
Drink deep, imbibe sweet forgetfulness.
Long for nothing, cleanse your heart.

Spin
Take the carousel with its living beasts to ride.
Make merry with all on board and erase
any care your heart can hold.
Let the furious pace speed on from you
all that would trouble for a thought.

Spin
A honeyed apple pressed against your tongue.
                                         Just a taste! Just a bite!
See the glistening on the skin
made from the dreams of the greatest hearts
unrestrained and unrequited.
Fresh Desire--they're all the more enticing.

The apple glitters golden, its red flesh shines beneath.
Something familiar, a darker red, flecked across the finish.
I bite down and reel--
Something wondrous, but something queer.

Faithful attendants grab me quickly, dance me
into the mouth of a dark velvet tent.
It swallows me as I fall, waiting for the teeth---

        White mist surrounds with a shimmer
         and I have found the ground.
A Voice, deep as the sea enfolds me
gentle, heavy as with sleep--yet all aware.
It invites me closer, sit nearer
rest from the night's fantasies.
Lulled, I make for the figure hooded in brilliant gold.
He leads me to his table.

Heavy, strangely empty I seek sanctuary.
He offers instead a great promise--
power over my weariness, my desires met.
He offers joy unending,
pleasure without regret, without shame.
A haven promised here, mine alone, if only--
--if only I will stay.

But something tastes metallic in those words
promises that cannot be kept.
No tent could hold so much.
This voice, so warm and pleasing,
cannot mask well a lie,
and the gentle hand holds equally a threat.
                                                         ­                                                             run­
                Awake once more I fly from the shroud
bursting blind into the alley.

But back in the tent, left a piece of my heart
and my eye rolls away into a peddler's cup
blistered bits of my soul flake off, scorched
by fire-eaters food. What's left? Who am I?

                             What did it cost?
                               Not a dime, not a dime!
                                          Just a piece of your heart,
                                                                ­  just a piece of your mind.


Retching, the last of my still beating heart
squelches into my waiting hands.
I gag and sob out the gore, disbelieving
this small bit of flesh is all that is left
of all that I have been.

The blood draws the eyes of comrades
now changing from lovely to grotesque.
Ravenous, their teeth elongate
Eyes darken and colors fade
What was vibrant now decayed.
Sweet cream curdles in my mouth.
Rich meats, choice fruits turn sour--
the apple rots.

A hoard unrecognizable
of starved beasts and hideous beings
bears down for my final offering.

But I must know who I am
and what there was beyond this place!


Sprinting barefoot from the mob
clutching the vital treasure to my chest--
though to there it may not return--
I look now for mercy from the black gate.

Elegant porcelain fingers produce monstrous claws.
What once caressed my wondering skin
now sinks in for blood with crushing force.
A hopeless last attempt, a dead man's prayer:
I fling my body on the gate---


                                                       ­                                I am over. I am free--



Iron that once kept me out, now holds them fast within.

Bedclothes torn, all my purchased raiment turned to ash,
I limp, clutching a fragment heart.
Staggering from the Carnival's screams,
its dissonant music now all trick and terror.
Putrid garbage wafts from its walls.
Press onward, never looking back, through the wood.

So long ago--how long?--a little one led me here.
Her death was her own, but could have been
my salvation, a warning dearly paid.
Cheaply received.

My mind swims.
A body with its heart outside cannot last.
There are many things not of the Carnival
that would have my final scrap.

Faltering feet stumble and tripping find
a mere clear and still: a mirror for the moon.
And Luna's face does shine down
all her attendants watching on
as my naked form collapses beside its calm.
I cannot deserve this resting place,
could not discern a trap if one here lay.
All I can and have and am I offer up to Mercy,
and dip what's left of my broken life
into the cleansing pool.
first legitimate narrative piece.
a proof that no one can have an original idea. listening to showbread's 2004 album, *no sir nihilism is not practical.* definitely some inspiration from erin morgenstern's *night circus*, although her book is quite a different and lovelier thing. recently reading *undine* by friedrich de la motte fouqué (translated. i'm not that classy). recently struggling with those things that most often try to ensare a heart.

this is undoubtedly going to be one of those pieces i am never happy with.
guy scutellaro Oct 2019
The rain ****** through a darkening sky.

The man's eyes grow bright and he smiles. Softly, he whispers, " Man, you're the biggest, whitest, what hell are you anyway?"

The pup sits up and Jack Delleto caresses her neck, but much to the mutt's chagrin the man stands up and walks away.

Jack has his hand on the door about to go into the bar. The pup issues an interrogatory, "Woof?"

The rain turns to snow.

The man's eyes grow bright and he smiles, "My grandma used to say that when it snows the angels are sweeping heaven. I'll be back for you, Snowflake."

Jack shivers. His smile fading, the night jumps back into his eyes.

Snowflake chuffs once, twice.

The man is gone.



The room would have been a cold ,dark place except the bodies who sit on the barstools or stand on the ***** linoleum floor produce heat. The cigarette smoke burns his eyes. Jack Delleto looks down the length of the bar to the boarded shut fire place and although the faces are shadows, he knows them all.

The old man who always sits at the second barstool from the dart board is sitting at the second bar stool. His fist clenched tightly around the beer mug, he stares at his own reflection in the mirror.

The aging barmaid, who often weeps from her apartment window on a hot summer night or a cold winter evening, is coming on to a man half her age. She is going to slip her arm around his bicep at any moment.

"Yeah," Jack smiles, "there she goes."

Jack Delleto knows where the regulars sit night after night clutching the bar with desperation, the wood rail is worn smooth.

In the mirror that runs the length of the bar Jack Delleto sees himself with clarity. Brown hair and brown eyes. Just an ordinary 29 year old man.

"Old Fred is right," he thinks to himself, "If you stare at shadows long enough, they stare back." Jack smiles and the red head returns his smile crossing her long legs that protrude beneath a too short skirt.

The bartender recognizes the man smiling at the redhead.

"Well,  Jack Delleto, Dell, I heard you were dead. " The six foot, two hundred pound bartender tells him as Dell is walking over to the bar.

"Who told you that?"

"Crazy George, while he was swinging from the wagon wheel lamp." Bob O'Malley says as he points to the wagon wheel lamp hanging from the ceiling.

"George, I heard, HE was dead."

The bartender reaches over the bar resting the palms of his big hands on the edge of the bar and flashes a smile of white, uneven teeth. Bob extends his hand. "Where the hell have you been?"

They shake hands.

Dell looks up at the Irishman. "I ve been at Harry's Bar in Venice drinking ****** Marys with Elvis and Ernest."

Bob O'Malley grins, puts two shot glasses on the bar, and reaches under the bar to grab a bottle of bourbon. After filling the glasses with Wild Turkey, he hands one glass to Dell. They touch glasses and throw down the shots.

"Gobble, gobble," O Malley smiles.


The front door of the bar swings open and a cold wind drifts through the bar. Paul Keater takes off his Giants baseball cap and with the back of his hand wipes the snow off of his face.

"Keater," Bob O'Malley calls to the Blackman standing in the doorway.

Keater freezes, his eyes moving side to side in short, quick movements. He points a long slim finger at O'Malley, "I don't owe you any money," Paul Keater shouts.

The people sitting the barstools do not turn to look.

"You're always pulling that **** on me." Keater rushes to the bar, "I PPPAID YOU."

As Delleto watches Keater arguing with O'Malley, the anger grows into the loathing Dell feels for Keater. The sauve, sophisticated Paul Keater living in a room above the bar. The man is disgusting. His belly hangs pregnant over his belt. His jeans have fallen exposing the crack of his ***, and Keater just doesn't give a ****. And that ragged, faded, baseball cap, ****, he never takes it off.

When Keater glances down, he realizes he is standing next to Jack Delleto. Usually, Paul Keater would have at least considered punching Delleto in his face. "The **** wasn't any good," Paul feining anger tells O'Malley. "Everybody said it was, ****."

The bartender finishes rinsing a glass in the soapy sink water and then places it on a towel. "*******."

Keater slides the Giant baseball cap back and forth across his flat forehead. "**** it," he turns and storms out of the bar.

"Can I get a beer?" Dell asks but O"Malley is already reaching into the beer box. Twisting the cap off, he puts it on the bar. "It's not that Keater owes me a few bucks, "he tells Dell, "if I didn't cut him off he'd do the stuff until he died." Bob grabs a towel and dries his hands.

"But the smartest rats always get out of the maze first," Jack tells Bob.


Cigarette butts, candy wrappers, and losing lottery tickets litter the linoleum floor. Jack Delleto grabs the bottle of beer off the bar and crosses the specter of unfilled wishes.

In the adjacent room he sits at a table next to the pinball machine to watch a disfigured man with an anorexic women shoot pool. Sometimes he listens to them talk, whisper, laugh. Sometimes he just stares at the wall.

"We have a winner, "the pinball machine announces, "come ride the ferris wheel."



"I'm part Indian. "

Jack looks up from his beer. The Indian has straight black hair that hangs a few inches above her shoulders, a thin face, a cigarette dangling from her too red lips.

"My Mom was one third Souix, " the drunken women tells Jack Delleto.

The Indian exhales smoke from her petite nose waiting for a come on from the man with the sad face. And he just stares, stares at the wall.

Her bushy eyebrows come together forming a delicate frown.

Jack turns to watch a brunette shoot pool. The woman leans over the pool table about to shoot the nine ball into the side pocket. It is an easy shot.

The brunette looks across the pool table at Jack Delleto, "What the **** are you starin at?" She jams the pool stick and miscues. The cue ball runs along the rail and taps the eight ball into the corner pocket. "AH ****," she says.

And Jack smiles.

The Indian thinks Jack is smiling at her, so she sits down.

"In the shadows I couldn't see your eyes," he tells her, "but when you leaned forward to light that cigarette, you have the prettiest green eyes."

She smiles.

" I'm Kathleen," her eyes sparkling like broken glass in an alley.

Delleto tries to speak.

"I don't want to know your name," she tells Jack Delleto, the smile disappearing from her face. "I just want to talk for a few minutes like we're friends," she takes a drag off the cigarette, exhales the smoke across the room.

Jack recognizes the look on her face. Bad dreams.

"I'll be your friend," he tells her.

"We're not going to have ***." The Indian slowly grinds out the cigarette into the ashtray, looks up at the man with the sad face.

I met my older sister in Baltimore yesterday. Hadn't seen her since I was nine, since Mom died. I wanted to know why Dad put me in foster homes. Why? I had so many questions and you know what?
I didn't ask one."

Jack is finishing his beer.

"Maybe if you knew the reasons, now, it wouldn't matter anyway."

The man with the black eye just doesn't get it. She lived with them long enough. Long enough to love them.

She stands up, stares at Jack Delleto.

And walks away.


It's the fat blondes turn to shoot pool. She leans her great body ever so gently across the green felt of the pool table, shoots and misses. When she tries to raise herself up off the pool table, the tip of the pool cue hits the Miller Lite sign above the pool table sending the lamb rocking violently back and forth. In flashes of light like the frames from and old Chaplin movie the sad and grotesque appear and disappear.

"What the **** are you starin at?" The skinny brunette asks.

Jack pretends to think for a moment. "An unhappy childhood."

Suddenly, she stands up, looking like death wearing a Harley Davidson T-shirt.

"Dove sta amore," Jack Delleto asks.

Death is angry, steps closer.

"Must be that time of the month, huh," Jack grins.

With her two tiny fists clenched tightly at her side, the brunette stares down into Delleto's eyes. Suddenly, she punches Jack in the eye.

Jack stands up bringing his forearm up to protect his face. At the same time Death steps closer. His forearm catches her under the chin. The bony ***** goes down.

Women rush from the shadows. They pull Jack to the ***** floor, punch and kick him.

In the blinking of the Miller Light Jack Delleto exclaims," I'm being smother by fat lesbians in soft satin pants."  But then someone is pulling the women off of him.

The Miller Lite gently rocks and then it stops.

Jack stands up, shakes his head and smiles.

"Nice punch Dell," Bob O' Malley says, "I saw from the bar."

Jack hits the dust off of his pants, grabs the beer bottle off of the table, takes a swallow. Smiling, he says, "I box a little."

"I can tell by your black eye." O'Malley puts his hand on his friends shoulder. "Come on I'll buy you a shot. What caused this spontaneous expression of love?"

"They thought I was a ******."


2 a.m.

Jack Delleto walks out the door of the bar into the wind swept gloom. The gray desolation of boarded shut downtown is gone.

The rain has finally turn to snow.

His eyes follow the blue rope from the parking meter pole to its frayed end in the plowed hill of snow at the corner of Cookman Avenue.

The dog, Snowflake, dead, Jack thinks.


The snow covers everything. It covers the abandon cars and the abandon buildings, the sidewalk and its cracks. The city, Delleto imagines, is and adjectiveless word, a book of white pages. He steps off the curb into the gutter and the street is empty for as far as he can see. He starts walking.

Jack disappears into empty pages.


Chapter 2


Paul Keater has a room above Wagon Wheel Bar where the loud rock music shakes the rats in the walls til 2a.m. The vibrations travel through the concrete floor, up the bed posts, and into the matress.

Slowly Paul's eyes open. Who the hell is he fooling. Even without the loud music, he would not be able to sleep, anyway.

Soft red neon from the Wagon Wheel Bar sign blinks into his room.

Paul Keater sits up, sighs, resigns himself to another sleepless night, swings his legs off the bed. His x-wife. He thinks about her frequently. He went to a phycologist because he loved her.

Dump the *****, the doctor said.

"I paid him eighty bucks and all he had to say was dump the *****." He laughs, shakes his head.

Paul thinks about *******, looks around the tiny room, and spots a clear plastic case containing the baseball cards he had collected when he was a boy.

He walks to the dresser and puts on his Giant's baseball cap. Paul sits down on the wooden chair by the sink. Turns on the lamp. The card on top is ***** Mays. Holding it in his hand, it is perfect. The edges are not worn like the other cards.

It was his tenth birthday and his dad had taken to his first baseball game and his father had bought the card from a dealer.

Oblivious to the loud rock music filtering into his room, he stares at the card.

Fondly, he remembers.

Dad.


                                     *     

It arrives unobtrusively. His heart begins to race faster.
Jack Delleto rolls away from the cracked wall. He sits up and drops his legs off the bed.

Jack Delleto thinks about mountains.

When he cannot sleep he thinks about climbing up through the fog that makes the day obscure, passing where the stunted spruce and fir tees are twisted by the wind, into cold brilliant light. Once as he climbed through the fog he saw his shadow stretching a half a mile across a cloud and the world was small. Far down to the east laid cliffs and gullies, glaciated mountains and to the west were the plains and cities of everyday life.

The army coat is draped over the back of the chair. In the pocket is his notebook. Jack stands and takes the notebook from the pocket. When he sits in the wooden chair he opens the book and slides the pen from the binder.

When he finishes his story he makes the end into the beginning.



                                           Chapter 3


"I want a captain in a truck." The 10 year old boy with the brown hair tells his mom. "I want it NOW."

His blonde haired mom wearing the gold diamond bracelet nods her head at Jack Delleto. Jack looks up at the clock on the wall. It is only 9a.m. After four years of college Jack has a part time job at K.B. Toy store. "We're all out of them," he tells her for the second time.

"Honey," Blondie tells the boy, they're all out of them."

"YOU PROMISED."

"How about a sargeant in a jeep?

"OK, but I want a missile firing truck , too."

Delleto turns to the display case behind the counter. Briefly, he studies his black eye in the display case mirror and then begins searching the four shelves and twenty rows of 3 inch plastic toys. He finds the truck. His head is aching. He finds the truck and puts it on the counter in front of the boy.

"Sorry, we're all out of the sargeant," Jack tells the pretty lady. The aching in his head just won't go away.

"Mommy, mommy, I want an ATTACK HELIOCOPTER, MOMMMEEE, I WANTAH TTTAAANNNK..."

Jack Delleto leans over the counter resting his elbows on the glass top. The boy is staring at the man with the black eye, at his bruised unshaven face.

"Well, we haven't got any, GODDAMED TANKS. How about a , KICKINTHE ***."

Finally the boy and his mother are quiet.

"My husband will have you fired."

She grabs the boy by the hand. Turns to rush out of the store.

Jack mutters something.

"MMOOOMEEE,  what does..."

"Oh, shut the hell up," the pretty lady tells her son


                              
     

The assistant manager takes a deep drag on her cigarette, exhales, and crosses her arms to hold the cigarette in front of her. Susan looks down at Jack sitting on the stool behind the counter. He stands up. "Did you tell some lady to blow you?" She crushes the cigarette out in the ashtray on the shelf below the counter. "Maybe you don't need this job but I do."

"Sue, there's no smoking in the mall."

"Jack, you look tired," the cubby teenager tells him, "and your eye. Another black eye."

"I was attacked by five women."

'Oh, I see, in your dreams maybe. I see, it's one of those male fantasies I'm always reading about in Cosmo. You re not boxing again, are you Dell?" Sue likes to call him Dell.

"I go down to the gym to work out. Felix says I've got something."

"Yeah, a black eye." Susan laughs, opens the big vanilla envelope, and hands Jack his check.

She turns and takes a pair of sunglasses from the display stand. "You 're scaring the children, Dell ." Susan steps closer looks into Dell's brown eyes and the slips the sunglasses on his face. "Why don't you go to lunch."

                                        
     

It's noon and the mall is crowded at the food court area. Jack gets a 20oz cup of coffee, finds a table and sits down.

"Go over and talk to him. " Susan says. Jack turns his head , looks back, sees the Indian walking towards his table.

"Hello, Kathrine," says Jack Delleto.

"My names not Kathrine, it's Kathleen."

Jack pulls the chair away from the table, "Have a seat Kate."

Her eyebrows form that delicate frown. "My names Kathleen." As soon as she sits down she takes a cigarette from the pack sticking out of her pocketbook. "I had to leave. I told the baby sitter I'd only be gone an hour. Anyway you weren't much help."

"So why did you come over to talk to me?"

"You were alone, always alone."

"You've seen me there before?"

"Yeah, sitting by the pin ball machine staring at the wall, and sometimes, you'd take out your little blue note pad and write in it.
"What are you writing? Are you goin to write about me..."

"How many kids do you have?"

"Just one. A boy, and believe me one is enough. He'll be four in June," Kathleen smiles but then she remembers and abruptly the smile disappears from her face. "Sometimes I see Anthony's father in the mall and I ask him if he'd like to meet his son, but he doesn't.

Kathleen draws the cigarette smoke deep into her lungs, tilts her head back, and blows the smoke towards the skylight. Suddenly caught in the sunlight the smoke becomes a gray cloud. " I didn't want to marry him anyway, I don't know why he thought that."

She hears the scars as Delleto talks, something sad about the man, something like old newspapers blowing across a deserted street. She hears the scars and knows never, never ask where the scars came from.


                              
     

As Jack walks towards the bank to cash his check, he glances out the front entrance to the mall. It is a bright, cold day and the snowplows are finishing up the parking lot plowing the snow into big white hills. That is the fate of the big white pup plowed to the corner of Cookman and Main buried deep in ***** snow. At that street corner when the school is over the children will play on the hill never realizing what lay beneath there feet.

The snow must melt; spring is inevitable.

His pup will be back.



                                           Chapter 4


The 19 year old light heavyweight leans his muscular body forward to rest his gloved hands on the tope rope of the ring. He bows his head waiting to regain his breath as his lungs fight to force air deep into his chest. Bill Wain has finished boxing 4 rounds with Red.

Harry the trainer, gently pulls the untied boxing gloves from Red's hands. "Good fight, he says, patting Red on the back as the fighter climbs through the ropes and heads to the showers. Harry hands the sweat soaked gloves to Felix who puts one glove under his arm while he loosens the laces on the other 12ounce glove. He makes the sleeve wider.

"Do you want the head gear?" Felix asks.

Jack Delleto shakes his head and pushes his taped hand deep into the glove.

The old man takes the other glove from under his arm, pulls the laces out, and holds it open. Without turning his head to look at him, Felix tells Harry, "Make sure Bill doesn't cool down. Tell him to shadow box. Harry walks over to Bill and Bill starts shadow boxing.

Jack pushes his hand into the glove. "Make a fist." Jack does. Felix pulls the laces and ties it into a bow.

Felix looks intently into Delleto's eyes. "How does that feel?"

"About right."

"You look tired."

"I am a little."

"Are you sick or is it a woman."

"I'm not sick."

A big smile forms across the face of the former welterweight champion of Nevada. The face of the 68 year old Blackman is lined and cracked like the old boxing gloves that Jack is wearing but his tall body is youthful and athletic in appearance. Above Felix's eyebrows Jack sees the effect of 20 years as a professional fighter. He sees the thick scar tissue and the thin white lines where the old man's skin has been stitched and restitched many times. As he gives instructions to Jack, Felix's brown eyes seem to be staring at something distant and jack wonders if Felix has chased around the ring one time too often his dream.

"And get off first. Don't stop punching until he goes down. You've got it kid and not every fighter does."

Jack and Felix start walking over to the ring.

"What is it I've got?" Jack Deletto wonders.

"Felix puts his foot on the fourth strand of the rings rope and with his hand pulls up the top strand and as Jack steps into the ring, "You've got HEART."

In the opposite corner Bill Wain waits.

"Will he be alright?" Harry asks.

"Bill's tired, " Felix replies, then he tries to explain. "It's not about money. I'm almost 70 and I want to go out a winner." Felix pauses and the offers, he can hit hard with either hand."

"Yeah, but at best he's a small middleweight and he only moves in one direction, straight ahead."

"Harry, I love the guy," Felix puts his hand on Harry's shoulder, he's like Tyson at the end of his career. He'd fight you to the death but he's not fighting to win anymore."

Harry puts his hands in his pocket and stares at the floor. "Do you want me to tell him to go easy." Harry looks up at Felix waiting for an answer.

"I'm tired of sweeping dirt from behind the boxes of wax beans and tuna fish. I'm sick of collecting shopping carts in the rain. A half way decent white heavyweight can make a lot of money. It's stupid for a fighter to practice holding back. Bill's a winner. Jack'll be alright."

Felix hands the pocket watch to Harry so he can time the rounds.

Bill Wain comes out of his corner circling left.

Jack rushes straight ahead.

Felix winks at Jack Delleto and whispers, "The Jack of hearts."



                                           Chapter 5


The front door of the Wagon Wheel bar explodes open to Ziggy Pop's, "YOU'VE GOT A LUST FOR LIFE." Jack Delleto steps over the curb and vanishes into the dark doorway.

"HEY, JACK, JACK DELLETO," The lanky bartender shouts over the din.

Delleto makes his way through the crowd over to bar. How the hell have you been Snake?" Jack asks.

"Just great," says Snake. "You're lookin pretty ****** good for a dead man."

"Who told you that? Crazy George?"

The bartender points across the room to where a man in a pin stripe suit is swinging to and fro from a wagon wheel lamp attached to the ceiling.

"Yeah, I thought so. Haven't seen Crazy George in a year and he's been telling everyone I'm dead. I'm gonna have to have a long talk with that man."

Snake hands Jack a shot of tequila. The men touch glasses and throw down the shots.

How's the other George? Dell asks.

"AA."

"How's Tommy? You see him anymore?"

"Rehab."

"What about Robbie?"

Snake refills the glasses. "He's livin in a nudist colony in Florida, he has two wives and 6 children."


Jack looks across the room and sees Bob O'Malley trying to adjust the rose in the lapel of his tuxedo. Satisfied it won't fall out O'Malley looks up at the man swinging from the lamp. "Quick, name man's three greatest inventions."

"Alcohol, tobacco, and the wheel," Crazy George shoots back.

O'Malley smiles and then jumps up on the top of the bar and although he is over six feet and weighs two hundred pounds, he has the dexterity and grace of a ballerina as he pirouttes around and jumps over the shot glasses and beer bottles that litter the bar.

Wedding guests lean back in their chairs as strangers fearful of his gyrations ****** their drinks off the bar. Bob fakes a slip as he prances along but he is always in control and never falters. Forty three year old Bob O'Malley is Jim Brown who dodges danger to score the winning touch down.

When is reaches the end of the bar he jumps to the floor, pulls two aluminum lids from the beer box, and with one in each hand he smacks them together like cymbals.

Some guests clap. The bemused just stare.

In the back of the room sitting at the wedding table the father of the bride leans over, whispers into the ear of his crying wife, "If I had a gun I'd shoot Bob."

The bride raises a glass of champagne into the smoke filled air and Bob takes a bow but then heads towards the kitchen at the other end of the room.

" Hey, Bob," Jack Delleto shouts to the groom.

O'Malley stops under the wagon wheel lamp and turns as Delleto steps into the  circle of light cast onto the floor.

"Congratulations, I know Theresa and you are goin to be happy. I mean that." Delleto offers his hand and they shake hands.

"Thanks, Mr. Cool."

Jack takes off the sunglasses.

"TWO black eyes. Your nose is bleeding. What happened?"

Dell takes the handkerchief from his back pocket, wipes the blood dripping down his face. "It's broken."

"What happened?" O'Malley asks again.

"Bill Wain."

"He turned pro."

"Yeah, but he's nothing special. Hell, he couldn't even knock me down."

O'Malley shakes his head. "Put the sunglasses back on, you look like a friggin raccoon."

Dell smiles. The blood running down his lips."Thersa's beautiful, Bob, you're a lucky guy."

"Thanks Dell." O'Malley puts his hand on Dell's shoulder and sqeezes affectionately. Bob looks across the room at Teresa. "Yeah, she is beautiful." Theresa mother has stopped crying. Her father just stares at the wall.

O'Malley looks away from his bride and passed the archway that divides the poolroom from the bar and into the corner. With the lamp light above his head gleaming in his eyes Bob seems to see a ghost fleeting in the far distant, dark corner. Slowly, a peculiar half smile forms uneven, white, tombstone teeth.  A pensive smile.

Curious, Dell turns his head to look into the darkness of the poolroom, too.

At night in July the moths were everywhere. When Dell was a boy he would sit on his porch and try to count them. The moths appeared as faint splashes of whiteness scattered throughout the night, odd circles of white that moved haphazardly, forward and then sideways, sometimes up and down.

Sometimes the patches of moths flew higher and higher and Dell imagined the lights those creatures were seeking were the stars themselves; Orion, the Big Dipper and even the milky hue of the Milkyway.

One night as the moths pursued starlight he saw shadows dropping one by one from the tops of the trees. The swallows were soundless and when he caught a glimpse of sudden darkness, blacker than the night, the shadows erased the dreamer and its dream.

His imagination gave definition to form. There was a sound to the shadows of the swallows in his thoughts, the melody and the song played over and over. Perhaps he saw his reflection in the night. Perhaps there are shadows where nothing exists to cast them.

"Do you hear them, Bob?"

"Hear what?" Bob asks.

"All of them."

"All of what?"

"Nothin," Delleto tells his friend, "Nothin."

O'Malley doesn't understand but it does not matter. The two men have shared the same corner of darkness.

Bob calls to Paul Keater. Keater smiles broadly, slides the brim of his Giant baseball cap to the side of his forehead. The two men disappear through the swinging kitchen door.


                                          Chapter 6


"Hello Kate." Jack Delleto says and sits down. She has a blue bow in her hair and make up on.

"My names Kathleen."

She fondles the whiskey glass in her slim fingers. "Hello, Dell, Sue thinks Dell is such a **** name. Kathleen takes a last drag on her cigarette, rubs it out in the ashtray, looks up at him, "What should I call you?"

"How about, Darlin?"

"Hello, Jack, DARLIN," her soft, deep voice whispers. Kathleen crosses her legs and the black dress rides up to the middle of her thigh.

Jack glances at the milky white flesh between the blue ***** hose and the hem of her dress. Kate is drunk and Dell does not care. He leans closer, "Do you wanna dance?"

"But no one else is dancing."

"Well, we can go down to the beach, take a walk along the sand."

"It's twenty degrees out there."

"I'll keep you warm."

"All right, lets dance."

Jack stands up takes her by the hand. As Kathleen rises Jack draws her close to him. Her ******* flatten against his chest. He feels her heart thumping.

The Elvis impersonator that almost played Las Vegas; the hairdresser that wanted to be a race car driver; the insurance salesman with a Porche and a wife.  Her men talked about what they owned or what they could do.

Kathleen had never meant anyone quite like Dell.

She rests her head on his shoulder. "What do you what more than anything? What do you dream about at night?"

"Nothing."

"Come on," she says," what do you want more than anything? Tell me your dreams."

Jack smiles, "Just to make it through another day."  He smiles that sad smile that she saw the first time they met. "Tell me what you want."

Kate lifts her head off of his shoulder and looks into his eyes."I don't want to be on welfare the rest of my life and I want to be able to send my son to college." She rests her cheek against his, "I've lived in foster homes all my life and every time I knew one day I'd have to leave, what I want most is a home. Do you know the difference between a house and a home?"

"No."

Her voice is a roaring whisper in his ear, "LOVE."

The song comes to an end and they leave the circle of light and sit down. Kate takes a cigarette from the pack.

Dell strikes a match. The flame flickering in her eyes. "Maybe someday you'll have your home."

"Do you want me to?"

"Yeah."

Kate blows out the match.


                                  
     


"Can you take me home?" Kate asks slurring her words.

Kathleen and Jack walk over to where the bride and groom are standing near the big glass refrigerator door with Paul Keater. When Paul realizes he is standing next to Jack Delleto he rocks back and forth on the heals of his worn shoes, slides his Giants baseball cap back and forth  across his forehead and walks away.

O'Malley bends down and kisses Kathleen on the cheek and turns to shake hands with Dell. "Good luck," says Dell. Kathleen embraces the bride.

Outside the bar the sun is setting behind the boarded shut Delleto store.

"That was my Dad's store, " Jack tells Kate and then Jack whispers to to himself as he reads the graffiti spray painted on the front wall.
"TELL YOUR DREAMS TO ME, TELL ME YOU LOVE ME, IF YOU LOVE ME TELL ALL YOUR DREAMS TO ME."


                                         Chapter 7


An old man comes shuffling down the street, "Hello Mr. Martin, " Jack says, "How are you?"

"I'm an old man Jack, how could I be," and then he smiles, "ah, I can't complain. How are you?"

"Still alive and well."

"Who is this pretty young lady?"

"This Kate."

Joesph Martin takes Kathleen by the arm and  gently squeezes, "Hello Kate, such a pretty women, ah if I was only sixty," and the old man smiles.

Kathleen forces a smile.

The thick eyeglasses that Mr. Martin wears magnifys his eyes as he looks from Kathleen to Jack, "Have fun now because when you are dead you are going to be dead a long, long time."

"How long?  Delleto inquires.

The old man smirks and waves as he continues up the street to the door leading to the rooms above the bar. He turns to face the door. The small window is broken and the shards of glass catch the twilight.

Joesph Martin turns back looking at the man and young woman who are about to get into the car. He is not certain what he wants to say to them. Perhaps he wants to tell them that it ***** being an old man and the upstairs hallway always smells of ****.

Joesph Martin wants to tell someone that although Anna died seven years ago his love endures and he misses her everyday. Joesph recalls that Plato in Tamaeus believed that the soul is a stranger to the Earth and has fallen into matter because of sin.

A faint smile appears on the wrinkled face of the old man as he heeds the resignation he hears in his own thoughts.

Jack waves to Mr. Martin.  Joesph waves back. The mustang drives off.

Earth, O island Earth.


                                               Chapter 8


Joseph pushes open the door and goes into the hallway. The fragments of glass scattered across the foyer crunch and clink under his shoes. The cold wind blowing through the broken window touches his warm neck. He shivers and walks up the stairs. There is only enough light to see the wall and his own warm breathing. There is just enough light like when he has awaken from a  bad dream, enough to remember who he is and to separate the horror of what is real from the horror of what is dreamt.

The old man continues climbing the stairs following the familiar shadow of the wall cast onto the stairs. If he crosses the vague line of shadow and light he will disappear like a brown trout in the deepest hole in a creek.

By the time he reaches the second floor he is out of breath. Joseph pauses and with the handkerchief he has taken from his back pocket he wipes the fog from the lenses of his eyeglasses and the sweat from his forehead.

A couple of doors are standing open and the old man looks cautiously into each room as he hurries passed. One forty watt bulb hangs from a frayed wire in the center of the hallway. The wiring is old and the bulb in the white porcelain socket flickers like the blinking of an eye or the fearful beating of the heart of an old man.

When he opens the door to his room it sags on ruined hinges.

Joesph searches with his hand for the light switch.  Several seconds linger. Can't find it.

Finds it and quickly pushes the door shut. He sits down on the bed, doesn't take his coat off, reaches for the radio. It is gone

Joseph looks around the room. A small dresser, the sink with a mirror above it. He takes off his coat and above the mirror hangs the coat on the nail he has put there.

Hard soled boots echo hollowly off the hallway walls. The echoes are overlapping and he can not determine if the footsteps are leaving or approaching. Joseph grabs the crow bar he keeps under his pillow. Holds it until there is silence.

He lays back on the bed. Another night without sleep. Joseph rolls onto his side and faces the wall.

Earth, O island Earth.



                                           Chapter 9


Tangled in the tree tops a rising moon hangs above the roofs of identical Cape Cod houses.

Jack pulls the red mustang behind a station wagon. Kathleen is looking at Dell. His face is a faint shadow on the other side of the car. "Do you want to come up?" she asks.

Kathleen steps out of the car, breathes the cold air deep into her lungs. It is fresh and sweet. Jack comes around the side of the car just as she knew he would. He takes her into his arms and kisses her and they walk beneath the old oak tree and the roots have raised and crack the sidewalk and in the spring tiny blue flowers will bloom. The flowers remind Jack of the columbines that bloom in high mountain meadows above treeline heralding a brief season of sun and warmth.

"Did you win?" Kathleen asks as she fits the key into the upstairs apartment door. The door swings open into the kitchen.

Dell, standing in the doorway looking like the Jack of Hearts. "It doesn't matter."

"You lost?"

"Yeah."

Crossing the room she takes off her coat and places it on the back of the kitchen chair. When Kate leans across the kitchen table to turn on the radio the mini dress rides up her thigh, tugs tightly around her buttocks.

The radio plays softly.

Jack stands and as Kathleen turns he slips his arms around her waist and she is staring into his eyes like a cat into a fire. His body gently presses against the table and when he lifts her onto the table her legs wrap around his waist.

Kathleen sighs.

Jack kisses her. Her lips are cold like the rain. His hand reaches. There is a faint click. The room slips into darkness. It is Eddie Money on the radio, now, with Ronnie Spectre singing the back up vocals. Eddie belts out, "TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT, I WON"T LET YOU LEAVE TIL..."

When Jack withdraws from the kiss her eyes are shining like diamonds in moonlight.

The buttons of her dress are unfastened.  Her arms circle his neck and pull him to her *******. "Don't Jack. You mustn't. I just want a friend." His hands slide up her thighs. "I'll be your friend, " says Jack.

"*** always ruins every thing," Her voice is a roaring whisper in his ear. He pulls her to the edge of the table as Ronnie sings, "O DARLIN, O MY DARLIN, WON'T YOU BE MY LITTLE BAABBBY NOOWWW."


They are sitting on a couch in the room that atone time had been a sun porch.

Now that they have gotten *** out of the way, maybe they can talk. Sliding her hands around his face she pulls him closer.

"Jack, what do you dream about? You know what I mean, tell your dreams to me."

"How did you get those little round scars on your arm," Jack wonders. "Up and down, hear and there."

"Do you really want to know?" There is anger in her voice and Jack does not understand.

"Why, yeah."

"My foster mom always wanted me to be clean and if I didn't I got hit with the belt. I tried to keep my face clean but it didn't do any good.

He was the worst, though, dad. He'd burn me with his cigarette. That's how I got these ****** scars. And when I knew he was coming home I'd get sick to my stomach and when I heard his key in the door, I'd wet myself.

But that wasn't the worst of it.

When they didn't beat me or burn me they ignored me, like I didn't exist, like I wasn't even there."



                                             Chapter 10



All the windows in the apartment are open. The cool breeze flows through her brown hair. "You're getting too serious, Jack, and I don't want to need you."

"That's because I care for you."

The rain pounds the roof.

Jack Delleto sits down on the bed, caresses her shoulder. "I hate the rain. Come on, give me a smile. "Kathleen pulls away and faces the wall.

"Well I don't need anyone."

"People need people."

There is silence, then, "I only care about my son and Father Anthony."

"What is it with you and the priest?" You named your son Anthony is that because he's the father."

"Your an *******. Get out of here. I don't love you." And then, "I've been hurt by people and you'll get over it."

The lingering silence. Jack gets up from the bed, stares at her dark form facing the wall. "Isn't this how it always ends for you?"

The room is quiet and grows hot. When the silence numbs his racing heart, he goes into the kitchen, opens the front door and walks down the steps into the cold rain.


"Anthony," Kathleen calls to her son to come to her from the other bedroom and he climbs into the bed and she holds him close. The ghost of relationships past haunt her and although they are all sad, she has she clings to them.


On the sidewalk below the apartment window Jack stops. He thinks he hears his name being called but whatever he has heard is carried off by the wind. He continues up the  dark street to his Harley.

High in reachless branches of the old oak tree a mockingbird is singing. The leaves twist in the wind and  the singing goes on and on.



                                            
     



The ringing phone.

"Who the hell is this?" The clock on the dresser says 5a.m.

"Jack, I'm scared."

"Kate?"

"Someone broke into my apartment."

"Is he still there?"

"No, He ran out the door when I screamed."

"I'll be right over."



                                         Chapter11


"How hot is it?" Kathleen asks.

The bar is empty except for O'Malley, Keater, a man and a woman.

"98.6,"Says Jack. The sweat rolls down his cheeks.

"Let's go to the boardwalk."

"When it's hot like this, it's hot all over."

"We could go on the rides."

"I've got the next pool game, then we'll go."

"It's my birthday."

"I bought you flowers."

"Yeah, carnations."

Laughing, Paul Keater slides the brim of his baseball cap back and forth across his forehead.

Jack starts for Keater, Katheen steps in front of Jack, puts her hands on his shoulders. She looks into his eyes.

"What is it with you , two? But as always you'll say nothing, nothing." As Jack tries to speak she walks over to the bar and sits on the barstool.

"It's my birthday," she tells O'Malley.

When Bob turns from the horse races on he T.V., he notices her long legs and the short skirt. "Hey, happy birthday, Kate, Jack Daniels?"

"Fine."

Filling the glasses O'Malley hands one to Kathleen, "You look great," he tells her.

"Jack doesn't think so. Thanks, at least someone thinks so."

"Hope Jack won't mind," and he leans over the bar and kisses her.

Kathleen looks over her shoulder at Delleto. Jack is playing pool with a woman wearing a black tight halter top. The woman comes over to Jack, stands close, smiles, and Jack smiles back.

The boyfriend stares angrily at Jack.

When Kathleen turns back O'Malley is filling her shot glass.

Jack wins that game, too.



                                                 Chapter 12



"Daddy,"the little girl her hands folded in her lap is looking up at her father. "When will the ride stop? I want to go on."

"Soon, Darling, "her father assures her.

"I don't think it will ever stop."

"The ride always stops, Sweetie." Daddy takes her by the hand, gently squeezes.


When the carousel begins to slow down but has not quite stopped Kathleen steps onto the platform , grabs the brass support pole. The momentum of the machine grabs her with a **** onto the ride, into a white horse with big blue eyes. Dropping her cigarette she takes hold of the pole that goes through the center of the horse. She struggles to put her foot in the stirrup, finds it, and throws her leg over the horse. The carousel music begins to play. With a tremble and a jolt, the ride starts.

Sitting on the pony has made her skirt ride well up her legs. The ticket man is staring at her but she is too drunk to care. She hands him the ticket, gives him the finger.

The ticket man goes over to the little girl and her father who are sitting in a golden chariot pulled by to black horses.

"Ooooh, Daddy, I love this."

"So do I," The father smiles and strokes his daughters hair.

The heat makes the dizziness grow and as the ride picks up speed she sees two of everything. There are two rows of pin ball machines, eight flashing signs, six prize machines. All the red, blue and green lights from the ride blend together like when a car drives at night down a rain soaked street.

Kathleen feels the impulse to *****.

"Can we go on again?" The little girl asks.

"But the ride isn't over, yet."


Kathleen concentrates on the rain soaked street and the dizziness and nausea lessens. She perceives the images as a montage like the elements that make up a painting or a life. She has become accustom to the machine and its movement. The circling ride creates a cooling breeze that becomes a tranquil, flowing waterfall.

The ponies in front are always becoming the ponies in the back and the ponies in back are becoming the ponies in the front. Around and around. All the ponies galloping. Settling back into the saddle she rides the pony into the ever present waterfall.

You can lose all sense of the clock staring into the waterfall of blue, red and green. Kathleen leans forward to embrace the ride for a long as it lasts.

Just as suddenly as it started, the ride starts slowy, the music stops playing.

Coming down off the pony she does not wait for the ride to stop, stumbles off the platform and out the  Casino amusement park door."****, *******," she yells careening into the railing almost falling into Wesley Lake.

She staggers a few steps, sits down on the grass by the curb, hears the carousel music playing and knows the ride is beginning again, and all the her dreams crawls into her like a dying animal from its hidden place.

And it all comes up from her throat taking her breath away. A distant yet familiar wind so she lies down on the grass facing the  street of broken buildings filled with broken people. From the empting lot of scattered thoughts the mockingbird is singing and the images shoot off into a darkening landscape, exploding, illuminating for a brief moment, only to grow dimmer, light and warmth fading into cold and darkness.




                                      
     

"Your girlfriend is flirting with me," Jack Delleto tells the man. "It's my game."

The man stands up, takes a pool stick from the rack, as he comes towards Jack Delleto the man turns the pool stick around holding the heavy part with two hands.

There is an explosion of light inside his head, Delleto sees two spinning lizards playing trumpets, 3 dwarfs with purple hair running to and fro, intuitively he knows he has to get up off the floor, and when he does he catches the bigger man with a left hook, throws the overhand right. The man stumbles back.

His girlfriend in the tight  black halter top is jumping up and down, screaming at, screaming at Jack Delleto to stop, but Jack does not. Stepping forward, a left hook to the midsection, hook to the head, spins right, throws the overhand right.

The man does down.

Jack wins.



                                                  CHAPTE­R 13

"It's too much," and Jack looks up from the two lines of white powder at Bob O'Malley. "I'll never be able to fall asleep and I hate not being able to sleep."

" Here," Bob takes a big white pill from his shirt pocket.

Jack drops the pill into his shirt pocket and says, "No more." He hands the rolled up dollar bill to Bob who bends over the powder.

"Tom sold the house so you're upstairs? O Malley asks, and like a magician the two lines of white powder disappear. Straightening up, he looks at Dell, "I know you 're hurting Dell , I'm sorry, I'm sad about Kate, too."

Jack becomes quiet, walks through the darkened room over to the bar. Leaning over the bar he grabs two shot glasses and a bottle of Wild Turkey, walks back into the poolroom. He puts the shot glasses on top of the pin ball machine. "We have a winner, "the pin ball machine announces. Dell fills the glasses.

"Felix came in the other day, he's taken it hard. Bill Wain knock down four times in the sixth round, lost consciousness in the dressing room, and died at the hospital."

"What's the longest you went without sleep? Jack asks.

"Oooohhh, five, six days, who knows, after awhile you loose all track of the clock."

They take the shots and throw them down.

"I wonder if animals dream," Jack wants to know. "I wonder if dogs dream."

"Sure they do, " O'Malley asures him, nodding his head up and down, "dogs, cats, squirrels, birds."

"Probably not insects."

"Why not? Sure they do, june bugs, fleas, even moths, it's all biochemical, dreams are biochemical, mix the right combination of certain chemicals, electric impulses, and you'll produce love and dreams."

                                          
     

Jack Delleto goes into the room, studies it. The light from the unshaded lamp on the night stand casts a huge shadow of him onto the adjacent wall. Not much to the room, a sink with a mirror above it next to a dresser, a bed against the wall, a wooden chair in front of a narrow window.

The rain pounds the roof.

The apprehension grows. The panic turns into anger. Jack rushes the white wall, meets his shadow, explodes with a left hook. He throws the right uppercut, the over hand right, three left hooks. He punches the wall and his knucles bleed. He punches and kicks the blood stained wall.

At last he is exhausted, collapses into the chair in front of the open window. Fist sized holes in the plaster revel the bones of the building. The room has been punched and kicked without mercy.

The austere room has won.

The yellow note pad, he needs the yellow note pad, finds it, takes the pencil from the binder but no words will come so he writes, "insomnia, the absence of dream." He reaches for the lamp on the night stand, finds it, and turns off the light. Red and blue, blue and red, the neon from the Wagon Wheel Bar sign blinks soft neon into his room. The sign seems to pulsate to the cadence of the rock music coming from the bar.

Taking the big white pill from his shirt pocket, he swallows it, leans back into the chair watching the shadows of rain bleed down the wall. The darkness intensifys. Jack slides into the night.



                                           Chapter 14


The rain turns to snow.

With each step he takes the pain throbs in his arm and shoulder socket. His raw throat aches from the drafts of cold air he is ******* through his gaping mouth and although his legs ache he does not turn to look back. Jack must keep punching holes with his ice axe, probing the snow to avoid a fall into an abyss.

The pole of the ice axe falls effortlessly into the snow, "**** it, another one."

Moonlight coats the glacier in an irridecent glow and the mountain looms over him. It is four in the mourning and Jack knows he needs to be high on the mountain before the  mourning sun softens the snow. He moves carefully, quietly, humbly to avoid a fall into a crevasse. When he reaches the top of the couloir the wind begins to howl.

"Da DA DUN, DA DA DUN, HEY PURPLE HAZE ALL AROUND  MY BRAIN..."

Jack thinks the song is in his head but the electric guitar notes float down through the huge blocks of ice that litter the glacier and there standing on the arête is Jimi, his long dexterous fingers flying over the guitar strings at 741 mph.

"Wait a minute, " Jack wonders, stopping dead in his tracks. The sun is hitting the distant wind blown peaks. "Ah, what the hell," and Jack jumps in strumming his ice axe like an air guitar, singing, shouting, "LATELY THINGS DON'T SEEM THE SAME, IS THIS A DREAM,  WHATEVER IT IS THAT GIRL PUT A SPELL ON MEEEE, PURRPPLLE HAZZEEE."


                                        
     


Slowly the door moans open.

"Jack, are you awake?" her voice startles him.

"Yeah, I'm awake."

"What's the matter, can't sleep?"

Jack sifts position on the chair. "Oh, I can sleep all right." He recognizes the voice of the shadow. "I want to climb to a high mountain through ice and snow and never be found."

"A heart that's empty hurts, I miss you Jack Delleto."

"I'm glad someone does, I miss you ,too."

There is silence for several minutes and the voice comes out of the darkness again.

"Jack, you forgot something that night."

"What?" The dark shape moves towards him. When it is in front of him, Jack stands, slips his arms around her waist.

"You didn't kiss me goodbye."

Her lips are soft and warm. Her arms tighten around his neck and the warmth of her body comes to him through the cold night.

"Jack, what's the matter?" She raises her head to look at him, "Why, you're crying."

"Yeah, I'm crying."

"Don't cry Darlin," her lips are soft against his ear. "I can't bare to see you unhappy, if you love me, tell me you love me."

"I love you, I do," he whispers softly.

"Hold me, Jack, hold me tighter."

"I'll never let you go." He tries to hug the shadow.


                                          
      *


The dread grows into an explosion of consciousness. Suddenly, he sits up ******* in the cold drafts of air coming into the room from the open window. Jack Delleto gets up off the chair and walks over to the sink. He turns on the cold water and bending forward splashes water onto his face. Water dripping, he leans against the sink, staring into the mirror, into his eyes that lately seem alien to him.



                                            Chapter 15


Someone approaches, Jacks turns, looks out the open door, sees Joesph Martin go shuffling by wearing a faded bathrobe and one red slipper. Jack hears Martin 's door slam shut and the for thirty seconds the old man screams, "AAHHH, AAAHHH, AAAHH."
Then the building is silent and Jack listens to his own labored breathing.

A glance at the clock. It is a few minutes to 7 a.m. Jack hurries from his room into the hallway.  They pass each other on the stairs. The big man is coming up the stairs and Jack is going down to see O'Malley.

Jack has committed a trespass.

When the big man reaches the top of the stairs, the red exit light flickers like a votive candle above his head. The man slides the brim of his Giants baseball cap back and forth across his forehead, he turns and looks down, "Hello, Jack, brother. Dad loved you, too, you know." An instant later the sound of a door closing echoes down the hallway steps.

Jack Delleto is standing in the doorway at the bottom of the steps looking out onto the wet, bright street.

"Hey, Jack, man it's good to see you, glad to see you're still alive."

Jack turns, looks over his shoulder, "Felix, how the hell are you."
The two men shake hands, then embrace momentarily.

"Ah, things don't get any better and they don't get any worse," shrugs the old man and then he smiles but his brown eyes are dull and Jack can smell the cheap wine on the breath of the old boxer. "When are comin back? Man, you've got something, Kid, and we're going places."

"Yeah, Felix, I'll be coming back."  Jack extends his hand. The old fighter smiles and they shake hands. Suddenly, Felix takes off down Main Street towards Foodtown as if he has some important place to go.

Jack is curious. He sees the rope when he starts walking towards the Wagon Wheel Bar. One end of the rope is tied around the parking meter pole. The rest of the rope extends across the sidewalk disappearing into the entrance to the bar. The rattling of a chain catches his attention and when the huge white head of the dog pops out of the doorway Jack is  startled. He stops dead in his tracks and as he spins around to run, he slips falling to the wet pavement.

The big, white mutt growls, woofs once and comes charging down the sidewalk at him. The rope is quickly growing shorter, stretches till it meets it end, tightens, and then snaps. Now, unimpeded by the tension of the rope the mutt comes charging down the sidewalk at Delleto. Jack's body grows tense anticipating the attack. He tries to stand up, makes it to his knees just as the dog bowls into him knocking him to the cement. The dog has him pinned down, goes for his face.

And begins licking him.

Jack Delleto struggles to his knees, hugs her tightly to him. Looking over her shoulder, across Main Street to the graffiti painted on the boarded shut Delleto Market...

                               FANTASY WILL SET YOU FREE

                                                 The End

To Tommy, Crazy George and Snake, we all enjoyed a little madness for awhile.


"Conversations With a Dead Dog..."
purple orchid Aug 2014
White paint peels off to leave the walls bare,
naked and exposed to
elements.
Much like her soul.
Starved of love and affection,
accepted but not wanted.
Tolerated.
The sun casts her shadows on those
she frowns upon,
leaving winding roads to spiral out of control.
Time shifts her world from
it's axis as it progresses,
it doesn't heal,
it doesn't lessen,
It just is.
Echoes of your voice ricochets
to find her heart,
carrying the exact weight they
did the second they fled your tongue,
never shedding an ounce of momentum

"The waves of pain
that had only lapped at her
before now
reared up high and pulled her under .."
This level reach of blue is not my sea;
Here are sweet waters, pretty in the sun,
Whose quiet ripples meet obediently
A marked and measured line, one after one.
This is no sea of mine. that humbly laves
Untroubled sands, spread glittering and warm.
I have a need of wilder, crueler waves;
They sicken of the calm, who knew the storm.

So let a love beat over me again,
Loosing its million desperate breakers wide;
Sudden and terrible to rise and wane;
Roaring the heavens apart; a reckless tide
That casts upon the heart, as it recedes,
Splinters and spars and dripping, salty weeds.
Christos Rigakos Apr 2012
The mourning dove--it casts its shadow long,
from windowsill, along my bedroom floor,
black sprawled across my bed until the door--
it fills my ears with morbid sighing song.

Throughout the day on paths I walk along,
it sits on bare tree branches up on high,
and sounds aloud its four-tone lonely sigh,
its presence ever-subtle, ever-strong.

And when I then return from where I've roamed,
in my so vain attempts to daily flee,
where I realize there's no escape from me,
the mourning dove, it greets me when I'm home.

Perched on my windowsill, within my sight,
it starts once more its melancholy song,
and casts again its shadow growing long,
that blends into the darkness of the night.

(C)2007, Christos Rigakos
Standard Quatrain Form
Joe Wilson Feb 2015
Moonlight casts out its magical spell
Again I feel that deep pleasure
Yet when you gaze upon it’s face
It loses lustre by no small measure.

For such is your beauty that all else will pale
When everyone meets you they smile
Your kindness just simply amazes my heart
You make each of us feel worthwhile.

O lucky man I, that I got to share
A lifetime spent here by your side
Immersed in such love and your radiance
With a heart that is bursting with pride.

And now here in twilight I gaze at your lips
That have kissed me with such sensuous touch
And I know as I smile and think of our life
That I have and I still love you, so very much.



©Joe Wilson – Moonlights casts a spell…2015
Andrew Rueter Oct 2017
EMP
I can't compute and become mute
When you walk by
My circuitry is fried
Because your program is an encryption
And your pulse is electromagnetic
My car dies, so does my phone, so does my home
I'm immobilized
And demoralized
By immoral ties
To temporary generators
They're validating veneraters
Ultimately unsatisfying
When you're still not buying
I'm attracted to your charge
Until there's a battery
Yet you're the cure to your lure
The EMT for your EMP

Your negative charge casts a cloud around my nucleus
But if you could be positive for a change
We could meet in the middle
And feel energy in our synergy
But as soon as I feel electricity between us
You shut me down
With your EMP
I can't get free
Amethyst May 2013
dark, mysterious waves
roll in the night
as the full moon
casts down a glorious light.
all is still,
not a single sound
until you reach
the smooth, sandy ground.
down there no sand is stirred;
a lonesome seashell sits un-turned.
the purple-pink shell catches
a glimpse of the moon
and from them on dreams
of landing on the lagoon.
but she is too deep into the blue
not a single creature can help her move.
so she sits and waits
for the rest of time
muttering soft calls,
"that moon will be mine..."
this was originally typed on my old laptop that didn't have a functioning SHIFT or CAPS LOCK button. sorry.
Light...
Walking blindly through the dark, hearing no sound. I reach out for you, grasping for your warmth. You’re nowhere to be found. I’m blind and I’m lost. Lost within the dark woods of your soul. I want your warmth, the touch of your hands. The feel of your lips against mine. Yet, I feel nothing. Nothing but the coldness of where you used to be. The coldness of alone. Alone and shivering with the anticipation of finding you once more. But, for now I wander through these woods, fighting the darkness and whatever may lurk within. I will find you, search and fight until my heart beats no more. I sit thinking of you, thinking of the morbid array of thoughts that swim through that beautifully twisted mind of yours. You appeal to me. The darkness of your soul delights me. I love the anticipation of the next sick and twisted thing that will slip through those beautiful lips of yours. The attraction to you consumes my every being. Consumes me for everything I ever have or ever will be.

Darkness...
I savor the flavor of a thousand delights found in one single moment when your twisted smile lights the shadow of time to the core of emotion, leaving me more complete with every instance, and a little less myself each time we part, anticipating every next moment together in madness, lunacy, and contentment.

Light...
I bask in the ambiance of your soul. I bathe in the light of your eyes. I devour each word that falls from your lips. Every moment spent together I die some inside knowing that you’ll never be mine. I’ll never be the one to feel the warmth of your lips, the tenderness in your kisses. Never feel the ecstasy in which I so desire. You shall never be mine, yet the torment of being around you draws me in ever so much more. I may never have you to call my own, so I will satisfy my own needs by looking into your eyes, by hopelessly clinging to every word. Loving someone who never will be mine will be my death. A death I so willingly accept.

Darkness...
So we collide and coincide on opposite plateaus of the same parallel, a product of storms never raged, battles never won, and pleasures never quenched, holding moments passed in equal satisfaction as those that may have been, as the imploding loss of unknowing melds the two into one final entity, more powerful than the feeling of gratitude for all of the powers that be for giving us the one thing no one could ever replace……the penetrating ecstasy orbiting about this world of our own creation, to revel in every moment together, and suffer every second torn apart, in time, and in mind.

Light...
We wander through the dark, hand in hand. I feel your supple lips brush my cheek. I turn to look into your eyes once more when I realize you have changed. Your soul has become dark. Your eyes have become cold. I’m afraid of you now. Afraid of your touch, of your love. I try to turn from you, to get away, but you hold on tight. Your grasp on my hand sends shivers up my spine. I need to be free of you, to get away from you to save my own soul from being lost into the new darkness which has become you.

Darkness...
I’m lost within the shadows cast by every inner demon, unraveling their chaotic waltz to the symphony of my pain. I turn to whisper my deepest secret, my lips trailing the ghosts of my heart’s desire upon your cheek, and realize it can never come to pass, turning before the very words can die upon breath now sustaining me in suffocation. I grasp your hand more tightly, magnifying the tremors in my own, as the fear of losing myself without you intensifies. I need to be free of you, if only to save you from the darkness now contaminating the waters of my soul, for how can you be my heart’s salvation if it means the damnation of your own soul as you descend with me into oblivion? How can I whisper when shouts of madness waver upon my tongue? How can I speak my heart and my fear when such a morbid chorus drowns out my sanest of thought, turning my emotions into a chaotic lesson in confusion and eminent danger? I see my future, far more clearly than my past, for every memory made without you is one I would give my soul to forget, knowing I would die in vain, for the memories we favor the least haunt us more vividly than the happiest of moments could ever dare imagine. The choice between fading alone in unending torment and dying with you by my side, suffering in silence as I scream absurdities upon the dying wind is simple. Living without you is my eternal hell. So easy to fall in love. So hard to stand alone.

Light...
Only always is what you told me. Only always will you be there. Only always will you care. Only always will you only have eyes for me. Only always do you lie. Only always do you cause me pain. Only always do you inflict such dire emotions in me that I can no longer bare. Only always will I die by your touch. Only always, my love.

Darkness...
Only always will I be so calm in my insanity. Only you will always be the one to draw the best from me. Only always will I dare to drown in nothingness compared to every thought you only always bring to mind, each time I stare into the void that lies between what’s real and only memory of things that only always never come to pass between the glass refraction, only always cutting swiftly to the bone, condemning me to hold on to words that only always go unspoken. Only always will I be broken, bleeding upon the foundations of souls forever seeking completion, only always incomplete. Only always alone. Everything I've tried to find inside a dark and weary world, I find in your eyes, within your words, within your soul. The interwoven feelings of contentment and deprivation cradle me in confliction as I hold opposing worlds within my grasp, watching as they collide in euphoric tragedy, spawning chaos amidst a field of hauntingly menacing desires, blooming like undead roses from the devastation that my life once was, empowering loss with hope and regret, and the knowledge that, even though never to be mine own, such a thing, such a feeling, does, indeed, exist within a world so heartless and corrupt. Mine to behold, but never mine to hold for more than just a picture of what life can be...perfectly imperfect, and still possible for me.

Light...
You slowly caress my soul with the diseases on your tongue. How can one fornicate such passion within the heart of a beast like me?

Darkness...
You stir within me the echo of desire, reverberating ironically throughout my every thought, as the deepest part of me quivers with satisfaction.

Light...
A satisfaction I so desperately yearn for. The very essence of you makes me quiver in this ironic state of bliss. Your body has become a metaphor of emphasis for me.

Darkness...
I remain intoxicated, imbibing wine flowing from the beauty of your soul, captivated by the fire tearing through my veins like molten glass with every beat of my tormented heart, counting every second spent dreaming in vain into its unrightful place upon the skin of eternity.

Light...
With nowhere to go, nowhere to hide, your words haunt my soul; haunt every fiber of my being. Drown me in a flood of emotion that I cannot seem to waiver. Your words flow through my body as the disease which is you spreads to my core.

Darkness...
The very thought of the object of my idolatry imprisons me in thin air, levitating over balance and corruption, wrestling two demons at once: that which damns me with morality, and that which delivers me with the anticipation of every mistake, crying to be born, to thrive, to be obeyed. Take my hand. Set my heart free. Burn with me in depthless passion, void of conscience, bursting at the seams with long suffered lust come to fruition, calming every shrieking moan of absolution, losing our souls as we have lost our minds, with violent denial, giving way to complete and total gratification of knowing that although we suffer so well amidst all that drags us further into hell fire, we suffer willingly in the greedy embrace of mutual condemnation.

Light...
        The words that flow from your fingertips flow through me and reverberate through my mind into my soul. My soul which you are such a dire part of. You who lifts me up when I am within inches of knocking upon Hell’s hollow doors. You are the one who comforts me when I am mere inches away from taking my last breath. I will love you until the end of time. As you contemplate if I truly care, now that my heart pulsates on this flaccid plane of existence, and that you will always be one of the many reasons my heart will continue to thump its many beats.  I reach for you, finding nothing but the coldness of where you were. This atrocity of life haunts me, ridiculing me for ever having loved you. The beast within me screams your name to no avail. I’m lost and alone without you near. Time has lost its meaning. I’m trapped in a void of nothingness. Wondering ever so much when you are going to set me free. Why won’t you set me free? Crying amongst the pain you cannot feel. Tears disintegrate into the harshness of the rain. The validity of your words go once more unspoken. Hence once again the darkness has become the only reality in which I thrive. I mustn't relive the days amongst your lies. The lies you have spit at me with such callousness. The unspoken realm of my reality has become so clear, so vivid. I must be rid of you. Must free my soul from the snare you've captured me within. Yet the fire within your eyes has compelled me once more. For why must I fall into the depths of you?

Darkness...
        Yet pain I do feel, for every time that I draw close, you drift further away even as your heart reaches for me. It is the rain itself that disintegrates into the harshness of the tears I shed in longing for the day when you understand that my words are pure and not some greedy guise, for the darkness wherein you dwell is but the shadow that your doubt casts upon your weary heart. If it had all been a lie, then why do the memories that so torment you ring so true, more savagely with every second that passes in which we are not drowning in each others arms? It be not untruth, but frustration that empowers my words, for the very thought of life without you is only the precursor to my living hell. The reality of all is that you are my life and you are my death, sustaining me and suffocating in equal measure, imbibing my heart with your very essence, and rending it asunder with every tear you shed in unbelief. If you must be rid of me, then do so quickly, and have pity upon my tormented soul, for I wish not for you to fall into the depths of my sorrow, but to fall with me as I fall into the undying beauty that is you.
This was an ongoing creatively descriptive collaboration between myself and a fellow writer and one of my dearest and best friends, Jonnie Shelly Steffens Back, about an angel of Darkness and an angel of Light falling in love, and the conflict of differences and misunderstandings in doubt heeding such an ironic union. My character was Darkness, and hers, Light. I acquired her permission to post this, otherwise, it would not be. It may still have more to flow, and there may very well be a play written from this at one point when we are able to work together again.
Nigel Morgan Mar 2013
January Colours

In the winter garden
of the Villa del Parma
by the artist’s studio
green
grass turns vert de terre
and the stone walls
a wet mouse’s back
grounding neutral – but calm,
soothing like calamine
in today’s mizzle,
a permanent dimpsey,
fine drenching drizzle,
almost invisible, yet
saturating skylights
with evidence of rain.

February Colours

In the kitchen’s borrowed light,
dear Grace makes bread  
on the mahogany table,
her palma gray dress
bringing the outside in.

Whilst next door, inside
Vanessa’s garden room
the French windows
firmly shut out this
season’s bitter weather.

There, in the stone jar
beside her desk,
branches of heather;
Erica for winter’s retreat,
Calluna for spring’s expectation.

Tea awaits in Duncan’s domain.
Set amongst the books and murals,
Spode’s best bone china  
turning a porcelain pink
as the hearth’s fire burns bright..

Today
in this house
a very Bloomsbury tone,
a truly Charleston Gray.

March Colours

Not quite daffodil
Not yet spring
Lancaster Yellow
Was Nancy’s shade

For the drawing room
Walls of Kelmarsh Hall
And its high plastered ceiling
Of blue ground blue.

Playing cat’s paw
Like the monkey she was
Two drab husbands paid
For the gardens she made,
For haphazard luxuriance.

Society decorator, partner
In paper and paint,
She’d walk the grounds
Of her Palladian gem
Conjuring for the catalogue
Such ingenious labels:

Brassica and Cooking Apple
Green
to be seen
In gardens and orchards
Grown to be greens.

April Colours

It would be churlish
to expect, a folly to believe,
that green leaves would  
cover the trees just yet.

But blossom will:
clusters of flowers,
Damson white,
Cherry red,
Middleton pink,

And at the fields’ edge
Primroses dayroom yellow,
a convalescent colour
healing the hedgerows
of winter’s afflictions.

Clouds storm Salisbury Plain,
and as a skimming stone
on water, touch, rise, touch
and fall behind horizon’s rim.
Where it goes - no one knows.

Far (far) from the Madding Crowd
Hardy’s concordant cove at Lulworth
blue
by the cold sea, clear in the crystal air,
still taut with spring.

May Colours

A spring day
In Suffield Green,
The sky is cook’s blue,
The clouds pointing white.

In this village near Norwich
Lives Marcel Manouna
Thawbed and babouched
With lemurs and llamas,
Leopards and duck,
And more . . .

This small menagerie
Is Marcel’s only luxury
A curious curiosity
In a Norfolk village
Near to Norwich.

So, on this
Blossoming
Spring day
Marcel’s blue grey
Parrot James
Perched on a gate
Squawks the refrain

Sumer is icumen in
Lhude sing cuccu!
Groweþ sed and bloweþ med
And springþ þe wde nu,
Sing cuccu!

June

Thrownware
earth red
thrown off the ****
the Japanese way.
Inside hand does the work,
keeps it alive.
Outside hand holds the clay
and critically tweaks.
Touch, press, hold, release
Scooting, patting, spin!
Centering: the act
precedes all others
on the potter’s wheel.
Centering: the day
the sun climbs highest
in our hemisphere.
And then affix the glaze
in colours of summer:
Stone blue
Cabbage white
Print-room yellow
Saxon green
Rectory red

And fire!

July Colours

I see you
by the dix blue
asters in the Grey Walk
via the Pear Pond,
a circuit of surprises
past the Witches House,
the Radicchio View,
to the beautifully manicured
Orangery lawns, then the
East and West Rills of
Gertrude’s Great Plat.

And under that pea green hat
you wear, my mistress dear,
though your face may be April
there’s July in your eyes of such grace.

I see you wander at will
down the cinder rose path
‘neath the drawing-room blue sky.

August Colours

Out on the wet sand
Mark and Sarah
take their morning stroll.
He, barefoot in a blazer,
She, linen-light in a wide-brimmed straw,
Together they survey
their (very) elegant home,
Colonial British,
Classic traditional,
a retreat in Olive County, Florida:
white sandy beaches,
playful porpoises,
gentle manatees.

It’s an everfine August day
humid and hot
in the hurricane season.
But later they’ll picnic on
Brinjal Baigan Bharta
in the Chinese Blue sea-view
dining room fashioned
by doyen designer
Leta Austin Foster
who ‘loves to bring the ocean inside.
I adore the colour blue,’ she says,
‘though gray is my favourite.’

September

A perfect day
at the Castle of Mey
beckons.
Watching the rising sun
disperse the morning mists,
the Duchess sits
by the window
in the Breakfast Room.
Green
leaves have yet to give way
to autumn colours but the air
is seasonably cool, September fresh.

William is fishing the Warriner’s Pool,
curling casts with a Highlander fly.
She waits; dressed in Power Blue
silk, Citron tights,
a shawl of India Yellow
draped over her shoulders.
But there he is, crossing the home beat,
Lucy, her pale hound at his heels,
a dead salmon in his bag.

October Colours

At Berrington
blue
, clear skies,
chill mornings
before the first frosts
and the apples ripe for picking
(place a cupped hand under the fruit
and gently ‘clunch’).

Henry Holland’s hall -
just ‘the perfect place to live’.
From the Picture Gallery
red
olent in portraits
and naval scenes,
the view looks beyond
Capability’s parkland
to Brecon’s Beacons.

At the fourteen-acre pool
trees, cane and reed
mirror in the still water
where Common Kingfishers,
blue green with fowler pink feet
vie with Grey Herons,
funereal grey,
to ruffle this autumn scene.

November Colours

In pigeon light
this damp day
settles itself
into lamp-room grey.

The trees intone
farewell farewell:
An autumnal valedictory
to reluctant leaves.

Yet a few remain
bold coloured

Porphry Pink
Fox Red
Fowler
Sudbury Yellow


hanging by a thread
they turn in the stillest air.

Then fall
Then fall

December Colours*

Green smoke* from damp leaves
float from gardens’ bonfires,
rise in the silver Blackened sky.

Close by the tall railings,
fast to lichened walls
we walk cold winter streets

to the warm world of home, where
shadows thrown by the parlour fire
dance on the wainscot, flicker from the hearth.

Hanging from our welcome door
see how incarnadine the berries are
on this hollyed wreath of polished leaves.
Umi Feb 2018
By the earth and it's wonderful, wide and unique expanse
A mother to what is living on it and inside of it, may it be small
or great in their posture given to them.
Indeed this place inhabits many creatures, faces and races.
Each striving for their own path, of staying alive.
The soft soil of the Earth, a comfortable living and breathing
ground to walk on, proud and all connected, only to be divided
By the sea which covers most of this planet, comparable to a blanket
From which we gain food and drink, in a clear registered cycle.
Of course this place too holds it's dangers, such as a quake could
end it all in a brutal roughless manner and tear it from the ground
we build our houses on.
Or be it an eruption which casts a rain of ash and embers, suffocating
the sky above, the ceiling which was meant to protect is our very end.
A mighty wave, which sweeps over the cities, drowning them in
it's lethal, cold and brutal, moist and salty embrace.
It is not healthy to be in such a negative spectra of thinking however
For this place holds, more transient, living, artistic beauty than I
could simply express or convey in words.

~ Umi
lost in a location, where am I
lost in a location, where am I
naught familiar to the eye, yet it seems real
naught familiar to the eye, yet it seems real
lost in a location, naught familiar to the eye
yet it seems real, where am I

in an illusory state, as the dreams of night
in an illusory state, as the dreams of night
blurred the imagery, awakening to truth
blurred the imagery, awakening to truth
awakening to truth, blurred the imagery
as the dreams of night, in an illusory state

light casts a beam, all in proper perspective
light casts a beam, all in proper perspective
the show is worked out, mirages no more exist
the show is worked out, mirages no more exist
mirages no more exist, light casts a beam
all in proper perspective, the show is worked out

mirages no more exist, lost in a location
as the dreams of night, where am I
all in proper perspective, awakening to truth
blurred the imagery, the show is worked out
a light casts a beam, yet it seems real
naught familiar to the eye, in an illusory state
Nobody Jun 2018
I wonder how I've ended back up in this position
dependant on not just a chemical or two, but
dependant on the love of a person
You see, I was not born a human, nor have I lived as one,

I'm used to the beauty of the darkness, for in dark places
beautiful flowers grow, but it takes eyes
shadowed in darkness for decades to see them
and to pluck them, one needs a still heart
that no longer beats with the rhythm of a living being

that darkness has shaped my world, shaped my mind
yet in her voice, her words, and her love
I've found myself slipping from that place
being pulled into one in which I do not know how to live
Here there is light, and sights to be seen
with eyes practiced to the sun

I used to believe the universe whispered to me
and maybe it still does, it's just that it's been so long
since I've listened, that its song is distant
raw, and uncaring

You see the universe is lonely,
that's why it turned into you, and into me,
to be embraced with it's own warmth
to embrace itself in its own desire,
what a simple thing we endeavor, is it not?

By becoming creatures bounded in time, and space,
we've forgotten our true self and along with it
the wellspring of love that created us,
now we seek it, although in lesser forms,
experiencing it with only a few
and the upper casts of beings know this,

Somewhere deep in our subconscious we also understand, and we know that we've forgotten it.

It's just that demons have embraced darkness, and a total absence of love, while we try to fill ourselves with small glimmers plucked from flowers that grow in the sun.

Demons, on the other hand, pluck flowers that grow only in the darkness, and those flowers have power over mortals, they will call to thee and under their spell, you will dream dreams meant for only devas, asuras, demons, and spirits.

This nectar is not meant for humans, yet in our arrogance, we reach for their stock and supply,
and with it we compose beautiful songs and paint beautiful shapes, we piece together majestic art and music that can open the mind, bend it, twist it, and mold it in ways from which it can never retreat.

We create,
Things that even devas desire,

We create,
Things that even demons devour,

But to us humans these things are toxic, they are too much, and we become lost to them.
Such that we call madness is a consequence of reaching too deeply into the well of knowledge with an unbalanced, ignorant, distracted, and frail mind, and in doing so, we forsake everything for the pitifullest glimpse of eternity.

In that place; only gods and asuras may roam freely; humans, on the other hand, are far too greedy,
far too curious, far too ignorant, and far too dangerous to possess such knowledge.

We should stick to light plucked from flowers growing in the sun,
because those flowers which grow in the darkness will only lead to our damnation, the conclusion of our race, and the manifestation of something far more terrible than any of our myths ever suggested.
an unfinished piece, not sure if it's a poem, a short story, or just a stand alone piece of silly reflection, I will edit it later into something coherent
preservationman Feb 2015
A sunrise starts a new mourn
It’s a wake up from sleep being a yond
A decision in the start of your day
You’re feeling healthy with a thought of ok
But there's a heaviness on your heart
A situation in turn to make its mark
A split between a COOP board
Voices, but no one wants too be heard
Cooperators all in the middle
It seems conflict sounding more like an instrumental fiddle
It’s apparent to change wants to become rearrange
A change to corrupt one’s mind
A format of agenda’s combined
But like I said, “Tomorrow casts over”
A reversed agenda established through the cooperator cover
The whole idea of dictatorship is over
A new day of that sustaining breeze
Breathing in opportunity and feeling at ease
Turmoil needing establishment of the beauty of freedom
Reality once lived with a new chapter to give
Tomorrow has risen from endless ashes
Today having a better understanding
Having the governed mind with a voice forever sustaining.
Lily Bright Mar 2013
I'm in love with a fisherman who fears sailing onward to outstretched sea
instead he casts his nets over ponds and shallow streams

I’m in love with a fisherman whose hands are ignorant of forceful currents and giant swells
each graze from his unscathed hands reminds me of his vanity
his boasting never halting -- the fish are endless in his shallow stream
My fisherman is too cowardly to inhale the briny air
so when we make love
the smell of fresh water lingers on my sheets and my salty skin needs a drink
but this estuary is not a haven for ill-fated love
while I yearn for my fisherman, my heart will always yield to the sea
Terry O'Leary Nov 2013
Ah Consuela! Invoking vast vistas for visions of green Spanish eyes,
I discern them again where she left me back then,
                 as we kissed when she parted, my friend.
Through those ruins I tread towards the footlights, now dead,
                 where I’ll muse as her shadows ascend.

                  .
                          .
Ah Consuela! I’m watching, she teases the mirror with green Spanish eyes;
her serape entangles her brooches and bangles
                 like lace on the sorcerer’s looms,
and her cape of the night, she drapes tight to excite,
                 and her fan is embellished with plumes.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching as spectators savour her green Spanish eyes;
taming wild concertinas, the dark ballerina
                 performs on the music hall stage,
but she shies from the sound of ovation unbound
                 like a timorous bird in a cage.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching, she quickens the pit with her green Spanish eyes;
as the cymbals shake, clashing, the floodlights wake, flashing,
                 igniting the wild fireflies,
and the piccolo piper’s inviting the vipers
                 to coil neath the cold caldron skies.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching the shimmering shadows in green Spanish eyes
as I rise from my chair and proceed to the stair
                 with a hesitant sip of my wine.
Though she doesn’t deny me, she wanders right by me
                 with neither a look nor a sign.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching, she looks to the stage with her green Spanish eyes,
(for her senses scoff, scorning the biblical warning
                 of kisses of Judas that sting,
with her pierced ears defeating the echoes repeating)
                 and smiles at the magpie that sings.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching faint embers a’ stir in her green Spanish eyes,
for a soft spoken stranger enveloping danger
                 has captured the rhyme in the room
as he slips into sight through a crack in the night
                 midst the breath of her heavy perfume.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching, she gauges his guise through her green Spanish eyes
– from his gypsy-like mane, to his diamond stud cane,
                 to the raven engraved on his vest –
for a faraway form, a tempestuous storm,
                 lurks and heaves neath the cleav’e of her *******.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching the caravels cruising her green Spanish eyes;
with the castanets clacking like ancient masts cracking
                 he whips ’round his cloak with a ****
and without sacrificing, at mien so enticing,
                 she floats with her face facing his.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching the vertigo veiling her green Spanish eyes,
while the drumbeat pounds, droning, the rhythm sounds, moaning,
                 of jungles Jamaican entwined
in the valleys concealing the vineyards revealing
                 the vaults in the caves of her mind.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching life’s carnivals call to her green Spanish eyes,
and with paused palpitations the tom-tom temptations
                 come taunting her tremulous feet
with her toe tips a’ tingle while jute boxes jingle
                 for jesters that jive on the street.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching, she rides ocean tides in her green Spanish eyes,
and her silhouette’s travelling on ripples unravelling
                 and shaking the shipwracking shores,
as she strides from the light to the black cauldron night
                 through the candlelit cabaret doors.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching, she dances till dawn flashing green Spanish eyes,
with her movements adorning a trickle of morning
                 as sipped by the mouth of the moon,
while her tresses twirl, shaming the filaments flaming
                 that flow from the sun’s oval spoon.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching, she masks for a moment her green Spanish eyes.
Then the magpie that sings ceases preening her wings
                 and descends as a lean bird of prey –
as she flutters her ’lashes and laughs in broad splashes,
                 his narrowing eyes start to stray.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching fey carousels spin in her green Spanish eyes,
and the porcelain ponies and leprechaun cronies
                 race, reaching for gold and such things,
even being reminded that only the blinded
                 are fooled by the brass in the rings.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching, she shepherds the shadows with green Spanish eyes,
but as evening sinks, ebbing, the skyline climbs, webbing,
                 and weaves through the temples of stone,
while the nightingales sing of a kiss on the wing
                 in the depths of the dunes all alone.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching the music and magic in green Spanish eyes,
as she dances enchanted, while firmly implanted
                 in tugs of his turbulent arms,
till he cuts through the strings, tames the magpie that sings,
                 and seduces once more with his charms.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching, the citadel steams in her green Spanish eyes,
but behind the dark curtain the savants seem certain
                 that nothing and no one exists,
and though vapours look vacant, the vagabond vagrants
                 remain within mythical mists.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching as lightning at midnight in green Spanish eyes
kindles cracks within crystals like flashes from pistols
                 residing inside of the gloom
as it hovers above us betraying a dove as
                 she flees from the fountain of doom.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching, distilling despair in her green Spanish eyes,
and the bitterness stings like the snap of the strings
                 when a mystical  mandolin sighs
as the vampire shades **** the life from charades
                 neath the resinous residue skies.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching, she looks to the ledge with her green Spanish eyes,
for the terrace hangs high and she’s thinking to fly
                 and abandon fate’s merry-go-round.
At the edge I perceive her and rush to retrieve her –
                 she stumbles, falls far to the ground.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching the sparkles a’ spilling from green Spanish eyes.
As I peer from the railing, with evening exhaling,
                 I cry out a lover’s lament –
there she lies midst the crowd with her spirit unbowed,
                 but her body’s all broken and bent.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching, she beckons me hither with green Spanish eyes,
and I’m slightly amazed being snared in her gaze
                 and a’ swirl in a hurricane way,
but the seconds are slipping, my courage is dripping,
                 the moment is bleeding away.

Ah Consuela! I touch her - she weeps tender tears from her green Spanish eyes;
as the breezes cease blowing, her essence leaves, flowing,
                 in streams neath the ambient light,
and the droplets drip swarming, so silent, yet warming,
                 like rain in a midsummer night.

Ah Consuela! I hold her, am hushed by the hints in her green Spanish eyes,
while her whispers are breathing the breaths of the seething
                 electrical skeletal winds,
and the words paint the poems that rivers a’ slowin’
                 reveal where the waterfall ends.

Ah Consuela! I’m fading in fires a’ flicker in green Spanish eyes,
as she plays back the past, she abandons and casts
                 away matters that no longer mend.
           .
                  .
And she reached out instead, as she lifted her head,
                 and we kissed as she parted, my friend.
           .
                  .
                          .
Ah Consuela! I’m tangled, entombed, trapped in tales of your green Spanish eyes,
in forsaken cantinas beyond the arenas
                 where night-time illusions once flowed,
for the ash neath my shoulder still throbs as it smoulders
                 some place near the end of the road.
AprilDawn Apr 2014
Secret wish

stands hidden
in
cliché riddled
green patch
this neon bird

mocks

red capped
garden dwellers

serenely seated
bookish girl

half-dead fern

leans towards
hot pink beacon

salvation bent

crescent moon
casts
feathery palm shadows
with curved arms
against the
bamboo fence

lifting
earthbound desires

skyward.
My desire for a  kitschy pink flamingo  was  strong in my garden we kept in Houston burbs so many years ago. I never got one for it .
She casts a spell on me,
believing the runes to be right
I expect that this spell will last all through the night,
tomorrow I'll see
if she casts another spell on me,
and the succubi wonder why
I smile.

— The End —