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elaine Jul 19
empty houses and car-less streets,
this town holds beauty without residence.

people move into this town of beauty and run up and down the streets damaging little by little slowly.

the people take away the beauty and throw it all away for their selfish needs,
they build tall tall buildings and put gas into the lovely clean air.

leaving this town a horrible disease.
Cweeta Cwumble May 2016
I followed my dear friends to the edge of a cliff
and was greeted by a peculiar thing.
There, standing on the edge of the earth
was a swing set waiting just for me.
Her thick black seat and strong metal arms
cradled me while together we flew
into the starry night canvas, sprawling
dark blue, except for a splatter of twinkling
firefly-speckles, from the cityscape
to the moon.

Each time she lifted me I felt closer
to the heavens. I raised my chin
and let the gentle kiss of raindrops
wash away my sins, cleansing
and revitalizing my body like a baptism.
I’ll never forget the smell of the rain
on the freshly-sprouted grass, with dew drops
made from the breath of my friends
hanging delicately in the sweet air
like glass beads strung on a wire
while the crisp wind carried me higher and higher
and the most brilliant masterpiece ever created
was painted across the entire night sky.
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.
You know Eight Owl City,
                                           -ain’t where I’m from?

You know the past isn’t pretty,
                                                -why are you dwelling there son?

You know every thought’s a lifetime,
                                                       ­    -of hands wringing, hands wrung?

Forget the past, see the future now,
                                                        -Dip­-dap-a-looma lung.

Dip-dap-a-looma lung,
A dip-dap-a-looma lung,
Dip-dap-a-looma lung,
A dip-dap-a-looma lung,

Storm on the horizon,
                                   -thunder in the air,

*****-O-lightning split the skies now,
                                                            ­ -ignore the clouds their always there…

You know Eight Owl City,
                                         -is just a place to hide your mind?

Life is hard, it ain’t pretty,
                                          -lost in a place out of time.

Get out your head or you’ll eat yourself,
                                                       ­          -consumed by paranoia, -rage!

Forget the past; see your future now,
                                                            ­-all you do in life is age.

Dip-dap-a-looma lung,
Hands wringing, hands wrung,
A dip-dap-a-looma lung,
Hear me now as it’s sung,
Dip-dap-a-looma lung,
A dip-dap-a-looma lung,

Dip-dap-a-looma lung,
A dip-dap-a-looma lung,
Dip-dap-a-looma lung,
A dip-dap-a-looma lung,
"Eight Owl City," was the original Sumerian name for Heliopolis in Egypt.
Robert Ronnow Aug 2015
I like immigrants, immigration. Legal immigration, Jane
passionately corrects. Actually my goal is a borderless world.
That's a new idea to her.
Gathering the neighborhood like family.
The men discuss sterilizing welfare mothers. I say You're working
      around the edges,
humanity has exceeded the carrying capacity of the planet,
even those with jobs. And spouses. And houses.
Yet it's an idyll of an early summer evening, new cut grass,
two baseball teams of children playing in it. Safe from Pakistan.
News photos of Muslim refugees, women in blue robes, biblically
carrying children away from holocaust. The fundamentalist army
not far behind, beheading sinners, sure in its righteousness
as the Holy Roman Empire.

Somehow Joel Osteen the evangelist comes up
while talking about how the Catholic Church is irrelevant in North
      America,
even Latin America and Africa are going evangelical.
Izzi likes Osteen, awesome extemporaneous speaker, no teleprompter,
up from bootstraps message and my wife says he's probably Jewish.
No one wants to go there.
Fortunately no one claims the Holocaust never happened or slavery
      was voluntary.
What is the carrying capacity of the planet? Two children
have replacement value. In China is it each couple or each adult that gets
one offspring? As life expectancy and standards rise,
family size diminishes. We draw together into greener, tighter cities
surrounded by farms surrounded by forests.
The children of three monotheistic religions, atheists and agnostics
play in city streets, work farm fields, explore forests, deserts,
      grasslands, space.

Two ancient female poets: Enheduanna and Sappho
are a revelation. The clarity of their complaints:
lost lover, lost city.
www.ronnowpoetry.com
Cathyy Oct 2014
Please don't break my heart..
Break a part of yours instead..
And then give it to me,
So i can treasure it forever

Cause you are strong and brave
I've seen your story scratched on your arms..
And every day's my favourite day,
Every day that we're together..

Oh this city's vibrant, we're in the heart of something brand new,
And my phone's on silent, cause my mind's plugged into you
And we're on top of a smaller world below,
Well you and I dear.. We both know.
We're a friendship that won't sink,
..But a love that can't float

Fate don't wake me up,
Cause i don't wanna wake up to someone better
And i know I'm not the one,
But right now I'm the only one,
Writing you poems and letters

The clouds are fading,
I'm under a different sky with you
And it's amazing..
Cause you're a star that's drifting too,
And I'm not breaking, i swear,
Oh that's impossible to do,
When you and I, dear..
We're a friendship that won't sink,
But a love that might lose..

So promise me you will keep,
Coming back into my life..
Cause one day i might be,
Alone in the city, walking at night thinking..

The city's no longer vibrant, oh it's quieter without you
And my phone's on silent,
Though I'm awaiting a call from you
And when i see that star shine, from a different sky I'll know,
That you and i dear..
We're a friendship that never sunk,
We just learned to float
May be the last poem i write as a 16 year old, definitely my best though! :)
Along the bus filled corridor
from the south of the city
through the Victorian architecture
of Withington and Fallowfield
to the world food of Rusholme
with its plethora of barber shops
shoe shops, shisha bars, cafes
Philips Park and the eye hospital
then the university quarter
students like woolly hatted ants
a human tide of books and backpacks
our future professional generation
of doctors, scientists and philosophers
part time poets and musicians

Into the city centre bustle 
of hipsters and hustlers
high flyers and homeless
rough sleepers and penthouses
side by side in a sea of incongruity
The roman settlement of Castlefield
now sky scraping soulless concrete
in this original city of industry
where workers downed tools 
in cotton mills for anti-slavery 
American Civil War brethren
built on old world immigration
integrated into a working class
of blue collars, graft and toil
bones of its makers in its soil

Images of the lost industries
now decorate ornate beautiful bees
scattered in and around the urban sprawl
timely reminders of our heritage
of Northern grit in all its colours
of invention, science, sport, music and art
of protest, achievement and inspiration
a city that's historical
a city for the here and now
a city for future nascent talent
a city that's changed the world
Manchester, a city for all ages
I wrote most of this after returning from a hospital appointment earlier this year but have now added to it to bring it up to date
Steve Page Oct 12
The riled route master and the hacked off hackney carriage weren't bothered by the boris bike, they simply barreled along the bus lane oblivious to the wobble, blind to the blindsided and bent on beating the amber to red, til they were halted by the growth factor of a chelsea tractor straddling lanes and field testing the choice of right or left and failing the screen test set by the sat nav, thereby giving opportunity to the swarm of office staffers snatching their chance and chancing their luck, dancing past with their fat chance of swiping in before nine and avoiding the chagrin of the boss who's been the bane of their short sojourn through the city of lost dreams, chance encounters, thin fortune and rushed hours. This is London.
Route Master = a London bus
Hackney Carriage = a black cab
Boris Bike = rentabike
Chelsea tractor = an oversized suv preferred by families who can afford Kensington & Chelsea
Where do we meet
    Oh! No He
Getting onto

the next courses
Oh La- La "Cheri" She_

K>ANSAS>>City_ Prime spot pretty
 let's >- jump ))) To Love
Please raise the horses

The marriage needs
more affection not
Petticoat Junction
Going to Kansas City here
we come
__what will become?
Different tribe or breed
What needs tender
      T.L.C
Flowing skirt steak vibe
Taking a Spin City kick
She got canned and licked
Her  pin the  tail on the donkey
The prime meat his and her
best seat
Wall Street stock of money

The ******* who arrives
first class Honey
Ms. Pork hard chew 
Mr. Beans second rate

Dark pumpernickel
Gunslinger
Saloon *******, he
is eating
The young tender
chicken leg

Biting off too much meat
Of her thigh? Hands
up Robin Fly
Save the meat "let it be"
  "Let it Be"

French Van Gogh satisfied
He's the pilot acting
like the Colonel deep fried
My Zen of praying
Not a good cut of beef
Grade A rare meat slicing

Eating in a board meeting
like a pig meat market
of pricing
She's the heart
Doe a deer
he loves his beer
A very sensitive time
Slaughterhouse no way out
His poker face on
The milestone the Moo
just move on

Air  Oz balloon 
meet the paper moon 
Fluffy white horse his
stirrups maple smiles
She and He Rich Syrups
How I see the grass clean
as a pig whistle
Singing do-wops

The beauty of animals love
The Wild like a newborn
a child born to be wild

Whats cooking on
"Moms kettle she is talking
to Parrots"
"Sweet corn and my eyes
for carrots" Oz of Skittles
Robin smiles Campbells
Chicken little


He's the Beef Man stew
  Her rocking chair
dreams and fantasies

"Meathouse like her Men of the Monasteries"

if you only knew

He's spitting tobacco chew
She peels the potato for the
meathead bad to the T-bone
Kansas City Meat He- beat
Hot tempered Spicy Sausage
went too sweet basil
made your own bed Queen evil
Too much barn fire

Grilling your head

Meeting my Blue suit me skies  
He's like the Hacksaw
Pirate Ribeye steak
Medieval Ceasar hot
sauce dressing
Mr. "Billygoat"

With her slurping straw
What an I saw of Hawk-Birds

Moms Korean style
coleslaw
passed the bar
Red heart *** bless
the child on the slide seesaw
Playing Porgy and Bess
 Scarlet the red rare meat
Hot Fever Gone with the wind

Kansas chewing Oz cow
This is not Royalty
greeting bow*
Rolling stone baking pin
Mississippi one or two
3456789-10
Hungry Man meat when!!
Country plaid tablecloth
"Kansas Men" of the cloth
Cradle those sweet peas both

Oink- oink another eye blink
Fabulous four trip
The Pig approval
Kansas City Mayor
new arrival

The Pink Ink
Togetherness two souls
to bless human and animals
not complaining always
eating
Fruits and vegetable
Life is all about enjoyment
Family together eating
Become a vegetarian
Don't eat our animals
Why is life so unfair

Feeding the poor with cans
All in the slice Stan the evil
the bad cut of meat devil
Been sold to the fool
this is not the "Grade A"
Meat  from the old school

More explaining too much
contemplating
Being the complainer or the blamer
This is not a ring circus trainer

Farmer and his cattle love
training in the heart of the stable
Going to Kansas City Red
Rooster wake me up!!
Robin coffee animal-friendly cup
Make room for my pig give him a
     *Big Hug

Leave animals alone take care of them
The way they were born
to grow
Were the luckiest people to have
animals in the world with
trees and plants

Deep good earth lovely brown
Start to show someone they
were born to glow
Never slaughter a family

There is beauty in this world
Look around of so many
humans like an epiphany
hearing the kind creature
symphony
Whats to compare her twilight
eyes hold the moment stare
Talk to the animal's hearts care
The barbecue all the meat men and the women who love their fruit listen to the Owl lady how she hoots those Kansas city slicker boots and the Hehaw have a good time with family and friends treat the animals with tender loving care
My backpack ready for anything, I left for a voyage across the pond. As fellow passengers climb aboard I met a 27 year old traveling musician named Russ carrying his cajòn. He told me of his travels from Massachusetts and pending divorce. We related on this and exchanged CD's. Behind us sitting on the Ferry were two young girls working on a puzzle. Russ imposed himself and tried to impress them with his musical endeavors. These girls were in America from Germany attending college. One was 17 and the other was 18 but I am sure they knew better than to play into his hand. After talk of language and culture we disembarked. Russ invited me to his show that night but I had plans to meet a girl at a board game pub. I walked to the bus stop while smoking my pipe and caught the number 40 from downtown to a trendy neighborhood up north.

After I stepped off I found myself amongst the overgrown players of games and drinkers of fine beer. Brittany arrived and we chatted over IPA's. I explained my recent challenges to get the topic of divorce out of the way before we left for Mexican food. She was very open in saying I should play the field and not have a serious relationship. I agreed with her take but could not read her as well as I had hoped. She said I need to get the rebounding out of the way and explained that she too is struggling with commitment. Being 34 with no marriage or children under her belt she feels that therapy is essential to figuring this out.

We walked to our happy hour destination and shared Nacho's while drinking "Colorado Kool-Aid". Both of us having spent a lot of time in Denver we could relate on much but I felt there was an elephant in the room. Afterwards we walked to a nearby record store and browsed while talking about music and interests. She needed to leave soon having obligations to housesit and watch pets. Dog walking is her profession since her departure from the world of corporate accounting. We walked to her unkempt sedan and she gave me a ride back downtown. We talked of hanging out again but our schedule may not permit for some time. I wonder if she will entertain my company without reservation, only time will tell.

I decided to phone my old friend from Denver who lives near and devise another plan for the evening. The sun was still shining and I had no reason to return home yet. I walked to a nearby brew pub while waiting for him to meet me. I sat at the bar with another traveler named Dave. He is an airline pilot close to retirement from the state of Texas. We talked about my time in the Navy and my pending legal woes. He's been proudly married for 30 years and counts his blessings that he is still in harmony with his wife. My friend decided to meet me at a concert in close proximity to my date with Brittany. Once again I would take the number 40 uptown. Dave bought my IPA and gave me words of encouragement and complimented my persona. It meant a lot and I thanked him as I said goodbye.

While waiting for the bus I asked for information from a woman in her early 50's. She works for a tech company nearby but was happy to help as I had a more pleasant vibe than most of her young, urban, unprofessional colleagues. While unsure of my way she directed my move to get off at the next stop. I walked up the hill another seven blocks to the show. While smoking my pipe along the way another bus rider was two steps ahead named Nate. He was curious about my pipe tobacco and we gave brief anecdotes about ourselves. He offered to buy me a quick beer before my concert. I took him up on this offer as we walked into a nearby market. He purchased several large cans of domestics and afterwards we headed back down the dark boulevard towards the Abbey drinking our brew. As I arrived at the former church venue we parted ways peacefully.

I ventured into the bustling scene concealing my open container while finding my friend. I sat just as the opening act started. We enjoyed three musical performances but the star of the show was the beautiful woman from Denver that we both enjoyed during our time there. Feeling that we should explore the venue where Russ was performing we made our way there. I was sad to discover the brewery was shutting down before 10pm and the band was long gone. We decided to walk to the nearby singles bar playing music so loudly it could be heard from a block away. This strange place was crawling with many folks of the beautiful sort but nothing seemed to be attractive about it. We had a glass of wine and a shot of bourbon. I spoke to the fellow DJ for a moment but there was no dancefloor to be found. We decided to venture on.

We walked up and down the avenue and discovered another Mexican food restaurant, beaming with the young and the foolish. Our community seating was met with overly affectionate couples to our left and valley girls to our right. Our Tequila mules hit the spot with our Nacho's and late night platter. The girls spoke of Denver people which I thought strange. Why so much co(lorado)-incidence in one evening? I injected myself into the discussion and was met with friendly conversation. Unable to finish my Nacho's I knew I had fulfilled my share of fun for the night. This was the fourth time I had eaten nachos this week. We proceeded back to the urban adventure wagon and made our way to the slums of the tech-boom. My 2am slumber was met with an air mattress of great quality and woolen blankets.

I awoke at 7am to the clouded sunlight peering through the sliding glass door. I laid awake with my stomach turning from the many Nachos not yet digested. My housemates called me about needing to move my car for restriping the parking lot. Fortunately I left my keys so they were able to do this for me. I smoked my pipe on the patio while my friend "hit the gym". When he returned we decided to walk through the arboretum by the university and enjoy the sunny autumn day. Afterwards he dropped me off by the ferry where I waited an hour drinking beer at the commuter dive.

During my ferry ride home I walked up and down the passenger compartment looking for a fellow rider to play cribbage. I had no such luck and headed for the observation deck. While the city vanished behind us I struck up a conversation with a young lady from Manchester who had just returned to living in the US. We talked about the nature of selfies and the conflict of living in the moment. As we spoke a man approached me who had overheard my request for a card game. We walked back inside and sat next to an abandoned puzzle with pieces scattered about the deck. Mark introduced himself and we shook hands. It was not until he shuffled and dealt the cards that I realized this 45 year old Asian man only had one arm. His ability to shuffle and deal was impressive. His skill with cribbage was more than rusty, after one game I had a victory so great I felt guilty. He too is going through divorce and seeking a new job. It was a great way to pass the time with a fellow passenger.

As I readied myself for the porting I noticed a familiar face, a young sailor I served with in Mississippi. Our time spent together was met with sorrow as we faced similar career challenges. I had not seen him for several months but he almost did not recognize me. I had lost 50 pounds, left the Navy and become single all in a matter of a few months. I assured him I was on the dawn of newfound joy and wished him luck on his upcoming deployment. I patted him on the head as he seems like such a lovable scamp to me at this point. I exited the terminal to saunter back home. I smoked my pipe while crossing the bridge enjoying the last hour of sunlight.

I settled my belongings at home while serving myself a can of chili and a cold IPA on draft from my housemates tap. I joined him for the end of a baseball game in the den and shared a few moments with my community. I slept for a couple hours and then made my way to work. So much can happen in a day.
Not poetry, but what is life, if not poetry in motion?
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