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King Panda Feb 2018
moonlight caught the top of the lighthouse
bounced of its silver mirror
its beaded tears filled my bottle
and I drank until I couldn’t stand any longer
it’s okay, boy
said the man selling fruit at 1 am
and I embraced his dead shadow
Nat Lipstadt Oct 2017
still be on my feat

oh Joni you showed up at my door once more, Saturday morn,
blonde bangs and ***** voice, two octaves below shrill,
right about where the register intersection of
heart piercing, me humming, memory smiling,
poetry inspiring, yeah memories crying, that too

together, we have had more than many,
one case of you, a million sips, and I am writing
to see how you're feeling and to let you know
I never drank a case of you that left me,
being still, left me standing on my feat

my feat?

drank de-feat like it was the sea, boundless but not soundless,
sweet waves repeating, sea tears tinged with bittersweet cries of
Tupelo honey,
cause you were one of my angels,
lifting me higher when love was saying
not*  this time kid,
place, babe, not this peculiar particular apparition,  
wrong rendition,
and at last, finally, long time later, sheepishly, sweetly only,
what was her name*

your voice stood me up, your words still slap my face with
cases of kisses upon my neck, tune-turning prophetic notions of
what's next still  be only just around the corner,
waiting on a new, simple twist of feat,
another song, poem, lover, and yet another,
case of you, so we can always see both sides,
and when I think of you my mind seesaws,
and I, still be on my feet, and thanks to you
ready for my feat

<•>
10:59am 10/28/17
Dopamine addict
scored, but itched
for a quick serotonin fix.
This sonder mirror, these
incessant cravings for opia.

Staring down mydriasis, that
bracketed emptiness, haunting
egolessness, one lasting hit, after
shooting up with the metaphysics,
Consigned to it, being strung out
on ∃xistence, whatever depth
you'd ascribe to it: a category.

Know passion is incandescent,
Embrace peace as effervescent;

Lost in the gaze of fall liberty,
Rainy daze in winter ecstasy,
Found in a maze of spring
empathy, azure haze of
summer vibrancy,


Mescalito tornado on desert sands,
Shroom typhoon on distant shores,
∀cid cyclone on the horizon,
Pharmahuasca maelstrom
drank the earth;
  *ion chaser
ate a hurricane, The Empyrean was born.
An unnecessary redux of my favorite lines.
Nancy E Tracy Nov 2014
So full of life and vital things
upon the brink, I spread my wings
and close my eyes and look ahead
at all the things I've never said

at all the things I should have done
of prizes that I've striven for
and hopelessly have never won
of friends I've made
who've come and gone

Of mountains that I should have climbed
instead, on cushions I reclined
and thoughtlessly I drank the wine

of Apathy



So now that clouds have drifted by
and all alone, I lift my eye
and see the way to heaven's door
and know that life's worth fighting for

Next time I see a mountain high
I'll bound right up and touch the sky
I'll seek the prize and win this time
I'm not afraid, I'll take what's mine

won't rest on laurels in the sun
I'll fly to where the work is done
  and if it's worth the price I'll give,
of all I have, so we can live
in peace, I'll comfort anyone
who needs my help
to get things done

I'll thank the Lord for what he gave
his sinless life our souls to save

I'll hold my friends much dearer still
I'll share the wine, we'll drink our fill


No Apathy
Jack Chicago May 2015
The bars had opened just that morning
turned him loose again
he wandered blindly down the street
just lookin for a friend

The tombstones filled with empty graves
were drinking in the park
so he sat  to quench his thirst
and lingered well past dark

THE BARS ARE ALWAYS OPEN
EXCEPT FOR WHEN THEY'RE CLOSED
THE DRUNK TANK SPINS IN CIRCLES
YOUR FREEDOM COMES AND GOES

All the barkeeps know his name
they've tossed him out before
so he cracks a pint in silence
next to the corner store

He's drank with everyone in town
they all pay for his drinks
a legend to both young and old
at least thats what he thinks

THE BARS ARE ALWAYS OPEN
EXCEPT FOR WHEN THEY'RE CLOSED
THE DRUNK TANK SPINS IN CIRCLES
YOUR FREEDOM COMES AND GOES

The rising sun must weigh a ton
pins him to the ground
inside his skull a screaming hell
that never makes a sound

He always smells like whiskey wether
day or if it's night
a bottle stashed inside his coat
the daydream goes allright

he lives a dream thats long since passed
he toasts to a full cup
the nightmare there when he awakes
he simply drinks it up

THE BARS ARE ALWAYS OPEN
EXCEPT FOR WHEN THEY'RE CLOSED
THE DRUNK TANK SPINS IN CIRCLES
YOUR FREEDOM COMES AND GOES
this is still a work in progress. it's basically what i hope not to become as i get older and drunker. let me know what ya think!
zebra Nov 2017
i feel like talking tonight
reciting poetry to your big blue eyes
and raw pink mouth smiling
high as a wind whipped kite
discussing
art, ontology, and existentialism
sitting like lotus
at the
Cafe Figaro on McDougall st
in the west village
the  belly of a ghost
lost in a vagrant memory

afterwards
we go to a
little one bedroom flat in the east village
haunted by the vapors of history
a slight stench of ****
and dingo tongue
dripping toilet
all peeling walls
intimating births, cheer and squalor

after a hot bath
of lathered torsos
we would follow each other naked
winding around a table
into a swaying bed
that beckoned
**** here my darlings

and i licked and drank out of your drenched
rose red blossom for hours
it licking back
I salvaged my soul between your thighs
like a wounded dog whimpering
thanking God with every graze and ******
of your all supple shifting limbs
and
your company
your company
your sweet droplets
of company

a summer balm

we looked in the mirror
reflecting on my secreted glistening face
all red raspberry
lips emerald hydras
laughing our ***** off at how artsy i looked
smeared
with your blood painted thighs
appearing as if half eaten

and you growled swallowed  and
licked big butter stick piggy
till your nose ran like the Ganges
gagging
eyes bloodshot pools of fire
cooing and oowing
driving me maniacal
with every ****** of your wild glinting tongue

we poured our selves into each other
viscous creels gushing
coursing like tidal waving lava  
radiating

and finally used to the marrow
we found ourselves drooping
our eyelids  leaden

the night mist fell upon us like breezing shade
and we drowsed
in careless embrace
our *** shriveled
like cast-off umbilici
and we fell to sleep
steep steep
floating
like two buttermilk clouds
adrift

your company
your company
your sweet droplets
of company

a summer balm
*** *** ***  love memory fiction nostalgia
elizabeth Oct 2018
i like being on my own i really do it’s empowering it's freeing i get high off knowing exactly where i’m going without any direction from anyone

but sometimes i get this pit in my stomach and i cannot breathe i cannot think all i know is that i miss you

or at least i miss the idea of you the idea that someone would always be there for me the idea that you would love me no matter what the idea that i could always reach out to find you there

and then i bounce back and i remember sobbing on my front steps with the snow sinking into my jeans i remember holding on so tight to my mother after you left because i couldn’t shake the feeling that the world was crashing down i remember my hands trembling i remember refusing food because somehow maybe that could bring you back i remember our last kiss i remember how i always thought it would be bittersweet i remember it only tasting bitter

so bitter that i couldn’t get the taste off my tongue for weeks even after countless shots of tequila i drank and drunken kisses full of regret

i remember that you were not the one for me you were not the one to give me light

that was me

i know that i put myself back together after you left i know that the sole reason i’m standing where i am now is because i have power deep in my bones i know that i don’t need anyone i know that i am good enough on my own

i know that

but sometimes i remember the good things too and it brings back the butterflies and i forget just for a second that you didn't want me to begin with
King Panda Mar 2016
I.

and I galumphed
to the rock salt
shore and
collapsed
waiting for
you
to run over
the dune’s
*****

II.

it had only been
a few minutes
but I could see
the rhino cloud
coming
full
steam
and spitting
fire
if only I had
the strength
but you stole that
from me
too

III.

the steam was
fresh against
my cracked
skin
I could feel the
salt melt off
into the
sand
crane swinging
jaws engulfing
my twisted
body

IV.

I did not find you
inside
only an
unbreakable bottle
with an
unreachable
note and a skeleton
with rings
on its
fingers

V.

my last dreams
were ones
of us
on a mountain
hot air balloon
shadow
specked against
the sunset
everything was so
big
the wind blew
your hair
everywhere
as I drank
in the
storm
this was the last
time I remembered
smiling

VI.

black expanse
with a little
white dot
popping from
corner to
corner
life always played games
with me
death was no
different

VII.

this creature
feared you
this creature
was a long visit
with fire burning
and love notes
this creature was
spit out by
your mouth
this creature
was loud by
your breath
this creature
spackled and
magnetized
never reborn
boat stench and
teeth
mashed
and mashed
again
raining on
your body as
the desert breaks from
its last
drought

VIII.

we will meet
again
I’m sure of
it.
It was cold, the breeze  
Next to a window,  I rest
A cup of 5 minutes noodles sat on my hand
Eyes on sunset, I drank the soup.

Poetry book, sleep on my lap
Music in my ears playing Adele
Open sea and I'm in my own world.
Perfect, perfect enough for this art.
Alyssa Underwood Mar 2016
I

He did not wear his scarlet coat,
  For blood and wine are red,
And blood and wine were on his hands
  When they found him with the dead,
The poor dead woman whom he loved,
  And murdered in her bed.

He walked amongst the Trial Men
  In a suit of shabby grey;
A cricket cap was on his head,
  And his step seemed light and ***;
But I never saw a man who looked
  So wistfully at the day.

I never saw a man who looked
  With such a wistful eye
Upon that little tent of blue
  Which prisoners call the sky,
And at every drifting cloud that went
  With sails of silver by.

I walked, with other souls in pain,
  Within another ring,
And was wondering if the man had done
  A great or little thing,
When a voice behind me whispered low,
  “That fellows got to swing.”

Dear Christ! the very prison walls
  Suddenly seemed to reel,
And the sky above my head became
  Like a casque of scorching steel;
And, though I was a soul in pain,
  My pain I could not feel.

I only knew what hunted thought
  Quickened his step, and why
He looked upon the garish day
  With such a wistful eye;
The man had killed the thing he loved
  And so he had to die.

Yet each man kills the thing he loves
  By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
  Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
  The brave man with a sword!

Some **** their love when they are young,
  And some when they are old;
Some strangle with the hands of Lust,
  Some with the hands of Gold:
The kindest use a knife, because
  The dead so soon grow cold.

Some love too little, some too long,
  Some sell, and others buy;
Some do the deed with many tears,
  And some without a sigh:
For each man kills the thing he loves,
  Yet each man does not die.

He does not die a death of shame
  On a day of dark disgrace,
Nor have a noose about his neck,
  Nor a cloth upon his face,
Nor drop feet foremost through the floor
  Into an empty place

He does not sit with silent men
  Who watch him night and day;
Who watch him when he tries to weep,
  And when he tries to pray;
Who watch him lest himself should rob
  The prison of its prey.

He does not wake at dawn to see
  Dread figures throng his room,
The shivering Chaplain robed in white,
  The Sheriff stern with gloom,
And the Governor all in shiny black,
  With the yellow face of Doom.

He does not rise in piteous haste
  To put on convict-clothes,
While some coarse-mouthed Doctor gloats, and notes
  Each new and nerve-twitched pose,
******* a watch whose little ticks
  Are like horrible hammer-blows.

He does not know that sickening thirst
  That sands one’s throat, before
The hangman with his gardener’s gloves
  Slips through the padded door,
And binds one with three leathern thongs,
  That the throat may thirst no more.

He does not bend his head to hear
  The Burial Office read,
Nor, while the terror of his soul
  Tells him he is not dead,
Cross his own coffin, as he moves
  Into the hideous shed.

He does not stare upon the air
  Through a little roof of glass;
He does not pray with lips of clay
  For his agony to pass;
Nor feel upon his shuddering cheek
  The kiss of Caiaphas.


II

Six weeks our guardsman walked the yard,
  In a suit of shabby grey:
His cricket cap was on his head,
  And his step seemed light and ***,
But I never saw a man who looked
  So wistfully at the day.

I never saw a man who looked
  With such a wistful eye
Upon that little tent of blue
  Which prisoners call the sky,
And at every wandering cloud that trailed
  Its raveled fleeces by.

He did not wring his hands, as do
  Those witless men who dare
To try to rear the changeling Hope
  In the cave of black Despair:
He only looked upon the sun,
  And drank the morning air.

He did not wring his hands nor weep,
  Nor did he peek or pine,
But he drank the air as though it held
  Some healthful anodyne;
With open mouth he drank the sun
  As though it had been wine!

And I and all the souls in pain,
  Who tramped the other ring,
Forgot if we ourselves had done
  A great or little thing,
And watched with gaze of dull amaze
  The man who had to swing.

And strange it was to see him pass
  With a step so light and ***,
And strange it was to see him look
  So wistfully at the day,
And strange it was to think that he
  Had such a debt to pay.

For oak and elm have pleasant leaves
  That in the spring-time shoot:
But grim to see is the gallows-tree,
  With its adder-bitten root,
And, green or dry, a man must die
  Before it bears its fruit!

The loftiest place is that seat of grace
  For which all worldlings try:
But who would stand in hempen band
  Upon a scaffold high,
And through a murderer’s collar take
  His last look at the sky?

It is sweet to dance to violins
  When Love and Life are fair:
To dance to flutes, to dance to lutes
  Is delicate and rare:
But it is not sweet with nimble feet
  To dance upon the air!

So with curious eyes and sick surmise
  We watched him day by day,
And wondered if each one of us
  Would end the self-same way,
For none can tell to what red Hell
  His sightless soul may stray.

At last the dead man walked no more
  Amongst the Trial Men,
And I knew that he was standing up
  In the black dock’s dreadful pen,
And that never would I see his face
  In God’s sweet world again.

Like two doomed ships that pass in storm
  We had crossed each other’s way:
But we made no sign, we said no word,
  We had no word to say;
For we did not meet in the holy night,
  But in the shameful day.

A prison wall was round us both,
  Two outcast men were we:
The world had ****** us from its heart,
  And God from out His care:
And the iron gin that waits for Sin
  Had caught us in its snare.


III

In Debtors’ Yard the stones are hard,
  And the dripping wall is high,
So it was there he took the air
  Beneath the leaden sky,
And by each side a Warder walked,
  For fear the man might die.

Or else he sat with those who watched
  His anguish night and day;
Who watched him when he rose to weep,
  And when he crouched to pray;
Who watched him lest himself should rob
  Their scaffold of its prey.

The Governor was strong upon
  The Regulations Act:
The Doctor said that Death was but
  A scientific fact:
And twice a day the Chaplain called
  And left a little tract.

And twice a day he smoked his pipe,
  And drank his quart of beer:
His soul was resolute, and held
  No hiding-place for fear;
He often said that he was glad
  The hangman’s hands were near.

But why he said so strange a thing
  No Warder dared to ask:
For he to whom a watcher’s doom
  Is given as his task,
Must set a lock upon his lips,
  And make his face a mask.

Or else he might be moved, and try
  To comfort or console:
And what should Human Pity do
  Pent up in Murderers’ Hole?
What word of grace in such a place
  Could help a brother’s soul?

With slouch and swing around the ring
  We trod the Fool’s Parade!
We did not care: we knew we were
  The Devil’s Own Brigade:
And shaven head and feet of lead
  Make a merry masquerade.

We tore the tarry rope to shreds
  With blunt and bleeding nails;
We rubbed the doors, and scrubbed the floors,
  And cleaned the shining rails:
And, rank by rank, we soaped the plank,
  And clattered with the pails.

We sewed the sacks, we broke the stones,
  We turned the dusty drill:
We banged the tins, and bawled the hymns,
  And sweated on the mill:
But in the heart of every man
  Terror was lying still.

So still it lay that every day
  Crawled like a ****-clogged wave:
And we forgot the bitter lot
  That waits for fool and knave,
Till once, as we tramped in from work,
  We passed an open grave.

With yawning mouth the yellow hole
  Gaped for a living thing;
The very mud cried out for blood
  To the thirsty asphalte ring:
And we knew that ere one dawn grew fair
  Some prisoner had to swing.

Right in we went, with soul intent
  On Death and Dread and Doom:
The hangman, with his little bag,
  Went shuffling through the gloom
And each man trembled as he crept
  Into his numbered tomb.

That night the empty corridors
  Were full of forms of Fear,
And up and down the iron town
  Stole feet we could not hear,
And through the bars that hide the stars
  White faces seemed to peer.

He lay as one who lies and dreams
  In a pleasant meadow-land,
The watcher watched him as he slept,
  And could not understand
How one could sleep so sweet a sleep
  With a hangman close at hand?

But there is no sleep when men must weep
  Who never yet have wept:
So we—the fool, the fraud, the knave—
  That endless vigil kept,
And through each brain on hands of pain
  Another’s terror crept.

Alas! it is a fearful thing
  To feel another’s guilt!
For, right within, the sword of Sin
  Pierced to its poisoned hilt,
And as molten lead were the tears we shed
  For the blood we had not spilt.

The Warders with their shoes of felt
  Crept by each padlocked door,
And peeped and saw, with eyes of awe,
  Grey figures on the floor,
And wondered why men knelt to pray
  Who never prayed before.

All through the night we knelt and prayed,
  Mad mourners of a corpse!
The troubled plumes of midnight were
  The plumes upon a hearse:
And bitter wine upon a sponge
  Was the savior of Remorse.

The **** crew, the red **** crew,
  But never came the day:
And crooked shape of Terror crouched,
  In the corners where we lay:
And each evil sprite that walks by night
  Before us seemed to play.

They glided past, they glided fast,
  Like travelers through a mist:
They mocked the moon in a rigadoon
  Of delicate turn and twist,
And with formal pace and loathsome grace
  The phantoms kept their tryst.

With mop and mow, we saw them go,
  Slim shadows hand in hand:
About, about, in ghostly rout
  They trod a saraband:
And the ****** grotesques made arabesques,
  Like the wind upon the sand!

With the pirouettes of marionettes,
  They tripped on pointed tread:
But with flutes of Fear they filled the ear,
  As their grisly masque they led,
And loud they sang, and long they sang,
  For they sang to wake the dead.

“Oho!” they cried, “The world is wide,
  But fettered limbs go lame!
And once, or twice, to throw the dice
  Is a gentlemanly game,
But he does not win who plays with Sin
  In the secret House of Shame.”

No things of air these antics were
  That frolicked with such glee:
To men whose lives were held in gyves,
  And whose feet might not go free,
Ah! wounds of Christ! they were living things,
  Most terrible to see.

Around, around, they waltzed and wound;
  Some wheeled in smirking pairs:
With the mincing step of demirep
  Some sidled up the stairs:
And with subtle sneer, and fawning leer,
  Each helped us at our prayers.

The morning wind began to moan,
  But still the night went on:
Through its giant loom the web of gloom
  Crept till each thread was spun:
And, as we prayed, we grew afraid
  Of the Justice of the Sun.

The moaning wind went wandering round
  The weeping prison-wall:
Till like a wheel of turning-steel
  We felt the minutes crawl:
O moaning wind! what had we done
  To have such a seneschal?

At last I saw the shadowed bars
  Like a lattice wrought in lead,
Move right across the whitewashed wall
  That faced my three-plank bed,
And I knew that somewhere in the world
  God’s dreadful dawn was red.

At six o’clock we cleaned our cells,
  At seven all was still,
But the sough and swing of a mighty wing
  The prison seemed to fill,
For the Lord of Death with icy breath
  Had entered in to ****.

He did not pass in purple pomp,
  Nor ride a moon-white steed.
Three yards of cord and a sliding board
  Are all the gallows’ need:
So with rope of shame the Herald came
  To do the secret deed.

We were as men who through a fen
  Of filthy darkness *****:
We did not dare to breathe a prayer,
  Or give our anguish scope:
Something was dead in each of us,
  And what was dead was Hope.

For Man’s grim Justice goes its way,
  And will not swerve aside:
It slays the weak, it slays the strong,
  It has a deadly stride:
With iron heel it slays the strong,
  The monstrous parricide!

We waited for the stroke of eight:
  Each tongue was thick with thirst:
For the stroke of eight is the stroke of Fate
  That makes a man accursed,
And Fate will use a running noose
  For the best man and the worst.

We had no other thing to do,
  Save to wait for the sign to come:
So, like things of stone in a valley lone,
  Quiet we sat and dumb:
But each man’s heart beat thick and quick
  Like a madman on a drum!

With sudden shock the prison-clock
  Smote on the shivering air,
And from all the gaol rose up a wail
  Of impotent despair,
Like the sound that frightened marshes hear
  From a ***** in his lair.

And as one sees most fearful things
  In the crystal of a dream,
We saw the greasy hempen rope
  Hooked to the blackened beam,
And heard the prayer the hangman’s snare
  Strangled into a scream.

And all the woe that moved him so
  That he gave that bitter cry,
And the wild regrets, and the ****** sweats,
  None knew so well as I:
For he who lives more lives than one
  More deaths than one must die.


IV

There is no chapel on the day
  On which they hang a man:
The Chaplain’s heart is far too sick,
  Or his face is far too wan,
Or there is that written in his eyes
  Which none should look upon.

So they kept us close till nigh on noon,
  And then they rang the bell,
And the Warders with their jingling keys
  Opened each listening cell,
And down the iron stair we tramped,
  Each from his separate Hell.

Out into God’s sweet air we went,
  But not in wonted way,
For this man’s face was white with fear,
  And that man’s face was grey,
And I never saw sad men who looked
  So wistfully at the day.

I never saw sad men who looked
  With such a wistful eye
Upon that little tent of blue
  We prisoners called the sky,
And at every careless cloud that passed
  In happy freedom by.

But there were those amongst us all
  Who walked with downcast head,
And knew that, had each got his due,
  They should have died instead:
He had but killed a thing that lived
  Whilst they had killed the dead.

For he who sins a second time
  Wakes a dead soul to pain,
And draws it from its spotted shroud,
  And makes it bleed again,
And makes it bleed great gouts of blood
  And makes it bleed in vain!

Like ape or clown, in monstrous garb
  With crooked arrows starred,
Silently we went round and round
  The slippery asphalte yard;
Silently we went round and round,
  And no man spoke a word.

Silently we went round and round,
  And through each hollow mind
The memory of dreadful things
  Rushed like a dreadful wind,
And Horror stalked before each man,
  And terror crept behind.

The Warders strutted up and down,
  And kept their herd of brutes,
Their uniforms were ***** and span,
  And they wore their Sunday suits,
But we knew the work they had been at
  By the quicklime on their boots.

For where a grave had opened wide,
  There was no grave at all:
Only a stretch of mud and sand
  By the hideous prison-wall,
And a little heap of burning lime,
  That the man should have his pall.

For he has a pall, this wretched man,
  Such as few men can claim:
Deep down below a prison-yard,
  Naked for greater shame,
He lies, with fetters on each foot,
  Wrapt in a sheet of flame!

And all the while the burning lime
  Eats flesh and bone away,
It eats the brittle bone by night,
  And the soft flesh by the day,
It eats the flesh and bones by turns,
  But it eats the heart alway.

For three long years they will not sow
  Or root or seedling there:
For three long years the unblessed spot
  Will sterile be and bare,
And look upon the wondering sky
  With unreproachful stare.

They think a murderer’s heart would taint
  Each simple seed they sow.
It is not true! God’s kindly earth
  Is kindlier than men know,
And the red rose would but blow more red,
  The white rose whiter blow.

Out of his mouth a red, red rose!
  Out of his heart a white!
For who can say by what strange way,
  Christ brings his will to light,
Since the barren staff the pilgrim bore
  Bloomed in the great Pope’s sight?

But neither milk-white rose nor red
  May bloom in prison air;
The shard, the pebble, and the flint,
  Are what they give us there:
For flowers have been known to heal
  A common man’s despair.

So never will wine-red rose or white,
  Petal by petal, fall
On that stretch of mud and sand that lies
  By the hideous prison-wall,
To tell the men who ***** the yard
  That God’s Son died for all.

Yet though the hideous prison-wall
  Still hems him round and round,
And a spirit man not walk by night
  That is with fetters bound,
And a spirit may not weep that lies
  In such unholy ground,

He is at peace—this wretched man—
  At peace, or will be soon:
There is no thing to make him mad,
  Nor does Terror walk at noon,
For the lampless Earth in which he lies
  Has neither Sun nor Moon.

They hanged him as a beast is hanged:
  They did not even toll
A reguiem that might have brought
  Rest to his startled soul,
But hurriedly they took him out,
  And hid him in a hole.

They stripped him of his canvas clothes,
  And gave him to the flies;
They mocked the swollen purple throat
  And the stark and staring eyes:
And with laughter loud they heaped the shroud
  In which their convict lies.

The Chaplain would not kneel to pray
  By his dishonored grave:
Nor mark it with that blessed Cross
  That Christ for sinners gave,
Because the man was one of those
  Whom Christ came down to save.

Yet all is well; he has but passed
  To Life’s appointed bourne:
And alien tears will fill for him
  Pity’s long-broken urn,
For his mourner will be outcast men,
  And outcasts always mourn.


V

I know not whether Laws be right,
  Or whether Laws be wrong;
All that we know who lie in gaol
  Is that the wall is strong;
And that each day is like a year,
  A year whose days are long.

But this I know, that every Law
  That men have made for Man,
Since first Man took his brother’s life,
  And the sad world began,
But straws the wheat and saves the chaff
  With a most evil fan.

This too I know—and wise it were
  If each could know the same—
That every prison that men build
  Is built with bricks of shame,
And bound with bars lest Christ should see
  How men their brothers maim.

With bars they blur the gracious moon,
  And blind the goodly sun:
And they do well to hide their Hell,
  For in it things are done
That Son of God nor son of Man
  Ever should look upon!

The vilest deeds like poison weeds
  Bloom well in prison-air:
It is only what is good in Man
  That wastes and withers there:
Pale Anguish keeps the heavy gate,
  And the Warder is Despair

For they starve the little frightened child
  Till it weeps both night and day:
And they scourge the weak, and flog the fool,
  And gibe the old and grey,
And some grow mad, and all grow bad,
And none a word may say.

Each narrow cell in which we dwell
  Is foul and dark latrine,
And the fetid breath of living Death
  Chokes up each grated screen,
And all, but Lust, is turned to dust
  In Humanity’s machine.

The brackish water that we drink
  Creeps with a loathsome slime,
And the bitter bread they weigh in scales
  Is full of chalk and lime,
And Sleep will not lie down, but walks
  Wild-eyed and cries to Time.

But though lean Hunger and green Thirst
  Like asp with adder fight,
We have little care of prison fare,
  For what chills and kills outright
Is that every stone one lifts by day
  Becomes one’s heart by night.

With midnight always in one’s heart,
  And twilight in one’s cell,
We turn the crank, or tear the rope,
  Each in his separate Hell,
And the silence is more awful far
  Than the sound of a brazen bell.

And never a human voice comes near
  To speak a gentle word:
And the eye that watches through the door
  Is pitiless and hard:
And by all forgot, we rot and rot,
  With soul and body marred.

And thus we rust Life’s iron chain
  Degraded and alone:
And some men curse, and some men weep,
  And some men make no moan:
But God’s eternal Laws are kind
  And break the heart of stone.

And every human heart that breaks,
  In prison-cell or yard,
Is as that broken box that gave
  Its treasure to the Lord,
And filled the unclean *****’s house
  With the scent of costliest nard.

Ah! happy day they whose hearts can break
  And peace of pardon win!
How else may man make straight his plan
  And cleanse his soul from Sin?
How else but through a broken heart
  May Lord Christ enter in?

And he of the swollen purple throat.
  And the stark and staring eyes,
Waits for the holy hands that took
  The Thief to Paradise;
And a broken and a contrite heart
  The Lord will not despise.

The man in red who reads the Law
  Gave him three weeks of life,
Three little weeks in which to heal
  His soul of his soul’s strife,
And cleanse from every blot of blood
  The hand that held the knife.

And with tears of blood he cleansed the hand,
  The hand that held the steel:
For only blood can wipe out blood,
  And only tears can heal:
And the crimson stain that was of Cain
  Became Christ’s snow-white seal.


VI

In Reading gaol by Reading town
  There is a pit of shame,
And in it lies a wretched man
  Eaten by teeth of flame,
In burning winding-sheet he lies,
  And his grave has got no name.

And there, till Christ call forth the dead,
  In silence let him lie:
No need to waste the foolish tear,
  Or heave the windy sigh:
The man had killed the thing he loved,
  And so he had to die.

And all men **** the thing they love,
  By all let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
  Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
  The brave man with a sword!
Darianshae Jan 2018
Is it **** if you don't kick and scream? But you said no. But you drank ... it was your choice they would say so happily they found a crawl space to make it out for the future of this poor man. Is it **** if you never told anyone about it? Is it **** if you waited 3 years too long? You wanted so badly to run but your body didn't move throughout it all, so stiff you remembered. Why didn't you scream then is what they'll say. I wanted so badly to shout and run away. I wanted so badly to come out about this ****. But I didn't so, it's my fault they would victim blame. They would say since he has a platform, she only wanted attention off it. They would let him slide because after all he's so young and talented why would we want to ruin his life. Yet hers is already ruined .
The thing that hurts the most is the easiest thing to write about
Jim Timonere Apr 2016
It was spring when the old things get cleared away
and I opened a drawer that was mostly closed now;
in the back was a ring of keys I hadn't touched forever
because the doors they opened were gone.

My first car, a castoff from my father we used in high school
to go to practice, or for hamburgers, or to the movies
in a time when that was the most fun we could have.
I see the boys now, smiling and singing songs you never hear anymore.

The key to my the apartment I had going to school, a little place
I shared with Jimmy Redd just off campus where we
drank, caroused and learned how to cook hamburger helper
between working and going to class.

The key to my first office and the house I bought where
some of my kids lived and I had a future
that was wasted by trusting people whose most important
love was in the mirror every morning

Then there were no keys for years when I could not unlock
the doors I lived behind in places where
the only comfort was a date yet to come as I waited
and the world turned without me, changing everything

Which turned out to be for the best
For the last unused key was to my first home after leaving high school
the place love became real and where the missing part
of me had been waiting through her own trials.

I smiled and held the keys tight then put them back into the drawer
they are not useless as I thought
because the doors they open are those I will
always be able to enter.
patty m May 2018
Easy rider,
looking like a fighter,
someone put a foot in his face.
Small town Susie,
flirting like a ******,
dying to get out of this place.

In duo spin
two sheets to the wind,
ships that pass in the night,
they held on together,
dressed in jeans and leather
trying to make it all right.

They did Dallas
the pleasure palace,
slept out in a barn,
do-rag daddy's red-hot mama
going round the horn.

She got drunk and he got wasted
as they rode to New Orleans.
The food they bought, still untasted
as they danced like Cajun queens.

Hot jazz funnels,
the darkness tunnels,
white limbs twist in flight.
Hot sin city, cool lick ditty,
eighteen bars in sight

Blues at night,
fried notes on white,
hash browned and over easy,
grind and grit, wind and spit,
slide down the sax so greasy.

He rolled the throttle
she emptied her bottle
then did her beauty queen wave

they leapt the highway
and carved the canyon
spent the night inside a cave.

Big bear growling
wolves out howling
till morning lit the pass
they hopped the bike
and coasted downhill,
their hog was out of gas.

Now they''re hikin'
no more bikin'
the whiskey drank, now fumes

if they can't hitch
then life's a *****
and this ditch could be their tomb.

Red hot momma
always ready for a drama
sheds her clothes with certain flair,

the first truck passing
almost crashin'
as the driver slowed to stare.

Ring-a- Round Sally,
lollin' in an alley
two flyin' over the moon
they toured the world
until their long hair curled
and they came home
crazy as loons.

Patty M
Chloë Fuller Feb 2016
Day 51. I didn't check your facebook so I ate Ben & Jerry's to celebrate.
Day 52. I caved and checked your facebook but you've been only adding dudes.
Day 53. I went to our neighborhood bar and a regular said he thought you were *** and I laughed and was like "yaaaassss"
Day 54. There's a certain song that makes me think of you and I'm so mad at myself because its a good song but I can't listen to it without gettig teary because I miss your touch.
Day 55. I had false hope and I saw my replacement's bike out ya house
Dat 56: I bought a ten dollar pack of cigarettes and you came down to the bar and we both couldn't make eye contact because it hurt so bad to look at each other and be attached.
Day 57. I drank myself into nothing.
Day 58. I tried to figure out what I should do about my entire life but I just watched Parks and Reck all day.
Day 59. I broke a glass on purpose because I felt out of control and just wanted my boyfriend back.
Day 60. I never left my bed.
Day 61. I hadn't showered in days and only left my bed once for delivery.
Dat 62. I needed to quote my favorite B.E.E "I know longer know who I am, and feel like the ghost of a total stranger."
Stephen E Yocum Dec 2013
Once I undertook a journey,
Out upon and completely around,
the very face of our entire world.
To view for myself the many pictures,
And written descriptions of all the writers
In all those geography books and History Classes,
National Geographic magazines poured over
and movies seen.

My personal Quest to see with my own eyes
What I had only experienced second hand.
And in my mid twenties, like a dream,
One foot in front of the other,
I went about doing it.

I sniffed and tasted the scents of foreign lands,
Incense, Sage and Frankincense, fish curry,
fried snake and even monkey brains.
Walked in lush Jungle Bush and Desert sands,
Along the shores of many Islands and the coasts
Of Four Continents.

Heard the voices of 30 divergent Dialects
And cultures.  Smiling and laughing with,
The beautiful children of all of them.
Set beside the fires of primitive tribal men,
Heard their chants to their gods above,
Or upon the ocean and land.
Clapped my hands and moved my feet in
Their Ancient mystic dance.
Drank their tea, Kava or whatever they shared
Grateful for their offered unselfish brotherhood.

Stood on the flanks of the tallest Mountains
In the world, on my toe tips, to try to see the
Face of the God of my youthful teachings,
Mildly disappointed when I did not see him, or Her.
Found instead an inner tranquility, imparted to me
By Red robbed Monks from within their chants of
Peace and wise earthly enlightenment.

Strolled the cobbled streets of two thousand year
Old Cities. Walked among the ruined remnants of
Nearly forgotten once great Civilizations.

Explored Modern Euopean Citiadels of wealth and learning.
Over time rode on planes, ships, buses, backs of open trucks,
Horse pulled carts and human drawn rickshaws, taxis, subways,
Rented motorcycles and cars.  Walked perhaps 1000 miles.
In all a journey of the mind and heart lasting three years.

And why you might ask, "What qualifies you as a pilgrim
of any kind, to travel so far, for so long a time?"
"And what was I looking for, what did I hope to find?"  
All indeed, fair questions.

When a boy, I read a simple five word line,
“Seek and thee shall find”.
And it stayed with me all my life.
I read books, saw films, did Research,
all in a quest to understand,
what those five words truly meant.
After a stint in the Military,
still wondering and seeking,
I embarked on my own personal,
physical and emotional Journey.  

The next obvious question you might
repeat of course is, after all that;
“What did I find?”
That answer is very simple,
I found myself.
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