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

Author's  Atmosphere

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

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

Chapter  1 Begins the Story

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“ Damgf” he uttered, and could not even grasp a word correctly.  His head lifted to the sky repeatedly, there was no orb, and the shadows were looming larger than ever; fractioned shadows from tree branches were forming scythes all over the ground.
             He entered the large shadow that was his front door, into the house that rose high into the sky, with the simplicity of Stonehenge.  He climbed the rickety petrified stairs and went down the hall.  Grey light had spotlighted every frame on the wall.  He looked into the empty room, nothingness, then his room, the tank seemed at its faintest, and it was nearing twilight.  He walked past the tank to look out the w
Mitchell Duran Dec 2013
In the Fall, when the temperature of the Bay would drop and the wind blew ice, frost would gather on the lawn near Henry Oldez's room. It was not a heavy frost that spread across the paralyzed lawn, but one that just covered each blade of grass with a fine, white, almost dusty coat. Most mornings, he would stumble out of the garage where he slept and tip toe past the ice speckled patch of brown and green spotted grass, so to make his way inside to relieve himself. If he was in no hurry, he would stand on the four stepped stoop and look back at the dried, dead leaves hanging from the wiry branches of three trees lined up against the neighbors fence. The picture reminded him of what the old gallows must have looked like. Henry Oldez had been living in this routine for twenty some years.

He had moved to California with his mother, father, and three brothers 35 years ago. Henry's father, born and raised in Tijuana, Mexico, had traveled across the Meixcan border on a bent, full jalopy with his wife, Betria Gonzalez and their three kids. They were all mostly babies then and none of the brothers claimed to remember anything of the ride, except one, Leo, recalled there was "A lotta dust in the car." Santiago Oldez, San for short, had fought in World War II and died of cancer ten years later. San drank most nights and smoked two packs of Marlboro Reds a day. Henry had never heard his father talk about the fighting or the war. If he was lucky to hear anything, it would have been when San was dead drunk, talking to himself mostly, not paying very much attention to anyone except his memories and his music.

"San loved two things in this world," Henry would say, "*****, Betria, and Johnny Cash."

Betria Gonzalez grew up in Tijuana, Mexico as well. She was a stout, short woman, wide but with pretty eyes and a mess of orange golden hair. Betria could talk to anyone about anything. Her nick names were the conversationalist or the old crow because she never found a reason to stop talking. Santiago had met her through a friend of a friend. After a couple of dates, they were married. There is some talk of a dispute among the two families, that they didn't agree to the marriage and that they were too young, which they probably were. Santiago being Santiago, didn't listen to anybody, only to his heart. They were married in a small church outside of town overlooking the Pacific. Betria told the kids that the waves thundered and crashed against the rocks that day and the sea looked endless. There were no pictures taken and only three people were at the ceremony: Betria, San, and the priest.

Of course, the four boys went to elementary and high school, and, of course, none of them went to college. One brother moved down to LA and eventually started working for a law firm doing their books. Another got married at 18 years old and was in and out of the house until getting under the wing of the union, doing construction and electrical work for the city. The third brother followed suit. Henry Oldez, after high school, stayed put. Nothing in school interested him. Henry only liked what he could get into after school. The people of the streets were his muse, leaving him with the tramps, the dealers, the struggling restaurateurs, the laundry mat hookers, the crooked cops and the addicts, the gang bangers, the bible humpers, the window washers, the jesus freaks, the EMT's, the old ladies pushing salvation by every bus stop, the guy on the corner and the guy in the alley, and the DOA's. Henry didn't have much time for anyone else after all of them.

Henry looked at himself in the mirror. The light was off and the room was dim. Sunlight streaked in through the dusty blinds from outside, reflecting into the mirror and onto Henry's face. He was short, 5' 2'' or 5' 3'' at most with stubby, skinny legs, and a wide, barrel shaped chest. He examined his face, which was a ravine of wrinkles and deep crows feet. His eyes were sunken and small in his head. Somehow, his pants were always one or two inches below his waistline, so the crack of his *** would constantly be peeking out. Henry's deep, chocolate colored hair was  that of an ancient Native American, long and nearly touched the tip of his belt if he stood up straight. No one knew how long he had been growing it out for. No one knew him any other way. He would comb his hair incessantly: before and after a shower, walking around the house, watching television with Betria on the couch, talking to friends when they came by, and when he drove to work, when he had it.

Normal work, nine to five work, did not work for Henry. "I need to be my own boss," he'd say. With that fact stubbornly put in place, Henry turned to being a handy man, a roofer, and a pioneer of construction. No one knew where he would get the jobs that he would get, he would just have them one day. And whenever he 'd finish a job, he'd complain about how much they'd shorted him, soon to move on to the next one. Henry never had to listen to anyone and, most of the time, he got free lunches out of it. It was a very strange routine, but it worked for him and Betria had no complaints as long as he was bringing some money in and keeping busy. After Santiago died, she became the head of the house, but really let her boys do whatever they wanted.

Henry took a quick shower and blow dried his hair, something he never did unless he was in a hurry. He had a job in the east bay at a sorority house near the Berkley campus. At the table, still in his pajamas, he ate three leftover chicken thighs, toast, and two over easy eggs. Betria was still in bed, awake and reading. Henry heard her two dogs barking and scratching on her bedroom door. He got up as he combed his damp hair, tugging and straining to get each individual knot out. When he opened the door, the smaller, thinner dog, Boy Boy, shot under his legs and to the front door where his toy was. The fat, beige, pig-like one waddled out beside Henry and went straight for its food bowl.

"Good morning," said Henry to Betria.

Betria looked at Henry over her glasses, "You eat already?"

"Yep," he announced, "Got to go to work." He tugged on a knot.

"That's good. Dondé?" Betria looked back down at her spanish TV guide booklet.

"Berkley somewhere," Henry said, bringing the comb smoothly down through his hair.

"That's good, that's good."

"OK!" Henry sighed loudly, shutting the door behind him. He walked back to the dinner table and finished his meal. Then, Betria shouted something from her room that Henry couldn't hear.

"What?" yelled Henry, so she could hear him over the television. She shouted again, but Henry still couldn't hear her. Henry got up and went back to her room, ***** dish in hand. He opened her door and looked at her without saying anything.

"Take the dogs out to ***," Betria told him, "Out the back, not the front."

"Yeah," Henry said and shut the door.

"Come on you dogs," Henry mumbled, dropping his dish in the sink. Betria always did everyones dishes. She called it "her exercise."

Henry let the two dogs out on the lawn. The sun was curling up into the sky and its heat had melted all of the frost on the lawn. Now, the grass was bright green and Henry barely noticed the dark brown dead spots. He watched as the fat beige one squatted to ***. It was too fat to lifts its own leg up. The thing was built like a tank or a sea turtle. Henry laughed to himself as it looked up at him, both of its eyes going in opposite directions, its tongue jutted out one corner of his mouth. Boy boy was on the far end of the lawn, searching for something in the bushes. After a minute, he pulled out another one of his toys and brought it to Henry. Henry picked up the neon green chew toy shaped like a bone and threw it back to where Boy boy had dug it out from. Boy boy shot after it and the fat one just watched, waddling a few feet away from it had peed and laid down. Henry threw the toy a couple more times for Boy boy, but soon he realized it was time to go.

"Alright!" said Henry, "Get inside. Gotta' go to work." He picked up the fat one and threw it inside the laundry room hallway that led to the kitchen and the rest of the house. Boy boy bounded up the stairs into the kitchen. He didn't need anyone lifting him up anywhere. Henry shut the door behind them and went to back to his room to get into his work clothes.

Henry's girlfriend was still asleep and he made sure to be quiet while he got dressed. Tia, Henry's girlfriend, didn't work, but occasionally would put up garage sales of various junk she found around town. She was strangely obsessed with beanie babies, those tiny plush toys usually made up in different costumes. Henry's favorite was the hunter. It was dressed up in camouflage and wore an eye patch. You could take off its brown, polyester hat too, if you wanted. Henry made no complaint about Tia not having a job because she usually brought some money home somehow, along with groceries and cleaning the house and their room. Betria, again, made no complain and only wanted to know if she was going to eat there or not for the day.

A boat sized bright blue GMC sat in the street. This was Henry's car. The stick shift was so mangled and bent that only Henry and his older brother could drive it. He had traded a new car stereo for it, or something like that. He believed it got ten miles to the gallon, but it really only got six or seven. The stereo was the cleanest piece of equipment inside the thing. It played CD's, had a shoddy cassette player, and a decent radio that picked up all the local stations. Henry reached under the seat and attached the radio to the front panel. He never left the radio just sitting there in plain sight. Someone walking by could just as soon as put their elbow into the window, pluck the thing out, and make a clean 200 bucks or so. Henry wasn't that stupid. He'd been living there his whole life and sure enough, done the same thing to other cars when he was low on money. He knew the tricks of every trade when it came to how to make money on the street.

On the road, Henry passed La Rosa, the Mexican food mart around the corner from the house. Two short, tanned men stood in front of a stand of CD's, talking. He usually bought pirated music or movies there. One of the guys names was Bertie, but he didn't know the other guy. He figured either a customer or a friend. There were a lot of friends in this neighborhood. Everyone knew each other somehow. From the bars, from the grocery, from the laundromat, from the taco stands or from just walking around the streets at night when you were too bored to stay inside and watch TV. It wasn't usually safe for non-locals to walk the streets at night, but if you were from around there and could prove it to someone that was going to jump you, one could usually get away from losing a wallet or an eyeball if you had the proof. Henry, to people on the street, also went as Monk. Whenever he would drive through the neighborhood, the window open with his arm hanging out the side, he would usually hear a distant yell of "Hey Monk!" or "What's up Monk!". Henry would always wave back, unsure who's voice it was or in what direction to wave, but knowing it was a friend from somewhere.

There was heavy traffic on the way to Berkley and as he waited in line, cursing his luck, he looked over at the wet swamp, sitting there beside highway like a dead frog. A few scattered egrets waded through the brown water, their long legs keeping their clean white bodies safe from the muddy water. Beyond the swamp laid the pacific and the Golden Gate bridge. San Francisco sat there too: still, majestic, and silver. Next to the city, was the Bay Bridge stretched out over the water like long gray yard stick. Henry compared the Golden Gate's beauty with the Bay Bridge. Both were beautiful in there own way, but the Bay Bridge's color was that of a gravestone, while the Golden Gate's color was a heavy red, that made it seem alive. Why they had never decided to pain the Bay Bridge, Henry had no idea. He thought it would look very nice with a nice coat of burgundy to match the Golden gate, but knew they would never spend the money. They never do.

After reeling through the downtown streets of Berkley, dodging college kids crossing the street on their cell phones and bicyclists, he finally reached the large, A-frame house. The house was lifted, four or five feet off the ground and you had to walk up five or seven stairs to get to the front door. Surrounded by tall, dark green bushes, Henry knew these kids had money coming from somewhere. In the windows hung spinning colored glass and in front of the house was an old-timey dinner bell in the shape of triangle. Potted plants lined the red brick walkway that led to the stairs. Young tomatoes and small peas hung from the tender arms of the stems leaf stalks. The lawn was manicured and clean. "Must be studying agriculture or something," Henry thought, "Or they got a really good gardener."

He parked right in front of the house and looked the building up and down, estimating how long it would take to get the old shingles off and the new one's on. Someone was up on the deck of the house, rocking back and forth in an old wooden chair. He listened to the creaking wood of the chair and the deck, judging it would take him two days for the job. Henry knew there was no scheduled rain, but with the Bay weather, one could never be sure. He had worked in rain before - even hail - and it never really bothered him. The thing was, he never strapped himself in and when it would rain and he was working roofs, he was afraid to slip and fall. He turned his truck off, got out, and locked both of the doors. He stepped heavily up the walkway and up the stairs. The someone who was rocking back and forth was a skinny beauty with loose jean shorts on and a thick looking, black and red plaid shirt. She had long, chunky dread locks and was smoking a joint, blowing the smoke out over the tips of the bushes and onto the street. Henry was no stranger to the smell. He smoked himself. This was California.

"Who're you?" the dreaded girl asked.

"I'm the roofer," Henry told her.

The girl looked puzzled and disinterested. Henry leaned back on his heels and wondered if the whole thing was lemon. She looked beyond him, down on the street, awkwardly annoying Henry's gaze. The tools in Henry's hands began to grow heavy, so he put them down on the deck with a thud. The noise seemed to startle the girl out of whatever haze her brain was in and she looked back at Henry. Her eyes were dark brown and her skin was smooth and clear like lake water. She couldn't have been more then 20 or 21 years old. Henry realized that he was staring and looked away at the various potted plants near the rocking chair. He liked them all.

"Do you know who called you?" She took a drag from her joint.

"Brett, " Henry told her, "But they didn't leave a last name."

For a moment, the girl looked like she had been struck across the chin with a brick, but then her face relaxed and she smiled.

"Oh ****," she laughed, "That's me. I called you. I'm Brett."

Henry smiled uneasily and picked up his tools, "Ok."

"Nice to meet you," she said, putting out her hand.

Henry awkwardly put out his left hand, "Nice to meet you too."

She took another drag and exhaled, the smoke rolling over her lips, "Want to see the roof?"

The two of them stood underneath a five foot by five foot hole. Henry was a little uneasy by the fact they had cleaned up none of the shattered wood and the birds pecking at the bird seed sitting in a bowl on the coffee table facing the TV. The arms of the couch were covered in bird **** and someone had draped a large, zebra printed blanket across the middle of it. Henry figured the blanket wasn't for decoration, but to hide the rest of the bird droppings. Next to the couch sat a large, antique lamp with its lamp shade missing. Underneath the dim light, was a nice portrait of the entire house. Henry looked away from the hole, leaving Brett with her head cocked back, the joint still pinched between her lips, to get a closer look. There looked to be four in total: Brett, a very large man, a woman with longer, thick dread locks than Brett, and a extremely short man with a very large, brown beard. Henry went back
It seemed the space between us became torn and
Profoundly distanced....................

Jamming bony knuckles and spread eagled fingers,
Lying their mapped out journey.....direction on point patrol....
Adorned by silver decoration, delighting in their skinned habitat
Shafted, deceit punching the recipient of the poison digits
Prodding and pushing their intent....dare you contradict
The intended carved out dose of punishment, Risk and
Safety......not yours and never would be; stooped
Down under the assailing bony palmed attachements
That delivered penetrating power, cupped around
Your arm til it became discoloured, pressure points
Backed you into a corner, up against the grain of the
Brick wall, cold and damp, the odour reaching
And scolding your nostrils with its stale internal vows
Refuse, stretching and protruding its foul remnents
An earlier life, when you were not under threat fades
Your very existance in jeopardy, your eyes pleaded for
Normality, willing someone to hear your silence, grip you
Tightly, not with malice, but with bravery and valour
Right now you need that shining knight, that white
Horse galloping down the blind alleyway, yet you
Know that won't happen for you're already sinking
To the floor, the blow comes sharp and stings, warmth
Exudes and trickles a path downwards, leaving your
Body, finding the cold concrete beneath you, travelling
Outwards................
Snowflake Jun 2015
Life is an adventure of inspiration;
a light decoration.
Nigel Morgan Nov 2012
She said, ‘You are funny, the way you set yourself up the moment we arrive. You look into every room to see if it’s suitable as a place to work. Is there a table? Where are the plugs? Is there a good chair at the right height? If there isn’t, are there cushions to make it so? You are funny.’
 
He countered this, but his excuse didn’t sound very convincing. He knew exactly what she meant, but it hurt him a little that she should think it ‘funny’. There’s nothing funny about trying to compose music, he thought. It’s not ‘radio in the head’ you know – this was a favourite expression he’d once heard an American composer use. You don’t just turn a switch and the music’s playing, waiting for you to write it down. You have to find it – though he believed it was usually there, somewhere, waiting to be found. But it’s elusive. You have to work hard to detect what might be there, there in the silence of your imagination.
 
Later over their first meal in this large cottage she said, ‘How do you stop hearing all those settings of the Mass that you must have heard or sung since childhood?’ She’d been rehearsing Verdi’s Requiem recently and was full of snippets of this stirring piece. He was a) writing a Mass to celebrate a cathedral’s reordering after a year as a building site, and b) he’d been a boy chorister and the form and order of the Mass was deeply engrained in his aural memory. He only had to hear the plainsong introduction Gloria in Excelsis Deo to be back in the Queen’s chapel singing Palestrina, or Byrd or Poulenc.
 
His ‘found’ corner was in the living room. The table wasn’t a table but a long cabinet she’d kindly covered with a tablecloth. You couldn’t get your feet under the thing, but with his little portable drawing board there was space to sit properly because the board jutted out beyond the cabinet’s top. It was the right length and its depth was OK, enough space for the board and, next to it, his laptop computer. On the floor beside his chair he placed a few of his reference scores and a box of necessary ‘bits’.
 
The room had two large sofas, an equally large television, some unexplainable and instantly dismissible items of decoration, a standard lamp, and a wood burning stove. The stove was wonderful, and on their second evening in the cottage, when clear skies and a stiff breeze promised a cold night, she’d lit it and, as the evening progressed, they basked in its warmth, she filling envelopes with her cards, he struggling with sleep over a book.
 
Despite and because this was a new, though temporary, location he had got up at 5.0am. This is a usual time for composers who need their daily fix of absolute quiet. And here, in this cottage set amidst autumn fields, within sight of a river estuary, under vast, panoramic uninterrupted skies, there was the distinct possibility of silence – all day. The double-glazing made doubly sure of that.
 
He had sat with a mug of tea at 5.10 and contemplated the silence, or rather what infiltrated the stillness of the cottage as sound. In the kitchen the clock ticked, the refrigerator seemed to need a period of machine noise once its door had been opened. At 6.0am the central heating fired up for a while. Outside, the small fruit trees in the garden moved vigorously in the wind, but he couldn’t hear either the wind or a rustle of leaves.  A car droned past on the nearby road. The clear sky began to lighten promising a fine day. This would certainly do for silence.
 
His thoughts returned to her question of the previous evening, and his answer. He was about to face up to his explanation. ‘I empty myself of all musical sound’, he’d said, ‘I imagine an empty space into which I might bring a single note, a long held drone of a note, a ‘d’ above middle ‘c’ on a chamber ***** (seeing it’s a Mass I’m writing).  Harrison Birtwistle always starts on an ‘e’. A ‘d’ to me seems older and kinder. An ‘e’ is too modern and progressive, slightly brash and noisy.’
 
He can see she is quizzical with this anecdotal stuff. Is he having me on? But no, he is not having her on. Such choices are important. Without them progress would be difficult when the thinking and planning has to stop and the composing has to begin. His notebook, sitting on his drawing board with some first sketches, plays testament to that. In this book glimpses of music appear in rhythmic abstracts, though rarely any pitches, and there are pages of written description. He likes to imagine what a new work is, and what it is not. This he writes down. Composer Paul Hindemith reckoned you had first to address the ‘conditions of performance’. That meant thinking about the performers, the location, above all the context. A Mass can be, for a composer, so many things. There were certainly requirements and constraints. The commission had to fulfil a number of criteria, some imposed by circumstance, some self-imposed by desire. All this goes into the melting ***, or rather the notebook. And after the notebook, he takes a large piece of A3 paper and clarifies this thinking and planning onto (if possible) a single sheet.
 
And so, to the task in hand. His objective, he had decided, is to focus on the whole rather than the particular. Don’t think about the Kyrie on its own, but consider how it lies with the Gloria. And so with the Sanctus & Benedictus. How do they connect to the Agnus Dei. He begins on the A3 sheet of plain paper ‘making a map of connections’. Kyrie to Gloria, Gloria to Credo and so on. Then what about Agnus Dei and the Gloria? Is there going to be any commonality – in rhythm, pace and tempo (we’ll leave melody and harmony for now)? Steady, he finds himself saying, aren’t we going back over old ground? His notebook has pages of attempts at rhythmizing the text. There are just so many ways to do this. Each rhythmic solution begets a different slant of meaning.
 
This is to be a congregational Mass, but one that has a role for a 4-part choir and ***** and a ‘jazz instrument’. Impatient to see notes on paper, he composes a new introduction to a Kyrie as a rhythmic sketch, then, experimentally, adds pitches. He scores it fully, just 10 bars or so, but it is barely finished before his critical inner voice says, ‘What’s this for? Do you all need this? This is showing off.’ So the filled-out sketch drops to the floor and he examines this element of ‘beginning’ the incipit.
 
He remembers how a meditation on that word inhabits the opening chapter of George Steiner’s great book Grammars of Creation. He sees in his mind’s eye the complex, colourful and ornate letter that begins the Lindesfarne Gospels. His beginnings for each movement, he decides, might be two chords, one overlaying the other: two ‘simple’ diatonic chords when sounded separately, but complex and with a measure of mystery when played together. The Mass is often described as a mystery. It is that ritual of a meal undertaken by a community of people who in the breaking of bread and wine wish to bring God’s presence amongst them. So it is a mystery. And so, he tells himself, his music will aim to hold something of mystery. It should not be a comment on that mystery, but be a mystery itself. It should not be homely and comfortable; it should be as minimal and sparing of musical commentary as possible.
 
When, as a teenager, he first began to set words to music he quickly experienced the need (it seemed) to fashion accompaniments that were commentaries on the text the voice was singing. These accompaniments did not underpin the words so much as add a commentary upon them. What lay beneath the words was his reaction, indeed imaginative extension of the words. He eschewed then both melisma and repetition. He sought an extreme independence between word and music, even though the word became the scenario of the music. Any musical setting was derived from the composition of the vocal line.  It was all about finding the ‘key’ to a song, what unlocked the door to the room of life it occupied. The music was the room where the poem’s utterance lived.
 
With a Mass you were in trouble for the outset. There was a poetry of sorts, but poetry that, in the countless versions of the vernacular, had lost (perhaps had never had) the resonance of the Latin. He thought suddenly of the supposed words of William Byrd, ‘He who sings prays twice’. Yes, such commonplace words are intercessional, but when sung become more than they are. But he knew he had to be careful here.
 
Why do we sing the words of the Mass he asks himself? Do we need to sing these words of the Mass? Are they the words that Christ spoke as he broke bread and poured wine to his friends and disciples at his last supper? The answer is no. Certainly these words of the Mass we usually sing surround the most intimate words of that final meal, words only the priest in Christ’s name may articulate.
 
Write out the words of the Mass that represent its collective worship and what do you have? Rather non-descript poetry? A kind of formula for collective incantation during worship? Can we read these words and not hear a surrounding music? He thinks for a moment of being asked to put new music to words of The Beatles. All you need is love. Yesterday all my troubles seemed so far away. Oh bla dee oh bla da life goes on. Now, now this is silliness, his Critical Voice complains. And yet it’s not. When you compose a popular song the gap between some words scribbled on the back of an envelope and the hook of chords and melody developed in an accidental moment (that becomes a way of clothing such words) is often minimal. Apart, words and music seem like orphans in a storm. Together they are home and dry.
 
He realises, and not for the first time, that he is seeking a total musical solution to the whole of the setting of those words collectively given voice to by those participating in the Mass.
 
And so: to the task in hand. His objective: to focus on the whole rather than the particular.  Where had he heard that thought before? - when he had sat down at his drawing board an hour and half previously. He’d gone in a circle of thought, and with his sketch on the floor at his feet, nothing to show for all that effort.
 
Meanwhile the sun had risen. He could hear her moving about in the bathroom. He went to the kitchen and laid out what they would need to breakfast together. As he poured milk into a jug, primed the toaster, filled the kettle, the business of what might constitute a whole solution to this setting of the Mass followed him around the kitchen and breakfast room like a demanding child. He knew all about demanding children. How often had he come home from his studio to prepare breakfast and see small people to school? - more often than he cared to remember. And when he remembered he became sad that it was no more.  His children had so often provided a welcome buffer from sessions of intense thought and activity. He loved the walk to school, the first quarter of a mile through the park, a long avenue of chestnut trees. It was always the end of April and pink and white blossoms were appearing, or it was September and there were conkers everywhere. It was under these trees his daughter would skip and even his sons would hold hands with him; he would feel their warmth, their livingness.
 
But now, preparing breakfast, his Critical Voice was that demanding child and he realised when she appeared in the kitchen he spoke to her with a voice of an artist in conversation with his critics, not the voice of the man who had the previous night lost himself to joy in her dear embrace. And he was ashamed it was so.
 
How he loved her gentle manner as she negotiated his ‘coming too’ after those two hours of concentration and inner dialogue. Gradually, by the second cup of coffee he felt a right person, and the hours ahead did not seem too impossible.
 
When she’d gone off to her work, silence reasserted itself. He played his viola for half an hour, just scales and exercises and a few folk songs he was learning by heart. This gathering habit was, he would say if asked, to reassert his musicianship, the link between his body and making sound musically. That the viola seemed to resonate throughout his whole body gave him pleasure. He liked the ****** movement required to produce a flowing sequence of bow strokes. The trick at the end of this daily practice was to put the instrument in its case and move immediately to his desk. No pause to check email – that blight on a morning’s work. No pause to look at today’s list. Back to the work in hand: the Mass.
 
But instead his mind and intention seemed to slip sideways and almost unconsciously he found himself sketching (on the few remaining staves of a vocal experiment) what appeared to be a piano piece. The rhythmic flow of it seemed to dance across the page to be halted only when the few empty staves were filled. He knew this was one of those pieces that addressed the pianist, not the listener. He sat back in his chair and imagined a scenario of a pianist opening this music and after a few minutes’ reflection and reading through allowing her hands to move very slowly and silently a few millimetres over the keys.  Such imagining led him to hear possible harmonic simultaneities, dynamics and articulations, though he knew such things would probably be lost or reinvented on a second imagined ‘performance’. No matter. Now his make-believe pianist sounded the first bar out. It had a depth and a richness that surprised him – it was a fine piano. He was touched by its affect. He felt the possibilities of extending what he’d written. So he did. And for the next half an hour lived in the pastures of good continuation, those rich luxuriant meadows reached by a rickerty rackerty bridge and guarded by a troll who today was nowhere to be seen.
 
It was a curious piece. It came to a halt on an enigmatic, go-nowhere / go-anywhere chord after what seemed a short declamatory coda (he later added the marking deliberamente). Then, after a few minutes reflection he wrote a rising arpeggio, a broken chord in which the consonant elements gradually acquired a rising sequence of dissonance pitches until halted by a repetition. As he wrote this ending he realised that the repeated note, an ‘a’ flat, was a kind of fulcrum around which the whole of the music moved. It held an enigmatic presence in the harmony, being sometimes a g# sometimes an ‘a’ flat, and its function often different. It made the music take on a wistful quality.
 
At that point he thought of her little artists’ book series she had titled Tide Marks. Many of these were made of a concertina of folded pages revealing - as your eyes moved through its pages - something akin to the tide’s longitudinal mark. This centred on the page and spread away both upwards and downwards, just like those mirror images of coloured glass seen in a child’s kaleidoscope. No moment of view was ever quite the same, but there were commonalities born of the conditions of a certain day and time.  His ‘Tide Mark’ was just like that. He’d followed a mark made in his imagination from one point to another point a little distant. The musical working out also had a reflection mechanism: what started in one hand became mirrored in the other. He had unexpectedly supplied an ending, this arpegiated gesture of finality that wasn’t properly final but faded away. When he thought further about the role of the ending, he added a few more notes to the arpeggio, but notes that were not be sounded but ghosted, the player miming a press of the keys.
 
He looked at the clock. Nearly five o’clock. The afternoon had all but disappeared. Time had retreated into glorious silence . There had been three whole hours of it. How wonderful that was after months of battling with the incessant and draining turbulence of sound that was ever present in his city life. To be here in this quiet cottage he could now get thoroughly lost – in silence. Even when she was here he could be a few rooms apart, and find silence.
 
A week more of this, a fortnight even . . . but he knew he might only manage a few days before visitors arrived and his long day would be squeezed into the early morning hours and occasional uncertain periods when people were out and about.
 
When she returned, very soon now, she would make tea and cut cake, and they’d sit (like old people they wer
Jessica Claire Apr 2014
I float upon the feelings,
like adrenaline,
I get from simply walking
past you.

You're an unreachable decoration,
displayed in many
of my late night daydreams.

You are up
on the highest shelf;
far from me.

I find myself dwelling,
again,
and again.

You're a decorative mystery,
I'd like to uncover.
tumelo mogomotsi Jan 2017
next time you see me slit my throat
let my blood gush like it did on american streets
mute my screams like i did while the news got old
let your knife **** the silence and ignite the need for equality.

next time you see me pull the trigger on my foolish mouth
shut me up while i complain about my silver spoon
while children die of empty stomachs in the south
let the gun sound wake up people like me to reality.

next time you see me lynch my body
let it hang like decoration to show people that
the silent are like the violent
the mute are like police who shoot
the ones who are quiet while they feast on a meal
are like the crooked politicians who steal.

let my silence be the death of me
and my new found voice be the death of the thoughts of our enemy.



- t.m
Nigel Morgan Nov 2012
A story in three movements after the painting by Mary Elwell*
 
 I

She’s out. Changed her frock, left me a list and her letters on the hall table. I heard the door bang. She was in a hurry. Wednesday afternoon she’s often in a hurry. I don’t know where she goes, but she’s usually back about 9.0, and Mr Fred has his tea by himself. I come in here when she’s out and I’ve done the necessary. It’s a big house and apart from Janet and Elsie in the mornings I look after the place, and her when necessary. She’ll call me into her bedroom to tell me what she wants done with her laundry. She’s fussy, but she can afford to be. She has two wardrobes, what I call her Mrs Fred clothes and her ‘Mrs Knight’ clothes. They’re quite different; like she’s two different people. When she paints she’s someone I don’t know at all – she looks like a *****. She doesn’t belong in this room anyway when she paints. She has her studio in the attic and doesn’t even let Mr Fred in there. I don’t go in there. I’ve never got further than the door. She doesn’t want anyone to see what goes on in there. Oh, I see the pictures when they’re finished. She places them on Mr Fred’s easel in the drawing room and spends hours pacing up and down looking at them. She pulls up a chair and sits there. She doesn’t like being interrupted when she’s doing that. I like to come in here when she’s out. It’s a lady’s bedroom. I don’t think Mr Fred comes in here very often. She likes to go to him when she does, which isn’t often. When I first came here they were always in each other’s bedrooms, but she keeps herself to herself now except when Mrs Knight comes.
 
II
 
 When I was a young man I often used to look up from Walkergate at the windows of this room. You can’t miss them really as you walk towards the Bar. I coveted this house you know. Marrying Mary suddenly made that a possibility. When Holmes died and left her his fortune it came on the market and I said lightly one afternoon – she was in my studio in London – I see Bar House is up for sale. Yes, she said, we could buy it. I think she knew I wasn’t going to get anywhere in London, and she wanted to go back to Yorkshire.  She was from the first going to be her own person having been Holmes’ for ten years – an older man, dull and old. She felt by marrying me, an artist, her desire to be solitary, self-absorbed, would be understood. I don’t often come in here. She comes to me, usually to talk at the end of the day. She doesn’t sleep well, never has. We don’t, well you know, it was all about friendship, companion-ship I suppose, and money. She had it. I didn’t. You know the light in this room is so wonderful in the afternoon – like honey. I like to sit on her bed and think of the days when I would wake in this room. There were two beds here then. She’d be sitting at her writing table in her blue gown. She liked to get up with the dawn and write long letters to her friends, mainly Laura of course. After that first sitting she began writing to me, all about her love of painting and how Alfred had never encouraged her, and would I help her, advise her? She wanted to go to Paris and be in some Impressionist’s atelier. I soon realised in Paris I was never going to be a great artist or a modern painter. There’s one picture from that time . . . only one; that girl from the theatre, Amelie. I’d seen Degas and thought . . . no matter, I could never match her letters. I was always a disappointment. I still am. I would sit down at my desk with one of her letters  - she wrote to me almost every day - and think ‘I’ll just deal with that enquiry from Alsop’s’, and then I’d find another pressing letter, or I’ll look at my accounts, and all my good intentions would be as nothing. If I’d really loved her I would have written I’m sure. It takes time to write, to think what to say. It’s time I always felt I couldn’t allow myself. Painting was more than enough, and more important than letters to Mary. She wanted to talk to me, and wanted me to talk back. So she talks to Laura now, who returns her ‘talk’ with equally long letters – with sketches and caricatures of people she’s met or ‘observed’. Occasionally, I catch sight of one of these illustrated letters on the sitting room sofa, placed inside a book she is reading. I have a box of Mary’s letters, and when she’s away I look at them and read her quiet words – what she’s seen, what she’s read, what she hoped  we might become.
 
 III

I often stand at the door, even today when I’m in a rush, to gaze at my room before going out and leaving it to itself. I love it so in the afternoons when the sun takes hold of it, illuminates it. You know each item of furniture has its own story; my mother’s quilt on my bed, the long mirror from Alfred’s house; my writing box given to me by my Godmother on my 21st; the little blue vase by my wash stand – that back street shop in Venice, my first visit. I stand at the door and think, well, just what do I think? Perhaps I just rest for a moment at the sight of myself reflected in these ‘things’, my possessions, my chosen decoration, the colours and tones and shapes and positions of objects that surround my daily life. My precious pictures; some important gifts, others all about remembrance, a few from my childhood, my first marriage – Alfred was very generous. The silver vase on my writing table glows with delphiniums from the garden – and a single rose from Laura. And today we will meet, as we do on alternate Wednesdays, to drink tea in the Station Hotel, arriving on our different trains from our different lives. This friendship sustains me, and more than she will ever know. She is so resolute, so gifted as an artist. She is a painter. She has imagination, whereas as I just see and record. She puts images together that carry stories. That RA **** – that’s Laura you know – and the painter is me – and wearing a hat for goodness sake! Me paint in a hat! I remember her going through my wardrobe to dress me for that picture. Why the hat? I kept asking. But she made me look as I’ve always wanted to look in a picture – as though I was a real artist and not a wealthy woman who ‘plays’ at painting. Fred’s portraits say nothing to me, whereas Laura’s make me feel weak inside. I remember her trying out that pose in front of my long mirror. ‘Will this do?, she would say, ‘Or this? All I could look at were her long, long fingers, imagining her touch on my arm when she kissed me goodbye.
Lysander Gray Oct 2012
Her mouth glittered agape
With sacred promise,
Like a box of unused
Engagement invites
Christening invites
Birthday invites
Still in the wrapper
For sale at a
Lifeline.

When you’d rather live
In a car
Than the zombie stance
Of a modern house,
Clean and soulless
With a hermetically sealed lawn,
Winter pageantry draws to a close
With bogan’s shooting-
Pearly eyed paupers
With constellations in their gaze.
With eyes full of hope and stars
That burnt bright and fade for
Flickering lens light.

Their voices murmur soft
Through catacomb
And underbrush
As only the ephemeral things are whispered of –
Dreams.
The addicts of ideals
The junkies of hope
The drinkers of despair
Have tiger soft tongues.

They lap and feast gladly,
From broken vessels
Chipped with hazardous teeth
That seek to fill their
Ermine mouths with the ******
Draught
Of truth.
Stumbling through wine-hour
They swarm, with tongues ******
And all constellations burnt out.

The hyacinth rides wild
Upon her shoulder,
Writhes in the silver brunt
Of moonlight,
Writhes in the stillness of dead perfume.

Marching to the beat
Of my enemies drum,
My hands inside my pockets.

Little bluebirds spun from dream
Sit on the holy perch,
A branch in all innocent minds.

The redeemed and patient
Make a subtle art from
Long distance perversions.

Similarly as we chase ghosts over Daffodils.

Fields of winter
under lunar glow
sway without us.

Long distance love
lingers with loose lust
along Regret street.

I hung it next to the memory
Of childhood cooking and Indian summers
Without further thought.

It slipped into the novel that took the form
Of an old coat, slipping into the lined pocket
It sank with a sigh.
Satisfied with itself.

Bombarded by the pounding
Dead eyed stare of ***** goddesses,
Broken by the undisputed angelic
And unglued ones,
All moon faced
All hopelessly optimistic
All lawfully rebellious
With green serenity
We pasted our dreams
On a wall so real it shone gossamer.
He counted the imperfections in the glass
With mind hesitation
As the whole world went black,
In a sea of much deserved discontent,
Wishing for the soft.

A moment of pure luck?
Jesus was an astronaut
Smoking Zen by the fire.

Suicidal angst
never had you in sonnets?
What a ******' shame.

Our life is but a song
We never hear.

I chipped away at the excesses
of my baroque person,
each strike took a
Railing
mounting
wall
decoration
desire
demand
exclamation
from the battlements.
All left now, a hill.

I paid for my banquet
with a sip of loneliness
and left behind the question
that asked all quiet poets
the meaning of love,
that asked all quiet poets
to answer with a villanelle
shouted from every
distant peak.

They sent the troopers
to greet me instead,
and my library was put in shackles,
and I kissed their ***** feet.

I answered that I carved this mountain
from the baroque bedrock
upon which they laid their city.
They smiled and asked about the aqueducts.
I wept and spoke of kitchenettes.

A meal provided
on a lead cast plate
my jailor asked about freedom
I answered with defeat.

There were two atoms
One questioned the meaning of existence
The other the existence of meaning.
             -Regardless they looked the same.

An apple on a branch,I took
The same way history takes a footnote.

The same way cashiers are all doctorates.
The same way trains find the station.
The same way you sing like a bird (and I like a cow).
The same way we never really wish to be writers.
The same way our final friend is made of pine.
The same way all streets lead to nowhere.
The same way all jobs **** society.
The same way we always lie to our children.
The same way a man loves a woman.
The opposite way we ****.
The opposite way we make love.
The way that I know a man who’s totem animal is a worker ant and he is unemployed by choice.
The same way we take old memories and turn them into fashion.
The very same way all sacred things become profane and all profanity becomes sacred in the eyes of many.

Dying relic of the Optimistic Seventies,
A new coat of paint for the old irony
     -slap dashed with obscurity.
Although I wear the costume of my enemy,
I will write the exaltation in blue smoke
As **** by an unsuspecting victim
Occurs in the dark.

The face of another love stares down at me.
I smile.
Yet I know it is not her.
I weep.
A sudden method sparks revival.

Jackie Pleasure wore a gray smile,
The anthem of a lost generation:
‘Happiness is lost in smiling.’

You are dead to me,
the boatman calls
I will not taste of your amber lips
I will not taste.

The welfare of all never hinged on darkness as we fear the fall,
A multitude of angels sang their songs
And never learnt to say goodbye
Or cast a long distance eye
Over half spent desire.

Drawn out caricatures,
Paraded intoxication
Flirt with our mistress death
And have her pick up the tab.
She pays with silent music.

The ***, we learn, is a bridge
Between all words and waltz’s,
Our Light Brigade to conquer art.

In the twilight of this, our mansioned night
Let us ring out true with indulgence,
Excess, abandon and the call of ‘yes’
Kali rang on the wire of a golden telephone.
Her name
“Kali, Kali…”
Like a quarrelsome minotaur
Flew through the waves of silk ideal
And strangled the babe
With cool breath.

There was ice (oh yes!) and fire and song.
With our candles burnt down to the ash of all streets
We walk then. We walk.
All life is but a song.

The ghosts of all forgotten stamps
Now echo on the wind of speech.
On High! Oh speak!
Of songs sung but never danced
With our broken dream.
When starlight meets the dust, and
Shadow eats the snow,
All our stories are satin sheer
And all our wants are gone.
We watch the memories march, until
They find a sliver of chrome that showed that place
Where all piano’s live and breathe.
My father in the wishing well,
My mother played trapeze.
My sister never saw the light,
My brother never born.
That was that,
Where stars meet dust
And floorboards sing off key.
Over the course of several months, I carried a small notebook in which I kept random musings and poetic snippets that came to me. This is the compilation of that.
Tate Morgan Jul 2015
A collection of thoughts and prayers for our friends their families and the whole of humanity. Written by 76
voices from around the world.

The biggest star shines, proudly announced he arrived
My lord Jesus Christ was born to witness the truth
He granted identities to all of us, lost and unknown
Taught us love, peace and harmony, while forgiving all
A. Amos - United States

An ancient mission, a veiled plan
The Son of God, the son of man
A virgins wonder, a humble birth
The King of heaven is born to earth
Adanette - United States

Winter creeps in as fall fades to an end
frost coats the ground and snow begins to drift
tis' the time of year
Christmas is near.
Alicia Schroeder - United States

Let peace on earth begin at home
And spread to friends far and near
Bringing together all those we love
"It's the most wonderful time of the year.
Ana Sophia - Canada

Little excitement triggering at night
What Santa will bring for me this night
Little wish of mine; do listen my lord
Let Santa bring this time happiness for all...
Anne - India

Egg nog, holly, and Christmas wreaths
Pointsettia's white and bright red leaves
Fat, jolly Santa and Jesus' birth
A bright star arises and alights the Earth
Anne - United States

Adorable boy wiping the blur window pane with his poky hands,
and have a wish that santa claus will bring joy through this window,
Gracefully chanting jingle bells, he became santa for his parents,
so santa given the happiness from this side of window
Anshul's Vision - India

Dreamy hot chocolate kisses
steamy snowflake sprinkled wishes
lists of who's been naughty or nice
blend together this wintry spice.
April -United States

We have no jingles or Santa Clause
We have no snow
Still we have spirit of Christmas
Love and hope
Avinash - India

Christmas in Australia,
Sun, summer heat, Christmas outside
Backyards, and Barb-B-ques
Yule tides under the stars
Barb - Australia

Soft Smells of frankincense.
pine needles of fresh scent of bright Christmas Trees
Frosted windowpanes Magical time of the year
with children playing in the snow
Benita - United States

The season of love and joy is upon us
Sunshine or snowfall, no matter the weather
Smiles and laughter, and good cheer among us
When friends and family gather together
Brian - United States

The count down starts
for the best gift ever received
let peace reign in your hearts
as you wait to unwrap it.
Cassie - Kenya

Time is right, the time is near Christmas will soon be here.
Bells will ring and folks will sing "Oh holy Night all is bright
Children will wait with anticipation for Santa to come
Hearts will be warm, and love will abound Christmas is here.
Cheryl Davis - United States

He is the gift.
Jesus Christ,
He can have our burdens lifted,
By the gift of Christ.
C. Lee Battaglia - Unites States

Wind has licked the poor trees clean
All brown and bare in desolation
All except the evergreen
Soon to be sold as decoration
C. Rose - United States

The snow flakes dance in the wind
Shining lights like a magical dream
For those holding on to promises
To find in these times their wishes.
Dayran - Malaysia

Flash floods of snow replace once august plains of paper white
Mystic rivers freeze over as December lets her true colors shine
Incandescent light spreads throughout the ethereal winter night
As chariot of Christmas comes to life for yet another fiery ride
Doorman Dan - United States

A Merry Christmas poem
Always brings me Advent Joy
As we laud the Christ Child
The Birthday of the King
Douglas Raymond Rose - United States

Shattered crystals float to the ground
Stillness lay upon sweet earth
Warmed by angels silent sound
Jesus love bless yuletide hearths
E.Noodle - United States

To the poor and sick this year
I wish a bit of Christmas cheer
From the homeless and forlorn
Stable where a child was born
Fabian G. Franklin - United States

Christmas shines shimmering bright.
Stars spotlight a dance with the snow.
To welcome a merry season with cheer and light.
Bringing peace, joy and warmth for all to know
Fran Marie - United States

Snowflake kisses, full of holly wishes
peaceful rejoices bestowed upon fellow man
warmth of hope abiding a Joyeux Noel,
& muchly good cheer throughout the coming year
Frieda - United States

Lights shimmer,bells jingle on Christmas Tree
Half asleep eyes waiting for Saint Nick
Straight from the Pole wrapped with love & care
The gifts arrived our homes with a conjuring trick!
Frozen Eyes - India

The night before Christmas is known to be magical
With snowflakes in the air and Santa in the fireplace
And a smile plastered on our child's face
When the morning comes, all the magic will be done
Haley Wilson - Canada

Distance keeps us far apart,
Despite the cheer within our hearts.
The Spirits of Yule sing far and wide,
Let their songs brighten our minds.
Hime no Yuki - United States

Stuff your face, there's more to come
Before the games, the laughter and fun
in lively repose we'll mark the feast
With music and song and family treats
IanJohn63 - United kingdom

This reminds us of the true spirit
of the season.
It is much more than the material dreams dancing in our head
peace and love are the real reason
Jacob - United States

Unpack socks,yes this year is dying.
No child on this day coming should be crying.
I would be lying if I said Christmas isn't exciting.
All joy and glee,wouldn't you agree?
John - England

When children dream each year of Christmas,
Whispers from river and mountain pass --
Touching each language, corner, and part,
Wishing this year's dreams unwrap each heart.
K.L.Goode - Canada

Family visits,
where strangers find each other.
Long lost smiles reborn,
to sister and to brother.
Kusa Da Shin Avira - United States

Shining great star from heaven into hearts
Intimate wooden barn with manger in place
Celebrate the birth of Christianity and Jesus
Who died to keep humanity sin-free and safe
Lady Ann Graham-Gilreath - United States

We danced the year's temporary rhythm
Hitting the high or low steps to each tone
Like black and white in a composition
Let's find forte in harmony made
Laury Hitch - Ghana

The festival of lights is near
"Happy Hanukah" a wish we will hear
Every sundown, one candle more
A wish for peace in our hearts will endure
Lydia Shutter - United States

Bright patterned paper parcels waiting
with ribbons gold, green and red
while children peaceful dreaming sleeping
of the stockings hanging on their bed.
Mad Englishman (Clive) - United Kingdom

Drifting droplets over Christmas Tree
Spreading white foam of cracking snow,
Santa stood beside distributing to all free
****** Mary blessed divinity from above.
M.A. Rathore - India

Son of God, salvation of man
At last unto the earth is brought--
Who will remember, indeed who can
Unless final Ipod or Bratz is bought?
Mark Teague - United states

Thoughts toward the poor, sick or dying
Yet another year passes without some knowing
Of Christmas cheer, frolics for them too annoying
All symbolism meant only for those who are growing
Martin - Ireland

The gift of love.
The gift of peace.
The gift of happiness
May all these be yours at Christmas
MBUYISA - South Africa

To one and all I would grant a gift,
blessings for the holiday season.
Hearts overfilled with a joyful lift
from the angels bright holy beacon.
Michael Greenway - United States

In this season of Christmas
Through the eyes of the child
We look up and do believe
In Peace and Mercy mild
Momzilla - United States

Better than men than me,
Make their own mark
on world
and modern history
Moriarty Mesa - United States

Red and green dress our doorsteps
as our holiday dreams of
smiles and laughter, friends and family
fill our hearts with warmth and love
Ms Jewel - United States

O heart, receive Him! "There is no room in the inn."
May that cease to be our case.
May our blessed Savior be most welcome
in our most holy place.
Nautili - United States

Flakes of snow have come to remind,
Regrets, sorrow should be left behind
Prayers, hopes n joy to everyone's mind,
Family come together for dinner and wine.
Nitesh Poojari - India

The rhythmic snow cascades and falls,
Its beauty overshadows the polar air,
And welcomes the Christmas season,
In a glorious dance the waltz …
Nisa - United States

Christmas morning, early, dark, silence abounds
Coffee in hand, watching the deer on the lawn
Waiting for the family, and their rising sounds
Is there anything more peaceful than Christmas dawn?
NoelHC - Canada

Writing out a list, while sitting in my room
Christmas is approaching everyone soon
Decorating my beautiful green tree
Fairy on top, presents underneath
Noodlebumble"Sye" - Scotland

The wheel of joyful tidings on my mind.
We celebrate love and the gift of life
Our hearts rid of hate and squalor
As we dance to the sounds of Christmas
Norbert Dwayne Weweh - Ireland

We came under the inspiration of poem
To celebrate you, often nobly, is your season come?
Delighted hands trenchant: you reign!
Creeping towards the Bethlehem to be born again.
Onyia-ota, Kingsley C. - Nigeria

The problem with his beard
when the child isn't looking
is the rustle that is heard
when he opens up the stocking
Pete Langley - United kingdom

A fire in the heart as angels sing
Young and old caroling sweet and clear
Wishes for love, and Peace on earth
Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year
Phibby Veneble - United States

Where the cold bites and snow may fall
there is always a lesson of beauty within for us all
hold the hand out, next to your own
see the unity of the season,that brings us home
Poppy Ruth Silver - United kindom

Let the tolling bells bring peace on Earth
Be the only fire, your yule-log's warmth
The only red, the cheer of holly
The only fallen … a snowflake's folly
Pryde Foltz - Canada

Excesses of the season have commenced
Remember those beyond your fence.
Beyond the reunions,parties and the food
Find in in your heart to do some good.
(Rachelle) Mara Lin - Philippines - China - UnitedStates

As we celebrate in feast this Christmas Day
may you heal our land and the sick
for your touch of love strengthen the weak
a perfect gift for Christmas Eve
Racquil - Philippines

To each in season warmed at the hearth
Soft carols play as we serenade by the fire
The little babe come of a ****** birth
We come to offer blessings of your desire
Realmwriter -United States

This Christmas cold with winter chill,
snow flows free upon the hill,
within the home, warmth from the hearth
parents give love and children laugh.
Richard Allen Beevor - Cyprus

Star of Bethlehem, snow in the air;
red suit, chimney soot, Santa beware.
The stars all sing from high above
and Christmas wraps my heart with love.
Richard Williams - United States

The warmth and love of those amassed
Gathered 'round the family tree
Brings cherished tales of Christmas past
And gifts us with sweet memory
Rita L. Sev - United States

There shone warm light on a cold night
with the angels over head
Keep watch along with the Wise-men
over this blessed child's bed
Ron - United States

Sharing the joys of sharing
sparkling how life meant to give
receiving the blessings of each day
hallmarking the key role of sharing and giving
Roy Mark Azanza Corrales - Philippines

Stockings hung,carols sung
Tinsel on the tree
Don't forget to thank the one
"Twas born in Galilee
Samuel Dickens - United States

The poinsettia alone in a darkened room
Faithfully again begins to bloom
No particular rhyme or reason
Just a beautiful reminder of Christmas season
Sharon L.H. Kelly - United States

A sunny celebration under a winter sun
never put up a tree, no presents
yet holiday spirit excites, brings fun
amidst cake, tales and dear ones: lovely time spent
Sindu - India

I found myself following the Christmas Star
To Bethlehem not too near or too far
Throughout the dessert I roamed
To meet the Christ Child at the Stable Home
SmittyJas - United States

Hoist the glass to men we once knew
those of us who passed on before
The moments shared with precious few
whose souls we knew in times of yore
Tate Morgan - United States

A feathered mess of ****** bird,
Let's feast the corpse no room for third,
Dear pudding flame cause acid nose,
Let's run it off St. Nick's repose.
Thomas - Ireland

Hope is born on Christmas Day
Bow our heads give thanks as we pray
Peace to family and all our friends
Peace to those across all lands
Tina Kline - Unites States

Another year has come to pass...
With many an opportunity missed...
Yearly resolve comes around so fast..
preceded by yuletide bliss
Timothy Woodfin - United States


Spirits or Christmases past,look on those who celebrate today
With the celebrants of Christmases to come, in life's circular way
We think of those who've past on gone, tell of times past we did enjoy
Knowing someday the child will talk of us, whose engrossed in his new toy..
Tomas O Carthaigh -Ireland

Remember Jesus love of mankind
As we celebrate the holiday
With family and friends
Spreading cheer and love to all
(Tootsie Harvey Novels) Valerie L Harvey - United States

Our lord was born into flesh and bone,
dazzling star above his manger shone,
came to pay our debt though vastly great,
that we may enter the pearly gates.
Valormore De Plume - United States

Dry sands in this winter season
Lonely may seem at heart we rejoice
Hiding vibrant happiness for some reasons
Life in this dome, still we enjoy
Willyam Pax - Saudi Arabia /Phillipines

With smiles all on the children's faces
old folks prepare stockings for the fireplace
Churches singing Amazing Grace
preparing his birthing place
Wordman - United States

"Lovebirds dance with Christmas song
Divine message make them happy
Children clatter ding **** ****
Christmas made them quite sappy"
Zainul - Bangladesh

From our family to yours please try to be good to one another this year. The Cafe is a refuge for us all to hang out, share our lives and dream

Merry Christmas Everyone !!!

Tate
Can a thought or feeling be larger than a universe? Love is the only trait that is worth remembering because it is meant to be given away selflessly. The recipient is as happy to receive it as you were to give it! To my friends those of you whom I hold dear If you'd like to be added to this years Canon message me. I will do my best to add you to this poem.
Nigel Morgan Nov 2012
We’d been to concert at the Town Hall. It was a Saturday night and still early for a Saturday Night Out. So many people on the streets. The girls barely dressed, the boys bouncing around in t-shirts. Older people threaded along the pavements walking purposefully, but ‘properly’ dressed, and now making their way, as we were, for the station.

I know He noticed her because He stopped, momentarily. We were holding hands. He loves to hold my hand. That evening I remember squeezing his hand firmly as if to say how pleased I was He was here and I was not walking to the station alone. I have done this, walking to the station alone, so often. It is good to have someone close at such times, someone to talk to about the performance, the music, what is going on around us. We walked right past them.

I noticed the man first and then the child. He was very tall, very dark, wearing a black leather jacket I think. He was not scruffy so much as untidy, dark and untidy, with curly hair that did not know a comb. He was busking. He sang an incomprehensible song in a language I didn’t recognize, playing an electric guitar plugged into a small amplifier by his feat. He turned from side to side as he sang as though looking for an audience. I remember his trainers and the soft guitar case open on the pavement with a smattering of coins. Then, this child.

Over the last two days I’ve examined the scene in my memory. I’ve sought to recall as much as I can about this little girl. She was not that little I think for her age, perhaps seven or eight. Stocky. Thick golden brown hair. A sensible skirt covering her knees, a fawn jumper with some sparkly decoration. Tights or long socks perhaps. Proper shoes. I keep examining my mind’s photo. What I recall most vividly was her large smiling eyes and her expression. This is my daddy, it said. He’s singing and I’m here looking after him. I’m his smiley girl here on the city street. It’s late. Other children back home would be in bed, but I’m here smiling at the people passing.

Yesterday we talked about this couple, the little girl mostly. He brought the subject up. He’d been thinking about her too. He’d been puzzling over the two of them. As a pair they seemed so physically different, hardly father and daughter. It was the (possible) daughter’s gaze, her twinkling eyes that had spoken to him - as they had spoken to me. This is my daddy, those eyes and that smiley face had said. And she was holding a bear.

Why did I not mention the bear until now? Of course, she was holding her bear. She had both arms around her bear. She was hugging her bear to herself. It was a mild evening for March – she wore no coat. He looked a good bear, not too old or small, not the kind of bear she’d been given in infancy, perhaps recently acquired but well-loved, well-hugged. A bear that seemed entirely right for her age, for her slightly old fashioned clothes. The sort of clothes I might have worn as a child. I think of a photo of me at that age dressed in a Cloth-Kits dress, with an Alice band, with glasses and lots of curly hair.  

He said ‘I’ve been wondering about the two of them. Did they have a home? Where would they go to when it became late?’ Was there a mother? Was she working somewhere on that Saturday night and the father had to take the girl. Was she wearing her best clothes? She looked OK. A glowing, healthy face, a face that reflected the bright, coloured lights of the city street.’

Suddenly, I realised there were tears in his eyes. I thought, He is imagining a story. He is imagining a story of this seven year old who should have been tucked up in bed with her bear, like my little boy with his blue blanket. He was imagining her life., her past in some Eastern European town, where she went to school, where she had friends and relatives, where she had been born and brought up, and been loved. And now the girl was here in this not so distant city. Perhaps illegally, without the papers, smuggled in as so many are. Her father, swarthy, even a tinge of the Roma perhaps, but she so different. It was the golden brown hair. Thick hair, a ribbon tied in it. A pink ribbon.

He had thought of his little girl, now fifteen, only when she was that age, seven. Oddly similar in some ways, the thick hair, the smiley face, a different but ever present bear, an infant’s bear, not a bear she’d take with her except in a bag. A bear not to be seen with at seven, but loved.

‘I’ll call her Katya,’ He said. The girl, not the bear.

And later He did. Every few days He would mention her – just in passing. ‘Do you think Katya’s  at school today?’ ‘I was in the city this afternoon, but I didn’t see Katya.’

He wrote about her and her father. A little story. I haven’t read it. He just told me He’d written it; He’d thought of following them in his imagination. He was a little embarrassed telling me this, and He didn’t offer to show me the story, which is unusual because when He mentions He’s written something He usually does. And so I wonder. I wonder how long this memory will stay with him and whether He will follow this couple (and her bear) into the future, create a story for them to live in.

Perhaps it will bring him the peace He does not have. The peace I try to give him when He is with me at home and we sit in my little house, at my table eating toast with Marmite after I’ve been out late whilst He’s sat on my settee and read – in peace at being in my home. I know He feels cast adrift from his family and He can’t be part of mine, yet a while. Perhaps it’s like being in another country. Perhaps He thinks, at least that busker had his child with him, his shining star, his ever-smiley girl.

Yet He is thinking of his smiley girl, smiley still at fifteen, still loving her dad despite what He’s done, despite the fact that she sees him so seldom. Despite the fact that He is only occasionally with her, and she knowing I, his lover, his young woman, his companion and friend, has captured his heart and thoughts.

I think of Katya too. I think of my older girl, so loved and circled about with love and admiration by her respective families and our friends. She is so special and so beautiful, as I was special at eleven, as I think I was beautiful at eleven, just on the brink of that transformation that will take her towards becoming a teenager – and the rest.  

We were lying in bed the Saturday morning before seeing Katya and I was telling him about my childhood. He’d asked me about zebra finches. Walking in his nearby park He had admired their bright red beaks in the park’s newly-restored aviary. I told him about a parrot in a park close to my childhood home, a parrot I passed as I went to school. I described for him my walk to school, meeting up with my friends, passing the parrot. I know how happy it made him to hear me talk about such things. He said so later, embracing me in the kitchen. ’I so love to hear you talk about your childhood.’ I could feel he was moved to say this. It was important. I realised then just how deeply he loved me. That it was important. That he imagined me as a child. That He wanted to know that part of me. He’s rarely asked about the stuff in between. Of my former lovers I’ve said a little. He has said a little about his past liaisons and affaires, but knows I am uncomfortable when he does. So we leave this. But childhood, That’s so different, because it is that precious, precious time of shelter and care: when we begin to discover who we are and who and what we love.

Where is Katya now? In a messy room she shares with her parents in a house shared with economic migrants, where she has a few belongings in three plastic bags. In one, her best clothes she wears to stand on the city street on a Saturday night with her daddy. In another a jumble of not so clean clothes she rotates each day. She has her sleeping bag, her bear, her warm coat and gloves. There’s a few magazines she’s found about the house. English is puzzling. She learnt a little at school back home, and from the TV of course, those American soaps. If she was here in my house I would stand her in the shower, wash her thick hair, put her clothes in the machine, sit her on my bed in my daughter’s clothes with some picture books, introduce her to my cats, we would bake some buns. I would give her a small gift of my love to take away with her and she would look on me with her smiley face, her sparkling eyes and let me hold her bear.

And later when I saw him I would tell him that Katya had been with me for a little, and tears would fall, mine and his, knowing that only in our dreams could we make this so.
There is a Christmas Story
For each light upon the tree
A tale to share with others
For each light that you can see
Stories of the presents
Of the times from long before
There are stories in the light string
Go to the past...step through the door

Each light brings on a feeling
As each decoration does as well
There are stories long forgotten
There are stories you should tell
Of Uncle Mike and Aunty Pat
Of skiing down the hill
Of Christmas' from long ago
You think about them still

A simple decoration
Brings a picture to your mind
Of the Christmas you first got this
Of the friends you've left behind
Of road hockey on Christmas Day
And making snowmen in the yard
It doesn't take much to find the memory
It really isn't all that hard

The tree and place is different
And the people come and go
Remember back that Christmas
When there wasn't any snow
The pictures may be buried
And the gifts, now out of sight
But, if you look closely at the tree now
You'll see a story in each light

Spend some time this Christmas
Sing some songs, remember back
Of the Christmas's forgotten
Of the people you've lost track
Look deep inside the light string
Find the stories in each light
Tell the stories to your loved ones
On this Merry Christmas night
Anonymous Jun 2014
And looking back at it-
I swear you ****** the life out of me
Faster than you burn through your cigarettes
You left me there;
Charred and used
Just another decoration in the sewer drain
You stepped on me
To make sure that my light was completely gone
As you reached in your back pocket and pulled out another one
Kevin Eli Jan 2016
Delayed response to ground control, oh how I was crying.
In retrospect, I was just shallow; like an astronaut only watching
himself as the rest of the world kept steadily spinning.
Impersonal up here, never caring about winning or losing.

The star charts that mentors showed lost to what my mind followed,
A winding path through this sacred space which I unhallowed.
I didn't flinch at blastoff; it wasn't bravery, it was me being a coward.

Sweating in a far away bed, steel round walls with no decoration,
Straining my mind fighting the moments of suffocation.
Spots in my vision, distortion and discoloration.
Seeing stars I glimpsed my comet on exhibition.
I would have to come back around. It was just a matter of my rotation.

Retrospect from ages back and to beyond where we will have gone.
Black holes made that can never be filled, endless they came, endless they will come. To touch down in glory, or stay on the run. Life is just a rocket that departs from the sun. The rest isn't lost, it just hasn't been done.

So as we eventually drift into deep space and age becomes our dawn, remember to look out the window and wave to the passerby's.
They will cheer you on.
Sam Conrad Nov 2013
The Purple Heart

Is not only a military decoration,
Though that decoration is deservingly given,
To those who perished in some way, serving their country,
For "Being wounded or killed in any action against an enemy of the United States
or as a result of an act of any such enemy or opposing armed forces."

You see now,
The Purple Heart,
It's also means what I have, The Purple Heart.
It's the type of heart disease that society and medicine don't talk about,
The kind you get after your heart's been beaten up.

I'm not the only person with The Purple Heart,
It's actually an epidemic, and it kills people every day --
But nobody wants to talk about it,
Because if they talk about it,
They just might catch it too.

The Purple Heart doesn't just affect the heart,
It gets in the blood, it eats at the mind,
Coursing through the veins of unsuspecting victims,
Victims of abuse, negligence, turmoil, but they don't get medals, they get pushed down,
Victims that are heroes.
mvvenkataraman Sep 2012
Dream high always
Then only you can win
All great ambitions
Can be by faith realized

Hard-work lays the foundation
Hope builds the upper structure
Wishes do lovely decoration
Then life is strongly built

We must make movement
In a constructive fashion
Our mission must be success
That helps realize all our goals

In case we wait for just luck
We will never at all progress
Laziness will surely dominate
Our future is then doomed

We must work non-stop
With a golden motto
If our deeds are supreme
Our desires turn fruitful.

mvvenkataraman
Only by aiming ambitiously, We do acts very gloriously, By attempting seriously, We live on earth prosperously. Efforts do magic, Due to sheer logic, Idleness makes life tragic, So to hard-work, better to stick.
Scottie Green Jul 2012
I’ve always been the quiet type, never one to do the speaking, just listening and observing the lives of those around me.
If I can remember correctly, I began as a light blue, sheltering a newborn baby, Conner, I was covered in wallpaper lined by teddy bears with white silk bow ties like pin stripe pants.
Those few days before his birth in ’62 were filled with anxiety and anticipation, with his parents sneaking in to gaze upon my blue coat, tears in their eyes for the gift that they were days away from receiving. However, they would soon find that the young baby spent little time in my embrace other than evening naps, otherwise his cries became loud with the longing for his mum.

Six years later the teddy bears came down from the walls along with the crib, to be replaced by a bed, the baby blue coat replaced by a loud red.
Watching him grow, I saw his good days and his bad, he was built for math, fast cars, and jubilant laughter.
He had come to me in the midst of April when the flowers outside the windows bloomed, and left for a university after they flowered a mere twelve times.
Once again, his parents visited me, with tears in their eyes as if by being with me his presence would be restored.

His father had talked of a promotion he’d dreamed of, so with more money they were off to a more luxurious home, I was not sad, I was not lonely, I was happy.

I was alone for a while, while the wallpaper had been striped from me and I lay bear and exposed for quite some time, only briefly being introduced to new families by a smiling woman with high heels and big hair.
A group of four moved in, Tom, Adam, Lana, and Louisa. They painted my walls a bright yellow and carpeted my wooden floors, they added filing cabinets, desks, a white board, a telephone, and a book shelf that decorated my left side.
The boys were mechanics, around thirty years at the time, and worked strenuous hours. They bent over their desks re-drawing, re-scaling, and re-shaping until perfection.
Blue prints poured from their cabinets. The two girls owned a boutique down by the grocery store, I saw them less often, but they didn’t bring home their work, only their stories and their stress. It was a short acquaintance with the group, as their hearts were set on the big city and soon their paychecks were capable of supporting that lifestyle.

I was not sad, I was not lonely, I was happy for them.

The following year in ’88 a family of four moved in.
John, Ali and their twin girls converted me to a gym with barbells and some odd-looking mechanism called a “Bo Flex” used for hanging up dry cleaning and attracting the dust.
By then my vibrant yellow walls had faded to beige and my beige carpet had faded to yellow.

I don’t know much about those folks, as in-home gyms are more for decoration than utilization, I guess. The girls visited on days when the heat was unbearable in the Texas sun, running in with loud laughter as they let their weight thud into the ground. They sprawled themselves out on my floors making snow angels, in my warm, worn carpet. Oh, how I loved their attention!

They also left the windows open unlike Adam and Tom, so even when they weren’t around the sunshine kept me company. After fourteen years Bailey left shortly after Annie. I rarely saw anyone for a year or so after that.
The house became too big for John and Ali, and they decided to make the move to Florida that they’d always dreamed of.

The movers came and lifted the heavy weights from my creaking floors, but I was not sad, I was not lonely, I was happy.

The last person that came to live among my embrace was the eldest daughter of three girls. She and I became the closest of all prior inhabitants. Perhaps it was because of the frequent lack of happiness in her eyes, it was the only time I’d had an issue with my inability to intervene in a situation and speak as opposed to listening.
She left my walls there bare color, but adorned me with newspaper clippings and photographs. I was never lonely because her sisters looked up to her, never wanting to leave me, because they never wanted to leave her.
She was more imaginative than the young boy, and more precise than the mechanics.
The music she played was constant and expansive, from Sinatra and Coltrane to A Tribe Called Quest and the Rolling stones. It all correlated with her mood, causing me great joy when the tempo was fast, and depression in times when the dark music fell upon the room.
Her life appeared to be a struggle, as she often threw herself upon the carpet crying until late hours in the night. Only to wake up before the sun rose to write lengthy accounts of the inexplicable sadness she frequently experienced.

Soon she found the help that I was unable to provide with a therapist who visited her in the privacy of her own bedroom. The kind woman encouraged her to participate in activities beyond the confines of my four walls.
She had dreamed to be a psychologist, she wanted to help people, because she knew first hand how much some really needed it. And at age eighteen, that’s exactly what she set off to become.

She moved to Boulder the university she had written about and had wanted to attend for years past.
So I was not sad, I was not lonely, I was happy for her.

She doesn’t rest within my walls and doesn’t watch my flowers bloom, but the sisters, they often come back to visit and roll up the blinds to let the sun shine in, practice their own talents, and fall in love with their own dreams, I am not lonely, they don’t leave me. In fact, one of them is sprawled out upon my floor now, taking over her sister’s absence with a pen and paper of her own.
This is something I originally wrote a few years ago when my sister was leaving for school. I read it to her and allowed her to edit it. Since then I haven't been able to find the original version so she deserves proper credit for the part she did in touching it up as far as word choice, punctuation, and small additions and subtractions to my piece of work. I hope you enjoyed it!
Stick with me, friend.
I’d like to make a distinction:
I revere writers but do not deify them.
My heroes and role models must be grounded,
Must have so-called feet of clay.
And there’s always something more in my craw,
Whenever I see scribblers carved in marble,
Glorified to the point of divinity and magic.
Because in my heart of hearts,
Reverence for writers,
Is an odyssey of disillusionment and

I fancy myself a man of letters,
Although “Humanoid of Keystrokes,”
Might be more apt; an appellation,
Digitally au courant.
I am a man on verbal fire,
Perhaps, I am of a Lost Generation myself.
And don’t you dare tell me to sit down, to calm down.
You stand up when you tell a story.
Even Hemingway--even when he was sitting down--knew that.
Let us go then you and I.
Moving our moveable feast to Paris,
To France, European Union, Earth, Milky Way Galaxy.
(Stick with me, Babaloo!)
Why not join Papa at a tiny table at Les Deux Magots,
Savoring the portugaises,
Working off the buzz of a good Pouilly-Fuisse
At 10:30 in the morning.
The writing: going fast and well.

Why not join that pompous windbag ******* artist?
As he tries to convince Ava Gardner,
That writers tienen cajones grandes, tambien—
Have big ***** too—just like Bullfighters,
Living their lives all the way up.
That writing requires a torero’s finesse and fearlessness.
That to be a writer is to be a real man.
A GOD MAN!
Papa is self-important at being Ernest,
(**** me: some lines cannot be resisted.)
Ava’s **** is on fire.
She can just make him out,
Can just picture him through her libidinous haze,
Leaping the corrida wall,
Setting her up for photos ops with Luis Miguel Dominguín,
And Antonio Ordóñez, his brother-in-law rival,
During that most dangerous summer of 1959.
Or, her chance to set up a *******,
With Manolete and El Cordobés,
While a really *******,
Completely defeated & destroyed 2,000-pound bull,
Bleeds out on the arena sand.

Although I revere writers,
I refuse to deify them.
A famous writer must be brought down to earth--
Forcibly if necessary--
Chained to a rock in the Caucasus,
Their liver noshed on by an eagle.
In short: the abject humiliation of mortality.
Punished, ridiculed and laughed at.
Laughing himself silly,
******* on one’s self-indulgent, egocentric universe.
If not, what hope do any of us have?

Writing for Ernie may have been a divine gift,
His daily spiritual communion and routine,
A mere sacramental taking of dictation from God,
But for most of us writing is just ******* self-torture.
The Hemingway Hero:
Whatever happened to him on the Italian-Austrian front in 1918
May have been painful but was hardly heroic.
The ******* was an ambulance driver for Christ’s sake.
Distributing chocolate and cigarettes to Italian soldiers,
In the trenches behind the front lines,
A far cry from actual combat.
Besides, he was only on the job for two weeks,
Before he ****** up somehow,
Driving his meat-wagon over a live artillery shell.
That BB-sized shrapnel in his legs,
Turned out to be his million-dollar wound,
A gift that kept on giving,
Putting him in line for a fortunate series of biographic details, to wit:
Time at an Italian convalescent hospital in Milano,
Staffed by ***** English nurses,
Who liked to give the teenage soldiers slurpy BJs,
Delirious ******* in the middle of the night,
Sent to Paris as a Toronto Star reporter,
******* up to that big **** Gertrude Stein,
Sweet-talking Sylvia Beach,
At Shakespeare & Company bookstore,
Hitting her up for small loans,
Manipulating and conning Scott Fitzgerald—
The Hark the Herald Jazz Age Angel—
Exploiting F. Scott’s contacts at Scribners,
To get The Sun Also Rises published.
Fitzgerald acted as his literary agent and advocate,
Even performing some crucial editing on the manuscript.
Hemingway got payback for this friendship years later,
By telling the world in A Moveable Feast,
That Zelda convinced Scott he had a small ****--
Yeah, all of it stems from those bumps & bruises,
Scrapes & scratches he got near Schio,
Along the Piave River on July 8, 1918.
Slap on an Italian Silver Medal of Valor—
An ostentatious decoration of dubious Napoleonic lineage—
40,000 of which were liberally dispensed during WWI—
And Ernie was on his way.

Was there ever a more arrogant, world-class scumbag;
A more graceless-under-pressure,
Sorry excuse of a machismo show-horse?
Look: I think Hemingway was a great writer,
But he was a gigantic gasbag,
A self-indulgent *****,
And a mean-spirited bully—
That bogus facade he put on as this writer/slash/bullfighter,
Kilimanjaro, great white hunter,
Big game Bwana,
Sport fishing, hard drinking,
Swinging-****, womanizing,
*** I-******-Ava-Gardner bragging rights—all of it—
Just made him a bigger, poorer excuse for a human being,
When the chips were finally down,
When the truth finally caught up with him,
In the early morning hours,
Of July 2, 1961, in Ketchum, Idaho.
I can’t think of a more pathetic writer’s life than
Hemingway’s last few years.
Sixty electric shock treatments,
And the ******* still killed himself.

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So why am I still mesmerized by,
The whole Hemingway hero thing?
That stoicism, the grace under pressure,
That real men don’t eat quiche,
A la Norman Mailer crap?
I guess I can relate to both Hemingway the Matador,
And Hemingway the Pompous *******,
Not to mention Mailer who stabbed his second of six wives,
And threw his fourth out of a third-floor window.
One thing’s for sure: I’m living life all the way up,
Thanks to a steady supply of medical cannabis,
And some freaky chocolate chip cookies
From the Area 51--Our Products are Out of this World—Bakery
(“In compliance with CA prop 215 SE 420, Section 11362.5,
And 11362.7 of CA H.S.C. Do not drive,
Or operate heavy equipment,
While under the influence.
Keep out of reach of children,
And comedian Aziz Ansari.”)

So getting back to Hemingway,
I return to Cuba to work on my book.
During the day--usually in the early morning hours--
When “the characters drive me up there,”
I climb to my tower room,
Stand up at my typewriter in the upstairs alcove.
I stand up to tell my story because last night,
Everyone got drunk and threw all the ******* furniture in the pool.
By the way, I’m putting together my Nobel Prize acceptance speech.
I can’t decide between:
“I may be defeated but I’ll never be destroyed,” or
“You can destroy me but you’ll never defeat me.”
The kind of artistic doublespeak they love in Sweden.
Maybe: “Night falls and day breaks, but no one gets hurt.”
God help me.
I need to come up with a bunch of real pithy crap soon.
Maybe I’ll just smoke a joint before the speech and,
Start riffing off the cuff about literary good taste:

“In my novel, For Whom the Bell Tolls, for example, I had Maria tell Pilar that the earth moved, but left out the parts about Robert Jordan’s ******* and the tube of Astroglide.”

Stockholm’s only a month away,
So I’m under a lot of pressure.
Where’s Princess Grace under Pressure when I need her?
I used to work for the Kansas City Star,
Working with newspaper people who advocated:
Short sentences.
Short paragraphs.
Active verbs.
Authenticity.
Compression.
Clarity.
Immediacy.
Those were the only rules I ever learned,
For the business of writing,
But my prose tended to be a bit clipped, to wit:
A simple series,
Of simple declarative sentences,
For simpletons.
I’m told my stuff is real popular with Special-Ed kids,
And those ******* that run
The International Imitation Hemingway Competition,
AKA: The Bad Hemingway Contest.
The truth is: I always wanted to get a bit more flowery,
Especially after I found out I got paid by the word.
That’s when the *** and **** proved mighty useful.
        
I live at La Finca Vigia:
My house in San Francisco de Paula,
A Havana suburb.
My other place is in town,
Room #511 at the Hotel Ambos Mundos,
Where on a regular basis I _
(Insert simple declarative Anglo-Saxon expletive)
My guantanmera on a regular basis.
But La Finca’s the real party pad.
Fidel and Che and the rest of the Granma (aka “The Minnow”) crew
Come down from the mountains,
To use my shower and refresh themselves,
On an irregular basis.
At night we drink mojitos, daiquiris or,
The *** & coke some people call Cuba Libre.
We drink the *** and plan strategy,
Make plans for taking out Fulgencio Batista,
And his Mafia cronies,
Using the small arms and hand grenades,
We got from Allen Dulles.

Of course, after the Bay of Pigs debacle,
You had to go, Ernesto.
Kennedy had the CIA stage your suicide,
And that was all she wrote.
And all you wrote.
Never having had a chance,
To tell the 1960s Baby Boomers about class warfare in America.
Poor pathetic Papa Hemingway.
Lenin and Stalin may have ruined Marxism,
But Marx was no dummy.
Not in your book.
Or mine.
vircapio gale Jul 2012
the story went as though
she'd always known the sea
and trusted in its depth
to mellow any ill, caress her
open lovingkind as in a dream.
and dream she would upon the waves,
having settled into floating reverie.
she'd close her eyes and inhale being
there among herself caressing only
ocean, only breath, all sunlit space
to draw her earthly trials gently out.
softened beachside noise would fade
and let alone her ears to hear
the water oneness dipping clear
and deeper in the troughs, for distance
from the stranded holidays,
the beachy noise of seaside frills
and bear her boyancy to rest
in lilting motion, peaceful cresting sleep
atop an intercontinental,
earthsize water bed.
her trust profoundly spanned
the trans-atlantic rift
and any rift to set apart her undulating
ancient ocean mastery. moon
and sun were kneading vastly where
her snores were lost in starfish whispers balancing
the tidal volume set
to always fill and keep afloat,
or otherwise to wake in
sputters and a salty throat.
her body settles into swinging comfort
napping over waves so deep the shore recedes...
... what bright, kind, clarity cascaded in your dreams?
what heart you had, embracing open quiddity,
never sinking nowness breath alert in lucid sleep
and water surface mystic skyward shallow course?
to merfolk gazing up in wonderment
you limply crossed their bouncing sky,
just another flight of fancy in a world of mystery?
did you dream you were a whalesong
sphering out to carry sadness sonorously? did you
school the many impulse-thoughts to clump and flee
the jaws of time? did you bask in light
and find a shining womb of self
to nurture once again and labor out anew?
did gravity make sense to you?
i float sometimes and live that question true.
sleeping far you drifted out and out and in and out of view
and whistles drowned in gathered drama fear
'my grandma! my grandma!'
screamed my cousin at the lifeguard
sweating ******* and leaping over stroke to spash
into your side a breathless shouting mess for you to calm
and ask 'what's wrong?' and angle slowly back to shore
in fits of giggles, bubble laughter at commotion's reach.
they blink in crowds, standing herdlike on the beach.

and now you swim your last,
another summer day.
like any other i awoke
and fed you eggs, so soft
     (at first it wrinkled my nose),
but taste is strange, and slimy works
just fine sometimes,
like in the absence of teeth.
she never liked her dentures,
     (she said she couldn't taste her food)
and gummed her frozen dinner meals with a smile,
like it was the greatest thing in the world.
     (in fact she'd often say, 'that was the best meal i had ever had',
     and with a force that made me happy to suspend my doubt)
and who am i, judging
that which you select? your pills,
your diapers and your vote,
your shows, your nursery rhymes,
your crown manipulation,
your age?
i use abjection well,
as something not unlike a whetstone for denial.
performing daily rituals i abhor
i retrain and edit, revising social eyes:
dilapidated fictions, safer norms
and mores tailored to a loan
with interest from the self.

she didn't call herself a 'nudist,'
though she lived beyond the fence
living **** for decades saying
'i'll never leave, i love my home.'
we played dominoes 'til noon
'another kind of indoor game, one on a side'
her interpretation of my being there
changed soon, like my aversion
for the liquid yoke she buttered with a spoon.
our neighbors loved her and i,
and to meander down our path,
lay their towels and sit
like all there was to do was visit.
lunched,
she hobbles from her plants back to the sink,
and filling the cat dish, stands
century-old arms akimbo
in the doorway, with a sigh to wake the sun.
being of caretaking was never so fun.
holding hands i help her over roots,
around the rocky sections, through
the easy path and level now
she hobbles sure, the cane a decoration
for her pride at being old and young
at heart and quick at stories overtold
in grooves to satisfy the sense of time.
greetings shower us with beaming smiles,
inching to the sandy edge. denuding,
joining everyone, we stand engulfed
in air. modern digambar to don
a vaster cloth of letting be.
skinny dipping grandma, and me.
the water slips around
her fraglile skin, human driftwood
knotted with a smile.
a grand mother slipping through akashic cracks
to undiscover friends their seeing core.
they wonder at the shore
of hoary plight
and wonder on, once we're gone.
Asphyxiophilia Sep 2013
You shouldn't kiss guardrails
Because they have chapped lips
And the jagged edges
Will slice your tongue
Whenever you touch them

You shouldn't kiss guardrails
Because metal on metal
Isn't a forgiving sound
But you already know that
From when you had your first kiss
And you were each wearing braces

You shouldn't kiss telephone poles
Because they are sensitive
And will bite your lip with an electric current
But not in the way that you were hoping

And rear view mirrors aren't for decoration
But you never bothered to look at them
When you were desperately switching lanes
And speedometers aren't for your entertainment
But you always enjoyed watching the needle fluctuate
As though your life depended on it
(It did)

And the high beams of oncoming cars
Aren't Christmas lights in restaurant windows
And crashing through the windshields
Won't bring you any closer
To the apple pie the bakery down the street made
That always reminded you of home

And even though you no longer recognize
The town you grew up in
Or the boy you fell in love with
You shouldn't kiss guardrails
Because they might kiss you back
But not in the way that you were hoping.
David Barr Nov 2013
Can you feel the grain of antique furniture as it rests in a collectible era of ancient insight? The first meal of the day no longer appeals to me amidst the carnivorous projections of feminine vocals, because the casual walkways of a house and its cereal expectancy have equality with Italian sausages and dishes of tabular wonder.
Dust the cobwebs from the curiosity of flaking window frames. Will you open the door to the nether region of symbolic ecodesigns?
Feel Mar 2013
Her skin looks pale,

White shedding brown,

like a golden brown velvet

strewn across a skeleton

made from Cleopatra’s frame.

There is nothing to it,

her sway is flawless

in her stilettos,

O’ God those stilettos.

She pave the roads with

blossoms of Primrose

and Calla Lilies, as the tip

of her heels stab the earth.



Her body melts cotton candies

in winter,

her curve bakes pastries

in snowy mountains,

It was an unbelievable sight,

like a sunrise, she climbs the edges

of the highest of peaks,

like the wind, she enters a heart by

the creaks; like a creep.

Perhaps nothing shall stop her,

Her footsteps continue to pierce

the soil, making a sound close to the

cracking of my knuckles.



She made people snivel and weep

when she enters the room

with her slender black dress.

She makes heads turn almost

to their full circle,

it would be death to steal a

peek, or glance, a peep.

She is the sun on earth:

hot and highly radiated

but too tempting to be left alone.

She is like the still waters:

calm, clean and serene

but too quiet to know the depth;

and still willingly jump in.

It is like believing again.

She is like believing again.



She is tiny as is her name,

It shall rhyme as the bell shines,

Her hair, her coiled twisted hair,

is much like herself: curled, twisted

bended.

Yet she is, perhaps, the twist in life,

the curl of wind on her bosoms, or

the bend of spines when eyes turn

to gaze at her splendor.

It is uncertain what she is,

but I know, vaguely.

She, like a Zinnia, shall be the

decoration of this planet.

She shall be, though exaggerated,

the reason for our existence.

She, corrupted and dangerous,

shall reclaim her spot in divinity

and shall forever more be

my source of inspiration.



Like a stream of clear water,

gushing down the torrent

ovately,

ornately,

creatively,

purposefully…

She shall see herself,

breathe herself and know that

only she is the one she could

deliberately fall…

…or fail.

The black sand shall be her dress,

the grey rocks shall be her stilettos,

that clear water be her conscience

as she takes on the world.

With her cursive eye shadows

she will see the funny side of

life; she will see it thoroughly.

She, regardless, will persist

and resist the failure

of herself, with the moist

creek on her seductive lips.



She is seduction.

She is temptation.
Aaron LaLux Feb 2018
Spent the last 3 nights with 4 girls,
I’m tired no spare tire I’ll spare you the details,
riding ***** in the fast lane,
trying to drive faster than the Evils,
didn’t even know the girls nor did I protect myself,
so I hope I don’t get a virus like an email,
on E she’ll flood like a sea swell,
caught in the rush blinded by the light so I don’t see well,

meanwhile,

while we’re free as a dolphin or a bird,
high in a hive liking life like where the bees dwell,
they as in the ones that hate are outta water,
like a fish or better yet like a beached whale,

well,
if you’ve got stories pray tell,
and if you don’t then please step aside,
and let a real Story teller tell the tales,

see I go through it do you don’t have to do it,
all in all the time see I saw my chance and I took it,
because life is a one way street there’s no rewind or repeat,
so take every opportunity because you never want to have to say you blew it,

I really do it,

I worldwide travel with the girls I gather,
life’s a trip that’s why we stay fly,
head in the clouds feet on the ground,
if you want to find my you can check Cloud 9,

doing fine,
with some fine felines,
at kitty corner with a *****,
intoxicated from their provocative nature no need for wine,

and don’t get me wrong,
that’s kitty with two T’s not two D’s,
see I like my women fully developed,
I like a nice bush and a good pair of *******,

here kitty kitty,
I know I’m a dog but I won’t bite,
what I will do however,
is give you the ride of your life,

and that’s no lie,

and please don’t fight,
see I’m man enough to satisfy 4 at the same time,
while most men can’t even satisfy one,
at home with a limp **** and a wife that’s dissatisfied,

but hey cheer up maybe you should go the queer route,
because it’s obvious that you can’t please the women in your life,
with a physical addiction to ****** that that’ll help your ***** condition it’s sad bro,
see really men are just born with the skills to please we don’t even need to try,

that’s why I spent the last 3 nights with 4 girls,
I’m tired no spare tire I’ll spare you the details,
riding ***** in the fast lane,
trying to drive faster than the Evils,
didn’t even know the girls nor did I protect myself,
so I hope I don’t get a virus like an email,
on E she’ll flood like a sea swell,
caught in the rush blinded by the light so I don’t see well,

and that’s fine because these Divine Felines support me well,
and in return I support them too,
I’ve got their back 100%,
anything they want I’m willing to do,

they are my reason for being,
they are the breath in my lungs,
they are the motivation to keep proceeding,
to succeed in getting things done,

so when they call I come,
and when they’re on they come,
and they help each other out too,
because that’s half the fun,

fck,

almost feels better when I feel the pleasure,
of two women coming together at the same time,
than when I come myself I mean I’m over that,
I’d rather hold a cobra cat’s back as she has an ******* attack up her spine,

completely addicted to the feeling we get when,
we’re all coming in unison moving in tune as one,
it’s really the only reason I live I love every part of it,
everything else is just moments that happen to and from,

seriously,
everything else other than sensuality with me **** C’s,
is just external experiences that happen,
during all that time that is in between,

every meal every movie every drive every hike,
is just the decoration around the core of my life,
see the core of my life is the women I love,
which explains why I was with 4 women in 3 nights,

and just to be clear they were all together,
friends that wanted to share me and have no other man,
see all those fantasies that other guys have,
well that’s my real life so blessed that people are like “****”,

“How do you do it?”,
well I start with the truth then move with the music,
you either have it or you don’t and I’m a Natural Born Lover,
I’ve been blessed with these gifts from God and I use this,
to caress every princess that’s in distress from not being pleasured,
see I’ve realized that most of the men out there are stupid and useless,
their sensual sentiments have been censored they don’t even know how to enter,
students without a mentor detectives without any leads in other words they’re clues,

while I’ve realized the Divine Nature of the Divine Feline,
and how to balance extremes,
see there’s a fine line between Love & Hate,
which is why most women want to both moan and scream,

there’s a fine line between treating a girl like a ****,
and treating a girl like a queen,
because a lot of women like to be both in control and controlled,
you know what I mean,

they want to make love sometimes,
and other times they want to ****,
they want you to be gentle with them one day,
and then the next they’ll want you to be rough,

there’s almost a form of mental telepathy,
to fully be able to communicate in a way that’s correct,
but above all else please remember one thing,
before anything else there must be respect,

so have respect for every women in your life,
and the rest will likely naturally follow,
and then one day maybe you two,
can have 4 women together in one night and feel like you’re Apollo,

spent the last 3 nights with 4 girls,
I’m tired no spare tire I’ll spare you the details,
riding ***** in the fast lane,
trying to drive faster than the Evils,
didn’t even know the girls nor did I protect myself,
so I hope I don’t get a virus like an email,
on E she’ll flood like a sea swell,
caught in the rush blinded by the light so I don’t see well…

∆ LaLux ∆

new book for FREE here: www.scribd.com/document/367036005/The-Sydney-Sessions-12-Steps
Unmanned, like a bull bereft of all;
a flaccid decoration without use;
at least if thee had what I have
thou could be a woman; ******
hiding your treasure for marriage
and hypocrisy. And leave me
with empty decoration; rings
without sense, dresses without purpose.

Go about your business thou say
I want nothing to do with thee now;
yet not a month ago it was all Peggy this,
Peggy that; such are the changes
of the seasons. I do not want to give birth
to an empty ache; wet nurse it; teach it
its father's worth; I cannot tell the ache
how we loved, how we met, how we joyed.

I cannot sit round this mughouse days
and months I must out into the world
roll in the smell of Man again
with a jug of ale in one hand
and earning a stony crust
from some wight with a jangling purse.
And forget the bull that was castrated.
An historical poem from a sequence about a Quaker in Barnsley who has to decide between two women.
Xander Duncan May 2014
My sassy gay friend
Is not an accessory
When you go rooting through the closet and find him
Lacing straight ties into chains
Do not think that he will complete your outfit
Just because a rainbow holds the hues that you were looking for
Haven’t you seen that bruises also bloom in shades of purple and blue
Fading into green and yellow
With red far too often escaping veins that are supposed to hold it in
Haven’t you seen what marks us
And brings our identity to the surface of our skin
When closet doors are slammed too often against our hands
My sassy gay friend
Is not a decoration
You do not get to wear him at your hip
To flaunt your acceptance
And claim symbiosis
As if he needs you to navigate the streets of heteronormativity
Cutting short his words when communication is the best thing we have
And when speaking fails us we resort to spending an afternoon
Sending smoke signals into the sky
Waiting for security in the focus that it takes just to
Breathe
My sassy gay friend
Is not a collectible
You do not get to gather us up into a complete set
To line us neatly in an array
Of rarities and charities
And alternative identities
Until you feel sufficiently well rounded
In your attempted diversity
My sassy gay friend
Is not an icon
A token character
Or comic relief
My sassy gay friend
Is not meant to be romanticized
Idolized
Or fetishized
He is human
I am human
You are human
And if we see each other as sparkles and rhinestones
We're all going to lose all the value
That can't be found on price tags
It may be time to go away
Too many cookies are uneaten
And a few are only nibbled

I baked all night for many days
And used up all my spices
But few customers appeared

I laid them on my very best tray
And priced them as a bargain
Now most of them are growing stale

I think it’s time to close up shop
The other’s cakes were obviously better
Their customers waited in long lines

It will be hard for me to stop
My hands are white with flour
And my apron’s tied so tightly

Still, no farmer wants to plant a crop
That never will be eaten -
Are cookie bakers not the same

Perhaps my wafers were too plain
And lacking decoration
I thought that flavor was enough

But recognition brings me pain
I felt my recipes were special
But everyone had better ones

It seems that I cannot sustain
The dream of being Mrs. Fields
When It comes to writing cookies
               ljm
how i long for 40 hearts
poeticalamity Jun 2014
I can see the way you stare at him, Virgo,
the way your eyelashes become batwing shadows
across your flushing cheeks
when he smiles back at you

I can tell how you feel about him, Virgo,
the feeling that sets the cold stars
embellishing the velvet in your eyes
into infernos.

I can only imagine the pain you felt, Virgo,
when he packed you along like a decoration
then left you on the curb like
a Christmas tree in the New Year.

I can understand why you did it, Virgo,
when you stared down the white throat
of the pill bottle at the dim and empty
bottom of its bowels.

I can't blame you for it, dear Virgo,
anymore than I can blame myself.
Nigel Morgan May 2015
In a distant land, far beyond the time we know now, there lived an ancient people who knew in their bones of a past outside memory. Things happened over and over; as day became night night became day, spring followed winter, summer followed spring, autumn followed summer and then, and then as autumn came, at least the well-known ordered days passed full of preparation for the transhumance, that great movement of flocks and herds from the summer mountains to the winter pastures. But in the great oak woods of this region the leaves seemed reluctant to fall. Even after the first frosts when the trees glimmered with rime as the sun rose. Even when winter’s cousin, the great wind from the west, ravaged the conical roofs of the shepherds’ huts. The leaves did not fall.

For Lucila, searching for leaves as she climbed each day higher and higher through the parched undergrowth under the most ancient oaks, there were only acorns, slews of acorns at her feet. There were no leaves, or rather no leaves that might be gathered as newly fallen. Only the faint husks of leaves of the previous autumn, leaves of provenance already gathered before she left the mountains last year for the winter plains, leaves she had placed into her deep sleeves, into her voluminous apron, into the large pockets of her vlaterz, the ornate felt jacket of the married woman.

Since her childhood she had picked and pocketed these oaken leaves, felt their thin, veined, patterned forms, felt, followed, caressed them between her finger tips. It was as though her pockets were full of the hands of children, seven-fingered hands, stroking her fingers with their pointed tips when her fingers were pocketed.

She would find private places to lay out her gathered leaves. She wanted none to know or touch or speak of these her children of the oak forest. She had waited all summer, as she had done since a child, watching them bud and grow on the branch, and then, with the frosts and winds of autumn, fall, fall, fall to the ground, but best of all fall into her small hands, every leaf there to be caught, fallen into the bowl of her cupped hands. And for every leaf caught, a wish.

Her autumn days became full of wishes. She would lie awake on her straw mattress after Mikas had risen for the night milking, that time when the rustling bells of the goats had no accompaniment from the birds. She would assemble her lists of wishes, wishes ready for leaves not yet fallen into the bowl of her cupped hands. May the toes of my baby be perfectly formed? May his hair fall straight without a single curl? May I know only the pain I can bear when he comes? May the mother of Mikas love this child?

As the fine autumn days moved towards the feast day of St Anolysius, the traditional day of departure of the winter transhumance, there was, this season, an unspoken tension present in the still, dry air. Already preparations were being made for the long journey to the winter plains. There was soon to be a wedding now three days away, of the Phatos boy to the Tamosel girl. The boy was from an adjoining summer pasture and had travelled during the summer months with an itinerant uncle, a pedlar of sorts and beggar of repute. So he had seen something of the world beyond those of the herds and flocks can expect to see. He was rightly-made and fit to marry, although, of course, the girl was to be well-kept secret until the day itself.

Lucila remembered those wedding days, her wedding days, those anxious days of waiting when encased in her finery, in her seemingly impenetrable and voluminous wedding clothes she had remained all but hidden from view. While around her the revelling came and went, the drunkenness, the feasting, the riotous eruptions of noise and movement, the sudden visitations of relatives she did not know, the fierce instructions of women who spoke to her now as a woman no longer a young girl or a dear child, women she knew as silent, shy and respectful who were now loud and lewd, who told her things she could hardly believe, what a man might do, what a man might be, what a woman had to suffer - all these things happening at the same time. And then her soon-to-be husband’s drunk-beyond-reason friends had carried off the basket with her trousseau and dressed themselves riotously in her finest embroidered blouses, her intricate layered skirts, her petticoats, even the nightdress deemed the one to be worn when eventually, after three days revelry, she would be visited by a man, now more goat than man, sodden with drink, insensible to what little she understood as human passion beyond the coupling of goats. Of course Semisar had prepared the bright blood for the bridesbed sheet, the necessary evidence, and as Mikas lay sprawled unconscious at the foot of the marriage bed she had allowed herself to be dishevelled, to feign the aftermath of the act he was supposed to have committed upon her. That would, she knew, come later . . .

It was then, in those terrible days and after, she took comfort from her silent, private stitching into leaves, the darning of acorns, the spinning of skeins of goats’ wool she would walnut-dye and weave around stones and pieces of glass. She would bring together leaves bound into tiny books, volumes containing for her a language of leaves, the signs and symbols of nature she had named, that only she knew. She could not read the words of the priest’s book but was fluent in the script of veins and ribs and patterning that every leaf owned. When autumn came she could hardly move a step for picking up a fallen leaf, reading its story, learning of its history. But this autumn now, at the time of leaf fall, the fall of the leaf did not happen and those leaves of last year at her feet were ready to disintegrate at her touch. She was filled with dread. She knew she could not leave the mountains without a collection of leaves to stitch and weave through the shorter days and long, long winter nights. She had imagined sharing with her infant child this language she had learnt, had stitched into her daily life.

It was Semisar of course, who voiced it first. Semisar, the self-appointed weather ears and horizon eyes of the community, who followed her into the woods, who had forced Lucila against a tree holding one broad arm and her body’s weight like a bar from which Lucila could not escape, and with the other arm and hand rifled the broad pockets of Lucila’s apron. Semisar tossed the delicate chicken bone needles to the ground, unravelled the bobbins of walnut-stained yarn, crumpled the delicately folded and stitched, but yet to be finished, constructions of leaves . . . And spewed forth a torrent of terrible words. Already the men knew that the lack of leaf fall was peculiar only to the woods above and around their village. Over the other side of the mountain Telgatho had said this was not so. Was Lucila a Magnelz? Perhaps a Cutvlael? This baby she carried, a girl of course, was already making evil. Semisar placed her hand over and around the ripe hard form of the unborn child, feeling for its shape, its elbows and knees, the spine. And from there, with a vicelike grip on the wrist, Semisar dragged Lucila up and far into the woods to where the mountain with its caves and rocks touched the last trees, and from there to the cave where she seemed to know Lucila’s treasures lay, her treasures from childhood. Semisar would destroy everything, then the leaves would surely fall.

When Lucila did not return to prepare the evening meal Mikas was to learn all. Should he leave her be? He had been told women had these times of strange behaviour before childbirth. The wedding of the Phatos boy was almost upon them and the young men were already behaving like goats before the rut. The festive candles and tinselled wedding crowns had been fetched from the nearest town two days ride distant, the decoration of the tiny mountain basilica and the accommodation for the priest was in hand. The women were busy with the making of sweets and treats to be thrown at the wedding pair by guests and well-wishers. Later, the same women would prepare the dough for the millstones of bread that would be baked in the stone ovens. The men had already chosen the finest lambs to spit-roast for the feast.

She will return, Semisar had said after waiting by the fold where Mikas flocks, now gathered from the heights, awaited their journey south. All will be well, Mikas, never fear. The infant, a girl, may not last its birth, Semisar warned, but seeing the shocked face of Mikas, explained a still-birth might be providential for all. Know this time will pass, she said, and you can still be blessed with many sons. We are forever in the hands of the spirit, she said, leaving without the customary salutation of farewell.
                                               
However different the lives of man and woman may by tradition and circumstance become, those who share the ways and rites of marriage are inextricably linked by fate’s own hand and purpose. Mikas has come to know his once-bride, the child become woman in his clumsy embrace, the girl of perhaps fifteen summers fulfilling now his mother’s previous role, who speaks little but watches and listens, is unfailingly attentive to his needs and demands, and who now carries his child ( it can only be a boy), carries this boy high in her womb and with a confidence his family has already remarked upon.

After their wedding he had often returned home to Lucila at the time of the sun’s zenith when it is customary for the village women to seek the shade of their huts and sleep. It was an unwritten rite due to a newly-wed husband to feign the sudden need for a forgotten tool or seek to examine a sick animal in the home fold. After several fruitless visits when he found their hut empty he timed his visit earlier to see her black-scarfed figure disappear into the oak woods.  He followed her secretively, and had observed her seated beneath an ancient warrior of a tree, had watched over her intricate making. Furthermore and later he came to know where she hid the results of this often fevered stitching of things from nature’s store and stash, though an supernatural fear forbade him to enter the cleft between rocks into which she would disappear. He began to know how times and turns of the days affected her actions, but had left her be. She would usually return bright-eyed and with a quiet wonder, of what he did not know, but she carried something back within her that gave her a peculiar peace and beauty. It seemed akin to the well-being Mikas knew from handling a fine ewe from his flock . . .

And she would sometimes allow herself to be handled thus. She let him place his hands over her in that joyful ownership and command of a man whose life is wholly bound up with flocks and herds and the well-being of the female species. He would come from the evening watch with the ever-constant count of his flock still on his lips, and by a mixture of accident and stealth touch her wholly-clothed body, sometimes needing his fingers into the thick wool of her stockings, stroking the chestnut silken hairs that he found above her bare wrists, marvelling at her small hands with their perfect nails. He knew from the ribaldry of men that women were trained from childhood to display to men as little as possible of their intimate selves. But alone and apart all day on a remote hillside, alone save for several hundred sheep, brought to Mikas in his solitary state wild and conjured thoughts of feminine spirits, unencumbered by clothes, brighter and more various than any night-time dream. And he had succumbed to the pleasure of such thoughts times beyond reason, finding himself imagining Lucila as he knew she was unlikely ever to allow herself to be. But even in the single winter and summer of their life together there had been moments of surprise and revelation, and accompanied by these precious thoughts he went in search of her in the darkness of a three-quarter moon, into the stillness of the night-time wood.

Ah Lucilla. We might think that after the scourge of Semisar, the physical outrage of her baby’s forced examination, and finally the destruction of her treasures, this child-wife herself with child would be desolate with grief at what had come about. She had not been forced to follow Semisar into the small cave where wrapped in woven blankets her treasures lay between the thinnest sheets of impure and rejected parchment gleaned surreptitiously after shearing, but holding each and every treasure distinct and detached. There was enough light for Semisar to pause in wonder at the intricate constructions, bright with the aura of extreme fragility owned by many of the smaller makings. And not just the leaves of the oak were here, but of the mastic, the walnut, the flaky-barked strawberry and its smoothed barked cousin. There were leaves and sheaves of bark from lowland trees of the winter sojourn, there were dried fruits mysteriously arranged, constructions of acorns threaded with the dark madder-red yarn, even acorns cracked and damaged from their tree fall had been ‘mended’ with thread.

Semisar was to open some of the tiny books of leaved pages where she witnessed a form of writing she did not recognise (she could not read but had seen the priest’s writing and the print of the holy books). This she wondered at, as surely Lucila had only the education of the home? Such symbols must belong to the spirit world. Another sign that Lucila had infringed order and disturbed custom. It would take but a matter of minutes to turn such makings into little more than a layer of dust on the floor.

With her bare hands Semisar ground together these elaborate confections, these lovingly-made conjunctions of needle’s art with nature’s purpose and accidental beauty. She ground them together until they were dust.

When Semisar returned into the pale afternoon light it seemed Lucila had remained as she had been left: motionless, and without expression. If Semisar had known the phenomenon of shock, Lucila was in that condition. But, in the manner of a woman preparing to grieve for the dead she had removed her black scarf and unwound the long dark chestnut plaits that flowed down her back. But there were no tears. only a dumb silence but for the heavy exhalation of breath. It seemed that she looked beyond Semisar into the world of spirits invoking perhaps their aid, their comfort.

What happened had neither invoked sadness nor grief. It was as if it had been ordained in the elusive pattern of things. It felt like the clearing of the summer hut before the final departure for the long journey to the winter world. The hut, Lucila had been taught, was to be left spotless, every item put in its rightful place ready to be taken up again on the return to the summer life, exactly as if it had been undisturbed by absence . Not a crumb would remain before the rugs and coverings were rolled and removed, summer clothes hard washed and tightly mended, to be folded then wrapped between sprigs of aromatic herbs.

Lucila would go now and collect her precious but scattered needles from beneath the ancient oak. She would begin again - only to make and embroider garments for her daughter. It was as though, despite this ‘loss’, she had retained within her physical self the memory of every stitch driven into nature’s fabric.

Suddenly Lucila remembered that saints’ day which had sanctioned a winter’s walk with her mother, a day when her eyes had been drawn to a world of patterns and objects at her feet: the damaged acorn, the fractured leaf, the broken berried branch, the wisp of wool left impaled upon a stub of thorns. She had been five, maybe six summers old. She had already known the comforting action of the needle’s press again the felted cloth, but then, as if impelled by some force quite outside herself, had ‘borrowed’ one of her mother’s needles and begun her odyssey of darning, mending, stitching, enduring her mother’s censure - a waste of good thread, little one - until her skill became obvious and one of delight, but a private delight her mother hid from all and sundry, and then pressed upon her ‘proper’ work with needle and thread. But the damage had been done, the dye cast. She became nature’s needle slave and quartered those personal but often invisible
Aoife Apr 2016
wallpaper women
are ripped down in single sheets,
replaced by prettier ones
with more labyrinthine markings
and colours that shine,
but even then, a picture is placed overtop,
in a fine gold frame and a fibre canvas
with artwork drawn by feeble hands

wallpaper women,
are women.
they are you and i. we are bystanders,
eager to scream out, but a single hand
covers our mouths like a veneer.
we are to blend in,
we are to not speak,
unless we are asking,
“how may i take your order?”
we are a service, a factory,
we keep the world going.

wallpaper women
are artwork,
art that is not noticed by them,
who continue to believe
they are mere pieces of decoration,
something to make the walls pretty.
if we are artwork, why are we covered
with frames and photos and decoration?

wallpaper women
are people.
we are nurturers by nature,
lovers through hatred.
and so many refuse to see
the storm above the soft clouds.

wallpaper women
are told to blend in.
but we are ripped down like pages out of a book,
crumpled up and thrown into nothing.
if you value the story so much,
why do you keep taking pages out?

wallpaper women
are not the future,
they are the past.

women are the future.
women.
women.
women,
            need to be heard.
women need to say “i am here too”
because we are not
just wallpaper,
we are beautiful ****** artwork
that deserves to be seen by
every
        ******
                    one
first slam-type poem. thoughts?
Morgan May 2016
i was glass when you found me,
you knew how fragile i was,
just cleared from the hospital,
just learning how to sleep again
without getting woken up
every thirty minutes for vitals
and medication

i was glass when you found me,
you held me in your palms
like a waterglobe,
occasionally swaying me from
side to side
to see what i was like inside

i was glass when you found me,
glistening and elegant
but desperately scared
of falling off the ledge,
like the vase on our dresser-
daisies in my hair,
but potential tragedy everywhere

i leaned into you
and begged you to hold me up

you didn't drop me on accident

i didn't slip from your grip

you didn't lose me
in a tired haze
or a lapse of judgement

you threw me into the gravel
with your arm up over your head
and your eyes closed

you broke me
into fifty different pieces;
a graveyard of sharp edges,
a garden of glistening truths,
dimmed by the hovering hand
of dirt and sand

now boys are afraid
to pick me up off the ground,
i'm still right where you left me,
cause i'm not worth a cut on a hand,

no one will bleed for me,
not in this town

and to think,
all i wanted was to *******,
i never meant to love you,
all i wanted was to *******,
i wish i never met you
you flutter, but you're still in every aspect
of this creviced existence. it may be best
to act as decoration in a decorative world,
the prettiest are always happiest, the ones
who feel exalt or cry in creation will even-
tually turn numb, or ice-cubes for pink
margaritas, or reproductions on cascade
walls of white-picket dwellings in a trajectory
of white and beige houses like a ***** line
of *******. pain is temporary. numbness
is forever when it shoots for the brain
and not the stars, when overcast skies
become the reason for inner-living and
streets are scary and trees are mere
necessity for your breaths to filter, for
your chest to flutter as it does, as it so
surely and unabashedly does. you
flutter, but you're as still as decoration.
vibrant colors effervescent arrays
energetically on show for the eye's window
gardens ebullient with vivacious displays

front and backyards brilliantly aglow
hues of a rainbow a springtime glory
energetically on show for the eye's window

a paint box of shades telling the story
streets and avenues resplendent of decoration
hues of a rainbow a springtime story

our towns and villages so bright in elation
they bring a gaiety after winter's drear
streets and avenues resplendent of decoration

it does gladden the heart when they appear
the floral tones of cerise purple and orange bloom
they bring a gaiety after winter's drear

spring displacing the cold season's gloom
the floral tones of cerise purple and orange bloom
vibrant colors effervescent arrays
gardens ebullient with vivacious displays
*** is not just skin on skin
and I am not a throw rug
nor any sort of decoration
for you.
I am not here to drape my form
over the back of your couch
and wait for you to make meaning
of me.
the paint that dusts my lips and eyelids
isn't here to catch your eye;
its here to catch my own.
I love me.
so next time you see me walking
please know that the sway in my hips
and the bounce in my step--
you did not give them meaning.
I did.
BG Ibañez Jul 2014
Listening is relative.
Reading together is shallow.
Love is biased.
Reaching out is a myth.
Worship is noise.
Giving is a habit.
Church is a party.
Church is a half-way house.
Clapping is stepping on the cross.
Sitting is sin of omission.
Fellowship is exclusive.
The Cross is a decoration.

But God is still God.
Jesus
From Heaven or From Men?
This is out of my rage and hurt that I felt today. I know that some of the things there are heavy...but it really got me asking...are we here for earthly things...or God? Hope to feel some empathy :(
▪○●☆○●♡●○●♡◇♡●○●♡●○☆●○▪

A rare thing, my Mother's touch.
Though it was she I desired,
her babies I lovingly embraced.

Letting us make messes.
Be boisterous.
Expected independence.
“You do it, you learn it”
Helped us raise each other,
myself in the lead.

Our imaginary
world, rarely interrupted,
allowed us the freedom
to entertain ourselves.
Mom was not one to coddle,
but to patiently teach.
Cooking, gardening,
care giving.
To plant a tree,
and properly prune.
Create a thriving home
for salamanders.
Names of plants and trees.
Cloud formations.
how to patch up bloodied
knees and noses.

My Mother knew how to
transport a station wagon
filled to the brim with kids.
Provided us with masking
tape to square off our own
territory, creating safe
havens from point A to B.

She was fearless during
that overwhelming time.
Chaotic household of
youngins’ needs.
Teens tempers, mixed
with yearnings and desires
She taught us perseverance.
Eyes forward
No matter... calm or storm.

Her demeanor,
devoted and gentle.
Yet, fierce in determination.
An educated “No bones about it”
woman. A nurse.
Cute in a clean,
crisp natural way.
A woman of extraordinary
capabilities, rarely
comfortable with a compliment.

Not one to linger in a
moment of luxury.
To be soft and silly.
Or settle in for a deep cuddle.
The way she was raised
amongst her kin of many,
being the youngest.
from a different time.

Regardless of my perspective,
She loved enough to
make 5 children.
Provided food.
and kept us clean.
Encouraged the decoration of
our bedrooms to our
personal delight.
Allowed dogs and bunnies
to share our lives.
Insisted on the five food groups
at each evening's family meal.

These days, I cherish the hand
picked cards always mailed on
time for occasions and
holidays. ThankYou notes for
every kindness shown her way.
With her gardens beautifully
tended, herbs carefully harvested
and patiently dried, at Christmas
she labeled recycled spice bottles
collected from here and there.

Yesterday I gathered them,
Small glass vessels in hand.
My name and the date,
meticulously written by
her hand on white labels.
Over time, I have
saved them all.
Ingredients left intact.

My Mother's language of
love lined up in front of me,
these Little Bottles,
a culmination of the years.
Aromatic herbs
tenderly tucked inside.
I understood then,
I had been
Held in Mother's
arms all along...
I just never knew how to
fully accept her embrace.

▪○●☆○●♡●○●♡◇♡●○●♡●○☆●○▪

Copyright © 2016.
Christi Michaels.
All Rights Reserved
My Mother and Father are both 83.
It is our honor
to care for them now,
as they did for us then
Heather Butler Nov 2012
He was never your daughter,
not since the day he was born.
He was an identical twin to his sister, sure,
but your daughter? No.

I am dating your daughter, sir.
He has an assortment of ways to please me.
I love him, and he knows it;
he orders his ***** online to please me.

He was never your daughter.
Couldn't you tell from the way he looked
awkward in dresses?
The way he always cut his hair short?

He was never your daughter;
I am dating your daughter, sir;
but he is not, never was, a sister
to the brother who just wanted a hug.

"She feels like she's wearing the wrong decoration;
how would you like it if I put you
in a dress and paraded you around
in front of your friends?"

He was never your daughter, ma'am,
but you knew it.
He is not a lesbian, he's something different.
He is not your daughter, any more.

Certainly we all know
he wears things to hide his *******.
And while I know what's down there in his pants
he won't let me see it.

He was never your daughter,
but I knew that.
I knew when he said, "FtM,"
that he was something different,

something special.

"I want to be a pelican
and have a bag for a face."
"Baby, baby, baby."
"Where's my ****?"

I've spent a month with your daughter,
and he cannot wait to tell it to your face
that he's moving out.
Faridah Aug 2017
I feel, invisible
Was I born for decoration?
You say I'm important
But your actions contradict
Your words - no
Your lies
That you want me here
Because all you have done
is destroy the trust, that,
To be honest
Never existed in the first place.

You say I never listen
But when last did you look at me
Really look -
Through my angry disguise
And realise, you are the disappointment
I tell you what you have done
And you tell me what I have done, wrong
I was trying to change;
Why should I change
For somebody who will never change, ever
Because you are right, I am wrong,
And stupid for ever trying
To convince you.

All you have done
Is made it worse
In turn
My anger has erupted
Is my genuine happiness
supposed to be
a side effect of yours?
Because I think I have become immune
And you have been feeding me this medicine for too long
If I put you first
You downgrade my actions
and turn them into dust, somehow
If you put me first
I must have asked.

Can you admit
Acknowledge
That what I want is not
What you want
Can you respect that
Or do you enjoy complaining
Over
And over
Again
About things that
You don't try to prevent
But now I don't care
Because you didn't - don't care
That I cared
That I tried.

You resent my actions
And complain
Denigrating who I am
But that is your opinion
And your opinion does not
Dictate my life
when you never even listen to mine
If you do not want me here
Why did you bring me
Just so you can show me off for
One hour
One hour of fake
And downgrade me
For the next five
Stop trying to change me
Because you made me who I am
Whether you like me or not
Even if you are never
really here.

You are going to say the same
For me
I am trying to change
But you are not
Because you are using me as
An excuse
To justify yourself
And your actions
I am not vouching for your acceptance -
Frankly, I resent who you
Are turning me into:
The opposite of who you
Want me to become.

I walk like
I talk like
I look like
A decoration
I say why
I shout why
I stop myself -
Now I'm in trouble/
At least, I'm no longer
Invisible
But what do you expect
When you treat me like an obligation
What do you expect
From an ugly decoration?
Never mind
After reading this you'll just get angry
And punish me for having feelings
And shout at me for having feelings
And say I'm wrong, discard my feelings,
Replace them with yours

And I'll say I'm stupid
For believing you would listen
For once.

Did you notice, I always stop talking
Because I will end up saying how I really feel
And waste my breath
So I wrote it instead;
Paper listens to me
in a way
You never have.
It's like you care because you have to, not because you want to. You can't just throw food and money at me, and then say, 'I didn't raise you like this'. You raised me, and changed me, who I am - tainting your perfect image.
SM May 2017
The glistening sun sets,
leaving a silhouette of hanging trees,
a decoration on pink faded walls.
Humming cicadas and chirping crickets,
play in a symphony of the night.
Bike rides and park games in darkness,
softball games in the bright field lights.
Each crack of the ball and bat create a chaos of teammate screams.
Lost every game, but won each time.
A refreshing water runs on slippery rocks,
swimming among fish and ducks,
Soaking bodies run home,
Baggy shirts, gym shorts,
Adults and children mix in a weekly party,
Beer bottle caps and soda cans clink to the ground.
Love and laughter surrounds a crackling open fire,
Warming bodies and hearts.
Little feet race to where the sidewalk ends,
the grass grows thick.
It is here where teams are picked and knees are scarred.
12am games are played,
cans are kicked, ghosts roam graveyards, and flags are captured.
Waiting to go home, hours and hours of waiting
Hours of talking of all different ages,
Country music and guitar melodies play throughout the street,
a lullaby of our childhood.
Television reruns at 2am entertain tired minds,
Couch and floor beds of blanket forts,
Carried up to bed to sleep in comfort at 4am, the chirping birds, already wishing a good morning to most, but goodnight to this home.
The raccoons rattle and the woodpeckers poke in a serenade to sleep,
In a neighborhood of blaring nights and silent mornings.
Each week, the time flew by.
A poem and a glimpse into my childhood.
Nat Lipstadt Sep 2013
Expect miracles every minute
Not.

Go away children if you want
Uplifting,
This is a dark adventure
Composition.

Gloomy the mood,
Gorgeous the day,
You have received my disclaimer,
Scurry away.

I scribe smoke that is uncontainable,
Smoke that suffocates, not for decoration.

You are the unrighteousness, not on the list,
Peekaboo voyeurs who read and dismiss.
Why I pen this or this.
Lost in the shuffling cards,
Luck is not inexhaustible,
Mine, bottled in the bin labelled,
The last recycling.

Dark is the blue sky,
White clouds just clothing to disguise
Morose is the vision,
Of eyes that have not seen a miracle
In decades of waiting.

Let us divorce today,
Find good cheer and company elsewhere.
From my finger these words fall freely,
No waiting, from me to you instantaneously.

What ails thee smoke scribe?
I have given and been taken, leeched and bled
and now wasted the last of my
Nine lives.

This is where I stand, edged and ledged,
Miracles are not shown to me anymore.
My quota, used, I'm not us-confused,
Cause I wrote the disclaimer,
The warnings, the risks, well understood.

Write of the good, the bad, of the
Beautiful that does not last,
Wonder if this is the poem  
shall be my Epitaph?

Poetry craft, was the sword I breathed thru,
Unlike you, my motet is completed,
The music, the canon smoke, here, come, then
Gone.

— The End —