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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.
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.
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
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
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
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
Olivia Jul 11
Our city is painted with thoughts and feelings
Walls unkempt and overrun with expression
Made to fit movie screens with their perfection

Our city is lit by lovers and dreamers
They hold hands without caring and kiss in the daylight
Unlike me, they wouldn’t mind who was staring

Our city is a film still in my memory
Growing more valuable with time
The white becoming a little more golden with age

Our city is a privilege to me, a sacred moment
Not a city anymore but a nostalgic pang of laughter and a dull awareness of seconds
Always passing too quickly, like a reservoir that everyone knows will soon be emptied but that is drained anyway

Our city is bookstores and mountains
Dark cars and dim statues
Nightwalkers and busy streets

Our city is happiness and fear and youth and color and reckless and forward and awesome

But maybe Our City

Is just mine.
Edward Coles Feb 2017
The distant park
Was a graveyard of dead stars.
Each streetlight a system of worlds,
So many lives between each mote of light,
Indistinguishable in their unique love,
Bespoke hate, and the drama of the modern age.

***** laughter behind transparent
Double doors. Another hotel balcony,
Another cloud behind the canopy
Of marijuana eyes
To unsettle me from the crowd.

She points out, when you look closely
You can see the disorder
Amongst all constellations
Of life and love and litter;
Of discarded Coke cans
And temporary highs.

She says this is not a scene
To imbue the ****** of a present mind,
More to baulk at the incompletion
Of one thousand to-do lists;
A million reasons why
You should just stay inside.

She says you can see the human swell
Of ignorance, our city lights
Blotting out the stars
In a black ocean of broken politic
And irretrievable fault lines-
Divisions between us all.
Lives twisted with professional smiles
And eyes lit with stunning indifference.

Still, I have felt charity and warmth
On the doorstep of lunatics and fascists.
I have read the love of life
In faces of those who gave up.
I have recounted countless artists
Who saw beauty
In moments that precisely lacked it.

I have spent too many nights
In anaesthesia,
Fleeing each instance of feeling
And terror; all the tremors
That tell me I am still alive.

Continued to stare at the lights
Long after her voice
And the laughter inside had gone.

Heard waves in the traffic.
A world so large, so expansive,
It can never truly sleep.
Every broken heart,
Every war-torn land,
Every promotion,
Every one-night stand.

I wonder what would happen
If we all stood still.
If we all took one moment
To observe the motion
That unfolds beneath
Our static windowsill.

If we all took one moment
To recover our loss.
The wars that we won,
The feelings, forgot.
The **** we retain;
Our paradise, lost.
C
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.
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