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Danielle Suzanne Apr 2017
Hot sun on my neck
Dandelions suffocated
by long blades of grass
Bird's song
and truck's siren
compete for center stage
Floating clouds
keep the light
dappled with ease
SJG Feb 19
(You could try falling in love
With the horizon line of your cityscape,
Or the ***** in your garage roof,
Or the stars that flash and go
Like a prize that's changed hands so many times,
It's lost sight of its value
In a world driven madly by the urge
To move forward, whatever the cost.)

Somewhere in the Central Valley,
"I WANNA ABIDE BY HIS LOVE" is written in black Sharpee along the blank screen of a cathode TV that's been abandoned to the sands.

You get up midday.
You do **** around the house.
You take a fentanyl.
You stand in the doorway.
You smoke a cigarette.

You watch the sun descend behind the fence at the end of your yard.

You go to bed.

And it's just life again.
It's life upon you, baby.
Alyssa Underwood Jul 2016
It's at the point of desperation that the soul finds its deepest desire,
and in that desire lies everything of which true life is made.
Perhaps the first and central question concerning surrender
ought not to be, “What am I willing to give to God?”
but “What am I willing to receive from Him?”

For it's only in the realization that I have nothing to give Him and
He has everything to give me that true humility and surrender come.
If I would simply receive all He offers me and let Him fill me up
I would have no room in my hands to hold onto anything else.  
But how often it is that we won't receive it until everything else is lost.

It's the secret and inexpressible dreams of the soul
which are the hardest things of all to let go and the last to go.
When they are finally gone we have nothing left to run to but Him,
and when we do we find that He is the beginning,
the end and the center of every secret dream.

Ah, blessed Peniel—that mysterious and holy ground
where heartache collides head-on with romance,
that deep and shadowed land where we struggle
with God and with men and we overcome,
that painful yet glorious place which we may leave limping
with a wrenched hip but we do not care, for we have seen God’s face—
like Jacob, may we not pass you by without being forever changed.
Genesis 32

~~~
Sara Kellie Jun 2018
Twenty years in the fast lane, speeding
was ecstacy at the time.
Sweet heady bubbles of coke,
buzzing at feeding.
No softeners added, lemon or lime.
My therapy, my medication.

******, my mind on a long vacation.
Knowing this time would
one day arrive.
My restless legs, my tired insides.
My not so central nervous system,
twitching fingers, flickering eyes.
This to me is no surprise.
My therapy, now my reprise.

Peotyr by aKydee.
Drugs saved my life once.
Alyssa Underwood Nov 2015
It's at the point of desperation that the soul finds its deepest desire,
and in that desire lies everything of which true life is made.
Perhaps the first and central question concerning surrender
ought not to be, “What am I willing to give to God?”
but “What am I willing to receive from Him?”

For it's only in the realization that I have nothing to give Him and
He has everything to give me that true humility and surrender come.
If I would simply receive all He offers me and let Him fill me up
I would have no room in my hands to hold onto anything else.  
But how often it is that we won't receive it until everything else is lost.

It's the secret and inexpressible dreams of the soul
which are the hardest things of all to let go and the last to go.
When they are finally gone we have nothing left to run to but Him,
and when we do we find that He is the beginning,
the end and the center of every secret dream.

Ah, blessed Peniel—that mysterious and holy ground
where heartache collides head-on with romance,
that deep and shadowed land where we struggle
with God and with men and we overcome,
that painful yet glorious place which we may leave limping
with a wrenched hip but we do not care, for we have seen God’s face—
like Jacob, may we not pass you by without being forever changed.
~~~
CK Baker Oct 2017
Iron bench, open sore
dragon rock, three in score
flesh on body, tortured soul
arms high, in ****'s hole

Corner bulb, neon light
drake hotel, second flight
jolly pop, rizla plus
open flame, behind the bus

Broken fixtures, tully hat
channel swimmer, at the bat
blind alley, words of cuss
dealer waving, in a fuss

Grim reaper, boys in blue
super bee, armored shrew
****** sips, swollen glands
potpourri, on demand

Black death, huddler's arch
beat the cold, and summer parch
toothless grin, ****** glare
obituary, to be shared

Dead of night, decontrol
cheeva tar, black coal
east central, chinatown
mr. freeze, is coming down

Foot soldier, skidder row
chicken feed, and white blow
silver spoon, casted hand
demons surface, on demand

Frantic sounds, below the glass
poison waiting, to be passed
***** pipes, over coat
bodies flat, begin to float

Gospel sounds, from union square
friends gather, deep in prayer
guardian angels, now deployed
thornton park, without a void

Covenant house, in holy charm
welcomes all, with open arms
salvation spreads, on chapel row
kindness that, cannot be sold
It has become clear, since the Great Recession began, that the American banking and the political, "systems," are 'one-and-the-same' entity. Neither works for the majority of Americans but both appear to be working quite well, historically-compared, in fact, for the richest or most advantaged people.

Life should model to become a, "heaven," on earth for all people not just those at the foremost of political benefit, wealth or talent. This current state of affair is not what Plato envisioned. It is not what the Founding Fathers intended. America should not be about exclusion and private benefit but the public as a whole and the individual inclusion; Every Man a King.

Not Kings among the men who serve them...even Jesus would be appalled.

No one wants to think they are taking something they do not deserve or someone is being forced to accept something they do not want yet it is clear by the recent election that the American people are fed-up and ready to start taking things away. Naturally since they own this nation not the Fortune 500.

At a point greed undoes itself.

Rather than reach that point, the ultimate point of violence, we should endeavor our creative consciousness to alleviate the concerns of the excluded masses as Congress has proven that government can fix major world-altering problems such as the worst financial crisis in modern history. They cannot agree on health care, minority rights or ****** behavior but when Wall Street came begging they had no issues in agreement.

So here we are with a solution for the smallest percentage of Americans that fixed part of the economy leaving the multitude behind with nothing. Sorry, they got something; half of all familial wealth created since the Federal Reserve Act has been wiped out for the bottom half of society.  

Half...

Our economy is a dud. Ironically our central bank along with England's now admit they failed Main Street and furthermore say they should no longer be involved in these kinds of decisions! Yes, Americans should eliminate all of their authority over the finance industry, central banking and monetary policy leaving it the hands of those beggars who ruined it for everyone but themselves and admitted they failed us all?

How about a simple act of Congress to amend the matter?

Declare that all publicly-traded corporations can no longer issue corporate bonds or stock for revenue if they do not offer consumers a prepayment option to their accounts with an interest bearing incentive. From now on all corporations with publicly-issued stock must accept any prepayment towards future consumer services liabilities and pay an annualized interest rate identical to the Fed prime rate.

What corporation would not want to borrow at the Fed prime rate?

When any company needs money for expansion they should have the option to pool money directly from the account holder's prepayment revenue as long as they credit those accounts on all prepayments regardless of usage at the Fed rate. If they do not pay interest they should not be allowed to access the funds until a current invoice for service is generated and due from the consumer. Consumers should be able to earn money by being good stewards and paying off future liabilities early, or if requested, the consumer should receive a check for all of their annualized interest at the end of each fiscal year.

Corporations now need you to finance their dreams and you can finance your own with real interest paid to you since most of these multinational corporations would be bankrupt and gone today had not your bank, The Federal Reserve, issued credit and capital to save them as they whined about the unfairness in the economy.

"Unfair?"

For whom?
Dan Filcek Apr 2015
Electromagnetism and electrochemistry added to the expanse of erudition.
Central calculations comprised of charged consecration
Diamagnetism and also electrolysis
Took in little of the ritual pedagogy
Most influential of archaic scientists.

The base for the conceptualization of the dynamic sphere.
Introduced the physics of ensconced enthrallment
Affecting rays of light
To say nothing of the underlying relationships there
Two phenomena, both similarly discovered

Inventions: Electromagnetic induction, diamagnetism, and the laws of electrolysis.
the form of electromagnetic rotary devices
Foundation of electric motors
Truly technology was largely due to his effort
Electricity became practical for use

Scientific knowledge increased: investigating as an alchemist, discovered benzene.
Inventor of Clathrate hydrate of chlorine,
In its early form
the system of oxidation numbers, and the burner
Popularized terminology such as anode, cathode

Ultimately became the first and foremost, ultimate, and respected .
Chemistry Professor at the Institution
Position of a lifetime
He was an excellent experimentalist of conveyed ideas
Mathematical abilities in simple language  

His powers did also extend as far as trigonometry.
Took any but the simplest algebra
And worked around it
And also summarized it in sets of equations
The basis of modern theories
This year for Poetry Month, I decided to post a "found poem" every day. If writing a poem is like painting, a "found poem" is like sculpting. source - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Faraday
King Panda Jun 2017
stars and radio master
intercloud motion—1000 light
years in most directions. However,
I am still blind to anything
but you. This

dark matter aloha steps
off my mind’s plane
into the muggy air. A string
of flowers is placed around
my neck, and I look up—
starbursts
spit their rings violent and
central—your body
in music. Now, tropical
space—population

one. A tear rolls down
my face onto the
runway—I can’t remember
the sound of

your voice.
FIRST DAY

1.
Who wanted me
to go to Chicago
on January 6th?
I did!

The night before,
20 below zero
Fahrenheit
with the wind chill;
as the blizzard of 99
lay in mountains
of blackening snow.

I packed two coats,
two suits,
three sweaters,
multiple sets of long johns
and heavy white socks
for a two-day stay.

I left from Newark.
**** the denseness,
it confounds!

The 2nd City to whom?
2nd ain’t bad.
It’s pretty good.
If you consider
Peking and Prague,
Tokyo and Togo,
Manchester and Moscow,
Port Au Prince and Paris,
Athens and Amsterdam,
Buenos Aries and Johannesburg;
that’s pretty good.

What’s going on here today?
It’s friggin frozen.
To the bone!

But Chi Town is still cool.
Buddy Guy’s is open.
Bartenders mixing drinks,
cabbies jamming on their breaks,
honey dew waitresses serving sugar,
buildings swerving,
fire tongued preachers are preaching
and the farmers are measuring the moon.

The lake,
unlike Ontario
is in the midst of freezing.
Bones of ice
threaten to gel
into a solid mass
over the expanse
of the Michigan Lake.
If this keeps up,
you can walk
clear to Toronto
on a silver carpet.

Along the shore
the ice is permanent.
It’s the first big frost
of winter
after a long
Indian Summer.

Thank God
I caught a cab.
Outside I hear
The Hawk
nippin hard.
It’ll get your ear,
finger or toe.
Bite you on the nose too
if you ain’t careful.

Thank God,
I’m not walking
the Wabash tonight;
but if you do cover up,
wear layers.

Chicago,
could this be
Sandburg’s City?

I’m overwhelmed
and this is my tenth time here.

It’s almost better,
sometimes it is better,
a lot of times it is better
and denser then New York.

Ask any Bull’s fan.
I’m a Knickerbocker.
Yes Nueva York,
a city that has placed last
in the standings
for many years.
Except the last two.
Yanks are # 1!

But Chicago
is a dynasty,
as big as
Sammy Sosa’s heart,
rich and wide
as Michael Jordan’s grin.

Middle of a country,
center of a continent,
smack dab in the mean
of a hemisphere,
vortex to a world,
Chicago!

Kansas City,
Nashville,
St. Louis,
Detroit,
Cleveland,
Pittsburgh,
Denver,
New Orleans,
Dallas,
Cairo,
Singapore,
Auckland,
Baghdad,
Mexico City
and Montreal
salute her.



2.
Cities,
A collection of vanities?
Engineered complex utilitarianism?
The need for community a social necessity?
Ego one with the mass?
Civilization’s latest *******?
Chicago is more then that.

Jefferson’s yeoman farmer
is long gone
but this capitol
of the Great Plains
is still democratic.

The citizen’s of this city
would vote daily,
if they could.

Chicago,
Sandburg’s Chicago,
Could it be?

The namesake river
segments the city,
canals of commerce,
all perpendicular,
is rife throughout,
still guiding barges
to the Mississippi
and St. Laurence.

Now also
tourist attractions
for a cafe society.

Chicago is really jazzy,
swanky clubs,
big steaks,
juices and drinks.

You get the best
coffee from Seattle
and the finest teas
from China.

Great restaurants
serve liquid jazz
al la carte.

Jazz Jazz Jazz
All they serve is Jazz
Rock me steady
Keep the beat
Keep it flowin
Feel the heat!

Jazz Jazz Jazz
All they is, is Jazz
Fast cars will take ya
To the show
Round bout midnight
Where’d the time go?

Flows into the Mississippi,
the mother of America’s rivers,
an empires aorta.

Great Lakes wonder of water.
Niagara Falls
still her heart gushes forth.

Buffalo connected to this holy heart.
Finger Lakes and Adirondacks
are part of this watershed,
all the way down to the
Delaware and Chesapeake.

Sandburg’s Chicago?
Oh my my,
the wonder of him.
Who captured the imagination
of the wonders of rivers.

Down stream other holy cities
from the Mississippi delta
all mapped by him.

Its mouth our Dixie Trumpet
guarded by righteous Cajun brethren.

Midwest?
Midwest from where?
It’s north of Caracas and Los Angeles,
east of Fairbanks,
west of Dublin
and south of not much.

Him,
who spoke of honest men
and loving women.
Working men and mothers
bearing citizens to build a nation.
The New World’s
precocious adolescent
caught in a stream
of endless and exciting change,
much pain and sacrifice,
dedication and loss,
pride and tribulations.

From him we know
all the people’s faces.
All their stories are told.
Never defeating the
idea of Chicago.

Sandburg had the courage to say
what was in the heart of the people, who:

Defeated the Indians,
Mapped the terrain,
Aided slavers,
Fought a terrible civil war,
Hoisted the barges,
Grew the food,
Whacked the wheat,
Sang the songs,
Fought many wars of conquest,
Cleared the land,
Erected the bridges,
Trapped the game,
Netted the fish,
Mined the coal,
Forged the steel,
Laid the tracks,
Fired the tenders,
Cut the stone,
Mixed the mortar,
Plumbed the line,
And laid the bricks
Of this nation of cities!

Pardon the Marlboro Man shtick.
It’s a poor expostulation of
crass commercial symbolism.

Like I said, I’m a
Devil Fan from Jersey
and Madison Avenue
has done its work on me.

It’s a strange alchemy
that changes
a proud Nation of Blackhawks
into a merchandising bonanza
of hometown hockey shirts,
making the native seem alien,
and the interloper at home chillin out,
warming his feet atop a block of ice,
guzzling Old Style
with clicker in hand.

Give him his beer
and other diversions.
If he bowls with his buddy’s
on Tuesday night
I hope he bowls
a perfect game.

He’s earned it.
He works hard.
Hard work and faith
built this city.

And it’s not just the faith
that fills the cities
thousand churches,
temples and
mosques on the Sabbath.

3.
There is faith in everything in Chicago!

An alcoholic broker named Bill
lives the Twelve Steps
to banish fear and loathing
for one more day.
Bill believes in sobriety.

A tug captain named Moe
waits for the spring thaw
so he can get the barges up to Duluth.
Moe believes in the seasons.

A farmer named Tom
hopes he has reaped the last
of many bitter harvests.
Tom believes in a new start.

A homeless man named Earl
wills himself a cot and a hot
at the local shelter.
Earl believes in deliverance.

A Pullman porter
named George
works overtime
to get his first born
through medical school.
George believes in opportunity.

A folk singer named Woody
sings about his
countrymen inheritance
and implores them to take it.
Woody believes in people.

A Wobbly named Joe
organizes fellow steelworkers
to fight for a workers paradise
here on earth.
Joe believes in ideals.

A bookkeeper named Edith
is certain she’ll see the Cubs
win the World Series
in her lifetime.
Edith believes in miracles.

An electrician named ****
saves money
to bring his family over from Gdansk.
**** believes in America.

A banker named Leah
knows Ditka will return
and lead the Bears
to another Super Bowl.
Leah believes in nostalgia.

A cantor named Samuel
prays for another 20 years
so he can properly train
his Temple’s replacement.

Samuel believes in tradition.
A high school girl named Sally
refuses to get an abortion.
She knows she carries
something special within her.
Sally believes in life.

A city worker named Mazie
ceaselessly prays
for her incarcerated son
doing 10 years at Cook.
Mazie believes in redemption.

A jazzer named Bix
helps to invent a new art form
out of the mist.
Bix believes in creativity.

An architect named Frank
restores the Rookery.
Frank believes in space.

A soldier named Ike
fights wars for democracy.
Ike believes in peace.

A Rabbi named Jesse
sermonizes on Moses.
Jesse believes in liberation.

Somewhere in Chicago
a kid still believes in Shoeless Joe.
The kid believes in
the integrity of the game.

An Imam named Louis
is busy building a nation
within a nation.
Louis believes in
self-determination.

A teacher named Heidi
gives all she has to her students.
She has great expectations for them all.
Heidi believes in the future.

4.
Does Chicago have a future?

This city,
full of cowboys
and wildcatters
is predicated
on a future!

Bang, bang
Shoot em up
Stake the claim
It’s your terrain
Drill the hole
Strike it rich
Top it off
You’re the boss
Take a chance
Watch it wane
Try again
Heavenly gains

Chicago
city of futures
is a Holy Mecca
to all day traders.

Their skin is gray,
hair disheveled,
loud ties and
funny coats,
thumb through
slips of paper
held by nail
chewed hands.
Selling promises
with no derivative value
for out of the money calls
and in the money puts.
Strike is not a labor action
in this city of unionists,
but a speculators mark,
a capitalist wish,
a hedgers bet,
a public debt
and a farmers
fair return.

Indexes for everything.
Quantitative models
that could burst a kazoo.

You know the measure
of everything in Chicago.
But is it truly objective?
Have mathematics banished
subjective intentions,
routing it in fair practice
of market efficiencies,
a kind of scientific absolution?

I heard that there
is a dispute brewing
over the amount of snowfall
that fell on the 1st.

The mayor’s office,
using the official city ruler
measured 22”
of snow on the ground.

The National Weather Service
says it cannot detect more
then 17” of snow.

The mayor thinks
he’ll catch less heat
for the trains that don’t run
the buses that don’t arrive
and the schools that stand empty
with the addition of 5”.

The analysts say
it’s all about capturing liquidity.

Liquidity,
can you place a great lake
into an eyedropper?

Its 20 below
and all liquid things
are solid masses
or a gooey viscosity at best.

Water is frozen everywhere.
But Chi town is still liquid,
flowing faster
then the digital blips
flashing on the walls
of the CBOT.

Dreams
are never frozen in Chicago.
The exchanges trade
without missing a beat.

Trading wet dreams,
the crystallized vapor
of an IPO
pledging a billion points
of Internet access
or raiding the public treasuries
of a central bank’s
huge stores of gold
with currency swaps.

Using the tools
of butterfly spreads
and candlesticks
to achieve the goal.

Short the Russell
or buy the Dow,
go long the
CAC and DAX.
Are you trading in euro’s?
You better be
or soon will.
I know
you’re Chicago,
you’ll trade anything.
WEBS,
Spiders,
and Leaps
are traded here,
along with sweet crude,
North Sea Brent,
plywood and T-Bill futures;
and most importantly
the commodities,
the loam
that formed this city
of broad shoulders.

What about our wheat?
Still whacking and
breadbasket to the world.

Oil,
an important fossil fuel
denominated in
good ole greenbacks.

Porkbellies,
not just hogwash
on the Wabash,
but bacon, eggs
and flapjacks
are on the menu
of every diner in Jersey
as the “All American.”

Cotton,
our contribution
to the Golden Triangle,
once the global currency
used to enrich a
gentlemen class
of cultured
southern slavers,
now Tommy Hilfiger’s
preferred fabric.

I think he sends it
to Bangkok where
child slaves
spin it into
gold lame'.

Sorghum,
I think its hardy.

Soybeans,
the new age substitute
for hamburger
goes great with tofu lasagna.

Corn,
ADM creates ethanol,
they want us to drive cleaner cars.

Cattle,
once driven into this city’s
bloodhouses for slaughter,
now ground into
a billion Big Macs
every year.

When does a seed
become a commodity?
When does a commodity
become a future?
When does a future expire?

You can find the answers
to these questions in Chicago
and find a fortune in a hole in the floor.

Look down into the pits.
Hear the screams of anguish
and profitable delights.

Frenzied men
swarming like a mass
of epileptic ants
atop the worlds largest sugar cube
auger the worlds free markets.

The scene is
more chaotic then
100 Haymarket Square Riots
multiplied by 100
1968 Democratic Conventions.

Amidst inverted anthills,
they scurry forth and to
in distinguished
black and red coats.

Fighting each other
as counterparties
to a life and death transaction.

This is an efficient market
that crosses the globe.

Oil from the Sultan of Brunei,
Yen from the land of Hitachi,
Long Bonds from the Fed,
nickel from Quebec,
platinum and palladium
from Siberia,
FTSE’s from London
and crewel cane from Havana
circle these pits.

Tijuana,
Shanghai
and Istanbul's
best traders
are only half as good
as the average trader in Chicago.

Chicago,
this hog butcher to the world,
specializes in packaging and distribution.

Men in blood soaked smocks,
still count the heads
entering the gates of the city.

Their handiwork
is sent out on barges
and rail lines as frozen packages
of futures
waiting for delivery
to an anonymous counterparty
half a world away.

This nation’s hub
has grown into the
premier purveyor
to the world;
along all the rivers,
highways,
railways
and estuaries
it’s tentacles reach.

5.
Sandburg’s Chicago,
is a city of the world’s people.

Many striver rows compose
its many neighborhoods.

Nordic stoicism,
Eastern European orthodoxy
and Afro-American
calypso vibrations
are three of many cords
strumming the strings
of Chicago.

Sandburg’s Chicago,
if you wrote forever
you would only scratch its surface.

People wait for trains
to enter the city from O’Hare.
Frozen tears
lock their eyes
onto distant skyscrapers,
solid chunks
of snot blocks their nose
and green icicles of slime
crust mustaches.
They fight to breathe.

Sandburg’s Chicago
is The Land of Lincoln,
Savior of the Union,
protector of the Republic.
Sent armies
of sons and daughters,
barges, boxcars,
gunboats, foodstuffs,
cannon and shot
to raze the south
and stamp out succession.

Old Abe’s biography
are still unknown volumes to me.
I must see and read the great words.
You can never learn enough;
but I’ve been to Washington
and seen the man’s memorial.
The Free World’s 8th wonder,
guarded by General Grant,
who still keeps an eye on Richmond
and a hand on his sword.

Through this American winter
Abe ponders.
The vista he surveys is dire and tragic.

Our sitting President
impeached
for lying about a *******.

Party partisans
in the senate are sworn and seated.
Our Chief Justice,
adorned with golden bars
will adjudicate the proceedings.
It is the perfect counterpoint
to an ageless Abe thinking
with malice toward none
and charity towards all,
will heal the wounds
of the nation.

Abe our granite angel,
Chicago goes on,
The Union is strong!


SECOND DAY

1.
Out my window
the sun has risen.

According to
the local forecast
its minus 9
going up to
6 today.

The lake,
a golden pillow of clouds
is frozen in time.

I marvel
at the ancients ones
resourcefulness
and how
they mastered
these extreme elements.

Past, present and future
has no meaning
in the Citadel
of the Prairie today.

I set my watch
to Central Standard Time.

Stepping into
the hotel lobby
the concierge
with oil smooth hair,
perfect tie
and English lilt
impeccably asks,
“Do you know where you are going Sir?
Can I give you a map?”

He hands me one of Chicago.
I see he recently had his nails done.
He paints a green line
along Whacker Drive and says,
“turn on Jackson, LaSalle, Wabash or Madison
and you’ll get to where you want to go.”
A walk of 14 or 15 blocks from Streeterville-
(I start at The Chicago White House.
They call it that because Hillary Rodham
stays here when she’s in town.
Its’ also alleged that Stedman
eats his breakfast here
but Opra
has never been seen
on the premises.
I wonder how I gained entry
into this place of elite’s?)
-down into the center of The Loop.

Stepping out of the hotel,
The Doorman
sporting the epaulets of a colonel
on his corporate winter coat
and furry Cossack hat
swaddling his round black face
accosts me.

The skin of his face
is flaking from
the subzero windburn.

He asks me
with a gapped toothy grin,
“Can I get you a cab?”
“No I think I’ll walk,” I answer.
“Good woolen hat,
thick gloves you should be alright.”
He winks and lets me pass.

I step outside.
The Windy City
flings stabbing cold spears
flying on wings of 30-mph gusts.
My outside hardens.
I can feel the freeze
deepen
into my internalness.
I can’t be sure
but inside
my heart still feels warm.
For how long
I cannot say.

I commence
my walk
among the spires
of this great city,
the vertical leaps
that anchor the great lake,
holding its place
against the historic
frigid assault.

The buildings’ sway,
modulating to the blows
of natures wicked blasts.

It’s a hard imposition
on a city and its people.

The gloves,
skullcap,
long underwear,
sweater,
jacket
and overcoat
not enough
to keep the cold
from penetrating
the person.

Like discerning
the layers of this city,
even many layers,
still not enough
to understand
the depth of meaning
of the heart
of this heartland city.

Sandburg knew the city well.
Set amidst groves of suburbs
that extend outward in every direction.
Concentric circles
surround the city.
After the burbs come farms,
Great Plains, and mountains.
Appalachians and Rockies
are but mere molehills
in the city’s back yard.
It’s terra firma
stops only at the sea.
Pt. Barrow to the Horn,
many capes extended.

On the periphery
its appendages,
its extremities,
its outward extremes.
All connected by the idea,
blown by the incessant wind
of this great nation.
The Windy City’s message
is sent to the world’s four corners.
It is a message of power.
English the worlds
common language
is spoken here,
along with Ebonics,
Espanol,
Mandarin,
Czech,
Russian,
Korean,
Arabic,
Hindi­,
German,
French,
electronics,
steel,
cars,
cartoons,
rap,
sports­,
movies,
capital,
wheat
and more.

Always more.
Much much more
in Chicago.

2.
Sandburg
spoke all the dialects.

He heard them all,
he understood
with great precision
to the finest tolerances
of a lathe workers micrometer.

Sandburg understood
what it meant to laugh
and be happy.

He understood
the working mans day,
the learned treatises
of university chairs,
the endless tomes
of the city’s
great libraries,
the lost languages
of the ancient ones,
the secret codes
of abstract art,
the impact of architecture,
the street dialects and idioms
of everymans expression of life.

All fighting for life,
trying to build a life,
a new life
in this modern world.

Walking across
the Michigan Avenue Bridge
I see the Wrigley Building
is neatly carved,
catty cornered on the plaza.

I wonder if Old Man Wrigley
watched his barges
loaded with spearmint
and double-mint
move out onto the lake
from one of those Gothic windows
perched high above the street.

Would he open a window
and shout to the men below
to quit slaking and work harder
or would he
between the snapping sound
he made with his mouth
full of his chewing gum
offer them tickets
to a ballgame at Wrigley Field
that afternoon?

Would the men below
be able to understand
the man communing
from such a great height?

I listen to a man
and woman conversing.
They are one step behind me
as we meander along Wacker Drive.

"You are in Chicago now.”
The man states with profundity.
“If I let you go
you will soon find your level
in this city.
Do you know what I mean?”

No I don’t.
I think to myself.
What level are you I wonder?
Are you perched atop
the transmission spire
of the Hancock Tower?

I wouldn’t think so
or your ears would melt
from the windburn.

I’m thinking.
Is she a kept woman?
She is majestically clothed
in fur hat and coat.
In animal pelts
not trapped like her,
but slaughtered
from farms
I’m sure.

What level
is he speaking of?

Many levels
are evident in this city;
many layers of cobbled stone,
Pennsylvania iron,
Hoosier Granite
and vertical drops.

I wonder
if I detect
condensation
in his voice?

What is
his intention?
Is it a warning
of a broken affair?
A pending pink slip?
Advise to an addict
refusing to adhere
to a recovery regimen?

What is his level anyway?
Is he so high and mighty,
Higher and mightier
then this great city
which we are all a part of,
which we all helped to build,
which we all need
in order to keep this nation
the thriving democratic
empire it is?

This seditious talk!

3.
The Loop’s El
still courses through
the main thoroughfares of the city.

People are transported
above the din of the street,
looking down
on the common pedestrians
like me.

Super CEO’s
populating the upper floors
of Romanesque,
Greek Revivalist,
New Bauhaus,
Art Deco
and Post Nouveau
Neo-Modern
Avant-Garde towers
are too far up
to see me
shivering on the street.

The cars, busses,
trains and trucks
are all covered
with the film
of rock salt.

Salt covers
my bootless feet
and smudges
my cloths as well.

The salt,
the primal element
of the earth
covers everything
in Chicago.

It is the true level
of this city.

The layer
beneath
all layers,
on which
everything
rests,
is built,
grows,
thrives
then dies.
To be
returned again
to the lower
layers
where it can
take root
again
and grow
out onto
the great plains.

Splashing
the nation,
anointing
its people
with its
blessing.

A blessing,
Chicago?

All rivers
come here.

All things
found its way here
through the canals
and back bays
of the world’s
greatest lakes.

All roads,
rails and
air routes
begin and
end here.

Mrs. O’Leary’s cow
got a *** rap.
It did not start the fire,
we did.

We lit the torch
that flamed
the city to cinders.
From a pile of ash
Chicago rose again.

Forever Chicago!
Forever the lamp
that burns bright
on a Great Lake’s
western shore!

Chicago
the beacon
sends the
message to the world
with its windy blasts,
on chugging barges,
clapping trains,
flying tandems,
T1 circuits
and roaring jets.

Sandburg knew
a Chicago
I will never know.

He knew
the rhythm of life
the people walked to.
The tools they used,
the dreams they dreamed
the songs they sang,
the things they built,
the things they loved,
the pains that hurt,
the motives that grew,
the actions that destroyed
the prayers they prayed,
the food they ate
their moments of death.

Sandburg knew
the layers of the city
to the depths
and windy heights
I cannot fathom.

The Blues
came to this city,
on the wing
of a chirping bird,
on the taps
of a rickety train,
on the blast
of an angry sax
rushing on the wind,
on the Westend blitz
of Pop's brash coronet,
on the tink of
a twinkling piano
on a paddle-wheel boat
and on the strings
of a lonely man’s guitar.

Walk into the clubs,
tenements,
row houses,
speakeasies
and you’ll hear the Blues
whispered like
a quiet prayer.

Tidewater Blues
from Virginia,
Delta Blues
from the lower
Mississippi,
Boogie Woogie
from Appalachia,
Texas Blues
from some Lone Star,
Big Band Blues
from Kansas City,
Blues from
Beal Street,
Jelly Roll’s Blues
from the Latin Quarter.

**** even Chicago
got its own brand
of Blues.

Its all here.
It ended up here
and was sent away
on the winds of westerly blows
to the ear of an eager world
on strong jet streams
of simple melodies
and hard truths.

A broad
shouldered woman,
a single mother stands
on the street
with three crying babes.
Their cloths
are covered
in salt.
She pleads
for a break,
praying
for a new start.
Poor and
under-clothed
against the torrent
of frigid weather
she begs for help.
Her blond hair
and ****** features
suggests her
Scandinavian heritage.
I wonder if
she is related to Sandburg
as I walk past
her on the street.
Her feet
are bleeding
through her
canvass sneakers.
Her babes mouths
are zipped shut
with frozen drivel
and mucous.

The Blues live
on in Chicago.

The Blues
will forever live in her.
As I turn the corner
to walk the Miracle Mile
I see her engulfed
in a funnel cloud of salt,
snow and bits
of white paper,
swirling around her
and her children
in an angry
unforgiving
maelstrom.

The family
begins to
dissolve
like a snail
sprinkled with salt;
and a mother
and her children
just disappear
into the pavement
at the corner
of Dearborn,
in Chicago.

Music:

Robert Johnson
Sweet Home Chicago


jbm
Chicago
1/7/99
Added today to commemorate the birthday of Carl Sandburg
Leigh Apr 2015
For Idil Ibrahim
In memory of Tim Hetherington - 1970 - 2011

I cannot stay and speak my truth while the front line has no voice.
The carpet doesn't share substance with the blood-clumped
dust of Liberia; Red wine doesn't stain nations and it hasn't
changed the world.

I cannot stay and walk these steps while the fragile youth stand.
Our Sunday morning route doesn't cover landscapes of wounds
and bodies; Central Park has never felt a thousand welted
feet march for death.

I cannot stay and see your face while molten plastic scars her world.
Your delicate eyes have never seen the darkness of a child's grief;
Our democracy cannot fathom the searing, slow drip after a family
massacred.

I cannot stay and feel worthy of your love while injustice goes unseen.
My lens has immortalised what we held dear, but is yet to capture
the human condition; I spoke to you like I spoke to them;
Through decades of mortar fire I spoke to them.
.

Inspired by the life of Tim Hetherington, a frontline war photographer and journalist. His story is well told in 'Which way is the front line from here?' A truly remarkable person.

.
Jeff Leslie Oct 2013
I watched a man in Central Park
Read Hamlet to a dog
That did not even turn to bark
To make me move along

Instead he sat with ears transfixed
To hear his master’s voice
With no desire for fetching sticks
Or chasing cats and toys

Although he failed to understand
"To be or not to be"
He wagged his tail and watched the man
As though he set him free

Then suddenly a thought occurred,
The man is like the Christ
Reciting from His holy Word
The reason for my life

His will is in a language
That is vexing to my brain
But still I sit here hanging
Onto every Word the same

And though there may be times I pray
"To be or not to be"
With every Word in every way
He sets my spirit free
PG Sep 2015
A blank page waits for words that it will never see
Created from the head of someone writing a story
Characters, plot, setting, theme, are central to the tale
Without them every narrative is simply guaranteed to fail

Stakes and consequences must exist for someone to pursue
Whether treacherous of heart, or noble, brave, and true
And if these traits stand not alone but mixed in with the rest
That simply adds more intrigue to the outcome of the test

Will he get the girl?  Will she rise above her station?
Can a rags-to-riches fable captivate the nation?
Who done it, where and why?  Are three questions most effective
But often ****** requires the help of a detective

These may seem like idle, fragmented bits of a much larger whole
But actually they’re not; every type plays a role
For you see, “someone” mentioned above is not a professional writer
But an individual on a journey, and we all must face it like a fighter

Characters are those you know and love, plot is what you choose to do
Setting is where you live, theme defines what is important to you
So why a fighter you may ask, someone who faces pain and strife?
Because we encounter both good and ill as we write our book of life
CK Baker Nov 2018
Covenant park central
parallel, east-side west
waiting on the
print defender
(and Lichaten queen)
he appears randomly
and distorted
(with a broken smile)
shuffling down
the Smithright trail
in his Mac Tack
and cinnamon shades
(sun bags and thrift ware
stacked three high
on a rusted rat trap)

An open ended
panel van
crashes the curb
as a long-boarder
dodges the tail
and kicks up some dirt ~
the plumb tree
and sunbeam double wide
hold steady in the fish eye
as the warehouse carny
and tire-less 510
shine brilliantly
on the dull
dripping scene
Paul Hansford May 2016
"Found poem", all the text lifted from a tourist pamphlet picked up in Crete, only very slightly edited.

There are daily buses starting from Chania
to the head of the gorge,
which is called Xyloskalo.
Buses say on the front "Omalos" and depart
from the central bus station.
By taking any of the morning buses you get to Xyloskalo
after one and a half hours.
At Xyloskalo there is a tourist pavilion
where you can get meals, drinks,
and which has only seven beds for staying overnight.
For those wishing to spend the night
on the Omalos plateau
there is another possibility, that of staying
at Omalos village itself, five kilometres before Xyloskalo,
where are two cafés providing several beds. From there
you get any of the morning buses starting from Chania
to the head of the gorge.
The length of the gorge is sixteen kilometres, and you need
five to six hours to walk through it. There is plenty
of drinking water all along the gorge. Tennis shoes
or walking boots are recommended. Camping,
overnight staying, smoking, hunting,
cutting and uprooting plants
are forbidden.
At the mouth of the gorge is Aghia Rouméli village,
which provides restaurants and accommodation.
From there you take boats
either to Sfakía (duration: one hour) or to Soughia
and Paleochora.
Remember that the last boat to Sfakía is at 17 hours,
which connects with the last bus to Chania at 18 hours.
Duration of the bus trip: two hours.
I just love the Greek names, and the slightly unconventional English of the text.
Dan Filcek Apr 2015
What then is time?
time is a measure
time is what keeps everything from happening at once
time is part of the fundamental structure of the universe
time is not any kind of container
time is neither an event nor a thing,
time flows and can be measured.
time is a judgment
time is the motion of the sun across the sky,
the phases of the moon,
the swing of a pendulum,
and the beat of a heart.
time is radiation emitted by cesium atoms
time is money
time is each day and each human life span
time is the clock
time is a central reference point.
time is faulty
time is the shadow cast
time is an integrated circuit
time is the basis for modern civilization
time has been defined with exact numbers
time is offset
time is a measurement relative to a distant star
time is limited by two instants
time is a wheel repeating between birth and extinction.
time is linear
time is the right moment
time is an old, wise man with a long, gray beard
time is a paradox and an illusion.
Both the future and the past are simultaneously present.
time has no value;
time itself ceased
time does not exist
This year for Poetry Month, I decided to post a "found poem" every day. If writing a poem is like painting, a "found poem" is like sculpting. - source https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time
Umi Aug 2018
It won't stop,
It can't stop, the fire that is rushing through it,
Burning it's content until nothing but ash might be left,
An inferno, a firestorm maybe a rain of embers fueling the misery,
When did it start, that conflagration which consumes my being,
When will it end, this purgatory inside my chest, producing misery,
Without realising it I already gave up all my remaining hope,
After all, there is not much left this fire can feast on in laughter,
Will I be hollow, will I fade to ash and blown away into a soft breze ?
In the end it does  not matter, in the end I will not be able to remember, in the end there is nothing for me left to worry about,
My central has been turned into a kiln, fostering this flame,
It may sting, but I can move on, even if I sink to the bottom,
The light in me will finally be able to carry me out one day
All I need to do for that event to be triggered,
Is to hold on,
And hope.


~ Umi

[M i d w a y - H i m e]
Crinoline filaments
Rolling over and over
Mid-flight the ochre velvet ribbons sailed to the left
Instead of to the right
Two feet retreating
But with one shoe on

Memory returns
For a few seconds of
the calamity
At that private house in Paris
She’d tumbled down the central staircase
Sailing with legs overhead
until she stopped miraculously with her ***
at the shining leather toes of the footman.
He kept his head up.
She wore a beautiful dress.
Her hair was quite precise and she hoped that that would be a sufficient enough apology towards an empty silence.

But this isn’t that.
I shoved her.
And she went willingly. They all do.
We’re roughly a group of fifty-three.

Gathering in the last few years
Whispering over drinks
of tumors
And vascular difficulties
Of pills and appointments and forgetfulness
They never mentioned that
In those climate controlled rooms with
Blackboards covered in Latin and Trigonometry
Of the body’s failure.
Now there’s no longer any mention made of the kids
or whether or not that husband was worth the bother

Did we notice atop
The balance beam not a peep was mentioned
About the moment when you can no longer walk or stand?
That the brain asks please but the body will not comply?
How cool the marbled floor feels against your cheek while you lay for hours in your own feces?
One can rest comfortably knowing at long last that that wallpaper was the right choice.
Kept one really engaged while waiting and waiting for someone.
And that is just the beginning, right?

Perhaps some assumed that the end would come with a daily circle reviewing the contents of their chamber ***
Grimacing and worn
While they recline in white nightclothes
Something akin to what they saw on the BBC

Perhaps a startled disquiet at the rebuke of their intent and gamely stares from a premiere specialist in Switzerland
an expert in alternative therapies
for what someone dared call
terminal
Anyway, this is quicker.

So we’ve come together
As sisters
And when the time is right I get the call
We go onto the roof
There’s an elevator now because
Otherwise that wouldn’t work
And one by one
In small batches
They are dispatched
It doesn’t take as long as you would think
We are confident and have agency
We were taught that we could do anything
And they are right.

The ones with a lot of metal can be a bit tricky
They have balance issues
But are always chic and always polite
There was a time when we were forced to be together when we clearly did not want to.
We never thought as one.
Some families are better than others.
But everything is different now

One day it will be my turn and
I wonder who will deliver me?
And what shall I wear?
Will I try to see where I’m going or will I rest comfortably in my finale.

I adore the way the wind catches the cloth.
How the crystalline beads are removed around the neck and handed over
so as not to add to any distraction
Or delay
The pinky coral mouthed “Thank you” and
And the sweet eyes that once were bright and shining say their
Goodbyes
Rippling
twirling
looping
interweaving
cascading
Down.
Epi Arias Aug 2017
The calamity of heavily contrasting signs and symbols,
the reversed heaving,
the trot,
the stomp,
the waving,
the white spit vitriol,
the desperate amnesia
that seems to say:
“we are the ‘only’, you are the ‘not’”,
while compulsively edging
an 0rgasm of void and persistently closed chapters-
all these things and more, we witness with glassy eyes
as we listen, incredulously,
to the sound of an impossible static
being emitted from the central radio:
a sunken diatribe
that clings to clothing
and shocks the keys out of hands.
Home is further and further away, we note.
And it’s true.
(I confess that I am locked out.)

Well, it’s almost September,
so Fall will soon be here.
We can feel the leaves molting
into a dark crimson beneath our skins,
the sound of rustling foliage
coming from our hands
as we squeeze them into fists.

We can intimate a rolling pressure
behind our eyes
as the barometer trembles
uncertainty
into the unlit future
(know that it may be cold there).

We can be privy to visions of greater circumstance
without opening our chests to the beats of others and, often, do.
(A drum, after all, is a hum, spoken.)

The thing is that the end is here with us
and we are coddling its resolve
since taking a leap towards an oncoming fist
would taste too much like copper.
So we recline our chairs
into open spaces
to profess the rights of monsters,
helping to file the very teeth that bite us
because we feel too intelligent to be unfair,
too frail to finger the contours of a rabid insecurity.
(Remember, the keys are on the floor now.)

Meanwhile, it’s almost Fall
and the sky is blue
and some streams of dark crimson trickle into the gutter, quietly,
or is it loudly?
(Some of we can’t recline into space without falling like comets.)

You see, there are greater angels to what we live.
And though we may not hear their flight
through those trajectories carved by arrows in the sky,
they are right above us
weaving tapestries of blood
so that we may create smoke clouds
when burning rightly,
or is it brightly?
(A drum is a sigil, unheard.)
Vicki Kralapp Dec 2018
I woke upon this winter’s morn,
with Christmas in my heart,
despite the news across the earth,
and grayness it imparts.

Reports of quakes and Etna,
with its crest blown to the sky,
while Central Sulawes’ floods,
chased people for their lives.

In Syria, its people mourn,
the tears and blood they’ve shed,
their civil war, it rages still,
marks eight years with its dead.

The fires that swept our golden state,
left thousands without homes,
its victims living now in tents,
with nothing of their own.

While winds of last year’s hurricanes,
have raged on southern shores,
in Florida and eastern coasts,
all shook us to the core.

The caravan of people fled,
from countries to the south,
have braved too much already,
for a wall to shut them out.

Our country, now divided,
on beliefs we hold too close,
while people spew their hatred at,
those who challenge them the most.

And those who are in power,
cannot see beyond their nose,
to what tomorrow wants from us,
and what our world needs most.

But still, I see the kindness,
and the love in passersby,
when someone gives a hand to those,
who need it more than I.

I see the hope in children’s eyes,
where love and truth prevail,
when treated as tomorrow’s hope,
when peace on earth has failed.

So let us focus on the grace,
so often overlooked,
and make our resolution be,
to share our love on earth!
All poems are copy written and soul property of Vicki Kralapp.
Dark n Beautiful Aug 2018
You must never **** the spiders,
While, they are woven their poems into the likeness of thunder?
Kidnapped the poets, instead of the poems
Therefore, I asked of you to stop all useless riots
On poetry, read them, embrace them, and
Learn from them: poetry is disciplined
And disciplined is the most misunderstanding word
In the dictionary: but somehow it is said that

riots is the language of the unheard:
we must never embrace racial riots,
or racial profiling: reach out to racial equity
stop allowing the messages of hate to go viral
plants row of trees, in the name of love,
I recently came across, ants yes, I said ants

When army ants need to cross a large gap, they simply build a bridge - with their own bodies. Linking together, the ants can move their living bridge from its original point, allowing them to cross gaps and create shortcuts across rainforests in Central and South America.

I recently saw human fighting each other, I recently read somewhere
Where children were locked away in cages
,
McALLEN, Texas (AP) — inside an old warehouse in South Texas, hundreds of immigrant children wait in a series of cages created by metal fencing. One cage had 20 children inside. Scattered about are bottles of water, bags of chips and large foil sheets intended to serve as blankets.

We must never **** the spiders,
While, there are woven their poems into the likeness of thunder..
Camilla Peeters May 2018
Again I was in a forest and everything stood solely in black and white. Maybe I should stop watching those old films; they slow down my brain and I still haven't decided whether that is a good or bad thing. The way also I moved through that forest... I felt like a passenger, an antagonist, not nearly the central character of my dream. Someone else directed the images in a soft rhythm. Completely in harmony, a deer came forward. While he pointed his antlers at the heavens, I aimed my hunting gear at his chest. By shooting him, colour dripped into my dream for the first time. The fiery red blood ran down on black and white ferns and finally I felt the strength of my own hands.
eight nights (part 1)
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