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Alyssa Underwood Jun 2016
O darkest night, what are you for?
Sometimes to wrestle, sometimes to rest
But always to cling to Jesus more

Though senses are dulled, desires awaken
Aching grows stronger, inhibitions are taken
Less seeing, less hearing, more hunger, more longing
Answers are dimming while questions are thronging

More drilling, more filling
The canyons of my soul
More boring, more pouring
Himself into the hole
More stretching, more catching
Away my gasping breath
More tearing, more sharing
In the union of His death
"But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them *******, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ--the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.

"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."  
~ Philippians 3:7-14

~~~
Melissa Koe Nov 2014
The wind blew strongly. Out at sea, the fisherman’s small boat swayed in rhythm with the waves. He stood up and adjusted the sail, in case the wind blew it off. After so many years of earning a living as a fisherman, he has made peace with the sea – he no longer feels sea sick. Oh, but he feels a certain kind of sickness…… a different kind. His eyes filled with tears as he shifted his gaze from his worn out canvas sails to the horizon where the sun is just about to set. The sky above him is slightly orange – but is dulled by the gray of the storm clouds shifting in.

                He thanked the gods for the sky above and the sea below him, albeit the upcoming storm. He has recently lost his daughter, Fatema to the sea. His grief is still fresh, it still cuts deep. He lost his daughter to the tsunami that destroyed the fishing village. He has lost all his belongings – but nothing belonging to him will ever be as valuable as Fatema. Yes, grief makes him sick – and he has a good reason for that. When they found her, her body was trapped between five pieces of driftwood – it was a gruesome sight. How ironic is it? The arms of Neptune have always supported him throughout his life – making sure he earned a living and yet, the same menacing arms betrayed him and took Fatema away.

                For that, he was angry with the gods. How could they take away a life as easily as they gave it? He snapped out of his thoughts and raised the back of his hand to his eyes to wipe away the tears. His musings aren’t going to help. He has to begin sailing to find a shelter from the storm that is rolling in or else he won’t make it through the night. For the past week or so, he has been living in his small boat, making sure his stomach is full by fishing for small fish and crustaceans. He fixed his sail and began to sail in the direction of a small cove he is familiar with which will provide adequate shelter for tonight.

                As he sailed, he started to feel lonely. He reached his hand into his pocket and pulled out a locket with Fatema’s picture in it. He brought it to his face and gently kissed it, gripping it in his hand. As he sailed nearer the cove, moonlight began to illuminate the prow of his boat. When he is near enough to the shore, he skillfully measured the depth with sight alone, and lowered the anchor to make sure his boat remained in that position till dawn.
                As he descended from his boat, he waded through the water. Both of his arms are full of dried driftwood for him to start a fire tonight. He heard the distant sound of crickets and an owl. He walked toward the beach, heading towards a small cave and entered it. He checked the ground to make sure it was dry before he started a fire using the driftwood. The crackling of fire accompanied by the distant rumbling of thunder brought comfort to his ears. The flames that rose and vanished combined with the smell of the smoke left a silage – a lingering presence that soothed him. They reminded him of how he used to read stories of beasts and princesses alike to Fatema when she was a young girl until she fell asleep in his arms. Those days are long gone now. He stood up and headed back to his boat to set up the fishing nets for his meal later on tonight. He fixed the nets close to the shore before walking back to the cave to the warmth of the fire. He did not know what to do. He was supposed to sail back to the mainland by next week but the storm has been slowing him down. He listened to the rhythm of the waves crashing against his boat and drifted off to sleep……

                He opened his eyes. He did not hear any crackling from the fire nor feel the warmth from it. When he looked down, the fire has been extinguished. The moon was so high and bright now he only needed the fire for warmth. Just as he was about to stand up to fetch more wood from the boat, he heard a sound. Yes, there was a slight drizzle but it wasn’t the sound of rain hitting the sand. It was a soft, melodious voice which was….singing.
“May you sail fair to the far fields of fortune,
with diamonds and pearls at your head and your feet
and may you need never to banish misfortune,
may you find kindness in all that you meet.”

                It was the lullaby he sang to Fatema as a young girl. He began to feel excited and ignored the voice at the back of his head telling him he was insane. He looked out and saw her – Fatema, sitting on a rock. He called out to her and she looked back at him, saying something he has been yearning to hear from her – “Papa.” He was speechless and could not believe his eyes. She donned the black dress they found her in, but she barely had any scratches on her; she did not even look wounded. Instead of walking towards him, she flashed her sweetest smile and started walking towards the beach. She beckoned for him to follow her. He ran towards her, constantly calling out to her but she did not reply. She held out her hand for him to hold, and he did.

                One more step and she will reach the water now. “Fatema, what are you doing?” “Papa, just come along with me.” With those few words…..he felt like he was in a trance. There were so many questions running through the back of his mind but he ignored all of them. Was he hallucinating? He turned to his left as they waded nearer to the sea – the fishing net that he placed near his boat had a small crab in it. The moonlight that shone onto the sea reflected on her beautiful features – her curly, black hair and light brown eyes. With every step he took, he felt more nervous, confused, and excited at the same time.

                The water level is up to their chest now.  On the second day after Fatema died, when he was very much in pain, he made an analogy about grief by comparing it to the nearest thing to him. Grief is like the sea. It drowns you while everyone else is swimming. He felt more familiar towards it….. it did not seem as foreign to him anymore. If so, he is “literally” being consumed by grief as they waded deeper into the sea. He did not mind though – this is the story of a man who desperately wants his daughter back. He did not care if he was hallucinating or if she was a ghost. He does not know where she is taking him, but he wants to follow his daughter to who-knows-where; for to him, that is paradise, be it in the depths of the sea or the height of the skies.

                He can no longer see the moon.
An essay I wrote for English exam.
one hour write-up.
Leo Jul 2018
Never what you were,
my retina dulled your rays.
Optics adrift in poetry, prose,
charity shop sweaters.

I spoke of dreamed ambition.
You nodded, morose.
Eyes chasing space.
Never what you were.

Bookshelves, potted plants, a bicycle bell ringing.
Coffee steam clawing New Zealand winds.
This and more flickered in our hazed tethering,
only snuffed when the tap of illusion ran cold.
Bouazizi’s heavy eyelids parted as the Muezzin recited the final call for the first Adhan of the day.

“As-salatu Khayrun Minan-nawm”
Prayer is better than sleep

Rising from the torment of another restless night, Bouazizi wiped the sleep from his droopy eyes as his feet touched the cold stone floor.

Throughout the frigid night, the devilish jinn did their work, eagerly jabbing away at Bouazizi with pointed sticks, tormenting his troubled conscience with the worry of his nagging indebtedness. All night the face of the man Bouazizi owed money to haunted him. Bouazizi could see the man’s greasy lips and brown teeth jawing away, inches from his face. He imagined chubby caffeine stained fingers reaching toward him to grab some dinars from Bouazizi’s money box.

Bouazizi turned all night like he was sleeping on a board of spikes. His prayers for a restful night again went unanswered. The pall of a blue fatigue would shadow Bouazizi for most of the day.

Bouazizi’s weariness was compounded by a gnawing hunger. By force of habit, he grudgingly opened the food cupboard with the foreknowledge that it was almost bare. Bouazizi’s premonition proved correct as he surveyed a meager handful of chickpeas, some eggs and a few sparse loaves. It was just enough to feed his dependant family; younger brothers and sisters, cousins and a terminally disabled uncle. That left nothing for Bouazizi but a quick jab to his empty gut. He would start this day without breakfast.

Bouazizi made a living as a street vendor. He hustles to survive. Bouazizi’s father died in a construction accident in Libya when he was three. Since the age of 10, Bouazizi had pushed a cart through the streets of Sidi Bouzid; selling fruit at the public market just a few blocks from the home that he has lived in for almost his entire life.

At 27 years of age, Bouazizi has wrestled the beast of deprivation since his birth. To date, he has bravely fought it to a standstill; but day after day the multi-headed hydra of life has snapped at him. He has squarely met the eyes of the beast with fortitude and resolve; but the sharp fangs of a hardscrabble life has sunken deep into Bouazizi’s spleen. The unjust rules of society are powerful claws that slash away at his flesh, bleeding him dry: while the spiked tendrils of poverty wrap Bouazizi’s neck, seeking to strangle him.

Bouazizi is a workingman hero; a skilled warrior in the fight for daily bread. He is accustomed to living a life of scarcity. His daily deliverance is the grace of another day of labor and the blessed wages of subsistence.

Though Allah has blessed this man with fortitude the acuteness of terminal want and the constant struggle to survive has its limits for any man; even for strong champions like Bouazizi.

This morning as Bouazizi washed he peered into a mirror, closely examining new wrinkles on his stubble strewn face. He fingered his deep black curls dashed with growing streaks of gray. He studied them through the gaze of heavy bloodshot eyes. He looked upward as if to implore Allah to salve the bruises of daily life.

Bouazizi braced himself with the splash of a cold water slap to his face. He wiped his cheeks clean with the tail of his shirt. He dipped his toothbrush into a box of baking powder and scoured an aching back molar in need of a root canal. Bouazizi should see a dentist but it is a luxury he cannot afford so he packed an aspirin on top of the infected tooth. The dissolving aspirin invaded his mouth coating his tongue with a bitter effervescence.

Bouazizi liked the taste and was grateful for the expectation of a dulled pain. He smiled into the mirror to check his chipped front tooth while pinching a cigarette **** from an ashtray. The roach had one hit left in it. He lit it with a long hard drag that consumed a good part of the filter. Bouazizi’s first smoke of the day was more filter then tobacco but it shocked his lungs into the coughing flow of another day.

Bouazizi put on his jacket, slipped into his knockoff NB sneakers and reached for a green apple on a nearby table. He took a big bite and began to chew away the pain of his toothache.

Bouazizi stepped into the street to catch the sun rising over the rooftops. He believed that seeing the sunrise was a good omen that augured well for that day’s business. A sunbeam braking over a far distant wall bathed Bouazizi in a golden light and illumined the alley where he parked his cart holding his remaining stock of week old apples. He lifted the handles and backed his cart out into the street being extra mindful of the cracks in the cobblestone road. Bouazizi sprained his ankle a week ago and it was still tender. Bouazizi had to be careful not to aggravate it with a careless step. Having successfully navigated his cart into the road, Bouazizi made a skillful U Turn and headed up the street limping toward the market.

A winter chill gripped Bouazizi prompting him to zip his jacket up to his neck. The zipper pinched his Adam’s Apple and a few droplets of blood stained his green corduroy jacket. Though it was cold, Bouazizi sensed that spring would arrive early this year triggering a replay of a recurring daydream. Bouazizi imagined himself behind the wheel of a new van on his way to the market. Fresh air and sunshine pouring through the open windows with the cargo space overflowing with fresh vegetables and fruits.

It was a lifelong ambition of Bouazizi to own a van. He dreamed of buying a six cylinder Dodge Caravan. It would be painted red and he would call it The Red Flame. The Red Flame would be fast and powerful and sport chrome spinners. The Red Flame would be filled with music from a Blaupunkt sound system with kick *** speakers. Power windows, air conditioning, leather seats, a moonroof and plenty of space in the back for his produce would complete Bouazizi’s ride.

The Red Flame would be the vehicle Bouazizi required to expand his business beyond the market square. Bouazizi would sell his produce out of the back of the van, moving from neighborhood to neighborhood. No longer would he have to wait for customers to come to his stand in the market. Bouazizi would go to his customers. Bouazizi and the Red Flame would be known in all the neighborhoods throughout the district. Bouazizi shook his head and smiled thinking about all the girls who would like to take rides in the Red Flame. Bouazizi and his Red Flame would be a sight to be noticed and a force to be reckoned with.

“EEEEEYOWWW” a Mercedes horn angrily honked; jarring Bouazizi from the reverie of his daydream. A guy whipping around the corner like a silver streak stuck his head out the window blasting with music yelling, “Hey Mnayek, watch where you push that *******.”

The music faded as the Mercedes roared away. “Barra nikk okhtek” Bouazizi yelled, raising his ******* in the direction of the vanished car. “The big guys in the fancy cars think the road belongs to them”, Bouazizi mumbled to himself.

The insult ****** Bouazizi off, but he was accustomed to them and as he limped along pushing his cart he distracted himself with the amusement of the ascending sun chasing the fleeting shadows of the night, sending them scurrying down narrow alleyways.

Bouazizi imaged himself a character from his favorite movie. He was a giant Transformer, chasing the black shadows of evil away from the city into the desert. After battling evil and conquering the bad guys, he would transform himself back into the regular Bouazizi; selling his produce to the people as he patrolled the highways of Tunisia in the Red Flame, the music blasting out the windows, the chrome spinners flashing in the sunlight. Bouazizi would remain vigilant, always ready to transform the Red Flame to fight the evil doers.

The bumps and potholes in the road jostled Bouazizi’s load of apples. A few fell out of the wooden baskets and were rolling around in the open spaces of the cart. Bouazizi didn’t want to risk bruising them. Damaged merchandise can’t be sold so he was careful to secure his goods and arrange his cart to appeal to women customers. He made sure to display his prized electronic scale in the corner of the cart for all to see.

Bouazizi had a reputation as a fair and generous dealer who always gave good value to his customers. Bouazizi was also known for his kindness. He would give apples to hungry children and families who could not pay. Bouazizi knew the pain of hunger and it brought him great satisfaction to be able to alleviate it in others.

As a man who valued fairness, Bouazizi was particularly proud of his electronic scale. Bouazizi was certain the new measuring device assured all customers that Bouazizi sold just and correct portions. The electronic scale was Bouazizi’s shining lamp. He trusted it. He hung it from the corner post of his cart like it was the beacon of a lighthouse guiding shoppers through the treachery of an unscrupulous market. It would attract all customers who valued fairness to the safe harbor of Bouazizi’s cart.

The electronic scale is Bouazizi’s assurance to his customers that the weights and measures of electronic calculation layed beyond any cloud of doubt. It is a fair, impartial and objective arbiter for any dispute.

Bouazizi believed that the fairness of his scale would distinguish his stand from other produce vendors. Though its purchase put Bouazizi into deep debt, the scale was a source of pride for Bouazizi who believed that it would help his profits to increase and help him to achieve his goal of buying the Red Flame.

As Bouazizi pushed his cart toward the market, he mulled his plan over in his mind for the millionth time. He wasn't great in math but he was able to calculate his financial situation with a degree of precision. His estimations triggered worries that his growing debt to money lenders may be difficult to payoff.

Indebtedness pressed down on Bouazizi’s chest like a mounting pile of stones. It was the source of an ever present fear coercing Bouazizi to live in a constant state of anxiety. His business needed to grow for Bouazizi to get a measure of relief and ultimately prosper from all his hard work. Bouazizi was driven by urgency.

The morning roil of the street was coming alive. Bouazizi quickened his step to secure a good location for his cart at the market. Car horns, the spewing diesel from clunking trucks, the flatulent roar of accelerating buses mixed with the laughs and shrieks of children heading to school composed the rising crescendo of the city square.

As he pushed through the market, Bouazizi inhaled the aromatic eddies of roasting coffee floating on the air. It was a pleasantry Bouazizi looked forward to each morning. The delicious wafts of coffee mingling with the crisp aroma of baking bread instigated a growl from Bouazizi’s empty stomach. He needed to get something to eat. After he got money from his first sale he would by a coffee and some fried dough.

Activity in the market was vigorous, punctuated by the usual arguments of petty territorial disputes between vendors. The disagreements were always amicably resolved, burned away in rising billows of roasting meats and vegetables, the exchange of cigarettes and the plumes of tobacco smoke rising as emanations of peace.

Bouazizi skillfully maneuvered his cart through the market commotion. He slid into his usual space between Aaban and Aameen. His good friend Aaban sold candles, incense, oils and sometimes his wife would make cakes to sell. Aameen was the markets most notorious jokester. He sold hardware and just about anything else he could get his hands on.

Aaban was already burning a few sticks of jasmine incense. It helped to attract customers. The aroma defined the immediate space with the pleasant bouquet of a spring garden. Bouazizi liked the smell and appreciated the increased traffic it brought to his apple cart.

“Hey Basboosa#, do you have any cigarettes?“, Aameen asked as he pulled out a lighter. Bouazizi shook the tip of a Kent from an almost empty pack. Aameen grabbed the cigarette with his lips.

“That's three cartons of Kents you owe me, you cheap *******.” Bouazizi answered half jokingly. Aameen mumbled a laugh through a grin tightly gripping the **** as he exhaled smoke from his nose like a fire breathing dragon. Bouazizi also took out a cigarette for himself.

“Aameem, give me a light”, Bouazizi asked.

Aameen tossed him the lighter.

“Keep it Basboosa. I got others.” Aameen smiled as he showed off a newly opened box of disposable lighters to sell on his stand.

“Made in China, Basboosa. They make everything cheap and colorful. I can make some money with these.”

Bouazizi lit his next to last cigarette. He inhaled deeply. The smoke chased away the cool air in Bouazizi’s lungs with a shot of a hot nicotine rush.

“Merci Aameen” Bouazizi answered. He put the lighter into the almost empty cigarette pack and put it into his hip pocket. The lighter would protect his last cigarette from being crushed.

The laughter and shouts of the bazaar, the harangue of radio voices shouting anxious verses of Imam’s exhorting the masses to submit and the piecing ramble of nondescript AM music flinging piercing unintelligible static surrounded Bouazizi and his cart as he waited for his first customers of the day.

Bouazizi sensed a nervous commotion rise along the line of vendors. A crowd of tourists and locals milling about parted as if to avoid a slithering asp making its way through their midst. The hoots of vendors and the cackle of the crowd made its way to Bouazizi’s knowing ear. He knew what was coming. It was nothing more then another shakedown by city officials acting as bagmen for petty municipal bureaucrats. They claim to be checking vendor licences but they’re just making the rounds collecting protection money from the vendors. Pocketing bribes and payoffs is the municipal authorities idea of good government. They are skilled at using the power of their office to extort tribute from the working poor.

Bouazizi made the mistake of making eye contact with Madame Hamdi. As the municipal authority in charge of vendors and taxis Madame Hamdi held sway over the lives of the street vendors. She relished the power she had over the men who make a meager living selling goods in the square; and this morning she was moving through the market like a bloodhound hot on the trail of an escaped convict. Two burly henchmen lead the way before her. Bouazizi knew Madame Hamdi’s hounds were coming for him.

Bouazizi knew he was ******. Having just made a payment to his money lender, Bouazizi had no extra dinars to grease the palm of Madame Hamdi. He grabbed the handle bars of his cart to make an escape; but Madame Hamdi cut him off and got right into into Bouazizi’s face.

“Ah little Basboosa where are you going? she asked with the tone of playful contempt.

“I suppose you still have no license to sell, ah Basboosa?” Madame Hamdi questioned with the air of a soulless inquisitor.

“You know Madame Hamdi, cart vendors do not need a license.” Bouazizi feebly protested, not daring to look into her eyes.

“Basboosa, you know we can overlook your violations with a small fine for your laxity” a dismissive Madame Hamdi offered.

Bouazizi’s sense of guilt would not permit him to lift his eyes. His head remained bowed. Bouazizi stood convicted of being one of the impoverished.

“I have no spare dinars to offer Madame Hamdi, My pockets are empty, full of holes. My money falls into everyone’s palm but my own. I’m sorry Madame Hamdi. I’ll take my cart home”. He lifted the handlebars in an attempt to escape. One of Madame Hamdi’s henchmen stepped in front of his cart while the other pushed Bouazizi away from it.

“Either you pay me a vendor tax for a license or I will confiscate your goods Basboosa”, Madame Hamdi warned as she lifted Bouazizi’s scale off its hook.

“This will be the first to go”, she said grinning as she examined the scale. “We’ll just keep this.”
Like a mother lion protecting a defenseless cub from the snapping jaws of a pack of ravenous hyenas, Bouazizi lunged to retrieve his prized scale from the clutches of Madame Hamdi. Reaching for it, he touched the scale with his fingertips just as Madame Hamdi delivered a vicious slap to Bouazizi’s cheek. It halted him like a thunderbolt from Zeus.

A henchman overturned Bouazizi’s cart, scatter
Three years ago today Muhammad Bouazizi set himself on fire igniting the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia sparking the Arab Spring Uprisings of 2011.
Victoria Queen May 2014
They say that over time, it dissipates -
it will drain from you, evaporate like smoke.
It will descend upon you, destroy you;
but will soon release you, and fade.

But with time it instead grows stronger,
demanding to be felt.
It knocks on the doors of my soul,
its urgency to be let inside unrelenting and ruthless.

Like an unpredictable storm, it lands and ravages,
leaving just fragments of a heart already rebuilt.
What is gone is the will;
the resiliency dulled, the courage spent.

It's a deep-rooted ****, an unrivaled opponent;
It's a malevolent fire that refuses to be smothered.
The Hurt:
a wound that permeates, and remains.
Even the sun-clouds this morning cannot manage such skirts.
Nor the woman in the ambulance
Whose red heart blooms through her coat so astoundingly ----

A gift, a love gift
Utterly unasked for
By a sky

Palely and flamily
Igniting its carbon monoxides, by eyes
Dulled to a halt under bowlers.

O my God, what am I
That these late mouths should cry open
In a forest of frost, in a dawn of cornflowers.
Alyssa Underwood Nov 2015
O darkest night, what are you for?
Sometimes to wrestle, sometimes to rest
But always to cling to Jesus more

Though senses are dulled, desires awaken
Aching grows stronger, inhibitions are taken
Less seeing, less hearing, more hunger, more longing
Answers are dimming while questions are thronging

More drilling, more filling
The canyons of my soul
More boring, more pouring
Himself into the hole
More stretching, more catching
Away my gasping breath
More tearing, more sharing
In the union of His death
"But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them *******, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ--the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead."  Philippians 3:7-11
Bad Luck Mar 2013
I scream to drown the noise,
            And fight to hold my poise
Against this sonic wave
            That dismantles and destroys.

This place that I called home…
            It’s all that’s left of what I own.
I fear I’m destined to the desert,
           Or somewhere desolate to roam.

Tried to convince my brain this wasn’t real –
           That lies are all I feel.
I’m not sure why I fear this noise;
           There’s nothing left for it to steal.

                        -         -         -

Yet, I plug my ears and scream;
         Tear the stitching from my seams . . .
I find it difficult to sleep,
         And near-impossible to dream.
I scream so hard it makes me sweat,
And my skin begins to gleam

                        This heat turns smiles into tears,
                         Like water into steam


My head begins to ache.
My hands begin to shake.
If I chose the wrong path,
             I made one hell of a mistake.
While my lungs still permit,
             I’ll keep their volume set on high,
Lifting my head to the clouds,
             To scream at the sky.

I have yet to hear an answer,
        And while I’m not much of dancer
I learned some steps from Lady Luck
        In hopes to cure me of this cancer.

                        -         -         -

Now, I don’t believe in luck –
But she still left me with something . . .
While we danced I took notice;
The noise dulled slightly to a humming.

I looked back to Lady Luck
– and I’m sure this wasn’t just a dream –
But she had vanished to the air,

                             Like water into steam.

I said “I don’t believe in luck.”
She still left me something, though.

She said:
                   “You can’t predict the world –
                      I assume this much you know…
                      But if a farmer plants a seed,
                      In that spot, a plant will grow.”


One day, my throat gave out.
For no longer, could I shout.
And I don’t believe in luck,
             So I was simply left with doubt.

I cursed that lady’s words.
I told myself that she was crazy.
       When something caught my eye…
       There - at my feet - grew a daisy.
A daisy… In the desert…
So despite how bad my head hurt,
I thanked God for Lady Luck.
         I thanked God that I had met her.

The noise I heard was her opposite.
               It was the presence of chance.

I've learned the farmer can’t predict the world,
But, as surely as seeds grow into plants . . .
                     My only choices are my actions.
                     So, I think I’ll take today to dance.
"Bad Luck: In a Wakeful Contradiction" is now available on Amazon in paperback!

Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1691941182
Shana Jul 2014
It's simplicity was complex
the world you lived in ceased
the tide halted and the sun dulled
cars abandoned and homes barren
the complexity suddenly became simple
Andrew Switzer Dec 2015
It's over, I'm finished, deaths already won,
Used only my thoughts, had no need for guns.
The body still walks and the mouth still smiles,
But behind these dulled eyes lies a blank, lifeless isle.
Tryst Sep 2015
What Hope Remained?

What hope remained when hope for hope was spent?
        When putrid plumes dulled morning into night
        Hope lived in heart-struck deeds of bold intent,
        As mortals wept and earthborn angels went
        With downcast eyes to clamber heavens height.

What hope remained when hope for hope was spent?
        When panicked sirens wailed a lost lament
        And backs were bowed beneath ungodly weight,
        Hope lived in heart-struck deeds of bold intent
        As boots bore souls up treadmills burnt and bent
        To scale a void devoid of dawning light.

What hope remained when hope for hope was spent?
        For those in sight of angels heaven sent
        Atop the world to aid their mortal plight,
        Hope lived in heart-struck deeds of bold intent.

        When wingless brethren conquered feared ascent
        To gift last hope to all who saw their might:

                What hope remained when hope for hope was spent?
                Hope lived in heart-struck deeds of bold intent.



In The Fall

I chanced upon a stranger in the fall,
Cosmetic garb of office black and white
Portraying calm demeanor of his plight
As shadows panicked on a stricken wall,

And oft' I find my mind in numb recall
To look upon that helpless human kite
Who tumbled from the terrors of a height,
Yet graceful as an eagle in a stall

Before it plummets earthward --   'Neath the pall
Of twisted steel rended by follied flight,
That stranger lives forever in the light
Suspended in iconic timeless sprawl.

        I wonder, in the briefness of his fall,
        Did he derive the meaning of it all?
What Hope Remained: In memory of the three hundred and forty three firefighters of FDNY that fell on Tuesday 11th September 2001, who fought without hope to bring hope to the lost.

In The Fall: Dedicated to "The Falling Man" of Tuesday September 11th 2001, in memory of him and those like him who chose the manner of their own end, when the only choice on that day of days was how, not if or when.
Cindra Carr Nov 2011
The fatigue flows through me
As if it has invaded the marrow of my bones
Leaking out into the flesh
Rendering me paralyzed in an unfocused state
I sleep to live and wish only to end the dulled mind set
It’s crushing to find that shard of thought
Urging me to get up
Do not sleep, it whispers
There is too much to do, the insidious trails of ideas speak
The words taken down seek to undo the restlessness
The blurred vision of the time slipping past in red numbers
Sleep, my body cries
Wait a minute more, my mind calls back
Sleep deprived with burning eyes
A single tear breaks the tie
I cannot go on
Sleep calls me back
Pulling me down to the place I cannot ignore anymore
Sleep, my body whispers
Sleep, my mind sighs

cc111911
Steele Nov 2014
She doesn't own a mirror.

Confirmation of her beauty comes from those around her at all times.
Fawning fools adore,
jealous sisters abhor,
but all notice the shine of her hair, the tilt of her lips.

She does not dance.

Her steps lead, and dancers follow with no reasons nor rhymes. They cry:
"Lead me not into temptation",
but in her ministrations,
they ache and beg for her glance, their hearts in her grips.

She does not care for suitors.

Her heart was long ago dulled by the fencing blades of admirers. And yet I
if honest, must admit
that it is a careless abandon, devoid of wit
that begs me join her jousters in mock combat for the privilege of her kiss.

What a porcelain fool, she, to inspire such a heartfelt, bloodtaxed roust.
What sorrier the fool, me, to join in such a sure dealt, unasked joust.
I find it funny (in my black humor) that so many chase one who only wishes to be left in peace, myself included. Beauty is often a curse.
st64 Aug 2013
break
astonishment at perception
of
a third-world child making it
up that totem-pole
amidst paltry conditions
even
beyond the half-way mark


1.
a standing man
in silent message

and the woman in red
with thin-sling shoulder-bag
holding lipstick, weekly-ticket and purse
oh, how she frightens honchos out their skull
draped round her sister's head
shroud eternal
coughing
sore


2.
grannies recount lively *griot
-tales
where hope is never barren
young boys play in swamped dirt-trails
drawing absent father-figures in the sand
the wind has carried them off to mines
deep in the crust of earth's ire
adolescent future sits on labour-farms
where keen spirit is dulled with worthless hops
keeps the sly farmer happy
and he tells them the fruit is free
yet they've already paid for it
manifold

when she reaches twenty
she will have at least two kids
whose lives lie in the granny's luxury

while she runs off to the golden city-lites
to jump through higher hoops
for ****** spoils
all cheapened by long-term neglect


3.
there lies hope
unlost
in every girl-child
who goes to school
who finds encouragement
from words kindly given
if but from a stranger

no hand-me-outs
no forlorn begging


she...
the empowered mother of boys
will
help them to grow
into young men
of such sensibility
as to keep their hands
to deeds of honour

who, in turn
become fine fathers to daughters
they love and cherish
raise to be
luminary



each step up
from that totem-pole
such a steep climb
strengthens invisible wings
and unworldly rewards

and when final rung is reached

heralds

untainted take-offffffff
......






S T,  27 aug
much ado about what really matters.
let's clamour for education  . . .  for all :)





sub-exit: good-key


the good key lies in the hands
of the soul
who holds
that key :)

pssssst....
toodley-too!







http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PzpWKAGvGdA&desktop;_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DPzpWKAGvGdA
Parched sun on naked earth,
Memory of water dulled,
Crushed by galloping heat.

The rhythmic wash of waves
alien as contours of verdant dales,
To blades of ancient rock and ruptured land.

Dead to ocean swells and sighing breath.
Life - which longs to root beneath
its blinding horizons,
Aborted mutely.
K Jun 2014
Hazy half-light mornings interspersed with giddy sleep
Silent showers and quick grooming
Breakfast maybe, chores and work and walking in my slippers.
Afternoons tense with labor and stress
Broken up by slow-falling meditative mind rain
And usually Fall Out Boy in my ears.
Quickdark evenings.
No light.
Demons aren't occupied with being scared of being burned.
Staying up until god only knows and then some
Laying in the dark and feeling panic
Ice bones, fire veins, a noose around my throat
And not even in a **** way.
Shaking, teeth chatter, eyes roll, spin, turn, off the bed.
Sit on the floor. Lay down. Room's spinning.
Stumble to the dresser.
Grab the cure.
Illegal cure, no one knows anymore.
Dulled by use, old when taken, press harder.
Crimson bubbles, drips, rolls and stains.
Demons lap it up, whisper thanks, leave.
Sun comes up, lay in the half light.
Fall asleep giddy with pain.
Harriet Cleve Jun 2019
'Where is he now?'

'Room 35'

'His age?'

'Twenty 29'

'Has he spilled any brain fluid from the eye sockets?"

'He has not yet been placed on the neural cell divider'

'We were instructed to wait upon your arrival'

The two men faced one another. Equal in stature and authority.
Both were ghastly in their features. Sunken eyes that contained the
weary load of a harrowing existence. Intelligent though ravaged eyes that penetrated into the deepest recesses of the psyches of those quarantined in room 35.

Berdensharder walked past Halden.

Will you induce the full cerebral breakdown? said Halden

'I have not yet decided'

'Let me see him first.

Room 35 was secured and access permitted to Berdensharder.

He walked in and breathed the formaldehyde humidity.
His nasal passages recoiled in revulsion at the pungent sting of miserable brain fluid filters in suspension.

Facing him was the sample. A young man with a look of terror in his eyes.

He had been placed in a cranial clamp and was rigid in an upright steel frame. Electrodes hung like tentacles from a deformed squid.
Clouds of medicated bacteria floated in a transparent tube connected to the frame. The tubes had not yet been put in place.

'Your name?' said Berdensharder

'The young man was clamped by the wrists and ankles; naked and ashamed of his fear. His forehead was scarred and an incision led into his prefrontal cortex.

'Radsler Duriyima' came the reply

The voice was broken and clung to a false hope of salvation.
He had awoken in room 35 and had no knowledge of his previous weeks or months. His brain struggled to function.

'Your name! Berdensharder screamed is Gunther Strausse!

Tears flowed freely down Duriyima's face.

'No. My name is Radsler Duriyima'

This was the only lucid thought in his mind. He was sure of it. His life depended on this name.
Instinct was heightened as he said it again.

'Radsler Duriyima!'


Berdensharder switched on the cranium synaptic fluid uptake. He set it for distillation level four. This was normal and a precautionary first step in the cerebral breakdown initiation.

Duriyima's body convulsed and a screen in the room displayed his thought process and an image appeared on a screen.

The synaptic  responder projected the dulled translucent pictures of a face in a mirror. It was Duriyima's and he was shaving in an apartment. A grainy distorted vision interspersed with the sounds of a woman screaming. A gun blasted and then grey dull plastered walls rushing by. More screams. More walls. Blood splashed. Then black.

Suddenly Duriyima's eyes opened and Berdensharder sprayed a saline solution on the eyeballs which kept the eyelids from closing.
He took a surgical precision scalpel handed to him by Halden.
Slowly he slit the eyeball and removed a trace of fluid. Inserting a tube into the eye, his hand was a precision instrument and he gently placed it deeper into the back passage of Duriyima's eye.


Duriyima wanted to scream but was prohibited by a mouth gag soaked in a medicated solution.

His body shook the entire time in rapid convulsions. Only his head remained unmoved.

Tears flowed freely the entire time and the tear duct of the severed eye was gradually made redundant by Berdensharder.

Stepping back from his helpless sample Berdensharder looked upon the apparatus. He removed the gag.

'Now Mr Gunther Strausse!
'Your name!'

'Duriyima wanted to respond but only an animal like sound emitted from his throat.

A scream so horrific it would unnerve the servants of Satan

Halden looked at Berdensharder.

'Well, are you going to induce the full cerebral breakdown?'

'No. We will first get this sample to state his name.
'When Gunther  Strausse is ready to state his name then I shall do so'



Duriyima looked at the pair of them. What was going on?
Where was he? What did they want? His mind couldn't function.

The door of room 35 was closed and he was alone

One thought began to emerge. His name he now felt was Gunther Strausse.


He could not be sure. His thoughts ebbed into insanity.

Berdensharder would induce the full cerebral overload the following day.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Duriyima succumbed to massive shock, severe trauma, and paranoia.

He remained plugged into the filtration system for two hours in a semi conscious state. His brain ebbed with seismic brain wave cycles that sheared the integral subconscious of his existence.

One name repeatedly came to his mind, 'Gunther Strausse'
He tried to make sense of all that had happened as the fragility of his sanity took its toll. The face of Berdensharder took on a form in his thoughts. He felt nauseous and violently ill. His eye ached with an unbearable pain; his vision horribly strained and blurred.
The sound of a gunshot deafened his ears. His forehead was an explosion of activity and excruciating pain. Tears flowed from one of his eyes and this confused him. He sobbed and in a gibberish howl begged for deliverance.

He had this stomach churning sense he was in Hell and the torments he had endured were God's retribution.

He found his voice then.

'Sweet Jesus!' he screamed

'Not this! Not this!

'Son of God! Forgive! Forgive!

He begged till his bowels emptied and the stench of anonymity
reeked from his flesh.

Duriyima was very much still a part of the living; in a ghoulish grotesque quarter of a savage place reserved for aggressive science.

His screams and outbursts of terror had triggered an audio camera.

Berdensharder looked at the desperate features of Duriyima.

'No! Gunther Strausse' he said to himself.

'There is no God here'. 'Not for you nor any of us'

'God, Gunther Strausse, you will find has never heard of you'
'Not here'

'For you, only I control your emotions'
'I determine your quality of life'

'Yes! You will find out that betrayal is rewarded with surrealism!'

'I am your God!, Gunther Strausse'

Reaching his hand to a calibrated dial he adjusted the volume of the sound chamber to it's maximum decibel rating.

Duriyima's screams were relayed back to him and his ears bled with the intensity of the sound.

His mind collapsed in the wall of sound as his heart pulsed in rapid sickening beat patterns and it overtook the sound of his own screams.

'Yes!', Gunther Strausse, scream!  It will help you to realise it is all you have left.

Duriyima's body convulsed like a lightning rod for terror.
His brain burst with demented anguish and he collapsed into a nauseating nightmare.

Even in this state, Berdensharder followed him and the labyrinth
of Duriyima's mind became a battle ground for sanity.

Berdensharder's hand reached for the distillation filter system.
He employed the backwash switch and watched as the fluid of Duriyima's brain was circulated into the three micron carbon elements.

Halden looked on and met Berdensharder's eyes.

'It will be of no use' he said

'His mind can not cope with insurgent cells'

'He will never state he is Gunther Strausse'

A third figure looked on as Duriyima's face erupted in an explosion of hideous expressions.

'We shall see' said Gunther Strausse
'We shall see'

Room 35 crashed into an uncanny silence for three minutes'

Then a cacophany of sound hit Duriyims's ears

'Gunther Strausse' it wailed

'You are Gunther Strausse'

The cells in Duriyima's brain formed new synaptic networks forging in clusters around his prefrontal cortex.

Brain fluid started weeping from his sockets.

It was beginning to happen. His memories were being replaced.
His mind reborn. It was excruciating and still the wall of sound echoed and resounded in room 35

Gunther Strausse


Gunther Strausse

Gunther Strausse

Duriyima's eyes stared into an abyss of madness.

His tethered hands could not reach out to touch the face of sanity.
Deep inside his pysche he knew his ordeal was just beginning.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
You took note of the cry for salvation?' Halden said to Berdensharder


'Of course, it is natural in the sample. The Amygdala reflex'

'He still retains a sense of deliverance. His amygdala is primitive and
primed for a search; a Saviour who will redeem him'

'There is no scapegoat here he will find. No burning bush.
No Good News from Christ'

'Still it is a sign of deep resistance' replied Halden

'It is a trivial issue and will be resolved'

'We will remove this superstition and replace it.

'He will question his sense of identity'

'He will becomre as Gunther Strausse and he will witness his own transformation.'

'Has the synopial fluid vat been prepared?

'Yes'

'I will inject his neo-cortex with an anti-aneurism sedation'

'He will beg for death soon but it will be denied'

'Nor shall he fully recover from the full cerebral breakdown'

'We are taking it to level six distillation tonight'

'Has the cryogenic vat been prepared for the body'

'Yes'

Duriyima will soon pray to be Gunther Strausse but prayer will abandon his faculties'

'He will endure and witness the five hour transcendence of terror'

Halden and Berdenschrader looked at one another knowingly.

'Has there been any further visuals  from the synaptic cells of Duriyima'

'Yes, a woman's face made a lucid and highly resonated image on the cerebral scanner last night'

'Only high resolution visuals are deemed important due to the high emotional energy associated with them'


' She has been identified?

'Even now she is being prepared for Room 35'

'Good, good. This will please Gunther Strausse'

'Now, let us immerse Duriyima into his new reality'

Halden and Berdensharder dressed into the rubber robes and secured the brain aprons in place.

Entering Room 35 they looked at the sample. He was under a deep induced coma. Berdensharder took a scalpel to his forehead.
A vacuum switch was enabled and a surgical cutting tool prepared to remove Duriyima's brain for temporary relocation.

Halden and Berdensharder looked at the clock on the clean-room walls. They had a five hour window to take Duriyima into a purged state of cerebral surveillance.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hald­un rolled his sleeve up as Berdensharder prepared injection 19 and prepared to administer the dose.

'You have no need to worry Halden'

'It is routine now at this stage especially for you'

'This will be your seventh full cerebral surveillance of a sample'

'I have brought you back every time'

'You are safe with me. Your brain, your body will be unscathed'

'I hear a citation of merit will soon be yours'

'Gunther Strausse will award it to you personally'

'You are a loyal servant Halden, I will see you in five hours'

Halden looked at Berdensharder. Each man had suffered in their own way since 'the shutdown' took place.
Only their intelligence and guile had ensured their survival.

'Yes, Berdensharder, I know it. You will bring me back.

Then Halden passed into an induced coma.

The rig was in place and Berdensharder lifted Haldens skull like a door on a hinge. The titantium bolts were embedded deep into his skull. Delicately and with great precision twenty five electrodes were inserted into Haldens brain.

Berdensharder switched the spinal column reverse chamber.
A two way valve tripped the automatic pulmonary Gemini blood cell network. Haldens body remained in live peaceful repose.

The clock ticked in time with his heart and his brain was placed into the electrolytic vat.

In the same way and with the same urgency and diligence the brain of Radsler Duriyima was placed along side Haldens.

Level six distillation was in progress. Berdensharder now set about
the procedure which would take Duriyima to the verge of a mental breakdown.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
In room 35 a young woman aged twenty four stared back at her tormentor.

Her hands and feet were restrained in an upright frame.

A cranial brace secured and held her head rigid.

On the screen facing her was an image of Berdensharder

'Your name?'

Hannah Prestovsky's mind was confused. She had no recollection of the last hours or days. Her mind struggled to function.

Only her name surfaced to her mind. The only lucid thought she had. Her name was Hannah Prestovsky. She knew her life depended on this name.

'My name', she stuttered, 'is Hannah Prestovsky'

'No! Your name is Gunther Strausse!

Tears flowed down her face. She was naked and ashamed of her fear.

'No, she said. My name is Hannah Prestovsky!"

She sobbed and emptied her bowls as the stench of terror rose from her body.

'I am a diplomat!' she cried

'I demand immunity! In the name of God who are you?'

'Silence settled broken finally by the image on the screen.
The voice of Berdensharder boomed from the speaker.

' No, you are no longer represented by any government authority'

'God is no longer here to deliver you into his protection'

' Now, your name?'

Hannah Prestovsky screamed till her lungs exploded with exhaustion.
In an area of this room sealed from her screams, the brain of Radsler Duriyima was about to undergo full cerebral surveillance.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
­Duriyima's brain lay pulsating in the neural vat. The electrodes in his brain were connected to those in the brain of Halden.
Berdensharder was engaged in the system flowpath direction.
When he tripped the one -way valves it was essential Halden's brain fluid flowed into Duriyima's.

In this 'full wash surveillance' Halden's consciousness would merge with Duriyima's. If the process was successful then those thoughts held in the synaptic network of Duriyima's would be an open book to Halden. His brain would retain all that was contained within Duriyima's. It was unprecedented technology and had not yet failed.
Each time on relocation of Halden's brain, he was able to give a full account of the life of the sample. It was as if he was the sample.

Every fear, every concern or hope was disclosed to Halden.
No one else in the facility was capable of undergoing a surveillance of this nature. Others had tried it but in all cases both the sample and the invasive consciousness died within minutes.

Halden and Berdensharder were the only team to ever secure consistent trials to unheard of 'five hour' deep cerebral surveillance
and succeed in securing the neural data of the sample. Their method became known as the 'five hour transcendence of terror'.

Berdensharder looked at Halden. His admiration for his associate was deep and he envied him his courage. He was ruthless of course but he had an air of dignity about him. Berdensharder thought too that Halden would escape one day. If that ever happened he shuddered to think of the repercussions.

All these thoughts were fleeting and the flashing instruments alerted him to his first function. He would light up the prefrontal cortex of Duriyima first.

He looked at the calibration settings on the visual imaging screen.
Then  he stared at the live body of Duriyima. The body was an empty vessel although every spinal output was connected to the remote brain of Duriyima. Audio and visual scanners would enable Duriyima to witness his own detachment.

This was the reason for anti-aneurysm injections into the new-cortex of the sample. It always freaked them out.

The worst was the brains response to it's isolation from the body.
The 'language to vocal' response was recorded and displayed to a digital readout. The voice was an algorithm. The screams became white noise.

When the sample recovered from the shock it was then the voice became an artificial sound emanating from the instrumentation panel.

Before Halden could immerse into Duriyima an interrogation was initiated.

Berdensharder turned on the system to awaken Duriyima.
Slowly Duriyima responded. His body responded in simultaneous response to his brain.

He could see the set up on the screen. It dawned on him that he had become an abomination.

Then he went into a full mental breakdown that created a white noise explosion that lasted for ten hideous minute.

'Yes! Scream. It is all you have left. Shortly your mind will open its gates to Halden'.

'Gunther Strausse will be planted in your brain'

'You will soon need your Saviour'

Duriyima knew it then. He must be in Hell. It could not be real.

None of this could be happening.

He didn't know what to do so he screamed.

The scream of the demented.

A smile traced the face of Berdensharder.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Berdensharder waited till the white noise finally stabilised.
He knew the sample was in deep pyschological  trauma.
This was a natural part of the procedure.
Duriyima's brain waves alternated between gamma and alpha rhythms.

A voice suddenly emanated from the speaker. It was monotone and the pitch was low. The sample was ready to communicate.

'Am I in purgatory?'

Berdensharder did not respond. He reached forward and opened an anthrax aerosol.

Reaching into the vat he opened a microscopic funnel into Duriyima's occipital lobe. He squeezed the aerosol which contained enough anthrax to poison a minuscule area of the brain. It went black immediately and the whole brain seemed to shrink in a futile sense of survival.

The white noise monitor went into a frenzy of sound.
It lasted for fifteen minutes. Duriyima was in agony.

When the noise subsided the brain was lifted from the vat.
Berdensharder removed the black tissue for sample analysis.

He watched the screen as he cauterised the area.
Duriyima's body was writhing in intensified terror.
He knew the whole procedure was witnessed by Duriyima as though he were a third party.

The body was in convulsions; at times seemed as though it might break free of it's restraints.

'No, Gunther Strausse, you are going nowhere'
'Now let us listen to some classical music shall we?'

A beautiful piano concerto filled  the air and the vibrations settled into the brain vat. Berdensharder looked at Halden's face as a smile broke out on his features.

This pleased him to see his associate receive some pleasure.
The music always worked. The brain always responded.
He looked then to Duriyima's face. It was contorted in a ghoulish grimace. Even so, the brain wave activity settled to level fifteen.

The body slumped now and the eyes were catatonic.
Berdensharder needed to leave the sample undisturbed for fifteen minutes. If it went into cerbral flatline then he would administer sedative eighty four. This always brought the sample back from the corridors of death.

From experience he expected the sample's next words would be 'my name is Gunther Strausse'

This had to be the way. The brain needed to survive. This was the name it must give. It must give it in no uncertain terms.

It feared the anthrax. The unknown. It feared the interference of nature. It must be placed back in its body. It must co-operate.
It must state 'my name is Gunther Strausse'

Berdensharder was patient. Thirty minutes passed and once again the white noise subsided.

The brain was in active mode once again. The samples vital statistics were stable.

The music was discontinued.

'Now, Gunther Strausse, what is your name?'

The sound monitor responded in a hesitant slow manner.

'My name is Gunther Strausse'

'Did you not tell me your name was Radsler Duriyima?' Berdensharder replied

'My name is Gunther Strausse'

Berdensharder was in full control and raised the terror level.

'No! Your name is Radsler Duriyima!'

'You have never heard of Gunther Strausse'

The White noise from the sound monitor went catastrophic.
Duriyima's brain screamed in agony. Had it not been for the anti-aneurysm injected previously it would have phyically exploded.
The body went into convulsions.

'Who are you?' screamed Duriyima

'Who are you?!'

Berdensharder smiled and replied 'It is who you will be that is the question'

'It is who you shall be!'

It was time now to open the non-return valve and allow Halden to enter the consciousness of Duriyima.

The White noise on the screen indicated that Duriyima was on the verge of the full cerebral breakdown'

'Soon it will be over' said Berdersharder and reached to turn on the valve. Halden would now perform the full wash surveillance.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~­

It was always a beautiful experience. Halden felt as if he were reborn and the world was an unexplored discovery. Here in the neural ocean of Duriyima's synaptic network of young cells he immersed himself deep in the private psyche of another human.
He searched the entire brain map of Duriyima and came to know that neural landscape as though it were his own.

Duriyima resisted of course and became aware of the invasion.
His screams were a peak of White noise on the visual audio scanner.

Berdensharder watched carefully. Halden would soon know every thought and experience that Duriyima ever possessed.
He cared not for the fate of Duriyima once they were finished with the sample. All that mattered was the complete subjugation of a private mind. The private would become public. This forced confession would become the norm. It was exhilarating to be a part of the destruction of the individual. Halden had shown remarkable courage and took great personal risk to achieve this break through in mind control. He had shown it was possible to inhabit another's brain. Once this was done it was a step away from world *******.
Those who control the mind control the future. The secrets of enemy States would be unlocked. One had only to capture the intelligentsia and key figures in an administration. Their minds would be ransacked. Berdensharder turned suddenly as footsteps unexpectedly approached.

It was Dr. Xuaguang Lee from sector 84.
Behind him was a young woman holding a syringe to his throat.

'What the hell is going on!' screamed Berdensharder

'Hannah Prestovsky was sick to the pit of her stomach at the sight she beheld.

'You are going to release Radsler Duriyima' she said venomously

Dr. Lee looked on with rising terror in his eyes.

'She is holding a lethal dose of injection 19!'  he screamed

'Do you think I give a **** about him?!' said Berdersharder

Shoving Dr. Lee away from her she ran to the neural vat.

Holding the syringe above the brain of Halden she lunged it into his brain stem.

'You fool!' Berdensharder screamed

'The body of  Halden went into cardiac arrest.

Halden was now locked into the consciousness of Duriyima.

There was no way back for him. He could now only survive if Duriyima survived.

Seeing her chance at the shock she had given to Berdensharder she siezed the anthrax spray and a chemical solution from the neural vat.

'I swear to God if you don't bring Duriyima back then he will die my way!'

Berdensharder's mind raced. He had to save Duriyima if he was to save Halden. He knew Duriyima and Halden were one now.
Could he do it? What would the result be? Gunther Strausse would ****** him if he did not bring them back.



'Step away from from the neural vat! he shouted

'If you have any thought for Radsler Duriyima then let me work!'

Dr. XuGuang made to run for the door and was shot instantly by Berdensharder.

Hannah screamed as the blood sprayed her face.

'No ! Berdensharder' she screamed

'You will give me that gun or it all ends here!
'She gestured to the neural vat and prepared to dose it with a chemical mix.

Berdensharder looked at her and knew she would do it.
He passed her the gun.
'Now! Let me work!' 'Every minute is vital!'

Hannah Prestovsky was sickened by this filthy abbatoir.
'Where the hell are we ? She thought

Berdensharder turned the one way valve and shut down the pulmonary system for Halden. He needed to work fast and get Duriyima's brain back into its body.

A surge of excitement ran through his veins.
Would Halden be able to communicate from his new mind.
Could Halden dominate Duriyima's brain.
'Step back from the neural vat! Please!

Hannah held the gun and watched the horrible spectacle before her.
emma green Jun 2012
“My heart wanders the mossy mess of wet country, reliving a time when youth had charm, hand held hand, letters were written with not a classroom blot in sight, kisses were blushed.. and boys ran home to hide their eagerness.

Life was what it was, merely a game of engendered differences.”

scribbled the poet with his special pen. Leaning against an oak - as proud a tree as he was a man.

There was no need to make excuses for his silence here. Why apologise for watching space fill with swirling prisms across such a wonderfully vast panorama? So many greens in this god-forsaken county. But it was refuge for someone like him, was an escape route to whatever the future held. Anyway, where he was concerned, guilt was neither muse nor amusing, it merely lay a rough stony path ready to trip the careless walker he‘d almost become.

‘Oblivious to life in the real world’, he’d been told at least once a week for far too many years. He laughed, those words would never be uttered again.

“Shadows
of buttery budding green
dripping flavour ‘cross soil,
moaning,
muttering,
life.to.come.
fruitful.”

He shook his head, trying to be rid of thoughts, emotions: ‘I don’t want to think of her. ‘HA, too late! There and then the six o’clock in the morning drew his woman from the shadows of deception. He smiled. In his ragged mind she became .. she became a sapling formed of malleable clay. ‘I want to shape her.. a touch here and here so her ******* flourish with pleasure. Then, I‘ll stroke her right side.hip.thigh. to where the skin is both silk soft and a touch of treble plaited gossamer, that trimmed topiary of woman awaiting her future.

Who knows, in my next life perhaps I’ll be a sculptor and lay claim to the master’s crown. I’ll become lord of much and more.. why not, someone has to!’

“Memories,
hands soft as sugar spun
in quadrants arched quiescent,
harmonic pleasuring,
all.frantic.full.
ripe as berries brown
and fatal flawed.”

Man scratched the pen against vellum, then.. oh then, heard its crickling cry; remembered the rippling of her moan.. the call of his name.. the echo of his weeping into her. Then her - fingers gripping where space permitted.. palms moist and made fluorescent.. back arching.. hair flying.. falling onto each of the four crumpled pillows. Then, then.. becoming a streaming sway of tressed love battling breath. And the smell of wild garlic filled the air

never to ward off his fears, nor outsmart his demons. He was meant to be taken by the sight of a woman both too good and bad for him.

“Feeling night
a creep of nails tip touch
in devil’s bliss
where all men meet a foe,
but headlong thrills
deep.diving.hot.
as hell”

He took his pen and with a mighty shout, ****** a myriad of dark memories into his own heart - his memories, his memories - not hers. She’d laughed when he asked her to stay with him, to be his .. forever. Until that moment the pen had been softly ****** between his full lips but moved to be gentled between index finger and thumb. Her rampaging words struck home. They broke his silence, they hurt.

Whirling and swirling it over her *******, his pen became a weapon. He taunted her skin with a pen ripe with red ink, swore and wept, swore again. His hand fell screaming into her flesh, not once but a dozen frantic times. Finally her breath became a dense gushing cloud which swiftly rose so dark that, within seconds, once pure angels fell to earth looking akin to a chimney sweep’s boys - unregonisable as once human.

“Harvesting
kiss kiss full lips
gleaming at the point of red,
so sharp whilst ..
poppies parchment pollen
trembling.moisted.dark
unloved”

The body was found months later. It had laid until bronze leaves and golden were drifting upon and across what had once been a face, and now discovered by shocked, sickened walkers. When the police arrived, all they found lying near to the man was a pen and dulled pages within a leather binding.

A forensic scientist is still trying to decipher the wording on the vellum, what words he’s found to date are quite beautiful - or so he told his wife in an aside. She shrugged, he’d always been a strange man. Should have married her own kind .. too late now. Marianne looked away, unused to anything remotely like conversation from him. She smiled, turned the mirror to the wall and waited ..



© 2012 Emma Joy
Dear Trusting Nurse-Maid, must we Speculate
The Favours your Leader asked has mulled
Far healing cry a tearful Reprobate
And supposed Cheerful Innocence has dulled
As soon as the Red Tabloid goes to Sin
And whips the Pink Horse we all fantasy
Your Prince suddenly squeezes on a Whim
Which the Next Frustration will testify
I envy you all. Despite Fashion's Change
Like Solemn Dakinis prayed for Support
Cry the Call for War; And within a Range
Mark him a Target then file my Report.
I have lost that War. And the Battle as well
Yours straight to Heaven; Mine a Journey's Hell.
#daleysangels
Silence.

Silence is what brings me to the keyboard.

Silence is the most forgiving thing, also the most condemning.

Never before hearing silence have I ever felt so insecure, never have I felt so free, so sure, never have I felt worse about myself as a person.

The silence has always given me everything I need and taken away anything that I’ve ever wanted, you see, my mind processes information faster than anything or anyone else. Not math or science, just thoughts, the series of movements never ends, thinking, rethinking, losing thoughts, remembering, wishing to forget. Along with my quick-silver mind, I can’t forget, anything, ever. Remember that time that you did something bad? Anything? I remember that every second, every minute, every hour. Every time I was wrong, every time I forgot something important or didn’t do something I was supposed to; I can’t just shrug it off, the thought of neglect or inferiority never leaves, it just gets harder and harder to not think about. Remember that time something bad happened to you? I was robbed once, I can see everything except the faces, I didn’t see them then and can’t see them now. The feeling of being robbed burns through me, fear, horror, sarcasm, lack of will to fight, lack of will to fight for an object, I cared so little about things then.

You may be reading out of curiosity, maybe out of boredom, maybe even out of true, pure, finalizing interest, because interest is always the enemy of silence. Have you ever sat in a room with a loved one and been completely silent? Seven out of ten times, I am, even if there’s noise. Before you ask, or even assume, we all assume things unfortunately, but before you do, I’m not deaf. I may be a bit blind, but you’d only think that would make sound stand out more. Only it doesn’t. My mind processes sounds just like everyone else, that’s one of the few things I have in common with anyone. Not saying I’m alone in this world, that would be conceited of me, but I certainly don’t feel similar to anyone, to anything, I did once, but that was before the silence overtook me.

When one talks about silence, I feel it only fair that sound should also be spoken of. Everything makes a sound, no two sounds are perfectly matched. Though we may hear two sounds that seem similar, no two things are exactly the same. Ever. Remember when you were young, how everything seemed so loud? The age of ten was the last time things were loud to me. Not to say that my ears have become any less sharp, that my senses have dulled, but that was when silence overtook the sound. The sounds are only a blurry memory to me now, maybe someday someone will show me the beauty in sound again, but for now I’m stuck in my own silent world.

I wish this were a two way communication, though things would still be silent at least I could read your lips, your words, your body language, those things never truly lie. In a way silence breeds the truth in all of us, in another it brings out the most horrible lies. I like to think it makes me more honest, but no one likes to think of themself as a weaver of lies and betrayer of friends. But we all know we have at least once and in the silence, not my silence, but your silence, you will feel, hear, and touch all these things as I do.

The silence makes me want to confess to the most horrible things I’ve done, to be modest about the most heroic, it makes me want to boast and brag, to lie, to do anything to just try and have someone stop the lack of sound. I’ve tried to scream, though my voice is just as silent to me as the outside world is. In a way, the silence is darkness, yet, the silence is light.

What would you do to end your silence?

Would you fight? ****? Would you be dishonest? Would you betray your friends and family, all for the sake of getting someone to say words that could honestly reach your ears?

I wouldn’t. Not anymore. And I certainly wouldn’t suggest it. I tried every bad thing I could think to get someone to talk, actually speak words to me. The English language is nothing but sounds now. Broken, failed sounds. Not that any other language is any better, they all just sound like silence, not even static, true static, which most people equate with ghosts or some other form of other-worldly something. That would certainly be a gift now, but I would never ask, could never, for something as unneeded and unwanted as static.

On the other hand, would you be a hero to end the silence? Would you fight countless monsters, not all of them necessarily realistic just in the hopes that someone you saved would say something? Would you put out fires? Defeat enemies? Could you even? I could. I tried at the very least. I was even brutally honest for the longest time. People don’t much appreciate that believe it or not. No one wants to be lied to and no one wants to know that they can’t follow all their dreams. Unfortunately for everyone, myself included, we’re all lied to, and we most certainly can’t follow most of our dreams.

The silence makes sure that I remember this. Three seconds from now I won’t care to try and talk to anyone. I’ll let this communiqué fall from my lips and try my hardest to forget that I ever wrote it. But we all know that won’t work. The silence that helps me sleep is also the silence that keeps me awake. How do I sleep? I wonder that just as I wonder how to rid myself of a silence like this. The short answer is that I don’t. The long answer is more complicated than I’d like to explain.

But the Silence, I feel I should treat it like its own being now, its own perfectly horrible, evil, monstrosity of a heroic being; the Silence doesn’t forgive, much like me it doesn’t forget, the only difference between the Silence’s memory and my own is that my mind screams at me, screams in the Silence that permeates around me. I never remember how hard or horrible my mind thinks before I sleep, all I see is the images that make up my dreams, rarely do I have nightmares, but it wouldn’t matter even if I didn’t dream, Silence fills my mind, my heart, my soul.

Do you remember the first time you were ever discouraged from anything? That first time you went to speak and realized you couldn’t so instead you cried? That is the exact feeling that I feel in the Silence. Knowing that no matter how hard I scream that my voice is utterly and completely incomprehensible. What would you do in my position? For that matter, what would I do in my situation? Some have told me all I need is a modicum of patience, others have told me that I never should wait and should only take action. Neither plan has ever worked for me.

Ever waited for time to pass while looking at a clock? That’s my entire life. Every moment seeming more Silent than the last despite that things never seem to change. Sure I’ve changed locations, but I’ve changed locations before and nothing is ever any different. Would you like to see inside my mind? That would probably help you speak to me, help me hear your words. But then again, maybe the Silence would only overtake you as well. For the sake of an attempt I have never tried, I’ll do it, free-thought writing, granted it will be much slower than I think. Just read it as fast as you can while understanding, but remember, don’t speak, don’t hear anything but the Silence in your mind,

Empty, but not. Women, memories of every one I ever met. Betrayal, both by me, and from me. A day where the sun doesn’t rise, but only falls again. Hoping this will be poetic. A name, not mine, not yet. Falling stars that bring me silent wishes. Hoping these words will speak to someone who isn’t me. Laughter, the sweet sound, I think that’s what it is. Complete Silence. Time elapsed, two seconds.

Not everything is simple and clear, many thoughts are more focused, like holding a magnifying glass backward, I squint my eyes and can see the world as it is, but with them open all I see is blur, Silent blur that reminds me that in a way I am all alone and in another that the entire world is watching me with narrow, scrutinizing eyes.
I'm sorry to say that this one is massive, no rhyme scheme like my others, more like a memoir over a poem, but in its own way I think it has managed to be the most poetic thing I've ever typed.
Ann Witt Sep 2013
Hopelessness is swallowing me.
For all my life I've been it's prey.
Sometimes strong, sometimes weak,
I've always managed to hold on,
but my grip is loosening.

My dreams have been squelched
and my imagination is fading.
I'm tired of pushing boulders uphill
only to watch them roll back down.
My shiny glaze of compassion has dulled.

Flaccid are my heartstrings,
flying ramdomly like torn ribbons
on a misguided kite.
Where can I escape and become
someone else somewhere else?
Theron Aidan Feb 2013
I sat curled up in the closet, my knees tucked up into my chest and my arms wrapped tightly around them. The more pain I felt, the tighter I clutched my knees to my chest, my fingernails digging into my skin, breaking it, hoping, with my blood, to make the hole stop throbbing, stop hurting, if only for a few minutes, a few seconds. The throb subsided, dulled, but didn’t go away. Silent tears rolled down my cheeks as another aching sob built deep in my chest, threatening to explode any second. The pressure built, higher and higher in my throat, the pain pushing its way to the surface, looking for a way out. My stomach tightened and convulsed as the sob broke surface, screaming out of my chest like a freight train, allowing the whole world to be privy to my most private pain, privy to the anguish that comes from losing something so dear to you that, when it goes, it takes a piece of your soul, and all of your heart, with it. As the last of my air escaped, my sob turned into a soft, pathetic whimper, like that of a dog sitting at the door when his Master leaves. Depleted of that life-giving substance, oxygen, my body and mind did that automatic thing: breathing. Air ripped through my mouth and down to my lungs, digging its wicked claws into the walls of my throat its entire way. A soft inward whine echoed up from the abyss of my chest just before my lungs were again filled to capacity and another sob burst forth, screaming my agony to the dark walls of the closet I had sheltered myself in.

Eventually, like always, numbness came. It worked its way up through my limbs, a sweet coolness working its way through my burning body. It started in my toes and feet, the furthest and therefore already dullest part of me. Its icy fingers began to massage their way up my ankles and calves next, pausing at my knees to work through the weakness there. I began to feel it work its way up my fingers next, cooling the burn that had been left by her fingers. It followed the paths that she used to trace up my arms, feeling nothing like her fingers’ tender caress. It moved its way up my thighs, chasing the paths her lips used to pursue on their way to my tender core, icing the burns left there. The ice flowed past my elbows, up my biceps, to my shoulders, still following her lips. Up my stomach and abs, along my ribs, over my chest, it searched out the heart that was no longer there. Its icy fingers took a firm hold of my chest and continued their ascent, up my neck and along my chin, gently caressing my cheeks, my nose, playing gently through my hair. And finally, the face, her face, that had been haunting me since I’d stepped into that closet, was frosted over and replaced with the grey haze that meant that I was able to unwrap my arms from around my knees and stand again.

I stood, then, and let myself out. I went to stand in front of the sliding glass door. It was sunrise. I’d sat in there another full night, hiding from the memory of her, hiding from her face, from everything that reminded me of her. I sighed and returned my attention to the sunrise. It was ablaze with oranges and reds and yellows, fire working its way across the sky, flames dancing in the sunrise clouds, heralding a new day. The light was streaming in through the windows, the hopeful light of yet another day. A soft breeze was playing through the aspens that were planted in strategic locations in the sidewalk five stories below. A woman jogged past, dressed in the typical black spandex sweatpants with white stripes running down the sides, accompanied by a tight tank top that revealed far more of the silicone masses, that her stock-broker husband no doubt paid for with his far-too-large Christmas bonus, than was truly necessary for a morning jog. His bonus probably paid for that nose-job that she was sporting as well. I wondered briefly why she was running. I was sure that her husband could probably afford liposuction for her. She jogged around the corner, taking my brief distraction with her, and I was left to ponder the sun rising on yet another day.

I looked around my room, seeing and not seeing the faceless picture frames lining the walls, their emptiness a shadowy reflection of my soul. A soft rage suddenly erupted from somewhere deep inside of me and I found myself tearing the empty frames from their perches upon the wall. Her face stared up at me from the empty, shattered glass that littered the floor. Her eyes haunted me in my rage as I trampled the broken glass, pulling my hair and screaming at the top of my lungs, wordless screams of anguish. My unclad feet began to drip blood onto the glass, hiding the green that was staring up at me, making her flee from the pools of glass that lay strewn upon the floor.

I turned my attention back to the sunrise. Opening the door, I stepped out onto the balcony. A sunrise this beautiful might have once moved me to tears, but the numbness was as paralyzing as it was relieving. All and any emotion was gone. My life was devoid of meaning now. I climbed onto the railing and steadied myself. I waited for the nausea and vertigo that normally came with heights to come, but it didn’t. I looked down, gazing at the sidewalk five stories below. The wind swept up, catching my hair in its grasp, and making me wonder for the first time what it would be like to fly. I spread my arms, my wings, and allowed the warm morning breeze to wash over them. It had a warming effect on my numb body, breaking the ice that had just recently formed all over my body. Her face came back into focus, obscuring the view of the street and the sidewalk below.

My mind, so tattered and torn with grief, brought me back to our last morning together. We had been up most of the night before, making love, our bodies moving in perfect synchronicity throughout the night until they had finally arched in ****** together leaving us sleeping peacefully in each others’ arms. Somehow, we’d still woken up with the sunrise, a blazing red and orange one, much like the one that I was staring at now. She had looked at me with a passionate fire burning in her eyes, softened by a tenderness in her cheeks, and told me that she loved me, that she wanted to stay with me forever. Our fingers entwined, I looked in her eyes and told her that nothing would make me happier. Our lips met then, our tongues entwining and our pulses racing as our bodies moved as one.

I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, finally allowing myself to succumb to my memories, the happy ones she and I had made during our time together. I held onto them, allowing them to cushion me as only her love could.
cait-cait Oct 2018
the devil’s eyes are blue ,
from when they made him up in heaven ,

but he keeps his girls like toys,
strewn,
             broken
and like dolls, they lay in piles.

you know,
ive always kept my mouth closed ,
and my sharp teeth dulled,
for i have been forced to wear a smile
to cover up each bruise .

so how come,
when
he looks at her like a dog ,
you all just let him bite?

do you think he ever kissed his wife’s wounds?

because
you know, we know that you men all kiss his,
right?
it is time to be angry. It is time for women to bite and kick and scream and make everyone sorry for ever thinking that any of this was okay. I’m sorry Doctor Ford.
jeremy wyatt Feb 2015
Warm as soil beneath spring sun
banishing memories of januarys frost
time has not dulled your light
my skin heals
my scars soften
your flowers bloom again each spring
as nesting birds begin to sing
Roses grow within you
Birds are singing outside our windowon a beautiful morning. Nests are being repared and the plants are flexing themselves
Ady Jul 2014
The light mankind has created although useful
has dulled and perhaps even made them blind
to the immaculate beauty of the night sky
and warm rays of sunshine days.
Now, it's not an argument or a condemnation
it is simply a sigh and an accommodation.
Just thoughts I found on an old notebook.
Connor Jun 2015
Myself caught in the heatwave sunlight, brown eyes
furrowed in the sun, scarf loose on my neck/
the transcendental Denpasar morning-birds
are playing their melodies in my head still,
three years post-Indonesia.
        All of my soul to India now,
        sky the pink of painted elephants
        on Jaipur dawning,
        my afterlife was somewhere here
        perhaps two generations ago, chances are.
               Vijay Raghav Rao and Alla Rakha
               playing the Tabla/via earphones/treading the
               Funary Box City (Kashi) future Spring
               hands held together keeping calm pace.
               Looking about, my twenty-two year old face
catches humid wind
S
I
L
V
E
R
S
H
O
P
tattered bike leaning on the gated guest house entrance
     PERENNIAL AZURE SHIVA SITS CROSS LEGGED/
     COBRA NECKLACE IMITIATONS ON THE GODDESS THROAT/
     MEDITATING SHIVA/
dulled from years and corrosion.
Brahmin center of the market street
flapping it's tail,
sweat beads from my forehead bleeding
to oily pavement.
At last the months have come for the river Ganges,
April penumbra/savage thunderclap
while school children uplifting the heart
                 AND MIND
are ROARING in their laughter
the CONTINENTAL DISCORD OF JOY
sleeping with their eyes open
while others are too tired for the Earth.
Sidney Bechet floating swan songs during
the black hour cremations/
“Bechet Creole Blues”
CATERWAUL IN THAT              VOID
THE METAMORPHOSIS OF DEATH/
LUNACY OF LIFE
                     (I've arrived at the simultaneous crossroads
                                                      ­  of both)
searing flesh in open air pyramids/
Manikarnika Ghat,
Asia  F
          L
         O
         W
          S
through dreams
like inevitable prophecy
and as ash blends with stars
the CITY seems fulfilled
and mystifying
in it's
                      (((((RESPLENDENCE)))))
Neroxes Zephyrus Nov 2018
Behind a soldier’s mask,
They hide their pain and push away the memories,
Despite the efforts they made,
I could still see it in their eyes clear as day.
Every exhausted frown masked by laughter was seen in the dulled colors of their irises,
Every painful memory and injury pushed away by smiles,
Overly happy gestures was seen in the broken, beat down look their eyes held.
They were battle-trained warriors,
They were strong and loyal heroes who continued to push on even when everything screamed at them to give up.

They were soldiers and pawns in a ruler's game,
Fighting a war ****** upon them without a choice,
Without a chance to get their feet beneath them,
Before the burden was placed on their shoulders.
Yet, in their smiles, they were children.
They were teenagers who'd been forced to mature way too soon,
Who didn't get a chance at a normal childhood

They were the sons and daughters of poor families,
Who were given a life they hadn't asked for yet were forced to accept it.
They were the young men who fought because they'd be killed otherwise.
They were children dressed in battle armour and sent to war,
Before they got the chance to grow up.
They were teenagers who formed facades of false smiles.
And forced laughs because they couldn't change who they were and what that meant.
They were those who played a ruler’s game
Because the fate of their lives was decided centuries before they were brought into the world.

I watched as they smiled and laughed and enjoyed the peace while it lasted.
I watched as they teased each other and told stories and enjoyed the normalcy of it all.
But I knew deep down,
They just want to rest,
To live a life without war,
To be weak and cry out their worries for once,
To not be a solider and enjoy what life should be,
To not hide behind a soldier’s mask
Lynn Greyling Dec 2014
Dark   green  depths  of  death,
where  waters  trickle  and  laugh
and  tiny  flowers  dart
in  the  sweet  fresh  breeze.

Pull  me  into  thine  un-dulled  depth
and  make  me  one  with  thee.
Blend  my  body  with  thine  earth
fashioning  a  sullen  element.

To  pause  in  a moment of fear  
and  everlasting  awe,
to drink thy beauty still
from  life’s  edge,  up  here.
Stopping at STORMS RIVER BRIDGE (CAPE PROVINCE, SOUTH AFRICA) in 1969.
Love** lost in dreams
Far away from the soul,
For the beauty of life is
Lost in my mind
Left lonely, in pain
This **** in my spirit
I've been unable to cleanse
Tired friend, fellow traveler
Grasp my hand and
Feel cruel death pervading
In this world, this land
Lies unknown evils
Forbidden to know
Or comprehend good
Underneath the wild, impassioned sky
Of centuries past
Wandering in ageless night
Searching for the end of sorrow
Scouring through the mystery
Of existence and free thought
Here comes the exhilaration of
The cosmic dance of eclectic vibrations
Playing memories of melodies
And deep seated wisdom
Just beyond the cusps of our fingers
Beyond long, satin dreams
Stuck moving with the flow of
My slowly beating heart
As earth ceases to spin
In a moment, my desire calms
I have found my true self
My autonomy will never die
My heart does not weigh me down anymore
Floating in a state of bliss
You are the one person I have left
The beauty who has never gone from my side
Who's jeweled eyes illuminate my being
Like the night skies over the glaring city lights
Who's smile transcends boundaries of this known world
No assembly of words can begin to express
How just your touch eases the minds of beasts
Simple, pure, ecstasy hovers
Over the flickering fires of her passion
Living in angelic state of being
She forces cries of beauty from blind men
Streaming light of wisdom across infinite universe
As I gaze upon the stars of her kindness
Forever embowered by her grace
I need every essence of her bliss
The apprehension of lover's souls
Lost in the innocence of lusting eyes
Things left hidden from the
Enslaved masses who lie
In solemn wait for a taste
Of what it feels like to be free
Uncertainty striking fear into their hearts
As they delve ever deeper
Scouring, searching for what has already found them
Where it has always remained
The children of the wilderness
Hold the forgotten key to eternity
Human nature, this disease of self strife
Has mankind drowning in
An imaginary state of grace
Impure manifestations of
Unknowingly self mutilating prose
The serpent slithers slowly around our being,
Wide eyed and calculated
Innately beasts, unable to quiet ravenous, lustful intentions
We have misplaced our senses
Flowing through the caverns of life blindly
No good intentions remain
Upon finding misconceived treasures
We trade our consciousness for infinitesimal belongings
And blame others for our own failings and insecurities
Unable to forgive ourselves for thieving
Virtues and conscience from future ages
Living in a world, surreal
Where beneath the surface of
Media driven fallacies is saved individuality
Locked and hidden away from the masses
Dreaming fantasies into reality
Embowered by your warm embrace
Seemingly discovered unrivaled pleasure
I hear your heart slowly beating our lives away
For the shed blood of our past lives
Is recycled now, "Alive!," she cried
Awakened in the midst of a dream
Locked somewhere inside myself
My mind scattered in too many worlds to work efficiently
How can I forget why I have made this journey?
Sailing along the sweet breath of angel's choir
No longer shall I fear the unknown
I will no longer be fed the harsh injustices and lies
Of this used up, barren world
Your kiss goes softly
Beyond my lips and into the depths of my soul
Still clutching the vine
Children breast fed insanity through soured milk
Question your own indecision
The disease of latent, lustful desires
Will tear apart your home
Down turned eyes in shame
Declaring war upon the unborn
Who drown in hatred
And the false sense of being loved
Forced to live their lives
Knowing nothing but childhood fantasies
Naivety forces a silent scream for knowledge
Breathe deeply the wonderment of the wilderness
Forcing blind eyes into the morals of mankind
Out of fear of being outcast and exiled
Build your stronghold out of a center of loyalty and honor
Your face inspires silent intrigue
The one true form not ruined,
Not stolen from the enigma of righteousness
By hate and fearful, dastardly instincts
Souls thrashing wildly, chaotic
With no sense of direction
Unfortunately, this kismet cannot be deemed unjust
Deserving to walk hand in hand with death
The curse of falling just short of our desires
Left shaking in the cold, unrelenting world of lust and betrayal
No concept of real and surreal any longer
Shamans have foretold of such disasters
The walls of sanity crumbling before our eyes
Louder beats the heart of your discontent
Finding delight in mankind's incurred demise
Wiping sweat from the brows of beasts
The wandering eye innately searching for new meat
Millions expended in lustful quest
Enticing is the unquenchable thirst of desire
Shall I forever bear your cross of hate?
The last piece of my soul glimmers as it is ravaged by your touch
The last of my affection and love I shall bury
Where no light may shimmer
Guarded with riddles and bewilderment
Never finding a source of betterment
Killing who I once was
In order to erase the pain you cast upon me
The pain that forces grown men to fall upon knees
With black rose, she replied
"I give you my body, but never my heart"
Drowning in a chemical waste of salaciousness
My free will, stolen and hauled away
Pilfering my comprehension of life and love
Whispering sweet deceit unto the minds of our own flesh
Calling upon plastic deities and iconoclastic idols
Forcing weakness into humanity through the misrepresentation of free will
Shivering in the cold seasons of deceit
Watching as forlorn mothers give up unborn children
Their sorrow unites them under heavy skies
Huddled together, alone
Feeling only emptiness and shame
Fear pervading, bounding between broken hearts
Flesh ripped from beating flesh
Doomed to eternal anguish and unrest
Hearts heavy, forced to hold onto such misery
When shall revelation come?
The magnificence of beginning anew
Tired searches through tangled fates
Pretentious beings, undeserving of finding true love
Walking along the periphery of sadness
Unheard, undiscovered point of view
Falsification of our spirituality
Throwing stones at our creator
Yet, punishment still incomprehensible to blinded masochists
Continually directed towards evil by greed
Altruism has become incommunicable
Races ******, faking sorrow for a moment in the spotlight
Consciences left muddied with sin
Sensory perceptions dulled
Forced to sit idly by
While the moon changes the tides of my mind
A single cloud hangs drearily over my sorrows
This demoness from my nightmares
Trickles unknowingly into my reality
No immunity from one's own self demise
Plastic, insincere smiles forecast  
The ambivalent duality of man
We must defend each other from ourselves
Called upon to fight in this never ending battle
False accusations leveling the playing field of life
Flirting with the mystics of forgotten lore
The selfish needs of the human race left behind
Calmly we enter the palace of love
This castle, a fortress built on trust  
A reincarnation of innate, preternatural passion
Don't look upon the horizon for the answers of today
Find knowledge in the sullied, torn pages of history's lament
Waving excitedly, temptation captures our gaze
Awaiting a destiny that will sever supreme consciousness
Uneducated decisions made presiding over the life of another
No being will notice the face of pain in the unborn
Soiled our own goods with haste
Unable to understand the beauty of life
We are all criminals by nature
This wasteland does portend a future of destruction
Promised acquittal of our betrayal by men made of stone
We toss away our dignity in a mask of inebriation
Where does the gray lead the ******?
Psychotropic prescience of our kismet
The smile of the fallen angel looks hauntingly familiar
The permutation of lies through a thin film of comfort
I will be awaiting your arrival
In my final hour of being
Instant gratification has interlocked us with the ******
Fight through the coagulant of chaos and beg for a second chance
The thoughts of unknown genius have reinvented our race
A false sense of virility plagues the minds of the inebriated
My fervent heart beating ever more quickly with your supple touch
My eyes dive and dart away from the injurious visions of jealously
Awaiting my reincarnate reprise of rebirth
Flirtatiously, we whisper tender lies of affection
Her gaze looked deeply towards my inner being
As my emotional barriers fade into oblivion
Her smile holds the secrets of the infinite
Mortal issues seem insignificant as I
Began to brush away hair from her face
A predator tamed by acts of kindness and love
Her soft lips of silk tantalize my senses
I have fallen ill for lack of her touch
This worlds creates untold bewilderment
Of the feeble minds who inhabit it
An aching, lachrymose gaze I wear
Irrevocable damage forced upon the life I could not bear
This piece was created using my own "Words Used" page.  The **bold** words are from the list.  I have set some rules for myself:  I was not allowed to change the order of the words in the list, the words were not allowed to be altered in any way, and each line of the piece required a minimum of one word and a maximum of two words from the list.  Enjoy.
behind those impenetrable barrier
i saw a beautiful  man wearing black
his face is veiled by white cloth
he seems so lost
the stained blood in his veiled cheek
like he cry a thousand droplets of blood
the dulled in his eyes and the gloomy of the place
i aim to touched and smashed those invisible walls
with the mighty of my own hand
but not even my entire power can resist!
only you can shatter those walls if you're at inside
i attempted to shout at him
'help yourself darling!'
but not even my powerful voice
could penetrated those barriers
i cried at his painful situation
to my horror
he stares at me!
with his icy cold stare
he smiles!
those smile...
i remember those smiles i used to have
he slowly walks into my direction
and touched those invisible barriers
but he didn't attempted to fractured those walls
he talks but i can't comprehend what he whispered
i follow the move on his lips saying
'it's okay. i'm okay here'
he smile again
those painful smile
slowly, he unveiled his face
but what frightened me are
his face!
his looks!
that is me!
what's going on?!
i felt dizzy
maybe my mind is tricking on me!
slowly, my vision became blurry
drifting away in this melancholic place

i black out

©IGMS
the man in my dreams
JJ Hutton Oct 2010
"*******, you got ***** by the sun," Molly discovered
as she lifted my stained, white, awkward v-neck off.
She proceeded to kiss down my San Diegan,
sun-painted spine.
"Does it hurt?"

"Nah, do you want more wine, foxy?"

"Sure, just a little bit. I'm feelin' pretty good."

I snagged the bottle from the freezer,
tore the cork out with my teeth,
as I was grabbing her glass off the counter,
I heard her unbutton, unzip, and undress
her loose jeans and her cotton *******,
I heard her throw them to the floor,
as I finished pouring.

I turned,
she was pulling a blanket over
her milky legs, settling into the couch.
As I drew close to her exposed black toenails,
I smiled in pseudo-polite fashion,
"You know these 3-4 a.m. calls gotta stop.
You're going to ******' **** me."

She giggled in a high pitch,
like a perfect 10-year-old,
it made me even more on edge,
"Oh shut up," laugh, laugh, continued,
"you know you love it. We couldn't
do this any other time."

I handed over her glass,
sat in front of her curled toes
on the ridge of the couch.

Her black fingernails skidded
along my weather-beaten skin.
There was no empathy, no exhalation,
no rejuvenation in them.
I had hit a deep low.
Not even the coast could save my soul.

I didn't dance around it,
I skipped ahead to my favorite question,
"How are things with your fella?"
My inflection made the question seem painless
to answer, and maybe it was, but it was hard
to listen.

"Um, well, we broke up on Thursday."

"Yeah?"

"Yeah, anywayz, he called me last night,
asking if he could come chit-chat with me,
I said I guess so, and we stayed up like all
night, and we really worked everything out.
It felt so good to clear it up. So we are back
together, to normal, I suppose. What got me
was he told me he loved me and would-"

"Would do anything for you? Or some **** like that?"

"Well, yeah. God, what is your problem? You've
been acting like a **** all night."

I swallowed, with desert difficulty,
grabbed her glass, took a large drink,
she tried to take it out of my hand,
but I pushed her fingers away,
looked straight in her pretty, deceiving eyes,
they were getting antsy, I waited for the alcohol
to hit my head, and once it did,
I cleared my throat, and maintaining
the theme of cool detachment said,
"Molly," exhale, "you are a ******* idiot."

"Excuse me?"

"Oh, I'm sorry, I said you are a ******* idiot."

"You have no roo-"

"Hey, it isn't just you. ******' victim of your age.
Every girl I know is hung up on some *******,
that didn't really do anything special,
just timed dating with some holy moment in your life.
It all comes down to laying your claim at the right time.
When your head is still doped with that 'the one' crap."

"You have no ******* clue what you are talking about!
The first time I kissed him I felt like I would
be kissing only him for the rest of my life."

"You were 18."
I said barely above a whisper.
Molly was straining, tears were welling,
my mouth was spitting out everything,
that within a few hours' wisdom,
I would come to regret.

"Love isn't reserved for a certain age, *******!"

"That may be true, but let me just say this: if he is
'the one', then why are you here?
Your true love didn't come with a special rider
enabling the privilege of sporadic 4 a.m. *****
with people that are so beat down,
you assume them to never give a ****."
Every venomous word, stated calmly, collected,
with light cruelty.

"I....I..." her voice was cracking, spiraling,"I don't know
you just seemed interesting."
She buried her face in my arm,
I took another drink from her glass,
stared straight ahead.
She was muttering muffled things like, "I really do love him"
into my arm and torso.

She spat and moaned for 15 minutes are so.
Volumes rose and fell in cascades
of civil war. The roar dulled to a whimper,
the whimper dulled to silence.

She regained her composure,
she stood up, no nervousness,
she recovered her naked lower body,
she got the button in the loop and
the silence I tore,
"I didn't sign up to be an asterisk,
some ******* footnote in the history
of your love. I wanted to save you."

Molly laughed.
She ******* laughed.

Molly rolled her eyes.

She rested one hand on
hot skin,
grabbed my chin with the other,
and aimed my gaze toward her.

"Don't lie. You aren't allowed to.
We've been friends too long for that.
You needed a muse, a change of pace,
and I hate to say it, but you are
always going to be somebody's footnote
if you don't have any self-respect.
You never let yourself be happy.
You are too caught up in experiencing
all the lows to allow yourself to
feel high. You used to be so much
fun. You used to be so sweet.
Try to find that guy again."

With that,
Molly grabbed her purse,
kissed my forehead,
slid into her shoes,
strolled smooth and soft
out the door and into
the early morning air.
I took another drink.
Copyright Sept. 28, 2010 by J.J. Hutton
Stuart Lee Nov 2012
sit down, pen and paper scrape together,
come up with something clever.
                                    
                    ­                                     blank mind

stare at the paper-don't doodle!
holding your head in your hand is not writing-
supposed to be writing
all of these skillfully woven thoughts that should be
bursting forth, but aren't.

stop spell checking, do it later. maybe that's the answer:

                                     automatic writing

OK go into trance let the pen and hand dance.
don't think, let the ink flow from the inside to the surface,
you're thinking on purpose...stop it! OK this is obviously not working,
it's just jerking off and it doesn't even feel good, although it should.

Come up with a subject, not abstract thought...wait...thought has no
place here. where is the Muse? I'll blow a fuse if I don't get to use a
clever phrase I turned today. what about childhood walks in the woods,
first love, real love, not in-puppy-love with Jody Foster!

during the day all the stuff that's enough to fill a book gets wasted
and lambasted. I'm mad as hell and here I sit
broken hearted did my time and only started three hours ago.
could have taken a tour by now and, holy cow!, the Tao probably took
less time to write than this night of the living dead man
with two pinky and the brains.

where the hell am I going with this clap trap? this is out of hand, out
of mind-otherworldly. is this all that i am:

                                    meaningless gobbeldy-****

I'm getting spooked. it's time to stop and drop the needle on a different track,
stop the attack sit back relax choose to lose my senses, dulled and lulled into
false pretenses, mend some fences with myself, or else.

Or else, what? Not contemplate, deliberate, speculate, ruminate, investigate,
radiate...KNOCK IT OFF! Just put the pen down, get up, walk out of the room.
Nat Lipstadt Apr 2016
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Infinity's Mirror by Nat Lipstadt

Two mirrors, set in opposition observe created notional blending,
a reflecting pool of bonding's of unglued, contrary compositions.
Mirror to mirror, his imagery, fuses to Sylvia's images, hers,
faintly recollected, now living face, face to face, with his past insurrections, alters his future visions.

From cold water lake she's drawn, impaled by refracting regrets,
retrieved, drawing her words upon him, an awakening slap to drink,
beloved, tragic magic, infinitely captive.  But this old man's tiddlywinks, land-locked words, blunted instruments, needy for release & salvation, are neither silvered or exacting, just stains on a dulled, tarnished brass spittoon, except for the brunt'd bunting of lines across his roughened terrain'd face, black and white, pen and ink etched illustration of howling agitation.

His words worn down, hardened, red faced, purloined speckled pellets, damp to roll on down her rutted, almost ancient, tear streak paths, disbelieved superstitions, sacrificed for one of her living morsels of words.

Man, here to her, pledges allegiance, audaciously defiling her poetic sanctity, a visage endless repeated, delivers her shiny poem-poised countenance, even though no forgiveness from time can a mirror afford for either, from her words,  confession born, terrible truths beyond, beyond the finite.

                                                
~~~~~~~­~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mirror by Sylvia Plath

I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions.
What ever you see I swallow immediately
Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike.
I am not cruel, only truthful---
The eye of a little god, four-cornered.
Most of the time I meditate on the opposite wall.
It is pink, with speckles. I have looked at it so long
I think it is a part of my heart. But it flickers.
Faces and darkness separate us over and over.
Now I am a lake. A woman bends over me,
Searching my reaches for what she really is.
Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon.
I see her back, and reflect it faithfully.
She rewards me with tears and an agitation of hands.
I am important to her. She comes and goes.
Each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness.
In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman
Rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish.
with gratitude for the inspiration from, to:

"Words are his instrument, poised to deliver, sometimes
infinity's mirror,
sometimes a word or two for you,
reality is on its way...going to come through and fit for you."
SJR1000

for Patty M, who swore me to never, and only, give up to you, my best.

for Sia, who loves her Sylvia so.

Born on April 24~25, 2016

and of course, for Sylvia
Casey Aug 2018
when the dust all had settled
from sunrise you appeared
a memory from my past
a net of emotions finally released
they suspended my disbelief
my endless days of thinking
ended in one humid evening
this reunion like a blade's oven
the iron forge alit once more
and you grabbed my face
and brought it to yours
i
i

i smiled and held my breathe
cried like you had come back from the dead
until sooty ash was all that remained
until the fire dulled its searing heat
and became a weak fading ember
from my bed of flame i was ******
the bite of the atmosphere returned
as i took my next breath
quenched before the steam and hiss
tempered by my disappointments
and this endless summer of burning desire
ended one cool night
this reunion
Poetic T Mar 2015
The darkness it burnt upon my
Angel wings, they wilted, with
Each moment of this forsaken
Place, my soft skin did  haemorrhage
Tainted with each breath every
Movement that I crawled upon
This acidic land corroded my light .

My white turned yellow, changed
From pure to black, I was in agony
As that which was white should
Never be turned to that. I was
Winged, not able to give motion
To the air, I was a ground dweller
As if wings were a weight a persecution
To the time of air, now dragging like
A weight a conscience upon my back.

I must have walked upon this scared
Land, I must have moved these once
Pure now tainted as dragged like sin
Behind my back.

I was before I fell, I contemplated
That which I had been and that
Which this land whispered to me
Become. The light was dulled, smothered
Like a wet blanket over a fire, Suffocated
What burnt bright, now I was being
Extinguished my dulled light.

I remembered I fell and my skin smelt
Sulphuric with a hint of light, I knew
I had bleed hatred behind me, I knew
That I had been left, abandoned to this
Isolation. My wings had regained there
Imagery, they were like crows feathers
Pure, dark, black as night.

I despised  those above, their light, ignited
Hatred, deep within where something that
Beat but know was just black, I launched
Upon the breeze to take me vengeance
Upon that purity that  glided, flowed.

I am that which will take those of higher
morals and bring them to the place of
Solitude, of loneliness, they will remember
The pain of those they had been left in the
Darkness,  For light can only last so
Long before it becomes what was before.
#light #darkness #fallen #
We two kept house, the Past and I,
The Past and I;
I tended while it hovered nigh,
Leaving me never alone.
It was a spectral housekeeping
Where fell no jarring tone,
As strange, as still a housekeeping
As ever has been known.

As daily I went up the stair,
And down the stair,
I did not mind the Bygone there—
The Present once to me;
Its moving meek companionship
I wished might ever be,
There was in that companionship
Something of ecstasy.

It dwelt with me just as it was,
Just as it was
When first its prospects gave me pause
In wayward wanderings,
Before the years had torn old troths
As they tear all sweet things,
Before gaunt griefs had torn old troths
And dulled old rapturings.

And then its form began to fade,
Began to fade,
Its gentle echoes faintlier played
At eves upon my ear
Than when the autumn’s look embrowned
The lonely chambers here,
The autumn’s settling shades embrowned
Nooks that it haunted near.

And so with time my vision less,
Yea, less and less
Makes of that Past my housemistress,
It dwindles in my eye;
It looms a far-off skeleton
And not a comrade nigh,
A fitful far-off skeleton
Dimming as days draw by.

— The End —