Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
TheRhymeRenegade Feb 2018
do you recall
the crunch beneath our feet
a gesture small
as we ambled down the street
dirt and gravel
I felt pebbles through my shoe
I unravelled
When I looked at you

Where did you come from
Are you real?
Is this how I’m supposed to feel?
A dreamgirl
In a dreary place
I’ve counted every freckle on your face

Sunlight peaked through maple branches
in such a tranquil way
missed chances to make advances
I always hoped you'd stay
a fork in the road ahead
we went different directions
I used many different methods
to try and snag your attention
Where did you come from
Are you real?
Is this how I’m supposed to feel?
A dreamgirl
In a dreary place
I’ve counted every freckle on your face

you never seemed to notice
you just stared ahead
heart bloomed as if a lotus
while I tugged at a loose thread
sometimes I'd begin to speak
but choked upon my words
so I walked next to you without a peep
and together watched the birds

Where did you come from
Are you real?
Is this how I’m supposed to feel?
A dreamgirl
In a dreary place
I’ve counted every freckle on your face

it's odd and super subtle
the synchronicity
insignificant and pointless
yet means the world to me
quiet walks every afternoon
past the garage and dead leaves
we watched the starlings courtship
do you remember me?

Where did you come from
Are you real?
Is this how I’m supposed to feel?
A dreamgirl
In a dreary place
I’ve counted every freckle on your face
Natalie Pugmire Dec 2014
The things
I have done
For you
Cannot be counted
On two hands

And neither
Can the times
You have let me down

The times I have
Forgiven you
Cannot be counted
With the hairs
On my head

And neither
Can the times
You didn’t deserve
My forgiveness

The times I have
Seen goodness
In your eyes
Cannot be counted
With the freckles
On my skin

And neither
Can the times
You took my
Second chances
For granted

The times I have
Wanted to say goodbye
Can be counted
On one hand

And the times
I actually will
Can be counted on

One finger
Shofi Ahmed Oct 2017
I know not how many
million stars there are.
But I know there is
only one earth.

Maybe we have counted
the protons of the atom
as many it has in its nucleus
counted the electrons on the run
orbiting the nucleus.
But the spinning circle is a zero
yet to compute the unifying one!
It's a pattern spans the universe.

I know there are
billions of us human
out there on earth.
But all I want is only one.
Just to count on
a permanent one!  

The big earth
is a bigger zero null.
Standing on barefoot
without the perpetual one.
No glue, no roof nor a sign
only on one pure rigid science!
Tommy Johnson Dec 2013
You can hear the voices of our peers being silenced, ignored, shunned and distorted.
Staggering out of their bedroom doorways to the street corner to score a dime bag.
Bright, insightful millennials freezing in search of warmth from something to believe in that will encourage them to look forward to see another day.
Where our economy has made financial prudence clear when talking about education, yet price tags of university tuition's skyrocket.
The refused, the ones with hope but no money or scholarships; tread the streets with the echoes of electro house pulsing in their skulls.
Those who strip themselves down and shred their own morals to scraps just to find themselves and to see their own limitations.
Searching for answers to the unknown, to ascertain what they are, who they are and why.
Timid in high school, pushed along with nothing and no one to put their creative vigor into.
The squeakiest wheels that were never even considered to be given a good greasing.
Faculties giving them lethargic hellos on the first day of school, bestowing celebrated goodbyes to them on graduation day, diplomas in hand.
Now are the ones slumped over in a lackadaisical position contemplating how they can afford an education.
They work eight to ten at seven twenty five an hour Monday to Friday; and weekends staying in as not to blow their earnings.
Those who commute to university and balance a job with it, I applaud you.
The bewilderment of adulthood, the overabundance of pressure and responsibility.
Awakened from nightmares of lost opportunities, missed trains and lost contacts.
To step out of bed and splash water onto a severely distressed face and staring into a mirror with a despairing look.
Then hoping a bus to Garfield to bring back weight for all the embryonic smokers not yet at the point of make or break, just save up enough to pave my own way.
Gazing at the town on a roof top, chugging down the tenth…no…twelfth beer of the night wondering how this all happened.
Wild sensations of kissing an attractive stranger, the rush of touching on things never felt, tasting pleasures only the lucky have known.
The passionate, yet dissolute yearning for that ever eluding ******* adrenaline. Pounding, Pounding, Pounding until the culmination of energy has come.
Flip sided to those dizzying, tear jerking thoughts of suicide, annihilation of ones being, the contradictions of their faith in themselves and the people around them.
Unexplainable waves of anxiety crashing onto the shore of a diminutive island of optimism
Striving to look past the panic, the gloominess and fury that may or may not be present. But to remain composed and press forward to what awaits them.
Coffee keeps them going. Cup after cup, late night cramming every bit they can; into their caffeine driven psyches until the indisputable crash and failure.
Packs and packs of menthol cigarettes to calm their rattling nerves but at the same time killing them slowly. Their lives will seem shorter than the time it took to finish one bogey when death is near.
Marijuana induced ventures to run down burger shacks, laughing hysterical in the car ride, eyes heavy with a most ridiculous elastic grin extending from ear to ear. While inside millions of thoughts and realizations of consciously simple speculations and troubles become clear and unproblematic. So the joy is mirrored outside in.
LSD trips in Petruska dancing and singing in the rain! Making music, making love; playing pretend and creating art. Becoming a family while kicking back under the warmth of an illuminated tree on a cool fall night.
MDMA streaming through the body, everything is as it should be
Beautiful, lovely to touch, wondrous to stroke, marvelous to move.
To contact and connect, converse and converge with the dwelling desire to share what you feel with everyone for it would be selfish and unpleasant to keep it in.
Mushrooms oh the emotional overflow I need not say more but ****.
Then there are over the counter candies, Oxycontin, ******, Adderall and Xanax, painkillers and antidepressants. Ups, downs, side ways and backwards.
Selling addiction and dependency legally to kids. Making heroine, ******* and speed easily obtainable to them. Changing the names and giving out prescriptions so the parents can feel like they're actually helping their children but are subconsciously making it easier on themselves because they cannot handle the way their offsprings actually are. Some parents a feel it is the only way, I wish it wasn't so. Becoming zombies, mindless addicts before they even start to mature into puberty. I've seen it, firsthand front row.
Oh, the monotonous, mundane rituals and agendas of our lives. School, work, sleep eat, the sluggish schedules and repetitions of yesterday's conversations and redundancy of itineraries we had plotted months prior.
Same people, the constant faces of boredom that groan in apathy and hold the fear of complacency.
We talk about how hum drum out lives have become and what we could to put some color in our world but don’t.
We speak of how unfair the system is but ultimately confuse ourselves and everyone else due to lack or organization and dedication so nothing is changed.
We speak of breath taking women we want to share ****** fantasies with but can’t even muster enough courage to send a trivial friend request.
Texting away for hours trying to court those who now occupy our minds and possess our hearts hoping they may allow us to acquire their attention and affection. Calling them only to receive futile dial tones and know we are being evaded.
Weeping on and on for seemingly endless time frames of a dilapidated relationship that was so strained that a miniscule breeze could cause it to collapse but still clinging to every memory as if they were vital hieroglyphics depicting your very essence.
Brilliant theories blurted out in a drunken stupor.
Ingenious hypothesis shrouded in marijuana smoked out room.
Remembrance of friends long gone.
The marines, the navy.
The casualties of drug addiction.
The conquerors or their afflictions.
The scholars.
The insane locked away on the flight deck never to be seen again.
Teenage mothers unsure of themselves, abandoned by their families for they believe that they brought fictional shame upon the family’s name. The fate of the child is unclear but the mother’s everlasting love shines through any obscurities in its way.
Dear mother of the new born winter’s moon may the aura of life protect you and your baby.
The father gone without a trace.
He will never know his daughter.
And it will haunt him forever.
Parents bringing up their kids with values and morals, The Holy Bible, mantras and meditation, the Holy Quran, The Bhagavad Gita, and Upanishads. Islamic anecdotes and Jewish parables.
The names all different
The message the same
The stories unlike
Goals equivalent
Faith
Kabala, Scientology and Wicca
Amish and Mormons
All separate paths that intertwine and runoff each other then pool into the plateau of eternal life.
But do we have faith in our country, our government?
They do not have faith in us. Cameras on every street corner, FBI agents stalking social media, recordings of our personal lives and police brutality. 4th amendment where have you gone?
We say farewell to Oresko the last veteran of the last great war. And revisit the Arab spring, Al-Assad’s soldiers opening fire on innocent protesters, one hundred fifteen thousand lay dead. Bin laden dead, Hussein hanged, Gaddafi receiving every ounce of his comeuppance. War, terrorism, the fear of being attacked or is it an excuse to secure our nation's investments across the sea? Throwing trillions of dollars to keep the ****** machine cranking away, taxes, pensions, credit scores, insurance and annuities all cogs in the convoluted contraptions plight.
My dear friend contemplates this every night laying in bed, fetal position; the anxiety if having to be a part of this.
Falling apart on the inside but on the outside, an Adonis, *******, Casanova wanna be. Who worshiped the almighty dollar, gripping it so tightly until it made change, drank until he had his fill falling face first into the snow. The guy who lead on legions of clueless girls wearing their hearts on their sleeves not knowing he had a girlfriend the entire time. Arranging secret meetings in hidden gardens, streaking into the early morning. Driving to Ewing in his yellow Mustang to woo a sado masochistic girl. The chains and whips do nothing to him he is already numbed by the thrill. Then he comes home, lays in bed until one, with no job and having people pay for his meals.
He knows what he does and who he is wrong. He recites and regurgitates excuses endlessly. He cries because he knows he is weak, he knows he must fix himself. I sit on the edge of myself with my fingers crossed hoping maybe, maybe he will set himself straight.
My chum who can talk his way out of any confrontation and into a woman’s *******. Multitudes of amorous affairs in backrooms, backseats, front rows of movies theaters. Selfish, boastful and ignorant, yet woman fling themselves at him like catapulted boulders over a medieval battle field just to say hello. These girls blind to see what going on, for their eyes were taken by low self esteem. A need to be accepted, to feel wanted even only for fifteen minutes. Poor self image, daddy issues, anorexic razor blade slicing sirens screaming on about counted calories and social status. Their uncontrollable mental breakdowns and emotional collapse. Their uncles who ***** them, their parents who split up and confusing their definition of love and loyalty for the rest of their lives. Broken homes, domestic abuse and raised voices, sending jolts of fright into the young girl’s fragile minds. I send my sorrows to you ladies, to see such beautiful creatures suffer then be used and thrown away with the ****** that was just ****** deep into their *****.
Then I see women and men of marvelous stature, romantic in the streets holding everyone and everything in high regards. Finding beauty in anything and anyone. Enjoying every second as if the rapture was over head eating exotic foods from unheard of countries and cultures. Bouncing to the sound of whimsical , reverb ricochets and sense stimulating music. Huffing inspiration to create something out of thin air. Dancing to retired jazz and swing albums as if no time had past since their conception. Wearing bold colors and patterns, thrifty leather shoes or suede.
Dawning pre-owned blazers because why spend hundreds of dollars on new clothes just to look good but feel uncomfortable with a hole in your pocket. Dressing up but dressing down, so class yet urban I love it, chinos, pea coats and flannels so simple but chic.
At night they go to underground dens, sweaty bodies, loud music and freedom. Expressive manifestations glowing fueled with MDMA and other substances to further their enjoyment of the dark glorious occasion. Kandi kids sporting colorful bracelets, not watches for time is of no concern to them, they have all eternity they know that.
Going to book stores, coffee shops just to have some peace of mind and a moment of silence to themselves so that can weave the tapestry of imaginative innovation. Writing their own versions of the same story, endless doors of perception, reading news papers and taking it with a grain of salt. Watching the news on TV with a hand full of salt. Searching for the real story so they can know if the world they all live in is actually safe.
She who made her own way breaking hearts, rolling blunts and making deals. The flower child of the modern age, left the rainy days in search of radiant sunshine, idealistic. Reality was subjective, purple dyed hair, multicolored sweater with sandals on her feet. A ten inch bowl with bud from California packed in tightly. Coming from Dumont to Bergenfeild then on to Philly to Mount Vernon. Off to Astoria and the Heights. Now to Sweden laying in the grassy plains below the mountains. Good for you my friend whom I have loved, may fortunes of unsullied joy come to you and all you meet.
Since you’ve left I have encountered drunken burly firemen just trying to have a good time. Pounding down Pabst Blue Ribbon as if it were water; as if it were good tasting beer. But heroes none the less.
EMT's, young eighteen years old high school graduates, saving lives reviving people who are a mere inch close to death.
Sport stars getting scholarships thanks to their superior skills and strength.
Striking beauty school students who are into making the people of this world a little bit more beautiful on the outside.
All these people, successful, doing things. Departing to their desired destinations. I see inside them, they carry baggage, loneliness and insecurities. I can feel their guilt slowing them down. All have their loads but it’s the way they carry them that shows who they really are. And to me their all gems.
Not far in Paterson I watch the junkies limping across busy winding street, perusing a severely needed fix. “Diesel!” they shout beneath flickering streetlights, asking for spare change and if bold enough a ride to some shady sketchy place. I give them a dollar and politely decline. They’ll die without it. Vomiting up bile and blood, twitches and shivers are all you feel when it’s not in you. They cannot stop, they need help. Why not help them instead of “assisting” those who are homosexual? Cleansing so they can be granted entry to the kingdom of God. Looking down on people who have found love and understanding and a deep attraction to others who just so happen to share alike genitals.
Narrow minded uproars about the spread of AIDS, nonsense! The puritanical onslaught of those who want nothing more than the rest of us, love. "Gay", "****", "******", "queer", how about "kind", "funny", "genuine human being"? The right to be married and divorced should be an option for everyone to enjoy. The strains and hardships of matrimony are yours if you want them. If you don’t agree don’t hate or harm just allow them to be peacefully. Same goes for anything for that matter, Jehovah's going door to door, Mormons from Burbank. New ideas are never a bad thing, they’re not a waste of time. On average you have about eighty years to mull over your options.
Some people don’t live long enough to do so, cancer is rampant, blood diseases, ****** diseases, natural disasters coming right out of left field and blindsiding the innocent bystanders of both hemispheres. Some go through life handicapped, autism is apparent these days. Schizophrenia, Asperburgers, ADD and ADHD. Some lose their golden memories of their many valuable years walking down Alzheimer's Lane, not being able to remember whatever transpired only a few moments ago but revisiting gold nuggets from from fifty-some-odd years ago with ease. Some go through life delusional or bipolar. Some can't even sleep at night but they still carry on. And if assistance is needed it is our job as a race to help our brothers and sisters, no one deserves to be excluded from the gala of life. Or be denied by society and pumped with brightly colored pills from doctors promising a cure but prescribing a crutch.
Finding solace in sincerity.
The serendipity of it all hasn’t been uncovered and that keeps me going.
“Radiate boundless love towards the entire world above, below and across. Unhindered without ill will without enmity.” Oh Buddha the truth as it ever was.
Who is he who keeps these thoughts from the conscious minds of the population?
Who is it that distracts us from the humbling beauty and overwhelming devastation of this place of existence we’re in?
It’s they who do under the table parlor trick behind our backs.
Those who broadcast mind numbing so called reality TV shows without an underlying value or meaning.
Those who produce music, proclaiming extravagance to be the end all be all gluttonous goal we all should aim to achieve.
And those who turn noble causes into money making scams and defile pure ideas.
And of course those who give false promises of easily obtained  bright futures, those who don’t care, those who steal, ****, curse, bad mouth and lie. But still manage to get elected into positions that more or less decide out fates. Monsters, demons, banshees howling inconsequential worries and leaving us deaf to hear the real issues.
The
Scurry hurry
Shaking hands shaped by worry
tie the knot of plastic
A bubble home for the hard green cup
where brown and white
mixed lay married.

Wash rush
Dainty legs in dark blue denim
hasn't time to be romantic
A worn out sister played by hope
shuts the door panting.

  It clings to a robust tree
  head hidden under rosy pink    
  protective shield
  edged in yellow

  The fireflies

  
Sticky webs of empty lies packaged in boxes of deception by the wizard that doesn't work
sit dead on the small bedside table
like the results they provide.

Boxes and boxes of cozy containers
and cards of capsules
47 I counted them
current and extras
They choke my sight
then I am groped by the smooth blue robes worn by the youthful shepherd
posing aside a grey rock looking yonder
into the distance as insta-natural as possible in a pastel painted picture framed in wood against the wall.
  
  Unstable molecules in tiny airtubes,  
  many, breakdown and explode
  like little landmines
  A bio-luminescent lit ***** assaults a  
  dense night flashing brilliant
  to find a mate
  Six strong neon-green throbbing blinks
  Six slow seconds of unimaginable
  wordless dreamless dark.

  are bright.

  
I turn my head
The whole unsettling mass of reality
is torn apart into vibrant colorful morsels,
then reassembled
as my eyes  
settle
on

Her

"Oh God, if you're here, heal her now
and you'll have me. Show me what those confident tongues so eagerly confess.
Please!"

NOTHING
Another sticky empty square
covered in thick black-strap molasses
slapped to the face of the fool
who likes sweet things.

BUT

What happened to the omni-this, omni-that CEO of God enterprises?
"Go on Death" is what that means
"Go on Death do your job" is what it does

"It's your time.
It's to test your faith.
Gods plan."
All slogans for the man
who believes and dies.
  Culture creates the fool
  Hope keeps the fool
  Belief kills the fool
Thanks for doing what all those boxes
and all the pictures
on all the walls of the world do

FOOL

Her face,
a gaunt kind of skin-to-bone sight
a bad flavor
like a meal with no taste

Her mouth,
crack-lipped, framed by dry
delivers deadly blows to a heaving chest
that says; "Give me air"
yet lungs say no

Anguish,
is ****** from the pit of my cold stomach
then up through the spirit of a warm heart
I plaster the feeling in the shape of water.
My eyes puddle

I weep

It sticks

Love,

Falls

Fluttering as a twinkle
through soft beams of sunlight,
the drop glistens
plops
then dies
on the pink and blue checkered blanket.

All I have to offer are busky palms
to soothe this battered body
before you are torn apart by what
puts things like us together.

I swallow her frame

Her calf - bone

Squeeze and move

Her thigh,
my hand wraps completely
pinching a sausage sized piece of muscle
not big enough to walk
between plump thumb
and meaty middle

Squeeze and move

Her hip bone is angular
It fits flush in my hand
like the hard front peak of a cricket cap
when held above the grid

Squeeze and move

My chunky tentacles massage over
wire-thin barely blue throbless veins
that decorate her meatless paws
and twig-like fingers.

Squeeze and move
  
  It's after midnight
  Thick curds of desperation push
  again, through a splendid backside
  a special toosh
  slogging a dancing night-fever
  to beat the two-to-four,
  a beam as bright as a green day
  cuts through the black pitch of night

  

I hold her hand
A thin filling between two slices of mine
I look at her eyes and turn away

Have you ever been pulled from the center of  your heart, ripped head first through the narrow crack of your own chest, tossed aside like a skin-sheet onto a concrete glass-covered floor then squashed beneath the majesty of a billion dancing floor-clapping feet attached to a shapeless void shapeshifting as slideshows  between all things gone, here, and still to come, stopping on the body of a small blue boy that sings in ghostly echo;
"Don't turn away from this.
Look till you see me through the eyes of another because this too
will happen to you
Clap clap clap clap!
I'm coming for you.

Trapped in a square tunnel made of brick, walls wide enough for one bus no brakes to speed through, no escape,
I accept what will squash me
I Face it
I Stand before it

I stare at her eyes staring back at me
A deep dagger stare
Two parts steel
meshed
until there is only steel
It melts

I simmer the room in soft whisper;
"It's okay. It's okay. It's okay."
I hold her hand,
patting the top as I warm the bottom
I smile for her, at me
I smile back, as me
  
  A skillful mimic
  Here I come
  I have light and breath
  I see yours
  I come at night
  Not for genes or ***
  I hunt and gut
  Hawking down I come as death

  
The gaps between her labored breaths become bigger and for a second I drift at the sight reappearing on the sandy dunes of an empty dessert space pushed by a dying wind I can barely feel.

A sharp salty tang toils the tip of my tongue and brings me back to her.

Her eyes

They have changed

Open

But

Soul

   less

     Soulless

     Desolate

   Like

That dessert

And that place where


*The Fireflies Lose their Light
We had wanted to leave our homes before six in the morning
but left late and lazy at ten or ten-thirty with hurried smirks
and heads turned to the road, West
driving out against the noonward horizon
and visions before us of the great up-and-over

and tired we were already of stiff-armed driving neurotics in Montreal
and monstrous foreheaded yellow bus drivers
ugly children with long middle fingers
and tired we were of breaking and being yelled at by beardless bums
but thought about the beards at home we loved
and gave a smile and a wave nonetheless

Who were sick and tired of driving by nine
but then had four more hours still
with half a tank
then a third of a tank
then a quarter of a tank
then no tank at all
except for the great artillery halt and discovery
of our tyre having only three quarters of its bolts

Saved by the local sobriety
and the mystic conscious kindness of the wise and the elderly
and the strangers: Autoshop Gale with her discount familiar kindness;
Hilda making ready supper and Ray like I’ve known you for years
that offered me tools whose functions I’ve never known
and a handshake goodbye

     and "yes we will say hello to your son in Alberta"
     and "yes we will continue safely"
     and "no you won’t see us in tomorrow’s paper"
     and tired I was of hearing about us in tomorrow’s paper

Who ended up on a road laughing deliverance
in Ralphton, a small town hunting lodge
full of flapjacks and a choir of chainsaws
with cheap tomato juice and eggs
but the four of us ended up paying for eight anyway

and these wooden alley cats were nothing but hounds
and the backwoods is where you’d find a cheap child's banjo
and cheap leather shoes and bear traps and rat traps
and the kinds of things you’d fall into face first

Who sauntered into a cafe in Massey
that just opened up two weeks previous
where the food was warm and made from home
and the owner who swore to high heaven
and piled her Sci-Fi collection to the ceiling
in forms of books and VHS

but Massey herself was drowned in a small town
where there was little history and heavy mist
and the museum was closed for renovations
and the stores were run by diplomats
or sleezebag no-cats
and there was one man who wouldn’t show us a room
because his baby sitter hadn’t come yet
but the babysitter showed up through the backdoor within seconds
though I hadn't seen another face

        and the room was a landfill
        and smelled of stale cat **** anyhow
        and the lobby stacked to the ceiling with empty beer box cans bottles
        and the taps ran cold yellow and hot black through spigots

but we would be staying down the street
at the inn of an East-Indian couple

who’s eyes were not dilated 
and the room smelled
lemon-scented

and kept on driving lovingly without a care in the world
but only one of us had his arms around a girl
and how lonely I felt driving with Jacob
in the fog of the Agawa pass;

following twin red eyes down a steep void mass
where the birch trees have no heads
and the marshes pool under the jagged foothills
that climb from the water above their necks

that form great behemoths
with great voices bellowing and faces chiselled hard looking down
and my own face turned upward toward the rain

Wheels turning on a black asphalt river running uphill around great Superior
that is the ocean that isn’t the ocean but is as big as the sea
and the cloud banks dig deep and terrible walls

and the sky ends five times before night truly falls
and the sun sets slower here than anywhere
but the sky was only two miles high and ten long anyway

The empty train tracks that seldom run
and some rails have been lifted out
with a handful of spikes that now lay dormant

and the hill sides start to resemble *******
or faces or the slow curving back of some great whale

-and those, who were finally stranded at four pumps
with none but the professional Jacob reading great biblical instructions at the nozzle
nowhere at midnight in a town surrounded

by moose roads
                             moose lanes
                                                     moose rivers
and everything mooses

ending up sleeping in the maw of a great white wolf inn
run by Julf or Wolf or John but was German nonetheless

and woke up with radios armed
and arms full
and coffee up to the teeth
with teeth chattering
and I swear to God I saw snowy peaks
but those came to me in waking dream:

"Mountains dressed in white canvas
gowns and me who placed
my hands upon their *******
that filled the sky"

Passing through a buffet of inns and motels
and spending our time unpacking and repacking
and talking about drinking and cheap sandwiches
but me not having a drink in eight days

and in one professional inn we received a professional scamming
and no we would not be staying here again
and what would a trip across the country be like
if there wasn’t one final royal scamming to be had

and dreams start to return to me from years of dreamless sleep:

and I dream of hers back home
and ribbons in a raven black lattice of hair
and Cassadaic exploits with soft but honest words

and being on time with the trains across the plains  
and the moon with a shower of prairie blonde
and one of my father with kind words
and my mother on a bicycle reassuring my every decision

Passing eventually through great plains of vast nothingness
but was disappointed in seeing that I could see
and that the rumours were false
and that nothingness really had a population
and that the great flat land has bumps and curves and etchings and textures too

beautiful bright golden yellow like sprawling fingers
white knuckled ablaze reaching up toward the sun
that in this world had only one sky that lasted a thousand years

and prairie driving lasts no more than a mountain peak
and points of ember that softly sigh with the one breath
of our cars windows that rushes by with gratitude for your smile

And who was caught up with the madness in the air
with big foaming cigarettes in mouths
who dragged and stuffed down those rolling fumes endlessly
while St. Jacob sang at the way stations and billboards and the radio
which was turned off

and me myself and I running our mouth like the coughing engine
chasing a highway babe known as the Lady Valkyrie out from Winnipeg
all the way to Saskatoon driving all day without ever slowing down
and eating up all our gas like pez and finally catching her;

      Valkyrie who taught me to drive fast
      and hovering 175 in slipstreams
      and flowing behind her like a great ghost Cassady ******* in dreamland Nebraska
      only 10 highway crossings counted from home.

Lady Valkyrie who took me West.
Lady Valkyrie who burst my wings into flame as I drew a close with the sun.
Lady Valkyrie who had me howl at slender moon;

     who formed as a snowflake
     in the light on the street
     and was gone by morning
     before I asked her name

and how are we?
and how many?

Even with old Tom devil singing stereo
and riding shotgun the entire trip from day one
singing about his pony, and his own personal flophouse circus,
and what was he building in there?

There is a fair amount of us here in these cars.
Finally at light’s end finding acquiescence in all things
and meeting with her eye one last time; flashed her a wink and there I was, gone.
Down the final highway crossing blowing wind and fancy and mouth puttering off
roaring laughter into the distance like some tremendous Phoenix.

Goodnight Lady Valkyrie.

The evening descends and turns into a sandwich hysteria
as we find ourselves riding between cities of transports
and that one mad man that passed us speeding crazy
and almost hit head-on with Him flowing East

and passed more and more until he was head of the line
but me driving mad lunacy followed his tail to the bumper
passing fifteen trucks total to find our other car
and felt the great turbine pull of acceleration that was not mine

mad-stacked behind two great beasts
and everyone thought us moon-crazy; Biblical Jake
and Mad Hair Me driving a thousand
eschewing great gusts of wind speed flying

Smashing into the great ephedrine sunset haze of Saskatoon
and hungry for food stuffed with the thoughts of bedsheets
off the highway immediately into the rotting liver of dark downtown
but was greeted by an open Hertz garage
with a five-piece fanfare brass barrage
William Tell and a Debussy Reverie
and found our way to bedsheets most comfortably

Driving out of Saskatoon feeling distance behind me.
Finding nothing but the dead and hollow corpses of roadside ventures;

more carcasses than cars
and one as big as a moose
and one as big as a bear
and no hairier

and driving out of sunshine plain reading comic book strip billboards
and trees start to build up momentum
and remembering our secret fungi in the glove compartment
that we drove three thousand kilometres without remembering

and we had a "Jesus Jacob, put it away brother"
and went screaming blinded by smoke and paranoia
and three swerves got us right
and we hugged the holy white line until twilight

And driving until the night again takes me foremast
and knows my secret fear in her *****
as the road turns into a lucid *** black and makes me dizzy
and every shadow is a moose and a wildcat and a billy goat
and some other car

and I find myself driving faster up this great slanderous waterfall until I meet eye
with another at a thousand feet horizontal

then two eyes

then a thousand wide-eyed peaks stretching faces upturned to the celestial black
with clouds laid flat as if some angel were sleeping ******* on a smokestack
and the mountains make themselves clear to me after waiting a lifetime for a glimpse
then they shy away behind some old lamppost and I don’t see them until tomorrow

and even tomorrow brings a greater distance with the sunlight dividing stone like 'The Ancient of Days'
and moving forward puts all into perspective

while false cabins give way
and the gas stations give way
and the last lamppost gives way
and its only distance now that will make you true
and make your peaks come alive

Like a bullrush, great grey slopes leap forth as if branded by fire
then the first peaks take me by surprise
and I’m told that these are nothing but children to their parents
and the roads curve into a gentle valley
and we’re in the feeding zone

behind the gates of some great geological zoo
watching these lumbering beasts
finishing up some great tribal *******
because tomorrow they will be shrunk
and tomorrow ever-after smaller

Nonetheless, breathless in turn I became
it began snowing and the pines took on a different shape
and the mountains became covered white
and great glaciers could be seen creeping
and tourists seen gawking at waterfalls and waterfowls
and fowl play between two stones a thousand miles high

climbing these Jasper slopes flying against wind and stone
and every creak lets out its gentle tone and soft moans
as these tyres rub flat against your back
your ancient skin your rock-hard bones

and this peak is that peak and it’s this one too
and that’s Temple, and that’s Whistler
and that’s Glasgow and that’s Whistler again
and those are the Three Sisters with ******* ablaze

and soft glowing haze your sun sets again among your peaks
and we wonder how all these caves formed
and marvelled at what the flood brought to your feet
as roads lay wasted by the roadside

in the epiphany of 3:00am realizing
that great Alta's straights and highway crossings
are formed in torturous mess from mines of 'Mt. Bleed'
and broken ribs and liver of crushed mountain passes
and the grey stones taxidermied and peeled off
and laid flat painted black and yellow;
the highways built from the insides
of the mountain shells

Who gave a “What now. New-Brunswick?”

and a “What now, Quebec, and Ontario, and Manitoba, and Saskatchewan";
**** fools clumsily dancing in the valleys; then the rolling hills; then the sea that was a lake
then the prairies and not yet the mountains;

running naked in formation with me at the lead
and running naked giving the finger to the moon
and the contrails, and every passing blur on the highway
dodging rocks, and sandbars
and the watchful eye of Mr. and Mrs. Law
and holes dug-up by prairie dogs
and watching with no music
as the family caravans drove on by

but drove off laughing every time until two got anxious for bed and slowed behind
while the rambling Jacob and I had to wait in the half-moon spectacle
of a black-tongue asphalt side-road hacking darts and watching for grizzlies
for the other two to finish up with their birthday *** exploits
though it was nobodies birthday

and then a timezone was between us
 and they were in the distant future
and nobodies birthday was in an hour from now

then everything was good
and everyone was satiated
then everything was a different time again
and I was running on no sleep or a lot of it
leaping backward in time every so often
like gaining a new day but losing space on the surface of your eye

but I stared up through curtains of starlight to mother moon
and wondered if you also stared
and was dumbfounded by the majesty of it all

and only one Caribou was seen the entire trip
and only one live animal, and some forsaken deer
and only a snake or a lonesome caterpillar could be seen crossing such highway straights
but the water more refreshing and brighter than steel
and glittered as if it were hiding some celestial gem
and great ravines and valleys flowed between everything
and I saw in my own eye prehistoric beasts roaming catastrophe upon these plains
but the peaks grew ever higher and I left the ground behind
The voice Apr 2014
She walked home after a long day
Her day had been a battle field
It was only one block
from the place her bus dropped her of
To the place she called home
It had been a day where everything
seemed impossible
It had been a day where life
seemed unconquerable
She walked down the sidewalk with some doubts
Every step counted the words
the mistakes
the times she almost gave up
Every breath told a new story
of the times she made a fool of herself
Of the times she was made fun of
Every blink of an eye could count the times
she had been betrayed
Or when she was left alone
Or when she got hurt
But after every step
After every breath
After every blink of an eye
She smiled?
Was she THAT crazy
and coming to realize,
she wasn't counting the steps as words
She wasn't counting the breaths as stories
She wasn't counting the blinks as the times bad things would happen
She counted differently
In a way that she herself, didn't understand.
Each step marked each time she pushed him away
and he kept coming back
Every breath counted the times she almost stopped breathing
and how she resurrected
and every blink of an eye counted the times he was there
When she thought she was alone
She could have counted the nearby trip as the time
when she was about to make the worst mistake of her life
But she counted it as that day she got saved
And how she was washed In his blood
How she was baptized in the name of Jesus
She was saved from the words
from the stories
and from THOSE times.
She was his words
His stories
and HIS times...
She had him
HER SAVIOR AND KING
MY SAVIOR AND KING
YOUR SAVIOR AND KING
The one who loved her, you, and me like no one else ever will!  
And all it took was 5 minutes from the bus stop,
to her home.
That was the counting of a life time
That was all she needed to remember him
That was all she needed to count HER life time
Silence Screamz Jun 2016
Every third day of the third week in July for the last six years
I would crawl out onto the hot, black shingled roof of our white and gray two story shuttered house
and I would try to count the stars in the southern sky

The course grains of each shingle would burn deep gouges into my knees and hands as if each shingle was punishing me for sitting on them.

But I hadn't a care in the world

For I had a reason and a purpose to be there
You see, that third day was my day, that third week was my week..

It was all mine...the day I would lose myself into the universe

As I nestled into my favorite spot, I leaned against the hard wood window frame, not caring for a second how I long i sat there. At that pristine moment, I just began to count the stars

Each single star I counted, whether it be faded as the night or bright as the day,  was surrounded by complete darkness. A pitch black of nothing.
Those were the lonely stars I saw and I breathed once again.

Each single star i counted, was all alone and afraid in the vast deepness of space with nothing to embrace them except for my eyes and my casual memories and I breathed once again.

This is my healing place. My escape from the life threatening complexities that invaded my inner being. I witnessed the thousands of morsels of light in the southern sky as if they were tiny demons millions of light years away, haunting and watching over me each and every night. For they can no longer touch me or break me apart. They will become the broken.

I have found my place of solace on top of that hot, black shingled roof of our white and gray shuttered house. Many peaceful nights I counted the stars, only to lose to count after I reached one hundred. My eyes would glaze over with an undue purpose of peace and I breathed once again as I started to count the stars all over again.
Finding inner peace on the roof top
67

Success is counted sweetest
By those who ne’er succeed.
To comprehend a nectar
Requires sorest need.

Not one of all the purple Host
Who took the Flag today
Can tell the definition
So clear of Victory

As he defeated—dying—
On whose forbidden ear
The distant strains of triumph
Burst agonized and clear!
Bad Luck Mar 2013
My hands still ache –
I’m convinced it’s my atoms splitting
No one asked me how I got addicted –
They said the focus was on quitting

But I’m here in the present
So I must have a had a past
It’s too bad “Where’d you come from”
Is a question never asked.

I went through hell to get here
So it should matter where I’m from
I tell them “it should matter what I’ve seen…
It should matter what I’ve done.”
He then responded like a father and began his sentence, “Son…
It’s the shock, not the trauma, that makes the body the numb.”
He said, “The thing you search is silence.”
“And yet you let your monsters drum.”

You start to figure things out. You know --
When you’re locked up all that time.
But you learn not from what you’re taught,
Instead, you learn from what you find.
And I found mine in the written word,
I found it in a rhyme.


Numbers always helped me think, so I looked for something to count
And as I pondered that man’s words, the room’s only light went out.
So I counted the only thing that I could feel aside from air,
And his seven words made sense, as I counted the one thing
That in the dark was always there.
I’m my own favorite number, so I began counting,
“One…”
But this time I didn’t count to two.
And the monsters didn’t drum.

For the first time in my life, I didn’t rely on someone else
For the first time, in the dark, I counted on myself.
I then knew why “Where’d you come from” was never asked --
Both they and I lived in the present; we couldn’t act upon the past.
It doesn’t matter where you came from, or even why you’re here.
For your past dictates your penance, but the present is your frontier.
"Bad Luck: In a Wakeful Contradiction" is now available on Amazon in paperback!

Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1691941182
Ayeshah Jun 2014
I can smell you, feel you flowing & moving inside of me.
I count the times I've craved...

the many nights I've longed to touch you, hold you close to my breast, watch you as your eyes look into mines.
I've counted the days weeks & months, counted all this time for a longing-- a yearning...

This time it'll be different, this time it'll work,
I've waited & wanted so long, And in my emptiness.
I've cried, held my pillow close,
so tight as sobs consumed me, taking over my body,

leaving in its wake a mournful craving, this burnt longing...
A taste of what we could be, II can smell you, feel you flowing & moving inside of me.

I count the times I've craved... the many nights I've longed to touch you, hold u close to my breast, watch you as your eyes look into mines.

I've counted the days weeks & months, counted all this time for a longing-- a yearning...

This time it'll be different, this time it'll work,
I've wanted so long and in my emptiness.

I've cried, held my pillow close, so tight as sobs consumed me, talk g over my body, leaving in its wake a mournful craving, this burnt longing...

A taste of what we could be, I've counted each time, for months I've tried to imagine you & imagine the what ifs, on what could of been, with what should be!  

I can smell you, with your baby powdered hair, your lotioned skin, those eyes, bright & beautiful, looking at me, every heart beat I hear echo's with my own.

Like these tears I shed, unleased pain... anguished from these dream's, my living waling nightmares, sorrow so mournful in my barren state!

Eye's puffy-red, knee's aching as I pray, night& day.
Day & night, sleep eludes me, Restlessly  I walk a grove in this carpet, thinking of what coulda been.

Mentally I've gone so low, over & over I ask myself what did I do so wrong...

Sealing my fate so miserably, impelling doom all around me, but I'll go and mourn I'll scream out painfully until I've suffered no more.

Still so still & yet as lifeless as you lay...
I can smell you...
Always Me Ayeshah ™ ®
         K.A.C.L.N ©
     All right reserved ®
Copyright 1977 - Present ©
I can smell your baby powdered scent!
For my beloved babies&all; yet to be born or miscarried,still born etc, mommy loves you!
Tina RSH Mar 2018
How does it feel, walking the rainwashed streets without me ?
I hope your hand is comfortable in your pocket,
Or a hand you chose over mine.
On the dining table we never dined
"together", its warmth froze in my heart.
The soup always went cold
and I counted every single bean
Never seen, or tasted before .
I binned the beans and bid them farewell.
I went back to my cold bed
and felt my head explode
and felt my body twitch in need
Oh honey! Lest your soup go cold
Lest you count your beans.
I ate the trashed beans and beamed.
How could I trash the green of your eyes that spoke through the beans?
I think I'll leave the empty bed for sale
It's a free life in jail
without you in my veins.
With me in your dustbin
As the grey sky rains.
This hurts beyond reason. It hurts that I never got to be with the man I deeply loved, because of distance and disease. This hurts that everything's ruined..
kms Jul 2014
We marked the deaths on a map in little black tallies,
every day we counted the numbers and they had come to a strong incline.

You sat in the dust by the flames
playing with a cattail
and you asked me
“When will it be over?”

The smoke drifted into open sky above us and I tried to count the stars.

The map was held together by rivers and
railroads
and lakes.
And we were held together by a commonplace drive:

Hope.

The poem in your eyes had no backbone and it was falling apart at the seams and it made you
tired and
sad and
hopeless.

The map is held together by little black tallies on the edges from an old charcoal pencil.
And we are held together by a thread of life that could very well be

snipped.

Alas, that is out of our reach but we must remember to always
fight! and to stay alive
please keep holding on
please

Because home awaits with open arms and we are here counting stars and
we must never die.

~

The mayor warned when we came home to
never leave again
and to
never go again
and I do not understand because
we couldn’t stop that
and you told me that I understand
and that he doesn’t.

Mother looked at me and my scars
disgusted
and told me to go
and told me that I shouldn’t be home.

And we found a lake from the map marked with a charcoal pencil and stayed there
and you fished
and I found berries.

Every night we counted the stars and
we were connected by constellations.

Every night we were connected by the grass beneath us
pricking the backs of our necks

and we caught the flying stars
(Fireflies)
and we were connected by constellations.

The notes of the piano rang in open air across the lake
how far can the notes stretch to connect us?  

As the lake grew, constellations stretched
far
and we never knew what color your eyes were.

Blinded by the bright light from the upcoming sun,
we both ran for cover, turning our backs on each other for the first time in
a while.

The thick trees hid us from the light well enough, but
you
weren’t
there.

We kept running.
The sun was catching up
too fast
and we ran for everything we could live for.
(each other)

I ran for you and you ran for me.
That’s all we could do until you laid on the ground,
tired and
sad and
hopeless.

You stopped running so I did too and we both were hungry for what we could’ve had.

~

When we were still in the war, they let you bring one thing from home.
You brought the idea of hope
and I brought the idea of music
and we mixed together very well.

The nights when we counted stars under the full moon
were the nights when we’d fall asleep with our arms touching.
(A sign that people are alive.)

The dust woke us up when it blew in our open mouths,
and in a shallow breath the tiny things landed on our tongues, woke us up, and
made our eyes cry.

“When do you know to go home?”
I ask myself this a lot because I know that there is no answer.
Human beings like to ask themselves things without answers and then get angry that there is no answer.
Because only they know when they put you back home.
You and I were lucky because we only had a little time in that hell,
but the others weren’t.
The little black tallies from the charcoal pencil weren’t because they
died.

The light woke us up and we knew we had to run
soon
It landed upon our eyelids and woke us up and made us cry.

I think of you as I am running and my bare feet
smack
across the dirt.
I think of you because your hair always was full of the stuff and now all it does is make me cry.

~

I think we are running along the line on one of your maps.
I think our feet are creating the dark brown streaks on the paper with the little black tallies on them.
And I think that we will never find out
the color of your eyes.

We run back to back for a while
until the light stops us and we hide beneath the tree’s leaves.

I am hungry for our arms to be touching again.
I am hungry to count stars with you and the place we did that was the war,
so could you say that
I am hungry for the war?

I am not hungry for the charcoal pencil,
but I am hungry for the hand that touched it.

I am not hungry for the dirt,
but I am hungry for the person who would lay in it carelessly.

I am hungry for the map so I can see the dark brown veins running across it with bare feet
smacking
the dark brown surface of it.

I am hungry to breathe in the commonplace drive that pushed us along the dark brown lines and out of
the war.
And I am hungry for the idea that once was.

Hope:
That is no longer existent when I am not with you
which is a side effect of
you
that I did not know about.

I would welcome any side effects that came with you with open arms, of course, because I would still have
you
I merely did not know about that one, but I am sad to see the idea go.

~

I wish you the best in all your journeys.
I wish to hear the beat of your heart against the crickets again,
but now I am afraid that the light has caught up with me
and I am afraid that
we will never find out what color my eyes are.

I wish you the best in running from the light
but remember that the without light there would be no darkness.

I am sorry to have to tell you that the dust will settle in the rocks and that
the maps have been burned.

The tallies have turned blacker than ever before.
The tallies have turned into ash from the bright flames.

The maps have fallen asleep in the glow of the flames and that
our idea:
Hope;
has been taken by the wind.

It ran with it, and I tried to catch it, but the wind cannot be caught.
Remember the first breath of the war you took when you stepped outside into the
light
of the day and remember the glow of the flames.

Remember that people are still living
(Remember that our arms touched on the nights we counted stars)
and remember the constellations that connected us.

I am not sorry to tell you, however, that no matter how far constellations can be stretched,
constellations never can be broken.
They can stretch to heaven and hell and earth and the sky and the dust and to the war
But they will never shatter
because constellations are images the mind has created.

Constellations are made by the mind and stars are tangible.
Constellations connect stars.
We are stars and we all burn in our own flames.

~

The words from your charcoal pencil make me cry.
I cannot ever count the stars without you
and I cannot ever write poetry in the dust without you.

Your words make me cry and I run
faster.

I don’t try to compete with the light because I know we’ve been running with our backs to each other for the
whole
time.

The wind trips me and its fingers comb through my hair on the way down.
dust from the ground tickles my tongue and the wind left something in my brain.
our idea:
Hope;
has been taken by the wind.

“Are you the dust, now?”
I feel your thumb across my cheekbone and I am
yearning
for what we could’ve had.

“Are you the wind, now?”
I feel your hand in mine and you lift me to my feet.
My face is dark brown covered with dust
but as I run the wind cleans it off.

“I have never been so tired,” I tell you.

I am so hungry for you.

I am starving
and I am sick with what we could’ve had.
Mike Bergeron Sep 2012
There was a house fire on my street last night …well… not exactly my street, but on a little, sketchy, dead-end strip of asphalt, sidewalks, weeds, and garbage that juts into my block two houses down. It was on that street. Rosewood Court, population: 12, adjusted population: 11, characterized by anonymity and boarded windows, peppered with the swift movements of fat street rats. I’ve never been that close to a real, high-energy, make-sure-to-spray-down-your-roof-with-a-hose-so-it-doesn’t-catch­ fire before. It was the least of my expectations for the evening, though I didn’t expect a crate of Peruvian bananas to fall off a cargo plane either, punching through the ceiling, littering the parking lot with damaged fruit and shingles, tearing paintings and shelves and studs from the third floor walls, and crashing into our kitchen, shattering dishes and cabinets and appliances. Since that never happened, and since neither the former nor the latter situation even crossed my mind, I’ll stick with “least of my expectations,” and bundle up with it inside that inadequate phrase whatever else may have happened that I wouldn’t have expected.



I had been reading in my living room, absently petting the long calico fur of my roommate’s cat Dory. She’s in heat, and does her best to make sure everyone knows it, parading around, *** in the air, an opera of low trilling and loud meows and deep purring. As a consequence of a steady tide of feline hormones, she’s been excessively good humored, showering me with affection, instead of her usual indifference, punctuated by occasional, self-serving shin rubs when she’s hungry. I saw the lights before I heard the trucks or the shouts of firemen or the panicked wail of sirens, spitting their warning into the night in A or A minor, but probably neither, I’m no musician. Besides, Congratulations was playing loud, flowing through the speakers in the corners of the room, connected to the record player via the receiver with the broken volume control, travelling as excited electrons down stretches of wire that are, realistically, too short, and always pull out. The song was filling the space between the speakers and the space between my ears with musings on Brian Eno, so the auditory signal that should have informed me of the trouble that was afoot was blocked out. I saw the lights, the alternating reds and whites that filled my living room, drawing shifting patterns on my walls, ceiling, floor, furniture, and shelves of books, dragging me towards the door leading outside, through the cluttered bike room, past the sleeping, black lump of oblivious fur that is usually my boisterous male kitten, and out into the bedlam I  had previously been ignorant to. I could see the smoke, it was white then gray then white, all the while lending an acrid taste to the air, but I couldn’t see where it was issuing from. The wind was blowing the smoke toward my apartment, away from Empire Mills. I tried to count the firetrucks, but there were so many. I counted six on Wilmarth Ave, one of which was the awkward-looking, heavy-duty special hazards truck. In my part of the city, the post-industrial third-wave ***** river valley, you never know if the grease fire that started with homefries in a frying pan in an old woman’s kitchen will escalate into a full-blown mill fire, the century-old wood floors so saturated with oil and kerosene and ****** and manufacturing chemicals and ghosts and god knows what other flammable **** that it lights up like a fifth of July leftover sparkler, burning and melting the hand of the community that fed it for so many decades, leaving scars that are displayed on the local news for a week and are forgotten in a few years’ time.



The night was windy, and the day had been dry, so precautions were abundant, and I counted two more trucks on Fones Ave. One had the biggest ladder I’ve ever seen. It was parked on the corner of Fones and Wilmarth, directly across from the entrance into the forgotten dead-end where the forgotten house was burning, and the ladder was lifting into the air. By now my two roommates had come outside too, to stand on our rickety, wooden staircase, and Jeff said he could see flames in the windows of one of the three abandoned houses on Rosewood, through the third floor holes where windows once were, where boards of plywood were deemed unnecessary.



“Ay! Daddy!”



My neighbor John called up to us. He serves as the eyes and ears and certainly the mouth of our block, always in everyone’s business, without being too intrusive, always aware of what’s going down and who’s involved. He proceeded to tell us the lowdown on the blaze as far as he knew it, that there were two more firetrucks and an ambulance down Rosewood, that the front and back doors to the house were blocked by something from inside, that those somethings were very heavy, that someone was screaming inside, that the fire was growing.



Val had gone inside to get his jacket, because despite the floodlights from the trucks imitating sunlight, the wind and the low temperature and the thought of a person burning alive made the night chilly. Val thought we should go around the block, to see if we could get a better view, to satisfy our congenital need to witness disaster, to see the passenger car flip over the Jersey barrier, to watch the videos of Jihadist beheadings, to stand in line to look at painted corpses in velvet, underlit parlors, and sit in silence while their family members cry. We walked down the stairs, into full floodlight, and there were first responders and police and fully equipped firefighters moving in all directions. We watched two firemen attempting to open an old, rusty fire hydrant, and it could’ve been inexperience, the stress of the situation, the condition of the hydrant, or just poor luck, but rather than opening as it was supposed to the hydrant burst open, sending the cap flying into the side of a firetruck, the water crashing into the younger of the two men’s face and torso, knocking him back on his ***. While he coughed out surprised air and water and a flood of expletives, his partner got the situation under control and got the hose attached. We turned and walked away from the fire, and as we approached the turn we’d take to cut through the rundown parking lot that would bring us to the other side of the block, two firemen hurried past, one leading the other, carrying between them a stretcher full of machines for monitoring and a shitload of wires and tubing. It was the stiff board-like kind, with handles on each end, the kind of stretcher you might expect to see circus clowns carry out, when it’s time to save their fallen, pie-faced cohort. I wondered why they were using this archaic form of patient transportation, and not one of the padded, electrical ones on wheels. We pushed past the crowd that had begun forming, walked past the Laundromat, the 7Eleven, the carwash, and took a left onto the street on the other side of the parking lot, parallel to Wilmarth. There were several older men standing on the sidewalk, facing the fire, hands either in pockets or bringing a cigarette to and from a frowning mouth. They were standing in the ideal place to witness the action, with an unobstructed view of the top two floors of the burning house, its upper windows glowing orange with internal light and vomiting putrid smoke.  We could taste the burning wires, the rugs, the insulation, the asbestos, the black mold, the trash, and the smell was so strong I had to cover my mouth with my shirt, though it provided little relief. We said hello, they grunted the same, and we all stood, watching, thinking about what we were seeing, not wanting to see what we were thinking.

Two firefighters were on the roof by this point, they were yelling to each other and to the others on the ground, but we couldn’t hear what they were saying because of the sirens from all the emergency vehicles that were arriving.  It seemed to me they sent every firetruck in the city, as well as more than a dozen police cars and a slew of ambulances, all of them arriving from every direction. I guess they expected the fire to get really out of hand, but we could already see the orange glow withdrawing into the dark of the house, steam and smoke rippling out of the stretched, wooden mouths of the rotted window frames. In a gruff, habitual smoker’s voice, we heard

                                      “Chopper called the fire depahtment

We was over at the vet’s home

                He says he saw flames in the windas

                                                                                                                                                We all thought he was shittin’ us

We couldn’t see nothin’.”

A man between fifty-five to sixty-five years old was speaking, no hair on his shiny, tanned head, old tattoos etched in bluish gray on his hands, arms, and neck, menthol smoke rising from between timeworn fingers. He brought the cigarette to his lips, drew a hearty chest full of smoke, and as he let it out he repeated

                                                “Yea, chopper called em’

Says he saw flames.”

The men on the roof were just silhouettes, backlit by the dazzling brightness of the lights on the other side.  The figure to the left of the roof pulled something large up into view, and we knew instantly by the cord pull and the sound that it was a chainsaw. He began cutting directly into the roof. I wasn’t sure what he was doing, wondered if he was scared of falling into the fire, assumed he probably was, but had at least done this before, tried to figure out if he was doing it to gain entry or release pressure or whatever. The man to the right was hacking away at the roof with an axe. It was surreal to watch, to see two men transformed from public servants into fingers of destruction, the pinkie and ring finger fighting the powerful thumb of the controlled chemical reaction eating the air below them, to watch the dark figures shrouded in ethereal light and smoke and sawdust and what must’ve been unbearable heat from below, to be viewing everything with my own home, my belongings, still visible, to know it could easily have gone up in flames as well.

I should’ve brought my jacket. I remember complaining about it, about how the wind was passing through my skin like a window screen, chilling my blood, in sharp contrast to the heat that was morphing and rippling the air above the house as it disappeared as smoke and gas up into the atmosphere from the inside out.

Ten minutes later, or maybe five, or maybe one, the men on the roof were still working diligently cutting and chopping, but we could no longer see any signs of flames, and there were figures moving around in the house, visible in the windows of the upper floors, despite the smoke. Figuring the action must be reaching its end, we decided to walk back to our apartment. We saw Ken’s brown pickup truck parked next to the Laundromat, unable to reach our parking lot due to all the emergency vehicles and people clogging our street. We came around the corner and saw the other two members of the Infamous Summers standing next to our building with the rest of the crowd that had gathered. Dosin told us the fire was out, and that they had pulled someone from inside the gutted house, but no ambulance had left yet, and his normally smiling face was flat and somber, and the beaten guitar case slung over his shoulder, and his messed up hair, and the red in his cheeks from the cold air, and the way he was moving rocks around with the toe of his shoe made him look like a lost child, chasing a dream far from home but finding a nightmare in its place, instead of the professional who never loses his cool or his direction.

The crowd all began talking at once, so I turned around, towards the dead end and the group of firefighters and EMTs that were emerging. Their faces were stoic, not a single expression on all but one of those faces, a young EMT, probably a Basic, or a Cardiac, or neither, but no older than twenty, who was silently weeping, the tears cutting tracks through the soot on his cheeks, his eyes empty of emotion, his lips drawn tight and still. Four of them were each holding a corner of the maroon stretcher that took two to carry when I first saw it, full of equipment. They did not rush, they did not appear to be tending to a person barely holding onto life, they were just carrying the weight. As they got close gasps and cries of horror or disgust or both issued from the crowd, some turned away, some expressions didn’t change, some eyes closed and others stayed fixed on what they came to see. One woman vomited, right there on the sidewalk, splashing the shoes of those near her with the partially digested remains of her EBT dinner. I felt my own stomach start to turn, but I didn’t look away. I couldn’t.

                                                                                It was like I was seven again,

                                in the alleyway running along the side of the junior high school I lived near and would eventually attend,

looking in silent horror at what three eighth graders from my neighborhood were doing.

It was about eight in the evening of a rainy,

late summer day,

and I was walking home with my older brother,

cutting through the alley like we always did.

The three older boys were standing over a small dog,

a terrier of some sort.

They had duct taped its mouth shut and its legs together,

but we could still hear its terrified whines through its clenched teeth.

One of the boys had cut off the dog’s tail.

He had it in one hand,

and was still holding the pocket knife in the other.

None of them were smiling,

or talking,

nor did they take notice of Andrew and I.

There was a garden bag standing up next to them that looked pretty full,

and there was a small pile of leaves on the ground next to it.

In slow motion I watched,

horrified,

as one of the boys,

Brian Jones-Hartlett,

picked up the shaking animal,

put it in the bag,

covered it with the leaves from the ground,

and with wide,

shining eyes,

set the bag

on fire

with a long-necked

candle

lighter.

It was too much for me then. I couldn’t control my nausea. I threw up and sat down while my head swam.

I couldn’t understand. I forgot my brother and the fact that he was older, that he should stop this,

Stop them,

There’s a dog in there,

You’re older, I’m sick,

Why can’t I stop them?

It was like
Randi G Dec 2014
You told me that you have
Over one million hair follicles
And I believe you.
I do.
But, if it’s okay, I’ve never counted
To one million before.
I heard it takes a really long time,
But after I count all of the spots
The hair grows out of you,
I want to count all your freckles
And connect them like constellations.
You’re just like the universe to me
And each freckle is a star.
There are lots of stars we can’t
See with the naked eye,
But I want to find those too.
If that’s okay.
"O Lord, how canst Thou say Thou lovest me?
  Me whom thou settest in a barren land,
  Hungry and thirsty on the burning sand,
Hungry and thirsty where no waters be
Nor shadows of date-bearing tree:--
O Lord, how canst Thou say Thou lovest me?"

"I came from Edom by as parched a track,
  As rough a track beneath My bleeding feet.
  I came from Edom seeking thee, and sweet
I counted bitterness; I turned not back
But counted life as death, and trod
The winepress all alone: and I am God."

"Yet, Lord, how canst Thou say Thou lovest me?
  For Thou art strong to comfort: and could I
  But comfort one I love, who, like to die,
Lifts feeble hands and eyes that fail to see
In one last prayer for comfort--nay,
I could not stand aside or turn away."

"Alas! thou knowest that for thee I died
  For thee I thirsted with the dying thirst;
  I, Blessed, for thy sake was counted cursed,
In sight of men and angels crucified:
All this and more I bore to prove
My love, and wilt thou yet mistrust My love?"

"Lord, I am fain to think Thou lovest me,
  For Thou art all in all and I am Thine;
  And lo! Thy love is better than new wine,
And I am sick of love in loving Thee.
But dost Thou love me? speak and save,
For jealousy is cruel as the grave."

"Nay, if thy love is not an empty breath
  My love is as thine own--deep answers deep.
  Peace, peace: I give to my beloved sleep,
Not death but sleep, for love is strong as death:
Take patience; sweet thy sleep shall be,
Yea, thou shalt wake in Paradise with Me."
The pigeons are sad

The pigeons saw that

The future comes with bad

The pigeons were telling that

The prophets born here

The prophet know that

It is the land of kind

, welfare and tied

The religions at that land

The assembly of religions

The peace between nations

Were established there

Here was the prophet David

Who the mounts the trees ,

The stones and  the birds,

Repeated his prays

He governed with justice

After him ,Solomon was gotten

He governed with justice

The welfare had increased

And the peace with there

The Romans occupied it

And the injustice appeared

The killing and the theft

Were actually increased

Here was born Jesus

Who invited to peace

At shortest and clear

That was not admired

By Romans or Jewish

Who were there

They planned to **** him

The land became unfair

The decreasing of welfare

The increasing of fear

Till the new nation appeared

The new religion increased

It called for justice

It led to peace

The Muslims achieved a victory

As they built a great glory

And they blockaded the land

The patriarch man said,"

We didn’t give the keys

Except to your leader

Who is justice’s famous"

They wore one of soldiers

The smartest cloth

They introduced him

As the prince of Insurers

as the caliph of Muslims

The greatest patriarchs said,"

That is not the man we did

Actually knew and have red

At our book that mentioned

Him actually as we saw awake."

The leader of soldiers ordered

To sent a letter to the caliph

At bright city wide distance

As he wanted to keep blood

Out of bleeding

He wanted not to ****

The innocent people

He didn’t want to bore

His name over death

His religion ordered them

To save the innocent people

To the caliph to came

The caliph and a servant  moved

The leader of the greatest land

At that time, at that moment

From the kind and light city

He read the yassin of holy

Quran that equals twenty

Minutes

For riding the donkey

And his servants walks only

Then the caliph got off only

And the servant rode the donkey

And they read the yassin for away

To count and know time

And mention the God only

Then the caliph and servant  also

Walked with their donkey

To rest it also

They keep reading yassin only

Till they reached near the holy

City that mentioned with  holy

In Quran with great respect

The turn is on the servant  

To get  that donkey rode

And the caliph would walk

He said," my prince! I must

Get down and you must

Ride that donkey"

He said," then I will be called

Injustice caliph led the insurers

To be injustice at every talkers

And it is your turn

If the air came to me smelt

With good smell than yours

If the water I drink

Have more delicious than yours

If I created from mud

Made of silver and gold

I will rode that animal

And you must go walker

Ride it my good insurer"

The soldiers saw him

They did great clutter

They wanted to salute him

The patriarch said with amazed,"

See what is that noise?

He looked and said

That is him , that is him!"

The patriarch went and looked

He counted patch in his

The cloth of the greatest prince

Of the greatest Nation motioned

At the ancient, at the present

He said," you are who is mentined!

You are the caliph

"Omar" was the caliph

He gave them the safe deal

That mentioned by his name

The patriarch gave him the keys

Of  Jerusalem to him

The time for afternoon pray came

The caliph prayed out the church

The patriarch said

Why you didn’t pray at that

Place at the inner of the church

Omar said if I prayed here

The Muslims after that

Say "Omar" prayed here

And they took it

To be a mosque indeed
there is walkaways a chance to achieve a peace. if we catch it
Ted Scheck Jan 2014
She visited my house, home
Wife, Boys:
Soaking up what little she could of Little Brother’s life;
And I hugged her, I put my arms around her frailty,
My big sister, now tiny and ravaged by the word
That shouldn’t rhyme with
Dancer, but
Does.

Here in her last September, last
September.
A
Final tour of her
Favorite Places, a
Preacher’s Mountain.
And looking into her
Eyes kind and squinty,
I had the feeling that
One hand held the
Times I would see her.
I was off by two,
minus the thumb.

Forward-fast to Dec.
27th, my Niece’s Wedding
I held her again, and
She was more frail
And unsteady and her
Eyes rimmed red with
Spreading Pain;
The rain relentlessly
Hammering on the roof of the
Membrane-thin
Quonset Hut-Shell.

Walking unsteadily steady back
To her Dear Friend’s car
My heart in tatters, sad, yet
Glad for her to visit that
Distant Shore
That her eyes so longed for.

And now, in this frozen January of
2014
Wintry-Mixed Nut Group
(That is my family)
I enter her ineptly-named
Living room, where she is
Laid prostrate before God
And everybody.
And I enter into such a blender of
Sweet-sour-bitter-salty
Emotional juices.

I take her hand
And kiss her cheek, and an
Eye perks up at the sight of
Little Brother.
Yet that eye is tired of
The uphill worn treadmill that
Life has turned into.

(Please God take her away
With You. Deliver my
Sister Amy
From the planet’s
Gravi-pain-tiful
Pull)
And that prayer flew out of
Me driving back to Indy
Sunday at about 2:00 pm
Central Time.

And at 11:30 pm UGT
(Universal God Time)
An Angel wakes a
Slumbering Saint.

And Amy Scheck closes her
Eye on this world
(And opens the eyes of her
SPIRIT
To the
Next)

(And we are in the presence
Of God’s Messengers,
That Warrior Race of
Angel Guardians).

He is of a height much,
Much greater than her
Small yet intensely curious
Form.

He has mysterious and utterly fabulous
Wings tucked and tightly-sprung
Beneath impossibly-broad
Shoulders; his sword
Gleams like a hundred
Suns glistening on the dew of
A thousand worlds.
Radiant! Radiant and
Mighty is he!
And he is here
For her.

A voice of velvet thunder, low
Mixed with music and fury.
“Rise, Little One.
Child of God!
Rise, and grab hold
Of my tunic!
It’s time to enter
Into the Throne Room of
The Most High!”

And, forgive me for imagining
(What cannot be imagined, but
Longed for, yes. Longed for
By countless numbers).
I write in faith, hope, and
Love for my dearly-
Departed sister.
I use the tool
God gave me
Before I was born.

I imagine the transition
Of death to life
Of life from death.

A unimaginably-large soul
Trapped in a dead husk of
A Mortal Shell
Winds down like the biological
Clocks we resemble; metering,
Measuring heart beats of time,
Of counted breaths breathing
No longer. Of pain, and suffering,
And the emotions swirling off both
Like streamers moved by the wind.

Amy Winifed Scheck
Dies. She breathes in/not out, or
Opposite so.
Her heart goes
Blub/Dub
And then stops
Forever.

But something amazing begins to happen.
In her soul is a key.

This key has a name unknown to us.
That name defines the soul of
Her New Existence.
To me - to us - it is...
UNSPEAKABLE.

The fleshy fleshly tongues
Are as worthy as uttering it
As slugs are equipped to hit
102-mph fastballs.

It’s her soulprint, though it does
Not belong to her;
It’s the print from the Soul
Of Jesus Himself.
HIS mark. HIS claim.
HIS.
It is the manifestation of
Amy’s Name
(Written in the Book of Life).
There can be no better assurance
Than to know, without that
Demon of Uncertainty, known as
(Doubt?)
That YOU are in THAT BOOK!
Are you?

So Amy’s soul is
Delivered, birthed, taken-
TRANSFORMED and
Enters the Waiting Room
Of Heaven.
Holy, Holy, Holy...

Feathers weigh millions of
Tons compared to the
Lightness of Being
Amy feels as, nearly
Transparent, she is a more
Solid creature than the largest
Pod of Blue Whales ever to
Swim and sing.

Her Angel takes Amy
To the Throne Room.
Falls prostrate for a moment,
Amy sees a burly tree
Fall, then, instantly,
Stand; the tree rumbles words.
“I have done my duty,
Precious Little One, as
Your Angel Guardian.”
He bows his head,
And then is on one knee,
So that his great shaggy head
Is nearly level with his
Little Charge.

His voice is surprisingly gentle, for
Before Amy was created:
This supernatural being was
Assigned this precious little bundle
Of joyful humanity, and he fought:
Fought! Fought the great battles
Against the ravages of the earthly
Realm; the seizures, the sickness, the
Angel Guardian was inside the baby's
Heart as it struggled to do its job, to
Deliver the blood to the extremities, to
Live, to grow, to fight, fight!
This one, in a little over half a
Century, became close to Jesus,
And, by proxy, close to the Being
Who created Angels!
Man! Woman! Child!
Did she not have the heart of a
Lion?
Did she take on the Spirit
Of a prayer Warrior?
Yes. Indeed she did.

Heaven's tears are thick, syrupy. Alive
With the Immense Sadness and
Immeasurable Joy of Christ Jesus.
They flow slowly down the shaggy
Angel's scarred face. God only
Knows how close this Angel was/
Is to Amy.

His voice is choked with emotion.
“It was my pleasure to serve and protect you,
Amy Winifred Scheck.
You must Wait."
He wipes tears from his eyes,
Knowing he has done his job,
HIS job, protecting, serving,
Ministering to this Little One,
As he soon will Minister to
The next Little One.
"You must wait. Wait upon the Lord
You heard His Call
In your life on Earth."

The Angel looks gravely
At the tiny, frightened
(Yet terribly excited)
Little Child of God.
And does something rare,
Even for the Guardians.
He spreads massively-wide arms and
Draws the trembling
Child into his protective embrace.
Her small hands grasp mountains
Masquerading as shoulders,
Hugging the Being with surprising
Might.
And Amy does quite an amazing
Thing. She senses her Angel's
Distress, and gently, lovingly,
Pats his shaggy beard, his cheek,
Praying! For the Messenger and
Deliverer!
Her little form squeezes strength
(Love)
Into her own Angel Guardian.
And Jesus, Everywhere,
Smiles and wipes tears of His own
From his face.

The Angel speaks in a
Whisper as gentle as a soft hush of
A breeze after the first
Spring shower.
“You will hear His Call
Again.”
And the Angel does not
Vanish comically in a puff
Of cloud; it is as if he
Fades away into the
Multitude of the
Heavenly Fold.

Seraphim, and Cherubim,
And fantastical wing’d and claw’d creatures
Amy has only dimly dreamed about,
Sing, and shout with sound-ful colors that
Could never exist on earth, for
They would melt the bonds
Of reality itself
And drive mad all the ears and eyes
Which suffered to sense it.

Off in the strange
Far-close distance
One Figure Stands
Above, Most High Above Every Thing
He created:
The Most High
Being Who Was Ever,
Is, Will Be,
And Is To Be.
It is Him

Jesus Christ
(And the people of earth,
Myself included, sing, sing! SING!
Blessed is the Name of the Lord!)

“My Child, Precious child,
Enter the Holy Throne of God.”
And in steps that cannot be
Measured by any earthly
Standard, Amy Winifred Scheck
Enters Her Savior’s Throne Room.

With her new feet, Amy
Walks bravely, surely, securely,
Eyes low, her countenance recognizable
To the One Whom it resembles;
And:
All around her is a Living
Chorus of Beings shouting
Holy! Holy! Holy is The Lord!”
Yet within the cacophony resides
The Still and Quiet Presence
Of The Lord of Lords.
The Prince of Peace.
Upon His Throne, He sits,
Waiting and Being
Waited Upon.
Worshiped.
As only God should be.
It is Through Him - Jesus Christ -
That Amy enters into the Kingdom of God,
The Presence of the King of Kings.

Amy speaks, using a voice that she never dreamed
She had with her long-gone forgotten
Vocal chords.
“Here I am, Oh Lord.
Oh Lord, I am Here!”
Her life is Measured
Judged.
Because JUDGMENT
IS HIS!

Of:
The Judgment Seat
Of Christ:
I will not insult
My Creator
By imagining the content
Of my sister’s
Heart,
Or what goes on there,
In the most important moment in the history of a human being.
I will experience it;
So shall you, Dear One,
Who reads and contemplates the meaning
Within these words.
(ALL will experience
The very same thing)
So, human beings, get
Your affairs in order, for
We know not the hour
Of our demise.
If there is any doubt about what
Happens to you when you die...
Seek Him!
Accept Jesus Christ as your
Personal Lord and Savior!

Amy Scheck
Loved Jesus, and spoke His Name
With a rare form of deep and wide
Conviction.
She was a Christian, a Child of God.
She had a smile for everyone,
And most everyone left her
Smiling.
She loved Jesus on earth.
She was an obedient servant.
And what do we take with us
To Heaven?
What is in our HEART.

Jesus loves us all, all of us.
So I will believe,
Believe, I will, that
Amy’s love for Her Savior,
And her acknowledge, public,
Amidst scorn, ridicule, love, and
Acceptance
Were the Words
That Jesus used
To write
Amy's Name in His Book
She sowed and reaped, and
Reaped and sowed, and led
Others away from sin,
And, more importantly,
To Jesus Himself.
Amy’s life was full of
Good Fruit from
The Vine.

Interlude: The Other Side of Grace
And Jesus Christ spoke to Satan,
Who said, of this new soul:
(As he says to EVERY single
New soul entering into God’s
Eternal Kingdom):
Because, you see, we are fallen...

“What of THIS one, Lord?
She is MINE, I should think!
I have a long list of her
Considerable
Sins.”

And His voice the Thunder of Heaven,
Jesus stands for Amy Winifred Scheck.
(As Amy counted times stood for Jesus)
Her love for Him in no way can equal
HIS love for HER, but that is the great
Sacrifice that Jesus took upon Himself
On the Cross-the staggering weight of
Humanity's sin.
The equation does not have to be
Equal to be right, and true, and real.

So now Jesus raises His voice, and
Speaks, and the Foundations
Of Eternity shake, and every One
Within Heaven’s Realm
Trembles at Glory
Personified in Voice,
At Love, walking upright.
“CAST YOUR GAZE AWAY FROM HER, SATAN!
GET THEE BEHIND ME!
THIS ONE BELONGS TO ME.”
And Satan slinks away, knowing,
Knowing the answer already,
Yet eagerly awaiting one of
His
Coming to him soon, soon...
Soon.
Satan is, if anything,
Patient.

“You are Amy Winifred Scheck,
Born to Ed and Mary Scheck on
January 11 of the year
1960! Your body died
January 27, 2014.”

Amy is simply in the State of
Eternal Awe.
Jesus. Is speaking. To her.
Her new tongue must not be
Functioning properly.

“Well done, good and faithful Servant!
You have been faithful with what
I bestowed upon you! I gave
You a seed, which you
Planted in good soil, and
Tended it; watered it; pruned it
So that it
Multiplied many, many times over!
The Fruit of your life resides
All around you!
You led many who were
Astray to My Kingdom!
Enter!”

“OH! MY JESUS!”
She exclaims, her voice
Accompanied by the blasts
Of trumpets and a chorus
Of Angels.

Amy runs with joy as her feet and
Hugs the shoulders
Of The Almighty, feels
Scarred hands cupping her
Tiny face, as eyes blazing
Brighter than a thousand
Stars gaze into hers.
Everything that ever mattered,
That matters now, that will
Matter on down mortality’s
Road
Resides in the Sweet, Lovely
Kind eyes of Our Savior,
Jesus Christ.
He speaks:
“I’ve a place prepared for
You, Dear One.
For there are many rooms
For the Names in the Book of Life!
I have great
Adventures planned for you!
Eternity awaits! Does your new
Spirit thirst? Are you ready for
Your celebratory banquet?”

Amy can only cry and weep and sob
With joy so pure she will have
To learn an entirely new
Vocabulary to give it substance, depth, and
Clarity.
She looks around, seemingly,
For the first time, and sees the
Familiar form of Mary Elizabeth,
Her earth mother, now
Transformed, as she herself has been
Transformed.
Amy sees her new form in
The form of her loving mother.
They embrace, Mother and
Child.
And the applause of Heaven
Is Sweet Thunder.

Amy’s earthly father,
Edward James, is there,
Joking and smiling
With his older brother
Michael and his wife,
Tess.
He sees his daughter,
And shouts with Joy.
More embraces.
Heaven is a place of
Embraces, the birth
Place of Joy itself.

“WELCOME, TO HEAVEN’S TABLE,”
And Jesus speaks Amy’s new name.
“LET US REJOICE, MY FRIENDS,
FOR AMY IS NOW,
FINALLY,
HOME.”
tonight we gather
to mark a
commencement day

four decades on
from a late June
afternoon

exchanging
embraces and
bon voyage wishes

departing a grand
chandeliered Rivoli
embarcadero

bound
to glorious
destinations

our bold sails
welling with
youthful
exuberance
in pursuit of
dreams
and intrepid
endeavors

our life
journeys
are blessed
with rich
abundance,
the grace of
challenge and
the gift of days

this evening
as we reconnect
to share the joys
and wisdom gleaned
from well lived lives
we will also celebrate
in multicolored splendor
the lives of classmates
who have commenced
journeys to other
destinations

though their
earthly sojourn
is complete
passed friends
remain alive
in our memory

surely the spirits
of the beloved
will walk this
room tonight

forever young
their quiet presence
will gently touch
tender hearts

they’ll appear
as they once looked
on their finest day

and as we relive
the bits of our lives
we shared with
one another

we may feel
the grasp of a
warm hand
as we once did
during that
snowy evening
west end walk

we’ll dance with them again
around Tamblyn Field bonfires
gyrating in a shared
ecstatic ebullience

we’ll applaud most likely
to succeed lives
most beautiful smiles
and crack up
to the hilarity of
class clown jokes

we’ll taste the kiss
of an after dark
Lincoln Park
rendezvous

groove to the
rock steady
beat of a
bad company tune  

we’ll submerge again
in a Yellow Submarine
to embark on an epic
Greenwich Village
journey

we’ll roll down
the shore on old
Thunder Road
windows open
hair blowin
radio blastin

we’ll taste the sweet sip
of Cherry Cokes
and Root Beer floats
at Roadrunners

chasing lost love salty tears
spilled over ***** upperclass home boys
and the soft blush sentiment of a
first French kiss

wouldn't it be nice
to swoon to the
fantasy and
winsome yearnings
of favorite
summer songs

filling our head’s
with mind
blowing collages
starring
team mates
drama club
second takes
heady chess club
checkmates

we’ll marvel at the disruption of
premillennial breakthrough science projects
created by pocket protected slide ruling
entrepreneurial math wizards

we'll recall droll gossip
by drab hall lockers
dim gym showers
awkward dances
Yippie people power

patriotic assemblies
cool sharp dressers
right on brother
Que Pasa lil sista

rock and roll album covers
Simon and Garfunkel poetics
Go Go Boots kickin
FM radio psychedelics

Midnight Confessions
emphatically blared
from the cafeteria jukebox
Civil Rights, Earth Day
and righteous
anti war activism

tribes of hoods, Ra’s,
jocks, artistes and tie dye hippies
everything is groovy
lets get a sandwich at Ernie’s

first carnal explorations
Moody Blue Tuesday trysts
man could she speak German
boy do I dig her dress

we did hard time together
at split session detention centers
ate chocolate chip cookies
cracked up to Mr. Thomas’s
Ides of March tragedy

took first tokes and
sips of Boones Farm
we partied hard
and did no harm

admired academic brainiacs
and the civic commitment
of student govie reps
shut down the gubmint
was never a threat 

basketball rumbles
Bulldog football
**** Ludwig soccer teams
nimble cheerleaders

leggy majorettes
kick *** marching band fanfares
compelling masquer presentments
Park Avenue wayfarers

they were
crew mates
on The Soul Boat
rode shotgun
to Midnight Rambler
Doobie Concerts

cruised hard in
the Root Hog
Rat Raced Louie
in tiny white Pintos

we booked
many a mile
with our lost
friends

on the road to
this evening

authoring
volumes of
fabled odysseys
and fantastic
recollections

their stories
are our stories
telling our stories
keeps them alive

some may say
gone too soon
but the measure of
a well lived life
is not counted
in days, nor
accomplishments

but how one has loved
and how much one was loved

quietly there
always with us
forever to be
a wholesome
part of us

as the brothers
from Cooley High
would say

lets tip a sip
for the brothers
and sisters who
ain’t here….

God bless
Godspeed
enjoy the evening
vaya con dios mis amigos

Music Selection:
Pat Metheny
Mas Alla


RHS 74
Class Reunion
Elks Club
Rutherford
11/29/14
Tornado’s kicking up dust,
Leaving broken pieces of promises and futures shattered on the ground,
With no one left to pick them up but the people who are broken themselves.

Just when I thought there was no reason to keep on moving forward you came around,
Showing me that maybe I’m not so broken, that maybe the cracks in my exterior are just the challenges I’ve overcome. That the scars on my heart like gaping trenches are only battle wounds that will heal again.

You make me feel beautiful, like maybe my smile is the reason for the sun to shine in the morning, like maybe for once someone sees  in me something that I’ve yet to because I’m too stubborn to see the beauty that’s in the mirror. Look harder you told me once.

They say that to love another person you need to love yourself, but I loved you first. And although I see the dreams that could have been ours in your eyes
I pushed away because the moment I let the walls around my heart crumble like the first hit on demolition day, the moment I let you tear down all of the years I spent hating myself for never being what they wanted me to be, the moment I let you in I shied away.

You can’t love someone who’s uncomfortable in their own skin,
Who wishes everyday that they could start again and although my head is blowing up with the what ifs from yesterday and the possibilities of tomorrow, and although all I could see was grey you were there.

Were you always there?
Waiting on your steed to rescue you from the disaster that I’ve allowed myself to become, an entanglement of empty promises and sadness known all too well.
Tell me, were you hiding there among the stars I counted every night before I slept wishing that one day I’d meet you because
I think you were.

So when you turned to me and said “Who’s going to take care of you when I’m gone”
It felt like bullets ripping their way into the cavity of where my heart used to be and I realize.

I REALIZE that for the first time in my life I’m going to have to fight off the monsters under my bed by myself. That the painful words that get shot my way like arrows from an archers bow will have to be bounced away by the invisible force field I’ve built around my heart, impenetrable with no point of entry to let anyone else  because too much damage has already been caused by the people who I HAD let in.  

This heart is protected
Protected from the tornado’s kicking up dust leaving broken dreams and promises shattered on the ground with no one left to pick them up but the ones who are broken themselves
So when she looks at me and asks “Who’s going to take care of you when I’m gone?”
I look into the eyes that have become my answers in all of the confusion and I respond “I Will”.

I knew then that goodbye wasn’t far away but for one day I wanted to pretend that it wasn’t on its way. That instead of counting down the days until you left, I was counting the moments that you stayed.

I looked at the stars tonight and I counted them twice, once while looking in the sky once while looking into your eyes. And as the tears build up behind my eyes like storm clouds building for days I smile and tell you” I support you’ . I never thought I’d be the one to shoot the arrow.

The storm clouds should have been enough to make you stay but they weren’t and by the time I worked up the nerve to whisper “don’t go” you’ve gone.

**Tornado is my middle name.
I got inspiration for this because of Shane Koyczan who is an amazing Slam Poet.
Amira Sep 2018
I thought I understood distance
When I learned at school it is defined as
“The amount of space between two points.”
I learned distance can be measured in various units
As steps, kilometres and miles
or even intervals of time.

I thought I understood distance
When I counted 2362 steps walking to school
And noticed my dad’s car meter increasing two miles
In three minutes driving me back home.

But my understanding had changed when I started measuring longer distances.
And attempting to cross them.

I travelled a distance measured in kilometres and hours to see him.
Such distances can be easily crossed.
Either I took the next train, or drove my car
Distance as an amount of space was two thousand kilometres
And distance as an amount of time was only a few hours.

I thought I understood distance,
But never the amount of space between two specific points;
My lips and his lips.

I travelled a distance measured in bottles of wine and years to kiss him.
Such distances can’t be easily crossed.
I could walk miles of skin
And distance as an amount of space between us
Could extend tiresome.
But such distances aren’t necessarily a barrier.
I have crossed all the oceans we created
I counted all the bodies
And I have indulged in his lips.

It took me two bottles of wine and twenty years
To actually understand distance

But my understanding is obsolete
For him and I ,
Are still two distant entities.
I started writing this poem with great inspiration, but the inspiration wore off halfway through, which is why I still feel it is not complete. Please tell me what you think, and what you would suggest.
P.S : the poem is written to be read in a loud and slow manner.
they've now got a toehold in the place, they're well established
they've now got a toehold in the place, they're well established
nowt will move them, these parts suit them
nowt will move them, these parts suit them
these parts suit them, they're well established
they've now got a toehold in the place, nowt will move them

the board is crammed with their posts, over a hundred counted to-day
the board is crammed with their posts, over a hundred counted to-day
no doubt they're insistent, they'll not be nudged  
no doubt they're insistent, they'll not be nudged
over a hundred counted to-day, no doubt they're insistent
they'll not be nudged, the board is crammed with their posts

some aren't impressed with their carry on, what bugbears they've become
some aren't impressed with their carry on, what bugbears they've become
they need to be escorted from here, HP management isn't listening
they need to be escorted from here, HP management isn't listening
what bugbears they've become, they need to be escorted from here
some aren't impressed with their carry on, HP management isn't listening

the board is crammed with their posts, they're well established
they need to be escorted from here, what bugbears they've become
some aren't impressed with their carry on, no doubt they're insistent
they'll not be nudged, they've got a toehold in the place
over a hundred counted to-day, these parts suit them
nowt will move them, HP management isn't listening
kg Oct 2014
for seven years i believed that i had no right to say
that i had been abused because it wasn't physical,
like my friend who was beat by her drunk father on
a daily basis.

my abuse was only on an emotional, psychological scale
and while sometimes his hand slipped or gripped too tight on me,
i honestly wouldn't count it as abuse.

recently i began reading into this and while it's not
as talked about as physical or ****** abuse it still counts
and it carries over as children grow up from these experiences.

even experiences that i didn't think counted as emotional abuse,
from times when i was far younger than just a teenager.

the abuse i've dealt with hasn't made me any stronger than i was,
it's made me the exact opposite;
instead of being the person i was before, bright and optimistic,
i'm apologizing constantly for things i don't need to and
second guessing myself and others intentions.

constantly i wonder if i'm bothering someone,
am i being too much of myself? am i allowed to speak?
does my opinion matter? is it all right to assert myself?

after being told for three years that i don't matter,
and there is no point of me for existing and that
it's no wonder i don't have any friends,
i'm trying to break myself out of the box i've placed myself in
and it's so **** hard.
Lou Jul 2017
4
At the Zoo

Patriots and faux exhibit and binge on synonyms of liberty printed on beer and underwear
Advertising what should be unspoken and inspired to pervert and romanticize
Preludes to the parades and finale above us all
Weeks of saturated irony
Cuckoo bird irony and BBQ
As they reform Phoenix, rebirth of distractions and thievery
Predators in ally ways pursing America's diamonds and legs

Then gunpowder
Gunpowder of colors and cuckoos
Layers of streets in gunpowder
Towns built of gunpowder
Sky is gunpowder
We are born addicted to led and gunpowder
Gunpowder ****** in the air
Success, display and diversion and more gunpowder to ingest.

The Grand Finale
The Volta of the evening
The hammer of the judge
*** appeal of death and nature flexing it's muscles-  
show us some skin!

Covering your ears
Eyes fastened-
Ready to burrow back to mothers womb
Binged and free
Chinese celebration hijacked
Red, White and Blue
And a moment of silence  

Orchestrated onomatopoeia in heaven
Chorus of arousal on Earth
Band marching war machines in hell

The showdown of 241 years!
This freedom we are all grateful to only talk about

Only free to battle shackling intoxication
Men and women tugging extra weighted offspring
Sulking for indoors and portable addiction  
Chanting three letter obedience
God being counted by his blessings
Fear and Statism in every breathe for salvation from our stick swatted enemies
Checkpoints that serve and protect asking for a toll;
liberty synonyms.
Arresting the too free

At the Zoo,

The cuckoos regaining reality.
The phoenix red eye and held under oath
To the next day where we are back
To hate each others freedom, again.
Written on the 4th of July.
Alyssa Feb 2014
I AM TRYING TO STAY AFLOAT
BUT I CAN'T HELP BUT LOVE THE TASTE OF WATER IN MY LUNGS

FIRE AND WATER ARE DANCING IN MY BELLY LIKE ARMAGEDDON

DO THE MARINES TEACH YOU *******
BECAUSE I WANT TO BE DEAD

I WATCHED FRANK DIE IN FRONT OF ME
I COUNTED WITH THE EMS TO 30 FOR EACH COMPRESSION
AND THEN I COUNTED HOW LONG IT WAS
IN BETWEEN THE SOUNDS OF ELECTRICITY
TO THE SOUNDS OF HANDS POUNDING ON HIS CHEST

I WATCHED THEM TAKE FRANK AWAY
I COUNTED HOW MANY TIMES MY MOTHER PRAYED
18
MY MOTHER PRAYED 18 TIMES
I COUNTED THE MINUTES IT TOOK FOR MY BROTHER TO DRIVE HOME FROM COLLEGE
IT TOOK HIM 42 MINUTES
BECAUSE IT WAS 12:30 IN THE MORNING
AND THERE WAS NO TRAFFIC ON THE HIGHWAY

I'VE STOPPED SEEING PEOPLE
ALL I SEE ARE PUZZLES

I'M ONLY SHOUTING BECAUSE IT SEEMS THAT GOD
HASN'T BEEN ABLE TO HEAR ME LATELY

THE WORST OF THE WILDLIFE
WEARS CLOTHES AND CAN PRAY

WE ARE ANIMALS IN MAN SUITS
BUT YOU HAVE SHOWN ME YOUR MASKS

NONE OF THIS MAKES ANY SENSE ANYMORE
LIFE IS AN ENIGMA
BUT YOU TOLD ME TO STOP SOLVING PUZZLES
WITH THE PIECES MISSING
In the old age black was not counted fair,
Or if it were, it bore not beauty’s name;
But now is black beauty’s successive heir,
And beauty slandered with a ******* shame.
For since each hand hath put on nature’s power,
Fairing the foul with art’s false borrowed face,
Sweet beauty hath no name no holy bower,
But is profaned, if not lives in disgrace.
Therefore my mistress’ eyes are raven black,
Her eyes so suited, and they mourners seem,
At such who, not born fair no beauty lack,
Sland’ring creation with a false esteem.
    Yet so they mourn, becoming of their woe,
    That every tongue says beauty should look so.
am Jan 2014
(1)
Just like that,
My heart fell into your hands.

(17)
Mid September,
Wild flowers bloomed
Deep within my soul.
The sun drowned in light,
The moon shone across the stars.

(76)
I finally realized
Why I walk on the street
Instead of the side walk
And why I stay up all night
Watching the stars
Instead of dreaming of the moon.
I loved how
You always finished my sentences,
And I love you t-

(119)
I counted all the stars
And I gave up
After 32.
I decided to dream of you
Instead of the moon.

(210)
His eyes lit up brighter than the galaxy
And I prayed that I was the only
Supernova in his eyes

(308)
Slowly
Day becomes night
And the clouds are covering the stars.
The moon doesn't exist in my dreams
Anymore.

(501)
Where have you been, good friend?
Why have you left me here
With no warning?
Why are the flowers
Unwatered?

(634)
He said he couldn't
Live without me
Yet somehow,
He's still breathing
And I'm drowning

(789)
You are in my heart
But I am not in yours

(901)
The wild flowers turned to weeds
As summer turned to fall.
2:31am
Crept closer to me

(1,105)
Time stands still
As you stand in front of me
Telling me lies.
Don't finish my sentences
Because I still love y-

(1,256)
Don't tell me that you love me
Because I knew you never did.
Stop lying
And let me free.
The flowers that grew in my soul
Have turned to dead weeds,
Suffocating my heart.

(1,427)
I counted all the stars
And only found two.

(1,581)
Maybe it's true-
Some people were meant to fall in love,
But not meant to be together.

(1,582)
The weeds are tangled,
The moon escaped from my heart.
I counted all the stars that I could find,
And only found one.
Maybe I should just move on from you.
A collection of different parts of poems that I've wrote. Hope you enjoy.
-A.M.
1

You said 'The world is going back to Paganism'.
Oh bright Vision! I saw our dynasty in the bar of the House
Spill from their tumblers a libation to the Erinyes,
And Leavis with Lord Russell wreathed in flowers, heralded with flutes,
Leading white bulls to the cathedral of the solemn Muses
To pay where due the glory of their latest theorem.
Hestia's fire in every flat, rekindled, burned before
The Lardergods. Unmarried daughters with obedient hands
Tended it By the hearth the white-armd venerable mother
Domum servabat, lanam faciebat. at the hour
Of sacrifice their brothers came, silent, corrected, grave
Before their elders; on their downy cheeks easily the blush
Arose (it is the mark of freemen's children) as they trooped,
Gleaming with oil, demurely home from the palaestra or the dance.
Walk carefully, do not wake the envy of the happy gods,
Shun Hubris. The middle of the road, the middle sort of men,
Are best. Aidos surpasses gold. Reverence for the aged
Is wholesome as seasonable rain, and for a man to die
Defending the city in battle is a harmonious thing.
Thus with magistral hand the Puritan Sophrosune
Cooled and schooled and tempered our uneasy motions;
Heathendom came again, the circumspection and the holy fears ...
You said it. Did you mean it? Oh inordinate liar, stop.

2

Or did you mean another kind of heathenry?
Think, then, that under heaven-roof the little disc of the earth,
Fortified Midgard, lies encircled by the ravening Worm.
Over its icy bastions faces of giant and troll
Look in, ready to invade it. The Wolf, admittedly, is bound;
But the bond wil1 break, the Beast run free. The weary gods,
Scarred with old wounds the one-eyed Odin, Tyr who has lost a hand,
Will limp to their stations for the Last defence. Make it your hope
To be counted worthy on that day to stand beside them;
For the end of man is to partake of their defeat and die
His second, final death in good company. The stupid, strong
Unteachable monsters are certain to be victorious at last,
And every man of decent blood is on the losing side.
Take as your model the tall women with yellow hair in plaits
Who walked back into burning houses to die with men,
Or him who as the death spear entered into his vitals
Made critical comments on its workmanship and aim.
Are these the Pagans you spoke of? Know your betters and crouch, dogs;
You that have Vichy water in your veins and worship the event
Your goddess History (whom your fathers called the strumpet Fortune).
I met a shell of a mountain who knew she was finished
claimed she grew up from a grain of sand
with every year wider she bloomed a little bit longer
to the roof of the sky with outstretched hands
she made friends with the sun, shared enemies with no one
counted weeks like she should of counted days
and swallowed handfuls of night so she could sleep tight
and turn her thoughts from its stone cold ways

and this was the beginning, the start of the ending
you can't die from a broken heart
but from the time the sun rose
to the space where it fell away
she would love, and it wouldn't take part
and every every day she would echo echo
in every single way she should let go let go
but it had her in its sights cupids icy arrows

so she caught every one with her heart like it was her duty
it walked the wrong wrong way down her one way plan
she was surrounded by forests, rivers and beauty
until that glacier froze over the land
and so she blamed herself hated her wealth
she was born at too young of an age
and every night her dreams were touched by witches fingers
until her heart was caged.
with every morning spent not caring if she cares or not
sleeping in the melt and mud, waiting for the earth to rot
burying herself alive she scrapes the hole that it left open
empty as her very heart, that mountain was all broken
all broken, that mountain was all broken

now I can see that her bloods red and she’s got feelings and they always get spilled both without thinking
on the album wooden heart
By David John Mowers

Oceanus, Acheron, Styx and Gyges, Phlegethon,

Phaeacians lament, mourn the loss, Scheria, dissolved in froths.

Virgil’s tale, found correct, a land too good, a nation wrecked,

Nausikaa, burn the ships; their minds released, cool airy nips,

Below the wave, watery grave, submerged to bottom, fathoms by stave,

Fathoms some more, until the whorl, descending to, another world.

Through Omphalos, to Land of Sleep, awaits a beast, where time has ceased,

Darkness here, underworld, cold and frigid, below the whirl,

In solemn grave, souls released, judged and counted, by the beast,

Deeper than, the deep itself, past drowning fairies and dying elves,

Who did mourn them? Those golden men, magic mariners, Mino's kin?

What wrong was seen? What vice not true? What awful sin? What did they do?

One thousand years, first black age, Two thousand more, to find the stage,

Cast off Aries and cast Orion, to find beginning, of Golden Lion.

Man of Heavens, Beast agrees, Bull of Sky, Ox of seas,

Land of Punt, Land of Éire, Ogyges blue, hearts on fire,

All the seashores, all the mines, Tribe of Dan, from ancient times,

Port of Sais, Port of Thera, Port of Lagash, bygone era,

Sailor’s horse, Minotaur, a lyre is crying, strummed guitar, nation dying, abattoir.

Ochre foams to sanguine depth, there they rested, where Kronos slept,

He’ll never answer, he doesn’t care, we’ll never know, if this was fair.

Our hearts in sadness, hands on the gates! I curse you Poseidon!

. . .and your Sea of Fates!
Every historical and mythological reference to the kingdom of Atlantis which was destroyed by it's founder; Poseidon. All of the characters including the archaeological agreement on the historical basis along with Geo-location as well as an approximate age of occurrence, extent of the kingdom set to metered rhyme.
Mackenzie Murphy Dec 2012
There once was fellow
Of whom I was rather fond,
But there was such an idiosyncrasy,
That he cheerfully donned.
It was adding this boy was drawn to,
But not just numbers,
Such as two plus two,
But syllables, like bill·a·bles.

His lips would murmur
As mine would speak,
But I'd stand attentive,
Tongue in cheek.
Every syllable I would say
Would be counted
In every single way.
"Could I have a glass of water?"
"That one was eight"
"Come on," I said
"You're ruining our date."

I grew weary of having
To deal with
The incessant word adding;
And so I decided the thing to do,
Was to take it up
With my obnoxious beau.  
"What is it with the counting and computing of all my confab
It's neither dashing nor is it longer dazzling
In fact, It has turned to be rather drab."
His face contorted to the most cruel of expressions,
As his mouth went to conference one of its many confessions:
"You know babe,
Well first order is first,
That was thirty-six,
And nervously dispersed.
And secondly I must say,
When it comes to alliteration,
You tend to get a bit carried away."
"That's preposterous!" I plustered, providently provoked,
I do not choose clusters of complementary chords,
To do so would make me choke!"
As these words left my mouth as I spoke,
My beloved's face grew rather amused,
And my face flushed a fluorescent fuchsia,
When I realized his reckoned ruse.  

And so it may seem that the other
May be wrapped up in some insidious blunder,
Yet please do consider,
That you yourself can be guilty of some other habit,
In which you do plunder.
Emma Liang Mar 2012
I bounce a volleyball as I walk to my dorm
just to hear that delightful sound, that satisfying, clean thud off the cement.

look up, see you in that grey hoodie that gives me bad dreams
and curse under my breath, eyes darting like a cornered fox,
            there is nowhere to hide.
we almost exchange eye contact, I almost taste blood in my mouth
            I hate how familiar you are.
you look down, cough;
I murmur a dusty hello-goodbye into the ground, hold my volleyball tighter
against my chest –
and hurry on, court sneakers straining on the pavement, trying too hard to forget your cracked smiles.

--

I remember how we used to pass for hours
no sound but the volleyball slapping against our forearms,
brushing off our fingertips,
echoing through that Choate gymnasium, that cold spring;

My head had barely reached the middle of the net,
but you were tall and brave and handsome, my Prince Charming, and
I was a freshman girl with her heart on her sleeve, who
hugged a warm volleyball to her heart and smiled,

thinking herself lucky.

--

Spring thawed your heart, eventually,
and you let me hold your hand;
you had long fingers, cold to the touch.
you taught me how to set, complimented my hands,
trained me to cradle the ball with my thumbs like it was made of glass,
your hands around mine.

I was braver than you were,
because everything felt fresh and exciting to me, like the
smell of crushed pine needles in the air;
you kissed me (I kissed you?) on that night
and I leaned forward, curious and eager, and wrapped my arms
around your neck.

--

The days melted into one another,
and we became
like chalk drawings blurring after rain,
like floor burns from sliding to save a falling ball –
but missing it, all the effort gone to waste;
the burns will still burn and still scar, for nothing.

May to June, June to July,
I hugged you and laughed, but my eyes
were cold; you said I love you
And I tried to say it back, but I couldn’t without
sticking a used to before the love –
            the honey words stuck in my throat.

Our kisses were routine, stale
like the crackers I left out the night before;
I tapped my foot and
tossed the volleyball quickly behind my back with nimble fingers
and counted the seconds before it was acceptable to pull back;
I had homework and volleyball practice and quizzes to study for, you know – I tried to smile but
it felt so wrong, I stopped –
you asked what was wrong, I shook my head, there are no answers for some questions.

--

It’s been four years since we’ve spoken,
shared secret moments under solemn oak trees, behind library bookshelves
that promised to keep us away from prying eyes,
smiled into each other’s lips,
blinked stories into each other’s eyes.
It’s been four years since people have teased you for not
hitting the ball when we passed – you gentleman, you –

I will not say I miss you, because I refuse to lie for your sake;
but sometimes as I set a ball perfectly to a hitter
I think of you for a split second, wonder where you are and if you remember as much
as I do, which is, honestly
not very much.

--

she writes letters to him and then burns them all, the smell of smoke fills the room.
It’s as if she is stealing the fury of the sun, which is cooling down, melting into lava at the horizon –
it will be another cold winter, there is already frost in the grass, the air smells chilly.

Dear you,

I broke up with you as nicely as I could –
there was no reason I fell out of love, the same way
there is no reason people fall in love.

you have no right ******* me out on the internet the way you did.
Every time I hit a volleyball I imagine your face on my palm, and I hit harder.
I will never forgive you for the things you wrote,
and I don’t know if I ever loved you at all,
because you are despicable.

Goodbye,
the girl of your dreams.


--

it’s the beginning of the end of July, everything is so hot.
the pavement is baking, the volleyballs are flat,
her arms feel weak and limp like overcooked noodles.

it’s hard to think straight. She can hardly remember
her own name before remembering that she has a boyfriend.
He calls, he says I love you and she tries to choke out that well-rehearsed lie –
what was it again? something like I love you too?

But it’s too hot, and she
can’t do it anymore –

she swallows hard and grips her volleyball tighter,
her hands sweating against the weathered sphere that has been through so much with her
as she prepares to say goodbye.
Third Eye Candy May 2017
sprouting from the damp earth
we trod from the muck into the sun
and were glad in it.
we found there, the space to waste time in
and more space to explore with our riveting lives
boiling in the womb of all wombs.
we stride to the heavens undisclosed to religion.
and on approach , we find gods in teapots
steeping the illusions we crave
over hot coals on a sinking
barge.

we are happy as we will the suffering to continue.
but as a flock of flaming gulls
we singe the night sky and the ocean below.
they both burn as we commit to our purpose.
each a sovereign fool
and an angel
shackled to a
spot -

on the Sun.
Robert G Page Dec 2015
A Christmas Thought (short story)
by
rgpage

This time of the year,  when once giving from the heart has since melted like the snow in Spring to the meaningless demand for expensive toys and gadgets;  and Santa has waned to no more than the all-giving sugar daddy to each and every child,  and a tireless crutch to the mindless parent during the year; “Santa’s watching so you’d better be good.”

And alas,  there I stood in this huge department store amid a vast forest of toys, colors, and noises, fallen prey to this modern day hypocrisy known as Christmas.  Being of a lower middle economical standard,  and having with such stealth blindness juggled expenses and bills to afford myself the opportunity to plunge even deeper into dept.  I pondered these playful wonders of modern day technology.  All about countless numbers of people were doing as I in efforts to reward their children for their year of good service.

This was when I saw her. As fast as this seasonal frenzy had overtaken me just days earlier,  it vanished for a time as I watched her. It must have been that she seemed so out of place in this hurry-scurry festive scene of Christmas shopping that she caught my eye.  She was very old and her tattered,  worn out clothing all too obviously reflected the fact that she couldn’t afford much.  While others struggled about her almost comically laden with brightly colored  packages, this old woman had nothing more than an old purse dangling from her arm.  Slowly she moved, seemingly pained with the infirmities which accompany old age.  She appeared overweight for her stature which I’m sure added to her discomfort.  When she stopped in front of the doll section  her old, pudgy face glowed with joy.  Undoubtedly a doll for a little granddaughter,  I was  sure no more as she couldn’t possibly afford more.  I watched as she studied each doll
and its price tag,  going from one to the next.  Finally she stopped to give particular attention to one little doll adorned with colorful ribbons and big bright blue eyes.  Then putting the doll back,  she opened her purse and I watched as she counted the small amount of money that she had.  

By this time I had become so unexplainably absorbed with watching the old woman,  who with a smile closed her purse, retrieved the doll and walked slowly and painfully to the checkout counter to wait in line.  Around her the noise of parents and children alike waiting their turn to check out didn’t seem to bother her as she patiently waited, holding the precious little doll for an equally precious granddaughter.  Finally when her turn came, an all to cruel yet human trait appeared in not only the people waiting behind her but the checkout clerk as well. Their impatience to maintain a steady flow of human traffic through the turnstiles came to the forefront almost obliterating this seasonal spirit.  This didn’t seem to deter the old woman from slowly and surely counting out the correct change,  leaving her very little to return to her purse.

With this done and the doll tucked away in a shopping sack,  she proceeded through the large glass doors and out into the cold December night.  A passing thought, “one special gift for one special person,” went through my mind as I continued my own, now more selective tour of annual duty.  Looking over my shoulder for one last glimpse of the old woman, I suddenly felt as if struck by a jolt of electricity as I saw her on her back in the slushy snow, struggling like an over-turned turtle.

Bolting out the door hoping to be the first to reach her,  I almost found myself lying next to her on the slick sidewalk.  Nothing was said as I struggled to lift her up.  Once this was accomplished I asked her if she was alright.  Instead of answering  she started looking around for her package.  I spotted the torn, soaked paper sack some ten feet away in a slushy puddle and went to retrieve it.  The doll had come half way out of the sack and her little blonde curls were now filled with water and slush; and as I handed it back I searched the old woman’s face for even a trace of sadness, there was none. Instead she looked at me smiled and said, “thank you young man, it’ll dry out, it’ll be alright, Merry Christmas.”  Then holding the doll in both hands, she turned and went on her way, much slower and much more cautiously.  I just stood there and watched her until she finally disappeared in the crowd and darkness and thought to myself, “maybe Santa Claus isn’t a man after all.”
Life isnt measured by likes on a post,
Or followers, friends, or tweets.

Life can't be counted by people we meet
Or losses we face.

Life doesnt keep a tally sheet
Marking down our scores.

Life isn't measured by the breaths we take
But it isn't counted by the moments that take our breath away, either

Life can't be drawn out for us, and counted on a graph
It can't be explained or sectioned off into days, months or years

We carve our own paths, and we don't need to count the steps

Because wether you use 0 or 26 letters,
Wether your heart beats 2 or 200 times
We are not numbers, we cannot be counted. We are so much more.
Numbers are something we created, but life is something we were given.
The blunt surface and wooden *****
Confined within impenetrable walls
However reverb dangerously.
Numbers reappeared to disorientate me.

It was the lion I sought advice from
For a dove that had been travelling with a rose
With a weight as heavy as its wings
Against the torrent of winds and sky.

I counted the time as if I were a clock.
Gently did it leave while I was not looking,
Its music turned down by long fingers
That lightly grazed the glasses
Like tracing back the steps that I at first hastened.

Never again will I see with my lashes curled by  
Its own Evening Dew.
I only pray that the silver soldier marches
Next to me with armor close to my chest
Close to my eyes so no gaze could ever penetrate.
© Teri Darlene Basallote Yeo

— The End —