Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
knock that pizza right out of my brain
get that pizza taste out of my mouth
exercise that pizza right out of my brain
any way you want
you see the fat content just makes you fat
makes you feel like a big fat cat
i have to get that pizza taste right out of my brain
with good old exercise and diet
you see i have to knock the  pizza taste right out of my brain
doing sit-ups and sit to stands
and training to be as fit as i can be
and pizza holds me back
you see pepperoni isn't what i want
and sugar filled pineapple is nice but i don't want it
i just knock that pizza taste right out of my brain
with good old exercise
every time i think of pizza i do exercise
and i pump it up so i don't feel like it again
i need to rock that pizza right out of my brain
and tell it to *******
i know cheese can be healthy but not on pizza
just a little bit just enough for your calcium
now smothering your pizza really melting away
just think of good old exercise
burning fat is better than melting cheese
any way or any old how
i have to knock that pizza right out of my brain
and say to it please *******
PERSONIFICATIONS.

Boys.            Girls.
  January.                February.
  March.                  April.
  July.                   May.
  August.                 June.
  October.                September.
  December.               November.

  Robin Redbreasts; Lambs and Sheep; Nightingale and
  Nestlings.

  Various Flowers, Fruits, etc.

  Scene: A Cottage with its Grounds.


[A room in a large comfortable cottage; a fire burning on
the hearth; a table on which the breakfast things have
been left standing. January discovered seated by the
fire.]


          January.

Cold the day and cold the drifted snow,
Dim the day until the cold dark night.

                    [Stirs the fire.

Crackle, sparkle, *****; embers glow:
Some one may be plodding through the snow
Longing for a light,
For the light that you and I can show.
If no one else should come,
Here Robin Redbreast's welcome to a crumb,
And never troublesome:
Robin, why don't you come and fetch your crumb?


  Here's butter for my hunch of bread,
    And sugar for your crumb;
  Here's room upon the hearthrug,
    If you'll only come.

  In your scarlet waistcoat,
    With your keen bright eye,
  Where are you loitering?
    Wings were made to fly!

  Make haste to breakfast,
    Come and fetch your crumb,
  For I'm as glad to see you
    As you are glad to come.


[Two Robin Redbreasts are seen tapping with their beaks at
the lattice, which January opens. The birds flutter in,
hop about the floor, and peck up the crumbs and sugar
thrown to them. They have scarcely finished their meal,
when a knock is heard at the door. January hangs a
guard in front of the fire, and opens to February, who
appears with a bunch of snowdrops in her hand.]

          January.

Good-morrow, sister.

          February.

            Brother, joy to you!
I've brought some snowdrops; only just a few,
But quite enough to prove the world awake,
Cheerful and hopeful in the frosty dew
And for the pale sun's sake.

[She hands a few of her snowdrops to January, who retires
into the background. While February stands arranging
the remaining snowdrops in a glass of water on the
window-sill, a soft butting and bleating are heard outside.
She opens the door, and sees one foremost lamb, with
other sheep and lambs bleating and crowding towards
her.]

          February.

O you, you little wonder, come--come in,
You wonderful, you woolly soft white lamb:
You panting mother ewe, come too,
And lead that tottering twin
Safe in:
Bring all your bleating kith and kin,
Except the ***** ram.

[February opens a second door in the background, and the
little flock files through into a warm and sheltered compartment
out of sight.]

  The lambkin tottering in its walk
    With just a fleece to wear;
  The snowdrop drooping on its stalk
      So slender,--
  Snowdrop and lamb, a pretty pair,
  Braving the cold for our delight,
      Both white,
      Both tender.

[A rattling of doors and windows; branches seen without,
tossing violently to and fro.]

How the doors rattle, and the branches sway!
Here's brother March comes whirling on his way
With winds that eddy and sing.

[She turns the handle of the door, which bursts open, and
discloses March hastening up, both hands full of violets
and anemones.]

          February.

Come, show me what you bring;
For I have said my say, fulfilled my day,
And must away.

          March.

[Stopping short on the threshold.]

    I blow an arouse
    Through the world's wide house
  To quicken the torpid earth:
    Grappling I fling
    Each feeble thing,
  But bring strong life to the birth.
    I wrestle and frown,
    And topple down;
  I wrench, I rend, I uproot;
    Yet the violet
    Is born where I set
  The sole of my flying foot,

[Hands violets and anemones to February, who retires into
the background.]

    And in my wake
    Frail wind-flowers quake,
  And the catkins promise fruit.
    I drive ocean ashore
    With rush and roar,
  And he cannot say me nay:
    My harpstrings all
    Are the forests tall,
  Making music when I play.
    And as others perforce,
    So I on my course
  Run and needs must run,
    With sap on the mount
    And buds past count
  And rivers and clouds and sun,
    With seasons and breath
    And time and death
  And all that has yet begun.

[Before March has done speaking, a voice is heard approaching
accompanied by a twittering of birds. April comes
along singing, and stands outside and out of sight to finish
her song.]

          April.

[Outside.]

  Pretty little three
  Sparrows in a tree,
    Light upon the wing;
    Though you cannot sing
    You can chirp of Spring:
  Chirp of Spring to me,
  Sparrows, from your tree.

  Never mind the showers,
  Chirp about the flowers
    While you build a nest:
    Straws from east and west,
    Feathers from your breast,
  Make the snuggest bowers
  In a world of flowers.

  You must dart away
  From the chosen spray,
    You intrusive third
    Extra little bird;
    Join the unwedded herd!
  These have done with play,
  And must work to-day.

          April.

[Appearing at the open door.]

Good-morrow and good-bye: if others fly,
Of all the flying months you're the most flying.

          March.

You're hope and sweetness, April.

          April.

            Birth means dying,
As wings and wind mean flying;
So you and I and all things fly or die;
And sometimes I sit sighing to think of dying.
But meanwhile I've a rainbow in my showers,
And a lapful of flowers,
And these dear nestlings aged three hours;
And here's their mother sitting,
Their father's merely flitting
To find their breakfast somewhere in my bowers.

[As she speaks April shows March her apron full of flowers
and nest full of birds. March wanders away into the
grounds. April, without entering the cottage, hangs over
the hungry nestlings watching them.]

          April.

  What beaks you have, you funny things,
    What voices shrill and weak;
  Who'd think that anything that sings
    Could sing through such a beak?
  Yet you'll be nightingales one day,
    And charm the country-side,
  When I'm away and far away
    And May is queen and bride.

[May arrives unperceived by April, and gives her a kiss.
April starts and looks round.]

          April.

Ah May, good-morrow May, and so good-bye.

          May.

That's just your way, sweet April, smile and sigh:
Your sorrow's half in fun,
Begun and done
And turned to joy while twenty seconds run.
I've gathered flowers all as I came along,
At every step a flower
Fed by your last bright shower,--

[She divides an armful of all sorts of flowers with April, who
strolls away through the garden.]

          May.

And gathering flowers I listened to the song
Of every bird in bower.
    The world and I are far too full of bliss
    To think or plan or toil or care;
      The sun is waxing strong,
      The days are waxing long,
        And all that is,
          Is fair.

    Here are my buds of lily and of rose,
    And here's my namesake-blossom, may;
      And from a watery spot
      See here forget-me-not,
        With all that blows
          To-day.

    Hark to my linnets from the hedges green,
    Blackbird and lark and thrush and dove,
      And every nightingale
      And cuckoo tells its tale,
        And all they mean
          Is love.

[June appears at the further end of the garden, coming slowly
towards May, who, seeing her, exclaims]

          May.

Surely you're come too early, sister June.

          June.

Indeed I feel as if I came too soon
To round your young May moon
And set the world a-gasping at my noon.
Yet come I must. So here are strawberries
Sun-flushed and sweet, as many as you please;
And here are full-blown roses by the score,
More roses, and yet more.

[May, eating strawberries, withdraws among the flower beds.]

          June.

The sun does all my long day's work for me,
  Raises and ripens everything;
I need but sit beneath a leafy tree
    And watch and sing.

[Seats herself in the shadow of a laburnum.

Or if I'm lulled by note of bird and bee,
  Or lulled by noontide's silence deep,
I need but nestle down beneath my tree
    And drop asleep.

[June falls asleep; and is not awakened by the voice of July,
who behind the scenes is heard half singing, half calling.]

          July.

     [Behind the scenes.]

Blue flags, yellow flags, flags all freckled,
Which will you take? yellow, blue, speckled!
Take which you will, speckled, blue, yellow,
Each in its way has not a fellow.

[Enter July, a basket of many-colored irises slung upon his
shoulders, a bunch of ripe grass in one hand, and a plate
piled full of peaches balanced upon the other. He steals
up to June, and tickles her with the grass. She wakes.]

          June.

What, here already?

          July.

                  Nay, my tryst is kept;
The longest day slipped by you while you slept.
I've brought you one curved pyramid of bloom,

                        [Hands her the plate.

Not flowers, but peaches, gathered where the bees,
As downy, bask and boom
In sunshine and in gloom of trees.
But get you in, a storm is at my heels;
The whirlwind whistles and wheels,
Lightning flashes and thunder peals,
Flying and following hard upon my heels.

[June takes shelter in a thickly-woven arbor.]

          July.

  The roar of a storm sweeps up
    From the east to the lurid west,
  The darkening sky, like a cup,
    Is filled with rain to the brink;

  The sky is purple and fire,
    Blackness and noise and unrest;
  The earth, parched with desire,
      Opens her mouth to drink.

  Send forth thy thunder and fire,
    Turn over thy brimming cup,
  O sky, appease the desire
    Of earth in her parched unrest;
  Pour out drink to her thirst,
    Her famishing life lift up;
  Make thyself fair as at first,
      With a rainbow for thy crest.

  Have done with thunder and fire,
    O sky with the rainbow crest;
  O earth, have done with desire,
    Drink, and drink deep, and rest.

[Enter August, carrying a sheaf made up of different kinds of
grain.]

          July.

Hail, brother August, flushed and warm
And scatheless from my storm.
Your hands are full of corn, I see,
As full as hands can be:

And earth and air both smell as sweet as balm
In their recovered calm,
And that they owe to me.

[July retires into a shrubbery.]

          August.

  Wheat sways heavy, oats are airy,
    Barley bows a graceful head,
  Short and small shoots up canary,
    Each of these is some one's bread;
  Bread for man or bread for beast,
      Or at very least
      A bird's savory feast.

  Men are brethren of each other,
    One in flesh and one in food;
  And a sort of foster brother
    Is the litter, or the brood,
  Of that folk in fur or feather,
      Who, with men together,
      Breast the wind and weather.

[August descries September toiling across the lawn.]

          August.

My harvest home is ended; and I spy
September drawing nigh
With the first thought of Autumn in her eye,
And the first sigh
Of Autumn wind among her locks that fly.

[September arrives, carrying upon her head a basket heaped
high with fruit]


          September.

Unload me, brother. I have brought a few
Plums and these pears for you,
A dozen kinds of apples, one or two
Melons, some figs all bursting through
Their skins, and pearled with dew
These damsons violet-blue.

[While September is speaking, August lifts the basket to the
ground, selects various fruits, and withdraws slowly along
the gravel walk, eating a pear as he goes.]

      
O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weathered every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribboned wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head!
It is some dream that on the deck,
You’ve fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
The ship is anchored safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
But I, with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.
THE HOUSE OF DUST
A Symphony

BY
CONRAD AIKEN

To Jessie

NOTE

. . . Parts of this poem have been printed in "The North American
Review, Others, Poetry, Youth, Coterie, The Yale Review". . . . I am
indebted to Lafcadio Hearn for the episode called "The Screen Maiden"
in Part II.


     This text comes from the source available at
     Project Gutenberg, originally prepared by Judy Boss
     of Omaha, NE.
    
THE HOUSE OF DUST


PART I.


I.

The sun goes down in a cold pale flare of light.
The trees grow dark: the shadows lean to the east:
And lights wink out through the windows, one by one.
A clamor of frosty sirens mourns at the night.
Pale slate-grey clouds whirl up from the sunken sun.

And the wandering one, the inquisitive dreamer of dreams,
The eternal asker of answers, stands in the street,
And lifts his palms for the first cold ghost of rain.
The purple lights leap down the hill before him.
The gorgeous night has begun again.

'I will ask them all, I will ask them all their dreams,
I will hold my light above them and seek their faces.
I will hear them whisper, invisible in their veins . . .'
The eternal asker of answers becomes as the darkness,
Or as a wind blown over a myriad forest,
Or as the numberless voices of long-drawn rains.

We hear him and take him among us, like a wind of music,
Like the ghost of a music we have somewhere heard;
We crowd through the streets in a dazzle of pallid lamplight,
We pour in a sinister wave, ascend a stair,
With laughter and cry, and word upon murmured word;
We flow, we descend, we turn . . . and the eternal dreamer
Moves among us like light, like evening air . . .

Good-night!  Good-night!  Good-night!  We go our ways,
The rain runs over the pavement before our feet,
The cold rain falls, the rain sings.
We walk, we run, we ride.  We turn our faces
To what the eternal evening brings.

Our hands are hot and raw with the stones we have laid,
We have built a tower of stone high into the sky,
We have built a city of towers.

Our hands are light, they are singing with emptiness.
Our souls are light; they have shaken a burden of hours . . .
What did we build it for?  Was it all a dream? . . .
Ghostly above us in lamplight the towers gleam . . .
And after a while they will fall to dust and rain;
Or else we will tear them down with impatient hands;
And hew rock out of the earth, and build them again.


II.

One, from his high bright window in a tower,
Leans out, as evening falls,
And sees the advancing curtain of the shower
Splashing its silver on roofs and walls:
Sees how, swift as a shadow, it crosses the city,
And murmurs beyond far walls to the sea,
Leaving a glimmer of water in the dark canyons,
And silver falling from eave and tree.

One, from his high bright window, looking down,
Peers like a dreamer over the rain-bright town,
And thinks its towers are like a dream.
The western windows flame in the sun's last flare,
Pale roofs begin to gleam.

Looking down from a window high in a wall
He sees us all;
Lifting our pallid faces towards the rain,
Searching the sky, and going our ways again,
Standing in doorways, waiting under the trees . . .
There, in the high bright window he dreams, and sees
What we are blind to,-we who mass and crowd
From wall to wall in the darkening of a cloud.

The gulls drift slowly above the city of towers,
Over the roofs to the darkening sea they fly;
Night falls swiftly on an evening of rain.
The yellow lamps wink one by one again.
The towers reach higher and blacker against the sky.


III.

One, where the pale sea foamed at the yellow sand,
With wave upon slowly shattering wave,
Turned to the city of towers as evening fell;
And slowly walked by the darkening road toward it;
And saw how the towers darkened against the sky;
And across the distance heard the toll of a bell.

Along the darkening road he hurried alone,
With his eyes cast down,
And thought how the streets were hoarse with a tide of people,
With clamor of voices, and numberless faces . . .
And it seemed to him, of a sudden, that he would drown
Here in the quiet of evening air,
These empty and voiceless places . . .
And he hurried towards the city, to enter there.

Along the darkening road, between tall trees
That made a sinister whisper, loudly he walked.
Behind him, sea-gulls dipped over long grey seas.
Before him, numberless lovers smiled and talked.
And death was observed with sudden cries,
And birth with laughter and pain.
And the trees grew taller and blacker against the skies
And night came down again.


IV.

Up high black walls, up sombre terraces,
Clinging like luminous birds to the sides of cliffs,
The yellow lights went climbing towards the sky.
From high black walls, gleaming vaguely with rain,
Each yellow light looked down like a golden eye.

They trembled from coign to coign, and tower to tower,
Along high terraces quicker than dream they flew.
And some of them steadily glowed, and some soon vanished,
And some strange shadows threw.

And behind them all the ghosts of thoughts went moving,
Restlessly moving in each lamplit room,
From chair to mirror, from mirror to fire;
From some, the light was scarcely more than a gloom:
From some, a dazzling desire.

And there was one, beneath black eaves, who thought,
Combing with lifted arms her golden hair,
Of the lover who hurried towards her through the night;
And there was one who dreamed of a sudden death
As she blew out her light.

And there was one who turned from clamoring streets,
And walked in lamplit gardens among black trees,
And looked at the windy sky,
And thought with terror how stones and roots would freeze
And birds in the dead boughs cry . . .

And she hurried back, as snow fell, mixed with rain,
To mingle among the crowds again,
To jostle beneath blue lamps along the street;
And lost herself in the warm bright coiling dream,
With a sound of murmuring voices and shuffling feet.

And one, from his high bright window looking down
On luminous chasms that cleft the basalt town,
Hearing a sea-like murmur rise,
Desired to leave his dream, descend from the tower,
And drown in waves of shouts and laughter and cries.


V.

The snow floats down upon us, mingled with rain . . .
It eddies around pale lilac lamps, and falls
Down golden-windowed walls.
We were all born of flesh, in a flare of pain,
We do not remember the red roots whence we rose,
But we know that we rose and walked, that after a while
We shall lie down again.

The snow floats down upon us, we turn, we turn,
Through gorges filled with light we sound and flow . . .
One is struck down and hurt, we crowd about him,
We bear him away, gaze after his listless body;
But whether he lives or dies we do not know.

One of us sings in the street, and we listen to him;
The words ring over us like vague bells of sorrow.
He sings of a house he lived in long ago.
It is strange; this house of dust was the house I lived in;
The house you lived in, the house that all of us know.
And coiling slowly about him, and laughing at him,
And throwing him pennies, we bear away
A mournful echo of other times and places,
And follow a dream . . . a dream that will not stay.

Down long broad flights of lamplit stairs we flow;
Noisy, in scattered waves, crowding and shouting;
In broken slow cascades.
The gardens extend before us . . .  We spread out swiftly;
Trees are above us, and darkness.  The canyon fades . . .

And we recall, with a gleaming stab of sadness,
Vaguely and incoherently, some dream
Of a world we came from, a world of sun-blue hills . . .
A black wood whispers around us, green eyes gleam;
Someone cries in the forest, and someone kills.

We flow to the east, to the white-lined shivering sea;
We reach to the west, where the whirling sun went down;
We close our eyes to music in bright cafees.
We diverge from clamorous streets to streets that are silent.
We loaf where the wind-spilled fountain plays.

And, growing tired, we turn aside at last,
Remember our secret selves, seek out our towers,
Lay weary hands on the banisters, and climb;
Climbing, each, to his little four-square dream
Of love or lust or beauty or death or crime.


VI.

Over the darkened city, the city of towers,
The city of a thousand gates,
Over the gleaming terraced roofs, the huddled towers,
Over a somnolent whisper of loves and hates,
The slow wind flows, drearily streams and falls,
With a mournful sound down rain-dark walls.
On one side purples the lustrous dusk of the sea,
And dreams in white at the city's feet;
On one side sleep the plains, with heaped-up hills.
Oaks and beeches whisper in rings about it.
Above the trees are towers where dread bells beat.

The fisherman draws his streaming net from the sea
And sails toward the far-off city, that seems
Like one vague tower.
The dark bow plunges to foam on blue-black waves,
And shrill rain seethes like a ghostly music about him
In a quiet shower.

Rain with a shrill sings on the lapsing waves;
Rain thrills over the roofs again;
Like a shadow of shifting silver it crosses the city;
The lamps in the streets are streamed with rain;
And sparrows complain beneath deep eaves,
And among whirled leaves
The sea-gulls, blowing from tower to lower tower,
From wall to remoter wall,
Skim with the driven rain to the rising sea-sound
And close grey wings and fall . . .

. . . Hearing great rain above me, I now remember
A girl who stood by the door and shut her eyes:
Her pale cheeks glistened with rain, she stood and shivered.
Into a forest of silver she vanished slowly . . .
Voices about me rise . . .

Voices clear and silvery, voices of raindrops,-
'We struck with silver claws, we struck her down.
We are the ghosts of the singing furies . . . '
A chorus of elfin voices blowing about me
Weaves to a babel of sound.  Each cries a secret.
I run among them, reach out vain hands, and drown.

'I am the one who stood beside you and smiled,
Thinking your face so strangely young . . . '
'I am the one who loved you but did not dare.'
'I am the one you followed through crowded streets,
The one who escaped you, the one with red-gleamed hair.'

'I am the one you saw to-day, who fell
Senseless before you, hearing a certain bell:
A bell that broke great memories in my brain.'
'I am the one who passed unnoticed before you,
Invisible, in a cloud of secret pain.'

'I am the one who suddenly cried, beholding
The face of a certain man on the dazzling screen.
They wrote me that he was dead.  It was long ago.
I walked in the streets for a long while, hearing nothing,
And returned to see it again.  And it was so.'


Weave, weave, weave, you streaks of rain!
I am dissolved and woven again . . .
Thousands of faces rise and vanish before me.
Thousands of voices weave in the rain.

'I am the one who rode beside you, blinking
At a dazzle of golden lights.
Tempests of music swept me: I was thinking
Of the gorgeous promise of certain nights:
Of the woman who suddenly smiled at me this day,
Smiled in a certain delicious sidelong way,
And turned, as she reached the door,
To smile once more . . .
Her hands are whiter than snow on midnight water.
Her throat is golden and full of golden laughter,
Her eyes are strange as the stealth of the moon
On a night in June . . .
She runs among whistling leaves; I hurry after;
She dances in dreams over white-waved water;
Her body is white and fragrant and cool,
Magnolia petals that float on a white-starred pool . . .
I have dreamed of her, dreaming for many nights
Of a broken music and golden lights,
Of broken webs of silver, heavily falling
Between my hands and their white desire:
And dark-leaved boughs, edged with a golden radiance,
Dipping to screen a fire . . .
I dream that I walk with her beneath high trees,
But as I lean to kiss her face,
She is blown aloft on wind, I catch at leaves,
And run in a moonless place;
And I hear a crashing of terrible rocks flung down,
And shattering trees and cracking walls,
And a net of intense white flame roars over the town,
And someone cries; and darkness falls . . .
But now she has leaned and smiled at me,
My veins are afire with music,
Her eyes have kissed me, my body is turned to light;
I shall dream to her secret heart tonight . . . '

He rises and moves away, he says no word,
He folds his evening paper and turns away;
I rush through the dark with rows of lamplit faces;
Fire bells peal, and some of us turn to listen,
And some sit motionless in their accustomed places.

Cold rain lashes the car-roof, scurries in gusts,
Streams down the windows in waves and ripples of lustre;
The lamps in the streets are distorted and strange.
Someone takes his watch from his pocket and yawns.
One peers out in the night for the place to change.

Rain . . . rain . . . rain . . . we are buried in rain,
It will rain forever, the swift wheels hiss through water,
Pale sheets of water gleam in the windy street.
The pealing of bells is lost in a drive of rain-drops.
Remote and hurried the great bells beat.

'I am the one whom life so shrewdly betrayed,
Misfortune dogs me, it always hunted me down.
And to-day the woman I love lies dead.
I gave her roses, a ring with opals;
These hands have touched her head.

'I bound her to me in all soft ways,
I bound her to me in a net of days,
Yet now she has gone in silence and said no word.
How can we face these dazzling things, I ask you?
There is no use: we cry: and are not heard.

'They cover a body with roses . . . I shall not see it . . .
Must one return to the lifeless walls of a city
Whose soul is charred by fire? . . . '
His eyes are closed, his lips press tightly together.
Wheels hiss beneath us.  He yields us our desire.

'No, do not stare so-he is weak with grief,
He cannot face you, he turns his eyes aside;
He is confused with pain.
I suffered this.  I know.  It was long ago . . .
He closes his eyes and drowns in death again.'

The wind hurls blows at the rain-starred glistening windows,
The wind shrills down from the half-seen walls.
We flow on the mournful wind in a dream of dying;
And at last a silence falls.


VII.

Midnight; bells toll, and along the cloud-high towers
The golden lights go out . . .
The yellow windows darken, the shades are drawn,
In thousands of rooms we sleep, we await the dawn,
We lie face down, we dream,
We cry aloud with terror, half rise, or seem
To stare at the ceiling or walls . . .
Midnight . . . the last of shattering bell-notes falls.
A rush of silence whirls over the cloud-high towers,
A vortex of soundless hours.

'The bells have just struck twelve: I should be sleeping.
But I cannot delay any longer to write and tell you.
The woman is dead.
She died-you know the way.  Just as we planned.
Smiling, with open sunlit eyes.
Smiling upon the outstretched fatal hand . . .'

He folds his letter, steps softly down the stairs.
The doors are closed and silent.  A gas-jet flares.
His shadow disturbs a shadow of balustrades.
The door swings shut behind.  Night roars above him.
Into the night he fades.

Wind; wind; wind; carving the walls;
Blowing the water that gleams in the street;
Blowing the rain, the sleet.
In the dark alley, an old tree cracks and falls,
Oak-boughs moan in the haunted air;
Lamps blow down with a crash and ****** of glass . . .
Darkness whistles . . . Wild hours pass . . .

And those whom sleep eludes lie wide-eyed, hearing
Above their heads a goblin night go by;
Children are waked, and cry,
The young girl hears the roar in her sleep, and dreams
That her lover is caught in a burning tower,
She clutches the pillow, she gasps for breath, she screams . . .
And then by degrees her breath grows quiet and slow,
She dreams of an evening, long ago:
Of colored lanterns balancing under trees,
Some of them softly catching afire;
And beneath the lanterns a motionless face she sees,
Golden with lamplight, smiling, serene . . .
The leaves are a pale and glittering green,
The sound of horns blows over the trampled grass,
Shadows of dancers pass . . .
The face smiles closer to hers, she tries to lean
Backward, away, the eyes burn close and strange,
The face is beginning to change,-
It is her lover, she no longer desires to resist,
She is held and kissed.
She closes her eyes, and melts in a seethe of
Velvet lovers swim into a purple nest
Meeting at a hysteria they cant resist
A thousand  molecules crowding at their  skin
Famished of nutrition
But sustained by birth
Do you ever feel like you can't leave a person?  When in  a new relationship everything seems so nice but give it time.  He is not the man you thought he was. You stay as he is bashing your face in.  I don't mean ever guy is like this. Women have  issues as well.
I have been in the moon
In search of love all noon
Searched through deserts
Even through garden of Eden.
I have Searched beneath the sea
Travelled wide even to overseas
Still could not find love.
I went to Vatican
Even to Mecca
Driven through the romantic sites of Paris
Bath in the Brazilian beaches
Flown across the Atlantic
Pitched my tenth for few days on the Antarctic
Spend some more on the arctic
Still I saw no love.

All I saw was lust
Angels with broken hearts,
Rotten roses,
Withered lilies,
Death faiths and monsters on beautiful faces.
I saw bullets in church offering boxes
Just wedded on number plates of ambulances.
I saw wars in diversity
Pain and mourning crowding all cities
The devil celebrating the dead of peace.

I saw three wise men
Where went love, I asked them
They said love has been nailed on the cross
Buried with trust
They are heading to Galilee
To await his return.
I followed with dreams
I met many returning with smiles of frustration
From where I was going with pregnancy of expectations.

We arrived to the scene
Like a nightmare, I witnessed higher sins
I saw men taking pleasures with men
Some with animals, some women with women.
Gun everybody walking sticks
People feeding on people flesh
With human blood the thirsting ones quench their thirst.

Is this where love is expected to return?
The wise men retorted,
Yes, the saints have been raptured
And his seven years  reign has just began.
Then in a flash, I remembered that I have been taught
Taught about this dreadful end
I had also taught kids
Under trees at nights
Just to threaten them to live right.
What I thought was a mare threat or a fallacy
Has been awaken against my fate in reality.
Oh! We are among the leftovers
Left to reprove ourselves or be doomed forever.
Cindra Carr Jun 2011
Eighteen misses and three survivors
Two broken marriages with one spiteful lost love
Two warring sisters and too many brothers
Numbers don’t always make the lives of another
Crocheted angels and heartfelt hugs
Gone are the days of each of those
Responsible, avoidant, and spoiled
Resentment, confusion, and miscommunication
Ghosts of the past
Harried, busy, and distant
Buy back the time
Patience, hope, and acceptance
Crowding the cast
Three lives play out creating six more
One life still here caught in time
One life locked in with ghosts of the past

cc062611
Misha Kroon Jun 2014
Tell me why the air feels thick,
Tell me why the trees seem to be crowding me,
Tell me why the floor is spinning,
Tell me why I can't breathe.

It's as though the air in my lungs has turned to liquid,
Like the oxygen in my blood is poison,
Like my breath is stagnant and stale,
Like there's to much wind for the sky.

The trees have moved closer together,
And no light can get through the leaves,
The road is dark and I can't find my way home,
And the air is too thick to breathe.

My anxiety makes the air in my lungs feel wrong,
Makes the shadows in the trees look worse than they seem,
Makes dark streets full of monsters,
Makes is hard for me to breathe.

Someone please tell me,
Why the air feels too thick,
And the trees are crowding around me.

Someone please tell me why I can't breathe.
I was making up songs to myself earlier, and I got inspiration... It's pretty ****, but I haven't posted in a while(:
Jake Espinoza Sep 2012
Write something about nothing, call it poetry.
Quiet jet-engine speed turmoil indecision on the topic.
Silent bodies, screaming minds, communication desired and avoided
Chance glances, glimpses. Hoofing it.
Write poetry about nothing, call it something, but only in whispers to yourself, pretend to hope to be heard, have interest feigned or genuine directed your way.
        Confusion. Mingled strings of internal conversation.
        Misdirected. I can’t think crooked, focalisation se présente sideways. Self-expression in non-poetic terms seems likely. Saw girls, one on Detroit street, summer clothes and quiet face, scampered inside from the yard littered. Saw her again in the street next to a minor catastrophe, passed her by and looked.
        Let’s take a second to breathe, introduce a silence to the mind so that everything that comes can be better heard. So much background noise, minor thoughts mingle into static, almost impossible to interpret the bemused psychobabble. Empty it out, slow down, relax, and maybe you’ll begin to recognize coherent thoughts; organize the jumble of words fighting to be understood all out of order and as yet meaningless. Thoughts keep revolving, recycling; the girl, she reminded you of Melissa. Same style, a girl whose mood is always a grateful summer to your wintry perspective. Refreshing reminder, easy on the eyes. This girl’s likeness and your friend the poet, separated; his utensils. The paintbrushes he flourished about to create were not wooden and sable but liquid and smoke. That small ******* secret voice suggesting unwholesome things, acts unbefitting of brotherly conduct. He is my true brother, my family; an extension of my own soul. I went to treatment, they broke me down, whittled away at my rough hewn surface to make sculpture, a replica of others, manufactured to meet requirements and specifications deemed necessary for target successes. This talk of will, sacrificing my own, force-fed trust and mantras begetting themselves in circular fashion, turning in sync with the earth’s rotation upon its axis in its course of necessary revolution.
        Expended effort and time saved or served, goals impossible until forgotten, let go empty space ellipsis let god. Self-supplanted in unpredictable incomprehensible present, trying to avoid thoughts of crumpled papers in paper bags serving as receptacles for things undesired or abandoned or too truthful, I’m forgetting what it is to hide from myself which makes it possible to disappear. Tune in to the present, your train of thought – a queue – crowding, crowds rushed and frantic me first says everyone impatiently awaiting their turn for attention. Starved but forgotten proper nutrition. Self-criticism equating to self-analysis – spontaneity – uncontrollable, unforeseeable in the present aromatic mixture of mason jars swarmed with colored lights beautiful dim in darkness in which beer was swilled, time spent in unkempt kitchens nervous, standing walking evading settlement peace or rest, this is excitable discomfort, anything to slow down or feel a surrogate thereof. Forgotten words remembered, past rooms beautiful dim in darkness, proper illumination – see everything just right, not too brightly though not too dark. Living in this room for now, seeing as though immersed, submerged in memory of smiling faces easy laughter, cold-eyes Vera and well-at-ease. There is a wealth of self-acceptance. These people, their faces shine contentment, comfort, and mine is manufactured. I’ve become a factory where everything is sought after and nothing is attained because my goals are intangible, comprehensible but beyond aid, sorry, it’s just the way you are, maybe you’ll know one day, but we can’t help. We don’t waste our time with questions of absurdity, we live in this present moment, and that’s how we do it – no plans until plans come. No thoughts until thoughts come. Easy transitions in conversations, we don’t think of how to be ourselves, we just do it because we slow down, we know we are breathing, and it is not in our nature to forget it. It is not in our nature to live in our heads, to flail in a swell of questions less dense than water, we attend. We simply are.
        This is contentment. This is their seamless skin where mine corresponds to scars and rabid suspicious scratches dug deep. They were content with their surfaces; I was convinced of malice subcutaneous hence the scars and blood breathing open air. It is this suspicion that draws a line, places me on one side, them on another; it is this curiosity intrinsic and ironically unquestioned that digs the trenches in shape of graves. This fatal imaginary need for understanding where there is nothing to be understood. Questions are my poison, self-manufacturing, self-sufficient destruction, coming hot off the assembly line in my skull. Questions incubating further questions error: implement infinite loop, killall. Find the bug, recompile, run. Sit still, learn from the wind and atmosphere you’ve learned to sense which makes you an outsider only because you wanted this somehow. Uncertainty, confused reflection, arbitrary comments; coincidences, conspiracy, breakpoint. Programs running in smooth operation.
        Radiohead blaring, self-conscious self-care, these people enjoy themselves with unconscious grace, they let themselves be and immediately I tear my mind in two to understand what they understand without understanding. It is the nature of love and music that displays the closest correlation. These people are my idealized notion of grace, rendered more so by speed of processing, depth of analysis so that they appear not only graceful creatures, but with grace amplified as if observing them in slow-motion. So much contingent on understanding, contingency notwithstanding if I was comfortable with ignorance, if questions did not occur. These people are appropriate; balanced, no need for brutal introspection, no need to stir up sand composing the sea bed. These people, they understand certain things I cannot as of yet. They understand, they know without knowing that things are the way they are because things are the way they are and that’s ok, we’re ok, and everything is and will always be ok as long as we know well enough to leave well enough alone. We are each other, serving compliments to sainthood.
        ...let go, and be one with us, for love is in our hearts.
It took a few lines to get into it. Also, this is meant to be read aloud, somewhat intensely.
Joan Karcher Nov 2012
blushing hues
preserving precious nutrition
the sun is moving closer
releasing fingers that once reached high
tumbling to the ground
drying out, and crinkling
the sun is turning its face
allowing the next phase to begin

insignificant
like tiny ants crowding the cracks
minuscule
like the creeper ******* nutrients
one "being" on earth
one earth, in the middle of "space"


ancient methuselah,
your mycelium branching-
entwining, and communicating
giving strength to brethren
as hibernation takes hold
birthing fungi anew

*orange, browns, yellows and reds
i give my breath away
*

Methuselah is a Great Basin Bristlecone Pine (Pinus longaeva) tree,  
Its age of around 4844–4845 years makes it the world's oldest known living non-clonal organism
Butch Decatoria Apr 2017
Overcrowded a hollow sound

In the circumference of birdsong

Rising with the Sun

As roosters crow morning

Wake-up calls

There in Cebu / House

Full of family

Pieces of my other me

Feeding many mouths

That overcrowded feeling / not again

A nest that homes

A clutch of poor

Cuckoos

Consuming, so many babies

Paradise islands

Third world poverty

Not so far away

White man and money

A supposed land of milk & honey

Beyond the tundra snow

Bleak / must speak English

The beautiful broken

The overgrowth of crowding

it's called city life

Unlike Manila

Although artifice and hollow

Full of the fragrances

Colored by Birdsong

Oh beautiful life / I am drowning

In the thicknesses of pollutant

Mouths speaking

ill

Humanity misbegotten / Understood

We connect with nuttin'

“nothing is the cure

When nothing was wrong

With you”

Birdsong in twilight

Xylophone-stars across the ocean blue

Teeth of night

The cold chime

Befallen

In the infinite / magic of you

Oh love I let me

Overcrowd

Still this loneliness

Feels so very loud...

Then I hear / halcyon Birdsong

The soft feelings of truth

Oh love!

Oh god!

Oh my!

*Goodness you.
Revised still work in progress
I

From you, Beethoven, Bach, Mozart,
The substance of my dreams took fire.
You built cathedrals in my heart,
And lit my pinnacled desire.
You were the ardour and the bright
Procession of my thoughts toward prayer.
You were the wrath of storm, the light
On distant citadels aflare.

II

Great names, I cannot find you now
In these loud years of youth that strives
Through doom toward peace: upon my brow
I wear a wreath of banished lives.
You have no part with lads who fought
And laughed and suffered at my side.
Your fugues and symphonies have brought
No memory of my friends who died.

III

For when my brain is on their track,
In slangy speech I call them back.
With fox-trot tunes their ghosts I charm.
‘Another little drink won’t do us any harm.’
I think of rag-time; a bit of rag-time;
And see their faces crowding round
To the sound of the syncopated beat.
They’ve got such jolly things to tell,
Home from hell with a Blighty wound so neat...

. . . .
And so the song breaks off; and I’m alone.
They’re dead ... For God’s sake stop that gramophone.
Crystal Erickson Dec 2014
I am not what I used to be
So now in the shadow of unspoken events
Everything whimsical is leaving
Words fill my head, they fragment like artillery shells
they tare through it forcing irreparable damage.
Time has accelerated
Born out of the absence of light
Shaped by my own hands
Justly worthy to be referenced and adored
I re-encounter what my elation briefly with held
The thirst for the dangerous
Obliterate the incomprehensible crowding thoughts
The stampede within my head
The mayhem of the many visions
Lock them down, all that fracture within my head
Inexplicable wanderings of mindful musings
Spontaneous perceptions
Shadow of foe
Encircling their fears with distractions
Pulsing in endless repetitions
I am the one whose throat is stripped bare.
I am the one who has not spoken in years
A distant moon to sense

© Crystal Erickson
Vicki Kralapp Aug 2012
Accidents and misfortunes crowding my life
choking out pleasures reserved for a lucky few.
Not realizing that they were there for me too, just to look for
passed by as I chose to look back, blinded to what could have been.

Running in circles skirting the truth
looking for lost moments, ticking into eternity.
My hope is in this new life that I’ve found
awakening the child I’d lost, now born again in you.

You’ve taught me to live, to look now for the simple and pure;
a glass of ***** Cana or a flock of cranes grazing on a hill.
Moving together in the rhythm of jazz
in the early morning sounds and light reflecting on you.

Your beautiful face, angelic in the morning light.
All poems are copy written and sole property of Vicki Kralapp.
Alexander K Opicho
(Eldoret, Kenya;aopicho@yahoo.com)

Here is a toast for valentine
Valentine in all seasons perennial
Where angst of money for love  
Cradled utopian capitalism,
It is once again in the city of Omurate
In the south most parts of Ethiopia
On the borders of Kenya and Ethiopia
Where actually the river Ormo enters Lake Turkana,
There lived a pair of lovers
With overt compassion for one another
The male lover was an origin of Nyangtom,
A cattle rustling Nilotic kingdom
While the female lover was a descendant of King Solomon
The Jewish children which King Solomon aborted
Because their mother was an Ethiopian African
They now form substantial part of the Ethiopian population
Their clan is known as Amharic, they speak subverted Yiddish,
These lovers were good to one another
Sharing secrets and all other stuffs that go with love.

Both the lovers were fatherless
They had lost their fathers through early death
They only had the mothers, who were again sickly
Their mothers coughed a whole night with whoops
And when in the wee of the night, when temperatures go low
The mothers breathe with wheezing sound
Like peasant music from African violin,
They didn’t eat with good appetite
They always left irritating chunks on the plates,
But they all puked mucus from their mouths
And of course with a very sickening regularity.

The menace of sick mothers intervened with love freedom
Among the inter-compassionate lovers
They did not have time for real active love
I will not mention recurrent missing of ceremonies
Fetes that are bound to go with valentine day
The lovers were bored to their teeth
They don’t knew when gods will come to unyoke them.

Especially the male lover, was most perturbed
His mother looked sorriest
With a scrofulous look on her old aged African face
She looked like a forlorn erstwhile cattle rustler
She ever whined in pain like a trapped hyena
Her son the male lover even began apologizing
To the female lover for such environmental upsets
Hence an African proverb that;
No love is possible with impaired judgment.

One day in the wee of the night
With no electricity nor any source of light
Darkness engulfing each and every aspect of the city
Confirming the hinterland of Africa
The female lover woke up from the sleep
And she never heard the usual wheezing breathes
That her mother often made in such hours,
Feat of suspicion gripped her
She jumped out of her bed to where her mother was
On feeling her, she found her dead, cold like a black member
She was already past the rigor mortis stage of death process
African chilliness had frozen her like a poikilothermic creature.

She wept but not in the uproarious groan
In that instinctive Jewish shrewdness
She did not announce nor inform her lover of her mother’s death
She only washed and groomed the cadaver of her mother
She made a headscarf around the head of dead mother
She even placed reading glasses on her face
On her mother’s dead torso she wrapped a dress
The most expensive of all bought from Egypt,
In the same wee of the night
She carried cadaver of her mother on her shoulders
The way a poor Nigerian farmer would carry a stem of banana
And walked slowly by slowly for a distance of a hundred kilometers
Down ***** into Kenya towards the city of Todanyang in Turkana County
Todanyang was a busy city, but silent and minus people in the night
The king of this city was called Lapur the son of Turkanai
And the law that Lapur passed in this city was archaic
It was; an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a Jew for a Jew
A pokot for a pokot, a samburu for a samburu
It was simply the law with nothing else
Other than clauses of measure for measure
And clauses of *** for tat instantaneously administered,
On reaching the market she placed her mother standing
Being supported on a sign post at the bus stage
In pose similar to that of an early morning traveler,
She sat a side like a prowling spider awaiting foolish fly
They way an African ***** exposes its red ****
And when the hen comes to peck
It traps and closes the head of the hen
Deeper into its ****,
At that bus stage there was a hotel
Owned by a Rwandese refugee
From the foolish clan of the Hutu
He had ran away from the genocide
In his country, he was also the perpetrator
And thus he was a runaway from the law *** hotelier
His name was Chapuchapu, meaning the quick one,
When Chapuchapu opened the hotel for the early customers
The female lover walked into the hotel
With innocence on her face like all the Jews
She placed an order for two mugs of coffee
And two pieces of bread
When Chapuchapu had placed food on the table
The female lover shrewdly instructed Chapuchapu
To go and hold the hand of the woman standing at the sign post
To bring her into the hotel for morning tea,
Chapuchapu in his unsuspecting charisma
With a mad drive to make money that morning
He dashed out as instructed with his foolish notion
That the customer is the queen, which is not
He grapped the standing cadaver with force
On pulling her to come along
The cadaver tumbled down like a marionette
Everything falling away; headscarf and glasses
Chapuchapu was overtaken by awe
The female lover was watching
Like the big brother in the Orwellian satire, 1984.
When the cadaver of her mother fell
She came out of the hotel
Screaming like a hundred vehicles
Of St John Ambulance
And two hundred Kenyan vehicles of fire brigade
And three hundred Kenyan cash transfer vehicles,
She was accusing Chapuchapu for being careless
Careless in his work that he had killed her mother,
Swam of armed humanity in Turkana loinclothes
Began pouring in like waters of Nile into Mediterranean
Female lover improved the scale of her screaming
Chapuchapu like a heavyweight idiot was dumbfounded
Armed people came in their infinite
Finally king Lapur arrived on his royal donkey
That his foot soldiers had only rustled
From Samburu land a fortnight ago,
The presence of the king quelled the hullabaloo
The king asked to find out what had happened
Amid sops the female lover narrated how
Chapuchapu the hotelier had killed her mother
Through his careless helter skelter behaviour
The king sighed and shouted the judgment
To the mad crowd; an eye for a……….!?
The crowd responded back to the King
In a feat of amok value;
For an eye you mighty Lapur son  ofTurkanai,
The stones, kicks, jabs began rainning
In volleys on an innocent Chapuchapu
Amid shouts that **** him, he came here to **** people
The way he killed a thousand fold in Rwanda.

The sopping female lover requested the king
That his people wait a bit before they continue
Then the king waved to the people to stop
Chapuchapu was on the ground writhing in pain
When the King asked the female lover what was the concern
She requested for pay from Chapuchapu not people to **** him
Chapuchapu accepted to pay whatever the price that will be put
Female lover asked for everything in hundreds;
Carmel, money, Birr, sheep, goats, donkeys, cows
Name them all they were in hundreds
Chapuchapu and his family were saying yes to every demand
And they rushed to bring whatever was said
The payments exhausted Chapuchapu back to square zero
The female lover carried everything away
The cadaver of her mother on her shoulder
She disappeared into the forest
and buried her mother there.

When she arrived home she found the male lover
He looked at her overnight change in fortune in stupefaction
He didn’t believe his eyes, it was a dream
Sweetheart, where have you gotten all these?
Questioned the male lover
Sweetie darling there is market for dead women
At Todanyang in the Turkana County of Kenya
I killed my sickly mother and carried her cadaver
As a trade ware to Todanyang
Whatever I have that you are looking at is the proceed,
Can my mother fetch the same? Asked the male lover
Of course yes, even more
Given the Africanness of your mother
African cadavers fetch more than the Jewish ones
At Todanyang market,
The male lover was now overtaken
By strong urge for quick riches
Was not seeing it getting evening
That day for him was as long as a whole century
He was anxious and restless more tired of a sickly mother
When evening fell he was already ready with the butcherer’s tools
He didn’t have nerves to wait till the wee of the night
As early as eleven in the evening he axed his mother’s head
Into two chunks of human skull spilling the brains in stark horror
Blood streaming like a rivulet all over the house
The male lover was nonchalant to all these
He was in the full feat of determination
To **** and sell his mother to  get the proceeds
With which he could foot the bills of valentine day.

He stuffed the headless blood soaked torso
Of his mothers cadaver in the sisal bag
He threw it to his bag
And began going to Todanyang
The market for human dead bodies
He went half running and half walking
With regular whistling of his favourite poem;
Ode to my Jewish lover
He reached Todanyang in the wee of the night
No human being was in sight
All people had gone as it was late in the night
He then slept in the open with dead body of his mother
Stuffed in the sisal bag beside him
Wandering night dogs regularly disturbed him
As they came to bite at smelling curdled blood
But he always scared them away.
As per the male lover he overslept till five in the morning
But when he woke up he unhesitatingly began to shout
Advertising his ware of trade in foolish version;
Am selling, the body of my mother, I have killed,
I killed her myself, it is still fresh, come and buy,
I will give you’re a bargain price,

When the morning came
People began crowding around him
As he kept on shouting his advertisement
Also Lapur the king came
He was surprised with the situation,
He asked the male lover to confirm
Whatever he was shouting
The male lover vehemently confirmed,
Then the law of an eye for an eye
Effortlessly took its course
Lapur  ordered his people, in a glorious royal decree
To stone the male lover to death
And bury him away without ceremony
Along with his mother in the sisal bag
In the wasted cemetery of villains
The same way Pablo Neruda
Had to bury his dead dog behind the house,

On hearing the tidings
About what had befallen her lover
The female lover had to send out a long giggle
Coming deep from her heart with maximum joy
She took over the estate of the male lover
Combined with hers,
All the animals and everything she took,
She made her son the manager
The son whom she immaculately conceived
Without any nuptial experience in the usual Jewish style
And their wealth multiplied to vastness
And hence toxic valentine gave birth to capitalism
The best THING
That ever happened to me was
When I was a college freshman.                              
It happened in mid-February of 2009.
Valentine's Day.
A day of celebrating a couple's
Relationship with each other,
A day of romance & companionship,
And a day to say "I love you"
to your significant other.....
While getting SMACKED
In the FACE
By a PILLOW!

I was in San Francisco
at the time.
The City by the Bay.
It was three weeks
before Valentine's Day.
Throughout the entire
San Francisco State Campus,
Hundreds of fliers
Were spread throughout
The college
Describing the big event;
That it's going to be HUGE,
That it's going to be EPIC,
And that it's going to be.....
SUPER, DUPER, FUN!!!!!

I was walking to class
The other day when
I stumbled upon
one of the fliers.
After I read the flier,
I realized that
Since I don't have a
Boyfriend to hang out
With me on that day,
And that my friends
Are too busy
Hanging out with their
Significant others
And that they don't
Have the time to
Hang out with me
On that day,
So I figured
That I MIGHT as well
Go to the event
Just to see what is like
And to pass the time
on the official day of love.

A few weeks have gone by,
I was busy counting down
The days until the big event
While going through
My daily business
as a busy college student.

FINALLY
The day of the big event
Has ARRIVED!
I WAS BEYOND EXCITED!
I CANNOT contain myself.
Instead of studying for my classes,
I did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING
during the day.

Just a couple of hours before
The start of the big event,
I GRABBED my pillow,
DASHED out of the dorms,
RAN through the college campus,
And got on the MUNI Light Rail
That will take me to the location
of the big event.
Was I alone?
Nope.

A bunch of other exciting college students
From the same college
With their own pillows
were going to the big event as well.
Along the way, more and more
Exciting people carrying their
Own pillows came on board the
MUNI Light Rail en route to the
location of the big event.

When we arrived at the location
Of the big event,
The Port of San Francisco
On the Embarcadero,
It.....was.....MADNESS!
There were tons of people
With their own pillows
Crowding the streets
And the piers
Along the Embarcadero;
They were all looking
At the Port of San Francisco
Building's clock;
Patiently waiting for the big event
to actually begin.
The anticipation was filling the air.

Then, the clock rang
Signaling for ten minutes
until the start of the event.
People everywhere were
Waving their pillows
FRANTICALLY in the air;
They were Cheering, hollering, hooting,
Howling, screaming loudly;
Making ALL kinds of sounds
to pass the time.
The clock rang once again
Signaling for five minutes
until the start of the event.
More cheering, hollering, hooting,
Howling and screaming coming
From the vastly large crowd
As well as more frantically-waving
pillows.

Finally
The moment had arrived.
DING. DING. DING.
DING. DING. DING.
The clock slowly rang six times
Signaling for the start of the six o'clock
hour.
And at the same time,
Hundreds upon hundreds
Of pillows were SMACKED
Against each other
And the feathers were
flying all over the place.
THE GREAT SAN FRANCISCO
VALENTINE'S DAY PILLOW
FIGHT HAS OFFICIALLY BEGUN!!!!!

Not only was I participating in the big event,
I was too busy snapping pictures of the big
event with my cell phone.
I've captured some of the most
Memorable moments
From different angles
And from different parts
Of the Embarcadero
of the big citywide pillow fight.
All of the pictures that I've taken
During the event
Were stored into my cell phone
So that I will cherish them
And remember/reminisce them
until the end of my cell phone contract.

Then
I decided that
I should get in on the fun.
So I went down to the main scene
Of the big pillow fight,
And started looking for a group of people
To have a nice, friendly game
of pillow fighting.
Luckily, I stumbled across
A small family;
A father and his two children,
And then.....it was love at first SMACK!
We automatically started to hit each other
with our pillows.
It lasted for a good five minutes.
We are having the time of our lives!
I was having so much fun with the family.

Well,
All good things
must come to an end.
I have a great time,
I wish I could stay for a
Little bit longer, but
I need to go back to the dorms.

Overall, I would rate this event
A 10/10,
Or better yet,
A 100/100.
BEST
VALENTINE'S DAY
EVER.
I need to do this event
EVERY
SINGLE
YEAR.

Whether I'm a single lady
Or in a relationship with a boyfriend
Or just hanging out with my friends,
I will go to this event every year
And I will definitely bring my boyfriend
and my friends with me to this event.
IT DOESN'T GET MUCH BETTER THAN
THIS!

In my opinion,
Saying "I love you"
With a box of chocolates,
With flowers,
With a nice dinner and a show or movie,
Or spending quality time doing it in the
bedroom.....
is ordinary.
Saying "I love you"
While getting hit in the face by a pillow
participating in an EPIC citywide pillow
fight.....

Now THAT'S extraordinary!

Nothing
And I mean NOTHING
Says "Happy Valentine's Day"
Than a good old-fashioned
Pillow fight!
(added) Prologue: "we'll get the baron, i swear. the ratings will go through the roof..." nick spoke nervously into the phone he held in his good hand. the other rested at his side, burned beyond use. one of the commandos whispered in his ear. "sir, we have his location.... yes... yes sir..." he hung up the phone and turned to the commando, "scramble the troops, we're going hunting..."


"N-no... not this again..."  Baronyx muttered in his sleep. "I wont... i wont do it..." it was the same nightmare that had plagued him for years. he was what the Two-legs called an Exotic, one of the few hundred dragons left in the world, and a showpeice for the high paying two-legs.
Baronyx had been captured once and forced into slavery as a circus act and performer for many years before he escaped and burned an entire city with his fiery wrath, killing some ten thousand two-legs in his path and sending a message, "don't cage a dragon..." ever since he had been plagued with nightmares of his experiences while enslaved. "stop... No!" he ****** awake and roared in fear. the full moon's light shone on his sapphire scales and temporarily blinded him until his green slit-eyes adjusted. his mate, a green scaled dragoness named Lyra licked his cheek and put a comforting claw around on his shoulder, "its the dreams again, isnt it ***?" Baronyx nodded and stared outside of their cave den.
He glanced over his shoulder at his daughter, Tali, her young yellow scales getting a tinge of green. Baronyx sighed and said, "she's growing so fast... she'll have your scales..."
Lyra looked as well, "and she'll have your eyes, baron." they watched their child sleep a moment longer before Baronyx stood and stepped outside the den. "i'll be right back." lyra nodded and lay back down with her eyes closed. he spread his wings and with a powerful downstroke took flight. Baronyx closed his eyes and glided into the wind currents and to the cliffside where he went to clear his mind and sort out his thoughts. his claws clicked across the hard rock as he landed and tapped rhythmically as he walked to the edge of the cliff and hung his claws off the side. a wild wolf howled in the distance somewhere behind him. something in the air was different tonight and Baronyx felt uneasy. he lay his head down and snoozed for a while, oblivious of what was happening at his den.
- - -
Tali screamed as
Two-legs with metal-spitters swarmed the den and threw heavy nets over her and her mother. "ma! ma! whats going on?!"
"tali! just stay calm.. just stay calm." Lyra roared in protest as the two legs brought lightning-sticks and began prodding at them. "don't you dare touch my daughter you *******!" she shouted even though she knew they wouldnt understand her. to her surprise though, one two leg stepped forward and said, "we won't touch you or your daughter if you tell us where the Baron is."
"i'll never tell you, monster."
the white man chuckled, "from my point of view, you're the monster. and you'll be a wonderful addition to the show..."
- - -
Baronyx heard tali's scream echo In the dark forest surrounding the cliffside. "No!" his roar resonated farther than tali's scream.
at the den a few moments before, the two-legs had caged Tali and Lyra and had set about stabbing at lyra with the shock-prods hoping to draw Baronyx back to the cave. Lyra kept her cries quiet and had refused to satisfy their wishes. the two-leg in charge snarled. "Enough... last chance, dragon. Tell me where he is!"
lyra growled at him, "i'll tell you nothing, worm."
"fine, suit yourself." the man turned his back to her. "lets see if you're daughter has the same resolve, shall we?"
"no! don't touch her!"
"i'm afraid its quite too late for that, dragon."
"tali i'm sorry!"
he turned to Tali and jabbed her in the side with a shock ****. tali groaned and gritted her teeth but did not scream for the man.
she growled at him said, "that tickled." tali grinned at the man with her sharp fangs fully exposed.
the man glared for a moment and then smiled cruelly.
"temporary pain doesnt have an effect on you... maybe something more... permenant will bring him to me. bring the iron!"
two-legs carried a white hot brand in the shape of a greek Omega. the man pointed to tali and said, "on her throat. make it burn."
more two-legs had muzzled lyra to keep her from screaming. the iron cut into tali's scales and burned into the flesh underneath, forcing tali to scream as loud as she could, even after the iron had been taken away. she collapsed on the ground and the tears spilled over her eyes as she continued to scream.
they heard a roar passing over them all as Baronyx rushed back to the den.
"well done, everyone. the prize is near. get your guns ready but DO NOT FIRE!"
* *
baronyx flew faster than he ever had before. he growled  as he swooped down toward his den and saw the two-legs. he screeched in protest as cables wrapped around his wings and limbs. forcing him hard into the ground. "Nick you *******!"
the white man grinned, "so we finally meet
Again, baron. and you have a nice little family i can use to my advantage now."
baronyx looked at tali and Lyra and loosed a mournful moan deep in his throat. "what do you want, nick?"
the man stepped forward and replied, "i want you, back in my show, just like old times. or i'll torture your mate AND this lovely little child of yours. sound like a deal?"
baronyx shut his eyes and nodded as a tear trailed down his cheek. "just know... when i get out, everything will burn... just like old times..."
(add on 1)
The white man and the other two-legs shackled Baronyx and his family with heavy chains and electric collars that would shock them randomly. they were put on a train car headed east and the collars were taken off. Baronyx immediately examined Tali's neck, the brand already scarring over in a whitish pink Omega. tali's voice was hoarse and tears came to her eyes. she buried her head into her father's chest. "i'm so sorry tali, lyra... this is my fault.." the family embraced as they knew there would likely be very little contact with each other after the train stopped.
the train traveled a little while longer and the family shakily said  their goodbyes as the air brakes hissed violently. the doors shrieked open and they were met by Nick. immediately. baronyx pounced on top of him and roared. they stared eye to eye for a moment before they heard the clicking of the two-legs metal spitters. baronyx kept his eyes on Nick and said quietly, "touch her again... touch EITHER of them... and
I swear, no amount of metal spitters or electricity will stop me from hunting you down and tearing off your head."
as baronyx stepped back, nick stood up and replied, "i won't harm either of them, hell, i'll give them whatever they want, as long as you do as you are told, Baronyx."
baronyx thought this over and after a few moments said, "i have one more condition, i want full access to them. whenever i choose."
nick chuckled a bit, "we'll see... we'll see... it all depends on how you perform."
baronyx nodded. "then lets get this over with..." the white man beckoned some two-legs to lead Tali and Lyra to the cages inside the massive pavilion that stood before them. two of the men brought the brand again and put the Omega on Baronyx's throat much like they had done with tali. he gritted his teeth and let the tears come but did not cry out or roar. when the pain had subsided, he asked nick, "when do i start?"
nick looked up at him with a sinister twinkle in his eyes, "right now."
*
Nick and a handful of two-legs escorted baronyx back onto the train, but not the same traincar. this one was blue and had ornate gold lettering on each side. once baronyx was inside, a string of lights came on and he saw his old armor plates each polished and the dents pounded out. he took his helm and stared into his reflection.  "i swore i'd never touch this stuff again..."
an intercom system beeped above him and nick's voice filled the car. "Baron, you have five minutes to suit up. the game starts as soon as we arrive."
baronyx sighed and donned the cold armor one peice at a time. he looked into the mirror on the wall and turned away in disgust.
"for tali and lyra..." there were a few peices left, the ones he never wanted to see again, they were sharp talons that fit over his claws. in the show, he had to use these to **** his opponent. nick's voice came over the intercom again, "arriving at the arena now, the press is fired up for your return, baron. DON'T disappoint them."
Baronyx growled and said a silent prayer for his family. the train screeched to a halt and the door opened. baronyx stepped out onto a black carpet and was assaulted by blinding camera flashes and the deafening roar of the crowding two-legs. over the crowd, an announcer shouted, "Its the Baron! he's back and looks better than ever!"
baronyx kept walking until nick stopped him for the game briefing. "you'll be going up against a group of wyverns, so you should have no problem killing them." the wyverns far outnumbered the dragons, wyverns being the dragons' slightly smaller, less intelligent cousins.
nick began walking away when baronyx asked, "what do they get if i win?"
nick turned, "they?"
baronyx bared his fangs. "my family. what do they get in return for my win?"
nick thought this over for a moment before replying, "they will eat, sleep, and live in their own hovel. and depending on your performance i'll let you stay with them."
baronyx growled, "then lets get this over with."
*
Baronyx was led to the arena doors and he waited patiently for his introduction and call to the game. he looked around at the all too familiar sights, the fight screens, the scoreboard, and the dim light that would signal his entry into the arena. it would be a few minutes before the match and in the meantime, he thought of all his old strategies and gameplans. "i wonder if tali and lyra will be watching..."
nick came out of the shadows and said, "remember, their future depends on what happens next."
the light turned green and the doors opened, spilling light into the room. when baronyx's eyes adjusted, he saw the all too familiar sight of the ****** arena, mangled corpses being dragged away from the last battle. "the baron! he'll be going up against seven wyverns from the northwest territories." baronyx roared as loud as he could as he stormed into the arena. the wyverns on the other side cowered for a moment before charging him. the first one lunged at him and was caught in his
Claws. baronyx looked into the wyverns eyes and saw the fear, the terror of a beast facing his own demise. "for them..." baronyx tore the wyvern's throat out with his claws and threw the body at the next assailant, bowling him over.
the next wyvern was impaled by baronyx's tail and tossed aside to bleed out on the ground while he set about killing the others in various other ways. when the bodies stopped twitching, baronyx's armor was coated in blood. the crowd was silent and he became worried. he looked to the trainer's balcony and spotted nick, who gave a subtle nod of approval. baronyx looked at the timer: one minute seventeen seconds. it was a new record, the shortest match in history. the crowd roared and applauded long after he was led out of the arena. "an amazing, record setting performance by the returning champion, the Baron!"
baronyx was met by the press' cameras outside the arena. Nick's two-legs stripped the ****** armor and allowed him some room to move around.
The camera flashes continued to blind baronyx but his mind was elsewhere. nick finally showed up to answer the press's questions, while baronyx glared at the group of reporters. after an hour of questions and his agitation reached its breaking point, baronyx growled at the reporters, silencing them. when they didn't move, he bared his fangs and roared, forcing them to make hasty retreats and fleeing the conference. once they were gone, nick turned to baronyx and sighed, "thanks. i thought they'd never leave..."
baronyx stared down at him. "we had a deal."
"so we did. and for that breathtaking performance, you will stay with your family in their hovel."
baronyx started walking towards the train, "then i have to go."
*
Based off of a poem i wrote earlier.
Moriah Harrod Aug 2012
A fire started in the baking store on Pudding Lane last night.

I stood across the street and watched the cobblestone break away, the ruddy bricks of kiln-soaked stuff crumbling at my feet. As people came and gathered round, and watched the flames rise up, I could only wonder what the bread was feeling, it’s life coming to a brittle end.

I began to doubt my mental state, for it was only bread. And yet I felt an urgent dread rising. It started at my toes. It rose up through my knees, begging to bend and spread, as if to say, “You can run, run, run. Save the bread.” It crept up through my hips, my stomach, into my arms, and up to my scalp. It was intriguing, this dread. I stood completely still, denying the temptation to ‘help the bread.’ My body wanted to panic, and it was enthralling to feel this control in my denial.

I looked up at the canvas, the canopy of the store. It was fringing and shriveling and blacking at the corners, flames licking like an acid that leaves an ashy residue. The letters of “Abruzzi Bakery” looked wrong here, like an abranchiate fish. I felt a flash of hatred for the letters themselves, the way they were shaped, and if in the possession of a knife I would have been tempted to slash every letter away. It was hate, pure and simple.

As suddenly as it had come, I looked at the letters once more and there was nothing. I felt nothing. The windows were browning at the bottom, caramelizing the glass from the heat. I thought of me, caramelized, like that glass. What if I were see-through? It was an appealing thought.

People were still crowding around, and I wondered where the men were that would save the last of the store. I looked around me and the faces of the people were contemptible, disapproving of the conflagration. I was hurt by how they shunned this phenomenon, this magnified chemical reaction that reflected in my eye and appealed to my senses. I couldn’t associate with their way of thinking, another doubt of my mental state.

I stood here, with a gathering of people, and as I looked around, I slowly began to feel as if they were the conflagration, these people with their scorning minds. They were but a fire in humanity, a fire that did nothing but kept burning and hurting. I felt an odd sense of brotherhood with the fire, and I was ashamed that people had to see it. These people did not deserve to see this act of beauty happening before them, and I wanted them to go away.

A mouse scrambled out the open door. It’s tail was ashen with a few sparks of fire still on its tail, living from the oxygen around it, but slowly fading.

I realized that it was symbolic of what humanity is. Humanity is a fire, glowing bright. But like this mouse’s tail, it had to end, and would slowly rise and fall with the mixture of oxygen it comes in contact with. I realized I wanted no part of this. I wanted to be nothing but whole, a brother of this roaring sensation in front of me.

I couldn’t help but wonder if Johnny Cash had also understood, when writing “The Ring of Fire.” Maybe he knew, he also could grasp the concept of fire and its place with humanity, and like I was starting to, wanted nothing to do with it. Him falling into the burning ring of fire was not a tragedy, but an act of righteous martyrdom.

I walked across the street, separating myself from the soon-to-be fading gathering of this sickening humanity around me. I felt the sparks of lit ash hitting my arms and began the denial of running away. The control of my denial to save myself would be hard. But I knew. I was saving myself. From everything in this world that did nothing but look down upon that which had more of a right to be here. Of that which was here before them, and that which would be here after nature’s tolerance of the abuse failed.

I was in the bakery now, in the belly of the beast that was only misunderstood, and could only be my savior now. And I understood all the doubt I’d had about my mental state. It was not impaired in comparison to others, it was heightened. I was the only one who could see what it all really meant.

I sat down in the flames and, as I felt it appropriate, began to sing “The Ring of Fire,” feeling Johnny’s spirit sitting next to me, singing along.
// loosely alludes to the Great London Fire ~ basically a bakery fire on Pudding Lane
I.

  When to the common rest that crowns our days,
  Called in the noon of life, the good man goes,
  Or full of years, and ripe in wisdom, lays
  His silver temples in their last repose;
  When, o'er the buds of youth, the death-wind blows,
  And blights the fairest; when our bitter tears
  Stream, as the eyes of those that love us close,
  We think on what they were, with many fears
Lest goodness die with them, and leave the coming years:

II.

  And therefore, to our hearts, the days gone by,--
  When lived the honoured sage whose death we wept,
  And the soft virtues beamed from many an eye,
  And beat in many a heart that long has slept,--
  Like spots of earth where angel-feet have stepped--
  Are holy; and high-dreaming bards have told
  Of times when worth was crowned, and faith was kept,
  Ere friendship grew a snare, or love waxed cold--
Those pure and happy times--the golden days of old.

III.

  Peace to the just man's memory,--let it grow
  Greener with years, and blossom through the flight
  Of ages; let the mimic canvas show
  His calm benevolent features; let the light
  Stream on his deeds of love, that shunned the sight
  Of all but heaven, and in the book of fame,
  The glorious record of his virtues write,
  And hold it up to men, and bid them claim
A palm like his, and catch from him the hallowed flame.

IV.

  But oh, despair not of their fate who rise
  To dwell upon the earth when we withdraw!
  Lo! the same shaft by which the righteous dies,
  Strikes through the wretch that scoffed at mercy's law,
  And trode his brethren down, and felt no awe
  Of Him who will avenge them. Stainless worth,
  Such as the sternest age of virtue saw,
  Ripens, meanwhile, till time shall call it forth
From the low modest shade, to light and bless the earth.

V.

  Has Nature, in her calm, majestic march
  Faltered with age at last? does the bright sun
  Grow dim in heaven? or, in their far blue arch,
  Sparkle the crowd of stars, when day is done,
  Less brightly? when the dew-lipped Spring comes on,
  Breathes she with airs less soft, or scents the sky
  With flowers less fair than when her reign begun?
  Does prodigal Autumn, to our age, deny
The plenty that once swelled beneath his sober eye?

VI.

  Look on this beautiful world, and read the truth
  In her fair page; see, every season brings
  New change, to her, of everlasting youth;
  Still the green soil, with joyous living things,
  Swarms, the wide air is full of joyous wings,
  And myriads, still, are happy in the sleep
  Of ocean's azure gulfs, and where he flings
  The restless surge. Eternal Love doth keep
In his complacent arms, the earth, the air, the deep.

VII.

  Will then the merciful One, who stamped our race
  With his own image, and who gave them sway
  O'er earth, and the glad dwellers on her face,
  Now that our swarming nations far away
  Are spread, where'er the moist earth drinks the day,
  Forget the ancient care that taught and nursed
  His latest offspring? will he quench the ray
  Infused by his own forming smile at first,
And leave a work so fair all blighted and accursed?

VIII.

  Oh, no! a thousand cheerful omens give
  Hope of yet happier days, whose dawn is nigh.
  He who has tamed the elements, shall not live
  The slave of his own passions; he whose eye
  Unwinds the eternal dances of the sky,
  And in the abyss of brightness dares to span
  The sun's broad circle, rising yet more high,
  In God's magnificent works his will shall scan--
And love and peace shall make their paradise with man.

IX.

  Sit at the feet of history--through the night
  Of years the steps of virtue she shall trace,
  And show the earlier ages, where her sight
  Can pierce the eternal shadows o'er their face;--
  When, from the genial cradle of our race,
  Went forth the tribes of men, their pleasant lot
  To choose, where palm-groves cooled their dwelling-place,
  Or freshening rivers ran; and there forgot
The truth of heaven, and kneeled to gods that heard them not.

X.

  Then waited not the murderer for the night,
  But smote his brother down in the bright day,
  And he who felt the wrong, and had the might,
  His own avenger, girt himself to slay;
  Beside the path the unburied carcass lay;
  The shepherd, by the fountains of the glen,
  Fled, while the robber swept his flock away,
  And slew his babes. The sick, untended then,
Languished in the damp shade, and died afar from men.

XI.

  But misery brought in love--in passion's strife
  Man gave his heart to mercy, pleading long,
  And sought out gentle deeds to gladden life;
  The weak, against the sons of spoil and wrong,
  Banded, and watched their hamlets, and grew strong.
  States rose, and, in the shadow of their might,
  The timid rested. To the reverent throng,
  Grave and time-wrinkled men, with locks all white,
Gave laws, and judged their strifes, and taught the way of right;

XII.

  Till bolder spirits seized the rule, and nailed
  On men the yoke that man should never bear,
  And drove them forth to battle. Lo! unveiled
  The scene of those stern ages! What is there!
  A boundless sea of blood, and the wild air
  Moans with the crimson surges that entomb
  Cities and bannered armies; forms that wear
  The kingly circlet rise, amid the gloom,
O'er the dark wave, and straight are swallowed in its womb.

XIII.

  Those ages have no memory--but they left
  A record in the desert--columns strown
  On the waste sands, and statues fallen and cleft,
  Heaped like a host in battle overthrown;
  Vast ruins, where the mountain's ribs of stone
  Were hewn into a city; streets that spread
  In the dark earth, where never breath has blown
  Of heaven's sweet air, nor foot of man dares tread
The long and perilous ways--the Cities of the Dead:

XIV.

  And tombs of monarchs to the clouds up-piled--
  They perished--but the eternal tombs remain--
  And the black precipice, abrupt and wild,
  Pierced by long toil and hollowed to a fane;--
  Huge piers and frowning forms of gods sustain
  The everlasting arches, dark and wide,
  Like the night-heaven, when clouds are black with rain.
  But idly skill was tasked, and strength was plied,
All was the work of slaves to swell a despot's pride.

XV.

  And Virtue cannot dwell with slaves, nor reign
  O'er those who cower to take a tyrant's yoke;
  She left the down-trod nations in disdain,
  And flew to Greece, when Liberty awoke,
  New-born, amid those glorious vales, and broke
  Sceptre and chain with her fair youthful hands:
  As rocks are shivered in the thunder-stroke.
  And lo! in full-grown strength, an empire stands
Of leagued and rival states, the wonder of the lands.

XVI.

  Oh, Greece! thy flourishing cities were a spoil
  Unto each other; thy hard hand oppressed
  And crushed the helpless; thou didst make thy soil
  Drunk with the blood of those that loved thee best;
  And thou didst drive, from thy unnatural breast,
  Thy just and brave to die in distant climes;
  Earth shuddered at thy deeds, and sighed for rest
  From thine abominations; after times,
That yet shall read thy tale, will tremble at thy crimes.

XVII.

  Yet there was that within thee which has saved
  Thy glory, and redeemed thy blotted name;
  The story of thy better deeds, engraved
  On fame's unmouldering pillar, puts to shame
  Our chiller virtue; the high art to tame
  The whirlwind of the passions was thine own;
  And the pure ray, that from thy ***** came,
  Far over many a land and age has shone,
And mingles with the light that beams from God's own throne;

XVIII.

  And Rome--thy sterner, younger sister, she
  Who awed the world with her imperial frown--
  Rome drew the spirit of her race from thee,--
  The rival of thy shame and thy renown.
  Yet her degenerate children sold the crown
  Of earth's wide kingdoms to a line of slaves;
  Guilt reigned, and we with guilt, and plagues came down,
  Till the north broke its floodgates, and the waves
Whelmed the degraded race, and weltered o'er their graves.

XIX.

  Vainly that ray of brightness from above,
  That shone around the Galilean lake,
  The light of hope, the leading star of love,
  Struggled, the darkness of that day to break;
  Even its own faithless guardians strove to slake,
  In fogs of earth, the pure immortal flame;
  And priestly hands, for Jesus' blessed sake,
  Were red with blood, and charity became,
In that stern war of forms, a mockery and a name.

**.

  They triumphed, and less ****** rites were kept
  Within the quiet of the convent cell:
  The well-fed inmates pattered prayer, and slept,
  And sinned, and liked their easy penance well.
  Where pleasant was the spot for men to dwell,
  Amid its fair broad lands the abbey lay,
  Sheltering dark ****** that were shame to tell,
  And cowled and barefoot beggars swarmed the way,
All in their convent weeds, of black, and white, and gray.

XXI.

  Oh, sweetly the returning muses' strain
  Swelled over that famed stream, whose gentle tide
  In their bright lap the Etrurian vales detain,
  Sweet, as when winter storms have ceased to chide,
  And all the new-leaved woods, resounding wide,
  Send out wild hymns upon the scented air.
  Lo! to the smiling Arno's classic side
  The emulous nations of the west repair,
And kindle their quenched urns, and drink fresh spirit there.

XXII.

  Still, Heaven deferred the hour ordained to rend
  From saintly rottenness the sacred stole;
  And cowl and worshipped shrine could still defend
  The wretch with felon stains upon his soul;
  And crimes were set to sale, and hard his dole
  Who could not bribe a passage to the skies;
  And vice, beneath the mitre's kind control,
  Sinned gaily on, and grew to giant size,
Shielded by priestly power, and watched by priestly eyes.

XXIII.

  At last the earthquake came--the shock, that hurled
  To dust, in many fragments dashed and strown,
  The throne, whose roots were in another world,
  And whose far-stretching shadow awed our own.
  From many a proud monastic pile, o'erthrown,
  Fear-struck, the hooded inmates rushed and fled;
  The web, that for a thousand years had grown
  O'er prostrate Europe, in that day of dread
Crumbled and fell, as fire dissolves the flaxen thread.

XXIV.

  The spirit of that day is still awake,
  And spreads himself, and shall not sleep again;
  But through the idle mesh of power shall break
  Like billows o'er the Asian monarch's chain;
  Till men are filled with him, and feel how vain,
  Instead of the pure heart and innocent hands,
  Are all the proud and pompous modes to gain
  The smile of heaven;--till a new age expands
Its white and holy wings above the peaceful lands.

XXV.

  For look again on the past years;--behold,
  How like the nightmare's dreams have flown away
  Horrible forms of worship, that, of old,
  Held, o'er the shuddering realms, unquestioned sway:
  See crimes, that feared not once the eye of day,
  Rooted from men, without a name or place:
  See nations blotted out from earth, to pay
  The forfeit of deep guilt;--with glad embrace
The fair disburdened lands welcome a nobler race.

XXVI.

  Thus error's monstrous shapes from earth are driven;
  They fade, they fly--but truth survives their flight;
  Earth has no shades to quench that beam of heaven;
  Each ray that shone, in early time, to light
  The faltering footsteps in the path of right,
  Each gleam of clearer brightness shed to aid
  In man's maturer day his bolder sight,
  All blended, like the rainbow's radiant braid,
Pour yet, and still shall pour, the blaze that cannot fade.

XXVII.

  Late, from this western shore, that morning chased
  The deep and ancient night, that threw its shroud
  O'er the green land of groves, the beautiful waste,
  Nurse of full streams, and lifter-up of proud
  Sky-mingling mountains that o'erlook the cloud.
  Erewhile, where yon gay spires their brightness rear,
  Trees waved, and the brown hunter's shouts were loud
  Amid the forest; and the bounding deer
Fled at the glancing plume, and the gaunt wolf yelled near;

XXVIII.

  And where his willing waves yon bright blue bay
  Sends up, to kiss his decorated brim,
  And cradles, in his soft embrace, the gay
  Young group of grassy islands born of him,
  And crowding nigh, or in the distance dim,
  Lifts the white throng of sails, that bear or bring
  The commerce of the world;--with tawny limb,
  And belt and beads in sunlight glistening,
The savage urged his skiff like wild bird on the wing.

XXIX.

  Then all this youthful paradise around,
  And all the broad and boundless mainland, lay
  Cooled by the interminable wood, that frowned
  O'er mount and vale, where never summer ray
  Glanced, till the strong tornado broke his way
  Through the gray giants of the sylvan wild;
  Yet many a sheltered glade, with blossoms gay,
  Beneath the showery sky and sunshine mild,
Within the shaggy arms of that dark forest smiled.

***.

  There stood the Indian hamlet, there the lake
  Spread its blue sheet that flashed with many an oar,
  Where the brown otter plunged him from the brake,
  And the deer drank: as the light gale flew o'er,
  The twinkling maize-field rustled on the shore;
  And while that spot, so wild, and lone, and fair,
  A look of glad and guiltless beauty wore,
  And peace was on the earth and in the air,
The warrior lit the pile, and bound his captive there:

XXXI.

  Not unavenged--the foeman, from the wood,
  Beheld the deed, and when the midnight shade
  Was stillest, gorged his battle-axe with blood;
  All died--the wailing babe--the shrieking maid--
  And in the flood of fire that scathed the glade,
  The roofs went down; but deep the silence grew,
  When on the dewy woods the day-beam played;
  No more the cabin smokes rose wreathed and blue,
And ever, by their lake, lay moored the light canoe.

XXXII.

  Look now abroad--another race has filled
  These populous borders
Olivia McCann Sep 2014
Their eyes wandered,
Crowding the scene
But I averted
My own
To lend privacy
To the disaster.

Tears ran down her face
And cries were heard
And she muffled them
But the man said curtly,
Keep him crying,
It means he's alive.

What had happened
In an instant
Drew out,
As they stared
And I turned away
Thinking I was helping,
My eyes hardly probing
Like theirs.

But in the end,
I'm not the one
Who uttered reassurances
Or found the doctor.
They did.
Olivia Kent Sep 2014
He sold his pure soul for a fiver,
maybe, the price of a cuppa tea,
sold it to the man of bonds,
of stocks and shares,
who had no cares,

The customer,
he wanted a *** or a ****,
wasn't sure which,
either would do.
Glimpsed him out the side of his eye,
what he didn't note was that he cried,
He didn't care the callous man,
Gets satisfaction however he can.

Girl child, boy child,
one thing for certain,
he gave not a ****.
He was selfish and cold,
his currency was gold,
pure gold the purity of just past infancy,
crowding in the shopping mall.

The by-passers wanted to intervene,
unable to believe the things that they'd seen.
Day by day,
still the stay,
They should still be free and able to play.

It's life in London, so they say,
Living pain day by day.
Thought that they may find the streets paved with golden kisses,
Home again the other side,
the punter hugs his Missus.
(C) Livvi
B Sonia K Dec 2018
They line the streets
And on every  corner
One "ailment" or the other
A family,  sometimes brother and sister.

Crying in a song
Singing with one voice
All covered up in fake injuries
Lamenting about past glories

They line the streets
Crowding every corner
Always a bother
Clinging to our knees
In their torn dresses

Keep them away from us
Stop them from touching us
With their deceptive illusions
Appealing to our emotions
With empathetic persuasions
And now our money is gone.
Fallen Angel Mar 2015
They call me a ****
Tell me I’m a *****
That I’m fat
And that I’m ugly.
Yet they don’t know that when I go home
I hear it all again.
The students voices echo in my mind.
The long sleeves I wear to school
even in 90 degree weather
covers the scars.
I try to become invisible,
to walk by unnoticed,
but it never works.
They sense my presence and lash out at me,
Like a wolf on it’s prey.
I go home and cry myself to sleep.
Every night their words echo in my ears,
never going away.
Messages with the same words heard every day.
Suggestions of killing myself.
It wouldn’t make much difference
Just one less person crowding the halls.
One less person silently screaming inside.
One less person to believe I’m worthless.
Tears stream down my face as she ***** the gun.
The song that originally saved my life begins to play.
I close my eyes,
and with a deep breath he pulls the trigger.
The only thing left of me being the note that I wrote.
“I’m sorry...I can’t do this anymore”
with blood splattered across the pages.
Just a persona poem I wrote it was kind of in response to someone else's persona poem. Her's was about being the bully mine is about being the bullied (obviously).
Steven Hutchison Apr 2012
On April 26th, 372 B.C. Plato was the first man to inflict injury upon his own dreams.
Not the forms casting shadows in his cave, his literal dreams.
At 6:35 a.m. the impish snarl of a water ***** crept into his Utopia of an
all-you-can-eat gyro cart overturned at the corner of his street and roused him
back to consciousness. The ingenious design of his Clepsydra quite obviously complete,
Aristotle came running with the awkward stride of a sleepwalking adolescent
to see what his master had done. When he arrived he saw flying,
two pots of water, an air-compressing submersible chamber and one water ***** reed.
Aristotle quickly collected the shattered pieces and noted
that this broken pottery was more real than time itself.

On September 21st, 712 A.D. a small village just outside the boundaries of
Chang'an, China came dangerously close to taking the life of the palace
astronomer/inventor/sleepyhead. Crowding around the door of Yi Xing, the
townspeople tore their robes and wailed for him to put a stop to the
incessant clanging. Xing, who had apparently overslept and was still
clinging to morsels of fading dreams about his young mistress, stuffed his
face into his pillow, muttering eureka, after first having chucked the
two clay pots, handful of stones and plate-sized gong out the front door,
much to the amusement of the assembly of drooping eyelids and torn pajamas.

In the year 1235 A.D. tortured residents of Baghdad began associating their
daily and nightly times for prayer with the ringing of their eardrums from
uninvited chimes.

In 1493 St. Mark's Clock-tower polluted the once-pure Venetian air with
hourly reminders that we are all yet one hour closer to our inevitable death
and the priests of the day called it humility.

Levi Hutchins of New Hampshire turned to a pine cabinet, brass clock and
mechanical gears in 1787, and for the first time gave himself the ability to
choose when he would hate the morning.

In 1847, French inventor Antoine Redier began making money off of people's
early morning auditory masochism.

Lew Wallace, the morning after completing his masterpiece novel "Ben Hur,"
awoke with a fiendish beeping in his ear and proceeded to invent the paradox
of the snooze button.

In Spring of 1942 the war in Europe raged and all U.S. alarm clock production ceased.

In the Spring of 1943 well-rested factory men, confronted by their foreman
upon arrival at 9:15, erupted the words "my alarm clock is broken,"
forever placing the excuse in the deep pockets of slackers
world-wide.

To all of these respected men of our history
Who have thought with their hands to create
The foundation of a society drowning in Starbucks,
I wish to express my sincerest ingratitude.

I lie awake in bed at night,
Licking the bitter taste of reality from my cheeks,
In the company of Plato, Lew Wallace and Yi Xing,
Wondering what dreams will be stolen from me.
Day 20
Once as I travelled through a quiet evening,
I saw a pool, jet-black and mirror-still.
Beyond, the slender paperbarks stood crowding;
each on its own white image looked its fill,
and nothing moved but thirty egrets wading -
thirty egrets in a quiet evening.

Once in a lifetime, lovely past believing,
your lucky eyes may light on such a pool.
As though for many years I had been waiting,
I watched in silence, till my heart was full
of clear dark water, and white trees unmoving,
and, whiter yet, those thirty egrets wading.
Aarya Oct 2015
I just feel so limited
It's 11 pm and I want to go for a drive
But my parents just won't take me
I want to go for a drive at 11pm
In my france france france sweatshirt, hair loose and all
and I want to stick my head out of the window
And I want to feel the cold air pass me by and go through my bones
And I want my hair to fly in the **** wind
and I want to listen to mainstream music and some feel good music
And I want the sky to be pitch black, with stars
And I want to pass trees and solely trees and smell the leaves and the pine cones
and I want to see the city from down below, as the street lights light up the town in golden arrays
And pass a restaurant with some music
Maybe even some random people loitering in a corner of a smoke shop with purple lights and cigarette smoke crowding everywhere
And I want to just look at them
And think about them
And what they did to get there
And I want to see a couple holding their hands and walking down the street
Even though its 11 pm
And I hope they're just happy
And I want to hold my dads big warm hand while I do all of these things
Because I got shotgun
And I want my brother to sit quietly in the back, and my dad to hum some Indian song
While I do all of these things
And I want to go to an aquarium and stare at jellyfish
Lavender jellyfish
and bright electric blue jellyfish
And pink and orange jellyfish
And I want to smell the AIR
And I want more of me to grow than the part in my brain that controls calculus and SAT
I want to grow physically and mentally and spiritually
There's a whole world out there
A whole WORLD!
And I'm in my room
My mother is in the kitchen thinking I'm doing SAT, and my dad is working and stressing over his job, and my brother is in his room writing his first interactive program
and I'm in my room, knowing i'm supposed to be doing SAT, but all I can think about is
how there's a whole messy majestic gigantic WORLD out there
And I am sitting here doing calculus and SAT
And it seems like its all for nothing
For only myself
And I know I'm not necessarily supposed to be this altruistic human being
I'm supposed to want things for myself
I'm supposed to be selfish in how I study and where I put my time but thats just not enough for me
I want to spend all day planting poppies and sunflowers
And in the night I just want to stare into infinity at the sky
And I want to cut my hair shoulder length, dye the bottom blue, get another piercing, decorate my hands with  henna, and walk around in vintage crop tops and flowy pants and matte black michael kors sandals
And I want to stop watching TV and going on facebook and having superficial banter and disgusting small talk
And I want to do yoga for the right reasons
Because yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self, and I don’t want to do it solely because I want nice arms or a bendy back or a nice **** I mean even though its okay to want those things but I just want more
I want everything to be just raw and I want people to expose themselves and I want to expose myself and I want
my parents to just LISTEN to what I want
And recognize the fact that this is the third night in the row that their daughter has outwardly displayed to them that
there's chaos in her mind because she just can't handle
doing and being absolutely nothing
anymore
And I want to read about human rights and global warming and how
when a chef is cooking for a ton of people, he uses utensils to remind himself what to do next
and I want to read about forensics and how mass spectrography and chromatography help detect if someone is poisoned or not
And I really don't want to do SAT
Not because its hard or boring, or even because it seems useless but because
it just seems so *******
useless and irrelevant
And I want to stop living the life I want to live on a **** website
Because its opened my mind so much but I want to SEE sunflowers instead of
looking at pictures of them and I want to SEE
elephants and kittens instead of just
looking at them and I want to
feel a connection with a human being rather than just imagining what it would be like and I don't mean romantic relationships, no
But I just want to stop being so ignorant
And I want to know everything
And really all I want to go is forget that
I have to study tomorrow
I just want to go on a car ride
And stick my head out of the window, like a dog
Because I am happy, like a dog
Just why am I LIMITING myself?
For what???
I want to talk to people
I want them to teach me something
Because people are nature Tamille
Some people are delicate flowers
Some people are raging thunderstorms
Some people are disarrayed forests
Some will leave me breathless, some will knock me down
And some will be gardens and some will be SUNSETS and
I want them all to teach me something
And I want to speak my mind and look HIM whoever he may be
In the eye and and I want to stop being so small
And I may be insignificant but I'm an infinity
Because all galaxies are infinite
I read that there are as many atoms in a single molecule of DNA as there are stars in a typical galaxy
each of us are our own UNIVERSE
And thats why we burn too brightly sometimes and thats why we
collide sometimes and thats why we
collapse inwards sometimes and thats why we explode sometimes and start anew
And I want my soul to project outwards
I want whatever of me that is trapped in my bones to just
spill out
And I want someone to feel all the love and happiness I have in me from
across the room
And I want to stop being so closed up and insecure and timid
I think you're a towering mountain Tamille
Or thunder
I wouldn't say you're lightning
But I'd say my mom is a delicate flower and my dad is a powerful river and my brother is a colorful sky and I want to be
a forest
I just want to stick my head out of a car window, like a happy dog
Because I am happy
I don't want to be young and scared even though I know its okay to be scared
But I want to stop swallowing my words and stop being so paralyzed
Because I can do whatever I want
I must set fire to my old self
I must start anew.
Why am I so scared for WHAT
For what
Okay so what do I do now
I think saying all that was a good start
Here's whats not going to happen
I'm not going to wake up late tomorrow
or not too late
And I'll go for a walk
To the pecks
And I'll play with the chickens
And I'll read with the chickens
I'm just burning right now
And now it seems silly to sleep
Tamille, when I come to LA for winter break
We will go out on drives at 11pm, even 2 am
For the sake of living
And we will walk alongside the beach at preposterous hours of the day
Simply for the sake of living
And we won't be phonies
Because thats silly
And we must try not to be phonies
Just for the sake of living
But of course I can't just be this spontaneous extemporaneous person online
I need to be like that Offline
more than anything because I just
need to talk to people more
And I need to see the jellyfish and I watch them with their tentacles floating upwards and downwards and just there in what is to them, an abyss
Maybe we're like
jellyfish in an abyss
Like how humans just watch jellyfish in containers
Maybe we're the jellyfish
I need to be a good memory to people
Because we remember more than we think we do
So I must try my best to be a positive remembrance
I can teach  someone something
I can teach a random stranger something
I can teach my mom something
I can teach my 85 year old neighbor something
I can teach you something
It feels wrong to say all that and then go to bed
So I think I'll just walk outside and stare into infinity once more
And then ask my dad if we can go on a car ride one more time
And then I'll come back in my room and read about global warming
Or maybe I'll read about global warming outside
Because a child educated only at school, is an uneducated child
And I hope you read all this because out of everyone I chose you to tell it to you
And i hope your response isn't just "go do all that then"
I hope you read all the many messages
And now I will log off of facebook
I hope you also wake up in the morning and make it a great day
Not "hope you have a good day"
But rather
Make it a great day
this is long
Jazmine Moore Apr 2014
Dizzy and uncontrolled, I open my eyes to see the smoke crowding the air.
For, my body has just become a safe haven for your hands.
Temptation has won tonight.
Moonlight is dancing upon our bare bodies and I am immersed in pure satisfaction.
Our lips have synced with the circadian rhythm we possess and the fire has started to erupt.
As the flames get more and more intense, so does the love we pretend to have for each other.
It continues to grow until we convince ourselves it’s real.
The bedsheets serve as our common ground for our broken hearts to rest on.
As we are climbing and pretending; pretending and climbing,
The fire is getting hotter, the love is getting cloudier, and our bodies are getting heavier against on another’s.
Faint whispers of phrases we dare not say otherwise fill the room.
Finally, the fire is extinguished and we are left to lay with nothing but reality.
Clutching each other for protection from yet another fire, we doze off hoping to wake up in love with each other.
Holland Jan 2018
It's the blend of black and white
The collapsing of good and evil
Like parallel universes becoming one
Like the pull of an angel to the dark side
Or of a devil redeemed
Or like two children at play
rolling down opposite sided hills
Until they meet in the middle of a valley
But gray is not just two colors combined
It is a feeling too
Like an uninvited dark cloud
Looming over head
Crowding you in an empty room
Gray can even be a sensation
A feeling of breathlessness
Despite knowing that your lungs work perfectly
It is the color of numbness
Of no personality and "I don't care"
Its the color of not having an appetite
And a lack of social interaction
Gray is the black and white feeling of a panic attack
When the lights start to blend together
But that slowly turn black as you start to disassociate from the world around you
And you only hear your ears ringing and your heart beat

Heart beat...

The one thing that makes us real
The one thing that we all have in common.

BUT we have more than just hearts
We have minds

Minds that make the human race diverse

Gray is the color of diversity
It represents the complete blend of black and white

To think of the world in black and white would be a crime
Not because there is never a right or a wrong
But because when you see the world in gray,
You witness a world of beauty, pain, error
Emotions that don't exist in clean margins

I love the world that I see in gray.

Can you see it too?
Dorothy A Jul 2010
The first time I heard it, I could not believe it. Did I hear it right? My son, Kyle, had a girlfriend, and her name was Jezebel Kawalak. That was her true name, honest to God. I thought maybe Kyle was joking, but that really was it.  Kyle was surprised himself, thinking she was joking, so Jezebel showed him the proof on her birth certificate. It was her mother’s idea to name her Jezebel. Her father was against it.

“She goes by Jez”, Kyle told me. “Everyone calls her Jez”.

I was making dinner when he told me the news of his new friend. I stopped cutting up some carrots and looked at him with great skepticism. “Jezebel? Who on earth would name their daughter that? Don’t her parents know that the name, Jezebel, is a putdown?”

I remembered the old Betty Davis film, and she was supposed to be some kind of ******. I decided to look up the name in the Bible, and Jezebel was not a nice woman, but an evil seductress and the daughter of a king. I didn’t know much about that Jezebel character from the Old Testament, but I knew she was far from nice.  Now Kyle reassured me that Jez was not all what her name implied. She was a shy, sweet girl who lived across the street and twelve houses down from us. She was petite, gentle in nature, which added coolness and calm to the picture, for her sweet nature coexisted in tune with my son’s impulsively creative disposition.

“Jez wouldn’t hurt a fly”, Kyle told me.

“Oh, sure” I said back. “But will she hurt you?”

Kyle and Jez were both sixteen and both in the tenth grade. They also attended the same high school, making their friendship all so more convenient. They were even in one class together, an English class. Like Kyle, Jez came from a divorced home and both were only children. Jez’s mom, Tammy, worked three jobs to keep things afloat, and Jez was often left alone at home to fend for herself. It was not surprising that she got quite lonely and was in need of a good, solid companion.    

Kyle never had a serious girlfriend before. He had gone out a few times with a few girls, but none of them were ever more than a brief date or two. I was glad for that. I sometimes worked a double shift as a hospital nurse and, ready or not, I was forced to deal with this new path in my son’s life. I could not always be around to make sure my son was doing what he was supposed to do. And he was far too old for anyone to really watch over him. He was still working on getting his driver’s license, slowly gaining more freedom as he was gradually gaining more trust from me. I did not like this hesitation in me, for I always knew quite well that this time would eventually come. Yet everything seemed like it was coming too fast, and I could not contain the breaking dam of my son’s ever increasing entrance into manhood.

“It is probably not like you think”, my mother told me about Kyle and Jez. “They seem like just good friends, like she is the sister that Kyle never had”.

My mother could not convince me that she knew what she was saying, not with that remark. Come on! I wasn’t born yesterday!

For the longest time, it was just the four of us, which is until my sister moved to Miami.  Kyle, my mother and I lived in Cleveland, and that seemed like a stab in the heart to me when my sister first left. But I eventually convinced myself that I could not be so selfish, and I learned to adjust to just now only “the three of us”. Kyle saw his father but his father and I divorced when he was the age of four. Since that time, he had three strong women in his life, his mother, his aunt, and his grandmother. We were not a big family, but we were a tight family unit. Whenever I had to work and when Kyle was in need of a sitter, my mother watched him. She deserved the credit for raising my son just as much as I did.

Kyle reasoned with me that he and Jez could be good study partners for each other. I rolled my eyes at that one. There would be more of Kyle playing his guitar than anything. He loved his guitar, practically was self-taught, and I had to admit that Jez had a beautiful singing voice.  Kyle loved to compose his own songs as well as he liked to play some from other artists, and he was pretty good at his talent. The trouble was that as soon as made something up in his head he quickly forgot how some of the songs went. Sometimes, he could get it right and sometimes not. But that was not because Kyle wasn’t smart enough. Actually, he was very bright.  Kyle could dream in his sleep about music and wake up frantically trying to remember what new song he was dreaming up.

The two of them sounded really sharp together, Kyle’s strumming and smooth singing and Jez’s soft back up vocals. There was no denying that they looked just as good as they sounded together. I would study Jez over as she sat next to Kyle on the couch with her golden brown hair clipped up on the back of her head, her eyes peacefully closed, and her small frame swaying in the rhythm of the music they were making.  If they weren’t working on live music, they’d be cranking up the stereo or watching television much more than they would be hitting the school books.

I was shocked when Kyle and I were alone at home and he said something quite out of the blue and totally unexpected. “You practically gave up on men, didn’t you?” he asked me.

“I beg your pardon, young man!” I snapped at him. I gave him a sharp glance and that was all that I had to say about that. I never expected him to say such a thing. Frankly, I was dumbfounded.

I did not feel like I had to answer to my son, but driving to work that day I had wondered if he was right. If my life was not wrapped around the needs of my son, my energies were put into my career. I enjoyed my independence, not like my mother who never worked outside the home once she was married. And when my father died, my mother’s financial needs were taken care of because of all those years of his hard work. It seemed like my mother came from a dying breed, not that I faulted her for who she was, but I had to take care of myself. I felt it was the right choice and better than the alternative of marrying for convenience.

Was I really that fearful of another commitment? It seemed that no man I had met since my divorce could be a good enough stepfather figure for my son. At least, I believed that was a good enough reason for me to remain unattached. How could Kyle ask me that anyway?

One day, he was destined to leave the house and have his own life. I was always so smug about women who seemed to have no life outside of their children, but was I only fooling myself? Before I knew it, I would be coming home to an empty house. Would I be alright being all alone?

All I knew is that I wanted my son to be happy, and I thought I did a pretty good job of helping him be that so far. For now everything seemed fine, but I could see how Kyle was really falling hard for Jez. In my worried mind, there was no denying that.

“You assure me that you will do nothing that you cannot undo”, I warned my son. “When I am not here, there is to be nothing done under my roof. And you know what I mean!”

“Mom, come on”, Kyle answered me. “I would never do anything like that in your house!”    

I looked at my son with a mixture of pride and sorrow. It was now I who had to look up to him to talk to him. It seemed like yesterday when I was the one towering over him. Now he was almost six feet tall, was now shaving, and was handsome like his father, his dark shaggy hair dusting his light brown eyes. I sure could not stop him from growing up. Trying to control that situation was like trying to control heaven and earth. Slowly, I was learning that I had to let go of him, for his sake and for mine.

Deep down, I knew Kyle wouldn’t do anything in my house. But I also knew that those two did not need my house to do the unspeakable, what I would not quite say to my son in proper words. I knew I was being unrealistic for some silly fear that if I said “***” it would egg on his teenage desire all the more.  Nor could I keep my son under lock and key to stop those flooding feelings.
  
It soon came to be that Jez was over every day. Why didn’t they ever go to her house? But then I was glad they were under my roof, like that would keep them out of trouble.  Jez’s house was rented and much smaller than ours, even though ours was not spacious by any means. Jez seemed to feel more at home in my house, and soon she was growing on me. Before long, I was quite used to her, for she somehow crept into my heart and won me over.  I had to admit that she almost seemed like a daughter to me.

“You did not have to make these”, I told her about a batch of oatmeal cookies she baked me.

Jez smiled at me and said, “Your favorite, with no raisins”. She put them in a cake box that she ******* with a purple ribbon and handed them over to me. She had such a sweet disposition that I wanted to tell her to go yell at her mother for giving her such a ridiculous name, but simply smiled back and gave her a hug.  

“I can see you really like her”, said my smirking mother. She had come over for dinner and was sitting with me at the dining room table. “She is really good for Kyle and you know it, too”.

Kyle just came around from out of the kitchen. “Thanks Grandma”, he said to her, and gave her a quick hug and kiss on the cheek. He then gave me thumbs up as if to show that if Grandma approved, it was a done deal.

I could not disagree with my mom. Yet I wondered what Jez’s mom would think of everything. Even though she lived down the street I never met her. I wanted to invite her over, but she was always too busy working or taking care of things. How did Jez cope with her always being gone? She needed her mother just as much at sixteen as she did when she was a young girl.

“She works pretty hard”, Jez once told me. “I feel kind of bad because maybe she would not have to work like that if I wasn’t around”.

“Jez, don’t think that way!” I exclaimed.  I could see the tears welling up in her eyes. Kyle, sitting next to her, put his arm around her and gave her a good squeeze to make her smile.

Kyle admitted, “Jez’s dad always told her she is welcome to live with him. She could but she’s not so geeked about it. He lives in California, in San Diego”.

“And he has a swimming pool and a Jacuzzi”, Jez added. “So you think I’d be crazy not to go there”.

“I’d rather live in warm weather, all year round, with a pool to swim in every day”, Kyle confessed to her.

Emphasizing her remark by playfully dotting his nose with her fingertip, she said to him, “Kyle, you know that Cleveland has one thing that San Diego does not have”.

“What’s that?” he answered in a silly voice, gleefully playing dumb.

Giggling a little, she said “You”.

Kyle leaned over, and pecked her with a kiss on her mouth. I could feel the heat in my face, embarrassed that I was blushing over an innocent kiss. But I never saw my son kiss a girl before, not in a romantic way. I got up out of my chair before they could see my discomfort. How foolish I felt! After all, I was a nurse and nothing should have shocked me like this.

There were times I felt that I had more than a leg to stand on with my fears. There was a fine line between innocent times with each other and too much togetherness, and it seemed like Kyle and Jez were crossing it.

Usually on Friday or Saturday nights, Jez and Kyle would watch a horror movie. They both loved horror flicks, the more blood and gore the better. Both loved the classics, from the original Night of the Living Dead to the modern ones like Drag Me to Hell. They’d always snuggle together on the couch with the lights off and big bowl of popcorn, and if I was not working I would be extra watchful. They could be up till past one o’clock in the morning and, even if I needed the sleep, I stayed up right with them.

Often, Kyle and Jez would fall asleep together on the couch before the movie ended. They had gotten that cozy. A few times, Kyle would wake up to still find Jez sound asleep. She was quite a sound sleeper, more than Kyle was. Instead of waking her up to take her home, Kyle would scoop her up in his arms and carry her to his bedroom. In turn, she barely made a stir but rested her head upon his shoulders, letting him take her away from the living room. After laying her upon his bed, Kyle would come back to sleep on the couch.

“How are you going to explain this to her mother?” I asked, confronting him about it”.

“I’m not sleeping with her, Mom!” he argued with me. “You can see I am staying on the couch! Jez’s mom has some new boyfriend, so why would she feel like she even belongs home? Yeah! That’s right! He is crowding Jez right out of her own house! Do you have to look at me like that? Like I am the bad guy, or something? He is living with her mom, sleeping in her bed. Why do you think Jez never wants to go home? The guy’s a total loser! He creeps her out.”

I knew I had to eventually talk to Jez’s mom. I needed her input and she needed mine. As much as I liked her, I just did not feel like Jez should be around so much. It seemed like she lived at my house when she really did not.  The only news I heard about her mom was that Tammy was angry at her daughter for not helping to clean up the house more. So now I found a sound excuse to help Kyle to listen to reason.

I had to tell him to listen to me, to trust my better judgment and experience in spacing out his time with Jez. Perhaps, he needed to see her every other day. To Kyle, that was a hard sacrifice but, along with becoming an adult, came some necessary lessons.

“If Tammy wants her daughter to be more responsible at home” I told him, “you have to learn to respect that”. Deep down, Kyle knew I was right.

So those in between days, with no visits, Kyle was either instant messaging Jez on our computer or talking to her on the phone.  He may have listened to his mother, but he was finding enough ways to not take me as seriously as he should have.

I found myself wishing that Jez would just go away. That feeling did not last long before my guilty conscience got the better part of me. Jezebel Kawalak really was a sweetheart. Everyone who really knew her loved her.

“Do you feel like she is competing with you for Kyle’s time with you?” my mother asked me.

At first, I was ready to tell my mother how out-of-line she was with that statement. Did I seem that selfish? This was the time in Kyle’s life when the childish diversions in life were being replaced with more important things like earning his own money and planning what college he wanted to go and what he wanted for his future.  Or maybe I had to accept that he would tell me that college was not for him. Now he could play his guitar and dream of being a rock star, but reality was ready to kick in for both of us.  More carefree days like these were beginning to look scarce.

I had to admit that Jez became a threat. I worried that she had a high likelihood of ending up pregnant. What would happen then? Kyle was not mature enough to deal with that possibility. I still had those desires to see Jez just go away.

One night, I was going to get what I wanted. But it was something what I never would have wished for.

It was a long day at the hospital for me. I had barely the energy to eat the diner that Kyle had made for me. He was a pretty good cook as he had to learn to make his own meals when I was working. I was brushing my teeth when I thought I heard a knock at the door, but the television was on and I wasn’t sure.  

“Kyle, is someone at the door?” I asked him.  I heard no answer.

I went into the living room and the front door was open. In the dark, I made out the two silhouettes of Kyle and Jez sitting on the cement on the front porch.

I turned the porch light on and gasped. Jez was leaning on Kyle, her face battered and her lip bleeding.

“Let’s get her inside!” I ordered Kyle.

He helped her up but she was stumbling badly. Kyle lifted her up into his arms, and she winced in pain as he carried her inside.

Kyle sat in a chair and kept Jez cradled in his arms, caressing her bruised face with his
c. 2010
Pagan Paul Oct 2016
.
So you snuggle in to your bed
as you hear mid-winter calling.
The cold north wind is blowing
as the last of Autumns leaves are falling.
Did you ever stop to think
as you pull up your blankets tight?
That out in the doorways of the city
desperate figures shiver in the night.
Crowding around the soup van
blue hands grasping for the heat.
Hallowed eyes and frightened expressions
as the rain turns to stinging sleet.
The concrete pavements are hard and cold
the bridges provide scant protection.
The hot food and volunteers words
stir memories into recollection.
Once they were people of society
with homes and jobs and cars and love.
Now they fight behind the charity shops
for clothes and coats and hats and gloves.
So as you snuggle deep in your bed
and your fire starts to burn low.
Remember the people of the streets
as the sleet begins to turn to snow.

Pagan Paul (Dec 2008) ©2016
This was the first poem I ever wrote.
Its from personal experience of being homeless for 3 months over winter 2008/2009.
PPx
Paul R Mott Jun 2012
I sit alone in this connected world,
separated from the selfishness I see spreading
amongst everyone around me
with everything to gain by filling their hands
before filling their hearts,
by silencing their inner voice
and shouting out loud.  

It must not be hard to live life in the singular,
letting words and sounds crash against guarded ears and eyes.  
The true trouble starts when a mind becomes a collective,
letting in every thought, every notion,
leaving judgment to fend for itself.  
It becomes harder to keep your identity in an overflowing sea of mediocrity
from not allowing any idea to rise above.  

How does one feel empathy when living life in the former,
cast away on an inner island?  
Is it a feigned truth to goad the soul
into cooperation with a strictly selfish mind?  
Is it the weight of expectation crowding out viewpoints and virtue?  
I can’t tell because for once in my life,
I stand staring at this alien concept
and see no wisp of familiarity floating in our shared air.  
So my lungs seize at this ether bereft of merit, and I collapse.  

Only to wake in a suspended reality,
one where the naïveté of my mind
rationalizes the incongruity of the external world
long enough for me to delve within.  
In these cloistered rooms of society,
I find sparks without kindling,
wasting away into ash,
I find whispers discarded from distracted diaphragms,
but most importantly, I find recognition,
recognition of this middle ground,
neither reached nor acknowledged by that strange outer land.  
It is in these discarded thoughts
stowed far beneath consciousness that I seek my own truth.
Tonight, whenst my soul wasth dancing about its walls,
I chall-enged myself to potter about th' halls.
Having adjusted my red shawl and added some more
tints of blush into my frazzled cheeks, didst I swing myself
out of my chamber.
A sleek rain wasth but mumbling outside; and evoked within me
a longing for domestic adventures-to **** th' silent drear of
th' dying evening! With only th' rain as its ember, flitting away
wasth its cold shadows, with shards of plainness around
its damp, frail body, awash in th' childlike pouring shower-
th' one t'at would betray it soon-and ended with a blunt
thump as th' morbid clouds hanging aloft, dyeing th' sky faithfully red,
but consoling in such irresistible ways! How I remembereth its leaving a scent
to my skin and constitution so soft, and indulged it away, so unlike
th' smug moonbeam-immaculate like th' stars, but unsettled and tumultous
at heart-and in th' lap of bleak, unsoundly thunderstorms would be torn apart.
So ventured I, downstairs! No soul was rolling around th' corridors,
in spite of th' lamps, t'ose yellow halos against
th' wooden walls. How I gleefully descended th' adjacent steep bars-
downwards, in a quiet stroll, whilst coolly whistling to my own *****-
to procure the merriment of letters-yes, th' abodes of t'ose ****** words,
unappalled yet by th' venerable worlds. And t'eir tiny chambers, t'ose neatly
glued; inked papers, flocked into t'eir serene boxes this afternoon-ah, by those
blokes so punctual, honourable indeed areth t'eir perseverance, strength,
and little carriages! With horses as divine, crowding people's lives
with th' ornaments of phrases carved within envelopes
in t'eir leather bags-an occupation so holy! It is-it is, indeed! Like a sledge
t'at never utters a complaint-or sheep t'at dares not to leap, or
wiggle, in th' threat of its young master, albeit grimaces of sickness,
and pain, pain as of giving mortal births, affordeth. And howeth it shalt invade
its listening hearts with blades of agony-whose sullen grass
is bitter but never to wither-a resemblance of long-living memory,
so dark but unspoken-and whose life is but willingly tethered t' th' snow beneath;
a pampered sea of whiteness with bonds of accusation
enshrined along its surface,
regardless of th' pure-hearted toil of th' reindeer,
and its honesty t'at so charmingly planted within its roots. Agreeable element,
just as it is! T'ose men so deserving of praise-hark, hark how t'ey clutched at my letters,
and gently shoved 'em forwards; amidst t'ose gloomy bits of chuckling dews!
Frosts t'at sent chills through th' afternoon's vigilant pains,
o, what dormant a serpent, as t'ey wert! But now wert t'ey inventing t'eir slots
out o' t'eir caves-andeth greedly rendering it more gratuitous
t' th' old man's eyes. Horrendous! Inescapable! Disagreeable! How t'is fate, but fate
t'at is intimate with wonder-obstinate in 'tis own credulity, and paths
of security, esteem, and actuality; fate t'at canst ot'erwise be unfathomable-
at th' most desirous times such as t'is!
Thrown was I into th' view of another, fancy who it was-
a former friend, about whom my heart once so dearly throbbed, and perchance
plentifully longed to meet! But as encounter, didst we-a river of grand, prosperous ambitions
and plots of weaving merciful fortune, andeth devious thirst for far precarious,
yet precious, lore-forgotten wereth thus our memories, and stepped away but we,
from each ot'er's undeniably hearty regions.
But he! How, this evening, with t'at pair of eyes
kind with endless blueness-blowing so handsome into my face,
t'at lake of golden hair, and skin so moist in its ripe, whole whiteness,
as bright as th' moonlit skies above-sensuous and translucent
in his searing youth, o my dear!
How he entereth th' door with t'ose passionate airs about 'im,
and abruptly captivated my soul! Atoned, hastily, wasth all my grief
and pangs of gloom, upon my laying my first sights on 'im! What a majestic being!
A charm so frank as th' most desired odour of nature;
and unbreakably calm in its greetings-a lure so powerful to my entire soul!
How decent, yet enticing, t'is gentleman to my comprehension!
How lovable wasth his manly voice-as he first attempted to speak;
blanketed and cheered most adorably
by colourful fogs of courage, waves of veritable determination-o, how a gaze
can be so tender into my heart!
O, but it now appeareth t'at I ought to doubt not
about falling in love again;
with t'ese new fits o' charms I've found,
of a soul t'at was but so long abandoned
whilst I let myself being disheartened-so cruelly
and unthinkingly, by that poor fiend! A brute, a lonesome wretch as he is-
whose love is but unworthy, fraudulent, to my eyes-
a rustic, odd liar! And let him but shrink
into nothingness; and be unthoughtfully buried within th' cold arms
of th' dismantled sun-wherein a wrathful furnace shalt he burn, and cry,
cry sorrowfully in deplorable hatred, with no-one else to shoulder his castigations
and bestow neither any ot'er love-nor pity, for 'im,
as th' wife whom his chest daintily adores
is but th' sin he has made, andeth th' ashes of his ungodly remains-
As cursed and woven away from t'is world by our kingly God-just as how she
hath misled him hitherto, and duly tortured wasth her by our new faith-
whence soulless was she left, a thin, uncrucial vapour of triviality-as most sane creatures
shalt know! How after t'at disaster of death,
damnation becameth her home and bower,
whereth howl wilt she like a prone elf-
andeth be th' mourning fire itself.
S Fletcher Jan 2015
We slump in mismatched chairs. Two hunches
over shame and a 3am breakfast, I think:
There’s gotta be a reason why art rhymes with ****.
If you want anything to go anywhere with any respectable…affect,
the force of pressure on the inside must exceed that from the outside.

Interrupting this genius, He asks:
How can you eat that crap? It’s so…empty.
He is flipping through his coffeeblack back pocket note rag.
It’s soiled, wrinkled concave with the ever-heaving
stomachfuls of his inky midnight doubt, and I would really
rather not have it at the table while I’m eating.

I am pouring another glorious bowl of Frooty Froot Hoops—******,
store-brand sugarfuel for the lower-middle-income child poet.
He spends another tasteless oatmeal evening
reading essays about how to improve his writing.
Instead of, like, writing to improve his writing.

I ask:
If you took a knife to the edge of your boundary’s boundary—stabbed right into your life-world’s fleshy monad-sac,
glory running ****** down your blade,
As you breached forth into the well-lit unknown,
would it still be courageous, if you emerged from
your warm wet ignorance, and they were all waiting outside with mylar balloons, a banner, and "Congratulations on your Artistic Rupture!”  
in blue icing on the cake??

There's still a moment there, right?
Petrified in the sap of thrill, in the momentous-stasis between
The arrow flung and the arrow fallen. A moment of
advancement …a moment of abandon!

(He nods along, but he isn't listening.)

I say:
Newness, originality, (birth), is purely indexical.
It points, and no one notices that all those shiny vegas lights aren't really moving anywhere—It's just utility bills and light-bulb trickery.
They're asking for genesis extended, genesis again and again
and each false gesture points only towards another
incandescent unreachable elsewhere.

(He nods along, still, not listening.)

But there's little monotony in taking a stab!
Even if it's just for them, again, those perennial spectators expecting,
Waiting outside with ***** little pocket notebooks of their own,
crowding the bassinets, ever-eager to begin another “surprise" celebration.

Gulping sweet, sugarpink milk, I say:
I happen to like this crap!
It keeps my knife sharp.

(He nods along, but he isn't listening.)
Natalie Mar 2018
Words, words, worms! My mind is swarmed
With them. Ants file in through the sticky
Canals, chattering, stamping their little black feet.
They use me. I am their harboring medium,
A visitor in my own head.
Black, empty mouths flutter and dance and signal
Amongst themselves, crowding my skull,
A murmuration of phrases and guttural sounds.

I mustn't tell fully what they say.

They draw forth black and bubbling swamps,
Wicked crows, the yawping millions, pecking,
Pecking, gouging with yammering beaks
At every smooth, young innocent.

There is death in this tumult of words.

Let it not take me.
Kaye B Anderson Jan 2015
Breathless on the thought of you
longing to be desired
trailing specs of emptiness
crowding my busy mind.
baskets of hope
left in a meadow full of weeds
there stands my sanctuary
in the midst of all I need.
painless stares shared
across a broken path
as tear drops drip
onto my broken heart.
breaking point not far away
whispers whisper thoughts of prey
drops of life fall away
dripping down my spine
all that I desire
you are my kryptonite.
mark john junor Jul 2014
floyd and the skinny kid skate round
me like vultures looking for table scraps
today im all about just keeping the head above water
try all night to sleep but just climb walls in my head

my kryptonite came round again and she was full of smiles
even tho i could feel things crawling round neath that pretty face
couldn't help myself just ended up humpin leg
while she just laughed counting bills outa my wallet
just really skull **** myself over and over
like to trade my life in for a simpler one

distill the hours down to thouse moments
when i escape the circus of my own thinkin
when i can sit and soak up some sun on the beach
without all the headnoise crowding out my goodtime

floyd and the skinny kid circle round me
but i got no use for virtual vampires
and they just manage to annoy
i got prettier things on my mind
hoping to distract
just hoping to distract
hannah Aug 2017
I couldn't seem to find where you had gone.

The road narrowed down to a small passageway in the woods,
getting lost in the crowds of trees surrounding it.

I walked until my feet ached,
until the gravel beneath my naked toes cut ****** rock sized openings into my skin.

You were nowhere to be found,
I realized that now,
but I kept walking,
as if each step could somehow guide me to you like a compass,
pulling me in the right direction,
promising an answer.

I wanted to know where they had buried your body,
where your still decaying bones lie a clean mess inside the earth, but I couldn't find it,
I couldn't find where you had gone.

The moon had once before,
promised me a source of light,
but now,
it only provided a terrifying, crowding darkness.
I wanted to lie underneath it,
urging her out of the sky and onto me.
I wanted something heavy to plunge me underground
so I could worm myself to you,
find the body that belonged more to me than it did, you.

I just wanted you back,
and if I couldn't even have that,
than a piece of you to hold onto;
something I could look at to know you were once a living being, once a boy I loved and always will.

I walked back then,
after allowing myself the refusing will to move on.

In the impala, on an abandoned road,
I pulled your cold blanket over my own decaying body,
trying to wrap the ghost of you around me.

Pushing my nose into the wool,
I smelled the last remaining parts of you.

I closed my eyes,
not willing to imagine the small space where you should be,
vacant.

After all,
how were you supposed to wake up there with me,
when I was half gone myself?
I rose at night and visited
The Cave of the Unborn,
And crowding shapes surrounded me
For tidings of the life to be,
Who long had prayed the silent Head
To speed their advent morn.

Their eyes were lit with artless trust;
Hope thrilled their every tone:
“A place the loveliest, is it not?
A pure delight, a beauty-spot
Where all is gentle, pure and just
And violence is unknown?”

My heart was anguished for their sake;
I could not frame a word;
But they descried my sunken face
And seemed to read therein, and trace
The news which Pity would not break
Nor Truth leave unaverred.

And as I silently retired
I turned and watched them still:
And they came helter-skelter out,
Driven forward like a rabble rout
Into the world they had so desired,
By the all-immanent Will.
Geraldine Taylor Jun 2017
The epitome of greatness, a mark in history

Of discipline remarkable, a stellar victory

Defeating the unbeaten, knock and break the mould

International heavyweight of Olympic Gold



Strike in quick succession, opponents retreat

Delivery duration, a knockout of defeat

Tactical ability, step into the range

Catalyst created, set for further change



Of the highest calibre, man who beat the man

Delivery on target, a humble champion

Of opponents outclassed, discontinued bout

Dominant performance, within and without



With athletic excellence, distance travelled far

Gym of daily training, cardio and spar

Professional perspective, stood to set the pace

Dedication, boldness, motivate, embrace



Influencing globally, rank of the elite

Rapid combinations, uppercuts repeat

Powerful formation, readiness of stance

Daily preparation, practice over chance



An honourable service, magnificence abound

Celebrating victory, crowding to surround

Continuing the greatness, strength and stamina

The world is truly grateful, Anthony Joshua



Written by Geraldine Taylor ©
The celebrity poem entitled 'Anthony Joshua' is in honour of his dedication to the industry of boxing and all round virtues. His career, lifestyle and influence spans far beyond the parameters of the boxing ring, in which he has accomplished worldwide acclaim. Generations across the board have been inspired by his professionalism and humble character.

As a public figure, he is relatable and dedicates valuable time to his fans. In a world of countless ambition, a wholesome character beyond talent alone is the substance of greatness. Along with many 'greats' he has taken his career further than a demonstration of athletic ability. He has incorporated essential balance into his lifestyle and surrounds himself with a supportive team of inspiring individuals. Such a likeminded network is the essence of a realised dream, with continued aspirations. As a high calibre individual, he has aimed high and continues to shine among the stars.
Ann Beaver Sep 2013
Imagine how salt and water
hydrogen and oxygen
ball and stick models
all the real things
create the intangible
obese sadness crowding out
skinny gems of budding joy
the moment I try to shed my skin
eyes cloudy
I can't see
straight anymore.

— The End —