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1.
From my
uneasy bed
at the L’Enfant,
a train's pensive
horn breaks the
sullen lullaby of
an HVAC’s hum;
interrupting the
mechanical
reverie of its
steadfast
night watch,
allowing my ear
to discern
the stampede
of marauding
corporate Visigoths
sacking the city.

The cacophony
of sloven gluttony,
the ***** songs of
unrequited privilege
and the unencumbered
clatter of radical
entitlement echoes
off the city’s cold
crumbling stones.

The unctuous
bellows of the
victorious pillagers
profanely feasting
pierces the
hanging chill
of the nations
black night.

Their hoots
deride the train
transporting
the defeated
ghosts of
Lincoln’s last
doomed regiments
dispatched in vain
to preserve a
peoples republic
in a futile last stand.

The rebels have
finally turned the tide,
T Boone Pickett’s
Charge succeeds,
sending the ravaged
Grand Army of the
Republic sliding
back to the Capitol,
in savage servility,
gliding on squeaky
ungreased wheels
ferrying the
Union’s dead
vanquished
defenders to
unmarked graves
on Potters Field.

The Rebels
joyous yell
bounces off
the inert granite
stones of the
soulless city.

The spittle
of salivating
vandals drips
over the
spoils of war
as they initiate the
disassemblage,
the leveling and
reapportionment
of the grand prize.

The clever
oligarchs
have laid claim
to a righteous
reparation
of the peoples
assets for
pennies on the
dollar.

Their wholly
bought politicos
move to transfer
distressed assets
into their just
stewardship
through the
holy justice
of privatization
and the sound
rationale of
free market
solutions.

In the land of the
pursuit of property,
nimble wolf PACs
of swift 527, LLCs
have fully
metastasized
into personhood;
ascending to
the top of the
food chain in
America’s
voracious
political culture;
bestriding
the nation to
compel the
national will
to genuflect
to the cool facility
of corporate
dominion.

As the
inertial ******
of the plaintive
locomotive
fades into
another old
morning of
recalcitrant
Reaganism,
it lugs its
ambivalent
middle class
baggage toward
it’s fast expiring
future.

I follow
the dirge
down to
the street
as the ebbing
sound fades
into the gloom
of the
burgeoning
morning,
slowly
replacing the
purple twilight
with a breaking
day of cold gray
clouds framing
silhouettes of
cranes busily
constructing
a new city.

The personhood of
corporations need
homes in our new
republic; carving
out new
neighborhoods
suitable for the
monied citizens
of our nation.

First amongst
equals, the best
corporate governance
charters form
the foundation of
the republic’s
new constitution.
Civil rights
are secondary
to the freedom
of markets; the
Bill of Rights
are economically
replaced by the
cool manifests
of Bills of Lading.

The agents of
laissez faire
capitalism
nibble away
at the city’s
neighborhoods
one block at a time;
while steady winds
blows dust off
the National Mall.

Layers of the
peoples plaza are
plained away with
each rising gust.  

History repeats
itself as the Joad’s
are routed from their
land once again.

A clever
mixed use
plan of
condos and
strip malls
is proposed
to finally help the
National Mall
unlock its true
profit potential.

As America’s
affection for
federalism fades
the water in
the reflection pool
is gracefully drained.

We the people
can no longer
see ourselves.

The profit
potential of
industry is
preferred over
the specious
metaphysical
benefits
of reflection.

The grand image,
the rich pastiche,
the quixotic aroma
of the national
melting ***
is reduced to the
sameness of the
black tar that lines
the pool and the
swirling eddies of
brown dust circling
the cracked indenture.

From his not so
distant vantage point,
Abe ponders the
empty pool wondering
if the cost of lives
paid was a worthy
endeavor of preserving
the ****** union?  
Has the dear prize
won perished from
this earth?

Was the illusive
article of liberty  
worth its weight in
the blood expended?

Did the people ever
fully realize the value
of government
by the people,
for the people?

Did citizens of
the republic
assume the
responsibilities to
protect and honor
the rights and privileges
of a representative
government?

Now our idea
and practice of
civil rights is measured
and promoted as far as
it can be justified by
a corporate ROI, a
shareholder dividend,
an earmark or a political
donation to a senators
unconnected PAC.

The divine celestial
ledgers balancing
the rights and
privilege of free people
drips with red ink.  

Liberty, equality
fraternity are bankrupt
secular notions
condemned as
expensive
liberal seditions;
hatched by
UnHoly Jacobins,
the atheist skeptics
during the dark times
of the Age of Enlightenment.

Abe ponders
the restoration
of Washington’s
obelisk, to
repair the cracks
suffered  from
last summer’s
freak earthquake.

I believe I detect
a tear in Abe’s
granite eye
saddened by the
corporate temblors
shaking the
foundations
of the city.

2.

The WWII Memorial
is America’s Parthenon
for a country's love
affair with the valor
and sacrifice of warfare.

WWII forms the
cornerstone of
understanding the
pathos of the
American Century.

During WWII
our greatest generation
rose as a nation to
defeat the menace of
global fascism and
indelibly mark the
power and virtue of
American democracy.

As Lincoln’s Army
saved federalism, FDR’s
Army kept the world safe
for democracy.

Both armies served
a nation that shared
the sacrifice and
burden of war to
preserve the grace of
a republican democracy.

Today federalism
crumbles as our
democracy withers.

The burden
of war is reserved
for a precious few
individuals while
its benefits
remain confined to
the corporate elite.

Our monuments
to war have become
commercial backdrops
for the hollow patriotism
of war profiteers.

We have mortgaged
our future to pay
for two criminal wars.

The spoils of
war flow into the
pockets of
corporate
shareholders
deeply invested
in the continuation
of pointless,
destructive
hostilities.

Our service
members who
selflessly served
their country come
home to a less free,
fear struck nation;
where economic
security and political
liberty erodes
each day while the
monied interests
continue to bless
the abundance
of freedom and riches
purchased with the
blood and sweat
of others.

America desperately
needs a new narrative.

The spirit of the
Greatest Generation
who sacrificed and met
the challenge of the 20th
Century must become
this generations spiritual
forebears.

The war on terror
neatly fits the
the corporate
pathos of
militarism,
surveillance
and the sacrifice
of civil liberties
to purchase
a daily measure
of fear and
economic
enslavement.

It must be rejected
by a people committed
to building secular
temples to pursue
peace, democracy,
economic empowerment,
civil liberties and tolerance
for all.

Yet this old city
and the democratic
temples it built
exulting a free people
anointed with the
grace of liberty
is being consumed
in a morass of
commercial
polyglot.

3.

During the
War of 1812
the British Army
burned the
Capitol Building
and the White House
to the ground.

Thank goodness
Dolly Madison saved
what she could.

The new marauders
are not subject to the
pull of nostalgia.  

They value nothing
save their
self enrichment.

They will spare nothing.

Our besieged Capitol
requires Lincoln’s troops
to be stationed along the
National Mall to defend
the republic.

The greatest peril
to our nation
is being directed
by well placed
Fifth Columnists.

From the safety
of underground bunkers,
in secure undisclosed
locations within the city’s
parameters, a well financed
confederacy employing  
K Street shenanigans
are busy selling off
the American Dream
one ear mark
at a time, one
huge corporate
welfare allotment
at a time.

The biggest prize
is looting the real
property of the people;
selling Utah,
auctioning off
the public schools,
water systems, post offices
and mineral rights
on the cheap
at an Uncle Sam
garage sale.  

The capitol is
indeed burning
again.

Looters are
running riot.

The flailing arms
of a dying empire
fire off cruise
missiles and drone
strikes; hitting the
target of habeas
corpus as it
shakes in its
final death rattle.
I make a pilgrimage
to the MLK Jr.
Monument.

Our cultural identity
is outsourced to
foreign contractors
paid to reinterpret
the American Dream
through the eyes
of a lowest bidder.

MLK has lost
his humanity.

He has been
reduced to a
a Chinese
superhuman
Mao like anime
busting loose from
a granite mountain while
geopolitical irony
compels him to watch
Tommy Jefferson
**** Sally Hemings
from across the tidal
basin for all eternity.  

MLK’s eyes fixed in
stern fascination,
forever enthralled
by the contradictions
of liberty and its
democratic excesses
of love in the willows
on golden pond.

Circling back to
Father Abraham’s
Monument,  I huddle
with a group of global
citizens listening
to an NPS Ranger
spinning four score
tales with the last full
measure of her devotion.

I look up into Abe’s
stone eyes as he
surveys platoons
of gray suited
Chinese Communist
envoys engaged
in Long Marches
through the National Mall;
dutifully encircling cabinet
buildings and recruiting
Tea Party congressmen
into their open party cells.

This confederacy
is ready to torch
the White House
again.

Congressmen and
the perfect patriots
from K Street slavishly
pull their paymasters
in gilded rickshaws to
golf outings at the Pentagon
and park at the preferred
spots reserved for
the luxury box holders
at Redskin Games.

They vow not to rest
until the house of the people
is fully mortgaged to the
People’s Republic of China’s
Sovereign Wealth Fund.

4.

A great
Son of Liberty like
Alan Greenspan
roundly rings
the bells of
free markets
as he inches
T Bill rates
forward a few
basis points
at a time; while
his dead mentor
Ayn Rand
lifts Paul Ryan
to her
Fountainhead teet.
He takes a long
draw as she
coos songs
from her primer
of Atlas Shrugged
Mother Goose tales
into his silky ears.

The construction
cranes swing
to the music
building new private
sector space with
the largess of
US taxpayers
money; or
more rightly
future generations
taxpayer debt.

Libertarians,
Tea Baggers, Blue Dogs
and GOP waterboys
eagerly light a
match to the
the crucifixes
bearing federal
social safety
net programs
to the delight
of NASDAQ
listed capitalists
on the come,
licking their chops
to land contracts
to administer
these programs
at a negotiated
cost plus
profit margin.

Citizens
dependent
on programs
are leery
shareholders
are ecstatic.

To be sure
our free
market rebels
don disguises
of red, white
and blue robes
but their objectives
fail to distinguish
their motives and
methods with
some of the finest
Klansman this
country has
ever produced.

5.

DC is a city
of joggers
and choppers.

Corporate
helicopters
wizz by the
Washington
Monument,
popping erections
for the erectors
inspecting the progress
of the cranes
commanding the
city skyline.

USMC drill team
out for a morning
run circles the Mall.

The commanding
cadence of the
DI keeps us
mindful of the
deepening
militarization of
our society.

A crowd  
rushes
to position
themselves,
genuflecting
to photograph
a platoon on
the move.

I try to consider
the defining
characteristics of
Washington DC.

DC is all surface.

It is full of walls
and mirrors.

Its primary hue
is obfuscation.

Open
communication
scripted from well
considered talking points
informs all dialog.

The city is thoroughly
enraptured in narcissism.

Thankfully, one can
always capture the
reflection of oneself in
the ubiquitous presence of
mirrors.  

Vanity imprisons
the city inhabitants.

Young joggers circle the
Mall and gerrymander
down every pathway
of the city.  

They are the clerks,
interns and staffers of
the judicial, executive
and legislative branches.

They are the children
of privilege.

They will never
alter their path.

You must cede the walk
to their entitlement
of a swift comportment
or risk injury of a
violent collision.

These young ones
portray a countenance  
of benevolent rulers.  

They seem to be learning
their trade craft well from
the senators and judges
whom they serve.

They appear confident
they know what's best
for the country and after
their one term of tireless
service to the republic
they look forward to
positions in the private
sector where they will
assist corporations
to extend their reach
into the pant pockets
worn by the body politic.

6.

Our nations mythic story
lies hidden deep in the
closed rooms of the
museums lining the
Mall.

I pause to consider
what a great nation
and its great people
once aspired to.

I spy the a
suspended
Space Shuttle
hanging in dry dock
at the air and
space museum.

Today America’s
astronauts hitch
rides on Russian
rockets.

America rents a
timeshare from
the European
space agency to
lift communication
satellites into orbit.

Across the Mall
I photograph
John Smithson’s
ashes in its columbarium.  

I fear it has become a
metaphor for America’s
future commitment
to scientific inquiry
and rational secular
thinking.

I am relieved to
discover a Smithsonian
exhibit that asks
“what does it mean
to be human?”

The Origins of Humans
exhibit carries a disclaimer
to satisfy creationists.

The exhibit timidly states
that science can coexist
with religious beliefs and
that the point of the exhibit is
not to inflame inflame religious
passions but to shed light on
scientific inquiry.

I imagine these exhibits
will inflame the passion of
the fundamentalist
American Taliban and
provide yet another
reason to dismantle
the Moloch of Federalism.

The pursuit of science
remains safe at the
Smithsonian for now.

7.

Near K Street at
McPherson Park
a posse of
well dressed
lobbyists, the
self anointed
uber patriots
doing the work
of the people
stroll through
the park
boasting a
healthy population
of bedraggled
homeless.

The homeless
occupy the benches
that have been
transformed into
pup tents.

Perhaps some of
the residents of this
mean estate were
made homeless by a
foreclosed mortgage.  

The K Street warriors
can be proud that their
work on behalf of the
banking industry has
forestalled financial market
reform.  

Through it exacerbates
the homeless problem it has
allowed these K Street titans to
profit from the distress of others.

Earlier in the day
I photographed
a homeless man
planted in front of
the Washington
Monument.

I wonder
if my political
voyeurism is
an exploitation of
this man’s condition?

I have more in common
then I probably wish to
admit with my K Street
antagonists.  

In another section
of the park the
remnants of a
distressed OWS
bivouac remain.

The legions of sunshine
patriots have melted away
as the interest of the
blogosphere has waned.

As the weather
improves Moveon.org
and democratic
party operatives
pitch tents in an
effort to resuscitate
the moribund
movement.

They hope
to coop any
remaining energy
to support their
stale deception,
a neoliberal vision
based solely on the
total capitulation
to the bankrupt
corporatocracy.

I heard someone say
a campaign lasts a
season; while a
movement for social
change takes decades.

If that metric proves
correct, and if the
powers don’t succeed
in compromising the
people’s movement
I’ll be three quarters
of a century old
before I see
justice flowing like
a river once again.

8.

I circle back to
the L’Enfant and
find myself
tramping amidst
the lost platoon
of Korean War
soldiers.

My feet drag
in the quagmire
of grass covering
the feet of this
ghostly troop.

My namesake
uncle was a
decorated
veteran of this
conflict and Im
sure I detect
his likeness
in one of the
statues.

The bleak call
of a distant train
sounds a revelry
and I imagine this
patrol springing
to life to answer
the call of their
beloved country
once again.

Yet they remain
inert.  

Stuck in a
place that the
nation finds
impossible to
leave.

The eyes of the
men stare into
an incomprehensible
fate.  

They see the swarms
of Red Army infantrymen
crossing the Yellow River
streaming toward
them in massive
human waves,
the tips of
sparkling bayonets
threatening to slash
the outmanned
contingent fighting
to bits.

They are the
first detachment
to bravely confront
the rising power
of China many
thousands of
miles away
from their homes.

America like
this lone company
is overwhelmed
and lost in the
confusion
that confronts
them.

Looking up
I perceive the
bewilderment
of my muddled image
reflected on the
marble walls
surrounding
the memorial.

I am a comrade-in-arms,
a fellow wanderer sojourning
with th
1
I celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.

I loafe and invite my soul,
I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.

My tongue, every atom of my blood, form’d from this soil, this air,
Born here of parents born here from parents the same, and their
parents the same,
I, now thirty-seven years old in perfect health begin,
Hoping to cease not till death.

Creeds and schools in abeyance,
Retiring back a while sufficed at what they are, but never forgotten,
I harbor for good or bad, I permit to speak at every hazard,
Nature without check with original energy.

2
Houses and rooms are full of perfumes, the shelves are crowded with
perfumes,
I breathe the fragrance myself and know it and like it,
The distillation would intoxicate me also, but I shall not let it.

The atmosphere is not a perfume, it has no taste of the
distillation, it is odorless,
It is for my mouth forever, I am in love with it,
I will go to the bank by the wood and become undisguised and naked,
I am mad for it to be in contact with me.

The smoke of my own breath,
Echoes, ripples, buzz’d whispers, love-root, silk-thread, crotch and
vine,
My respiration and inspiration, the beating of my heart, the passing
of blood and air through my lungs,
The sniff of green leaves and dry leaves, and of the shore and
dark-color’d sea-rocks, and of hay in the barn,

The sound of the belch’d words of my voice loos’d to the eddies of
the wind,
A few light kisses, a few embraces, a reaching around of arms,
The play of shine and shade on the trees as the supple boughs wag,
The delight alone or in the rush of the streets, or along the fields
and hill-sides,
The feeling of health, the full-noon trill, the song of me rising
from bed and meeting the sun.

Have you reckon’d a thousand acres much? have you reckon’d the
earth much?
Have you practis’d so long to learn to read?
Have you felt so proud to get at the meaning of poems?

Stop this day and night with me and you shall possess the origin of
all poems,
You shall possess the good of the earth and sun, (there are millions
of suns left,)
You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, nor look
through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the spectres in
books,
You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me,
You shall listen to all sides and filter them from your self.

3
I have heard what the talkers were talking, the talk of the
beginning and the end,
But I do not talk of the beginning or the end.

There was never any more inception than there is now,
Nor any more youth or age than there is now,
And will never be any more perfection than there is now,
Nor any more heaven or hell than there is now.

Urge and urge and urge,
Always the procreant urge of the world.

Out of the dimness opposite equals advance, always substance and
increase, always ***,
Always a knit of identity, always distinction, always a breed of
life.
To elaborate is no avail, learn’d and unlearn’d feel that it is so.

Sure as the most certain sure, plumb in the uprights, well
entretied, braced in the beams,
Stout as a horse, affectionate, haughty, electrical,
I and this mystery here we stand.

Clear and sweet is my soul, and clear and sweet is all that is not
my soul.

Lack one lacks both, and the unseen is proved by the seen,
Till that becomes unseen and receives proof in its turn.

Showing the best and dividing it from the worst age vexes age,
Knowing the perfect fitness and equanimity of things, while they
discuss I am silent, and go bathe and admire myself.

Welcome is every ***** and attribute of me, and of any man hearty
and clean,
Not an inch nor a particle of an inch is vile, and none shall be
less familiar than the rest.

I am satisfied - I see, dance, laugh, sing;
As the hugging and loving bed-fellow sleeps at my side through the
night, and withdraws at the peep of the day with stealthy
tread,
Leaving me baskets cover’d with white towels swelling the house with
their plenty,
Shall I postpone my acceptation and realization and scream at my
eyes,
That they turn from gazing after and down the road,
And forthwith cipher and show me to a cent,
Exactly the value of one and exactly the value of two, and which is
ahead?

4
Trippers and askers surround me,
People I meet, the effect upon me of my early life or the ward and
city I live in, or the nation,
The latest dates, discoveries, inventions, societies, authors old
and new,
My dinner, dress, associates, looks, compliments, dues,
The real or fancied indifference of some man or woman I love,
The sickness of one of my folks or of myself, or ill-doing or loss
or lack of money, or depressions or exaltations,
Battles, the horrors of fratricidal war, the fever of doubtful news,
the fitful events;
These come to me days and nights and go from me again,
But they are not the Me myself.

Apart from the pulling and hauling stands what I am,
Stands amused, complacent, compassionating, idle, unitary,
Looks down, is *****, or bends an arm on an impalpable certain rest,
Looking with side-curved head curious what will come next,
Both in and out of the game and watching and wondering at it.

Backward I see in my own days where I sweated through fog with
linguists and contenders,
I have no mockings or arguments, I witness and wait.

5
I believe in you my soul, the other I am must not abase itself to
you,
And you must not be abased to the other.

Loafe with me on the grass, loose the stop from your throat,
Not words, not music or rhyme I want, not custom or lecture, not
even the best,
Only the lull I like, the hum of your valved voice.

I mind how once we lay such a transparent summer morning,
How you settled your head athwart my hips and gently turn’d over
upon me,
And parted the shirt from my *****-bone, and plunged your tongue
to my bare-stript heart,
And reach’d till you felt my beard, and reach’d till you held my
feet.

Swiftly arose and spread around me the peace and knowledge that pass
all the argument of the earth,
And I know that the hand of God is the promise of my own,
And I know that the spirit of God is the brother of my own,
And that all the men ever born are also my brothers, and the women
my sisters and lovers,
And that a kelson of the creation is love,
And limitless are leaves stiff or drooping in the fields,
And brown ants in the little wells beneath them,
And mossy scabs of the worm fence, heap’d stones, elder, mullein and
poke-****.

6
A child said What is the grass? fetching it to me with full hands;
How could I answer the child? I do not know what it is any more
than he.

I guess it must be the flag of my disposition, out of hopeful green
stuff woven.

Or I guess it is the handkerchief of the Lord,
A scented gift and remembrancer designedly dropt,
Bearing the owner’s name someway in the corners, that we may see
and remark, and say Whose?

Or I guess the grass is itself a child, the produced babe of the
vegetation.

Or I guess it is a uniform hieroglyphic,
And it means, Sprouting alike in broad zones and narrow zones,
Growing among black folks as among white,
Kanuck, Tuckahoe, Congressman, Cuff, I give them the same, I
receive them the same.

And now it seems to me the beautiful uncut hair of graves.

Tenderly will I use you curling grass,
It may be you transpire from the ******* of young men,
It may be if I had known them I would have loved them,
It may be you are from old people, or from offspring taken soon out
of their mothers’ laps,
And here you are the mothers’ laps.

This grass is very dark to be from the white heads of old mothers,
Darker than the colorless beards of old men,
Dark to come from under the faint red roofs of mouths.

O I perceive after all so many uttering tongues,
And I perceive they do not come from the roofs of mouths for
nothing.

I wish I could translate the hints about the dead young men and
women,
And the hints about old men and mothers, and the offspring taken
soon out of their laps.

What do you think has become of the young and old men?
And what do you think has become of the women and children?

They are alive and well somewhere,
The smallest sprout shows there is really no death,
And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait at the
end to arrest it,
And ceas’d the moment life appear’d.

All goes onward and outward, nothing collapses,
And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier.

7
Has any one supposed it lucky to be born?
I hasten to inform him or her it is just as lucky to die, and I know
it.

I pass death with the dying and birth with the new-wash’d babe, and
am not contain’d between my hat and boots,
And peruse manifold objects, no two alike and every one good,
The earth good and the stars good, and their adjuncts all good.

I am not an earth nor an adjunct of an earth,
I am the mate and companion of people, all just as immortal and
fathomless as myself,
(They do not know how immortal, but I know.)

Every kind for itself and its own, for me mine male and female,
For me those that have been boys and that love women,
For me the man that is proud and feels how it stings to be slighted,
For me the sweet-heart and the old maid, for me mothers and the
mothers of mothers,
For me lips that have smiled, eyes that have shed tears,
For me children and the begetters of children.

Undrape! you are not guilty to me, nor stale nor discarded,
I see through the broadcloth and gingham whether or no,
And am around, tenacious, acquisitive, tireless, and cannot be
shaken away.

8
The little one sleeps in its cradle,
I lift the gauze and look a long time, and silently brush away flies
with my hand.

The youngster and the red-faced girl turn aside up the bushy hill,
I peeringly view them from the top.

The suicide sprawls on the ****** floor of the bedroom,
I witness the corpse with its dabbled hair, I note where the pistol
has fallen.

The blab of the pave, tires of carts, sluff of boot-soles, talk of
the promenaders,
The heavy omnibus, the driver with his interrogating thumb, the
clank of the shod horses on the granite floor,
The snow-sleighs, clinking, shouted jokes, pelts of snow-*****,
The hurrahs for popular favorites, the fury of rous’d mobs,
The flap of the curtain’d litter, a sick man inside borne to the
hospital,
The meeting of enemies, the sudden oath, the blows and fall,
The excited crowd, the policeman with his star quickly working his
passage to the centre of the crowd,
The impassive stones that receive and return so many echoes,
What groans of over-fed or half-starv’d who fall sunstruck or in
fits,
What exclamations of women taken suddenly who hurry home and
give birth to babes,
What living and buried speech is always vibrating here, what howls
restrain’d by decorum,
Arrests of criminals, slights, adulterous offers made, acceptances,
rejections with convex lips,
I mind them or the show or resonance of them-I come and I depart.

9
The big doors of the country barn stand open and ready,
The dried grass of the harvest-time loads the slow-drawn wagon,
The clear light plays on the brown gray and green intertinged,
The armfuls are pack’d to the sagging mow.

I am there, I help, I came stretch’d atop of the load,
I felt its soft jolts, one leg reclined on the other,
I jump from the cross-beams and seize the clover and timothy,
And roll head over heels and tangle my hair full of wisps.

10
Alone far in the wilds and mountains I hunt,
Wandering amazed at my own lightness and glee,
In the late afternoon choosing a safe spot to pass the night,
Kindling a fire and broiling the fresh-****’d game,
Falling asleep on the gather’d leaves with my dog and gun by my
side.

The Yankee clipper is under her sky-sails, she cuts the sparkle
and scud,
My eyes settle the land, I bend at her prow or shout joyously from
the deck.

The boatmen and clam-diggers arose early and stopt for me,
I tuck’d my trowser-ends in my boots and went and had a good time;
You should have been with us that day round the chowder-kettle.

I saw the marriage of the trapper in the open air in the far west,
the bride was a red girl,
Her father and his friends sat near cross-legged and dumbly smoking,
they had moccasins to their feet and large thick blankets
hanging from their shoulders,
On a bank lounged the trapper, he was drest mostly in skins, his
luxuriant beard and curls protected his neck, he held his bride
by the hand,
She had long eyelashes, her head was bare, her coarse straight locks
descended upon her voluptuous limbs and reach’d to her
feet.

The runaway slave came to my house and stopt outside,
I heard his motions crackling the twigs of the woodpile,
Through the swung half-door of the kitchen I saw him limpsy and
weak,
And went where he sat on a log and led him in and assured him,
And brought water and fill’d a tub for his sweated body and bruis’d
feet,
And gave him a room that enter’d from my own, and gave him some
coarse clean clothes,
And remember perfectly well his revolving eyes and his awkwardness,
And remember putting piasters on the galls of his neck and ankles;
He staid with me a week before he was recuperated and pass’d north,
I had him sit next me at table, my fire-lock lean’d in the corner.

11
Twenty-eight young men bathe by the shore,
Twenty-eight young men and all so friendly;
Twenty-eight years of womanly life and all so lonesome.

She owns the fine house by the rise of the bank,
She hides handsome and richly drest aft the blinds of the window.

Which of the young men does she like the best?
Ah the homeliest of them is beautiful to her.

Where are you off to, lady? for I see you,
You splash in the water there, yet stay stock still in your room.

Dancing and laughing along the beach came the twenty-ninth
bather,
The rest did not see her, but she saw them and loved them.

The beards of the young men glisten’d with wet, it ran from their
long hair,
Little streams pass’d all over their bodies.

An unseen hand also pass’d over their bodies,
It descended tremblingly from their temples and ribs.

The young men float on their backs, their white bellies bulge to the
sun, they do not ask who seizes fast to them,
They do not know who puffs and declines with pendant and bending
arch,
They do not think whom they ***** with spray.

12
The butcher-boy puts off his killing-clothes, or sharpens his knife
at the stall in the market,
I loiter enjoying his repartee and his shuffle and break-down.

Blacksmiths with grimed and hairy chests environ the anvil,
Each has his main-sledge, they are all out, there is a great heat in
the fire.

From the cinder-strew’d threshold I follow their movements,
The lithe sheer of their waists plays even with their massive arms,
Overhand the hammers swing, overhand so slow, overhand so sure,
They do not hasten, each man hits in his place.

13
The ***** holds firmly the reins of his four horses, the block swags
underneath on its tied-over chain,
The ***** that drives the long dray of the stone-yard, steady and
tall he stands pois’d on one leg on the string-piece,
His blue shirt exposes his ample neck and breast and loosens over
his hip-band,
His glance is calm and commanding, he tosses the slouch of his hat
away from his forehead,
The sun falls on his crispy hair and mustache, falls on the black of
his polish’d and perfect limbs.

I behold the picturesque giant and love him, and I do not stop
there,
I go with the team also.

In me the caresser of life wherever moving, backward as well as
forward sluing,
To niches aside and junior bending, not a person or object missing,
Absorbing all to myself and for this song.

Oxen that rattle the yoke and chain or halt in the leafy shade, what
is that you express in your eyes?
It seems to me more than all the print I have read in my life.

My tread scares the wood-drake and wood-duck on my distant and
day-long ramble,
They rise together, they slowly circle around.

I believe in those wing’d purposes,
And acknowledge red, yellow, white, playing within me,
And consider green and violet and the tufted crown i
Forty Days

A Season of Grief, a Season of Rejoicing

November 9-December 20, 2014

For Barbara Beach Alter 
It is Christmas morning in Saco, Maine, where today Bett, Aaron, Emily, Thomasin and our beloved cousin Marie find ourselves gathered to celebrate our first Christmas without dadima (our name for Barbara Beach Alter).  Brother Tom writes that already in India he and Carol with Jamie, Meha and Cayden (the only of her seven greatgrandchildren Barry never held) have celebrated.  Today Marty and Lincoln join us in Maine.

This gathering of documents—notes, drafts of memorial services, poems, homilies—is my christmas present to each of you.  It is a record, certainly subjective, of grief and rejoicing.

John Copley Alter
1:14 a.m.
Saco, Maine 
November 9

Loved ones,
Barbara Beach Alter died peacefully at 2:55 Sunday morning (today).  Bett and I had the good fortune to be there for the final beating of her good strong heart.  She murmured charcoal.  The nurse who was bathing her afterwards noted how few wrinkles there were, and it is true.
For those of you nearby you may if you want visit Mom in her room at hospice this morning (until noon).  Visit? Darshan? Paying respects?
Bett and I plan to be there around 11:00.
Much love to all. A blessed occasion.
John


November 10

Matthew 5:13-19
Jesus said, "You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.
"You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
"Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven."

yesterday in the early hours my mother died her saltiness
restored all that had through the months of her old
age and convalescence obscured the lens of her life cleaned
away so that for us now more and more clearly
as we hear about her through the memory and love
of so many people her good works shine forth in
their glory but it is to the days of her
convalescence the days of her dementia I would turn our
minds those of us who spent time with her at
Wingate long-term care facility remember that Barbara Beach Alter became
at times fierce in her commanding us that ‘not one
letter, not one stroke of a letter’ of the commandments
should be altered do you remember that those of you
and us who were given the work and gift of
spending time with Barry in those days in that condition

remember for instance how fussy she became about the sequence
of food on her tray how impatient with us for
our trespasses and violations how adamant that we look forward
for instance and not back at her how she would
say stop holding my hand and saying you love me
you have work to do o she was almost impossible
and certainly incoherent and demented in her obsession with law
and procedure fussy impatient imperious I do not forget being
scolded reamed out put in my place for having somehow
failed to do what the ‘law and the prophets’ demand

Barbara beach alter in the days before hospice in the
nursing home and hospital and even if we are honest
in the final years of her life found herself caught
up in the rigidity of her anxious desire to be
faithful to the laws and commandments of her life and
that made her at times extremely demanding to be with

amen and the epistemological confusion of course the clash between
her reality and ours it was all an ordeal for
her and for those of us who kept her company

and yet and yet through it all and now as
that ordeal for her is no longer paramount as she
dances in heaven all the wrinkles and discomfort of her
life removed and forgiven Barbara Beach Alter kept the faith
living in the midst such that those who cared for
her most intimately the strangers all professed your mother blessed
us


Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.



So, brother and sister, here are my thoughts about the memorial service(s).
Let’s find a time when we three can be present; that’s the most important thing.  My life is currently the least constrained by agenda and schedule.  And then the grandchildren, recognizing that Jamie may not be able to come.  So, our work is to find our when our kids are able to come. Bett and I are exploring that with our three, each of whom has some constraint: Emily, the cost; Thomasin, the piebaking demands, Aaron school.  But we are flexible.

Much love.

John



Walking in my mother’s wake today some trees
a gentle breeze some dogs a little boy
the neighborhood and I took joy from interaction

we are at best a fraction in love’s
calculation after all heaven I realize is not
above or below cannot be taught comes naturally

as death does walking in my mother’s wake
I found new allies learned yet again not
to take myself too seriously to be caught

off guard as a matter of principle and
not to insist that I understand but live
in the midst of forgiveness


in my mother’s wake I am reading these books for
some way to continue to knock on her door Wendell
Berry he can tell me some things and William Blake
he can take me closer and I remember she described
me once as an unused Jewish liberal so I am
reading about protestant liberalism but ham that I am also
reading Carl Hiassen’s Bad Monkey and Quo Vadimus that my
daughter left behind and mythologically Reflections from yale divinity school
no fooling Denise Levertov David Sobel Galway Kinnell’s translation of
Rilke some wake

November 11

Matthew 25:1-13
Jesus said, "Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a shout, 'Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.' Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.' But the wise replied, 'No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.' And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, 'Lord, lord, open to us.' But he replied, 'Truly I tell you, I do not know you.' Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour."

this morning in the wee hours my mother died one
of the wise bridesmaids whose lamp to the end was
full she carried always the flask of oil that is
joy that is the love of the kingdom of heaven
and of the bridegroom a flask always replenished by prayer
by devotion by a humble courageous living in the midst

she expected every day the bridegroom to come in other
words and she was also one who would never refuse
to share even the last drop with somebody in need

and at the end it is so clear the door
into the banquet hall was not closed to her as
it is not closed to any one of us foolishness
is to believe otherwise to believe that the bridegroom will
not come today in the early morning in the wee
hours that is when he comes in the midst of
other plans is when he comes even when we are
doing what we assume to be good work when we
are doing what gives us pleasure our duty joy comes
then unsummoned unpredictable random even according to all our best
laid plans my mother loved so many things her pleasure
included dancing late in her life terminally unsteady she invented
what we loved to urge her to do namely the
sitting jig and we grew up with images of her
Isadora Duncan dancing with white scarves in an enchanted forest

Barbara Beach Alter aka Barry aka dadima bari nani aunt
and daughter wife missionary is now I know dancing a
rollicking boisterous jig on the shores of a lake that
is as her grandson once confided to her god in
liquid form spilly Beach of course also dyslexic executive function
compromised she was but one who loved to be always
in the midst surrounded by loved ones some of them
absolute strangers she shared her oil because for her it
came welling up from an inexhaustible source a deep eternal
well of such illumination and laughter such giddy divine chuckles

for her there was to be no exclusion she would
not find the awful idea of being one of the
foolish applicable to anybody but happily she welcomed into her
midst so many it is hard to imagine how many

so there she is now a bridesmaid dancing for joy
in such elegant clothing with such perpetual brightness

amen hallelujah rejoice


sometimes I think she pulled us all out of the
magic hat sometimes I think she knit us all into
one of her theologically impossible sweaters and then with a
wink she passes through the eye of the needle and
is gone and we are left to play in her
honor endless hands of solitaire sometimes I think we are
no more than the hermeneutics of her life the epistemology
artless she was not her heart like one of those
magical meals for her then a doxology praise then praise
she knows salvation

what is a life’s work it is like a landscape
dotted with oases and gardens for the thirsty and the
lost it is like scraping through dry barren ground and
finding there suddenly not only the theology of paradise but
such seeds your hands ache to begin the planting what
is a life’s work what has been shut for too
long opens what has been shut for too long opens

a life’s work renews itself then with death the kernel
of hope that dies in springtime sprouting is what a
life’s work becomes

November 12

John 21:15-17
When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my lambs." A second time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Tend my sheep." He said to him the third time, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, "Do you love me?" And he said to him, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep.

I know my mother very much enjoyed having breakfast with
god and that the meals of her nursing home drove
her nearly crazy and that when at last she found
hospice o she again could imagine the feast of heaven
at which Jesus breaks bread with us and speaks with
such clarity do you love me more than these I
know it was questions as simple and overwhelming as this
that dominated her final days do you love me love
being  one of the last five words she attempted to
speak do you love me she wrestled in her last
months with epistemology and psychology and theology and all had
to do with whether she could answer unequivocally you know
that I love you and that she could say of
her life that she had broken bread with god we
all remember in her life those moments when there was
a great gladness an innocent acceptance of what lay immediately
in her presence now those months in the nursing home
tormented her in precisely this fashion that it was hard
to accept to be in the midst of such mediocrity
and woe to be innocent and accepting but now praise
god there she is a happy guest at the great
feast and we left behind bereft can acknowledge that she
loved god in her own fashion as best she possibly
could and do you remember being with her there in
hospital or nursing home and she commanding us to move
beyond holding her hand and saying we loved her and
to feed the sheep to do that work which will
make of this earth this here and now an outstation
of heaven Barbara Beach Alter loved god in her own
fashion as best she possibly could we remember that and
that memory is today like a great network a web
of love and inspiration o we would gladly one more
time hold her hand and say I love you but
we know also clearly I think today what the work
is to love our neighbor as ourselves to work for
peace and justice I think of my sister with her
colleagues in WEIGO and how her sisters have understood her
grief  let us break our fast together then glad for
the worldwide web that in these days is reading the
gospel of the life of Barbara Beach Alter praise god


feed
tend
feed
in exchange for his three denials Peter is given three imperative verbs
feed
tend
feed
this is the commission Jesus after breakfast on the shore of the sea of Galilee gives to Peter
twice he says feed
in the commonwealth of Massachusetts 700,000 people are hungry
1 in 6 americans are hungry
living in uncertainty about their daily bread
more than 18,000,000 in Africa
842,000,000 around the world go to bed hungry


Marty and Tom
The thinking about the memorial service is taking this slow and cautious turn, namely that we have three services (at least), one in Sudbury, one in New Haven (allowing Stan and Chuck and others to come) at First Presbyterian (with Blair Moffett we hope), and of course one in India.
The date frame appears to be somewhere between December 17 and 20, unless you have other thoughts.
The actual cremation happens tomorrow.  Lincoln, Bett, Alexis and I will attend, and then of course there is In the Midst on Friday.
Love you more than tongue can tell.
John


the thing with a life well lived is that many
people have partaken the way let’s say a river moves
down through any number of different lives all the time
sedulously seeking the shortest path to the sea to steal
a line from somebody or other meandering a watershed within
which so many of us find a way to live
our own lives nourished and for each of us the
river distinct and different white water the slow fertile meander
the delta and we say to each other this is
the composite river


sometimes I feel like a sleepwalker trying to run a
marathon sometimes I feel like a speedbump in a blizzard

an arrow in a wind tunnel sometimes I feel like

a hazard sign in an old age home sometimes I
feel like a tyrannosaurus rex trying to ride a tricycle

and sometimes those are the good days when identity is
strong like an icicle in a heat wave is strong

I try to read wisdom literature at happy hour scotch
and Solomon can’t go wrong I think and sometimes I

feel like crying

November 13

four days ago we were left alone there with your
body after your breathing ceased and the proud stubborn beating
of your heart and in those four days beloved mother
so much I would love to say to you and
share the antics of the squirrel late leaves on the
neighborhood trees music Orion the network the atlas of love
your life has left behind and all the words we
are the gospel of today and I would sit with
you there then in silence as I sit now four
days later vigilant insomniac aware that the kingdom of heaven
is not more complicated than singing than love than dancing

we are all dancing the dance lord siva teaches and
the s
NELSON MANDELA, NUMBER 46664 IS DEAD; EULOGICALLY ELEGIZING DIRGE FOR SON OF AFRICA, HOPE OF HUMANITY AND PERMANENT FLAME OF DEMOCRACY


Alexander K Opicho
(Eldoret, Kenya; aopicho@yahoo.com)

Nelson Mandela, South Africa's anti-apartheid beacon, has died
One of the best-known political prisoners of his generation,
South Africa's first black president, He was 95.
His struggle against apartheid and racial segregation
Lead to the vision of South Africa as a rainbow nation
In which all folks were to be treated equally regardless of color
Speaking in 1990 on his release from Pollsmoor Prison
After 27 years behind bars, Mandela posited;
I have fought against white ******* and
I have fought against black *******
I have cherished the idea of a democratic
And a free society in which all persons live together
In harmony and with equal opportunity
It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve
But if need be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die,

Fortunately, he was never called upon
To make such a sacrifice
And the anti-apartheid campaign did produce results
A ban on mixed marriages between whites and folks of color,
This was designed to enforce total racial segregation
Was lifted in 1985
Mandela was born on July 18, 1918
His father Gadla named him "Rolihlahla,"
Meaning “troublemaker” in the Xhosa language
Perhaps  parental premonitions of his ability to foment change.
Madiba, as he is affectionately known
By many South Africans,
Was born to Gadla Henry Mphakanyiswa,
a chief, and his third wife Nosekeni *****
He grew up with two sisters
In the small rural village of Qunu
In South Africa's Eastern Cape Province.
Unlike other boys his age,
Madiba had the privilege of attending university
Where he studied law
He became a ringleader of student protest
And then moved to Johannesburg to escape an arranged marriage
It was there he became involved in politics.
In 1944 he joined the African National Congress (ANC),
Four years before the National Party,
Which institutionalized racial segregation, came to power
.
Racial segregation triggered mass protests
And civil disobedience campaigns,
In which Mandela played a central role
After the ANC was banned in 1961
Mandela founded its military wing Umkhonto we Sizwe
The Spear of the Nation
As its commander-in-chief,
He led underground guerrilla attacks
Against state institutions.
He secretly went abroad in 1962
To drum up financial support
And organize military training for ANC cadres
On his return, he was arrested
And sentenced to prison
Mandela served 17 years
On the notorious Roben Island, off Cape Town,
Mandela was elected as South Africa's first black president
On May 10, 1994
Cell number five, where he was incarcerated,
Is now a tourist attraction
From 1988 onwards, Mandela was slowly prepared
For his release from prison
Just three years earlier he had rejected a pardon
This was conditional
On the ANC renouncing violence
On 11 February 1990,
After nearly three decades in prison,
Mandela, the South African freedom beacon was released
He continued his struggle
For the abolition of racial segregation
In April 1994,
South Africa held its first free election.
On May 10,
Nelson Mandela became South Africa's first elected black president,
Mandela jointly won
The Nobel Peace Prize
With Frederik de Clerk in 1993
On taking office
Mandela focused on reconciliation
Between ethnic groups
And together with Archbishop Desmond Tutu,
He set up the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC)
To help the country
Come to terms
With the crimes committed under apartheid
After his retirement
From active politics in 1999,
Madiba dedicated himself
To social causes,
Helping children and ***-AIDS patients,
His second son
Makgatho died of ***-AIDS
In 2005 at the age of 54,
South Africans have fought
a noble struggle against the apartheid
But today they face a far greater threat
Mandela he posited in a reference to the ***-AIDS pandemic,
His successor
Thabo Mbeki
The ANC slogan of 1994; A better life for all
Was fulfilled only
For a small portion of the black elite
Growing corruption,
Crime and lack of job prospects
Continue to threaten the Rainbow Nation,
On the international stage
Mandela acted as a mediator
In the Burundi civil war
And also joined criticism
Of the Iraq policy
Of the United States and Great Britain
He won the Nobel Prize in 1993
And played a decisive role
Into bringing the first FIFA World Cup to Africa,
His beloved great-granddaughter
Zenani Mandela died tragically
On the eve of the competition
And he withdrew from the public life
With the death of Nelson Mandela
The world loses a great freedom-struggleer
And heroic statesman
His native South Africa loses
At the very least a commanding presence
Even if the grandfather of nine grandchildren
Was scarcely seen in public in recent year

Media and politicians are vying
To outdo one another with their tributes
To Nelson Mandela, who himself disliked
The personality cult
That's one of the things
That made him unique,
Nelson Mandela was no saint,
Even though that is how the media
Are now portraying him
Every headline makes him appear more superhuman
And much of the admiration is close to idolatry
Some of the folks who met him
Say they felt a special Mandela karma
In his presence.
Madiba magic was invoked
Whenever South Africa needed a miracle,

Mandela himself was embarrassed
By the personality cult
Only reluctantly did he agree to have streets
Schools and institutes named after him
To allow bronze statues and Mandela museums
To be built
A trend that will continue to grow.

He repeatedly pointed
To the collective achievements
Of the resistance movement
To figures who preceded him
In the struggle against injustice
And to fellow campaigners
Such as Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Luthuli
Or his friend and companion in arms
Oliver Tambo who today stands in Mandela's shadow,
Tambo helped create the Mandela legend
Which conquered the world
A tale in which every upright man
And woman could see him
Or herself reflected,
When Prisoner Number 46664 was released
After 27 years behind bars
He had become a brand
A worldwide idol
The target of projected hopes
And wishes that no human being
Could fulfill alone,
Who would dare scratch?
The shining surface of such a man
List his youthful misdemeanors
His illegitimate children
Who would mention his weakness for women?
For models
Pop starlets
And female journalists
With whom he flirted
In a politically incorrect way
When already a respected elder statesman?
Who would speak out critically?
Against the attacks
He planned when he headed the ANC
Armed wing Umkhonto we Sizwe
And who would criticize the way
He would often explode in anger
Or dismiss any opinions other than his own?
His record as head of government
Is also not above reproach
Those years were marked by pragmatism
And political reticence
Overdue decisions were not taken
Day to day matters were left to others
When choosing his political friends
His judgment was not always perfect
A Mandela grandchild is named
After Colonel Muammar Gaddaffi
Seen from today's perspective
Not everything fits
The generally accepted
Picture of visionary and genius,
But Mandela can be excused
These lapses
Because despite everything
He achieved more than ordinary human beings
His long period of imprisonment
Played a significant role here
It did not break him, it formed him
Robben Island
Had been a university of life for Mandela once posited
He learned discipline there
In dialogue with his guards
He learnt humility, patience and tolerance
His youthful anger dissolved
He mellowed and acquired
The wisdom of age
When he was at last released
Mandela was no longer
Burning with rage,
He was now a humanized revolutionary
Mandela wanted reconciliation
At almost any price
His own transformation
Was his greatest strength
The ability to break free
From ideological utopia
And to be able to see the greater whole
The realization
That those who think differently
Are not necessarily enemies
The ability to listen,
To spread the message of reconciliation
To the point of betraying what he believed in,
Only in this way could he
Serve as a role model
To both black and white humanity
, communists and entrepreneurs,
Catholics and Muslims.
He became a visional missionary,
An ecclesiast of brotherly love
And compassion
Wherever he was, each humanity was equal
He had respect for musicians and presidents
Monarchs and cleaning ladies
He remembered names
And would ask about relatives
He gave each humanity his full attention
With a smile, a joke, a well aimed remark,
He won over every audience
His aura enveloped each humanity,
Even his political enemies,
That did not qualify him
For the status of demi-god
But he was idolized and rightly so
He must be named in the same breath
As Mahatma Gandhi, the Dalai Lama
Or Martin Luther King
Mandela wrote a chapter of world history
Even Barack Obama posited
He would not have become
President of the United States
Without Mandela as a role model,

And so it is not so important
That Mandela is now portrayed
Larger than life
The fact that not everything
He did in politics succeeded is a minor matter
His achievement is to have lived
A life credibly characterized
By humanism, tolerance and non-violence,
When Mandela was released
From prison in 1990,
The old world order of the Cold War era
Was collapsing
Mandela stood at the crossroads and set off in the right direction
How easily he could have played with fire, sought revenge,
Or simply failed; He could have withdrawn from public life or,
Like other companions in arms, earned millions,
Two marriages failed because of the political circumstances
His sons died tragically long before him
It was only when he was 80 and met his third wife,
Graca Machel,
That he again found warmth,
Partnership and private happiness,
Setbacks did not leave him bitter
Because he regarded his own life
As being less important
Than the cause he believed in
He served the community humbly,
With a sense of responsibility
Of duty and willingness to make sacrifices
Qualities that are today only rarely encountered,

How small and pathetic his successors now seem
Their battles for power will probably now be fought
Even more unscrupulously than in the past
How embarrassing are his own relatives
Who argued over his legacy at his hospital bed
Mandela was no saint
But a man with strengths and weaknesses,
Shaped by his environment
It will be hard to find a greater person
Just a little bit more Mandela every day
Would achieve a great deal
Not only in Africa
But in the bestridden geographies
Epochs and diversities of man,

In my post dirge I will ever echo words of Mandella
He shone on the crepuscular darkness of the Swedish
Academy, where cometh the Nobel glory;
Development and peace are indivisible
Without peace and international security
Nations cannot focus
On the upliftment
Of the most underprivileged of their citizens.
It was golden and splendid,                                                      
That City of light;                                                            
A vision suspended                                                              
In deeps of the night;                                                        
A region of wonder and glory, whose temples were marble and white.              
                                                                              
I remember the season                                                            
It dawn'd on my gaze;                                                          
The mad time of unreason,                                                        
The brain-numbing days                                                        
When Winter, white-sheeted and ghastly, stalks onward to torture and craze.      
                                                                              
More lovely than Zion                                                            
It shone in the sky                                                            
When the beams of Orion                                                          
Beclouded my eye,                                                              
Bringing sleep that was filled with dim mem'ries of moments obscure and gone by.
                                                                              
Its mansions were stately,                                                      
With carvings made fair,                                                      
Each rising sedately                                                            
On terraces rare,                                                              
And the gardens were fragrant and bright with strange miracles blossoming there.
                                                                              
The avenues lur'd me                                                            
With vistas sublime;                                                          
Tall arches assur'd me                                                          
That once on a time                                                            
I had wander'd in rapture beneath them, and bask'd in the Halcyon clime.        
                                                                              
On the plazas were standing                                                      
A sculptur'd array;                                                            
Long bearded, commanding,                                                        
rave men in their day—                                                        
But one stood dismantled and broken, its bearded face battered away.            
                                                                              
In that city effulgent                                                          
No mortal I saw,                                                              
But my fancy, indulgent                                                          
To memory's law,                                                              
Linger'd long on the forms in the plazas, and eyed their stone features with    
awe.                                                                            
                                                                              
I fann'd the faint ember                                                        
That glow'd in my mind,                                                        
And strove to remember                                                          
The aeons behind;                                                 &
ryn Jan 2015
.
   Curious minds,
      splashing under
       moonlight
       With
      outstretched kisses
     pulsating yellow,
     Over the awestruck
      magical
       rainbow,
         Feverishly tracking each
         supernova
      on sight.


   Resting the moment
    on a
     cresting knoll,
    With
   an audience of several
   time-worn
     rocks.
      Whilst the
        whistling sirens
        in the winds do call...
          Wasting away
        the ticks of
     worldly
      clocks.


        Evading with class,
       all
       heart's turbulence,
        Craters of sadness
          congeal
           in thin air,
             Glamorous amnesia
             falls
          with cadence,
         Eyes wide shut,
         susurrating
          a
           lost prayer.


             Lifeless gazes
               yield
               only
             abrasive tears.
             As erratum
              catches up
                with its
                 gaping maw.
              Hurling
            its anguish
             in
             rips and shears,
              Bleeding out
                of
               singing wounds
             so raw.

             But...
              time carries confident,
                its stock of
                   soothing balm.
                   Latent doses
                 hidden
                within
                 invisible vials.
                  Welcoming vision
                    with its
                    sunlit palms,
                   Staving the longing
                    for the
                    fear of trials.


                      Now hushed
                         remain the remorseful
                        battle trenches,
                        Deprived of their own
                          victims
                           ­ save gaping wounds,
                            Only
                        ­     faint faith
                                commanding
                ­                   corroded limp
                                   forces,
                                 Stirring
                                light away
                               from
                                all
                        ­         agony
                                    and
                   ­                doom.



                              Moonskittles
           ­                 *ryn
.
This has been an amazing experience!!! Big thanks to Moonskittles for the opportunity to share a page with her captivating style of poetry!!!
.
The Terry Tree Aug 2014
Hidden grace, no light for revelation
To pass such limits is to become ******
Like the dragon or a serpent monster
Your myth has become fixed in minds on earth

All the forces that disturb you demand
Darkness is your indetermination
Blazed in trails of blackness you command
Symbols of evil and demonic birth

In the Underworld you plot and saunter
Grotesque in cloven hooves or horns you stand
You are our fear the tormentor at hand
Stealing our only hope for self-love worth

You disturb and weaken every nation
Eliminating those who will prosper

You have a tool box filled with shapes galore
A choir of demons at your disposal
You wear the face of animals to prove
That you exist but will not show your face

Temptation is your favorite proposal
As you create ****** carnage and gore
Attacking innocents world wide; global
It is your goal to blacken and erase

It is unclear when you will make a move
Your starless magic uncontrollable
Your angry heart is inconsolable
In every mouth you leave an awful taste

The only thing that satisfies is war
Beelzebub to slaughter good it behooves

Clipping spiritual wings of all beings
Entering into those at their weakest
Supposition of your essence is sly
What you are has no particular shape

You've made a pact to stand against Jesus
Disintegrating all Saints from seeing
Wicked ways are in all ways the cheapest
To ingress means whole-purity escapes

Human life is interwoven freely
Free will allows the mind to go deepest
When we take the path we take the steepest
Secreted in your invisible cape

To return is without guaranteeing
With mastery disposing us to die

I believe that beneath us is a rug
One that you delight in pulling away
Much like this rug our minds become feeble
And we begin to believe everything

Our moral and metaphysical ways
Begin to end as our shoulders will shrug
Entire atmospheres are grey for days
To open up our mouths yet not to sing

What we decide can often be lethal
A personal domain of hellbent maze
As we lose sight our lives become a daze
Of which no hope or light can often bring

Our deception is your favorite drug
When we feel at our worst you are gleeful

The seeker of hidden knowledge must keep
A balance like the Hermit's inner peace
Otherwise the journey will fall victim
To flowing currents of hateful power

Like a wolf in sheep's clothing you have fleece
To hold on to our light is to succeed
Pull back the reigns of life commanding "Cease!"
Do not fall from your enlightened tower

Satan is a trickster sent to sicken
Our ability to wager disease
To believe that he exists is to please
Negative energy to devour

The best part of me is only asleep
Isolation has become addicted

Prince of Darkness, Antichrist, King of Hell
Appearing to the blind slave of instinct
You have no sovereignty be gone from me
I confront thee I am ready and still

Lucifer, Angel of Darkness extinct
You do not know my spirit guides that well
Distraction is what makes you so succinct
I have no desire to go downhill

Your downward spiral was a slide to see
How you manipulate what others think
Mephistopheles, Archfiend of distinct
Measures to tear others down you conceal

I dispel, I kiss forever farewell
Rest quietly in harmony dreaming

A lullaby for you I have written
On my heart as ancient as Egyptians
The Vedas and Sumerian temples
Will embrace you even in rejection

Your actions are despised in omission
I believe your bitter self was bitten
Release your broken spirit condition
Open your eyes and arms to affection

We can all be as one in one vessel
There are good folks and there is suspicion
Prayer of my song, a hymn of permission
Release thy tortured ways to connection

Evil drifts up, Listen, Listen, Listen
As our bodies fill with light and tremble

Shhhhh.......

© tHE tERRY tREE
Poetic Form | Turco Bref Double
Faith Gabito Sep 2014
You are the powerful voice that ordered the universe to be
You are the still voice that whispers into the depths of my soul and delights in me
You are the commanding voice that drives out demons
You are the gently guiding voice in every season
Laura Robin Nov 2012
this door exists,
stately and staunchly it stands,
disheartening and terrifying it remains.
the door is unlocked, yet cannot be opened,
for in it, a path in time...
one decision that can affect everything
[such as my choice to wear the necklace you adore,
which lead to you noticing me for the very first time,
or my idea to play you the song that you fell in love with,
which i can no longer listen to]
...for in this door, one path
is intimidatingly located.

every bone in my body,
every last muscle, tendon, ligament
each artery, each vein, each capillary
every single nerve,
even each microscopic cell,
implores me not to open this tempting door...

[it is almost as if my hand refuses to grasp the handle,
to unleash the unknown upon me,
the colossal chain of events that would ensue]

the immensity of the unfamiliar,
the unexplored,
tends to perturb me.
change is unnerving
and is almost as chilling
as an abandoned graveyard at midnight.

but i bring my mind back to the door,
yes! this preposterous door that i have contrived for myself.
why is the **** so easily turned?
why does it not put up somewhat of a fight,
at least jolt me suddenly,
as to frighten my curious heart?
it is a constant battle between my body
my mind
and my heart
as to which doors to open
and which ones to leave ever so steadfastly closed.
but never once has there been such a struggle
for them to reach an understanding.

somehow my heart,
[even though a fraction of me,
a fist, dripping in blood]
is prevailing for the moment.
my heart reaches for the handle,
attempts to unclose the door...
yet, with the best of its ability,
withstanding my strong-willed
and obstinate heart,
my powerful body and commanding mind
overcome this hostile takeover,
and the door remains shut.

it is my body,
my skillful mouth,
my soft, rose lips,
my elegant tongue,
and my vocal chords...
all of these pieces must
contrive the words,
conceive the change,
which will unveil the path that will forever alter us...

slowly, opening the door.

being as in love with you as i am,
i will not let you slip away from my arms right now.
but when we are not together
[i wish you’d have been there,
i needed you there
]
i stare at this humbling door.

if i wait too long, i’ll forever lose you;
for it is you who will make this choice for me,
opening your own door, fearless and dauntless.
R A Lee Jan 2017
Commanding and adept your hands guide mine alone supple lips.
Pausing
She tastes of cinnamon.
She squirms but can not move.
She is not afraid.
Our hands grasp her neck.
Tonight she belongs to us
With every gasp she moans.
My mouth is quivering, thinking about tasting her.
I search for her thighs from my satin darkness.
They are warm, wet, and inviting like the ocean
she tastes of salt and sunshine.
My tongue glides over her ****** , slowly, tenderly as our body heat rises and
then crack goes the cat o' nine.
She can not breathe and I can not see yet there has been no greater ecstasy.
Racquel Davis Jul 2014
May all those who fear me find friendship with me here.
May all those who disbelieve, feel my commanding presence.
When they need love, let them in and I will nurture them.
When they hunger with desire, allow release in my audience.
They who tire will rest with me in my palace.
They who long for peace can have it in this place.

©Copyright 2014 Written and Edited by Racquel Davis
Tyler Loeslein Nov 2012
When I don’t have a camera, all that’s left are words,
Wrapping themselves around my brain, a hotel nest for birds,
The rooms inside are all filled up, booked with imagery,
Keys for beds are handed out, the visuals are free,
To float around my nest like brain, a cornucopia of sorts,
See words and pictures go along, like well rehearsed cohorts.

So since a photo isn’t an option, my goal then is to write,
Describing to my audience how imagination takes flight,
I’m watching my youngest brother shout and leap around,
Diving behind a couch turned trench, praying to not be found,
By his imaginary enemies, carrying imaginary guns,
And on his face Is realistic fear, though I know he’s having fun.

But listen while I go deeper, into more detail,
About his determined self pep talk, vowing not to fail,
And though I can’t really see, what he grips so tight,
His tiny, cenched fists tell a story, about his best friend in this fight,
In reality he’s wearing jeans, but to him it’s camouflage,
And when silent sirens scream nuclear warnings, he sprints to the garage,

As I sit and watch him flee, commanding his faux friends,
I hope that even when he grows up, his imagination never ends.
Chelsea Aug 2017
A forest-green & tan striped couch, littered with burn holes from forgotten cigarettes, serves as foreshadowing of what lies ahead for the forgotten flower lying upon it.

The flower curls up on this couch, as it's the best view to admire mom from across the room, as she magically transforms eyelashes into feathers with the swipe of a wand.

Ignorantly innocent, the flower patiently awaits her time to bloom, yearns for her petals to unfurl like mom's: flawless perfection.

But gradually, mom's smokey cat eyes become dark shadows of hollow sunken ships, and bright rosy skin fades to washed out colors of furniture bathed in harsh sunlight year after year.

Now, mom buried the bones of the delicate structure she built from inside her womb, and decades later her daughter's dismantled skeleton is scattered ruins of an abandoned sunken city, polluted by the rotten flesh of unwanted fruit; a weak foundation destined to be crumbled relics of an ancient past.

Never once did Mom leave flowers at the grave that she dug.

I imagine the sweetest sounds to a brand-new mother are the screams and wails of her newborn child, reassurance that it's vibrant life lights up the room as blindingly as the birth of a newborn star, a commanding presence louder than that star's explosive death.

On the contrary, I imagine the sweetest sound to MY mother was the silence when she muffled the screams. From underwater, you cannot hear screams for help, or much of anything at all. 

Her solace was the peace felt when muddy water filled her lungs, the darkness found from deep within a drug-induced sleep, where you cannot hear a child weep.

I mentioned the young girl always wanted to be like her mom. And so it was...all grown up when I tried ****** for the first time. I held true to mom every time the rush of warm blood filled the syringe, visual evidence that the blood was thicker than the bond mom and I shared.

Usually when a person's life is ruined by a parent's addiction they will stay an ocean's length away from drugs - but I am a curious cat, ignoring the fact that I do not have 9 lives, and so I welcomed this substance into my veins, into my brain.

The brown lady would wrap me up in her arms each night, then gently dip me in the familiar flame of a fire's flickering tongue. She became the only company that could never overstay its welcome.

And so, for a time I became my mother: "flawless perfection." I will admit that ****** is one hell of a drug, but -still- i cannot see! How could ****** steal my mother's love?
Austin B Nov 2015
Black umbrellas,
Bodies standing.
Black umbrellas,
Hearts expanding.
Black umbrellas,
Minds demanding.
Black umbrellas,
Lord commanding.
Black umbrellas,
No understanding.
Black umbrellas,
Bodies standing.
The pains of reality justify the
Deep seated sorrow of man.

The vulture encircles me
Events surrounded by mystery
Enveloped in insanity
The human race is
Captivated by mystery
Doomed to repeat history

Collusion to bestow unmitigated
Sorrow upon my being

Simply put, I am
Damaged goods

Speak softly now
And choose your next thoughts
Carefully,
For the devil has called
My soul to dance

Reckless, unmitigated
Abandonment
Of mind, body, and soul
Fruitless searches
Forever numb
Longing to feel whole

Deep beneath the rolling waves
Lies serenity
Amongst sunken slaves
Deep inside my brain
The labyrinth of my mind
Memories that
I've left behind
Gone with the breeze
Above arid land
Somewhere lost in the desert
Where only shamans understand
Somewhere locked in the innocence
Of childhood frailty
Misplaced in the universe
Perpetuating reality
Walking alongside
All the gods of the ages
Bounding across time
In history's pages
Vacated with the morals
Of man
Lost in the seams of
Our lives
In the absence of the infinite
Shared hallucinogenic cries
Gone with the limbs of
The serpent
Ignored individuality dies
The reflection of man tainted,
For it is where the devil hides
Looming in the shadows
Of irresistible allure
No acquittal of our sins
A race ****** to remain
Impure
Violence surrounding our
Unequivocal, dastardly instincts
Perched in the forefront of our
Perceived selves
Selfish, devilish
Acts of kindness
The misfortune of the fortunate
Given all the amenities
Of a king's meal
Without the sensation of
Taste
Washed away with our
Dreams of betterment
Laying upon the chests
Of mythological beasts
Souls left rotting
Souring with ferment

Supreme consciousness
Arouses the senses
Invent my future with the
Myths of the past

You're stuck in a state of
Imaginary grace
Dream myself into
New bounds of transparency

Cryptic writings
Things left unsaid
Unsure of the real
Or the surreal
Life's slipping away
Once again
Paper in hand
Palms begin to sweat
Indulging into reality
Memories
I long to forget

It seems forever
Since I've been home
Trying to balance
This chemical imbalance
But always, I'm left here
Alone
Believing my dreams real
Realizing my world's surreal
Living with uncertainty
Imagining reality

Where do I go
To hide the pain?
Dual existence?
Acute psychosis?
Trapped inside my own
Brain
There's a place in my mind
I like to hide
Where all of my secrets
I do confide
There's a place I go
To bury the pain
A papered existence
Conducive synopsis,
Abstained

I begin to sweat
My heart screaming
From my chest
Let the feeling pass
Delve into the kingdom
Inability to
Repress
Take me away
To that far off place
Abscond into surreality
Amongst things I dare not
Confess

Drinking in divinity
Affixed on mortality
Will I die in this place?
Unable to resurface
Back in reality

Stuck running in circles
On a surface-less plane
Can't escape the shadows
Can't remove the pain
Simple design
Made up of
Over thought complexity
A universe separated
Removed from the modern mind
Inexorably

Amputation of
The mutation
That is the
Human race
Segregation of this
Charred realm
From other wordly
Space
We live
We die
And death begins it
Reinvent our minds
Ignite our passions

Drowning in a gene pool
Of degenerates
Souls thrashing
Wildly, forlorn
Plunged into unmitigated
Evil
Of a race that destroys
The unborn

Lachrymose gaze
Upon the living dead
A thin film of separation
Through which lies
Are fed
Understanding the weakness
Into which we are
******
For shed blood
Forces cries
Ripping from mother's eyes
Witnessing her own demise
As a piece of her
Slowly dies
For father's impenitent
Fantasies once dreamed
Torn away from aching
Fingers
Left ravaged,
Impotent

Gazing at you
Under the cloak of
Intrigue
Watching you struggle
In the tangled lies
You weave

Commanding the head
Of the serpent
Lilith forcing man's
Non-repent
Imposed upon our being
Righteous punishments
Such ramifications
Deemed astringent

Incomprehensible
Allure
Masochists of
Everything pure

Watch the world die
From afar
Irrevocable despair
Promising allegiance
To a life I cannot
Bear

Killing myself with
Indecision
On the perimeter
Of sanity
In the psychotropic prison
And psychotic affliction

Here it comes again
The voices, getting louder
It doesn't feel good anymore
How do I escape
Escaping?
Where do I go when my sanctum
Has been compromised?
Unable to quiet
The insurgents afoot
Incurable, incalculable
Indecision
Lost, finding my way home
Left in between existence
Alongside myself
Alone

The cold, inhuman ability
To sacrifice one's own mind
Hanging onto the coat tails
Of free thought
Journey we now,
Into the nightmare
Ignoring loss of
Comprehension
Vacated laws of
Apprehension
Arming latent illness
Plotting revenge
Beneath the surface

Here it comes again
I hear it getting louder
It doesn't feel good anymore
Who will save the lifeguard
When he's about to drown?

Can you see me?
Can you hear my cry out?
He looks to find
There's no one around

Searching indefinitely
For myself
Lost in another
Under the guise of
Someone else
Why does it matter?
Seemingly insignificant
In a moment of clarity
Just breathe for a moment
Shoved back in reality
"Am I dreaming," he asked
His reflection replied
The answer profound
Unknowingly died

I sold my soul to get here
On the periphery of realization
Stuck on the perimeter of reality
Reentry revoked
Forced to sit idly
As my life passes
Before my eyes

This is my letter
Unable to deliver
This is my life
Unable to decipher
This is my nightmare
That I've never dreamed before

Trapped in the prison
I've constructed on my own
Locked myself in four walls
Of uncertainty
Built in the center of being
Unnoticed by the proprietor
Frailty prevalent
Implosion of the mind
Leading to the ******* of
The insanity
I've come to find

Death looms at the end
Of the candlestick
Walk hand in hand
With me
Fellow traveler of
Uncharted paths
My fellow affliction
With the unknown
Unable to save myself
From the pain I know
Awaits me

Here it comes again
Inescapable, maniacal laughter
It doesn't feel good anymore
And all I ever wanted
Was your guiding hand
Complacent in lies
Forcing deafening cries,
For there will be
No reprise
As my soul flutters
And dies

Death for sale
Ten will take you away
Consumed by the thought of it
No more worry
No more being suppressed
This other kingdom
Unknowingly repressed
Delve deeper into the nightmare
We lie together
Naked
Unashamed
Open to the probing
Fingertips
Of the world
Unable to speak
Sleep paralysis,
Yet this is no dream
Wide eyed
Searching
Unable to scream

Incommunicable desires
No longer latent
Unsuppressed is the disease
Of your discontent
Insufferable, forcible pain
Towards the ones loved most
Catatonic, embryonic
Feeble mind
Please save me from myself

Forgive me, father
For I know not what I do
Forgive me, mother
For I do not blame you

Plastic state of being
Suspended in the viscous
Coagulant of stolen thought
And free will
Drowning in my
Own enjoyment
Of self suffering

How will you remember me?
A trembling voice
To read my eulogy?

Forget the things I should have said
This demoness I've brought to bed
Speaking in riddles
Bewilderment of the senses
Deeper appreciation
For the subjugation of man

War criminals in suits
Pretentious, cowardly vestiges of man
Surrounded by an air of
Undeserved arrogance
Getting fat on young girls
Sending their children to war
Safeguarded by a desk
And the allure of change
Obscene, disgusting animals
Consuming their weight daily
In the profit of drugs and
Devised disease
Profiteers of death
Politicians work the corners

And I fall,
Too weak to carry on
Can't escape my own
Lonely, cold, loveless
Gaze
Black holes in my head
Leading into the depths of
My soul
Emptiness pervading
Madness running rampant
Destroying who I once was
Tearing to pieces
My uniqueness
Stripped of self
Thrown back to march
Within the masses
Towards impending demise

Staring into the eyes
Of the serpent
Turned to stone
Numb to emotion
Numb to pain
I cry out for substance
I miss the person
I used to be
The person you loved
Before you met me

Relieve me now of sin
Unto re-birthing, begin
Relieve me now of this burden
Knowledge and shame
Relieve me now of myself
And self inflicted pain

There it goes again
Making me feel dour
It doesn't feel good anymore
Purge me of this dependency
Ancient, carnal need
Necessity of loathing the infinitesimal

I've met the devil in my dreams
She looked a lot like you
Dreaming in wakefulness
Awakened desire in dreams
What is my intention?

Do I provide a function
Or functionally provide?
Are you living in a nightmare?
Have you gone to sleep and died?

Synesthesia upon awakening
My sensory perceptions
The permutation of the
Infinite

Children of the wilderness
Remove us from the
Impurities of societal disorder
Relieve us of the blandishment
Of media driven fallacies
As the masses are hoarded,
Spoon fed their own flesh,
And directed onward
By the pusillanimous grave robbers
Awarded with the title of
Government official
Given diplomatic immunity
And free reign over
The direction of our lives

There lies a serenity
Beneath the quiet surface
Of the ocean
The ocean floor is vast,
Uninhabited promise

I have developed an acute prescience
For what will come

Man unknowingly conspires
Against himself,
For the good of man
Cannot overcome
The evils of mankind
Conquering in the name of
Worthless ideals
And fruitless endeavors

Conforming to nonconformity
You're only fooling yourself

Wandering about in a dreamy state
With unexplained expectations
For some sort of happy outcome
Welcome to my nightmare
My inescapable kismet
Defend me from myself
I have become
My own worst enemy
Just a hyena looking for
A lions share
More animalistic than
A starving predator

Morally ambivalent
Acting upon
Inconclusive notions
There is no stability
In this loose earth
Sinking ever deeper
Into life unbeknownst
To me
Quicksand enveloping
Sanity and conscience
Leaving behind
Only memories of
What we ought to have
Become

Been suppressing emotion
For so long
Seems like forever
Since I've gone
Numb to the heartache
Blind to the happiness
Rediscovered childhood
At the end of my life

The words become a
Flowing river
My pen cannot dance
Quickly enough
To capture my
Escaping tongue

Discovering escape
Through self sufficiency

Sanity is nomadic
Traveling from
Person to person
Mind to mind
At any given moment
We are all insane
Began as a stream of consciousness and developed into a monster.
Cné Aug 2018

Souls embroidered with sweet sighs of passion
Musing of nights in lace & white satin
On a vista of flesh, flushed with desire
Riding the flames on a passage of fire

The beating of drums, commanding the night
To the rhythm of hearts, passion ignites
Wrapped in immortal flames of the sun
Burning together, two become one

Flesh upon flesh, a spirited dance
Welded by whispers of love, of romance
Temperatures rise in a fever of lust
Stoking the flames, ****** after ******

Riding the swell, in a race to the shore
Try to repress, but needing it more
Virtue be ****** in the rage of desire
Flames rise in hunger, higher n' higher

Charging the crest, temperance slips
Drawing the reins in a white knuckle grip
Crashing of waves unleashes the flood
Quaking the heart, and searing the blood

Spewing of flames in the crash of the tide
In a warm sheen of sweat, fervor subsides
Energy spent in the throes of release
Collapsing together, the story complete

Left Foot Poet Mar 2019
The Fidelity of Transmissions

”Cells, the units of life that compose our bodies, are able to make copies of themselves to help us grow, fight disease and recover from injuries. Cells have built-in mechanisms that maintain
  the fidelity of transmission  
of genetic information from one generation to the next, and to control cell division in a timely manner, allowing our bodies to build or rebuild various tissues.”

~~~
when the poetry cri de cœur grows unbearable ,
sound mystery-science calms his tumbling transcendency

alas, here too, his ears sit up straight when stumbling on a invitation to
“come write,” for hid within the science jargon, oft rests a snipers shot

redirecting the didactic mind back to the
everyman’s land where-poetry cells split,,
commanding him to delve into, visit new brain wrenching vistas
“the fidelity of transmission”
at its macro level, for science is micro-poetry,^
n’est-ce pas

~~~
when you love another
the transmission is a slow pour,
or a radical jarring,
the fidelity extremely extraordinarily variable

the loveliest unpredictable

the sip sip of eyelid kissing adoration,
the irrational irrigation of the no-space-between,
when the television remote disappears in the couch crack,
the screen, complete static, perfect complement, to a rigorous experiment of

the loveliest unpredictable

we manually conjoin fluids in her mouth’s petri dish,
stain the slide for observation,
in full Imax color observe the cells busting and doesy-do’ing over to
a new partner, where bonds of fidelity attach a partnership clause to

the loveliest unpredictable

when a child emerges, the first words are
find that remote, just kidding, first comes a comestible demand,
mother’s milk 98 degree heated,
feed me a white solution to any unanswered cell’s questions, what a

loving predictive predicate

scribble this, ****** that, change a diaper,
while debating whose baby’s assemblage resembles,
overjoyed at the experimental outcome,
proofs of the fidelity of transmission,
the outcome notated, but science demands no bias confirmation,
another test required of tissue rebuilding

the loveliest unpredictable

~~~

^postscript
for is He not laureate greatest poet of all,
developer of the scientific architecture,
inventor of varietal sunsets, moonscapes,
individualized singularity of snowflakes,
love making, gravity and the preprogrammed death
of your own cells,
etcetera etcetera etcetera
all just poetry in motion in fluidity,
ah, fidelity fidelity
fidelity
Sat., March 9, 2019
Jordan Harris Jul 2014
What truly is the definition of righteousness?
Is it determined by act or by mind?

They say a good man fights for justice, peace, and prosperity.
But then, can a man of such moral truly remain so
if he turns to violence as an answer?
Does his intent to create marvels render him of moral status
though his methods may empower death and promote war?
Oh, this man is peaceful himself,
taking letters instead of bullets to battle
but his lyrics dislodge society in a manner not all approve
and so begins combat.
Can this soul carry such holy title,
if the repercussions of his strung together words are strung up necks?

Or is the good man the one who turns away from the world's fight
to be his own embodiment of ethical beauty?
For the one who remains silent causes no direct pain;
he himself is passive and tranquil
and moves to inspire such conduct in others without commanding it.
But his silence encourages fierce vehemency and wildness.
Does this fact not taint his name?

The first man had pure intent,
but with his tongue he spit sparks
which others used to ignite a fire and burn the world.
The second did not fight himself
but his chosen hush could never end the blood rain,
and so his lack of sharp verbosity allowed knives to flash and blood to spill.

So I will ask again,
what determines morality?
Though this time with a grounding response;
morals define morality.

Each man's mind renders his own flawless ideal individually,
and so one's perfection will always be another's monstrosity.
In truth? There are no good men,
or at least not one to all.
Inspired by the Doctor Who quote, "Demons run when a good man goes to war". I was very curious on the definition of a 'good man' (or rather human, because sexism is a no).
BeautyinChaos Mar 2018
You held me in place with that commanding look
writhing under your gaze
unable to look away from the piercing sight
and afraid to disobey any order

If it was uttered from your lips
my heart would have soared, stretched, and broken
to be praised by your words
or tenderly touched with your rough hands

I could feel your hand on my neck
squeezing slowly until the blood started pounding
my pain was your pleasure
and your pleasure was my purpose

Little did I know that you would be squeezing too strongly
the ropes were too tight around my waist
the collar choking my neck
no amount of clawing would have made you let go
so I went limp with my love

A submissive gives trust
yields to whoever they believe is worthy
submitting more than their body
but their very essence

A dominant is supposed to wield that trust
to protect and realize the significance of it
not squeeze and suffocate it
pretending that lies warrant trust in return

I could not have been enough for your demands
and you broke the trust I gingerly placed in your hands
Take your bonds and pretend to wrap them around someone else
my being can take no more of your bruising
From pent-up aching rivers,
From that of myself without which I were nothing,
From what I am determin’d to make illustrious, even if I stand sole
   among men,
From my own voice resonant, singing the phallus,
Singing the song of procreation,
Singing the need of superb children and therein superb grown people,
Singing the muscular urge and the blending,
Singing the bedfellow’s song, (O resistless yearning!
O for any and each the body correlative attracting!
O for you whoever you are your correlative body! O it, more than all
   else, you delighting!)
From the hungry gnaw that eats me night and day,
From native moments, from bashful pains, singing them,
Seeking something yet unfound though I have diligently sought it
   many a long year,
Singing the true song of the soul fitful at random,
Renascent with grossest Nature or among animals,
Of that, of them and what goes with them my poems informing,
Of the smell of apples and lemons, of the pairing of birds,
Of the wet of woods, of the lapping of waves,
Of the mad pushes of waves upon the land, I them chanting,
The overture lightly sounding, the strain anticipating,
The welcome nearness, the sight of the perfect body,
The swimmer swimming naked in the bath, or motionless on his back
   lying and floating,
The female form approaching, I pensive, love-flesh tremulous aching,
The divine list for myself or you or for any one making,
The face, the limbs, the index from head to foot, and what it
   arouses,
The mystic deliria, the madness amorous, the utter abandonment,
(Hark close and still what I now whisper to you,
I love you, O you entirely possess me,
O that you and I escape from the rest and go utterly off, free and
   lawless,
Two hawks in the air, two fishes swimming in the sea not more
   lawless than we;)
The furious storm through me careering, I passionately trembling.
The oath of the inseparableness of two together, of the woman that
   loves me and whom I love more than my life, that oath swearing,
(O I willingly stake all for you,
O let me be lost if it must be so!
O you and I! what is it to us what the rest do or think?
What is all else to us? only that we enjoy each other and exhaust
   each other if it must be so;)
From the master, the pilot I yield the vessel to,
The general commanding me, commanding all, from him permission
   taking,
From time the programme hastening, (I have loiter’d too long as it
   is,)
From ***, from the warp and from the woof,
From privacy, from frequent repinings alone,
From plenty of persons near and yet the right person not near,
From the soft sliding of hands over me and thrusting of fingers
   through my hair and beard,
From the long sustain’d kiss upon the mouth or *****,
From the close pressure that makes me or any man drunk, fainting
   with excess,
From what the divine husband knows, from the work of fatherhood,
From exultation, victory and relief, from the bedfellow’s embrace in
   the night,
From the act-poems of eyes, hands, hips and bosoms,
From the cling of the trembling arm,
From the bending curve and the clinch,
From side by side the pliant coverlet off-throwing,
From the one so unwilling to have me leave, and me just as unwilling
   to leave,
(Yet a moment O tender waiter, and I return,)
From the hour of shining stars and dropping dews,
From the night a moment I emerging flitting out,
Celebrate you act divine and you children prepared for,
And you stalwart *****.
Tuesday Pixie May 2012
Perhaps I will become a waxing fiend.
A perpetrator of the nerves within my legs
In order to reach the imaginary beauty
that society has ingrained into my open mind.
Yet how can I ever fulfil this growing hole inside
Urging, commanding that I shall not be beautiful
Without Revlon mascara and tinted eyebrows,
That my diet must consist of a celery stick a day
And I must have a new wardrobe every week
- to keep in with the highest of fashions.
Do men really care if I'm wearing Gucci or Prada?
Would my restricted diet and devotion to thinspiration blogs impress them?
Has society really just given up on the love of personality,
the good old fashioned 'inner beauty'?
Shayla V Sep 2011
All dimples and curls and pigeon toes when sitting,
purple; and gold dangles
light-skinned girl, dark-skinned girl
depending on the translation
hips swivel to the left, ******* that follow
in commanding black bras
and matching lacy *******.
Rolling backwards into handstands for most *******,
else on the loveseat
whipping love back and forth between the swell
beneath the shorts
and beneath the outer layers,
the lip gloss smiles and masquerades
beneath the veins and bone and guts:
there's a naked, quivering heater
switched on all year long
its dainty wiring peeking out,
the head of the cord puckered.
[08-12-11]
Leiser Poetry Mar 2019
For Aimee's birthday the plan was to get her first tattoo. She was a blond hair lady with a wide bust, huge hips and big *****. Her ***** were one of her best assets she loved to see her body as her canvas her  piece of art; she got her  mind set on getting a rose and heart near her ***** and chest.

She went online booked an appointment in the nearest tattoo parlour to book her consultation to meet the tattoo artist who will be working on this project with her and this was where she met MR Pain.

MR Pain was an  average built man with some muscle tone on his legs and arms. He had tattoo's covering every flex of his body. He wasn't much of the talker in the first meeting more of a quiet and down to earth man. He asked

“ Okay what part of your body would you want the tattoo?”  

“She shyly said “my *****”

His eyes gleamed started to fixate on them as he chuckle

“ well that can be arranged”
I hope you have you brought a design or a piece of artwork with you so I can see a visual design of what you what to have done on your skin”

she took out the picture, he attentively looked at it for half hour and said

“heart and a rose…
this…
could take a few sessions…  
depends on how much detail you want in your design”

He randomly blurted out

“Mmm… I love your *****”.

“More to the point – serious question would you to be able to take on pain? think about it first.

I could show you want you be facing up to with an early demonstration just sign the contract it'll be my treat for your 18th birthday do you fancy hooking up for a drink at my place”

Aimee couldn't see much in the contract the print was tiny; she felt his warm gaze and grin darting around her as she tried to make out what it was saying. His eyes hypnotic and calculating

“Do we have a deal!”

Aimee smiled and nodded she signed her name and said
“can see no wrong in that” its only a drink”

Mr Pain with rasping voice replied

“Excellent!”

Aimee shyly said “should I bring anything with me?”

Mr Pain shrugged

“Nah, I got plenty of drink”
everything we need is here at my place,
don't worry bring yourself
will order a taxi my treat”.

As soon as Aimee got home she had  a bath in honey and milk bath oil. Her ***** were like two huge sunken peaches glazed out in the sun. She got out of her bath robe and placed a long black dress and heels with pink lipstick.  All ready for the evening, she entered the taxi the driver was glaring at her  through the mirror

“You look nice!
“where you going to?”
Aimee gave him the slit of paper with Mr Pain's home address:

the cab driver looked horrified
he silently started to mutter to himself

“that place”,
“another victim;
she’s the third woman this week  
I would be careful with MR Pain,
“I have heard many stories”

Aimee shrugged

“Are you sure?
Can't be the same man
I know ”

Taxi driver shook his head.

“For **** sake
another dippy girl,
what's the world coming to
this is why I hate my job”

He opened up the cab door. Aimee stepped out the taxi

“Thanks for the tip.
Have a good evening.
be careful hunny”  

III MR Pain's Headquarters

Mr pain was waiting outside in the garden.  Dressed head to toe black. His grin slightly twisted and eyes gleaming in the sunlight.  

“Good of you to make it.
Aimee looking beautiful,
make yourself  comfortable.
I will be back with you shortly
I'm with another client.

Aimee waited in the living room for mr pain she could hear random screams and sound of crashing whips from downstairs wailing sounds of another lady
crying out
“ yes master will do what you want”

Aimee was  shaken up by the noise but turned on by the intensity of it all. She laid on the sofa and circled around her ******* with her fingers while doing this she was unaware mr pain was watching her through the CCTV camera. His voice loud and commanding

“I take it your ready for the demonstration”

Aimee stopped what was she was doing
feeling startled by his voice and stammering

“Yes- I - am”  

“Excellent – it may surprise you,
put the blindfold on it is on the table
there will be someone that will
take you through to the main room”

Aimee was feeling anxious and shaken now there were so many things going through her mind

what was the demonstration about ?
Why was there whips and screams?
why was the taxi driver talking
about girls being victims  

“I feel tired mr pain
wish to go home”

“Nonsense you got here,
your not going anywhere
you'll love it”

The figure placed the blindfold over her eyes; led her through a dark tunnel. The room was a cold and damp there were two other girls  with blindfolds being chained and whipped to the wall. Their skin looked as if they had at least 2 lashings a day from the whip there were bite marks and bruises around their body pleasure apparently was substituted equally with the pain. Mr pain got his whip ready; Aimee could not believe what she was seeing around her.  

“Your a fraud, your no tattoo artist
your a *******
a dangerous man
I knew I should have listened
to the taxi driver”

Mr pain voice raspy but more commanding now

“Yes you should have your going no where until my little demonstration is complete
then you can go free ”

He took out the gag from his pocket and placed it on her mouth so she could not speak, grabbed out the  whip and gave her a lashing; followed by gnawing on her ******* and chest;

“You feel what pain is"

He laid her on the table restrained her arms and legs she can not move and fight his advances. He licked her *******; making his way to her ***** licking up and down then in circular movements while Aimee was moaning she started to ***; he then took out what looked to be a huge ***** from the cupboard; pushing it into her ***** her eyes rolled to the side she started to squirm, she didn't know whether to squeal or scream  as pleasure and pain were intensified and felt equal in measure. His **** grew in size with now a huge  hunger in his eyes he pushed his **** further into her making her legs weak and squeal he could feel her heat up and ****** all over the table: he then rolled her to the side and pushed his **** into her *** pushing it all the way in he could now hear her muffled squeals as he fill her up with his ***.

“Demonstration is over; your free to go: taxi will pick you up, its up to you if you return for more but if you say anything about this; I will find you and you'll be back here and will belong to me”  

Aimee quickly put her dress on her. Looking shaken and tired, bruises and marks on her sweat and *** on her too she went straight for the cab. The driver took pity on her and didn't charge her  for the ride.  It was all a distant black memory she didn't say a thing. it was all a blur, a dark secret she was worried about the other girls; did they escape in the end from the crutches of mr pain or did they chose to stay there with him: she was just happy to escape and be free.
Searle May 2014
Summoning a waterfall
He fills the sea
Commanding sweet hail
Into its milky depths

His steely trident
Churns up a maelstrom
Raising a soaked raft of leaves
He casts it from the sea

And laying aside his trident
Raises his cup and sips his tea
The lion had just lost his dear wife,
Madam lioness a couple of years ago,
She was in the prime of her life,
When she succumbed to deathly udder cancer,
Mr. Lion grieved with all energy of the bereaved beast
To make it worse, he was also terminally ill
Of the vicious lung cancer, boring his windpipes,
That when he respired sweet music came out,
Like classical xylophones of eyeless Mehrun Yurin,

His sons were away commanding respective territories
Each son a territory in the order of traditional monarchy,
No one was to cook for the sick lion, don’t mention washing,
Hence the sons hired the squirrel alias madam Caroline,
She cooked as she did all other chores in the palace,
She was good in a concocting a matchless soup
From white mushrooms and cured goat’s meet,

As Caroline cooked she also sampled by tasting for her perfection
This little by little tasting made her to increase the strength,
Her skin became smooth, her buttocks swell
Her tail became shorter and steady, but very clean,
Her skin very oily and comely, exuding no evil smell,
Her walking style purged to majestic fashion
Even the type of songs she sang
Were not peasant spirituals,
Mr. Hyena wondered and wondered;
Is the squirrel pregnant?

Only to discover she was not,
But she has a new job;
Of cooking for the sick king lion,
Hyena also heard from the public domain
That she often cooks, goat meat and mushrooms,
But the ram tail twice in week; Tuesday and Sunday,
Jealousy and bigotry, malice and prejudice ganged up at once
And gripped the hyena simultaneously,
And swore to himself that come anything;
Spells of sunshine or blizzards of snow,
He must and must; root out the squirrel
From the palace kitchen,

That bright morning he went to the palace,
Singing a Christian song in praise of Lazarus,
Who resurrected from the dead,
He entered the palace still singing,
He commanded every to stand, put off the laurels,
For he wants to pray for the sick,
He made long and noisy circumlocutions of a prayer,
With regular stamping of feet and amen,
Commanding the devil of cancer to leave,
The lungs of the king, the mighty lion.


He said final amen and all sat down
Two sons of the king, the young lions,
Were all in somber moods, their father was sick,

From the kitchen, the squirrel surfaced,
With goats meat on a metallic platter,
He served the sick lion first,
Then each of them present,
On the first taste of food,
Hyena lost control of nerves
His tail jumped out of the white trouser
That he was wearing that day,
He ate voraciously with a crazy appetite,
No such delicious food had ever crossed his way.

He cleared his food first as expected,
Then he kept mum like a stooge,
Only wagging his long tail
His long tongue hanging out
Flagging in avarice like leaves of banana,
When all others stopped eating,
Hyena began in form of a question,
To which the lion’s family listened
Indeed with kingly caution;
Am asking you the king,
Why is Madam Caroline the squirrel,
Eating your food everyday,
And you are dying of a treatable disease,
To which she has the medicine,
Why is she betraying you?
To such a simple death?

All the lions plus the sick one
Jumped to the squirrel with all horror,
For the squirrel to bring the cure
Or the be killed first be the lion dies,
She pleaded for a minute to bring the drug,
Hyena in full gear of happiness
As his friend chews misfortune,

She blamed her small body size to be the  barrier
To bringing the medicine for king lion,
But nonetheless medicine was available,
Lions roared tell us! Where is the medicine?
In a soft voice the squirrel said;
The only cure for this disease of the king,
Is a fresh liver of a male hyena!

The hyena was frozen with surprise,
Like any other foolish bigot,
He begged to leave as his time was over,
No answer came to his request,
Other than abysmal darkness
Of violent death gulfing his body,
King lion drunk Hyena’s blood
In addition to the liver
On the squirrel’s instructions,
The lion became well
And began walking strong,
Out of this joy
King lion  promoted the squirrel
To be a minister of health
In the kings palace.
Hal Loyd Denton Apr 2012
Even to think about such sharp devils stabs your mind somewhat they are plants defense system on the
“Great Saguaro cactus they have been shown to record changes in local rainfall and can be used to

Reconstruct climate and plant ecophsiology over the plant’s lifetime Acanthochronology thorns grow in
Timed sequence” and so doe’s human character beat back held in check this is refining at its tortuous

Best a couple of quotes if you want to be refreshed look up this great man’s quotes here are a couple
All the resources we need are in the mind. Americans learn only from catastrophe and not from experience.

– Theodore Roosevelt a fertile mind aerated by coarseness is the procurement for a fine point
Put to your life the most worthless arrogant person is one who has never struggled for the prize
That is a life lived well no matter what the circumstances they face to bow is not to suffer

Indignity but you present yourself as selfless and deserve the crown of nobility that person
Will have once worn clothes that were torn and tattered by thorns otherwise it is like uncultivated

Land its wildness pleases and feeds the eye it can roll out grand vistas spill and dip hills of
Splendor but nothing to appease physical hunger the warrior must willingly sacrifice his blood

Not a pin ***** but all that it takes to route evil and restore peace that the weak share with the
Strong the United States used these necessary building blocks where nations insert the rich and

Powerful they build with rot that will be their undoing the great story Two Years before the Mast  
tells of Richard Henry Dana JR while an undergraduate at Harvard College he had an attack of

Measles which created problems with his vision he took the action of enlisting as a common
****** feeling it could help his vision he shipped out on the brig pilgrim for a trip around the

Horn to California the initial thorn of measles started a chain of events yes the man already had
Potential but without the thorn he wouldn’t have ending up writing an American sea classic

And also from his experience with the plight of the sailors it instilled in him a deep sympathy for
The lower classes he became a prominent anti slavery activist not to many thorns that big and

He helped found the free soil party and he is credited with giving America one of its greatest
Historical record of early California he has a city named after him Dana Point and several  

Southern California schools are named for him he was on the fast track to becoming a lawyer
Then through encountering the thorns he found out life’s secret the way to unexpected

Achievement is along a path that at first only seems to hold dread but to persevere in hardship
Will lead to commanding heights not of pride and presumptuous arrogance but real humility

That is the fruited fields spoken of in America the beautiful you only rise through your
Willingness to accept abasement it is said God will resist the proud but give grace to the humble

So next time you’re faced with thorns see them as sentinels that bar the insincere but to the
faithful They show a sure path to rich fulfillment
matt nobrains Aug 2011
american culture is
a sanctimonious gutterfuck

the credentials of superiority complex
include ignorance and bloodthirsty rage
there's people out there
who think they're better than others
honest to god kings
among a sea of pitiful shitstains
i wanna burn it down
i wanna ******* raze the land,
and overthrow the crown
i wanna ****** my boot into
a gutted pile of ******* *****
make an *** of ourselves
instead of an *** of it all
lX0st Sep 2018
She breathes fire
That tastes of the cremation
Of her forefathers
Their ashes grit
In her eyes, spit
In her hands
She marches
Atop marshland
Swallowing graves
Of their mothers
And lovers
Her thick, leather skin
Wicked and weathered
Wields weapons
Of resurrection
With commanding force
She breathes life
Into desolate plains
She breathes fire
And they rise
Again
the warrior
As one who in his journey bates at noon,
Though bent on speed; so here the Arch-Angel paused
Betwixt the world destroyed and world restored,
If Adam aught perhaps might interpose;
Then, with transition sweet, new speech resumes.
Thus thou hast seen one world begin, and end;
And Man, as from a second stock, proceed.
Much thou hast yet to see; but I perceive
Thy mortal sight to fail; objects divine
Must needs impair and weary human sense:
Henceforth what is to come I will relate;
Thou therefore give due audience, and attend.
This second source of Men, while yet but few,
And while the dread of judgement past remains
Fresh in their minds, fearing the Deity,
With some regard to what is just and right
Shall lead their lives, and multiply apace;
Labouring the soil, and reaping plenteous crop,
Corn, wine, and oil; and, from the herd or flock,
Oft sacrificing bullock, lamb, or kid,
With large wine-offerings poured, and sacred feast,
Shall spend their days in joy unblamed; and dwell
Long time in peace, by families and tribes,
Under paternal rule: till one shall rise
Of proud ambitious heart; who, not content
With fair equality, fraternal state,
Will arrogate dominion undeserved
Over his brethren, and quite dispossess
Concord and law of nature from the earth;
Hunting (and men not beasts shall be his game)
With war, and hostile snare, such as refuse
Subjection to his empire tyrannous:
A mighty hunter thence he shall be styled
Before the Lord; as in despite of Heaven,
Or from Heaven, claiming second sovranty;
And from rebellion shall derive his name,
Though of rebellion others he accuse.
He with a crew, whom like ambition joins
With him or under him to tyrannize,
Marching from Eden towards the west, shall find
The plain, wherein a black bituminous gurge
Boils out from under ground, the mouth of Hell:
Of brick, and of that stuff, they cast to build
A city and tower, whose top may reach to Heaven;
And get themselves a name; lest, far dispersed
In foreign lands, their memory be lost;
Regardless whether good or evil fame.
But God, who oft descends to visit men
Unseen, and through their habitations walks
To mark their doings, them beholding soon,
Comes down to see their city, ere the tower
Obstruct Heaven-towers, and in derision sets
Upon their tongues a various spirit, to rase
Quite out their native language; and, instead,
To sow a jangling noise of words unknown:
Forthwith a hideous gabble rises loud,
Among the builders; each to other calls
Not understood; till hoarse, and all in rage,
As mocked they storm: great laughter was in Heaven,
And looking down, to see the hubbub strange,
And hear the din:  Thus was the building left
Ridiculous, and the work Confusion named.
Whereto thus Adam, fatherly displeased.
O execrable son! so to aspire
Above his brethren; to himself assuming
Authority usurped, from God not given:
He gave us only over beast, fish, fowl,
Dominion absolute; that right we hold
By his donation; but man over men
He made not lord; such title to himself
Reserving, human left from human free.
But this usurper his encroachment proud
Stays not on Man; to God his tower intends
Siege and defiance:  Wretched man!what food
Will he convey up thither, to sustain
Himself and his rash army; where thin air
Above the clouds will pine his entrails gross,
And famish him of breath, if not of bread?
To whom thus Michael.  Justly thou abhorrest
That son, who on the quiet state of men
Such trouble brought, affecting to subdue
Rational liberty; yet know withal,
Since thy original lapse, true liberty
Is lost, which always with right reason dwells
Twinned, and from her hath no dividual being:
Reason in man obscured, or not obeyed,
Immediately inordinate desires,
And upstart passions, catch the government
From reason; and to servitude reduce
Man, till then free.  Therefore, since he permits
Within himself unworthy powers to reign
Over free reason, God, in judgement just,
Subjects him from without to violent lords;
Who oft as undeservedly enthrall
His outward freedom:  Tyranny must be;
Though to the tyrant thereby no excuse.
Yet sometimes nations will decline so low
From virtue, which is reason, that no wrong,
But justice, and some fatal curse annexed,
Deprives them of their outward liberty;
Their inward lost:  Witness the irreverent son
Of him who built the ark; who, for the shame
Done to his father, heard this heavy curse,
Servant of servants, on his vicious race.
Thus will this latter, as the former world,
Still tend from bad to worse; till God at last,
Wearied with their iniquities, withdraw
His presence from among them, and avert
His holy eyes; resolving from thenceforth
To leave them to their own polluted ways;
And one peculiar nation to select
From all the rest, of whom to be invoked,
A nation from one faithful man to spring:
Him on this side Euphrates yet residing,
Bred up in idol-worship:  O, that men
(Canst thou believe?) should be so stupid grown,
While yet the patriarch lived, who ’scaped the flood,
As to forsake the living God, and fall
To worship their own work in wood and stone
For Gods!  Yet him God the Most High vouchsafes
To call by vision, from his father’s house,
His kindred, and false Gods, into a land
Which he will show him; and from him will raise
A mighty nation; and upon him shower
His benediction so, that in his seed
All nations shall be blest: he straight obeys;
Not knowing to what land, yet firm believes:
I see him, but thou canst not, with what faith
He leaves his Gods, his friends, and native soil,
Ur of Chaldaea, passing now the ford
To Haran; after him a cumbrous train
Of herds and flocks, and numerous servitude;
Not wandering poor, but trusting all his wealth
With God, who called him, in a land unknown.
Canaan he now attains; I see his tents
Pitched about Sechem, and the neighbouring plain
Of Moreh; there by promise he receives
Gift to his progeny of all that land,
From Hameth northward to the Desart south;
(Things by their names I call, though yet unnamed;)
From Hermon east to the great western Sea;
Mount Hermon, yonder sea; each place behold
In prospect, as I point them; on the shore
Mount Carmel; here, the double-founted stream,
Jordan, true limit eastward; but his sons
Shall dwell to Senir, that long ridge of hills.
This ponder, that all nations of the earth
Shall in his seed be blessed:  By that seed
Is meant thy great Deliverer, who shall bruise
The Serpent’s head; whereof to thee anon
Plainlier shall be revealed.  This patriarch blest,
Whom faithful Abraham due time shall call,
A son, and of his son a grand-child, leaves;
Like him in faith, in wisdom, and renown:
The grandchild, with twelve sons increased, departs
From Canaan to a land hereafter called
Egypt, divided by the river Nile
See where it flows, disgorging at seven mouths
Into the sea. To sojourn in that land
He comes, invited by a younger son
In time of dearth, a son whose worthy deeds
Raise him to be the second in that realm
Of Pharaoh. There he dies, and leaves his race
Growing into a nation, and now grown
Suspected to a sequent king, who seeks
To stop their overgrowth, as inmate guests
Too numerous; whence of guests he makes them slaves
Inhospitably, and kills their infant males:
Till by two brethren (these two brethren call
Moses and Aaron) sent from God to claim
His people from enthralment, they return,
With glory and spoil, back to their promised land.
But first, the lawless tyrant, who denies
To know their God, or message to regard,
Must be compelled by signs and judgements dire;
To blood unshed the rivers must be turned;
Frogs, lice, and flies, must all his palace fill
With loathed intrusion, and fill all the land;
His cattle must of rot and murren die;
Botches and blains must all his flesh emboss,
And all his people; thunder mixed with hail,
Hail mixed with fire, must rend the Egyptians sky,
And wheel on the earth, devouring where it rolls;
What it devours not, herb, or fruit, or grain,
A darksome cloud of locusts swarming down
Must eat, and on the ground leave nothing green;
Darkness must overshadow all his bounds,
Palpable darkness, and blot out three days;
Last, with one midnight stroke, all the first-born
Of Egypt must lie dead.  Thus with ten wounds
The river-dragon tamed at length submits
To let his sojourners depart, and oft
Humbles his stubborn heart; but still, as ice
More hardened after thaw; till, in his rage
Pursuing whom he late dismissed, the sea
Swallows him with his host; but them lets pass,
As on dry land, between two crystal walls;
Awed by the rod of Moses so to stand
Divided, till his rescued gain their shore:
Such wondrous power God to his saint will lend,
Though present in his Angel; who shall go
Before them in a cloud, and pillar of fire;
By day a cloud, by night a pillar of fire;
To guide them in their journey, and remove
Behind them, while the obdurate king pursues:
All night he will pursue; but his approach
Darkness defends between till morning watch;
Then through the fiery pillar, and the cloud,
God looking forth will trouble all his host,
And craze their chariot-wheels: when by command
Moses once more his potent rod extends
Over the sea; the sea his rod obeys;
On their embattled ranks the waves return,
And overwhelm their war:  The race elect
Safe toward Canaan from the shore advance
Through the wild Desart, not the readiest way;
Lest, entering on the Canaanite alarmed,
War terrify them inexpert, and fear
Return them back to Egypt, choosing rather
Inglorious life with servitude; for life
To noble and ignoble is more sweet
Untrained in arms, where rashness leads not on.
This also shall they gain by their delay
In the wide wilderness; there they shall found
Their government, and their great senate choose
Through the twelve tribes, to rule by laws ordained:
God from the mount of Sinai, whose gray top
Shall tremble, he descending, will himself
In thunder, lightning, and loud trumpets’ sound,
Ordain them laws; part, such as appertain
To civil justice; part, religious rites
Of sacrifice; informing them, by types
And shadows, of that destined Seed to bruise
The Serpent, by what means he shall achieve
Mankind’s deliverance.  But the voice of God
To mortal ear is dreadful:  They beseech
That Moses might report to them his will,
And terrour cease; he grants what they besought,
Instructed that to God is no access
Without Mediator, whose high office now
Moses in figure bears; to introduce
One greater, of whose day he shall foretel,
And all the Prophets in their age the times
Of great Messiah shall sing.  Thus, laws and rites
Established, such delight hath God in Men
Obedient to his will, that he vouchsafes
Among them to set up his tabernacle;
The Holy One with mortal Men to dwell:
By his prescript a sanctuary is framed
Of cedar, overlaid with gold; therein
An ark, and in the ark his testimony,
The records of his covenant; over these
A mercy-seat of gold, between the wings
Of two bright Cherubim; before him burn
Seven lamps as in a zodiack representing
The heavenly fires; over the tent a cloud
Shall rest by day, a fiery gleam by night;
Save when they journey, and at length they come,
Conducted by his Angel, to the land
Promised to Abraham and his seed:—The rest
Were long to tell; how many battles fought
How many kings destroyed; and kingdoms won;
Or how the sun shall in mid Heaven stand still
A day entire, and night’s due course adjourn,
Man’s voice commanding, ‘Sun, in Gibeon stand,
‘And thou moon in the vale of Aialon,
’Till Israel overcome! so call the third
From Abraham, son of Isaac; and from him
His whole descent, who thus shall Canaan win.
Here Adam interposed.  O sent from Heaven,
Enlightener of my darkness, gracious things
Thou hast revealed; those chiefly, which concern
Just Abraham and his seed: now first I find
Mine eyes true-opening, and my heart much eased;
Erewhile perplexed with thoughts, what would become
Of me and all mankind:  But now I see
His day, in whom all nations shall be blest;
Favour unmerited by me, who sought
Forbidden knowledge by forbidden means.
This yet I apprehend not, why to those
Among whom God will deign to dwell on earth
So many and so various laws are given;
So many laws argue so many sins
Among them; how can God with such reside?
To whom thus Michael.  Doubt not but that sin
Will reign among them, as of thee begot;
And therefore was law given them, to evince
Their natural pravity, by stirring up
Sin against law to fight: that when they see
Law can discover sin, but not remove,
Save by those shadowy expiations weak,
The blood of bulls and goats, they may conclude
Some blood more precious must be paid for Man;
Just for unjust; that, in such righteousness
To them by faith imputed, they may find
Justification towards God, and peace
Of conscience; which the law by ceremonies
Cannot appease; nor Man the mortal part
Perform; and, not performing, cannot live.
So law appears imperfect; and but given
With purpose to resign them, in full time,
Up to a better covenant; disciplined
From shadowy types to truth; from flesh to spirit;
From imposition of strict laws to free
Acceptance of large grace; from servile fear
To filial; works of law to works of faith.
And therefore shall not Moses, though of God
Highly beloved, being but the minister
Of law, his people into Canaan lead;
But Joshua, whom the Gentiles Jesus call,
His name and office bearing, who shall quell
The adversary-Serpent, and bring back
Through the world’s wilderness long-wandered Man
Safe to eternal Paradise of rest.
Mean while they, in their earthly Canaan placed,
Long time shall dwell and prosper, but when sins
National interrupt their publick peace,
Provoking God to raise them enemies;
From whom as oft he saves them penitent
By Judges first, then under Kings; of whom
The second, both for piety renowned
And puissant deeds, a promise shall receive
Irrevocable, that his regal throne
For ever shall endure; the like shall sing
All Prophecy, that of the royal stock
Of David (so I name this king) shall rise
A Son, the Woman’s seed to thee foretold,
Foretold to Abraham, as in whom shall trust
All nations; and to kings foretold, of kings
The last; for of his reign shall be no end.
But first, a long succession must ensue;
And his next son, for wealth and wisdom famed,
The clouded ark of God, till then in tents
Wandering, shall in a glorious temple enshrine.
Such follow him, as shall be registered
Part good, part bad; of bad the longer scroll;
Whose foul idolatries, and other faults
Heaped to the popular sum, will so incense
God, as to leave them, and expose their land,
Their city, his temple, and his holy ark,
With all his sacred things, a scorn and prey
To that proud city, whose high walls thou sawest
Left in confusion; Babylon thence called.
There in captivity he lets them dwell
The space of seventy years; then brings them back,
Remembering mercy, and his covenant sworn
To David, stablished as the days of Heaven.
Returned from Babylon by leave of kings
Their lords, whom God disposed, the house of God
They first re-edify; and for a while
In mean estate live moderate; till, grown
In wealth and multitude, factious they grow;
But first among the priests dissention springs,
Men who attend the altar, and should most
Endeavour peace: their strife pollution brings
Upon the temple itself: at last they seise
The scepter, and regard not David’s sons;
Then lose it to a stranger, that the true
Anointed King Messiah might be born
Barred of his right; yet at his birth a star,
Unseen before in Heaven, proclaims him come;
And guides the eastern sages, who inquire
His place, to offer incense, myrrh, and gold:
His place of birth a solemn Angel tells
To simple shepherds, keeping watch by night;
They gladly thither haste, and by a quire
Of squadroned Angels hear his carol sung.
A ****** is his mother, but his sire
The power of the Most High:  He shall ascend
The throne hereditary, and bound his reign
With Earth’s wide bounds, his glory with the Heavens.
He ceased, discerning Adam with such joy
Surcharged, as had like grief been dewed in tears,
Without the vent of words; which these he breathed.
O prophet of glad tidings, finisher
Of utmost hope! now clear I understand
What oft my steadiest thoughts have searched in vain;
Why o
berry Oct 2013
elephants stomp with stone-laden feet
back and forth, back and forth,
creating cracks in my already-battered skull,
weakening the very foundations of my sanity.
their trumpeting echoes through cold corridors
flooding my thought capacity to the brim.

a tightrope walker stretches me, thin -
i feel the shifting pressure of her nimble feet
treading the territories of my weathered frame,
back and forth, back and forth,
my skin reddens beneath the incessant crossing
as the sinew within me starts to atrophy.

in my chest cavity there is a ring of fire,
manipulating my lungs and feeble heart to mere ash.
two golden eyes seen beyond the flames,
ready to leap through them - without the
inconvenience of fear weighing down his agile paws,
both capable and likely to tear my veins to shreds.

a grisly strongman has my bones in his grip.
he smiles malevolently, gloating his strength over me,
squeezing the life from my cartilage - awaiting the snap.
i am cognizant of the sound, but i won't flinch.
next, the imminent collapse of my vertebrae -
i feel them crumble to dust. he laughs.

but it is in the pit of my stomach the ringleader sits -
commanding me into subsidence with every crack of his whip.
i want to meet his eyes but he only averts my gaze.
his twisted circus nearly through, the audience begins to dissipate.
i stare through the blurred smoke, desperate for his visage -
when i see on one of his faded lapels, the embroidery spells out your name.

-m.f.
Nigel Morgan Apr 2013
As he walked through the maze of streets from the tube station he wondered just how long it had been since he had last visited this tall red-bricked house. For so many years it had been for him a pied à terre. Those years when the care of infant children dominated his days, when coming up to London for 48 hours seemed such a relief, an escape from the daily round that small people demand. Since his first visits twenty years ago the area bristled with new enterprise. An abandoned Victorian hospital had been turned into expensive apartments; small enterprising businesses had taken over what had been residential property of the pre-war years. Looking up he was conscious of imaginative conversions of roof and loft spaces. What had seemed a wide-ranging community of ages and incomes appeared to have disappeared. Only the Middle Eastern corner shops and restaurants gave back to the area something of its former character: a place where people worked and lived.

It was a tall thin house on four floors. Two rooms at most of each floor, but of a good-size. The ground floor was her London workshop, but as always the blinds were down. In fact, he realised, he’d never been invited into her working space. Over the years she’d come to the door a few times, but like many artists and craftspeople he knew, she fiercely guarded her working space. The door to her studio was never left open as he passed through the hallway to climb the three flights of stairs to her husband’s domain. There was never a chance of the barest peek inside.

Today, she was in New York, and from outside the front door he could hear her husband descend from his fourth floor eyrie. The door was flung open and they greeted each other with the fervour of a long absence of friends. It had been a long time, really too long. Their lives had changed inexplicably. One, living almost permanently in that Italian marvel of waterways and sea-reflected light, the other, still in the drab West Yorkshire city from where their first acquaintance had begun from an email correspondence.

They had far too much to say to one another - on a hundred subjects. Of course the current project dominated, but as coffee (and a bowl of figs and mandarin oranges) was arranged, and they had moved almost immediately he arrived in the attic studio to the minimalist kitchen two floors below, questions were thrown out about partners and children, his activities, and sadly, his recent illness (the stairs had seemed much steeper than he remembered and he was a little breathless when he reached the top). As a guest he answered with a brevity that surprised him. Usually he found such questions needed roundabout answers to feel satisfactory - but he was learning to answer more directly, and being brief, suddenly thought of her and her always-direct questions. She wanted to know something, get something straight, so she asked  - straight - with no ‘going about things’ first. He wanted to get on with the business at hand, the business that preoccupied him, almost to the exclusion of everything else, for the last two days.

When they were settled in what was J’s working space ten years ago now he was immediately conscious that although the custom-made furniture had remained the Yamaha MIDI grand piano and the rack of samplers were elsewhere, along with most of the scores and books. The vast collection of CDs was still there, and so too the pictures and photographs. But there was one painting that was new to this attic room, a Cézanne. He was taken aback for a moment because it looked so like the real thing he’d seen in a museum just weeks before. He thought of the film Notting Hill when William Thacker questions the provenance of the Chagall ‘violin-playing goat’. The size of this Cézanne seemed accurate and it was placed in a similar rather ornate frame to what he knew had framed the museum original. It was placed on right-hand wall as he had entered the room, but some way from the pair of windows that ran almost the length of this studio. The view across the rooftops took in the Tower of London, a mile or so distant. If he turned the office chair in which he was sitting just slightly he could see it easily whilst still paying attention to J. The painting’s play of colours and composition compelled him to stare, as if he had never seen the painting before. But he had, and he remembered that his first sight of it had marked his memory.

He had been alone. He had arrived at the gallery just 15 minutes before it was due to close for the day.  He’d been told about this wonderful must-see octagonal room where around the walls you could view a particularly fine and comprehensive collection of Impressionist paintings. All the great artists were represented. One of Van Gogh’s many Olive Trees, two studies of domestic interiors by Vuillard, some dancing Degas, two magnificent Gaugins, a Seurat field of flowers, a Singer-Sergeant portrait, two Monets - one of a pair of haystacks in a blaze of high-summer light. He had been able to stay in that room just 10 minutes before he was politely asked to leave by an overweight attendant, but afterwards it was as if he knew the contents intimately. But of all these treasures it was Les Grands Arbres by Cézanne that had captured his imagination. He was to find it later and inevitably on the Internet and had it printed and pinned to his notice board. He consulted his own book of Cézanne’s letters and discovered it was a late work and one of several of the same scene. This version, it was said, was unfinished. He disagreed. Those unpainted patches he’d interpreted as pools of dappled light, and no expert was going to convince him otherwise! And here it was again. In an attic studio J. only frequented occasionally when necessity brought him to London.

When the coffee and fruit had been consumed it was time to eat more substantially, for he knew they would work late into the night, despite a whole day tomorrow to be given over to their discussions. J. was full of nervous energy and during the walk to a nearby Iraqi restaurant didn’t waver in his flow of conversation about the project. It was as though he knew he must eat, but no longer had the patience to take the kind of necessary break having a meal offered. His guest, his old friend, his now-being-consulted expert and former associate, was beginning to reel from the overload of ‘difficulties’ that were being put before him. In fact, he was already close to suggesting that it would be in J’s interest if, when they returned to the attic studio, they agreed to draw up an agenda for tomorrow so there could be some semblance of order to their discussions. He found himself wishing for her presence at the meal, her calm lovely smile he knew would charm J. out of his focused self and lighten the rush and tension that infused their current dialogue. But she was elsewhere, at home with her children and her own and many preoccupations, though it was easy to imagine how much, at least for a little while, she might enjoy meeting someone new, someone she’d heard much about, someone really rather exotic and (it must be said) commanding and handsome. He would probably charm her as much as he knew she would charm J.

J. was all and more beyond his guest’s thought-description. He had an intensity and a confidence that came from being in company with intense, confident and, it had to be said, very wealthy individuals. His origins, his beginnings his guest and old friend could only guess at, because they’d never discussed it. The time was probably past for such questions. But his guest had his own ideas, he surmised from a chanced remark that his roots were not amongst the affluent. He had been a free-jazz musician from Poland who’d made waves in the German jazz scene and married the daughter of an arts journalist who happened to be the wife of the CEO of a seriously significant media empire. This happy association enabled him to get off the road and devote himself to educating himself as a composer of avant-garde art music - which he desired and which he had achieved. His guest remembered J’s passion for the music of Luigi Nono (curiously, a former resident of the city in which J. now lived) and Helmut Lachenmann, then hardly known in the UK. J. was already composing, and with an infinite slowness and care that his guest marvelled at. He was painstakingly creating intricate and timbrally experimental string quartets as well as devising music for theatre and experimental film. But over the past fifteen years J. had become increasingly more obsessed with devising software from which his musical ideas might emanate. And it had been to his guest that, all that time ago, J. had turned to find a generous guide into this world of algorithms and complex mathematics, a composer himself who had already been seduced by the promise of new musical fields of possibility that desktop computer technology offered.

In so many ways, when it came to the hard edge of devising solutions to the digital generation of music, J. was now leagues ahead of his former tutor, whose skills in this area were once in the ascendant but had declined in inverse proportion to J’s, as he wished to spend more time composing and less time investigating the means through which he might compose. So the guest was acting now as a kind of Devil’s Advocate, able to ask those awkward disarming questions creative people don’t wish to hear too loudly and too often.

And so it turned out during the next few hours as J. got out some expensive cigars and brandy, which his guest, inhabiting a different body seemingly, now declined in favour of bottled water and dry biscuits. His guest, who had been up since 5.0am, finally suggested that, if he was to be any use on the morrow, bed was necessary. But when he got in amongst the Egyptian cotton sheets and the goose down duvet, sleep was impossible. He tried thinking of her, their last walk together by the sea, breakfast à deux before he left, other things that seemed beautiful and tender by turn . . . But it was no good. He wouldn’t sleep.

The house could have been as silent as the excellent double-glazing allowed. Only the windows of the attic studio next door to his bedroom were open to the night, to clear the room of the smoke of several cigars. He was conscious of that continuous flow of traffic and machine noise that he knew would only subside for a brief hour or so around 4.0am. So he went into the studio and pulled up a chair in front of the painting by Cézanne, in front of this painting of a woodland scene. There were two intertwining arboreal forms, trees of course, but their trunks and branches appeared to suggest the kind of cubist shapes he recognized from Braque. These two forms pulled the viewer towards a single slim and more distant tree backlit by sunlight of a late afternoon. There was a suggestion, in the further distance, of the shapes of the hills and mountains that had so preoccupied the artist. But in the foreground, there on the floor of this woodland glade, were all the colours of autumn set against the still greens of summer. It seemed wholly wrong, yet wholly right. It was as comforting and restful a painting as he could ever remember viewing. Even if he shut his eyes he could wander about the picture in sheer delight. And now he focused on the play of brush strokes of this painting in oils, the way the edge and border of one colour touched against another. Surprisingly, imagined sounds of this woodland scene entered his reverie - a late afternoon in a late summer not yet autumn. He was Olivier Messiaen en vacances with his perpetual notebook recording the magical birdsong in this luminous place. Here, even in this reproduction, lay the joy of entering into a painting. Jeanette Winterson’s plea to look at length at paintings, and then look again passed through his thoughts. How right that seemed. How very difficult to achieve. But that night he sat comfortably in J’s attic and let Cézanne deliver the artist’s promise of a world beyond nature, a world that is not about constant change and tension, but rests in a stillness all its own.
Nat Lipstadt Jul 2016
<>

Every summer, I relearn a new language.
Every winter, it departs for warmer climes,
Its charms and naked arms,
Its own alphabet,
Clean forget.

Multi-lingual in the summer's peculiar
One language, one aleph bet,
With a mega-millions of dialects,
Know them all, cold,
know them all, hot.

I speak Woman.

Summer is soft, shapely, sweet,
Clean, bare, lush in a sparse way,
And Woman is spoken thusly.

There are no harsh sounds,
Guttural exclamations, nein!

I speak Woman.

There is no ugly in the summer.
Ugly being an ugly word.  
It cannot exist in an atmosphere of
Sun, greenery, sand, carefree days,
vacations, no school, no ways
Is there ugliness in any woman of the summer?

You could take this writ many places.
Most of them wrong,
So sputtering sexist or other labeling words,
Makes you ugly and wrong.

Could not give a good *******,
In the summer of 2013,
There should be no ugly, no prejudice.

In any summer,,
There should be no ugly, no prejudice at all.

Long past my primal,
I still speak Woman
With almost perfect fluency,
Au naturel,
Naturellement, à la française.

Gym clothes, denim short shorts, yoga pants gone mad,
A-line skirts swishing in the breeze,
High, god, so high the heels,
Flats clip clopping, flips flip flopping,
Stilettos making love craters,
All over my heart, like a surgeon doing good work.

It is the bare arms and the fluorescent, mint stripe hints of
Summer Cleavage, the short skirts,
Body hugging one piece fabrics,
stretching from here to down there
That do not hint.

The shoulder strap of the underthings,
Asking, commanding me to
Wonder where these paths lead...

Even the light shoulder wrap,
Casual over bare shoulders slung,
A late night elegance that mocks me,
Like gift wrapping over a
Smile demure, a teasing blindfold...

All these say:

Write us poetry in our very own tongue of
Woman.

Will oblige.

I curve with curve of the *****,
Invert geometry of the S arc of the waist,
Mystifying, how it is the designed place
For my hands to grasp, never failing...never letting me fall

The crayola musical colors of flesh variations,
Boggle the senses...
How can
Tan and pale,
Dark and Light
Have so many
Symphonic variations?

Adagio, slow and leisurely, a pas de deux
For two eyes, following ******* by eyes sparkling,
Timpani crashing heart and thunderous pulse quickening,
Violin heart crying out, joyous wailing need and desire sparking.

Just as Byron wrote:

"Music arose with its voluptuous swell,"

Yeah, just swell,
a voluptuous sea swell.

Well,
Enough.

My eloquence is a poor instrument to portray my
Fluency.

Early May man glorious loves life,
Late July, sadder man,
Knowing  the summer foliage colors will soon, fall-fade,
Come August, my vocabulary, already diminishing.

But
Never forget
how to say in the language of Woman, this:

Without you,
I am nothing,
With you,
I am more than everything.


Tho I can no longer say it well,
It is is still true and
Beyond belief.

My one true language of love
In a world gone mad.


August 2013 ~ July 2016 - May 2017
First posted here on August 22, 2013
Edited July, 2016, May 2017
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Regret. The act of doing something and feeling remorse later on; the act of wanting to take something back; the act of wishing something didn’t happen. I regret ever making the joke that when my sister and I fought; it was like World War 3. I regret not telling my brother how much he meant to me and how proud I was that he was serving our country. I regret falling in love with a man that would be forced to go into the military.

Ayden received the letter in the mail two weeks ago, informing him that he would be expected to be at the airport, to involuntarily serve our country. Something bad was going to happen. Something no one was prepared for. We were only eighteen, just seniors in high school since our birthdays took place in the summer. We had been dating one year. The thought of him going half way around the world to fight in a war that came out of nowhere, scared me half to death. It wasn’t just the fact that I was losing my boyfriend who I was incredibly in love with; It was the fact that all in one day, I would be losing my boyfriend, and my best friend. No one to share my secrets with, no one to wrap me in his arms and tell me that everything was going to be okay. Just like he had done the night before when he had finally worked up the courage to tell me what had happened. My jaw hit the floor, my eyes watered up, and I may or may not have started trembling. We had been sitting on the couch when he squeezed my hand a little tighter.

“I have to tell you something.” He said.

I turned toward him with a smile on my face, which quickly faded when I saw that his own eyes had started to tear up.

“What’s wrong?” I asked immediately.

“In a week, I won’t see you. I don’t know for how long, I don’t know when I’ll be back.” He started to explain.

“Where are you going?” I asked impatiently.

“I don’t know.”

“You have to know.”

“There’s going to be a war.” He said. “A big one.” He whispered.

“There was a draft?”

He nodded his head slightly.

“When did you find out?” I asked.

“About a week ago.”

“And you didn’t tell me?”

“I didn’t know how.”

“You didn’t know how?” I whispered.

“Ava. This hurts more than if I was breaking up with you.” He said. “I’ve wanted to tell you. I have. But I didn’t know how. How do you tell someone you’re completely in love with, that you’re going off to fight in a war? That you don’t know if you’ll be coming back?”

“You certainly don’t hide it from that person.” I whispered.

“I might not be coming back.”

“Don’t say that.” I interrupted. “Don’t ever say that again.”

I let a few tears slip down the side of my cheek. He raised his hand to my face and slowly swiped them away with his thumb. He pulled me closer into his arms and kissed my forehead.

“I love you.” He whispered into my ear.

“I love you too.” I said.

Those were the last words we said to each other a week later while standing in the airport. His parents were there too .He had already hugged them and his dad had ushered his mom out to the parking lot in order to keep her from having a panic attack. Ayden and I had stood there awkwardly for a few minutes. After all, what do you say to someone when there’s a possibility you might not ever see them again? That had been when he out of nowhere grabbed me and pulled me against his chest. Wrapping me tightly in his arms, I buried my nose into the sleeve of his jacket and savored the sweet scent of his cologne.

I stood in the window of the airport, watching planes take off after he had given me a final hug and had left to board the plane. Already, I felt like I had something missing from me. Like there was a big hole in my heart. I felt empty. After some time, I decided I should probably go home.

I didn’t cry myself to sleep last night like I thought I would’ve. Instead, I just lay in bed, looking up at the ceiling, not knowing what to think. Tomorrow would be so much different than all my other days at school. No one to hold my hand while walking down the hallway, no one to go out to lunch with, and no one to look forward to so bright and early in the morning. After what seemed like forever, I drifted off to sleep, images of Ayden appearing in my dreams.

The sound of my alarm clock woke me in the morning. And all at once, it hit me, everything that I had been thinking of before drifting off to sleep the night before. Everything that had happened yesterday hadn’t been just a dream. It had been reality and it was finally starting to set in. I threw the covers off of me and started my day like any other, minus the ‘good morning beautiful’ text that I had been so used to receiving.

When I was finally ready for school, I grabbed my keys and headed out the door. The weather fit my mood perfectly. Cloudy, dark, damp, awful weather. Unlike most days that usually occurred here in California. I was used to the sun, the nice warm breeze, not this ‘Seattle like’ weather. Driving to school, I wasn’t sure if the raindrops falling on my windshield made it blurry to see, or if it was my own tears welling up in my eyes. I pretended for it to be the first option, all the while knowing it was the second. Staying strong had been one of my traits. When things got tough, I wasn’t one to run from my problems. No, I faced those dead on. Mom always said I got that from Dad.

It’d been a long time since I’d last thought about him. He was tall, strong, and stubborn. He died serving our country. Maybe that’s what scared me most about Ayden having to go fight. I’d experience death through the military too many times in my book. My grandpa had served our country and had also died in military combat, then Dad. Maybe, it was just my family. Luck just didn’t play on our side. When my brother was finally old enough to join, he surprised us all at dinner one night.

“Have you thought anymore about that business degree you want to get?” Mom had asked.

“Well, yeah. Actually, no. I’ve decided against the business degree.” Ethan had said.

“Honey, you’re almost ready to graduate. You’re changing your mind in the blink of an eye and at possibly, the last minute?”

I had sat silently, not saying a word. Ethan had told me a few months before what he’d been thinking. He knew my opinion, but didn’t know Mom’s. I wasn’t happy with what he was deciding, but I was almost willing to support him. We were close, and I didn’t want to lose him like I had lost Dad, who I’d also been so close to.

“I want to join the military.” He said quietly, and calmly.

I remember Mom’s reaction almost perfectly. She didn’t say a word at first, just looked down at her plate. When she lifted her head a minute later, tears had begun to form in her eyes, ones she blinked away quickly, not letting them spill over onto her cheeks.

“When did you, decide this?” she asked quietly.

“I’ve thought about it for a long time. My choices were either, business, or military.” He explained. “And Mom, the business thing just isn’t working out.”

“Of all things to choose.” She whispered.

She shook her head slightly and I saw a tear fall onto the table by her plate.

“Mom, things are different these days. It’s not like when Dad fought.” He explained. “Ava supports me.” He slipped.

Mom’s head snapped up and looked at me. My head bent down, looking at the spaghetti on my plate.

“You knew?” she asked quietly.

I said nothing. Absolutely nothing. Telling Mom that I had known his decision all along wasn’t part of the plan when the three of us sat down for dinner that night.

“I thought there were no secrets in this house?” she asked.

“There isn’t.” Ethan chimed in. “Anymore.” He whispered.

Mom breathed in a deep breath and let it escape.

“Ethan, I love you. And I support whatever you choose to do. You know that. But I am telling you right now, I will be ****** if I lose another important man in my life.” She said, sternly, while looking deep into his eyes.

“Dad would’ve wanted this.” Ethan said, plainly.

“I know.”

And with that, she had excused herself and left the table. Walking down the hallway, I heard her sniffle a couple times.

The fact of those two simple words stung but as the saying goes, “the truth hurts.” Mom was a runner. She was the one who would always run from her problems instead of confronting them. The one thing that she had always said and will continue to always say, she didn’t want Ethan going into the military. Ever since Dad had died, she’d stuck to her word. Even though, we all knew Dad would’ve wanted Ethan to follow in his steps and be a commanding officer, it’d be the one thing Mom would continuously disagree on. I guess you could say I was the same way. After Ayden had told me that he had been signed for the draft, my breath had caught and I had the same reaction as Mom would’ve had. I would’ve wanted him to do anything, anything, besides go into the military. But I guess it was different this time. No one really had a say in who was on the list and who was absent. My bad luck had just started to shine through.

School dragged on. As normal. But it was different now. Ayden wasn’t there to hold my hand. He wasn’t there to greet me after my classes, wasn’t there to walk me to my car, wasn’t there to just be in my presence. It was like he had died. And just the thought of that alone, brought tears to my eyes. I wasn’t the only one whose boyfriend had been called off for the draft. No, there were others, but none of those other couples had been like Ayden and I. We weren’t just a couple. We weren’t just homecoming king and queen. No, we were best friends. I’d known him since first grade when he’d transferred to my elementary school. I had been the one assigned to show him around the school. We became friends, and later on, best friends. Freshman year of high school, Ayden and I had gone to homecoming together. Not as a couple but just as friends because neither of us had a date. Sophomore year, we had gone together again. Not because we didn’t have a date, but because we wanted to go with each other. I’ll never forget that night, because that was the night Ayden had told me he wanted to be more than friends. I had never actually thought about being more than just his friend until he had brought it up. That night, I didn’t just fall in love with a guy; I fell in love with my best friend.

The final bell rang for school to be dismissed. Once again, I felt emptiness inside while walking through the hallway. Blurs of kids rushing past me kept me from allowing my tears to spill over onto my cheeks, but that was the only thing that stopped them. After getting into my car, I put the key into the ignition but didn’t start it; I didn’t even turn the key. I put my head in my hands and took a deep breath. In my head, I thought, “One day down.”

After sitting for a few minutes in my quiet car, and letting other vehicles exit the parking lot, I finally turned the key and started my car. Hearing the soft music come on the radio, I turned it down so I could only hear the engine running. Putting my car into reverse, I wasn’t exactly sure where I was going to go. I just wanted to drive. Halfway home, I changed directions and headed to what seemed like my second house, my best friend’s house.

I knew his Mom would be off work by now and would be there to let me in. I found it ironic, as I always have that when you’re in a hurry to get somewhere; you stop at every red light possible. Red lights, stop signs, and slow moving cars in general were the only obstacles in my way that afternoon. Finally, when I was out of the traffic and almost to Ayden’s house, I pushed my foot a little harder on the gas to gain some speed. Driving up over the gravel road, I could see in the distance his Mom’s small car parked in the driveway; along with Ayden’s. Just seeing it there, gave me false hope that maybe this was all a dream and he was actually at his house, waiting for me.

Pulling into the driveway, his Mom came out onto the porch. Ayden lived in a house that you see in the movies. A tall, white one with a wraparound porch, the swing out front. I loved spending time in that house. Putting the car in park, I slowly got out and walked up to the porch.

“How did it go?” his Mom asked.

I shrugged my shoulders, while walking up the stairs. She pulled me into her arms and hugged me. Rubbing my back, she whispered,

“It’ll be okay. He’ll be coming home sooner than you know it.”

“Can I just go up to his room?” I asked.

“Of course.”

She released me from her arms and I opened the screen door to head inside while she remained on the porch. I walked up the stairs and to the right. Ayden’s door was closed. That was unlikely. He never kept his door shut just for the sake of it being shut. It was always opened. I pushed it open and walked inside. All his stuff was where he had left it. His bed was unmade, his closet doors standing open. I walked to his closet and ran my hands over his shirts, His scent filled my nose and I just wanted him home. I grabbed a button down, blue and white, thin striped shirt. He had worn it to school a couple times. I put it up to my nose, taking in faint bit of cologne that you could still smell on it, even after it going through the wash. I walked over to his bed, sitting down on the edge. With his shirt still pressed close to my face, I breathed in a heavy breath and let everything go. The tears started coming and I didn’t stop them. I started sobbing but I didn’t care. It seemed like everything that I’d ever loved, was gone. Because technically, it was, for the time. Ayden leaving to go fight in a war half way across the country scared me more than life itself, and hurt more than if he had broken up with me. I felt alone, even when there were dozens of people around me. I felt as if Ayden was dead when he was actually alive and well, as far as I knew. He’d only been gone one day and it felt like three years. Losing Ayden to the war efforts showed the true meaning in the saying, “you never really know what you have until it’s gone.” But really, the truth was, I knew what I had. I knew exactly what I had. I just took it for granted and didn’t think I’d ever lose it. And now all I wanted was Ayden back in the same country as me, back in the same house as where I was. In his room, watching a movie, playing a game, anything. That’s all I wanted at that exact moment.

I jumped up out of my sleep, my heart beating faster than a race car zooming around a track. I looked at my alarm clock, the red digits glaring, 2:33 back at my face. I swallowed and took a few more deep breaths before kicking the covers off and walking to the bathroom. I turned the light on and splashed some cool water over my face. Looking up into the mirror, I took one final deep breath and walked back to my room. Grabbing my phone from my nightstand next to my bed, I unplugged it and ran my finger over the touch screen. Reaching Ayden’s name, I touched the screen where it said to call. Holding the phone up to my ear, I waited for Ayden’s voice to answer. After about five rings and silence, his voice answered through his voicemail.

“Hey, it’s Ayden. I’m a little busy at the moment, but leave a message, and I’ll make sure to get back to you.”

My tears broke out all over again, my already swollen eyes releasing more sobs. I pulled my covers up to my chest and buried my face in them. My sobs grew a bit louder, and I heard footsteps coming from outside my bedroom door. I tried to stop, and after sniffling a couple times, the white door opened slowly.

“Honey,” Mom said, coming over to the bed.

“I can’t do this, Mom.” I sobbed.

She pulled me into her arms and rested her chin on my head while softly rubbing my back.

“It gets better.” she whispered. “It gets better.” she paused. “I promise.”

“I don’t know.” I said.

“I do.” she replied. “I went through this. You seem to keep forgetting. But I went through this exact same thing.”

I took a deep breath. “How long?” I asked. “How long does this last? This loneliness, this emptiness?”

“Too long.” she whispered.

She pulled me into her arms even more, holding me tighter, until I slowly laid down on my bed, my tears falling to my pillow. She sat on the edge of my bed, rubbing my back. It reminded me of all the times when I had been sick and she’d s
I know this isn't a poem, but I would like some feedback, comments or suggestions. I wrote this for a class, but I really like it. Tell me what you think. All comments are appreciated:)
Hal Loyd Denton Apr 2013
Thorns


Even to think about such sharp devils stabs your mind somewhat they are plants defense system on the
“Great Saguaro cactus they have been shown to record changes in local rainfall and can be used to

Reconstruct climate and plant ecophsiology over the plant’s lifetime Acanthochronology thorns grow in
Timed sequence” and so doe’s human character beat back held in check this is refining at its tortuous

Best a couple of quotes if you want to be refreshed look up this great man’s quotes here are a couple
All the resources we need are in the mind. Americans learn only from catastrophe and not from experience.

– Theodore Roosevelt a fertile mind aerated by coarseness is the procurement for a fine point
Put to your life the most worthless arrogant person is one who has never struggled for the prize
That is a life lived well no matter what the circumstances they face to bow is not to suffer

Indignity but you present yourself as selfless and deserve the crown of nobility that person
Will have once worn clothes that were torn and tattered by thorns otherwise it is like uncultivated

Land its wildness pleases and feeds the eye it can roll out grand vistas spill and dip hills of
Splendor but nothing to appease physical hunger the warrior must willingly sacrifice his blood

Not a pin ***** but all that it takes to route evil and restore peace that the weak share with the
Strong the United States used these necessary building blocks where nations insert the rich and

Powerful they build with rot that will be their undoing the great story Two Years before the Mast  
tells of Richard Henry Dana JR while an undergraduate at Harvard College he had an attack of

Measles which created problems with his vision he took the action of enlisting as a common
****** feeling it could help his vision he shipped out on the brig pilgrim for a trip around the

Horn to California the initial thorn of measles started a chain of events yes the man already had
Potential but without the thorn he wouldn’t have ending up writing an American sea classic

And also from his experience with the plight of the sailors it instilled in him a deep sympathy for
The lower classes he became a prominent anti slavery activist not to many thorns that big and

He helped found the free soil party and he is credited with giving America one of its greatest
Historical record of early California he has a city named after him Dana Point and several  

Southern California schools are named for him he was on the fast track to becoming a lawyer
Then through encountering the thorns he found out life’s secret the way to unexpected

Achievement is along a path that at first only seems to hold dread but to persevere in hardship
Will lead to commanding heights not of pride and presumptuous arrogance but real humility

That is the fruited fields spoken of in America the beautiful you only rise through your
Willingness to accept abasement it is said God will resist the proud but give grace to the humble

So next time you’re faced with thorns see them as sentinels that bar the insincere but to the
faithful They show a sure path to rich fulfillment
“Ruin seize thee, ruthless King!
Confusion on thy banners wait!
Tho’ fanned by Conquest’s crimson wing,
They mock the air with idle state.
Helm, nor hauberk’s twisted mail,
Nor e’en thy virtues, Tyrant, shall avail
To save thy secret soul from nightly fears,
From Cambria’s curse, from Cambria’s tears!”
Such were the sounds that o’er the crested pride
Of the first Edward scattered wild dismay,
As down the steep of Snowdon’s shaggy side
He wound with toilsome march his long array.
Stout Glo’ster stood aghast in speechless trance:
“To arms!” cried Mortimer, and couched his quiv’ring lance.

On a rock, whose haughty brow
Frowns o’er cold Conway’s foaming flood,
Robed in the sable garb of woe
With haggard eyes the Poet stood;
(Loose his beard and hoary hair
Streamed like a meteor to the troubled air)
And with a master’s hand, and prophet’s fire,
Struck the deep sorrows of his lyre.
“Hark, how each giant-oak and desert-cave
Sighs to the torrent’s awful voice beneath!
O’er thee, O King! their hundred arms they wave,
Revenge on thee in hoarser murmurs breathe;
Vocal no more, since Cambria’s fatal day,
To high-born Hoel’s harp, or soft Llewellyn’s lay.

“Cold is Cadwallo’s tongue,
That hushed the stormy main;
Brave Urien sleeps upon his craggy bed:
Mountains, ye mourn in vain
Modred, whose magic song
Made huge Plinlimmon bow his cloud-topt head.
On dreary Arvon’s shore they lie,
Smeared with gore, and ghastly pale:
Far, far aloof th’ affrighted ravens sail;
The famished eagle screams, and passes by.
Dear lost companions of my tuneful art,
Dear as the light that visits these sad eyes,
Dear as the ruddy drops that warm my heart,
Ye died amidst your dying country’s cries—
No more I weep. They do not sleep.
On yonder cliffs, a grisly band,
I see them sit; they linger yet,
Avengers of their native land:
With me in dreadful harmony they join,
And weave with ****** hands the tissue of thy line.

“Weave, the warp! and weave, the woof!
The winding sheet of Edward’s race:
Give ample room and verge enough
The characters of hell to trace.
Mark the year and mark the night
When Severn shall re-echo with affright
The shrieks of death, thro’ Berkley’s roof that ring,
Shrieks of an agonizing king!
She-wolf of France, with unrelenting fangs,
That tear’st the bowels of thy mangled mate,
From thee be born, who o’er thy country hangs
The scourge of Heaven! What terrors round him wait!
Amazement in his van, with Flight combined,
And Sorrow’s faded form, and Solitude behind.

“Mighty victor, mighty lord!
Low on his funeral couch he lies!
No pitying heart, no eye, afford
A tear to grace his obsequies.
Is the sable warrior fled?
Thy son is gone. He rests among the dead.
The swarm that in thy noon-tide beam were born?
Gone to salute the rising morn.
Fair laughs the morn, and soft the zephyr blows,
While proudly riding o’er the azure realm
In gallant trim the gilded vessel goes:
Youth on the prow, and Pleasure at the helm:
Regardless of the sweeping whirlwind’s sway,
That, hushed in grim repose, expects his ev’ning prey.

“Fill high the sparkling bowl,
The rich repast prepare;
Reft of a crown, he yet may share the feast:
Close by the regal chair
Fell Thirst and Famine scowl
A baleful smile upon their baffled guest.
Heard ye the din of battle bray,
Lance to lance, and horse to horse?
Long years of havoc urge their destined course,
And thro’ the kindred squadrons mow their way.
Ye towers of Julius, London’s lasting shame,
With many a foul and midnight ****** fed,
Revere his consort’s faith, his father’s fame,
And spare the meek usurper’s holy head.
Above, below, the rose of snow,
Twined with her blushing foe, we spread:
The bristled Boar in infant-gore
Wallows beneath the thorny shade.
Now, brothers, bending o’er the accursed loom,
Stamp we our vengeance deep, and ratify his doom.

“Edward, lo! to sudden fate
(Weave we the woof. The thread is spun.)
Half of thy heart we consecrate.
(The web is wove. The work is done.)
Stay, oh stay! nor thus forlorn
Leave me unblessed, unpitied, here to mourn:
In yon bright track that fires the western skies
They melt, they vanish from my eyes.
But oh! what solemn scenes on Snowdon’s height
Descending slow their glittering skirts unroll?
Visions of glory, spare my aching sight,
Ye unborn ages, crowd not on my soul!
No more our long-lost Arthur we bewail.
All hail, ye genuine kings! Britannia’s issue, hail!

“Girt with many a baron bold
Sublime their starry fronts they rear;
And gorgeous dames, and statesmen old
In bearded majesty, appear.
In the midst a form divine!
Her eye proclaims her of the Briton-line:
Her lion-port, her awe-commanding face,
Attempered sweet to ****** grace.
What strings symphonious tremble in the air,
What strains of vocal transport round her play!
Hear from the grave, great Taliessin, hear;
They breathe a soul to animate thy clay.
Bright Rapture calls, and soaring as she sings,
Waves in the eye of heav’n her many-coloured wings.

“The verse adorn again
Fierce War, and faithful Love,
And Truth severe, by fairy Fiction drest.
In buskined measures move
Pale Grief, and pleasing Pain,
With Horror, tyrant of the throbbing breast.
A voice, as of the cherub-choir,
Gales from blooming Eden bear;
And distant warblings lessen on my ear,
That lost in long futurity expire.
Fond impious man, think’st thou yon sanguine cloud,
Raised by thy breath, has quenched the orb of day?
Tomorrow he repairs the golden flood,
And warms the nations with redoubled ray.
Enough for me: with joy I see
The diff’rent doom our fates assign.
Be thine Despair and sceptred Care;
To triumph and to die are mine.”
He spoke, and headlong from the mountain’s height
Deep in the roaring tide he plunged to endless night.
craig apogee Mar 2015
you sweep in a like a gust of leaves
turning my head and commanding my eyes
which are now firmly pinned to your rustling rhythm
a crisp distraction

the type that lingers on...
for days...
nights...
weeks...

unwilted by time
preserved in my mind
a renaissance of the heart and soul
a beautiful, crisp distraction
Sometimes its the small victories
Poetry by MAN Dec 2015
Spell is broken
Magic words were spoken
Gone is the hoping
Transformation in coping
Witchy eyes mesmerize
Truth spoken in lies
Undercover like spies
Today delusion dies
Now I must be mad
To want what's sad
Experiment with the bad
Sparks talent that I have
Who's the spell caster?
What makes one a master?
Some fail faster
Document moment of disaster
Love me cruelly
Intoxicated truly
Cursed..I long foolishly
Venus energy unruly
None can ever have me
Many want me badly
Love I give madly
Doesn't have to end sadly
Must've been broken
Before spell was spoken
Art wide open
Commence with scoping
Its all an understanding
Of what we are commanding
May crash before landing
Done with delicate planning
I'm a vibrational hub
Radiate unconditional love
Same below as above
Wrap souls with this hug
These words of magic blows all away
Deflect Spells of hate every day
Enter the game if you choose to play
We all live our lives in our own way
So light me up..Take this token
Potent I become when I'm smoking
Dive inside my love is open
This Phoenix shall rise when spell is broken
M.A.N 2-1-15 I performed this at a poetry slam earlier this year..It scored okay I've done a few edits on it since here's final version..
Nigel Morgan Jan 2013
(after a watercolour by Mary Fedden OBE RA)
 
It is early morning, a Tuesday in June. It is May’s birthday. She likes to get up early on her birthday and join her husband on the beach. He has been up since five, fiddling about, making tea, reading a little, avoiding his desk. May thinks, when she watches him dress with a half an eye open feigning sleep, he looks so distinguished with his silver, nearly white hair and that beard (her suggestion). And today I am forty-five and he is . . . old enough to be my father. But he is my companion, my love, my watcher who stalks me still with his gaze of admiration, which I never tire of when we are alone, but I am sometimes embarrassed by when we are in company. He knows this, but he can’t help himself. He says he loves to watch me cross a room, stand still against a window, reach for a vase on a shelf, sit at my work table, intent.
 
May sees him far down the beach as she walks with purpose through the dunes that separate their cottage from the beach. Her short boots glisten with the heavy dew. She has pulled on her work dress over her striped nightshirt, a dress she wove in a grey Jura their first long winter. There he is in his stupid cap his grandson gave him when he acquired the boat. He’s carrying a fishing net to collect creatures from the rock pools further down the beach. She remembers when this ‘interest’ began. He had read to her one night a long extract from *Father and Son
by Edmund Gosse. It was a kind of threnody to a state that once existed, a veritable Garden of Eden, destroyed in two generations by a mid-Victorian passion for sea-shore collecting. ‘These rock-basins’ Gosse had written, ’fringed by corallines, filled with still water almost as pellucid as the upper air itself, thronged with beautiful sensitive forms of life, - they exist no longer, they are all profaned, and emptied and vulgarized. The fairy paradise has been violated, the exquisite product of the centuries of natural selection has been crushed under the rough paw of well-meaning curiosity.'
 
She loved to hear him read, knowing that he loved to read to her. The joy on his face sometimes; it was worth enduring all the strange things he found to read (she fell asleep so often as he read) just for those occasions when she felt pinned to her seat, grappled to her bed like Gulliver, wishing it would never stop, such words, his dear voice. How long had it been now?
 
He didn’t walk to meet her. He let her walk to him. He stood there waiting. When she drew close he stretched out his arms and arranged her body in front of him, walked back a little and smiled his admiring smile. There were almost tears in his eyes, as there so often were when he had no words. She knew on his desk there would be a poem, and like the poet Ted Hughes (who neither of them could deal with), a birthday letter waiting to be given to her at breakfast, with gifts she knew he had worried over.
 
She stood quite still and let the fresh September wind gather her now quite long hair and turning away from him, let it stream behind her. He had turned too, realising in saying nothing he had said too much. He remembered another birthday on a different shore, a day when she had surrounded him, captured him, loved him with a passion that had now tempered, was the stuff of his writing that now had found its way into a 100 Love Poems to Read before you Die. He had long since refused to speak these out loud, refused to be visible anymore, would not be interviewed; it was now the novel, the long, long journey of a novel, the months, years even (In Praise of Rust took three agonising years).
 
And now, standing in this sun-glinting bay, ignoring the lighthouse, May thought of Mrs Ramsey and that summer party on Skye, those earnest young men, those artistic young women, and her commanding husband who would not look at the lighthouse, who would not countenance a visit.
 
Her husband, strange to think this because she never felt herself his wife, never commanded anything. He made decisions, and then laid things gently aside. It was enough for him to have been decisive. What she did with that was up to her. He wanted her to be free, always free from any command. When they married, to him it was like the silent grace they ‘said’ at each meal. She knew it had meant so much to him: the silence of that moment. He had read to her the morning of their marriage a text from William Penn – she had remembered one phrase  ‘Between a man and his wife nothing ought to rule but love . . .’ And he yet had never commanded her. He seemed to admire her being her own self. She was not his. They were the dearest friends, weren’t they? He expected nothing from her (he had said this so often), no commitment, no promise; just gentleness, a peaceful nature, an understanding that he loved her with a passion she would never understand because she knew he did not understand it himself.
Moments Before Dec 2011
Expressions of deception
Exists in the casual gestures
Of your slender widow fingers
                
Outlining venom on your
Prominent Lilith features
Commanding me catatonic

Soft lips can not hide the teeth
That form that jagged angler smile

Am I being fooled?

— The End —