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Leo Apr 2020
Watch me - can you see it?
I'm decaying and the streets;
they're decaying
the buildings they’re decaying the poor; they're decaying the rich,
the rich are decaying the streets -
the streets they're decaying the hippies - punks all of them decaying
and the buildings;
your house it's decaying and your money,
your plastic cards the gold it's supposed to represent and the microchips that store the numbers that are supposed to represent how much of it is yours all decaying
and the oil reserves decaying the food supplies decaying
all of it.
Every single piece going back to where it came from but these words are just.
These ideas are just.
Just are.
Ashley Chapman Aug 2018
These days have ebbed
as Love's swell was checked:
the waters in some places
- all but dammed!

But now at last
I sense the rising tide
and thank Temese
for the current's turn;
now following that great writhing snake
to where its pulsing head will rake;
over the mucky soiled watery beds
of Woolwich
Greenwich
Limehouse
- and under -
Tower Bridge

     To that great gloating sight
                A crown of a billion lights
     Blazing day and night:
                And somewhere within
     In the slick oily warmth
                Our flood tides mesh,
     As over each other we wash.

Hard thrusts
wicked deep cuts
given and received
are recorded in that great mirror smoked!
where with a tug and a shove
on the banks
in the streets
through the loopy twists
everything prospers in the glow
as the decades decaying flow;
each ***** bud
red with new blood
one after t'other
flowers
before their purple petals scatter.

Let's on the luck o' the dice
(you 'n' me!)
ride out
on the flotsam and jetsom
that has carried us this far
and as pleases
merge.
London, a city with a rhythm, the Thames, which I sailed upon one Saturday morning - not a soul at this end of this magestic river, this city, in which I have lived for forty years...And love - a wonderful woman - and how I desire us to pull at each other as tides do, tugging at each other, two flows running over reeds and muddy shelves searching for each other in the cool green depth.
Terry O'Leary Dec 2013
Ill-fated crowd neath foreign cloud: the Silent City braves
against a sudden sullen flood, unleashing lashing waves,
which washes stony structures clean with radiance that laves.

Deserted streets, once dense retreats, spin yarns of yesterday,
with  faded words no longer heard (though having much to say)
since teeming life (at one time, rife), surceased and slipped away.

Within its walls? Whist buildings, tall... Outside the City? Dunes...
They frame a frail forgotten tale,  in carved unwritten runes
with symbols hung like halos strung in lifeless, limp festoons.

The City’s blur? A sepulcher for Christians, Muslims, Jews –
Cathedrals, Temples, vacant now, enshrine their residues,
though churches, mosques and synagogues abide without a bruise.

A church’s Gothic ceilings guard the empty pews below
and, windswept blown above the stones, a maiden’s blue jabot.
The Saints, in crypts, though nondescript, grace halos now aglow.

Stilled chapel chimes! Their clapper rope (that tongue-tied confidante)
won’t writhe to ring the carillons, alone and lean and gaunt –
its flocks of jute, now fallen mute, adorn the holy font.

Stray footsteps swarm  through church no more (apostates that profane) -
their echoes in the nave ring thin, while chalice cups maintain
a taste of brine in altar wine decaying in the rain.


No face will come with jagged tongue to sing a silent psalm
nor paint pale lips with languid quips to pierce the deathly calm,
nor pray for mercy, grace deferred, or beg lethean balm.


Six steeple towers, steel and stone, drab daggers in the sky!
Their hallowed halls no longer call when breezes wander by –
for, filled with dread to wake the dead, they've ceased to sough or sigh.

No cantillation, belfry bells, monastic chants inspire
and Minarets, though standing yet, host neither voice nor crier -
abodes and buildings silhouette a muted spectral choir.

Coiled candle sticks! Their twisted wicks no longer 'lume the cracks
with dying flame in smoky swirl mid pendant pearls of wax,
since deference to innocence dissolved in melting tracks.

Above! The dismal ditch of dusk reveals a velvet streak,
through which the winter’s wicked winds will sometimes weave and sneak,
and faraway a cable sways, a bridge clings hushed and bleak.

Thin shadows shift, like silver shafts, across a cruel moraine
reflecting white a wisp of light in ebon beads of bane
which casts a crooked smile across a faceless window pane.

Wan neon lights glow through the nights, through darkness sleek as slate,
while lanterns (hovered, high above, in silent swinging gait),
haunt ballrooms, bars, bereft bazaars, with no one left to fete.

Death's silhouettes show no regrets, 'twixt twilight’s ashen shrouds,
oblivious she always was to cries in dying crowds –
in foggy neap the spirits creep... a clutch of clammy clouds.


No breath will come  'cross jagged tongue to sing a silent psalm
nor paint pale lips with languid quips to pierce the deathly calm,
nor yet redress the emptiness that shifting shades embalm.



The castle clock, unwound, defrocks! Those peerless speechless spokes
unfurl the blight of reigning Night by spinning off her cloaks,
and flaunt the dun oblivion, her Baroness evokes.

Green trees gone dark, in palace parks, where children paused to play –
now voiceless things on phantom swings, like statues made of clay,
mark marbled tombs in graveyards groomed for grievers bent to pray.  

The sun-bleached bones of those who've flown lie scattered down the lanes
while other souls who hid in holes left bones with yellow stains
of plaintive tears (shed insincere, for no one felt the pains).

The terrors wrought by conscience fraught once stalked and lurked nearby
to rip the shrouds from  curtained clouds, frail fabrics on the sky –
now wraiths that scream in sleepless dreams no longer terrify.

And fog no longer leaks beyond the edge of doom’s café,
for when she trails her mourning veils, she fills the cabaret
with sallow smears of misty tears  in sheets of shallow gray.

Beyond the suburbs, farmers’ fields (where donkeys often brayed)
exhale a gust of barren dust where living seed once laid
and in the haze a scarecrow sways, impaled upon a *****.

A silo, still! Like hollowed quill, a ravished feather’s vane,
with traces of bespattered blood, once flowing through a vein.
The fruits of life, destroyed in strife... ’twas truly all in vain.


No souls will come with jagged tongues to sing a silent psalm
nor paint pale lips with languid quips to pierce the deathly calm –
they've seen, you see, life’s brevity, beneath a neutron bomb.


EPILOGUE

Beyond the Silent City’s walls, the victors laugh and play...
They’re celebrating PEACE ON EARTH, the devil’s sobriquet
for neutron radiation death in places far away.
Matt Feb 2015
Form is emptiness
Emptiness is form

1. Sunyata (Emptiness) is the profound meaning of the Mahayana Teaching.

Two thousand five hundred years ago, the Buddha was able to realise "emptiness" (s. sunyata). By doing so he freed himself from unsatisfactoriness (s. dukkha). From the standpoint of enlightenment, sunyata is the reality of all worldly existences (s. dharma). It is the realisation of Bodhi — Prajna. From the standpoint of liberation, sunyata is the skilful means that disentangle oneself from defilement and unsatisfactoriness. The realisation of sunyata leads one to no attachment and clinging. It is the skilful means towards enlightenment and also the fruit of enlightenment.

There are two ways for us to understand this concept of sunyata in the Mahayana context. One way is to try to understand the explanation about its true nature. The other way is the realisation through practice. What we are going to discuss now is about its true nature.

Mahayana teachings have always considered that the understanding of sunyata is an attainment which is extremely difficult and extraordinarily profound.

For example, in the Prajna Sutra it says "That which is profound, has sunyata and non-attachment as its significance. No form nor deeds, no rising nor falling, are its implications."

Again in the Dvadasanikaya Sastra (composed by Nagarjuna, translated to Chinese by Kumarajiva A.D. 408) it says: "The greatest wisdom is the so-called sunyata."

This sunyata, no creation, calmness and extinction (s. nirvana) is of a profound significance in the Mahayana teachings. Why do we see it as the most profound teaching? This is because there is no worldly knowledge, be it general studies, science or philosophy, that can lead to the attainment of the state of sunyata. The only path to its realisation is via the supreme wisdom of an impassionate and discriminating mind. It is beyond the common worldly understanding.

2. The Significance of Sunyata and Cessation

The Buddha always used the terms void, no rising and falling, calmness and extinction to explain the profound meaning of sunyata and cessation. The teachings of the Buddha that were described in words are generally common to worldly understandings. If one interprets the teachings superficially from the words and languages used, one will only gain worldly knowledge and not the deeper implication of the teachings. The teachings of the Buddha have their supra-mundane contexts that are beyond the worldly knowledge.

For example, sunyata and the state of nirvana where there is no rising nor falling, are interpreted by most people as a state of non-existence and gloom. They fail to realise that quite the opposite, sunyata is of substantial and positive significance.

The sutras often use the word "great void" to explain the significance of sunyata. In general, we understand the "great void" as something that contains absolutely nothing. However, from a Buddhist perspective, the nature of the "great void" implies something which does not obstruct other things, in which all matters perform their own functions. Materials are form, which by their nature, imply obstruction. The special characteristic of the "great void" is non-obstruction. The "great void" therefore, does not serve as an obstacle to them. Since the "great void" exhibits no obstructive tendencies, it serves as the foundation for matter to function. In other words, if there was no "great void" nor characteristic of non-obstruction, it would be impossible for the material world to exist and function.

The "great void" is not separated from the material world. The latter depends on the former. We can state that the profound significance of sunyata and the nature of sunyata in Buddhism highlights the "great void’s" non-obstructive nature.

Sunyata does not imply the "great void". Instead, it is the foundation of all phenomena (form and mind). It is the true nature of all phenomena, and it is the basic principle of all existence. In other words, if the universe’s existence was not empty nor impermanent, then all resulting phenomena could not have arisen due to the co-existence of various causes and there would be no rising nor falling. The nature of sunyata is of positive significance!

Calmness and extinction are the opposite of rising and falling. They are another way to express that there is no rising and falling. Rising and falling are the common characteristics of worldly existence. All phenomena are always in the cycle of rising and falling. However, most people concentrate on living (rising). They think that the universe and life are the reality of a continuous existence.

Buddhism on the other hand, promotes the value of a continuous cessation (falling). This cessation does not imply that it ceases to exist altogether. Instead, it is just a state in the continuous process of phenomena. In this material world, or what we may call this "state of existence", everything eventually ceases to exist. Cessation is definitely the home of all existences. Since cessation is the calm state of existence and the eventual refuge of all phenomena, it is also the foundation for all activities and functions.

The Amitabha Buddha who was, and is, revered and praised by Buddhists around the world, radiates indefinite light and life from this "state of cessation". This state is a continuous process of calmness. It will be the eventual refuge for us all. If we think carefully about the definitions of calmness and extinction, then we can deduce that they are the true natural end-points of rising and falling. The true nature of the cycle of rising and falling is calmness and extinction. Because of this nature, all chaos and conflicts in the state of rising and falling will eventually cease. This is attainable by the realisation of prajna.

3. Contemplating the Implications of Sunyata and Stillness (Nirvana) by Observing Worldly Phenomena

All existences exhibit void-nature and nirvana-nature. These natures are the reality of all existence. To realise the truth, we have to contemplate and observe our worldly existence. We cannot realise the former without observing the latter. Consider this Heart Sutra extract, "Only when Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva practised the deep course of wisdom of Prajna Paramita did he come to realise that the five skandhas (aggregates, and material and mental objects) were void."

Profound wisdom leads us to the realisation that all existences are of void-nature. The sutras demonstrate that the profound principle can be understood by contemplating and observing the five skandhas. We cannot realise the truth by seeking something beyond the material and mental world. The Buddha, using his perfect wisdom, observed worldly existence from various implications and aspects, and came to understand all existences.

In summary, there are three paths to this observation:

a) We should observe the preceding state and the current state of conditions. i.e., Observation according to the concept of time.

b) We should observe existences according to their interrelationships. i.e., Observation via the concept of space (either two or three-dimensions).

c) We should observe the true nature of all myriad beings. This is like observing the worldly existences of a point, a line and an area. Those with supreme wisdom understand the true nature of all worldly existences by observing vertically the relationships between the preceding and current conditions, and horizontally the interrelationships. Then we can understand the true meaning of void-nature and nirvana-nature.

3.1 By observing the preceding-stage and the current-stage conditions, we can verify the Law of Impermanence of all worldly existences. All existences, be they material or mental, be they the material world, or the physical or mental states of sentient beings, are subject to continuous change.

The world may have certain states of beings where they stay static or are in equilibrium on a temporary basis (for example hibernation). But when we observe them with supreme wisdom, we will find that not only do they keep changing on a yearly basis, but also that this change applies to even every briefest moment. After the current state of conditions have ceased to exist, the newly-formed state materialises. This is the state of rising and falling. The rising and falling of each small moment reveals that all existences are ever-moving and ever-changing.

Conventional scholars have a very good explanation of these ever-changing worldly conditions. However they, including the practitioners of dharma, try to make sense of the reality from the ever-changing worldly existences. That is, they are fooled by the material existences and are not able to understand the deeper truth of all existences.

Only those with the supreme wisdom of the Buddha and Mahabodhisattvas realise and understand that all existences are illusions. They understand that existences are not real from the observation of the flow of changing existences. The numerous illusionary existences may well be diverse and confusing, arising and decaying. But when we look into their true nature, we will find them void and of nirvana-nature.

On the other hand, since all existences are of nirvana-nature, they appear from the perspective of time, to be ever-changing. They never stay the same even for the briefest moment. Impermanence implies existences do not have a permanent entity. This is another implication of the nature of sunyata and stillness.

3.2 From observations of existence via inter-relationships, we can conclude that nothing is independent of the Law of Causation, and that everything is without ego. For example, the Buddha explains that the individual sentient being is composed of physical, physiological and psychological phenomena. The so called ego is a deluded illusion which does not exist in reality. Its existence depends on the combination of both physical and mental factors. It is a union of organic phenomena. Thus we call it the empirical ego. It is a mistake to cling to it as an infatuated ego.

The Indian concept of the supreme spirit implies someone who rules. The spirit is the ruler who is independent of is self-dependent and all causes. In other words, the spirit is the one who is free from all primary and secondary causes (for physical and mental aspects). The spirit is the one who has the soul of his own body and mind. This is the ego or supreme spirit that the theologists cling to. From their view point, the only way to avoid physical and mental decay is to be self-determined and self-sovereign. In this way, the supreme being can stay permanent in the cycle of reincarnation, and return to the absolute reality by liberating himself from life and death.

But from the profound contemplation and wisdom of the Buddha and Mahabodhisattvas, we know there is no such reality. Instead, egolessness (non-self) is the only path to understand the reality of the deluded life. All existences are subject to the Law of Causes and Conditions. These include the smallest particles, the relationship between the particles, the planets, and the relationship between them, up to and including the whole universe! From the smallest particles to the biggest matter, there exists no absolute independent identity.

Egolessness (non-self) implies the void characteristics of all existence. Egolessness (non-self) signifies the non-existence of permanent identity for self and existence (Dharma). Sunyata stresses the voidness characteristic of self and existence (Dharma). Sunyata and egolessness possess similar attributes. As we have discussed before, we can observe the profound significance of sunyata from the perspective of inter-dependent relationships. Considering dharma-nature and the condition of nirvana, all existences are immaterial and of a void-nature. Then we see each existence as independent of each other. But then we cannot find any material that does exist independent of everything else. So egolessness also implies void-nature!

3.3 From the observation of all existences, we can infer the theory of nirvana and the complete cessation of all phenomena. From the viewpoint of phenomena, all existences are so different from each other, that they may contradict each other. They are so chaotic. In reality, their existence is illusionary and arises from conditional causation. They seem to exist on one hand, and yet do not exist on the other. They seem to be united, but yet they are so different to one another. They seem to exist and yet they do cease! Ultimately everything will return to harmony and complete calmness. This is the nature of all existence. It is the final resting place for all. If we can understand this reality and remove our illusions, we can find this state of harmony and complete calmness.

All our contradictions, impediments and confusion will be converted to equanimity. Free from illusion, complete calmness will be the result of attaining nirvana. The Buddha emphasised the significance of this attainment and encouraged the direct and profound contemplation on void-nature. He said, "Since there is no absolute self-nature thus every existence exhibits void-nature. Because it is void, there is no rising nor falling. Since there is no rising nor falling, thus everything was originally in complete calmness. Its self-nature is nirvana."

From the viewpoint of time and space, we can surmise that all existences are impermanent, all existences have no permanent self, and nirvana is the result of the cessation of all existences - the Three Universal Characteristics. But there are not three different truths. Instead, they are the characteristics of the only absolute truth and the ultimate reality. This is the explanation of Dharma-nature and the condition of nirvana. The three characteristics are the one characteristic, and vice versa!

We may cultivate our meditation, contemplating the impersonality of all existences. This will lead us to enlightenment via the path of voidness. Contemplating nirvana and complete calmness leads to enlightenment by the path of immaterial form. Contemplating the impermanence of all existences, leads us to enlightenment by the path of inactivity (no desire).

The Three Universal Characteristics are the other implications of Dharma-nature and nirvana. The paths to enlightenment are also the same cause of absolute reality. All of them return to the Dharma-nature and the condition of nirvana. In short, the teachings of the Buddha start from the observation and contemplation of all worldly phenomena. They are like thousands of streams of water competing with each other, and flowing from the top of the mountains to the bottom. Eventually, all of them return to the ocean of voidness and nirvana.

4. Sunyata and Cessation is the Truth (Nature) of All Existences.

All existences that are recognised by worldly understanding, whether materially, spiritually or intellectually, have always been misunderstood by us. We cling to them as real, physically existing and permanent. Actually, they are only unreal names.

The more precise meaning of the term "unreal name" is "assumption" or "hypothesis". It is an empirical name. It is formed by the combination of various causes and effects. (These include the effects of mental consciousness.) It does not exist by itself. Everything exists relatively. Thus, what is the ultimate truth? If we investigate existence further, we realise that all existences are empty. This is the fundamental characteristic and reality of all existence. It is ultimate and absolute. But we should not think that empty means nothing. It implies the disentanglement from the worldly misunderstanding of the existence of self, identity, and the realisation of the absolute.

In the Sutras and Abhidharma, the worldly understandings are sometimes referred to as all phenomena (Dharma). Sunyata is referred to as "Dharma-nature", and hence there is a distinction between "phenomena" and "Dhamma-nature". However, this is only an expedient explanation that helps us to realise the truth of sunyata through the phenomena of all existences.

We should not think that "existence" and "nature"; or the "phenomena of Dharma" and "Dharma-nature" are something contradictory. They are just concepts needed to understand the implication of sunyata.

We may analyse the exp
Kayla McDermott Dec 2013
You are the smell of the decaying leaves;
The leaves I long for when life is in bloom.
You are the soft thud of the door
As I slip out, unnoticed.
You are the breath I take, emerging from the frigid ocean,
And the light I illuminate upon my arrival home on the blackest of nights.

You are not, however the electricity,
Or lack thereof when the power surges in the midst of an essay.
You may be pleased to know that you are not that song
Overplayed on the radio that never fails to irk me.
You are also not the piu right before the mezzo forte,
For that is me. I am the piu preceding the mezzo forte.

I am the spare tire on the underside of your car,
And I am also the F sharp to the B natural, a few cents flat.
It may not surprise you that I am the negative sign you forgot to distribute,
And the feeling of snow seeping in through your boots.

You are not the feeling of snow seeping in a pair of boots.
You would like to know that you are the smell of a sharpie,
Uncapped for the first time, and you are the excitement of using it first.
You are even the taste of catching the first snowflake of the winter,
And eating the first s’more of the summer.
You are the chap stick, found in the pocket of the pants in the hamper,
Or perhaps even the twenty dollar bill in the other.

But I am the learner’s permit that went through the wash.
I am also the candle whose wick is drowned in its own wax.
I am not, however the smell of the decaying leaves.
You are the smell of the decaying leaves.
You will now and forever be the smell of the decaying leaves;
The leaves I long for when life is in bloom.
You bought me sunflowers last Saturday
because you like the yellow orchestra we can
listen to, but you do not have to direct.
It plays a private concert only for you.
I play a few notes here and there too,
but nothing can compare to sunflowers.

I compare lots of things to
flowers,
like your eyes.
You do something to my insides
I cannot explain
in a metaphor to flowers.

You planted a gilded seed.
It grew faster than any ****;
more delicious than homemade irish mead.

Sun shining, birds chirping, children playing-
all of this-
sounds like life’s decaying
because you’re not next to me.

You make oxygen more than a box on the periodic table.

I’m not suggesting I’m unable
to perform tasks without you.
I’m used to ashes in my coffee cup.
Your presence seems to open up
cold sunflowers.
You set ablaze the sun’s powers.
I could go on like this for hours
about the love you built;
iridescent solid sunflowers
ruorou Feb 2015
vicious revenge feel its strain.
Engrained forever on a decaying brain.
For its a plague with no andetote. No cure.
Nothings sacred. nothings pure.
No honor here to gain but a grasp of guilt, sorrow and pain.

A trench deep seated with animosity.
Hearts too blinded by hatred to see.
Its walls engulfing like vines round a tree.
But no vegeance shall set you free.

In realising its errors and fate
The soul desperately searches to escape.
Weary, hollow, it longs to retire
But hatred enslaves as its walls grow higher

For this is one prison sentence that will never transpire..
If you fight fire with fire.
brian carlin Dec 2009
The decaying mansions of English language
Rot and recede
into teenage grasses
with each unspoken year

The hired help have left their hair unmown and surrendered their uniform dress
Content with the neglect of nature
taking its timely course

When the architects and master masons of linguistics
Survey their forgotten plans in the heaven of English literature
They are not dismayed
but patiently sit and sit

The pristine edifices of the classics
Once grand and clad in deferential brick
Stand scaffolded and unread
The doors unlocked, ajar and hopelessly inviting
Into the library of the English canon
The dusty cloak on the carpets of grammar
Sheets thrown over the disused armchairs of archaic words
Echoing the plink of the out-of-tune pianoforte of the perfectly crafted short story
Bathrooms of formal poetry
With the rusty plumbing of metre and rhyme

Whereas the temporary outhouses,
hastily arranged huts of slang and idiom
are adorned by the living grasses of new forms,
creepers  of half remembered dreams
mulching leaves of half formed thoughts
forests of half forgotten loves
writhing in living incompleteness
Which will in turn harden and fossilize

And we can then rue the passing of our once organic lingo
daisies Nov 2015
Slowly,..
I begin to braid my hair,
wear an overall,
walk my head down,
put on red lipstick,
draw on some freckles.
Slowly,..
transforming myself into a clone of her.
Thus, slowly,..
I begin to understand that you love her for she is.
Therefore, i'm,..
slowly decaying
Friday, Novembre 13, 2015
Hydourella
Colt Jul 2013
for Those who eat ramen by choice, or not.*

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

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

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

And those who search for revolution in a time when rebellion is conformity.
Listening to the  pounding sound of blog-protesters typing n o w.
who, in claiming to accept, don’t accept the unaccepting,
who got veggies tattooed on their sides while snapping bacon in their teeth,
who ironically infiltrated asylums and performed madness until the shocks came
and they were maddened, for good, eaten alive by volts resounding
ka-ching, ka-ching, ka-ching.
Who sleep naked together to be together but end up being alone,
exchanges from lips that move in pretentious drone,
and the dog chases its tail, endlessly.
When the abnormal is normal and the whole structure is inverted and
heaven is here and flames under the soil are no longer hell burning for soles of the
Converse, Adidas, and Nike sneakers on the bicycle pedals of poets who ride at night,
listening to the sound of owls that question:
who?
whoo?
whooo?
Cyril Blythe Nov 2012
Janie pushes the metal book cart back into its parking space in the Document Delivery Department of the St. Louis Public Library and hangs the last sticky note for October 30, 2012 on the wall by the head of the department’s closed door. She retightens her brown scarf under her chin, tucking the wispy hairs above her ears back into hiding. Having your hair begin to prematurely gray as a teenager has dramatic effects on a person. Her mother wore scarves around her wrists when Janie was growing up and when Janie begin to wear scarves to conceal her salt-and-pepper hair, her mother just smiled. The clock hanging on the wall above the children’s section reads 11:28pm.
Two more minutes.
She reorganized the pens and books on her desk and set the box reading NOTES onto the right corner or her desk with three blue pens and a stack of note cards. Her coworkers learned fast that Janie does not like to talk. She does not like eye contact. She loves the silence, and never ever to ask her about her hair. Her manager gave her the NOTES box after about a month of horrible miscommunication and everyday it fills with requests for books or tasks that Janie has to complete. She completes the tasks one by one, alone, in her back office in the Reference Department and hangs the completed sticky notes on the wall by her manager’s door. She works the night shift and locks the library up every night. When she’s alone she can talk out loud to herself and those are the only voices she cares to hear.
“Goodnight, books. Good night, rooms.” Janie shut the heavy wooden door to the library, placed the color-coded keys in the front right pocket of her jacket, and began her walk to the bus stop one corner away. She avoids the main road, taking her first right onto a side street that she knows would spit her out right beside the bus stop.
“Goodnight Taco Bell Sign. Goodnight Rite-Aide. Goodnight Westside Apartments. Goodnight Jack-o-Lantern smile.” She stopped in the middle of the alley and peered up at the Jack-o-Lantern grinning down at her from the third story window above. “Mother wouldn’t’ve liked your smirk, Jack. She would’ve slapped that **** right off your face.” Janie, satisfied the pumpkin was put in its rightful place, smiled as she trotted on.
“Mother carved smiles into her arms and that’s why Daddy left, it is, it is.” She kicked at a crushed Mountain Dew can as she remembered that night from years ago.

“Mommy?” Janie pushed opened the door to her mother’s bedroom and saw the moving-boxes torn open and all their contents scattered across the floor. She tiptoed through piles of scarves and silverware and corkscrews until she reached the bathroom in her mom’s room.
“Come to us like rain, oh lord, come and stay and sting a while more, oh lord…” her mother’s voice was slipping off the tiled bathroom walls. Janie pushed open the door and saw the blood for the first time pouring from her mother’s wrist. Her mother was naked and perched on the bathroom sink, singing to a red razor blade.
“Mommy?”
“GET OUT!” Her mother jumped from the counter and perched on all fours on the floor. She began to growl and speak in a voice too deep to be coming from her own throat.
“Mommy! It’s Janie!” She began to cry as her mother, still naked and bleeding, twisted and writhed onto her back and began to crawl towards the door that Janie hid behind.


“Thirty-Three percent, dear. Just a thirty-three percent chance.” She shivered trying to clear the last memory of her mother with the words that all the shrinks had echoed to her over the years. “Schizophrenia is directly related to genetics, little is known about the type of Schizophrenia mother was diagnosed with except that it is definitely passed on genetically. But, there is only a thirty-three percent chance you could have it, dear. Thirty-three percent.” The sound of the bus stop ahead reminds her it is time to be silent again.
“Disorganized Schizophrenia.” She mouthed to herself as she stepped back out onto the busy street from her alleyway. She tightened her scarf and saw the bus pull into the pickup spot. She walked forward to the bus, again immersed in her self-imposed silence.
Stepping out of the February cold, Janie removes her wool scarf as the bus doors close behind her.
“Where to baby?” The driver smiles a sticky smile. Her nametag reads, “Shannon” and has a decaying Hello-Kitty sticker in the bottom left corner.
“The Clinton Street drop.” She hands the driver her $2.50 fare and avoids the woman’s questioning eyes. The night drivers are always more talkative, curious.
“Your ticket hon.” She tears Janie a ticket stub. “Everything is pretty dead this late, I’ll have you there in ten minutes top.”
Janie begins to shuffle towards the seats, ignoring the woman.
“You mind if I crank up the music?” The bus driver asks, purple fingernails scratching in her thick blonde hair. “I need to keep my eyes open and blood flowing and music is my fire of choice you know?”
“Sure.” Janie shrugs her bag onto her shoulder and walks on before the woman can say anything else.
“Route E-2, homebound.” Shannon’s voice crackles over the loudspeaker.
She shuffles down the bus towards her usual seat; second from the back right side.  Shannon starts the bus rolling before she reaches her seat and Janie can hear her singing along to “Summertime” by Janis Joplin. The bus floor, today, is sticky because of the morning rain. Two years of riding public transportation has taught Janie that staring at the floor as she walks to her seat is better than the risk of making eye contact. The bus is usually empty this late but if there ever happens to be anyone else on, it’s better not to converse. Safer that way.
She plops into her seat filling the indention that ghosts of past passengers left. The seat is still warm and Janie squirms around until the stranger heat is forgotten. She tightens her scarf and sighs. The brown pleather seatback in front of her is peeling towards the top. Janie leans forward and idly picks at the scab-like dangles of brown as she watches the sodden city canvas roll past her out the foggy window. As she picks, the hole grows. She twists and digs her unpainted nails into the seat until her hands feel wet, warm. Looking down, they are covered in blood and mud.
“What. The. Actual. ****.” she whispers, wiping her hands on her pants leg. She cautiously picks off another piece of pleather and a trickle of deep red begins to run from the seat back, clumps of mud now falling onto her knees. A puddle of blood and mire splatter down her legs and pool around her feet as she picks at the seat. Her white tights are definitely beyond saving now, so she digs faster until her thumbnail catches on something, bends back, and cracks. She gasps and withdraws her shaking hand, watching her own blood mix with the clotting muck in the seat, half of her thumbnail completely stripped off.
Looking around, all else seems normal. The driver is now muttering along to some banter by Kanye West, completely unaware of Janie’s predicament. She closes her eyes.
This is a dream, this is a dream, wake the **** up.
She opens her eyes to see the pool of filth around her feet trickling towards the front of the bus. Panic sets in with a whisper, They’re going to think it was you, your fault, you’ll be thrown in jail.
“But I didn’t do this.” She lashes out to herself. “I didn’t hurt anyone.”
Next stop, E-2. Shannon blares on the intercom.
“It’s just a dream, get your **** together, Janie.” She laughs at herself, manic.
Prove it! Her subconscious screams.
Convinced to end this moment she has to continue; Janie plunges her hand into the pleather grave one more time. Frantic and confused she laughs as she digs, spittle of muck splashing on her bus window.
Faster, faster, faster.
Deeper, deeper, deeper.
Realer, realer, real.
Wake up, now!
Then, as the bus slows, one last chuck of mud splatters to the floor and Janie sees a pink piece of her thumbnail stabbed into the white of a bone in the bottom of the seatback pit. Her white Ked’s were becoming so red they were almost black. She pulls her knees up to her chest and begins to rock back and forth. Clenching shut her eyes she begins to hum. Janie’s sweet soprano harmonizes with the buses deep droning purr, their wet melody interweaving with the driver’s alto and Lil Wayne’s screech made her feel dizzy as the bus turned right.
She take my money when I'm in need
Yeah she's a trifling friend indeed
Oh she's a gold digger way over town
That dig's on me
The bus slows to a stop and the bass is shaking. Janie is cold. She slowly peeks out of her right eye, expecting to be instantly immersed into the same dismal scene. The seatback is whole again. Releasing her knees, her feet fall back to the floor and her shaking fingers stroke the solid pleather.

“Ma’am? We’re at the Clinton Drop.”
Janie hurriedly picks up her bag and flees down the aisle to the bus doors.
“Everything alright, dear?” The bus driver asks, smiling.
“Fine, just fine.”
“You be safe out there tonight. The night is dark and only ghouls stroll the streets this late.”  Shannon laughed as Janie’s jaw dropped. “Happy Halloween, dear. It’s midnight, today is October 31st.”
The bus doors opened and a cold wind ****** the warm bot-air surrounding Janie into the streets. She begrudgingly followed, her mind spinning as she stepped onto the pavement. The doors slammed behind her and she turned to see Shannon pull out a tube of lipstick and smear it, red, across her cracked lips. Shannon made a duck-face in the mirror and reached down to crank up the music as loud as it would go. The bus exhaled and rolled forward, leaving Janie behind as it splashed through the potholes.
She surveys the surrounding midnight gloom and the street is quiet and dark. Even the stars are hidden behind swirling clouds. She begins to hum, hands in her pocket, and shuffle towards her apartment.
“Goodnight, stars. Goodnight, street.”
As she approaches her single-bedroom apartment, digging through her coat pocket for her keys, her thumb pulsates. She grasps the keys and pulls them out as she steps up to the apartment. Sticking the cold, silver key in the lock she looks down at her thumb and in the shadows of the porch sees half of the nail completely missing. She laughs as she pushes the door open to her bare apartment, light flooding out. Without any hesitation she closes the door behind her, sheds her clothes, and slips onto the mattress in the corner of the room gripping her thumb tight. She reaches out for the glass of milk on the floor beside her bed from the morning and it’s still cold. Nursing the milk, surrounded by blankets and solitude, she reminds herself,  “Only a thirty-three percent chance. A nice, small, round number. Small.”  
She sets down the empty glass and curls into the fetal position under the heavy blankets, pointer finger tracing circles on her thumb. Only when she has heated her blanket cocoon enough to feel safe does she remove her scarf and allow her thick white hair to fall around her face.
“Goodnight, room. Goodnight, mother,”
Javier Garza Apr 2016
I'm dead inside. You picked a walking corpse as your best friend. While air passes through these lungs, that doesn't mean that a light shines in my dull eyes. With no fire to bring the warmth, I'm cold to the touch. I, your best friend, am the living dead cursed to roam the world with no goal, interest, or life. Not that I care, I am dead after all. But I pity you, you who must endure the company of the decaying, who hurts over the lost, who wishes he who is close to you would live like you do; you, who holds onto desperately to these decaying ties.
ryn Sep 2014
I see you, monster...
In your sockets bore dead, dark eyes
They hold the blackest of stares
Nebulous swirling pits of demise

Thin lips would spout the most sibilant of hisses
Every so often would curl into a snarl
Dry and chapped, almost unworthy of kisses

Large, rough snout, jutting out like a crag
You sniff around tirelessly for easy targets
Preying on the unsuspecting minds of those under your flag

Tapering chin, sprouting strands of coarse hair
Unkempt and gritty from your last meal
Decaying teeth, crooked due to little to no care

Your face is cratered; tales of trying adolescent years
Wearing a face only a mother could love
Expressionless but it screams out your fears

Ugly jointed limbs that grew out of sync
Disproportionate, misshapen, grotesque
Little noggin with sparse hair, packed within, a brain that thinks


I hear you, monster...
As you stalk your sleepless nights
Nocturnal ambience be your playground
Lurking in the dark; places with no light

Bulky, heavy feet but deft and silent
Can barely notice when you're up and about
As if cloaked yourself stealthy, with steps ever transient

Respire you do, exhaling breaths so gnarly
Ingesting good air, converting into fervid, loathsome notions
With which you paint a portrait so ghastly


I feel you monster...
Deep within the recesses of my heart
Destroying and distorting all that was pure
Testing my will till I should fall apart

You're but the twisted manifestation of conscience
Feeding on my trials and nurturing them into vile abominations
I despise that of you but I seem to have developed dependence


I see you, monster...**
You're horrid and beastly, an embodiment of absolute horror
I await the day that you would finally dissolve
For I am weary of seeing you staring back in the mirror
Still riding out the storm... Please bear with me
RW Dennen Aug 2014
Watching night step-sitters staring at each passerby
abiding time as if counting sheep stepping with the city's cadence
Hearing sirens alarming in their BEWARE BLARING;
persistent fearfulness for evil and citizens securities
Staring-walking-bodies searching a barren land prostrating
before the great needle
Patched streets and decaying sidewalks by flooding night lights lay surreal

DECAYING fingers of poverty playing its fingers into every crack, crevice; into every pore, into every cell member
into one's whole being
Sounding the hip-hop generation street corners of hustlers
jiving away the night
The hustled and hustlers' overwhelming struggling for power; being surrounded by red brick and stone; being  incased in poverty

Pounding city hysteria;
at times laying silent in sleepless depth
by the waning gradualness;
anytime readying itself to ERUPT
Danny Z Sep 2018
As Autumn approaches,
my mind drifts to the decaying leaves,
Halloween,
the cool, crisp breeze...
The communal understanding that eternal heaven comes only with
death—
that Summer must always go.
And that beloved Autumn must always usher in bitter Winter who lays the foundations
for an exalted Spring.
Oh hell...I hope for a long Autumn, I want to make it stay—
like a host who lectures his party guest for too long
so he won't look at his watch.
Oh how I need the frumpy sweaters and pumpkin heads on window sills!
Oh how I need the billowing steam from milky beige cocoa,
the misty light rain in the gray of the morning,
the high canopy of fleshy red flakes!
And echoes of children laughing as they eat candy on their way home from trick-or-treating—reminding me that life can be enjoyed
with sacred rituals and good company.
I need Autumn personified—
a cool-headed, crackling-fireplace-girl.
A quilt-maker, cloud-gazer, two-dogs-and-a-cat bookworm.
Someone comforting like oatmeal.
Someone surprising like the first day of school.
I need Autumn.
I need Autumn but it never seems to need me too.
Connor Aug 2018
Pleasing each other in the perfect
black night
(wretched forest)

Hands gripped tight against your waist,
on my knees, the dirt below digs into my skin
which is okay
We can hardly be heard midst the lively pandemonium
surrounding our loveliness

Drop-down
like a Luciferean Prima Donna
in silk /
walk on flowers of both Hemispheres
telling me how much you adore me & you

As equals in our posture-possession
unable to stand straight/shrouded by holy creamy
doves closing-in
muffling our mutual shrieks (as to be private and without gathering too much a crowd)

O Autumn Calypso
keeper of the scales, of the riddle
& the promise simultaneous -
- I am your victim and your master, trafficking our fragility
into a glorious Unknown, shade & essence of leaves wavers in the quieting hour,
seduced - transfixed & ravished in a wondrous spectacle
with Enchanter's nightshade laurel endowed on high

****, close and
hot - unrehearsed arias told by tongues  -
while we seep further in a hallowed guise/harp misplaced -
excommunicated from the Stead we traversed
before on ideal grounds – too late to remember or
repent – dabbling in magic with our double identity - now one insoluble drapery of illuminations
being shepherded into a ferocious
intoxication of its own fluid magnificence – a Narcissus gazing back, decaying with vehemence
daisy Nov 2013
08:59am
i observed
from the corner of the room
coffee warmed lips
and muddled thoughts

the girl who walked in
chatting easily with friends

i watched her decay
into the girl
who walked in
laugh a little too loud
eyes a little too sad

i watched her decay
she walked in alone
a warm smile that didnt match her eyes

no friends
no laughs

she wore long sleeves that day


i watched her decay
into the girl
who walked in
laughter smothered in her own mind
no warm smile
isolated
skinny bones

i watched her decay
until it was too late
she no longer walked in
at all
like wiltering, decaying plants
you mostly catch them
when theyre too late
to save
Babels of blocks to the high heavens towering
Flames of futility swirling below;
Poisonous fungi in brick and stone flowering,
Lanterns that shudder and death-lights that glow.

Black monstrous bridges across oily rivers,
Cobwebs of cable to nameless things spun;
Catacomb deeps whose dank chaos delivers
Streams of live foetor that rots in the sun.

Colour and splendour, disease and decaying,
Shrieking and ringing and crawling insane,
Rabbles exotic to stranger-gods praying,
Jumbles of odour that stifle the brain.

Legions of cats from the alleys nocturnal.
Howling and lean in the glare of the moon,
Screaming the future with mouthings infernal,
Yelling the Garden of Pluto's red rune.

Tall towers and pyramids ivy'd and crumbling,
Bats that swoop low in the ****-cumber'd streets;
Bleak Arkham bridges o'er rivers whose rumbling
Joins with no voice as the thick horde retreats.

Belfries that buckle against the moon totter,
Caverns whose mouths are by mosses effac'd,
And living to answer the wind and the water,
Only the lean cats that howl in the wastes.
Nick Strong Aug 2015
Rising from the sand at low tide,
The shipwreck’s spars, brown wet, decaying
Reaching like skeletal fingers, grasping
For one last piece of the breaking daylight
Tentacles of seaweed, woven
Wrapped around decaying planks
Anchoring it firmly
To Davy Jones’ Locker
Barnacle encrusted planks
Lie twisted, turned, unnatural
Frozen in a final plea of mercy
Before white tipped monsters
Crashed across the bow,
Splitting,  tearing masts
Sending it to the murky depths
Written after viewing a ships carcass beneath the waves
LDuler Jun 2013
First came the false presumptions of luxury
The gaudy glamour
Bright dresses and dark suits
Awkward glances and ****** food
Eventually though
The evening settled down
And then, after the smoking and drinking
Came 1 o'clock, the worn-out end of a hazy day

Suddenly,
It was a smother of time,
a stifling landscape of clocks
a decaying of darkness
The night gave way to trembling cold delirium
And slow and slow down
A slide from reality
Everything fell

I remember barely a glimmer- a hand, an arm, red sheets somewhere
Eyes that whispered "what's wrong with her? what's her deal?"
Or worse yet, faces that didn't care
To see me, my wrists
Appalling in all their shivering shaken chill dust
In moments like this,
I am nothing but a fearful machine
Broken in its deepest workings,
All function altered.

Clamors and tremors of panic
Withered illusions gathered at my feet like kittens
I tossed the blanket from the makeshift bed
Lay upon my back and waited
Watched, frightened, the night revealing
The hundred ignoble, vile images
Of which my thoughts seems consisted of

They flickered at bit- against the burgundy hammock
And empty Baccardi bottles
2 o'clock shook the memory
A crowd of twisted things,
Torn and stained and coiling about my wrists
I move by the sway of these thoughts that are curled around me
-The notion of some infinitely suffering thing

Oh I only need a lighthouse
To guide my soon-to-be shipwreck home
I only need a compass, a crucifix, a presence
But never
never to be found
the way
Sic transit gloria mundi
laura Sep 2018
got to eat them as they darken
reddened ruby to black constant opal
berries will rot quickly if you don’t
or they’ll taste real gooey and wierdy
if you let the drupelets’ colors get
unsynchronized like summer and fall

...why am i telling you this?
because i learned that the hard way
and the days go away in the gleam
heavy showers and peak-a-boo sun
the east barely bracing for the storm
and the sweetness decaying like the leaves
o this is so sad, alexa play despacito

Daily #3 baybeeeeee how tf does this website work
kerri Oct 2016
I wish all of my bad memories were like the leaves on the trees
after holding onto my weary branches
they fall and wither around me
until someone comes and takes them away
The she-devil that rides my soul
Her putrid breath stinging my nostrils
Her decaying teeth gnawing my flesh
Her ragged nails clawing at my heart
ripping my life to shreds.

Written by Keith Edward Baucum
Spenser Bennett Feb 2016
There's an impossibility standing adjacent to the nearest star bound body
It waves and beckons with a sincere familiarity so unnaturally
I am the end of the undulating tunneled vision
I am become a silhouette of a dead city caught in the decaying story bones fiction

We are all emptiness and our emptiness is how we define ourselves.
But our emptiness will become a river into which we will find the world to be held.
The universe exists in the eyes of those who live without the sight to see
Those breathing, freezing stars that burn into the heart buried deep.

Constructs of will and portions of strength cut out the guilt of my youth
All roads lead to the sky but I will not seek to understand you
Futures are made in blinks and beats
Are they aware of the way we lay with our tangled feet under these threadbare sheets?

Follow the light of my darkness
A single shot of whiskey and a conversation whisks away my heart's hardness
All cool and breezy across the great green oceans
I'll meet you halfway between loss and a facsimile of dreamed emotions
Becca Lansman Sep 2015
My body is the decaying floorboards
The rotten tile,
The cracked window.
I am a broken home
There is a no trespassing sign rusted over in bile.

People think I am haunted, they have seen my ghosts floating in their windows at night.
The neighborhood kids double dare each other to go up and touch me,
Like I am a horror film, a kamikaze.
I creak when they step inside me,
It feels so foreign to be touched –
To be explored,
They always run away.

No one ever stays to discover the decaying journal in my esophagus,
No one stays to look at the sunflower growing in the windowsill of my corneas,
The family portraits tattooed on my shoulder blades,
The love letters in my finger creases,
They only see the dust on my face –
The dirt covering my scars,
The broken glass shards in my eyeballs,
The thawed roof –
The dead plants.

I am alive as ever I am just waiting for someone to
Paint my walls,
Dust off the lampshade,
Ill be good as new -
I promise
lord of g Jun 2015
Tree;
Tall, beautiful;
Dying, crying, decaying;
Sad, bad, horrible, uncomfortable;
Life.
madison curran Feb 2015
there's a house at the
corner of misery boulevard,
and heartbreak avenue,
that i call home.
& i can't count on my left hand
how many times,
those sand tinted rooms
with decaying light bulbs
have overheard
through paper walls,
the sound of that rose coloured capsule
embracing the floor,
only to find itself in pieces.
my mother always
hid that in a cage,
locked tight.
never did that stop my father
from finding the key,
she always slipped under the door mat.
like she wanted him to find it.
and you could hear it shatter,
into glass fragments,
that she was always left to clean up
by herself.
because he never stayed
to watch her pick up the pieces,
he didn't want to cut his life line
on her fragmented heart.
- or the time when my mother,
stained my ear drums,
and sold residence to a ghost
who now haunts the walls of my mind,
with words,
she'll claim her tongue never dismissed.
but ten years later,
and i still think i'm that painting,
in monochromatic shades,
that no one ever bothers
to glance at.
when they're gliding
down a vacant hallway.
more empty than the emotion
in this house.
but i still call it home,
because the walls have been
infected with sadness,
because there aren't enough vitamins,
to cure all this sickness,
released through
hatred hymns.
but those melancholy rhythms,
can't compete with the
floorboards that still sing me to sleep,
or the elation that fills
my lungs when i breathe,
because this house
still smells like mourning
the old flames,
from vanilla candle wicks
my ninth birthday knew so well.
& yes, there is no place
that sends fragile shivers
down my spine
when crossing the paths
of gloomy road,
and loathing crescent
but this is home,
this house is just like the cerulean tide,
because it always finds a way to
pull me back to shore.
& then i met you,
promenading down
hope street,
making empty prayers
to god
with a dry tongue and
waterlogged eyes.
another dawn spent
searching for the light -
in coffee shop windows
or even the stars.
something -
to guide me home.
and you taught me that
home isn't always a place,
you can find on a map.
sometimes,
it's two eyes and a heart beat.
it's love entangled words,
uttered through a pair of crimson lips.
& you showed me,
that ruby tinted vases,
look best when
they're not placed on shelves,
but rather granted as gifts,
sealed in envelopes,
with kisses painted
in scarlet lipstick.
& ghosts can be put to sleep,
by a lullaby,
you whispered in my ear
seven times a day.
i love you
has a ring to it,
but it's been six months and
that ghost sold his house,
to a boy who
told me i'm a composition
of colours.
that an artist painted me
in gold, because he sees it in
my eyes when i smile.
- i swear to god,
four walls and a front door,
build a house,
you'll always turn to
when the sky's crying, or when
you tear your jeans
on the wire fence
down the road.
and that boy
who is a composition of wonder,
possesses no door,
and the only window,
is the amber iris
that feels like the ocean
when he looks at me.
because,
he's just like the tide.
& i can still smell vanilla every time
i kiss him.
every single time.
I can imagine

myself as a midwife or a medicine woman—
waking early
               wandering
the wooddesertmountain
with bad-*** boots & a patchy coat, pockets filled with rosemary and crystals
driving an old truck that smells of rolled cigarettes and gasoline
drinking hot tea out of a mason jar.

i see all of this & I wonder where this image will land me.
   Portland in the fall?
Nevada in the Winter?
                              Colorado? Montana?
But I need the trees.
My power is in the mountains.
Or maybe it is in the moon—and her face isn’t bound to the side of the mountain

i need the howl of coyotes, the smell of pine, the sound of running water over rocks, cold air, wind.
i crave this to the center of my
bones.

i want to dance with fire women, sing air songs, pray to the earth, bathe in the water, and
speak with the
spirit mother & the red father that binds all of these together in a chaotic harmony i will never understand.

i need to paint my body with the stain of poke berry and

run, foot against stone, against decaying leaves.

there is a savage within me
that needs to run free

that needs to bark at the moon and breathe clean air.
Johnny Raven Sep 2015
This rope I’ve climbed for decades now
Has frayed from falls
From jagged rocks and
Bloodied blows of dialogue
Their firearms half-cocked
Breathing in this bile, this bog
Sinking slowly towards the
Unknown inhaling/breathing
People’s poisons I’ve lost my
Purpose, and I’ve never had a
Place I could ever deigned to
Call My Home
Beyond the veil, the hidden site
Have I once again gone mad?!
The faceless forcing wrongs
Twisting the twisted,
A manufacturing of tortured consent,
Blinded by a
Facade of Masked Wrongs passing off as a
Right - Evil gifts from the gifted
For the dead, for the fractured
****** screaming and screaming,
Confined in a cube of lead,
Paranoid delusions
Secretly inside am I just dead?
A walking corpse, decaying by
Days...am I lost, I’m just an
Ignorant intellectual
Pushing back the bounds of
My own Stupidity, a silent lucidity
The death of hope or stripped of
Everything, Everything, Everything
Even the hidden hand, ever so
Gently holding onto that one
Impossible fraying seems.
Too afraid to speak, when spoken
That cultivated dreams strengthened
Over the years through nightmares
And a sea of pointless *****
Trying to force those pieces into
That missing space,
Some coming close, but never
Ever measuring up, my dream's
Emerald eyes, your beautiful mind,
Momentary live-wire, grounded into place
Whom you brought into my *******
Life, a dream turned nightmare as I set ablaze what we were
You wisely walked away...and left me to my dreams….

When she spoke, my heart would skip it’s beats, I’d lose
The power of the English language
I'd lose the power of ******* speech….
And now that dream
Has come again…close enough to smell, close enough to make my Hell a little cooler, the shadows brighter, the burning soothed…
And yet…and yet…I cannot even tell
My Emerald Eyed Valkyrie,
Did I belong to her?
There have been other women of course,
Carnal place holders, temporary sometimes pleasant company,
But in the end…NOT My Valkyrie, Persephone,
A Love, one of three - who ever made me feel - even after Seeing my graveyard of skeletons and secrets…she still...
Loved Me…
Me!?
Really?!
She still loved me…can that Dream, so fragile, when spoken it would Shatter into a mist of 'could have been?'
I held so gently that Dream of Old
Hands outstretched, crucified asphyxiation - anticipation
A Hope, A Dream, But there will never to be a Reconciliation...

-  Johnny Raven  ©2015  *(September 16th)
Erom elims Oct 2014
Obedient
Superfluous minced rubicund aqua Phoenician
Our orphanage spills blood from picnics
Menopause conniptions lipstick
Her sons learning curve
Popstar gentleman suicide
The preschoolers last taste of Apple juice
Enola gay is soaring above the vain
Potential future poets and mathematicians
Bright eyes and innocent giggles
The souls of peace
Molecules disintegrate of wondrous dreams
An evening all aglow with summer light
And autumn colour—fairest of the year.

The wheat-fields, crowned with shocks of tawny gold,
All interspersed with rough sowthistle roots,
And interlaced with white convolvulus,
Lay, flecked with purple shadows, in the sun.
The shouts of little children, gleaning there
The scattered ears and wild blue-bottle flowers—
Mixed with the corn-crake's crying, and the song
Of lone wood birds whose mother-cares were o'er,
And with the whispering rustle of red leaves—
Scarce stirred the stillness. And the gossamer sheen
Was spread on upland meadows, silver bright
In low red sunshine and soft kissing wind—
Showing where angels in the night had trailed
Their garments on the turf. Tall arrow-heads,
With flag and rush and fringing grasses, dropped
Their seeds and blossoms in the sleepy pool.
The water-lily lay on her green leaf,
White, fair, and stately; while an amorous branch
Of silver willow, drooping in the stream,
Sent soft, low-babbling ripples towards her:
And oh, the woods!—erst haunted with the song
Of nightingales and tender coo of doves—
They stood all flushed and kindling 'neath the touch
Of death—kind death!—fair, fond, reluctant death!—
A dappled mass of glory!
Harvest-time;
With russet wood-fruit thick upon the ground,
'Mid crumpled ferns and delicate blue harebells.
The orchard-apples rolled in seedy grass—
Apples of gold, and violet-velvet plums;
And all the tangled hedgerows bore a crop
Of scarlet hips, blue sloes, and blackberries,
And orange clusters of the mountain ash.
The crimson fungus and soft mosses clung
To old decaying trunks; the summer bine
Drooped, shivering, in the glossy ivy's grasp.
By day the blue air bore upon its wings
Wide-wandering seeds, pale drifts of thistle-down;
By night the fog crept low upon the earth,
All white and cool, and calmed its feverishness,
And veiled it over with a veil of tears.

The curlew and the plover were come back
To still, bleak shores; the little summer birds
Were gone—to Persian gardens, and the groves
Of Greece and Italy, and the palmy lands.

A Norman tower, with moss and lichen clothed,
Wherein old bells, on old worm-eaten frames
And rusty wheels, had swung for centuries,
Chiming the same soft chime—the lullaby
Of cradled rooks and blinking bats and owls;
Setting the same sweet tune, from year to year,
For generations of true hearts to sing.
A wide churchyard, with grassy slopes and nooks,
And shady corners and meandering paths;
With glimpses of dim windows and grey walls
Just caught at here and there amongst the green
Of flowering shrubs and sweet lime-avenues.
An old house standing near—a parsonage-house—
With broad thatched roof and overhanging eaves,
O'errun with banksia roses,—a low house,
With ivied windows and a latticed porch,
Shut in a tiny Paradise, all sweet
With hum of bees and scent of mignonette.

We lay our lazy length upon the grass
In that same Paradise, my friend and I.
And, as we lay, we talked of college days—
Wild, racing, hunting, steeple-chasing days;
Of river reaches, fishing-grounds, and weirs,
Bats, gloves, debates, and in-humanities:
And then of boon-companions of those days,
How lost and scattered, married, changed, and dead;
Until he flung his arm across his face,
And feigned to slumber.
He was changed, my friend;
Not like the man—the leader of his set—
The favourite of the college—that I knew.
And more than time had changed him. He had been
“A little wild,” the Lady Alice said;
“A little gay, as all young men will be
At first, before they settle down to life—
While they have money, health, and no restraint,
Nor any work to do,” Ah, yes! But this
Was mystery unexplained—that he was sad
And still and thoughtful, like an aged man;
And scarcely thirty. With a winsome flash,
The old bright heart would shine out here and there;
But aye to be o'ershadowed and hushed down,

As he had hushed it now.
His dog lay near,
With long, sharp muzzle resting on his paws,
And wistful eyes, half shut,—but watching him;
A deerhound of illustrious race, all grey
And grizzled, with soft, wrinkled, velvet ears;
A gaunt, gigantic, wolfish-looking brute,
And worth his weight in gold.
“There, there,” said he,
And raised him on his elbow, “you have looked
Enough at me; now look at some one else.”

“You could not see him, surely, with your arm
Across your face?”
“No, but I felt his eyes;
They are such sharp, wise eyes—persistent eyes—
Perpetually reproachful. Look at them;
Had ever dog such eyes?”
“Oh yes,” I thought;
But, wondering, turned my talk upon his breed.
And was he of the famed Glengarry stock?
And in what season was he entered? Where,
Pray, did he pick him up?
He moved himself
At that last question, with a little writhe
Of sudden pain or restlessness; and sighed.
And then he slowly rose, pushed back the hair
From his broad brows; and, whistling softly, said,
“Come here, old dog, and we will tell him. Come.”

“On such a day, and such a time, as this,
Old Tom and I were stalking on the hills,
Near seven years ago. Bad luck was ours;
For we had searched up corrie, glen, and burn,
From earliest daybreak—wading to the waist
Peat-rift and purple heather—all in vain!
We struck a track nigh every hour, to lose
A noble quarry by ignoble chance—
The crowing of a grouse-****, or the flight
Of startled mallards from a reedy pool,
Or subtle, hair's breadth veering of the wind.
And now 'twas waning sunset—rosy soft

On far grey peaks, and the green valley spread
Beneath us. We had climbed a ridge, and lay
Debating in low whispers of our plans
For night and morning. Golden eagles sailed
Above our heads; the wild ducks swam about

Amid the reeds and rushes of the pools;
A lonely heron stood on one long leg
In shallow water, watching for a meal;
And there, to windward, couching in the grass
That fringed the blue edge of a sleeping loch—
Waiting for dusk to feed and drink—there lay
A herd of deer.
“And as we looked and planned,
A mountain storm of sweeping mist and rain
Came down upon us. It passed by, and left
The burnies swollen that we had to cross;
And left us barely light enough to see
The broad, black, branching antlers, clustering still
Amid the long grass in the valley.

“‘Sir,’
Said Tom, ‘there is a shealing down below,
To leeward. We might bivouac there to-night,
And come again at dawn.’
“And so we crept
Adown the glen, and stumbled in the dark
Against the doorway of the keeper's home,
And over two big deerhounds—ancestors
Of this our old companion. There was light
And warmth, a welcome and a heather bed,
At Colin's cottage; with a meal of eggs
And fresh trout, broiled by dainty little hands,
And sweetest milk and oatcake. There were songs
And Gaelic legends, and long talk of deer—
Mixt with a sweet, low laughter, and the whir
Of spinning-wheel.
“The dogs lay at her feet—
The feet of Colin's daughter—with their soft
Dark velvet ears pricked up for every sound
And movement that she made. Right royal brutes,
Whereon I gazed with envy.
“ ‘What,’ I asked,
‘Would Colin take for these?’
“ ‘Eh, sir,’ said he,
And shook his head, ‘I cannot sell the dogs.
They're priceless, they, and—Jeanie's favourites.
But there's a litter in the shed—five pups,
As like as peas to this one. You may choose
Amongst them, sir—take any that you like.
Get us the lantern, Jeanie. You shall show
The gentleman.’
“Ah, she was fair, that girl!

Not like the other lassies—cottage folk;
For there was subtle trace of gentle blood
Through all her beauty and in all her ways.
(The mother's race was ‘poor and proud,’ they said).
Ay, she was fair, my darling! with her shy,
Brown, innocent face and delicate-shapen limbs.
She had the tenderest mouth you ever saw,
And grey, dark eyes, and broad, straight-pencill'd brows;
Dark hair, sun-dappled with a sheeny gold;
Dark chestnut braids that knotted up the light,
As soft as satin. You could scarcely hear
Her step, or hear the rustling of her gown,
Or the soft hovering motion of her hands
At household work. She seemed to bring a spell
Of tender calm and silence where she came.
You felt her presence—and not by its stir,
But by its restfulness. She was a sight
To be remembered—standing in the straw;
A sleepy pup soft-cradled in her arms
Like any Christian baby; standing still,
The while I handled his ungainly limbs.
And Colin blustered of the sport—of hounds,
Roe, ptarmigan, and trout, and ducal deer—
Ne'er lifting up that sweet, unconscious face,
To see why I was silent. Oh, I would
You could have seen her then. She was so fair,
And oh, so young!—scarce seventeen at most—
So ignorant and so young!
“Tell them, my friend—
Your flock—the restless-hearted—they who scorn
The ordered fashion fitted to our race,
And scoff at laws they may not understand—
Tell them that they are fools. They cannot mate
With other than their kind, but woe will come
In some shape—mostly shame, but always grief
And disappointment. Ah, my love! my love!
But she was different from the common sort;
A peasant, ignorant, simple, undefiled;
The child of rugged peasant-parents, taught
In all their thoughts and ways; yet with that touch
Of tender grace about her, softening all
The rougher evidence of her lowly state—
That undefined, unconscious dignity—
That delicate instinct for the reading right
The riddles of less simple minds than hers—
That sharper, finer, subtler sense of life—
That something which does not possess a name,

Which made her beauty beautiful to me—
The long-lost legacy of forgotten knights.

“I chose amongst the five fat creeping things
This rare old dog. And Jeanie promised kind
And gentle nurture for its infant days;
And promised she would keep it till I came
Another year. And so we went to rest.
And in the morning, ere the sun was up,
We left our rifles, and went out to run
The browsing red-deer with old Colin's hounds.
Through glen and bog, through brawling mountain streams,
Grey, lichened boulders, furze, and juniper,
And purple wilderness of moor, we toiled,
Ere yet the distant snow-peak was alight.
We chased a hart to water; saw him stand
At bay, with sweeping antlers, in the burn.
His large, wild, wistful eyes despairingly
Turned to the deeper eddies; and we saw
The choking struggle and the bitter end,
And cut his gallant throat upon the grass,
And left him. Then we followed a fresh track—
A dozen tracks—and hunted till the noon;
Shot cormorants and wild cats in the cliffs,
And snipe and blackcock on the ferny hills;
And set our floating night-lines at the loch;—
And then came back to Jeanie.
“Well, you know
What follows such commencement:—how I found
The woods and corries round about her home
Fruitful of roe and red-deer; how I found
The grouse lay thickest on adjacent moors;
Discovered ptarmigan on rocky peaks,
And rare small game on birch-besprinkled hills,
O'ershadowing that rude shealing; how the pools
Were full of wild-fowl, and the loch of trout;
How vermin harboured in the underwood,
And rocks, and reedy marshes; how I found
The sport aye best in this charmed neighbourhood.
And then I e'en must wander to the door,
To leave a bird for Colin, or to ask
A lodging for some stormy night, or see
How fared my infant deerhound.
“And I saw
The creeping dawn unfolding; saw the doubt,
And faith, and longing swaying her sweet heart;
And every flow just distancing the ebb.

I saw her try to bar the golden gates
Whence love demanded egress,—calm her eyes,
And still the tender, sensitive, tell-tale lips,
And steal away to corners; saw her face
Grow graver and more wistful, day by day;
And felt the gradual strengthening of my hold.
I did not stay to think of it—to ask
What I was doing!
“In the early time,
She used to slip away to household work
When I was there, and would not talk to me;
But when I came not, she would climb the glen
In secret, and look out, with shaded brow,
Across the valley. Ay, I caught her once—
Like some young helpless doe, amongst the fern—
I caught her, and I kissed her mouth and eyes;
And with those kisses signed and sealed our fate
For evermore. Then came our happy days—
The bright, brief, shining days without a cloud!
In ferny hollows and deep, rustling woods,
That shut us in and shut out all the world—
The far, forgotten world—we met, and kissed,
And parted, silent, in the balmy dusk.
We haunted still roe-coverts, hand in hand,
And murmured, under our breath, of love and faith,
And swore great oaths for one of us to keep.
We sat for hours, with sealèd lips, and heard
The crossbill chattering in the larches—heard
The sweet wind whispering as it passed us by—
And heard our own hearts' music in the hush.
Ah, blessed days! ah, happy, innocent days!—
I would I had them back.
“Then came the Duke,
And Lady Alice, with her worldly grace
And artificial beauty—with the gleam
Of jewels, and the dainty shine of silk,
And perfumed softness of white lace and lawn;
With all the glamour of her courtly ways,
Her talk of art and fashion, and the world
We both belonged to. Ah, she hardened me!
I lost the sweetness of the heathery moors
And hills and quiet woodlands, in that scent
Of London clubs and royal drawing-rooms;
I lost the tender chivalry of my love,
The keen sense of its sacredness, the clear
Perception of mine honour, by degrees,
Brought face to face with customs of my kind.

I was no more a “man;” nor she, my love,
A delicate lily of womanhood—ah, no!
I was the heir of an illustrious house,
And she a simple, homespun cottage-girl.

“And now I stole at rarer intervals
To those dim trysting woods; and when I came
I brought my cunning worldly wisdom—talked
Of empty forms and marriages in heaven—
To stain that simple soul, God pardon me!
And she would shiver in the stillness, scared
And shocked, with her pathetic eyes—aye proof
Against the fatal, false philosophy.
But my will was the strongest, and my love
The weakest; and she knew it.
“Well, well, well,
I need not talk of that. There came the day
Of our last parting in the ferny glen—
A bitter parting, parting from my life,
Its light and peace for ever! And I turned
To ***** and billiards, politics and wine;
Was wooed by Lady Alice, and half won;
And passed a feverous winter in the world.
Ah, do not frown! You do not understand.
You never knew that hopeless thirst for peace—
That gnawing hunger, gnawing at your life;
The passion, born too late! I tell you, friend,
The ruth, and love, and longing for my child,
It broke my heart at last.
“In the hot days
Of August, I went back; I went alone.
And on old garrulous Margery—relict she
Of some departed seneschal—I rained
My eager questions. ‘Had the poaching been
As ruinous and as audacious as of old?
Were the dogs well? and had she felt the heat?
And—I supposed the keeper, Colin, still
Was somewhere on the place?’
“ ‘Nay, sir,’; said she,
‘But he has left the neighbourhood. He ne'er
Has held his head up since he lost his child,
Poor soul, a month ago.’
“I heard—I heard!
His child—he had but one—my little one,
Whom I had meant to marry in a week!

“ ‘Ah, sir, she turned out badly after all,
The girl we thought a pattern for all girls.
We know not how it happened, for she named
No names. And, sir, it preyed upon her mind,
And weakened it; and she forgot us all,
And seemed as one aye walking in her sleep
She noticed no one—no one but the dog,
A young deerhound that followed her about;
Though him she hugged and kissed in a strange way
When none was by. And Colin, he was hard
Upon the girl; and when she sat so still,
And pale and passive, while he raved and stormed,
Looking beyond him, as it were, he grew
The harder and more harsh. He did not know
That she was not herself. Men are so blind!
But when he saw her floating in the loch,
The moonlight on her face, and her long hair
All tangled in the rushes; saw the hound
Whining and crying, tugging at her plaid—
Ah, sir, it was a death-stroke!’
“This was all.
This was the end of her sweet life—the end
Of all worth having of mine own! At night
I crept across the moors to find her grave,
And kiss the wet earth covering it—and found
The deerhound lying there asleep. Ay me!
It was the bitterest darkness,—nevermore
To break out into dawn and day again!

“And Lady Alice shakes her dainty head,
Lifts her arch eyebrows, smiles, and whispers, “Once
He was a little wild!’ ”
With that he laughed;
Then suddenly flung his face upon the grass,
Crying, “Leave me for a little—let me be!”
And in the dusky stillness hugged his woe,
And wept away his pas
Kuzhur Wilson Aug 2014
Around 4 in the evening, I proceeded to Karaikkal, a Union Territory.

By the time we reached Nagapattinam, I noticed that the driver was tired and asked him to have a strong cup of tea. When he was gulping it reluctantly, I, who did not like strong tea, watched the cows walking along the narrow ways. But, the cows did not look at me. The cows I watched. The cows that did not pay any attention to me. I was a bit out of breath realizing how quickly nonexistent relationships were formed in an unknown Tamil village.  I lit up one more cigarette. I remembered the doctor in Britain, a stunning beauty, who prescribed that as soon as I found it difficult to breathe I should light up a cigarette. ****! When it is hard to breathe because of nonexistent relationships and when I light up a cigarette as an antidote to that, there appear row upon row of relationships of some sort or other.  

I began to detest bitter strong tea. I was irked by the cows that went along the narrow ways. I felt hatred towards their not so small udders. An afternoon dawned one day when I felt the same kind of vengeance towards udders. The blood stains from the udders that were slashed down emerged on my hands, legs, back and under belly.

Once again I felt revulsion for bitter strong tea. The driver sipped the hot bitter tea. I hated the moment when I asked him to have tea. I loathed the words that I used to say that. I despised even the words that I had kept in reserve to say that.

Then, I watched the people etching tattoos by the roadside. I wondered how it will be if I got a tattoo for myself.  I tried to recall how deep I was to get a tattoo done.

A person I liked.
A name I liked.
A place I liked.
A digit I liked.
A syllable I liked.
A memory I liked.

I felt a lot of aversion. Wondered if I should tattoo my mother’s name on my shoulder. I found it amusing that when I die people may identify me by my mother’s name. But, I felt sad when I thought that stranger women may plant their kisses on it. ****! I felt so sad.  I abhorred those bitter cups of tea and narrow ways. I lit up one more cigarette.  Then, I, who tattooed my mother’s name on my shoulder, started decaying on the spot.  Rotting with a terrible stench. The people, the cows and the goats that I did not mention before bolted.  Abruptly, the driver came and told me that we could move from there.  I felt so bitter towards even the bitter tea that was inside him.

Somehow, we reached Karaikkal. Yes, at 630 in the evening. Even though I had never been to Karaikkal, a Union Territory, I sat on the same chair in the same corner of the same bar. The bearer poured me the wine.

He kept pouring the wine.
He kept pouring the wine.
The wine kept emptying.
The wine kept emptying.
The wine kept unraveling.
The wine kept unraveling.

It was a Dutch woman who gathered me up and took me with her when I got totally unraveled. She was older than me. There was no power in her room. The way she washed my body in lukewarm water could have put to shame even the midwives giving a bath to babies. When I rose up sometimes and asked her name, she sealed my lips with hers. When it was repeated many times, I thought that her name must mean something like a kiss. And, she never spoke a word except with lips.

Unraveling wine, lukewarm water, the nonstop conversation by lips. Though lips got tired, I heard the murmur from my pelvis. She too must have heard that. She touched my *****. Quite a guy she exclaimed cracking a joke. Told her I salvaged it from the sea at Tanjore and it was some temple mast some sculptor abandoned. If it’s a temple mast, let the festival begin she said.

It was some festival.
Festival of festivals.
Black lacquer bangles, vermilion, ribbons
Hydrogen balloons
Spinning tops
It was some festival.
Festival of festivals.

A simile as washed out as a festival ground emptied of crowds. For the lack of a better one.  Returned from Karaikkal, a Union Territory, at some hour.  I dumped that taxi driver on the way. Not only because I was disgusted with bitter tea, but also because his name was not Thintharoo.

I can never again put up with a driver whose name is not Thintharoo.




**(trans by Ra Sh)
Thintharoo - it is also my poetry collection name. will come soon
13 Apr 2015
I’ve been reading a bit about positivity, this past hour.
I have been trying to project what I’ve read, mentally, in scenarios where I’m under stress to see how things work out.

I couldn’t make peace with the fact that sometimes letting go and keeping quiet is the best course of action.
That sometimes, just sometimes, shutting up and letting things happen is the only way to get over a bad situation.
The fallout can be dealt with. The one percent of our animal nature within helps us rebuild every time.

I can feel an uneasiness settling, making its home in the center of my being.
Writhing in malcontent and uneven distaste, counterbalanced hatred for this feeling I’m riddled with. Where is the good in all this?
Is that what forgiveness is? Swallowing the bitter pill? Turning a new leaf?
Among other euphemisms for being a **** up.
Something that’s very hard to do.

Two minds too blind to make themselves up. Nothing is accomplished in confusion.
One kills while the other cries.
Despair and hope side by side, waiting for one to rise and the other to fall.
Positivity is elastic, it can be stretched to fit over what you deem right.
It can be mistaken for a rush of energy, a thirst for life, a sense of achievement, an inebriated night.
All the while festering, brooding, decaying inside, a heart of sadness, that once did smile.
Posted on February 17, 2015
Robert Guerrero May 2013
You have tears of joy
Tears of sorrow
And tears of loss
Yet these snowflake shadow tears
Decay like rotting corpses
Age old victims
To tiresome eyes
Bags packed ready to board
Flights that will lift these burdens
Take away the heavy luggage
Lose it in transit
Forget it as decaying tears
Finally regain their life
As they crash into mountains
Of feathered pillows
Finally getting the rest they truly deserve
Yeah I'm not a poet anymore. This proved it.
Carter Ginter Sep 2014
Silence surrounds                                                        ­    The sun still shines
but loneliness cannot exist                                               on this perfect day
Not in a place                                                            ­            except, too often,
where time never quits.                                                       no children play.
It's unfortunate                                                      ­                 The empty park
that bit by decaying bit                                                    beyond these walls
our generations keep                                                             cries in memory
losing grip.                                                            ­             of laughs and falls.
It's a terrifying thought that                                                             ­ But wait,
when asked "what time is it?"                      does hope approach at dawn?
it'll seem foreign and insane                               He pauses to finish a text..
to glance at my wrist.                                                    And then he is gone.
The goal of the assignment was to write two sections about two different things and tie them together creatively in the title.
Carter Ginter Sep 2017
The condensation slowly begins
To eat a hole in
The cotton of my jeans
And I've been through this enough
To know
I'm not alone in it
But I can't help but feel empty.

The dripping grass emits it's gasses
filling the air with the sweet smell of
freedom and October;
The plants releasing their last breath into the world
before the snow comes
and brings death upon us all.

Even in this facade of freedom I feel trapped
Caging myself within the confines of a small
One-bedroom apartment that's supposed to be "home".

The soaking corpses of thriving flowers
and the sweet tickle of chirping crickets
are drowned out by the overwhelming sadness
that's begun to overthrow my lungs,
echoing throughout my limbs as it
sloshes through my eardrums and soaks my shoes

Dear god, why am I still hurting?
It's been 9 years and I still can't escape.
This depression has stolen every last part of me.
Until it's all I have left.

And yes, out here, I feel free
Away from the judgement
Where no one can touch me
Connected with the Earth
Simply observing all that surrounds me.

And of course I can hide from my anxiety
But even feeling the cleanest sand between my feet
And deafening my mind with these crashing waves around me
I can't run from the demons eating at the tatters of my soul
Because they will find a way to lure me back in
To disconnect me from the beauty that surrounds me
Leaving me dying alone on the cold, dark concrete
that lines my broken memories
Bleeding out these sins until I no longer feel empty
Wrote this while sitting on a hill overlooking Lake Michigan. Felt connected to nature but still plagued with my depression creeping around inside me.
Ruman Hafsa Oct 2016
A little heart, just like a beautiful mansion
Ravishing & vast was it's expansion
Beguile the people passing by
As they, in awe, at it sigh

Curious about it's interior beauty
When it's frontage intrigued me
I tried glancing inside it
"By looks can one be deceived"

Murkiness & desolation occupied
The cobwebs spread wide
The broken chandelier hung
To the torn vault clung

The guitar laid wrecked
The floor full of dust
Walls a decaying wreckage
Everything damaged

I entered a room at the nook
By window, a table, by a slight touch shook
On it was placed a pristine sketch
Of whom it loved, on the edge*...

All rights reserved
By Ruman Hafsa
JR Falk Dec 2014
An artist has a busy mind.
Whether it be lines of a poem
or lines of a play.
One may argue that literature cannot be art,
But I will look at the accuser and ask him to count the callouses on my hands
he’ll ask what for,
what they are from,
and as I count them I’ll tell him,
"From crawling out of my own little hell."
Of course, he’ll scoff and leave, but who is he to blame?
Poets are emotional.
Others fear to feel.
Which, in retrospect, is very ironic when you think about it, because technically, they are still feeling.

My mind is like rush hour all hours of the day,
Because there is so much left to think about,
So little time to enact,
So little time to involve yourself in the thoughts.
Things occupy my mind often and when I sit alone on a park bench,
I see a collection of cars screeching against the pavement toward me,
or hear a phone call that tells me my mother,
my father,
my sister,
my brother,
is or are dead when all of the above are very much alive.

No, my mind does not silence,
It is persuasive and deceiving and it never fails to fail me,
Yet I’m trapped inside, because it’s all I've got.
When people ask if I’m alright, I respond with
"I’m fine! I’m perfectly OK!"
Because this is how my mind has been since I could count to ten,
and I cannot seem to picture it being any other way.

Normality is boring, but normality is accepted.
Being expressive is not.
So I’m told I’m too emotional when I speak in a crowded room,
I do not argue, though I still wonder how
An obnoxious burst of laughter is far too expressive.
They say the saddest people laugh the loudest
Because they are most vulnerable and susceptible to a comedian’s antics,
Especially considering they've muted their own expression to the point of near insanity,
Smiling and suicidal,
Laughing but decaying and cracking drastically with each and every chuckle,
Ironic like an abandoned amusement park-
A dying happy place.
People say that “the saddest people have the brightest eyes,”
And the most common compliment I get is
“*******- I love your eyes!”

I do not try to be obnoxious.
The words slip, and the volume cracks up,
And my mind continues running when I am standing still.
I am trying to figure out why I cannot catch my breath,
When I am not even moving.

I wish I could be normal,
I wish I wasn't so ****** up and broken
But you can’t just take a totaled car,
hand someone the keys and say,
"Take her for a spin!"
Because it will forever feel useless and it will not function.
Therefore, neither will I.

Writing helps in easing the plethora of trains speeding through my mind,
Trains of thought just chugging along,
But it only slows them down, if only for a while.

As an inexperienced conductor,
When someone asks me if I’m “BUSY,”
I can never answer them “no” honestly,

Because an artist has a busy mind.
Old, finally revised. Still unsure if I'm proud of it.
Jade M Matelski Jan 2014
she was like liquid fire
everything she touched would turn to ash
and she touched me, dear god
her hands were warm like summer
she smelled like cinnamon and
betrayal

it was a bright sunday afternoon
I had just bought flowers
for her to kiss
her breath was decaying them
the fire, burnt them into nothing but
a pile of red and purple ash;
a lot like my heart

her hair smelled like *** and
sweat; I lean in closer
but I was harmfully ignorant
and didn't see the signs
of my lover
slowly turning over
for another

— The End —