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Keith J Collard Jun 2013
The Quest for the Damsel Fish  by Keith Collard

Author's  Atmosphere

On the bow of the boat, with the cold cloud of the dismal day brushing your back conjuring goose bumped flesh you hold an anchor.  For the first time, you can pick this silver anchor up with only one hand and hold it over your head. It resembles the Morning Star, a brutal medieval weapon that bludgeons and impales its victims.  Drop it into the dark world beyond the security of your boat--watch the anchor descend.
        Watch this silver anchor--this Morning Star--descend away from the boat and you, it becomes swarmed over with darkness.  It forms a ******-metallic grin at first as it sinks, then the sinking silver anchor takes its last shape at its last visible glimpse.  It is so small now as if it could be hung from a necklace.  It is a silver sword.  
Peering over the side of the boat, the depths collectively look like the mouth of a Cannibalistic Crab, throwing the shadows of its mandibles over everything that sinks down into it--black mandibles that have joints with the same angle of a Reaper's Scythe.  

I am scared looking at this sinking phantasm.  I see something from my youth down there in this dark cold Atlantic.  I see the silver Morning Star again, now in golden armor.  I remember a magnificent kingdom, in a saltwater fish tank I had once and never had again.  A tropical paradise that I see again as I stare down into the depths.  This fish tank was so beautiful with the most beautiful inhabitants who I miss.  Before I could lift the silver anchor--the Morning Star--over my head with only one hand, turning gold in that morning sun-- I was a boy who sat indian style, cross legged--peering into this brilliant spectacle of light I thought awesome.  I thought all the darkness of home and the world was kept at bay by this kingdom of light...

Chapter  1 Begins the Story

The Grey Skies of Mass is the Name of This Chapter.

                                                      ­­                        
    
 Air, in bubbles--it was a world beauty of darkness revealed in slashes of light from dashing fluorescent bulbs overhead this fish tank.
Silver swords of fluorescent energy daring to the bottom, every slash revealing every color of the zodiac--from the Gold of Scorpio to the purple of Libra combining into the jade of the Gemini. 
In the center, like a dark Stonehenge were rocks. The exterior rocks had tropical colors like that of cotton candy, but the interior shadows of the rocks that was the Stonehenge, did not possess one photon of light. The silver messengers of the florescent energy from above would tire and die at their base.  The shadows of the Stonehenge rocks would stand over them as they died.

 
          When the boy named Sake climbed the rickety wood stairs of the house, he did so in fear of making noise, as if to not wake each step.
   Until he could see the glowing aura of his fish tank then he would start down that eerie hall, With pictures of ghosts and ghosts of pictures staring down at him as he walked down that rickety hallway of this towering old colonial home.  He hurried to the glowing tank to escape the black and white gazing picture frames.
                    The faint gurgling, bubbling of the saltwater tank became stronger in his ear, and that sound guided him from the last haunt of the hallway-- the empty room that was perpendicular to  his room.   He only looked to his bright tank as soon as he entered the hallway from the creaky wooden steps.  Then he proceeded to sit in front of this great tropical fish tank in Indian style with his legs folded over one another as children so often would sit.
  The sun was setting.  The reflections from the tank were beginning to send ripples down the dark walls. Increasing  wave after wave reflecting down his dark walls.  He thought they to be seagulls flapping into the darkness until they were overcome as he was listening to the bubbling water of his tank.
                " Hello my fish, hello Angel, hello Tang, hello  Hoomah, hello Clown and hello Damsel … and hello to you Crab...even though I do not like you," he said in half jest not looking at the crab in the entrance of the rocks.  The rocks were the color of cotton candy, but the interior shadows did not possess a photon of luminescence.  All other shadows not caused by the rocks--but by bright swaying ornament--were like the glaze on a candy apple--dark but delicious.  Besides the crab's layer in the rock jumble at the center of the tank which was a Stonehenge within a Stonehenge--the tank was a world of bright inviting light.
                The crab was in its routine,  motionless in the entrance to his foyer, with his scythe-like claws in the air, in expectation of catching one of the bright fish someday.  For that reason the boy tried to remove the crab in the past, but even though the boy was fast with his hand, the optical illusion of the tank would always send his hand where the crab no longer was.  He did not know how to use two hands to rid the crab in the future by trapping and destroying the Cannibal Crab ;  his father, on a weekend visit, gave the Crab to the boy to put into the bright world of the saltwater tank, which Sake quickly regretted.  His father promised him that the Crab would not be able to catch any of the fish he said " ...***** only eat anything that has fallen to the bottom or each other..."

         A scream from the living room downstairs ran up the rickety wood and down the long hall and startled the boy.  His mother sent her shrieks out to grab the boy, allowing her to not have to waste any time nor calorie on her son; for she would tire from the stairs, but her screams would not, allowing her to stay curled up on the couch.  If she was not screaming for Sake, she was talking as loud as screams on the phone with her girlfriends.  The decibels from her laugh was torture for all in the silent house.   A haughty laugh in a gossipy conversation, that overpowered the sound of the bright tropical fish tank in Sake's room that was above and far opposite her in the living room.
               " Sake you have to get a paper-route to pay for the tank, the electricity bill is outrageous," she said while not taking her eyes off the TV and her legs curled up beside her.  He would glad fully get a paper-route even if it was for a made up reason.  He turned to go, and looked back at his mother, and a shudder ran through him with a new thought:  someday her appearance will match her voice.  

              Upon reaching his tank,  Hoomah was trying to get his attention as always.  Taking up pebbles in his big pouty pursed lips and spitting them out of his lips like a weak musket.  The Hoomah was a very silly fish, it looked like one of Sake’s aunts, with too much make up on, slightly overweight, and hovering on two little fins that looked incapable of keeping it afloat, but they did.  The fins reminded him of the legs of his aunt--skinny under not so skinny.’

               The Tang was doing his usual aquanautics , darting and sailing was his trick.  He was fast, the fastest with his bright yellow triangular sail cutting the water.  Next was the aggressive Clown fish, the boy thought she was always aggresive because she didn't have an anemone to sleep on.  The Clown was strong and sleek with an orange jaw and body that was built like a tigress.
  Sake thought something tragic about the body if the  orange Clown and the three silver traces that clawed her body as decoration -they reminded him of the incandescent orange glow of a street lamp being viewed through the rainy back windshield of a car.   The Clown fish was a distraction that craved attention.
The Clown would chase around some of the other fish and jump out of the water to catch the boy's eye. 
                 Next is the Queen Angel fish, she is the queen of the tank, she sits in back all alone, waving like a marvelous banner, iridescent purple and golden jade.  Her forehead slopes back in a French braid style that streams over her back like a kings standard waving before battle, but her standard is of a house of beauty, and that of royal purple.

                    Lastly is the Damsel Fish, the smallest and most vulnerable in the tank.  She has royal purple also, rivaling the queen. Her eyes are lashed but not lidded like the Hoomah.  Her eyes are elliptical, and perhaps the most human, or in the boy’s opinion, she is the most lady like, the Hoomah and the Queen Angel come to her defence if she is chased around by the Clown.  Her eyes penetrate the boys, to the point of him looking away.  

                      Before the tank, in its place in the corner was a painting, an oil painting of another type of Clown donning a hat with orange partial make-up on his face (only around eyes nose and mouth there was ghost white paint) and it  had two tears coming down from its right eye.  The Clown painting was given to him by his mother, it seems he could not be rid of them, but Sake at first was taken in by the brightness of the Clown, and the smooth salacious wet look of the painting. it looked dripping, or submerged, like another alternate reality.  The wet surreal glaze of the painting seemed a portal, especially the orange glow of the Clown's skin without make-up.  .  If he tried to remember of times  before the Clown painting that preceded the Clown fish, he thought of the orange saffron twilight of sunset, and watching it from the high window from his room in the towering house.  How that light changed everything that it touched, from the tree tops and the clouds, to even the dark hallway leading up to his room.  The painting and the Clown fish did not feel the same as those distant memories of sunset, especially the summer sunset when his mother would put him to bed long before the sun had set.  
Sake did not voice opposition to the Clown.
Then he was once again trapped by the Clown.  
            The boy was extremely afraid of this painting that replaced the sunsets , being confined alone with it by all those early bedtimes.
Sake once asked his mother if he could take it down, whereas she said " No."  That clown would follow him into his dreams, always he would be down the hill from the tall house on the hill, trying to walk back to the house, but to walk away or run in a dream was like walking underwater or in black space, and he would make no distance as the ground opened up and the clown came out of the ground hugging him with the pryless grip of eight arms.  He would then wake up amid screams and a tearful hatted clown staring somberly down at him from the wall where it was hung.  Night made him fear the Clown painting more;  that ghost white make-up decorating around the eyes and mouth seeming to form another painting in entirety.  He could only look at the painting after a while when the lights were on, and the wet looking painting was mostly orange from the skin, neck, and forearms of the hat wearing clown.  But the painting is gone now, and the magnificent light display of the tank is there now.  

                Sake pulled out the fish food, all the fish bestirred in anticipation of being fed.  The only time they would all come together; and that was to mumble the bits of falling flakes: a chomp from the Clown, a pucker from the Hoomah, the fast mumble of the Tang, and the dainty chew of the Damsel.  The Queen Angelfish would stay near the bottom, and kiss a flake over and over.   She would not deign herself to go into a friendly frenzy like the other fish; she stayed calm, yet alluring like a flag dancing rhythmically in the breeze, but never repeating the same move as the wind never repeats the same breeze.  She is the only fish to change colors.  When the grey skies of Mass emit through every portal in the house at the height of its bleakness, her colors would turn more fantastic, perhaps why she is queen.

                 He put his finger in the top of the watery world; the warmth was felt all the way up his arm.  After feeding, his favorite thing to do was to trace his finger on the top of the warm water and have the Damsel follow it. She loved it, it was her only time to dance, for the Clown would descend down in somewhat fear ( or annoyance) of the boys finger, and the Damsel and he would dance.  The boy, thought that extraordinary.

                     Sake bedded down that night, to his usual watery world of his room.  The reflective waves running down the walls like seagulls of light, with the rhythmic gurgling sound and it's occasional splash of the Clown, or the Hoomah swooping into the pebbly bottom to scoop up some pebbles for spitting making the sound "ccchhhhh" --cachinging  like a distant underwater register.  The tank’s nocturne sound was therapeutic to the boy.

                      Among waking up, and being greeted by his sparkling treasure tank--that was always of the faintest light in the morning due to the grey skies of Mass coming through every portal to lessen the tropical spectrum-- the boy would render his salutations " Good morning my Hoomah.....good morning Tang, my Damsel, and your majesty Queen Angel.....and so forth.  Until the scream would come to get him, and he would walk briskly past the empty room and the looming family pictures of strangers.  His mother put him to work that day, to "pay for the fish tank" but really to buy her a new cocktail dress for her nightly forays.  The boy did not care, the tank was his sun, emitting through the bleak skies of Mass, and even if the tank was reduced to a haze by the overcast of his life, it only added a log to the fire that was the tropical world at night, in turn making him welcome the dismal day.
                  On a day, when the overcast was so thick, he felt he could not picture his rectangular orb waiting for him at night. He had trouble remembering what houses to deliver the paper.  He delivered to the same house three times.  Newspapers seemed to disappear in his hands, due to their color relation to the sky.   Leaves were falling from the trees—butterfly like—he went to catch one, he missed--a first. For Sake could walk through dense thorned brambles and avoid every barb, as a knight in combat or someone’s whose heart felt the painful sting of the barb before.  He would stand under a tree in late fall, and roll around to avoid every falling leaf, and pierce them to the ground deftly with a stick fashioned as a sword.  He could slither between snow flakes, almost like a fish nimbly avoiding small flakes.  
                  After he finished his paper-route , he went to his usual spot under an oak tree to fence with falling leaves.  As the other boys walked by and poked fun he would stall his imagination, and look to the brown landscape of the dry fall.  The crisp brown leaves of the trees were sword shapes to him.  He held the battle ax shape of the oak leaf over his eye held up by the stick it was pierced through, and spied the woodline through the sinus of the oak leaf lobe.  The brown white speckled scenery, were all trying to hide behind eachother by blending in bleakfully; he pretended the leaf was Hector’s helmet from the Illiad—donned over his eyes.
“ Whatchya doing Sake?” asked a young girl named Summer.  Sake only mumbled something nervously and stood there.  And a pretty Summer passed on after Sake once again denied himself of her pretty company.  He looked to the woodline again, a mist was now concealing the tall apical trees.  It now looked like the brown woodland was not trying to retreat behind eachother in fall concealment, but trying to emerge forth out of the greyness to say "save us."

“ Damgf” he uttered, and could not even grasp a word correctly.  His head lifted to the sky repeatedly, there was no orb, and the shadows were looming larger than ever; fractioned shadows from tree branches were forming scythes all over the ground.
             He entered the large shadow that was his front door, into the house that rose high into the sky, with the simplicity of Stonehenge.  He climbed the rickety petrified stairs and went down the hall.  Grey light had spotlighted every frame on the wall.  He looked into the empty room, nothingness, then his room, the tank seemed at its faintest, and it was nearing twilight.  He walked past the tank to look out the w
howard brace Feb 2012
Inconspicuous, his presence noted only by the obscurity and the ever growing number of spent cigarette stubs that littered the ground.  It had been a long day and the rain, relentless in its tenacity had little intention of stopping, baleful clouds still  hung heavy, dominating the lateness of the afternoon sky, a rain laden skyline broken only by smoke filled chimney pots and the tangled snarl of corroded television aerials.

     The once busy street was fast emptying now, the lure of shop windows no longer enticed the casual browser as local traders closed their premises to the oncoming night, solitary lampposts curved hazily into the distance, casting little more than insipid pools mirrored in the gutter below, only the occasional stranger scurrying home on a bleak, rain swept afternoon, the hurried slap of wet leather soles on the pavement, the sightless umbrellas, the infrequent rumble of a half filled bus, hell-bent on its way to oblivion.

     In the near distance as the working day ended, a sudden emergence of factory workers told Beamish it was 5-o'clock, most would be hurrying home to a hot meal, while others, for a quick drink perhaps before making the same old sorry excuse... for Jack, the greasy spoon would be closing about now, denying him the comfort of a badly needed cuppa' and stale cheese sandwich.  A subtle legacy of lunchtime fish and chips still lingered in the air, Jack's stomach rumbled, there was little chance of a fish supper for Beamish tonight, it protested again... louder.

     From beneath the eaves of the building opposite several pigeons broke cover, startled by the rattle as a shopkeeper struggled to close the canvas awning above his shop window.  Narrowly missing Beamish they flew anxiously over the rooftops, memories of the blitz sprang to mind as Jack stepped smartly to one side, he stamped his feet... it dashed a little of the weather from his raincoat, just as the rain dashed a little of the pigeons' anxiety from the pavement... the day couldn't get much worse if it tried.  Shielding his face, Jack struck the Ronson one more time and cupped the freshly lit cigarette between his hands, it was the only source of heat to be had that day... and still it rained.

     'By Appointment to Certain Personages...' the letter heading rang out loudly... 'Jack Beamish ~ Private Investigator...' a throat choking mouthful by any stretch of the imagination, thought Jack and shot every vestige of credulity plummeting straight through the office window and amidst a fanfare of trumpet voluntary, nominate itself for a prodigious award in the New Year Honours list.   Having formally served in a professional capacity for a well known purveyor of pickled condiments, who  incidentally, brandished the same patronage emblazoned upon their extensive range of relish as the one Jack had more recently purloined from them... a paid commission no less, which by Jack's certain understanding had made him, albeit fleeting in nature, a professional consultant of said company... and consequently, if they could flaunt the auspicious emblem, then according to Jack's infallible logic, so could Jack.  

     The recently appropriated letterhead possessed certain distinction... in much the same way, Jack reasoned, that a blank piece of paper did not... and whereas correspondence bearing the heading 'By Appointment' may not exactly strike terror into the hearts of man... unlike a really strong pickled onion, it nevertheless made people think twice before playing him for the fool, which sadly, Jack had to concede, they still invariably did... and he would often catch them wagging an accusing finger or two in his direction with such platitudes as... "watch where you put your foot", they'd whisper, "that Jack's a right Shamus...", and when you'd misplaced your footing as many times as Jack had, then he reasoned, that by default the celebrated Shamus must have landed himself in more piles of indiscretion than he would readily care to admit, but that wouldn't be quite accurate either, in Jack's line of work it was the malefactor that actually dropped him in them more often than not.

     A cold shiver suddenly ran down his spine, another quickly followed as a spurt of icy water from a broken rain spout spattered across the back of his neck, he grimaced... Jack's expression spoke volumes as he took one final pull from his half soaked cigarette and flicked it, amid an eruption of sparks against the adjacent brick wall.  Sinking further into the shadow he tipped his fedora against the oncoming rain, then, digging both hands deep within his pockets, he huddled behind the upturned collar of his gabardine... watching.

     It was times such as these when Jack's mind would slip back, in much the same way you might slip back on a discarded banana peel, when a matter of some consequence, or in particular this case the pavement, would suddenly leap up from behind and give the back of Jack's head a resoundingly good slapping and tell him to "stop loafing around in office hours... or else", then drag him, albeit kicking and screaming back into the 20th century.  This intellectual assault and battery re-focused Jack's mind wonderfully as he whiled away the long weary hours until his next cigarette; cup of tea, or the last bus home, his capacity to endure such mind boggling tedium called for nothing less than sheer ******-mindedness and very little else... Beamish had long suspected that he possessed all the necessary qualifications.  

     Jack had come a long way since the early days, it had been a long haul but he'd finally arrived there in the end... and managed to pick up quite a few ***** looks along the way.  Whilst he was with the Police Constabulary... and it was only fair to stress the word 'with', as opposed to the word 'in'... although the more Jack considered, he had been 'with' the arresting officer, held 'in' the local Bridewell... detained at Her Majesties pleasure while assisting the boys in blue with their enquiries over a minor infringement of some local by-law that currently had quite slipped his mind at that moment.  Throughout this enforced leisure period he'd managed to read the entire abridged editions of Kilroy and other expansive works of graffiti exhibited in what passed locally as the next best thing to the Tate Gallery, whereupon it hadn't taken Jack very long to realise that it was always a good place to start if you wanted free breakfast, in fact the weeks bill of fare was tastefully displayed in vivid, polychromatic colour on the wall opposite... you just had to be au-fait with braille.
                            
     No matter how industrious Beamish laboured to rake the dirt there always appeared to be a dire shortage of gullible clients for Jack to squeeze, what would roughly translate as an honest crust out of, and although his financial retainer was highly competitive he understood that potential clients found it bewildering when grappling with the unplumbed depths of his monthly expense account, which would tend to fluctuate with the same unpredictability as the British weather, the rest of Jack's agenda revolved around a little shady moonlighting... in fact he'd happily consider anything to offset the remotest possibility of financial delinquency... short of extortion... which by the strangest twist was the very word prospective clients would cry while Jack beavered around the office with dust-pan and brush sweeping any concerns they may have had frantically under the carpet regarding all culpability of his extra-curricular monthly stipend... and they should remain assured at all times... as they dug deep and fished for their cheque books, and simply look upon it as kneading dough, which eerily enough was exactly the thick wedge of buttered granary that Jack had every intention of carving.

     Were there ever the slightest possibility that a day could be so utterly wretched, then today was that day, Jack felt a certain empathy as he merged with his surroundings... at one with nature as it were.  The rain, a timpani on the metal dustbin lids, by the side of which Beamish had taken up vigil, also taking up vigil and in search of a morsel was the stray mongrel, this was the third time now that he'd returned, the same apprehensive wag, yet still the same hopeful look of expectation in his eyes, a brief but friendly companion who paid more attention to Jack's left trouser leg than anything that could be had from nosing around the dustbins that day... some days you're the dog, scowled Beamish as he shook his trouser leg... and some days the lamppost, Jack's foot swung out playfully, keeping his new friend's incontinence at a safe distance, feigning indignance  the scruffy mongrel shook himself defiantly from nose to tail, a distinct odour of wet dog filled the air as an abundance of spent rainwater flew in all directions.   Pricking one ear he looked accusingly at Jack before turning and snuffled off, his nose resolutely to the pavement and diligently, picking out the few diluted scents still remaining, the poor little stalwart renewed its search for scraps, or making his way perhaps to some dry seclusion known only to itself.
  
     Two hours later and... SPLOSH, a puddle poured itself through the front door of the nearest Public House... SPLOSH, the puddle squelched over to the payphone... SPLOSH, then, fumbling for small change dialled and pressed button 'A'..., then button 'B'... then started all over again amid a flurry of precipitation... SPLASH.  The puddle floundered to the bar and ordered itself a drink, then ebbed back to the payphone again... the local taxi company doggedly refused to answer... finally, wallowing over to the window the puddle drifted up against a warm radiator amidst a cloud of humidity and came to rest... flotsam, cast upon the shore of contentment, the puddle sighed contentedly... the Landlady watched this anomaly... suspiciously.

     The puddle's finely tuned perception soon got to grips with the unhurried banter and muffled gossip drifting along the bar, having little else to loose, other than what could still be wrung from his clothing... Beamish, working on the principle that a little eavesdropping was his stock-in-trade engaged instinct into overdrive and casually rippled in their general direction...  They were clearly regulars by the way one of them belched in a well rehearsed, taken-a-back sort of way as Jack took stock of the situation and was now at some pains to ingratiate himself into their exclusive midst and attempt several friendly, yet relevant questions pertinent to his enquiries... all of which were skillfully deflected with more than friendly, yet totally irrelevant answers pertinent to theirs'... and would Jack care for a game of dominoes', they enquired... if so, would he be good enough to pay the refundable deposit, as by common consent it just so happened to be his turn...  Jack graciously declined this generous offer, as the obliging Landlady, just as graciously, cancelled the one shilling returnable deposit from the cash register, such was the flow of light conversation that evening... they didn't call him Lucky Jack for nothing... discouraged, Beamish turned back to the bar and reached for his glass... to which one of his recent companions, and yet again just as graciously, had taken the trouble to drink for him... the Landlady gave Jack a knowing look, Beamish returned the heartfelt sentiment and ordered one more pint.

     From the licenced premises opposite, a myriad of jostling customers plied through the door, business was picking up... the sudden influx of punters rapidly persuaded Beamish to retire from the bar and find a vacant table.  Sitting, he removed several discarded crisp packets from the centre of the table only to discover a freshly vacated ashtray below... by sleight of hand Jack's Ronson appeared... as he lit the cigarette the fragile smoke curled blue as it rose... influenced by subtle caprice, it joined others and formed a horizontal curtain dividing the room, a delicate, undulating layer held between two conflicting forces.

     The possibility of a free drink soon attracted the attention of a local bar fly, who, hovering in the near vicinity promptly landed in Jack's beer, Beamish declined this generous offer as being far too nutritious and with the corner of yesterdays beer mat, flipped the offending organism from the top of his glass, carefully inspecting his drink for debris as he did so.

     A sudden draught and clip of stiletto heels as the side door opened caused Beamish to turn as a double shadow slipped discreetly into the friendly Snug... a little adulterous intimacy on an otherwise cheerless evening.  The faceless man, concealed beneath a fedora and the upturned collar of his overcoat, the surreptitious lady friend, decked out in damp cony, cheap perfume and a surfeit of bling proclaimed a not too infrequent assignation, he'd seen it all before... the over attentive manner and the band of white, Sun-starved skin recently hidden behind a now absent wedding token, ordinarily it was the sort of assignment Jack didn't much care for... the discreet tail, the candid snapshot through half drawn curtains... and the all too familiar steak tartare... for the all too familiar black eye.

     To the untrained eye, the prospect of Jack's long anticipated supper was rapidly dwindling, when it suddenly focused with renewed vigour upon the contents of a pickled egg jar he'd observed earlier that evening, lurking on the back counter, his enthusiasm swiftly diminished however as the belching customer procured the final two specimens from the jar and proceeded to demolish them.  Who, Jack reflected, after being stood out in the rain all day, had egg all over his face now... and who, he reflected deeper, still had an empty stomach.  Disillusioned, Jack tipped back his glass and considered a further sortie with the taxicab company.

     "FIVE-BOB"!!! Jack screamed... you could have shredded the air with a cheese grater... hurtling into the kerb like a fairground attraction came flying past the chequered flag at a record breaking 99 in Jack's top 100 most not wanted list of things to do that day... and that the cabby should think himself fortunate they weren't both stretched flat on a marble slab, "exploding tyres" Jack spluttered, dribbling down his chin, were enough to give anyone a coronary... further broadsides of neurotic ambiance filled the cab as the driver, miffed at the prospect of missing snooker night out with the lads, considered charging extra for the additional space Jack's profanity was taking...

     And what part of 'Drive-Carefully', fumed Beamish, did the cabby simply not understand, that pavements were there to be bypassed, 'Nay Circumvented', preferably on the left... and not veered into, wildly on the front axle... an eerie premonition of 'jemais-vu' perched and ready to strike like a disembodied Jiminy Cricket on Jack's left shoulder, looking to stick its own two-penny worth in at the 'Standing-Room-Only' arrangements in the overcrowded cab... and at what further point, Jack shrieked, eyes leaping from his head as he lurched forward, shaking his fist through the sliding glass partition, had the cabbie failed to grasp the importance of the word 'Steering-Wheel...' someone wanted horse whipping, and as far as Beamish was concerned the sole contender was the cab driver...

     In having a somewhat sedate and unruffled disposition it had fallen to Beamish... as befalls all great leaders in times of adversity, to single handedly take the bull by the horns, so to speak and at great personal cost, alert the unwary passing motorist...  Waving his arms about like a man possessed whilst performing acrobatic evolutions in the centre of the road as the cabby changed the wheel came whizzing around the corner at a back breaking 98 on Jack's ever growing list... and why, Jack puzzled, why had they all lowered their side windows and gestured back at him in semaphore..?  Rallying to its aid, Jack's head and shoulders now joined his shaking fist through the sliding glass partition and into the cabby's face, "Who" Beamish screeched with renewed vigour ,"Who Was The Man", Jack wanted to know... *"a
Ma Cherie Sep 2016
Speaking of broken hearts
and mended fenced in mem'ries  
I am painting skies
of tangerine, saffron
& an illuminated lilac hue
against the starkly contrasted crisp cornflower blue, stretching canvas that is
along with all the
other blindingly beautiful colors of a twilight sky

And those dripping cotton candy stratospheric clouds
Ice crystals freezing into supercooled
water droplets
Streaking the sky in cirrus whispers
..I hear them whisper, "hello"...

Blinding beauty
through unadulterated sunlight
I am fleeced like a lamb
watching in awe,
..in wonder
then stomping sounds
of coming thunder,

Finding depth and height
out  in the stratosphere
Blinded by the
After Light
or afterglow
affected by the amount of haze
I'm in a daze
...as I am reaching

High above the fading light
of a brilliant early fall sunset
I take a big breath
of that sumptuous air
and twirl my skirted legs
my painted toes
where I know
I am back
to solid ground

Appreciating the last time
I say sleep well
to you  my dear
summertimes sweet mem'ries
and the fun we had this year.

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

Each time she lifted me I felt closer
to the heavens. I raised my chin
and let the gentle kiss of raindrops
wash away my sins, cleansing
and revitalizing my body like a baptism.
I’ll never forget the smell of the rain
on the freshly-sprouted grass, with dew drops
made from the breath of my friends
hanging delicately in the sweet air
like glass beads strung on a wire
while the crisp wind carried me higher and higher
and the most brilliant masterpiece ever created
was painted across the entire night sky.
Claire Sep 2014
No I won't call it fall.
Crisp is the feeling.
Crisp is the taste.
Apples on the trees.
Wind through the air.
The leaves carry my soul.
Everlasting into the winters edge.
Hold me close my dear.
It's that crisp time of year.
D Conors Sep 2010
Crisp, the fallen leaves now pile,
the times are changing, Autumn-style,
breezes rake the tippy-tops of trees,
bare branches rattle like skeleton keys.
Subtle September has come once again,
tipping its hat to the Summer's end,
makes clear and crisp the evening air,
the harvest season now sidles near,
grass and weeds will wither dry,
scythes and sickles swing low and high,
gourds of pumpkins soon will burst in patches,
fat apples drop down cider-press hatches,
so soon those sugary coats of frost shall rise,
and sharp, chilly winds will sting teary eyes,
fruit pies will bake, brown nuts will roast,
glasses of wine shall arise in toasts,
to the approach of yet another Fall,
before the stark-white of Winter blankets all.
D. Conors
11 September 2010
ArianaRusso May 2014
Crisp air, crisp air

wistful  whisper
weeping writhe

Crisp air, crisp air

Pale eyes, dainty lips

Crisp air, crisp air

Thaw
amorous embrace

Flushed air, flushed air

wistful kiss, crimson lips

blossom, bloom
bloodless doom

Pleased ease from a faithful and analeptic ******

-Rouse, rise, awaken

just a delusion, dream;
Only musing

Fizzle
JJ Hutton Dec 2012
Spending the last day with Maegan Finn,*
who, turns out, prefers to be called Mae

11:35 p.m.

I burn the popcorn. Just the pieces against the bag's underbelly.
Like a nightclub bouncer, I decide which pieces to let inside
a white, ancient bowl. One, on which, a former roommate scrawled
"THIS MACHINE KILLS MUNCHIES" upon its side in red, permanent ink.
I never said the night would be

perfect. But when I walk into my bedroom carrying the snack fiasco,
I know Ms. Maegan Finn doesn't mind. Something between her vine-framed,
honey irises and my gaze, some mischievous energy, causes her to lower
her head. She allows a smile. She's sitting on my twin-sized bed. Her back to a pillow
to the

wall. An empty pillow beside her waits for me. With one hand she moves her hot chocolate
to the side, with the other she lifts my calico comforter for me to climb under. I never
said the night would be

perfect. But I know Ms. Maegan Finn doesn't mind. Because when I say, "I'm sorry. I didn't really plan for this," nervous laugh, "this is the worst final meal of all-time. You can leave if you want.
You don't have to go down with the ship."

She responds, "I don't mind," raises an eyebrow as she reads the bowl. Dismisses it. And grabs a handful of popcorn. On the television, a white-haired man with heavy jowls and tree bark wrinkles begins to talk.

...planet Earth will be recycled. The universe recycled.

"So, when does this guy think the world will end?" I ask.

"Midnight."

"Chris said two."

"Two p.m.? Like today? Like already past?"

"Yeah."

Maegan shakes her head,"Stupid *******."

11:40 p.m.

"So, if I hadn't botched dinner, what would you have chosen for your last meal?"

"Well, Joshy-poo, I'd have to say popcorn and hot chocolate."

"Seriously."

"It's salty. It's sweet. The temperatures compliment each other.
It shouldn't work, but it does. If the world wasn't ending,
I'd suggest you open a restaurant."

"C'mon. What would your last meal be?"

...with friends. Cling to your loved ones as the final minutes pass by.
The world becomes perfect. The calendar pages turn no...

"Do you remember Waffle Crisp?" she breaks gently.

"You've got to be kidding me."

"Hold on."

"Any meal on the planet. Anything! And you choose-"

"Waffle Crisp."

"Oh, that terrible commercial with the grannies in disguise."

"Grannies and all," staring at the reflective surface of the hot chocolate,
she begins talking in distant pieces like reading off a teleprompter,
"Waffle            Crisp            reminds

me           of           my

              dad."

"I see."

A commercial is on for ******. I never said the night would be

perfect.

...picking the right moment is easy with...

"Why do you think of your dad?"

Maegan releases a deep exhale/tension-laugh.

"I don't know. I mean, I

guess it's because every morning -- well, before my parents got divorced --
he'd come down the stairs, mess up my hair -- God, I'd get so mad --, and
he'd say,
'Mae, may the world learn from your perfection today.'
He'd kiss my forehead. I'd eat Waffle Crisp. I remember the smell -- the shapes."

11:51 p.m.

...less than ten minutes. Go outside with your families
look to the

heavens...

"How's the world supposed to end? Has he said?" Maegan asks.

With a finger raised, I finish chewing my popcorn.

"The planets are aligning right?"

"Yeah, I've heard that. I've heard the Mayans just
ended their calendars on the

date. But I don't know how either of those scenarios make the world end, though."

"Exploding sun?"

"Maybe an asteroid?"

"Could be," I say.

Ms. Maegan Finn rests her head on my shoulder. "You should ask another question."

"Um, okay."

...Security Systems. Are your children safe?

"I got one," I grab the remote and turn down the television. "What is something you haven't told

anyone? One secret that otherwise would die with you."

"I hate the name Maegan."

"Why?"

"It's a terrible name."

"Is not."

"It is too. First off, not only did my parents indulge the cruelty of switching the 'a' and 'e',

but

then they went ahead and gave me the most common girl's name on the planet.
I don't stand out until I say, 'Excuse me, you misspelled my name.' It's not funny.
Hell, even when I say that, their usual response is, 'No, I didn't misspell your name.'
Because they'd know."  Flustered, Maegan puts the white, ancient bowl of popcorn on the ground. "And get this away from me."

"What would you rather be called?"

"Mae. Just Mae. I always liked it."

"Alright, Ms. Mae."

...hoisted unto judgement. Some without absolution...

"What about you, Mr. Josh? What's your secret?"

I take a sip of hot chocolate. I look at the bare wall behind the television, and wish I had
decorated it, but I

never did. The paintings are even in my closet. They just need to be put up.

"I love you."

"What?"

"I love you, Mae."

Mae smiles wide. Puts her hand on my shoulder, "Your'e joking right?"

"Nope."

"That's a bold secret to tell," she laughs.

"Not the reaction I was expecting."

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry. It's just -- what happens tomorrow? When I have to see you again."

"I'm betting on the exploding sun."

"Or the asteroid."

"Or the asteroid."

11:59 p.m.

...a matter of seconds until we are cast like dice into the blackness of...

Mae takes my hot chocolate. Places the porcelain cups on the carpeted floor. With a "c'mere" she peels me off the pillow, off the wall. Moves the pillow to the head of the bed. She guides my body until I'm lying down. Straddling me, she leans down. Traces my shoulder blades, then softly latches on to them. She leans further.

...9, 8, 7...*

A kiss.

A long kiss. The weight transfers from my body into her, then is carried toward the ceiling by some mischievous energy. At the end of the world, Ms. Mae Finn kisses me. Kisses me despite popcorn. Despite hot chocolate. Despite love confessed too soon. Just when I never want that minute to end, it




ends.



12:00 a.m.
          
               But a new minute begins.

"That was perfect," Mae says.
Toothache May 2018
Thick, warm, fuzzy air
Radiates against your skin, making you want to doze off
You sit on the front of a low red car that looks another era, leaning on the glossy hood.
I want to put your lips on mine
The world feels yellow, and orange.
It's as if clear smoke has filled the air
My eyes are dimmed through thick sunglasses, my body absorbing the warmth through jeans and a small black shirt
I'm in a lucid daze
Looking at you through a curtain of straight black hair, not bothered to move it from my face.
You're eyes the crisp refreshing blue in a world tinted amber
Like fresh water, so cooling as I gaze in them.
Like a spray of water on your back
After hours of sunbathing
We sit there
We say nothing
We take in the sun
   We don't need anything else
Bouazizi’s heavy eyelids parted as the Muezzin recited the final call for the first Adhan of the day.

“As-salatu Khayrun Minan-nawm”
Prayer is better than sleep

Rising from the torment of another restless night, Bouazizi wiped the sleep from his droopy eyes as his feet touched the cold stone floor.

Throughout the frigid night, the devilish jinn did their work, eagerly jabbing away at Bouazizi with pointed sticks, tormenting his troubled conscience with the worry of his nagging indebtedness. All night the face of the man Bouazizi owed money to haunted him. Bouazizi could see the man’s greasy lips and brown teeth jawing away, inches from his face. He imagined chubby caffeine stained fingers reaching toward him to grab some dinars from Bouazizi’s money box.

Bouazizi turned all night like he was sleeping on a board of spikes. His prayers for a restful night again went unanswered. The pall of a blue fatigue would shadow Bouazizi for most of the day.

Bouazizi’s weariness was compounded by a gnawing hunger. By force of habit, he grudgingly opened the food cupboard with the foreknowledge that it was almost bare. Bouazizi’s premonition proved correct as he surveyed a meager handful of chickpeas, some eggs and a few sparse loaves. It was just enough to feed his dependant family; younger brothers and sisters, cousins and a terminally disabled uncle. That left nothing for Bouazizi but a quick jab to his empty gut. He would start this day without breakfast.

Bouazizi made a living as a street vendor. He hustles to survive. Bouazizi’s father died in a construction accident in Libya when he was three. Since the age of 10, Bouazizi had pushed a cart through the streets of Sidi Bouzid; selling fruit at the public market just a few blocks from the home that he has lived in for almost his entire life.

At 27 years of age, Bouazizi has wrestled the beast of deprivation since his birth. To date, he has bravely fought it to a standstill; but day after day the multi-headed hydra of life has snapped at him. He has squarely met the eyes of the beast with fortitude and resolve; but the sharp fangs of a hardscrabble life has sunken deep into Bouazizi’s spleen. The unjust rules of society are powerful claws that slash away at his flesh, bleeding him dry: while the spiked tendrils of poverty wrap Bouazizi’s neck, seeking to strangle him.

Bouazizi is a workingman hero; a skilled warrior in the fight for daily bread. He is accustomed to living a life of scarcity. His daily deliverance is the grace of another day of labor and the blessed wages of subsistence.

Though Allah has blessed this man with fortitude the acuteness of terminal want and the constant struggle to survive has its limits for any man; even for strong champions like Bouazizi.

This morning as Bouazizi washed he peered into a mirror, closely examining new wrinkles on his stubble strewn face. He fingered his deep black curls dashed with growing streaks of gray. He studied them through the gaze of heavy bloodshot eyes. He looked upward as if to implore Allah to salve the bruises of daily life.

Bouazizi braced himself with the splash of a cold water slap to his face. He wiped his cheeks clean with the tail of his shirt. He dipped his toothbrush into a box of baking powder and scoured an aching back molar in need of a root canal. Bouazizi should see a dentist but it is a luxury he cannot afford so he packed an aspirin on top of the infected tooth. The dissolving aspirin invaded his mouth coating his tongue with a bitter effervescence.

Bouazizi liked the taste and was grateful for the expectation of a dulled pain. He smiled into the mirror to check his chipped front tooth while pinching a cigarette **** from an ashtray. The roach had one hit left in it. He lit it with a long hard drag that consumed a good part of the filter. Bouazizi’s first smoke of the day was more filter then tobacco but it shocked his lungs into the coughing flow of another day.

Bouazizi put on his jacket, slipped into his knockoff NB sneakers and reached for a green apple on a nearby table. He took a big bite and began to chew away the pain of his toothache.

Bouazizi stepped into the street to catch the sun rising over the rooftops. He believed that seeing the sunrise was a good omen that augured well for that day’s business. A sunbeam braking over a far distant wall bathed Bouazizi in a golden light and illumined the alley where he parked his cart holding his remaining stock of week old apples. He lifted the handles and backed his cart out into the street being extra mindful of the cracks in the cobblestone road. Bouazizi sprained his ankle a week ago and it was still tender. Bouazizi had to be careful not to aggravate it with a careless step. Having successfully navigated his cart into the road, Bouazizi made a skillful U Turn and headed up the street limping toward the market.

A winter chill gripped Bouazizi prompting him to zip his jacket up to his neck. The zipper pinched his Adam’s Apple and a few droplets of blood stained his green corduroy jacket. Though it was cold, Bouazizi sensed that spring would arrive early this year triggering a replay of a recurring daydream. Bouazizi imagined himself behind the wheel of a new van on his way to the market. Fresh air and sunshine pouring through the open windows with the cargo space overflowing with fresh vegetables and fruits.

It was a lifelong ambition of Bouazizi to own a van. He dreamed of buying a six cylinder Dodge Caravan. It would be painted red and he would call it The Red Flame. The Red Flame would be fast and powerful and sport chrome spinners. The Red Flame would be filled with music from a Blaupunkt sound system with kick *** speakers. Power windows, air conditioning, leather seats, a moonroof and plenty of space in the back for his produce would complete Bouazizi’s ride.

The Red Flame would be the vehicle Bouazizi required to expand his business beyond the market square. Bouazizi would sell his produce out of the back of the van, moving from neighborhood to neighborhood. No longer would he have to wait for customers to come to his stand in the market. Bouazizi would go to his customers. Bouazizi and the Red Flame would be known in all the neighborhoods throughout the district. Bouazizi shook his head and smiled thinking about all the girls who would like to take rides in the Red Flame. Bouazizi and his Red Flame would be a sight to be noticed and a force to be reckoned with.

“EEEEEYOWWW” a Mercedes horn angrily honked; jarring Bouazizi from the reverie of his daydream. A guy whipping around the corner like a silver streak stuck his head out the window blasting with music yelling, “Hey Mnayek, watch where you push that *******.”

The music faded as the Mercedes roared away. “Barra nikk okhtek” Bouazizi yelled, raising his ******* in the direction of the vanished car. “The big guys in the fancy cars think the road belongs to them”, Bouazizi mumbled to himself.

The insult ****** Bouazizi off, but he was accustomed to them and as he limped along pushing his cart he distracted himself with the amusement of the ascending sun chasing the fleeting shadows of the night, sending them scurrying down narrow alleyways.

Bouazizi imaged himself a character from his favorite movie. He was a giant Transformer, chasing the black shadows of evil away from the city into the desert. After battling evil and conquering the bad guys, he would transform himself back into the regular Bouazizi; selling his produce to the people as he patrolled the highways of Tunisia in the Red Flame, the music blasting out the windows, the chrome spinners flashing in the sunlight. Bouazizi would remain vigilant, always ready to transform the Red Flame to fight the evil doers.

The bumps and potholes in the road jostled Bouazizi’s load of apples. A few fell out of the wooden baskets and were rolling around in the open spaces of the cart. Bouazizi didn’t want to risk bruising them. Damaged merchandise can’t be sold so he was careful to secure his goods and arrange his cart to appeal to women customers. He made sure to display his prized electronic scale in the corner of the cart for all to see.

Bouazizi had a reputation as a fair and generous dealer who always gave good value to his customers. Bouazizi was also known for his kindness. He would give apples to hungry children and families who could not pay. Bouazizi knew the pain of hunger and it brought him great satisfaction to be able to alleviate it in others.

As a man who valued fairness, Bouazizi was particularly proud of his electronic scale. Bouazizi was certain the new measuring device assured all customers that Bouazizi sold just and correct portions. The electronic scale was Bouazizi’s shining lamp. He trusted it. He hung it from the corner post of his cart like it was the beacon of a lighthouse guiding shoppers through the treachery of an unscrupulous market. It would attract all customers who valued fairness to the safe harbor of Bouazizi’s cart.

The electronic scale is Bouazizi’s assurance to his customers that the weights and measures of electronic calculation layed beyond any cloud of doubt. It is a fair, impartial and objective arbiter for any dispute.

Bouazizi believed that the fairness of his scale would distinguish his stand from other produce vendors. Though its purchase put Bouazizi into deep debt, the scale was a source of pride for Bouazizi who believed that it would help his profits to increase and help him to achieve his goal of buying the Red Flame.

As Bouazizi pushed his cart toward the market, he mulled his plan over in his mind for the millionth time. He wasn't great in math but he was able to calculate his financial situation with a degree of precision. His estimations triggered worries that his growing debt to money lenders may be difficult to payoff.

Indebtedness pressed down on Bouazizi’s chest like a mounting pile of stones. It was the source of an ever present fear coercing Bouazizi to live in a constant state of anxiety. His business needed to grow for Bouazizi to get a measure of relief and ultimately prosper from all his hard work. Bouazizi was driven by urgency.

The morning roil of the street was coming alive. Bouazizi quickened his step to secure a good location for his cart at the market. Car horns, the spewing diesel from clunking trucks, the flatulent roar of accelerating buses mixed with the laughs and shrieks of children heading to school composed the rising crescendo of the city square.

As he pushed through the market, Bouazizi inhaled the aromatic eddies of roasting coffee floating on the air. It was a pleasantry Bouazizi looked forward to each morning. The delicious wafts of coffee mingling with the crisp aroma of baking bread instigated a growl from Bouazizi’s empty stomach. He needed to get something to eat. After he got money from his first sale he would by a coffee and some fried dough.

Activity in the market was vigorous, punctuated by the usual arguments of petty territorial disputes between vendors. The disagreements were always amicably resolved, burned away in rising billows of roasting meats and vegetables, the exchange of cigarettes and the plumes of tobacco smoke rising as emanations of peace.

Bouazizi skillfully maneuvered his cart through the market commotion. He slid into his usual space between Aaban and Aameen. His good friend Aaban sold candles, incense, oils and sometimes his wife would make cakes to sell. Aameen was the markets most notorious jokester. He sold hardware and just about anything else he could get his hands on.

Aaban was already burning a few sticks of jasmine incense. It helped to attract customers. The aroma defined the immediate space with the pleasant bouquet of a spring garden. Bouazizi liked the smell and appreciated the increased traffic it brought to his apple cart.

“Hey Basboosa#, do you have any cigarettes?“, Aameen asked as he pulled out a lighter. Bouazizi shook the tip of a Kent from an almost empty pack. Aameen grabbed the cigarette with his lips.

“That's three cartons of Kents you owe me, you cheap *******.” Bouazizi answered half jokingly. Aameen mumbled a laugh through a grin tightly gripping the **** as he exhaled smoke from his nose like a fire breathing dragon. Bouazizi also took out a cigarette for himself.

“Aameem, give me a light”, Bouazizi asked.

Aameen tossed him the lighter.

“Keep it Basboosa. I got others.” Aameen smiled as he showed off a newly opened box of disposable lighters to sell on his stand.

“Made in China, Basboosa. They make everything cheap and colorful. I can make some money with these.”

Bouazizi lit his next to last cigarette. He inhaled deeply. The smoke chased away the cool air in Bouazizi’s lungs with a shot of a hot nicotine rush.

“Merci Aameen” Bouazizi answered. He put the lighter into the almost empty cigarette pack and put it into his hip pocket. The lighter would protect his last cigarette from being crushed.

The laughter and shouts of the bazaar, the harangue of radio voices shouting anxious verses of Imam’s exhorting the masses to submit and the piecing ramble of nondescript AM music flinging piercing unintelligible static surrounded Bouazizi and his cart as he waited for his first customers of the day.

Bouazizi sensed a nervous commotion rise along the line of vendors. A crowd of tourists and locals milling about parted as if to avoid a slithering asp making its way through their midst. The hoots of vendors and the cackle of the crowd made its way to Bouazizi’s knowing ear. He knew what was coming. It was nothing more then another shakedown by city officials acting as bagmen for petty municipal bureaucrats. They claim to be checking vendor licences but they’re just making the rounds collecting protection money from the vendors. Pocketing bribes and payoffs is the municipal authorities idea of good government. They are skilled at using the power of their office to extort tribute from the working poor.

Bouazizi made the mistake of making eye contact with Madame Hamdi. As the municipal authority in charge of vendors and taxis Madame Hamdi held sway over the lives of the street vendors. She relished the power she had over the men who make a meager living selling goods in the square; and this morning she was moving through the market like a bloodhound hot on the trail of an escaped convict. Two burly henchmen lead the way before her. Bouazizi knew Madame Hamdi’s hounds were coming for him.

Bouazizi knew he was ******. Having just made a payment to his money lender, Bouazizi had no extra dinars to grease the palm of Madame Hamdi. He grabbed the handle bars of his cart to make an escape; but Madame Hamdi cut him off and got right into into Bouazizi’s face.

“Ah little Basboosa where are you going? she asked with the tone of playful contempt.

“I suppose you still have no license to sell, ah Basboosa?” Madame Hamdi questioned with the air of a soulless inquisitor.

“You know Madame Hamdi, cart vendors do not need a license.” Bouazizi feebly protested, not daring to look into her eyes.

“Basboosa, you know we can overlook your violations with a small fine for your laxity” a dismissive Madame Hamdi offered.

Bouazizi’s sense of guilt would not permit him to lift his eyes. His head remained bowed. Bouazizi stood convicted of being one of the impoverished.

“I have no spare dinars to offer Madame Hamdi, My pockets are empty, full of holes. My money falls into everyone’s palm but my own. I’m sorry Madame Hamdi. I’ll take my cart home”. He lifted the handlebars in an attempt to escape. One of Madame Hamdi’s henchmen stepped in front of his cart while the other pushed Bouazizi away from it.

“Either you pay me a vendor tax for a license or I will confiscate your goods Basboosa”, Madame Hamdi warned as she lifted Bouazizi’s scale off its hook.

“This will be the first to go”, she said grinning as she examined the scale. “We’ll just keep this.”
Like a mother lion protecting a defenseless cub from the snapping jaws of a pack of ravenous hyenas, Bouazizi lunged to retrieve his prized scale from the clutches of Madame Hamdi. Reaching for it, he touched the scale with his fingertips just as Madame Hamdi delivered a vicious slap to Bouazizi’s cheek. It halted him like a thunderbolt from Zeus.

A henchman overturned Bouazizi’s cart, scatter
Three years ago today Muhammad Bouazizi set himself on fire igniting the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia sparking the Arab Spring Uprisings of 2011.
Mateuš Conrad Feb 2020
why did i ever go out on a friday night?
drinks with "friends" and hitting the essex
club "scene" -
well - no much of a scene -
there was never the music you'd want to listen
to: come friday or saturday -
even mid-week when all the rock kids
were "hanging out" -
what would be chances of being your own d.j. -
catching something really new...
POIZON - church is poizon -
cool mom - something between a crossbreed
of cage the elephants and nirvana on blew -
3rd view - moi -
but i used to: and i remember that gehenna of
a sobering walk - alone after a night out -
like some furious son of sam -
when youth still had the adrenaline with it
and a sense of anger ******* around with
disillusionment -

those were the friday nights: bon jovi highlights
and long hair and milking a somewhat androgynous
look - sometimes the mascara would come out...
those were the days of having milk skin
and a proper shave -
the long hair and the waistcoast and cravat: semi-,

the lonesome story before i met my beard:
fwyday mordaithceirch -
i actually have a name for it...
i forgot what's already the designated
whittle pecker mr. pritchard of the down down:
below...

oh, oh so what...
rough friday nights in my youth -
on the clubbing "scene" -
and always that moral hangover when it came
to drinking with others -
ever since i started drinking by myself:
i forgot the mirror and that bucket
of warm water beside my bed to put my hand
in before going to sleep...
once or twice the company was worth the drink -
but most of the time you only kept
such company: because you were drinking -
drinking was never an afterthought -

now... i like drinking alone -
at least i can keep fact-checking the company
and the odd vocab peacock taking to the catwalk
of a ruminating free-fall tongue waggle
and rummage - the needle in the haystack
adventure - or... the ******* bucket
of deshelled oysters...

there have been some awful friday nights -
but: seeing how i started to give my beard
a welsh name borrowed from a willem dafoe
novel - and how it simply became pointless
to wake the dead with the angry tantrums
of youth: and how i seem to have
forgotten where my 20s "went" -
somehow rooted in: da-sein and how
i "wasted" 2 years on one book by kant -
2 years on one book by heidegger -
and: how i didn't have the time to "catch-up"
on the greek classics -

oh these island dwelling people -
i try to imagine them not being a seafaring:
and their messiah / superiority complex -
with their breakfast that could hardly
be digested come the hour of noon -
or no messiah / superiority complex -
the traffic: indeed - works like clockword...
from left to right...
sidenote: what of fahrenheit and
the feet and inches - stones and pounds?
ounces?
the metric of: baseline 0 here,
baseline 00 over there...

no... Michele Campanella piano solo take
on wagner's das rheingelt: entry of the gods into
valhalla - it's hardly anemic -
it's... the last leaf of autumn falling -
because the crescendo has already happened...
a befitting closure...

the superior island folk and their...
hyphens and germanic loan words -
how almost all names in chemistry are still
in their germanic: intact form of: no hyphen:
broken leg or broken arm...

woodwinds... perhaps... the violins providing
the humming of birds:
chirp chirp: no chirping -
and of course the horn - but the horns never
as prominent as those drank from...

something has happened today -
but i am... left without having any english
sensibility / egalitarianism -
somehow i always equate egalitarianism with
the english - the islanders -
a firework went off in the background -
mr. sloth awoke mrs. slouch after 3 years
for a firecracker celebration...

because who would want to be ruled
over by unelected: chocolatiers...
esp. after their trial run in the Congo -
but i have certainly had worse friday nights...

it can't exactly get much worse than...
say... listening to the siegfried idyll...
multitasking: drinking a cider, smoking a cigarette,
balancing act of folded leg sat on
perched on a windowsill solving a no. 11,289
sudoku from the 27th jan. 2020...
otherwise prior to:
imagine my disbelief at the pleasure -

with numbers to somehow escape thinking in words:
no grand arithmetic linear gymnastics -
of the end result -
certainly no logical statements -
just a whirlwind of numbers complimenting
these few words...
and what a fine friday night it has become:

the pizza was made - god save me from the perfume
of yeast... or checking on the rising dough
from time to time -
the leftover yeast gave me the opportunity
to bake an imitation sourdough crust pretty-as-a-picture
loaf that: would make any mushroom blush
and shy away from unfolding into an umbrella pose...
or a Y... curling outward-inward into an upsilon Υ...

because how could i forget the pleasure of
sifting through numbers?
by the time i attempted puzzle no. 11,290
i had to write a "map"

           a             b             c
      x   x   x   x   x   x   x   x   x  
1)   x   x   x   x   x   x   x   x   x
      x   x   x   x   x   x   x   x   x
      x   x   x   x   x   x   x   x   x
2)   x   x   x   x   x   x   x   x   x
      x   x   x   x   x   x   x   x   x
      x   x   x   x   x   x   x   x   x
3)   x   x   x   x   x   x   x   x   x
      x   x   x   x   x   x   x   x   x

come to think of it... where's a subscript?
if i'm going to use 1, 2, 3...
to tier the allocation of squares...
tennis and sudoku...
tennis: a game of 7 rectangles -
and how many judges and ball boys / girls?
sudoku - a puzzle of 10 squares - perhaps...
if i'll use tiers 1, 2, 3: a1, b2, c3...
what if... sudoku invoked letters rather than
numbers?

much later... oh believe me...
this is the antithesis of knausgård
writing about using googlemaps...
        
           a             b             c
      x   x   x   x   x   x   x   x   x  
1)   x   x   x   3   x   x   6   x   4
      x   x   x   2   x   4   x   8   9
      x   1   9   x   4   x   x   6   2
2)   x   x   x   7   x   x   x   5   x
      x   x   2   x   x   8   x   4   x
      x   2   x   x   x   x   x   x   x
3)   x   x   6   1   9   5   x   x   3
      x   3   8   4   x   x   x   7   x

it's still a schematic - the narrative is yet
to begin... otherwise...
there's nothing smart about this...
i have tired eyes sometimes:
i succumb and have to allow myself
to no acid-bath these eyes in words...

esp. since i speak so rarely -
imagine... in england and i spear
the bare minimum of english -
i can: i have to: i will - when being prompted -
but i can't remember the last time
i had an honest: informal exchange
of letters... lapped up by the glutton
tongue... i looked and looked
and with my silence i can attest:
there's a speech-impediment -
a stutter that's not born from nervousness...
but... an allusion to a "stoic" through
my lack of conversation...

at least on paper i can exfoliate -
enough cider and enoug whiskey and i'm all
sparrow McDermott!
ugh... the devolved scots and the likewise
welsh... devolved nations...
only this aspect of Brexit is... well...
imagine the "evolved" status of post-Yugoslavia...
Kosovo...
this is the only aspect of an otherwise:
fair enough that's... well...
if you lived for 3 years among the scots...
you'd get to appreciate them...
this is the only aspect of this whole affair
i will ever appreciate...
i would pour blood and **** into
the Welsh continuing their...
preservation of the iaith...
forever and the more - i would love to see
scotland start to dig trenches and
forget trainspotting gaelic -
parading like ponces and humpty dumpteys
with "harkccents"... glasgewian bull-runnings...
cousins aye and wee -

a thing of beauty: a thing of union...
but this... they were bullied in brussels...
they came back and started to bully the scots...
if you have lived -
the betas of cardiff - but they tongue: remains!
look far back and wales would encompass
cornwall -
ignorant i of a 26 year "servitude" on these isles...
quiz me on outside of London:
no point...
perhaps i too would wish for the lost
theta in Dublin - towing: to t'ink...
as any sanskrit H-surd does matter...

           a             b             c
      x   x   x   x   x   x   x   x   x  
1)   x   x   x   3   x   x   6   x   4
      x   x   x   2   x   4   x   8   9
      x   1   9   x   4   x   x   6   2
2)   x   x   x   7   x   x   x   5   x
      x   x   2   x   x   8   x   4   x
      x   2   x   x   x   x   x   x   x
3)   x   x   6   1   9   5   x   x   3
      x   3   8   4   x   x   x   7   x

but if i will replace... the side tiers of numbers...
the numbers in the puzzle will have to become
letters - greek... probably iota, epsilon and upper-case
gamma...

the bullied have returned from the palance
of the chocalatiers and: back to their old ways
of bullying the rest of these island folk...
because: it's infantile for me imagine
a resurrection of the crown (poland)
and the grand duchy of lithuania -
the commonwealth -
but somehow the united kingdom is not
fated to become the next yugoslavia -

i can confirm - up in edinburgh i was
confirmed by having the hat of Knox having
scalped me -
never is always metaphor: vaguely -
as in literally - in these quasi-paragraphs...
so it's not... infantile to even "think" that
the british empire can be revived?
zee window-licker spezials of
cross-breed h'americana postcards sent?
i nibble to attempt a joke...

oh i can bulldozer this whole narrative...
turn into a berserker -
i've saved enough money to deal
with the label loser...
all it will take is me having drunk enough -
sightseeing the slums of london's east end
and then hitting the brothel:
like an iron-head... to the pillow
and the ***** of a *******...

because i have had worse friday nights...
terrible company...
if i were not a michel de montaigne or a knausgård:
me me me, me me, me me me me,
write enough of that and:
to meme to grafitti... or to...
why are there no diacritical markers in
the english language worthy of recognition?
why would i...
rhoi fy **** y Cymraeg enw?
give my beard a welsh name?
and why is that not a cedilla C but a ******* K?
why not... Çumraeg?

on foreign shores i have made it adamant that...
this sense of foreigness does not
peppermint my presence with hopes to:
add to - an integration -
just borrow what the local have made: left-overs...
and work with that...

(insert snigger) - the neu-vikings of
northumberland...

           a             b             c
      x   x   x   x   x   x   x   x   x  
1)   x   x   x   3   x   x   6   x   4
      x   x   x   2   x   4   x   8   9
      x   1   9   x   4   x   x   6   2
2)   x   x   x   7   x   x   x   5   x
      x   x   2   x   x   8   x   4   x
      x   2   x   x   x   x   x   x   x
3)   x   x   6   1   9   5   x   x   3
      x   3   8   4   x   x   x   7   x

this really does have a linear narrative...
here goes...
3(c1), 9(c3), 1(c1), 2(c3), 2(c1), 2(a1), 9(a3), 8(c3),
4(c3), 8(c2), 8(a2), 5(b2), 7(c2), 3(b2), 3(b3), 8(b3),
7(c1), 5(c1), 7(b3), 5(c3), 1(c3), 6(c3), 1(c2), 3(c2),
9(c2), 9(b2), 6(b1), 6(b2), 6(b3), 2(b3), 2(b2), 1(b2),
1(b1), 9(b1), 9(a1), 8(b1), 8(a1), 5(b1), 7(b1), 7(a1)...

and then a "gamble" in the narrative...
the (7a2 and the 5a2 - interchange)....
it's a pleasure - not a chore -
5  9  4
2  8  7
3  6  1
8  1  9
6  4  3
7  5  2 - this line... what if it was 5  7  2?
1  2  5
4  7  6
9  3  8
if i want to solve this puzzle - i will solve it
and not read a tabloid article /
whatever the hell has become of youtube...
my diamond jukebox...

otherwise the "narrative" continued from
7a2 and the 5a2 interchange:
7(3a), 4(a3), 4(a2), 6(a1), 4(a1), 5(a1), 5(a3),
1(a3), 1(a1), 3(a1), 3(a2), 6(a2)... end result?

           a             b             c
      5   9   4   6   8   1   2   3   7  
1)   2   8   7   3   5   9   6   1   4
      3   6   1   2   7   4   5   8   9
      8   1   9   5   4   3   7   6   2
2)   6   4   3   7   1   2   9   5   8
      7   5   2   9   6   8   3   4   1
      1   2   5   8   3   7   4   9   6
3)   4   7   6   1   9   5   8   2   3
      9   3   8   4   2   6   1   7   5

because i can imagine this not being:
the most difficult Finnish sudoku...
i can almost imagine this puzzle
to be in greek...
where: 1ι, 2ζ, 3ε, 4χ, 5Σ, 6δ, 7Γ, 8β, 9ρ...

in the background all i hear is:
corvus corax' la i mbealtaine...
the greek version of the japanese puzzle...

           a             b             c
      Σ   9   χ   6   8   ι   ζ   ε   7  
1)   ζ   8   7   ε   Σ   9   6   ι   χ
      ε   6   ι   ζ   7   χ   Σ   8   9
      8   ι   9   Σ   χ   ε   7   6   ζ
2)   6   χ   ε   7   ι   ζ   9   Σ   8
      7   Σ   ζ   9   6   8   ε   χ   ι
      ι   ζ   Σ   8   ε   7   χ   9   6
3)   χ   7   6   ι   9   Σ   8   ζ   ε
      9   ε   8   χ   ζ   6   ι   7   Σ

half-way... i just wanted to "selfie" what
will become of this... i no longer write: i paint...

            a             b             c
      Σ   9   χ   δ   8   ι   ζ   ε   Γ  
1)   ζ   8   Γ   ε   Σ   9   δ   ι   χ
      ε   δ   ι   ζ   Γ   χ   Σ   8   9
      8   ι   9   Σ   χ   ε   Γ   δ   ζ
2)   δ   χ   ε   Γ   ι   ζ   9   Σ   8
      Γ   Σ   ζ   9   δ   8   ε   χ   ι
      ι   ζ   Σ   8   ε   Γ   χ   9   δ
3)   χ   Γ   δ   ι   9   Σ   8   ζ   ε
      9   ε   8   χ   ζ   δ   ι   Γ   Σ

going... going... gone...

            a             b             c
      Σ   ρ   χ   δ   β   ι   ζ   ε   Γ  
1)   ζ   β   Γ   ε   Σ   ρ   δ   ι   χ
      ε   δ   ι   ζ   Γ   χ   Σ   β   ρ
      β   ι   ρ   Σ   χ   ε   Γ   δ   ζ
2)   δ   χ   ε   Γ   ι   ζ   ρ   Σ   β
      Γ   Σ   ζ   ρ   δ   β   ε   χ   ι
      ι   ζ   Σ   β   ε   Γ   χ   ρ   δ
3)   χ   Γ   δ   ι   ρ   Σ   β   ζ   ε
      ρ   ε   β   χ   ζ   δ   ι   Γ   Σ

i don't mind a people being right...
but the overt-gloating...
without having to work around the sort
of paranoia associated with:
how the russians are not allowed to glutton
themselves on gloating -
because they are always made
to feel suspcious - the russians can't gloat
like most of the anglo- speaking world...
always suspect: russophobia evil genuises...
tip-toeing goliaths - less the blundering
fudge-packers of "global ****"...
and i kissed a boy and i liked it...
my genitals started shrinking
and my *** started to exfoliate with:
welcome all! welcome all hard and on!
and that tongue in my mouth always helps...
but imagine my surprise when
i started to navigate my hands
but the reply came:
timbuktu and mt. kilimanjaro will not be found
attached to this sort of torso...
wrong dog, wrong tree...

some things really do require numbers...
i once had a mathematics teacher in high school
bemoan the origin of modern numbers
and how we once: upon a time used these letters...
but did our arithmetic with visual aids
akin to the abacus... because...
you'd have to "read braille" when counting...
to differentiate the already: lettered numbers
and the letters being letters -
and all arithmetic functions
were "spoken of" but never depicted...
i.e. there was no VII + III = X...
there was no XV - XI = IV...
eh?! arithmetic was cat-intuitive...
not spoken of - done by either the visual
aid of fingers when haggling
in a market place -
or by the abacus aid in a bureucratic office!

i said this was the most perfect friday night...
what did i have to offer?
no clickbait title - some gems of wording
in between?
the patient reader - as ever - most rewarded -

but... oh my god... the sensation of
changing the bed sheets...
it's friday night and you're... changing your bed sheets...
and they are more crisp and clean
than any political event that the journalist leeches
are milking -
and you do it with a saving private ryan precision -
you will sleep in this bed: well into
11am of a today to come...
believe me: that you will...

- in that i am still walking among the germanic people -
if the germans will sing a: bretonisher marsch...
then the two peoples are alligned by
their sentiment for the crow as their godhead:
alles menschen totem...
what could possibly make me feel welcome?
french grammar is polish grammar...
matin de printemps - poranek wiosny -
spring morning in reverse in germanic...
how many more examples would i ever wish
to give?

there was a moment in my life where...
i realised my faults... i should have read
the Pickwick Papers... anything by C. Dickens to be sure...
instead came Stendhal, Voltaire, Balzac...
because if you said to me...
BBC radio 4... the archers...
and... thomas hardy: madding crowd?
you'd accuse me of being ignorant of:
London is a bustling cosmopolitan in-waiting
from the busy-body industrial proto-Beijing
it was of 100 years ago?    
the French had cosmopolitan intellectualism
100 years prior to the english...
100 years later and it's still not much...
is anyone about to cite me william hazlitt?!

the trouble with the english is that they hold dear
to that one old 19th century idea -
this waiting for: awaiting a revival of darwinism...
the "blatantly" obvious needs a resurgence!
because a michael faraday must most surely
be forgotten!
how many times will this already painful reality
need to be emphasised once more:
intellectually - via a darwinism?
no one stresses the copernican "upside-down"...
or what is copernican "west" up in space?
how does acknowledging the sphere
of the earth - ease you reading a flat map -
moving from point A to point B?

earlier this week - for once in my life i was
ashamed of what i wrote -
so i wrote for scribli per se: scribbles for
scribbles themselves -
the darwinian germanic folk who say:
alles von afrika...
how the hebrews debased themselves
in both aushwitz and breaking their bones
on the emoji hieroglyphs -
alles von afrika: ja... so sicher... so wahr!

ask any slavic person among the germanic
peoples...
where from? wir (ar) sind lesen und schreiben
"afrika": i.e. Indu...
if the african challenged the hebrews
with... "the best they had": egyptian emojis...
why would i not stress my birth
with pseudo cedilla Ş / इ... ☦ -
this indo-european is not... at home with
these african-germanoids...
pseudos and quasi -
these chocolate frenzied busy-buddies!

from the caucasian and further still from
that whittle sub-corinthian quote: continent...
somehow, "somehow" this part of this story
is read: south to north... always a grand
marker missing when the people went
east, squinted... learned skeleton existence,
atoms... and the frenzy of letters:
owls and ******* **** flinging beetles
back in the north eastern tip of
africa: in that egyptian haemorrhage of "idea"...

i assure myself... perhaps the form came from
africa... but sure as **** the tongue only arrived
in the lap of the Dalai Lama...
as did the "thinking" and the music
across prior to the Mongol's curiosity
over the tundra of Siberia...
something had to be placed on a loan...
and coming back to the cradle and the crux
had to happen like so...
not this current: ergo: so...
quickened and: what news from Damascus?!

first impressions count...
i made my bed... it's newly washed...
as crisp as falling onto a bed a prawn crackers...
without the crumbs' itch...
like listening to some german:
juggernaut... this will do... i can fall asleep
with this: grab hören zu der winderhall...
mehr flöte - weniger violinekratzen!
schlechtdeutsche? alle deutsche ist gut deutsche...
erwarten etwas isländisch zu sein
gesprochen insel von insel: auf diese inseln?!

to make a crisp bed of freshly washed sheets...
to sleep in them alone...
given the grammar is not that far removed...
are the french even remotely translated
as a germanic "sort of" people?
"they" or "we" share the same grammar...
and there are celtic freedoms that would
never be allowed to exfoliate under
strict anglo-ßaß obligations...

oh sure! great people! steam engine: choo-choo!
newton et al...
shakespeare: when they taught us shakespeare
they should have taught us bernard shaw...
when they forced jane eyre down our throats
we should have been reading
the pickwick papers...
the music will remain german -
because as much as vaughan williams...
holst and händel were "were" english...
esp. latter with his umlaut that spread over
toward i-and-j...

why wouldn't you **** at the pillar of the empire:
a past most assured - dust, books and moths...
like hell will i come to correct my ways
to state the: pish-poor Elgar... this poo'em too...
himmel... sky...
leerenhimmel - empty sky -
nein sonne während der tag:
das englischnebel: bedeckthimmel...
nein mond während der nacht...
nur so...

i of the lesser men of this world duly bow
my presence before the altar of the higher men
of these isles...
and hope and pray that their wisdom
will not bestow upon them any major calamity...
with not irony or ridicule i wish upon
these peoples... the right sort of oars
to turn this rooted island
into the people's imagined langboot...

there are only one british people a people
who will pursue to gloat having been
conquered by the romans...
being raided by the vikings...
integrating the anglo-ßaß...
a second viking coming via the Normans...
the push-over remains of the celts...
that somehow translated itself into
the: empire...
ideal: to compensate...
the islamic fervor for the... resurrected
caliphate...
jokes about the dritte ***** and the vierte *****...
that's pretty much the precursor jokes
surrounding: ein zweite ***** -
auf welche die sonne nimmer setzt -
ever wonder how that translates with the increased
cases of insomnia?!

again: bad german is better than
no german.
S E L Oct 2013
brrrr...


snow-capped mountain
air so crisp
neat lines
nosetip gets sleety touch

warm inside
cosy in here
with memory-touches
of rain

so
here's a clear and crisp dispatch
abiding little dispute -

amidst the falling snow
on coldened hands
and needed fingertips
a brush of temperate smiles
all hid and bundled up
in ready bows
just for you

smile a while
you never know
when the sun may catch your dial
Karijinbba Jul 2018
The night under the mirror
went through a revolving door.
~~~~
Eventually I did put a face
to  your loving cues your emails
It had been so long since your destiny had asked you my King
to marry her
that hunting jealous day that began much earlier under a 1975 degree celcious and did burn us to a crisp
Nothing would have given me more assurance more pleasure  such a gracious challenge to a  mysterious
proposition to dig my heart
for the final blow
one queen for his other
prior queen bee me
Karijinbba
and a winner I would have been
all night with my King
under the mirror!
to obliterate her wedding band
from his hand
how loving of you cupid of mine
always digging at my heart
for my heart of gold
then came cause and effect of karma blowing up our plans
another King Brad appeared with roses and diamond ring
in hand he had no mask just an hidden agenda
he took my children to his Mom
to make his other queenjealous and I took the bate
for just one hour both my King and Brad
had chosen he same photo E-mailed among several
to both single men seeking bride at Kiss com.
my lovely picture was the same summer dress I wore with the king I loved
as someone something from above and beyond
mirrored the scene in my life a kind of cause and effect
it showed my
old beloved a simple approach to a woman's heart
and me that the woman he married giving her a diamond ring taking her and son to his Mom was more to make
me jealous too fight for his love
an invisible revolving door had opened up
both to win my lover back
or to lose both Knights
fate life karma G**
had bid the greatest game
of love and twin souls
remained split bleeding
both men found a way to another
woman playing their game  

I was sent to worship my Lord Jesus Christ mocking me
beware of Karma
or THINK and get rich and happy
to catch a true king FOCUS
don't take bates, don't settle for new when the heart is taken 
by a true love not followed.

My king was found by his mate
and I returned Brads diamond
lesson played leasson learned

Then came the clock ticking
tax collector King Mr Time
he took my hand
paper INK and pen
to script a new
poem
its Winter he said,
HOW DO YOU
WANT ME TO KISS YOU?
and a new revolving door
appeared here at H.P.
~~~~~~
By: Karijinbba
Copy Rights
ASG/BBA -revised 6/2020.
How do you think a and how do we feel about the one we truly love a nail can't take another out its the heart that will break and the loss is an unsurmountable abyss beware open your eyes FOCUS one single thought two hearts that beat as one cannot distract nor settle and never take a new lover if our heart loves another
Hear me, Lord of the Stars!
For thee I have worshipped ever
With stains and sorrows and scars,
With joyful, joyful endeavour.
Hear me, O lily-white goat!
O crisp as a thicket of thorns,
With a collar of gold for Thy throat,
A scarlet bow for Thy horns!

Here, in the dusty air,
I build Thee a shrine of yew.
All green is the garland I wear,
But I feed it with blood for dew!
After the orange bars
That ribbed the green west dying
Are dead, O Lord of the Stars,
I come to Thee, come to Thee crying.

The ambrosial moon that arose
With ******* slow heaving in splendour
Drops wine from her infinite snows.
Ineffably, utterly, tender.
O moon! ambrosial moon!
Arise on my desert of sorrow
That the Magical eyes of me swoon
With lust of rain to-morrow!

Ages and ages ago
I stood on the bank of a river
Holy and Holy and holy, I know,
For ever and ever and ever!
A priest in the mystical shrine
I muttered a redeless rune,
Till the waters were redder than wine
In the blush of the harlot moon.

I and my brother priests
Worshipped a wonderful woman
With a body lithe as a beast's
Subtly, horribly human.
Deep in the pit of her eyes
I saw the image of death,
And I drew the water of sighs
From the well of her lullaby breath.

She sitteth veiled for ever
Brooding over the waste.
She hath stirred or spoken never.
She is fiercely, manly chaste!
What madness made me awake
From the silence of utmost eld
The grey cold slime of the snake
That her poisonous body held?

By night I ravished a maid
From her father's camp to the cave.
I bared the beautiful blade;
I dipped her thrice i' the wave;
I slit her throat as a lamb's,
That the fount of blood leapt high
With my clamorous dithyrambs
Like a stain on the shield of the sky.

With blood and censer and song
I rent the mysterious veil:
My eyes gaze long and long
On the deep of that blissful bale.
My cold grey kisses awake
From the silence of utmost eld
The grey cold slime of the snake
That her beautiful body held.

But --- God! I was not content
With the blasphemous secret of years;
The veil is hardly rent
While the eyes rain stones for tears.
So I clung to the lips and laughed
As the storms of death abated,
The storms of the grevious graft
By the swing of her soul unsated.

Wherefore reborn as I am
By a stream profane and foul
In the reign of a Tortured Lamb,
In the realm of a sexless Owl,
I am set apart from the rest
By meed of the mystic rune
That reads in peril and pest
The ambrosial moon --- the moon!

For under the tawny star
That shines in the Bull above
I can rein the riotous car
Of galloping, galloping Love;
And straight to the steady ray
Of the Lion-heart Lord I career,
Pointing my flaming way
With the spasm of night for a spear!

O moon! O secret sweet!
Chalcedony clouds of caresses
About the flame of our feet,
The night of our terrible tresses!
Is it a wonder, then,
If the people are mad with blindness,
And nothing is stranger to men
Than silence, and wisdom, and kindness?

Nay! let him fashion an arrow
Whose heart is sober and stout!
Let him pierce his God to the marrow!
Let the soul of his God flow out!
Whether a snake or a sun
In his horoscope Heaven hath cast,
It is nothing; every one
Shall win to the moon at last.

The mage hath wrought by his art
A billion shapes in the sun.
Look through to the heart of his heart,
And the many are shapes of one!
An end to the art of the mage,
And the cold grey blank of the prison!
An end to the adamant age!
The ambrosial moon is arisen.

I have bought a lily-white goat
For the price of a crown of thorns,
A collar of gold for its throat,
A scarlet bow for its horns.
I have bought a lark in the lift
For the price of a **** of sherry:
With these, and God for a gift,
It needs no wine to be merry!

I have bought for a wafer of bread
A garden of poppies and clover;
For a water bitter and dead
A foam of fire flowing over.
From the Lamb and his prison fare
And the owl's blind stupor, arise
Be ye wise, and strong, and fair,
And the nectar afloat in your eyes!

Arise, O ambrosial moon
By the strong immemorial spell,
By the subtle veridical rune
That is mighty in heaven and hell!
Drip thy mystical dews
On the tongues of the tender fauns
In the shade of initiate yews
Remote from the desert dawns!

Satyrs and Fauns, I call.
Bring your beauty to man!
I am the mate for ye all'
I am the passionate Pan.
Come, O come to the dance
Leaping with wonderful whips,
Life on the stroke of a glance,
Death in the stroke of the lips!

I am hidden beyond,
Shed in a secret sinew
Smitten through by the fond
Folly of wisdom in you!
Come, while the moon (the moon!)
Sheds her ambrosial splendour,
Reels in the redeless rune
Ineffably, utterly, tender!
Hark! the appealing cry
Of deadly hurt in the hollow: ---
Hyacinth! Hyacinth! Ay!
Smitten to death by Apollo.
Swift, O maiden moon,
Send thy ray-dews after;
Turn the dolorous tune
To soft ambiguous laughter!

Mourn, O Maenads, mourn!
Surely your comfort is over:
All we laugh at you lorn.
Ours are the poppies and clover!
O that mouth and eyes,
Mischevious, male, alluring!
O that twitch of the thighs
Dorian past enduring!

Where is wisdom now?
Where the sage and his doubt?
Surely the sweat of the brow
Hath driven the demon out.
Surely the scented sleep
That crowns the equal war
Is wiser than only to weep ---
To weep for evermore!

Now, at the crown of the year,
The decadent days of October,
I come to thee, God, without fear;
Pious, chaste, and sober.
I solemnly sacrifice
This first-fruit flower of wine
For a vehicle of thy vice
As I am Thine to be mine.

For five in the year gone by
I pray Thee give to me one;
A love stronger than I,
A moon to swallow the sun!
May he be like a lily-white goat
Crisp as a thicket of thorns,
With a collar of gold for his throat,
A scarlet bow for his horns!
Emma Feb 2017
A small clearing surrounded by trees,
Everything is bright and vibrant.
A crisp breeze blowing,
Swaying the grass.

The ground is covered by rocks
Of various shapes, colors, and sizes.
Bladed grass and ivy-like plants
Growing in the cracks of the stones.

A small white butterfly fluttering about,
So full of beauty and life:
Like the sweet-smelling flowers,
So simple with a fragrance of purity.

A soft breeze blows rustling the leaves,
Seeming to shush the world.
All is still, obeying the command,
And all around is at peace.
Written June 2016
bc moon raven Oct 2018
Growling and hissing, a storm formed along the road, portending the merging of the chaos that had been gripping our minds for months.  This day, this type of day, we could have dreamed up in the novel of our love affair.  The conversation along our drive into the country was as full and ***** as all other tête-à-têtes shared in our two months together.  We were never at a loss for words and his conversation had been more educated than the older men I had dated since the divorce.  I was forever astonished at him and with him.  

The first time I met him, I was sitting behind my desk and planning for another monotonous day of office politics and all the drama connected.  Lost in thought, I sipped coffee and read emails until, there was - him.  He opened my office door with such fervor and drama, I knew someone had just entered into my life that would leave me forever changed, and I welcomed it.  A mess of auburn hair, neither combed nor styled and yet quite fitting, haloed around his head and gave the visage of an angel.  He had a freckled nose and cheeks with blue eyes staring from behind all that wildness and they were the only calming feature about him.  I turned my head and grimaced a bit, “how dare someone charge into my office as if to own it”.  “How can I help you?” made its way from my lips with a bit of a sigh.  And he smiled, that smile which would make his face even younger and more deceptively angelic.  

“Hello” danced off his lips and in two syllables was able to sound singsong and my anger soon turned to anticipation.  He introduced himself as Parker and explained his new position as Junior Editor.  He went on to say someone instructed him to introduce himself to me since I was Senior Project Manager for the organization.  His fervent entrance into my office had sent a gush of wind that disheveled my tidy desk and his wide blue eyes looked around at the chaos he had rendered.  He seemed unable to offer apologies, and I soon learned this was his way.  His confident facade prevented admission of mistakes and the word “sorry” could not escape the tightness of his will to be correct.  This was my lover’s way and it was the structure built that only wrecking ***** could destroy.

As is expected of me, I extended my hand to welcome him, overmuch aware of my grip and strength in presenting my hand, I felt the need to dominate the grip.  I was a woman in a senior position inside the male dominated echelon of upper management.  I took his hand and with rehearsed quickness attempted to demonstrate my dominance, my superiority.   It was then, the first time I saw a devil behind his angelic face and I remember my expression churned up my secret thoughts.  He saw my eyes searching those thoughts and delight shone from his blue eyes like cold fire and I was burned.   Our hands soon contorted into a dance of dominance with fingers twisting as if in a finger shadow play.  No time for games or plays for control, I simply took the shake he offered and turned towards my coffee, my drama, my emails and without looking at him welcomed him again and gave a wave of dismissal.  He greeted my brush-off with a laugh and made his way to the chair in front of my desk.  He was tall and the light from behind silhouetted his broad shoulders and upright posture.  He was confident and sure.  His clothes were expensive, well-tailored and not at all the measure for his age.  He had a style about him and I believe it came as naturally to him as did the confidence in which he clothed himself.

I wanted to be angry at his overconfidence, his interruption, his disregard.  I was, instead, amused but annoyed.  He sensed he was beginning to irritate me and it seemed to delight him.  He would speak without taking a breath, eager to finish his thoughts, aware perhaps that time could steal the moment away and he would forever wonder.  He spoke with an accent I did not fully recognize and attempted to invite me to lunch or even coffee.  My lover was bold.  

I was succeeding in this corporate world, my world.  I was not ready to lose my focus for a moment alone with the delightful creature staring back at me, awaiting the “yes” he expected would be my answer.  He was a man who did not accept the “no’s”.    He would get what he wanted and would wait in predator mode until his prey was wounded, weak, ready.  He was not a predator in the malevolent sense, more in the need for survival mentality.  He would lift the wounded and weak above the limits of their afflictions and a “yes” would flow from their lips in fond gratitude.  Today I was not a “yes” and it did not feel like a final answer.  Somehow, I knew one day I would be naked with this man, my lover.  I knew I would take him inside me, and he would show me how to love in ways I had never known.  The “no’ and the explanations of the “no” exuded from my lips, and I could see him grow even more eager to know me.  He would learn the stories of my life from rumors and talk.  He would learn of my divorce, of the men I dated with expensive homes and cars.  He would hear about the occasional woman who would occupy my bed.   I had wished all of it to be true but only the divorce was correct.  I was not exceptional or exciting.  I was driven and focused.  

He stood there hearing my “no” with the sun behind him igniting the fire in his hair with his shoulders pinned back exposing his sculpted chest.  He stood there and allowed the silence after my rejection to hover the room, and there it was.  We locked eyes, and neither could emancipate from the other.  I wondered who he was and what he looked like naked in the morning with his disheveled hair, and we stared, locked in our gaze until my phone rang signaling the end of round one.  

Wrapped in my shawl, I moved between sipping coffee, as was my usual, and typing on my laptop.  He was behind me in the cabin.  I felt him approaching and knew he would quickly whisk me away from the overwhelming din of office emails and calls.  His presence behind me now was no longer disquieting but natural.  

The cabin had been his grandfathers and he had a noticeable pride about it when showing me through the door and gateway to his childhood memories.  He had a smile on his face I had never seen.  I delighted in how young it made his face appear, almost as if the childhood memories possessed him and he became the blithe youth here with his grandfather.  


It was fall at the cabin and the smell of musk and rotting leaves and ozone from the storm, filled the cabin and each deep breath was taking in a memory from my youth.   I was happy to be here with him and yet afraid.  Two months we flirted and touched over our shared lunches, eager to get inside each other physically, mentally.  The office was replete with stories of the happenings between the older woman executive and the younger up and coming man, how he must be using her to advance his career and how she was using him to heal the wounds of her recent divorce.  We heard these stories and watched them grow to the point we ended our touching, our flirting.  Soon the denial of our feelings and time apart turned to foreplay.  Soon there were stares across conference rooms, perceptive smiles as we crossed paths.  The total of it led us to this moment, to time alone together for the first time, this time.  

Fall in the country was the vangaurd to a glorious death.  The earth would explode with color announcing its final breath and moment upon the stage and we had arrived during the final bow and curtain call.  Trees draped in gold - and red - and orange heralded the fire to come and we too were ready to pour forth in glorious blaze and inferno.  During the entire ride into the country an ironical mist of dew and rain dotted the windshield as if nature attempted to douse the desires clawing to escape in each other’s arms.  There was a devil sitting next to me and I had to smile as his auburn hair blended so naturally with the landscape.  I was obviously lost in thought and he looked at me and asked if I was okay.  Him next to me, him crookedly smiling at me.  

“It’s nothing.  It’s just nice to see you in your element.”  My replay was short but my heart was beating so hard I was almost afraid he could see it bouncing behind my blouse, so I began to cover up but was met with his hand before I even reached the edge of my coat.  

“No.  I want to see you.”  His voice was soft but demanding and strong.  Often there were hints of a struggle for power between us.  His youth and position within the company prevented me from accepting his seriousness and his face would ***** into a grimace.  I never gave it much thought other than a bit of a nuisance.  His hand led mine to my lap, and I expected him to hold it, but he let go with a smile.  I enjoyed his show of power but refused to reveal a glint of it for fear I would lose the respect and control necessary over a subordinate.

Soon the cabin filled with the sounds of rain and thunder and as I stared out the window jealous of the drops of rain and their randomness, he touched my shoulder and looked down at me with his eyes bluer than wild lupine.  I smiled a painful smile and he knew I was overthinking the moment.  Taking my hand, he brought me to his chest and into his arms, arms that would embrace all of me and at times felt as if they could wrap around me twice.  I placed my head on his chest and began to reach for his belt.  The *** I had known was always routine.  This was expected, that was not allowed.  I fell into that routine naturally and was happy to oblige his needs in order to meet mine.  He kissed my forehead and still holding one hand, led me to the door of the cabin.  “What are we do…”  He stopped me with a single “shhh” from his lips.  I followed him and felt myself shiver.  I was not sure if I was shivering in fear or from the nip of fall air.  

“Don’t be afraid.  You have nothing to fear from me.  There’s no need to shiver my little poppet.”  He stepped back from me and stared as if I were a tiny bird in need of nestling back into its home.  “I’ve never seen you afraid.”  He touched my cheek and I felt so small and helpless, lost from home, and he was the only way back.  With a smile he took my hand and led me outside to the rain, lifting his face and savoring the drops bouncing off his cheeks.  

“W..w..what are you doing?”  I was trembling now and wondered if I had misjudged this man and he was in fact a lunatic ready to strangle me to my death.  My silk blouse, now drenched, clung to my ******* exposing an imprint of lace from my bra.  He reached for my shawl and pulled it off my shoulders.  He was looking at me so lovingly my body and mind calmed and I was once again in the moment.  Our moment.  This moment.  

His face, stern now, official, his mouth opening with such deliberateness that I was sure he had been in this situation before.  Once again my mind wanted to race to thoughts of not being good enough or that I was too old or too plain.  His voice pierced my thoughts and brought me to attention.  “There will be no talking unless I tell you to.  Nod if you understand”

My mind wanted to slap him with reminders of my superiority to him at work, how he was MY subordinate and how dare he.  My mouth would not open and my head began to nod in understanding.  My body and mind were bending to his will and acting upon his orders.  Shivering gave way to shaking now and I wanted to run to the warmth of the cabin and watch the fire burn the logs to a black crisp and wake up in his arms naked and giggling.  

Having seen my compliant nod, he began to speak.  “Undress.”  One word.  One word in response to the shaking mess of a woman standing in the rain, cold and afraid.  My hands were barely able to form the necessary movements to reach for the top button of my blouse.  I did not want to fail him or appear as if I were unfamiliar with tales of ***** men overpowering and having their way with a willing lover.  My fingers moved quickly now, wanting to end the scene and move on to the *******.  He stared.  He did not blink.  He did not nod or move.  He was enjoying every subtlety of me.  He was pleased.   I was a willing participant in his fantasy.  Nothing made me happier than to please him.  I began to feel hot and something inside me broke.  Was it my will, my pride, my fears?  I was not sure, but I felt alive.  Every thirsty pore of my skin opened up and lapped at the rain so very eager to feel it on my skin and the randomness of the drops was no longer something I envied but something in which I participated.  

My hands began to tug my blouse free from my skirt and the wet silk now draped over my hips like curtains, revealing the curves I was so painfully aware of hiding to keep anyone from noticing my *** and concentrate upon my words and actions.  I knew now I had one button remaining before I would, for the first time, display myself to him.  He did not flinch, rather, he maintained his stare and for a second I pleaded to him with my eyes not to expect me to do this.  He was resolute.  I spread open the soft, wet cloth and began to drape it off my shoulders.  I let it slide from my wrists, then fingertips, then to the ground blissfully unconcerned that my Hermes blouse was now draped over wet grass and mud.  

I looked down at my skin dripping and alive with goosebumps.  I had bought this bra in anticipation of this moment, in fear of this moment.  White lace bra and perfectly matched ******* were demonstrative of my control over even the small details.  My skirt was loose and heavy with the rain.  It was low on my waist and lay just below the navel leaving me the most exposed I had ever been with him.  I reached to touch the button on the back of my skirt.  Undone, I slipped my fingers along with the zipper feeling each click of the tiny teeth holding together the disguise of a powerful woman.  My hands traced the banded edge of the skirt pushing it over my hips allowing it to fall to the ground.  

His face looked stern but pleased, stoic and fixed.  I was in my bra, ******* and stilettos now.  I began to reach for the hinged part of my bra when he stopped me.  “No.  Stop.” He walked over to me.  He was close now and I was so cold I could feel heat from his body.  I wanted to kiss his lips, his full lips, but I did not move.  I knew now the rules and I would do only what was asked of me.  I stood rigid with no flinching.  I waited for any words that would pass from lips to ear.  He did not speak but leaned into me and reached over my right shoulder undoing the chignon in my hair.  He draped my shoulders with strands of liquid filament.  He took his time there, placing each strand in the exact order in which he was pleased.  With two steps back, he looked at my wet hair with the deliberate strands, as if he had created a masterpiece and for a moment I was unsure if the artwork he saw was me or his work.  

“Now be still.  Allow me to touch you, to admire you, my beautiful Moira.”  When he said my name even after these two months, he had the ability of saying it as if he were speaking it in serenade and for the first time.  He moved his hands to my back and unlinked my bra, one hook at a time with such dexterity I knew he must be a professional at *******.  He, who was to be my first professional lover.  He slid both straps off my shoulders, then taking my hands towards my abdomen, he slid the straps forward on my arms.  Lifting my hands, he demanded I keep them out and straight.  Me, the student to the professional, complied without question.  He bound my wrists with the lace bra, the bra I had bought just to please him, then lifted my arms above my head.  “You will keep your hands up until I tell you to move.”

I had become his toy.  I knew in this moment, I no longer existed for me, I was his, completely and entirely, and I abandoned myself to the rain, to the cold, to his gaze, realizing that surrendering to his urges strengthened me.  He turned and walked away.  He took a seat in an Adirondack chair and even it looked small in his presence.  “On your elbows and knees,” he spoke matter-of-factly.  Just five minutes ago, the struggle inside me to have the appearance of strength, would have denied me this happiness, this happiness to be free in his command.  “Now crawl to me, please.  Slowly.”

I did not care to be in the mud.  I wanted it.  I wanted to please him.  First to my knees, leaving an indention in the clay, then awkwardly at first, onto my elbows with my hands still tied at the wrist.  Crawling on my elbows, my back was arched with my waist higher than my head, giving him a view of the thong I had chosen only for this moment, my succeeding moment.  My position felt ungainly.  I looked to his face for approval.  “No.  You cannot look at me”, he commanded.  For a moment I felt I had lost his approval and self-doubt harried my brain.  My will to please was resolute.  I faced the ground, once again aware of the randomness of nature, the power of nature, how things in nature will do as they are told.  The reed is told to bend.  It does.  It does not question why but responds in its way.  Rivers do not question why they are shaped.  They just continue with powerful current.  I was the reed.  I was the river.  I did not question.

Face towards the ground, I could see the mud forming on my body, molding to my shape then rinsing with the rain.  It repeated.  Mud.  Rain.  Mud.  Rain.  This was the cadence to my crawl.  I arrived at his knees and waited there, a dog eager for a command from its master.  I was content to watch the rain beat ripples around his feet, splashing and shining his shoes with glossy drops.  “I cannot love you”, I thought to myself, “this is forbidden”.  “Being here in this moment, is forbidden.” We would have this moment.  Yes.  We could create this memory and think back on it in fondness and with both heaviness and happiness.  I would remember my young lover, my professional lover.  He would remember the obedient executive on her knees.  I would not regret our moment.  I would some day write it all down in my journal and press the pen deep into the paper.  It had to be etched, those words, my words, this memory.

His hand below my chin, lifted my gaze to his and he smiled, that smile, his smile, the smile that was like nature to my body, and I did not ask why.  I was a river being formed.  “You are so beautiful.  All of you.  Your skin so soft and pale.  Your eyes moving from fear to acceptance.  I see now you want to please me and I want you to know that I want to make you happy.  I want to be your lover.  I want to taste your lips kissed with rain and feel your shivering body pulled against me.  You are safe.  I will not hurt you.  Poppet.  I love you.  I have for awhile now, and I think you know it.  You, my wise, wise Moira.”  He lifted me up and for a moment pulled my body towards him burying his face in my abdomen.  He lingered there.  I felt how soft his red tufts of hair were and how soft his words were against my ears.  I loved him too.  Genuinely.  Profoundly.  I was afraid.

He inhaled deeply, there against my stomach, as if he were breathing in my essence.  I felt his breath turn from warm to cold against me as it mixed with rain.  He stretched his arms and moved my body backwards as he extended until I was a foot away from him.  “I would very much like to undress you, poppet.  I’ve been imagining it, aching for it.  I want to see all of you, naked and on display.”  He touched my abdomen with the tips of his fingers, as if afraid the pale china of my skin would disintegrate into a misty dream.  I relished it, the touch of him against parts of me he had not known.  I was always able to keep him at a distance, physically.  His hands traced the edge of my *******.  He moved slowly, and I knew he was wanting to etch this memory into his journal.  Nothing less than ink pressed hard to paper would release this memory to time.  His placed his hands on my hips and spun me around, my thong lining up with his gaze.  “Bend over.”  His voice from sweet to demanding again.

My hands were still bound, and I stumbled at first.  He seemed not to notice or to care, so I arched my back and pushed myself outward and into his view.  I felt his hands move from my thighs to my hips as gentle as summer winds that in their seductiveness turn our faces towards the impact.  I was in my forties and unsure how I would compare to the twenty-year-old’s he was known to date.  The gossip left nothing to imagination and everything to speculation.  My mind had conjured images of him, this professional lover, inside the firm thighs of a youthful companion.  Thoughts transformed to pleasure as the nature that was his hands took dominance over the thin lace that hid the only piece of me left unseen.  I became art in his hands, marble statue, exquisite with textures and curves wanting to be touched.  

The lace scraped my skin as he slid the *******, wet and splashed with earth, over the expanse of my hips and down to the ground at my ankles.  “Step out of them.”  He helped free my ankles, and I saw the delicate lace become one with the earth as the rain beat it into the mud.  This was freedom.  This was me with nature, me with my lover.  I was the reed and he was the wind.  

I was keenly aware of his eyes fixated on the valley of my mound, how my cheeks spread just enough to give hints of the pinkest of my flesh, now swollen and ripe.  “Turn around.”  I heard his voice and could tell the bombardment of rain was making it difficult to speak.  

I turned and began to ***** my body when I felt his hand on my back.  “No, poppet.  You must stay this way until I say stand.”  My body ached to be touched by him, by more than fingers and hands, but this, the anticipation, the wanting of it all, this was the skill of a professional lover.  I saw the earth drowned with a thick layer of rain now, and my shoes made splatters and ripples as I turned towards him.  I was cold now, too cold, unaware cold, numb in my cold.  I was happy to feel it.  I had for too long hid from rain, this glorious rain.  Now, I was one with the rain.  I was the river coursing its path as commanded by nature.  

He took my hands and untied them.  I watched the entire progression of it and I felt his presence now even more.  My hands were free, and I stared at my shoes and his shoes.  I was so small in his presence.  “Stand for me, poppet.”  His voice diffused through the rain and seemed softer now.  I stood there in my nakedness and he delighted in it.  My lover was not afraid and moved his head along with his eyes.  It was easy to know where upon my body his gaze had landed.  He seemed to linger the most on my face, and I thought how odd it was as most men concentrated on my ******* or mound.  My lover was different.  My lover was professional.

“Poppet, I want you to remove my shirt, but you will not toss it to the ground.  You will place it on the chair.  Nod if you understand me.”  He knew I understood but was confirming I was still in the moment and willing.  I obliged him with a nod and without looking at his face, began to unbutton each dot from its hole until he was shirtless before me.  His chest was firm and hairless and dotted with unobtrusive freckles as random as the rain.  I was delighted.  He was beautiful.  My lover was beautiful.

He placed one hand on my head, the other on my shoulder.  “On your knees for me, poppet.”  My knees once again bent for him, and I knelt in the rain, the thick rain and saw my knees again molded in the mud and earth.  I was unsure now.  Years had passed since I had taken a man inside my mouth.  I felt panic, like the river, run a course through me and I started to turn away.  But I was resolute.  “I will make him happy in all things this day” rang in my ears like a mantra.  I watched as he undid his belt and felt it as he wrapped it around my neck two times and pulled the loose end until it was taut but not constricted against my skin.  I was his.  I was the pet and he was the master.  It was official to me now in this symbol.  I was leashed and about to be tamed.  My lover was going to teach me his skill.  I was delighted.

I watched him free the one button on his pants and move to the patterned teeth of the zipper.  He rested his pants on his hips and pulled free the thing, that thing, the thing I was craving.  The thing I would take inside me, deep inside wherever my master wanted it.  I was the river.  

He was not large, not small, but thick, surprisingly thick, he was swollen and vascular.  I studied the curve of it.  The tip, the head.  I watched his hand grip it and move it towards my lips.  I opened my mouth and took him inside me.  He moved his hands to the sides of my head and began to direct me in the movement he needed from me.  I studied the thrusts and followed.  I moved my tongue, my eager tongue, in unison with the rain and percussion of the drops.  I slid him deep inside me devouring and savoring the taste of him.  The taste of my lover was satisfying, and I wanted to bring him to completion there in that moment.

We stayed in the rhythm, with the rain, both lost to the moment.  He stopped his ****** and lifted my chin.  “Moira.  My poppet.”  He led me to my feet and gave his crooked smile to me.  He gave me his smile in that moment, in that second, his smile was mine.  

“I love you”, I whispered, unsure he heard me.  He lifted me like a child and carried my nakedness to the bed.  He placed me there, like a doll.  He contemplated my skin in the light of the fire.  My lover the wind.  My lover the water.  

He was soon naked and drops of rain lit up on his body like little mirrors and I could see images of the room and myself reflected in them.  He removed the belt from my neck.  “We won’t need this.  In this moment, you know you are mine.  You know I am yours.”  We both wrapped our arms around the other, and I felt his skin on mine.  His body was hard and moved in perfect form with each muscle flinching the way it should, each squeeze and release in harmony with the other.  My pale, soft skin was beautiful contrast to his and was yin and yang.  He felt hard and long inside me, so engorged each vein touched the inside of me in a different fashion.  We each sealed our mouth on the other unable to drink as deeply as we wanted.  We were in our moment, this moment.  Alive in the seconds that passed to hours.  We were ready to etch ink on the pages telling of how I was the reed and he was the wind and on this day, I did not ask why, I only did as was I was told.
Josiah W Menzies Mar 2013
I am dying
From within. I don’t wish to,
But I think of this skin
That holds me

Back and I feel ill. I stare,
Glazed over, at all the happiness I have tried to
Capture in moments of grace,
And self contentment.

But this does not do me justice.
This hand does not do me justice.
It all falls short of feeling.

Now I write blankly, efficiently, capturing
What I feel because it is easy.

Do I long for you, or do I wish happiness
Would knock me dead?
Knock me down,
The earth upon my head.

I wait, I long, silently.
Suffering all, wishing nothing.
Nothing will come of nothing.
Or shall I become a sod
So as not to feel and rot,
But just rot, unaware.

I am dying, like a flower,
Whose time is limited.
But unlike a flower,
I see what’s coming.
Unlike the single, once crisp tulip
That hangs aside from the others still-fresh,
Falling from the boring vase
I see my fall
And contemplate it often.
And read poetry which seems both
To help and to hinder.
Like you, an enigma.

The feeling seeps through my nib
Through my heart, through my ribs
Gushing out onto a page, limited,
Tired but taking shape.

Hope leaves me, to be implanted
In a line
A seed,
Sewn. Waiting, longing, wishing quietly
To grow.

But not knowing that its time is limited.
Jeff Raheb Aug 2014
Dal Lake

I float on Dal Lake
Suspended
between the thick soupy crisp air of soldiers
water lilies, Kashmiri bread
and the Muslim prayers
that penetrate the hardness of war
chanting Allah Bismallah
Floating Islam
Holy words drenching the air
Drenching the green cloth of Hindu soldiers
Sliding down the cool metal of a rifle
9 years of war
1,000 houseboats lie empty
in the Himalayan fog
Intricately carved furniture
Thick with dust
and the powder of blood and bullets

Himalayan silhouette etched black
against the song of lotus gatherers
Foggy voices like cloud of moon
Lotus lake
Gray of war and desperation
Children beg
1 rupee
1 rupee
1 rupee
Endless monologue
Parched like lotus shaped paddle
They throw flowers to me
endlessly
I throw them back
endlessly

Time passes slowly
like smoke on a lizard’s tail
trailing in the thick, rancid air
of burning meat and maple leaves
Like a shikara
moving over the glass of Kashmir

The sound of a dozen Bangees
floating over the water
Hollow, solemn and mournful
Echoing against the hardness
of the surrounding mountains
The circle of Himalayas
Like a womb
around the prayers of Pachin

In the middle of the lake
I hear the call to prayer
Azan Nemarz Suba
Azan Nemarz Pashin
Azan Nemarz Degar
Azan Nemarz Sham
Azan Nemarz Koftan
From dawn till dusk

Azan
4 mosques
4 singers
4 directions
staggered by a breath
like an imperfect echo

Azan slips into the pockets of island soldiers
Waters the impatience of soldiers on the shore
Steals into the vacant eyes of soldiers in the Mosque
They want to go home to their wives and children
They want to leave the place of prayer, which is not theirs
The place of prayer, which has seen death
The place where God was pushed out
In order to not see the killing
To **** what they don’t see
The place, which was no longer a refuge

Outside

Dal Lake turns to the color of red lentils
cooking in a dented metal ***
In the Shikara boat we eat dal and rice
and throw scraps into the silver water
where it washes up
onto the ***** boots of a soldier
I hear the dull gray click, click of his rifle
as it touches the ground

The prayers have ended
Nick Durbin Nov 2012
Light rain washes the red from my soul,
I close my eyes to see the darkness -
My own personal escape from the world...
The crisp air trickling its way to my chapped lips,
Invading my mouth and crawling into my lungs,
A brief discovery -
I exhale,
S    L    O    W    L    Y  
Thoughts are relinquished almost instantaneously,
Quietly in my solitude; nothingness -
Extraneous Relief.
Mateuš Conrad Jan 2020
.i left an excess of a B somewhere in here... within the confines of a word giblet... i probably thought: bigger... bouncier... gibblet looked better... and so very far removed from goblet... i'm not going to look for it.

i haven't done much today -
and i don't suppose i will finish this day of
with some grand poo'em...
but one can almost be proud
to have perfected a chicken breast roulade...
the rest of the chicken missing
the butterfly? well... bound to a very
decent soup... clear and not atypical
western cream-soup...
but the roulade! the roulade!
no... you don't beat the butterfly *******
like you might turn to: "sadistically"
for a schnitzel...
you do beat the meat,
but you more or less... press down the mallet
onto the meat, until you reach
the right equilibrium of pressure and
there's that squish-sound / feel of the *******
expanding...

if it was a whole roast chicken:
of course i'd stuff the space between
the skin and the ******* with some thyme
infused butter... to capture the richness...
but this is a roulade...
the stuffing? goats cheese... toasted almonds...
fesh dates... thyme...
i might have just over-balanced
the equation with the dates...
but as i explained to the fussy-eater:
what are you implying that we do not
serve poultry with a sweet attache?
cranberry sauce and turkey?
and as i've learned...

it's best buying potatoes from a turkish
outlet by the 25kg bulk...
from a warehouse where the buyers
walk with bundles of money and do not
use debit card "finger" prints...
the free passing of money is still retained
in some tiers of society...
but the idea, regarding the potatoes is
to poach them from a bath of cold water...
once they start boiling leave them for
five minutes, then turn the heat off
and wait for the bubbling water to stop...
drain them... then leave them on
the already turned-off stove to get rid
of any excess water...
drizzle some chilly infused olive oil
onto the baking tray, place each potato individually...
then drizzle some olive oil onto them...
shove them in the oven when the roulade
is finished...
my first most pristine roulade...
of course you have to pan-fry it to get some
colour... the filling is kept intact given that:
goats' cheese is no mozarella...

it doesn't melt and subsequently ooze out...
and the whole lot should be be done within
the hour... the roulade can be pressured
to go for 25 minutes...
depending on the colour of the tatties...
i still had to take it out and "glitter" it with
a 1:1 ratio of honey and lemon juice...
the remains of this juice i designated on al dente
cooked greens... there was no need
for a dressing...
left-over red cabbage coleslaw...
that helps... sweet chilli sauce with some mayo
and crem fraiche...
it even looks the prettier picture:
leftover but it still works...
***** of a ******* butterfly *******!
of course it was going to spit oil back at me,
i was frying the skin... the fat from the skin
was melting the skin was getting crisp
and mingling with the olive oil fat...
also... it's a myth that the temp. should
read: 165°F... that's really just a circa...
mine read 156°F... and given the time i let
it rest...

oh right... this is not a food blog...
perhaps the moon is just too beautiful tonight
to have to attach words to it?
perhaps my love is better left alone and unused
and it doesn't demand sleeper idealism
for it to be celebrated?
it's cooking food... it's not a hip-replacement
surgery...
when cooking was married to chemistry:
i sometimes miss the laboratory
and the cooking up of esters...
my new found calling is in cooking...
and something i... wouldn't exactly want to earn
money for...

and what is surgery if not elevated butcher's ******>antics? oh no, it's needed...
but the meat is supposed to be raw
from beginning to end...
and if i was only given the chance to recycle
a recipe for a stake tartar...
or sushi... well... it wouldn't be much...
esp. when i come into my own
and cook an indian **** of spices...
but then again... the indians butcher their meat
in their curries...
i've come to some serious realisation...
the indians butcher the meat with their curry sauce...
it comes down to baking the meat...
in order for the meat to still retain its
original juices...
i quiet enjoy that little detail of cook...
in that: i don't remember the last time i was
in a restaurant...

i can't imagine eating while having to talk...
conversation over food is no better
than sitting in field of grazing cows
and their leech clouds of flies all bothersome...
with regards to the quality of the meat....
there is always some excess of meat from
the butterfly ******* before you start moulding
them into a shape that will satisfy it being
rolled...
it's a supreme joy working with a whole
chicken... i sometimes wish i was also the man
who could see the whole procedure of:
and be involved in the slaughterhouse...

oh god... the brute village beheading is
rather uncompromising... one chicken is caught
and beheaded on a stump of wood...
the head still moves with its last remaining
short-circuit tongue extending out of the beak
and the eyes roll... and then all the other chickens
congregate and perform a Kuru ritual of pecking
the blood... sipping it...
that's how killing a chicken in a village
looks like... i can't imagine an industrial scale
precision... but i would't mind...

every time i hear of veganism: the ethical argument
i start conjuring up an antithesis of
cannibalism... which is not exactly edgy given
my catholic background (i haven't been
confirmed, personal choice):
this is my body, this is my blood...
i hear a vegan talk i make a fetish of
imagining cannibalism...
believe me... these limbs look akward...
to begin with... where can you find a *******
drumstick of poultry on it?!
nowhere!

only a few days shy off today i made a most
delightful broth of chicken hearts...
i can't explain how the sight of washing...
oh... around 30 pultry hearts feels like...
given that they're hearts and not the entire chicken...
but as ever... the internal organs are a delight...
pork or poultry liver...
poultry hearts...
poultry stomachs...
cow intestines...

come to think of it... you never really cook meat...
you... curate it... it become a fine art specialist...
for those who turn to veganism or the vegetarian
"alternative": perhaps they never curated meat,
perhaps they simply butchered it?
the chicken roulade of butterfly poultry *******
always came out dry-*****?

after all, wasn't ol' Adoolph the one to say:
'hello mr. carrot, hellooo jew no. 1269230 of
auschwitz'... that's the puberty of my distrust
for vegans... they were never able to
cook meat properly... they probably ate
a decent piece of it served in a restaurant...
but when it came to cooking it themselves...
they would have probably butchered
a pasta and never reached the quality: al dente...
either...
and i'm worried that they can't cook
vegetables al dente either...
so it's back to the gulag of roots overcooked
and turned into mush...

oh i believe that meat is butchered...
but it's from the actual butchery...
it's from a lack of respect in how it's finally
"cooked"... well... curated...
are vegans the sort of people that never
ate a stake tartar... or found the most
arisotractic flavours in the giblet?
oh my god... if you can eat a drumstick
of chicken clean to the bone...
and, like me... sometimes bite off
the budding pulp of the bone for the marrow
gnash?
perhaps that's why i own cats...
delicate courtesans of the table...
a dog would go hungry at this table...
sharpnel of bones and some lurking marrow
in the "shins"... and that's about it...

you can never truly be a vegan...
not unless you repudiate the fact you've only
tasted muscle tissue...
what about the giblets and the cartilege?

every time i would perform oral ***
on a woman i could only conjure up one distate...
this is not a steak done rare...
this is not an oyster...
this is not a steak tartar...
there are "things" pulverising this meat...
there's an unexpected pocket of heat
in this... "thing"...
this is a sensation that lends itself
to the pastry section of my diet...
a warm apple pie... a custard drizzle
over some chocolate sponge...
oh qui qui... the marvels of a bilingual mouth...

if the meat is of good quality....
as the chicken roulade i made today...
and there were leftover snippets...
which i fed to the cats...
and the meat was eaten... in totality...
i was eating good chicken...
cats regarding meat are like...
those ancient jobs equivalent to...
Halotus...
god! give me a chance to own a cat!
i'll name him: Halotus!
he'll be my meat taster...
he'll tell me if i'm eating bad meat...
i'm not a Claudius but...
this cat could very well be the next Halotus!
dogs eat leftovers...

beside this one instance of catching
a female mosquito by the leg
and feeding it to a cat...
the most pleasure i ever received was
when i was preparing a rainbow trout
for grilling...
the head couldn't be used since:
i wasn't planning to cook a base fish stock...
so i plucked those pearly eyes from the head...
and my... what a delight they were...
not me... the cat...
i'm guessing that's the equivalent
of me gulping down an oyster...

female maine **** fascination with dairy
products...
any cream will do... even cheap-oh cheese...
dairylee spreadable...
but all manner of cream whipped...
i've heard of cats being fond of red wine...
i once owned one that was fond
of... olive brine...

again: what's with this need for people to cook
your food? what sort of decency of conversation
can one have when presented with food?
i don't like restaurants simply because:
well i can't exactly cook roadkill...
and shooting at birds is not my kind of thing...
so if i can't catch it and **** it...
i can at least: cook it...
i distrust what i eat that i haven't prepared
myself... notably the hygiene dilemma...

it really is on my head whether i'll catch
salmonella when i sometimes drink a coffee
with a guilty pleasure of mine:
whisked egg-yoke and sugar... on top of the coffee...
that's my problem...
but eating is never a synonym with conversation...
and it's never necessary to loiter and wait
for someone to shove pretenses above
the food in the first instance of: the waiting staff...

i blame the rise in veganism surrounding
the people who never allowed themselves to appreciate
the animal: in total...
there's no fun just sticking to ingesting muscle
protein... first you have to cook it properly...
this chicken roulade didn't have to reach
the internal temp. of 165°F - that's a circa proposition...
at 156°F and allowed to rest is just as good...
because it's an art-form to cook meat...
then again: what's cooking and what's about
to be curated?

the people who turn to veganism are also the people
who never bothered with gibblets...
the liver, the heart, the stomach,
in some cases the intestines...
hence my critique of Islams critique of ol' porky Bella...
this most unique animal...
which you can eat in total...
tenga deep fried pigs ears...
again: the cartilege...
ethics my *** if all you know about a pig is a bore
chop or a **** or... you never get into
the knitty-gritty details of the interior of
an animal... lamb is a stinking meat...
it's hell-rot when the male is slaughtered...

oh right! right! how could i forget the star
pinnacle... poached giblet supreme...
the neck... if you know how to eat a drumstick
down to the bone...
poached poultry neck...
the teeth and tongue wandering around
the crevices of this elongated spine...
i can imagine monkey's extended coccyx
tastes as tender... but only among
the macaques...
otherwise: when what's about to be eaten...
can be elevated to a status of ****** fetishes...
gimps in leather...
when rummaging among so many
boyscouts & aenemic vegans...

i'm yet to taste this, one specific, delicacy...
flaki (flački) is not new to me...
i need to marry a girl from ******* Masovia...
somewhere in the vicinity of Płock...
for i can eat some černina...
duck blood and clear broth soup...
as long as most of the animal is used...
the dogs can have the rest
and so can the vegan ethics society...

but of course this is no an anathema...
or some curated vendetta...
all the roots in the vicinity...
even the fungus... can vegans eat fungus?
are you sure?
what about those "thinking" magic mushrooms
that... if you looked into 1960s:
quick-n-easy philosophy courses...
the fungus is the botanical hitchhiker
that strapped itself to the humanoid brain
and... broadened our horizons and what not...
can you eat the godhead 'shroom?
it might just very well be...
that i'm picking a half-brain half-mushroom
entity in some alcohol to allow myself
to ease a tongue out from
its standard formality of the mollusk...
and waggle waggle waggle brute...

but yes... one is most certainly butchering
a piece of meat when one cooks
a broth... or a curry... unless its a gibblet
of sorts...
to "curate" muscular meat in a broth of a curry...
poaching it to death and worse than death:
dry...
it's about allowing the meat to retain its
natural juices...
how else to enjoy a poultry butterfly breast
roulade - with the natural juices still intact?

- i stopped paying attention to these *******
moralists...
if you have ever figured your way around
cutting off the butterfly of ******* for a roulade...
and you know what it feels like
when you stuff the space between
the meat and the skin of them
with some butter and fresh thyme...
and you're still not circumcised...
well... that's what skin feels like...

how else to reiterate? Ava Lauren is probably
the best example of a brothel beauty...
mandible beauty... something that contorts
and appeals to a perspective of cubism...
wretched beauty of the squashed square
into a pseudo-rhombus contort...
at least doing it from time to time leaves me
without a single buoyancy of thought regarding:
am i having enough, am i not having enough:
and if i'm not having enough -
what are the chances of me contracting some
s.t.d.?

bad beef...
again... juxtaposing a reiteration...
there's something worse than visit a brothel...
there's the... visiting a resturant..
i can't stop thinking about alien,
unwashed hands, preparing my food...
it's already one kick-in-the-***** not having
hunted the food... but to be left ******-over
twice by not having cooked it?!

at least if you know what flesh feels like
between the two crucibles of
death's kiss and man's tongue tease...
you will know when...
you will at least know when...
death comes with its kiss...
and its breath... the meat will turn all
yucky... as if a mollusk decided to prance
upon it in an imitation zigzag...

hence? i have no respect for islam because
islam has no respect for Miss Porky Bella!
seeing how most of the lamb -
except for the kidney in a steak pie
is not wasted...
the pig could feed two african villages...
if done properly...
while a lamb would only serve a pittance
for a poor man of yemen harem...

again: the pig is the enemy...
while not making crab meat a haram is not?
vulture meat... scavenger meat...
that's a: o.k. but the sophisticated nature
of the pig: sophisticated in that:
almost all of it can be eaten...
that so much of it can be you would probably
burp out an oink...
done properly...
the giblets in tow...
pity that such a desert god would never
appreciate the pig becoming a dog on
its truffle hog days...

beside all the arguments...
imagine how the "one true god" goes down
on a platter of those ignorant Beijing folk...
Warsaw testing! Warsaw testing!

pristine my *** when all they ever do
is eat the muscles and never appreciate the detials...
no wonder they become aenemic vegans!
at least butchering a vegetable is less of a concern...
you can almost get away with butchering a root...
it is... oh most certainly it is a shame...
when you can't cook meat properly...

but at least i never feel ever as bad going to a brothel
seeing the sort of people who venture into
restaurants...
i don't like being cooked for, i don't like being
"waited" for...
i don't like this modern orthodoxy affair
of a restaurant... i wish these people
learned something about how meat is: never cooked...
and how... it's always most certainly most necessarily:
curated...

pedantic? perhaps... you should have seen
me in that athenian strip-club with two-clingy *******
either side of me... starwberries in their *****
and we are all fine and giggling...
stealing kisses from prostitutes is: truffle hog
"learning" parabolla...

a date and a "promise" of *** is always
a limp **** affair...
i always want to know whether what i'll be eating
still entertain the existence of salt...
or whether i'll have to find alternatives
of: extracting the juices and finding the right
bites...
because love is long over-due and i'm not going
to butcher it further with whimsical hopes...
my love is a dead love is no ideal...
my love is donning a ball and chain of memory:
i have left the better parts of myself
in the wrong sort of people...
they're hardly coming back...
the people or the pieces of me...

but at least i can attest that:
oral *** and the cool crisp gulp of an oyster
passing the Charon of my tongue...
oysters are only fascinating to eat...
because you always want to concentrate
on the fact that: you're eating something that's still
alive... not even a steak tartar or a sushi slice
gives you that hope and thrill...
unless... you're hoping for some tapeworm
embryo being lodged in the flesh...
which how man can almost arrive
at the conception of foetus and womanhood...
i can't be impregnated: exclusively...
i can't be... pregnant: exclusively...
but i can allow a parasitical tapeworm
to become my new-born-*******-out-abortion...

inclusively... how else?!
i'm also tired of being left immoral by the act
of *******...
not unless you know what not being circumcised
feels like... and what chicken skin feels like...
the people at the restaurants...
a palette disgruntled by minor changes of heat...
and... there's always a very precise detail
when it comes to the temp. of a piece of meat
being cooked... and when it's allowed to epilogue
when resting to ****** with all its juices
left intact...

over-sexed society, are we?
at least doing the one-eyed-bandit's favor
doesn't allow me to ferment...
to pickle such repressive thinking...
itself pitched against: in itself...
and these this Radeztsky March forward...
over-sexed also can imply:
not exactly culinarily-savvy...
these are always twins walking side by side...
and they are always siamese problems...
over-sexed implies...
not cuninarily-savvy...
the better part of this critique is already wide open...
why all these cooking channels,
all these cooking programs?
and all this ****?

can't **** can't cook? broomstick! and to sabbath
with you!
i can't no better comparison...
over-sexed and also: terrible at *******...
******* is terrible to begin with...
you can't exactly quip yourself with
having done some lessons in tango or salsa...
the chances are that the *** turns out to
be a laughable take on tango and
you're going to step on a day-dreaming
dancing partner...
it's exactly what's it's supposed to be:
a gamble at best...
but when you throw in bad cooking?
recipe for disaster... bad dates that begin
in a restaurant and arrive at a black-out
bedroom with cockoon *** under
the bedsheets with you gasping for air!

'god let me out! let me out!'
you asked me to come:it was raining a little,
and the spring;a clumsy brightness of air
wonderfully stumbled above the square,
little amorous-tadpole people wiggled

battered by stuttering pearl,
                                leaves jiggled
to the jigging fragrance of newness
—and then.  My crazy fingers liked your dress
….your kiss,your kiss was a distinct brittle

flower,and the flesh crisp set
my love-tooth on edge.  So until light
each having each we promised to forget—

wherefore is there nothing left to guess:
the cheap intelligent thighs,the electric trite
thighs;the hair stupidly priceless.
Kate Eddy Jun 2019
The blaze took the house with great speed,
Those inside at once had fleed,
But all was not as it appeared,
For when at last the smoke had cleared,
Among the husk of the home
The children discovered they were alone.

They dashed about at a frantic pace,
Looking around for the smallest trace,
Fearing the worst was yet to pass,
One last glance the children cast,
It was then they noticed her cloth of blue,
And the fate of their mother they finally knew.

Running to where their mother laid,
They knew a farewell they'd have to bade,
Knowing that they couldn't stay
For their only relative live far away,
When their mother was put to rest at last
Julie knew she had to push them past.

Leaving the ashes of their past behind,
Hoping a new home they would find,
Julie did for her sisters all she could,
Knowing that reliving the past would do no good.
And so at last Julie and sisters journey began
To reach their home was the only plan.

When the sky turned black as night,
Julie knew something was not quite right,
Stopping their ride Julie and Linda can tell
That something must not be going well,
As they returned they were alarmed to see
Their sister Clotild drowning in the sea.

Julie at once knew what to do,
Into the water at once she flew,
Clotild's head went slowly down below,
The fate of her sister Linda afraid to know,
But when Julie came to the surface at last
Seeing Clotild, Linda knew the danger had passed.

"Clotild, what were you thinking?" they wished to know,
Clotild answered simply saying she was hot and wished to go,
To cool her feet with the fresh feel of the sea
At the time not seeing where the fault could be,
Please don't do that again, they'd scold,
For had they not known, a different story would of been told.

Racing to where the smoke had led,
Each took in the scene with dread,
As flames spread across the little town
Chaos had evidently ensued all around,
Julie looked about the destroyed land,
Knowing what it was like to see the damage firsthand.

What Julie saw then made her blood go cold,
For upon a burning threshold
A girl lay unconscious in need of aid,
Julie knew if she stayed
Or if she delayed-
A heavy price the girl would of paid.

Julie ran as fast as she ever had before,
Diving last minute towards the floor,
Dragging the girl safely away,
The girl opened her eyes as if to say,
She felt she was going to be okay,
Julie couldn't imagine how she'd come to be alone,
Thankfully, evidence of life had clearly shown.

Many had seen what had transpired,
The courage of Julie they had all admired,
But when asked why she put herself in harm's way,
She said, I couldn't very well let her stay,
Julie then took her to where Linda and Clotild stood
Knowing that she'd done all that she could.

It was clear that the girl had no home,
As tattered clothes had clearly shown,
Julie realized that there was one thing she could do,
Knowing that the girl's options were few,
She decided to offer her a chance to restart,
For with them she'd always be a part.

Frightened she was when she finally awoke,
Noticing in gentle tones the sisters spoke,
What happened? They wished to know,
Tears at once began to flow,
They listened to the tale she wished to be told,
As the story of Chloe began to unfold.

I'm an only child, I only had my mom and dad,
In fact they were the only family that I had,
I had to do homeschooling for we were too poor,
Yet, even with that I'd been happy as none before,
Then today fire took my home and the next I'd known
I was fighting for life on my own.

Julie didn't know what to say,
Yet she noticed even now Chloe seemed to be okay,
As if she'd accepted what had passed,
Hoping her parents would feel peace at last,
Linda and Clotild felt like they could relate,
It seemed as if tragedy was the common trait.

As they continued on their way,
Julie and her sister's story they relay,
Finishing with when they had met,
There was something Chloe couldn't forget,
She looked at Julie asking,"Why help me?"
For the reasoning she did not see.

Julie looked at her kindly and without hesitation said,
If I didn't move I knew you'd be dead,
I knew I couldn't leave you there to die
Hopeless though it seemed at the time I had to try,
I took a emergency class a few weeks ago you see,
And the first thing I was taught was never to flee.

The spell of silence was suddenly shattered,
When Julie noticed a girl pale and battered,
Who suddenly collapsed in a heap
As if she'd fallen fast asleep,
Julie went at once to her side,
Sweat thick on her brow she spied.

They knew something had to be done,
Already the setting of the sun had begun,
Julie drove as fast as she could,
And into view a little town stood,
Spotting a doctor's office the girls go,
Hoping the illness the doctor will know.

Slowly the girl began to groan,
Opening her eyes confusion shown,
Seeing her awake Chloe asked her name,
Instead of an answer a blank look came,
The doctor took the girl into another room
Returning a few moments later with a look of gloom.

"Please, she said gesturing to some seats,
With a critical look she asked,"How'd you meet?"
We were driving along when we saw her in the road,
The girls said as their concern clearly showed,
The girl sat in quiet destress as the doctor stressed
This poor child's memory is quite a mess.

"What could you possibly mean?" Julie asked at last,
The doctor answered as a pitiful glance she cast,
She doesn't know who she is or where she's from,
Linda asked," Then for her.....what is to come?"
She will have to go into foster care I'm afraid,
Yet as she said that the girl had swayed.  

Julie was at her side rather quickly,
As the girl appeared even more sickly,
Against Julie the girl then went,
As if to show her energy was clearly spent,
Julie and Linda laid her in a bed,
Knowing she heard all that was said.

The next day when the first ray of sun appeared,
The girl's condition seemed to have cleared,
She said to the doctor as if to get her to see,
I think those girls are my only family,
Julie heard what she said wondering where this would lead
For it appeared as if she planted a seed.

The doctor went to the girls asking if this was true,
"Yes, was the answer that Julie threw,
As the doctor could not prove them wrong,
The girl was allowed to come along,
Leaving the little town behind,
All appeared to have recent events on mind.

Finally Julie asked the girl as she wished to understand,
What was it that made it so she lied to change the plan,
The girl said at last, I felt a bit safer with you,
And I'm not saying that the doctor wouldn't know what to do,
But you helped me , even though you didn't know me at all,
I didn't want to be alone, she said appearing small .

They looked at the girl in a kind way,
At first not knowing what to say,
Finally, Linda asked if she remembered her name,
The girl responded with much disdain,
I'm afraid no name comes to mind,
And I want to leave my past behind.

It's time I start again she proclaimed,
As things can never be the same,
I think we should start with who I am,
So you can call me and all can understand,
How do you like Lucy as a name?
I think that will do nicely as it is simple and plain.

And Lucy was what the girl was to be known,
As if to show how she felt, relief was what had shown,
Lucy then listened to their adventure,
Ending with when they'd met her,
Lucy looked at Julie in a new light,
Saying, "now I know my decision was right."

When the day had come to an end ,
A night under the stars the girls did spend,
Do you ever think about that day ? Asked Clotild
Her voice was sadness filled,
Julie and Linda glanced at her and with pity said,
Clotild we've got to move ahead.

Clotild said nothing and proceeded to bed,
As if to shut out her sister's presence instead,
The next day away from her sisters Clotild did stay,
And not one word did she say,
They came at last to a city to see,
And angry mob corner a girl while she looked back defiantly.

The girls went at once to the scene,
So the situation they could glean,
Linda asked what they were doing,
The mob answered saying, a thief is who we're pursuing,
Linda got in front of the girl asking, "what has she stolen?"
A shop owner pointed saying, it's in the bag she's pullin.

Linda took the bag and looked inside,
In which many foods did reside,
The group glanced at the girl asking the cost,
Paying for the items they had lost,
As the mob slowly trickled away –
the girls asked why she didn't pay .

The girl hung her head Shamed,
you can't blame me she claimed,
at first they had not caught on,
it was then that a girl came along ,
she doesn't have any Home,
she's with me and we're on our own.

My name is Nancy and this is Carol she said,
saying this as if on thin Ice they did tread,
Julie stepped forward and said then,
We won't hurt you, we are friends,
Linda went to them with the bag
knowing that it was all they had.

Once the bag was in their possession,
Nancy said as her weariness began to lessen,
"Thank you for all that you did,"
and with that the farewell they bid
later that night where the girls stayed,
an unexpected visit Nancy and Carol paid.

Hey , Chloe said is everything okay?
Carol answered saying we decided not to stay,
the girls looked at each other asking where they go,
as all of them now wish to know ,
Nancy looked at the girls with hopeful pleasure,
Hoping to find a life that was better.

We were wondering if we could join you guys
and find out where our future lies,
Come and join us, Lucy said to them,
for now they only saw friends,
it was then their story they began to tell,
and at once silence fell.

We are sisters you see,
For so long we'd no where to be,
Believe it or not we had a home,
Better than any have ever known,
For a minute not a word was said,
Carol continued with a look of dread.

"We were well off because of our parents occupations,
The girls listened with much anticipation,
My mom was a doctor and dad was a lawyer you see,
That's why we were such a wealthy family,
One day, said Nancy picking up the story, that changed
Dad came and with mom words were exchanged.

Apparently, dad was being sued,
For as far as his client viewed,
Dad hadn't done all that he could,
Therefore to his client he was no good,
I don't know how much they took,
But the nerves of our parents it clearly shook.

Soon word spread throughout our town,
And eventually people stopped coming to him all around,
Soon mom had to pay for all of bills on her own,
And the stress of it had clearly shown,
One day our parents argued whether or not to send us away,
Carol and I didn't bother to stay.

The girls looked at them with dismay,
Wishing there was something they could say,
Nancy continued saying, the next day we packed our bags,
As she said this  her shoulders sagged,
We knew then that we'd never see our home again,
I thought Carol and I eventually mend.

We ran away from every place we were sent,
Even though no unkindness any family meant,
Since that time we've been alone with nowhere to go,
Sighing, Nancy said, now our story you know,
Julie put her hand reassuringly on Nancy's shoulder,
Thanks for letting us know, she had told her.

What about you? The two sisters wish to be told ,
So to the sisters the story did unfold,
Nancy and Carol stared at Julie with the look of awe,
As if realizing only now who it was that they saw,
Is this really true? They asked as if yet to believe,
It's true, they said as if to show they didn't deceive.

"We've heard of you! Carol said suddenly,
As if the memories of those events surfaced finally,
You were on the news a few days ago,
She looked at Nancy as if she'd know,
Yes, Nancy slowly said as if the story began to return,
Julie was surprised at what the news people had learned.

I just helped those who I thought I could,
Just like I think anyone should,
Carol and Nancy smiled at Julie as if happy to know,
To a new home with Julie they would go,
Several weeks had passed since their journey began,
And out of Europe they were as they planned.

Six days later in New York they came,
And though tired they were happy to be on land all the same,
Through the vast city the girls drove,
Right down New York's main roads,
Throughout the day many had noticed the girls go,
As recognition slowly began to grow.

Comments circled about them regularly,
"Can't we be left alone!", Clotild said sullenly,
Linda and Julie glanced at Clotild momentarily,
She was worse then they thought, they noticed worryingly,
They went to a park and set up camp for the night,
Somewhere that was out of sight.

The glow of the moon lit up their camp in soft light,
Julie and Linda had a feeling that Clotild wasn't alright,
She hardly paid them any heed,
And when they approached she'd recede,
They wished they could make her feel better,
But she was just too bitter.

The next day the girls went through  to Nebraska's state,
Clotild what's wrong? Chloe asked seeing a look of hate,
"I'm fine!" Clotild said violently,
The girls stared at her silently,
It was then that Linda and Chloe swapped,
As the others continued to look at Clotild shocked.

A village came out of the blue,
Those in the village had looked at them as if the girls they knew,
As they set up camp villagers watched in awe
Not believing who it was that they saw,
A girl said, " mommy it's the girl from tv,
The mother glanced in their direction saying-it is indeed.

Looking in their direction Julie sees,
Sheltered in the shade of the shops a girl looked on miserably,
Julie went at once to her to see what was wrong,
All at once had withdrawn,
As the girl noticed and began to retreat, Julie shouted wait!
Catching up Julie noticed that she was pale and under weight.

Are you okay? Lucy asked then,
As a cut Julie did tend,
Linda went and got her food and drink,
And looking at the girl Julie began to think,
Looking at the girl seeing the bleeding,
Julie asked her what was wrong and she said," I was fleeing."

Julie glanced at the others with concern,
Trouble at once they began to discern,
Julie took the girl into her tent,
The other girls to guard the tent they went,
An hour later Julie came out at last,
How bad is it? They asked noticing the look she cast.

Her name is Rose and she's frightened and has good reason,
Julie said this her voice began to lessen,
Last night her parents were robbed and killed,
She witnessed it Julie said her voice with concern filled,
After a minute she continued, apparently the robber knew,
She ran because she didn't know what to do.

She's still in shock unfortunately,
Since no one's caught him he's still at large you see,
She no longer has a home,
She's afraid and she's on her own,
We can't leave her alone with that man on the run,
Okay we'll leave tomorrow at the rising of the sun.

The next day at first light the girls left the village behind,
Each one with the thought of home on their mind,
The sky was crystal clear the air crisp and sweet,
For a minute a pair of eyes Julie did meet,
It was a figure of a boy her age she saw then,
She did not see him again.

For the rest of the day Julie's attention seemed to stray,
To that boy that didn't stay,
Who was it who she had seen?
Was it an illusion or a dream?
As she watched the smoke from their fire burn into the night,
Something went across Julie's sight in flight.

Julie got up and said,"whose out there?"
As this reaction seemed quite fair,
It was then a boy had appeared as a silhouette in the night,
Julie went up to him before he went out of sight,
Why are you following us? she asked her voice tight,
Looking at him Julie can tell something's not right.

Hello Julie, I've come to warn you,
So when the time comes you'll know what to do,
There is one among you you call your friend,
That person you'll lose in the end,
Julie glaring said, " What do you mean then?"
The boy said," the one you call a friend will betray you in the end

Beware he said on and on,
Then as suddenly as he appeared he was gone,
Julie looked at the place where the girls laid,
Suddenly feeling very afraid,
She didn't know why for she thought it couldn't be true,
So to bed she went and thoughts of that night flew.

The next day into Colorado they appeared,
For all the girls weariness at last had cleared,
As each knew their journey was about to end,
And soon all of them would have a home again,
Keeping that in mind, the girls look until a clearing they find
Where a cabin lay with trees behind.

The group went to work setting up camp,
As the air turned cool and damp,
The girls sat to eat dinner at 6:00 that night,
Finishing they feel tired and Julie knows something isn't right,
Because try as they did to stay awake,
Julie knew a drug was placed in something they ate or drank.

As Julie was the last to go down,
The closing of a door was her last sound,
When she woke at last around a room a glance was thrown,
As this room she had not known,
Wondering where you are? Asked Clotild in a mocking tone,
Julie looked at her as confusion shown.

Clotild what.....Julie stopped as understanding grew,
Julie felt as if she'd been hit in the face as she said,"It's you!"
"Why? Julie asked, what have any of us done to deserve this?"
Looking at the others who she originally missed,
Clotild glared as she said, " you don't care or know
To hear Julie this and Julie that wherever you go.

Yet even with that- before any of this began,
Instead of taking command,
You left mom in that fire to die,
And you didn't even bother to try!
So yes Julie, it was me
Because I had every right to be.

"Clotild, how could I have known this would of occurred?"
Yet even as she said this, she knew she wasn't heard,
Goodbye Julie, said Clotild as she stood,
"Clotild, Julie said realizing it'd do no good,
Julie tried to stand only to find her hands and feet tied,
Clotild ran out the door as the binds she tried.

When Julie freed herself to the door she went,
Without luck opening the door her energy she spent,
The others finally woke with a groan,
All went to Julie as she sat alone,
Linda came to her asking, Where are we?
And where is Clotild? For it was her they didn't see.

As they looked at Julie they knew something was wrong,
For she had an expression that didn't belong,
Julie told what happened and the girls began to dispute,
"It's true, said Julie at last , an answer they couldn't refute,
"What are we gonna do? What are we gonna do?
The answer of which nobody knew.

The door was locked from the outside,
And yet no matter how hard they tried,
The door had stayed in it's place,
It seemed like too much for the girls to face,
When all seemed lost and hopeless then,
The door opened revealing only a friend.

The boy Julie had met came at once to her side,
As a look of depression on her face he spied,
"Who are you? asked Rose suspicion clear in her voice,
I'm a friend and I'm here to help, he said by choice,
"How did you find us?" asked Julie her annoyance plain,
"I followed your sister as she took you away", he claimed.

We might as well leave as there is no reason to stay,
"Be wary, your sister intends to make you pay,
What on earth could you mean? asked Linda upset,
Wondering how much worse things could possibly get,
But again as suddenly as he had come to their aid,
He vanished as if to show they were too much delayed.

Their journey home they still went,
To each other their strength they lent,
Not one word had anyone said,
For due to recent events their hearts were filled with lead,
Finally a town came into sight,
As they came they noticed a girl in flight.

From trouble the girl ran,
Behind her as she went she scanned,
Glancing to where her eyes lead,
The group at once to guard the girl they sped,
For a few thieves at once took chase,
Stop! Julie said intent on putting them in their place.

They stopped asking, And why would we listen to you?
At once a fist Julie threw and away they flew,
At last the girl the group had found,
Julie went to her saying, "they're gone, no one's around."
The girl glanced shyly about,
Sure it was now safe she then came out.

"Why bother to help me when you didn't know me at all?"
With them after me, I don't see why on you responsibility'd fall,
They had no right to take from you,
And I knew there was something I could do,
The girl said, I don't even have a home,
I was going to try and  find a life of my own.

Would you like to come with us? asked Rose,
Really...yes please the girl said as the door on her past closed,
What is your name? asked Rose facing their new friend,
Sky, said the girl as a note of confidence she did send,
Where you heading? asked Sky as they left the town behind
Linda said, we're hoping our dad we'll find.

Sky asked confused, what could you mean?
So the girls explained how their journey came into being,
Sky was so amazed that for a minute she could only say,
Julie there's no way
They looked at her and Lucy said, it's true,
And her admiration of Julie quickly grew.

Sky then said, I am sorry that your sister lost her way,
For the wound was still fresh and twas a heavy price to pay,
Thank you, Julie said to break the ice,
For silence had latched on as a vice,
At long last to their father's house they came,
Realizing to each girl life wouldn't be the same.

Knocking on the door as anticipation did build,
Throughout Julie's being fear had filled,
For Clotild's eyes Julie had met,
A look Clotild sent as if to say Julie's actions she'd regret,
At once Clotild took flight-
Quickly vanishing from Julie's sight.

"We need to get inside now, Julie said urgently,
The girls glanced at Julie not seeing what the trouble could be,
Julie? Asked Linda with growing concern,
Seeing what she could learn,
She's here, was all Julie had said,
The girls heard and looked around with dread.

The door opened to show a man with a serious look,
Asking angrily," where is the money that you took?
Your money was stolen? Was it by a girl with blond hair?
The man looked annoyed saying yes as if he'd despaired,
We'll get it back, Julie said taking off with speed,
To the place where Clotild had fleed.

Clotild was hiding in a group of trees in view of all,
"Clotild, Julie's voice did call,
Don't make this harder than it needs to be,
Julie ran into the area as the threat she didn't see,
Running at Julie blind with rage a knife she drew,
Yet as the knife was ****** in Julie it didn't go to.

For right as it came it was Rose who took the blow,
And slowly to the ground she did go,
Dropping the knife Clotild ran,
As she noticed the failure of her plan,
"Rose, Julie said as she sank into her arms weakly,
Her breath came rather futility.

Rose weakly noticed all the girls had gathered around,
They watched shocked and no one made a sound,
Julie asked her voice sad "Why did you jump in front of me?"
Rose smiling said, Julie you taught us all what we should be,
Wincing she said, I didn't want my friend to die,
So futile though it appeared at the time, I knew I had to try.

Rose had tears in her eyes,You gave more than I ever dream of,
Julie cried as Rose went to be with the ones she loved,
After everything Rose had been through,
Julie felt peace for she knew
At last her wish came true,
At once Clotild Julie went to pursue.  

But Julie didn't have to go long,
Seeing Clotild's hands tied Julie's eyes were drawn,
For next her a boy stood tall,
Seeing Julie a serious look did fall,
The money taken to their dad they returned,
Julie then to her dad she turned.

Do I know you? Her dad asked looking at her hard,
Suddenly appearing on guard,
"Dad, It's me Julie, she said as her voice cracked,
"Julie, is it really you? Her dad said as to react,
Why are you here? And why are these girls with you?
So introducing the girls, Julie explained what they'd been through.

For a while, Joe hung his head in shame,
Your mother's dead? As if he was to blame,
"It's not your fault!"Julie said with conviction,
"Yes it is, he said looking stricken,
I was a cop and I promised our plan wouldn't change,
For a time it worked until...as he said this he aged.

What? Julie said wanting to understand,
Joe didn't meet her eyes, my job kinda took command,
I missed our anniversary and your birthday,
After a time your mother said she couldn't stay,
That was the last I'd heard from her unfortunately,
For years you girls were all I wanted to see.

"Dad,  we can be a family again,
Linda said jumping in hoping strength she'd lend,
Joe looked up with a sad look in his eyes,
But why would Clotild blame us for your mother's demise?
Julie said, She's broken and just looking for someone to blame,
I'm sad to say, she is not at all happy we came.

Joe looked at his girls and said, you truly wish to live with me?
Wondering where the reasoning could be,
Yes, said Julie I promised these girls a chance to restart,
I told them with us they'd always be a part,
Then yes, you can come and live with me here,
Hearing the girls did cheer.

Turning to the boy Julie smiled back,
You like me, she said as if it were fact,
What makes you think that? the boy asked in a mocking tone,
Looking up Julie noticed a smile had shown,
So why then did you come to our aid?
Because to the those girls survival a huge part you played.

So who are you? Julie asked then,
A tone of curiosity she did send,
My name is john if you really wish to know,
And as of now I don't intend to ever go,
Leading John into her home
A happy ending the girls at last had known.

Until we meet again  -
I have 2 words and they're The End
This is the first epic poem I've ever written. It's based on a story I wrote as a kid.
raine miller Aug 2013
luminescent shards slice through the night sky,
proudly blazing the cacophony of freedom and nationalistic pride
their screams piercing the crisp night air,
already tinged with fingers of hickory smoke
and delicate strings of strawberries

exploding into being and
crumbling into dust
simultaneously,
the broken shards of stars
float and scatter across the indigo sky
like wind-swept leaves scuttling over puddles in fall
Elaina Dec 2013
I find myself standing alone in the barren valley. The wind is cold, it burns my nose. I feel it moving my hair. Shivers run though me. The smell it brings tells me that snow is not far off.

Looking in the distance, clouds cover the mountain. It's where I must go. A new home lies beyond the tall peaks. It's calling me. Why did it send it's message now?

It's hard to explain this pull it has over me. I must get there. It's where I belong. Where I am supposed to be. Moving forward I keep my focus. Determined to survive.
...........

It's warmer now. I feel the heat of the sun. The brightness of the day has replaced the gray of the dawn. Others are making themselves known.
..................

I see the tall grass move against the wind. Rabbit moves leaving a trail of dust. The shadow of a hawk passes to the left as it chases after it's intended meal.
...................

Soon I must eat. Looking around I see the dew covered tips of tender new shoots. Putting my head down I breathe in the scent of the earth, knowing that she will always provide.

Walking again I pleasure in the warmth of the sun.
...................

Looking up, the peaks are throwing their shadow over me. I begin the climb. Steady I go, feeling more and more sure of my path. The path that guides me home, and the path that guides my soul.

The higher I climb, the colder it gets. Patches of white snow appear. The clouds of my breath fade into the space in front of me. Onward I push, my goal is true, to reach the other side.
...................

The more I struggle, the more I want this, need this. Placing one foot in front of another I make my way.

To the right, I see not far off, a overhang. A place of shelter for the night. The daylight is gone and rest is calling. When the sun rises next, my journey will take me deeper into the mountain, nearer to my home.
....................

Late into the night, stars appear. Brilliant lights such as I have never seen. The air feels new, so cold and crisp. It tells me that new beginnings are here. I sleep knowing all is well.
.....................

The morning sun brings relief from the cold. As I travel onward, it's warmth on the snow provides water to quench my thirst.

The trees are gone now. The rugged mountainside holds little in it's rocky soil. Life is scarce. This only serves to increase my drive to get home. Soon, very soon, I will be there.
......................

The sun that brought warmth earlier has crossed over the peaks. Cold is settling in, but I can see the end of the rise. In a very short time I will be in sight of my new home.
.....................

My soul is singing. Far off in the distance, I look down on a flock of birds winging effortlessly through the air. Light from the late afternoon sun is dancing off the winding river, and a heard of Buffalo graze freely among the grasses.

At last, I step down from the mountain. The overwhelming drive that guided me, has lead me home. Everywhere I look, I see what brought me here. Tears form. I am more than blessed. I am... complete.
The original running title was 'Come back for more, or is this the end?: January 15, 13, 8, 5e, 1. December 31x2, 29, 14, 9, 8'.
He was a Grecian lad, who coming home
With pulpy figs and wine from Sicily
Stood at his galley’s prow, and let the foam
Blow through his crisp brown curls unconsciously,
And holding wave and wind in boy’s despite
Peered from his dripping seat across the wet and stormy night.

Till with the dawn he saw a burnished spear
Like a thin thread of gold against the sky,
And hoisted sail, and strained the creaking gear,
And bade the pilot head her lustily
Against the nor’west gale, and all day long
Held on his way, and marked the rowers’ time with measured song.

And when the faint Corinthian hills were red
Dropped anchor in a little sandy bay,
And with fresh boughs of olive crowned his head,
And brushed from cheek and throat the hoary spray,
And washed his limbs with oil, and from the hold
Brought out his linen tunic and his sandals brazen-soled,

And a rich robe stained with the fishers’ juice
Which of some swarthy trader he had bought
Upon the sunny quay at Syracuse,
And was with Tyrian broideries inwrought,
And by the questioning merchants made his way
Up through the soft and silver woods, and when the labouring day

Had spun its tangled web of crimson cloud,
Clomb the high hill, and with swift silent feet
Crept to the fane unnoticed by the crowd
Of busy priests, and from some dark retreat
Watched the young swains his frolic playmates bring
The firstling of their little flock, and the shy shepherd fling

The crackling salt upon the flame, or hang
His studded crook against the temple wall
To Her who keeps away the ravenous fang
Of the base wolf from homestead and from stall;
And then the clear-voiced maidens ‘gan to sing,
And to the altar each man brought some goodly offering,

A beechen cup brimming with milky foam,
A fair cloth wrought with cunning imagery
Of hounds in chase, a waxen honey-comb
Dripping with oozy gold which scarce the bee
Had ceased from building, a black skin of oil
Meet for the wrestlers, a great boar the fierce and white-tusked
spoil

Stolen from Artemis that jealous maid
To please Athena, and the dappled hide
Of a tall stag who in some mountain glade
Had met the shaft; and then the herald cried,
And from the pillared precinct one by one
Went the glad Greeks well pleased that they their simple vows had
done.

And the old priest put out the waning fires
Save that one lamp whose restless ruby glowed
For ever in the cell, and the shrill lyres
Came fainter on the wind, as down the road
In joyous dance these country folk did pass,
And with stout hands the warder closed the gates of polished brass.

Long time he lay and hardly dared to breathe,
And heard the cadenced drip of spilt-out wine,
And the rose-petals falling from the wreath
As the night breezes wandered through the shrine,
And seemed to be in some entranced swoon
Till through the open roof above the full and brimming moon

Flooded with sheeny waves the marble floor,
When from his nook up leapt the venturous lad,
And flinging wide the cedar-carven door
Beheld an awful image saffron-clad
And armed for battle! the gaunt Griffin glared
From the huge helm, and the long lance of wreck and ruin flared

Like a red rod of flame, stony and steeled
The Gorgon’s head its leaden eyeballs rolled,
And writhed its snaky horrors through the shield,
And gaped aghast with bloodless lips and cold
In passion impotent, while with blind gaze
The blinking owl between the feet hooted in shrill amaze.

The lonely fisher as he trimmed his lamp
Far out at sea off Sunium, or cast
The net for tunnies, heard a brazen *****
Of horses smite the waves, and a wild blast
Divide the folded curtains of the night,
And knelt upon the little ****, and prayed in holy fright.

And guilty lovers in their venery
Forgat a little while their stolen sweets,
Deeming they heard dread Dian’s bitter cry;
And the grim watchmen on their lofty seats
Ran to their shields in haste precipitate,
Or strained black-bearded throats across the dusky parapet.

For round the temple rolled the clang of arms,
And the twelve Gods leapt up in marble fear,
And the air quaked with dissonant alarums
Till huge Poseidon shook his mighty spear,
And on the frieze the prancing horses neighed,
And the low tread of hurrying feet rang from the cavalcade.

Ready for death with parted lips he stood,
And well content at such a price to see
That calm wide brow, that terrible maidenhood,
The marvel of that pitiless chastity,
Ah! well content indeed, for never wight
Since Troy’s young shepherd prince had seen so wonderful a sight.

Ready for death he stood, but lo! the air
Grew silent, and the horses ceased to neigh,
And off his brow he tossed the clustering hair,
And from his limbs he throw the cloak away;
For whom would not such love make desperate?
And nigher came, and touched her throat, and with hands violate

Undid the cuirass, and the crocus gown,
And bared the ******* of polished ivory,
Till from the waist the peplos falling down
Left visible the secret mystery
Which to no lover will Athena show,
The grand cool flanks, the crescent thighs, the bossy hills of
snow.

Those who have never known a lover’s sin
Let them not read my ditty, it will be
To their dull ears so musicless and thin
That they will have no joy of it, but ye
To whose wan cheeks now creeps the lingering smile,
Ye who have learned who Eros is,—O listen yet awhile.

A little space he let his greedy eyes
Rest on the burnished image, till mere sight
Half swooned for surfeit of such luxuries,
And then his lips in hungering delight
Fed on her lips, and round the towered neck
He flung his arms, nor cared at all his passion’s will to check.

Never I ween did lover hold such tryst,
For all night long he murmured honeyed word,
And saw her sweet unravished limbs, and kissed
Her pale and argent body undisturbed,
And paddled with the polished throat, and pressed
His hot and beating heart upon her chill and icy breast.

It was as if Numidian javelins
Pierced through and through his wild and whirling brain,
And his nerves thrilled like throbbing violins
In exquisite pulsation, and the pain
Was such sweet anguish that he never drew
His lips from hers till overhead the lark of warning flew.

They who have never seen the daylight peer
Into a darkened room, and drawn the curtain,
And with dull eyes and wearied from some dear
And worshipped body risen, they for certain
Will never know of what I try to sing,
How long the last kiss was, how fond and late his lingering.

The moon was girdled with a crystal rim,
The sign which shipmen say is ominous
Of wrath in heaven, the wan stars were dim,
And the low lightening east was tremulous
With the faint fluttering wings of flying dawn,
Ere from the silent sombre shrine his lover had withdrawn.

Down the steep rock with hurried feet and fast
Clomb the brave lad, and reached the cave of Pan,
And heard the goat-foot snoring as he passed,
And leapt upon a grassy knoll and ran
Like a young fawn unto an olive wood
Which in a shady valley by the well-built city stood;

And sought a little stream, which well he knew,
For oftentimes with boyish careless shout
The green and crested grebe he would pursue,
Or snare in woven net the silver trout,
And down amid the startled reeds he lay
Panting in breathless sweet affright, and waited for the day.

On the green bank he lay, and let one hand
Dip in the cool dark eddies listlessly,
And soon the breath of morning came and fanned
His hot flushed cheeks, or lifted wantonly
The tangled curls from off his forehead, while
He on the running water gazed with strange and secret smile.

And soon the shepherd in rough woollen cloak
With his long crook undid the wattled cotes,
And from the stack a thin blue wreath of smoke
Curled through the air across the ripening oats,
And on the hill the yellow house-dog bayed
As through the crisp and rustling fern the heavy cattle strayed.

And when the light-foot mower went afield
Across the meadows laced with threaded dew,
And the sheep bleated on the misty weald,
And from its nest the waking corncrake flew,
Some woodmen saw him lying by the stream
And marvelled much that any lad so beautiful could seem,

Nor deemed him born of mortals, and one said,
‘It is young Hylas, that false runaway
Who with a Naiad now would make his bed
Forgetting Herakles,’ but others, ‘Nay,
It is Narcissus, his own paramour,
Those are the fond and crimson lips no woman can allure.’

And when they nearer came a third one cried,
‘It is young Dionysos who has hid
His spear and fawnskin by the river side
Weary of hunting with the Bassarid,
And wise indeed were we away to fly:
They live not long who on the gods immortal come to spy.’

So turned they back, and feared to look behind,
And told the timid swain how they had seen
Amid the reeds some woodland god reclined,
And no man dared to cross the open green,
And on that day no olive-tree was slain,
Nor rushes cut, but all deserted was the fair domain,

Save when the neat-herd’s lad, his empty pail
Well slung upon his back, with leap and bound
Raced on the other side, and stopped to hail,
Hoping that he some comrade new had found,
And gat no answer, and then half afraid
Passed on his simple way, or down the still and silent glade

A little girl ran laughing from the farm,
Not thinking of love’s secret mysteries,
And when she saw the white and gleaming arm
And all his manlihood, with longing eyes
Whose passion mocked her sweet virginity
Watched him awhile, and then stole back sadly and wearily.

Far off he heard the city’s hum and noise,
And now and then the shriller laughter where
The passionate purity of brown-limbed boys
Wrestled or raced in the clear healthful air,
And now and then a little tinkling bell
As the shorn wether led the sheep down to the mossy well.

Through the grey willows danced the fretful gnat,
The grasshopper chirped idly from the tree,
In sleek and oily coat the water-rat
Breasting the little ripples manfully
Made for the wild-duck’s nest, from bough to bough
Hopped the shy finch, and the huge tortoise crept across the
slough.

On the faint wind floated the silky seeds
As the bright scythe swept through the waving grass,
The ouzel-**** splashed circles in the reeds
And flecked with silver whorls the forest’s glass,
Which scarce had caught again its imagery
Ere from its bed the dusky tench leapt at the dragon-fly.

But little care had he for any thing
Though up and down the beech the squirrel played,
And from the copse the linnet ‘gan to sing
To its brown mate its sweetest serenade;
Ah! little care indeed, for he had seen
The ******* of Pallas and the naked wonder of the Queen.

But when the herdsman called his straggling goats
With whistling pipe across the rocky road,
And the shard-beetle with its trumpet-notes
Boomed through the darkening woods, and seemed to bode
Of coming storm, and the belated crane
Passed homeward like a shadow, and the dull big drops of rain

Fell on the pattering fig-leaves, up he rose,
And from the gloomy forest went his way
Past sombre homestead and wet orchard-close,
And came at last unto a little quay,
And called his mates aboard, and took his seat
On the high ****, and pushed from land, and loosed the dripping
sheet,

And steered across the bay, and when nine suns
Passed down the long and laddered way of gold,
And nine pale moons had breathed their orisons
To the chaste stars their confessors, or told
Their dearest secret to the downy moth
That will not fly at noonday, through the foam and surging froth

Came a great owl with yellow sulphurous eyes
And lit upon the ship, whose timbers creaked
As though the lading of three argosies
Were in the hold, and flapped its wings and shrieked,
And darkness straightway stole across the deep,
Sheathed was Orion’s sword, dread Mars himself fled down the steep,

And the moon hid behind a tawny mask
Of drifting cloud, and from the ocean’s marge
Rose the red plume, the huge and horned casque,
The seven-cubit spear, the brazen targe!
And clad in bright and burnished panoply
Athena strode across the stretch of sick and shivering sea!

To the dull sailors’ sight her loosened looks
Seemed like the jagged storm-rack, and her feet
Only the spume that floats on hidden rocks,
And, marking how the rising waters beat
Against the rolling ship, the pilot cried
To the young helmsman at the stern to luff to windward side

But he, the overbold adulterer,
A dear profaner of great mysteries,
An ardent amorous idolater,
When he beheld those grand relentless eyes
Laughed loud for joy, and crying out ‘I come’
Leapt from the lofty **** into the chill and churning foam.

Then fell from the high heaven one bright star,
One dancer left the circling galaxy,
And back to Athens on her clattering car
In all the pride of venged divinity
Pale Pallas swept with shrill and steely clank,
And a few gurgling bubbles rose where her boy lover sank.

And the mast shuddered as the gaunt owl flew
With mocking hoots after the wrathful Queen,
And the old pilot bade the trembling crew
Hoist the big sail, and told how he had seen
Close to the stern a dim and giant form,
And like a dipping swallow the stout ship dashed through the storm.

And no man dared to speak of Charmides
Deeming that he some evil thing had wrought,
And when they reached the strait Symplegades
They beached their galley on the shore, and sought
The toll-gate of the city hastily,
And in the market showed their brown and pictured pottery.
The amateur poet May 2014
With skin of satin and heart of glass
The dancer watches the seasons pass
The crisp winter air has gone away
Leaving summer an empty stage

Her hair is long
Her body tired
For she has long awaited summers hour

The day is light, life leaps through the sky
Bringing forth flowers and bright butterflies

The nights are warm
A speckled sky
The orchestra plays, natures guide

She stands to dance
Her eyes are blue
But alas she has lost her dancing shoes

The moonlight dances in her eyes
Reflecting the light as she cries
Morning and evening
Maids heard the goblins cry:
"Come buy our orchard fruits,
Come buy, come buy:
Apples and quinces,
Lemons and oranges,
Plump unpeck'd cherries,
Melons and raspberries,
Bloom-down-cheek'd peaches,
Swart-headed mulberries,
Wild free-born cranberries,
Crab-apples, dewberries,
Pine-apples, blackberries,
Apricots, strawberries;--
All ripe together
In summer weather,--
Morns that pass by,
Fair eves that fly;
Come buy, come buy:
Our grapes fresh from the vine,
Pomegranates full and fine,
Dates and sharp bullaces,
Rare pears and greengages,
Damsons and bilberries,
Taste them and try:
Currants and gooseberries,
Bright-fire-like barberries,
Figs to fill your mouth,
Citrons from the South,
Sweet to tongue and sound to eye;
Come buy, come buy.-"

               Evening by evening
Among the brookside rushes,
Laura bow'd her head to hear,
Lizzie veil'd her blushes:
Crouching close together
In the cooling weather,
With clasping arms and cautioning lips,
With tingling cheeks and finger tips.
"Lie close,-" Laura said,
Pricking up her golden head:
"We must not look at goblin men,
Who knows upon what soil they fed
Their hungry thirsty roots?-"
"Come buy,-" call the goblins
Hobbling down the glen.

"Oh,-" cried Lizzie, "Laura, Laura,
You should not peep at goblin men.-"
Lizzie cover'd up her eyes,
Cover'd close lest they should look;
Laura rear'd her glossy head,
And whisper'd like the restless brook:
"Look, Lizzie, look, Lizzie,
Down the glen ***** little men.
One hauls a basket,
One bears a plate,
One lugs a golden dish
Of many pounds weight.
How fair the vine must grow
Whose grapes are so luscious;
How warm the wind must blow
Through those fruit bushes.-"
"No,-" said Lizzie, "No, no, no;
Their offers should not charm us,
Their evil gifts would harm us.-"
She ****** a dimpled finger
In each ear, shut eyes and ran:
Curious Laura chose to linger
Wondering at each merchant man.
One whisk'd a tail,
One *****'d at a rat's pace,
One crawl'd like a snail,
One like a wombat prowl'd obtuse and furry,
One like a ratel tumbled hurry skurry.
She heard a voice like voice of doves
Cooing all together:
They sounded kind and full of loves
In the pleasant weather.

               Laura stretch'd her gleaming neck
Like a rush-imbedded swan,
Like a lily from the beck,
Like a moonlit poplar branch,
When its last restraint is gone.

               Backwards up the mossy glen
Turn'd and troop'd the goblin men,
With their shrill repeated cry,
"Come buy, come buy.-"
When they reach'd where Laura was
They stood stock still upon the moss,
Leering at each other,
Brother with queer brother;
Signalling each other,
Brother with sly brother.
One set his basket down,
One began to weave a crown
Of tendrils, leaves, and rough nuts brown
(Men sell not such in any town);
One heav'd the golden weight
Of dish and fruit to offer her:
"Come buy, come buy,-" was still their cry.
Laura stared but did not stir,
Long'd but had no money:
The whisk-tail'd merchant bade her taste
In tones as smooth as honey,
The cat-faced purr'd,
The rat-faced spoke a word
Of welcome, and the snail-paced even was heard;
Cried "Pretty Goblin-" still for "Pretty Polly;-"--
One whistled like a bird.

               But sweet-tooth Laura spoke in haste:
"Good folk, I have no coin;
To take were to purloin:
I have no copper in my purse,
I have no silver either,
And all my gold is on the furze
That shakes in windy weather
Above the rusty heather.-"
"You have much gold upon your head,-"
They answer'd all together:
"Buy from us with a golden curl.-"
She clipp'd a precious golden lock,
She dropp'd a tear more rare than pearl,
Then ****'d their fruit globes fair or red:
Sweeter than honey from the rock,
Stronger than man-rejoicing wine,
Clearer than water flow'd that juice;
She never tasted such before,
How should it cloy with length of use?
She ****'d and ****'d and ****'d the more
Fruits which that unknown orchard bore;
She ****'d until her lips were sore;
Then flung the emptied rinds away
But gather'd up one kernel stone,
And knew not was it night or day
As she turn'd home alone.

               Lizzie met her at the gate
Full of wise upbraidings:
"Dear, you should not stay so late,
Twilight is not good for maidens;
Should not loiter in the glen
In the haunts of goblin men.
Do you not remember Jeanie,
How she met them in the moonlight,
Took their gifts both choice and many,
Ate their fruits and wore their flowers
Pluck'd from bowers
Where summer ripens at all hours?
But ever in the noonlight
She pined and pined away;
Sought them by night and day,
Found them no more, but dwindled and grew grey;
Then fell with the first snow,
While to this day no grass will grow
Where she lies low:
I planted daisies there a year ago
That never blow.
You should not loiter so.-"
"Nay, hush,-" said Laura:
"Nay, hush, my sister:
I ate and ate my fill,
Yet my mouth waters still;
To-morrow night I will
Buy more;-" and kiss'd her:
"Have done with sorrow;
I'll bring you plums to-morrow
Fresh on their mother twigs,
Cherries worth getting;
You cannot think what figs
My teeth have met in,
What melons icy-cold
Piled on a dish of gold
Too huge for me to hold,
What peaches with a velvet nap,
Pellucid grapes without one seed:
Odorous indeed must be the mead
Whereon they grow, and pure the wave they drink
With lilies at the brink,
And sugar-sweet their sap.-"

               Golden head by golden head,
Like two pigeons in one nest
Folded in each other's wings,
They lay down in their curtain'd bed:
Like two blossoms on one stem,
Like two flakes of new-fall'n snow,
Like two wands of ivory
Tipp'd with gold for awful kings.
Moon and stars gaz'd in at them,
Wind sang to them lullaby,
Not a bat flapp'd to and fro
Round their rest:
Cheek to cheek and breast to breast
Lock'd together in one nest.

               Early in the morning
When the first **** crow'd his warning,
Neat like bees, as sweet and busy,
Laura rose with Lizzie:
Fetch'd in honey, milk'd the cows,
Air'd and set to rights the house,
Kneaded cakes of whitest wheat,
Cakes for dainty mouths to eat,
Next churn'd butter, whipp'd up cream,
Fed their poultry, sat and sew'd;
Talk'd as modest maidens should:
Lizzie with an open heart,
Laura in an absent dream,
One content, one sick in part;
One warbling for the mere bright day's delight,
One longing for the night.

               At length slow evening came:
They went with pitchers to the reedy brook;
Lizzie most placid in her look,
Laura most like a leaping flame.
They drew the gurgling water from its deep;
Lizzie pluck'd purple and rich golden flags,
Then turning homeward said: "The sunset flushes
Those furthest loftiest crags;
Come, Laura, not another maiden lags.
No wilful squirrel wags,
The beasts and birds are fast asleep.-"
But Laura loiter'd still among the rushes
And said the bank was steep.

               And said the hour was early still
The dew not fall'n, the wind not chill;
Listening ever, but not catching
The customary cry,
"Come buy, come buy,-"
With its iterated jingle
Of sugar-baited words:
Not for all her watching
Once discerning even one goblin
Racing, whisking, tumbling, hobbling;
Let alone the herds
That used to ***** along the glen,
In groups or single,
Of brisk fruit-merchant men.

               Till Lizzie urged, "O Laura, come;
I hear the fruit-call but I dare not look:
You should not loiter longer at this brook:
Come with me home.
The stars rise, the moon bends her arc,
Each glowworm winks her spark,
Let us get home before the night grows dark:
For clouds may gather
Though this is summer weather,
Put out the lights and drench us through;
Then if we lost our way what should we do?-"

               Laura turn'd cold as stone
To find her sister heard that cry alone,
That goblin cry,
"Come buy our fruits, come buy.-"
Must she then buy no more such dainty fruit?
Must she no more such succous pasture find,
Gone deaf and blind?
Her tree of life droop'd from the root:
She said not one word in her heart's sore ache;
But peering thro' the dimness, nought discerning,
Trudg'd home, her pitcher dripping all the way;
So crept to bed, and lay
Silent till Lizzie slept;
Then sat up in a passionate yearning,
And gnash'd her teeth for baulk'd desire, and wept
As if her heart would break.

               Day after day, night after night,
Laura kept watch in vain
In sullen silence of exceeding pain.
She never caught again the goblin cry:
"Come buy, come buy;-"--
She never spied the goblin men
Hawking their fruits along the glen:
But when the noon wax'd bright
Her hair grew thin and grey;
She dwindled, as the fair full moon doth turn
To swift decay and burn
Her fire away.

               One day remembering her kernel-stone
She set it by a wall that faced the south;
Dew'd it with tears, hoped for a root,
Watch'd for a waxing shoot,
It never saw the sun,
It never felt the trickling moisture run:
While with sunk eyes and faded mouth
She dream'd of melons, as a traveller sees
False waves in desert drouth
With shade of leaf-crown'd trees,
And burns the thirstier in the sandful breeze.

               She no more swept the house,
Tended the fowls or cows,
Fetch'd honey, kneaded cakes of wheat,
Brought water from the brook:
But sat down listless in the chimney-nook

               Tender Lizzie could not bear
To watch her sister's cankerous care
Yet not to share.
She night and morning
Caught the goblins' cry:
"Come buy our orchard fruits,
Come buy, come buy;-"--
Beside the brook, along the glen,
She heard the ***** of goblin men,
The yoke and stir
Poor Laura could not hear;
Long'd to buy fruit to comfort her,
But fear'd to pay too dear.
Who should have been a bride;
But who for joys brides hope to have
Fell sick and died
In her gay prime,
In earliest winter time
With the first glazing rime,
With the first snow-fall of crisp winter time.

               Till Laura dwindling
Seem'd knocking at Death's door:
Then Lizzie weigh'd no more
Better and worse;
But put a silver penny in her purse,
Kiss'd Laura, cross'd the heath with clumps of furze.
At twilight, halted by the brook:
And for the first time in her life
Began to listen and look.

               Laugh'd every goblin
When they spied her peeping:
Came towards her hobbling,
Flying, running, leaping,
Puffing and blowing,
Chuckling, clapping, crowing,
Clucking and gobbling,
Mopping and mowing,
Full of airs and graces,
Pulling wry faces,
Demure grimaces,
Cat-like and rat-like,
Ratel- and wombat-like,
Snail-paced in a hurry,
Parrot-voiced and whistler,
Helter skelter, hurry skurry,
Chattering like magpies,
Fluttering like pigeons,
Gliding like fishes,--
Hugg'd her and kiss'd her:
Squeez'd and caress'd her:
Stretch'd up their dishes,
Panniers, and plates:
"Look at our apples
Russet and dun,
Bob at our cherries,
Bite at our peaches,
Citrons and dates,
Grapes for the asking,
Pears red with basking
Out in the sun,
Plums on their twigs;
Pluck them and **** them,
Pomegranates, figs.-"--

               "Good folk,-" said Lizzie,
Mindful of Jeanie:
"Give me much and many: --
Held out her apron,
Toss'd them her penny.
"Nay, take a seat with us,
Honour and eat with us,-"
They answer'd grinning:
"Our feast is but beginning.
Night yet is early,
Warm and dew-pearly,
Wakeful and starry:
Such fruits as these
No man can carry:
Half their bloom would fly,
Half their dew would dry,
Half their flavour would pass by.
Sit down and feast with us,
Be welcome guest with us,
Cheer you and rest with us.-"--
"Thank you,-" said Lizzie: "But one waits
So without further parleying,
If you will not sell me any
Of your fruits though much and many,
Give me back my silver penny
I toss'd you for a fee.-"--
They began to scratch their pates,
No longer wagging, purring,
But visibly demurring,
Grunting and snarling.
One call'd her proud,
Cross-grain'd, uncivil;
Their tones wax'd loud,
Their looks were evil.
Lashing their tails
Elbow'd and jostled her,
Claw'd with their nails,
Barking, mewing, hissing, mocking,
Tore her gown and soil'd her stocking,
Twitch'd her hair out by the roots,
Stamp'd upon her tender feet,
Held her hands and squeez'd their fruits
Against her mouth to make her eat.

               White and golden Lizzie stood,
Like a lily in a flood,--
Like a rock of blue-vein'd stone
Lash'd by tides obstreperously,--
In a hoary roaring sea,
Sending up a golden fire,--
Like a fruit-crown'd orange-tree
White with blossoms honey-sweet
Sore beset by wasp and bee,--
Like a royal ****** town
Topp'd with gilded dome and spire
Close beleaguer'd by a fleet
Mad to tug her standard down.

               One may lead a horse to water,
Twenty cannot make him drink.
Though the goblins cuff'd and caught her,
Bullied and besought her,
Scratch'd her, pinch'd her black as ink,
Kick'd and knock'd her,
Maul'd and mock'd her,
Lizzie utter'd not a word;
Would not open lip from lip
Lest they should cram a mouthful in:
But laugh'd in heart to feel the drip
Of juice that syrupp'd all her face,
And lodg'd in dimples of her chin,
And streak'd her neck which quaked like curd.
At last the evil people,
Worn out by her resistance,
Flung back her penny, kick'd their fruit
Along whichever road they took,
Not leaving root or stone or shoot;
Some writh'd into the ground,
Some ***'d into the brook
With ring and ripple,
Some scudded on the gale without a sound,
Some vanish'd in the distance.

               In a smart, ache, tingle,
Lizzie went her way;
Knew not was it night or day;
Sprang up the bank, tore thro' the furze,
Threaded copse and ******,
And heard her penny jingle
Bouncing in her purse,--
Its bounce was music to her ear.
She ran and ran
As if she fear'd some goblin man
Dogg'd her with gibe or curse
Or something worse:
But not one goblin scurried after,
Nor was she *****'d by fear;
The kind heart made her windy-paced
That urged her home quite out of breath with haste
And inward laughter.

               She cried, "Laura,-" up the garden,
"Did you miss me?
Come and kiss me.
Never mind my bruises,
Hug me, kiss me, **** my juices
Squeez'd from goblin fruits for you,
Goblin pulp and goblin dew.
Eat me, drink me, love me;
Laura, make much of me;
For your sake I have braved the glen
And had to do with goblin merchant men.-"

               Laura started from her chair,
Flung her arms up in the air,
Clutch'd her hair:
"Lizzie, Lizzie, have you tasted
For my sake the fruit forbidden?
Must your light like mine be hidden,
Your young life like mine be wasted,
Undone in mine undoing,
And ruin'd in my ruin,
Thirsty, canker'd, goblin-ridden?-"--
She clung about her sister,
Kiss'd and kiss'd and kiss'd her:
Tears once again
Refresh'd her shrunken eyes,
Dropping like rain
After long sultry drouth;
Shaking with aguish fear, and pain,
She kiss'd and kiss'd her with a hungry mouth.

     &nb
Caitlin Drew Nov 2012
You'll love her with all your skin, tongue and lungs.
The way that the air is just so much more crisp whenever she's in proximity to your hands.
It turns the scattered dust in the atmosphere into magnifying glasses
Aimed directly at her
Spotlighting everything you wish you could put into words but can't
Because she's just too ******* unbelievable
That even if you tried, you would offend yourself and the gods with how little it compares to
The love she makes you feel in reality.

You would do everything for her.
Hold her until your bones start to crack
So that she'll understand just what you mean
When you tell her that you'll never let her go.
But she still doesn't get it.
She'll never understand that when you tell her that you want nothing more
Than to let your dust be her dust, her words to be in your cheeks
Her nose to be your daughters nose
You mean that you want nothing more than to keep her forever.

But you never will.
Because you never stood a chance.
You thought that by giving your whole self over to her she would offer you the same respect.
That's not how this world works.
It never was.
These valiant efforts of yours are now dubbed selfish and inconsiderate by others
For not taking her feelings into account.
Because she doesn't know what true love is.
She never felt the need to have you near.
For her daughters smile to be your smile.
For your hands to cradle her head when she's sad.
To let you talk for hours without listening to a single ******* word you're saying,
Because she's lost in the sound of your voice.

Because she doesn't know how to accept anything she isn't willing to give.
LJ Chaplin Sep 2015
The heat,
The way it ripples from the steel handlebars
And burns my hands,
The way the clunking of the chain feels
As each pedal propels me forward
Beneath the sun.
The sky is blue,
The air is crisp and leaves pinpricks
On my skin,
Soothed by the tenderness
Of sun rays that fall like curtains
Upon the concrete.

It smells of rubber,
A lingering scent of nostalgia
That fills my lungs like tar
And fills my heart with youthful
Thoughts.
As the wrinkles emerge,
And the delicate cracks begin to show,
I realize that my bike
Is the last memento that
Resonates through my aging ways.

Let's take a final spin down the boulevard,
Before the sun goes down
And my bones ache once more.
ladies and gentlemen this little girl
with the good teeth and small important *******
(is it the Frolic or the Century whirl?
ones memory indignantly protests)
this little dancer with the tightened eyes
crisp ogling shoulders and the ripe quite too
large lips always clenched faintly,wishes you
with all her fragile might to not surmise
she dreamed one afternoon
                            ….or maybe read?

of time a when the beautiful most of her
(this here and This, do you get me?)
will maybe dance and maybe sing and be
absitively posolutely dead,
like Coney Island in winter
Muted Jun 2018
on a crisp, clean morning in the fall of 2008,  i was happy.
i walked to class, textbooks in hand.
I could almost feel the earth shifting underneath my combat boots.
I was excited to showcase my new haircut,
reaveal my new and improved self to the world.
I'll never forget when the handsome, bright eyed boy who sat behind me in first period called me a d*ke.

You see, from the very beginning, I was taught that having a ***** made me
just a girl.
Made me just a maid,
just a cook,
just a someday wife and mother,
just a dainty, pink ribbon,
just a punchline,
just an orifice,
this
is an ode to the parts of me
that no soul has ever truly desired to understand.
this is working just as hard as a man.
this is ******* with the lights on,
assuming my position,
stepping away from the kitchen.
this is burning my big girl ******* and going commando, instead.
this is scrubbing his DNA from my body and reclaiming it.

When you exist in a world
where you are instructed to keep your mouth shut,
your strongest desire is to open it,
as wide as a cavern.
Here, where we are told that we
think too much,
feel too much,
love too much,
we long to be enough.
this is being enough.
this is learning to love myself unapologetically.
this is finding comfort in my body,
despite all of the glass shards
i find myself plucking from it.
this is loving myself into
an ******, so heavy,
that it makes me feel
like a *****
is the most profound thing
a person can have.
Kason Durham Apr 2014
Blowing in the wind,
Smells of salt; a hazy mist,
Sands of time run through sands so fine,
Damp with the tide that crashed like a fist,
The sun on the horizon starts to fade.

Cold and crisp, we sift through the waves,
Capped ice; a foaming delight,
They fill the air with sounds so fair,
Our toes fall through the water like an anchor,
The light falls and the night reigns.

Fingers upon fingers, playing on their own,
We fall through the air; cutting the sky,
My back to the earth, yours to the moon,
Our gaze locks like lovers leading light between us,
The sounds of the world come alive.

A gentle caress against skin so soft,
A kindled embrace, rolling against sand so coarse,
Passions flair in the darkness, the night breathes heavy,
As the ocean kisses the sands, so too our lips,
Whispers and sighs cut through the crashing flood.
RAJ NANDY Jul 2016
Dear Poet Friends, our World today & especially Europe is threatened with terrorism from the religious fundamentalist groups like the ‘IS’ ! History teaches us that during the Middle Ages the Holy Crusades were launched with the combined forces of Christendom. May be History is repeating itself once again within a span of thousand years! Do kindly read with patience this True Story of the Holy Crusades in Verse, to see events in its proper historical perspective. Concluding portion as Part Two has also been posted here. You will find the portion on ''Motivation & The Medieval Mind'' to be interesting! Kindly take your time to read at leisure. No need to comment in a hurry please! Thanks, - Raj

               STORY OF THE HOLY CRUSADE: (1096-1099)
                                           PART ONE

                                       INTRODUCTION
For thousands of years the Holy Lands of Palestine on the eastern coast
of the Mediterranean Sea had witnessed,
Ferocious battles fought between the Christians, Jews, and the Muslims,
with much bloodshed;
For a strip of land few hundred miles in length and varying between some hundred miles in breadth,
Which they all righteously defended!
There the Ancient City of Jerusalem now stands as a World Heritage Site,
Sacred to the three of World’s oldest Religions and as their pride!
Jerusalem today is a symbol of unity amidst its religious diversity;
For on its Dome of the Rock, in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and the Synagogues, are etched thousand years of Ancient History.
In 1096, Pope Urban the Second, motivated Christendom and launched the First Holy Crusade,
To liberate Jerusalem from 461 Years of MUSLIM dominance!
Some Historians have listed a total of Nine Crusades in all,
And I commence with the FIRST, being the most important of all;
For it recaptured Jerusalem from the Seljuk Turks making it fall. (in 1099AD)
While subsequent Crusades did not make any appreciable dent at all!
Not forgetting the THIRD, led by King Richard ‘The Lion Heart’, -
Who made the Turk leader Saladin to agree,
For Christian pilgrims to visit the Holy shrines in Jerusalem and the Hills of Calvary.
The Crusades began towards the end of the 11th Century lasting for almost Two hundred years;
Had later turned into a tale of sorrow and tears!
Now to understand the Crusades in its proper perspective let us see,
The brief historical background of Europe during the early parts of
Second Millennium AD.

                         A BRIEF HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
The Normans:
During the first century of the Second Millennium, Europe was in a formative stage,     (11th Century AD)
It had began to emerge from its long period of hibernation called the ‘Dark Age’!
The Viking raids from those northern Norsemen had ceased subsequently,
As they became Christian converts settling in Northern France in the Duchy of Normandy.
In 1035 when Robert the Devil, 5th Duke of Normandy died on his way
to Jerusalem during a Holy Pilgrimage;
His only son William, who was illegitimate, was only seven years of age.
By 1063 AD these Norman settlers had intermingled and expanded their lands considerably,
By conquering Southern Italy and driving the Muslims from the Island of Sicily.
And in 1066 Robert’s son William shaped future events, -
By defeating King Harold at Hastings and by uniting England.
Now William the Conqueror’s eldest son Robert the Duke of Normandy,
Participated in the First Holy Crusade, which has become both Legend
and a part of History!
These Normans though pious, were also valiant fighters,
And became the driving force behind the Crusades from 11th Century
onward !

                     MUSLIM CONQUEST AND EXPANSION
After the death of Prophet Mohammad during 7th Century AD,
Muslim cavalry burst forth from Arabia in a conquering spree!
They soon conquered the Middle East, Persia, and the Byzantine
Empire;
And in 638 AD they occupied the Holy city of Jerusalem and
Palestine entire!
Beginning of the 8th Century saw them crossing the Gibraltar Strait,
To occupy the Iberian Peninsula by sealing ruling Visigoth’s fate!
Crossing Spain soon they knocked on the gates of Southern France,
When Charles Martel in the crucial Battle of Tours halted their rapid
advance!  (Oct 732 AD)
By defeating the Moors, Martel confined them to Southern Spain,
And thereby SAVED Western Europe from Muslim dominance!
Charles Martel was also the grandfather of the Emperor Charlemagne.
The Sunni–Shiite split over the true successor of Prophet Muhammad,
and other doctrinal differences of Faith,
Had weakened the Muslim Empire till the Mongols sealed their fate!

                         THE SELJUK TURKS
Meanwhile around Mid-eleventh Century from the steppes of Central Asia,
Came a nomadic tribe of Seljuk Turks and occupied Persia!
In 1055 they captured Baghdad and took the Abbasid Caliph under their Protectorate.
The Persian poet Omar Khayyam, and the great Rumi the mystic sage,
Had also flourished during this Seljuk Age!
In 1071 at the Battle of Manzikirt the Seljuks defeated the Byzantines
and occupied entire Anatolia,     (now Turkey)
And set up their Capital there by occupying Nicaea!
Deprived of their Anatolian ‘bread basket’ the Byzantine Emperor
Alexius Comnenus the First,
Appealed to Pope Urban II to save him from the scourge of those
Seljuk Turks!
The Seljuk Turks had also occupied Jerusalem and entire Palestine,
And prevented the Christian pilgrims from visiting its Holy Shrines!
The Seljuk, who converted to Islam, became staunch defenders of the
Muslim faith,
And played an historic role during the First Two Holy Crusades!

THE CHURCH AND THE SECULAR STATE (11th Century) :
The ecclesiastic differences and theological disputes between Western (Latin) and Eastern(Greek Orthodox) Church,
And the authority over the Norman Church at Sicily;
Resulted in the Roman and Constantinople Churches
ex-communicating each other in 1054 AD!
This East-West Schism was soon followed by the ‘Investiture Controversy’,
Over the right to appoint Bishops and many other doctrinal complexities;
Between Pope Gregory VII and the Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV  
of Germany.
Here I have cut short many details to spare you some agony!
Pope Gregory was succeeded by Pope Urban the Second,
Who was a shrewd diplomat and a great orator as Rome’s Papal Head.
Pope Urban seized this opportunity and responded to the Byzantine
Emperor’s desperate call,
Hoping to add lands to his Papal Estate after the Seljuk Turks fall!
Also to reign in those errant knights and warlords, -
Who plundered for greed and as mercenaries fought!
And finally, by liberating Jerusalem as Christendom’s Religious Superior,
Pope Urban hoped to assert his authority over the Holy Roman Emperor!
It is therefore an unfortunate fact of History, that the news of re-conquest of Jerusalem failed to reach Italy;
Even though Pope Urban died fourteen days later,
on the 29th of July, in 1099 AD!

                 MOTIVATION AND THE MEDIEVAL MIND
The Medieval Age was the Age of Faith, which preceded the Age of Reason;
A God-centred world where to think otherwise smacked of treason!
It is rather difficult for us in our Modern times,
To fully comprehend the Early Medieval mind!
The Church was the very framework of the Medieval Society itself,
With their Monasteries and Abbeys as front-line of defence
against Evil;
While combating the deceptions and temptations of the Devil!
It was a mysterious and enchanted Medieval World where superstition
and ignorance was rife;
Where with blurred boundaries both the natural and the supernatural
existed side by side !
When education was confined to the Clergy and the Upper Class of
the Society exclusively;
In such a world the human mind was preoccupied with thoughts
of Salvation and piety;
And in an afterlife hoping to escape the pains of Purgatory!
So in Nov 1095 at the Council of Clermont in France,
When Pope Urban II made his clarion call to liberate the
Holy Lands from the infidels,
The massive congregation responded by shouting, “God Wills It”,
‘’God Wills It’’,  - which echoed beyond France!
The Crusade offered an opportunity to absolve oneself of sins,
And to even die a martyrs death for a Holy cause, which motivated
them from within!
Now for actual action kindly read the Concluding portion,
I tried to make it short and crisp!


    STORY OF THE HOLY CRUSADE : CONCLUSION
                                 PART TWO

THE  PEASANT’S CRUSADE (April-Oct 1096) :
Even before the First Crusade could get officially organized,
A Peasant’s Crusade of around forty thousand took-off,
taking Pope Urban by surprise!
When these untrained motley body of men led by the French
Lord Walter Sans Avoir, and Peter Hermit reached Constantinople;
They disappointed Emperor Alexius, who for seasoned Norman
Knights had bargained.
So Alexius ferried them to Anatolia across the Bosporus Strait,
Only to be massacred there by the hardy Seljuk Turks who sealed
their fate!
Thus ended the Peasant’s Crusade, also known as “The People’s
Crusade’’.
But Peter the Hermit survived as he had returned to Constantinople
for help,
And participated with the main Crusade, motivating them till the
very end,
With his sermons and prayers till their objectives were attained!

THE CRUSADE LEADERS AND THEIR ROUTES:
Now let me tell you about those Crusade Leaders and their routes,
For this true story to be better understood.
In the Summer of 1096 French nobles and seasoned knights,
along with Bishop Adhemar the Papal Legate,
Set out in large contingents by land and sea routes, forming the
Christian Brigade!
Their rendezvous point being Constantinople, capital of the
Byzantine Empire,
And from there across the Bosporus to enter Turkey then known
as Anatolia;
To finally take on the Seljuk Turks, in response to the request  
made by Emperor Alexius.
Raymond the IV of Toulouse, the senior-most and richest of
the Crusaders,
Was an old veteran who had fought the Moors in Spain was one of
the Crusade leaders.
He brought the largest army and was accompanied by the Papal Legate, and his wife Elvira,
And later played a major role in the siege of Antioch, and Nicea.
Raymond along with the veteran and pious bachelor knight
Godfrey of Bouillon, who became the First Ruler of Jerusalem
after its capture and fall;
Was accompanied by Godfrey’s ambitious brother Baldwin and
a large contingent, -
They followed the land route to Constantinople.
The fierce Norman knight Bohemond of Taranto, along with
Robert II Duke of Flanders, and the Norman knights from
Southern Italy,
Followed the sea route to Byzantium from the Italian port of Bari.
I have mentioned here only a few, to cut short my story!
At Constantinople Emperor Alexius, administered a Holy Oath of
allegiance to the Crusade Leaders;
Hoping to win back his captured lands after the defeat of the
Seljuk Turks.

THE SIEGE OF NICEA (14th May – 19th Jun 1097) :
This captured Byzantine City was then the Seljuk Capital;
With 200 towers its mighty walls was a formidable defence!
Emperor Alexius sent his army to help the Crusaders in the siege,
And by blockading the food supply lines the city was besieged;
In the absence of the City’s ruler who had gone on a campaign
to the East, -
Alexius’ Generals secretly worked out a negotiation of surrender
and peace!
The Crusaders were angry and felt they were being cheated,
But Alexius gave them money, horses, and gifts to get them
compensated!
On the 26th of June the Crusader army was split into two contingents,
And the Turks ambushed and surrounded the vanguard led by Bohemund the Valiant.
Turk cavalry shooting arrows mauled part of the vanguard,
When the rearguard of Godfrey, and Baldwin charged in
and rescued them from the Turks!
Historians call this the Battle of Dorylaeum;  (1st Jul 1097)  
It was the first major battle  which provided a taste of
things to come!

SIEGE OF EDESSA:
Next a three month’s long and arduous march followed
under the sweltering Summer’s heat,
When five hundred lost their lives due to sheer fatigue!
Baldwin lost his wife God Hilda, a rich heiress;
Now with all her wealth going back to her blood line
as per tradition of those days,
Placed ambitious Baldwin under great mental and financial
distress!
So Baldwin with a few hundred knights headed East for the
rich Christian city of Edessa,
With intentions of claiming it as his own after the loss of his
wife Hilda!
The citizens there backed Baldwin and gave him an Armenian
Christian lady to be his wife,
And against their old childless Ruler Thoros, they plotted to
take his life!
It was not a great start for the idealism of the Crusade,
Since motivated by greed Baldwin had carved out his own
State;
While Edessa also became the First State to be established
by the Holy Crusade!

THE SIEGE OF ANTIOCH  (21 Oct 1097- 02 Jun 1098) :
Antioch was an old Roman city built around 300 BC,
Its six gates and towers fortified the city.
Its formidable walls were built by the Byzantine Emperor
Justinian the First,
And twelve years prior to the arrival of the Crusaders,
Antioch had got occupied by the Turks!
In the absence of a Centralised Command, the Crusade leaders
frequently argued and quarrelled;
Since the majority preferred a siege, so Antioch got finally
surrounded.
When food supply ran short during the winter, both
starvation and desertion plagued the Crusaders;
While Antioch’s Governor Yagi-Siyan appealed for
assistance from his distant brothers the Turks.
He tied messages on legs of trained homing pigeon,
A unique postal service of those early days!
End May 1098 brought news of a large Muslim army
commanded by Emir Kerbogha,
Had set course from Mosul to liberate Antioch from
the Crusaders!
The Crusaders now had to break in fast into Antioch,
or face those 75,000 strong Turkish force!
The Twin Towers on the southern side was manned by
an Armenian Christian Muslim convert named Firuz,
Who was bribed by Bohemund to betray Antioch!
Firuz let down rope ladders for the Crusaders to climb
inside,
And a massacre followed late into the ****** night!
Next day Emir Kerbogha’s troops arrived and the
situation got reversed,
The attackers now lay besieged by those Seljuk Turks!
After fifty-two days of trying siege food supply ran out,
Morale of the Crusaders were rather low, and some even
feared a route!
Now buried in the Church of St. Peter, Peter Bartholomew
the French priest found the ‘Holy Lance’,
About which he had a vision in advance!
This find raised the morale of the Crusaders, and some
even went into a spiritual trance!
For Peter claimed this ‘Holy Relic’ had pierced Christ’s body
after his Crucifixion;
And the Crusading army now moved out of the city in full
battle formation!
Soon after the Turkish army of Kerbogha retreated fearing
devastation!
This victory has been attributed to God and His miraculous
intervention!

                     LIBERATION OF JERUSALEM
After the conquest of Antioch in June 1098, the Crusaders
stayed on till the year got completed.
Though the death of the Papal Legate in August got them
rather depressed;
While Bohemund of Taranto took over Antioch, which now
became the Second Crusader State;
And Raymond of Toulouse became the undisputed Leader
of The Crusade!
Next travelling through Tripoli, Beirut, Tire and Lebanon;
To liberate Bethlehem they sent off Tancred, and Baldwin
of Le Bourg.
On the 5th of June they liberated Bethlehem, and on the
Seventh of June they reached the gates of Jerusalem!
Facing acute shortage of food and water their initial attack
failed to materialise,
When priest Peter Desiderius’ vision of the deceased Papal
Legate came as a pleasant surprise!
This vision commanded them to fast, atone for their sins and
make amends,
By walking barefoot in prayer around the Holy City of Jerusalem!
After a final assault on the 15th of July 1099, they broke into
the City,
Killing all Muslims and Jews with impunity!
Pious Godfrey of Bouillon refusing to wear the crown, became
the First Ruler of this Third Crusader State;
And objectives of the Crusaders were finally attained!
With the formation of warrior monks of ‘Hospitallers’ and
‘Knight Templers’, wearing White and Red Crosses respectivel
RELEVANT LESSONS CAN BE DRAWN FROM PAST HISTORY!
Danny Z Sep 2018
As Autumn approaches,
my mind drifts to the decaying leaves,
Halloween,
the cool, crisp breeze...
The communal understanding that eternal heaven comes only with
death—
that Summer must always go.
And that beloved Autumn must always usher in bitter Winter who lays the foundations
for an exalted Spring.
Oh hell...I hope for a long Autumn, I want to make it stay—
like a host who lectures his party guest for too long
so he won't look at his watch.
Oh how I need the frumpy sweaters and pumpkin heads on window sills!
Oh how I need the billowing steam from milky beige cocoa,
the misty light rain in the gray of the morning,
the high canopy of fleshy red flakes!
And echoes of children laughing as they eat candy on their way home from trick-or-treating—reminding me that life can be enjoyed
with sacred rituals and good company.
I need Autumn personified—
a cool-headed, crackling-fireplace-girl.
A quilt-maker, cloud-gazer, two-dogs-and-a-cat bookworm.
Someone comforting like oatmeal.
Someone surprising like the first day of school.
I need Autumn.
I need Autumn but it never seems to need me too.
Sally A Bayan Mar 2016
Every death
I have felt, or known,
In silence, i mourn,
Within my breath...

No words come upfront
Just thoughts, preponderant...

I'd feel the freezing cold of an empty space
Feel the absence...clearly imagine a lost face
No smiles, spanning from cheek to cheek
Eyes, seek answers...
suddenly, I'm there by the shallow water of the creek
While some nearby creatures quietly chirp...and squeak
While I......... I could not even speak...

Living,
Is realizing...and accepting
At the right time, they turn brown, the weeds...and reeds,
But, under the water...waiting, growing...are their seeds
Brown ferns...are almost detached from a mossy concrete wall
With a strong current, and wind, they'd be carried...ready to fall

The driftwood lying by the shore...is always wet, but petrified
Brown fallen leaves, on the green grass...no more hold...crisp and dried,
The dead bark of a tree...in pieces...are crumbling...
Merging with the wet earth...in a process of fertilizing
Deep down under ....a fresh spark of life is starting.
All these, remind,
Life and death stand side by side,
That in the midst of death-
Something new is birthed...
When faced with death,
there is always someone's living breath
And, as long as the heart wills to beat
Then, life.....will still exist.

Hundreds, or a thousand times,  
We all have died
In the high and low of life's tides,
Physically,
Emotionally.

We remember
Those who have left
Those who have survived..are still around
We think of those who are next to leave,
Waiting for their chests' final heave

---And then, we think of ourselves---

Worry not of our own time
Make each of our remaining days
Be golden, beaming, and bright
With good deeds, and straight pathways

The earth is a moving circle
It makes a round.......as it spins
We try to live outwards....and then, within
Any way we live it...life is an endless cycle.


Sally



Copyright March 23, 2016
Rosalia Rosario A. Bayan
***A  HAPPY  EASTER TO EVERYONE!!! ***

— The End —