Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
Frankie Gestone Mar 2013
He woke up in a rapid sweat, darkness surrounding him, his soaked pillow was pressing up on his neck as he could feel the uncomfortable stabbing cold run right threw his whole body. His mouth was dry and his body was in great pain. He lay there practically naked, but not just physically, also emotionally. It was like a catatonic state where the person’s body is paused in reality, but the actual person is far away and isolated even from himself. He wondered why he was so comfortable being uncomfortable and remaining frozen in time.  He saw nothing but the subtle moonlight that peaked through the blinds of his window. A point of existence, he feels nothing because all he has ever felt has drowned him. His numbness was being accepted and he embraced that if he remained this way, he would never have to feel hurt or heartbreak again. It’s better this way, he confirmed.

Eventually he got up out of his bed, walked outside to a nearby empty field. He looked up at the infinite night sky and contemplated the moon, the stars, and the endless space that sustained all of its existence. A tear fell down his cheek as he remembered the beautiful wonder of life and the universe; his realization that he is just a small spec of dust compared to all that is and all that is wonderful. Whatever happened to that universal happiness he used to feel? The feelings of the unseen, the cosmos, the mysteries that remain unsolved were all love. He then felt ancient and brand new at the same time-always being around all that is, but recently born into the unknown. The silence of the night swarmed him, and he suddenly embraced all the things he could not accept. The lullaby of the wind put him to sleep.

When he awoke, it was twilight. The sky was a lighter, deep blue and the sun in the far distance was rising in a fiery halo of mixed red, orange, and yellow colors, and the early morning clouds were clear and transparent. He heard the sound of a train horn in the far distance. He followed the sound with his ears as the sound became slightly louder and louder. Then, suddenly he could see the light of the early morning train.

The train had stopped as he approached it, and he hopped on with no hesitation or looking back. This runaway train was going to take him to where he needs to be, and he blindly and faithfully accepted that his fate was out of his hands now. No more heartbreak, no more reminders of the past, and most importantly no more drowning in his tears. As the train proceeded to move forward, he could feel fresh air gently touch his face, and all that he saw and ever knew were now flashing lights disappearing into eternity.

It was hours into the late morning when the train made its first stop. He listened to the train conductor speak out over the intercom, almost incoherently, say, “This is Brightstone Park. Next stop will be Riverhead.” A nostalgic feeling suddenly came over him as he could remember that his very first kiss was in Brightstone Park with Jessica Garzi. That was not his first true love, but his very first heartbreak. Riverhead was a forbidden memory, as he knew a classmate who had committed suicide off the Riverhead Bridge. He had not returned there in five years because of his haunting memories that would always come back to remind him just how cold and frightening the world really is.

While lost in thought, he felt a rough, sand paper-like wet feeling on his forearm. He looked down and it was a black cat, but not all black. The paws were all white like socks, and the chest and stomach were snow white. The loud prominent purr was a very peculiar reminder of a cat he once owned. Her name was Midnight. She was not the friendliest cat to strangers, but she loved him, especially when he massaged her paws. This cat was practically identical to Midnight. Midnight was put down three years ago though. As he began petting the cat’s back, it ran away and jumped off the moving train. He looked out in a hurry, but it was gone. It was just like everything else he loved. There for one moment, then gone the next. The strange thought that has one wondering if anything had actually existed that is now no more. A person, or a thing, could mean everything to you, but once they slip away, they become like the wind: occasionally brushing up against you, but never revealing its form.

On the train he began to wonder how he got where he was, and in general how the smallest decisions he made lead to bigger events and all in all, everything was all connected. There are no isolated events, or isolated people- it is all proven fact and science. Everything depends on each other to survive. The trees depend on the sun to keep themselves alive; we give off carbon dioxide to the trees and in return, we receive the oxygen we need from the leaves of the trees. He thought about the potential of a seed-for example, a tomato seed. Within that tiny seed is unlimited potential of life: The seed may produce one plant of several tomatoes, and within all those tomatoes are countless other seeds. This is all from one seed. Then, one may take a couple of seeds from a picked tomato and plant them throughout the yard creating a garden. That original seed came from another tomato seed inside a tomato on a plant, and that seed came from another seed. When did this cycle of reproduction begin and when does it end? Is it just another form of the infinite? When a person eats a tomato from that original seed, he receives certain essential vitamins his body needs for surviving and sustaining good health. This good health will effect his offspring and so on and so on. When he defecates, that will all return to the earth for potential fertilizer used for other tomato seeds. This is the same when he returns to the earth again. His dust will fertilize the same world that he came from, for all things come from it just to inevitably return to it.

He continued to think about how matter is never created nor destroyed and the same for energy. Nothing ever truly dies; the form changes into something new, like how water becomes a cloud and the cloud becomes water. Though this comforted him, he noticed that a few feet away from him was a former coworker and friend, Natasha Karev. She always infatuated him and they became close friends, but he always wished it had continued and gone even further than it did. One night, only a couple of years ago, they were at a friend’s party. Both were drinking, but not so heavily. That night they bonded and got so close, that she admitted she loved him. He was never quite sure how real that “I love you” was, but it was burned inside his heart ever since. That night there were moments she would tell him how much she wanted to make love to another guy at the party, Kevin, but was afraid to approach him. She told him she desperately wanted to lose her virginity that night to somebody because she was eighteen and only getting older. This was like a sharp knife slowly penetrating into his heart. He remained speechless for quite a few minutes. Finally he decided to go up in a bedroom alone. To his surprise, she followed him up and kissed him. He felt her clothed body up and down, and she touched areas not many have touched before. She told him she wanted to have *** and that she wanted him to rob her of her virginity. He was speechless, but extremely excited. Then, abruptly, she told him she could not because everything was happening way too soon. Why couldn’t she just make up her mind? He sat frustrated in the darkness, again, all alone. After that night, they spoke and remained close, yet that night was never mentioned again. It was as if it had never happened. After about two years of an on and off friendship, they just went their own ways. There were no fights or disagreements. Life just separated them.

“You’re just a figment inside somebody’s dream. So far from reality, you are a dream within a dream within a dream.” Startled by this soft voice, he quickly turned around to see Natasha smiling at him. “Ha-ha! I knew I could scare you. Were you abused as a kid, or something?” No words could come out at that moment, but he hugged her tightly. She explained to him that she is getting off at the next stop to meet a friend. He was sure he wanted to follow her and see where life would take him. She reminisced and told him how she had been away inside her own cave for several months, but is now very happy to meet up with everyone she had lost contact with.

The next stop arrived, but he did not catch the name of the stop he was getting off. As he got off with several others, both he and Natasha met up with her friend, Valeria, who he found quite cute. She resembled Natasha a bit in that they both had ***** blonde hair and blue eyes. They walked right into a giant street fair with a crowd of people looking at the foods and desserts, the trendy clothes, cheap jewelry, and children play rides.

As he looked around, he began seeing many familiar faces. He saw Kevin, a childhood and grammar school mate there with another co-worker of his, Jenny. Jenny was a Colombian beauty in his eyes and who was a flirt and tease to him, but never actually gave him any time alone. Incidentally, he knew both of them at different times in his life and had no idea they knew of each other. Kevin stopped contacting him during high school without any arguments or disloyalties that would tear a friendship apart. Keeping his head down, he walked a few feet to discover another childhood best friend, Jack, who was with a mutual childhood friend, Melanie. Melanie was a best friend of his and also a first childhood crush who also had a crush on him. He thought it was odd because even though Melanie and Jack were also best friends, Melanie never liked Jack in a special boy/girl way. He felt a moment of heartbreak, but quickly turned away and kept walking. A little further up the road, he saw two more childhood friends, Chris and Jimmy, who as children did not get along that well and only hung out with each other in the company of him. How peculiar it was suddenly seeing them together after ten years, and as seemingly best of friends.

That was not all. Things were getting stranger and stranger. It was like all the people who had made an imprint on his life were now coming together around him. He saw his two therapists, one he had gone to as a teenager and the other as a young adult, stand next to each other selling prescription drug samples. Both stared at him with a blank face, but with a prominent smile. He could barely nod at them. Natasha directed them to a local bar. Inside the bar was huge and also had a second floor. He noticed the music playing in the background was, Nocturne In E Flat Major, Op.9 No.2, by Polish born Romantic composer, Frederic Chopin. He became fixated on the elegant eighth note, left hand arpeggios, and the sweet and peaceful fast moving seven, eleven, twenty, and twenty-two notes from the right hand. If he thought about the most beautiful song ever written and all that is wonderful in one, this was the song.

They all took a seat and began looking at people and laughing at their behavior. Everyone was wearing masks. Social masks. They observed how different people act when they are in social gatherings, and how if you carefully study their body language, it will become clear that what they are saying and trying to put out is not what is actually being expressed through the body. One young man was frantically shaking his right leg as he tried to flirt confidently with a young woman he had just recently met. His face began to turn noticeably red, in an embarrassed flush, and he was making sudden hand gestures and quick eye blinking. She, on the other hand, pretended to be interested in what he was saying; yet her eyes would often look around the room and her body was a good distance from him with her arms folded.

Then as they were all laughing, he abruptly stopped and looked ahead to see two drunken women making out two tables away from them. As his eyes focused in on them, he realized they were two of his former crushes, Claire and Veronica, who he had no idea knew of each other because in fact, they were from different time periods of his life. He began seeing former teachers and professors from each stage of his school career, laughing hysterically with one another. Some of his most inspiring teachers and professors were gathered with other teachers and professors he despised. A young, tattooed hipster woman entered the scenery with a little Cairn Terrier that had an uncanny resemblance to his recently passed dog, Petey, who was put to sleep when he was away on a vacation, unexpectedly. His sorrow began to overwhelm him for not being able to say good-bye and see him for a proper last time. Everything about the dog’s high energy, playfulness, and watchdog attitude was exactly like Petey. A tear ran and fell off his cheek from his left eye right into the hand of Natasha. He looked up at her and she said, “Your tears are my tears. For what pain you withhold, I take and share with you.” She then wiped her right eye with the hand that held his tear. Natasha’s friend began to speak slowly into his left ear in Russian. Though he could not understand a word she was saying, it sounded just like a poem based on the pattern and rhythm’s consistency. It made him feel free of melancholy, but then thought of Angela Antonaci entered his mind.

He thought that the last painful experience ended with the break up of his closest best friend ever to play a part in his life. She was his girlfriend for the last three and a half years. They had known each other for ten years before they broke up their entire relationship. She was thirteen and he was fifteen when they first met in a park. She was always all over him like a little schoolgirl and he would often get frustrated with her obsession over him, for he believed he was no big deal. She was the first person to ever make him feel special and important, and even though he would resent her likeness towards him, he could never keep his eyes off of her or stop himself from always coming to her when he felt lonely. After about seven years, he realized he was in love with her. He had always been in love with her from the first time they met eyes. His long road had always lead back to her home in life. Every time he tried forgetting her and moving on, they would meet again. That person people search their entire lives for, he had found.

He rose out of his seat and briefly said goodbye to Natasha and her friend and went upstairs. He wanted time to be alone and walk around until he suddenly saw Jessica walking towards him. He stopped and waited for her to say hello, but she walked right by him, as if he had never existed. He felt a little insulted, yet relieved as any awkwardness that would arise was avoided. Looking ahead, he saw Angela’s two best friends, Kate and Julie, with her high school crush, John. John was playing an acoustic guitar on a lounge chair, singing to the two friends, almost enticing them with his eyes and voice. His jealousy overcame him, as Angela had been infatuated with him on and off even though he had played with her feelings throughout high school and college. John would tell her he loved her and make her believe he was a romantic, then when she fell into his words, he would leave her and keep a distance for long periods of time, leaving her in despair.

The conclusion occurred to him that maybe she was nearby. He searched throughout the entire bar not finding any other clues that she was around. When he went downstairs, he saw Natasha and her friend asleep, as well as most of the bar, except for the bartender. It was like everyone just passed out from the alcohol or possibly inhaled some type of knockout drug. The bartender was watching the news forecast of a tornado watch and dangerous thunderstorms. The bartender looked at him and said, “It’s better if you stay in here. It’s dangerous out there. I recommend you don’t go out!” He just listened, but decided to leave to the outside anyway.

He walked three blocks through the heavy rain and strong winds. He took a moment to stop and look at the black and gray clouds above him. As he looked across the street, he saw her. She was with her mother, sister, and mutual friends of theirs, Chrystal and Mike. He also saw behind them, his own mother and sister. He ran across the street to her and she shockingly with excitement screamed, “Hey!!! Oh my God!! Please stay with us. I missed you so much. You have no idea. We have to get to a shelter away from this storm. Hold my hand…” Smiling, he kept walking with them. They walked for twenty minutes and entered a giant field. After ten minutes of walking restlessly through the field, they all stopped to catch their breath. Angela’s mom ordered everyone to hold one another’s hand. An enormous gust of wind pushed them all to the grassy ground. He began to shake violently as he felt the touch of death nearby. He wondered if this would be the end, as he felt unaccomplished and left with so much left unsaid to her. Thoughts raced through his mind like a speeding highway about how to get to safety. Unable to control and remain focused on one rational thought at a time, he blacked out for a minute.

Then there he was right in the middle of a storm. In so many ways, he realized where he was ending was where he originally began. All the imprints from all he ever knew came back all at once to watch him finally leave all he ever knew from this life. And in the last moments, he found himself with her. He held her hand, while she held his, and the hands of their family and friends. The world was so dark and cold. The wind became much more rapid and an enormous bright light from it came within just miles of them. He kept looking up at the dark black and gray clouds over them, never as frightened as he was now. His focus was on the great strength of the wind. Whatever melancholic thoughts he had of his life, he would not give up hope. Maybe he was just hopelessly hopeful, but holding each other tightly might, in some miraculous way, save them. Then suddenly a deep peace began to sustain his very being. He remembered whose hand he was holding- the only woman to ever understand every level of his being. He looked down at her big, precious eyes pouring out tears. Their eyes locked, as she had been watching him the entire time. No words needed to be said from one another. They knew exactly what they felt and meant. For the first time in his life, everything was all okay. All was beautiful. The whole situation was beautiful, not tragic. In that moment, he understood this was where he was meant to be. This was where he wanted to be, for only in such a life altering moment does one comprehend the very nature of love and life. To just glance into her eyes and see the same person staring back in suspense, while all he ever knew was being born, growing, and dying simultaneously in complete acceptance. They began to fade and disappeared into the light.
Michael P Smith Mar 2013
As I was comforted by the crisp air
Felt its peace flow through my hair
A sparkling emerald, rarely seen
Emulated sun in buoyant green
Calmed by reclined rays, cool & fair.

I scoped the kiddies play & run
I felt my spirit join their fun
Serenity basks a gleeful scene
As I was comforted.

A bad forecast is due, but none came
This soothing day remains the same
Hints of rough shows pastel view
Acrid trials, of maraud, loses through
A final twinge, still did not pierce
As I was comforted.

©Michael P. Smith
Madeline Thetard Apr 2018
Today I told someone hello.
2. They didn't say it back.
3. Today I smiled at someone in the hall.
4. They didn't smile back.
5. Today I looked in the mirror to see if I was invisible.
6. Turns out I'm not invisible -- then why can't anyone see me?
7. Today I made a fake Instagram account under a trendy name from the 1960s to see whether I knew any people who had real Instagram accounts.
8. All of the accounts were private save for one.
9. Today I forced myself to be happy for a particular past crush who posted lots of pictures on Instagram with his new girlfriend. Hurrah.
10. Today I looked at everyone's smiling faces and wondered why I wasn't smiling with them.
11. Today I wondered why some people are complete idiots.
12. Today I wondered why my skin tone - white as milk - should make people believe that I can't handle spice, or make people believe that I am stupid.
1. Today I told someone hello.
2. They didn't say it back.
13. Today I comforted someone who said she had no love life.
14. I didn't have the courage to tell her that I've never had a love life and probably never will.
15. Today I told someone I write poetry and they laughed at me.
16. Today I cried in front of a mirror while singing a made-up song that wasn't even sad.
17. Today I told people I was fine when I really was not.
5. Today I looked in the mirror to see if I was invisible.
18. I wish I was invisible.
19. If I were invisible maybe it wouldn't hurt so much 'cause I know I'm here but people refuse to see it.
20. Can I please just be invisible?
1. Today I told someone hello.
2. They didn't say it back.
Not in a fantastic mood right now.
Benji James Apr 2018
VERSE ONE
She's bleeding from her lip
From every time he hit
Can't believe that she
Just turned up on my doorstep
Looking like this
And all that I can think
Is how much I want to **** him
Better help her in
Come on let's get you cleaned up
Tell me what happened
Tell me everything he did
Firstly let me clean the bloodstains
from beneath your lips
Wipe the smudged mascara
from beneath your eyes
Seeing you hurt like this
Hurts me deep inside
Gotta be strong for you
Make sure you're comforted
Reassure you everything is gonna be alright
Meanwhile, body temperatures raising
As anger boils deep within
All these thoughts come flooding in

PRE CHORUS
I'm not sure I can keep
All of this rage caged
Killer instincts kicking in
And all I want is revenge on him
For treating you like this
Gotta stay calm,
Keep this girls mind at ease
Help her rest and heal
And as I wipe the blood from your lips
ever so gently
As I wipe the tears from your eyes
You look deep into mine
with every ounce of strength,
she had left she said
please don't go after him
even after all he did

CHORUS
And as she takes my hand she says
You're different
All I need is for you to be there
I just need someone who really cares
Someone to wipe away these tears
You're the one guy who tames my fears
I don't need any more protection
then you already give
And I don't want you to end up like him
Even though the love I have for him
Runs deep, I see his faults
But I know his needs
And he is such a big part of my heart
His my addiction, my drug
Don't expect you to understand
I see the mess this is, I can't stop my love for him

VERSE TWO
All these words, I soak them in
All these thoughts
are running up and down my mind
How could she not let me step in
This hurting could stop right here
I'm giving her everything,
She just wants me to sit back
Watch from the sidelines
While she takes on this fight
Why won't she let me stand at her side?
And all of this confusion envelops in me
I'm losing focus, Push this to the back of my head
Need to take care of her here and now
Because she needs you here most
I carry her into the bed tuck her in
As I crash back on the couch
All of the things she said to me replay

PRE CHORUS
I'm not sure I can keep
All of this rage caged
Killer instincts kicking in
And all I want is revenge on him
For treating you like this
Gotta stay calm,
Keep this girls mind at ease
Help her rest and heal
And as I wipe the blood from your lips
ever so gently
As I wipe the tears from your eyes
You look deep into mine
with every ounce of strength,
she had left she said
please don't go after him
even after all he did

CHORUS
And as she takes my hand she says
You're different
All I need is for you to be there
I just need someone who really cares
Someone to wipe away these tears
You're the one guy who tames my fears
I don't need any more protection
then you already give
And I don't want you to end up like him
Even though the love I have for him
Runs deep, I see his faults
But I know his needs
And he is such a big part of my heart
His my addiction, my drug
Don't expect you to understand
I see the mess this is, I can't stop my love for him

VERSE THREE
As I wake the next morn
I go to the bedroom to check on her
I see an empty bed well made
on the bedside desk, a neat note laid
Saying thank you for everything you did
Repairing and mending me back to health
I couldn't have a better friend
Sorry I left before you awoke
Just had to get home
Just want you to know
I'm thankful and grateful for all that you are
You'll always be the brightest shining star
Guiding and watching me from afar
And as cheesy as it sounds
It brings a smile to my face
And for a slight moment concern leaves my conscience
But I hold out hope everything is gonna be okay
That's when images of last night run before my eyes

PRE CHORUS
I'm not sure I can keep
All of this rage caged
Killer instincts kicking in
And all I want is revenge on him
For treating you like this
Gotta stay calm,
Keep this girls mind at ease
Help her rest and heal
And as I wipe the blood from your lips
ever so gently
As I wipe the tears from your eyes
You look deep into mine
with every ounce of strength,
she had left she said
please don't go after him
even after all he did

CHORUS
And as she takes my hand she says
You're different
All I need is for you to be there
I just need someone who really cares
Someone to wipe away these tears
You're the one guy who tames my fears
I don't need any more protection
then you already give
And I don't want you to end up like him
Even though the love I have for him
Runs deep, I see his faults
But I know his needs
And he is such a big part of my heart
His my addiction, my drug
Don't expect you to understand
I see the mess this is, I can't stop my love for him

VERSE FOUR
Another night, another microwave meal
It's been a while since she last came over
Must be working out,
the counselling must be helping them now
And for once in my life I'm relieved
Knowing she's happy calms my mind
I watch the clock tick time passes by
through montaged scenes
This feels like a happy ending to this story
And photographs of you and I
Are packed in a box
I only open it up from time to time
Childhood memories captured in polaroid frames
I like reminiscing about all those good times
Everything was different then
Together just you and I
Hanging every day and every night
until you moved on with your life
that is just a perfect memory captured in my mind

PRE CHORUS
All of this rage is caged
Calm and content I've stayed
The revenge I wanted on him
Has been forgotten
Even after all he did
I'm calm, breathing and relaxed
My minds at ease
We're both rested and healed
The bloodstained cloths
that cleansed your lips are cleaned
ever so gently you're easing my emotions
As I wipe the tears from my eyes
I think of the way you always look into mine
with every ounce of strength,
You've made me a better man
She was right in what she said
even after all he did

CHORUS
Still feel the tender touch of your hand
And I remember every word she said
You're different
All I need is for you to be there
I just need someone who really cares
Someone to wipe away these tears
You're the one guy who tames my fears
I don't need any more protection
then you already give
And I don't want you to end up like him
Even though the love I have for him
Runs deep, I see his faults
But I know his needs
And he is such a big part of my heart
His my addiction, my drug
Don't expect you to understand
I see the mess this is, I can't stop my love for him
And all I can think is how lucky he is
To have a girl like you

VERSE FIVE
As I sit on my couch watching tv
It's been months since she last seen me
When I hear a soft knock at the door
I open it up to see you sitting on the pavement
outside of my front door
she is leaning against the brick wall
Head in her hands, crying
Tears constantly streaming down her cheeks
Bruised arms, black eyes
She looked at me and said
I'm bleeding from my lip
From when he hit
That sentence just tore me to bits
Gotta be strong, Take care of her first
Then I'll hunt him down and make him hurt
Shes covered in scratches, puffy eyes
He really lost control this time
And I'm about to lose mine
I pick her up and bring her in
Pull out the first aid kit,
A warm washer to clean her up
Every dab soft and tender to the touch
I won't hurt you like him ever
I'm the one who will make this all better

PRE CHORUS
I'm not sure I can keep
All of this rage caged
Killer instincts kicking in
And all I want is revenge on him
For treating you like this
Gotta stay calm,
Keep this girls mind at ease
Help her rest and heal
And as I wipe the blood from your lips
ever so gently
As I wipe the tears from your eyes
You look deep into mine
with every ounce of strength,
she had left she said
please don't go after him
even after all he did

CHORUS
And as she takes my hand she says
You're different
All I need is for you to be there
I just need someone who really cares
Someone to wipe away these tears
You're the one guy who tames my fears
I don't need any more protection
then you already give
And I don't want you to end up like him
Even though the love I have for him
Runs deep, I see his faults
But I know his needs
And he is such a big part of my heart
His my addiction, my drug
Don't expect you to understand
I see the mess this is, I can't stop my love for him

VERSE SIX
That time those words don't cut it
Now the hunters become the hunted
I tuck her into bed to sleep
stay with her until she falls into dreams
I watch her smile and breathe as she lays peacefully asleep
I go around to her house just when he walks out
I strike him hard and fast, I made him bleed so much blood
All the pain he put her through I made sure he felt that too
I couldn't keep that rage caged
had to let it out and get revenge
One day she will understand
I did what was best for her
I won't ever let her hurt
He got a few shots in
But nothing compared to what I did to him
Stitches in my hand and brow
I left him hospitalised
I'll never forget the look she gave
when she found out

PRE CHORUS
I tried to explain
I couldn't keep this rage caged
Killer instincts kicked in
And I got my revenge on him
For treating you like this
Didn't stay calm
Didn't keep her mind at ease
Help her rest and heal
I wiped the blood from her lips
I wiped the tears from your eyes
What he did to you killed me inside
with every ounce of strength,
And everything I am
I went after him
after all, he did

CHORUS
This time she didn't take my hand
And I knew I wasn't going to be a fan
of what she had to say
I regret putting my trust and faith in you
You aren't different
All I needed was for you to be there
I just needed someone who really cared
Someone to wipe away these tears
You were the one guy who tamed my fears
I didn't need any more protection
that you hadn't already given
I didn't want you to be like him
Violence never solved anything
I was ready to leave him for you
You went against everything I said
My love and admiration for you ran deep,
I see your faults
I know your needs
But now you have betrayed me
You were such a big part of my heart
You could have been my addiction, my drug
I was hoping you would listen and understand
Not go after him like you did
I can see the mess this is, my hearts been shattered
Beyond repair, I never want to see you again
Those lines run on repeat through my head.

©2018 Written By Benji James
John Stevens Nov 2014
Sunshine comes in many forms.
    -  -  -  -  -  -
That which comes up in the morning
and goes down at night.
And little girls who
are Grandma's De-light.
    -  -  -  -  -  -
She rises in the morning
sometimes cloudy,
sometimes bright,
but always Grandma's De-light.
    -  -  -  -  -  -
Sometimes she rains tears
torrential they may pour
but comforted by the voice
of the One who loves her so.
    -  -  -  -  -  -
Sometimes she shines bright
the warmth of hugs and smiles.
Love overflowing in the heart,
it's all Grandma's De-light.
    -  -  -  -  -  -
Love is forever and always
whether its stormy or bright.
Love covers all situations
For all is Grandma's De-light.
    -  -  -  -  -  -
Sunshine's  Eyes and Smiles
Light up the world around her.
Creating more smiles in their eyes
when first they did find her
    -  -  -  -  -  -
When Grandma's day is gloomy
Sunshine arrives with much to say
with happy stories, hugs and smiles
to brighten up the cloudiest day.
    -  -  -  -  -  -
When Sunshine goes to bed
it usually can be said
Sunshine's eyes cease to gleam
when energy's gone, time to dream.
    -  -  -  -  -  -
Eyes close and all is well
in Sunshine Land I do tell.
Grandma's De-light in peaceful sleep
The day is over, it will keep.
    -  -  -  -  -  -
She is after all
Grandma's Sunshine.

11-01-2014 (c)
John Stevens
Written by request of Grandma
Sunshine is five.
Going on fifteen.
One that is ever kind said yesterday:
'Your well-beloved's hair has threads of grey,
And little shadows come about her eyes;
Time can but make it easier to be wise
Though now it seems impossible, and so
All that you need is patience.'
Heart cries, 'No,
I have not a crumb of comfort, not a grain.
Time can but make her beauty over again:
Because of that great nobleness of hers
The fire that stirs about her, when she stirs,
Burns but more clearly. O she had not these ways
When all the wild Summer was in her gaze.'

Heart! O heart! if she'd but turn her head,
You'd know the folly of being comforted.
Colt Jul 2013
for Those who eat ramen by choice, or not.*

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by disillusionment,
lacking egotistical sold, dragging themselves through the hip streets at dawn
looking for a socially self-aggrandizing fix.
Poets, as they sit in desks and discuss discourse
about discourse about discourse about discourse,
who fear that thinking itself was buried with Vonnegut,
who are lost in forests of brick walls,
inviting, because they block the wind of dying fall,
who swim in cesspools filled with academic sewage, yearning for freedom,
for truth, as they always have,
mining their minds for images, and searching for words to describe
-a reality which is virtual at its core and each act, another chore./
-a scene of life which reflects all that is poignant and sacred.
Poets seek musicians while musicians seek poets.
and the dog chases its tail, endlessly
and the dog chases its tail, endlessly
and the dog chases its tail, endlessly

These poets who search aimlessly for the feeling of feeling,
who are overwhelmed with meaning to the point where meaning
has no meaning in itself.
Who claim this poem as their own and continuously write themselves into it.
It is those who suffer in truth that live the poetic.
Those who sit in front of space heaters eating peanut butter sandwiches in winter,
who sweat unknowingly in summer, comforted in each’s odor.
Those who open Macbooks while squatting in empty flats.
Signing up, logging in and zoning out, forever disengaged.
Those who type prophecy on keypads and let keyboards gather dust-
stratification, signs of long nights spent in century-old homes still not renovated,
ceilings sinking at the sides while those above pogo to punk rock long dead,
or grind genitals to old soul, simulating all that is sensual.
Those who play archaeologist to their own layers of makeup, grimed on the sink.
Those who share their food with the roaches and the mooches who all have keys,
who use the books as shelves to hold ceramic mugs, stained with a single drip-drop,
who, with arms crossed, watch bands in basements play noise.
Those who replaced their nu-metal records with folk but kept the unkempt beards.
Those who drink stale beer on stranger’s rooftops.
Those who live with bags under eyes, themselves asleep, lacking a body,
sleeping naked together to stay warm,
sleeping naked together to stay sane,
sleeping naked together to stay touched.

Those who leave coffee in unplugged automatic pots, decaying rapidly.
Those who eat pizza for breakfast, cold or microwaved, as an act of ultimate indulgence.
Those who prance about in un-matching socks
from hardwood floors to vinyl floors to tile floors, all under the same popcorn ceiling,
dancing to the sound of rhythmic silence.
Those who fight with lovers about acts, but never once mention the act of love itself.
Those who don flannel plaid in springtime color, constructing Williamsburg,
who consider gentrification a new form of landed gentry,
who live in poverty as if it were a novelty,
capitalist martyrs sacrificing employment to hide being non-hirable,
who shop in online surplus department stores for unique vintage.
Those who, who, who hoot like the owls framed on their walls, eyes wide but beaks small.
Those who are oppressed by nonexistent kings ruling in imaginary suits.
Those who crave something new, not tired-as the form of this very poem-
something which is not-yet auto-tuned.
Those who, faux-hawked and shredded, rock and bop to Bowie doing Lou
on Sunday Morning from Station to Station shooting ******,
who walk swiftly with denim skin on their legs and refuse socks.
Those who, in their rightest mind, are the wrongest-minded.
Those who can reject privilege only because they are privileged,
who, in their uniform whiteness, denounce racism,
who, in their uniform straightness, claim immune to homophobia
who, with their ***** ***** in a row, claim to be feminists.

And those who search for revolution in a time when rebellion is conformity.
Listening to the  pounding sound of blog-protesters typing n o w.
who, in claiming to accept, don’t accept the unaccepting,
who got veggies tattooed on their sides while snapping bacon in their teeth,
who ironically infiltrated asylums and performed madness until the shocks came
and they were maddened, for good, eaten alive by volts resounding
ka-ching, ka-ching, ka-ching.
Who sleep naked together to be together but end up being alone,
exchanges from lips that move in pretentious drone,
and the dog chases its tail, endlessly.
When the abnormal is normal and the whole structure is inverted and
heaven is here and flames under the soil are no longer hell burning for soles of the
Converse, Adidas, and Nike sneakers on the bicycle pedals of poets who ride at night,
listening to the sound of owls that question:
who?
whoo?
whooo?
Jennifer French Oct 2012
I know at night
Searching for your warmth,
You're always in arms reach,
but it feels so far.
You're an eternity away,
yet under the same sheet.
I simply roll closer,
Arms searching for skin.
Though it is dark,
Your silhouette is clear.
Briefly I hesitate,
Am I a comfort to you,
As you have become to me?
My arms close the gap.
Your skin it too warm,
My hands are too cold.
You sigh softly, content.
Our legs instinctively intertwine.
Then your hand closes around mine.
When did this become familiar?
Before I can really think,
I'm comforted by your touch.
Your breathing, so steady,
Matched by your heartbeat.
Then, without my consent,
Without my conscious present,
I begin dreaming.
Carmelo Antone Feb 2012
Regrettably recording these words,
I’m not a poet or else this would probably flow,
Though I could care less if you don’t want to hear what I have to say

Because I’m comforted by a chance to reason the existence of a soul,
So I could care less if you don’t need to be told that, I’m human and oh so vulnerable
What more can I ask for?

Able to feel the consequence of lusting for something more,
I’m lucky enough to have escaped the 21st century womb,
And avoid the convenience of a couple cuddling with a contraceptive

Understanding that I might just get one chance to say,
I’ve wanted to make the most of my time
Since I’m physically deprived,
What more can we ask for?

Not sure what will happen when these lids seal eyes that were once bloodshot,
I’m so scared of what lies after a life,
My molecularly defected design,

So I must reconcile with the fact that,
My chance to survive without a heart and mind,
Depends on how I use this time,
As we look for the divine our intelligence derived,

Glad to possibly experience the consequence of stepping out of line,
So I could care less if you think I’m a detriment to society
Since I desire to exist beyond the confines of what can be physically defined,

Happy to discover that the divine was not stamped on the penny or the dime
I’m now comforted by the consequences of being materialistically maimed,
Because I didn't find spirituality through Sunday sips of wine

Almost six feet down and comforted by our unknowns,
Maybe you’ll remember me if you made sense of this,
Because I’ve been counting the days before I’ll realize,
If I made the most of my existence
Poem taken from student portfolio
It is full winter now:  the trees are bare,
Save where the cattle huddle from the cold
Beneath the pine, for it doth never wear
The autumn’s gaudy livery whose gold
Her jealous brother pilfers, but is true
To the green doublet; bitter is the wind, as though it blew

From Saturn’s cave; a few thin wisps of hay
Lie on the sharp black hedges, where the wain
Dragged the sweet pillage of a summer’s day
From the low meadows up the narrow lane;
Upon the half-thawed snow the bleating sheep
Press close against the hurdles, and the shivering house-dogs creep

From the shut stable to the frozen stream
And back again disconsolate, and miss
The bawling shepherds and the noisy team;
And overhead in circling listlessness
The cawing rooks whirl round the frosted stack,
Or crowd the dripping boughs; and in the fen the ice-pools crack

Where the gaunt bittern stalks among the reeds
And ***** his wings, and stretches back his neck,
And hoots to see the moon; across the meads
Limps the poor frightened hare, a little speck;
And a stray seamew with its fretful cry
Flits like a sudden drift of snow against the dull grey sky.

Full winter:  and the ***** goodman brings
His load of ******* from the chilly byre,
And stamps his feet upon the hearth, and flings
The sappy billets on the waning fire,
And laughs to see the sudden lightening scare
His children at their play, and yet,—the spring is in the air;

Already the slim crocus stirs the snow,
And soon yon blanched fields will bloom again
With nodding cowslips for some lad to mow,
For with the first warm kisses of the rain
The winter’s icy sorrow breaks to tears,
And the brown thrushes mate, and with bright eyes the rabbit peers

From the dark warren where the fir-cones lie,
And treads one snowdrop under foot, and runs
Over the mossy knoll, and blackbirds fly
Across our path at evening, and the suns
Stay longer with us; ah! how good to see
Grass-girdled spring in all her joy of laughing greenery

Dance through the hedges till the early rose,
(That sweet repentance of the thorny briar!)
Burst from its sheathed emerald and disclose
The little quivering disk of golden fire
Which the bees know so well, for with it come
Pale boy’s-love, sops-in-wine, and daffadillies all in bloom.

Then up and down the field the sower goes,
While close behind the laughing younker scares
With shrilly whoop the black and thievish crows,
And then the chestnut-tree its glory wears,
And on the grass the creamy blossom falls
In odorous excess, and faint half-whispered madrigals

Steal from the bluebells’ nodding carillons
Each breezy morn, and then white jessamine,
That star of its own heaven, snap-dragons
With lolling crimson tongues, and eglantine
In dusty velvets clad usurp the bed
And woodland empery, and when the lingering rose hath shed

Red leaf by leaf its folded panoply,
And pansies closed their purple-lidded eyes,
Chrysanthemums from gilded argosy
Unload their gaudy scentless merchandise,
And violets getting overbold withdraw
From their shy nooks, and scarlet berries dot the leafless haw.

O happy field! and O thrice happy tree!
Soon will your queen in daisy-flowered smock
And crown of flower-de-luce trip down the lea,
Soon will the lazy shepherds drive their flock
Back to the pasture by the pool, and soon
Through the green leaves will float the hum of murmuring bees at noon.

Soon will the glade be bright with bellamour,
The flower which wantons love, and those sweet nuns
Vale-lilies in their snowy vestiture
Will tell their beaded pearls, and carnations
With mitred dusky leaves will scent the wind,
And straggling traveller’s-joy each hedge with yellow stars will bind.

Dear bride of Nature and most bounteous spring,
That canst give increase to the sweet-breath’d kine,
And to the kid its little horns, and bring
The soft and silky blossoms to the vine,
Where is that old nepenthe which of yore
Man got from poppy root and glossy-berried mandragore!

There was a time when any common bird
Could make me sing in unison, a time
When all the strings of boyish life were stirred
To quick response or more melodious rhyme
By every forest idyll;—do I change?
Or rather doth some evil thing through thy fair pleasaunce range?

Nay, nay, thou art the same:  ’tis I who seek
To vex with sighs thy simple solitude,
And because fruitless tears bedew my cheek
Would have thee weep with me in brotherhood;
Fool! shall each wronged and restless spirit dare
To taint such wine with the salt poison of own despair!

Thou art the same:  ’tis I whose wretched soul
Takes discontent to be its paramour,
And gives its kingdom to the rude control
Of what should be its servitor,—for sure
Wisdom is somewhere, though the stormy sea
Contain it not, and the huge deep answer ‘’Tis not in me.’

To burn with one clear flame, to stand *****
In natural honour, not to bend the knee
In profitless prostrations whose effect
Is by itself condemned, what alchemy
Can teach me this? what herb Medea brewed
Will bring the unexultant peace of essence not subdued?

The minor chord which ends the harmony,
And for its answering brother waits in vain
Sobbing for incompleted melody,
Dies a swan’s death; but I the heir of pain,
A silent Memnon with blank lidless eyes,
Wait for the light and music of those suns which never rise.

The quenched-out torch, the lonely cypress-gloom,
The little dust stored in the narrow urn,
The gentle XAIPE of the Attic tomb,—
Were not these better far than to return
To my old fitful restless malady,
Or spend my days within the voiceless cave of misery?

Nay! for perchance that poppy-crowned god
Is like the watcher by a sick man’s bed
Who talks of sleep but gives it not; his rod
Hath lost its virtue, and, when all is said,
Death is too rude, too obvious a key
To solve one single secret in a life’s philosophy.

And Love! that noble madness, whose august
And inextinguishable might can slay
The soul with honeyed drugs,—alas! I must
From such sweet ruin play the runaway,
Although too constant memory never can
Forget the arched splendour of those brows Olympian

Which for a little season made my youth
So soft a swoon of exquisite indolence
That all the chiding of more prudent Truth
Seemed the thin voice of jealousy,—O hence
Thou huntress deadlier than Artemis!
Go seek some other quarry! for of thy too perilous bliss.

My lips have drunk enough,—no more, no more,—
Though Love himself should turn his gilded prow
Back to the troubled waters of this shore
Where I am wrecked and stranded, even now
The chariot wheels of passion sweep too near,
Hence!  Hence!  I pass unto a life more barren, more austere.

More barren—ay, those arms will never lean
Down through the trellised vines and draw my soul
In sweet reluctance through the tangled green;
Some other head must wear that aureole,
For I am hers who loves not any man
Whose white and stainless ***** bears the sign Gorgonian.

Let Venus go and chuck her dainty page,
And kiss his mouth, and toss his curly hair,
With net and spear and hunting equipage
Let young Adonis to his tryst repair,
But me her fond and subtle-fashioned spell
Delights no more, though I could win her dearest citadel.

Ay, though I were that laughing shepherd boy
Who from Mount Ida saw the little cloud
Pass over Tenedos and lofty Troy
And knew the coming of the Queen, and bowed
In wonder at her feet, not for the sake
Of a new Helen would I bid her hand the apple take.

Then rise supreme Athena argent-limbed!
And, if my lips be musicless, inspire
At least my life:  was not thy glory hymned
By One who gave to thee his sword and lyre
Like AEschylos at well-fought Marathon,
And died to show that Milton’s England still could bear a son!

And yet I cannot tread the Portico
And live without desire, fear and pain,
Or nurture that wise calm which long ago
The grave Athenian master taught to men,
Self-poised, self-centred, and self-comforted,
To watch the world’s vain phantasies go by with unbowed head.

Alas! that serene brow, those eloquent lips,
Those eyes that mirrored all eternity,
Rest in their own Colonos, an eclipse
Hath come on Wisdom, and Mnemosyne
Is childless; in the night which she had made
For lofty secure flight Athena’s owl itself hath strayed.

Nor much with Science do I care to climb,
Although by strange and subtle witchery
She drew the moon from heaven:  the Muse Time
Unrolls her gorgeous-coloured tapestry
To no less eager eyes; often indeed
In the great epic of Polymnia’s scroll I love to read

How Asia sent her myriad hosts to war
Against a little town, and panoplied
In gilded mail with jewelled scimitar,
White-shielded, purple-crested, rode the Mede
Between the waving poplars and the sea
Which men call Artemisium, till he saw Thermopylae

Its steep ravine spanned by a narrow wall,
And on the nearer side a little brood
Of careless lions holding festival!
And stood amazed at such hardihood,
And pitched his tent upon the reedy shore,
And stayed two days to wonder, and then crept at midnight o’er

Some unfrequented height, and coming down
The autumn forests treacherously slew
What Sparta held most dear and was the crown
Of far Eurotas, and passed on, nor knew
How God had staked an evil net for him
In the small bay at Salamis,—and yet, the page grows dim,

Its cadenced Greek delights me not, I feel
With such a goodly time too out of tune
To love it much:  for like the Dial’s wheel
That from its blinded darkness strikes the noon
Yet never sees the sun, so do my eyes
Restlessly follow that which from my cheated vision flies.

O for one grand unselfish simple life
To teach us what is Wisdom! speak ye hills
Of lone Helvellyn, for this note of strife
Shunned your untroubled crags and crystal rills,
Where is that Spirit which living blamelessly
Yet dared to kiss the smitten mouth of his own century!

Speak ye Rydalian laurels! where is he
Whose gentle head ye sheltered, that pure soul
Whose gracious days of uncrowned majesty
Through lowliest conduct touched the lofty goal
Where love and duty mingle!  Him at least
The most high Laws were glad of, he had sat at Wisdom’s feast;

But we are Learning’s changelings, know by rote
The clarion watchword of each Grecian school
And follow none, the flawless sword which smote
The pagan Hydra is an effete tool
Which we ourselves have blunted, what man now
Shall scale the august ancient heights and to old Reverence bow?

One such indeed I saw, but, Ichabod!
Gone is that last dear son of Italy,
Who being man died for the sake of God,
And whose unrisen bones sleep peacefully,
O guard him, guard him well, my Giotto’s tower,
Thou marble lily of the lily town! let not the lour

Of the rude tempest vex his slumber, or
The Arno with its tawny troubled gold
O’er-leap its marge, no mightier conqueror
Clomb the high Capitol in the days of old
When Rome was indeed Rome, for Liberty
Walked like a bride beside him, at which sight pale Mystery

Fled shrieking to her farthest sombrest cell
With an old man who grabbled rusty keys,
Fled shuddering, for that immemorial knell
With which oblivion buries dynasties
Swept like a wounded eagle on the blast,
As to the holy heart of Rome the great triumvir passed.

He knew the holiest heart and heights of Rome,
He drave the base wolf from the lion’s lair,
And now lies dead by that empyreal dome
Which overtops Valdarno hung in air
By Brunelleschi—O Melpomene
Breathe through thy melancholy pipe thy sweetest threnody!

Breathe through the tragic stops such melodies
That Joy’s self may grow jealous, and the Nine
Forget awhile their discreet emperies,
Mourning for him who on Rome’s lordliest shrine
Lit for men’s lives the light of Marathon,
And bare to sun-forgotten fields the fire of the sun!

O guard him, guard him well, my Giotto’s tower!
Let some young Florentine each eventide
Bring coronals of that enchanted flower
Which the dim woods of Vallombrosa hide,
And deck the marble tomb wherein he lies
Whose soul is as some mighty orb unseen of mortal eyes;

Some mighty orb whose cycled wanderings,
Being tempest-driven to the farthest rim
Where Chaos meets Creation and the wings
Of the eternal chanting Cherubim
Are pavilioned on Nothing, passed away
Into a moonless void,—and yet, though he is dust and clay,

He is not dead, the immemorial Fates
Forbid it, and the closing shears refrain.
Lift up your heads ye everlasting gates!
Ye argent clarions, sound a loftier strain
For the vile thing he hated lurks within
Its sombre house, alone with God and memories of sin.

Still what avails it that she sought her cave
That murderous mother of red harlotries?
At Munich on the marble architrave
The Grecian boys die smiling, but the seas
Which wash AEgina fret in loneliness
Not mirroring their beauty; so our lives grow colourless

For lack of our ideals, if one star
Flame torch-like in the heavens the unjust
Swift daylight kills it, and no trump of war
Can wake to passionate voice the silent dust
Which was Mazzini once! rich Niobe
For all her stony sorrows hath her sons; but Italy,

What Easter Day shall make her children rise,
Who were not Gods yet suffered? what sure feet
Shall find their grave-clothes folded? what clear eyes
Shall see them ******?  O it were meet
To roll the stone from off the sepulchre
And kiss the bleeding roses of their wounds, in love of her,

Our Italy! our mother visible!
Most blessed among nations and most sad,
For whose dear sake the young Calabrian fell
That day at Aspromonte and was glad
That in an age when God was bought and sold
One man could die for Liberty! but we, burnt out and cold,

See Honour smitten on the cheek and gyves
Bind the sweet feet of Mercy:  Poverty
Creeps through our sunless lanes and with sharp knives
Cuts the warm throats of children stealthily,
And no word said:- O we are wretched men
Unworthy of our great inheritance! where is the pen

Of austere Milton? where the mighty sword
Which slew its master righteously? the years
Have lost their ancient leader, and no word
Breaks from the voiceless tripod on our ears:
While as a ruined mother in some spasm
Bears a base child and loathes it, so our best enthusiasm

Genders unlawful children, Anarchy
Freedom’s own Judas, the vile prodigal
Licence who steals the gold of Liberty
And yet has nothing, Ignorance the real
One Fraticide since Cain, Envy the asp
That stings itself to anguish, Avarice whose palsied grasp

Is in its extent stiffened, moneyed Greed
For whose dull appetite men waste away
Amid the whirr of wheels and are the seed
Of things which slay their sower, these each day
Sees rife in England, and the gentle feet
Of Beauty tread no more the stones of each unlovely street.

What even Cromwell spared is desecrated
By **** and worm, left to the stormy play
Of wind and beating snow, or renovated
By more destructful hands:  Time’s worst decay
Will wreathe its ruins with some loveliness,
But these new Vandals can but make a rain-proof barrenness.

Where is that Art which bade the Angels sing
Through Lincoln’s lofty choir, till the air
Seems from such marble harmonies to ring
With sweeter song than common lips can dare
To draw from actual reed? ah! where is now
The cunning hand which made the flowering hawthorn branches bow

For Southwell’s arch, and carved the House of One
Who loved the lilies of the field with all
Our dearest English flowers? the same sun
Rises for us:  the seasons natural
Weave the same tapestry of green and grey:
The unchanged hills are with us:  but that Spirit hath passed away.

And yet perchance it may be better so,
For Tyranny is an incestuous Queen,
****** her brother is her bedfellow,
And the Plague chambers with her:  in obscene
And ****** paths her treacherous feet are set;
Better the empty desert and a soul inviolate!

For gentle brotherhood, the harmony
Of living in the healthful air, the swift
Clean beauty of strong limbs when men are free
And women chaste, these are the things which lift
Our souls up more than even Agnolo’s
Gaunt blinded Sibyl poring o’er the scroll of human woes,

Or Titian’s little maiden on the stair
White as her own sweet lily and as tall,
Or Mona Lisa smiling through her hair,—
Ah! somehow life is bigger after all
Than any painted angel, could we see
The God that is within us!  The old Greek serenity

Which curbs the passion of that
Sibyl Vane Mar 2014
"She will dance with me,"
He murmured to himself,
"If I bring her a white rose,
Pure as a snowflake,
And sweet as a summer day."

Sitting there in the garden,
His blue eyes fell shut
As the wind ran her fingers
Through his dark hair.
His lips parted in a sigh,
Enjoying the warm afternoon sun
And the thoughts of the one he loves.

"His is the song I've sung
My entire life,"
Chirped the little nightingale,
"Without knowing it,
I have told his story a thousand times
To the moon and the stars
That light the night sky.
I've sung of hope and joy
And True Love and
Happily Ever Afters
To the trees and the flowers
That in this garden grow."

But the young man cried,
"But I have no rose to give her!"
He covered his face with his hands
And cried.
His whole body shook
As the hope for real love,
The kind that many people
Spend their whole lives looking for
In all the wrong places,
Flew away in the wind.
"She'll never realize I am the one for her,
If I cannot find a white rose
And ask her to dance,"
He cried.

The little nightingale's heart was touched
By the young lover.
She cried out her song for him,
For all the lost loves in the world.
He, she determined, was not going to be one of them.
The nightingale decided that
She would find him a rose,
With which he could woo the girl he so loved.

She flew on delicate wings to the rose bush
That grew beside the fountain.
"If you would give me a pure white rose,
I will sing you my sweetest song
All the nights of my life."
But the rose bush answered,
"I have only yellow roses,
Bright as lemons and sunshine,
And sweet as springtime honey.
Ask my brother who climbs the arbor,
He may give you what you desire."

So the sweet nightingale flew to the rose vine
That was tangled on the arbor.
"If you would give me a pure white rose,
I will sing you my sweetest song
All the nights of my life."
But the rose vine replied,
"I have only pink roses,
Pink as a maiden's blush
On the day she weds her beau.
Ask my brother who grows
Under the young man's window.
He may give you what you desire."

So the nightingale flew to the rose bush
That grew under the young man's window.
"If you would give me a pure white rose,
I will sing you my sweetest song
All the nights of my life."
To which the rose bush replied,
"I have only red roses,
Dark and rich as faerie wine,
Red as the blood of your heart,
Sweeter than stolen kisses under the moon.
But I can give you a white rose."
Filled with hope and joy,
The nightingale replied,
"I will give anything for a white rose,
What must I do?"
The rose bush shook its petals sadly.
"The way is too awful.
I cannot tell you."
The nightingale knew the value of love;
She would do anything for the rose.
"There is a way, little bird.
By moonlight you must come close
And press you breast against my thorns.
Love is sharp and you must not be afraid.
You must sing your sweetest song all night,
And press closer to me,
Until my thorn pierces your heart
And all your heart-blood runs out.
It is the only way."

The nightingale thought about this.
"What price would not be paid for love?
How much greater is the love of this young man
Than the life of a little bird?
This I will gladly do,
For true love's sake."

So the nightingale flew across the garden,
Where the lover had not yet dried
The tears from his eyes.
His cheeks were stained
Pink with his sadness,
His eyes shimmered with tears yet unreleased.
She sang to him to be hopeful,
To believe in his love,
And that all will be well.
The blue-eyed young man
Smiled at the nightingale,
For her song was beautiful,
Though he did not understand.

The nightingale flew about the garden,
Enjoying the beauty of life.
She sang to the oak trees and the daffodils,
And they wept that they would not hear her song again.
They were comforted that she would be silenced for love,
For love has no price too great.

The earth ate the last rays of the sun
And the moon shone
Wan and pallid in the night sky.
She, too, was sad to hear only this one last song
From the nightingale.

Then the bird flew to the red rose bush
And pressed her breast against the thorn.
She sang her sweetest song.
It was so beautiful that all the dead lovers of the world
Shuddered in their graves
With the reminder of the love in life,
The wind joined her voice with the nightingale's
And carried her song to the ends of the the earth,
To the darkest caves where Echo returned it,
To the ocean's waves that kept the time,
To the peaceful moors where the grass danced along,
To the sleeping child to give her sweet dreams.

"Closer, closer!"
Urged the rose bush,
"I must taste your heart's blood
Before dawn,
Or the rose will not be done."

So the nightingale pressed closer still to the thorn
As the rose bush spun the most beautiful rose
It had ever spun.
But red! A red red rose it was.
"Closer still!"
Cried the rose bush,
And the nightingale pressed closer until her heart was pricked.
A bolt of pain struck the nightingale
And her song rang out through the garden,
Her melody, sweet with love and anguish,
Reached the ears of the young man.
He sat up in his bed,
And was so moved by the nightingale's song,
He stayed awake to listen.

As the nightingale's heart-blood poured onto the rose,
The reddest rose washed white as a freshly fallen snow,
Her tears mingled with the blood,
For only blood can wash out blood,
And only tears can heal.
And so the red rose became white,
As dewdrops and starlight,
As the nightingale's voice grew faint.
And she fell to the ground as the first breath of dawn
Shone gray on the horizon.

The whole garden heaved a sigh
As the nightingale's song was done.
A chorus of flowers and crickets and wind
Sang their mournful song
For the little nightingale
Who gave her life for love.

When the sun had risen in the sky,
The young man walked out into the garden
And saw the white rose.
Carefully he cut it, admiring its beauty.
He did not notice the nightingale,
Laying dead on the ground.

He gazed at the rose in awe,
And inhaled its damask perfume.
It smelled of starlight and sweet dreams,
Of mothers' lullabies and midnight kisses,
Of laughter and heartache,
Of True Love and tender death.

"This is the rose for my beloved,"
He said to himself,
And he prepared himself for the ball.

That night, when the sun had set again,
He met his fair lady, whom he so dearly loved.
"This rose is for you, so that you will dance with me."
He handed her the rose, the white rose with no thorns.
She took it gently, breathing in its scent.

"Dear boy, I will dance with you tonight."

He took her hand and led her out onto the floor.
They danced and danced
All through the evening,
More than rules of decency allow.
She smiled and laughed and fell in love.

When the evening closed
And it was time to go home,
She held the white rose close to her heart
And breathed in its sweet perfume.
Her heart was happy
And faintly, a nightingale's song
Seemed to whisper in her ear.
She grabbed the young man by the hand,
The man whom she loved.

"I will dance with you all the nights of my life,
If you so desire," she whispered.
"My darling, I desire no more," the young man smiled,
His blue eyes sparkling in the lamplight.

For love is a silly thing.
It is not half so useful as logic,
But it is twice so important.
True Love tells only things
That are the most true.
It tells of joy and comfort,
But also of sacrifice and pain.
And in this age,
Though to be practical is everything,
Love is the most important of all.
This was inspired by Oscar Wilde's short story, The Rose and the Nightingale, and a couple lines were taken from the Ballad of Reading Gaol, among other works by Wilde. I didn't like how his story ended, so I changed it. It's a story of love and sacrifice now, instead of being a picture of the modern day. It's hope.
Benji James Dec 2018
VERSE ONE
She's bleeding from her lip
From every time he hit
Can't believe that she
Just turned up on my doorstep
Looking like this
And all that I can think
Is how much I want to **** him
Better help her in
Come on let's get you cleaned up
Tell me what happened
Tell me everything he did
Firstly let me clean the bloodstains
from beneath your lips
Wipe the smudged mascara
from beneath your eyes
Seeing you hurt like this
Hurts me deep inside
Gotta be strong for you
Make sure you're comforted
Reassure you everything is gonna be alright
Meanwhile, body temperatures raising
As anger boils deep within
All these thoughts come flooding in

PRE CHORUS
I'm not sure I can keep
All of this rage caged
Killer instincts kicking in
And all I want is revenge on him
For treating you like this
Gotta stay calm,
Keep this girls mind at ease
Help her rest and heal
And as I wipe the blood from your lips
ever so gently
As I wipe the tears from your eyes
You look deep into mine
with every ounce of strength,
she had left she said
please don't go after him
even after all he did

CHORUS
And as she takes my hand she says
You're different
All I need is for you to be there
I just need someone who really cares
Someone to wipe away these tears
You're the one guy who tames my fears
I don't need any more protection
then you already give
And I don't want you to end up like him
Even though the love I have for him
Runs deep, I see his faults
But I know his needs
And he is such a big part of my heart
His my addiction, my drug
Don't expect you to understand
I see the mess this is, I can't stop my love for him

VERSE TWO
All these words, I soak them in
All these thoughts
are running up and down my mind
How could she not let me step in
This hurting could stop right here
I'm giving her everything,
She just wants me to sit back
Watch from the sidelines
While she takes on this fight
Why won't she let me stand at her side?
And all of this confusion envelops in me
I'm losing focus, Push this to the back of my head
Need to take care of her here and now
Because she needs you here most
I carry her into the bed tuck her in
As I crash back on the couch
All of the things she said to me replay

PRE CHORUS
I'm not sure I can keep
All of this rage caged
Killer instincts kicking in
And all I want is revenge on him
For treating you like this
Gotta stay calm,
Keep this girls mind at ease
Help her rest and heal
And as I wipe the blood from your lips
ever so gently
As I wipe the tears from your eyes
You look deep into mine
with every ounce of strength,
she had left she said
please don't go after him
even after all he did

CHORUS
And as she takes my hand she says
You're different
All I need is for you to be there
I just need someone who really cares
Someone to wipe away these tears
You're the one guy who tames my fears
I don't need any more protection
then you already give
And I don't want you to end up like him
Even though the love I have for him
Runs deep, I see his faults
But I know his needs
And he is such a big part of my heart
His my addiction, my drug
Don't expect you to understand
I see the mess this is, I can't stop my love for him

VERSE THREE
As I wake the next morn
I go to the bedroom to check on her
I see an empty bed well made
on the bedside desk, a neat note laid
Saying thank you for everything you did
Repairing and mending me back to health
I couldn't have a better friend
Sorry I left before you awoke
Just had to get home
Just want you to know
I'm thankful and grateful for all that you are
You'll always be the brightest shining star
Guiding and watching me from afar
And as cheesy as it sounds
It brings a smile to my face
And for a slight moment concern leaves my conscience
But I hold out hope everything is gonna be okay
That's when images of last night run before my eyes

PRE CHORUS
I'm not sure I can keep
All of this rage caged
Killer instincts kicking in
And all I want is revenge on him
For treating you like this
Gotta stay calm,
Keep this girls mind at ease
Help her rest and heal
And as I wipe the blood from your lips
ever so gently
As I wipe the tears from your eyes
You look deep into mine
with every ounce of strength,
she had left she said
please don't go after him
even after all he did

CHORUS
And as she takes my hand she says
You're different
All I need is for you to be there
I just need someone who really cares
Someone to wipe away these tears
You're the one guy who tames my fears
I don't need any more protection
then you already give
And I don't want you to end up like him
Even though the love I have for him
Runs deep, I see his faults
But I know his needs
And he is such a big part of my heart
His my addiction, my drug
Don't expect you to understand
I see the mess this is, I can't stop my love for him

VERSE FOUR
Another night, another microwave meal
It's been a while since she last came over
Must be working out,
the counselling must be helping them now
And for once in my life I'm relieved
Knowing she's happy calms my mind
I watch the clock tick time passes by
through montaged scenes
This feels like a happy ending to this story
And photographs of you and I
Are packed in a box
I only open it up from time to time
Childhood memories captured in polaroid frames
I like reminiscing about all those good times
Everything was different then
Together just you and I
Hanging every day and every night
until you moved on with your life
that is just a perfect memory captured in my mind

PRE CHORUS
All of this rage is caged
Calm and content I've stayed
The revenge I wanted on him
Has been forgotten
Even after all he did
I'm calm, breathing and relaxed
My minds at ease
We're both rested and healed
The bloodstained cloths
that cleansed your lips are cleaned
ever so gently you're easing my emotions
As I wipe the tears from my eyes
I think of the way you always look into mine
with every ounce of strength,
You've made me a better man
She was right in what she said
even after all he did

CHORUS
Still feel the tender touch of your hand
And I remember every word she said
You're different
All I need is for you to be there
I just need someone who really cares
Someone to wipe away these tears
You're the one guy who tames my fears
I don't need any more protection
then you already give
And I don't want you to end up like him
Even though the love I have for him
Runs deep, I see his faults
But I know his needs
And he is such a big part of my heart
His my addiction, my drug
Don't expect you to understand
I see the mess this is, I can't stop my love for him
And all I can think is how lucky he is
To have a girl like you

VERSE FIVE
As I sit on my couch watching tv
It's been months since she last seen me
When I hear a soft knock at the door
I open it up to see you sitting on the pavement
outside of my front door
she is leaning against the brick wall
Head in her hands, crying
Tears constantly streaming down her cheeks
Bruised arms, black eyes
She looked at me and said
I'm bleeding from my lip
From when he hit
That sentence just tore me to bits
Gotta be strong, Take care of her first
Then I'll hunt him down and make him hurt
Shes covered in scratches, puffy eyes
He really lost control this time
And I'm about to lose mine
I pick her up and bring her in
Pull out the first aid kit,
A warm washer to clean her up
Every dab soft and tender to the touch
I won't hurt you like him ever
I'm the one who will make this all better

PRE CHORUS
I'm not sure I can keep
All of this rage caged
Killer instincts kicking in
And all I want is revenge on him
For treating you like this
Gotta stay calm,
Keep this girls mind at ease
Help her rest and heal
And as I wipe the blood from your lips
ever so gently
As I wipe the tears from your eyes
You look deep into mine
with every ounce of strength,
she had left she said
please don't go after him
even after all he did

CHORUS
And as she takes my hand she says
You're different
All I need is for you to be there
I just need someone who really cares
Someone to wipe away these tears
You're the one guy who tames my fears
I don't need any more protection
then you already give
And I don't want you to end up like him
Even though the love I have for him
Runs deep, I see his faults
But I know his needs
And he is such a big part of my heart
His my addiction, my drug
Don't expect you to understand
I see the mess this is, I can't stop my love for him

VERSE SIX
That time those words don't cut it
Now the hunters become the hunted
I tuck her into bed to sleep
stay with her until she falls into dreams
I watch her smile and breathe as she lays peacefully asleep
I go around to her house just when he walks out
I strike him hard and fast, I made him bleed so much blood
All the pain he put her through I made sure he felt that too
I couldn't keep that rage caged
had to let it out and get revenge
One day she will understand
I did what was best for her
I won't ever let her hurt
He got a few shots in
But nothing compared to what I did to him
Stitches in my hand and brow
I left him hospitalised
I'll never forget the look she gave
when she found out

PRE CHORUS
I tried to explain
I couldn't keep this rage caged
Killer instincts kicked in
And I got my revenge on him
For treating you like this
Didn't stay calm
Didn't keep her mind at ease
Help her rest and heal
I wiped the blood from her lips
I wiped the tears from your eyes
What he did to you killed me inside
with every ounce of strength,
And everything I am
I went after him
after all, he did

CHORUS
This time she didn't take my hand
And I knew I wasn't going to be a fan
of what she had to say
I regret putting my trust and faith in you
You aren't different
All I needed was for you to be there
I just needed someone who really cared
Someone to wipe away these tears
You were the one guy who tamed my fears
I didn't need any more protection
that you hadn't already given
I didn't want you to be like him
Violence never solved anything
I was ready to leave him for you
You went against everything I said
My love and admiration for you ran deep,
I see your faults
I know your needs
But now you have betrayed me
You were such a big part of my heart
You could have been my addiction, my drug
I was hoping you would listen and understand
Not go after him like you did
I can see the mess this is, my hearts been shattered
Beyond repair, I never want to see you again
Those lines run on repeat through my head.

©2018 Written By Benji James
With a whole lot of new followers since I last uploaded this and being one of my favourite pieces I wrote this year...I just had to Reupload these lyrics.
P.s it is pretty long, so it you manage to make it through the whole piece congratulations. (Claps)
Sally A Bayan Nov 2013
same setting from a year ago...
i am not sure why, but
before the clock strikes twelve midnight,
my eyes would surely open
no matter what.
coffee in bed right now,
with a few cookies to munch....
my bifocals, where are they?
i need them now...i could vaguely see
something crawls on the carpet,
making rounds, circling my bed...
oh, no, it is hopping towards my comforter...
I stretch a leg beneath the pillows
something moves very near my toes.
i withdraw my leg, alarmed,
as it quickly disappears...
...then reappears!  now stationary...
this is starting to annoy me...
I poke it with a pencil,
fear no longer present,
now, with my bifocals found.
but it hops.....and hops...
and hops into hiding
down.....down.....below,
somewhere inside my comforter.
In lieu of me, it is now the  comforted.
it is taking too long to come out.
.....something i realized just now.....
could it be possible, could it remember...
i was kind enough not to use a swatter before....
why, i feel like i am being welcomed!
we are playing hide-and-seek,
a welcome dance it is!
here and now, just like before
from last  autumn,
we are finally reunited,
my cricket friend and i....

  S a l l y
  Copyright  2013
     Rosalia Rosario A. Bayan
dove Dec 2017
the universe tends to not care. it is only the things that are in the universe that have that capability. i think it's because caring is hard and it takes a lot of work and if the thing you care about leaves or dies or worse, it hurts (god does it hurt. a side effect of caring is disappointment). and the universe knows this. the universe has felt the pain and doesn't care for it much (even if the universe deserves it). so she decided to become dark, cold, uncaring. she liked to call it “liberosis” (an ache to let things go). and i would like to believe that at a certain point the universe wasn’t like this, but i’ve read science books before. the only time the universe ever changes is when something unfortunate happens (the universe is forced to feel something; she can’t escape from it). two planets collide, a meteor kills off an entire species, black holes that take everything from the universe and give nothing in return (they are the worst. the universe thought she had a sun. but the sun became an anomaly. one day her sun’s gravity became too large and it changed the sun. and that transition from creator of light and warmth to a taker, a gravity well, vantablack.). so the universe remained dark, cold, uncaring for what it felt like centuries. she became bored with doing the same thing over and over again everyday, so she decided to look around. and that’s when the universe met the world. now, the world was a peculiarity (not in a bad way though. she just stood out from everything else). the other planets were lifeless and blended in with the darkness, but she seemed comfortable with the quietness of it all. the universe used to feel the same; she loved the silence (well, that was true until she heard the world speak. and god did that change everything). it seemed as if the two entities were polar opposites. the universe was empty, the world was full of love (and sometimes hate, but it’s better than nothing). the universe felt so bland. wherever you look in the universe, it’s all the same. black emptiness filling most of the void with a few stars and planets sprinkled here and there (but what you have to realize is that just because beautiful things, like stars, are inside the universe doesn’t mean a thing to the universe itself. you are not just what you see of yourself, you are what others perceive you to be. and that’s a very scary thing. there’s this phrase called “catoptric tristesse” that represents “the sadness that you’ll never really know what other people think of you, whether good, bad or if at all” ). on the other hand, the world contained the most prepossessing flowers the universe had ever seen (the universe soon realized how much she related to the flowers. they are stuck, rooted to the ground. until someone decides to pick them and take them home to plant them in a nice *** and water them everyday and take care of them. but sometimes the person doesn’t take them home. sometimes the person picks them and gives them false hope. then the person throws them away and leaves them to wilt. the universe felt comforted by the idea that she was not the only one this had happened to). the world had clouds that the universe enjoyed because it made her realize that it’s okay to block the sun every once in awhile to let it rain (the sun can be quite overwhelming, especially when you don’t have the energy to appreciate it). the world also had this moon that orbits her, showing the universe that sometimes change can be beautiful. and there are so many other things that make the world so breathtaking that the universe notices everyday but to list them all would be impossible. plus, it’s not like the world notices these things herself (there was this one quote about butterflies and how their wings are so beautiful but they can’t see them. they can’t appreciate their own beauty). then there was this weird shift between the two entities. i think the universe fell in love. she doesn’t remember falling for the world, but she just noticed when she held the world’s hand she would become saddened by the idea that at some point she would have to let go. she noticed how frequently she would bring her up in conversation as if the world was always on her mind. she noticed the amount of attention she gave the world to small things (her movements and words were too elegant to ignore). and the icing on the cake was the fact that the universe started to care again. the universe cared about the world. and now the universe is scared. she hasn’t cared in a long time (she hasn’t really been happy either). like i wrote before, a side effect of caring is disappointment. but the universe would take that risk for the world.
i wrote this one a while back; it isn't really a poem, but i thought i'd share.
Sam Manfre May 2019
Strangely comforted by nature;
to be silent with what always is.

I fear dawn is about to fall.

Comforted by the fisherman at sea.
Symmetrical lights sway above the shoreline.
Tiptoeing along the tide,
effortless fun.
Fun just by being.
I smoked into the night.
Or maybe the night was looking at me;
whispering gaze beckoning me to search the vast bay water.
What could bob to the surface for a foolish wanderer.

I took the face the moon offered on a cratered platter,
and walked home
lusting over new horizons
I am quite excited for calm, comforting summer nights
A MAN that had six mortal wounds, a man
Violent and famous, strode among the dead;
Eyes stared out of the branches and were gone.

Then certain Shrouds that muttered head to head
Came and were gone.  He leant upon a tree
As though to meditate on wounds and blood.

A Shroud that seemed to have authority
Among those bird-like things came, and let fall
A bundle of linen.  Shrouds by two and thrce

Came creeping up because the man was still.
And thereupon that linen-carrier said:
"Your life can grow much sweeter if you will

"Obey our ancient rule and make a shroud;
Mainly because of what we only know
The rattle of those arms makes us afraid.

"We thread the needles' eyes, and all we do
All must together do.' That done, the man
Took up the nearest and began to sew.

"Now must we sing and sing the best we can,
But first you must be told our character:
Convicted cowards all, by kindred slain

"Or driven from home and left to dic in fear.'
They sang, but had nor human tunes nor words,
Though all was done in common as before;

They had changed their thtoats and had the throats of
birds.
Amber Rush Nov 2015
First I would like to thank everyone for being here today to pay his or her respects to my grandfather Robert Sohm. He would be pleased to see so many of his friends and family here today. Whether you knew him as a husband, father, grandfather, or friend, you probably had the same level of appreciation for him that I did.I would sincerely like to thank all of you on behalf of our family.  While we know that Grandpa is deeply deserving of the love you’ve shown, the outpouring of support we’ve received in recent months, weeks, and days has been truly overwhelming

He  lived a full life and had four amazing children and Seven grandchildren one being myself

His wife Pat is a great women. My Grandpa and Grandma were the ideal team.  I’ve often thought of them as the original power couple.  They were inseparable, and took care of each other for 50 years.
She is a huge part of our family and I hope she knows that we will always be here for her. Sometimes I’d wonder how either of them would ever manage should one go before the other, but over the past few days I’ve come to realize and appreciate that many of you will help take care of my Grandma through the tough times to come.  I know she is in good hands.
I know I'm not alone when I say we are always here for you and we love you
and respect you so much. If you ever need anything please do not forget that.

My Grandpa might not be a super hero, but he's my hero.
He's a soldier who had to conquer many battles in his life.
He's a fighter and someone who loved with all of his heart.
He's the "claw", and a best bud
Someone who may not function like everybody else but is able to bluntly tell it like it is and go the extra long mile to get stuff done one handedly
I wanted him to be the one who walked me down the aisle on my big day.
God has made other arrangements for him.
It's hard loosing someone who's your fatherly figure,

He was a caring person but he knew how to stand up for what he believed in and I think everyone here has a good memory of grandpa that they could share. I think we have all had a piece of us taken away but we can rest easy knowing he is in a much better place. My grandpa was a great man. When I think about him the words that come to mind are: my best bud , the claw, caring, humorous,  storyteller, and family man. These are just a few words that come to mind, but it is impossible to summarize how great a person he was in words.

He was a shoulder to lean on, a friend to rely on, and a rock for our whole family. I think about family values and how they aren’t the most important thing to people anymore. My family has always been close and always stuck together. My grandpa's pride and joy was his family.

My earliest memories of time spent with my grandfather are living at and visiting his house when me and my sister were kids. We would hide in the back room and wait for him then sneak out when we thought the coast was clear and he would come chase us pretending to be the claw.

He might have been stern with us, but Grandpa loved us kids. Family brought joy to his life — and he brought joy to us, in his own, sometimes grumpy, way.

We say that he has gone to a better place — but Grandpa will never truly be gone. He is always with each of us who loved him. It is not for us to think of him as if he was lost from our lives, but rather that we continue forth with him as our companion, celebrating and honoring his life. So I’ll think of him with every class that I take because I knew how much he wanted to see me graduate. Remember how he use to always say how someone wasn't so bright, always making sure I have a jacket when it's cold  yet be the one outside on the deck tanning when it's hot and him betting for football games. I'll always remember how much he loved going to Vegas and seeing his favorite saxophone player Carl. I will Be comforted in the memory of his smile… He’ll be in the small things and the quiet moments, forever by my side. I will miss my Grandpa, and will always be grateful for the time and warm memories I have of him.


We little knew that day,
God was going to call your name.
In life we loved you dearly,
In death, we do the same.

It broke our hearts to lose you.
You did not go alone.
For part of us went with you,
The day God called you home.

You left us beautiful memories,
Your love is still our guide.
And although we cannot see you,
You are always at our side.

Our family chain is broken,
And nothing seems the same,
But as God calls us one by one,
The chain will link again.

Where you were once my sunshine you are now my stars
Allania Berkey Mar 2016
The clock struck midnight
I was restless and thoughtful as could be
I noticed that I had been tossing and turning to a beat and rhythm that plunged above in the sky
It was a thunder-storm
bang, crash, thump
The sky illuminated in glory
Envy

The thunder roared and crashed in the middle of the night and the trees helplessly yearned for serenity
Ironic
It was calm earlier that day
Imagine
The breeze was right where it should have been and the sun was warmer than a hot skillet on a stove top
Peace
The sky was fostered in a pacific blue
And the clouds resembled dreams
Love
I remember it was 1:05 pm to be exact and I was feeling blissful
I decided to ride my bike through a quaint old town, two miles west of my house
Adventure
I stopped and stared at this little old man painting in the park
He was painting a tree, with pink, red, purple and gray
Odd
I couldn't help, but noticed how he was enticed by his surroundings
Interesting
I continued to bike away
It was now 2:45pm and I was feeling a bit famished
To the right of me stayed a cunning unforgettable coffee shop
I insisted to go in
Hesitation
Something about that coffee shop struck me that day, just like the little old man painting his introspection in the park
The room reeked in comfort and patience
Something I did not understand
Silence
Contemplatively, I bought a cup of coffee--black, I also companied that coffee with a blue berry scone--my favorite
I sat by the window to admire the sunlight and how the warmth cherished my skin
I sipped my coffee--startled
I noticed something peculiar about this coffee shop and this day
Instantly, I was left with an uneasy and unsettled feeling
Thoughtful
My black coffee was much more bitter than usual
It is as if the taste could not go down my throat
Something was wrong, I felt it
As I looked around the room everyone else was enjoying their cup of coffee
They also seemed to lack any hesitation
The tone in their voices create a harmonic rhythm in conversation
I noticed that every time they took a sip of their coffee they found it sweet, rather than bitter
I turned my head and looked out the window for a moment
Suddenly, I noticed that the sky was diminishing in its tints of blue
Wonder
I looked down at my watch
It was 3:35pm, I had to get home
I paid my bill and scurried onto my bike
Remember
The sky was calm throughout the entirety of the day
It was lovely and ideal--until it wasn't

No one expected a storm
No one expected disaster
But somehow, I did

I laid in bed that night waiting in anticipation
Waiting for my world to collide
Thunder and lighting seemed to have fought its way through the sky
Time
There wasn't enough
Concurrently, I felt bitter-- just like my cup of coffee in that cunning old shop
Ambiguity
I was left without answers
I was left without sugar and cream
creek, scratch, thump
The tree branch slid against the slide of my house
I noticed it all
It's starting
All the anticipation and anxiety I felt throughout the day was finally coming to its end or maybe to its start
The sky started to illuminate an illusion of sunlight
It was 11:30 pm and the day it almost to its end
I laid in bed thinking
I thought about my day and everything that it was missing
I notice it all
The little old man in the park painted a tree with a usual set of pigments, he defined ordinary, while sat alone comforted by the mere work of his creativity
The people in the coffee shop arrayed and encompassed patience, harmony and happiness
I was struck by discomfort because I unware of all those wonderful things
I knew all about the thunder and how it was provoked in the sky
I understood the lighting and its wish to shine
I thought of the beat and tempo that they would together make
Sometimes it was bitter, but sometimes it was sweet
I understood thunder and lighting
I understood why they danced viciously in the sky  
Finally, the clock struck midnight and it was now tomorrow
Fear
The storm was coming to its peak
The thunder fought its way with the lighting just as viciously written words floated on a piece of paper
The lighting struck back with ferocious and willful ambition
Relentless
The lighting held its ground, but didn't give up its hope
BANG
Memories
It was 1:05 am
The storm had reached its end
The thunder and lighting seemed to have parted their ways
Their fight was tortious
Nobody won, rather they both lost
It was 1:25 am
The rain had finally stopped
The trees have found their peace
It was 1:42 am
As I laid in bed, I thought about my day
I just want the storm to stop
Just like the the thunder and lightening, the little old man in the park and the people in that cunning old coffee shop, all have found their comfort and patience
The thunder and lightening have similarly found it in their bitter sweet good bye
It was wonderful
I noticed that as much as they fought throughout that darling midnight blue sky, they were attracted to their rhythm—A rhythm that was worth saving
The sweetness was found in their beat as they danced throughout the night
The thunder and lighting created a bittersweet combination
Just like the coffee I wish I would of had
A natural disaster that was intended to create a craze in the sky
The thunder wanted to be sweet, as did the lighting
Two peas in two different pods
Their negativity created the sweet appreciation of warm sunlight
I notice it all
The sun was the sweet
The day was calm
The thunder and lightening both knew it all too well
That night, the reminder of it anyways, I laid in bed and I knew that someday the storm would go away
It was 2:25 am and I finally shut my eyes
Lady Ravenhill Jul 2019
Today is my Mother, Donna’s, birthday. She would have been 66 years old today. I would have called her from North Carolina to see how she was, where she was going out to celebrate, what she ordered for dinner with Dad and just catch up on things. I would tell her about my art work and my husband’s newest antics. I would ask about family, and the house, and her eagels she loved so much. She would tell me about the newest natural remedy she had learned about and new music she was listening too. But of course, I can not call her today, as there are no phones in heaven. But I can talk about her today here with my family. As we few, who loved her most, are gathered here today to remember not just her last year but to celebrate her life, and our love for her, here in this charming restaurant. One that she would have likely chosen herself, if not for her birthday today, than for her upcoming wedding anniversary this month to my father, Tony, on which they would have been married for 34 years.

My mother was a warm, compassionate and vibrant woman, who always went out of her way to help and make others feel comfortable, no matter what. She had an air of peace and grace about her which endeared her to everyone who came in contact with her. She was a proud and dignified woman who had a passion for life and family, and an even greater passion in her Lord, Jesus Christ. When I asked her if she could possibly pick a favorite scripture, she hardly paused before answering, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13): a more fitting matto for her life, I could not have ever have chosen. God was her rock and her strength that made her the wonderful woman, mother, wife and sister we all knew and loved until her last day on this earth, Thursday July 4th, 2019.

Donna Susan Duffy was born on this day, July 9th, 1953. She grew up in a small town in Pensylivaina with her parents, Gerome and Susan Duffy and her big brother, Jerry. Although they did not have much, they were always provided for whether by her hard working parents or when in need, through answered prayers. She told me on more than one occasion that she to climb a hill made of coal, both ways, to and from school every day. And just the other day, Uncle Jerry told me about when she was only 5 or 6 years old, their house so small that Donna was still sleeping in a crib in the hallway because there were not enough rooms. When the rent was going up and they had to move, God provided opportunity for her family and they were able to purchase a home for only $3,000 with room for everyone.

Although they did not have much, her mother, Grandma Sue to us, made sure they had what they needed, working even harder after their father Gerome passed away, to provide for her family both physically and spiritually. Instilling in her children the importance of saving, and the value of a deep relationship with God which followed Donna through her life time. On more than one occasion, Mom told me how grateful she was for the piano lessons that her mother made sure were paid, for despite the cost and their circumstances. Something that would become one of the most valuable things in her life: Donna fell in love with the piano and with music.  Her natural talent and passion were obvious to all. As a teen she played in the church in front of the whole congregation and for the choir. Chosen over other pianists older and more experienced than her, especially for her calm and soothing style at the keys that was so unique and beautiful.

Donna married young and left her simple life in Pennsylvania to travel the world as a military spouse. First with airforce and then the navy, she traveled the world with her family and her faith. Growing up I could not get enough of the tales, from both of my parents, about the places they lived around the world during these times: The midnight sun in Iceland, gecos falling from the cealing into the mashed potatoes in Guam, giant Texas chruches, and the perfect 72 degree, San Dego weather.

Of course, I do not know the whole story of Donna’s life and by the time Mom was telling me these things she had stopped her world traveling and settled here, Rochester, Minnesota, in the Great White North. Here is where I lived my mother’s story first hand, with the beautiful, caring, and devoted wife and mother, that was the example of what I wanted to be.

Donna was our rock at home for our family. A Homemaker seems too simple a title for the for all she did for us. She never stopped looking out for us all, Making sure Dad had freshly ironed shirts for the office and buying his favorite foods even when she didn’t like them: like Kraft Mac and Cheese, or braunschweiger. Making sure the pantry was full of Charlie's favorite things (SpaghettiOs and Dr. Pepper) when he was visiting us for the summer. Or stocking up on beauty products for us girls. Mom’s Avon lady of 25 years told me that Mom would open most calls with items she thought we would like lotions and chapstick, and little things she could surprise us with. She showed us in so many ways and how to care for and love others before ourselves.

She was our support, our person, our confidant. As a teen I could go to her with almost anything. She had a standing 9pm phone calls with her brother for the last 10 years. She would have fun little shopping trips and multi hour chitchats with Kelly when Jeremy was out of town. And after us girls moved out she went on regular mini road trips together with her dearhusband on the weekends in his newest and coolest cars. She took great joy in being there for and enjoying time with family.

She was a dedicated piano teacher for all these years in Minnesota, out of our home in the evenings, to numerous children over the years, holding recitals with her students as well as playing for herself and in paise and worship to God. Her private time was often at the piano in her own musical tribute to her Lord lifting her love to heaven in song. She tried to teach my sister and I several times, but neither of us took to it like her. I often wish I had tried harder to devote myself to my mother’s art so I could share in that part of her. Now more than ever. But we did learn so many other wonderful things from her. She taught us to be kind and fair, she taught us to follow our passion, and supported our every dream. And she brought us up in with faith in the Lord. Even when we did not attend church regularly, she would ensure that we had God’s Word in our lives, with bible study and youth groups and her beautiful music.

She taught me how to sew and crochet which I take great joy in today. She told me on several occasions that I must take after her mother, as the passion for crafts must have skipped a generation. Mom taught me etiquette and silks that most others my age are ignorant. I proudly brag to my peers that my mother taught me how to hem a skirt, how to get the stain out of your husband's shirt and how to grow cucumbers in the garden, how to bake a cake from scratch. She also taught us to like healthy foods setting us up for a lifetime of health and a love of good cuisine. I love telling my friends how she got us to like Brussels Sprouts as children by serving them with cheese-wiz.

Of course, daughters are said to become their mothers, often in jest, and some may even fear becoming their mom.  But I can honestly say I have always been proud when I sense my mother's influence in me or when I feel one of her mannerisms come through me. Now, I will be sure to treasure those moments even more.

In our sadness at her leaving this world, I am comforted knowing I don't have to wonder how she would respond, and how she would try to help us through. She would point me to the Word, Point us to God. Perhaps she would quote Psalms 34:18 and say “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit”  Or for my fear of what I will do without her here for council, perhaps she would quote Isaiah 41:10 “Do not fear, for I am with you:, do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you, I will help you with my righteous right hand”. We can lean on her still as she leaned on the Word of God.

My mother, Donna - Our mother. Your wife. Your sister. Your grandmother. Donna, would have been just 66 today. And although it is difficult to be thinking of celebrating anything at this time, so close to her leaving us for heaven, it is precisely in reliving how she lived that will comfort us now. Matthew 5:4 says “Blessed are those who mourn; for they will be comforted.”  Although we now feel the sharp sting of her absence, and the sorrow of what feels like a life cut short. We can be comforted in how she lived it: with faith and love and trust in God above all. She lived with unconditional love for her family and she lived for God. With whom she is celebrating her rebirth in her heavenly form next to Jesus, eternally in joy and in peace.
Eulogy for my mother who passed on July 4th, 2019 - Service on her Birthday July 9th 2019, By Nadia Bruce @LadyRavenhill
Memorial Dinner - Hubbell House, Manterville MN
Jimmy King Jun 2014
If we were the kind of friends who unironically
raised our glasses in toasts,
I would give one to the generation too comforted by the ease
of a honeybee in the plaintively nonexistent mind
of a tulip

To the generation, or at least its subset
that wrongly feels representative, who stumble drunkenly
or maybe just tiredly out of tents
to **** in the view of their friends, who are still at the fire
because the tent was too cold

To those who did raise their glasses in a toast
on New Year’s Eve at what felt, with the ball drop
not screening in luddite protest, enough like midnight.
Beginning with “dear friends” and a couple laughs;
concluding with “now let’s get ****** up” and
a couple more

To those who proceeded
as directed, clinking their shot-glasses
and swigging them back. If only because
they were not tulips.
Matt May 2015
I hope to breast feed
Like a hungry baby

To be comforted and consoled
By a loving woman

As I **** the warm milk from her breast
What a delicious treat
Mmmmm I'm hungry
Nat Lipstadt Jun 2013
Weather Advisory: A long one*

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Be not fooled,
by the evening-tide,
be not deceived
by the quietude,
tis not a reprieve
of day before dark.

Be guarded,
for the easy transformation,
a tranquil shedding
of the day's husk,
into the faded light of dusk,
just one of nature's machinations
to delay the inevitable.

Evening-tide,
a colored compilation
of a few mischievous hours,
when sunlight is invaded by
streaks of pink, azure and gold,    
just before the
palette is plunged
into a stainless steel can
of gothic black,
skyied glory rendered into
common house paint.

Evening-tide,
an alleged easy calm
surfeits some souls,
supposed easy passage from  
the day's contusions to
a relaxation from humankind's regulations and rules,
but not for me.

Evening-tide,
when appetites unsated, simmer,
the in between hours when
humans transform themselves,
from day laborers to creatures
desiring, aroused, hungry  
for night time pleasures,
searching with false courage for
boundary lines to sever.

Evening-tide,
it was at evening-tide that
David espied, desired and
stole Bathsheba for his own,
with a King's arrogance
rent a kingdom,
murdered for profit,
birthed an Heir,
a prince, who wrote,
by evening-tide:

I have seen all the works
that are done under the sun; and,
behold, all is vanity
and vexation of spirit.


Evening-tide,
fear closes my throat,
confusion reappears,
a low grade flu infects
deemed persistent, incurable,
revisits, medicine resistant,
my insights, my speech,
to blind and bind  

Am I Gloucester,
blinded, but faculties
possessing vision,
the future to clarify?

No, no, it is to a king,
Lear,
to whom I am
son and cousin,
kith and kin

Sunset visions of
ultimate demise
ours eyes behold,
but plainly put,
at Evening-tide,
our dementia -
a precursor,
a periodic but hostile guest
in the hostel of our memories,
cracks and fractures us,
spirit first, body second.  

We are bound helpless
by a knotted tongue,
slow dying malingerer,
inside a head of ill repute,
unable to locate our knowing,
and every word selected,
a battle galactic, oft lost

Evening-tide,
I am cold,
and the issued command
is bring an umbrella
to warm and cover.  
What an old fool am I,
tis not blanket or a
Bathsheba I seek,
but at Evening-tide,
Babel's nefarious treasury of words
unlocked, for tis closed,                    
the gatekeepers,
drunk and absent,
drunk on absinthe,
and creme de mentia
and I have no key

Evening-tide, prithee,
I beg of thee,
consideration please,
check this hideous amusement,
that makes this
King's speech confused,
odor of smokeless cordite ignited
where the synapses have burnt,
injured, beyond repair
injured, by mine own aging.  

Reverse the diagnosis
of the panel of wordsmiths:
Alas, weep and be comforted...

Evening-tide,
a reverie of colored tears,
downward sloping,
arrive to tingle my tongue,
warming comfort for an *****
willing but unable,
a wounded soldier,
a veteran of poetry,
now prone and pained
beyond repair,
beyond healing,
immunized to the
heat and solder,
drugs and salves,
that heretofore
might have closed
the cracks of rack and ruin

Evening-tide,
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king's horses and
all the king's men couldn't
put Humpty together again^

Evening-tide,
my hair, the color of old age.
Irony, my skin yet smooth,
unwrinkled, not in need of the
toxins that are employed
to fill crevasses on
the outer banks of age of comedy

Alas, the toxins natural from within
have seeped from their
latent resting place and have
contaminated the groundwater
that lubricated my mind,  
from siege engines poured,
a contamination of
mine own making.  
After a life long battle,
my Jericho walls have fallen.

Lear and I faint recall the love
of our beloved Cordelia,
but try as we might
her name escapes our grasp,
******* by bite of aging's asp.

We grow drunk by night
on a drink not of choice,
unhappy fury,
the residue within
the imprisoned poison
of our polluted tears,
that come only after our
misspoken and misshapen
guttural croaks
of our Eveningtide prayers
are both
unintelligible and unrequited
Written 6/01/11, after seeing Derek Jacobi as King Lear. This poem is about my fears of dementia which people close to me suffer from, sadly.  Now, I struggle to recall names and places. Poetry, not so much because I get to pick and choose words at my own speed. But someday, who knows....the time between day and night, is a metaphor for a beautiful slow, slipping away but
be not deceived
by the quietude,
tis not a reprieve
of day before dark.


^ this rhyme, purportedly a child's view of siege engines that could not break the walled of the City of Gloucester (how ironic!)  in 1643

An abbreviated version of this poem goes like this:
Nat went to see King Lear,
Then went down to the beach
To watch the sun set, the evening arrive,
They both reminded him, of his fear
That someday he'll probably sunset like Lear
And end the play, the eve, mad, his mind deceived,
De-worded, defanged, his poetry retired, but not relieved
VickyEbes Feb 2014
You say it all the time
“I love you.”
And I hear it
I know.
But when you come home from a long day
And the world has beaten you down
And you feel like the only thing holding you together
Is the thin layer of flesh that covers your body
When you wake up and you feel that if you leave your bed
Somehow, there are puzzle pieces of you that are stuck inside your sheets
And on the nights when you cannot remember what sleep is
And your mind begins to crumble like sand in an hourglass
And your skull begins to feel empty
Hearing the words “I love you.” should fill the cracks of your aching body
Bind the pieces that seem to fall apart
Solidify the thoughts in your mind.
When you say “I love you”
I can feel it struggle to find its way to the areas of me that need care
But it cannot get past the part of me that has grown hard
I have never understood your love
And in the attempt to learn to, most of me has become callused
Years of numbing the pain to try and learn how you love
Only to become immune to it.
Please understand I am making changes, I am becoming my own person
I am leaving for now
I am leaving for the times that I felt uncomfortable eating
Because you always seems to have a comment about my size
I am leaving for the nights where all I remember is screaming
Pretending that everything was alright, even though I was scared to death
I am leaving for the times I desperately needed a shoulder to cry on
But knew that if I turned to you I would be scolded instead of comforted
I am leaving for the times where your anger would get the best of you
And you would push me in an attempt to win the arguement
I am leaving for all the times I was told to be quiet
When all I ever wanted to do was sing at the top of my lungs
I am leaving for the times when I should have been the one crying
But instead I comforted you because you couldn’t be strong
I am leaving for the times when you told me that what I was feeling wasn’t real
Because I had a good life
I am sorry that I cannot find a way to accept your love
That your words can’t seem to flow through my cracks with the same ease as others
But I am leaving
And maybe someday I will understand how you love me
And your words will make me feel warm instead of nothing at all
I am leaving
For now
But please don’t forget me
Lawrence Hall Nov 2018
The dead-bolts on the interior doors
Against the nephews most securely locked
(One is destructive; the other explores)
Ignored by their mother (usually crocked)

The brother-in-law babbles about his bowels
And surgeries over the festive spread
Ignoring his wife’s disapproving scowls
Detailing each grim therapy and med

The puppies are safely penned inside
Because of an incident with a crowbar
And a nephew who kicked and screamed and cried -
He wasn’t allowed to **** the dogs or bash the car

His mother comforted him in his tears
And glowered at me for telling him no
And comforted herself with a few more beers
Her special child is sensitive, you know

The brother-in-law’s colonoscopy
With lurid adjectives of graphic doom
Comes with the pie and more iced tea
His miseries circulate around the room

Then from the living room an expensive crash
“Not me!” “Not me!” More screams and denials and cries
An old family vase – it’s now just trash
“You shouldn’t have glass around,” their mother sighs

The brother-in-law offers to show his scars
He finds his shirt buttons, makes his move
We other men escape outside for cigars
Cigars!? The women uniformly disapprove

One nephew leaps upon a garden seat
And jumps and yells until it falls apart
Their mother says her boy is cute and sweet
“Are you all right, my dear little heart?”

The brother-in-law holds his tummy and groans
And tells us all about his flatulence
And just which foods lead to what moans
(Perhaps he should practice some abstinence)

The women come outside to cough and choke
With practiced puritan disapproval and sneers
About the satanic scent of tobacco smoke
The world’s best mother chugs a few more beers

The brother-in-law explains why he can’t drink
It’s about his digestion (be surprised)
And we shouldn’t smoke; if only we’d think
And we (got a match?) are properly chastised

Then at the end of this mandatory day
Of mandatory Hallmark merriment
All of them finally go the (space) away
And how did the mailbox get broken and bent?

But the brother-in-law pauses at the garden gate
“Say, did I tell you about my new pills…?”
And so dear solitude again must wait
While darkness slowly falls upon the hills
Liz Aug 2014
Your tall body has always enticed me
Your long arms have kept me safe
Your scruffy beard makes me smile
And your smile makes me melt
Your hands hold mine and make me feel loved
And wipe away the tears

Enough of these superficial reasons
Your love has comforted me
Your humor has made me laugh
(Until I snort)
Your words have made smile
And cry
But always out of love
Your generosity
Has never left me empty handed
No matter how much I beg you
To keep your money for yourself
Your caring heart reminds me
I'm not alone

Somehow you stopped the shaking trembling in my anxious thoughts
You brought me back to reality
You stopped me from dying
You stopped me from hurting myself
You stopped me from starving
From expelling the contents of my stomach
But most of all you gave me hope
A reason to carry on

A reason to fight my mind
To tell the mirror it's a liar
To throw my blades away
And eat whatever I want
A reason to keep living
And to love myself

I know you don't feel good enough
But look at all this evidence
Change the criteria in your head
The requirement of "good enough"
Should only contain one thing
You

All you have to be is you
To be good enough for me
Because I ******* love you
Brady D Friedkin Nov 2015
A boy born into royalty
Destined to rule over a great kingdom
But sent away by one with ill will for the kingdom
To be killed in a shipwreck
And leave a kingdom without their prince

But a lion pushed the boy in the wreckage to shore
Where a man stood wakeful at night
And took the boy in, giving him life
The man abused the boy in many ways
And the future ruler would leave to rule his kingdom

The boy had always wanted to go North
As if there were something good to the North
Something drawing him to the mountains and rivers
As he had northern blood flowing through his veins
So 'Onward and upward, to Narnia and the North!'

The boy fled his home on the back of a talking horse
Escaping the abusive nature of his supposed-father
To the north where he was meant to be, they fled
From the south the life he was fleeing from
His destined kingdom lying in this northern land to which he travelled

On horseback he rides in a forest
Before hearing the sounds of another horse
And then seeing the sights of another rider
Terrified the horse pulls forward
Then a wild animal gives its mighty roar

Hearing the roar of a mighty lion
The riders and horses go on running from this terror
Until they are united, together in their travels
Then the lion disappears into the mist of the forest
And the travelers, a boy and a girl, and two horses now travel to the north together

The boy stranded in the desert
Away from all things he had known
Without his horse or traveling companions
Without any water to quench his thirst
And he spends the night alone in the dark desert

There on the desert ground, terrified he laid
For behind him stood tombs of the kings of old
And to his forefront laid the desert
He imagined ghosts and ghouls that might come from the tombs
And terrified he laid, there on the desert ground

Then a kitten came to his side
The cat came und nuzzled behind the sleeping boy
It kept him warm through the cold desert night
The boy felt safe with the kitten by his side
As if no one or no thing could possibly harm him

As he slept, he heard the sound of jackals howling in the desert
The boy became fearful once he noticed the absence of the cat
Yet it was at this time that he heard the mighty roar of a lion
And the lions roar made him even more fearful than he was before
But then the howling of the jackals ceased and he was safe

He awoke again later in the night to the cat by his side
The cat comforted him in his loneliness
And kept him warm in the desert night
When it needed to, the cat became a lion and defended the boy
For the lion always wanted what was best for that boy

Then the four travelers ventured north across the desert
Racing against time, and against enemy armies
To get to the kingdom in the north on time to warn the king
But like any desert travelers, they quickly tired
And they required one final push

A lion's roar cams out of the silence of nature
And very quickly the horses sped up to leave the lion's reach
But to no avail as the lion gashed at one of the riders
The terror of the horses propelled them forward
And they made it in time to save the kingdom

The boy was reunited with his father, the king
And he himself became a king when it came high time
The boy married the girl, and became king and queen of the country in the north
For the Lion and the Kitten led them to the north, and to their salvation
Even when they did not know the Lion at all

The Lion is Jesus Christ, God Himself in the flesh
He came to save the boy, and his horse
And his wife and her horse
He came as a fierce lion to redirect
And as a kitten to comfort
He came as a lion to defend
And as a kitten to protect
Jesus Christ came to men
He came as a helpless fetus and infant
And as a small child
He came as a man to teach
And as a man to die
Jesus is fierce when needed
And gracious when needed
For He loves His children
And will not let His children stray far from Him
For much good is to come for the Children of God
This is a poem very based off of C.S. Lewis' Horse and His Boy, the third book (chronologically) in the Chronicles of Narnia
Azurel Sep 2018
Here I stood with ***** crystals beneath my feet and waited for the sky to turn golden.
Here I laughed into the echoing tunnel under my home as wet earth dripped on my skin.
Here I learned about parenthood among feathers and little eggs and ungodly morning crows.
Here I gloated about the manhood which sprouted from under my arms and in my mischievous thoughts.
Here I waited till dark to meet him in secret all the while dreading the sound of tires on gravel.
Here I buzzed with excitement as the boys had their lazy Sunday afternoon.
Here his freckles came close to mine as he softly said "you're so beautiful" with Bruno Mars playing in the background.
Here I said I would never grow up.
Here I comforted her with my pain because I had to be brave.
Here I forgot that being called "muddy children who act like savages " was considered an insult.
Here I cried into the stars for reasons I didn't understand.
Here I walked on hands and feet with happy little scratches and silent giggles.
Here only the sound of our beating hearts and delicate pride could be heard as I held him close.
Here I sang at the top of my favorite tree and waited for the words to hurt him as much as he hurt me.
Here the glow of a flashlight illuminated our tent as I asked her if she liked me like that.
Here a little piece of me was left sitting on a branch waiting to capture the next magical heart.
Here I wrote "I love you" on a mango leaf only to realize that he spelled love differently.
Here I sat beneath bright green trees and pondered my not-so-complicated life.
Here my words came out blurry and my stomach swayed like a sail boat out on a windy morning.
Here my hands went numb as I raced to the end of his life.
Here I visit through pictures and messy journals to remember the little things that are now so so big.
Here I left muddy footprints now covered with grass, but here they will stay.
Little poem about my childhood life on a farm.
Rockie Oct 2014
If I don't wake up today,
Put me to sleep tomorrow,
If I'm asleep today,
Lay down my sorrow for those who care,
If I never wake up,
Remember my voice as I hummed,
As I comforted,
As I lay you down to rest.
False Poets Feb 2018
Human Observations (the woman pees)

if you walk the world with pen and paper
or eclectic electronic devices,
sure as the sunrise espied,
the pen will quick leak
when wearing white
and so will too the
righteous words
righteously,
thereafter

when you can't sleep and you must
slam your sweaty fist into pillow
know that the pillow is
silent thinking, dude,
you really ain't
got a hope, a
prayer

fallen asleep in the soaking tub
a thousand and one times,
ain't never drowned like
the warning ones say I
will do but only when
restless in my rustling
no-safety night sleep
in my lumpy bed,
where I’ve already
dream-drowned
a million
times

the woman pees, safe and secure,
comforted by the knowledge
that we have bathrooms
separate, her toilet,
man *** free, tho
we just finished
making sweaty,
fluid swapping
***


she does not, won't put on makeup
in her pj's to take out the garbage,
that is why she keeps loverman,
so handy, nearby, shamelessly
firm, unwavering, good god,
great for one "disposable"
use per night

when you tell your child that you love them,
and they do not reply at all, it isn't that they
don't love ya back, 'tis only that they haven't
learned to love themselves
something well that just
cannot be
taught.

the more trinkets I buy her,
more she screams stop,
but never not once
has she said, here,
take it
back

if you don't believe in Faeries and Elusives,
try, for then you have a middling chance
of getting the missing, disappearing
whole sock hiding
in her ******,
back, intact

If must look up the time where your
love is currently hiding/residing,
then the probability is more than
1.000, that you no longer love
her enough, or
she, you,
not at
all

you know it is time to shut down,
hang up the pen and close the
iPad cover, surrender,
give up the poetry gig
4 real when you start
to prefer an
autocorrect
suggestion

~
More to follow.
someday.
11/24/13
PART I

’Tis the middle of night by the castle clock
And the owls have awakened the crowing ****;
Tu-whit!—Tu-whoo!
And hark, again! the crowing ****,
How drowsily it crew.
Sir Leoline, the Baron rich,
Hath a toothless mastiff, which
From her kennel beneath the rock
Maketh answer to the clock,
Four for the quarters, and twelve for the hour;
Ever and aye, by shine and shower,
Sixteen short howls, not over loud;
Some say, she sees my lady’s shroud.

Is the night chilly and dark?
The night is chilly, but not dark.
The thin gray cloud is spread on high,
It covers but not hides the sky.
The moon is behind, and at the full;
And yet she looks both small and dull.
The night is chill, the cloud is gray:
‘T is a month before the month of May,
And the Spring comes slowly up this way.
The lovely lady, Christabel,
Whom her father loves so well,
What makes her in the wood so late,
A furlong from the castle gate?
She had dreams all yesternight
Of her own betrothed knight;
And she in the midnight wood will pray
For the weal of her lover that’s far away.

She stole along, she nothing spoke,
The sighs she heaved were soft and low,
And naught was green upon the oak,
But moss and rarest mistletoe:
She kneels beneath the huge oak tree,
And in silence prayeth she.

The lady sprang up suddenly,
The lovely lady, Christabel!
It moaned as near, as near can be,
But what it is she cannot tell.—
On the other side it seems to be,
Of the huge, broad-breasted, old oak tree.
The night is chill; the forest bare;
Is it the wind that moaneth bleak?
There is not wind enough in the air
To move away the ringlet curl
From the lovely lady’s cheek—
There is not wind enough to twirl
The one red leaf, the last of its clan,
That dances as often as dance it can,
Hanging so light, and hanging so high,
On the topmost twig that looks up at the sky.

Hush, beating heart of Christabel!
Jesu, Maria, shield her well!
She folded her arms beneath her cloak,
And stole to the other side of the oak.
What sees she there?

There she sees a damsel bright,
Dressed in a silken robe of white,
That shadowy in the moonlight shone:
The neck that made that white robe wan,
Her stately neck, and arms were bare;
Her blue-veined feet unsandaled were;
And wildly glittered here and there
The gems entangled in her hair.
I guess, ‘t was frightful there to see
A lady so richly clad as she—
Beautiful exceedingly!

‘Mary mother, save me now!’
Said Christabel, ‘and who art thou?’

The lady strange made answer meet,
And her voice was faint and sweet:—
‘Have pity on my sore distress,
I scarce can speak for weariness:
Stretch forth thy hand, and have no fear!’
Said Christabel, ‘How camest thou here?’
And the lady, whose voice was faint and sweet,
Did thus pursue her answer meet:—
‘My sire is of a noble line,
And my name is Geraldine:
Five warriors seized me yestermorn,
Me, even me, a maid forlorn:
They choked my cries with force and fright,
And tied me on a palfrey white.
The palfrey was as fleet as wind,
And they rode furiously behind.
They spurred amain, their steeds were white:
And once we crossed the shade of night.
As sure as Heaven shall rescue me,
I have no thought what men they be;
Nor do I know how long it is
(For I have lain entranced, I wis)
Since one, the tallest of the five,
Took me from the palfrey’s back,
A weary woman, scarce alive.
Some muttered words his comrades spoke:
He placed me underneath this oak;
He swore they would return with haste;
Whither they went I cannot tell—
I thought I heard, some minutes past,
Sounds as of a castle bell.
Stretch forth thy hand,’ thus ended she,
‘And help a wretched maid to flee.’

Then Christabel stretched forth her hand,
And comforted fair Geraldine:
‘O well, bright dame, may you command
The service of Sir Leoline;
And gladly our stout chivalry
Will he send forth, and friends withal,
To guide and guard you safe and free
Home to your noble father’s hall.’

She rose: and forth with steps they passed
That strove to be, and were not, fast.
Her gracious stars the lady blest,
And thus spake on sweet Christabel:
‘All our household are at rest,
The hall is silent as the cell;
Sir Leoline is weak in health,
And may not well awakened be,
But we will move as if in stealth;
And I beseech your courtesy,
This night, to share your couch with me.’

They crossed the moat, and Christabel
Took the key that fitted well;
A little door she opened straight,
All in the middle of the gate;
The gate that was ironed within and without,
Where an army in battle array had marched out.
The lady sank, belike through pain,
And Christabel with might and main
Lifted her up, a weary weight,
Over the threshold of the gate:
Then the lady rose again,
And moved, as she were not in pain.

So, free from danger, free from fear,
They crossed the court: right glad they were.
And Christabel devoutly cried
To the Lady by her side;
‘Praise we the ****** all divine,
Who hath rescued thee from thy distress!’
‘Alas, alas!’ said Geraldine,
‘I cannot speak for weariness.’
So, free from danger, free from fear,
They crossed the court: right glad they were.

Outside her kennel the mastiff old
Lay fast asleep, in moonshine cold.
The mastiff old did not awake,
Yet she an angry moan did make.
And what can ail the mastiff *****?
Never till now she uttered yell
Beneath the eye of Christabel.
Perhaps it is the owlet’s scritch:
For what can aid the mastiff *****?

They passed the hall, that echoes still,
Pass as lightly as you will.
The brands were flat, the brands were dying,
Amid their own white ashes lying;
But when the lady passed, there came
A tongue of light, a fit of flame;
And Christabel saw the lady’s eye,
And nothing else saw she thereby,
Save the boss of the shield of Sir Leoline tall,
Which hung in a murky old niche in the wall.
‘O softly tread,’ said Christabel,
‘My father seldom sleepeth well.’
Sweet Christabel her feet doth bare,
And, jealous of the listening air,
They steal their way from stair to stair,
Now in glimmer, and now in gloom,
And now they pass the Baron’s room,
As still as death, with stifled breath!
And now have reached her chamber door;
And now doth Geraldine press down
The rushes of the chamber floor.

The moon shines dim in the open air,
And not a moonbeam enters here.
But they without its light can see
The chamber carved so curiously,
Carved with figures strange and sweet,
All made out of the carver’s brain,
For a lady’s chamber meet:
The lamp with twofold silver chain
Is fastened to an angel’s feet.
The silver lamp burns dead and dim;
But Christabel the lamp will trim.
She trimmed the lamp, and made it bright,
And left it swinging to and fro,
While Geraldine, in wretched plight,
Sank down upon the floor below.
‘O weary lady, Geraldine,
I pray you, drink this cordial wine!
It is a wine of virtuous powers;
My mother made it of wild flowers.’

‘And will your mother pity me,
Who am a maiden most forlorn?’
Christabel answered—’Woe is me!
She died the hour that I was born.
I have heard the gray-haired friar tell,
How on her death-bed she did say,
That she should hear the castle-bell
Strike twelve upon my wedding-day.
O mother dear! that thou wert here!’
‘I would,’ said Geraldine, ’she were!’

But soon, with altered voice, said she—
‘Off, wandering mother! Peak and pine!
I have power to bid thee flee.’
Alas! what ails poor Geraldine?
Why stares she with unsettled eye?
Can she the bodiless dead espy?
And why with hollow voice cries she,
‘Off, woman, off! this hour is mine—
Though thou her guardian spirit be,
Off, woman. off! ‘t is given to me.’

Then Christabel knelt by the lady’s side,
And raised to heaven her eyes so blue—
‘Alas!’ said she, ‘this ghastly ride—
Dear lady! it hath wildered you!’
The lady wiped her moist cold brow,
And faintly said, ‘’T is over now!’
Again the wild-flower wine she drank:
Her fair large eyes ‘gan glitter bright,
And from the floor, whereon she sank,
The lofty lady stood upright:
She was most beautiful to see,
Like a lady of a far countree.

And thus the lofty lady spake—
‘All they, who live in the upper sky,
Do love you, holy Christabel!
And you love them, and for their sake,
And for the good which me befell,
Even I in my degree will try,
Fair maiden, to requite you well.
But now unrobe yourself; for I
Must pray, ere yet in bed I lie.’

Quoth Christabel, ‘So let it be!’
And as the lady bade, did she.
Her gentle limbs did she undress
And lay down in her loveliness.

But through her brain, of weal and woe,
So many thoughts moved to and fro,
That vain it were her lids to close;
So half-way from the bed she rose,
And on her elbow did recline.
To look at the lady Geraldine.
Beneath the lamp the lady bowed,
And slowly rolled her eyes around;
Then drawing in her breath aloud,
Like one that shuddered, she unbound
The cincture from beneath her breast:
Her silken robe, and inner vest,
Dropped to her feet, and full in view,
Behold! her ***** and half her side—
A sight to dream of, not to tell!
O shield her! shield sweet Christabel!

Yet Geraldine nor speaks nor stirs:
Ah! what a stricken look was hers!
Deep from within she seems half-way
To lift some weight with sick assay,
And eyes the maid and seeks delay;
Then suddenly, as one defied,
Collects herself in scorn and pride,
And lay down by the maiden’s side!—
And in her arms the maid she took,
Ah, well-a-day!
And with low voice and doleful look
These words did say:

‘In the touch of this ***** there worketh a spell,
Which is lord of thy utterance, Christabel!
Thou knowest to-night, and wilt know to-morrow,
This mark of my shame, this seal of my sorrow;
But vainly thou warrest,
For this is alone in
Thy power to declare,
That in the dim forest
Thou heard’st a low moaning,
And found’st a bright lady, surpassingly fair:
And didst bring her home with thee, in love and in charity,
To shield her and shelter her from the damp air.’

It was a lovely sight to see
The lady Christabel, when she
Was praying at the old oak tree.
Amid the jagged shadows
Of mossy leafless boughs,
Kneeling in the moonlight,
To make her gentle vows;
Her slender palms together prest,
Heaving sometimes on her breast;
Her face resigned to bliss or bale—
Her face, oh, call it fair not pale,
And both blue eyes more bright than clear.
Each about to have a tear.
With open eyes (ah, woe is me!)
Asleep, and dreaming fearfully,
Fearfully dreaming, yet, I wis,
Dreaming that alone, which is—
O sorrow and shame! Can this be she,
The lady, who knelt at the old oak tree?
And lo! the worker of these harms,
That holds the maiden in her arms,
Seems to slumber still and mild,
As a mother with her child.

A star hath set, a star hath risen,
O Geraldine! since arms of thine
Have been the lovely lady’s prison.
O Geraldine! one hour was thine—
Thou’st had thy will! By tarn and rill,
The night-birds all that hour were still.
But now they are jubilant anew,
From cliff and tower, tu-whoo! tu-whoo!
Tu-whoo! tu-whoo! from wood and fell!

And see! the lady Christabel
Gathers herself from out her trance;
Her limbs relax, her countenance
Grows sad and soft; the smooth thin lids
Close o’er her eyes; and tears she sheds—
Large tears that leave the lashes bright!
And oft the while she seems to smile
As infants at a sudden light!
Yea, she doth smile, and she doth weep,
Like a youthful hermitess,
Beauteous in a wilderness,
Who, praying always, prays in sleep.
And, if she move unquietly,
Perchance, ‘t is but the blood so free
Comes back and tingles in her feet.
No doubt, she hath a vision sweet.
What if her guardian spirit ‘t were,
What if she knew her mother near?
But this she knows, in joys and woes,
That saints will aid if men will call:
For the blue sky bends over all.

PART II

Each matin bell, the Baron saith,
Knells us back to a world of death.
These words Sir Leoline first said,
When he rose and found his lady dead:
These words Sir Leoline will say
Many a morn to his dying day!

And hence the custom and law began
That still at dawn the sacristan,
Who duly pulls the heavy bell,
Five and forty beads must tell
Between each stroke—a warning knell,
Which not a soul can choose but hear
From Bratha Head to Wyndermere.
Saith Bracy the bard, ‘So let it knell!
And let the drowsy sacristan
Still count as slowly as he can!’
There is no lack of such, I ween,
As well fill up the space between.
In Langdale Pike and Witch’s Lair,
And Dungeon-ghyll so foully rent,
With ropes of rock and bells of air
Three sinful sextons’ ghosts are pent,
Who all give back, one after t’ other,
The death-note to their living brother;
And oft too, by the knell offended,
Just as their one! two! three! is ended,
The devil mocks the doleful tale
With a merry peal from Borrowdale.

The air is still! through mist and cloud
That merry peal comes ringing loud;
And Geraldine shakes off her dread,
And rises lightly from the bed;
Puts on her silken vestments white,
And tricks her hair in lovely plight,
And nothing doubting of her spell
Awakens the lady Christabel.
‘Sleep you, sweet lady Christabel?
I trust that you have rested well.’

And Christabel awoke and spied
The same who lay down by her side—
O rather say, the same whom she
Raised up beneath the old oak tree!
Nay, fairer yet! and yet more fair!
For she belike hath drunken deep
Of all the blessedness of sleep!
And while she spake, her looks, her air,
Such gentle thankfulness declare,
That (so it seemed) her girded vests
Grew tight beneath her heaving *******.
‘Sure I have sinned!’ said Christabel,
‘Now heaven be praised if all be well!’
And in low faltering tones, yet sweet,
Did she the lofty lady greet
With such perplexity of mind
As dreams too lively leave behind.

So quickly she rose, and quickly arrayed
Her maiden limbs, and having prayed
That He, who on the cross did groan,
Might wash away her sins unknown,
She forthwith led fair Geraldine
To meet her sire, Sir Leoline.
The lovely maid and the lady tall
Are pacing both into the hall,
And pacing on through page and groom,
Enter the Baron’s presence-room.

The Baron rose, and while he prest
His gentle daughter to his breast,
With cheerful wonder in his eyes
The lady Geraldine espies,
And gave such welcome to the same,
As might beseem so bright a dame!

But when he heard the lady’s tale,
And when she told her father’s name,
Why waxed Sir Leoline so pale,
Murmuring o’er the name again,
Lord Roland de Vaux of Tryermaine?
Alas! they had been friends in youth;
But whispering tongues can poison truth;
And constancy lives in realms above;
And life is thorny; and youth is vain;
And to be wroth with one we love
Doth work like madness in the brain.
And thus it chanced, as I divine,
With Roland and Sir Leoline.
Each spake words of high disdain
And insult to his heart’s best brother:
They parted—ne’er to meet again!
But never either found another
To free the hollow heart from paining—
They stood aloof, the scars remaining,
Like cliffs which had been rent asunder;
A dreary sea now flows between.
But neither heat, nor frost, nor thunder,
Shall wholly do away, I ween,
The marks of that which once hath been.
Sir Leoline, a moment’s space,
Stood gazing on the damsel’s face:
And the youthful Lord of Tryermaine
Came back upon his heart again.

O then the Baron forgot his age,
His noble heart swelled high with rage;
He swore by the wounds in Jesu’s side
He would proclaim it far and wide,
With trump and solemn heraldry,
That they, who thus had wronged the dame
Were base as spotted infamy!
‘And if they dare deny the same,
My herald shall appoint a week,
And let the recreant traitors seek
My tourney court—that there and then
I may dislodge their reptile souls
From the bodies and forms of men!’
He spake: his eye in lightning rolls!
For the lady was ruthlessly seized; and he kenned
In the beautiful lady the child of his friend!

And now the tears were on his face,
And fondly in his arms he took
Fair Geraldine who met the embrace,
Prolonging it with joyous look.
Which when she viewed, a vision fell
Upon the soul of Christabel,
The vision of fear, the touch and pain!
She shrunk and shuddered, and saw again—
(Ah, woe is me! Was it for thee,
Thou gentle maid! such sights to see?)
Again she saw that ***** old,
Again she felt that ***** cold,
And drew in her breath with a hissing sound:
Whereat the Knight turned wildly round,
And nothing saw, but his own sweet maid
With eyes upraised, as one that prayed.

The touch, the sight, had passed away,
And in its stead that vision blest,
Which comfort
Larry Potter Sep 2013
They say, in the wheel of life, you'll spend half your years rising to the top and the other half tumbling to the bottom. I guess they got it all wrong. I believe life is a crooked tire that can never roll up and down. Pretty sure, it is nailed to the ground where weeds could grow to entangle it forever. Until now, what they keep trying to say remains a puzzle to me. Perhaps I can never understand what they mean. Or maybe I just won’t. Why? Because from the moment our eyes opened for the world, we’re already stuck down below and I’m afraid we’re trapped here in this limbo for all eternity.

We’re just simple people living an ordinary life. Like every family who seeks refuge from the storm, we do have a place we call home although it’s not much of an architectural delight. However, for some reasons, I find our roof appealing like a real work of art. Patches of cardboard embellish the underside while a combination of tarpaulin and ad posters works in harmony to provide an extended shelter. On bright mornings, we’ll wake from the sunbeams piercing through its many gaps. On rainy days, however, the sound of raindrops falling from the gaps down to our water containers serves as our wake up call.

To jumpstart ourselves for another day’s challenge, we could either eat breakfast (if there were any), or just sing our skipping meals away and spend the rest of the day with sacks of scraps and rubbishes on our back hoping to make a good deal with Mr. Gomez, the junk shop proprietor. He reminded me so much of my father but without the alcohol problem and violence, though. During nighttime, we bring with us our drum to sing carols on the lonely streets. If our feet become too weary to walk, that’s the time we head home. We rush all together, eager to count the coins we’ve collected that night. We make sure to put a plastic cap underneath two of our table’s feet so that it won’t lean uncontrollably and spill the tiers of ten, five and one peso coins we’ve dedicatedly piled over. Then the next part does the trick. A portion of our collection for the night goes straight down a big jar and joins in the many others which fill more than half of the container. The remaining part is used to buy supper to save our hungry tummies from
shrinking again. However, during slack nights when drivers and busy people decided to become miserly, we’re fortunate enough to have a pack of noodles for supper. But if we ran out of luck, we just set our untidy beds ready and drown our raging stomachs to sleep. I know there’s not pretty much but this is where our lives revolve. And as they say, life must go on no matter what.

Together with the three most important persons of my life, I continue the journey for a better living. Along the way, we try to search for the good things out of life’s bitter truths. We never let misery **** our hopes and dreams. Instead, we work harder and tougher. Take Islay, for example. She’s cheerful,
clever, aggressive, talented, a model of hard work. She’s got most of everything. Well, except for height, probably. I wanted to be a doctor so I could help the needy. Islay dreams of becoming an elementary teacher. She said she really likes kids and teaching them would surely be a more exciting thing to do.

Then there’s Nova. Her looks may require you a little more time to think and consider, but she has a good heart. However, she gets a little, uhhm, what term do we use for an unsociable person? That’s it! She’s a bit of a Killjoy!

Islay and Nova caroled a store swarmed with drunkards. It was always Islay who’ll find every creative idea and propose it convincingly to Nova, who in turn hesitates and rejects it but then ultimately respects it in the end. Islay always has the winning edge. Maybe that’s one of her abilities. Her convincing power deserves a credit to the list.

The two didn’t mind the ***** that welcomed them. Inside her mind, Nova asked herself how many people could waste their money on a doze of liquid or spirit that can poison their mind and bring them to imminent danger. If only they have given it to the poor and needy, they could have saved a lot of lives instead of ruining their own.

But Aling Nena, the wicked storeowner, unleashed her witchy wrath to the two. She looked at them with eyes of contempt, of prejudice and disgust. She accused the two as jinxes and blamed them for the
store’s unprofitable end. If only she could look at herself and discover a chest of shimmering blame, she might shrink into shame. Islay and Nova ran off not because they were afraid of Aling Nena or the drunken men but because of what Aling Nena said to them. They cannot defend themselves from such
an attack. How could they when they were surrounded with eyes of ridicule?

And of course, there’s my dearest sister, Juaning. We’ve only got each other since our mother’s death. It has been months already. Juaning was still 15 when mama left us. She’s 16 now. It’s been quite a while and I know she misses mama a lot like I do.

And so they fought life’s bitter realities. They begged and implored to the unconcerned passers-by, almost falling to their weak knees for one very important thing - to live. But even if the three of them were sitting, lying, and rolling down the cold pavement, these people with more graces just pass by without even sparing a glance of concern. Wouldn’t it be happier if they shared their God-given blessings? But as the day continues, they have to endure the hunger, the contempt. Because other than filling their
hungry stomach, they have a sibling, a friend to support.

That’s my part of the story. It has been months now since I caught a serious illness which bound me
to this bed, flat on one’s back, weak, inutile, and useless. Every time they come home, I wish I was with them to taste the sweet and feel the pain, not just a good listener to their stories of survival and moments of friendship. Someday, I’ll become strong again, and this curse of a disease shall be gone.

I woke up to the longing for water. I’ve never been this thirsty before. I called out their names but my voice just echoed deep in the four dark walls of our crooked house. With no one to help me, I summoned my strength and decided to get a glass of water by myself. But my legs aren’t as strong as my will. And as I attempted to stand, they betrayed me. I collapsed and plodded down the floor. Luckily Islay came and helped me get back to bed. She scolded me for being careless. I cried. I can’t help it. I pitied myself all
over again.

The cold evening wasn’t a problem for Islay. Seeing me cry like that crushes her heart. I know, as a friend and a part of our family, she wishes the best for me. And that’s why she’s still out there in the middle of the night, working late to earn more for our better future. She ignored the chills and the exasperation. She knows she has to work harder and she’s more than determined for it.

But something happened to me while she’s away from home. I cannot move my body, not even my mouth. Tears just fell from my weary eyes. And before it’s too late, Juaning caught me unresponsive and paralyzed. My sister cried for help. Nova sprinted to get the jar. Juaning told her what to do. And wasting no time, Nova rushed to the nearby pharmacy to get me some medicine, and most probably to save my life.

But Nova’s effort was in vain. Prescription drugs cannot be bought that easily. The pharmacist closed down the only lining of hope for me. The security guard felt pity on Nova and he suggested her an alternative decision that will change our lives forever.

Islay was still busy serenading the busy streets with her chants of joy and sweet hums. But the clouds become unwelcoming. And by the sound of the thunder, big droplets of rain started pouring down the highway. She ran as fast as she could and sat on a corner where she thought of something deeply. She hugged the drum that she was carrying for five hours or so and tried to remain calm in the presence of the bad weather.

After half an hour, Nova came back with a pouch of medicine on her shaking hand. She handed it carefully to Juaning whose faith and hope were hanging to the tiny bottle of miracle.

Days gone by and my condition wasn’t going any better. It turned out that my medicine was consumed to the last drop. Still I remained immobile and my hands are going number by the days. Slowly I was losing hope. I wish they weren’t mad at me. I’m trying my best to live on. That’s why I’m still here. But Nova shared something worth listening to. She revealed how and where she got the medicine.

It was from a quack doctor on a stall put up on the corner of Rizal Avenue. She said he was well versed and very convincing. And that she spent all of our savings for a bottle of deception. But we can do nothing about it. We did not have formal education. We were fortunate enough to meet kind children on
the streets who would try to teach us something they have learned from school. We would attempt to read newspapers and the description in the carton boxes we spread beneath the Badelles overpass.

Nova cried in guilt and shame. Islay was still angry at her, and it can be understood. My sister, Juaning, comforted Nova with a promise that everything will get better in time.

December 27. It was my birthday. And more than anything else, what I wish is for the four of us to be happy. Nothing in this life is more important than seeing everyone you love smile with absolute
happiness. Juaning never forgot her job and that’s to buy me a cake. Every year, they will try to surprise me with every creative possible way. But that’s how their surprises become predictable with my age.

They sang me a birthday song. But this time, they were the ones waiting for a surprise. As my sister was about to hand me the cake waiting for me to blow the candle, she noticed something she was least expecting for. My lips are pale and my eyes are shut from the light of the world. I caught my last breath and before I gave it away, I left a smile on my face that can never be changed forever. That is how I want them to remember me. Not that heck of a frown clown whose audiences are stricken with sadness.

They say, in the wheel of life, sometimes, you'll spend half of your years rising to the top and the other half tumbling to the
bottom. Maybe they were right. It was then that I’ve come to understand what they were trying to say.

Our life’s wheel revolves around things way beyond just money, food, and shelter. It is about the moments you spend with your loved ones, friends and family that will be forever carved in your heart. We can never know when our life here on earth will be over. So let us cherish every bit of it. And for me, even if we skip breakfasts and eat only noodles for supper, I have realized in these last fleeting moments that my life has always
been on the top of the wheel after all.
When I am old, and comforted,
  And done with this desire,
With Memory to share my bed
  And Peace to share my fire,

I'll comb my hair in scalloped bands
  Beneath my laundered cap,
And watch my cool and fragile hands
  Lie light upon my lap.

And I will have a sprigged gown
  With lace to kiss my throat;
I'll draw my curtain to the town,
  And hum a purring note.

And I'll forget the way of tears,
  And rock, and stir my tea.
But oh, I wish those blessed years
  Were further than they be!
Diana Sep 2018
While reading
A romance novel
Being inside the mind of a man
Listening to his thoughts
It makes me create my own
In wonder
Like
I wonder if any guy
Has ever thought of
Kissing my lips
Which he finds perfect
While he's stared at me

I wonder if any guy
Has ever thought of
What it would be like
To be my boyfriend
To be the only guy
In the world
That I could
Hold
Touch
Kiss
That I could trust
That I could love

I wonder if any guy
Has ever thought of me
Long after we've seen
Each other

I wonder if any guy
Has blatantly flirted with me
And grew frustrated
Because I didn't pick up on it

I wonder if any guy
Has found me intimidating
To the point
Where it makes them believe
That I'm out of their league

I wonder if any guy
Believed that I was
Beautiful
Perfect even
That I was the embodiment of everything
They craved for

I wonder if any guy
Made me the topic
Of endless conversations
He had
With his closest friends

I wonder if any guy
Believed that I made them a better person

I wonder if any guy
After briefly meeting me
Wanted to impress me
In order to feel worthy of me

I wonder if any guy
Became amused to the thought
Of how I had no clue on just how much I affected him
All while I was talking to him

I wonder if any guy
Wondered what it would feel like
To have our hands intertwined

I wonder if any guy
Wanted to pour out his heart to me
But thought that my small
Delicate hands
Wouldn't be able to contain
His unyielding proclamation

I wonder if any guy
Thinks that I'm the most perfect girl
They have ever met
And that whoever I end up with
Will be the "luckiest *******" in the world

I wonder if any guy
Spent hours
Over analyzing my response
Or actions
Hoping that they were more
Than just kindness

I wonder if any guy
Had an internal battle
About the words he spoke to me
Wondering if they were
Stupid or cheesy

I wonder if any guy
Has gotten nervous
Whenever I smiled or talked
To them

I wonder if any guy
Wished that I was his girl
That he could proudly proclaim
His
To the entire world
With bold confidence
In his actions and words

I wonder if any guy
Has ever been hyperaware of my
Every movement
Like you would with a huge crush
That's in the room

I wonder if any guy
Had to fight the strong urge
Of wrapping their arms
Around my body
In an all consuming embrace

I wonder if any guy
Snuck secret glances
In my direction
Without my knowledge
Just so he could admire me
From afar
Without me noticing

I wonder if any guy
Showed pictures of me
From social media
To his friends
To explain his infatuation

I wonder if any guy
Looked at me
And silently contemplated
If there was even a guy
On earth
Worthy enough
For me

I wonder if any guy
Wished he had the confidence
To go up me and strike a conversation
But felt too nervous to

I wonder if any guy
Has ever been
Overwhelmed or confused
By the unfamiliar emotions
That they receive
Whenever they see or think
About me

I wonder if any guy
Made me the muse
To an endless amount of romantic poems
That I'll never get to hear

I wonder if any guy
Misses the mundane conversations
That we would have
Because they meant
Everything
To him

I wonder if any guy
Daydreamed of interactions
Where I would fall
Madly in love with him
Because he felt more comfortable
In his imagination

I wonder if any guy
Has ever been turned on
By the brief
Contact of our bodies
Accidentally brushing against each other

I wonder if any guy
Was dying for me to just know his name
So he could be comforted with knowing
That I knew of him
So that when I saw him passing by
My face would light up with recognition
Instead of indifference

I wonder if any guy
Saw me in public
Didn't know me or my name
But hit his friends
Trying to get their attention
So that he could point me out
Because he found me beautiful

I wonder if any guy
Has ever purposely chosen an outfit
Hoping that it would catch my attention

I wonder if any guy
Purposely avoided me
Because he was too shy
To be near me

I wonder if any guy
Had dreams of me
That he wished would be
His reality

I wonder if any guy
Wanted to pursue me
But hesitated
Because he thought
That there was no way
I didn't already have a boyfriend

I wonder if any guy
Has ever been in awe
With everything that I've done
Just because it's me

I wonder if any guy
Decided not to ask me out
Because they thought
That they weren't good enough
For me

I wonder if any guy
Has looked at me
With eyes filled with unspoken love
But mine
Filled with so much innocence
Never truly saw theirs

I wonder if any guy
Admired my ****** features
As I spoke to him
Seconds before coming to to conclusion
That I was beautiful

I wonder if any guy's
Last thought
Before he went to bed
Was about me

I wonder if any guy
Was dying to tell me
That they were in love with me
But felt too scared to do so

I wonder what people think
Those that know
And don't know me
When they look at me

I wonder...
"Hey loverboy," she says. I don't respond.*



A rough draft excerpt from my story, Fictional Truth.



“Hey loverboy,” she says. I don’t respond. I enjoy ignoring her for a moment after I come out of a day dream.

“Hey. Jake. Snap out of it boy. Time to come back to earth,” she says with her usual tone of pleased annoyance. This time I leave the world inside my head and return to reality. Slowly turning my head to the right, I can see those deep blue eyes gazing up. I never get tired of her eyes.

“Come on, you said you’d help me here.”

“Sorry,” I say with a half grin and my best attempt at contrition. I look down to the papers in her lap. Right, math. I was helping her with calculus. She was really very good at math. We were in the same class, but she was two years younger than me after skipping two grades in elementary school.

“This one you just take the derivative of your function and plug in these two values.” I can remember these things effortlessly now, which was a huge accomplishment for someone who doesn't particularly like math.

“See, this is why I keep you around,” she says, those rosy lips that I so adored pulled into a little smirk. She reaches up and kisses me. She always seems to find an excuse to kiss me. “You can go back to daydreaming now.” Indeed I do, retreating back to the dreamscape inside my head. This time I think back to when I met Clara.


I had just arrived on campus, a bright eyed college freshman. There I was, lost in a sea of beautiful women. Small private schools had never been kind to me in that regard. Everything on campus was a wonder. Nobody from my high school had come here and I was very much alone but I didn't mind, I had outgrown most of my high school friends long ago. It was long past time for me to expand my horizons.

I found myself standing in front of a massive glass building. I wasn't past checking my reflection in the glass windows. Had to make sure my hair still looked as good as it did when I arrived. Who knew when I might run in to? Opening the doors I caught a waft of the bookstore smell, unlike anything I expected. At home the bookstores were small, with dusty leather covers that begged to be handled and old people that smelled like coffee. This was completely different. The odor of panicked freshman and newly bound textbooks permeated the air. I decided right then I wouldn't be spending much time there.

There was a long line extending towards the back of the building. Not knowing better, I assumed it was the line I was supposed to be in and slowly made my way to the rear. This would take forever. I pulled out my phone and started on another game of Angry Birds. I had been killing evil pigs for almost five minutes when I began to feel like I was being watched. Sure enough I glanced up to see a large pair of deep blue eyes looking at me.

“You know, some psychologists say that technology is making us less social,” said the girl looking up at me. I couldn't respond. She had straight black hair pulled behind her in a long ponytail. She had a small, perfectly formed nose with what seemed like a sea of freckles on it. Even more freckles danced on her cheeks. She was several inches shorter than me, maybe 5’9” and had on tight jean shorts and a black tank top that exposed only the most tantalizing amount of cleavage.

“So I’m just starting to feel a little uncomfortable with you ******* me with your eyes like that,” she said with the smirk on her face that I would soon come to know.

“Sorry,” I said, a tiny grin tugging at the corner of my mouth, “You surprised me a bit.”

“I’m Clara. This is the point in conversation where you tell me your name.” I liked her already. She had confidence and wit that was both abrasive and attractive.

“I’m Jake, pleased to meet you.” ****, I was smooth, like a wagon over rocks. “Are you a freshman too?”

“Yep. Just got here. I don’t think this line is moving.” I really liked the way little dimples appeared at the corners of her mouth even when she frowned slightly.

“It really doesn't seem to be. At least I have pleasant company,” I said. Oh man I was so smooth! I was really proud of myself right there. Flirting was hard with pretty girls, they seemed to throw me off balance.

“Well, that was the least offensive flirting I've heard all day,” she replied. Good gosh this girl was straightforward. “It’s a good thing you’re cute or I might not have accepted that.” Cute. Okay, I could work with cute. “So you’re in psychology 1000?” she asked.

“Nope, I took that during high school.” I replied. Why would she ask that?

“Well, you’re standing in the psychology book pickup line.” She said with a slightly puzzled look on her face. I definitely was not in psychology.

“Oh, Psychology! I, uh, I thought you said, uh, philanthropy. Nope, I’m definitely in the right line." Okay, that was a lie and I was at least 100% sure philanthropy was not a class. But hey, I was under pressure. She looked at me like I was slightly on drugs but moved on without hesitation.

We talked about various meaningless things while the line crept closer to the back of the store. The stunningly blue shade of her eyes made it very difficult to focus on conversation. When we got to the pickup window, she paid for her book and stepped to the side, watching me. I decided to bow out of buying a several hundred dollar book just to avoid looking like an idiot. I comforted myself with the fact that she might think it was funny.

“Soooo. I’m not really in philanthropy. Or psychology. I just didn't want to stop talking to you just yet.” I said with a sheepish grin. Luckily for me, she laughed.

“Alright then Mr. Jake, what books do you really need? Maybe we can go stand in line again.” I listed off several books that I needed for classes.

“Calculus. I need that one as well. Come on silly.” She turned her back and started walking. I followed right on her heels, a goofy grin plastered all over my face.

That was my first interaction with Clara. We spent the next two hours gathering all of our books, and at the end I carried her rather large pile back to her dorm room. I was promptly rewarded with her phone number and some cookies that her mom had packed.


“Hey. What about this one?” Clara’s voice comes from beside me. I lean over to look at the paper again.

“This time just take the anti-derivative of cosine and solve for x.”

“Oh right. That's the last one.”

“What do you want to do now?” I ask.

“How about we go to your room and see if we can make your roommate uncomfortable enough to leave?” She says with a mischievous grin, bringing those deep blue eyes nearer to mine. She always seems to find an excuse to kiss me.
A rough draft excerpt from my short story, Fictional Truth.
NitaAnn Nov 2013
It’s funny…because no one ‘gets it’.
And the coping techniques that are ‘offered’
Well, they’re like putting a band-aid over a wound that needs a tourniquet!

“The little girl is suffering a loss and grief that she will need your permission,
patience and love to help her with.”

That’s what Dear Therapist says.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
Matthew 5:4… that’s what the Bible says.

“I need to “grieve” and “mourn” that which I never had?”
That’s what Nita asks.

Really?
Is this mourning?
Is this what mourning feels like?
A hole in the middle of your gut that gets
Wider and wider each time you try to plug it up?
The bleeding that continues no matter how much pressure you apply?
Is mourning talking about what happened to you?

What comes next, after the mourning period?
Is it “closure”?
And what does that mean, exactly, ‘closure’?
Is closure when you’re supposed to realize that all this
Is just something you should ‘get over’?
Like losing ½ your money in the stock market, or staining a favorite white shirt?

Is this the period of time where I pretend it’s ”business as usual”?
Or is this the time I should “pour out my grief”
“release my anger” and “face my emptiness”
Then feel comforted because you care?
Or maybe this is the time where I call upon the aid of my friends and family
For support, a shoulder to cry on
Someone to walk along side me down this road of pain and anguish.
Sit with me while I grieve the fact that I will never have a childhood,
And that deep down at the very core of my being,
I will always have a feeling of emptiness…
Yet I should rest easy because I shall be comforted…
And somehow find peace with that?
I don’t understand why I can’t do that!
Why I instead I feel myself dissolving.

I sit in your office, my eyes filled with tears,
As I reach for another tissue I actually pretend that you really care.
Maybe in some strange way that makes me feel better
That somehow  to think you actually understand
How hopeless it all feels so much of the time.

You know, when you grow up
unloved and unwanted and abused
You become almost super human.
You develop this ability to disappear
Even when it looks like you’re still there, present, in your body.
You can scream but nobody hears a sound escaping from your mouth.
You are invisible and you can fly far away from your body.
You are the thing who was born normal…
But that was so long ago you don’t even remember what it was like.
You don’t remember, you only remember “this”.

The band-aid doesn’t work,
The blood is continues to seep through
I continue to bleed and to grow weaker each moment.
But it doesn’t matter.
It doesn’t matter…just bleed out, Nita.
You know the rules.

Just bleed out.
Susan Hunt Jul 2012
CHAPTER ONE: THE DEMISE OF A YOUNG GIRL SEPTEMBER 1975


I had not seen my father in over two years when he showed up at my mom and step dad's condo. He had a slick knack of disappearing when laws were broken and he was wanted for questioning. He had an even better ability to re-enter when the heat was off.

My father owned three nightclubs in Oklahoma City. His first was the Silver Sword, and then he opened The Red Slipper. After he met his second wife, they together, opened the Jade Club.

All were successful, but the Red Slipper had a reputation. On a rare occasion, my dad would take me with him to open up the place. At first, it scared me. It was so dark in there. But as the lights came on behind the bar, I fell in love with the atmosphere.

Bobby Orr’s hockey stick hung on the wall, along with an endearing note from F. Lee Bailey. At six years old, all I knew was that they were the objects that made my dad beam.

I learned to play pool by standing on a phone book. I watched the colorful smacking ***** bounce around the most beautiful color of green I had ever seen. Chalking the stick was a chore, but after nearly poking my eye out once, I soon caught on.

It was a struggle to climb up on a barstool, but it was worth the effort. I sat at the bar and had lunch: popcorn, pretzels, peanuts and Pepsi.

As I grew older, I saw less and less of him, until he became a stranger, drifting in every once in awhile.  Every few weeks or so, I would come home from school, and see his car in the driveway.

This always shot fear and excitement through me. The air of unpredictability always made me want to ***. Unfortunately, most of the time, we were locked out of the house for a few hours, so I would have to *** in the back yard or at the neighbors. We waited on the stairs for the front door to open. And it always did, by my mom. She usually looked satisfied and serene but other times, I saw dread and sadness on her face.

Ever since I could remember, my dad had been a string of disappointments for me with a few indescribable moments of pure enjoyment mixed in between He could be kind, funny and like a real dad sometimes, that was the dad I missed. I tried to hold onto those experiences, even though he was such a mean ******* most of the time. But mostly, I just didn't know him.

Their divorce became final around the summer of 1972, but that didn't stop my mom from loving him. I don't know why, but she chased him frequently, going out to bars with her friends, trying to get a glimpse of him, and maybe more.

The last time I’d seen my father had not been pleasant. When I was thirteen, he broke down the door to our apartment and went straight to my mother’s bedroom. The noises were terrifying. The screaming, and punching sounds were followed by my mother’s whimpering, begging, groveling.

"How dare you do this to me, Patsy!? And behind my back! You could have at least told me!"

My dad had bailed himself out of jail that night. She promised him she would never seek alimony or child support again. Her lawyer was wrong. It wasn’t worth getting killed over.  

Shortly after, he had to leave the state. It had something to do with a low-level mob deal involving an insurance fraud. Too bad, it involved burning a building with someone in it. My dad became nothing but a memory, which faded away over time.

**

Alcohol and tobacco were constants in my family, so when my older brother, Tim, started smoking at ten years old, I don't remember much protest from anyone. I was seven and when my sister Abby, turned ten the next year, she also started smoking.  All the older kids were smoking cigarettes. I wanted to be cool, so I puked and coughed as I practiced. By the time I was ten, I too, was inhaling properly.  Around that time, I was introduced to *** by my sister's boyfriend. It did help my mood, somewhat, but it wasn't enough.

By 1974, I was using drugs from my sister’s boyfriend. John was a true drugstore cowboy. At first, he committed burglaries, which were easy at the time. There were no sophisticated electronics to stop someone from cutting a hole in the roof of a pharmacy. It took only minutes to pry open the safe that contained the narcotics. Then it took maybe another minute to fill a pillowcase full of every variety of amphetamines, barbiturates, valiums, etc.

It wasn’t long before I graduated to using morphine, ******* and then overdosed on Demerol. My stepfather sent me to a treatment facility in Tulsa Oklahoma, about one hundred miles away from Oklahoma City. The Dillon treatment center didn’t accept clients under age of sixteen but made an exception with me. I was a walking-talking disastrous miracle...or a miraculously saved disaster.

They figured that since I was fourteen, the sooner the better to start my road to recovery. Apparently, they didn’t condone sneaking *** and valiums in to the facility. I was kicked out of Dillon after about a month.

I came back home and laid low. I went back to Hefner Jr. High and enrolled back into the ninth grade. I quietly picked up where I left off, going back into business with John. My job was to sell the safe stuff; valiums, seconols, white bennies, ***, etc.


Summer came; I turned fifteen and had developed a tendency to over test my wares. I overdosed and nearly died in the hospital several times, which had led to my current predicament. Nobody knew what to do with me.

In August, I entered the tenth grade...for two weeks. I was expelled, (you guessed it) for dealing drugs. I was on homebound teaching twice a week with little supervision. My mother worked, my step-dad, **** ,worked, and I was home all day. However, I was not just sitting idly around. I was into enterprise.

**

In September, I overdosed again. I was quickly killing myself and my mother didn’t know what to do to stop it. That is why what happened was not my mother’s fault. But it wasn’t my fault either.

I never figured out how he knew where we lived. My mother moved over at least fourteen times in between the time I was six and twelve years old. Yet, here he was, at our front door, with his undeniable ‘ah shucks’ charm. His modesty was convincing. His timing was incredible. My mother stood frozen, her mouth agape. **** took the lead. He placed himself between my mother and father.

“You must be Gary Don, my name is ****; I’m Patsy’s husband." **** had never met my dad, but he'd heard enough about him to surmise who was standing at the door.

"Um, yeah, I'm Gary Don, it's nice to meet you ****", he said; as he offered a friendly hand shake to ****.

"I hope I'm not interrupting you, I was just in Duncan with my parents and they suggested I stop by and talk with you before heading back west. It's about Susie....

"Yes, Patsy said you called yesterday. We weren't expecting you this soon, but it's no problem. Why don't you come in and tell us what your plans are? Patsy, honey, would you mind putting on a *** of coffee?”

This unfroze my mother and she scurried to the kitchen. I was still in shock at seeing my dad’s face. I retreated to the staircase, but poked my head around and caught him glance at me. I flew up to the landing. I could easily escape up the rest of the stairs to my bedroom.
I was small enough to remain hidden on the landing, and heard the conversation between my mother, my dad and ****. **** was the classiest, most even-tempered adult I had ever encountered. I wished I could stop hurting him and my mother.  

My mother sat down two cups of coffee on the dining room table where my dad and **** sat. As she retreated a few steps back into the kitchen, **** politely probed my dad. My dad had the right answer for every question.

He swore he was a completely different person. He had changed. He had no hard feelings, instead he was back to help. He was remorseful for being an absent father and he wanted to make things right. He was back for a reason. He had heard that I was in trouble with drugs and school and he felt guilty for that. He had the answer to my problems. He was so convincing, so….humble, almost shy.

As I listened, I began freaking out with fear and excitement. I always wanted my dad. The last time I tried to live with him, it didn’t work out; he sent me back to my mother’s after a month. Now my dad wanted me! He wanted to save me, take care of me!

He lived by himself now. He was the manager of The Palace Restaurant/Hotel in the little town of Raton, New Mexico. It was a refurbished hotel, built over a century ago The ground floor was an elegant bar and restaurant. He was making very good money, he paid no rent and he had an extra room for me.

With a population of 6000, it was not a place to continue a lucrative drug business. Also, he would enroll me into the little high school and I could get my diploma. I could work in the restaurant in the evenings where he would keep his eye on me. Then, there was the horse. He would buy me a horse. And on and on and on.

The logic and sincerity of his argument was convincing. So there it was. An hour later, my bags were packed. I was going to live with my father in New Mexico.

That’s how in September 1975, my father whisked me away from my home in Oklahoma City, under the guise of saving me from my own demise. I was stolen and held captive in Raton, New Mexico for what seemed like forever.

My dog, Baron was coming with me, I refused to go anywhere without him. He was a tiny black and tan Dachshund. I got him free when I was fourteen, when I got back from Tulsa. To me, he was priceless. He was my best friend. He couldn’t have weighed more than ten pounds, but his heart was huge.

I talked to him about everything and he consoled me by nodding, and licking me on the cheek non-stop…or he would admonish me through his expressions and demeanor. I had lived with Dachshunds since I was seven, so understood their language pretty well. Baron understood humans better. We developed a rare communication that worked well for both of us.
Herman, our older dachshund had greeted my dad cordially. Baron couldn’t figure this out, he expressed his apprehension. He looked at me and conveyed,

“Well, if Herman isn’t worried, I guess it’ll be Okay, right? Right, Susan?”

I was sorry I didn’t have an honest answer. I did my best to settle him.

“Sure, this’ll be fun, a whole new adventure!”

As we drove West, toward the Texas panhandle, Baron kept the conversation going by his curious interest expressed by wide eyes and attentive ears. My dad amazed him with his knowledge of history, geography, geology, astronomy, world geo-politics, weather, music on the radio, literature, mechanics, religion and countless other topics. I knew he was faking his fascination with my dad. He knew he was doing me a favor.

There was not a dead moment in the air. An occasional “really?” expressed by me was enough to keep my dad’s mouth running. I was thankful for that. It kept my attention away from my jangle of emotions. As we drove through the night, I was conflicted, scared, excited, happy and worried. I didn’t know where I was going, or who was driving me there.

My dad’s jovial demeanor comforted me. He made The Palace sound like the perfect place for his little princess.

When we arrived, it was late, after 10pm., Baron was exhausted. I stood on the corner and looked up. I gulped. The three-story building was like an old gothic castle. It was a huge rectangle with the front corner cut back with a fifth wall about ten feet wide. This provided the entrance with two giant oak doors. Baron was less than enthused by its foreboding appearance. I had to agree.

Dad ignored my hesitation. “Come on, you’re going to love this place!”

He pulled open one of the oak doors, which had to weigh at least five hundred pounds. I was hesitant, but thirsty. Baron’s squirming had started to annoy me. I went forward filled with adrenalin.

The initial entrance was a small round foyer with a domed ceiling of cut glass. It was about six feet round. As I stared up at the beautiful little pieces of color, I heard my dad chuckle.

“See? I told you, there’s no place like this!”

Then I saw the true entry to the bar, a set of small bat winged doors that swung back and forth. He pulled one of the doors back, beckoning me forward. He looked down at me with a tender expression.

“Welcome home, honey, this is home now.”

As we entered the bar, I was dumbstruck. Baron was not. I stepped back in time, to 1896, into The Palace Hotel.

The bar took up half of the first floor of the hotel. It was the most captivating centerpiece of the establishment. The mirror behind the bar was the longest continuous piece of reflection glass in all the states, the brochure proclaimed. A brass foot rail extended the length of the long cherry oak bar A few feet behind was a waist high railing just like the saloons in old John Wayne movies.

The carpet was a deep royal red interlaced with black swirly patterns. Bright golden paper covered the walls. It was smooth and shiny with raised curly designs made out of felt or maybe even velour. God, I just wanted to reach over and run my fingers across it!  

The wall opposite the bar had windows that were quizzically narrow and impossibly tall. Lush maroon velvet drapes adorned them, parted in the center to provide a view of the quaint town just beyond the sidewalk.

I looked up at the ornate ceiling, which seemed a mile above me. It was covered with tiles of little angels that all looked the same, yet different. The angels danced across the entire ceiling until it curved and met the wall. I got dizzy looking at them.

“You can’t find ceiling tiles like that anywhere! My dad grinned. “They’re covered in pure gold leaf!”

I didn’t know what pure gold leaf was, but the word ‘gold’ impressed me very much.

He introduced me to the staff. I l blushed when he said; “This is Susie, my favorite little girl!” I had never heard that before. The whole crew greeted me warmly, all smiles and friendliness.  

I always paid attention when Baron got nervous but I chose to ignore him. I jostled him in my arms. My stern look at him stopped his squiggling, but his look back conveyed that I was clueless.

I, however thought, Okay, I have died and gone to Heaven! I was enchanted. My fascination with this magical setting made me feel happy; I was in the neatest place I had ever seen. I’m going to love it here!

On the first night, my dad led me around the ground floor. The restaurant was as elegant as the bar. To the rear of the restaurant, there was a large commercial kitchen. Off the rear of the kitchen, he showed, me a short hallway to the back exit. To the right, a huge staircase led to the two upper floors of dilapidated hotel rooms. A manager’s apartment had been converted from several hotel rooms connected together on the second floor, just above the entrance to the hotel.

We ended up back in the bar and sat at a table for two. Crystal, the head bartender stayed on for a little while longer after the rest of the staff were allowed to go home.

Sitting at the table, he ordered Harvey’s Bristol Cream Sherry. I had never had Cream Sherry before, but it tasted like candy with nuts and I had no problem going through numerous rounds in a very short time. I was hungry but I was too nervous to eat.

Baron, however, was ravenous. My dad fed him little pieces filet mignon and French bread with real butter. He played cute for my dad, sitting up and begging. He jumped up, putting his paws on my dad’s leg, wagging his tail like crazy.

I was a little befuddled until I caught his sideways glance that said, “I do not like this guy, but I gotta eat, I’m starving. You’re the one falling into his into his trap, not me.”

Ouch. “Baron, sometimes I wish you would shut the hell up.”

After having his fill, he settled into a wary sleep on top of my feet. I never worried about losing Baron. Where I went, he went, period.

I wasn’t aware when the bartender left. The bottle was on the table before I knew it; he kept my glass full. I was five feet tall and weighed 106 pounds. I had a lethal level of alcohol pulsing threw my entire body…and I had my daddy.

I was in a haze. Actually, it was more of a daze than a haze. My vision was
Nat Lipstadt Jun 2014
written two years ago and a bit, but suits still....

Weather Advisory: A long poem pouring ahead

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Be not fooled,
by the evening-tide,
be not deceived
by the quietude,
tis not a reprieve
of day before dark.

Be guarded,
for the easy transformation,
a tranquil shedding
of the day's husk,
into the faded light of dusk,
just one of nature's machinations
to delay the inevitable.

Evening-tide,
a colored compilation
of a few mischievous hours,
when sunlight is invaded by
streaks of pink, azure and gold,    
just before the
palette is plunged
into a stainless steel can
of gothic black,
skyied glory rendered into
common house paint.

Evening-tide,
an alleged easy calm
surfeits some souls,
supposed easy passage from  
the day's contusions to
a relaxation from humankind's regulations and rules,
but not for me.

Evening-tide,
when appetites unsated, simmer,
the in between hours when
humans transform themselves,
from day laborers to creatures
desiring, aroused, hungry  
for night time pleasures,
searching with false courage for
boundary lines to sever.

Evening-tide,
it was at evening-tide that
David espied, desired and
stole Bathsheba for his own,
with a King's arrogance
rent a kingdom,
murdered for profit,
birthed an Heir,
a prince, who wrote,
by evening-tide:

I have seen all the works
that are done under the sun; and,
behold, all is vanity
and vexation of spirit.

Evening-tide,
fear closes my throat,
confusion reappears,
a low grade flu infects
deemed persistent, incurable,
revisits, medicine resistant,
my insights, my speech,
to blind and bind  

Am I Gloucester,
blinded, but faculties
possessing vision,
the future to clarify?

No, no, it is to a king,
Lear,
to whom I am
son and cousin,
kith and kin

Sunset visions of
ultimate demise
ours eyes behold,
but plainly put,
at Evening-tide,
our dementia -
a precursor,
a periodic but hostile guest
in the hostel of our memories,
cracks and fractures us,
spirit first, body second.  

We are bound helpless
by a knotted tongue,
slow dying malingerer,
inside a head of ill repute,
unable to locate our knowing,
and every word selected,
a battle galactic, oft lost

Evening-tide,
I am cold,
and the issued command
is bring an umbrella
to warm and cover.  
What an old fool am I,
tis not blanket or a
Bathsheba I seek,
but at Evening-tide,
Babel's nefarious treasury of words
unlocked, for tis closed,                    
the gatekeepers,
drunk and absent,
drunk on absinthe,
and creme de mentia
and I have no key

Evening-tide, prithee,
I beg of thee,
consideration please,
check this hideous amusement,
that makes this
King's speech confused,
odor of smokeless cordite ignited
where the synapses have burnt,
injured, beyond repair
injured, by mine own aging.  

Reverse the diagnosis
of the panel of wordsmiths:
Alas, weep and be comforted...

Evening-tide,
a reverie of colored tears,
downward sloping,
arrive to tingle my tongue,
warming comfort for an *****
willing but unable,
a wounded soldier,
a veteran of poetry,
now prone and pained
beyond repair,
beyond healing,
immunized to the
heat and solder,
drugs and salves,
that heretofore
might have closed
the cracks of rack and ruin

Evening-tide,
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king's horses and
all the king's men couldn't
put Humpty together again^

Evening-tide,
my hair, the color of old age.
Irony, my skin yet smooth,
unwrinkled, not in need of the
toxins that are employed
to fill crevasses on
the outer banks of age of comedy

Alas, the toxins natural from within
have seeped from their
latent resting place and have
contaminated the groundwater
that lubricated my mind,  
from siege engines poured,
a contamination of
mine own making.  
After a life long battle,
my Jericho walls have fallen.

Lear and I faint recall the love
of our beloved Cordelia,
but try as we might
her name escapes our grasp,
******* by bite of aging's asp.

We grow drunk by night
on a drink not of choice,
unhappy fury,
the residue within
the imprisoned poison
of our polluted tears,
that come only after our
misspoken and misshapen
guttural croaks
of our Eveningtide prayers
are both
unintelligible and unrequited
Written 6/01/11, after seeing Derek Jacobi as King Lear. This poem is about my fears of dementia which people close to me suffer from, sadly.  Now, I struggle to recall names and places. Poetry, not so much because I get to pick and choose words at my own speed. But someday, who knows....the time between day and night, is a metaphor for a beautiful slow, slipping away but be not deceived, by the quietude, tis not a reprieveof day before dark.

^ this rhyme, purportedly a child's view of siege engines that could not break the walled of the City of Gloucester (how ironic!)  in 1643

An abbreviated version of this poem goes like this:
Nat went to see King Lear,
Then went down to the beach
To watch the sun set, the evening arrive,
They both reminded him, of his fear
That someday he'll probably sunset like Lear
And end the play, the eve, mad, his mind deceived,
De-worded, defanged, his poetry retired, but not relieved

— The End —