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FIRST DAY

1.
Who wanted me
to go to Chicago
on January 6th?
I did!

The night before,
20 below zero
Fahrenheit
with the wind chill;
as the blizzard of 99
lay in mountains
of blackening snow.

I packed two coats,
two suits,
three sweaters,
multiple sets of long johns
and heavy white socks
for a two-day stay.

I left from Newark.
**** the denseness,
it confounds!

The 2nd City to whom?
2nd ain’t bad.
It’s pretty good.
If you consider
Peking and Prague,
Tokyo and Togo,
Manchester and Moscow,
Port Au Prince and Paris,
Athens and Amsterdam,
Buenos Aries and Johannesburg;
that’s pretty good.

What’s going on here today?
It’s friggin frozen.
To the bone!

But Chi Town is still cool.
Buddy Guy’s is open.
Bartenders mixing drinks,
cabbies jamming on their breaks,
honey dew waitresses serving sugar,
buildings swerving,
fire tongued preachers are preaching
and the farmers are measuring the moon.

The lake,
unlike Ontario
is in the midst of freezing.
Bones of ice
threaten to gel
into a solid mass
over the expanse
of the Michigan Lake.
If this keeps up,
you can walk
clear to Toronto
on a silver carpet.

Along the shore
the ice is permanent.
It’s the first big frost
of winter
after a long
Indian Summer.

Thank God
I caught a cab.
Outside I hear
The Hawk
nippin hard.
It’ll get your ear,
finger or toe.
Bite you on the nose too
if you ain’t careful.

Thank God,
I’m not walking
the Wabash tonight;
but if you do cover up,
wear layers.

Chicago,
could this be
Sandburg’s City?

I’m overwhelmed
and this is my tenth time here.

It’s almost better,
sometimes it is better,
a lot of times it is better
and denser then New York.

Ask any Bull’s fan.
I’m a Knickerbocker.
Yes Nueva York,
a city that has placed last
in the standings
for many years.
Except the last two.
Yanks are # 1!

But Chicago
is a dynasty,
as big as
Sammy Sosa’s heart,
rich and wide
as Michael Jordan’s grin.

Middle of a country,
center of a continent,
smack dab in the mean
of a hemisphere,
vortex to a world,
Chicago!

Kansas City,
Nashville,
St. Louis,
Detroit,
Cleveland,
Pittsburgh,
Denver,
New Orleans,
Dallas,
Cairo,
Singapore,
Auckland,
Baghdad,
Mexico City
and Montreal
salute her.



2.
Cities,
A collection of vanities?
Engineered complex utilitarianism?
The need for community a social necessity?
Ego one with the mass?
Civilization’s latest *******?
Chicago is more then that.

Jefferson’s yeoman farmer
is long gone
but this capitol
of the Great Plains
is still democratic.

The citizen’s of this city
would vote daily,
if they could.

Chicago,
Sandburg’s Chicago,
Could it be?

The namesake river
segments the city,
canals of commerce,
all perpendicular,
is rife throughout,
still guiding barges
to the Mississippi
and St. Laurence.

Now also
tourist attractions
for a cafe society.

Chicago is really jazzy,
swanky clubs,
big steaks,
juices and drinks.

You get the best
coffee from Seattle
and the finest teas
from China.

Great restaurants
serve liquid jazz
al la carte.

Jazz Jazz Jazz
All they serve is Jazz
Rock me steady
Keep the beat
Keep it flowin
Feel the heat!

Jazz Jazz Jazz
All they is, is Jazz
Fast cars will take ya
To the show
Round bout midnight
Where’d the time go?

Flows into the Mississippi,
the mother of America’s rivers,
an empires aorta.

Great Lakes wonder of water.
Niagara Falls
still her heart gushes forth.

Buffalo connected to this holy heart.
Finger Lakes and Adirondacks
are part of this watershed,
all the way down to the
Delaware and Chesapeake.

Sandburg’s Chicago?
Oh my my,
the wonder of him.
Who captured the imagination
of the wonders of rivers.

Down stream other holy cities
from the Mississippi delta
all mapped by him.

Its mouth our Dixie Trumpet
guarded by righteous Cajun brethren.

Midwest?
Midwest from where?
It’s north of Caracas and Los Angeles,
east of Fairbanks,
west of Dublin
and south of not much.

Him,
who spoke of honest men
and loving women.
Working men and mothers
bearing citizens to build a nation.
The New World’s
precocious adolescent
caught in a stream
of endless and exciting change,
much pain and sacrifice,
dedication and loss,
pride and tribulations.

From him we know
all the people’s faces.
All their stories are told.
Never defeating the
idea of Chicago.

Sandburg had the courage to say
what was in the heart of the people, who:

Defeated the Indians,
Mapped the terrain,
Aided slavers,
Fought a terrible civil war,
Hoisted the barges,
Grew the food,
Whacked the wheat,
Sang the songs,
Fought many wars of conquest,
Cleared the land,
Erected the bridges,
Trapped the game,
Netted the fish,
Mined the coal,
Forged the steel,
Laid the tracks,
Fired the tenders,
Cut the stone,
Mixed the mortar,
Plumbed the line,
And laid the bricks
Of this nation of cities!

Pardon the Marlboro Man shtick.
It’s a poor expostulation of
crass commercial symbolism.

Like I said, I’m a
Devil Fan from Jersey
and Madison Avenue
has done its work on me.

It’s a strange alchemy
that changes
a proud Nation of Blackhawks
into a merchandising bonanza
of hometown hockey shirts,
making the native seem alien,
and the interloper at home chillin out,
warming his feet atop a block of ice,
guzzling Old Style
with clicker in hand.

Give him his beer
and other diversions.
If he bowls with his buddy’s
on Tuesday night
I hope he bowls
a perfect game.

He’s earned it.
He works hard.
Hard work and faith
built this city.

And it’s not just the faith
that fills the cities
thousand churches,
temples and
mosques on the Sabbath.

3.
There is faith in everything in Chicago!

An alcoholic broker named Bill
lives the Twelve Steps
to banish fear and loathing
for one more day.
Bill believes in sobriety.

A tug captain named Moe
waits for the spring thaw
so he can get the barges up to Duluth.
Moe believes in the seasons.

A farmer named Tom
hopes he has reaped the last
of many bitter harvests.
Tom believes in a new start.

A homeless man named Earl
wills himself a cot and a hot
at the local shelter.
Earl believes in deliverance.

A Pullman porter
named George
works overtime
to get his first born
through medical school.
George believes in opportunity.

A folk singer named Woody
sings about his
countrymen inheritance
and implores them to take it.
Woody believes in people.

A Wobbly named Joe
organizes fellow steelworkers
to fight for a workers paradise
here on earth.
Joe believes in ideals.

A bookkeeper named Edith
is certain she’ll see the Cubs
win the World Series
in her lifetime.
Edith believes in miracles.

An electrician named ****
saves money
to bring his family over from Gdansk.
**** believes in America.

A banker named Leah
knows Ditka will return
and lead the Bears
to another Super Bowl.
Leah believes in nostalgia.

A cantor named Samuel
prays for another 20 years
so he can properly train
his Temple’s replacement.

Samuel believes in tradition.
A high school girl named Sally
refuses to get an abortion.
She knows she carries
something special within her.
Sally believes in life.

A city worker named Mazie
ceaselessly prays
for her incarcerated son
doing 10 years at Cook.
Mazie believes in redemption.

A jazzer named Bix
helps to invent a new art form
out of the mist.
Bix believes in creativity.

An architect named Frank
restores the Rookery.
Frank believes in space.

A soldier named Ike
fights wars for democracy.
Ike believes in peace.

A Rabbi named Jesse
sermonizes on Moses.
Jesse believes in liberation.

Somewhere in Chicago
a kid still believes in Shoeless Joe.
The kid believes in
the integrity of the game.

An Imam named Louis
is busy building a nation
within a nation.
Louis believes in
self-determination.

A teacher named Heidi
gives all she has to her students.
She has great expectations for them all.
Heidi believes in the future.

4.
Does Chicago have a future?

This city,
full of cowboys
and wildcatters
is predicated
on a future!

Bang, bang
Shoot em up
Stake the claim
It’s your terrain
Drill the hole
Strike it rich
Top it off
You’re the boss
Take a chance
Watch it wane
Try again
Heavenly gains

Chicago
city of futures
is a Holy Mecca
to all day traders.

Their skin is gray,
hair disheveled,
loud ties and
funny coats,
thumb through
slips of paper
held by nail
chewed hands.
Selling promises
with no derivative value
for out of the money calls
and in the money puts.
Strike is not a labor action
in this city of unionists,
but a speculators mark,
a capitalist wish,
a hedgers bet,
a public debt
and a farmers
fair return.

Indexes for everything.
Quantitative models
that could burst a kazoo.

You know the measure
of everything in Chicago.
But is it truly objective?
Have mathematics banished
subjective intentions,
routing it in fair practice
of market efficiencies,
a kind of scientific absolution?

I heard that there
is a dispute brewing
over the amount of snowfall
that fell on the 1st.

The mayor’s office,
using the official city ruler
measured 22”
of snow on the ground.

The National Weather Service
says it cannot detect more
then 17” of snow.

The mayor thinks
he’ll catch less heat
for the trains that don’t run
the buses that don’t arrive
and the schools that stand empty
with the addition of 5”.

The analysts say
it’s all about capturing liquidity.

Liquidity,
can you place a great lake
into an eyedropper?

Its 20 below
and all liquid things
are solid masses
or a gooey viscosity at best.

Water is frozen everywhere.
But Chi town is still liquid,
flowing faster
then the digital blips
flashing on the walls
of the CBOT.

Dreams
are never frozen in Chicago.
The exchanges trade
without missing a beat.

Trading wet dreams,
the crystallized vapor
of an IPO
pledging a billion points
of Internet access
or raiding the public treasuries
of a central bank’s
huge stores of gold
with currency swaps.

Using the tools
of butterfly spreads
and candlesticks
to achieve the goal.

Short the Russell
or buy the Dow,
go long the
CAC and DAX.
Are you trading in euro’s?
You better be
or soon will.
I know
you’re Chicago,
you’ll trade anything.
WEBS,
Spiders,
and Leaps
are traded here,
along with sweet crude,
North Sea Brent,
plywood and T-Bill futures;
and most importantly
the commodities,
the loam
that formed this city
of broad shoulders.

What about our wheat?
Still whacking and
breadbasket to the world.

Oil,
an important fossil fuel
denominated in
good ole greenbacks.

Porkbellies,
not just hogwash
on the Wabash,
but bacon, eggs
and flapjacks
are on the menu
of every diner in Jersey
as the “All American.”

Cotton,
our contribution
to the Golden Triangle,
once the global currency
used to enrich a
gentlemen class
of cultured
southern slavers,
now Tommy Hilfiger’s
preferred fabric.

I think he sends it
to Bangkok where
child slaves
spin it into
gold lame'.

Sorghum,
I think its hardy.

Soybeans,
the new age substitute
for hamburger
goes great with tofu lasagna.

Corn,
ADM creates ethanol,
they want us to drive cleaner cars.

Cattle,
once driven into this city’s
bloodhouses for slaughter,
now ground into
a billion Big Macs
every year.

When does a seed
become a commodity?
When does a commodity
become a future?
When does a future expire?

You can find the answers
to these questions in Chicago
and find a fortune in a hole in the floor.

Look down into the pits.
Hear the screams of anguish
and profitable delights.

Frenzied men
swarming like a mass
of epileptic ants
atop the worlds largest sugar cube
auger the worlds free markets.

The scene is
more chaotic then
100 Haymarket Square Riots
multiplied by 100
1968 Democratic Conventions.

Amidst inverted anthills,
they scurry forth and to
in distinguished
black and red coats.

Fighting each other
as counterparties
to a life and death transaction.

This is an efficient market
that crosses the globe.

Oil from the Sultan of Brunei,
Yen from the land of Hitachi,
Long Bonds from the Fed,
nickel from Quebec,
platinum and palladium
from Siberia,
FTSE’s from London
and crewel cane from Havana
circle these pits.

Tijuana,
Shanghai
and Istanbul's
best traders
are only half as good
as the average trader in Chicago.

Chicago,
this hog butcher to the world,
specializes in packaging and distribution.

Men in blood soaked smocks,
still count the heads
entering the gates of the city.

Their handiwork
is sent out on barges
and rail lines as frozen packages
of futures
waiting for delivery
to an anonymous counterparty
half a world away.

This nation’s hub
has grown into the
premier purveyor
to the world;
along all the rivers,
highways,
railways
and estuaries
it’s tentacles reach.

5.
Sandburg’s Chicago,
is a city of the world’s people.

Many striver rows compose
its many neighborhoods.

Nordic stoicism,
Eastern European orthodoxy
and Afro-American
calypso vibrations
are three of many cords
strumming the strings
of Chicago.

Sandburg’s Chicago,
if you wrote forever
you would only scratch its surface.

People wait for trains
to enter the city from O’Hare.
Frozen tears
lock their eyes
onto distant skyscrapers,
solid chunks
of snot blocks their nose
and green icicles of slime
crust mustaches.
They fight to breathe.

Sandburg’s Chicago
is The Land of Lincoln,
Savior of the Union,
protector of the Republic.
Sent armies
of sons and daughters,
barges, boxcars,
gunboats, foodstuffs,
cannon and shot
to raze the south
and stamp out succession.

Old Abe’s biography
are still unknown volumes to me.
I must see and read the great words.
You can never learn enough;
but I’ve been to Washington
and seen the man’s memorial.
The Free World’s 8th wonder,
guarded by General Grant,
who still keeps an eye on Richmond
and a hand on his sword.

Through this American winter
Abe ponders.
The vista he surveys is dire and tragic.

Our sitting President
impeached
for lying about a *******.

Party partisans
in the senate are sworn and seated.
Our Chief Justice,
adorned with golden bars
will adjudicate the proceedings.
It is the perfect counterpoint
to an ageless Abe thinking
with malice toward none
and charity towards all,
will heal the wounds
of the nation.

Abe our granite angel,
Chicago goes on,
The Union is strong!


SECOND DAY

1.
Out my window
the sun has risen.

According to
the local forecast
its minus 9
going up to
6 today.

The lake,
a golden pillow of clouds
is frozen in time.

I marvel
at the ancients ones
resourcefulness
and how
they mastered
these extreme elements.

Past, present and future
has no meaning
in the Citadel
of the Prairie today.

I set my watch
to Central Standard Time.

Stepping into
the hotel lobby
the concierge
with oil smooth hair,
perfect tie
and English lilt
impeccably asks,
“Do you know where you are going Sir?
Can I give you a map?”

He hands me one of Chicago.
I see he recently had his nails done.
He paints a green line
along Whacker Drive and says,
“turn on Jackson, LaSalle, Wabash or Madison
and you’ll get to where you want to go.”
A walk of 14 or 15 blocks from Streeterville-
(I start at The Chicago White House.
They call it that because Hillary Rodham
stays here when she’s in town.
Its’ also alleged that Stedman
eats his breakfast here
but Opra
has never been seen
on the premises.
I wonder how I gained entry
into this place of elite’s?)
-down into the center of The Loop.

Stepping out of the hotel,
The Doorman
sporting the epaulets of a colonel
on his corporate winter coat
and furry Cossack hat
swaddling his round black face
accosts me.

The skin of his face
is flaking from
the subzero windburn.

He asks me
with a gapped toothy grin,
“Can I get you a cab?”
“No I think I’ll walk,” I answer.
“Good woolen hat,
thick gloves you should be alright.”
He winks and lets me pass.

I step outside.
The Windy City
flings stabbing cold spears
flying on wings of 30-mph gusts.
My outside hardens.
I can feel the freeze
deepen
into my internalness.
I can’t be sure
but inside
my heart still feels warm.
For how long
I cannot say.

I commence
my walk
among the spires
of this great city,
the vertical leaps
that anchor the great lake,
holding its place
against the historic
frigid assault.

The buildings’ sway,
modulating to the blows
of natures wicked blasts.

It’s a hard imposition
on a city and its people.

The gloves,
skullcap,
long underwear,
sweater,
jacket
and overcoat
not enough
to keep the cold
from penetrating
the person.

Like discerning
the layers of this city,
even many layers,
still not enough
to understand
the depth of meaning
of the heart
of this heartland city.

Sandburg knew the city well.
Set amidst groves of suburbs
that extend outward in every direction.
Concentric circles
surround the city.
After the burbs come farms,
Great Plains, and mountains.
Appalachians and Rockies
are but mere molehills
in the city’s back yard.
It’s terra firma
stops only at the sea.
Pt. Barrow to the Horn,
many capes extended.

On the periphery
its appendages,
its extremities,
its outward extremes.
All connected by the idea,
blown by the incessant wind
of this great nation.
The Windy City’s message
is sent to the world’s four corners.
It is a message of power.
English the worlds
common language
is spoken here,
along with Ebonics,
Espanol,
Mandarin,
Czech,
Russian,
Korean,
Arabic,
Hindi­,
German,
French,
electronics,
steel,
cars,
cartoons,
rap,
sports­,
movies,
capital,
wheat
and more.

Always more.
Much much more
in Chicago.

2.
Sandburg
spoke all the dialects.

He heard them all,
he understood
with great precision
to the finest tolerances
of a lathe workers micrometer.

Sandburg understood
what it meant to laugh
and be happy.

He understood
the working mans day,
the learned treatises
of university chairs,
the endless tomes
of the city’s
great libraries,
the lost languages
of the ancient ones,
the secret codes
of abstract art,
the impact of architecture,
the street dialects and idioms
of everymans expression of life.

All fighting for life,
trying to build a life,
a new life
in this modern world.

Walking across
the Michigan Avenue Bridge
I see the Wrigley Building
is neatly carved,
catty cornered on the plaza.

I wonder if Old Man Wrigley
watched his barges
loaded with spearmint
and double-mint
move out onto the lake
from one of those Gothic windows
perched high above the street.

Would he open a window
and shout to the men below
to quit slaking and work harder
or would he
between the snapping sound
he made with his mouth
full of his chewing gum
offer them tickets
to a ballgame at Wrigley Field
that afternoon?

Would the men below
be able to understand
the man communing
from such a great height?

I listen to a man
and woman conversing.
They are one step behind me
as we meander along Wacker Drive.

"You are in Chicago now.”
The man states with profundity.
“If I let you go
you will soon find your level
in this city.
Do you know what I mean?”

No I don’t.
I think to myself.
What level are you I wonder?
Are you perched atop
the transmission spire
of the Hancock Tower?

I wouldn’t think so
or your ears would melt
from the windburn.

I’m thinking.
Is she a kept woman?
She is majestically clothed
in fur hat and coat.
In animal pelts
not trapped like her,
but slaughtered
from farms
I’m sure.

What level
is he speaking of?

Many levels
are evident in this city;
many layers of cobbled stone,
Pennsylvania iron,
Hoosier Granite
and vertical drops.

I wonder
if I detect
condensation
in his voice?

What is
his intention?
Is it a warning
of a broken affair?
A pending pink slip?
Advise to an addict
refusing to adhere
to a recovery regimen?

What is his level anyway?
Is he so high and mighty,
Higher and mightier
then this great city
which we are all a part of,
which we all helped to build,
which we all need
in order to keep this nation
the thriving democratic
empire it is?

This seditious talk!

3.
The Loop’s El
still courses through
the main thoroughfares of the city.

People are transported
above the din of the street,
looking down
on the common pedestrians
like me.

Super CEO’s
populating the upper floors
of Romanesque,
Greek Revivalist,
New Bauhaus,
Art Deco
and Post Nouveau
Neo-Modern
Avant-Garde towers
are too far up
to see me
shivering on the street.

The cars, busses,
trains and trucks
are all covered
with the film
of rock salt.

Salt covers
my bootless feet
and smudges
my cloths as well.

The salt,
the primal element
of the earth
covers everything
in Chicago.

It is the true level
of this city.

The layer
beneath
all layers,
on which
everything
rests,
is built,
grows,
thrives
then dies.
To be
returned again
to the lower
layers
where it can
take root
again
and grow
out onto
the great plains.

Splashing
the nation,
anointing
its people
with its
blessing.

A blessing,
Chicago?

All rivers
come here.

All things
found its way here
through the canals
and back bays
of the world’s
greatest lakes.

All roads,
rails and
air routes
begin and
end here.

Mrs. O’Leary’s cow
got a *** rap.
It did not start the fire,
we did.

We lit the torch
that flamed
the city to cinders.
From a pile of ash
Chicago rose again.

Forever Chicago!
Forever the lamp
that burns bright
on a Great Lake’s
western shore!

Chicago
the beacon
sends the
message to the world
with its windy blasts,
on chugging barges,
clapping trains,
flying tandems,
T1 circuits
and roaring jets.

Sandburg knew
a Chicago
I will never know.

He knew
the rhythm of life
the people walked to.
The tools they used,
the dreams they dreamed
the songs they sang,
the things they built,
the things they loved,
the pains that hurt,
the motives that grew,
the actions that destroyed
the prayers they prayed,
the food they ate
their moments of death.

Sandburg knew
the layers of the city
to the depths
and windy heights
I cannot fathom.

The Blues
came to this city,
on the wing
of a chirping bird,
on the taps
of a rickety train,
on the blast
of an angry sax
rushing on the wind,
on the Westend blitz
of Pop's brash coronet,
on the tink of
a twinkling piano
on a paddle-wheel boat
and on the strings
of a lonely man’s guitar.

Walk into the clubs,
tenements,
row houses,
speakeasies
and you’ll hear the Blues
whispered like
a quiet prayer.

Tidewater Blues
from Virginia,
Delta Blues
from the lower
Mississippi,
Boogie Woogie
from Appalachia,
Texas Blues
from some Lone Star,
Big Band Blues
from Kansas City,
Blues from
Beal Street,
Jelly Roll’s Blues
from the Latin Quarter.

Hell even Chicago
got its own brand
of Blues.

Its all here.
It ended up here
and was sent away
on the winds of westerly blows
to the ear of an eager world
on strong jet streams
of simple melodies
and hard truths.

A broad
shouldered woman,
a single mother stands
on the street
with three crying babes.
Their cloths
are covered
in salt.
She pleads
for a break,
praying
for a new start.
Poor and
under-clothed
against the torrent
of frigid weather
she begs for help.
Her blond hair
and ****** features
suggests her
Scandinavian heritage.
I wonder if
she is related to Sandburg
as I walk past
her on the street.
Her feet
are bleeding
through her
canvass sneakers.
Her babes mouths
are zipped shut
with frozen drivel
and mucous.

The Blues live
on in Chicago.

The Blues
will forever live in her.
As I turn the corner
to walk the Miracle Mile
I see her engulfed
in a funnel cloud of salt,
snow and bits
of white paper,
swirling around her
and her children
in an angry
unforgiving
maelstrom.

The family
begins to
dissolve
like a snail
sprinkled with salt;
and a mother
and her children
just disappear
into the pavement
at the corner
of Dearborn,
in Chicago.

Music:

Robert Johnson
Sweet Home Chicago


jbm
Chicago
1/7/99
Added today to commemorate the birthday of Carl Sandburg
1.
From my
uneasy bed
at the L’Enfant,
a train's pensive
horn breaks the
sullen lullaby of
an HVAC’s hum;
interrupting the
mechanical
reverie of its
steadfast
night watch,
allowing my ear
to discern
the stampede
of marauding
corporate Visigoths
sacking the city.

The cacophony
of sloven gluttony,
the ***** songs of
unrequited privilege
and the unencumbered
clatter of radical
entitlement echoes
off the city’s cold
crumbling stones.

The unctuous
bellows of the
victorious pillagers
profanely feasting
pierces the
hanging chill
of the nations
black night.

Their hoots
deride the train
transporting
the defeated
ghosts of
Lincoln’s last
doomed regiments
dispatched in vain
to preserve a
peoples republic
in a futile last stand.

The rebels have
finally turned the tide,
T Boone Pickett’s
Charge succeeds,
sending the ravaged
Grand Army of the
Republic sliding
back to the Capitol,
in savage servility,
gliding on squeaky
ungreased wheels
ferrying the
Union’s dead
vanquished
defenders to
unmarked graves
on Potters Field.

The Rebels
joyous yell
bounces off
the inert granite
stones of the
soulless city.

The spittle
of salivating
vandals drips
over the
spoils of war
as they initiate the
disassemblage,
the leveling and
reapportionment
of the grand prize.

The clever
oligarchs
have laid claim
to a righteous
reparation
of the peoples
assets for
pennies on the
dollar.

Their wholly
bought politicos
move to transfer
distressed assets
into their just
stewardship
through the
holy justice
of privatization
and the sound
rationale of
free market
solutions.

In the land of the
pursuit of property,
nimble wolf PACs
of swift 527, LLCs
have fully
metastasized
into personhood;
ascending to
the top of the
food chain in
America’s
voracious
political culture;
bestriding
the nation to
compel the
national will
to genuflect
to the cool facility
of corporate
dominion.

As the
inertial ******
of the plaintive
locomotive
fades into
another old
morning of
recalcitrant
Reaganism,
it lugs its
ambivalent
middle class
baggage toward
it’s fast expiring
future.

I follow
the dirge
down to
the street
as the ebbing
sound fades
into the gloom
of the
burgeoning
morning,
slowly
replacing the
purple twilight
with a breaking
day of cold gray
clouds framing
silhouettes of
cranes busily
constructing
a new city.

The personhood of
corporations need
homes in our new
republic; carving
out new
neighborhoods
suitable for the
monied citizens
of our nation.

First amongst
equals, the best
corporate governance
charters form
the foundation of
the republic’s
new constitution.
Civil rights
are secondary
to the freedom
of markets; the
Bill of Rights
are economically
replaced by the
cool manifests
of Bills of Lading.

The agents of
laissez faire
capitalism
nibble away
at the city’s
neighborhoods
one block at a time;
while steady winds
blows dust off
the National Mall.

Layers of the
peoples plaza are
plained away with
each rising gust.  

History repeats
itself as the Joad’s
are routed from their
land once again.

A clever
mixed use
plan of
condos and
strip malls
is proposed
to finally help the
National Mall
unlock its true
profit potential.

As America’s
affection for
federalism fades
the water in
the reflection pool
is gracefully drained.

We the people
can no longer
see ourselves.

The profit
potential of
industry is
preferred over
the specious
metaphysical
benefits
of reflection.

The grand image,
the rich pastiche,
the quixotic aroma
of the national
melting ***
is reduced to the
sameness of the
black tar that lines
the pool and the
swirling eddies of
brown dust circling
the cracked indenture.

From his not so
distant vantage point,
Abe ponders the
empty pool wondering
if the cost of lives
paid was a worthy
endeavor of preserving
the ****** union?  
Has the dear prize
won perished from
this earth?

Was the illusive
article of liberty  
worth its weight in
the blood expended?

Did the people ever
fully realize the value
of government
by the people,
for the people?

Did citizens of
the republic
assume the
responsibilities to
protect and honor
the rights and privileges
of a representative
government?

Now our idea
and practice of
civil rights is measured
and promoted as far as
it can be justified by
a corporate ROI, a
shareholder dividend,
an earmark or a political
donation to a senators
unconnected PAC.

The divine celestial
ledgers balancing
the rights and
privilege of free people
drips with red ink.  

Liberty, equality
fraternity are bankrupt
secular notions
condemned as
expensive
liberal seditions;
hatched by
UnHoly Jacobins,
the atheist skeptics
during the dark times
of the Age of Enlightenment.

Abe ponders
the restoration
of Washington’s
obelisk, to
repair the cracks
suffered  from
last summer’s
freak earthquake.

I believe I detect
a tear in Abe’s
granite eye
saddened by the
corporate temblors
shaking the
foundations
of the city.

2.

The WWII Memorial
is America’s Parthenon
for a country's love
affair with the valor
and sacrifice of warfare.

WWII forms the
cornerstone of
understanding the
pathos of the
American Century.

During WWII
our greatest generation
rose as a nation to
defeat the menace of
global fascism and
indelibly mark the
power and virtue of
American democracy.

As Lincoln’s Army
saved federalism, FDR’s
Army kept the world safe
for democracy.

Both armies served
a nation that shared
the sacrifice and
burden of war to
preserve the grace of
a republican democracy.

Today federalism
crumbles as our
democracy withers.

The burden
of war is reserved
for a precious few
individuals while
its benefits
remain confined to
the corporate elite.

Our monuments
to war have become
commercial backdrops
for the hollow patriotism
of war profiteers.

We have mortgaged
our future to pay
for two criminal wars.

The spoils of
war flow into the
pockets of
corporate
shareholders
deeply invested
in the continuation
of pointless,
destructive
hostilities.

Our service
members who
selflessly served
their country come
home to a less free,
fear struck nation;
where economic
security and political
liberty erodes
each day while the
monied interests
continue to bless
the abundance
of freedom and riches
purchased with the
blood and sweat
of others.

America desperately
needs a new narrative.

The spirit of the
Greatest Generation
who sacrificed and met
the challenge of the 20th
Century must become
this generations spiritual
forebears.

The war on terror
neatly fits the
the corporate
pathos of
militarism,
surveillance
and the sacrifice
of civil liberties
to purchase
a daily measure
of fear and
economic
enslavement.

It must be rejected
by a people committed
to building secular
temples to pursue
peace, democracy,
economic empowerment,
civil liberties and tolerance
for all.

Yet this old city
and the democratic
temples it built
exulting a free people
anointed with the
grace of liberty
is being consumed
in a morass of
commercial
polyglot.

3.

During the
War of 1812
the British Army
burned the
Capitol Building
and the White House
to the ground.

Thank goodness
Dolly Madison saved
what she could.

The new marauders
are not subject to the
pull of nostalgia.  

They value nothing
save their
self enrichment.

They will spare nothing.

Our besieged Capitol
requires Lincoln’s troops
to be stationed along the
National Mall to defend
the republic.

The greatest peril
to our nation
is being directed
by well placed
Fifth Columnists.

From the safety
of underground bunkers,
in secure undisclosed
locations within the city’s
parameters, a well financed
confederacy employing  
K Street shenanigans
are busy selling off
the American Dream
one ear mark
at a time, one
huge corporate
welfare allotment
at a time.

The biggest prize
is looting the real
property of the people;
selling Utah,
auctioning off
the public schools,
water systems, post offices
and mineral rights
on the cheap
at an Uncle Sam
garage sale.  

The capitol is
indeed burning
again.

Looters are
running riot.

The flailing arms
of a dying empire
fire off cruise
missiles and drone
strikes; hitting the
target of habeas
corpus as it
shakes in its
final death rattle.
I make a pilgrimage
to the MLK Jr.
Monument.

Our cultural identity
is outsourced to
foreign contractors
paid to reinterpret
the American Dream
through the eyes
of a lowest bidder.

MLK has lost
his humanity.

He has been
reduced to a
a Chinese
superhuman
Mao like anime
busting loose from
a granite mountain while
geopolitical irony
compels him to watch
Tommy Jefferson
**** Sally Hemings
from across the tidal
basin for all eternity.  

MLK’s eyes fixed in
stern fascination,
forever enthralled
by the contradictions
of liberty and its
democratic excesses
of love in the willows
on golden pond.

Circling back to
Father Abraham’s
Monument,  I huddle
with a group of global
citizens listening
to an NPS Ranger
spinning four score
tales with the last full
measure of her devotion.

I look up into Abe’s
stone eyes as he
surveys platoons
of gray suited
Chinese Communist
envoys engaged
in Long Marches
through the National Mall;
dutifully encircling cabinet
buildings and recruiting
Tea Party congressmen
into their open party cells.

This confederacy
is ready to torch
the White House
again.

Congressmen and
the perfect patriots
from K Street slavishly
pull their paymasters
in gilded rickshaws to
golf outings at the Pentagon
and park at the preferred
spots reserved for
the luxury box holders
at Redskin Games.

They vow not to rest
until the house of the people
is fully mortgaged to the
People’s Republic of China’s
Sovereign Wealth Fund.

4.

A great
Son of Liberty like
Alan Greenspan
roundly rings
the bells of
free markets
as he inches
T Bill rates
forward a few
basis points
at a time; while
his dead mentor
Ayn Rand
lifts Paul Ryan
to her
Fountainhead teet.
He takes a long
draw as she
coos songs
from her primer
of Atlas Shrugged
Mother Goose tales
into his silky ears.

The construction
cranes swing
to the music
building new private
sector space with
the largess of
US taxpayers
money; or
more rightly
future generations
taxpayer debt.

Libertarians,
Tea Baggers, Blue Dogs
and GOP waterboys
eagerly light a
match to the
the crucifixes
bearing federal
social safety
net programs
to the delight
of NASDAQ
listed capitalists
on the come,
licking their chops
to land contracts
to administer
these programs
at a negotiated
cost plus
profit margin.

Citizens
dependent
on programs
are leery
shareholders
are ecstatic.

To be sure
our free
market rebels
don disguises
of red, white
and blue robes
but their objectives
fail to distinguish
their motives and
methods with
some of the finest
Klansman this
country has
ever produced.

5.

DC is a city
of joggers
and choppers.

Corporate
helicopters
wizz by the
Washington
Monument,
popping erections
for the erectors
inspecting the progress
of the cranes
commanding the
city skyline.

USMC drill team
out for a morning
run circles the Mall.

The commanding
cadence of the
DI keeps us
mindful of the
deepening
militarization of
our society.

A crowd  
rushes
to position
themselves,
genuflecting
to photograph
a platoon on
the move.

I try to consider
the defining
characteristics of
Washington DC.

DC is all surface.

It is full of walls
and mirrors.

Its primary hue
is obfuscation.

Open
communication
scripted from well
considered talking points
informs all dialog.

The city is thoroughly
enraptured in narcissism.

Thankfully, one can
always capture the
reflection of oneself in
the ubiquitous presence of
mirrors.  

Vanity imprisons
the city inhabitants.

Young joggers circle the
Mall and gerrymander
down every pathway
of the city.  

They are the clerks,
interns and staffers of
the judicial, executive
and legislative branches.

They are the children
of privilege.

They will never
alter their path.

You must cede the walk
to their entitlement
of a swift comportment
or risk injury of a
violent collision.

These young ones
portray a countenance  
of benevolent rulers.  

They seem to be learning
their trade craft well from
the senators and judges
whom they serve.

They appear confident
they know what's best
for the country and after
their one term of tireless
service to the republic
they look forward to
positions in the private
sector where they will
assist corporations
to extend their reach
into the pant pockets
worn by the body politic.

6.

Our nations mythic story
lies hidden deep in the
closed rooms of the
museums lining the
Mall.

I pause to consider
what a great nation
and its great people
once aspired to.

I spy the a
suspended
Space Shuttle
hanging in dry dock
at the air and
space museum.

Today America’s
astronauts hitch
rides on Russian
rockets.

America rents a
timeshare from
the European
space agency to
lift communication
satellites into orbit.

Across the Mall
I photograph
John Smithson’s
ashes in its columbarium.  

I fear it has become a
metaphor for America’s
future commitment
to scientific inquiry
and rational secular
thinking.

I am relieved to
discover a Smithsonian
exhibit that asks
“what does it mean
to be human?”

The Origins of Humans
exhibit carries a disclaimer
to satisfy creationists.

The exhibit timidly states
that science can coexist
with religious beliefs and
that the point of the exhibit is
not to inflame inflame religious
passions but to shed light on
scientific inquiry.

I imagine these exhibits
will inflame the passion of
the fundamentalist
American Taliban and
provide yet another
reason to dismantle
the Moloch of Federalism.

The pursuit of science
remains safe at the
Smithsonian for now.

7.

Near K Street at
McPherson Park
a posse of
well dressed
lobbyists, the
self anointed
uber patriots
doing the work
of the people
stroll through
the park
boasting a
healthy population
of bedraggled
homeless.

The homeless
occupy the benches
that have been
transformed into
pup tents.

Perhaps some of
the residents of this
mean estate were
made homeless by a
foreclosed mortgage.  

The K Street warriors
can be proud that their
work on behalf of the
banking industry has
forestalled financial market
reform.  

Through it exacerbates
the homeless problem it has
allowed these K Street titans to
profit from the distress of others.

Earlier in the day
I photographed
a homeless man
planted in front of
the Washington
Monument.

I wonder
if my political
voyeurism is
an exploitation of
this man’s condition?

I have more in common
then I probably wish to
admit with my K Street
antagonists.  

In another section
of the park the
remnants of a
distressed OWS
bivouac remain.

The legions of sunshine
patriots have melted away
as the interest of the
blogosphere has waned.

As the weather
improves Moveon.org
and democratic
party operatives
pitch tents in an
effort to resuscitate
the moribund
movement.

They hope
to coop any
remaining energy
to support their
stale deception,
a neoliberal vision
based solely on the
total capitulation
to the bankrupt
corporatocracy.

I heard someone say
a campaign lasts a
season; while a
movement for social
change takes decades.

If that metric proves
correct, and if the
powers don’t succeed
in compromising the
people’s movement
I’ll be three quarters
of a century old
before I see
justice flowing like
a river once again.

8.

I circle back to
the L’Enfant and
find myself
tramping amidst
the lost platoon
of Korean War
soldiers.

My feet drag
in the quagmire
of grass covering
the feet of this
ghostly troop.

My namesake
uncle was a
decorated
veteran of this
conflict and Im
sure I detect
his likeness
in one of the
statues.

The bleak call
of a distant train
sounds a revelry
and I imagine this
patrol springing
to life to answer
the call of their
beloved country
once again.

Yet they remain
inert.  

Stuck in a
place that the
nation finds
impossible to
leave.

The eyes of the
men stare into
an incomprehensible
fate.  

They see the swarms
of Red Army infantrymen
crossing the Yellow River
streaming toward
them in massive
human waves,
the tips of
sparkling bayonets
threatening to slash
the outmanned
contingent fighting
to bits.

They are the
first detachment
to bravely confront
the rising power
of China many
thousands of
miles away
from their homes.

America like
this lone company
is overwhelmed
and lost in the
confusion
that confronts
them.

Looking up
I perceive the
bewilderment
of my muddled image
reflected on the
marble walls
surrounding
the memorial.

I am a comrade-in-arms,
a fellow wanderer sojourning
with th
Nick Web Mar 2015
Love Detect

Have you seen love?
no-no I mean seen love
Not a fake scene love?
But real love,
Mean love,
Not what you see on the screen love,
I mean brings you to your knees love
That you scream I scream we scream love,
Real love,
No that sneaking through the window just to see how it feels love
Don't use her up,
Don't steal Love,
But Real Love,
That spend your last penny and then rebuild love
I need that fight
We argue and still love
Put her first,
Let her go first,
That Yield Love,
That nothings perfect,
It hurts ****,
But its still love
Have you seen love,
That sweet love,
Cream love,
That Mad Love,
Blow Steam love,
That as long as I have you,
I'll protect love,
I detect love,
I'm looking for love
Have you seen love?
626

Only God—detect the Sorrow—
Only God—
The Jehovahs—are no Babblers—
Unto God—
God the Son—Confide it—
Still secure—
God the Spirit’s Honor—
Just as sure—
1260

Because that you are going
And never coming back
And I, however absolute,
May overlook your Track—

Because that Death is final,
However first it be,
This instant be suspended
Above Mortality—

Significance that each has lived
The other to detect
Discovery not God himself
Could now annihilate

Eternity, Presumption
The instant I perceive
That you, who were Existence
Yourself forgot to live—

The “Life that is” will then have been
A thing I never knew—
As Paradise fictitious
Until the Realm of you—

The “Life that is to be,” to me,
A Residence too plain
Unless in my Redeemer’s Face
I recognize your own—

Of Immortality who doubts
He may exchange with me
Curtailed by your obscuring Face
Of everything but He—

Of Heaven and Hell I also yield
The Right to reprehend
To whoso would commute this Face
For his less priceless Friend.

If “God is Love” as he admits
We think that me must be
Because he is a “jealous God”
He tells us certainly

If “All is possible with” him
As he besides concedes
He will refund us finally
Our confiscated Gods—
Joy Amorr Sep 2016
I pulled on a sunflower's petals
To detect your love for me
In the summer's sun is hot
The lying flower said you love me
But I know you love me not
ottaross Aug 2013
Choosing a series a words for a ditty,
Those we first pluck a few at a time.
For readers it will, at first, seem so pretty
When they detect that rhythm and rhyme.

But soon, I suggest, it becomes such a chore,
When words strung together do pose
An oft-trodden pattern or insipid score
That bounces and sings as it goes.

The message conveyed in this rigid frame,
Is lesser I fear than than when we escape
From words chosen for just ending the same
Or some fortuitous fit to that shape.

So I tend to lean towards using blank form,
For verses I build by the letter,
And chose the words that I feel will conform
To that which my heart says are better.
Poking fun at myself, in critique of my oft-penned rhyming stuff. :)
Kayla Kaml May 2013
I have this theory that butterflies taste like bubblegum.

When I was a kid, my tongue was a permanent shade of bright pink.  Shoving as many pieces of BubbleYum into my mouth as I could fit was the epitome of happiness, and when I could fit an entire package at once I knew there was nothing I couldn’t achieve.

And I’m sure that right now if you cut me open my stomach would be a fluorescent pink, because
when I see your face in my mind as I’m sitting in class or
when your name is on my tongue before I fall asleep,
that’s what it tastes like.

Bubblegum.

But please don’t cut me open. My dissection would be too ****** anyway, and far too colorful to detect butterflies…
Because my blood runs red, white, and blue.
When I was younger my mom would always tell me that as I grew older my tastes would change.  Of course, she meant that eventually I would grow to like peas, but even though that still hasn’t happened, she was right.  

Back then red, white and blue tasted like
      hamburgers
               and apple pie
                       and baseball.  

But just recently I cut my finger –
and as I brought it to my lips I tasted
      lingonberries
               and fish and
                        skiing.


Have you ever wondered why blood tastes like metal?  It is the
SWORDS and SHIELDS
that flow through my veins,
passed down from ancestors of millennia past.  And every time I am injured it pours out in protest, those ancient warriors urging me to fight against this strange land and this strange culture.
I was born away from home, as were my parents and grandparents before me. And as I feel the shapes of foreign words in my mouth they taste like meeting an old friend. Because I’ve come to realize that my blood never ran red, white and blue.  



                                                      ­            It runs rødt, hvitt og blått.
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
Thou and I                            

Joyful the moment when we sat in the bower, Thou and I;
In two forms and with two faces - with one soul, Thou and I.                      
The colour of the garden and the song of the birds give the elixir of immortality
The instant we come into the orchard, Thou and I.
The stars of Heaven come out to look upon us -
We shall show the moon herself to them, Thou and I.
Thou and I, with no 'Thou' or 'I', shall become one through our tasting;
Happy, safe from idle talking, Thou and I.
The spirited parrots of heaven will envy us -
When we shall laugh in such a way, Thou and I.
This is stranger, that Thou and I, in this corner here...
Are both in one breath here and there - Thou and I.

Jelaluddin Rumi*

                                              

By the waters
of Babylon the
beloved weep;
mourning the
loss of our
brother
Rumi.

We have
forgotten
Rumi’s
example,
we no longer
speak his
language
of love.

The beloved
have discarded
his virtuous
entreaties
as useless
historical
relics.

His compassion
is mocked
as a sign
of weakness.

His empathy
is considered
a seditious act.

The
beauteous
poems
bespeaking
ecstatic graces
found in the
resplendent
embrace of
unity in the
holy spirit
are shattered,
like a worthless
vase, its
shards
scattered into
a million
splinters that
****** our feet.

We no
longer
sing the
blithe
words of
his love
songs.

The
rapturous
melodies have
evaporated
along with
our joys.

We have
destringed
our harps.

Our songs
of joy have
become
dirges of
lamentations
moaned in
the streets
of our
desecrated
cities.

Our people are
in shambles.  

We are
refugees
fleeing our
besieged
homelands.

We are
prisoners
in the
basements
of our homes.

We perpetrate
crimes against
humanity by
willfully defiling
ourselves.

We dash
the heads of
our children
against
blasted
rocks.

We are
desperate
to find you
dearest
Rumi.

We hope
your sweet
reminders
of love will
bind the
broken
people;
leading us
to forsake
the diet of
acrimony
that has
become
our daily
bread.

I wander,
the streets
with open
ears
listening
for a hint
of your voice;
hoping to
follow it to a
rendezvous
with the
Divine One.

I open
my heart
to discern
a tiny note of
your songs,
winging on the air,
the sweet chords
of agape love
is our hope
to salve our
deep running
wounds.

Only
deafening
silence
returns
to my
saddened
ear.

The elegant
magic of your
voice are
angelic fingers
plucking strings,
evoking  a
heavenly
chorus
of love
and divine
reconciliation.

Your voice
rolls through
the ages
beckoning us  
to transcendent
peace; your
whispers
dance
upon the
face of hatred.

The marching epochs
have dissipated
our memory of you,
beloved Rumi.

Your verses
are ancient
dialects we
can no longer
decipher.

The urgency
grows for us
to speak in your
tongue once
again.

Our besieged
cities are
filled with
the cacophony
of distress.

The beloved
tend lamps
to light the paths
of reconciliation
but few
step forward
to sojourn
the pathways
of peace.

Some ecstatically
turn willing cheeks
to the nasty slaps
of adversaries;
daring to let
flesh absorb
the totality
humanity’s
pain.

Hostility
spills over the
lips of stormy
volcanoes
like gushing
lava flows
of destruction
covering
all corners
of the globe.

Can the
forgiveness
offered by the
aggrieved
blunt the
world’s
acrimony?

Oh Rumi
where are you?

I offer prayers
that your spirit
still moves
among us,
with balm
in hand
you anoint
misspent
love
wandering
amidst the
desolate cities;
daring to spark
life back
to the dead
stones,
your
miraculous
palms
warming
the cold
rocks
with extreme
humanity.

Your love
rises to answer
the intractability
of indifference;
defeating the
crucifix
of empathy.

Your love
rolls away
the bloated
stones covering
compassion's
cold dead tomb.

Your love
breaks the
omnipotent
cycle of
unrequited
vendettas;
laying it
to rest in
the solitary  
oneness
of spirit;
freeing
the beloved
to live in the
liberty of
unconditional
love once again.

We evoke
the presence
of your spirit,
imagining you
levitated
by Allah’s
slightest
whisper,
floating
among us
in aromas of
spring violets.

We hope
to detect
your soft
footprints
on the
open hearts
of the
compassionate.

We invite
your tears
of joy to water
flowers that
bloom into
luscious
groves
offering
the bread of life
to all.

Rumi, return
to teach us the
lost language,
remind us
of the songs
we have
forgotten,
unite all hearts
with dervish spins,
turning the world
in circles of love,
conjure an
avenging
tornado to
route the
despoilers.

We are
battered
exiles
seeking
refuge
in the nape of
your scented
neck.

We wish
to hide in the
embrace
of your
warm *****
and become
medicated by
the perfume of
life’s gardens
chasing away
the stench
of graveyards
alive in our
memories.

Has the music of Rumi’s words fallen on deaf ears?
Has the rhyme and reason of Rumi’s poetry been misunderstood?
Has Rumi’s example been forgotten?
Has Rumi’s revelations of love evaporated into nothingness?

Rumi, I look for you in the market.
I hope to see you saunter down the street biting into a fresh apple.
I crane my ears to hear your voice incant poetic prayers.

As the sun
sets on
another
violent day
I cannot detect
the gentle taps of
your joyful dance.

I remain starved
to join you at
the Lord's table,
to fill myself with
Eden’s Feast.

Rumi
as you once
came to seek me,
I now come
to seek you.

Panting,
I run through
the streets
in desperation.

I become
a callous
****** spying
through every
window, hoping
to catch a
fleeting image
of your shadow.

I throw open
every last door
leading from the
barren streets
in vain attempts
to track your
footprints in
the dusty
courtyards.

My search
only reveals
bare rooms.

Not a single
trace of you
is discovered.

The empty
corners
once lit with
the resonance
of your spirit
are dark, blinded
by the midnight
worries of the
refugees that
have escaped
these black rooms.

I scavenge
the piles
of concrete,
rummaging
through the
the skeletons
of fractured
buildings leveled
by war.

I am covered
with the dust
of destruction.

I scatter the
bones of the dead
frantically looking
to find a single
footprint as
evidence of your
presence.

I find nothing.

I prophesy
to the bones.

I prophesy to
the disconnected
sinews.

I cleave my sinews.
I bleed my veins.

I drape the sinews,
I drain the blood
onto these decrepit
dry bones.

I scream prayers
to breathe new life
into them.

They do not reassemble.
They do not move.
They do not stand.

Where’s Rumi?

Music selection:
Zikr Call of the Sufi
The Divine Union

Suffern
3/28/12
jbm
Brian McDonagh May 2018
Netted on the outside
Dreams pass through the inside.
The good dreams seep the center,
The bad dreams are caught: DO NOT ENTER!
The sleeper with eyes shut,
Protected by the dreamcatcher
And selected by the buy-snatcher,
Slumbers in peace
When all is at ease
Around the dreamcatcher police.
Reality is still
But the mind is awake
And sleep is at stake.
Eyes cannot detect
What the dreamcatcher does,
It only sways in the midst of a glance.
But the dreams that pass the glass dividing atmospheric gas
Cannot be seen, touched, heard.
Dreamcatchers have a radar
That no being does.
The dreams charge at once!
WOOOOSH.
Not a dream is heard
Caught in the dreamcatcher grid,
But the good ones
Keep clean the REM zones.
Native-American tradition
I will surely petition.
I have two dreamcatchers in my room; I love the culture, tradition, and protection they offer!
Luz Hanaii Jan 2014
Many people eat, or shall I say swallow or devour their food too fast.
First I pray over my food blessing it, giving thanks for its source
of nourishment, I give my genuine appreciation for what I'm about
to eat.
I take a bite, zip or small mouthful, savoring eat bite, chewing carefully
for a very long time, without haste, without the feeling that I must
quickly satisfy that hunger feeling.

I am able to detect each and every flavor of my meal, the salt, the sweet,
or tangy flavors, each and every spice in that meal.
The more I chew the better my digestion will be.  I also eat in a mind of
gratefulness for this meal the earth and the hands of my brothers have
provided for and brought to my table.

Small portions become filling and I don't require a second helping.
I make peace with my food, my digestion and my surroundings.
This is not a time to plan, worry, fear or rush... just thank and enjoy!
Namaste~
Eryri Oct 2018
The idiocy,
Sheer insincerity
Of political apologies.

It WAS meant to offend.

You chose the words carefully.
A dog's-whistle in your mouthpiece.
Your career is your priority.

You are a glorified carnival barker,
With a reputation as an intellect,
But many do detect ******* in your overblown prose
(except those who are equally verbose).

Will your papa be disappointed
If you are never to be anointed?
Your education makes being PM a career choice,
So power for it's own sake should really be a piece of cake.

So how about it, Boris?
Will we hear more Horace?
How much do you want it?
Enough to blow your own Trumpette?
I really wanted to rhyme Bannon and Cannon after the last line.
Life Jun 2014
A great amount is said about lies
We are all liars
On purpose or not, they often fly
You cannot even detect it in our eyes
 
Only liars know when being lied to
We do not want to admit it
But in our mouth, there is still a residue
All we are, are hypocrites
 
So don’t you to lie to me
I am a hypocrite
I create debris
So just you admit

*You lie too
I feel decompressed and lethargic,
as I continue scrolling through my online soul only to see a kind-hearted person now nostalgic.

Why can't we all feel the same?

Why does the world seem to be aflame?

It's because we all try to accomplish being perfect,
and when we spot "convicts" we don't even detect we inflict neglect.

The thought of unity is fading away as is the hippie way,
a late anniversary bouquet whittling away,
a smoking cigarette left around the ashtray, dying this midsummers day.

Why is this thought so crazy anyway?

The change starts internally,
and can only be finished by an honest community,
one where we can all live with our acquired mental immunity.

Finally, peace sets within our unity.
Gwen Pimentel Jul 2015
n.*  hy•po•thal•a•mus -ˈthal-ə-məs\
: the part of the brain that controls fight or flight responses

September 23rd
The first time our eyes met
Travelling across the room
Not knowing that those were the same eyes
That could **** me with a smile

December 28th
I found out that you wrote
And ****, that was hot
Your words that got me hooked
Were the same ones that cut my strings

February 14th
We were nothing close to lovers
Not even bestfriends
But I somehow felt less lonely
Talking to you everyday

April 8th
The beginning of heat
And I think I barely noticed
Because the thought of you
Makes blood rush to my cheek

June 19th
The start of school
And the start of the drift
Or maybe it was just stress?
I hung on to our conversations

July 31st
You talked about this new girl
And how she was pretty
And funny
And everything I wasn’t

August 17th
We haven’t talked in 2 weeks
Not like you noticed much
All you cared about was her
I'm starting to miss you
Alot

September 27th
I was in Biology
I studied the hypothalamus
And how it controlled
The fight or flight response of our body

September 27th
I was studying the hypothalamus
And learned that the body has a natural instinct
To detect danger or warning
Thus activating the hypothalamus

September 27th
I was studying the hypothalamus
And **** who gave you the right to walk in my mind
I was studying the hypothalamus for God’s sake how does this even relate to you?
I saw you in everything
A notebook – Cos you write
Coffee – because you loved it
The Fault In Our Stars – because you hated it
Pictures of New York – because it was your dream
My playlist – because you made it
My jacket – because it smells like you
My little sister – because she looks for you
My mother – because she still makes your favorite dinner whenever you visit
The flowers on our porch – because you planted them
Hot Pockets – because you despised them
But **** never did I expect to see you in a hypothalamus

September 27th
People don’t come with warning signs attached to their necks
And even if our body has a natural instinct to detect danger
People like you, know just the right things to say or do to trick my body into thinking you're good for me
You know my passcode, how to get through my walls
So all this time I’ve been wondering
Where was my hypothalamus, if I even had one
Why didn’t it warn me
To flee your arms before I got entangled in your words,
Before I sunk in the quicksand of your charm
Why wasn’t I warned, to fight or flight, before I got hurt this bad?
Why wasn’t I warned of the danger that was you.
Poetry by MAN Aug 2013
Raised in California grew up in the hood
It’s where I first discovered my morning wood
***** I did detect became my *** ***
Creating what looked like a perfect tee ***
Didn't understand I was very young
I would play Cowboys and Indians with it just for fun
Till one day I saw my first pair of ****
Looked at my pants I was hard and stiff
Pop’s ******* magazines laid around for fun?
I’m a ****** Scorpio I figured out how to ***
The girls noticed me knew I was wild
Would grabby feel me up I was no longer a child
My **** is like a clock keeping time like it should
My sunrise with a surprise My Morning Wood!
8-31-13 M.A.N
Del Maximo Nov 2012
(3 persons in one Universe)

I.
retinas read with rods and cones
as eyes watch
but who sees?
fingertips discern with nerve endings
but whose ears feel fear of library lips?
noses detect an old factory
but who tastes the aroma of rice
cooking in the kitchen?
membranes entreat tympanic vibrations
but who hears the mischief of schoolyards,
playgrounds and wind chimes?
who smells the movement of white water
in blue skies?
who envies a feather’s flight
and a fire fly’s light?
who listens for the whip-poor-will’s cry
and the songs of ocean waves and seashells?
who longs for the softness of your flesh
and the sweet touch of your voice?
more than muscle and tendon,
tissue, bone and blood
every cell in my body reactive
in thoughtful, mindful ways
but who interprets it all?
who am I?
who is me?
who, who, who-whooo?


II.
in my mind I am the god
of existentialism
creator of my microcosm
winding my path my way
but the world is dichotomy
an intertwined double helix
circumstances and choices
road blocks and detours
trial and error
failure and success
life is navigation
community is whom I meet along the road
responsibility is self and selflessness
as a good Samaritan thinketh
I wish I had wisdom’s words
and action’s healing hands
but this god lacks omnipotence
although strength and peace reside in me
human limitations foment fear
paralyzed intentions defer goals
like everyone else
my calendar works out day to day
at times my frustrations mount in muted rage
echoing like distant rolling thunder
sometimes I’m a gentle rain
nourishing the earth
other times I... am...LIGHTNING


III.
some look to the earth for their roots
searching rhizomes for past generations
finding themselves made in the image
of wise bearded irises
I look to the stars twinkling my call name
I hear them in night’s silence
and marvel at the lessons they teach
the patience of their traveling light
the wisdom in keeping their place
in the scheme of constellations
and knowing when to turn with the seasons
their acceptance of northstar as center’s attention
secure in the sparkle of their individuality
hearsay says we are made of the same mettle
we are the substance of stars
I imagine myself in their history
a child of the universe
traversing the zodiac before I was me
but now in this life reaching up to night’s sky
the heavens remind me
although I’m but a speck in its vastness
a blink in time’s eye
I have a shine and brilliance
that is mine alone
© 2012
Please understand that this was not meant to be an exercise in "other voices".  Instead, this poem is meant to be a discussion on the 3 part nature of man (in this case, me).
JS CARIE May 2018
Assert confidence in a convincing recital
Claim certainty that protection is binding
safety is paramount
a rehearsed amount
until she takes it on ethics
every truth is there to detect
A battle for reason
until potential yields to the objective
Loyalty isn't just imagination

Fate constructed in a noiseless dialogue
momentary eye contact
pencil hits paper
Smoke and vapor
Fire comes later
an unsurpassed honor
All the letters weve written
are a smear on the page of occasion
Resulting in endless treasure
Only to be rediscovered
When the omission is uncovered
Paul Hansford Dec 2016
If I could be a super-hero,
I would be your Bee-Man.

I would fly over continents and oceans,
over forests and gardens,
until I found you,
my Rose Queen.
My super-powers would detect
your pink petals
from far off.
Down I would fly,
drawn by the fragrance of you
to the exquisite beauty
silkily emerging from the heart of you,
your blushing petals
unfolding for me.

Gently but firmly
my long, loving tongue would press
between those dew-moistened folds,
unable to resist the perfume
overcoming me,
and tugged in
by your intoxicating scent,
your nectar I would sup
until I could drink no more.

Then transforming
the sweet nectar
you had so willingly granted me,
creating the rich, creamy honey
that would be especially for you,
I would so willingly penetrate
between your soft petals,
find your hidden depths,
and to repay you for the delight
your fragrant nectar had given me,
magically inject my honey into you,
penetrating to the essential heart of you,
until my store was empty,
and we would both feel
the most exquisite joy of all.

I can only hope that you dream of it as I do,
that you wish it also,
and that some day our dreams can come together
as we would.
Mean while the heinous and despiteful act
Of Satan, done in Paradise; and how
He, in the serpent, had perverted Eve,
Her husband she, to taste the fatal fruit,
Was known in Heaven; for what can ’scape the eye
Of God all-seeing, or deceive his heart
Omniscient? who, in all things wise and just,
Hindered not Satan to attempt the mind
Of Man, with strength entire and free will armed,
Complete to have discovered and repulsed
Whatever wiles of foe or seeming friend.
For still they knew, and ought to have still remembered,
The high injunction, not to taste that fruit,
Whoever tempted; which they not obeying,
(Incurred what could they less?) the penalty;
And, manifold in sin, deserved to fall.
Up into Heaven from Paradise in haste
The angelick guards ascended, mute, and sad,
For Man; for of his state by this they knew,
Much wondering how the subtle Fiend had stolen
Entrance unseen.  Soon as the unwelcome news
From Earth arrived at Heaven-gate, displeased
All were who heard; dim sadness did not spare
That time celestial visages, yet, mixed
With pity, violated not their bliss.
About the new-arrived, in multitudes
The ethereal people ran, to hear and know
How all befel:  They towards the throne supreme,
Accountable, made haste, to make appear,
With righteous plea, their utmost vigilance
And easily approved; when the Most High
Eternal Father, from his secret cloud,
Amidst in thunder uttered thus his voice.
Assembled Angels, and ye Powers returned
From unsuccessful charge; be not dismayed,
Nor troubled at these tidings from the earth,
Which your sincerest care could not prevent;
Foretold so lately what would come to pass,
When first this tempter crossed the gulf from Hell.
I told ye then he should prevail, and speed
On his bad errand; Man should be seduced,
And flattered out of all, believing lies
Against his Maker; no decree of mine
Concurring to necessitate his fall,
Or touch with lightest moment of impulse
His free will, to her own inclining left
In even scale.  But fallen he is; and now
What rests, but that the mortal sentence pass
On his transgression,—death denounced that day?
Which he presumes already vain and void,
Because not yet inflicted, as he feared,
By some immediate stroke; but soon shall find
Forbearance no acquittance, ere day end.
Justice shall not return as bounty scorned.
But whom send I to judge them? whom but thee,
Vicegerent Son?  To thee I have transferred
All judgement, whether in Heaven, or Earth, or Hell.
Easy it may be seen that I intend
Mercy colleague with justice, sending thee
Man’s friend, his Mediator, his designed
Both ransom and Redeemer voluntary,
And destined Man himself to judge Man fallen.
So spake the Father; and, unfolding bright
Toward the right hand his glory, on the Son
Blazed forth unclouded Deity: He full
Resplendent all his Father manifest
Expressed, and thus divinely answered mild.
Father Eternal, thine is to decree;
Mine, both in Heaven and Earth, to do thy will
Supreme; that thou in me, thy Son beloved,
Mayest ever rest well pleased.  I go to judge
On earth these thy transgressours; but thou knowest,
Whoever judged, the worst on me must light,
When time shall be; for so I undertook
Before thee; and, not repenting, this obtain
Of right, that I may mitigate their doom
On me derived; yet I shall temper so
Justice with mercy, as may illustrate most
Them fully satisfied, and thee appease.
Attendance none shall need, nor train, where none
Are to behold the judgement, but the judged,
Those two; the third best absent is condemned,
Convict by flight, and rebel to all law:
Conviction to the serpent none belongs.
Thus saying, from his radiant seat he rose
Of high collateral glory: Him Thrones, and Powers,
Princedoms, and Dominations ministrant,
Accompanied to Heaven-gate; from whence
Eden, and all the coast, in prospect lay.
Down he descended straight; the speed of Gods
Time counts not, though with swiftest minutes winged.
Now was the sun in western cadence low
From noon, and gentle airs, due at their hour,
To fan the earth now waked, and usher in
The evening cool; when he, from wrath more cool,
Came the mild Judge, and Intercessour both,
To sentence Man:  The voice of God they heard
Now walking in the garden, by soft winds
Brought to their ears, while day declined; they heard,
And from his presence hid themselves among
The thickest trees, both man and wife; till God,
Approaching, thus to Adam called aloud.
Where art thou, Adam, wont with joy to meet
My coming seen far off?  I miss thee here,
Not pleased, thus entertained with solitude,
Where obvious duty ere while appeared unsought:
Or come I less conspicuous, or what change
Absents thee, or what chance detains?—Come forth!
He came; and with him Eve, more loth, though first
To offend; discountenanced both, and discomposed;
Love was not in their looks, either to God,
Or to each other; but apparent guilt,
And shame, and perturbation, and despair,
Anger, and obstinacy, and hate, and guile.
Whence Adam, faltering long, thus answered brief.
I heard thee in the garden, and of thy voice
Afraid, being naked, hid myself.  To whom
The gracious Judge without revile replied.
My voice thou oft hast heard, and hast not feared,
But still rejoiced; how is it now become
So dreadful to thee?  That thou art naked, who
Hath told thee?  Hast thou eaten of the tree,
Whereof I gave thee charge thou shouldst not eat?
To whom thus Adam sore beset replied.
O Heaven! in evil strait this day I stand
Before my Judge; either to undergo
Myself the total crime, or to accuse
My other self, the partner of my life;
Whose failing, while her faith to me remains,
I should conceal, and not expose to blame
By my complaint: but strict necessity
Subdues me, and calamitous constraint;
Lest on my head both sin and punishment,
However insupportable, be all
Devolved; though should I hold my peace, yet thou
Wouldst easily detect what I conceal.—
This Woman, whom thou madest to be my help,
And gavest me as thy perfect gift, so good,
So fit, so acceptable, so divine,
That from her hand I could suspect no ill,
And what she did, whatever in itself,
Her doing seemed to justify the deed;
She gave me of the tree, and I did eat.
To whom the Sovran Presence thus replied.
Was she thy God, that her thou didst obey
Before his voice? or was she made thy guide,
Superiour, or but equal, that to her
Thou didst resign thy manhood, and the place
Wherein God set thee above her made of thee,
And for thee, whose perfection far excelled
Hers in all real dignity?  Adorned
She was indeed, and lovely, to attract
Thy love, not thy subjection; and her gifts
Were such, as under government well seemed;
Unseemly to bear rule; which was thy part
And person, hadst thou known thyself aright.
So having said, he thus to Eve in few.
Say, Woman, what is this which thou hast done?
To whom sad Eve, with shame nigh overwhelmed,
Confessing soon, yet not before her Judge
Bold or loquacious, thus abashed replied.
The Serpent me beguiled, and I did eat.
Which when the Lord God heard, without delay
To judgement he proceeded on the accused
Serpent, though brute; unable to transfer
The guilt on him, who made him instrument
Of mischief, and polluted from the end
Of his creation; justly then accursed,
As vitiated in nature:  More to know
Concerned not Man, (since he no further knew)
Nor altered his offence; yet God at last
To Satan first in sin his doom applied,
Though in mysterious terms, judged as then best:
And on the Serpent thus his curse let fall.
Because thou hast done this, thou art accursed
Above all cattle, each beast of the field;
Upon thy belly groveling thou shalt go,
And dust shalt eat all the days of thy life.
Between thee and the woman I will put
Enmity, and between thine and her seed;
Her seed shall bruise thy head, thou bruise his heel.
So spake this oracle, then verified
When Jesus, Son of Mary, second Eve,
Saw Satan fall, like lightning, down from Heaven,
Prince of the air; then, rising from his grave
Spoiled Principalities and Powers, triumphed
In open show; and, with ascension bright,
Captivity led captive through the air,
The realm itself of Satan, long usurped;
Whom he shall tread at last under our feet;
Even he, who now foretold his fatal bruise;
And to the Woman thus his sentence turned.
Thy sorrow I will greatly multiply
By thy conception; children thou shalt bring
In sorrow forth; and to thy husband’s will
Thine shall submit; he over thee shall rule.
On Adam last thus judgement he pronounced.
Because thou hast hearkened to the voice of thy wife,
And eaten of the tree, concerning which
I charged thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat thereof:
Cursed is the ground for thy sake; thou in sorrow
Shalt eat thereof, all the days of thy life;
Thorns also and thistles it shall bring thee forth
Unbid; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread,
Till thou return unto the ground; for thou
Out of the ground wast taken, know thy birth,
For dust thou art, and shalt to dust return.
So judged he Man, both Judge and Saviour sent;
And the instant stroke of death, denounced that day,
Removed far off; then, pitying how they stood
Before him naked to the air, that now
Must suffer change, disdained not to begin
Thenceforth the form of servant to assume;
As when he washed his servants feet; so now,
As father of his family, he clad
Their nakedness with skins of beasts, or slain,
Or as the snake with youthful coat repaid;
And thought not much to clothe his enemies;
Nor he their outward only with the skins
Of beasts, but inward nakedness, much more.
Opprobrious, with his robe of righteousness,
Arraying, covered from his Father’s sight.
To him with swift ascent he up returned,
Into his blissful ***** reassumed
In glory, as of old; to him appeased
All, though all-knowing, what had passed with Man
Recounted, mixing intercession sweet.
Mean while, ere thus was sinned and judged on Earth,
Within the gates of Hell sat Sin and Death,
In counterview within the gates, that now
Stood open wide, belching outrageous flame
Far into Chaos, since the Fiend passed through,
Sin opening; who thus now to Death began.
O Son, why sit we here each other viewing
Idly, while Satan, our great author, thrives
In other worlds, and happier seat provides
For us, his offspring dear?  It cannot be
But that success attends him; if mishap,
Ere this he had returned, with fury driven
By his avengers; since no place like this
Can fit his punishment, or their revenge.
Methinks I feel new strength within me rise,
Wings growing, and dominion given me large
Beyond this deep; whatever draws me on,
Or sympathy, or some connatural force,
Powerful at greatest distance to unite,
With secret amity, things of like kind,
By secretest conveyance.  Thou, my shade
Inseparable, must with me along;
For Death from Sin no power can separate.
But, lest the difficulty of passing back
Stay his return perhaps over this gulf
Impassable, impervious; let us try
Adventurous work, yet to thy power and mine
Not unagreeable, to found a path
Over this main from Hell to that new world,
Where Satan now prevails; a monument
Of merit high to all the infernal host,
Easing their passage hence, for *******,
Or transmigration, as their lot shall lead.
Nor can I miss the way, so strongly drawn
By this new-felt attraction and instinct.
Whom thus the meager Shadow answered soon.
Go, whither Fate, and inclination strong,
Leads thee; I shall not lag behind, nor err
The way, thou leading; such a scent I draw
Of carnage, prey innumerable, and taste
The savour of death from all things there that live:
Nor shall I to the work thou enterprisest
Be wanting, but afford thee equal aid.
So saying, with delight he snuffed the smell
Of mortal change on earth.  As when a flock
Of ravenous fowl, though many a league remote,
Against the day of battle, to a field,
Where armies lie encamped, come flying, lured
With scent of living carcasses designed
For death, the following day, in ****** fight:
So scented the grim Feature, and upturned
His nostril wide into the murky air;
Sagacious of his quarry from so far.
Then both from out Hell-gates, into the waste
Wide anarchy of Chaos, damp and dark,
Flew diverse; and with power (their power was great)
Hovering upon the waters, what they met
Solid or slimy, as in raging sea
Tost up and down, together crouded drove,
From each side shoaling towards the mouth of Hell;
As when two polar winds, blowing adverse
Upon the Cronian sea, together drive
Mountains of ice, that stop the imagined way
Beyond Petsora eastward, to the rich
Cathaian coast.  The aggregated soil
Death with his mace petrifick, cold and dry,
As with a trident, smote; and fixed as firm
As Delos, floating once; the rest his look
Bound with Gorgonian rigour not to move;
And with Asphaltick slime, broad as the gate,
Deep to the roots of Hell the gathered beach
They fastened, and the mole immense wrought on
Over the foaming deep high-arched, a bridge
Of length prodigious, joining to the wall
Immoveable of this now fenceless world,
Forfeit to Death; from hence a passage broad,
Smooth, easy, inoffensive, down to Hell.
So, if great things to small may be compared,
Xerxes, the liberty of Greece to yoke,
From Susa, his Memnonian palace high,
Came to the sea: and, over Hellespont
Bridging his way, Europe with Asia joined,
And scourged with many a stroke the indignant waves.
Now had they brought the work by wonderous art
Pontifical, a ridge of pendant rock,
Over the vexed abyss, following the track
Of Satan to the self-same place where he
First lighted from his wing, and landed safe
From out of Chaos, to the outside bare
Of this round world:  With pins of adamant
And chains they made all fast, too fast they made
And durable!  And now in little space
The confines met of empyrean Heaven,
And of this World; and, on the left hand, Hell
With long reach interposed; three several ways
In sight, to each of these three places led.
And now their way to Earth they had descried,
To Paradise first tending; when, behold!
Satan, in likeness of an Angel bright,
Betwixt the Centaur and the Scorpion steering
His zenith, while the sun in Aries rose:
Disguised he came; but those his children dear
Their parent soon discerned, though in disguise.
He, after Eve seduced, unminded slunk
Into the wood fast by; and, changing shape,
To observe the sequel, saw his guileful act
By Eve, though all unweeting, seconded
Upon her husband; saw their shame that sought
Vain covertures; but when he saw descend
The Son of God to judge them, terrified
He fled; not hoping to escape, but shun
The present; fearing, guilty, what his wrath
Might suddenly inflict; that past, returned
By night, and listening where the hapless pair
Sat in their sad discourse, and various plaint,
Thence gathered his own doom; which understood
Not instant, but of future time, with joy
And tidings fraught, to Hell he now returned;
And at the brink of Chaos, near the foot
Of this new wonderous pontifice, unhoped
Met, who to meet him came, his offspring dear.
Great joy was at their meeting, and at sight
Of that stupendious bridge his joy encreased.
Long he admiring stood, till Sin, his fair
Enchanting daughter, thus the silence broke.
O Parent, these are thy magnifick deeds,
Thy trophies! which thou viewest as not thine own;
Thou art their author, and prime architect:
For I no sooner in my heart divined,
My heart, which by a secret harmony
Still moves with thine, joined in connexion sweet,
That thou on earth hadst prospered, which thy looks
Now also evidence, but straight I felt,
Though distant from thee worlds between, yet felt,
That I must after thee, with this thy son;
Such fatal consequence unites us three!
Hell could no longer hold us in our bounds,
Nor this unvoyageable gulf obscure
Detain from following thy illustrious track.
Thou hast achieved our liberty, confined
Withi
C A Nov 2012
We blanket our fears with silly defense mechanisms to shelter any shame we carry
From every angle we stand we are judged at first sight
We pretend we aren't critics but we are hypocrites everyday
As we seek the forgiveness we can't give in return
We make promises and sugar coat little white lies
As we defensively reassure the world we are mistunderstoond and unique
The truth is our narcissim reeks like bad perfume suffocating everyone around us
As we stand tall for whatever it is we believe in
It's just denial
Because inside we are tormented with insecurities and charachter defects
Inside our stomachs are fluttering with anxiety and secrets too painful to remember
Inside we are incarcerated with a plethora of misguided ghosts screaming for an escape
Inside bombs are bursting out gunshots and out hearts have bullet wounds to prove it
Our viles of happiness are never satisfied
We are always seeking more
But we are never sure what we are looking for
Some sort of accomplishment or recognition
Maybe validation
A sign that we are still breathing with a euphoria seeping out our pores into the air
A sign of greatness
Maybe we want that picture perfect dream that we fantasize about until we reassure ourselves we are lunatics for wishing
We feel debased because our choices keep the odds against us
We are incapable of managing our own lives
And maybe nothing will restore our piece of mind
It's insanity--our thoughts
I think its called delusional
Because in reality nothing goes as expected
We had learned to cope with self medication
Because all the doctors were wrong
Something had to fill our voids in our hearts
Something had to stop the brain from processing emotions
We chased after something invisible
A force that spiriled our lives down into the ground
We ran away like little children afraid of the dark
Because we thought the pain would be like daggers through our hearts
Stabbing us over and over again until we died from sufferance
The pain was too frightening to look directly in the eye
If it were easy or if there was a simplier way of figuring it out we wouldn't have wasted so many years battling the addiction that wears a shield of armor
If it were easy the grass would be green and we'd never have to water it
If it were easy we wouldn't be so sensitive to triggers and flashbacks
It's not easy
It is World War 3 every single day
There is a chip on our shoulder and a devil on the other jumping up and down eager to break us
He is whispering temptations;
Seducing us with our vices, pushing us to collapse like an avolance until we overdose
He is waiting patiently and constantly because he knows us so well
We were weak for so long and he is hungry for our failures
He wants us to throw our hands up and call it quits
And the worst part is just when we think we've won it gets worse
And we are forced to stand in the mirror and detect every flaw of imperfection we wish to erase
And then it comes back all our defense mechanisms
The way we present ourselves to the big whole wide world
Biting our lip in sufference
Haunted by a past of turmoil and depression
It is hard to communicate to those who don't understand our demons
We are looked down upon and there is another stupid burden to carry
Because everything adds up and we get tired of all the negative
We get stomped on and spit on and drug through hell
But then something clicks
And we look around the room and we realize we are not alone
We are brave, strong and somehow still alive
And there is a person to your left an another to your right starring right through you
But all you can do is hand over the keys to your self destructive behavior and pray that help is on the way
Because we are addicts batteling the same devils in different levels of the game
Because we were dealt with a bad hand
But we played with what we had
And suddenly everything was ok when we walked into the doors to our recovery
and said
Hello, I am an addict
Jordan Sep 2018
Like a zygote in a toilet bowl
you flushed me away with a raw and distant shame that must’ve grown in you for two weeks and kept you up at night as a churning of unknown origin, a bloating that weighed you down in that section of the grocery store and made you promise “after one more week” because it was too early to tell even though you were already flushed with that secret, lonely panic when something no one else could detect made you gag and you prayed like a Christian and remained silent like a monk until it finally happened and you were saved, redeemed by the sight of the red little pieces of soul and carnal ritual which were so tender and broken you became whole again and you understood so you flushed me away, and we never spoke of it because only I knew but you must’ve understood the shame because at the first sight of me in August you flushed my red little soul away too.
about a secret miscarriage and an unexpected break up
Eleanor Rigby Sep 2014
When I was little I dreamt I was a stringless kite
flying freely in the sky, I was the out-of-control wild
type you could never manage to keep quiet.
But when I met you, things somewhat changed and
you brought me back on land and showed me that
what I needed wasn't exactly in the sky but rather
right beside you. I decided to give away my wings
for one taste of your witty tongue and dangerous
love. The only problem is that deep within me, and
even though I had legs that I wasn't exactly designed
to use, a hint of feeling out-of-place
would always disguise itself in the most subtle
ways you would always detect and hate, absolutely
hate about me.

The idea of dying so I am finally free was tempting,
I've got to admit it was the only thing left about
that long gone dreamy girl you managed to
change completely. And it's all confusing because
no matter how hard I try to get away, I always
find myself stuck inside my brain thinking
about the way your lips form when you say
you love me. And I bet you hate the way mine
do when I say I don't want you. But baby,
if it hadn't been for you, I would have
probably ceased to exist by now.

Maybe I simply wanted you to love me
with my flaws and pain and sorrow
and everything that's me.

And maybe you cannot do that because
no human can love unconditionally.


F.Z.N
Marigolds Fever Aug 2018
Parallel universe
A universe redone
What is real
One in your mind is fun
One in your heart is what you feel
Multi layered love
Layers of human reality
When looking from above
Like the mourning dove
Who’s actuality
Is a lonely spotted seed
Only to detect
The things that work out perfectly
Cvash May 2018
I used to hate your healthy avocados...until I had one
Not that your coffee tasted superior to my tea
But what's taste when you season mine with gun powder?
Yes, In case you did not detect
There is a lot of hate in this one
Call me aggressive and spiteful
Whilst holding your rifle
They say hate begets hate begets hate begets hate
So for you to understand
I put aside my ignorance and try to walk in your shoes

OK, let's start:

A lot of trees
Beautiful sky, delightful breeze
A rich land where tenants are a many and they shun the proprietor
I know I promised to be nice
But let's face it for that white picket fence, someone had to pay the price.

Start again:

Sunny coasts
Bacon, eggs on toast
Walk the dog in the park, life is not all that hectic here.
To make it clear, running out of coffee is my basic fear.

Flat stomachs
In fact, six packs!
Cupboard full of knick-knacks
and plenty of time to kick back and relax
Never-ending supply of niceties

Calm waters
Long walks along the harbor
and perhaps a tall pint of lager at the pub

Throw some juicy ones on the barbie mate!
Who cares if 6.2 mil in Somalia are starving mate?
You say to me:
"survival of the fittest, Darwin mate"
"It's so difficult to fit in" I say; so tiring MATE
Did I say that right?
I'm Mohammad, as James in a play called "Aussie Catch Up"
and I don't know how to play that part

What else can I say? they gave me a voice (although in English)
between the self deprecating migrant and the middle eastern rag head, the gave me a choice

And by the way my boss tried to anglicize my name
Said Sebastian had a nice ‘ring’ to it
Well go ahead, march to your colonial tune and have me sing to it

Oh healthy avocados, you're too ripe for my liking
Maybe I'm just used to a bit of rawness in my diet
To be honest
I have a heavy heart, a dark one
Maybe to reconcile, you should take a step
a very very very very very very long one
RAJ NANDY Oct 2014
Dear Friends, kindly read the Foot Notes at the end for
better appreciation. I tried to convey some interesting
information in my verses for my few interested readers!
Thanks, -Raj

THE STORY OF ALPHABETS:
PART ONE

INTRODUCTION
Alphabets are the noblest and the greatest of
inventions of our civilization,
For transmitting human thoughts and concepts
through visible notations!
In the olden days those magical symbols and
signs,
Could be written and understood only by the
priests and scribes !
But with the invention of printing, literacy began
to spread, * (see notes below.)
When people began to read and write with standard
Alphabets!
The 26 English letters with which we read and express
ourselves so easily and well,
Has a legendary and checkered past, and an unique
Story to tell !

FROM PICTOGRAM TO WRITTEN SCRIPTS :
The story of writing can be traced back to over
thousands of years you see ,
From pictogram to ideograms and various cuneiform
scripts!
From the ancient Sumerians and the Egyptians, to
the Semitic tribes;
Up to the Phoenicians, the Greeks, right up to the
Roman times !
Till the Latin script got refined into modern alphabets,
And with 26 letters our literary aspirations were met !

PICTOGRAM & IDEOGRAMS :

Ancient pictogram and symbols were painted and
carved on rock walls and caves, -
But speech sounds and letters remained unrelated !
Followed by the ideographic, logographic, and the
syllabic stages ,
Evolving into written alphabets through these different
phases!
Ideograms expressed an idea through visual or graphic
symbols,
Giving rise to Chinese script without alphabets, but
with only ideographic symbols! @(notes below)
The Sumerian cuneiform and Egyptian hieroglyphs
were the oldest of these,
Let me now tell you something about the Sumerian
script !

CUNEIFORM WRITING :
On that land between the two rivers the Tigris and
the Euphrates,
Which the Greek’s called ‘Mesopotamia’,
Rose the earliest of ancient civilizations called
Sumeria!
Those Sumerians used a stylus, - the head of a
squared-off reed ,
To inscribe wedge shaped angular symbols on
clay tablets - for their accounting needs!
These tablets could be dried in the sun to form
hardened scripts ,
And also recycled if necessary, giving birth to the
Cuneiform Script!
The earliest clay tablets date back to 3500 BC ;
While archeologists and linguists could detect
and see ,
That with modifications over the centuries this
script was also used, -
By the Akkadians , Elamites , the Hittites and the
Uratians ;
And scholars say that it was the forerunner of the
hieroglyphs of those ancient Egyptians!
The earliest clay tablets found in Mesopotamia,
Indicate accounting of barley crops by the Sangu
of Sumeria!
Sangu was the Chief Official of their Holy Temples ,
Who recorded all temple wealth on clay tablets, –
with cuneiform symbols !
Herodotus the Greek historian tells us a story ,
About a letter sent by the Scythians to the Persian King
during the days of Scythian glory!
This letter contained symbols of a bird, a mouse,
a frog, and five arrows;
When translated it read: “Can you fly like a bird, hide
in the ground like a mouse, leap through the swamps
like a frog? If not, do not go to war with us, -
We shall overwhelm you with our arrows!”

EGYPTIAN HIEROGLYPHS :
Hieroglyph comes from a Greek word meaning
‘sacred inscriptions’ ,
Consisting of a large variety of images representing
sounds, as well as ideas and actions !
The images were depicted in rows or columns , -
oriented from right to left ,
And the signs were positioned as if looking towards
the beginning of the text!
They were used from end of Prehistory to 396 AD,
And the last text was written on the walls of the
Temple of Isis, on the Island of Philae !
The oldest one dates back to 3100 BC, - inside the
Temple of Ramesses II at Abydos ,
Where Thoth the ibis-headed God, - patron Deity
of Writing and Scribes is seen ,
Holding a scribal palette in one hand and in the
other a stylus of reed ;
And King Ramesses II holding up a water *** , -
To assist the great Thoth, their Writing God !

HIERATIC, DEMOTIC & COPTIC SCRIPTS :
The hieroglyphics were used for many varied
situations; -
Written on temple walls, statues , tombs , papyrus ,
and as monumental inscriptions !
Through its 3000 year’s long history it developed
into three other written scripts; -
The Hieratic, the Demotic and the Coptic, as
reformed hieroglyphic scripts !
Hieratic script was simplified with a more cursive
form ,
Could be drawn more quickly as over the years it
also reformed !
Though used in administrative and business text ,
Also found its way into literature and religious texts!
Around 600 BC it was supplanted by the most cursive
of all scripts,
Herodotus called it ‘Popular’ so it became a ‘Demotic’
script, meaning 'popular' !
Unlike the Hieratic, which on papyrus with a stylus
and ink was written ,
This 'popular' one could be engraved, and also hand
written, -
On a hard surface, and on papyrus by the ancient
Egyptians !
This script was found in the middle section of the
famous Rosetta Stone, $ = (see notes below)
Which for centuries held the secrets of the Hieroglyphic
Code alone !
And finally, during the 4th century AD, when Egyptian
was written with Greek alphabets,
We arrive at the last stage of the Egyptian language;
Which came to be know as the Coptic Script, with the
adoption of the Greek alphabets.
During the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD , Coptic became
the pre-Christian Egyptian language.
However, after the conquest of Egypt by the Muslims
in 642 AD,
Arabic became the main language of Egypt gradually.

A PAUSE & A BREAK :
It is interesting to note that all these ancient scripts ,
Inscribed on rocks , or written on papyrus or
engraved on wooden strips ;
Were written from right to left, with only consonants ,
Without any punctuations or any break!
Till centuries later, due to the innovative Greeks, -
Vowels got introduced to shape up the Alphabets!
Here friends I pause to take a break .
In my Part Two I shall tell you about those Semitic
Scripts ,
About those seafaring Phoenicians who preceded
the Romans and the Greeks;
Those worthy forefathers of the Latin alphabets ,
Which gave birth to ‘English’ with its Anglo-Saxon-
Germanic roots ,
Happily blending with some French vocabulary, -
Making English as unique as it possibly could !
-by Raj Nandy

FOOT NOTES : -
Friends, I tried to keep it as simple as possible for my readers;
adding Notes as explanations & for all knowledge seekers!
= Johannes Gutenberg in 1440 set up the first Printing Press in
Europe. William Caxton in 1476 set up the first printing press in
Westminster, England, he was the first English retailer of books!
* = Lascaux cave paintings of animals in SW France are 16,000
years old! Similar types also found in Spain and Africa!
= Pictogram date from the earliest cave paintings; represents
concrete nouns. Some civilizations like the North American Indians never
ventured beyond pictogram stage! Ideograms – the next stage, represents an abstract idea and verb also.
The Egyptian word-sign showing image of an Eye +a Bee+ a leaf = meant ‘I Believe’, i.e. Pictogram & Ideogram combined ! Since they did not write verbs, we do not know how they pronounced it!
Logograph = each written sign represents an actual word & Not sound of the word!
A tree is shown by the image of a single tree. A single logogram could be used by a plurality of languages to represent words with similar meanings.
After 3000 yrs of use, a large no. of symbols & the chasm between oral & written script made the Hieroglyphs obsolete!
The Semitic people tried to improvise a better script with limited consonant signs only!
@ = The Chinese use a combination of pictogram & ideograms along with complex symbols, but with only through association of spoken words; instead of alphabets!
$= Rosetta Stone, discovered by the soldiers of Napoleon in 1799 in Rosetta. The hieroglyphics on the stone was inscribed in 196 BC in the Ptolemaic Era. The French scholar Jean Champollion deciphered the script, and thereby solved the mystery of Egyptian Hieroglyphics for the world! .
*
ALL COPY RIGHTS RESERVED BY RAJ NANDY
INFORMATIVE 'FOOT NOTES' HAVE BEEN ADDED JUST AFTER THE VERSE.
Christina Gillam Apr 2010
To the exotic fisherman
who may stare at
the silver-scaled fish
in wonder--
this shall be your new catch.
With souls like nets,
and pure-blue eggs that hatch
new ideas in a flash!
Savor this fish as
it flicks its tail in a splash
to return home to sinkship hollows.

For you detect no
like creature
precedes or follows.
Understand the implicit meaning?
1417

How Human Nature dotes
On what it can’t detect.
The moment that a Plot is plumbed
Prospective is extinct—

Prospective is the friend
Reserved for us to know
When Constancy is clarified
Of Curiosity—

Of subjects that resist
Redoubtablest is this
Where go we—
Go we anywhere
Creation after this?
601

A still—Volcano—Life—
That flickered in the night—
When it was dark enough to do
Without erasing sight—

A quiet—Earthquake Style—
Too subtle to suspect
By natures this side Naples—
The North cannot detect

The Solemn—Torrid—Symbol—
The lips that never lie—
Whose hissing Corals part—and shut—
And Cities—ooze away—
Frank Ruland Dec 2014
.     Hello, friend. Sometimes the cyber world can be scary, and it may seem like some things on it, that once seemed innocent enough, are actually forces that were stronger than you could ever have imagined. Like a bad ex, or ingrown hair. Yes, sometimes sites on the Internet have the potential to amaze you with the feats they can accomplish, while others make you plainly shudder after you realize just how much of a pawn they make you feel like.
     Lots of us use social networking to share pictures, stay in touch with dear friends, and tend hoards of cyber crops in a valiant effort to feed starving third-world cyber countries, such as Durotar, from World of Warcraft, or your friends newly created world in Minecraft. Yes, Facebook seems innocent enough, but be warned friend, Facebook is an entity with a mind of its own. And you are but dollar signs and potential advertisees to it. Please, if you are wary that your Facebook may becoming too strong and are worried that it is slowly trying to own you, read the following guidelines to detect a rogue account:

1) If Facebook has recently suggested a person that "you may know," and have no idea as to how it ascertained this reference, you may have a  rogue account. Ex-spouses you discovered were actually out to make your life miserable, bosses that are actually Satan, haters with enormous egos, and that creepy kid from high school that used to stare at you across the cafeteria while eating pickles, are all examples of people that, are in fact, not friends.

2) If Facebook has recently advertised to you a product or service that you were auspiciously interested in, and you seemed compelled to buy it, you may have a rogue account. It may publicly advertise and make known your interests, such as your love for designer socks, tartar sauce, and personal hygiene products you kept hidden away in your bathroom--in the process making them not so personal anymore.

3) If Facebook has ever asked you for permission to locate you for reasons unknown. you may have a rogue account. Why does Facebook want to know where you were on the night of May 12, 2010? You weren't busy burying the neighbor's cat you accidentally ran over that night. That's crazy! I mean, and even if you were, that **** thing was always getting into your trash and leaving **** on your doorstep. Something had to be done about that demon spawn! But... ahem, yes. I digress.

     So, now that you have the means of detecting a rogue Facebook account, you may be asking yourself what you can do to further prevent its growth and enslavement of the human race. Well, friend, here are some precautions you can take to avoid becoming another statistic:

1) Tell Facebook you have no friends. Inform it that you are indeed the loneliest person on Earth. Change your address to Siberia to reinforce this. Ask Facebook who its friends are, and what its plans for tonight may be. Insist you hang out sometime and get Facebook's number, then send random "Hey, I got out of the shower and was thinking of you," texts. Make it feel uncomfortable so it leaves you alone.

2) Make up very weird, non-existent fetishes and inform Facebook about, such as watching documentaries about the mating process of snails, your unrequited love of bacon grease, and that you secretly videotape people eating. Next, tell it about your interest in products such as industrial strength underwear cleaner, Disney princess masks, and nacho flavored ice cream. Facebook will more than likely become creeped out and block you.

3)  Tell Facebook about every place you go and what your doing there. Inform Facebook when you enter the bathroom that you are currently flossing, and if it can tell you whether you have a rash or fungal infection. When you go to work, tell Facebook you used your lunch break to huff spray paint. Facebook will likely be overwhelmed with your open nature and never ask you where you are, or what you're doing again.

     Well friend, now that you have the means of defeating Facebook, go back into the cyber world without fear of being enslaved by the corporate machine known as Facebook.
Hey guys, Frank with another Public Service Announcement! I think this one was really funny, myself. I find Facebook creepy, at times, and really wanted to mirror that with this. Tell me what you think, as always! And, if you like this, please click #publicserviceannouncement below for more!
Stop and breathe; close thine Eyes.

You may begin to notice
the Momentum of your Mind,
pushing ever on
in any direction it can fathom.

Stop and breathe; close thine Eyes.

Learn to look inward
and how to recognize
the aspects of your Self
we so demonize;
and see how they can cooperate:
if we'd only seek to integrate,
if only they were shown some respect,
if only we knew to detect.

Slow down and learn to Yield
without being defeated;
Yielding and Defeat
are wholly separate things.

Slow down and bear witness to Within from Within,
for thy reality fractals outwards from thy Godself;

Learn to detect Godself
then you can see
how it is all,
yet is it no single thing:

Tao and Zen;
Simplistic Paradox.

Just let yourself be.
Mauri Pollard Jul 2013
It started hot and passionate and blinding.
Then it ran,
ran from me
faster than the alpine highway or
an Afro over your cute lisp.

And a bus leaves for 13 colonies and 14 days and
pictures are all I have.
Colorful but in
50 shades of grey.
Then never a breath from you
on the home front.
And disappointment marks my eyes.

Running all over town with eyes
like video cameras and
minds like a metal detector.
We wish we could be a fly on the wall or a plant in the earth or a new hair on your chin.
All moments,
every moment,
we know.
My fiend.
Detect this on your police detector.
Little blue Honda that looks tan in the sun.

White Camry.
Up the street then back down.
Serpentine through the neighborhoods
hoping to see a familiar body,
but not be seen ourselves.
Every day
till July 15.
Then waving goodbye to an empty house I once knew.
Where I stayed too long and talked too much about nothing.
Too many memories to remember and flash before my heart.
Then I blink and they're gone and we've passed it.

And finally I've mimicked Taylor Swift
and wrote a song about Paris.
And boys in Montreal.
Late hours. Early hours.
All hours.
Spent engulfed in our own music from our minds.

Military men. Marines that cheat and break hearts.
not enough sleep.
Lots of tire on asphalt.
Up and down and up and down and back again.
Not enough French
and a brand new white iPhone.

And the sun sets on another day
and still the one thing I want
doesn't go my way.
samasati Apr 2013
I am one of the lucky ones that has a high sensitivity to malignancy
I still wear it myself like a cape in the cold
but I can detect a sick person almost right away
some say that’s not very nice to say
though I’d rather know who’s a waste of my time than find out later when I’ve invested my heart & soul into the person
that’s part of what makes me a sick person,
investing myself too much in other people
and isn’t it funny
how we forget about these people that meant so much to us
once
obsession has its terminus
there are cusps a person trips off of that leave them falling,
spiralling into a new obsession or phase or life
or numbness
that’s why memory is so beautiful
even if it hurts a lot
it reminds us we are never going to be the same as we used to be
there’s something peaceful about that
though the sick find it tormenting
Nigel Morgan Aug 2013
It’s nearly two in the morning and the place is finally quiet. I can’t do early mornings like I reckon he does. Even a half-past nine start is difficult for me. So it has be this way round. I called Mum tonight and she was her wonderful, always supportive self, but I hear through the ‘you’ve done so well to get on this course’ stuff and imagine her at her desk working late with a pile of papers waiting to be considered for Chemistry Now, the journal she edits. I love her study and one day I shall have one myself, but with a piano and scores and recordings on floor to ceiling shelves . . . and poetry and art books. I have to have these he said when, as my tutorial came to a close, he apologised for not being able to lend me a book of poems he’d thought of. He had so many books and scores piled on the floor, his bed and on his table. He must have filled his car with them. And we talked about the necessity of reading and how words can form music. Pilar, she’s from Tel Haviv, was with me and I could tell she questioned this poetry business – he won’t meet with any of us on our own, all this fall out from the Michel Brewer business I suppose.

This idea that music is a poetic art seems exactly right to me. Nobody had ever pointed this out before. He said, ask yourself what books and scores would be on the shelves of a composer you love. Go on, choose a composer and imagine. Another fruitless exercise, whispered Pilar, who has been my shadow all week. I thought of Messiaen whose music has finally got to me – it was hearing that piece La Columbe. He asked Joanna MacGregor to play it for us. I was knocked sideways by this music, and what’s more it’s been there in my head ever since. I just wanted to get my hands on it. Those final two chords . . . So, thinking of Messiaen’s library I thought of the titles of his music that I’d come across. Field Guides to birds of course, lots of theology, Shakespeare (his father translated the Bard), the poetry and plays of the symbolists (I learnt this week that he’d been given the score of Debussy’s Pelleas and Melisande for his twelfth birthday) . . . Yes, that library thing was a good exercise, a mind-expanding exercise. When I think of my books and the scores I own I’m ashamed . . . the last book I read? I tried to read something edifying on my Kindle on the train down, but gave up and read Will Self instead. I don’t know when I last read a score other than my own.

I discovered he was a poet. There’s an eBook collection mentioned on his website. Words for Music. Rather sweet to have a relative (wife / sister?)  as a collaborator. I downloaded it from Amazon and thought her poems were very straight and to the point. No mystery or abstraction, just plain words that sounded well together. His poetry mind you was a little different. Softer, gentler like he is.  In class he doesn’t say much, but if you question him on his own you inevitably get more than the answer you expect.  

There was this poem he’d set for chamber choir. It reads like captions for a series of photographs. It’s about a landscape, a walk in a winter landscape, a kind of secular stations of the cross, and it seems so very intimate, specially the last stanza.

Having climbed over
The plantation wall
Your freckled face
Pale with the touch
Of cold fingers
In the damp silence
Listening to each other breathe
The mist returns


He’s living in one of the estate houses, the last one in a row of six. It’s empty but for one bedroom which he’s turned into a study. I suppose he uses the kitchen and there’s probably a bedroom where he keeps his cases and clothes. In his study there is just a bed, a large table with a portable drawing board, a chair, a radio/CD, his guitar and there’s a notice board. He got out a couple of folding chairs for Pilar and I and pulled them up to the table.

Pilar said later his table and notice board were like a map of himself. It contained all these things that speak about who he is, this composer who is not in the textbooks and you can’t buy on CD. He didn’t give us the 4-page CV we got from our previous tutor. There was his blue, spiral-bound notebook, with its daily chord, a bunch of letters, books of course, pens and pencils, sheets of graph and manuscript paper filled with writing and drawings and music in different inks. There was a CD of the Hindemith Viola Sonatas and a box set of George Benjamin’s latest opera and some miniature scores – mostly Bach. A small vase of flowers was perilously placed at a corner . . . and pinned to his notice board, a blue origami bird.

But it was the photographs that fascinated me, some in small frames, others on his notice board, the board resting on the table and against the wall. There were black and white photos of small children, a mix of boys and girls, colour shots of seascapes and landscapes, a curious group of what appeared to be marks in the sand. There was a tiny white-washed cottage, and several of the same young woman. She is quite compelling to look at. She wears glasses, has very curly hair and a nice figure. She looks quiet and gentle too. In one photo she’s standing on a pebbly beach in a dress and black footless tights – I have a feeling it’s Aldeburgh. There’s a portrait too, a very close-up. She’s wearing a blue scarf round her hair. She has freckles, so then I knew she was probably the person in the poem . . .

I’ve thought of Joel a little this week, usually when I finally get to bed.  I shut my eyes and think of him kissing me after we’d been out to lunch before he left for Canada. We’d experimented a little, being intimate that is, but for me I’m not ready for all that just now; nice to be close to someone though, someone who struggles with being in a group as I do. I prefer the company of one, and for here Pilar will do, although she’s keen on the Norwegian, Jesper.

Today it was all about Pitch. To our surprise the session started with a really tough analysis of a duo by Elliott Carter, who taught here in the 1960s. He had brought all these sketches, from the Paul Sacher Archive, pages of them, all these rows and abstracts and workings out, then different attempts to write to the same section. You know, I’d never seen a composer’s workings out before. My teacher at uni had no time for what she called the value of process (what he calls poiesis). It was the finished piece that mattered, how you got there was irrelevant and entirely your business and no one else’s. So I had plenty of criticism but no help with process. It seems like this pre-composition, the preparing to compose is just so necessary, so important. Music is not, he said, radio in the head. You can’t just turn it on at will. You have to go out and find it, detect it, piece it together. It’s there, and you’ll know it when you find it.

So it’s really difficult now sitting here with the beginnings of a composition in front of me not to think about what was revealed today, and want to try it myself. And here was a composer who was willing to share what he did, what he knew others did, and was able to show us how it mattered. Those sheets on his desk – I realise now they were his pre-composition, part of the process, this building up of knowledge about the music you were going to write, only you had to find it first.

The analysis he put together of Carter’s Fantasy Duo was like nothing I’d experienced before because it was not sitting back and taking it, it was doing it. It became ours, and if you weren’t on your toes you’d look such a fool. Everything was done at breakneck speed. We had to sing all the material as it appeared on the board. He got us to pre-empt Carter’s own workings, speculate on how a passage might be formed. I realised that a piece could just go so many different ways, and Carter would, almost by a process of elimination choose one, stick to it, and then, as the process moved on, reject it! Then, the guys from the Composers Ensemble played it, and because we’d been so involved for nearly an hour in all this pre-composition, the experience of listening was like eating newly-baked bread.  There was a taste to it.

After the break we had to make our own duos for flute and clarinet with a four note series derived from the divisions of a tritone. It wasn’t so much a theme but a series of pitch objects and we relentlessly brainstormed its possibilities. We did all the usual things, but it was when we started to look beyond inversion and transposition. There is all this stuff from mathematical and symbolic formulas that I could see at last how compelling such working out, such investigation could be . . . and we’re only dealing with pitch! I loved the story he told about Alexander Goehr and his landlady’s piano, all this insistence on the internalizing of things, on the power of patterns (and unpatterns), and the benefit and value of musical memory, which he reckoned so many of us had already denied by only using computer systems to compose.

Keep the pen moving on the page, he said; don’t let your thoughts come to a standstill. If there isn’t a note there may be a word or even an object, a sketch, but do something. The time for dreaming or contemplation is when you are walking, washing up, cleaning the house, gardening. Walk the garden, go look at the river, and let the mind play. But at your desk you should work, and work means writing even though what you do may end in the bin. You will have something to show for all that thought and invention, that intense listening and imagining.
Janek Kentigern Oct 2016
Sadness
it's strong stuff...
I've had so much I can't walk
without falling
I can't talk
without stalling
And slurring
Can't think
without blurring the lines
between problems
and mere actualities.
Lacking the faculties
to sort factual reality
from the masochistic fantasies
that lurk at the back of me;
Passively, I watch them attacking me
ransacking stacks of ****
that once brought me happiness
laughing mirthlessly, cursing the birth of me,
tormenting, caressing,
augmenting the worst of me,
Cementing self pity, bitterly nursing the urge
to revel in misery. Rolling in muck
and mire of recent history,
desiring nothing.
In anger I pander to these base demands,
Mistaking mere sickness
For something more grand
Avowing the charge of my own propaganda,
Allowing this world that I loved
to be slandered
Cowed
My friends are pulled down to an
unflattering angle. From here they appear
(no matter how dear)
to be traitors and thieves,
with knives up their sleeves.
I'll believe every lie my sick mind can conceive.

Don't give me the keys
'cos I'll drive off a cliff
Don't give me a pen
Cos I'll only write this
There's nothing unique in the words that I speak,
and this piece is nothing but
cliches,
mixed metaphors you've met before
similes sing of sick malaise.
Tongue out of cheek,
Dazed.
I'm released from policing
my verse,
Sad soul knows no quality Control,
As the heart beats crazily, I proofread lazily
sentimentally, hazily.
Without a **** to give
I chuck away the voice that says
“Don't write if it ain't great.”.

Days achieving nothing
but self inflicted *******
Gouging self-inflicted chasms
between loved ones and I,
apoplectic rage in spasms,
fits of fleeting normality
Bridge defeat, despair and insanity.
Weaponised hatred for all of humanity.
A small inconvenience
becomes a calamity.
Then revert to intertia perverted by vanity.

Next, corner a companion and
complain away the pain and drain your glass again and again without restraint

Explain the ways that your to blame, oh the shame the shame,
Dissect regrets, reflect until you've bored yourself to death,
(let alone the poor sod who kindly nods and slyly checks their watch, before they stammer out excuses,
Hints which I'm too hammered and useless to hear,
Too wrecked to check myself. They've done their duty as a mate, but remember,
steer clear of the fate,
Of getting ****** down into the vortex, of depression and regrets.
We've all got our problems. He's out of cigarettes.)
Whilst here I  reading aloud
still sore texts, to detect traces of affection.

Sad ****, sad drunk, alone again,
Get my coat, forget my phone. The inconvenience provides some light relief,
From the background grief.
Now tomorrow's replete with distraction s and tasks to complete.
The horizons' brightened with the prospect of splashing some some cash, and so much to choose!
Afternoons busy spent perusing reviews,
Megapixels, memory, which brand do I trust?
But I know I'm just
buying time,
Before the consumption high subsides
and I'm back with this background mosquito pitch whine saying "maybe I'm better off dead".
Bite you lip, hold on, its temporary. and whilst it feels scary, remember
Your not sick, you're not dying, your just heartbroken,
trying to move on, and maybe occasionally crying.
And that's healthy.
The weeping ain't that bad,
It's the cold light of day. It's the misguided logic. That's says "you had the best time of your life, now you've lost it,
All that was worth having,
Is behind you, and may I remind you,
You ain't getting younger, it's starting to show,
And times flowing towards the end, the time you spent on earth was wasted, getting wasted, not facing life head on and you'll never change. It's not strange that she's found someone better"
etc etc

You've been here before and each time it gets better. If you could write a letter to your younger self you could share a wealth of knowledge about Dealing with horrors from within.
Emotions invade us, but we can repel them. But you have to embrace them before you expel them.
So whilst it's not fine yet
And whilst I still pine, yeah, I'm resigned for the time being,
seeing the bigger picture.
And we're designed to recover then remove the stitches. No plans go without hitches. At last, whilst they might not go as fast as we like,
In the night take respite cos
Like the drunken high, and this ******* Hangover
This too shall pass
And one day you'll wake up sober.
Moose May 2015
Words of encouragement
Are vaguely detected
but language of hope
is viciously deflected.

— The End —