Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
Cass was the youngest and most beautiful of 5 sisters. Cass was the most beautiful girl
in town. 1/2 Indian with a supple and strange body, a snake-like and fiery body with eyes
to go with it. Cass was fluid moving fire. She was like a spirit stuck into a form that
would not hold her. Her hair was black and long and silken and whirled about as did her
body. Her spirit was either very high or very low. There was no in between for Cass. Some
said she was crazy. The dull ones said that. The dull ones would never understand Cass. To
the men she was simply a *** machine and they didn't care whether she was crazy or not.
And Cass danced and flirted, kissed the men, but except for an instance or two, when it
came time to make it with Cass, Cass had somehow slipped away, eluded the men.
Her sisters accused her of misusing her beauty, of not using her mind enough, but Cass
had mind and spirit; she painted, she danced, she sang, she made things of clay, and when
people were hurt either in the spirit or the flesh, Cass felt a deep grieving for them.
Her mind was simply different; her mind was simply not practical. Her sisters were jealous
of her because she attracted their men, and they were angry because they felt she didn't
make the best use of them. She had a habit of being kind to the uglier ones; the so-called
handsome men revolted her- "No guts," she said, "no zap. They are riding on
their perfect little earlobes and well- shaped nostrils...all surface and no
insides..." She had a temper that came close to insanity, she had a temper that some
call insanity. Her father had died of alcohol and her mother had run off leaving the
girls alone. The girls went to a relative who placed them in a convent. The convent had
been an unhappy place, more for Cass than the sisters. The girls were jealous of Cass and
Cass fought most of them. She had razor marks all along her left arm from defending
herself in two fights. There was also a permanent scar along the left cheek but the scar
rather than lessening her beauty only seemed to highlight it. I met her at the West End
Bar several nights after her release from the convent. Being youngest, she was the last of
the sisters to be released. She simply came in and sat next to me. I was probably the
ugliest man in town and this might have had something to do with it.
"Drink?" I asked.
"Sure, why not?"
I don't suppose there was anything unusual in our conversation that night, it was
simply in the feeling Cass gave. She had chosen me and it was as simple as that. No
pressure. She liked her drinks and had a great number of them. She didn't seem quite of
age but they served he anyhow. Perhaps she had forged i.d., I don't know. Anyhow, each
time she came back from the restroom and sat down next to me, I did feel some pride. She
was not only the most beautiful woman in town but also one of the most beautiful I had
ever seen. I placed my arm about her waist and kissed her once.
"Do you think I'm pretty?" she asked.
"Yes, of course, but there's something else... there's more than your
looks..."
"People are always accusing me of being pretty. Do you really think I'm
pretty?"
"Pretty isn't the word, it hardly does you fair."
Cass reached into her handbag. I thought she was reaching for her handkerchief. She
came out with a long hatpin. Before I could stop her she had run this long hatpin through
her nose, sideways, just above the nostrils. I felt disgust and horror. She looked at me
and laughed, "Now do you think me pretty? What do you think now, man?" I pulled
the hatpin out and held my handkerchief over the bleeding. Several people, including the
bartender, had seen the act. The bartender came down:
"Look," he said to Cass, "you act up again and you're out. We don't need
your dramatics here."
"Oh, *******, man!" she said.
"Better keep her straight," the bartender said to me.
"She'll be all right," I said.
"It's my nose, I can do what I want with my nose."
"No," I said, "it hurts me."
"You mean it hurts you when I stick a pin in my nose?"
"Yes, it does, I mean it."
"All right, I won't do it again. Cheer up."
She kissed me, rather grinning through the kiss and holding the handkerchief to her
nose. We left for my place at closing time. I had some beer and we sat there talking. It
was then that I got the perception of her as a person full of kindness and caring. She
gave herself away without knowing it. At the same time she would leap back into areas of
wildness and incoherence. Schitzi. A beautiful and spiritual schitzi. Perhaps some man,
something, would ruin her forever. I hoped that it wouldn't be me. We went to bed and
after I turned out the lights Cass asked me,
"When do you want it? Now or in the morning?"
"In the morning," I said and turned my back.
In the morning I got up and made a couple of coffees, brought her one in bed. She
laughed.
"You're the first man who has turned it down at night."
"It's o.k.," I said, "we needn't do it at all."
"No, wait, I want to now. Let me freshen up a bit."
Cass went into the bathroom. She came out shortly, looking quite wonderful, her long
black hair glistening, her eyes and lips glistening, her glistening... She displayed her
body calmly, as a good thing. She got under the sheet.
"Come on, lover man."
I got in. She kissed with abandon but without haste. I let my hands run over her body,
through her hair. I mounted. It was hot, and tight. I began to stroke slowly, wanting to
make it last. Her eyes looked directly into mine.
"What's your name?" I asked.
"What the hell difference does it make?" she asked.
I laughed and went on ahead. Afterwards she dressed and I drove her back to the bar but
she was difficult to forget. I wasn't working and I slept until 2 p.m. then got up and
read the paper. I was in the bathtub when she came in with a large leaf- an elephant ear.
"I knew you'd be in the bathtub," she said, "so I brought you something
to cover that thing with, nature boy."
She threw the elephant leaf down on me in the bathtub.
"How did you know I'd be in the tub?"
"I knew."
Almost every day Cass arrived when I was in the tub. The times were different but she
seldom missed, and there was the elephant leaf. And then we'd make love. One or two nights
she phoned and I had to bail her out of jail for drunkenness and fighting.
"These sons of *******," she said, "just because they buy you a few
drinks they think they can get into your pants."
"Once you accept a drink you create your own trouble."
"I thought they were interested in me, not just my body."
"I'm interested in you and your body. I doubt, though, that most men can see
beyond your body."
I left town for 6 months, bummed around, came back. I had never forgotten Cass, but
we'd had some type of argument and I felt like moving anyhow, and when I got back i
figured she'd be gone, but I had been sitting in the West End Bar about 30 minutes when
she walked in and sat down next to me.
"Well, *******, I see you've come back."
I ordered her a drink. Then I looked at her. She had on a high- necked dress. I had
never seen her in one of those. And under each eye, driven in, were 2 pins with glass
heads. All you could see were the heads of the pins, but the pins were driven down into
her face.
"******* you, still trying to destroy your beauty, eh?"
"No, it's the fad, you fool."
"You're crazy."
"I've missed you," she said.
"Is there anybody else?"
"No there isn't anybody else. Just you. But I'm hustling. It costs ten bucks. But
you get it free."
"Pull those pins out."
"No, it's the fad."
"It's making me very unhappy."
"Are you sure?"
"Hell yes, I'm sure."
Cass slowly pulled the pins out and put them back in her purse.
"Why do you haggle your beauty?" I asked. "Why don't you just live with
it?"
"Because people think it's all I have. Beauty is nothing, beauty won't stay. You
don't know how lucky you are to be ugly, because if people like you you know it's for
something else."
"O.k.," I said, "I'm lucky."
"I don't mean you're ugly. People just think you're ugly. You have a fascinating
face."
"Thanks."
We had another drink.
"What are you doing?" she asked.
"Nothing. I can't get on to anything. No interest."
"Me neither. If you were a woman you could hustle."
"I don't think I could ever make contact with that many strangers, it's
wearing."
"You're right, it's wearing, everything is wearing."
We left together. People still stared at Cass on the streets. She was a beautiful
woman, perhaps more beautiful than ever. We made it to my place and I opened a bottle of
wine and we talked. With Cass and I, it always came easy. She talked a while and I would
listen and then i would talk. Our conversation simply went along without strain. We seemed
to discover secrets together. When we discovered a good one Cass would laugh that laugh-
only the way she could. It was like joy out of fire. Through the talking we kissed and
moved closer together. We became quite heated and decided to go to bed. It was then that
Cass took off her high -necked dress and I saw it- the ugly jagged scar across her throat.
It was large and thick.
"******* you, woman," I said from the bed, "******* you, what have you
done?
"I tried it with a broken bottle one night. Don't you like me any more? Am I still
beautiful?"
I pulled her down on the bed and kissed her. She pushed away and laughed, "Some
men pay me ten and I undress and they don't want to do it. I keep the ten. It's very
funny."
"Yes," I said, "I can't stop laughing... Cass, *****, I love you...stop
destroying yourself; you're the most alive woman I've ever met."
We kissed again. Cass was crying without sound. I could feel the tears. The long black
hair lay beside me like a flag of death. We enjoined and made slow and somber and
wonderful love. In the morning Cass was up making breakfast. She seemed quite calm and
happy. She was singing. I stayed in bed and enjoyed her happiness. Finally she came over
and shook me,
"Up, *******! Throw some cold water on your face and pecker and come enjoy the
feast!"
I drove her to the beach that day. It was a weekday and not yet summer so things were
splendidly deserted. Beach bums in rags slept on the lawns above the sand. Others sat on
stone benches sharing a lone bottle. The gulls whirled about, mindless yet distracted. Old
ladies in their 70's and 80's sat on the benches and discussed selling real estate left
behind by husbands long ago killed by the pace and stupidity of survival. For it all,
there was peace in the air and we walked about and stretched on the lawns and didn't say
much. It simply felt good being together. I bought a couple of sandwiches, some chips and
drinks and we sat on the sand eating. Then I held Cass and we slept together about an
hour. It was somehow better than *******. There was flowing together without tension.
When we awakened we drove back to my place and I cooked a dinner. After dinner I suggested
to Cass that we shack together. She waited a long time, looking at me, then she slowly
said, "No." I drove her back to the bar, bought her a drink and walked out. I
found a job as a parker in a factory the next day and the rest of the week went to
working. I was too tired to get about much but that Friday night I did get to the West End
Bar. I sat and waited for Cass. Hours went by . After I was fairly drunk the bartender
said to me, "I'm sorry about your girlfriend."
"What is it?" I asked.
"I'm sorry, didn't you know?"
"No."
"Suicide. She was buried yesterday."
"Buried?" I asked. It seemed as though she would walk through the doorway at
any moment. How could she be gone?
"Her sisters buried her."
"A suicide? Mind telling me how?"
"She cut her throat."
"I see. Give me another drink."
I drank until closing time. Cass was the most beautiful of 5 sisters, the most
beautiful in town. I managed to drive to my place and I kept thinking, I should have
insisted she stay with me instead of accepting that "no." Everything about her
had indicated that she had cared. I simply had been too offhand about it, lazy, too
unconcerned. I deserved my death and hers. I was a dog. No, why blame the dogs? I got up
and found a bottle of wine and drank from it heavily. Cass the most beautiful girl in town
was dead at 20. Outside somebody honked their automobile horn. They were very loud and
persistent. I sat the bottle down and screamed out: "******* YOU, YOU *******
,SHUT UP!" The night kept coming and there was nothing I could do.
howard brace Feb 2012
Inconspicuous, his presence noted only by the obscurity and the ever growing number of spent cigarette stubs that littered the ground.  It had been a long day and the rain, relentless in its tenacity had little intention of stopping, baleful clouds still  hung heavy, dominating the lateness of the afternoon sky, a rain laden skyline broken only by smoke filled chimney pots and the tangled snarl of corroded television aerials.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     In having a somewhat sedate and unruffled disposition it had fallen to Beamish... as befalls all great leaders in times of adversity, to single handedly take the bull by the horns, so to speak and at great personal cost, alert the unwary passing motorist...  Waving his arms about like a man possessed whilst performing acrobatic evolutions in the centre of the road as the cabby changed the wheel came whizzing around the corner at a back breaking 98 on Jack's ever growing list... and why, Jack puzzled, why had they all lowered their side windows and gestured back at him in semaphore..?  Rallying to its aid, Jack's head and shoulders now joined his shaking fist through the sliding glass partition and into the cabby's face, "Who" Beamish screeched with renewed vigour ,"Who Was The Man", Jack wanted to know... *"a
I’m a soldier
in a war
sold to the highest bidder
Biding my time
getting high
but not getting
anything out of
life

A lifer
a loser
lost his way
was on his way
on a journey
was earning
a living
was living
a life
in spite of
spitting in the face
of all I was faced with
Couldn’t face up
to the need
I was feeding
A hole
from which
my soul
was bleeding
Unknown reason
harboring this treason
give it time
it will season
Belief system
the Devil
finds pleasing

No matter
how much I tried
and from everyone hide,
including myself,
what was
deep inside
If I went
and made
an attempt
a fool I'd be,
wasted time spent
A lament
at controlling
the tide
And each day
from the next
more and more
of me died

There was a time
when all my efforts
went unheeded
and instead
succeeded
But these courtships
did not breed
or plant the seed
Instead was seething
to be
leaving
Escaping from me
with each breath
I’m breathing

A horrible time
indeed
Unfamiliar,
making me ill
Not having free will
Undeserving
and not for me
to get
Must get angry
and upset
Breaking steps
So many
missteps
I’m falling
more than I’m standing

Steps I’ve climbed
mostly blind
by my blindfold
Its knots
I bind
the moment
I ‘rise-and-shine’
so that
in time
when rising
like yeast,
the hiding
inner self
self-defeats

Every hand folding
as I’m
raising the bets,
doesn't make sense
From where
did I get
this invisible pet
Originally set
and previously molded
in the early stages
of the morning
in a story
that’s boring
and been told
time and time again
with
lost love ones
and friends

A friendly reminder
that a
“stitch-in-time”
is not
a time saver
if the referenced ‘stitch’
relied upon
was built upon
lies
Consumed
from others
that we
self tie
but mostly
force fed
by the very hand
controlled
by my head

It’s a numbing thought;
reasons sought
Elusive?
‘yes’
but pieces
caught
My peace disturbed
by actions
brought
from a desire
to numb
so that these thoughts
will be
forgotten

Decayed
and rotten
left for days
in a
wrought iron cage
Anyone
with sage
too afraid
to consume
but 'In-Doom'
I trust
and with full ******
my smile
displayed;
Forward I go
for sins
I pay
and lie within
this bed
I've made

Not night;
thick of day
No difference displayed
Skewed indifference
to the
different
paths
that have been
laid
like the path
of destruction
from this day
back
in my wake
Bindings
can't brake
A life's mistake
Lay me down
my soul
to take
Lying in state,
a viewing,
my wake
My mind
now awake
-
Cruelty's laugh
makes me
an ***
A crass reminder
of a life
that's past
Written: July 14, 2018

All rights reserved.
ESSAYS ON
LEADERSHIP FRONTIERS OF AFRICAN LITERATURE
By
Alexander   k   Opicho




Alexander K Opicho
(Eldoret, Kenya; aopicho@yahoo.com)

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Contents                                                                                                                Page
TABAN MAKITIYONG RENEKET LO LIYONG AND PREFECTURE OF AFRICAN LITERATURE 4
THE CURRENT EAST AFRICA IS NOT A LITERARY DESERT 27
AFRICAN WRITERS HAVE CULTURAL RIGHTS TO FORMULATE AND CREATE ENGLISH WORDS 31
LIKE PUSHKIN, AFRICAN WRITERS MUST CREATE THEIR OWN PROFFESSION OF LITERATURE 35
THERE IS POWER IN THE NAME ‘ALEXANDER’ 40
KENYAN COURTS AND PARLIAMENT ARE BETRAYERS OF HUMANE GOVERNANCE 47
AFRO-CHRISTIAN RESPONSE TO RADICAL LITERATURE IS GOOD AND SWAGGERISH 50
YUNUS’S SOCIAL BANKING IS A GOOD BENCHCMARK FOR THIRD WORLD ENTREPRENEURS 54
HEROISM IS NOT GREATNESS BUT HUMILITY IN SERVICE TO HUMANITY 57
KENYAN STUDENTS; YOUR MOBILE INTERNET CULTURE IS ANTI- ACADEMICS 61
WHAT IS THE MAGIC IN THE WORD ‘DRINKARD’ OF AMOS TUTUOLA 63
SOCIETIES IN AFRICA HAVE TO MENTOR BUT NOT CONDEMN THE LIKES OF JULIUS MALEMA 66
AMERICA WILL NOT WIN THE WAR ON GLOBAL TERRORISM 69
AFRICA CAN OVERCOME A MENACE OF **** IN EVERY 30 MINUTES 71
COMPARATIVE ROLES OF AFRICAN-BRAZILIAN LITERATURE IN THE POLITICS OF RACIAL AND GENDER DEMOCRACY 76
NEO-COLONIALISM IS NOT THE MAIN VICE TO THE GAMBIAN POLITICS 85
RELATIVE MEDIA OBJECTIVITY IS ACHIEVEABLE IN AFRICA AGAINST POWER CULTURE AND TYRANNIES OF TASTE 89
READING CULTURE IS GOOD FOR BOTH THE POOR AND THE RICH 96
VIOLENT DEATH IS THE BANE OF AFRICAN WRITERS AND ARTISTS 100
AFRICAN WRITTERS AND ARTISTS MUST ASPIRE BEYOND A NOBEL PRIZE 104
WHAT ARE CULTURAL RIGHTS OF AFRICAN ENGLISH SPEAKERS? 109
WHY IMPRISONMENT OF WRITERS CONTRIBUTED MOST TO AFRICAN LITERATURE 113
DORIS LESSING: A FEMINIST, POET, NOVELIST, WHITE-AFRICANIST AND NOBELITE UN-TIMELY PASSES ON 121
Amilcar Cabral: Beacon of revolutionary literature and social democracy 127
How the State of Israel is brutally dealing with African refugees 131
Historical glimpses of language dilemma in Afro-Arabic literature 146
THIS YEAR 2013; IS THE YEAR OF GREAT DEATHS 153
AFRICAN LITERATURE WITHOUT POETRY IS LIKE LOVE WITHOUT VAGINAL *** 156



















PROLOGOMENA
BARRACK OBAMA READS MOBY ****
Barrack Obama is reading Moby ****
American president is reading Moby ****
Ja-kogello is reading Moby ****
Ja-siaya is reading Moby ****
Ja-merica is reading Moby ****
Jadello is reading Moby ****
Ja-buonji is reading Moby ****
His lovely Oeuvre of Melville Herman
And what are you reading?

Barrack Obama is reading Moby ****
Because untimely death took his father
Barrack Obama is reading Moby ****
Because untimely death took his mother
Barrack Obama is reading Moby ****
Because untimely death to his brother
Barrack Obama is reading Moby ****
Because untimely death took the grannies
His lovely Oeuvre of Melville Herman  
And what are you reading?

Barrack Obama is reading Moby ****
Baba Michelle is reading Moby ****
Baba Sasha is reading Moby ****
Baba Malia is reading Moby ****
Baba nya-dhin is reading Moby ****
Sarah’s sire is reading Moby ****
Ja-sharia is reading Moby ****
The ****** is reading Moby ****
His lovely Oeuvre of Melville Herman
And what are you reading?

Barrack Obama is reading Moby ****
Because here ekes audacity of hope
Barrack Obama is reading Moby ****
Because here ekes dreams of fathers
Barrack Obama is reading Moby ****
Because here ekes yes we can
Barrack Obama is reading Moby ****
Because here ekes American dream
His lovely Oeuvre of Melville Herman
And what are you readings?

Barrack Obama is reading Moby ****
Because American president is like whale hunting
Barrack Obama is reading Moby ****
Because Obama is a money making animal
Barrack Obama is reading Moby ****
Because hunting Osama is whale riding
Barrack Obama is reading Moby ****
Because hunting Gaddaffi is whale riding
Barrack Obama is reading Moby ****
Because coming to Kenya is whale riding
Barrack Obama is reading Moby ****
Because Guantanamo prison is a bay of whales
Barrack Obama is reading Moby ****
Because Snowden is a Russian whale
Because launching drones is whale riding
His lovely Oeuvre of Melville Herman
And what are you reading, Moby ****?














CHAPTER ONE
TABAN MAKITIYONG RENEKET LO LIYONG AND PREFECTURE OF AFRICAN LITERATURE

I am writing this article from Kenya on this day of 23 September 2013 when the Al shabab, an Arabo-Islamic arm of the global terrorist group the Al gaeda have lynched siege on the shopping mall in Nairobi known as the West Gate where an average of forty people have been killed and a hundreds are held hostage. The media is full of horrendous and terrifying images. They have made me to hate this day. I hate terrorism, I hate American foreign policy on Arabs, I hate philosophy behind formation of the state of Israel and I equally hate religious fundamentalism. Also on this date, all the media and public talks in Kenya are full of intellectual and literary tearing of one Kenyan by another plus a retort in the equal measure as a result of the ripples in the African literature pool whose epicenter is the Professor Taban Lo Liyong .He is an epicenter because he had initially decried literary mediocrity among the African scholars and University professors, Wherein under the same juncture he also quipped that Kenya’s doyen of literature Ngugi wa Thiong’o never deserved a Nobel prize. Liyong’s stand has provoked intellectual reasons and offalities to fly like fireworks in the East African literary atmosphere among which the most glittering is Chris Wanjala’s contrasting position that; who made Liyong the prefect and ombudsman of African literature? This calls for answers. Both good answers and controversial responses. Digging deeper into the flesh of literature as often displayed by Lo Liyong.
Liyong is not a fresher in the realm of literary witticism. He is a seasoned hand .Especially when contributions of Liyong to east African literary journal during his student days in the fifties of the last century during which he declared east Africa a literary desert. In addition to his fantastic titles; Another ****** Dead and The Un-even Rips of Frantz Fanon, Professor Taban Lo Liyong also humorously called Amos Tutuola the son of Zinjathropus, what a farcical literary joke? I also want to appreciate this Liyong’s artfulness of language in this capacity and identify him in a literary sense as Taban Matiyong Lo   Liyong the son of Eshu. He is an ideological and literature descended of the great West African Eshu. Eshu the god of trouble which was dramatized by Obutunde Ijimere in the imprisonment of Obadala and also recounted by Achebe in the classical essays; Morning Yet of Creation Day. I call him Eshu because of his intellectual and literary ability to trigger the East and West Africans into active altercation of literary, cultural and political exchanges every other time he visits these regions. Whether in Lagos, Accra or Nairobi.
Now, in relation to Ngugi and intellectual quality of Kenyan University literature professors was Liyong right or wrong?  Does Liyong’s stand-point on Ngugi’s incompetence for Nobel recognition and mediocrity in literary scholarship among Kenyan Universities hold water. Are Liyong’s accusations of East Africa in these perspectives factually watertight and devoid of a fallacy of self-aggrandizement to African literary prefecture as Professor Chris Wanjala laments. Active literary involvement by anyone would obviously uncover that ;It is not Liyong Alone who has this intellectual bent towards East Africa, any literary common sense can easily ask a question that; Does Ngugi’s literary work really deserve or merit for Nobel recognition or not ? The answers are both yes and no. There are very many of those in Kenya who will readily cow from the debate to say yes. Like especially the community of alumni of the University of Nairobi who were Ngugi’s students in the department of English in which Ngugi was a Faculty during the mid of the last century. Also the general Kenyan masses who have been conditioned by warped political culture which always and obviously confine the Kenyan poor into a cocoonery of chauvinistic thought that Ngugi should or must win because he is one of us or Obama must win because he is one of us or Kemboi must win because he is the son of the Kenyan soil. These must also be the emotional tid-bits upon which the Kenyan Media has been based to be catapulted into Publicity feat that Ngugi will win the Nobel Prize without reporting to the same Kenyan populace the actual truths about other likely winners in the quarters from the overseas. I am in that Kenyan school thought comprising of those who genuinely argue that Ngugi’s literary work does not befit, nor merit, nor deserve recognition of Nobel Prize for literature. This position is eked on global status of the Nobel Prize in relation to Ngugi’s Kikuyu literary and writing philosophy. It is a universal truth that any and all prizes are awarded on the basis of Particular efforts displayed with peculiarity. Nobel Prize for literature is similarly awarded in recognition of unique literary effort displayed by the winner. It is not an exception when it comes to the question of formidability in a particular effort. However, the most basic literary virtue to be displayed as an overture of the writer is conversion of theory into practice. This was called by Karl Marx, Hegel, Antonio Gramsci and Paulo Freire, especially in Freire’s  pedagogy of the oppressed as praxis.History of literature and politics in their respective homogenous and comparative capacities has it that ;There has been eminent level of praxis by previous Nobelites.Right away from Rabitranathe Tagore to Wole Soyinka, From Dorriss Lessing to Wangari Mathai.Similar to JM Coatze ,Gao Tziaping,Alexander Vasleyvitch Solzhenystisn and Baraka Obama.This ideological stand of praxis is the one that made Alfred Nobel himself to to stick to his gun of intellectual  values and deny Leo Tolstoy the prize in 1907 because there was no clear connection between rudimentary Tolstoy in the nihilism and Feasible Tolstoy in the possible manner  of the times .In a similar stretch Ngugi wa Thiongo’s literary works and his ideological choices are full of ideological theory but devoid of ideological praxis. Evidence for justification in relation to this position is found back in the 70’s and 80’s of the last century, When Ngugi was an active communist theoretician of Kenya. His stature as a Kenyan communist ideologue could only get a parallel in the likes of Leon Trotsky and Gramsci. This ideological stature was displayed in Ngugi’s adoration of the North Korean communism under the auspice of the Korean leader Kim Yun Sung. This is so bare when you read Ngugi’s writers in politics, a communist pamphlet he published with the African red family. By that time this pamphlet was treated equally as Mao tse Tung’s collected works by the Kenya government which means that they were both illegal publications and if in any case you were found with them you would obviously serve nine months in prison. And of course when the late Brigadier Augustine Odongo was found with them he was jailed for nine months at Kodhiak maximum prison in Kisumu ,Kenya .O.K, the story of Odongo is preserved for another day. But remember that, this was Ngugi only at his rudimentary stage. But when Ngugi got an opportunity to get an ideological asylum, he did not go to Russia, nor East Germany, Nor Tanzania, nor China but instead he went to the USA , a country whose ideological civilization is in sharp contradiction with communism; a religion which Ngugi proffessess.In relation to this choices of Ngugi one can easily share with me these reflections; is one intellectually  honest if he argues that he is a socialist revolutionary when his or her employer is an American institution like the university of California in Irvine ?
Ngugi was not the only endangered communist ideologue of the time. There were also several others. Both in Kenya and without Kenya. They were the likes of; Raila Odinga, George Moset Anyona, ***** Mutunga and very many others from Kenya. But in Africa some to be mentioned were Walter Rodney, Yoweri Museven,Isa Shivji,Jacob Tzuma ,Robert Mugabe and others. The difference between Ngugi and all of these socialist contemporaries of him is that; Ngugi went to America and began accumulating private property just like any other capitalist. But these others remained in Africa both in freedom and detention to ensure that powers of political darkness which had bedeviled Africa during the last century must go. And indeed the powers somehow went. Raila has  been in Kenya most of the times,Anyona died in Kenya while in the struggle for second liberation of Kenyan people from the devilish fangs of Moi’s dark reign of terror and tyrany.Walter Rodney worked in Tanzania at Dare salaam University where he wrote his land mark book; How Europe underdeveloped Africa. Later on he went back to his country of birth in Africa, Guyana where he was assassinated while in the revolutionary struggle for political good of the Guyanese people. Yoweri Museven practically implemented socialism by fighting politics of sham and nonsense out of Uganda of which as per today Uganda is somehow admirable. Isa Shivji has ever remained in Dare salaam University, inspite of poverty. He is now the chair of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere school of Pan African studies. Jacob Tsuma and Robert Mugabe they are current presidents of South Africa and Zimbabwe respectively. The gist of this reference to African socialist revolutionaries as contemporaries to Ngugi wa Thiong’o is that a socialist revolutionary must and should not run away from the oppressor in to a zone of comfort. But instead must remain and relentlessly fight, just like in the words of Fidel Castro; fight and die in the battle field as long as it is a struggle against the enemy of the revolution. This view by Castro is pertinent as it’s a Revolutionary praxis which actually is redolent of practice of an ideology that has to be held for ever above ideological cosmentics.Ngugi scores badly on this. So if the Nobel academy looks at Ngugi in terms of defending human rights then it must be reminded that Ngugi have no marks on the same because he only ran away from the practical struggle. Anyway, Politics and ideology has its own fate. But let us now come back to literature. Ngugi and his books. As at  this time of writing this essay  Ngugi has published the following works; Weep not Child, The River Between, A Grain of Wheat, Black Hermit, Petals of Blood, Devils on the Cross,Matigari,Homecoming,Decolonizing the Mind, Writers in Politics, Ngugi Detained, Pen Points and Gun Points, Wizard of the Crow,Globalectics,Remeembering Africa, Dreams in Times of War and I Will Marry When I Want as well as the Trial of Dedan Kimathi which he wrote along with Micere Githae Mugo.Out of this list the only works with literary depth that call for intellectualized attention are ;A Grain of wheat, Wizard of the crow and Globalectics. The Grain of wheat is simply a post colonial reflection of Kenyan politics. Its themes, plot, lessons and entire synechedoche is also found in Wole Soyinka’s Season of Anomie as well as Achebe’s Anthills of the savannah. My argument dove-tails with those of Liyong’s stand that rewarding Ngugi’s Grain of wheat and forgetting Achebe’s Anthills of the Savannah and A man of the people would be a literary ceremony devoid of literary justice. Wizard of the Crow is indeed a magnum opus. I am ready to call it Ngugi’s oeuv
Dianne Sep 2014
I am no longer the
Steady thrum of heartbeats
When issues against women are
Comically displayed on televisions.
Like there's something to
Laugh, guffaw, snicker, snort--
Tell you what, I can name a little
Too many synonymous words
And I can slap them all to your face, too.

I am no longer a suppressed voice,
Unable to tell you and all the other people
That as a girl (and a woman, later),
I have the right to be here.
I have the same rights to life,
To be alive, to be secure,
To have a good life!
And yet, you, who calls yourself a
Man of power, tells me,
"You are nothing."

I am angry with the absurdity
Of it all. Men continuing to abuse,
Women constantly cowering down--
Why are you so intent on showing power
When you are not God?
Why are you so afraid of fighting
For yourself?

I am seething with rage
For those who refuse to accept
Feminism just for the reason
That they do not want to be labeled--
Well, guess what? They have already
Shoved you underneath Weak and Submissive.
Who taught you that you are born
To impress men?
Who taught you that you only exist
To please them?

I will not have any of that ****.
I am a person of my own.
I am a human being, with rights.
And I AM FIGHTING to have
The same rights as you do.
Whoever told you that that's
Never gonna happen, can shove it up
Their *****.

I will not sit still on my chair while
The next police officer
Asks "Well, what were you wearing?"
To the next **** victim.
You and I both know that is not
The issue here.
No girl should hung their head in shame
That they got touched without consent.
It's not their fault! No one
Deserves to be *****.
And no, it's not snuggling, for you who
Even thought **** jokes on t-shirts
Are funny. It's not.

I am for Gender Equality.
For both men and women,
Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender,
To be treated with equal respect.
With equal opportunities.
With equality.
With no judgment.
Why must you counter that?

Look, I've been sitting in that same chair
For too long while issues spread and get
Larger like the plague.
I thought, let them handle it.
I thought, a small voice would be of no help.
But when did sitting down and staring
Get people somewhere?
When did any of passivity help us?

We already have everything to lose
So why not fight?
Bruce Banner told the other avengers
The secret of Hulk.
And I tell you the same:
Get angry.
Smash inequality.
I will always be right behind you.
Autumn moves fast through the tunnel of love
Push from the top; bottom falls from above
Dangling leaves are flexing about
Dreaming of hope is a nightmarish shout

Cackle of ghouls; a shivering spine
All that is due will be due in due time
Whispering wind softly kisses my cheek
Lifetime of searching; know not what I seek

Darkness emerges as light fades away
Tried to hold on knowing no one can stay
Feeling alive only once I am dead
Listen but don't hear a word that is said

Roar of a flame, the warmth of the light
Fireball streaks interrupting the night
From the ashes we rose and to dust we return
Heart made of ice will not sooth what’s been burned

Holding my breath and not rising for air
Promise to no one the nothing I share
Hugging and squeezing a cuddly toy
Faded reminder when I was a boy

Roar of a racing car traveling fast
Linear stories that live in the past
Afternoon stroll through the paths in the woods
Wasn't enough when it’s all that I could

Didn't regret not regretting a thing
Perfectly still while I sit on the swing
Lazy and careless; the problem I tackle
Chained here forever without any shackles

Future and past presently now amuck
Free man who's also imprisoned and stuck
Roaring, the waves speaking softly to me
Shouting a message using secrecy

Cackling rooster call to end the day
Adult you become but your parents can't stay
Ending's begun and beginning ends near
Enveloped in fog; then it all became clear

Through stutter and stammer, I clearly can speak
World’s strongest man; I am fearful and weak
Worldly observer, I travel through life
Don't leave my house; Live alone with no wife

Peacock with confidence strutting my stuff
Have had my fill but not yet had enough
Nothing I fear but much fear have for it
Blowing out candles that never were lit

Bellowing cheers of "hip-hip hooray!"
Round of applauds for those who've died today
Subtle of strikes from a blatant attack
Gift you are given; already took back

Slapped with audacity right in the face
Composed with the utmost politeness and grace
Without allergy present, my body reacts
Calmly I sit through a panic attack

Telling a lie until it becomes truth
Speaking with stature his words are uncouth
Deafening silence rang shots from the gun
Finished a race that has not yet begun

"Rule" one time "Golden", now covered in rust
Did what was needed but not what I must
You can be anything but yet nothing you are
Traveling often but didn't go far

Properly set for no expectations
Biased perception began at creation
Feet on the ground and head in the clouds
Displayed while I'm naked; exposed in my shroud
Written - April 6, 2017

All rights reserved.
RAJ NANDY Feb 2015
AN INTRODUCTION TO INDIAN ART IN VERSE  
By Raj Nandy : Part One

INTRODUCTION
Background :
The India subcontinent and her diverse physical features,
influenced her dynamic history, religion, and culture!
The fertile basin of the Sapta-Sindu Rivers* cradled one of
world’s most ancient civilization, (seven rivers)
Contemporary to the Sumerians and the Egyptians, popularly
known as the Indus Valley Civilization!
The Sindu (Indus), Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Sutlej, Bias, along
with the sacred river Saraswati, shaped India’s early History;
Where once flourished the urban settlements of Harappa and
Mohenjodaro, which lay buried for several centuries;
For our archaeologists and scholars to unravel their many
secrets and hidden mysteries!
Modern scholars refer to it as ‘Indus-Saraswati Civilization’;
By interpreting the text of the Rig Veda which mentions
eclipses, equinoxes, and other astronomical conjunctions,
They date the origin of the Vedas as earlier as 3000 BC;
Thereby lifting the fog which shrouds Ancient History! +
(+ Two broad schools of thoughts prevail; Max Mullar refers
to 1500 BC as the date for origin of the Vedas, but modern scientific findings point to a much earlier date for their Oral composition and
their long oral tradition!)

On the banks of the sacred Saraswati River the holy sages
did once meditate, *
When their third eye opened, as all earthly bonds they did
transcend !
From their lips flowed the sacred chants of the Vedas, as
they sang the creator Brahma’s unending praise!
These Vedic chants and incantations survived many
centuries of an oral tradition,
When Indian Art began to blossom into exotic flowers like
Brahma’s divine manifestations;
With all subsequent art forms following the model of
Brahma’s manifold creations!
The Vedas got written down during the later Vedic Age
with commentaries and interpolations,
And remain as India’s indigenous composition, forming a
part of her sacred religious tradition! *
(
Rig Veda the oldest, had hymns in praise of the creator;
Yajur Veda spelled the ritual procedures; Sama Veda sets
the hymns for melodious chanting, & is the source of seven
notes of music; Artha Veda had hymns for warding off evil
& hardship, giving us a glimpse of early Vedic life.)

IMPACT OF FOREIGN INVASIONS:
Through the winding Khyber Pass cutting through the rugged
Hindu Kush Range,
Came the Persians, Greeks, Muslims, the Moguls, and many
bounty hunters storming through north-western frontier gate;
Consisting of varied racial groups and cultures, they entered
India’s fertile alluvial plains!
Therefore, while tracing 5000 years of Art Story, one cannot
divorce Art from India’s exotic cultural history.
From the Cave Art of Bhimbetka, to the dancing girl of Harappa,
To the frescoes and the evocative figures of Ajanta and Ellora;
Many marvelous and exquisitely carved temples of the South,
And Muslim and Mogul architecture and frescoes along with
India’s rich Folk Art, enriched her artistic heritage no doubt!
Yet for a long time Indian Art had been the least known of
the Oriental Arts,
Perhaps because from Western point of view it was difficult
to understand the spirit behind Indian Art!
For Indian Art is at once aesthetic and sensual, also passionate,
symbolic, and spiritual !
It both celebrates and denies the individual’s love of life,
where free instinct with rigid reason combine !
These contradictory elements are found side by side due to
her culturally mixed conditions, as I had earlier mentioned!
Now, if we add to this the constant religious exaltation,
With the extensive use of symbolic presentation, from the
early days of Indian civilization;
We have the basic elements of an Art, which has gradually
aroused the interest of Western Civilization!

The further we get back in time, we only begin to find,
That religion, philosophy, art and architecture,
Had all merged into an unified whole to form India’s
composite culture!
But while moving forward in time, we once again find,
That art, architecture, music, poetry and dance, all begin to
gradually emerge, with their separate identities,
Where Indian Art is seen as a rich mosaic of cultural diversity!

(NOTES:-In the ancient days, the Saraswati River flowed from the Siwalik Range of Hills (foothills of the Himalayas) between Sutlej & the Yamuna rivers, through the present day Rann of Kutch into the Arabian Sea, when Rajasthan was a fertile place! Indus settlements like Kalibangan, Banawalli, Ganwaiwala, were situated on the banks of Sarsawati River, which was longer than the Indus & ran parallel, and is mentioned around50 times in the Rig Veda! Scientists say that due to tectonic plate movements, and climatic changes, Saraswati dried up around 1700BC ! The people settled there shifted east and the south, during the course of history! Some of those Indo-Aryan speaking people were already settled there, & others joined later. Max Muller’s theory of an Aryan Invasion which destroyed the Indus Valley Civilization during 1500BC, supported by Colonial Rulers, was subsequently proved wrong ! Indo-Aryans were a Language group of the Indo- European
Language Family, & not a racial group as mistaken by Max Mullar! Therefore Dr.Romila Thapar calls it a gradual migration, & not an invasion! The Vedas were indigenous composition of India. However, they got compiled & written down for the first time with commentaries, at a much later date! I have maintained this position since it has been proved by modern scholars scientifically!)

SYMBOLISM IN INDIAN ART
From the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic to the Cretan Bull
of Greece,
Symbols have conveyed ideas and messages, fulfilling
artistic needs.
The ‘Da Vinci Code’ speaks of Leonardo’s art works as
symbolic subterfuge with encrypted messages for a secret
society!
While Indian art is replete with many sacred symbols to
attract good fortune, for the benefit of the community!
The symbols of the Dot or ‘Bindu’, the Lotus, the Trident,
the Conch shell, the sign and chant of ‘OM’, are all sacred
and divine;
For at the root of Indian artistic symbolism lies the Indian
concept of Time!
The West tends to think of time as a dynamic process which
is forward moving and linear;
Commencing with the ‘Big Bang’, moving towards a ‘Big
Crunch’, when ‘there shall be no more time’, or a state of
total inertia !
Indian art and sculpture is influenced by the cyclic concept
of time unfolding a series of ages or ‘yugas’;
Where creation, destruction and recreation, becomes a
dynamic and an unending phenomena!
This has been artistically and symbolically expressed in the
figure of Shiva-Nataraja’s cosmic dance,
Which portrays the entire kinetic universe in a state of
eternal flux!
The hour-glass drum in Nataraja’s right hand symbolizes
all creation;
Fire in his left hand the cyclic time frame of destruction!
The raised third hand is in a gesture of infinite benediction;
And the fourth hand pointing to his upraised foot shows the
path of liberation!

It was easier to teach the vast untutored population through
symbols, images, and paintings in the form of Art;
For a picture is more effective than a thousand words!
The Dot or ‘bindu’ becomes the focus for meditation,
Where the mental energies are focused on a single point of
creation,
As seen in the cotemporary art works of SH Raza’s
artistic representations!
Yet the same dot when expanded as a circle becomes
wholeness and infinity;
The shape of celestial bodies of the cyclic universe in its
creativity!
The Lotus seen in many sculptures, on temple walls, and
majestic columns, denotes purity;
A symbol of non-attachment rising above the muddy waters,
retaining its pristine color and beauty!
The Lotus is a powerful and transformational symbol in
Buddhist Art,
Where pink lotus is for height of enlightenment, blue for
wisdom, white for spiritual perfection, and the red lotus
symbolizing the heart!
This Lotus symbol also finds a place in Mughal sculptural
carvings and miniatures;
The inverted lotus dome resting on its petals, forms the
crown of Taj Mahal’s white marble architecture!
The trident or ‘trishul’ symbolizes the three god-heads
Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva;
As the Creator, Preserver and Destroyer, in that cyclic
chain which goes on forever!
The ***** stone of Shiva-lingam surrounded by the oval
female yoni symbolizes fertility and creation,
Usually found in the inner sanctuary of Hindu temples!
Finally, the symbol of ‘OM’ and its vibrating sound,
Echoes the primordial vibrations with which space and
time abounds!
All matter comes from energy vibrations manifesting
cosmic creation;
Also symbolized in Einstein’s famous matter-energy equation!
The Conch Shell a gift of the sea when blown, sounds the
ancient primordial vibration of ‘OM’!
It’s hallowed auspicious sound accompanies marriage
ceremonies and rituals whenever occasion demands;
And pacifies mother earth during Shiva-Nataraja’s sudden
seismic dance! (earthquakes)
Dear readers the symbols mentioned here are very few,
Mainly to curb the length, while I pay Indian Art my
artistic due!

A BRIEF COMPARISON OF ART:
Despite the many foreign influences which entered India
through the Khyber and Bholan pass,
India displayed marvelous adaptability and resilience, in
the development of her indigenous Art!
The aesthetic objectivity of Western Art was replaced by
the Indian vision of spiritual subjectivity,
For the transitory world around was only a ‘Maya’ or an
Illusion,- lacking material reality!
Therefore life-like representation was not always the aim
of Indian art,
But to lift that veil and reveal the life of the spirit, - was
the objective from the very start!
Egyptian funerary art was more occupied with after-life
and death;
While the Greeks portrayed youthful vigor and idealized
beauty, celebrating the joys of life instead!
The proud Roman Emperors to outshine their predecessors
erected even bigger statues, monuments, and columns
draped in glory;
Only in the long run to drain the Roman treasury, - a sad
downfall story!
Indian art gradually evolved over centuries with elements
both religious and secular,
As seen from the period of King Chandragupta Maurya,
Who defeated the Greek Seleucus, to carve out the first
united Indian Empire ! (app. 322 BC)

SECULAR AND SPIRITUAL FUSION IN ART:
Ancient Indian ‘stupas’
and temples were not like churches
or synagogues purely spiritual and religious,
But were cultural centers depicting secular images which
were also non-religious!
The Buddhist ‘stupa’ at Amravati (1stcentury BC), and the
gateways at Sanchi (1stcentury AD), display wealth of carvings
from the life of Buddha;
Also warriors on horseback, royal procession, trader’s caravans,
farmers with produce, - all secular by far!
Indian temples from the 8th Century AD onwards depicted
images of musicians, dancers, acrobats and romantic couples,
along with a variety of Deities;
But after 10th Century ****** themes began to make their mark
with depiction of sensuality!
Sensuality and ****** interaction in temples of Khajuraho and
Konarak has been displayed without inhibition;
As Tantric ideas on compatibility of human sexuality with
human spirituality, fused into artistic depictions!
Religion got based on a healthy and egalitarian acceptance
of all activities without ****** starvation;
For the emotional health and well-being of society, without
hypocritical denial or inhibition!
(’Stupas’= originated from ancient burial mounds, later became devotional Buddhist sites with holy relics, & external decorative gateways and carvings!)

KHJURAHO TEMPLE COMPLEX (950 - 1040 AD) :
Was built by the Chandela Rajputs in Central India,
When Khajuraho, the land of the moon gods, was the first
capital city of the Chandelas!
****** art covers ten percent of the temple sculptures,
Where both Hindu and Jain temples were built in the north-Indian
Nagara style of Architecture.
Out of the 85 temples only 22 have stood the vagaries of time,
Where a perfect fusion of aesthetic elegance and evocative
Kama-Sutra like ****** sculptural brilliance, - dazzle the eyes!

KONARAK SUN TEMPLE OF ORISSA - EAST COAST:
From the Khajuraho temple of love, we now move to the
Konark temple of *** in stones - as art!
Built around 1250 AD in the form of a temple mounted on
a huge cosmic chariot for the Sun God;
With twelve pairs of stone-carved wheels pulled by seven
galloping horses, symbolizing the passage of time under
the Solar God !
Seven horses for each day of the week, pulls the chariot
east wards towards dawn;
With twelve pairs of wheels representing the twelve calendar
months, as each cyclic day ushers in a new morn !
The friezes above and below the chariot wheels show military
processions, with elephants and hunting scenes;
Celebrating the victory of King Narasimhadeva-I over the
invading Muslims!
The ****** art and voluptuous carvings symbolizes aesthetic
bliss when uniting with the divine;
Following yogic postures and breathing techniques, which
Tantric Art alone defines!
(
Both Khjuraho & Konark temples were re-discovered by the
British, & are now World Heritage Sites!)

Artistic invention followed the model of cosmic creation;
Ancient Vedic tradition visualized the spirit of a joyous
self-offering with chants and incantations!
The world was understood to be a structured arrangement
of five elements of earth, water, fire, air, and ethereal space;
Where each element brought forth a distinct art-expression
with artistic grace!
Element of Sculpture was earth, Painting the fluidity of water,
Dance was transformative fire, Music flowed through the air,
and Poetry vibrated in ethereal space!

CONCLUDING INTRODUCTION TO INDIAN ART:

Indian Art is like a prism with many dazzling facets,
I have only introduced the subject with its symbolism,
- without covering its complete assets!
After my Part Three on ‘Etruscan and Roman Art’,
Christian and Byzantine Art was to follow;
But following request from my few poet friends I have
postponed it for the morrow!
Traditional Indian Art survives through its sculptures,
architecture, paintings and folk art, ever evolving with
the passing of time and age;
Influenced by Buddhist, Jain, Muslim, Mogul, and many
indigenous art forms, enriching India’s cultural heritage!
While the art of our modern times constitutes a separate
Contemporary phase !
The juxtaposition of certain concepts and forms might
have appeared a bit intriguing,
But the spiritual content and symbolism in art answers
our basic artistic seeking!
The other aspects of Indian Art I plan to cover at a later
date,
Hope you liked my Introduction, being posted after
almost forty days!
ALL COPY RIGHTS ARE WITH RAJ NANDY
E-Mail: rajnandy21@yahoo.
    FEW COMMENTS BY POETS ON 'POETFREAK.COM' :-
I have a vicarious pleasure going through your historical journey of Indian art! Thanks for sharing this here! 2 Mar 2013 by Ramesh T A | Reply

The prism of Indian Art is indeed has myriads of facets and is an awesome mixture of many influences some of which you list here so clearly - a very understandable presentation of symbolism too - -thank you for your fine effort Raj. 2 Mar 2013 by Fay Slimm | Reply

Oh what an interesting read with immense information capturing every single detail. You painted this piece of art with utmost care. Truly, it's works Raj…tfs 2 Mar 2013 by John Thomas Tharayil | Reply

First, I have to say, the part about the lotus symbolism reminds me – My name ‘NILOTPAL’ can be split into ‘NIL’ meaning BLUE and ‘UTPAL’ meaning LOTUS. So my name represents wisdom (although it contradicts ME.. LOL). A lot of things were mentioned in the veda and other ancient Indian texts that were way ahead of the time Like the idea of ‘velocity of light’ got considerable mention in the rig veda-Sahan bhasya, ‘Elliptical order of planets, ‘Black holes’ , although these are the scientific aspects. The emphasis on contradictory elements or even the idea of opposites in Indian art is interesting because India developed the mathematical concept of ‘Zero’ and ‘infinity’. Hard to believe Rajasthan was a fertile place but now it possesses its own beauty. It was great to read about the Natraja, ‘OM’ and the trident(Trishul). Among symbolisms, Lord Ganseha is my favorite because a lot is portrayed in that one image like the MOOSHIK representing
When I composed the History of Western Art in Verse & posted the series on 'Poetfreak.com', few Indian poet friends requested me to compose on Indian Art separately. I am posting part one of my composition here for those who may like to know about Indian Art. Thanks & best wishes, -Raj
Stephen E Yocum Oct 2013
The Island Moorea,
backpacking Tahiti,
In the heat, the sun,
The rhythm of my footfalls
crunching loose gravel road,
The swish of pack swaying
in conert to my measured pace.

Breeze pushing branches of Palm,
Ocean waves breaching shoreline long.
Island vehicles passing, occupant's laughing,
a man laboring under large pack, alone walking,
Who could have been freely riding,
Unthinkable to Island Folk,
in hot tropical places.

Some humble homes pasted along the way.
Greetings exchanged with smiling faces there.
Not long afterward a new sound approaching,
crunching gravel, rolling up behind me.

A lovely young girl, perhaps nineteen,
long brown naked legs bike a peddling.
Hair jet black, long to her waist, wearing
a sarong, split up the side,
Shoulders bare and brown.
Dark eyes of wonder, sparkling of youth.
A radiant smile adorning a splendid face.

We went for a time at my even pace,
looking and smiling each in our place.
"Hello there," I said, she giggled, beamed
even bigger. Perfect teeth displayed.

"Why you walk?" She asked in heavily
accented puzzlement.

"To get to where I'm going". I replied
This response producing a pleasant laugh
from the girl. In which I too joined in.

"You go One Chicken?" She asked
I stopped then and turned to her.
"Where is One Chicken?" I questioned
with a grin.

She raised her graceful arm,
one finger pointing up the road.
"One Chicken there," she informed.

It was a store/bar, sort of place,
In the very midst of nowhere.
Indeed, more than one chicken roamed,
Many chickens did and a pig or two,
mingling free and doing their thing.

We entered out of the bright daylight,
into the deepest of darks,
Like in a movie theater, when arriving late.
Eyes adjusting slowly to what lay ahead.

A few Island Beers later,
I had acquired several new friends,
The girl my invitation to the party of
already happy people a little drunk on beer.
The Music was mostly of French persuasion,
With a bit of Bob Dylan thrown in.
The Beatles also had a tune or two.
The Liverpool beat resounding down Tahiti way.

Before the light did fail, I shouldered my pack
and walked some distance from Chickens and Pigs.
Found the beach, hung my Hammock for the night.
Built a small fire and opened a can of Spam delight.

She appeared again about ten,
looking beautiful in the new moonlight.
Newly washed hair, still damp and
smelling fresh of Lilacs,
Or some such aromatic scent.
We did not speak, no words were needed,

Made love on the sand, 'till the retreat of the
tide and sand ***** did come out, in their
eerie numbers, to eat what was at hand.
I suppose even us if we let them.

We retired then both to my hammock,
A pretty neat trick if you can swing it.
And we did.

She was so childlike and yet,
very much a woman grown.
There was no pretense shown,
no false inhibitions rendered.
These were not limitations of her culture.
people that respond to their emotional impulses.
An open and free spirited people living
passionately within each minute.

It all felt more akin to a dream than real,
All around me there was beauty,
Loving and being loved without hurry,
Free of guilt or even a single expectation.
Living in that wondrous moment,
of uncomplicated human splendor.
Like some Garden of Eden surrender.
A real life Gauguin painting.

In the morning, we swam naked in the sea,
frolicked like kids having a day at the beach.
Made love in the sand, I dozed in the sun.
Upon awaking she was gone.

I waited an hour or two, packed up my camp,
shouldered my load and returned to the road.
A few minutes later, again I heard the now
familiar crunch of rubber tires,
rolling road surface and there she was,
a straw basket in her Bike's basket,  
A huge smile on her unforgettable,
beautiful face.

We sat in a grove of trees,
among birds singing, in sight of the sea,
Upon a Palm log and ate fresh bread and
fruit. Drank strong black coffee (French Roast
I presume,) nibbling some marvelous cheese.
We tried to talk, but she understood little of
what I tried to say, my French was nearly
nonexistent, only adding to confusions sake .

She leaned her head on my shoulder,
the way lovers do and tenderly held
my hand within her two,
As if not wanting to let go,
Those gestures said all there was to say,
And we savored each silent moment.

We parted there, she on blue, rusty bike
and me on "shanks mare",
Off in two different directions,
Each out into the depths of our own lives,
Gone just like that. . . And yet,
Indelible, never to be forgotten or replaced.
Some days and nights, that young maiden of
Moorea does still visit me, in dreams as real
as can be. She never grows old, nor does the
beauty we shared for that one brief moment in
time immortal.

Someplace among the Islands of Tahiti
there is a woman in her sixties, most likely
a Mother, even a Grandmother yet living.
I hope she recalls as fondly the American blond
man with the big Orange Backpack, that in 1972
she met upon the road, near "One Chicken" and
loved freely and completely for two days and a
night, as that man does so fondly remember her.
Jeff Gaines Mar 2018
OK Reader, I'm going to tell you a tale … with great trepidation. You see, this tale, well, it's kind of like telling someone that you've seen a UFO. They want to believe you, but … it's never really been proven scientifically. Not to mention the fact that most folks who believe in such things are often the tin-hat wearing types, written off as … lets be nice and call them “odd”. And, of course, the more you swear to it, the crazier you appear. It's an epic tale, spanning 30 years of my crazy life.

  But, It's a story I want to tell, because it happened to me. I can barely understand it myself, let alone explain it. So … I'm just going to launch into it and you take it any way you wish.

*  *  
Where Can You Be?

Where can you be?
Where can you be, my love?
Oh, can't you see?
You're not with me!

I'll search with gazes and I'll search with cars,
I'll search the cities and I'll search the stars, well …
I'm gonna find you, oh, wherever you are,
I'm gonna find you baby …  near or far, but …

Where can you be?
Where can you be, my love?
Oh, can't you see?
You're not with me!

I thought I'd found ya, but she wasn't you,
that girl she left alone and blue, well …
I know that's something that you'd never do,
your love has always been strong and true, but …

Where can you be?
Where can you be, my love?
Oh, can't you see?
You're not with me!

If you must settle for some other man
and deviate from our immortal plan, well …
I hope you realize I will understand
and I'll try and do the best that I can, but …

Where will I be?
Where will I be, my love?
Hoping the next life sees …
our destiny!


Where can you be?
Where can you be, my love?
Oh, can't you see?
You're not with me!

~Wednesday, April 1st, 1987
10:30 P.M.



  I was singing in a band back in those days and, as it happened, this was the last song I'd ever write for it. Just after this, as it does, it all came crashing down and the band was finished. But in those last days, they pondered this song, with great puzzlement. You see, it was unlike anything I'd brought them before. It wasn't rock … It wasn't a ballad … it wasn't even structured like a “normal” 80's rock song.
  
  No bridge, no solo, no loud grinding guitars, etc. It even had bits where I hummed, yes hummed, the melody, like a lullaby. As they read the lyrics and I described how it went, they all looked at me like I had three heads and asked where this had come from. It was nothing like anything I'd written before. I could only tell them when and where I'd written it, but had no explanation of what inspired it. It had just came to me, so I wrote it down. They didn't know what to make of it, or even what to do with it.

  One of them said it sounded like a late 70's or early 80's adult contemporary song or even in the vein of The Eagles. Another asked if it was about reincarnation … And I honestly, until that moment, hadn't thought of it that way, I didn't think like that at 24 … but then, one of them said it was “Haunting” …

  “Haunting”?

  “Wow”, I thought, I'd never had anything I'd written described as that before. When I asked him what he meant by that, he told me that it was haunting to think that this poor guy is desperately seeking a girl, that may or may not even know that he exists … in a world with billions of people in it. To top that off, he fears that she may off and marry someone else if he doesn't find her in time.

  This, along with the suggestion of it being about reincarnation made me rethink and rewrite the song. Well, a few lines in the last verse and chorus anyways. It actually made the song flow better and seem more complete. In a way, it actually made the song make more sense … to me and them. Sadly, we never did anything with it. There wouldn't be time. Ha … Time … how ironic. Over 10 years later, came this …


For Someone I've Never Met

Please save a place for me,
deep inside your heart.
Always know that I think of you,
as we both practice our arts.

Our worlds are full of temptations,
so very hard to resist …
and the good Lord knows
we're both far from,
sixteen and never been kissed.

Wealthy men with jaws divine …
Temptresses with looks so fine …
Paths that lead our hearts away …
Paths that surely lead astray …

They'll lead us there every time.
They'll leave us there … so  unkind.
Our hearts must shine,
night and day.
Through any darkness … they'll light our way.

If you never touch my face …
If I never look into your eyes …
We'll always have the comfort of sharing
the same
big, blue sky.

If I never smell your hair …
If you never kiss my lips …
Always know the search for your smile
has launched a thousand ships.

So, I hope you save a place for me
in your heart so sweet and kind.
Please, save a place for me …
Heaven knows you've one in mine.

~Thursday, September 9th, 1999
9 A.M.



“For Someone I've Never Met ” poured out of me in the midst of another breakup from the second, and last, girl that I wanted to marry. That emotion, never found me again. I looked at it on my computer screen and smiled, seeing “Where Can You Be”, in my mind, on my tattered old note pad that I called my “Song Book”. The memory of me writing it while sitting in my Z-28, looking out over the Gulf of Mexico as a beautiful heat lighting storm sent bolts across the sky, came flooding back; as did the debate of reincarnation I'd had with my pals in the rehearsal room all those years before. Here I was, again, writing about “someone” that I sensed, for lack of a better term, was out there … somewhere.

  Well Reader, do you believe in reincarnation? I was never really certain, but, as you can see, I had twice written pieces to someone I wasn't completely sure existed. I had always “sensed” someone out there beginning with the period after I wrote “Where Can You Be?” and thereafter. So, there they were, each written after losing someone I was deeply in love with. Each came out of nowhere, as they usually do. By the time I was in my 40's, I began to think I was either imagining it all (a side effect of being a hopeless romantic) or that I had just somehow missed this person and our “moment”.

  And then …



Epiphany

There was a place.
There was a time …
There, I stood … still unknowing
and everything seemed fine.

But there in that place …
at that moment in time …
the moment I saw the eyes,
I'd never believed I'd find.

Well, what could I say?
What could I do?
In a world filled with billions …
and there … was a you.

I'd always known you were out there …
even written of something amiss.
I never, ever stopped looking for you …
because my heart always said you exist.

My breezy Fall became harshest Winter.
My crazy life left my health running out.
I'd resigned myself that our moment had passed …
but this moment … it removed all doubt.

Well, what could I say?
Tell me, what could I do?
There we stood, staring … alone … in a city of millions …
yes, there … there was a you.

Oh, that mistress fate, she is just so cruel.
Frustration, a curse to be mine.
   I'd searched for you my entire life …
but now … my clock … knows a limit of time.

You see, I would never venture a love with you,
while knowing I'd have to leave you … hurt and alone.
I could only admire from afar … stoic and aloof …
while turning my heart into stone.

Nothing I could ever say and nothing I could ever do …
But now, at long last … at least I finally knew.

There, you stood … green seas, gazing up … into skies of blue.
My long-awaited revelation … become sorrow-laced realization.
There really is … a you.

~August 12th, 2009
  

  Typical of my life-long Charlie Brown syndrome … After being told in 2005 that I had “the lungs of an eighty-year-old man” and that I had “Six to Ten years” to live, I made a conscious decision in that Doctor's parking lot that I could never have another girlfriend and that I must face this alone. I don't see woman as objects. They are glorious creatures that are here to be our partners and friends and to make our lives amazing. I could never, ever knowingly let a woman fall in love with me, all the while knowing I was going to die and leave her. It's not in me to do such a thing, lonely or not.

  Yes, I'm still alive, I'm stubborn like that. But, some days are better than others and my new doctors say that they don't give people “time limits” anymore … because of people like me. I can't afford the lung transplant. So, as Bono so aptly put in one of his songs: “The rich stay healthy, while the sick stay poor”. It is what it is … and like the energizer bunny, I'm still going. Good for me.

  In the moment that I met her, the morning that followed, and the amazing speed of our nexus over the next several months combined with a string of synchronicities (Coincidences? Did I mention that she too, was a poet and writer?) that not only came after I met her on the sidewalk in front of the publisher we shared, but in those pieces I had written before and in several after; I was pretty much convinced I had actually found her. I have NEVER experienced anything like this, or her, in my entire life.

  So, after all this time, here she was … and there wasn't a **** thing that I could do about it. Besides, she was much younger than I and it probably would never have worked anyways. ****, the universe is rotten sometimes, huh? Maybe, if I'm lucky, things will balance out better in the next life. I can only hope. But I'm reminded, worryingly so, of the **** The Alarm song: “Collide”:

“All of these thoughts pounding in my head …
with the words I've wrote, in the letters I've never sent.
The distance in our lives may change …
Times that you can never erase …
But will our worlds collide?
Will our worlds collide, the next time?”



  Only time will tell.



  “Colors”, and a few others, were written about/for her. But, I could never show them to her. I would never endanger my friendship with her. I just wanted to keep her in my life. That, and that alone, was the only motive I'd ever had with her. I looked forward to seeing her marry, hearing her stories of her three kid's adventures; Hubby, all greasy, working on the car in the driveway, rabbits in her garden at night, eating her precious organic veggies or even about her new curtains. Just to know that she was alive, happy and doing well. I found a solace in her voice I could never describe and I was completely content to just have her in my life and watch hers unfold. Only I could end up in this odd position.

  I feared that she might get weird-ed out because I'd never displayed any romantic inklings toward her, so, to suddenly read these might make her feel a bit, lets say: uncomfortable. Actually, I didn't write them with any romantic intentions, per se; I just did what I always do … write what comes out. Still, there's no denying that they come across romantic. Again, so, so Charlie Brown. (long sigh)
  
  It is what it is. I also have to ponder the fact that maybe all those Charlie Brown moments in my life were preparing me for this one big, painful one. That does makes sense … ******' Universe.


Colors

Well when you're Green, I'll be your Brown.
Like the earth that loves the flowers,
I'll will be your solid ground.

And I'll be your Azure, when you are Verdigris.
We'll be thee most beautiful ocean
that eyes have ever seen.

And when you're Black, I'll be your White.
Mixing all of the colors … I'll make everything alright.

Now when you're Blue, I'll be you're Red.
If something should make you wanna cry,
I will feel your pain instead.

And I'll be your Orange, whenever you are Pink.
We'll be thee most amazing sunset,
that the sky could ever ink.

And when you're Black, I'll be your White.
I'll mix all of your colors … and make everything alright.

Should you be Violet, I will be your Beige.
Like a sleepy moonlit desert,
pasteled in dunes and sage.

And when you're Grey, I will be your Rainbow.
We'll be thee most soothing rainstorm
the world has ever known.

And when you're Black, I'll be your White.
I'll mix all of your colors … yes, I'll make everything alright.

With love on my palette, painting a glorious sunrise …
I'll color all your mornings with a smile and brighten up your skies.
If you should find yourself in sorrow from someones hate or lies …
I'll take the stars down from the heavens … and paint them in your eyes.

So whenever you are Black, I will always be your White.
I'll mix all your colors with a promise … everything will be alright.

Yes, I'll mix all of your colors with a promise … Everything's gonna be alright.

~  Winter 2012



  I wrote this after she had rang me up one afternoon lamenting about her life at the moment, troubled that her latest novel hadn't done as well as she'd hoped and now she had to be waitressing to make ends meet. I tried my best to cheer her up and assured her that she was strong enough to handle anything and that she must keep chasing her dreams. I wrote it as a poem, but I can't help but notice it looks like a song, though I've never heard music for it. Those repeated verses look just like choruses to me.

  Earlier in the day, I had been looking at a booklet of paint swatches. I guess, up there on my roof looking at the Manhattan skyline, her sadness and me looking at all those colors melted together somehow and, as happens, out came this piece. Even this, became another synchronicity as she would name her next novel “Show Me All Your Colors”. I remember seeing it in the bookstore and looking straight up … shaking my head at the sky. Was this the universe telling me to show and tell her all this?

  Well, if it was, I stuck with my gut and kept it to myself. My God, if you only knew how many of these synchronicities there were between her and I. It simply boggles my mind. I wanted to call them “coincidences”, but there were just so **** many of them … Each so unique, they just couldn't be called that. I don't want to tell them all here, because like I said, the more you swear to it, the crazier you sound. And I'm sure your questioning my sanity by now, aren't you? (Smirk)


  OK, OK … this one is definitely romantic. I wrote it one night, drunk to the bejeezus. I'd done what we called “The Crosstown Crawl” with my pal Tristan and a gaggle of assorted waitresses we knew. This involved starting at Brass Monkey on the west side highway in the Gansevoort District and ending at my favorite hookah bar, Karma, on the Lower East Side … Drinking in, and often being “asked to leave” (Read: Kicked out of) every bar that took our interest as we walked (Read: staggered) west to east, staying below 14th St.

  On my way home from the city on the J train, I thought about all the phone conversations we'd had while I was on this train crossing the Williamsburg Bridge. Being drunk, I guess, I caught a bout of sadness that I'd never get to tell her any of this or even how I felt about it all. Before I hit my elevator, this piece was swimming in my head. It's about as mushy a piece as I've ever written … if not thee most! Not the norm for me, but this is, after all, a lot to keep pent up inside you. I wouldn't wish this predicament on anyone.


For My Little Red-Haired Girl …


You …

My Love.
My Queen.
This Shining Light in my eyes.

My Laughs.
My Dreams.
My Soft, Contented Sighs.

My *****.
My Lavender.
My Dew Covered Rose.

My Smile.
My Cinnamon.
The Joy in my heart … ever inspiring my prose.

My Best Friend.
My Co-Star.
My Fearless Partner in Crime.

My Breath.
My Cohort.
My Side-kick throughout time.

My Snow-capped Mountain.
The Wind caressing my face.
My Vast Green Field.

The Ivy Covered Wall
that harbors my soul … ever refusing to yield.

In a different time ...

You … would have been my Life.

You … would have been my World.

You … would have been my Everything

and I will always love you for my own special reasons.

It is just a shame … and I'm so, so sorry … that you … must never, ever know.

Maybe next time.


~Charlie Brown




   When I came-to in the morning and read what I had wrote, I had to laugh a bit. It is borderline corny, very beautiful, very telling and very sad … all at once. I shook my head, laughing and told myself :

  “*******, Sam … yer losin' it. Get your **** together, will ya?”

  I guess in my stupor, I was imagining what it would have been like to write something for her. I don't know … There it was and I was stuck with it. I almost deleted it, but, my finger wouldn't press the key. As I told you before … I'd NEVER show this to her. She'd probably never speak to me again.

   As a sadder epilogue, that eventually happened. I still don't know why, but we haven't spoken in years. Maybe she sensed this emotion in me and ran away. Or maybe, just maybe … she thought I'd pushed her away somehow … but for whatever reason, we drifted apart. I guess I'll never know.  As you can see by reading this, that was never my intention. But, like I keep reiterating … It is what it is.

  One day, I called her number to catch up and shoot the breeze. I hadn't spoken to her in a few months as she'd been busy promoting her new novel and I didn't want to pester her. But … it was disconnected … I checked my emails … nothing. I'd never been so confused, she just closed me out. I didn't want to bother her. I was sure she had her reasons and if she wanted to reach out to me again, she would. She had my email and my phone number. But, for now … she was gone … and that was that.

  So, what do you think, Reader? Do I get the Tin hat … or a Badge of courage? Am I bat-**** crazy … or just eccentric? I'll leave it up to you to decide, because as I said, this all happened to me and there isn't a thing I can do about any of it. I just had to get it off of my chest. Thanks for letting me vent.

  Wherever she is … she will always mean the world to me. I can see her green eyes if I close my mine and look for them. Sometimes, on occasion, her face haunts my sleep. Still, I like to picture her, kids playing in a sprinkler behind her, digging in her garden, wearing gloves too big for her hands and a smudge of fresh dirt on her cheek … it makes me smile.


-Sam Webster
Brooklyn, New York
2013
OK, you can stop scratching your head. I'm sorry if you feel like I tricked you or was playing a prank … That was not my intention. This piece is experimental writing, of sorts. If you are wondering, it's titled “Somewhere … Out There”. But I didn't want to put a title at the head of the page, as that might have clued you in too early.

I also confess that “Sam” the narrator is, on no uncertain terms, based loosely on myself. But hey, what better way to string you along? Besides, as Stephen King said, you “Write what you know”. As far as I 'm aware, using poetry within a short story like this, or in this manner, has never been done before. Welcome to the future!

It really belongs in my “From Thee Edge” Collection with the rest of my Twilight-Zone-esque short stories. (You can now read some of these fiction short stories here, posted in my "NoPo@HePo" posts, along with some non-fiction essays. I hope you enjoy them.) But, because I pieced together several of my poems to not only tell the story, but as a vehicle to carry it along as part of it; I wanted to put it here on Hello Poetry just to see if I could convince you long enough to get you through the story … while having you believe it was me speaking to you and that it was all very real to me. Thus, making it feel real to you as you read it.

Was I having you along right up until it was signed by someone else? Or, at least until the narrator addressed himself as “Sam”?

If so, then I accomplished my mission. I'd love to hear your comments on it. If you've been reading any of my other posts, I'm sure you've figured out that I like to run wildly outside of the box sometimes. This was just, as I said, an experiment in a different way to tell a story … fiction or otherwise. As always, I hope that I took you on a journey and, more importantly, that you enjoyed it.

~Jeff Gaines
L.A.
(Lower Alabama)
2015
Perched before the mirror,
my eyes open to see
the greatest of loves there in front of me

With a smile, a chuckle,
a nod and a wink
I’m falling in love above my bathroom sink

My ocular captions
are fixed in a gaze
and neither denies
our lust-worthy ways
Never before
have I seen such a marvel
Brought almost to awe
yet I recant such sparkle

For my status is equal
or better than such
I say with full modesty
(as if I must)
The greatness exuded
Displayed on both sides
It is something that I
and the other can't hide

All of those who now know
and all those who shall see
will admire and greet us
down on bended knee
Consternation displayed
only to be outdone
by illustrious gestures
to this royal son

But enough of the rest,
there is just you and I
“All of those poor, poor people”,
we say with a sigh
They will truly not know
what it is to be us
When you don't have to worry
And don't have to fuss

This supremacy life
is a difficult one
My heart would feel pity,
(If I had one)
Instead it’s disgust,
disdain and the like
The fuel that's propelling me
forward with blithe

Still across from me now,
a reverent sight
Another near equal
and one who just might
be the only one worthy enough possibly
To stand here beside me for others to see

They think they all know
but know nothing they do
It's the jealousy had by them
for I and you
They’re like chlorophyllic plants
Dripping in so much envy
They try and they try;
They try to prevent me

From being the greatness
I know I can be
If just given a chance
Then perhaps they would see
But alas, in the end
it doesn't mean ****
What I care for is me
Only me
and that's it

Except my love for you
It's so deep can’t you see?
It is real
I can feel it
I truly believe
Only you I can trust
The one person who matters
The one I turn to
when life breaks and it shatters

All others are pawns
I can move on the board
Sacrificial pieces
for falling on swords
No dispute; I am king
Come stand here with me
It’s us versus them
And trust me they’ll see

It might not be today
It might not be tomorrow
But it will be soon
when they join me in sorrow
Make all of them pay
For what they’ve done to me
For the pain they’ve inflicted
Their fault, you will see

Anything that I do
Even though I will try
They keep holding me down
No idea; Don't know why
They are all out to get me
So plainly can see
But one thing you won't see
is not the last of me

Here, take my hand lover
and come with me now
We'll go out in the world
and together show how
Their pathetic existence
can benefit us
We may step on some ants
But there's no need to fuss

The hole that is empty
That is our damnation
Use things superficial
Instant gratification
It's a short-term "fix"
But will make-do for now
In our path, leave destruction
This much I will vow

Happiness, thoughtfulness
or concerned empathy
Some examples of words
unfamiliar to me
Therefore, no one can feel it
Must feel like I do
Only then I'm complete
Feeling I belong too
Written: August 31, 2017 (revised February 3, 2019)

All rights reserved.
Stuart D Oliver Jun 2012
Life is displayed in the color green,
Stalks of corn, a field of beans.
The oak tree's leaves, the roses stem,
The fresh mown hay, the forest glen.

Life is displayed in the color yellow,
A daffodil or lemon Jell-o.
The morning sun, a buttercup's wings,
A smiley face, a topaz ring.

Life is displayed in the color brown,
The deep rich soil at the edge of town.
A chocolate chip, a sorrel foal,
Steaming cocoa, a fresh baked roll.

Life is displayed in the color blue,
Neptune's ocean, and berries too.
A mountain stream, the desert skies,
But favorite to me are my little girl's eyes.
sans screens Mar 2018
In school I was told that I was small,
I was portrayed as a gold fish who lived in a small tank,
Like a small fish who was scared to jump to a larger one,
They failed to notice, fish can’t breath while they jump.

In school I was told that I was lazy,
I was displayed as if I were taking the easier path,
They failed to notice I was an A straight student,
Only I couldn’t be happy in such a squared larger tank.

Two years have passed and I am not lazy, nor small,
The fish has grown, and it is indeed gold,
But it doesn’t jump, it swims and flies,
They failed to notice, we are not made out of a mould.
Mena Mulugeta Mar 2018
Love that
She's older now,
she is more clever things don't seem
to bother. 
She would shatter you
with a bit of her consciousness
while she scortches you with her intelligence.
She is the definition of sparkle, it's something that you constructed
Through the destruction, you once had started.
It no longer exists I displayed out loud I'm no longer your bih I'm out.
You've taught me to love myself thank you.
howard brace Sep 2012
He'd been conceived in Flamborough, so his little sister assured him some eleven summers ago, which was a tad hard for Rocky to swallow, she was a whole eighteen months his junior and then some... and at that age, well... what did she know, she was only a kid, "on this very rock" River insisted, kicking her heels in delight, "next to this very rock pool" they were both sitting beside, "one sunny afternoon eleven years ago..." and that was how he came by the name of Rocky... she taunted as the rest of the colourful story unfolded... and that she had it all on the best possible authority... although the more she thought about it, had she meant concealed... she wasn't quite sure now, it was all so very confusing at her tender age but thought it sounded close enough not to matter too much and that she would just wait and see which way the wind blew.
        
     It was conceivably an ill wind that blew no one any good that day, especially if you were a boy and just happened to be sat by a rock pool next to your little sister...  Having just taken a well earned drink from a neighbouring rock pool, Sockeye the floppiest Springer Spaniel this side of the Pecos decided that he was going to dig a hole and that he would be digging it deep, then changed his mind mid-dig and decided to have a more down to earth back scratching wriggle instead... then promptly flopped over and slid into the hole... life was sweet.  Now covered from nose to tail with every species of deceased shore life usually found frequenting the high water mark Sockeye, in a blinding flash of canine inspiration judged it would be in everyone's best interest were he to have a really good shakedown which always appeared to go down well on these occasions... and give everyone a good peppering, just so they could see exactly what they'd been missing all their lives.  

     "A rock of all places, for goodness sakes..." and what's more, it was this rock, "Yuk..." he jumped up and wiped his palms on the back of his jeans in disgust, then onto his tee-shirt, then sat back down again and began exploring his left nostril in quiet contemplation before finally jambing his hands back into his pockets... what in Heaven's name had his parents been thinking of..? what on earth was his little sister talking about..? and more to the point, what in fact did conceived mean..?  these were the questions that were uppermost in Rocky's mind as he poked an exploratory stick into the rock pool...  a baby crab marooned by the tide scampered sideways beneath a large pebble and stuck one beady eye out at him... Rocky's sister, seemingly in a world of her own, much like the baby crab sat on the edge of the noteworthy rock kicking her heels, an innocent smile curled the corners of her mouth as she quietly hummed a little song of tuneful bliss to herself and considered what further mischief she could possibly pass her brother's way.

     Rocky tossed a piece of driftwood over his sisters shoulder at a nearby flock of seagulls, squabbling over what appeared to be a discarded bag of fish and chips... Sockeye, simply knowing that his little master wanted to play a game of fetch gambolled after the stick, his ears flying courageously in the still Summer air and burst, amid a melee of feathers into their midst, only to romp back moments later, the stick all but forgotten in the excitement but now proudly sporting the derelict bag of leftovers and the odd splash of guano, his tail lolloping magnificently from side to side... and for the moment at least, leaving the fratching seagulls wheeling noisily overhead and to go about their daily business without further interruption... as for Sockeye, it had been a no contest situation.

     After fourteen years of valiant endeavour his father... Red, so named for his vivid shock of wiry hair, was still engaged in man's eternal struggle to win his significant other half's approbation with the manful art of deck-chair assembly, beach barbeque and other significant gentlemanly pursuits, all while strutting his manly stuff, sporting top of the range beach wear in accordance with the social etiquette of the previous decade... his masculine paunch slumping gallantly atop his waistband...  

     After the same fourteen terms of domestic servitude and the same thirteen identically overlooked anniversary cards a certain someone had no intention of allowing another certain someone to forget so much as one of them... his better half, so she insisted would ride rough shod, administering her own brand of justice at every given opportunity, in much the same way you'd brandish a royal-flush on poker night... or better still, a loaded revolver... and that she personally carried the burden of every ill-fated card that Lady Luck had dealt strung about her neck like Adam's original sin on Judgement Day.  

     Red much preferred the shorter, more condensed name of Rock for his son, rather than the longer more protracted Rocky, as he struggled with the wood and canvas lounger badly trapping the mound of his thumb in the process, "Aaargh...!!!" plunging his throbbing hand deep into the cold, soothing rock-pool "aaah...!!!"   Still marooned by the tide, the baby crab stood poised and ready for action as it considered giving this latest intrusion a good offensive nip, then hang on spitefully as it gave Red the final withering once over with the same baleful eye it had successfully used earlier.

     Acknowledging her husbands misfortune with a perfunctory grunt as she rummaged in her beach-bag for the thermos, she refused to be drawn in where thumbs were concerned right now, after all with his DNA sequencing she was convinced he could probably grow a new one within the month... whilst Tina, well... she was just plain worn-out... but still rejoiced in telling anyone who cared to lend a sympathetic ear in her direction... and who in turn was more than happy to listen to the woes of others and went somewhere along the lines of... 'and had she heard any more of poor Mrs Dorey's lingering martyrdom recently..? you know, the downtrodden lady who lives in the next street but one... and how they would all miss her when she was gone... and how she couldn't wait...' and as rumour had it, neither could her husband...

      Feigning to be otherwise engaged, Tina... as her husband, now blowing frantically on his mangled thumb, stumbled backwards over the half erected lounger and with a spine jarring "Ooomph...!!!" landed squarely in Sockeye's subsiding earthworks... professed total disassociation with the entire fiasco as she plunged her nose even deeper into the overdue library book she'd purposely brought on holiday for just such an occasion, making it perfectly clear that she was a tourist and furthermore, planned to stick with the same itinerary once they returned home... and that while she was here, she did not under any circumstances wish to be disturbed, the notice was clearly displayed hanging from the door handle... but if anyone should, then whoever it was did so at their own peril... and she was keeping score... although a mangled thumb she luxuriated, with the same roguish smile curling the corners of her mouth as the one normally found playing around her daughter's... was equally as heart warming.

      All Tina wanted was one week of uninterrupted peace and quiet in Flamborough, preferably with a certain someone out from under her feet then spend what might pass for several undisturbed hours sitting quietly by the rock pool comparing notes on eye makeup and the feminine merits of pedicure with the little crab who, still marooned by the tide was now sat busily knitting four pairs of matching leg warmers in the cool, still water but that was only if that certain someone... a shrill  "AAaargh...!!!" somewhat more desperate than the first, ****** itself upon the as yet unaggressive afternoon as it gyrated across the warm Jurrasic rock and recoiled out to sea... "now where was I", twisting her book uppermost "oh yes..! someone was going to pay..." only now it was going to be sooner rather than later, but only if that certain someone didn't finish the seating arrangements before the Sun disappeared and drift into some backstreet tea-room before all the lemon cheesecake sold out, or was that she reflected, simply too much to ask.

     It was his Surname that Rock found so objectionable, or it had been right up until his little sister's enlightening disclosure, now it was both names Rocky disliked, it would have been far kinder had Rock Salmon been sandwiched between sliced bread and given to Sockeye... who's solemn duty, from the first mouthful to the very last, was to gaze up beseechingly from beneath the kitchen table  and devour anything that passed his way, even the postman had to be quick about his business or have his arm follow the mail through the letter box... then Sockeye would just smack his lips and help himself to seconds.  

     All Rocky's mum had thought about for the last fourteen years was seconds... every last solitary one of them since she'd suffered with an infection of matrimonial neurosis which had deprived her of common sense and her maiden name, from Chovey to that of Salmon and how with hindsight she should have taken an Aspirin instead, wedlock she asserted was everything the name claimed to be and was without doubt the worst move she'd ever made... and what's more was seen as a bad move in whoever's wedding album you just happened to be paying your condolences to.

     Rocky would never be so fortunate on that score, unlike his sister he was stuck with Salmon for good, his grandma-Ann by all accounts had been dead set against the union from word Go and saw his father as someone who would always be out of his depth in whatever rock pool he found himself in, swimming against the tide as it were, rather than going with the flow... and it appeared that Rocky, almost eleven years into a life sentence, was about to flounder in the same murky undertow as the rest of the Salmon family... only he couldn't swim.

     "There"! her husband exclaimed "all finished... better late than never eh', who fancies trying it"? his wife luxuriated over the words 'better late' and wondered whether her new earrings, her latest acquisition would complement formal mourning attire.  Red dusted off the palms of his hands with the certain knowledge of a job well done and cautiously took one step back, looking with justifiable pride at the outcome of his manly exertions of the last two hours, this was what holidays were all about he declared, one man pitted against insurmountable odds...  His wife meanwhile was getting to grips with more odds of her own than you could safely expect to shake a stick at... her husband being one of them.  

     Having gathered her offspring with the promise of verbal earache if they didn't... and finished packing the beach-bag, Tina finally located Sockeye peering out from the shade of an adjacent rock, wisps of feathers poked tellingly from the corners of his mouth, his tail beating mischievously on the shingle decided in one further blaze of canine brainstorming, as Tina attempted to slip his collar on that a game of tag would just about round the day off nicely... Tina then devoted the next ten minutes chasing him amid unrestrained salvo's of cheering from the rest of the family... then bid goodbye to the little crab who, still marooned by the tide waved a friendly pincer in return... and trusted that she wouldn't have too long to wait for the next rising tide back home, then she slid off the rock with a corrosive... "the deck-chair attendant would have shown you" she snapped "and don't forget the deposit when you take them back" then double checking that she landed squarely on his foot she marched past, her floral sun hat jammed resolutely on her head at what she considered a jaunty angle with her equally jaunty, angular children scrambling in hot pursuit, back in the direction of their lodgings.  

     "Woof "..? said a bewildered Sockeye, bringing everyone to an abrupt halt... and with paws the size of place-mats, he wasn't going anywhere he didn't want to... he hunkered down with a look of hurtful accusation on his face, "oh yes you are my lad"! said his mistress "I've met your sort before" and knew exactly where to place the toe of her dainty size-5 as Sockeye, digging his heals in even further created swathes of canine furrows up the beach, leaving her husband the unwitting holder and in sole possession of the overlooked guest-house keys... and somewhat resigned to clean up his own masculinity and dismantle the recently assembled, now redundant deck-chairs by himself... as for Tina, well... she'd had quite enough excitement for one day thank you very much.

     Morning register was always the worst he thought, as they trooped back along the shingle beach, Rocky making surprisingly good furrows of his own... but the rest of the class loved it and saw it as the highlight of each day... Rocky's form teacher, despite showing a brave face was always hard pressed to avoid bursting into hysterics every time she worked her way down the register to the letter 'S' and would attempt to bypass it altogether, jumping from 'R' to 'T' and just prayed that no one else had noticed, but it hadn't taken the class very long to point out her oversight and... "please Miss" they'd all chant "we haven't had Salmon all week" and while the rest of the class were having convulsive fits, Rocky would elbow the lad sat at the next desk in the ribs... and promptly get one hundred lines for his trouble... thank goodness it was school holidays.  Why couldn't they have been given respectable names like Seymour Legge, Rock wondered, who sat over by the window or perhaps the teachers pet, Anna Prentice or even, Robyn Banks at a pinch, but definitely not what they'd been given and certainly not Salmon, they were the most hilarious names he could imagine and if someone was looking down on them right now he thought... then they had a very unique sense of humour indeed and Rock said so... "why" his little sister asked sweetly, "what's wrong with River Salmon".

                                                      ­                         ...   ...   ...*

a work in progress*                                                        ­                                                              240­6
grace snoddy Dec 2017
regret.
i regret letting you in.

love will always start with illusion.
and i fell in love with
the mirage you displayed.
i told myself that
the person i fell in love with
was still there.
that is why i stuck around

for so long.

for so long i believed that you still loved me
as much as the sun loved the sky.
even when you said you didn’t,
even when your voice didn’t feel like

home.

home was late night conversations.
home was your laugh ringing in my ears.
but what was once the house we loved in,
it is now dominated by ghosts.

it has been 8 months.
i still

regret.
i regret letting you in.
Dorothy A Oct 2013
Everything faded to black. He had a hard time remembering just what the hell happened. He wasn't sure of downing some random pills from of the medicine cabinet-- his first attempt to end it all. Making sure he would not recover-- if the pills didn't do the job-- he had already devised the set up of the noose in his bedroom. Definitely, he didn't recall anyone cutting the rope, forcing him down to the floor.

Lacie joked with him. "Dude, you've got nine lives! You must really be a ****, fricking cat in disguise! That's why you'll eat those nasty tuna fish sandwiches they serve in the nuthouse! "

Chris grinned at her.  He had to agree. To refer to it as the psych ward at the hospital made it seem like more of a jail term, but calling it "the nuthouse" lightened up the severity of the situation. As grave and nearly tragic as everything  had become, it was kind of laughable to him.  He supposed he had more chances than a cat's fabled life. It all seemed so crazy that it must be funny.

Well, what could he say? He had flirted with death, but unwillingly managed to escape its grip. "Pathetic..."--he commented. "I don't not even know how to die well..."

Chris  eventually realized that he had been rushed to the hospital, but wished it wasn't true. Since then, everything was either a total blur or a bizarre state of mind . Even waking up in his room was like a remotely vague memory, almost like a long ago dream that might not really have happened.

Maybe, he was somewhat aware that his sister was screaming in shock and horror at the sight of him, shouting out downstairs to her boyfriend to help her. But the walls were turning red, a glowing scarlet- red, with an added fiery orange and yellowish-gold-- all joined together in pulsating embers. He was quickly losing consciousness. It was like some, bad acid trip. Not that Chris knew this firsthand, but it sure was like something he saw on TV or at the movies.

And now he was the star of the horror show.

Did he die?  Death was what he planned on, so waking up was not a relief, or a reality back into motion--just the opposite. It was as if being awake was the real nightmare, a delusional time when everything was not true, and was only an scary, offbeat version of the life of Chris Cartier.

The bad acid trip continued. He recalled hospital staff rushing about him, seeming like real people-- sort of. Then they morphed into fish in scrubs. From overhead, an IV was dripping into his arm. Tubes were shoved down his throat. His vital signs were displayed on a screen that made beeps and sounds, increasing the chaos and adding to the mayhem to his mind. Soon, the vital signs machine started talking to him that he was a "very bad boy" and other such scoldings.

He was thoroughly freaked out. If he was still alive, he'd rather be dead.

He wanted to run. One of the fish pushed him back down and muttered out undecipherable utterances-- like underwater gibberish . Then that fish used its slimy fins to inject him with a needle in his arm. The other fish circled around him like fish out of water--with opening and closing mouths-- as if gasping for air.

As they surrounded him as rubber monkeys shot out from the walls and bounced all over the room. On top of all this madness, the florescent lights above were flickering on and off, in sync to the wild music, like the drum beats of a distant jungle. It was one bizarre tangle of events, a freaky, crazy, out-of-control ride in which reality could not be distinguished from the animation and mass confusion. It was one overpowering ride that he would much rather forget.

When Chris got out of critical condition, he found out that he could still not go home. That would take a few weeks more. Dr. What-The-Hell's-His-Name assured him that he needed to start on the path to his psychological healing--just as grave as the physical--right here in a safe place.

It didn't seem so safe to him.

The enemy wasn't what was out there in the world, but the big, bad wolf was actually him. He had to be protected from the true culprit--himself-- and that was a mind-blowing concept. Just what did he get himself into?   

He never had been a patient in a hospital before. In all his twenty-six years, he didn't so much as even have his tonsils out. Feeling now like a prisoner,, he was still scared out of his mind-- as if it was day one all over again. When was he going to get out of here? Chris began to fear that they would never let him out. No professional had a definitive answer, as only time would tell of his improvement.

Man, why couldn't he just be dead?

His parents visited almost everyday, but it was of no reassurance to him. His mother always left in tears, and his father was lost for words. This was nothing new. When it concerned their troubled son, they felt inadequate to help him. The best his dad could say was, "Hey, Chris, we're pullin' for ya". That was of no comfort, whatsoever, like he was some fighter in a boxing ring that his old man had a bet placed on . His mom always clung to him as she said goodbye, like she needed the hug more than he did, saying to Chris through her sobs , "Miss you....love you". Her emotional state just unsettled him to the core, and he was worried for her more than for himself.    

At best, his outlook was grim. But then he met Lacie Weiss, and things started looking up.

Lacie was one of the quietest psych patients in the ward, always sticking to herself. But then he found himself sitting right next to her in group therapy, and they hit it off. He had no idea that she had a fun side. She usually looked apathetic and quietly defiant to society, a nonconformist in the form of a Goth, with edgy, dyed black hair, dark eye make-up and some ****** piercings of the eyebrow, tongue and nose. Her look was quite in contrast to his light blue eyes and sandy-brown hair. Chris never was into Gothic, viewing those who were as spooky creeps.  

It was obvious that Chris was scared and confused. Now although trying to seem tough and stoic, Lacie seemed so little, almost fragile, yet obviously trying to hide her broken self together. Petite and somewhat girlish in appearance, she was barely 5 feet tall. Chris was 5 feet 11 and a half inches, close enough to the six foot stature that he wanted to be. Only a half inch less really didn't cut it for him, though, even though his slim build gave the impression of a lankier guy. He would have loved to be as tall as the basketball players he so emulated. But such was life. He was never used to having the advantages.  

At first, Lacie never opened up, not to a single soul. Like Chris, she certainly acted like she didn't need this place, and nobody was going to help her--or be allowed to help her. As stony and impenetrable as she tried to be, group therapy it was hard to disappear in. Everyone was held accountable for opening up, and the leader was going to see to it.  No way, though, did Lacie want to crack or look weak in her turtle shell composure, in her self-preservation mode. So it was agony for her.

She first spoke to him, whispering loudly to him, onc,e in the group circle "This is all *******!"

Hanging with Chris was the one salvation that she had in this miserable experience. They both could relate more than he ever realized. They both really liked motorcycles and basketball. He had his own Harley, and it was something he loved to work on and go on long rides with it, his own brand of therapy.  In spite of how she looked, Lacie was also actually close to his age. He was twenty-six. and she was twenty-two.

They first broke the ice with casual introductions. "No, the name is not pronounced like Carter", he corrected her about his last name. "It is like Cart-EE-AY...... It's French".

"Yep", she replied. "Like mine is the same way, but as German as brats and sauerkraut,  Ja dummkopf?"

Chris gave her a weird look. She continued, "My mom's dad was from Germany, and I got my mom's name. Ya don't say it how it looks. You would say Weiss like Vice, but I couldn't give a **** how anybody says it. Nobody gets it right and original, anyhow." Her dark brown eyes flashed at him as she said, " But I think I like Chris Cutie, myself, better than Cartier.....cutie it is for me. Huh, cutie pie? "

Chris laughed hard. She was pretty coy for a die-hard Goth. She batted her eyes playfully at him and winked."You're worth being in here for, ya know", he told her, blushing, still laughing at her silly remarks.

She studied his face in response, all laughing aside. Suddenly, her mood turned solemn.  "I'll bet".

They began hanging out in the commons, walking down the halls for exercise, and swapping stories of their plights. Chris quickly found that she Lacie wasn't so steely and unapproachable as the day he first saw her.  And she discovered that he was more than a pretty boy.

"My parents weren't home when I tried", he told her one time after lunch was done. They were sitting in a corner, trying to be as private as possible. "Twenty-six years old...and I still live with them. Yeah, that's my life. I got a twin brother, and he's moved out and doing alright for himself. My sister's younger, is going to college. Wants to be a doctor".

Lacy didn't have any siblings to compare herself to. "Must be cool to have a twin", Lacie said. "I always wondered how that would be to have two of me running around! Scary, huh, dude?"

Chris shook his head. "No, it's nothing like that. Jake and I aren't identical. We are just a two-for-one deal...I mean  is that my parents got two babies in one, huge-*** pregnancy. Jake and me don't even act like twins. Half the time, I don't want to be around him."

No, it wasn't like his cousins, Adam and Alan, who were identical friends, mirror images, and best of friends. Chris never identified with that kind of brotherly relationship. He and Jake never dressed alike, or knew what the other one was thinking. And Chris felt that his brother always felt superior to him. He was the popular one. He was the ambitious one who landed a great job in computers, as a system analyst.  To add to Chris's feelings of inferiority, his little sister, Kate, had surpassed him, too. She was acing most of her classes, and boarding away at college. She was well on her way to becoming a doctor.    

"So if your mom and dad weren't around...who saved you?" Lacie asked. She stared into his eyes with such a probing stare that Chris almost clammed up. Just thinking about that day was overpowering.

"Uh...my sister and her boyfriend were hanging out in the basement. She was home from college, and I didn't know it. My parents were out-of-town. Our dog, Buster, was acting funny. He knew something was up..."

Chris stopped abruptly, but went on. "Kate, my sister, explained to me that she saw me in my room, getting up on a step ladder. She says she yelled at me to stop. I don't remember...but I guess..I guess I was going to do it anyway, and she wouldn't be able to stop me....stop me from...so I hurried up and jumped off before she could stop me."  

Lacie could almost picture it, as if she was there with him. She said, "But she did stop it. She saved you."

"Yeah", he agreed. "Buster started it all...barking, alerting my sister to come upstairs from the basement, and upstairs by my room...." All of a sudden, he felt so weird, like he was having an out-of-body experience.

"Hey, it's OK", Lacie reassured him. "It's over now. You aren't there anymore".

Chris started to cry, but tried not to. "If it weren't for Brian, Kate's boyfriend....she would not of had the strength to hold me up by herself, and cut the rope, too. I must have been like dead weight, and Brian grabbed a kitchen knife and told her to stay cool about it. Yeah, sure, like that could have been possible ! She was trying to keep the rope slack, while trying to save my sorry ****...and she was scared, shitless! "

Lacie opened up, too, relating her tragic past. She had an unbelievable tale, one hell of a ride herself.  It was amazing how detached she was when relating it, though. "Well" actually I got to fess up" "I'm not really an only child....I mean I am...but not really. I know that sounds weird---hey--but I am weird. Oddly unusual is the story of my life-- even before day one. "

Chris had no idea what she was talking about. "What are ya' trying to say?"

She added another surprising bombshell. "Also,  I have a two-year-old boy. His name is Danny. He don't see his dad--ever. The guy's a waste of space. Anyway, my mom has him. She can afford him more, and can do a better job raising him than me. Well, she does OK money-wise. Anyhow, my mom deserves him because she lost everything. And I mean EVERYTHING! Her whole fricking family practically wiped out!"

The shock that Chris had on his face-- his widened, blue eyes and open mouth were expected.   Most people had a hard time believing her.

She explained, calmly, "I mean she nearly died--way before I was born--in a car accident. And her two, little boys were with her in the backseat...and they died that day. "

Chris looked pale. "That is so awful!" he said, hoarsely, barely able to say it.

"Yeah", she continued. "Not a **** thing she could do about it, too. She was like in a million pieces. I know a part of her died right there and then, too. I just know it.  You know, dude, my mom was once really, really coasting along, just doing fine. A typical wife and mother-- a bit older than me now-- life was good. Her little boys were just cute, little toddlers--like Danny. I found out from my grandma that she was  pregnant, too, just a month or two. Nobody could have imagined it coming. She was just driving--doing nothing wrong-- when some idiot broadsided her.  I don't know if it was a guy or a lady, if they were jacked up on ***** or drugs, but they were speeding like a demon out of Hell. Her husband was at work and wasn't around."  

The boys were Benjamin and Gerard, but Lacie couldn't remember their names, for her mom could barely mention them without breaking down. It was an unbearable loss.

Chris was so horrified, amazed that Lacie related this like it was someone else's story. She was almost too cavalier about it.

"And they died ?!" he asked.

"Yeah....*****, don't it? Pure, pure agony. Downright Hell on earth. My mom had to learn to walk again. It took about year, I think."

"Oh, no! What about the baby she was supposed to have?"

"Miscarriage. Worse yet, the **** doctor told her she'd never be able to have kids again. She lost everything, man! Her husband couldn't handle it and left her. **** on top of ****, on top of more ****, on top of more. If it wasn't for her parents, and her sister's help, she would never have made it.

"But she had given birth to you, right? Or were you adopted?"

"Yeah, she gave birth to me. I was her miracle baby, and she didn't give a rat's rear end if my dad wanted me or not. He'd send her money, once in a while, but he wasn't really into either of us. Who cares though? She didn't give a **** what he thought. I was her baby. Truth is, before I came, she ended up slitting her wrists--just like me. What was the use? At first, there was nothing to live for. But now she has Danny.

"And you!" Chris quickly pointed out.

"Dude, are you kidding me? I have been NOTHING but grief for her, a real pain in her ***!"

Unlike her deceased, half-brothers, Lacie grew up before her mother's eyes, from a shy girl to a ******* rebel. Since the age of twelve, she would sneak drinks from her mom's liqueur cabinet. Eventually, she smoked *** and tried ******* and ******. Dropping out of the eleventh grade, she soon away from home, living with friends or boyfriends ever since.  Thankfully, she wasn't doing drugs when she conceived Danny. And her drinking wasn't as prevalent as it was in her teen years of partying and binge drinking. That didn't mean that her drinking problems magically disappeared, or that she was cured. Immediately, though, when she knew she was pregnant, she refused to touch a bottle, but it was just a white knuckle process that was effective momentarily--a band aid on a more serious wound. And going months without a drop of alcohol didn't deaden her urges--quite the opposite--as it only made her crave what she could not have. Often, her fears caught up with her--of especially becoming
Alexis J Meighan Oct 2012
A dads uniform
                          (Now my own)


           On any given day I saw the many faces of a man.
I watch him play his roles like they were well rehearsed scenes.
He was a star in his own actions, drama, thrillers and romance.

         He wore his soldiers uniform on sunday, torn jeans, white T-shirt with no sleeves and abrasions and scrapes gave stripes to his big arms.
He had oil on his hands and grease on his chin, barking orders as he worked on the car.
" Hand me that 3/4 standard and torque it to the 5th notch"
"What!? What the **** language was that?" I thought to myself as I awkwardly reached for the 1st thing my eyes spotted and held it up.
"That's a hammer Alex!" He said shaking his head as he smiled and walked toward me. He rarely had a disappointing tone. Later he explain the workings of a standard torque wrench Vs a metric wrench with converter. 10 years later I used that wrench to change my Edelbrock Electronic Carburetor 400 series twin stoker all by myself.

    I once saw him defend his honor. That day he wore  his heroes uniform as he leaped from person to person striking, grabbing, kicking, and throwing the 3 large men who underestimated his ferociousness. His tank top was ****** from the wound on his nose. His hat fell to the dirt next to the beaten, unconscious, and humiliated foes that once stood before him.
I could see that he intended to continue his lesson in respect but as he glanced over to see my wide open mouth and unmoved stare he quickly contained his aggression. He picked up his hat and shook it a few time to knock the dirt off. In that moment was another unexpected act. He help the worst of the men to a sitting position and asked him if he was ok. He was genuine in his concern that he may have been excessive in his judgment.
Later that night he explain to me that violence should never be the 1st choice for a solution and our actions should reflect the person we want people to see.
I would remember this 15 years later when sitting with the man I just choked unconscious, letting him drink my gatorade and catch his breath moments after he attempted to robbed me at knife point. In that few minutes I learned his life story. My friends said my actions were foolish.

            Duct tape and crazy glue are the tools of every street born medic.
T-shirt gauzes and boiled stones often made his grace when he wore his First aid uniform.
      
        As a kid I did DUMB very well, from gun powder soup, to a game of dart board hands. One of the more gruesome moments was my apple cutting malfunction. I severed my finger at the base pretty good. I cut right through the knuckle at the base of the index finger. It was the 1st time I fainted. Its still a debate weather it was the loss of blood or sight of it. Like a seasoned veteran he jumped into action. While most doctors would  use a coagulant like Lanxess, iodine and 22 gauge suture for this injury but not this man. He opted for all purpose flour, beer and duct tape to disinfect and seal the wound. Even though it was 3 hours before the emergency room would clean and repair the damage, I didn't shed another drop of blood while his homemade fix was in place.
I learned a lot of (what his friends called Ni**a rigging) first aid tips from him.
12 years later, while on a training exercise with  my CCC group in the forrest, a grade worker suffered a compound fracture from a slip and fall while hiking. I used a heated licorice root as antiseptic and 2 flat rock, my shoe in soles and a belt to mend and set his arm well enough to hike 2 miles back through the trail till we found help.

          When I write my poetry I never know what it is people see or interpret from it. I know the workings of romance and I know the power of its application. The day he wore his Casanova uniform I witnessed 1st hand the great reward a little effort can bring 2 people in love.
         On a normal day in the park us kids ran around yelling and screaming while him and mom sat on the grass watching us play. In the moments of a physical dilemma I sat next to him to catch my breath as he talk to her about random things. I knew my presence was interfering with whatever moment him and my mom were having but I was too intrigued by the task he was performing on the side to care.
On the reverse of a box top he drew a picture of a monkey sitting on a tree in the middle of the water. It was handing a flower to a mermaid sitting on a rock. I never forgot the joy on my moms face when he handed it to her and said "this is us."
I saw that picture everyday displayed on her mirror. Here I am 25 years later looking at my own art and words displayed across the walls of my home. My wife often looks at her description in the words and her name in the titles. Our own son invades our personal space as we sneak kisses and exchange affection through his predictable intrusions.

        My own uniforms hang in my closet waiting for interpretation from onlookers.
Suit up and be seen, or close your eyes and remember his many suits. Your in my thoughts. I hope this finds its way to you.
        Love
              -Alex J Meighan-
Nat Lipstadt Sep 2013
How I Observed the Day of Atonement

If you are unfamiliar with day and its observance,
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yom_Kippur

In a place of perfect solitude,
No crowded synagogue within to hide,
No cantor to intercede on my behalf,
I spoke words of mine own creation
To my creator who wisely empowers me
To judge myself, for knowing, none harsher,

We two,
Old travel companions,
Upon worn grayed, adirondacke thrones,
We overlooked,
A natural prayer place,
Bay and breeze, white-clouded and sun-laced.
Only the full time inhabitants, the animals,
Grayling butterflies to match and contrast,
Eavesdropping on our Greek dialogos, in this,
Palace of Perfect Solitude.

Amiable did we chat,
I of family, this and that.

He, wearied from recent travel,
To Syria and India,
Was glad for a day off,
For he had little to do,
But wait for twilight,
To then close the books.

For us no formality, easy the going,
No prosecutor no defender in residence,
For we exchange these roles intermittently,
The incriminatory, the penance, all deeds displayed,
No adult games of winking eyes, and
Hidden heart, secret chambers,
Rabbinical or angelic intercession.

He does so love his Bach,
Adagio on strings,
My soothing gift to him,
This music more than divine.

He returned this courtesy.

Warming sun to expose my chest,
Cooling genteel breeze offsetting,
The bay emptied of wayfaring skiffs and yachts.

A cooling beverage proffered,
But sighing, he said that he had yet to find
A beverage that his kind of thirst could slake.
For his eyes, tho shining, did not effervesce,
As when we shared this day in years past.

Too much killing, this year,
It tires me so to tabulate human excess,
Spoke not a word, for my critique would
Comfort him less, if at all.

Thanks for Kol Nidre, he plainted,
So I too can disavow,
The best intended oaths I took and take,
For each year, I fail more than the year before.

If only I could sit with each,
As I do with you,
Where what needs saying,
Is said, understood, undisguised as praying.

A schooner to the dock did appear,
For him it attended, for him, it waited,
Sails, both black and white.

He stood to depart, my arms-grasped, taken, he graphing,
Measuring my fortitude, my strengths, my divinity.

I do so love this day in your company.
I shall sit with you again one year on,
Bach sweet when next we meet, please.

Soft spoke, as almost I should not hear,
Your time is nigh, no thing I create is forever.
He spoke with such sadness,
For well I knew, the intent, his meaning.

He, for-himself, saddened, for he loved
Sitting  beside me in this manner,
Since my inception, never deception,

Only He resting easy, when he atoned before me,
And I gave him his absolution conditional,
As he gave me,
mine
September  2013
There is no more painful love
than unrequited love
A heart that is open
pouring out to another
but an empty space
like a vacuum
with nothing in return

Like giving a gift
‘Tis better to give than receive
And the heart offers freely
all of its wonderful presents

Free of expectations
when truly filled with love
It blindly releases itself to another
With a simple creed
‘I am for you’

Like the wall of a dam
suddenly letting go
A deluge of emotions
Thoughtful, interest, caring, warmth, love
A flowing waterfall
of Niagara proportions

However, without intention

which goes without saying
since the truer the love
the blinder it be

The vacated space
creates a sudden vacuum
A sharp, deep pit left
where once all of itself was housed

For a brief time
the heart is unaware
still glowing in the warmth
from the happiness and joy
of the love it gives

But slowly the glow fades
And the presence of the empty space
becomes more obvious
and apparent

A coldness sets in
An addict looking for a fix
The heart desperately seeks
in return what it has given

Never intending to give with strings
but so it finds itself
now tied to another
with the strongest of bonds

The intense fulfilling feeling
once experienced
Replaced with anguish,
longing, loneliness and pain

The mind and heart begin
an epic civil war
Feeling the torment
and seeing the destruction
the mind invokes all its resources
to break the bonds
the heart has created

But with hope that is
almost sad and pitiful
the heart refuses to let go
So sure of the ties it made
And fighting back with all
of its might to defeat
any attempt
the mind has
to remove the bonds of love

A man at war with himself
will find himself at war with others
And so, the inner conflict
resonates outwardly
displayed aptly with defiance
and destruction

Like a pebble in a pond
each action creates ripples
Slowly at first
but then with exponential speed
a life is destroyed
leaving only a broken
and beaten shell

And after all the destruction
and loss
All of the pain and suffering
The tears and sorrow
At this moment
standing on a pile
of nothing but debris
The mind,
with a sense of arrogance
and certainty,
confronts the heart
and pointedly asks,
“Do you see now?!
Do you see the
error of your ways??
Look what it has cost us!
Do you see the
mistake you’ve made?!”

Without hesitation or waiver
the heart responds
with a steady certainty
that is calm and cool in nature,
“No. Love is a risky venture.
One always, ‘takes a chance at love’.
But I will not admit
fault for trying.
When I love
I love freely and openly
I offer all of myself
without expectations
It’s only when you get involved
and create conflict within
that we have problems
To love is to love
It brings joy and happiness within itself
If it is not returned
then it is not returned
but an open and loving heart
can not feel emptiness and pain for it is filled with love
And there is no greater reward
than finding that love in another
and having another
find that love
in you
Written: March 4, 2018

All rights reserved
Dymond Cameron Apr 2015
Could it be that I substitute lustful infatuation for love? or mistake an act of kindness for trust?
Using his words to define me, i mean refine me, leaving the real me in the dust
Can you really blame me for being attracted to someone who shows interest in my existence
Someone who is persistent, consistent and whose smile breaks my resistance
It's a real feeling I get of satisfaction through common conversation of nothingness
The willingness to waste time with me means something to me if not everything for me because time can not be given back
Sorry your interest in my existence was nonexistent, guess in the 90's being a father was wack.

Respect from hoes was worth more than respect from your daughter
If it was up to you, if you were her, you would have probably said "abort her"
You knew I was a girl and that I'd be your first daughter but that wasn't enough for you
You had 9 months which turned into 1 plus twenty now you're begging for my heart to attend to it's broken it needs amends too, a man too?

So I'm looking at guy after guy to cut into some deep hurting pain from my past
Not realizing that they can't give me what I'm missing cause I can't miss what I never had  
I asked God for a brother but I never got em
When I was 8 I wanted to meet my Father but I never saw em
After that, just like everything you cant change in life, you learn to accept
Accept and move on not accept and dwell in it

Yet I found myself looking for what I lacked in a male figure in a young boy
I didn't know it yet but my innocence he would destroy
How can you be sure about love and if you're in it, if there is no demonstration clearly displayed to see
How can i be sure that he loves me for me, not what i give or what i can be but everything that I am if I haven't truly accepted me for me
I long to feel love from a man who created me with his *****
Not physical love from a boy with a toy in it *****, I'm talking something long term
Deeply invested in things that cannot be returned or given back
Like time, memories, laughs, tears, words, or the lack...thereof
Staff Sgt. Joseph D'Augustine
a proud Jersey son
whom Thou hast blessed
laid in St. Luke’s ground
for his heavenly rest
April 4, 2012

1.

in a far off province of
God forsaken Helmand,
our dear son Joey
met his untimely end

an explosive crack
a most terrible sound
felled a beloved Jersey son
to the cold cruel ground

working the live wires
of a well placed IED
a deathly burst killed him
it was awful to see  

Staff Sgt. Joseph D’Augustine
in solemn duty fell
fellow brothers in arms
will forever reverently tell

of courage and character
of a dear fallen friend
and how the valiant warrior
met with death at his end

for he was always faithful
to his beloved corps
comrades couldn't ask
a valiant marine for more


2.

details of his death
are not the real story
selflessness and bravery
are but part of his glory

is it brash to
question why he fell?
in a useless bitter war
an embroiled senseless hell

a generation mustered
to fight in the war on terror
serving four tours of duty
in a lost decade of errors

two tours in Afghanistan and Iraq
could a nation ask a man for more?
for he was always faithful to the call
upholding pledges he hath sworn

3.

the burden of war
to a  few confined
it rarely crosses
an American’s mind

incessant war machine
drones on apace
the horror of conflict
so cleverly displaced

with afternoon baseball
and super bowl parties
big disco paychecks
and other selfish priorities

pay hollow tribute
to dear weary troops
when valor is mentioned
we gather in groups

we’ll raise the flag
sing stirring anthems
than its back to the party
pay it no more attention

self styled patriots
wave handfuls of flags
but ask them to contribute
the zeal soon lags

its left to the few
to shoulder burdens of many
fairness is lost
its a democratic calamity

four tours in a decade
an inhumane task
burdens require sharing
its only fair to ask

Joey was always faithful
to the task at hand
willing to step forward
to serve his homeland


4.

in the wake of 9/11
a nation deeply shaken
young patriots stirred
liberty’s call not forsaken

a call to serve answered
to quell the rise of terror
a clear clarion alarm
marks the nature of the era

Joey boldly came forward
to train and learn
the art of warriors
his bright patriotism burned

deployed to Afghanistan
to capture Osama
routing the Taliban
without much problem

but a pacified Afghan
not enough for Bush
he invaded Iraq
another military push

we rolled into Baghdad
adorned with victors garlands
Saddam’s statue toppled
our troops were honored

deposing a dictators
soon turned to occupation
a ****** mission transformed
to build the Iraqi and Afghan nations

once honored liberators
now a conquering force
bestriding broken nations
on a civil war course

military industrialists
stood to profit most
sweet protracted conflict
record earnings to boast

lives bartered for lucre
a region held hostage
the conflict deepened
hostilities hardened

America dipped into
a great recession
the war machine
bled money and
kept on ticking

scooping up contracts
rewarding investors
the dividends of war
heaven sent treasure

continuation of hostilities
preys on a nation's youth
as casualties mount
ill portents forsoothed

a fraction of citizens
bare heartaches of war
gulping measures of despair
to guard a nations door

a nation always faithful
to the holy pursuit of profit
a highest citizens calling
put money into your pocket


5.

our beloved Jersey son
gave a full measure of devotion
in dress blues they shipped him
back across the ocean

on the Dover tarmac
they received his remains
for a last ride northward
to his hometown terrain

repatriated body
bereft of soul saluted
solemn escort knelt
hearts trembled, tears muted

a hearse for a gallant man
flanked by state troop cruisers
to escort the funeral train
assure an honored movement

one last trip up
old thunder road
the storied highway
Joey often trod

the last detail legged up 17
reverent firefighters saluted  
from overpasses
to honor  the woeful scene

as the motorcade passed
the Garden State Malls
frenzied consumers
failed to notice at all

busy window shoppers
didn't to turn an eye
as Joey rolled home
to the sweet by and by

vets interred at the
Old Paramus Church
gently stirred in their graves
reasons for war they search

Channel 12 Chopper
circled its eye in the sky
televised the sad parade
captured many teary eyes

the early spring blooms
colorful petals displayed
maples and forsythias
a royal carpet laid

spring remains always faithful
as the new season turns
offer sunshine and glory
as our sinking hearts burn

6.

motorcycle escort
northbound lane clear
rolling homeward
Waldwick was near

leaves exploding
green shoots budding
****** white maple blooms
natures accolades stunning

the oaks yet bare
just waking from slumber
winters death passing
a sad day put asunder

the motorcade passed
Joey’s home on Prospect Ave
few  envision lifes endings
this woefully sad

red chevy pickup idles
in hoop crowned driveway
never to drain jumpers again
departed children can’t play

the eye in the sky
framed neighbors in mourning
welcoming back a fallen hero
unsettled emotions dawning

neighbors waved Old Glory
from painted stoops and curbs
unsure how this tragedy
visits this blessed suburb

green grass of home
always flush with spirit
tears welled in the eyes
most difficult to bear it

last cruise of the town
sad neighbors stand witness
paying final due respects
and ponder from a distance

what purpose is served
by this man’s passing?
the dead cannot speak
rationale is for the living

the terrible herse
death circles our town
moves through our day
hope of spring drowned

murderer of sunshine
killer of young flowers
budding trees breaking
our hearts an ashen pallor

we remember the beauty
of Joey’s stout face
as it looked on your finest day
exuding pure honor and grace

old vets gather
donning caps and pins
boasting semper fi jackets
jutting tear dripping chins

shaking hands, giving hugs
bearing tattered banners
the hearse ambles onward
we head home in solemn manner

good folks are always faithful
where beloved ones grew
the death of our children
we sadly cannot undo


7.

the bells of St. Lukes
called out from the sky
platoons of limping vets
marched in with pride

pomp and circumstance
requisite dress blues
family, friends, townsfolk
overflowed the pews

doleful bells resound
tolling a mournful reckon
the cost of war mounts
a family’s loss beckons

the casualties of war
falls upon a nation's youth
a seasons page not  turned
a flowing wound not soothed

the wistful cornet calling
floats on the fluted air
the bereaved ***** gently sounds
a congregations somber despair

an unsettling dirge
the parish grows uneasy
nationalist bravado wanes
in the forlorn sanctuary

both church and flag
draped in colors of war
mock stain glass windows
communicants adore

is it a betrayal of the flag
to offer enemies
psalms of reconciliation?
where does true loyalty lay
with God or a warring nation?

afterall this is a sanctuary
where peace and harmony reigns
are we not called to beat swords
into ploughshares as the highest
calling of our Lord?

we are always faithful
to the pathways to war
when the practice of peace
is what we should adore

8.

coughing and whispers
incessant low murmur
a baby cries out
we sit and remember

the crucifers process
in solemnity to greet
subtle ***** notes salute
a coffin draped in Old Glory sheets

the beloved child welcomed
to his eternal repose
priests splash holy water
within the sacred dome

an amazing grace revealed
lifted by marine pallbearers
dearly departed body presented
gently placed at the altar

a grief struck sister
lovingly eulogizes
recalls tonka trucks,
GI Joe’s and cool transformers

a punch in the nose
an approaching wedding
beckoning Eastertide
vacation plans left begging

my second grade class sent
Christmas cookies and cards
to dear Joey and warrior friends
he said it warmed stark winter hearts

he was raised in this church
taught trust and reconciliation
the comfort of the Lords peace
may it surely go with him

for he was always faithful
to sisters, family and faith
his resurrection service
imbues sacredness
to this space

9.

sharp in dress blues
Eddie T USMC Gunny
big 50 caliber smile
offers his eulogy

Bada Bing Jersey Humvee
we called him Joey Calzones
good mood, loved sausages
he tickled the funny bone

always willing to sacrifice
loved the Patriots Tom Brady
a women dominated household
gave him a way with the ladies

his calling explosive ordinances
he said he was livin the dream
March 6th last time we met
knocking frost off cold ones
man whatta scream

a gallant marine,
beloved brother,
a sure friend
he was always faithful
I’m deeply wounded
by his untimely end


10.

the gospel read
the homily offered
Ecclesiastes wisdom
a time for everything
proffered

God never turns
an eye from the beloved
though seasons change
we are not forsaken
never unloved

as loss arrives
surely grief grows
turn away not
wisdom knows

in resignation
love lay dead
diligent intention
banishes dread

our rekindled hope
we rend and sow
our beloved Joey
knew this was so

our favorite son’s
example taught us
now rises on eagle’s wings
to claim his divine justice

Jesus faithfully tramped
the path to an awful death
Joey too fought the good fight
a warrior now gratefully at rest

The Lord holds him close
to the ***** of sure love
a cantors beatific voice incants
Joey’s spirit that forever enchants

The Lord is always faithful
to the bereaved and  beloved
no one ever forsaken
all unconditionally loved

11.

the Holy Eucharistic cup
affirms everlasting giving
tasted to nourish evermore
a libation for the living

singing the Beatitudes
praising peace makers
mercy filled voice and song  
pallbearers lift Joey’s coffin

off to seek his final peace
an earthly occupation ended
he’ll suffer worldly hate no more
down the aisle his coffin wended

the family closely followed
a mother haltingly sobbing
faithful marines came forth
to steady her wobbling

there is no sudden waking
from this terrible dream
the pungent incense rose
to the chapels sacred beams

the stained glass murals depict
the passion of Jesus’s story
illuming a consuming sorrow
in all its grace filled glory

the ***** of death slinks on again
we search for consolation
the recompense of honor blest
leaves a hollow heart wanting
no answers offered to quell the dark
of these terrible life’s moments
only the desperate need to hold onto
beleaguered treasure that sustains us

for we are always faithful
to the things we know
always faithful to the
things we refuse to let go

12.

the color guard and funeral detail
assembled in front of St. Luke’s
the cemetery right next door
the procession a short troop

the living will stumble through
the darkness of separation
seeking elusive answers
of poignant uncertainty;
all gave some, Joey gave all
nothing more required for his
journey through eternity

Joey will always be with us
his stories forever retold
as long as the machinery of
great nations engage
the gears of wasteful war

Joey’s spirit lives
in a peoples desire
for freedom, only if
our hope of peace
is greater than the
need for conflict

Joey’s lifes work
is sure to bear fruit
if those remaining
fight the good fight
by taking up the
task to protect and
expand the values
of liberty we
hold most dear

like our good
friend Jesus
Joey wears a crown
bejeweled with
a ring of thorns
hoisted on a
terrible cross
the sweet
incense of you
meets our nose
we inhale your
earthly presence
beholding beautifully
adorned crucifix,
a reminder of
unjust persecution
and a perfect
resurrection
yet this wretched
coffin remains

pledging allegiance
we rationalize our
stories, articulating
our small parts
in  heroic sagas,
reciting myths of
ourselves, recording
the grim history of
a young marine
surrounded by
a smart color guard,
feasting on todays
eucharist, this
days sweet taste
of  the daily bread
of human sorrow

The priest finishes
his graveside
commendation
of Joey D

Taps conclude
a wind rises
crows take flight
winging over
a stand of budding
Sugar Maples
exploding in white
blooms, reveling
in the glorious
sunshine of this
magnificent day

St. Luke’s stairway to
God Country and Home
smiling portrait of you
forever young

we surround your grave
to bless the earth
you've returned home
to your place of birth

our flowing pride
and salty tears bless
the anointed ground
that you loved best

a proud Jersey son
whom Thou hast blest
laid in St. Luke’s ground
for his heavenly rest

for he was always faithful
to the blessed land
forever at peace
in the soils sure hands

Charles Ives
The Unanswered Question

Oakland
11/10/13
jbm
Halynn Oquendo Sep 2016
"This girlchild was born as usual
and presented dolls that did ***-***
and miniature GE stoves and irons
and wee lipsticks the color of cherry candy.
Then in the magic of puberty, a classmate said:
You have a great big nose and fat legs.

She was healthy, tested intelligent,
possessed strong arms and back,
abundant ****** drive and manual dexterity.
She went to and fro apologizing.
Everyone saw a fat nose on thick legs.

She was advised to play coy,
exhorted to come on hearty,
exercise, diet, smile and wheedle.
Her good nature wore out
like a fan belt.
So she cut off her nose and her legs
and offered them up.

In the casket displayed on satin she lay
with the undertaker's cosmetics painted on,
a turned-up putty nose,
dressed in a pink and white nightie.
Doesn't she look pretty? everyone said.
Consummation at last.
To every woman a happy ending."
-Marge Piercy
Kim Jan 2017
Hazy outlines familiar faces
Echoes of familiar places
Captured moments long forgotten
Honesty in words unspoken
A fleeting smile unguarded eyes
Truth beneath the surface lies
Pause a moment the masquerade
Telling postures now displayed
Rueful smiles and tired eyes
A warm glance melts a mask of ice
And as the frame fades away
Smoke and mirrors back into play
I'm quite a fan of candid photography
It is an art that is underrated in my opinion
I have had the privilege of taking some beautiful, albeit inexpert, candid shots of my friends and family from time to time -
And shall continue to do so whenever I have the opportunity!

(Edited "breaks through" to melts - credit to Phil Lindsey for the suggestion)
Laura Robin Nov 2012
it is a sea of leaves -- a deep, bottomless, sea of leaves.
you can get lost in there, you know.
lost like an abandoned child in a city of strangers
and lost
like when you drive and drive and drive
aimlessly, mad, senseless,
when your only intent is to get lost and be lost.

but
this sea of leaves
[yes, this vast ocean of leaves on leaves on leaves]
this is myself only on the best of days.
my mind cannot and will not ever find itself.
sanity had been abandoned years before
when i came to the realization that
nothing really matters
too much.

and now i am autumn when all of the leaves fall down --
unordered, hysterical,
all of the time changing
all of the time varying
never the same as a moment before.
beautiful, but knowing
that beauty is impermanent.

soon i will be like the tree branches
when the leaves have abandoned them.
stark, empty, cold.
naked, with all of my flaws displayed to the world
[with all of my life on the ground.]
and i will still be lost.
and so incredibly lost in my mind.
lost.

so let me dive into this deep sea of leaves,
'cause lord knows it is better than being found.
Erin Schenke Nov 2010
Waiting all alone
waiting on this cold table
waiting for the doctors and the drones

I feel the scratch
of the itchy cotton gown
on the narrows of my back
as it climbs up and down

Displayed I lye on the medical tables hard cold steel
It seers into the crevices of my bones
I ponder the lone window and wonder if it's real
I listen for the bleep and bloop of medical tones

Nurses walk by in a mechanical grace
poke and **** & tap and touch my face
and then proceed to leave without a trace
with no hint of knowledge of my medical case

Waiting all alone
waiting on this cold table
waiting for the doctors and the drones

I'm a big girl, I'm a big girl
I begin to chant in a simple rhythm
as small as a ball I begin to curl
I'm abandoned inside this glassy prism

The dead silence creeps inside my brain
I want to scream to fill the deadly gap
but the cold thick air of silence brings pain
I comfort myself and say it will be ok

My breathing begins to quicken
my eyes dart around the room
only comfort is the fear which I am stricken
my sight goes bleary as darkness looms

Waiting all alone
waiting on this cold table
waiting for the doctors and the drones

Tears sting the corner of my eyes
I want someone to hold my hand
Oh God how I want to cry
but the only thing there is the bleeding arm band

The test begins with the thickness of barium
It slides down my throat and clings to my esophagus
It tastes like chalk and pandemonium
they want me to suffocate I guess

I chug and chug as the pictures are snapped
x-ray upon x-ray of my stomach and my back
Drink more Drink more They tell me to do
Nervously I shake and say, anymore and I will puke on you

Waiting all alone
waiting on this cold table
waiting for the doctors and the drones

Even more poking and prodding ensues
but of my stomach, ribs and *******
I lay rigid as a board from the pain of each touch
I grow weary of this tiresome rues

The tests are done
and the coast is clear
I am left alone
to dress myself in fear

Dismissed and discharged to walk away
they file my chart with a robotic smile
now for the wait of endless days
I'm lost in my mind's land of emotional exile

Waiting all alone
waiting on this cold table
waiting for the doctors and the drones

Pins & Needles Pins & Needles
I wait for the results
Is it stomach cancer, an ulcer or both??
In the dark I am kept like followers in cults.
ConnectHook Sep 2015
[Infernal Dialectic of Ongoing Struggle]

Spoke Mao Zedong to Kim Jong Ill:
We languish here in deep red hell—
Let us confer and analyze
What factors revolutionize
The contradictions still.


Replied Lil’ Kim: The running dogs
Beguiled by class and capital
Have overdrawn and overspent.
They bank on debt, and make lament
And flounder in their fogs…


Kim chee does stink, but tastes so good
Do have some more, oh comrade Mao.
Fermented cabbage goes so well
With Hennessey and blondes (in hell)
when
Juche’s in da hood!

The Fearless Leader (now a shade)
Responded thus: Just give them time.
Our doctrines spread, their God is dead
Their sons shall sing ‘The East is Red’
Our party’s got it made.


Ill Kim displayed a wicked grin:
Our rocket-launches make them fear
They scold and cluck, and then they duck
While Hillary tries to pass the buck
I think we still could win…


The Chairman thought and sipped some fire
in communistic reverie, and feeling very clever, he
Replied to Ill: This place we’ll fill
with dead reactionaries still—
fifth columns to inspire.

Now let the thousand flowers bloom
And let one thousand thoughts contend.
Remember **? Remember ‘Nam?
We triumphed over Uncle Sam—
He’s limping toward his doom.


A wizened ghost now drifted in
Because his name had been proclaimed
A wispy beard (as yet unseared)
Revealed the mastermind once feared:
Old Uncle ** Chi Minh !

** **—old friend! Draw near! Draw near,
Spoke Mao: In solidarity
We hail your work upon the earth
You showed them what a war is worth
You’re always welcome here.


Ill Kim and I were wondering
How best to make the forward leap—
conspiring ******* their cow
and smoke their duck and drain their sow
while they are buying bling.

** Chi, old warrior, why the frown?
Upon your wisdom now we wait.
The forces red you bravely led
You staked your claim until they bled
And brought their nation down.


Old uncle **, the sage revered,
did smolder with his cigarette.
Viet Cong thought is hard to grasp
It slithers like a jungle asp…
** paused and stroked his beard:

You speak without the people’s light!
I criticize in strongest terms
Your revolutionary thought.
We need to ask our friend Pol ***
How best to steer this fight.

Such gradual change, a halfway measure
stalls the Bourgeoisie’s demise.
Our true Khmer Rouge was not a stooge
of Kapital. His fame was huge
for plundering their treasure.

True, he had to purge his nation
such is revolution, gents…
The traitor classes see the masses,
through reactionary  glasses.
Death or re-education!

We ought to sow his rural seed
for pure agrarian reform.
The bodies in the rice can rot
to fertilize the harvest plot—
the people’s mouths to feed.


When Pol *** heard his tactics lauded
he flew in to join the jabber:
Take a tip from Kampuchea!
Listen well and I will teach ya!

Kim and Mao applauded.

City folk are useless eaters
glasses-wearing foes and cheaters!
let them slave – and always save
their corpses for the fertile grave
Until they love their leaders.

From the barrel power grows—
(I don’t mean kim chee barrel, boys).
Now learn my way.We’ll have our say
Their weakened states will wither away.

The Red dictator rose.

Prepared to ramble on for hours
(the way Fidel so loves to do)
Pol ***’s harangue now fired the gang
like rockets falling on Da Nang
emitting sparks in showers.

Hell is known for lack of stasis—
Sudden throes of quaking fire;
fitful flares from from Satan’s lairs
and constant similar affairs
the population faces…

Thus Saint Pol ***, still naming names
along with Mao and Kim-Jong Il
while ** Chi screamed, and then blasphemed
were swept en masse, and unredeemed
into the surging flames.

Yet still they plotted in the blaze
with dialectic deviousness.
Philosophizing, strategizing
stinking sulphur brimstone rising;
ghosts in the yellow haze . . .

        ☭ END ☭
http://tinyurl.com/q6uyx34

A wind blows like a wilderness of wolves

A vendetta, an apocalyptic vendetta

In its unpredictable, accidental quality

That swerves images of realization into tragedy

Neglecting all with swift intent upon a fallen fortress

In complected interests of caresses

Neither invited nor encouraged yet displayed

Displayed vividly with exclusive claim to that oppression

That howls by casting itself as a consequence of transgression

Upon a conventional expectation that claims a privileged sense

That persuades without an orator grotesquely amputated shapes

Extending extraordinary artifice as its priceless wealth

But who, yes who, has envy of so rich a nothing
Racquel Davis Jul 2014
When I look over at the nightstand
The little green sketchbook
I bought just before kissing Florida good riddance,
Reminds me ‘your desires are important’,
Because YOU are important

Flowers I brought home from work sweat on the table
The wedding was another blur
The event hall is always the same,
Pretentiously lavish
But the flowers, I thought
Deserved a second chance

On the bed lays delicately
A small blanket Sophie knitted me when I was five
She tells me, “Your comfort is important”
Because YOU are important

The round terracotta tea tray I had to buy
Sits, assembled with other superficial nothings
Displayed within its orbit
But a cup of tea every night,
Calls back my heritage

My niece smiles at me
From the heart shaped picture frame
She gifted me for Christmas
I smile as I pick her up from the table,
‘Your happiness’, I say to her, ‘is important’
Because YOU are important

©Copyright 2014 Written and Edited by Racquel Davis
A reflection on one's environment, a personal space, a room, office, and all the things that make it home.
Tumimchunu May 2014
Where did the innocence go?
Doves turned to ravens,
Juicesboxes turned to bottles,
Toxic beverages leaving poisoned bodies to roam these streets,
Possessing personalities of *******,
Suckers turned to joints,
The high replaced the feeling of love,
Which could propel you to places beyond any hallucination,
Virgins mimicked, giggled at,
Wide eyed stares penetrate their skin as they stroll on streets,
Whispers fill rooms as their sealed bodies strut,
Jealous viewers stand, shattered,
With no purity to share with their loved ones.
Thinking their assets can be displayed for the public to adjudicate,
Maybe we're to young to know about love,
We're young, yes we are.
But what good is a young nation,
With poisoned , broken youth.
What good is a nation with no future leaders.
So I'm asking, where did the innocence go?
Tell me so I can know.
So I can replace the demons that lurk in these infants,
With the innocence that should gleam,
From their flesh.
An old poem written when I was a bud in the poetry biz (retro)
Raj Arumugam Jan 2014
Hey, met any hot chicks lately?
Yeah, that peahen is looking at me,
soon the others will too -
not at you, buddy…Oh yeah.  Get real.

Just wait till I display my train of shimmering colors
and you’ll see the peahens making a beeline for me -
and you’ll have to bury your head
in the ground for shame
like those silly ostriches do…
All males have their self-esteem hurt in my presence, sure;
you’re no exception – don’t feel too bad…you’re just bad…
The last time I displayed my train,
hey - I caused mayhem in the ancient Indian forests
as the peahens went wild…
that’s why they’ve placed a ban on me
in the land
and how I ended up in this reserve
but I’m not the one to worry,
yeah, brother
you’d better step aside
and let me show you how

I call it the Kama Sutra of the Peacock  Gyrations -
learn a bite or a posture and you might
be able to put your gene-stamp
on future generations…
now if you’ll excuse me,
I’ve got a thing or two to do
with these peahens clamoring
for a peck and a neck leading
vigorously to do
the mating dance with me
David Barr Dec 2013
The Kingdom of Morocco has a rugged mountain interior which reminds me of the British meal of mince and potatoes. But hold that thought, and examine our seemingly superior Western legislation. Just like the pickle, the dynasty of death is a brazen festival percussionist who is celebratory in her bitter and gustatory inevitability. Jizyah is that taxation which is imposed upon those who fail to conform to those expected societal norms. Although we have the status quo, one cannot help but wonder what happened to the rectitudes of individuality and paradoxical equality? So, where do we go, oh navigator of the great and mighty West? Marrakech or Rabat? I have no concrete awareness of where solace is to be found. I am lost! Therefore, I can only offer the following direction: Contemplate the ever-changing intricacy of the dunes in anthropological amazement and acknowledge the sky at night. Allow the celestial pole of the North Star to speak to your deep uncertainty. Our purpose is openly displayed if we simply open our heart in the midst of our Bedouin oasis. That, my friend, is the essence of being psychosocial.
katewinslet Nov 2015
At present, home purchasers are having far more personal preference in regards to the property they can pay for Fitflop. While in the market, levels of competition are troublesome how to consider a customer in which spots the possibility at home that would like a little work, free of noticeably losing price tag. You will find there's answer why you can't buy a reasonable cost. Quite often shoppers expect to have your house to be in 'move-in' problem previous to separating with the capital.

They can see unique nice carpets as well as home displayed wall surfaces on showrooms and are also judging your property with your measuring stick Hermes Bags Outlet. This alters what folks are planning to give. You have gives you foreclosures negotiate well : meaning that you might have significantly more attempt to do leading to a deal develops. Others might attempt to give you a ludicrously small make available whether they buy 'as-is'. When you've got depressing situations which means that you simply can't carry out succeed and even do not want the moment it could use to hold the do the job completed you'll require one such delivers, giving up hard earned cash valuable mainly because it was subsequently unmatched selection up for grabs Cheap Fitflop Shoes. Real estate investors be aware of market you are promoting found in. They are not defer through spills in the flooring, diminishing shade and even from either of the alternative common wear out that include lived-in property.

You will discover property investors that will do all of the need for cleansing along with making up your private home choosing clients : while running over your installments this means you won't need to wait for a conclusion prior to when moving forward Fitflop Outlet. You will save your self the irritation of obtaining a client it is very happy to give you a reasonable cost for your house whilst currently being cured with the give good results involved to really make it search the things her well worth. Prize draws . essential each time a advance should be produced straightaway nonetheless you purely don't have the point in time and capability to fix things up. It is best to choose a real estate agent which will advertise your dwelling about the night out you ultimately choose, supplying a decent expense as well as executing a repairing for everyone! All of the they can accomplish is normally showing your own home towards the sector -- the market will choose what they should compensate, not even the actual expert. As a replacement you may well be spoke in assignment by yourself as well as reducing charge -- n't invariably a selection.

Bear in mind that the is a customer To you won't be paying them how to checklist your possessions, they are selecting doing it within you and / or overpowering the instalments until such time as a purchaser capable invest in Hermes Online Sale. You simply will not compensate fee premiums together with other regular high closing costs As you simply put up for sale your property. Currently have your dwelling analyzed and then determine the process that's involved And its own simplier and easier when compared with you're thinking that!
Relate Articles:
http://www.parents-choice.org/
Hermes Online Sale,Fitflop Outlet,Cheap Fitflop Shoes,Hermes Bags Outlet,Fitflop
Hal Loyd Denton May 2013
They tell and show us about space debris this matter that freely floats in the vastness of space
There is a comparison to the inward being many emotional breezes come unannounced they
Live in these treasured sightings the wind undulating across the prairie grass it first is caught by
The eye then it is drawn down deep into the soul how much bigger and newer life it gets when
The great magnate of all life receives it invests in it truth value the outward being can never
Know take the common fire from a campfire the mystery rises from the crackle and the leaping
Flames no longer is it just chatter but it is soul talk produced in depths of wonder that emerge
At the surface level bestowing gold from common folds of life or the majestic views of
Mountain grandeur Vaulted sky
Shaded canyon breathtaking heights does the angry wind speak if so in a whisper the granite peaks austere and bleak seem to frown on the trees and lowly grass lands with their fertility and ease of growth. While he the monarch bristling with his cold barren armor of granite invites the stares the awe inspired gratitude of nature and mortal man he knows there dreams and thoughts how many have stood at the edge of wonder on his brow with fainted hearts. Their thoughts drift out and away ever upward reaching the clouds filled and clothed with mountain air brightly they are displayed in these untamable rays. Voices of the ancient ones still echo their wisdom still resounds in the summer thunder they visited and released many a tortured soul. Before Blind they stood before the closed door of their minds knowing there is a path but where can it be found. Riches unbound await the searcher who will go to any and all lengths to conquer unbelief freedom his guiding star he walks in great shadows. Mountainous men Jefferson Lincoln his stalwart companions stand with grandest stature takes from the mountain those teachings not found in musty universities. Thoughts born on creations morn formed and laid on this rocky foundation now for centuries they have bore the weight this colossus purified they are words more noble than gold. Share them invest them in the borderless world of human kind that circle the globe. Moses was familiar and consorted with mountains the angel made one his sepulcher. Waste not the golden hours they are the thread that sows life’s most exquisite moments together making a life. Turn aside seek the heights they will give you respect and honor words will flow that are uncommon they will fit any and all circumstances filling the empty void where hearts bleed without ceasing. Your voice will be like the cool mountain breeze soothing filled with substance and comfort
Is it molecular it is and so much more they tell us of the drive by shootings a wonderful place to
Draw this contrast is Los Angeles called the city of angels but the most beautiful is
Its Spanish interoperation Low hovering angels this loses if we say it but let a Mexican say it his
Inflection most perfect if he is saying it from love. Is there a seriousness here our blessing is not be in That crucible even New York is called the big apple but those in the know call it the volcano with all its Eruptions and pressures so does L A fall into this category in fact if you live on Pico Ave it’s a category Five tornado this is one of the most fought out streets in the turf war for space to sell the Bain to all Society drugs see the flame it consumes the guilty and the innocent view this common occurrence way To common how many small neighborhood chapels were filling with caskets instead of wedding Ceremonies look and listen a Mac Ten pistol grease gun thirty round capacity it has just started its Deadly chatter laying down a withering fire this isn’t battle ground conditions this is a neighborhood Strafing a car the widow’s blow out the shooter keeps the fire steady it starts plinking metal as it moves
To the front of the car off the car into a white small picked fence wood matching the spray of bullets as It Flies in all directions Chicago revisited instead of the Tommy gun chopper of probation you got a Crazed dope fiend punk without emotions the sight of fourteen year old Maria standing on the sidewalk Never registered or didn’t matter three red dots appeared on her bright blouse across her back the Center spot stopped her heart forever now these precious Spanish eyes closed never to  see her rightful Future instead of one day walking the Church isle in a wedding gown now she would lie in repose in White with the flowers not in a bouquet but neatly fixed in  her hair So robbed of youth and life her Budding life so filled with promise where angels hover yes this is the blackness the soul knows perpetrated by the evil one but
There exists a counter part to this evil the good gifts divinely wrought the walk by how many
Hearts have fallen to love by just the chance encounter of her loveliness just walking by you the
Hair flowing and glowing the face created in the throes of love and romantic overload
Spellbound was the creator what chance do you have a mere mortal we are not in casual
Observation the soul is processing this at deepest of levels magic is taken from theatrical
Surroundings to the open places of the heart and being of living two other places for instance
The sea shore a new vastness that overwhelms with delightful pleasure and promise

SeaThoughts

Oh stand thy great waters contained in thee is mirth and terror some you have beguiled and then
Have taken them to your depths of destruction but by your benevolence the sea breeze blows
Inland from this moisture rain is called from its dwelling place the earth is refreshed the tides
Have cosmic ties by gravity the lone solitary moon is entreated and responds one speaks if only
There was a love potion that I could give my beloved so she would respond to me favorably it
Can never be created it already exists go out into the mysterious night stand under a great tree its
Dark silhouette will be more bewitching than the days shade speak your heart as you do take her
Hand and stroll out into the moon beams that drew magic from the great waters as it passed over
Does not wonder advance in this light softer exquisite the hardness of life bows and retreats to
Wait the daylight hours where harshness has its intrepid way so it leaves you with the volumes’
Darkness of night every person desires excursions into intrigue shadows will touch your faces
As tender as the willow then the soft glare of the moons love the mind and heart as its signature
Equation that old crazy moon has moves that are centuries old that birth love every time romance
And her broadest throne follow and are attended by moon light to develop a relationship
Correctly don’t go to the artificial neon lights that are futile and tinged with wickedness but
Sea side strolls are the ultimate inducement a pure stimulus that thwarts the too often knotted
World that keeps everyone at odds with one another everyone knows a great deal of love and
Romance when they are younger to revisit those cherished memorable times that started your
Life of promise with your beloved is invaluable mature love needs to feel the saturation of sea
Breezes the moons ghostly sights will fill in deep shadows where hurts have collected they need
To be free so they can go back to the darkness that gave them life your lives shouldn’t be defined
by them But the deep calleth to the deep set sail for Trafalgar not to war with enemy ships but to
sign With tender’s hand a peace accord to stitch the soft fabric of love that life’s mean elements
can rend in this you will find the sea’s glory and the moons positive glow has become a true part
of your life it is time the spring of renewal is in the offing and it sways to love’s song this speaks
Of man and women’s love this speaks of God’s love they saw the works of the LORD, his wonderful deeds in the deep

Where God passes
The edge of forever where raw power is displayed
Walk the seascapes enter the story told in timelessness except for outer space it is the only place where man finds his mind freed so steep is the unending awe that without question he finally is able to present his self as the tiny speck lost is all ego all self importance he is open to the quest for ultimate truth. You perfect you’re thinking at the sea shore it is a storehouse that lends itself to grand thoughts no limitations hamper your endeavors aliveness engulfs you totally. Subdued moods excavate every shallow you start a down ward decent the deep cries out to your soul the part that never can be accessed on shore. The ground a foundation for raising up temporal structures your needs are served in waters that open as a mysterious gate the deeper the fathoms the more understanding is released. To abide in calm surface features of the sea what a waste take off the restraints become a voyager drift with churning twisting pressures they will give great reward for accosting your accustomed staid and uneventful living. Go deeper the mundane the so called important will be forced through your very pores as you continue calling the unknown manifest itself with great scrolls hidden beyond reach to those that plod along the sunny quiet banks. Life test all men you can face them unafraid armed with years not minutes of preparedness found alone in the struggle only found at sea. Pondered Plumbed in inexorable conditions that stretches changes a person’s character his stature tempered fired as steel in the caldron. We need leaders vibrant thinkers people who can and will accost hell in the very near future and come away victorious. They will have found their way through the untold deadly entanglements figuratively and real they’re not accustomed to ease and know perils at close quarters they learned them in great waters not in pools that have not the ability to stir you to your core you’re going to pour out your life in one form or another do it with sand and grit leave a scarred an effectual trail for others to follow not the light untraceable light footsteps of one who has never lived this just barely scratches the surface of the breezeless that tug and press the center and being of us all I wrote this to be another of the blessings that touch your soul

If there are any mistakes I will have to fix them in a bit I can only work at the computer for so long and I want to get this out
Innocence  displayed
Like a little girl touching dandelions
. . . a butterfly left behind
lingering on the doorsteps of winter . . .

Time , Time , Time
. . . so elusive , so undefined . . .

we have tried (so) true
(only) we fall so short

Love . . .  an instance in time . . .
. . . so passionate (in it's) displacement
We hope for but it lays like the cross
. . . at Jesus's feet . . .

We bury time , we bury love
We bury ourselves in search of both

The little girl without a sense of time
Knowing only basic love . . .
Tenderness of care . . .
and dandelions

Maybe we are the dandelions of time
Petals of love . , . surrounding each
in it's time . . . falling  . . .
one by one . . .
Like kisses given and taken

Lost to time , in love ,
till the doorsteps of winter
close in and freezes the moment

. . . all alone . . .

Love  . . . time . . . dandelions
Little girls . . . and innocence . . .

Run away as fast as you can
Just trying to figure out what in the Hell happened .
Hal Loyd Denton Dec 2012
Not for every one heavy religious thoughts expressed

This is my declaration of war know it or not we are in a battle life is a battle and when you are the one
Getting stomped on you are in distress and hard pressed to make clear decisions by divine entreaty
We are called onto love one another and that means coming along side and bearing your burden and
Fighting with and for you your life is of many different situations I see mine as a battle field medic and
One who reports on the fighting I am like my friend in the service who came back from Nam before he
Was a medic but the Cong fixed that now he fought fires along side with the the rest of us but we were in the
Bathroom cleaning up after a fire he had his shirt off and when you were in his prescence his nature
Was more than just fragile he was damaged in a life altering sense now I understood as I looked at
Several bullet holes wounds on his chest and back that had to be fixed by skin grafts it mapped his love
Of country and when boys his age lie wounded and dying they holler medic and then before dying they
Gently weep calling on their precious mother far away that always is mending their hurts but this time
Jesus and His angels rush in to stand by and guard with their love and by lifting up this tired and finished
Warrior wrapped in old glories beautiful red white and blue taking him where a flag that stands in the
Center of glory land it emblem is a lamb slain on a cross blooded and wounded from his love of his lost
Children tears from here to heaven float in the great blackness of our universe perpetually it goes along
With this Quote from Keats they never end either his lines says “A thing of beauty is a joy forever its
Loveliness increases it will never pass into nothingness” another is two hearts beat as one if you think
I’m insincere my tears just fell writing these lines causing hurt again for my wife that must listen but I
Rush to your bleeding wounded hearts on a spiritual battle field my bandages are tear soaked to wrap
Your wounds as you have cried help medic I cry Jesus in this scene depicts from Daniel Gabriel had come
To Daniel’s battle field after Daniel had prayed and fasted twenty one days this is a familiar your story to
Most but his is what I want to share it says I heard a man’s voice from the Ulai river calling Gabriel tell
This man the meaning of the vision and it goes on to say this was an angel of higher rank come to assist
This is another item in my medical bag to help the unknown comes into view in the army there is a chain
Of command it is true of the army of God as well you lay wounded God flashes your call of need through
The spirit world in your case who is reading this you see me only but as the prophet of old faced an army
Of men he feared nothing as he looked on the mighty host of heaven arrayed and fully armed for battle
He was the only one that stood between the deaths of these enemies who as you and I only see the
Immediate through writing beautiful words and revealing unseen powers I’m going to give you the
Power to not be afraid not just words but heavenly beings as your vanguard from your knees alone the
Enemy will be put to flight this still comes from looking down a familiar street and in my mind’s eye
Seeing your pain and suffering at that moment I was alone in the dark car but worse I felt helpless
And alone the thing I did right through great tears and pain I cried and asked God to help me to help
Others this is a first in a series to do that very thing one last thing I offer another angel encounter
This my own at home in California I lost my Job for some reason I had to go to the bank what fun
Money becomes scarce as meat on a skeleton and I go where it is stacked sky high well as I walked
Outside and set on the bench away from everyone and everything a man walked up he looked familiar
In this since his clothes looked the way I felt they had seen better days and the special thing he was
Caring a book just a paperback but it looked like the one I carried I never go out without a book and
Lot of times I carry a bag full of them he was friendly easy to listen to he told me that he lived in
The hills our towns entry sign and letter head from the city depicts hills the highest Mission Peak
As he talked my pressure and wild thoughts settled though we were setting in the sun I felt a comfort
You find setting under a great oak I’m not flipping and I’m not advocating hugging trees but I feel
The angel was said to speak from the river not a stretch everything in this world is controlled by God
First his word alone holds it altogether but beyond that with the extensive reading I have done it
Clearly shows angels are first in charge of your lives and your safety but all living things are under their
Charge and in a minute I’m going to include two pieces that speak of hill and a great Oak well as all
Things do our visit ended and then I knew the person who I had been talking wasn’t a man after all
When he said he stayed in the hills meant a lot more I come to this conclusion because this man
Interested me in my turmoil he pops up and leaves me with a feeling of well being and then the facts
Bare it out we were sitting by this building that sets by itself at a good distance you have small trees that
A rabbit couldn’t hide behind and every direction is open country well I fiddled with my book
For the briniest moment I guess I was thinking about his I look up and he is gone someone comes into
Your life and touches you well one last look would be nice I didn’t run but I briskly walked to the end
Of the building I was already at this end he was nowhere to be found shortly after this I wrote this
Piece about our church and the church yard just up the street the hills flank the length of the city
See if you think his presence lingers and flows on to the page on last thing because of an affliction
I am only allowed twenty minutes at a time on the computer legs and feet problem I spent five hours
The other day no sleep that night so elated all day and my wife made care giver gives me a taste of
Ireland as she screams for me to get off I ran over an hour and a little try to write with the scream of
A banshee behind you this was supposed to be a small piece I never write twelve hundred words I said
That to say can’t check for errors you can have fun finding my mistakes will fix on my next allotted time
You can’t take this to the bank to the bank but I think I suffer from another common malady it’s called
Being hen pecked but it the good kind of hurt here is the church piece then the Oak

Shadow of Eden
In this savage land we call home
There is a pastoral valley that has the richest texture of heaven
This treasured sheep gate beckons tenderly says welcome
These hills and slopes the repository of our hopes
The savior poised in their gentle steeps, for the city weeps
Sweet spirit that fills this natural expanse soft as the breeze
Each tired weary soul you refresh with a quiet hush
We are shown the wisdom of not being in a rush
Unseen pillars tower revealing your mighty power
Written on the pillars at the world side is come unto me
On the church side seek the lost at any cost
The Devil expresses defiance the church makes Heaven her alliance
Wayward souls tormented seeking an oasis dying of thirst
Today we fill these pots of clay and determine to go out of our way
Seeking those that hunger and thirst by this Christ we manifest
To the world the church is ghostly not completely visible
It shimmers as though it isn’t real blindly they feel about
In your life they find solid ground clear of the mist
They finish a terrible journey now they feed from all their needs freed
No longer exhausted from continually milling about
The Sheppard stands holy watch and cast a confidant shadow
In this respite feeding and richly nourished they grow strong
Gladness quietly cascades from spiritual hills of splendor
By angles man sees more than just the coarse and obvious he sees the heart of all living things
That reveals the heart and Genius of the one that made it all a great package that each newborn
Finds he tears a way layer upon layer of wrappings love joy hope possibility of dreams that await
And so much more your I just added this you’re never too old to go back to that place where
Wonder still remembers you its polite to revisit in fact it is required for good health and a
Positive mind where is it now where else would human birth occur except at angel central

Lost Friend
This is just a few lines written to celebrate the generations of one Paso Robles family, and their parallel existence with one of nature’s monarchs that was destroyed in recent storm.
You will always remain in my mind.
I can’t remember when you weren’t watching.
Tall strong, graceful shade the bewitching kind.
Long ago a fellow relative started your stately reign.
This our home place he surveyed.
His eye, the land did fill with awe.
From this bond through a lowly seed he prayed
Bless this spot; many a day has he spoken from the oak.
Grandeur over stretched grandmother’s dwelling.
We could only marvel at thy great strength.
From your great silence serenity you were telling.
Shot and blasted against the sky, fireworks of wood.
Clothed in rough hardened bark
what comfort and wisdom you inspired.
Who understands the wonder, my soul you did mark
your size triggered the greatest gift, curiosity.
Branches the wind passing through what mournful cry
Nature’s tune sublime given to delight as only a sad ballad can evoke
Nothing else should try
To match violins in the sky.
My eyes see it in a grand sweep
The ground brought forth a stately wooden crown
Of blackest oak to stand tall and steep
A gentle giant to greet the wayward wind.
Two divergent seeds the ground did divide.
One of wooden grain the other flesh and blood
their branches throughout the community do abide
as charming as church bells ringing, touching all.
And just one more in case you need it friend if you don’t get it
I have lived through some hell in my live now I think it’s time to return
The favor I’m going to give hell all the heat I can that is white heat of love to the suffering
And oh so awful to him but his fire is going to gage on these pages like the fires I used to
Fight in the service as a servant to my country now I’m your servant and I’m fired up I fought
Bullies all through school now I plan to fight the biggest one for you

Sorry I think you could use some granite in your fight

Vaulted sky
Shaded canyon breathtaking heights does the angry wind speak if so in a whisper the granite peaks austere and bleak seem to frown on the trees and lowly grass lands with their fertility and ease of growth. While he the monarch bristling with his cold barren armor of granite invites the stares the awe inspired gratitude of nature and mortal man he knows there dreams and thoughts how many have stood at the edge of wonder on his brow with fainted hearts. Their thoughts drift out and away ever upward reaching the clouds filled and clothed with mountain air brightly they are displayed in these untamable rays. Voices of the ancient ones still echo their wisdom still resounds in the summer thunder they visited and released many a tortured soul. Before Blind they stood before the closed door of their minds knowing there is a path but where can it be found. Riches unbound await the searcher who will go to any and all lengths to conquer unbelief freedom his guiding star he walks in great shadows. Mountainous men Jefferson Lincoln his stalwart companions stand with grandest stature takes from the mountain those teachings not found in musty universities. Thoughts born on creations morn formed and laid on this rocky foundation now for centuries they have bore the weight this colossus purified they are words more noble than gold. Share them invest them in the borderless world of human kind that circle the globe. Moses was familiar and consorted with mountains the angel made one his sepulcher. Waste not the golden hours they are the thread that sows life’s most exquisite moments together making a life. Turn aside seek the heights they will give you respect and honor words will flow that are uncommon they will fit any and all circumstances filling the empty void where hearts bleed without ceasing. Your voice will be like the cool mountain breeze soothing filled with substance and comfort.

Well three hours must I tell you in the dog house and no feathers left it was worth it for me
I hope for you too

Where God passes
The edge of forever where raw power is displayed
Walk the seascapes enter the story told in timelessness except for outer space it is the only place where man finds his mind freed so steep is the unending awe that without question he finally is able to present his self as the tiny speck lost is all ego all self importance he is open to the quest for ultimate truth. You perfect you’re thinking at the sea shore it is a storehouse that lends itself to grand thoughts no limitations hamper your endeavors aliveness engulfs you totally. Subdued moods excavate every shallow you start a down ward decent the deep cries out to your soul the part that never can be accessed on shore. The ground a foundation for raising up temporal structures your needs are served in waters that open as a mysterious gate the deeper the fathoms the more understanding is released. To abide in calm surface features of the sea what a waste take off the restraints become a voyager drift with churning twisting pressures they will give great reward for accosting your accustomed staid and uneventful living. Go deeper the mundane the so called important will be forced through your very pores as you continue calling the unknown manifest itself with great scrolls hidden beyond reach to those that plod along the sunny quiet banks. Life test all men you can face them unafraid armed with years not minutes of preparedness found alone in the struggle only found at sea. Pondered Plumbed in inexorable conditions that stretches changes a person’s character his stature tempered fired as steel in the caldron. We need leaders vibrant thinkers people who can and will accost hell in the very near future and come away victorious. They will have found their way through the untold deadly entanglements figuratively and real their not accustomed to ease and know perils at close quarters they learned them in great waters not in pools that have not the ability to stir you to your core you’re going to pour out your life in one form or another do it with sand and grit leave a scarred an effectual trail for others to follow not the light untraceable light footsteps of one who has never lived.
Mystic904 Oct 2017
Ye won't comprehend what I mean
Unless acquire the eyes to have seen
Emotions by their true image
Do you know what I mean?

Once harnessed power to play with emotions
Impossible seems revival, work no potions
When crawl back half alive
Anaesthetised images, walking drunk motions

That deep sorrow, sadness and pain
The efforts and struggles all in vain
Isn't what you cry for and say?
Ask thyself,
Who drove you into that lane

Pitch dark corners of thoughts arouse the feel
Four stanzas including this one's just half meal
Clouds of this kind circle forever
Pressing the haunting words, in time I'll heal
--------
<>
Presence of happiness none sees, a pity
As we surmise, there does exist a Deity
For a reason, all this emerged
In everything, there might be something pretty
<
>
Once gripped that strange feel in the prayers
Shall form over body, invisible protective layers
Addition in tons, not kilos
Of sagacity, on each climb of the stairs
<>
Life devoid of expectations isn't the option
The mindset's worthy enough for adoption
Great expectations pave dirtiest of roads
Too precious to be displayed up for auction
<
>
On Him can we lean and must firmly believe
Direct contact's the medicine for mind's relief
Affordable yet unaffordable jewels await
For the closest beings in His regard to receive

F.A teeri
brandon nagley Apr 2016
She came covered in satin-silk hair,
Displayed by rainbowed Ray's;
A visage of God's awe,
And wing's that flew uncaged.
I kneweth her once afore,
In the natural form of grace;
The welkin's own, a soul I've
Known, regalia clase.
O' athwart twas I,
That seized her
Breath, the
Roaring sky's o'er
Happiness. She tucked
Her head, into mine chest;
As the rest played out
As a utopian scene.
Twas not a dream,
Or drug induced
Illusion, some get
Amour confused
With the devil's
Confusion, though we
Art an infusion;
Two antediluvian
Specter shades,
Her color is yellow
For the sun, mine is blue;
From the deepest of water's,
And the river of life
Out of God's throne
I pulled Jane through.


©Brandon Nagley
©Lonesome poets poetry
©Earl Jane Nagley ( àgapi mou) dedication
Afore- before
Regalia means -the emblems or insignia of royalty, especially the crown, scepter, and other ornaments used at a coronation.
the distinctive clothing worn and ornaments carried at formal occasions as an indication of status....
Clase- word I made up meaning- classy and tasteful.
Welkin- heaven or sky.
athwart- across; in opposition to; sideways; transversely.
Twas- it was..
O'er- over..
Art- are
Amour- love.
Infusion- the introduction of a new element or quality into something.
Specter- ghost...
Antediluvian means- of or belonging to the time before the biblical Flood.
‘Nam Sibyllam quidem Cumis ego ipse oculis meis
vidi in ampulla pendere, et *** illi pueri dicerent:
Sibylla ti theleis; respondebat illa: apothanein thelo.’

                For Ezra Pound
                il miglior fabbro


I. The Burial of the Dead

April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.
Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee
With a shower of rain; we stopped in the colonnade,
And went on in sunlight, into the Hofgarten,
And drank coffee, and talked for an hour.
Bin gar keine Russin, stamm’ aus Litauen, echt deutsch.
And when we were children, staying at the archduke’s,
My cousin’s, he took me out on a sled,
And I was frightened. He said, Marie,
Marie, hold on tight. And down we went.
In the mountains, there you feel free.
I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter.

What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow
Out of this stony *******? Son of man,
You cannot say, or guess, for you know only
A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,
And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,
And the dry stone no sound of water. Only
There is shadow under this red rock,
(Come in under the shadow of this red rock),
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
            Frisch weht der Wind
            Der Heimat zu
            Mein Irisch Kind,
            Wo weilest du?
‘You gave me hyacinths first a year ago;
‘They called me the hyacinth girl.’
—Yet when we came back, late, from the Hyacinth garden,
Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not
Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither
Living nor dead, and I knew nothing,
Looking into the heart of light, the silence.
Oed’ und leer das Meer.

Madame Sosostris, famous clairvoyante,
Had a bad cold, nevertheless
Is known to be the wisest woman in Europe,
With a wicked pack of cards. Here, said she,
Is your card, the drowned Phoenician Sailor,
(Those are pearls that were his eyes. Look!)
Here is Belladonna, the Lady of the Rocks,
The lady of situations.
Here is the man with three staves, and here the Wheel,
And here is the one-eyed merchant, and this card,
Which is blank, is something he carries on his back,
Which I am forbidden to see. I do not find
The Hanged Man. Fear death by water.
I see crowds of people, walking round in a ring.
Thank you. If you see dear Mrs. Equitone,
Tell her I bring the horoscope myself:
One must be so careful these days.

Unreal City,
Under the brown fog of a winter dawn,
A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,
I had not thought death had undone so many.
Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled,
And each man fixed his eyes before his feet.
Flowed up the hill and down King William Street,
To where Saint Mary Woolnoth kept the hours
With a dead sound on the final stroke of nine.
There I saw one I knew, and stopped him, crying ‘Stetson!
‘You who were with me in the ships at Mylae!
‘That corpse you planted last year in your garden,
‘Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year?
‘Or has the sudden frost disturbed its bed?
‘Oh keep the Dog far hence, that’s friend to men,
‘Or with his nails he’ll dig it up again!
‘You! hypocrite lecteur!—mon semblable,—mon frère!’

II. A Game of Chess

The Chair she sat in, like a burnished throne,
Glowed on the marble, where the glass
Held up by standards wrought with fruited vines
From which a golden Cupidon peeped out
(Another hid his eyes behind his wing)
Doubled the flames of sevenbranched candelabra
Reflecting light upon the table as
The glitter of her jewels rose to meet it,
From satin cases poured in rich profusion;
In vials of ivory and coloured glass
Unstoppered, lurked her strange synthetic perfumes,
Unguent, powdered, or liquid—troubled, confused
And drowned the sense in odours; stirred by the air
That freshened from the window, these ascended
In fattening the prolonged candle-flames,
Flung their smoke into the laquearia,
Stirring the pattern on the coffered ceiling.
Huge sea-wood fed with copper
Burned green and orange, framed by the coloured stone,
In which sad light a carved dolphin swam.
Above the antique mantel was displayed
As though a window gave upon the sylvan scene
The change of Philomel, by the barbarous king
So rudely forced; yet there the nightingale
Filled all the desert with inviolable voice
And still she cried, and still the world pursues,
‘Jug Jug’ to ***** ears.
And other withered stumps of time
Were told upon the walls; staring forms
Leaned out, leaning, hushing the room enclosed.
Footsteps shuffled on the stair.
Under the firelight, under the brush, her hair
Spread out in fiery points
Glowed into words, then would be savagely still.

‘My nerves are bad to-night. Yes, bad. Stay with me.
‘Speak to me. Why do you never speak. Speak.
‘What are you thinking of? What thinking? What?
‘I never know what you are thinking. Think.’

I think we are in rats’ alley
Where the dead men lost their bones.

‘What is that noise?
                          The wind under the door.
‘What is that noise now? What is the wind doing?’
                    Nothing again nothing.
                                                    ‘Do
‘You know nothing? Do you see nothing? Do you remember
‘Nothing?’

    I remember
Those are pearls that were his eyes.
‘Are you alive, or not? Is there nothing in your head?’
                                                     But
O O O O that Shakespeherian Rag—
It’s so elegant
So intelligent
‘What shall I do now? What shall I do?’
I shall rush out as I am, and walk the street
‘With my hair down, so. What shall we do to-morrow?
‘What shall we ever do?’
                             The hot water at ten.
And if it rains, a closed car at four.
And we shall play a game of chess,
Pressing lidless eyes and waiting for a knock upon the door.

When Lil’s husband got demobbed, I said—
I didn’t mince my words, I said to her myself,
hurry up please its time
Now Albert’s coming back, make yourself a bit smart.
He’ll want to know what you done with that money he gave you
To get yourself some teeth. He did, I was there.
You have them all out, Lil, and get a nice set,
He said, I swear, I can’t bear to look at you.
And no more can’t I, I said, and think of poor Albert,
He’s been in the army four years, he wants a good time,
And if you don’t give it him, there’s others will, I said.
Oh is there, she said. Something o’ that, I said.
Then I’ll know who to thank, she said, and give me a straight look.
hurry up please its time
If you don’t like it you can get on with it, I said.
Others can pick and choose if you can’t.
But if Albert makes off, it won’t be for lack of telling.
You ought to be ashamed, I said, to look so antique.
(And her only thirty-one.)
I can’t help it, she said, pulling a long face,
It’s them pills I took, to bring it off, she said.
(She’s had five already, and nearly died of young George.)
The chemist said it would be alright, but I’ve never been the same.
You are a proper fool, I said.
Well, if Albert won’t leave you alone, there it is, I said,
What you get married for if you don’t want children?
hurry up please its time
Well, that Sunday Albert was home, they had a hot gammon,
And they asked me in to dinner, to get the beauty of it hot—
hurry up please its time
hurry up please its time
Goonight Bill. Goonight Lou. Goonight May. Goonight.
Ta ta. Goonight. Goonight.
Good night, ladies, good night, sweet ladies, good night, good night.

III. The Fire Sermon

The river’s tent is broken: the last fingers of leaf
Clutch and sink into the wet bank. The wind
Crosses the brown land, unheard. The nymphs are departed.
Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song.
The river bears no empty bottles, sandwich papers,
Silk handkerchiefs, cardboard boxes, cigarette ends
Or other testimony of summer nights. The nymphs are departed.
And their friends, the loitering heirs of city directors;
Departed, have left no addresses.
By the waters of Leman I sat down and wept . . .
Sweet Thames, run softly till I end my song,
Sweet Thames, run softly, for I speak not loud or long.
But at my back in a cold blast I hear
The rattle of the bones, and chuckle spread from ear to ear.

A rat crept softly through the vegetation
Dragging its slimy belly on the bank
While I was fishing in the dull canal
On a winter evening round behind the gashouse
Musing upon the king my brother’s wreck
And on the king my father’s death before him.
White bodies naked on the low damp ground
And bones cast in a little low dry garret,
Rattled by the rat’s foot only, year to year.
But at my back from time to time I hear
The sound of horns and motors, which shall bring
Sweeney to Mrs. Porter in the spring.
O the moon shone bright on Mrs. Porter
And on her daughter
They wash their feet in soda water
Et O ces voix d’enfants, chantant dans la coupole!

Twit twit twit
Jug jug jug jug jug jug
So rudely forc’d.
Tereu

Unreal City
Under the brown fog of a winter noon
Mr. Eugenides, the Smyrna merchant
Unshaven, with a pocket full of currants
C.i.f. London: documents at sight,
Asked me in demotic French
To luncheon at the Cannon Street Hotel
Followed by a weekend at the Metropole.

At the violet hour, when the eyes and back
Turn upward from the desk, when the human engine waits
Like a taxi throbbing waiting,
I Tiresias, though blind, throbbing between two lives,
Old man with wrinkled female *******, can see
At the violet hour, the evening hour that strives
Homeward, and brings the sailor home from sea,
The typist home at teatime, clears her breakfast, lights
Her stove, and lays out food in tins.
Out of the window perilously spread
Her drying combinations touched by the sun’s last rays,
On the divan are piled (at night her bed)
Stockings, slippers, camisoles, and stays.
I Tiresias, old man with wrinkled dugs
Perceived the scene, and foretold the rest—
I too awaited the expected guest.
He, the young man carbuncular, arrives,
A small house agent’s clerk, with one bold stare,
One of the low on whom assurance sits
As a silk hat on a Bradford millionaire.
The time is now propitious, as he guesses,
The meal is ended, she is bored and tired,
Endeavours to engage her in caresses
Which still are unreproved, if undesired.
Flushed and decided, he assaults at once;
Exploring hands encounter no defence;
His vanity requires no response,
And makes a welcome of indifference.
(And I Tiresias have foresuffered all
Enacted on this same divan or bed;
I who have sat by Thebes below the wall
And walked among the lowest of the dead.)
Bestows one final patronising kiss,
And gropes his way, finding the stairs unlit . . .

She turns and looks a moment in the glass,
Hardly aware of her departed lover;
Her brain allows one half-formed thought to pass:
‘Well now that’s done: and I’m glad it’s over.’
When lovely woman stoops to folly and
Paces about her room again, alone,
She smoothes her hair with automatic hand,
And puts a record on the gramophone.

‘This music crept by me upon the waters’
And along the Strand, up Queen Victoria Street.
O City city, I can sometimes hear
Beside a public bar in Lower Thames Street,
The pleasant whining of a mandoline
And a clatter and a chatter from within
Where fishmen lounge at noon: where the walls
Of Magnus Martyr hold
Inexplicable splendour of Ionian white and gold.

      The river sweats
      Oil and tar
      The barges drift
      With the turning tide
      Red sails
      Wide
      To leeward, swing on the heavy spar.
      The barges wash
      Drifting logs
      Down Greenwich reach
      Past the Isle of Dogs.
                  Weialala leia
                  Wallala leialala

      Elizabeth and Leicester
      Beating oars
      The stern was formed
      A gilded shell
      Red and gold
      The brisk swell
      Rippled both shores
      Southwest wind
      Carried down stream
      The peal of bells
      White towers
                  Weialala leia
                  Wallala leialala

‘Trams and dusty trees.
Highbury bore me. Richmond and Kew
Undid me. By Richmond I raised my knees
Supine on the floor of a narrow canoe.’
‘My feet are at Moorgate, and my heart
Under my feet. After the event
He wept. He promised ‘a new start’.
I made no comment. What should I resent?’
‘On Margate Sands.
I can connect
Nothing with nothing.
The broken fingernails of ***** hands.
My people humble people who expect
Nothing.’
              la la

To Carthage then I came

Burning burning burning burning
O Lord Thou pluckest me out
O Lord Thou pluckest

burning

IV. Death by Water

Phlebas the Phoenician, a fortnight dead,
Forgot the cry of gulls, and the deep sea swell
And the profit and loss.
                                A current under sea
Picked his bones in whispers. As he rose and fell
He passed the stages of his age and youth
Entering the whirlpool.
                               Gentile or Jew
O you who turn the wheel and look to windward,
Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you.

V. What the Thunder Said

After the torchlight red on sweaty faces
After the frosty silence in the gardens
After the agony in stony places
The shouting and the crying
Prison and palace and reverberation
Of thunder of spring over distant mountains
He who was living is now dead
We who were living are now dying
With a little patience

Here is no water but only rock
Rock and no water and the sandy road
The road winding above among the mountains
Which are mountains of rock wi

— The End —