Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
Toni Seychelle Feb 2013
The ground beneath the stiff leaves is frozen. The cold, brisk air invades my lungs, I exhale, my breath visible. I step over fallen branches and tugged by thorny vines. A red tail hawk screeches overhead, this is a sign of good luck. There is no path, no trail to mark our way, just an old, flat railroad bed surrounded by walls of shale, blown up for the path of the train so long ago. The only ties to remind of the rail are the rotting, moss covered ties that once were a part of a bridge that would have carried the train over a small creek between two steep hills. I see a fox burrow, and it's escape hatch is one of the hollowed railroad ties. I want to be a fox... The trek down this hill is not easy, thorny blackberry bushes and fallen trees impede progress. At the bottom, the small, bubbly creek is frozen at the edges, traveling under rocks and continuing its ancient path. I look up the hill that I just descended, and wonder how the return will go. Keep moving. The next hill will be easier, there are no thorny tangles, just treacherous leaf litter that will give under my feet if I don't find the right footing. The trick is to dig my boots into the ground as if I'm on steps. These hills are steep. Finally at the top, I look back at this little spring valley, I'm not that high up, but what view. Here, there is a dilapidated tree stand, falling apart from years of neglect and weather. Surrounded by deep leaf litter, there is a patch of rich dark earth, a buck has marked his spot, his round pellets are nearby. The saplings catch my hair as I walk by, and at these moments I am thankful for this cold snap that took care of the ticks. A creepy feeling takes over me, so thankful for this snap. A few feet further, as I watch where I am walking, another tussled bit of earth and I notice some interesting ****. It's furry and light grey; I poke it with my stick and find a small skull when I turn a piece over. Owl. I continue my walk, I didn't come here to play with poo. The last time I took this hike was three years ago, on a similar frigid day. It was a lot easier to make it through the shale valleys. Last summer, a wind storm felled trees and took out power for two weeks. The evidence of that derecho is clear here in this untouched forest. I remembered a tree, which now is a fallen giant, that had lost it's bark. The bark had separated and laid around this tree like a woman's skirt around her ankles. Now the tree lies with it's bark. I pass another tree I recognize whose branch extends out but zig zags up and down, as if it had three elbows. The tree signifies my next move, to descend from the flat railroad bed, down to a creek that flows through the tunnel that would have carried the train. The creek is considerably larger than the last creek I could step across. Descending towards the creek leads me over moss covered rocks and limbs, still bearing snow. Outside the tunnel, the hill walls are large stones, covered in a thick layer of moss, some of which has started to fall off due to heaviness. There's a sort of ice shelf in the creek, it's three layers thick and can support my one hundred and twenty pounds. Laying across the creek is another derecho-felled tree. Some sort of critter has crawled on this, using it to avoid the water below and as a short cut up the hill. His claw marks are covering the the limb, a few are more clear, it looks as if the creature almost slipped off. His claw marks show a desperate cling. I walk through the tunnel, in the mud and water; the creek echoes inside. I look above. There are drainage holes lining the ceiling, one is clogged by a giant icicle. I imagine the train that used to ride over this tunnel, I pretend to hear it and feel the rumbling. The last time we were here, we found cow skeletons. We placed a few heads on branches and one over the tunnel. We stuck a jaw, complete with herbivore teeth, into the mossy wall and a hip bone on a sapling. The hip bone reminded us of Predator's mask in the movie. All these bones are turning green. When I was here before, there was a bone half submerged in the creek; I had taken a picture of it but today, it isn't here. I'm sure it was washed away. After our exploration of the previous visit, we turned back. We are cold again, can't stay in one place too long. I climb through the deep leaf litter and over the rocks back to the railroad bed. Passing all the things I've already seen and spotting things I missed. I find two more fox burrows. They utilized the shale rock and burrowed underneath the jutting formations. Hidden coming from the south, the gaping openings seem welcoming from the north. My friends, the spelunkers and climber, want to descend into the darkness but I remind them, it is an hour to sundown, our trek is hard enough with overcast daylight. Wisdom prevails. We pass a tree, we didn't notice before, that was struck by lightening. The cedar tree was split in two and fell down the shale wall. I see the evidence of the burn and a smoldered residue at the base. Nature has a cruel way of recycling. The downed tree still has snow on it and the path of a raccoon is visible, I like the paws of *****. Though the way is flat, the walls of shale tower above us, limiting routes. At one point I can't see through the fallen trees I have to pass through. I have to crab walk under, crawl over, duck again and find my way around the thorny collections of bare black berry bushes. Finally into a clearing, still surrounded by sharp shale, there is another wall covered in inches of thick, healthy moss. I place my hand, taking time to stroke the furry wall. My hand leaves an imprint. I wonder how long that will last.. Back down the steep hill up and up the thorny tangle. I know I'm on the right path up, I see the fox's hole through the railroad tie, and his entrance burrow up the hill. Going down was definitely easier. The summit is literally overgrown with thorns, there is no clear path through. It is, again, impossible to see through the tangle of limbs and saplings and more thorns. Somehow we make it through. We are close to breaking off this path. We know this by the remains of a cow skeleton that more than likely fell from the top of the shale cliff. Femurs and ribs and jaws abound. On the last trip, we placed a hip bone in the "Y" of a sapling. The young tree has claimed it, growing around it. We add a piece of jaw to the tree's ornamentation and move on. We climb down from the railroad bed to our car - parked on the side of the road with a white towel in the window so that no one suspects a group of people walking through private property, past faded NO TRESPASSING signs.

When I undress for bed later, there are many small scratches up and down my legs from those ****** thorny vines. I'm okay with that, it's better than searching for ticks in my head.
I couldn't write a 'poem' about this hike. It was too full of nature.
Mateuš Conrad Sep 2018
. you're using all the right words: for all the wrong reasons... and let's face it: if women own the monopoly on reproductive avenues... then men hold the ego-key, to slot their presence, through a door, that curbs or gives allowances, to what is thought... *** was nether a transluçent enterprise... oh look... the Roma sigma pops up... dire straits: de profundis - money for nothing riff - boogie boogie... milkshakes from the 1950s 'n' all... you know what my biggest pet peeve is? the englih language imitating ancient Latin, i.e. not applying diacritical "punctuation" markers to close in on syllables and make the language atomic (i.e. H is hydrogen, He is helium)... **** me... the same Brits who lived in the 19th century, are not the same Brits living in the 21st century... no wonder the fertility rate is s ****** low.... try ******* an english bride... no thank you; i'd rather **** a female gorilla.

the milkman passes my house
at, circa, 3am...
see the van skid around the bend
up the hill...
            
i listen to music at volumes
equivalent to my father working
the construction site -
i'll be deaf by the time i'm 50...
     and guess what:
                  for the music i'm listening
to? it'll be worth it...

dittoing out:
   have the criticism of post-modernists
ever suffer?
doubt: doubt, is the modern
relief from existentialist
    negation...
  
why is doubt being attacked?
doubt is half than that outright
******* of denial
proposed by French existentialists...
doubt is good in that it's
tornado of emotions,
you want to imitate Christ on
Golgotha?
  you doubt, and achieve the pinnacle
of the passion...
you start negating?
     you're, nowhere...

    on your own...

came the noun-phobia of philosophers -
the tinkers and tailors
of a.. what seems to be:
a noun-phobia
  guaranteed with fog...
   and thing..

  the term
  "thing" presupposes
the supposition of tree...
     which subsequently serves
the proposition: let's hide in it!

      philosophy and its infamous
noun-phobia -
               thing...
           and it's nihil...
  its nothing...
      
                 a ******* cul de sac -
     epigram -
       of quasi morse encoding -
     braille to boot -
September is coming -
           van Morrison (moondance) -
hiding autumnal chill -
           pan-Europeanism:
proto-"africa": either in Hindustan -
or Siberia;

suppose a moon, suppose a shadow by
candlelight, some edgy urban solo -
as a bricklayer i could raise kids
and crux on a woman -
          chicken / doctoral itching with
a blunt nail are called scratchings -
       hand-writing:
             less digits in the digital
formatting - and more
calligraphy...
                      the rotten handwriting
of general practitioners...
     Hippocrates might have made an oath...
but in terms of a handwritten cipher?
no clue...
               the canvas of a monkey
onomatopoeia within the confines
of a custard of a lexicon...
   a mouth thus opens -
a month begins -
instead of a tongue ejected from
the ivory temple -
  a sludge crescendo of a quasi
                 cascade of sludge gluing the
whole theater into
a replica of a Russian drinking game...

....                 ⠞⠓
          ...     ⠑⠁⠑
     ...           ⠞⠑
    ............                  ⠞
...                      ⠥ ⠎
     : : :           -  ⠎          
   ........ : ....           ⠕?

100 wolves of the continent...
for, but 1, fox,
of the English isles...
   i'll settle for that ratio...
and then i'll bite to ensure
a signature!

  howl all you want...
but have you ever found seagulls
annoying up the river?
more annoying than magpies
or crows?
             the wolves can howl
all they want..
ever endear the ear
to hear a fox "laughing"?
   no?
  might as well listen to me.
i cradle that sound,
above the chariots
of a human newborn...
        i grieve!
   i am... sombre gsture...
    a past, a passing,
a future, a wicker man within:
torch...
   banquette of souls!

    let's interlude -

   touko "tom" laaksonen -
    how can people "do" sober
           when entertaining such
extravagances....
        is it empathy, or sympathy?
            in the name of the either,
with either being the sum
of what wll never be a sum
allowance,....
     to gain from...
                  why not
       ****-ease up the ****
    for a zeppelin-esque
                            bomb drop -
(minor the Nagasaki) -
                    and hand-piked ****
with the cusp of your hand -
         throne of thrones -
  flagship?
   "king of kings":
  like ****...
  the holy trinity of
       the no. 1, as the no. 2,
   and subsequently the no. 3:
**** (father),
       take a **** (son)...
            ******* (the holy ghosts)...
king of kings,
never sat on the throne
of thrones...
   i always hated "artists"...
    painters -
   plagiarists -
      cheque sketchers...
             plagiarists...
         ******* indentation
from holding a pen to add to having
exposure to a grammatical examination...
       quality cinema:
panorama take on a versus of
heavy editing...
                     and there was a time
frame to encompass dialogue...
      somehow it fits:
the verbal myopic -
            the entire pre-
& post- canvas of a blinking eye...
   always the question of the
pre-industrialißed sketch;
words predating metaphor
akin to  -
  words versus metaphor
in genesis -
   format? anecdotal.

      in writing:
            by one hand alone,
made into two...
        my, my...
  what a ****** self-portrait
"assumption"...
        a self-portrait...
a wish for color,
with nothing to show,
but the relief of encompassed bones;
that become a disembodied
skeleton - minus a purpose
of tendon attachments...

∟          "contra"    Δ          -
equilateral my ***...

            a few days spent within the confines
of a Promethean *****,
     there be, elemental insomnia
of an electric bespoke...
if Prometheus stole fire,
who, in in all for ****'s sake
stole the saber of Zeus,
the thunderbolt -
electricity, who?
who craved the insomnia?!
             this Frankenstein-esque
insomnia-zombification -
             white as is white:
with all the dermatological
copper take on broken shins...
         should ivory coco -
come between piglet *** copper
auburn in terms of autumn...
******...
             *******!

take your ****** *** elsewhere,
and then... start spelling
it with a missing G...
when citing Niger...
  you do the double dip of the NBA...
you count the second dip...
why do i love Batman as the best
superhero?
  not of his superhero powers,
he has none...
          his enemies are
the only interesting
counter-factoids of
having implemented an existence
for.
   there is no exacting of
a superhero,..
   but there is enough
to mind an antithesis...

          tylko wieśniak
by wydział film w tym,
          bo sie nie rusze -
    cegła, kamień -
       pień - mur -
           i by mówił - w tym
co zamarzło -
          to co ostygłe -
    w co z tym samym -
        meine filmisch -
      i skakaniem świec -
   od i na nagim cieniem -
   pytać nad pyche -
       tanz! tanz!
                 moje iskry słów...
   sto! i lat,
    o wielbłąd churem o
grzbiet da, i da,
       iskra; alfabetu!
    bogiem impromptu
o czym warty: -gień.


- suppose a moon, suppose a shadow,
by candlelight - within the confines of
mercury - that quickened silver -
some edgy urban solo -

      as a bricklayer or a cobbler  -
shoes that deviate from ushering
an echo -
          i could raise children and keep
a woman: only if she decided
upon not allowing me
a leash -
            what a saddening affair
of minds and freedom...
           chicken doctoral -
i don't know: vanity of the impossible
mortal gain...

    the monkey onomatopoeia
    within the confines of a custard
of  lexicon....

          that Victorian image proof
source of envisioned Braille in
the confines of a primate...
  
handwriting:
itches, scratches, chicken esque
clucking... which is what
handwriting looks like these days,
what, with the coding...
    semi plumber,
half the electrician...
  and certainly null when it comes
to calligraphic invigoration...

- homosexuality was always a contingency
escapade to release suppressed yearnings -
a sudden but a non-fulfillment questioning
celibacy...

               you can enforce curbing homosexuality,
but then there are two outlets...
the perversity: or the question...
of Ayn and Sophia...
                          
        greeks ****** the hebrews in the hole
without an outlet - zee heed: with a missing A...
      Ayn - Aleph -
                    twin Adam -
          perhaps a Siamese abomination...

mind you... the forbidden fruit?
sounds more like... the forbidden flesh...

thee burdensome walking
the already burdened earth: as the fruit,
somewhere between the flesh of man's last predator,
contained, on land, and his hidden desire
for revenge and introspection,
a denial of commonality and shared purpose -
thou shall not consume
that which also hunts you -
little or no concern with equal
     measure of forbidding, that which you pet...
the forbidden "fruit",
in between the flesh of a sabertooth tiger,
and Cain's fruit of famine and incompetence:
               cannibalism...

   and why would you think about
drinking a ms. amber with pepsi...
pepsi! to coca -
and not slide in a slice of lemon
while you're at it?
  terrible mistake...
       well... one way to get y'er vit amins...

        and why is it that all the best
movies these days are about homosexuals?
the dutch girl for starters...
   me, drinking, watching t.v.?
either **** good drama,
a western,
   or a movie about a *******
homosexual...
          did i mention that i think that
homosexuality is an auxiliary escapade plan?
natural, of course,
    but i'd hate to have to life
a doubled up life -
then again...
     perhaps i would...
           me? i have a new girlfriend -
Sophia - and her ****: Philip -
           so am i expected to make demands
for the child they might end up
called Ayn, or Aleph?
                - the Wahhabi hypocrisy
    concerning music, or rather, censoring it...
but... but i thought the adhan:
the call to prayer: was sung,
rather than abiding by the catholic
credo murmur?
     no?
                         my bad... you know better...
i'll send you a postcard from
the Galapagos Islands,
if i find the time, to find:
    that 4th dimensional concept doing
the trigonometric shoom! elsewhere -
on a tangen "bias": **** knows where -
like a comet - missing a tail -
shoom!                                       gone.

shrapnel:

            not enough thrills for a hard-on...
... images... drawings...
   apparently fine art is not enough
stimulation to ******* to for these Arabs...
****? .....   in general?
cartoons.... cartoons of women....
   ... because?
well... apparently the niqab...
  extends beyond the realm of...
  readily available attire...
            women on the street?
   pornographic "actresses"?
                       you see the cartoon?
it's all ******* ******...
                  oh don't get me wrong...
amy adams?
  buff as an exploding Hindenburg...
    the pale ginger - milchskin...
                - unrelated:
   how about i sneak a skunk into
        a coco chanel perfumery -
while advocating that people will still
call it a: scent just shy of roses and strawberries.

- people have heard of incels -
but have they heard of Vcels?
    huh?!
   yeah, yeah... voluntary celibacy -
i know what a ****** sounds and looks like -
and, to be honest?
   there's hardly any rhetorical ***
involved -
         a bit like jerking off...
              monkish chants -
Byzantine -
     the fear of man,
   when his own inability flourishes:
     in a woman...
                          
these acts have become well trodden...
so well trodden that i'm
authentically surprised that anyone
would still goosestep them into
their mundane plagiarism's existence...
    replica invigoration:
turns out...
    
   zeit ist nicht gerade, aber
kreisförmig
...

                              touko "tom" laaksonen...
i.e. tom of finland...
   question: you think a macron over
one of those As
                     would do the trick in terms
of spelling correction?

  touko "tom" laaksonen...
you seriously can only watch European cinema
while drinking...
    again... invigorating the english language:
one baby step at a time -
a simple grapheme -

    the vater's S Z interchangeability -
   synchronised contra synchronized -
    settled -
    synchronißed -
                       sometimes the slithering S
of a snake -
   otherwise the rigid totem with
a torso of a zebra...
                     hardly a major investment -
but when i see English having moved
from the Elizabethan Shaky Steward of
thou etc. -
       imitating ancient Latin -
    coordinating the Greenwich study of
dyslexia...
            Joyce...
              no diacritical application?
   hell...
                 might as well release a bull
into a China shop...
                 or a rottweiler into chicken shack...
still... why is there an orthographic aesthetic
in practice, hovering over I and J,
  when there's no difference, as suggested
in CAPiTAL letterIng?
                                       ah... i see...
the english "think" they can bypass the para-
frontier, and the orthographic frontier
and race down to the metaphysics...
        first?
   you explain why it's i and not ι,
  and why it's j and not ȷ.
K Balachandran May 2013
1
Backwater nymph,
queen of serpentine black tresses
flaunting its coconut oil gleam;
envy of  leggy girls from the Western ghat mountains,
and lissome  maidens from the plains,
who can never eat as much fish, even if they wish.
Wearing hibiscus flowers,
on coiffure like hood of a king cobra,
your coral lips  silently speak
of hot peppery kisses,
waiting for me at shaded corners.
Your sultry body in me arouses desires,
that could only be whispered in your ears.
2
On a coconut lagoon when we met,
for the first time and spoke,
non stop, as if we knew each other life long,
I heard music in your words.
Oh! in the tongue you spoke,
I heard the cadence of a nightingale
ecstatic, on its wings above the clouds,
love had prompted us to fly above the storms.
Your  gleaming coal black eyes,
like silver hooks, tug at my heart strings,
that makes music, only I can hear,
you are a free flying lark,
above Kerala's lush coconut coast,
that extends from sea shore to the mountains.
3
*When we relished steaming brown rice,
mixed with clarified butter,
with spicy tuna curry, tasting so dainty,
cooked in bubbling sweet coconut milk,
my eyes like two crazy butterflies
circled your face, a blossomed Champak
.

Mashed cassava and roasted squid,
melted on our tongues,
in a perfect culinary language
any one would understand without effort.
4
Your lips had cinnamon scent,
spice land's boons,
when we kissed we touched heaven
of scents and spicy tastes.
When our eyes fell on each other,
near the ancient synagogue,
the hay days of which is over,
a long jasmine garland coiling your hair,
    marked you different,
from the  the ladies of your neighborhood,
                                          surroundi­ng you.
How well you did pretend
that you have never seen my face before!

You have mastered love's cunning,
and all the wily tricks to cheat
the enemies of our fiery love
my Freudian mind perfectly understood.
Just imagine the brouhaha we would invite,
when we elope, in the last boat,
to *Alappuzha, stealthily at midnight.
Cochin----(Now Cochi) ancient sea port in south western sea board of India, in the state of Kerala, South India,where,Greeks, Romans, Phoenicians, Arabs, Jews and Chinese used to frequent even before 1000 BCE,seeking black pepper and other spices. Cochi, it  is said had one of the earliest emporiums of Greeks,showcasing their best of  wares including wine in  containers called amphoras.
**Champak---A plant of Magnolia family with musky fragrented flowers(Michelia champaca)
*** Alappuzha--The lake district of Kerala
Donald Guy Nov 2012
A life in poetry, A love in art
Set forth on a path that extends forever.
Though the closest reaches climb high
Over mountain and dale, through ravine and shadow,
The path goes on and as it does, descends into light:

So much light, more light than one can resolve.
It blurs the boundaries of the great valley
Splashes of green, the wonderful glare of richness
A river runs through the valley and nourishes the fruit
The sweetest fruit. It nourishes the body,
Nourishes the soul: renews, enriches, grows, sustains.

The path extends to the horizon. And beyond.
As it grows from the foothills it branches
Forming a fractal road of possibility.
Like roots growing from the mountain,
There appears nothing more natural in the world.

As the paths go on, they passes through diverse landscapes
Some places they make sharp changes in direction,
Some places they pass through further patches of shadow,
Some places they grow wider, Some places they get rocky,
But nowhere does the path narrow, beyond the first stretch,
Where the paths split, and over the mountains rejoin.

Beyond that there is always enough room for two
To walk astride.
Side by Side in Sunlight.
Hand in Hand.

For Maya.
Donald Guy
July 5, 2010.
Written for the author's fiancée 14 days into engagement.
Engagement ended in breakup after 121 days.
Pagan Paul May 2017
I slip the straps and release the clasp
of your over-the-shoulder boulder holder.
Gravity asserts itself, and you sigh as
I wonder if I should get even bolder

because

The jaws of love masquerade
as petals of a flower

so

Just say if you want me to stop.
We are, after all, in the middle of a shop.
I was attracted when I saw you smile.
As we passed in the frozen food aisle.
Now people are staring though the window.
Shocked at my nonchalant innuendo.
And if your purse metaphor extends to this.
We can go to the Bank for a little kiss

though

I may not be able to afford
nine feather mattresses and a golden pea.
But if you could make do
with a lilo and a marble
then …
You've pulled Princess.

© Pagan Paul (30/05/17)
.
Prequel to Even Poets ***** Up A Date (Mar 31)
The 3rd, Even Poets ***** Up A Night Of ***, to be published at some point.
.
slay Nov 2018
Testing my patience 1 2 3
Mic drop n scramble back to the beat
I be geeked in the streets
But be like Neek in the sheets
****, you Harry Stylin' in your custom Gucci's

I'm so ****** uninspired, my soul has nowhere to be
I'm resonating with nothing that extends beyond the planet
I'm not interested in anything inorganic
All the man made **** is solely for my avatar,
I dont have to play videogames because I already live in one.
The only thing I havent done is **** myself in this life to ascend into the next one
But i know I am a chosen one so I suffer in silence
Said i bare the burden, I am a beacon of light

I mean who you think you are, King Mitus?
Oh my god
You be counting change, im stacking hundreds with my thoughts
I think i drifted way too far last time i astral projected
Cause when i came back they told me Mandela was effected

It's tragic, the tragedy keeps writing itself
God must not be real n we must all have free will
We must all be capable of unspeakable things
With the capacity of becoming unspeakable beings, but
The conscious to speak into the opposite swing
Hello, testing? Testing 1, 2, 3?


It's amazing my attention span isn't longer than (.)45 seconds,
This is reckless
And sometimes that's the only way i know how this thing in my chest works
MAYBE IM JUST BUTTHURT!
MAYBE I JUST WANT MORE ATTENTION!
MAYBE I AM JEALOUS?
MAYBE THIS IS MY DECLARATION!
MAYBE I AM SELFISH?
JUST LET THESE WORDS BE MY PRESERVATION
And my heart hurts
Not important, i just said it off the record
For my mental

And when I meet her, maybe she'll tell me im an angel
But i am much worse,
I'm a temptress, I'm a serpent, I'm a stranger
I am hellbent
On finding my true place in the framework,
I will change them
I will ignite the reformation
guy scutellaro Jul 2018
Bob O Malley's Wedding Reception - part one.


The front door of the Wagon Wheel bar explodes open to Ziggy Pop's "You Got a Lust for Life." Jack steps over the curb and vanishes into the dark doorway.

"HEY JACK, JACK DELLETO, the lanky bartender shouts over the din.

Delleto makes his way through the crowd over to the bar, extends his hand. They shake hands. "How the hell have you been, Snake?" Jack asks.

"Just great," Snake says. "Hey, you're lookin pretty fucken good for a dead man. I heard you fell off of a mountain."

"Who did you hear that from?" Jack wonders.

The bartender points across the room to where a man dressed in a pin stripped suit is swinging from one of the wagon wheel lights hanging from the ceiling.

"George! ****, I heard he was in jail."

Snake hands Jack a shot of tequila. The men touch glasses and throw down the shots.

"How's the other George?" Jack asks.

"AA." Snake tells him.

"How about Tommy? You see him anymore?"

"Rehab."

"What about Robby?

Snake refills the glasses and they drink them. "He's livin in a nudist colony in California and he's got two wives and six children"

Jack looks across the room and sees a drunken Bob O'Malley trying to adjust the rose in the lapel of his black tuxedo. Satisfied it won't fall out O'Malley looks up at the man swinging from the lamp. "Quick, George, name man's greatest inventions!"

George shoots back, "Alcohol, tobacco, and the wheel."

Bob smiles and then suddenly jumps up on top of the bar, and although he is over six feet tall and weighs two hundred pounds, he demonstrates the grace and dexterity of a ballerina as he pirouettes  around and jumps over the shot glasses and beer bottles that clutter the bar.

Wedding guests lean back in their chairs as strangers, fearful of his gyrations, ****** their drinks from the bar. Bob fakes a slip as he dances along but he is always in control and never falters. Forty three year old Bob O'Malley is Jim Brown who dodges danger to score the winning touch down.

When he reaches the end of the bar, he jumps to the floor, pulls to aluminum lids from the ice box, and with one in each hand smacks them together like cymbals.

Some people clap but the bemused just stare.

In the back of the room at the wedding table the father of the bride leans over and whispers into his crying wife's ear, "If I had a terminal illness, I'd shoot Bob."

The bride raises a glass of champagne into the smoke filled air and Bob takes a bow but then heads for the kitchen at the other end of the room.

"Hey Bob," Jack Delleto shouts to the groom over the music.

O'Malley stops under a wagon wheel lamp and turns as Delleto steps into the dim circle of light. "Congratulations, you're a lucky guy, Bob. I mean that." Delleto offer his hand and they shake hands.

"Thanks, Mister Cool. You must be a rock star."

Jack takes off the sunglasses.

"TWO black eyes," Bob says astonished. "You know your nose is bleeding. What happened?" Bob wants to know.

Jack takes a handkerchief  from his back pocket, puts it over his nose, and squeezes tightly. "It's broken."

"What happened?" Bob asks again.

"Bill Wain."

"He turned pro didn't he?"

"He's 5 and 0. Felix thinks he a natural but he's nothing special. He out weighs me by 20 pounds. Hell, he couldn't even knock me down."

O'Malley shakes his head and then just smiles.

"She's beautiful," Jack tells Bob.

"Thanks Dell." O'Malley puts his hand on his friends shoulder and squeezes affectionately. He looks across the room at Theresa. "Yes, she is." Theresa's mother has stopped crying. The father just stares into the void.

"I 'm feeling real happy today." Bob O'Malley tells Delleto and then he looks away from his bride, passed the archway that divides the poolroom from the bar, and into the dark poolroom. With the light bulbs from the lamp above his head gleaming in his eyes, Bob seems to see something fleeting in a far distance. Slowly, a peculiar half smile forms showing his white uneven teeth.

Curious, Delleto turns his head to look into the darkness of the poolroom, too.

Bob looks down at Jack. "What are you starin at? " O Malley wonders.

"Do you hear them, Bob? Jack asks.

"Hear what?

"The shadows."

Puzzled , O'Malley asks, "What are you hearing, Jack?"

"Nothin," Delleto  succinctly tells his friend. "Nothin."

"A concussion," and Bob shakes his head. "You've probably got a concussion."

Now, Jack doesn't understand, but it does not matter because for a brief moment the two men have shared the same corner of darkness.

Bob says something to Paul Keater and Keater smiles broadly. He slides the rim of his Giant baseball cap to the side of his forehead and the two men disappear through the swinging kitchen door.
Mateuš Conrad Aug 2018
i couldn't never write a book, sorry, a novel, i'd hate to become a puppeteer, someone who attempts to play chess, a fiddling and bothersome shadow-baron (schattenbaron)... imaginary "friends" is not my thing, plus... i don't have an exact elastic approach to heidegger's compliments concerning poets: i only like heidegger because he likes poets, **** me, he elevates poets to the stature of philosophers when language "things" are made necessary... i.e. (and verbatim) - language - only if speech has acquired the highest univocity of the word does it become strong for the hidden play of its essential multivocity (as withdrawn from all "logic"), of which poets and thinkers alone are capable... welcome! welcome! to plato's republic! Brennus & Alaric welcome you, quiet fondly depicted by Joseph-Noël Sylvestre... and when the Huns pushed the leaders Fritigern and Alavivus into the eastern empire to settle... and emperor Valens... that's history for you: a cascade of: and and and and and and... sometimes a p.s., but mostly the and and and of causality... facts come barging in, you forage... but thanks to heidegger: the poets have earned their graces... and can return to the republic... as wordsmiths... i mean, was i ever to think of myself as a french dada dandy? frivolous and superfulous raconteur / racketeer? poet or philosopher, that's beside the point, the point being: i'm not a novelist... i don't like dealing with language that chokes that i rely on mostly and that mostly being: i like the idea of a raw vocabulary... i'm more of a butcher than an artist... i like the rawness of an inverted crossword puzzle... in my "trade"... there are no clues, whether synonymous or antonymous, in this spaghetti of: ex nihil factum sermo (out of nothing came the word)... poetry, of all places, allows this form of unadulterated nibbling at raw vocabulary... bypassing the standard g.c.s.e.: overt-scrutiny of poetics... i never like that... a 5/ 7/ 5 syllable haiku poem should never be preserved for its essay-worthiness to extend into 2000 words in a school exam... poetry strapped to pedagogy is... less heavily censored, more... over-scrutinized... you're not supposed to think in terms of poetry: you're supposed to, feel... and since when has feeling become so overrated, so despsised? oh... when people "learned" to feel, prior to learning to think... you really have to learn to think, prior to learning how to feel... if you ask someone from the orient, they'd counter the western perception of placing thinking / "reason" on the top of the pyramid with horus' eye as emblem... to learn to feel: is to learn to how to not think, while to think? it's to learn how to not feel... pretty simple, no? not really... neither approaches should be underrated, they should be understood better... who the hell needs, or wants, to be an apathetic brain-in-a-pickle-jar zombie: constantly engaging with a dialectic? then again... who wants to be a heart in an electric chair constantly bamboozled into pointless reactions? so i'm more of a butcher than a "poet", i simply appreciate the raw realism of cutting pieces of the tongue that extends into the brain's fathomability - and that overrated visual ******* of dreaming most people associate themselves with... but that's beside the point... i really appreciate days akin to this one, humid as in the concrete basin of Beijing while europe is frying in the African plume... no thanks, no, me go to Greenland or the Faroes Islands... do i look like a ******* ******* / camel jockey? why do i have limited respect for islam? i once watched a video of a saudi with an european bride... sitting on oil was both a blessing... and a curse... muhammad would whip some of these saudi brats silly... but of all days... when i get to work my magic in the kitchen, and make the most superior food in the whole wide world? blue indian cuisine: i call them blue indians and not red soxs because: come on... the raj... and that polytheism that doesn't want to disappear... h'americans can boast all they want: the steak, the hamburger, the hot dog, the pizza... n'ah... n'ah mate... it's either curry or you're chewing chicken bones, ******* out the marrow... indian cuisine is superior... i love the days when i cook up two curries... it feels like being back in edinburgh, walking into the joseph black building, the perfumes of sulphur and wood, the 12 hour experiments it would take us to conjure up an ester... esters? bases for the perfume industry... that' the grand thing about cooking a curry... you start to feel like a chemist once more... the two curries? a tikka masala: sure, an easy adventure... marinating the chicken what not... the real fun came with the malvani... blitzing the masala up: a bay leaf, half a nutmeg, 4 / 5 cloves, 7 dried chillies, 10 peppercorns, a cinnamon stick, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, chilly powder, turmeric powder... and that's just the malvani masala... the cocunut masala... ****... only two green chillies... how to get the right colour? ah... blitz up some coriander stalks... garlic and ginger... milk to get the whizz-kid on the job... it's superior cuisine, indian cuisine... it reminds me of a being in a chemistry lab at edinburgh... doing organic experiments... mind you: it's more fun, the environment is less sterile... even my mother said: you're stinking up the place, you're worse than the sikhs two doors down... so... why would i visit an indian restaurant, or indulge myself in an indian take-away, if i can mimic? i see no point... there is no other cuisine on the planet as good as what could come from either Goa or New Delhi... the colours, the perfume of the spices... by now a hamburger, pizza or hot-dog are staples or both humble beginnings and even more humbled ends... i've found my 1st to none passion... and with a afghani naan bread... and with rice infused with turmeric... tiresome ponce schemes of duck a l'orange... spaghetti this that and the other... one bias... though... scandinavian treatment of raw herrings... in cream sauce... i'm a sucker for those herrings like i'm a sucker for pop music... the added zing of the herrings' rawness out-competes the bland sushi manifesto... eating one of these herrings in a cream sauce... has the complimentary sensation, very much akin to performing oral *** on a woman... oysters are beyond the marker of metaphor / literal association... well: hello today!

I.

i'm starting to suspect, that one of the...
"supposed" stars...
   is actually a planet - due to its colour -
      it's unlike all the other -
todkompf, metallic white
glitter...
      it's hued in a more orange
spectacle - more fire...
less distance...
                and on the canvas
of the night?
   sits lower than all the other stars,
which are more up -
   rather than on a horizon
to speak off...
   question is... is that *mars
,
or is that venus?

**** it: 'ere i go...
'n' buy me a *******
telescope to investigate further...

II.

did the ancient romans really
distinguish the arithmetic
quantity of I - or IX -
   or XII or...
                with a dot?
       not unless it was inscribed
in stone -
   where even upsilon had
to vacate the more easily chiseled
in:              YOVR POINT?
just wondering
   how only two diacritical marks
were applied to the encryption -
and both... not for orthographic
reasons, but for aesthetics -
    what's the actual difference
when the guillotine digestion
machine (like me) comes in and
says...
    
     ȷokιng around...
        what with the iPod...
   why shouldn't ι,
                    come ιn -
   and give a ȷester's ιnquιsιtιon?
out of... mere... curιosιty?
ιt's not lιke those two-heads
even make a dιfference...
come on! ιt's ιneffectιve,
there are no orthographιc reasons
for ιt!
        why, even, bother?
    and no fancy name eιther,
ιn the dιacrιtιcal famιly...
  dot... when compared to?
cιrcumflex, caron, macron,
      cedιlla,  ͅ (ιota subscrιpt)
...
you name ιt!
can someone, please,
ȷust gιve me, an approprιate reason?

III.

it's not like i can confuse,
i with I - since i have 1, and 2 instead
of II, and 3 instead of III,
and 4, instead of IV,
       and 6 instead of VI...
ah... L(l) -
              and the exodus of handwriting
in the digital age...
any schmuck can write
now... but... i'd love to see
them write with a pen, on paper...

personally - i couldn't write an intact
word with a pen...
   calligraphy: a bit like monkish
Gregorian chants... coming near
to extinction...
          i could sometimes write
out a intra-connectivity of syllables -
but... entire words?
    no chance... the digit system
came in... and i had to learn how
to position my arms before
the keyboard, to write, and not look
down...
   unlike my old G.P.,
who, bless him... nearing his retirement,
pecked, like a crow,
on the keyboard...
   looking down on it...

the ENTER key? right arm pinky finger...
SPACE BAR key? primarily
left hand thumb...
   unlike a piano, you don't actually
use all the fingers on both arms...
e.g.? ring ringer on the left hand?
rarely used... unless doing some
mental hand gymnastics...
  
stream of "consciousness" - no words,
just observations -

(0,0,) LH ******* A
    RH index finger N -
     that's - ah! ring finger of
the right arm is used, quiet a lot,
  notably?  SHIFT + (?/) key -
      *******...
   but for the apostrophe?
    the (@ ') key...
  which, on my machine translates
as the (" ') key...

IV.

     - interlude -
--- -- - - - -  - - - logic  -- - - -  -- - bomb -- - - --  -
- - -- computers -- -- - - & - -- microprocessors -
- - - --- -- - --- -- -(parasense ----- - - remix) -- -- -

V.

it is chiromancy in reverse,
only that i'm reading my hands...
facing down,
rather than staring on the reverse
side of the... where the girdle of venus
is situated,
   or the index finger skin folds
of the chokhmah, chesed,
    netzach
- respectively -
akin to reading mandarin:
   from the the head - to the base
               of a knuckle.
i read my hands - looking at a screen,
how else can you write anything,
distracted by looking down
onto the keyboard -
  no aware of the spacing?
        question: how fast is your typing?
don't know:
what sort of ******* am i to note
down, and how many amendment
will i have to make to the text,
as we plow along to your diatribe
monologue?
                  
VI.

why would anyone sit up all night,
drinking?
     ****** question, esp. given
yesterday's 5 / 6 am carnival of rain...
out of nowhere,
there i was, ready to call it a night
well spent (not working in a Stratford
casino) - dreading the heat of
the sunrise...
  boom!
   thunder, lightning...
    the air turned white from
the ferocity of the rain...
   literally...
                the ground was wriggling
with a meteor shower -
excited gnat fly like puddles
appearing and disappearing -
soon becoming lakes
  within the confines of a supposed
**** of worm parasites...
      probably your typical day
      on the Faroe Islands...
you know... on such occasions...
you really can't help, but stick
your head out of the window,
far enough to drench your head
and hair in regenwasser...
            i should have walked
into the garden and
cleansed my whole body...
   but...
guess all ι needed, was the head...
       god...
  there's nothing more **** than
listening to horror movie soundtracks
while it pours a mini-monsoon
outside your window,
  and there's thunder, and there's
lightning...
   and you're just about to fall asleep...
like a baby might...

VII.

oh god... the one time i don't take
a beer for a walk, coming back
from the supermarket...
and i pick up... this genius:
genius... tortilla wrap...
    falafel + hummus + a hint
of mango chutney (with a tease
of arugula leaves)?
            **** me... who needs
beer... if not a bottle of mineral
water... to accompany
taking a walk?
1

I am a house, says Senlin, locked and darkened,
Sealed from the sun with wall and door and blind.
Summon me loudly, and you'll hear slow footsteps
Ring far and faint in the galleries of my mind.
You'll hear soft steps on an old and dusty stairway;
Peer darkly through some corner of a pane,
You'll see me with a faint light coming slowly,
Pausing above some gallery of the brain . . .

I am a city . . . In the blue light of evening
Wind wanders among my streets and makes them fair;
I am a room of rock . . . a maiden dances
Lifting her hands, tossing her golden hair.
She combs her hair, the room of rock is darkened,
She extends herself in me, and I am sleep.
It is my pride that starlight is above me;
I dream amid waves of air, my walls are deep.

I am a door . . . before me roils the darkness,
Behind me ring clear waves of sound and light.
Stand in the shadowy street outside, and listen-
The crying of violins assails the night . . .
My walls are deep, but the cries of music pierce them;
They shake with the sound of drums . . . yet it is strange
That I should know so little what means this music,
Hearing it always within me change and change.

Knock on the door,-and you shall have an answer.
Open the heavy walls to set me free,
And blow a horn to call me into the sunlight,-
And startled, then, what a strange thing you will see!
Nuns, murderers, and drunkards, saints and sinners,
Lover and dancing girl and sage and clown
Will laugh upon you, and you will find me nowhere.
I am a room, a house, a street, a town.

2

It is morning, Senlin says, and in the morning
When the light drips through the shutters like the dew,
I arise, I face the sunrise,
And do the things my fathers learned to do.
Stars in the purple dusk above the rooftops
Pale in a saffron mist and seem to die,
And I myself on a swiftly tilting planet
Stand before a glass and tie my tie.

Vine leaves tap my window,
Dew-drops sing to the garden stones,
The robin chips in the chinaberry tree
Repeating three clear tones.

It is morning. I stand by the mirror
And tie my tie once more.
While waves far off in a pale rose twilight
Crash on a white sand shore.
I stand by a mirror and comb my hair:
How small and white my face!-
The green earth tilts through a sphere of air
And bathes in a flame of space.
There are houses hanging above the stars
And stars hung under a sea . . .
And a sun far off in a shell of silence
Dapples my walls for me . . .

It is morning, Senlin says, and in the morning
Should I not pause in the light to remember God?
Upright and firm I stand on a star unstable,
He is immense and lonely as a cloud.
I will dedicate this moment before my mirror
To him alone, and for him I will comb my hair.
Accept these humble offerings, cloud of silence!
I will think of you as I descend the stair.

Vine leaves tap my window,
The snail-track shines on the stones,
Dew-drops flash from the chinaberry tree
Repeating two clear tones.

It is morning, I awake from a bed of silence,
Shining I rise from the starless waters of sleep.
The walls are about me still as in the evening,
I am the same, and the same name still I keep.
The earth revolves with me, yet makes no motion,
The stars pale silently in a coral sky.
In a whistling void I stand before my mirror,
Unconcerned, I tie my tie.

There are horses neighing on far-off hills
Tossing their long white manes,
And mountains flash in the rose-white dusk,
Their shoulders black with rains . . .

It is morning. I stand by the mirror
And surprise my soul once more;
The blue air rushes above my ceiling,
There are suns beneath my floor . . .

. . . It is morning, Senlin says, I ascend from darkness
And depart on the winds of space for I know not where,
My watch is wound, a key is in my pocket,
And the sky is darkened as I descend the stair.
There are shadows across the windows, clouds in heaven,
And a god among the stars; and I will go
Thinking of him as I might think of daybreak
And humming a tune I know . . .

Vine-leaves tap at the window,
Dew-drops sing to the garden stones,
The robin chirps in the chinaberry tree
Repeating three clear tones.

3

I walk to my work, says Senlin, along a street
Superbly hung in space.
I lift these mortal stones, and with my trowel
I tap them into place.
But is god, perhaps, a giant who ties his tie
Grimacing before a colossal glass of sky?

These stones are heavy, these stones decay,
These stones are wet with rain,
I build them into a wall today,
Tomorrow they fall again.

Does god arise from a chaos of starless sleep,
Rise from the dark and stretch his arms and yawn;
And drowsily look from the window at his garden;
And rejoice at the dewdrop sparkeling on his lawn?

Does he remember, suddenly, with amazement,
The yesterday he left in sleep,-his name,-
Or the glittering street superbly hung in wind
Along which, in the dusk, he slowly came?

I devise new patterns for laying stones
And build a stronger wall.
One drop of rain astonishes me
And I let my trowel fall.

The flashing of leaves delights my eyes,
Blue air delights my face;
I will dedicate this stone to god
And tap it into its place.

4

That woman-did she try to attract my attention?
Is it true I saw her smile and nod?
She turned her head and smiled . . . was it for me?
It is better to think of work or god.
The clouds pile coldly above the houses
Slow wind revolves the leaves:
It begins to rain, and the first long drops
Are slantingly blown from eaves.

But it is true she tried to attract my attention!
She pressed a rose to her chin and smiled.
Her hand was white by the richness of her hair,
Her eyes were those of a child.
It is true she looked at me as if she liked me.
And turned away, afraid to look too long!
She watched me out of the corners of her eyes;
And, tapping time with fingers, hummed a song.

. . . Nevertheless, I will think of work,
With a trowel in my hands;
Or the vague god who blows like clouds
Above these dripping lands . . .

But . . . is it sure she tried to attract my attention?
She leaned her elbow in a peculiar way
There in the crowded room . . . she touched my hand . . .
She must have known, and yet,-she let it stay.
Music of flesh! Music of root and sod!
Leaf touching leaf in the rain!
Impalpable clouds of red ascend,
Red clouds blow over my brain.

Did she await from me some sign of acceptance?
I smoothed my hair with a faltering hand.
I started a feeble smile, but the smile was frozen:
Perhaps, I thought, I misunderstood.
Is it to be conceived that I could attract her-
This dull and futile flesh attract such fire?
I,-with a trowel's dullness in hand and brain!-
Take on some godlike aspect, rouse desire?
Incredible! . . . delicious! . . . I will wear
A brighter color of tie, arranged with care,
I will delight in god as I comb my hair.

And the conquests of my bolder past return
Like strains of music, some lost tune
Recalled from youth and a happier time.
I take my sweetheart's arm in the dusk once more;
One more we climb

Up the forbidden stairway,
Under the flickering light, along the railing:
I catch her hand in the dark, we laugh once more,
I hear the rustle of silk, and follow swiftly,
And softly at last we close the door.

Yes, it is true that woman tried to attract me:
It is true she came out of time for me,
Came from the swirling and savage forest of earth,
The cruel eternity of the sea.
She parted the leaves of waves and rose from silence
Shining with secrets she did not know.
Music of dust! Music of web and web!
And I, bewildered, let her go.

I light my pipe. The flame is yellow,
Edged underneath with blue.
These thoughts are truer of god, perhaps,
Than thoughts of god are true.

5

It is noontime, Senlin says, and a street piano
Strikes sharply against the sunshine a harsh chord,
And the universe is suddenly agitated,
And pain to my heart goes glittering like a sword.
Do I imagine it? The dust is shaken,
The sunlight quivers, the brittle oak-leaves tremble.
The world, disturbed, conceals its agitation;
And I, too, will dissemble.

Yet it is sorrow has found my heart,
Sorrow for beauty, sorrow for death;
And pain twirls slowly among the trees.

The street-piano revolves its glittering music,
The sharp notes flash and dazzle and turn,
Memory's knives are in this sunlit silence,
They ripple and lazily burn.
The star on which my shadow falls is frightened,-
It does not move; my trowel taps a stone,
The sweet note wavers amid derisive music;
And I, in horror of sunlight, stand alone.

Do not recall my weakness, savage music!
Let the knives rest!
Impersonal, harsh, the music revolves and glitters,
And the notes like poniards pierce my breast.
And I remember the shadows of webs on stones,
And the sound or rain on withered grass,
And a sorrowful face that looked without illusions
At its image in the glass.

Do not recall my childhood, pitiless music!
The green blades flicker and gleam,
The red bee bends the clover, deeply humming;
In the blue sea above me lazily stream
Cloud upon thin-brown cloud, revolving, scattering;
The mulberry tree rakes heaven and drops its fruit;
Amazing sunlight sings in the opened vault
On dust and bones, and I am mute.

It is noon; the bells let fall soft flowers of sound.
They turn on the air, they shrink in the flare of noon.
It is night; and I lie alone, and watch through the window
The terrible ice-white emptiness of the moon.
Small bells, far off, spill jewels of sound like rain,
A long wind hurries them whirled and far,
A cloud creeps over the moon, my bed is darkened,
I hold my breath and watch a star.

Do not disturb my memories, heartless music!
I stand once more by a vine-dark moonlit wall,
The sound of my footsteps dies in a void of moonlight,
And I watch white jasmine fall.
Is it my heart that falls? Does earth itself
Drift, a white petal, down the sky?
One bell-note goes to the stars in the blue-white silence,
Solitary and mournful, a somnolent cry.

6

Death himself in the rain . . . death himself . . .
Death in the savage sunlight . . . skeletal death . . .
I hear the clack of his feet,
Clearly on stones, softly in dust;
He hurries among the trees
Whirling the leaves, tossing he hands from waves.
Listen! the immortal footsteps beat.

Death himself in the grass, death himself,
Gyrating invisibly in the sun,
Scatters the grass-blades, whips the wind,
Tears at boughs with malignant laughter:
On the long echoing air I hear him run.

Death himself in the dusk, gathering lilacs,
Breaking a white-fleshed bough,
Strewing purple on a cobwebbed lawn,
Dancing, dancing,
The long red sun-rays glancing
On flailing arms, skipping with hideous knees
Cavorting grotesque ecstasies:
I do not see him, but I see the lilacs fall,
I hear the scrape of knuckles against the wall,
The leaves are tossed and tremble where he plunges among them,
And I hear the sound of his breath,
Sharp and whistling, the rythm of death.

It is evening: the lights on a long street balance and sway.
In the purple ether they swing and silently sing,
The street is a gossamer swung in space,
And death himself in the wind comes dancing along it,
And the lights, like raindrops, tremble and swing.
Hurry, spider, and spread your glistening web,
For death approaches!
Hurry, rose, and open your heart to the bee,
For death approaches!
Maiden, let down your hair for the hands of your lover,
Comb it with moonlight and wreathe it with leaves,
For death approaches!

Death, huge in the star; small in the sand-grain;
Death himself in the rain,
Drawing the rain about him like a garment of jewels:
I hear the sound of his feet
On the stairs of the wind, in the sun,
In the forests of the sea . . .
Listen! the immortal footsteps beat!

7

It is noontime, Senlin says. The sky is brilliant
Above a green and dreaming hill.
I lay my trowel down. The pool is cloudless,
The grass, the wall, the peach-tree, all are still.

It appears to me that I am one with these:
A hill, upon whose back are a wall and trees.
It is noontime: all seems still
Upon this green and flowering hill.

Yet suddenly out of nowhere in the sky,
A cloud comes whirling, and flings
A lazily coiled vortex of shade on the hill.
It crosses the hill, and a bird in the peach-tree sings.
Amazing! Is there a change?
The hill seems somehow strange.
It is noontime. And in the tree
The leaves are delicately disturbed
Where the bird descends invisibly.
It is noontime. And in the pool
The sky is blue and cool.

Yet suddenly out of nowhere,
Something flings itself at the hill,
Tears with claws at the earth,
Lunges and hisses and softly recoils,
Crashing against the green.
The peach-tree braces itself, the pool is frightened,
The grass-blades quiver, the bird is still;
The wall silently struggles against the sunlight;
A terror stiffens the hill.
The trees turn rigidly, to face
Something that circles with slow pace:
The blue pool seems to shrink
From something that slides above its brink.
What struggle is this, ferocious and still-
What war in sunlight on this hill?
What is it creeping to dart
Like a knife-blade at my heart?

It is noontime, Senlin says, and all is tranquil:
The brilliant sky burns over a greenbright earth.
The peach-tree dreams in the sun, the wall is contented.
A bird in the peach-leaves, moving from sun to shadow,
Phrases again his unremembering mirth,
His lazily beautiful, foolish, mechanical mirth.

8

The pale blue gloom of evening comes
Among the phantom forests and walls
With a mournful and rythmic sound of drums.
My heart is disturbed with a sound of myriad throbbing,
Persuasive and sinister, near and far:
In the blue evening of my heart
I hear the thrum of the evening star.

My work is uncompleted; and yet I hurry,-
Hearing the whispered pulsing of those drums,-
To enter the luminous walls and woods of night.
It is the eternal mistress of the world
Who shakes these drums for my delight.
Listen! the drums of the leaves, the drums of the dust,
The delicious quivering of this air!

I will leave my work unfinished, and I will go
With ringing and certain step through the laughter of chaos
To the one small room in the void I know.
Yesterday it was there,-
Will I find it tonight once more when I climb the stair?
The drums of the street beat swift and soft:
In the blue evening of my heart
I hear the throb of the bridal star.
It weaves deliciously in my brain
A tyrannous melody of her:
Hands in sunlight, threads of rain
Against a weeping face that fades,
Snow on a blackened window-pane;
Fire, in a dusk of hair entangled;
Flesh, more delicate than fruit;
And a voice that searches quivering nerves
For a string to mute.

My life is uncompleted: and yet I hurry
Among the tinkling forests and walls of evening
To a certain fragrant room.
Who is it that dances there, to a beating of drums,
While stars on a grey sea bud and bloom?
She stands at the top of the stair,
With the lamplight on her hair.
I will walk through the snarling of streams of space
And climb the long steps carved from wind
And rise once more towards her face.
Listen! the drums of the drowsy trees
Beating our nuptial ecstasies!

Music spins from the heart of silence
And twirls me softly upon the air:
It takes my hand and whispers to me:
It draws the web of the moonlight down.
There are hands, it says, as cool as snow,
The hands of the Venus of the sea;
There are waves of sound in a mermaid-cave;-
Come-then-come with me!
The flesh of the sea-rose new and cool,
The wavering image of her who comes
At dusk by a blue sea-pool.

Whispers upon the haunted air-
Whisper of foam-white arm and thigh;
And a shower of delicate lights blown down
Fro the laughing sky! . . .
Music spins from a far-off room.
Do you remember,-it seems to say,-
The mouth that smiled, beneath your mouth,
And kissed you . . . yesterday?
It is your own flesh waits for you.
Come! you are incomplete! . . .
The drums of the universe once more
Morosely beat.
It is the harlot of the world
Who clashes the leaves like ghostly drums
And disturbs the solitude of my heart
As evening comes!

I leave my work once more and walk
Along a street that sways in the wind.
I leave these st
Mateuš Conrad Aug 2018
kate beckinsale & anne hathaway
can speak
the name... matthew all
day long...
                 and right into the night...
i'll try to fall asleep...
must be an Oedipus complex
sort of thing,
   in primary school my school
friends thought that my
mother had the visage for
   sandra bullock...
   ha ha! good luck to the men fathering
daughters!
          you ever find it easier
to pet casts, and cage tigers?!
              **** me...
my shatten is soliloquy central...
           i drink to excess and
listen to excess erotica latex ****
music...
      and then? do nothing about it...
i like cinema...
                         **** me...
a fetish for leather that extends
past a ******...
    i would have asked her sincere self:
can we drop the ******
so that i might attire myself
in gimp?
      she evidently replied
a no with her 19 years of existence...
oh... under-baked apple pie
my dear...
            ha ha!
           no, i have more cherries
to pick, i''m beyond stalking some famous grimace...
you are here           .



and i?



                                           .              am here...

who needs the excess of
quasi-journalistic coverage anyway?
    
           that transitioning harem
of rock stars...
     like Kafka said:
i'll be waiting for something
i never had,
and missing it,
            by never having touched
a peek behind the curtain...

   i'll wait... for what i could never have...
and within the confines
of what i could never have,
          i'll settle for what i can already, have.

kate beckinsale & anne hathaway
can speak the name matthew
all day long, and i won't mind...
        
      would i be the one following them?
train-spotting....
         taxi counts...
                 ******* crows that
croak mid-flight count...
           the number of canadian geese
in b-54 formation
migrating come mid-autumn...

          geek without the cartoons...
push me...
   keep pushing...
     i want the shove
and the ****** wording of auto-suggestive
courting of -
                           courtesy...

              thank you...
i'd rather stalk my own shadow...
looking out for the plot-line of
an eased out **** doing the olympic
gold medal dive into
the crapper pool,
via analyzing the shadow of plop
pop gold...

        zero splash...

                a ******* harmonium
on the neck of a Polish teenager,
traveling on a Warsaw tram
      to reach a girl who...
              was counting petals,
and the worth(s) of considering
the concise surmount of love...

             yeah... next time?
i'll be the one used to invigorating
the stance on stalking
one's own shadow...
             why?
because i fidget...
i get all jerky...
                  the hype instigator
movement...
   ******* a woman
like a piston of a car's momentum...

               does it really matter?
i thought the Madonna-***** complex
wasn't a man-"thing"?
   if man owns the Freudian Oedipus
complex...
  does man also have to lend in his
strap-on dictum for the
Madonna-***** complex?
   so...
              that's not a wholly woman "thing"?
she's doesn't own that
complex?
   it's man's fault?!

             i know the Rastafarian Putin
isn't rasp -
but you know that Israeli ******
are better than the Russian ones...
so the story goes...

               which kinda explains...
impotent with women trapped
within the Madonna-***** complex...
with Bulgarian prostitutes?
a limp **** only, and only when
i forgot to trim my ***** hair,
my Eden...

  i have the Oedipus complex...
am i also responsible for
the Madonna-***** complex?!
really?
                        you sure that women
are not supposed to attend to question
this trans-schizophrenic,
   squint / split /
           dichotomy?

                   prior mothers,
that prerequisite motherhood
with the basis of ******* themselves...

   the Madonna-***** complex
is outside the realm of the male constraint /
castration of rules...

   i already mentioned it...
i couldn't be circumcised...
   protruding veins, that met at the zenith
of the *******...
if they circumcised me...
        i would have bled to death...
the, "crime" of ******* is
a lot easier to handle...
   if you haven't been circumcised...

because?
   circumcision is a motivational tactic...
you are... technically... not allowed
to ******* once you've been
circumcised...
  
               you're free, to *******...
if you haven't been circumcised...
as a male...
            no problem...
problem of ******* comes...
when you persist in the act...
but you don't actually possess the excess
skin, that might allow you
the prime, solipsistic act...

    ergo?
******* is worth a justified critique...
ONLY, and only IF...
you've been circumcised...
sorry if you have...
           notably because?
your priest isn't a rabbi...
and there's no fiddler on the roof
matchmaker song
to boot.

oh no, there's no problem with the act
of *******...
  but there is... if you have been
circumcised...
  why?
    during ******* i used to pull my *******
back...
  and **** with an unsheathed
****...

      but in private?
the ******* was rolled back on,
to counter the imitation of experiencing ****
***... with a clenched fist.
Andrew Rueter Jul 2017
The evolution of art never halts
Once we began dancing around fire
Our feet couldn't stop
A place in our lives
Where our subpar seeds
Could be seen as glowing trees
That's the way I feel about my poetry
It reminds me a lot of me
I reread it and rewrite it so often
By the end it seems unoriginal and plain
And all I can hope
Is the themes and ideas that were the inspirational genesis
Remain intact

Art walks a tightrope over the most unpredictable factor
The audience
They are the other half of art
Their power cannot be overstated
And as time progresses
Their power grows
And the importance of art always extends an equal distance
But the stronger art becomes
The more it asks of it's audience
In many cases
The audience is not ready to take the call
This is one of those times
Here at the current pinnacle of art
Surfing the web
A wonderful chance as
Art is a reflection of people and society
The Internet is people and society
But just as we listen to songs
To decide what concert to go to
Or watch trailers
To decide what movie to see
We like what we like
And put blinders on to find it
Like moths to fire

We could do amazing things
If we could harness the potential
Of our collective conscious
But the threat of losing our individuality
Is too great for us
Unable to accept
Our individuality is always in the context of our cosmic existence
We are part of something greater
And we can't escape that
Even in death
We feed what lies beneath
The memory of our lives
Shrinks to obscurity
The maggots that cover our corpses
Flourish to maturity
Everything this world creates is art
And we are it's most complex creation
Not necessarily the best
We just have the most parts
And the maggots that use our dead bodies for sustenance
Were once the monsters that roamed this Earth
They had no nationality
Or political affiliations
Or religion
And they're still here
Waiting to reclaim their throne
Once "smarter" species seek suicide
Vanished are the veils of light and shade,

Lifted the vapors of sorrow,

Sailed away the dawn of fleeting joy,

Gone the mirage of the senses.

Love, hate, health, disease, life and death

Departed, these false shadows on the screen
    of duality.

Waves of laughter, scyllas of sarcasm, whirlpools
    of melancholy,

Melting in the vast sea of bliss.

Bestilled is the storm of maya

By the magic wand of intuition deep.

The universe, a forgotten dream, lurks
   subconsciously,

Ready to invade my newly wakened memory divine.

I exist without the cosmic shadow,

But it could not live bereft of me;

As the sea exists without the waves,

But they breathe not without the sea.

Dreams, wakings, states of deep turiya sleep,

Present, past, future, no more for me,

But the ever-present, all-flowing, I, I everywhere.

Consciously enjoyable,

Beyond the imagination of all expectancy,

Is this, my samadhi state.

Planets, stars, stardust, earth,

Volcanic bursts of doomsday cataclysms,

Creation’s moulding furnace,

Glaciers of silent X-rays,

Burning floods of electrons,

Thoughts of all men, past, present, future,

Every blade of grass, myself and all,

Each particle of creation’s dust,

Anger, greed, good, bad, salvation, lust,

I swallowed up – transmuted them

Into one vast ocean of blood of my own one Being!

Smoldering joy, oft-puffed by unceasing meditation,

Which blinded my tearful eyes,

Burst into eternal flames of bliss,

And consumed my tears, my peace, my frame,
  my all.

Thou art I, I am Thou,

Knowing, Knower, Known, as One!

One tranquilled, unbroken thrill of eternal, living, ever-new peace!



Not an unconscious state
Or mental chloroform without wilful return,

Samadhi but extends my realm of consciousness

Beyond the limits of my mortal frame

To the boundaries of eternity,

Where I, the Cosmic Sea,

Watch the little ego floating in Me.

Not a sparrow, nor a grain of sand, falls

    without my sight

All space floats like an iceberg in my mental sea.

I am the Colossal Container of all things made!

By deeper, longer, continuous, thirsty,
  guru – given meditation,

This celestial samadhi is attained.

All the mobile murmurs of atoms are heard;

The dark earth, mountains, seas are molten liquid!

This flowing sea changes into vapors of nebulae!

Aum blows o’er the vapors; they open their veils,

Revealing a sea of shining electrons,

Till, at the last sound of the cosmic drum,

Grosser light vanishes into eternal rays

Of all-pervading Cosmic Joy.

From Joy we come,

For Joy we live,

In the sacred Joy we melt.

I, the ocean of mind, drink all creation’s waves.

The four veils of solid, liquid, vapor, light,

Lift aright.

Myself, in everything,

Enters the Great Myself.

Gone forever,

The fitful, flickering shadows of a mortal memory.

Spotless is my mental sky,

Below, ahead, and high above.

Eternity and I, one united ray.

I, a tiny bubble of laughter,

Have become the Sea of Mirth Itself.
stirred deeply with joy
enthralled with the spirit
we return to Elysian fields
to live autumnal reveries

we prance once more
onto blue sky diamonds
with hometown heroes
to pitch perfect games
knock long grand slams
to honor and embrace
the semblance of siblings,
parents, lovers and friends

life's teammates
our dearest playmates
passed and still here
sustaining our spirit
filling the void of
riven hearts
with nothing more than
a smiling presence,
compliant ear
a warm embrace

keeping a
season of sunshine
alive for one more
golden day

in a resplendent moment
Measy’s youngest son
stood before me
as if it were him
five decades ago

his impish smile,
mischievous eye
and olive skin
wrinkled when
he grinned

your Old Man
was a hell
of a ball player
a great hitter
he always swung down
at the pitch, hitting
nasty line drives

I remember that
summer afternoon
when we first met on
the Washington School
Merry-Go-Round...
Measy just up
from Carolina
he spoke with
a slow Tar Heel drawl
we didn't know what
to make of him
so we made him
our friend

Sifford's Esso, B&D;
and Bulldog teammates
I marveled at his athleticism
but the thing I remember
most was the soft joviality of...

“ ah hoot,
ah hoot.
ah hoot”

his laugh would send
a soft almost *******
shudder through his body

Measy lives in me,
forever in my heart
I embraced young Roy
touched his cheek
a transcendent moment
that spans a half century

At first base
Gail “Peppermint Patty” Q
was scooping up grounders
and not letting anyone past her
without giving them a smile or a hug….
asking each player if their shirt fit right…

the way Gail played
she could start for
the Lady Gaels today...

on the mound
Moons was wearing
a Schmeds shirt
lobbing lollipops to the hitters…..
making sure everyone got on base…

at short Screwball
covering half the ground
he once did..
(never a ss but a classic junk baller,
never threw a pitch that you could hit)
but on this day his heart was filled
overflowing with the karma
of good works and his love for
Rutherford and its favorite
sons and daughters
who have gone on before….

other stars abounded on the field and off…
Noons cracked everyone up
with an endless stand-up routine
Skip walloped a few dingers
BL looked sharp in his Foster Grants
and Andy was looking good
destined for the next cover of GQ….

Coach Way gave a resounding pep talk…
the need to grow up and show up
with an attitude of gratitude will
always make one a winner
regardless of the score

in the stands I heard a hundred stories
about the prowess and foibles of departed friends…

Bay Bay’s HR smash that put Flash Cleaners
into the World Series

A cool Moose bringing the ball across
half court, driving and dumping one off to Head
for the go ahead points against Queen of Peace

Minnow ruling a territory that included Morse Ave,
Wood Street up to Chopper’s House and
half of the Washington School playground

Fic being the smallest Bulldog with the largest heart
ran over linebackers and tackled fullbacks twice his size

Weehawken Joe draining a jumper
from the top of the key to keep it close
at the Union Hill pit…

as the list of the departed was read by Gail, Pat, John and Jimmy
the depth of our loss was only exceeded by the magnitude of love
a caring community extends to one another….
Rutherford is indeed a very special place….

so many caring friends
so many good thoughts
the blessing of friendship
the grace of presence

as I turned to leave
I thought I saw
Nick and Joe
hanging with
Sweet Lou
the hog was
humming
his red bandanna
was flapping
in a rising breeze

Aaron Copland:
Our Town

Righteous Brothers
Unchained Melody

Whitney Houston:
I Will Always Love You

Oakland
Dia De Muertos
2015


Thank you Pat Francke, Jimmy Noonan, Gail Wilhelm Quinn and John Mooney for putting this beautiful event together….

My apologies for not mentioning all the beloved souls so honored at this game…..Know that all are deeply loved and equally missed…..

If anyone has a memory they would like included please add in comments section and it will be incorporated in future versions…..

Also if anyone has a list of the names would like to add that to this….

God Bless
an annual autumn softball game played in my hometown Rutherford NJ...
we gather to honor and remember passed loved ones......
No more of talk where God or Angel guest
With Man, as with his friend, familiar us’d,
To sit indulgent, and with him partake
Rural repast; permitting him the while
Venial discourse unblam’d. I now must change
Those notes to tragick; foul distrust, and breach
Disloyal on the part of Man, revolt,
And disobedience: on the part of Heaven
Now alienated, distance and distaste,
Anger and just rebuke, and judgement given,
That brought into this world a world of woe,
Sin and her shadow Death, and Misery
Death’s harbinger: Sad talk!yet argument
Not less but more heroick than the wrath
Of stern Achilles on his foe pursued
Thrice fugitive about Troy wall; or rage
Of Turnus for Lavinia disespous’d;
Or Neptune’s ire, or Juno’s, that so long
Perplexed the Greek, and Cytherea’s son:                        

If answerable style I can obtain
Of my celestial patroness, who deigns
Her nightly visitation unimplor’d,
And dictates to me slumbering; or inspires
Easy my unpremeditated verse:
Since first this subject for heroick song
Pleas’d me long choosing, and beginning late;
Not sedulous by nature to indite
Wars, hitherto the only argument
Heroick deem’d chief mastery to dissect
With long and tedious havock fabled knights
In battles feign’d; the better fortitude
Of patience and heroick martyrdom
Unsung; or to describe races and games,
Or tilting furniture, imblazon’d shields,
Impresses quaint, caparisons and steeds,
Bases and tinsel trappings, gorgeous knights
At joust and tournament; then marshall’d feast
Serv’d up in hall with sewers and seneshals;
The skill of artifice or office mean,
Not that which justly gives heroick name
To person, or to poem.  Me, of these
Nor skill’d nor studious, higher argument
Remains; sufficient of itself to raise
That name, unless an age too late, or cold
Climate, or years, damp my intended wing
Depress’d; and much they may, if all be mine,
Not hers, who brings it nightly to my ear.
The sun was sunk, and after him the star
Of Hesperus, whose office is to bring
Twilight upon the earth, short arbiter
“twixt day and night, and now from end to end
Night’s hemisphere had veil’d the horizon round:
When satan, who late fled before the threats
Of Gabriel out of Eden, now improv’d
In meditated fraud and malice, bent
On Man’s destruction, maugre what might hap
Of heavier on himself, fearless returned
From compassing the earth; cautious of day,
Since Uriel, regent of the sun, descried
His entrance, and foreworned the Cherubim
That kept their watch; thence full of anguish driven,
The space of seven continued nights he rode
With darkness; thrice the equinoctial line
He circled; four times crossed the car of night
From pole to pole, traversing each colure;
On the eighth returned; and, on the coast averse
From entrance or Cherubick watch, by stealth
Found unsuspected way.  There was a place,
Now not, though sin, not time, first wrought the change,
Where Tigris, at the foot of Paradise,
Into a gulf shot under ground, till part
Rose up a fountain by the tree of life:
In with the river sunk, and with it rose
Satan, involved in rising mist; then sought
Where to lie hid; sea he had searched, and land,
From Eden over Pontus and the pool
Maeotis, up beyond the river Ob;
Downward as far antarctick; and in length,
West from Orontes to the ocean barred
At Darien ; thence to the land where flows
Ganges and Indus: Thus the orb he roamed
With narrow search; and with inspection deep
Considered every creature, which of all
Most opportune might serve his wiles; and found
The Serpent subtlest beast of all the field.
Him after long debate, irresolute
Of thoughts revolved, his final sentence chose
Fit vessel, fittest imp of fraud, in whom
To enter, and his dark suggestions hide
From sharpest sight: for, in the wily snake
Whatever sleights, none would suspicious mark,
As from his wit and native subtlety
Proceeding; which, in other beasts observed,
Doubt might beget of diabolick power
Active within, beyond the sense of brute.
Thus he resolved, but first from inward grief
His bursting passion into plaints thus poured.
More justly, seat worthier of Gods, as built
With second thoughts, reforming what was old!
O Earth, how like to Heaven, if not preferred
For what God, after better, worse would build?
Terrestrial Heaven, danced round by other Heavens
That shine, yet bear their bright officious lamps,
Light above light, for thee alone, as seems,
In thee concentring all their precious beams
Of sacred influence!  As God in Heaven
Is center, yet extends to all; so thou,
Centring, receivest from all those orbs: in thee,
Not in themselves, all their known virtue appears
Productive in herb, plant, and nobler birth
Of creatures animate with gradual life
Of growth, sense, reason, all summed up in Man.
With what delight could I have walked thee round,
If I could joy in aught, sweet interchange
Of hill, and valley, rivers, woods, and plains,
Now land, now sea and shores with forest crowned,
Rocks, dens, and caves!  But I in none of these
Find place or refuge; and the more I see
Pleasures about me, so much more I feel
Torment within me, as from the hateful siege
Of contraries: all good to me becomes
Bane, and in Heaven much worse would be my state.
But neither here seek I, no nor in Heaven
To dwell, unless by mastering Heaven’s Supreme;
Nor hope to be myself less miserable
By what I seek, but others to make such
As I, though thereby worse to me redound:
For only in destroying I find ease
To my relentless thoughts; and, him destroyed,
Or won to what may work his utter loss,
For whom all this was made, all this will soon
Follow, as to him linked in weal or woe;
In woe then; that destruction wide may range:
To me shall be the glory sole among
The infernal Powers, in one day to have marred
What he, Almighty styled, six nights and days
Continued making; and who knows how long
Before had been contriving? though perhaps
Not longer than since I, in one night, freed
From servitude inglorious well nigh half
The angelick name, and thinner left the throng
Of his adorers: He, to be avenged,
And to repair his numbers thus impaired,
Whether such virtue spent of old now failed
More Angels to create, if they at least
Are his created, or, to spite us more,
Determined to advance into our room
A creature formed of earth, and him endow,
Exalted from so base original,
With heavenly spoils, our spoils: What he decreed,
He effected; Man he made, and for him built
Magnificent this world, and earth his seat,
Him lord pronounced; and, O indignity!
Subjected to his service angel-wings,
And flaming ministers to watch and tend
Their earthly charge: Of these the vigilance
I dread; and, to elude, thus wrapt in mist
Of midnight vapour glide obscure, and pry
In every bush and brake, where hap may find
The serpent sleeping; in whose mazy folds
To hide me, and the dark intent I bring.
O foul descent! that I, who erst contended
With Gods to sit the highest, am now constrained
Into a beast; and, mixed with ******* slime,
This essence to incarnate and imbrute,
That to the highth of Deity aspired!
But what will not ambition and revenge
Descend to?  Who aspires, must down as low
As high he soared; obnoxious, first or last,
To basest things.  Revenge, at first though sweet,
Bitter ere long, back on itself recoils:
Let it; I reck not, so it light well aimed,
Since higher I fall short, on him who next
Provokes my envy, this new favourite
Of Heaven, this man of clay, son of despite,
Whom, us the more to spite, his Maker raised
From dust: Spite then with spite is best repaid.
So saying, through each thicket dank or dry,
Like a black mist low-creeping, he held on
His midnight-search, where soonest he might find
The serpent; him fast-sleeping soon he found
In labyrinth of many a round self-rolled,
His head the midst, well stored with subtile wiles:
Not yet in horrid shade or dismal den,
Nor nocent yet; but, on the grassy herb,
Fearless unfeared he slept: in at his mouth
The Devil entered; and his brutal sense,
In heart or head, possessing, soon inspired
With act intelligential; but his sleep
Disturbed not, waiting close the approach of morn.
Now, when as sacred light began to dawn
In Eden on the humid flowers, that breathed
Their morning incense, when all things, that breathe,
From the Earth’s great altar send up silent praise
To the Creator, and his nostrils fill
With grateful smell, forth came the human pair,
And joined their vocal worship to the quire
Of creatures wanting voice; that done, partake
The season prime for sweetest scents and airs:
Then commune, how that day they best may ply
Their growing work: for much their work out-grew
The hands’ dispatch of two gardening so wide,
And Eve first to her husband thus began.
Adam, well may we labour still to dress
This garden, still to tend plant, herb, and flower,
Our pleasant task enjoined; but, till more hands
Aid us, the work under our labour grows,
Luxurious by restraint; what we by day
Lop overgrown, or prune, or prop, or bind,
One night or two with wanton growth derides
Tending to wild.  Thou therefore now advise,
Or bear what to my mind first thoughts present:
Let us divide our labours; thou, where choice
Leads thee, or where most needs, whether to wind
The woodbine round this arbour, or direct
The clasping ivy where to climb; while I,
In yonder spring of roses intermixed
With myrtle, find what to redress till noon:
For, while so near each other thus all day
Our task we choose, what wonder if so near
Looks intervene and smiles, or object new
Casual discourse draw on; which intermits
Our day’s work, brought to little, though begun
Early, and the hour of supper comes unearned?
To whom mild answer Adam thus returned.
Sole Eve, associate sole, to me beyond
Compare above all living creatures dear!
Well hast thou motioned, well thy thoughts employed,
How we might best fulfil the work which here
God hath assigned us; nor of me shalt pass
Unpraised: for nothing lovelier can be found
In woman, than to study houshold good,
And good works in her husband to promote.
Yet not so strictly hath our Lord imposed
Labour, as to debar us when we need
Refreshment, whether food, or talk between,
Food of the mind, or this sweet *******
Of looks and smiles; for smiles from reason flow,
To brute denied, and are of love the food;
Love, not the lowest end of human life.
For not to irksome toil, but to delight,
He made us, and delight to reason joined.
These paths and bowers doubt not but our joint hands
Will keep from wilderness with ease, as wide
As we need walk, till younger hands ere long
Assist us; But, if much converse perhaps
Thee satiate, to short absence I could yield:
For solitude sometimes is best society,
And short retirement urges sweet return.
But other doubt possesses me, lest harm
Befall thee severed from me; for thou knowest
What hath been warned us, what malicious foe
Envying our happiness, and of his own
Despairing, seeks to work us woe and shame
By sly assault; and somewhere nigh at hand
Watches, no doubt, with greedy hope to find
His wish and best advantage, us asunder;
Hopeless to circumvent us joined, where each
To other speedy aid might lend at need:
Whether his first design be to withdraw
Our fealty from God, or to disturb
Conjugal love, than which perhaps no bliss
Enjoyed by us excites his envy more;
Or this, or worse, leave not the faithful side
That gave thee being, still shades thee, and protects.
The wife, where danger or dishonour lurks,
Safest and seemliest by her husband stays,
Who guards her, or with her the worst endures.
To whom the ****** majesty of Eve,
As one who loves, and some unkindness meets,
With sweet austere composure thus replied.
Offspring of Heaven and Earth, and all Earth’s Lord!
That such an enemy we have, who seeks
Our ruin, both by thee informed I learn,
And from the parting Angel over-heard,
As in a shady nook I stood behind,
Just then returned at shut of evening flowers.
But, that thou shouldst my firmness therefore doubt
To God or thee, because we have a foe
May tempt it, I expected not to hear.
His violence thou fearest not, being such
As we, not capable of death or pain,
Can either not receive, or can repel.
His fraud is then thy fear; which plain infers
Thy equal fear, that my firm faith and love
Can by his fraud be shaken or seduced;
Thoughts, which how found they harbour in thy breast,
Adam, mis-thought of her to thee so dear?
To whom with healing words Adam replied.
Daughter of God and Man, immortal Eve!
For such thou art; from sin and blame entire:
Not diffident of thee do I dissuade
Thy absence from my sight, but to avoid
The attempt itself, intended by our foe.
For he who tempts, though in vain, at least asperses
The tempted with dishonour foul; supposed
Not incorruptible of faith, not proof
Against temptation: Thou thyself with scorn
And anger wouldst resent the offered wrong,
Though ineffectual found: misdeem not then,
If such affront I labour to avert
From thee alone, which on us both at once
The enemy, though bold, will hardly dare;
Or daring, first on me the assault shall light.
Nor thou his malice and false guile contemn;
Subtle he needs must be, who could ******
Angels; nor think superfluous other’s aid.
I, from the influence of thy looks, receive
Access in every virtue; in thy sight
More wise, more watchful, stronger, if need were
Of outward strength; while shame, thou looking on,
Shame to be overcome or over-reached,
Would utmost vigour raise, and raised unite.
Why shouldst not thou like sense within thee feel
When I am present, and thy trial choose
With me, best witness of thy virtue tried?
So spake domestick Adam in his care
And matrimonial love; but Eve, who thought
Less attributed to her faith sincere,
Thus her reply with accent sweet renewed.
If this be our condition, thus to dwell
In narrow circuit straitened by a foe,
Subtle or violent, we not endued
Single with like defence, wherever met;
How are we happy, still in fear of harm?
But harm precedes not sin: only our foe,
Tempting, affronts us with his foul esteem
Of our integrity: his foul esteem
Sticks no dishonour on our front, but turns
Foul on himself; then wherefore shunned or feared
By us? who rather double honour gain
From his surmise proved false; find peace within,
Favour from Heaven, our witness, from the event.
And what is faith, love, virtue, unassayed
Alone, without exteriour help sustained?
Let us not then suspect our happy state
Left so imperfect by the Maker wise,
As not secure to single or combined.
Frail is our happiness, if this be so,
And Eden were no Eden, thus exposed.
To whom thus Adam fervently replied.
O Woman, best are all things as the will
Of God ordained them: His creating hand
Nothing imperfect or deficient left
Of all that he created, much less Man,
Or aught that might his happy state secure,
Secure from outward force; within himself
The danger lies, yet lies within his power:
Against his will he can receive no harm.
But God left free the will; for what obeys
Reason, is free; and Reason he made right,
But bid her well be ware, and still *****;
Lest, by some fair-appearing good surprised,
She dictate false; and mis-inform the will
To do what God expressly hath forbid.
Not then mistrust, but tender love, enjoins,
That I should mind thee oft; and mind thou me.
Firm we subsist, yet possible to swerve;
Since Reason not impossibly may meet
Some specious object by the foe suborned,
And fall into deception unaware,
Not keeping strictest watch, as she was warned.
Seek not temptation then, which to avoid
Were better, and most likely if from me
Thou sever not: Trial will come unsought.
Wouldst thou approve thy constancy, approve
First thy obedience; the other who can know,
Not seeing thee attempted, who attest?
But, if thou think, trial unsought may find
Us both securer than thus warned thou seemest,
Go; for thy stay, not fre
Steve D'Beard Nov 2012
We Two are One:

Remember when
Long time before
You tried to catch your heels
Flying solo bound

Remember who
crept in the darkness of your room
and played upon your heart
such beautiful sounds

Remember the childhood wonder
and forgotten dreams
of sleeping rainbows

Whilst mother earth
blows stolen ****** kisses

leave dancing shadows
to find their way

Onto the crisp breath's
upon the lips
of such youthful lovers

and time stands still for a moment
And loves air is fresh to inhale

Remember
you are the enormous tide
that extends your mark
upon this world.

The grace of spirited waves,
tossed and turned by timid sprays

Enlightened by the suns rays
In spirit and fortitude:
Solitude awaits you no more

Welcome the deluge and purity
This elixir of life, Behold!

For if loves cool waters
are united, rippled
every wave would
be paved in gold

Exhale the release
Inhale the vision among us

Grow and evolve
just as the rivers flow
Embrace love together
and reflect nature's gazes

For you are
each others sleeping rainbow

Do not forget your united destiny.

You were meant to fly
as in your dreams.
Only higher.
And together.
Forever.

Amen.
The lovers prayer
“I cannot but remember such things were,
  And were most dear to me.”
  ‘Macbeth’

  [”That were most precious to me.”
  ‘Macbeth’, act iv, sc. 3.]


When slow Disease, with all her host of Pains,
Chills the warm tide, which flows along the veins;
When Health, affrighted, spreads her rosy wing,
And flies with every changing gale of spring;
Not to the aching frame alone confin’d,
Unyielding pangs assail the drooping mind:
What grisly forms, the spectre-train of woe,
Bid shuddering Nature shrink beneath the blow,
With Resignation wage relentless strife,
While Hope retires appall’d, and clings to life.
Yet less the pang when, through the tedious hour,
Remembrance sheds around her genial power,
Calls back the vanish’d days to rapture given,
When Love was bliss, and Beauty form’d our heaven;
Or, dear to youth, pourtrays each childish scene,
Those fairy bowers, where all in turn have been.
As when, through clouds that pour the summer storm,
The orb of day unveils his distant form,
Gilds with faint beams the crystal dews of rain
And dimly twinkles o’er the watery plain;
Thus, while the future dark and cheerless gleams,
The Sun of Memory, glowing through my dreams,
Though sunk the radiance of his former blaze,
To scenes far distant points his paler rays,
Still rules my senses with unbounded sway,
The past confounding with the present day.

Oft does my heart indulge the rising thought,
Which still recurs, unlook’d for and unsought;
My soul to Fancy’s fond suggestion yields,
And roams romantic o’er her airy fields.
Scenes of my youth, develop’d, crowd to view,
To which I long have bade a last adieu!
Seats of delight, inspiring youthful themes;
Friends lost to me, for aye, except in dreams;
Some, who in marble prematurely sleep,
Whose forms I now remember, but to weep;
Some, who yet urge the same scholastic course
Of early science, future fame the source;
Who, still contending in the studious race,
In quick rotation, fill the senior place!
These, with a thousand visions, now unite,
To dazzle, though they please, my aching sight.

IDA! blest spot, where Science holds her reign,
How joyous, once, I join’d thy youthful train!
Bright, in idea, gleams thy lofty spire,
Again, I mingle with thy playful quire;
Our tricks of mischief, every childish game,
Unchang’d by time or distance, seem the same;
Through winding paths, along the glade I trace
The social smile of every welcome face;
My wonted haunts, my scenes of joy or woe,
Each early boyish friend, or youthful foe,
Our feuds dissolv’d, but not my friendship past,—
I bless the former, and forgive the last.
Hours of my youth! when, nurtur’d in my breast,
To Love a stranger, Friendship made me blest,—
Friendship, the dear peculiar bond of youth,
When every artless ***** throbs with truth;
Untaught by worldly wisdom how to feign,
And check each impulse with prudential rein;
When, all we feel, our honest souls disclose,
In love to friends, in open hate to foes;
No varnish’d tales the lips of youth repeat,
No dear-bought knowledge purchased by deceit;
Hypocrisy, the gift of lengthen’d years,
Matured by age, the garb of Prudence wears:
When, now, the Boy is ripen’d into Man,
His careful Sire chalks forth some wary plan;
Instructs his Son from Candour’s path to shrink,
Smoothly to speak, and cautiously to think;
Still to assent, and never to deny—
A patron’s praise can well reward the lie:
And who, when Fortune’s warning voice is heard,
Would lose his opening prospects for a word?
Although, against that word, his heart rebel,
And Truth, indignant, all his ***** swell.

  Away with themes like this! not mine the task,
From flattering friends to tear the hateful mask;
Let keener bards delight in Satire’s sting,
My Fancy soars not on Detraction’s wing:
Once, and but once, she aim’d a deadly blow,
To hurl Defiance on a secret Foe;
But when that foe, from feeling or from shame,
The cause unknown, yet still to me the same,
Warn’d by some friendly hint, perchance, retir’d,
With this submission all her rage expired.
From dreaded pangs that feeble Foe to save,
She hush’d her young resentment, and forgave.
Or, if my Muse a Pedant’s portrait drew,
POMPOSUS’ virtues are but known to few:
I never fear’d the young usurper’s nod,
And he who wields must, sometimes, feel the rod.
If since on Granta’s failings, known to all
Who share the converse of a college hall,
She sometimes trifled in a lighter strain,
’Tis past, and thus she will not sin again:
Soon must her early song for ever cease,
And, all may rail, when I shall rest in peace.

  Here, first remember’d be the joyous band,
Who hail’d me chief, obedient to command;
Who join’d with me, in every boyish sport,
Their first adviser, and their last resort;
Nor shrunk beneath the upstart pedant’s frown,
Or all the sable glories of his gown;
Who, thus, transplanted from his father’s school,
Unfit to govern, ignorant of rule—
Succeeded him, whom all unite to praise,
The dear preceptor of my early days,
PROBUS, the pride of science, and the boast—
To IDA now, alas! for ever lost!
With him, for years, we search’d the classic page,
And fear’d the Master, though we lov’d the Sage:
Retir’d at last, his small yet peaceful seat
From learning’s labour is the blest retreat.
POMPOSUS fills his magisterial chair;
POMPOSUS governs,—but, my Muse, forbear:
Contempt, in silence, be the pedant’s lot,
His name and precepts be alike forgot;
No more his mention shall my verse degrade,—
To him my tribute is already paid.

  High, through those elms with hoary branches crown’d
Fair IDA’S bower adorns the landscape round;
There Science, from her favour’d seat, surveys
The vale where rural Nature claims her praise;
To her awhile resigns her youthful train,
Who move in joy, and dance along the plain;
In scatter’d groups, each favour’d haunt pursue,
Repeat old pastimes, and discover new;
Flush’d with his rays, beneath the noontide Sun,
In rival bands, between the wickets run,
Drive o’er the sward the ball with active force,
Or chase with nimble feet its rapid course.
But these with slower steps direct their way,
Where Brent’s cool waves in limpid currents stray,
While yonder few search out some green retreat,
And arbours shade them from the summer heat:
Others, again, a pert and lively crew,
Some rough and thoughtless stranger plac’d in view,
With frolic quaint their antic jests expose,
And tease the grumbling rustic as he goes;
Nor rest with this, but many a passing fray
Tradition treasures for a future day:
“’Twas here the gather’d swains for vengeance fought,
And here we earn’d the conquest dearly bought:
Here have we fled before superior might,
And here renew’d the wild tumultuous fight.”
While thus our souls with early passions swell,
In lingering tones resounds the distant bell;
Th’ allotted hour of daily sport is o’er,
And Learning beckons from her temple’s door.
No splendid tablets grace her simple hall,
But ruder records fill the dusky wall:
There, deeply carv’d, behold! each Tyro’s name
Secures its owner’s academic fame;
Here mingling view the names of Sire and Son,
The one long grav’d, the other just begun:
These shall survive alike when Son and Sire,
Beneath one common stroke of fate expire;
Perhaps, their last memorial these alone,
Denied, in death, a monumental stone,
Whilst to the gale in mournful cadence wave
The sighing weeds, that hide their nameless grave.
And, here, my name, and many an early friend’s,
Along the wall in lengthen’d line extends.
Though, still, our deeds amuse the youthful race,
Who tread our steps, and fill our former place,
Who young obeyed their lords in silent awe,
Whose nod commanded, and whose voice was law;
And now, in turn, possess the reins of power,
To rule, the little Tyrants of an hour;
Though sometimes, with the Tales of ancient day,
They pass the dreary Winter’s eve away;
“And, thus, our former rulers stemm’d the tide,
And, thus, they dealt the combat, side by side;
Just in this place, the mouldering walls they scaled,
Nor bolts, nor bars, against their strength avail’d;
Here PROBUS came, the rising fray to quell,
And, here, he falter’d forth his last farewell;
And, here, one night abroad they dared to roam,
While bold POMPOSUS bravely staid at home;”
While thus they speak, the hour must soon arrive,
When names of these, like ours, alone survive:
Yet a few years, one general wreck will whelm
The faint remembrance of our fairy realm.

  Dear honest race! though now we meet no more,
One last long look on what we were before—
Our first kind greetings, and our last adieu—
Drew tears from eyes unus’d to weep with you.
Through splendid circles, Fashion’s gaudy world,
Where Folly’s glaring standard waves unfurl’d,
I plung’d to drown in noise my fond regret,
And all I sought or hop’d was to forget:
Vain wish! if, chance, some well-remember’d face,
Some old companion of my early race,
Advanc’d to claim his friend with honest joy,
My eyes, my heart, proclaim’d me still a boy;
The glittering scene, the fluttering groups around,
Were quite forgotten when my friend was found;
The smiles of Beauty, (for, alas! I’ve known
What ’tis to bend before Love’s mighty throne;)
The smiles of Beauty, though those smiles were dear,
Could hardly charm me, when that friend was near:
My thoughts bewilder’d in the fond surprise,
The woods of IDA danc’d before my eyes;
I saw the sprightly wand’rers pour along,
I saw, and join’d again the joyous throng;
Panting, again I trac’d her lofty grove,
And Friendship’s feelings triumph’d over Love.

  Yet, why should I alone with such delight
Retrace the circuit of my former flight?
Is there no cause beyond the common claim,
Endear’d to all in childhood’s very name?
Ah! sure some stronger impulse vibrates here,
Which whispers friendship will be doubly dear
To one, who thus for kindred hearts must roam,
And seek abroad, the love denied at home.
Those hearts, dear IDA, have I found in thee,
A home, a world, a paradise to me.
Stern Death forbade my orphan youth to share
The tender guidance of a Father’s care;
Can Rank, or e’en a Guardian’s name supply
The love, which glistens in a Father’s eye?
For this, can Wealth, or Title’s sound atone,
Made, by a Parent’s early loss, my own?
What Brother springs a Brother’s love to seek?
What Sister’s gentle kiss has prest my cheek?
For me, how dull the vacant moments rise,
To no fond ***** link’d by kindred ties!
Oft, in the progress of some fleeting dream,
Fraternal smiles, collected round me seem;
While still the visions to my heart are prest,
The voice of Love will murmur in my rest:
I hear—I wake—and in the sound rejoice!
I hear again,—but, ah! no Brother’s voice.
A Hermit, ’midst of crowds, I fain must stray
Alone, though thousand pilgrims fill the way;
While these a thousand kindred wreaths entwine,
I cannot call one single blossom mine:
What then remains? in solitude to groan,
To mix in friendship, or to sigh alone?
Thus, must I cling to some endearing hand,
And none more dear, than IDA’S social band.

  Alonzo! best and dearest of my friends,
Thy name ennobles him, who thus commends:
From this fond tribute thou canst gain no praise;
The praise is his, who now that tribute pays.
Oh! in the promise of thy early youth,
If Hope anticipate the words of Truth!
Some loftier bard shall sing thy glorious name,
To build his own, upon thy deathless fame:
Friend of my heart, and foremost of the list
Of those with whom I lived supremely blest;
Oft have we drain’d the font of ancient lore,
Though drinking deeply, thirsting still the more;
Yet, when Confinement’s lingering hour was done,
Our sports, our studies, and our souls were one:
Together we impell’d the flying ball,
Together waited in our tutor’s hall;
Together join’d in cricket’s manly toil,
Or shar’d the produce of the river’s spoil;
Or plunging from the green declining shore,
Our pliant limbs the buoyant billows bore:
In every element, unchang’d, the same,
All, all that brothers should be, but the name.

  Nor, yet, are you forgot, my jocund Boy!
DAVUS, the harbinger of childish joy;
For ever foremost in the ranks of fun,
The laughing herald of the harmless pun;
Yet, with a breast of such materials made,
Anxious to please, of pleasing half afraid;
Candid and liberal, with a heart of steel
In Danger’s path, though not untaught to feel.
Still, I remember, in the factious strife,
The rustic’s musket aim’d against my life:
High pois’d in air the massy weapon hung,
A cry of horror burst from every tongue:
Whilst I, in combat with another foe,
Fought on, unconscious of th’ impending blow;
Your arm, brave Boy, arrested his career—
Forward you sprung, insensible to fear;
Disarm’d, and baffled by your conquering hand,
The grovelling Savage roll’d upon the sand:
An act like this, can simple thanks repay?
Or all the labours of a grateful lay?
Oh no! whene’er my breast forgets the deed,
That instant, DAVUS, it deserves to bleed.

  LYCUS! on me thy claims are justly great:
Thy milder virtues could my Muse relate,
To thee, alone, unrivall’d, would belong
The feeble efforts of my lengthen’d song.
Well canst thou boast, to lead in senates fit,
A Spartan firmness, with Athenian wit:
Though yet, in embryo, these perfections shine,
LYCUS! thy father’s fame will soon be thine.
Where Learning nurtures the superior mind,
What may we hope, from genius thus refin’d;
When Time, at length, matures thy growing years,
How wilt thou tower, above thy fellow peers!
Prudence and sense, a spirit bold and free,
With Honour’s soul, united beam in thee.

Shall fair EURYALUS, pass by unsung?
From ancient lineage, not unworthy, sprung:
What, though one sad dissension bade us part,
That name is yet embalm’d within my heart,
Yet, at the mention, does that heart rebound,
And palpitate, responsive to the sound;
Envy dissolved our ties, and not our will:
We once were friends,—I’ll think, we are so still.
A form unmatch’d in Nature’s partial mould,
A heart untainted, we, in thee, behold:
Yet, not the Senate’s thunder thou shall wield,
Nor seek for glory, in the tented field:
To minds of ruder texture, these be given—
Thy soul shall nearer soar its native heaven.
Haply, in polish’d courts might be thy seat,
But, that thy tongue could never forge deceit:
The courtier’s supple bow, and sneering smile,
The flow of compliment, the slippery wile,
Would make that breast, with indignation, burn,
And, all the glittering snares, to tempt thee, spurn.
Domestic happiness will stamp thy fate;
Sacred to love, unclouded e’er by hate;
The world admire thee, and thy friends adore;—
Ambition’s slave, alone, would toil for more.

  Now last, but nearest, of the social band,
See honest, open, generous CLEON stand;
With scarce one speck, to cloud the pleasing scene,
No vice degrades that purest soul serene.
On the same day, our studious race begun,
On the same day, our studious race was run;
Thus, side by side, we pass’d our first career,
Thus, side by side, we strove for many a year:
At last, concluded our scholastic life,
We neither conquer’d in the classic strife:
As Speakers, each supports an equal name,
And crowds allow to both a partial fame:
To soothe a youthful Rival’s early pride,
Though Cleon’s candour would the palm divide,
Yet Candour’s self compels me now to own,
Justice awards it to my Friend alone.

  Oh! Friends regretted, Scenes for ever dear,
Remembrance hails you with her warmest tear!
Drooping, she bends o’er pensive Fancy’s urn,
To trace the hours, which never can return;
Yet, with the retrospection loves to dwell,
And soothe the sorrows of her last farewell!
Yet greets the triumph of my boyish mind,
As infant laurels round my head were twin’d;
When PROBUS’ praise repaid my lyric song,
Or plac’d me higher in the studious throng;
Or when my first harangue receiv’d applause,
His sage instruction the primeval cause,
What gratitude, to him, my soul possest,
While hope of dawning honours fill’d my breast!
For all my humble fame, to him alone,
The praise is due, who made that fame my own.
Oh! could I soar above these feeble lays,
These young effusions of my early days,
To him my Muse her noblest strain would give,
The song might perish, but the theme might live.
Yet, why for him the needless verse essay?
His honour’d name requires no vain display:
By every son of grateful IDA blest,
It finds an ech
LJ Chaplin Apr 2015
The lights go out as another day
Draws to a close,
In the distance sirens of an ambulance
Ripples through the stillness
Of the night,
I ache,
I'm tired,
But I'm restless.
The staircase extends beyond my feet,
Up into a blank space
Where light cannot reach
And darkness can wait
For me to enter.
I can feel its eyes on me,
Fixated on my body
As I approach the first step.
I don't know why,
But the lingering presence
Is always there,
As if it waits with arms crossed
And draped against my bedroom door,
It sense my fear and I sense its intent:
To creep into my mind,
To feed off the chaos that stirs
Each and every day.
© LJ Chaplin
K Balachandran Nov 2012
Life is a seductive maiden,
extending two vials,
looking equally nice,
on her lovely hands
for you to choose from;
one contains, elixir of life,
the other poison
for  slow extinction.
She enigmatically smiles,
making you irresolute;
you have to select one,
here and now, it'll decide,
what your fate will be,
in the long run.
*Don't flinch or dither a bit,
this moment is paramount;
look at her eyes intently
and extract a clue, act!
Happy thanks giving Day\Let this be the message of the day
India Chilton Jan 2012
I.  Father
A folded spiral delicately assembled, nestled in modernity feigning a place in nature. Round and round her made and found ingredients turn, creating a circle whose beginning and ending sit so close that they almost touch. Her circle extends far beyond the nest she is building, extends without shifting into her mother’s laden cycle. Bird, earth, man; at the extremities of their existences they are separated no longer. The old man’s limbs sit heavy, their frailty relieving them of the weight of gravity that had, in their youth, banished the wind. Quietly he sways, lost in the rhythm of terrestrial orbit that seems to beat louder with each passing day. I see the thoughts move about his stoic face, like midwinter ice-skaters whose tracks become his wrinkles and whose unraveled scarves are caught in the same current that graces his cheeks like a kiss. I think he must have found the answer for which I am still seeking the question. I think he must know that the feathered ***** of native energy that speed like backyard bottle rockets through the air and pull worms like loose threads from the fabric of our mother’s coat will see morning’s glory blossom, and drink of its sweet nectar, and that he will become those flowers and breathe their roots up from  humid soil. I do not know where he goes when his eyes close like the wooden shutters that will soon be taken from the old brick house’s covered windows to close over a more somber cradle. I know when I mimic his tacit gesture I am in the singing robin’s nest at which he so tranquilly gazes, crying to the universe from the raw cords in my fragile neck for nourishment, for some magical substance, some divinely instructive stardust that would explain to me why the leaves shake just so and why, when our brilliant star hides his smoldering stare behind curved lids, I follow suit. I am new and unrefined and awake, and I can count the days of my existence like my still-wet and vital feathers that are too young yet to catch the wind. In this place God is a burgeoning emotion in my chest that speaks to the earth’s fertility, an abundance fed by the bodies of her fallen children. I am all of this and I know that in truth the old man thinks of nothing but the glowing atmosphere that fluctuates in both temperature and hostility, but is, at this moment, swaddling his broken form like the arms of a mother he will soon reclaim. The still branches of night are so laden with stars that they threaten to snap and come crashing down on the planet that sees them only as the ripened fruit of cosmic energy. Out of the night the emancipating wings of my consciousness flourish and are carried on stronger tides to see human expiration as the agent of enduring rebirth. Flight of body and soul bridge the gap between what was and what will be, closing the circle and guiding my solemn realization to fruition. The old man sleeps amidst a shower of home and sweet ****** bird-song. The wind that fails to wake his aged form smells like beginnings.



II. Son
The man is an ocean. He is reaching out to distant shores, spreading himself so thin at the edges that people can’t see where he ends and his country begins. The boy is a buoy, caught in a tide that never stops to wonder about the things it is moving. Buoys trust the ocean because they have to, they never had a choice. The two stand soul in soul at the crossways station of anticipation. The boy is silent. “He must know the way”, he thinks. “We’ve fought this war before. It was in a dream I had. I wrapped your arms around me like a cape and gravity couldn’t tell us what to do anymore. It was raining, I thought. Now I think those might just have been your tears coming back down on me. When gravity returned that was the first thing it took. It was so easy to cry when we could pretend the distance was only physical.” In this hub of passing voices and trans-Atlantic potential fear is a wide-eyed monster pretending to be a saint, wishing to be a child.   boy leaves Siddhartha’s white and glowing temple. The temple is surrounded with iron birds like transformers let loose from the pages of his comic book, rolled and folded like a hammer in his fist. His mind is an iron kettle whistling in the dark. His changing voice walks miles with words like his father’s back pocket bullets, shouting “I loved something once. Its name was a feeling. Its hands were the way the wind feels when you’re far from home. Its loneliness was a stone tower that I’m still trying to climb.” He sings an ode to a modern ocean, oily verses of pollution and corruption sinking morals like ships to be consumed and reborn to a better earth. He calls it a lullaby. I did not hear the last note played. His father forgot to sing it before his heels turned towards the old continent.

III. Spirit
Broken colors, reassembling, slow as the breeze that wanders and mocks the stationary world. I’m caught in a metamorphosis of mind, dancing a waltz of confession towards reality. Faces have faded, have bloomed from myth to speak in mortal voices, though their tongues be made of steel. Clouds of dust, caught in stray rays of northern sun, hang low over the aquatic murk, the impenetrable field of elemental strangers, and through them appear two figures. The first, his shoulders a bit too hunched and his gait a bit to staggered to be of this last generation, traces the perimeter of the pond with a studied poise; the latter figure comes into focus as he approaches the shore. I hear him calling, asking. I know he is asking even if the language he speaks is a foreign one. He pulls from under the surface a log, bent and creased like the aged arm that reaches out to assist. I am a ghost. I observe but rest immobile as if I am alive only in essence, existing for a moment in the corpse of the past. A fly on the wall whose chiseled stones tower over this piece of eternity. There is so much of forever piled within these walls, and in a desperate search for meaning I am left to drift away on waves that crash miles above this fortress of sand and early-summer expectance. The two continue, the boy taking two steps for every one of his grandfather’s. The possibility is never brought forth that they will reach me; I am not a part of the scene unfolding, I do not hold a piece in this game. Still… the wind coaxes the breath out of my silent lips, left powerless by the immensity of the incommunicable. I’ve forgotten the boy, forgotten his red jacket and his boots that slap the mud and his legs that propel his body up and down just to hear the sound the earth makes when he lands. He is beside me. I know this like I know the location of my own two feet, currently sunk into the shaded conglomeration of dirt and fallen leaves that makes up the bottom of the inky pond. I turn and for a moment wonder if he can see me, for I am but a ghost in most modern senses of the term. But he doesn’t know that- he has yet to see death or destitution. He knows nothing of ghosts, and therefore sees me clear as the blue eyes through which he looks in wonder. Those eyes! How could I forget their inquisitive stare, whose innocent gaze stole from my image all that it could not accept, all of the melancholy reflection and grief of which it knew not. Long and long he stayed unblinking, tugging on loose threads of my being, ever unaware of their significance. Somewhere by the path-side, under trees that bow and sway his grandfather calls- his voice is heavy with a familiar tone that I am unable to identify, like the call of a bird whose name you remember only when you are asked to recall it. Old and young part, hands intertwined in their forever-dance of humanity, playing games with age and expiration, laughing at the distance as if it were only there to make the known road less hospitable. The world is still. I am a spirit, no longer a ghost, rid of darkness, at least for the time it takes to refill my lungs with the gold-spun fabric of the universe, all bluebells and stardust at this moment and forever, and exhale away.
As one who in his journey bates at noon,
Though bent on speed; so here the Arch-Angel paused
Betwixt the world destroyed and world restored,
If Adam aught perhaps might interpose;
Then, with transition sweet, new speech resumes.
Thus thou hast seen one world begin, and end;
And Man, as from a second stock, proceed.
Much thou hast yet to see; but I perceive
Thy mortal sight to fail; objects divine
Must needs impair and weary human sense:
Henceforth what is to come I will relate;
Thou therefore give due audience, and attend.
This second source of Men, while yet but few,
And while the dread of judgement past remains
Fresh in their minds, fearing the Deity,
With some regard to what is just and right
Shall lead their lives, and multiply apace;
Labouring the soil, and reaping plenteous crop,
Corn, wine, and oil; and, from the herd or flock,
Oft sacrificing bullock, lamb, or kid,
With large wine-offerings poured, and sacred feast,
Shall spend their days in joy unblamed; and dwell
Long time in peace, by families and tribes,
Under paternal rule: till one shall rise
Of proud ambitious heart; who, not content
With fair equality, fraternal state,
Will arrogate dominion undeserved
Over his brethren, and quite dispossess
Concord and law of nature from the earth;
Hunting (and men not beasts shall be his game)
With war, and hostile snare, such as refuse
Subjection to his empire tyrannous:
A mighty hunter thence he shall be styled
Before the Lord; as in despite of Heaven,
Or from Heaven, claiming second sovranty;
And from rebellion shall derive his name,
Though of rebellion others he accuse.
He with a crew, whom like ambition joins
With him or under him to tyrannize,
Marching from Eden towards the west, shall find
The plain, wherein a black bituminous gurge
Boils out from under ground, the mouth of Hell:
Of brick, and of that stuff, they cast to build
A city and tower, whose top may reach to Heaven;
And get themselves a name; lest, far dispersed
In foreign lands, their memory be lost;
Regardless whether good or evil fame.
But God, who oft descends to visit men
Unseen, and through their habitations walks
To mark their doings, them beholding soon,
Comes down to see their city, ere the tower
Obstruct Heaven-towers, and in derision sets
Upon their tongues a various spirit, to rase
Quite out their native language; and, instead,
To sow a jangling noise of words unknown:
Forthwith a hideous gabble rises loud,
Among the builders; each to other calls
Not understood; till hoarse, and all in rage,
As mocked they storm: great laughter was in Heaven,
And looking down, to see the hubbub strange,
And hear the din:  Thus was the building left
Ridiculous, and the work Confusion named.
Whereto thus Adam, fatherly displeased.
O execrable son! so to aspire
Above his brethren; to himself assuming
Authority usurped, from God not given:
He gave us only over beast, fish, fowl,
Dominion absolute; that right we hold
By his donation; but man over men
He made not lord; such title to himself
Reserving, human left from human free.
But this usurper his encroachment proud
Stays not on Man; to God his tower intends
Siege and defiance:  Wretched man!what food
Will he convey up thither, to sustain
Himself and his rash army; where thin air
Above the clouds will pine his entrails gross,
And famish him of breath, if not of bread?
To whom thus Michael.  Justly thou abhorrest
That son, who on the quiet state of men
Such trouble brought, affecting to subdue
Rational liberty; yet know withal,
Since thy original lapse, true liberty
Is lost, which always with right reason dwells
Twinned, and from her hath no dividual being:
Reason in man obscured, or not obeyed,
Immediately inordinate desires,
And upstart passions, catch the government
From reason; and to servitude reduce
Man, till then free.  Therefore, since he permits
Within himself unworthy powers to reign
Over free reason, God, in judgement just,
Subjects him from without to violent lords;
Who oft as undeservedly enthrall
His outward freedom:  Tyranny must be;
Though to the tyrant thereby no excuse.
Yet sometimes nations will decline so low
From virtue, which is reason, that no wrong,
But justice, and some fatal curse annexed,
Deprives them of their outward liberty;
Their inward lost:  Witness the irreverent son
Of him who built the ark; who, for the shame
Done to his father, heard this heavy curse,
Servant of servants, on his vicious race.
Thus will this latter, as the former world,
Still tend from bad to worse; till God at last,
Wearied with their iniquities, withdraw
His presence from among them, and avert
His holy eyes; resolving from thenceforth
To leave them to their own polluted ways;
And one peculiar nation to select
From all the rest, of whom to be invoked,
A nation from one faithful man to spring:
Him on this side Euphrates yet residing,
Bred up in idol-worship:  O, that men
(Canst thou believe?) should be so stupid grown,
While yet the patriarch lived, who ’scaped the flood,
As to forsake the living God, and fall
To worship their own work in wood and stone
For Gods!  Yet him God the Most High vouchsafes
To call by vision, from his father’s house,
His kindred, and false Gods, into a land
Which he will show him; and from him will raise
A mighty nation; and upon him shower
His benediction so, that in his seed
All nations shall be blest: he straight obeys;
Not knowing to what land, yet firm believes:
I see him, but thou canst not, with what faith
He leaves his Gods, his friends, and native soil,
Ur of Chaldaea, passing now the ford
To Haran; after him a cumbrous train
Of herds and flocks, and numerous servitude;
Not wandering poor, but trusting all his wealth
With God, who called him, in a land unknown.
Canaan he now attains; I see his tents
Pitched about Sechem, and the neighbouring plain
Of Moreh; there by promise he receives
Gift to his progeny of all that land,
From Hameth northward to the Desart south;
(Things by their names I call, though yet unnamed;)
From Hermon east to the great western Sea;
Mount Hermon, yonder sea; each place behold
In prospect, as I point them; on the shore
Mount Carmel; here, the double-founted stream,
Jordan, true limit eastward; but his sons
Shall dwell to Senir, that long ridge of hills.
This ponder, that all nations of the earth
Shall in his seed be blessed:  By that seed
Is meant thy great Deliverer, who shall bruise
The Serpent’s head; whereof to thee anon
Plainlier shall be revealed.  This patriarch blest,
Whom faithful Abraham due time shall call,
A son, and of his son a grand-child, leaves;
Like him in faith, in wisdom, and renown:
The grandchild, with twelve sons increased, departs
From Canaan to a land hereafter called
Egypt, divided by the river Nile
See where it flows, disgorging at seven mouths
Into the sea. To sojourn in that land
He comes, invited by a younger son
In time of dearth, a son whose worthy deeds
Raise him to be the second in that realm
Of Pharaoh. There he dies, and leaves his race
Growing into a nation, and now grown
Suspected to a sequent king, who seeks
To stop their overgrowth, as inmate guests
Too numerous; whence of guests he makes them slaves
Inhospitably, and kills their infant males:
Till by two brethren (these two brethren call
Moses and Aaron) sent from God to claim
His people from enthralment, they return,
With glory and spoil, back to their promised land.
But first, the lawless tyrant, who denies
To know their God, or message to regard,
Must be compelled by signs and judgements dire;
To blood unshed the rivers must be turned;
Frogs, lice, and flies, must all his palace fill
With loathed intrusion, and fill all the land;
His cattle must of rot and murren die;
Botches and blains must all his flesh emboss,
And all his people; thunder mixed with hail,
Hail mixed with fire, must rend the Egyptians sky,
And wheel on the earth, devouring where it rolls;
What it devours not, herb, or fruit, or grain,
A darksome cloud of locusts swarming down
Must eat, and on the ground leave nothing green;
Darkness must overshadow all his bounds,
Palpable darkness, and blot out three days;
Last, with one midnight stroke, all the first-born
Of Egypt must lie dead.  Thus with ten wounds
The river-dragon tamed at length submits
To let his sojourners depart, and oft
Humbles his stubborn heart; but still, as ice
More hardened after thaw; till, in his rage
Pursuing whom he late dismissed, the sea
Swallows him with his host; but them lets pass,
As on dry land, between two crystal walls;
Awed by the rod of Moses so to stand
Divided, till his rescued gain their shore:
Such wondrous power God to his saint will lend,
Though present in his Angel; who shall go
Before them in a cloud, and pillar of fire;
By day a cloud, by night a pillar of fire;
To guide them in their journey, and remove
Behind them, while the obdurate king pursues:
All night he will pursue; but his approach
Darkness defends between till morning watch;
Then through the fiery pillar, and the cloud,
God looking forth will trouble all his host,
And craze their chariot-wheels: when by command
Moses once more his potent rod extends
Over the sea; the sea his rod obeys;
On their embattled ranks the waves return,
And overwhelm their war:  The race elect
Safe toward Canaan from the shore advance
Through the wild Desart, not the readiest way;
Lest, entering on the Canaanite alarmed,
War terrify them inexpert, and fear
Return them back to Egypt, choosing rather
Inglorious life with servitude; for life
To noble and ignoble is more sweet
Untrained in arms, where rashness leads not on.
This also shall they gain by their delay
In the wide wilderness; there they shall found
Their government, and their great senate choose
Through the twelve tribes, to rule by laws ordained:
God from the mount of Sinai, whose gray top
Shall tremble, he descending, will himself
In thunder, lightning, and loud trumpets’ sound,
Ordain them laws; part, such as appertain
To civil justice; part, religious rites
Of sacrifice; informing them, by types
And shadows, of that destined Seed to bruise
The Serpent, by what means he shall achieve
Mankind’s deliverance.  But the voice of God
To mortal ear is dreadful:  They beseech
That Moses might report to them his will,
And terrour cease; he grants what they besought,
Instructed that to God is no access
Without Mediator, whose high office now
Moses in figure bears; to introduce
One greater, of whose day he shall foretel,
And all the Prophets in their age the times
Of great Messiah shall sing.  Thus, laws and rites
Established, such delight hath God in Men
Obedient to his will, that he vouchsafes
Among them to set up his tabernacle;
The Holy One with mortal Men to dwell:
By his prescript a sanctuary is framed
Of cedar, overlaid with gold; therein
An ark, and in the ark his testimony,
The records of his covenant; over these
A mercy-seat of gold, between the wings
Of two bright Cherubim; before him burn
Seven lamps as in a zodiack representing
The heavenly fires; over the tent a cloud
Shall rest by day, a fiery gleam by night;
Save when they journey, and at length they come,
Conducted by his Angel, to the land
Promised to Abraham and his seed:—The rest
Were long to tell; how many battles fought
How many kings destroyed; and kingdoms won;
Or how the sun shall in mid Heaven stand still
A day entire, and night’s due course adjourn,
Man’s voice commanding, ‘Sun, in Gibeon stand,
‘And thou moon in the vale of Aialon,
’Till Israel overcome! so call the third
From Abraham, son of Isaac; and from him
His whole descent, who thus shall Canaan win.
Here Adam interposed.  O sent from Heaven,
Enlightener of my darkness, gracious things
Thou hast revealed; those chiefly, which concern
Just Abraham and his seed: now first I find
Mine eyes true-opening, and my heart much eased;
Erewhile perplexed with thoughts, what would become
Of me and all mankind:  But now I see
His day, in whom all nations shall be blest;
Favour unmerited by me, who sought
Forbidden knowledge by forbidden means.
This yet I apprehend not, why to those
Among whom God will deign to dwell on earth
So many and so various laws are given;
So many laws argue so many sins
Among them; how can God with such reside?
To whom thus Michael.  Doubt not but that sin
Will reign among them, as of thee begot;
And therefore was law given them, to evince
Their natural pravity, by stirring up
Sin against law to fight: that when they see
Law can discover sin, but not remove,
Save by those shadowy expiations weak,
The blood of bulls and goats, they may conclude
Some blood more precious must be paid for Man;
Just for unjust; that, in such righteousness
To them by faith imputed, they may find
Justification towards God, and peace
Of conscience; which the law by ceremonies
Cannot appease; nor Man the mortal part
Perform; and, not performing, cannot live.
So law appears imperfect; and but given
With purpose to resign them, in full time,
Up to a better covenant; disciplined
From shadowy types to truth; from flesh to spirit;
From imposition of strict laws to free
Acceptance of large grace; from servile fear
To filial; works of law to works of faith.
And therefore shall not Moses, though of God
Highly beloved, being but the minister
Of law, his people into Canaan lead;
But Joshua, whom the Gentiles Jesus call,
His name and office bearing, who shall quell
The adversary-Serpent, and bring back
Through the world’s wilderness long-wandered Man
Safe to eternal Paradise of rest.
Mean while they, in their earthly Canaan placed,
Long time shall dwell and prosper, but when sins
National interrupt their publick peace,
Provoking God to raise them enemies;
From whom as oft he saves them penitent
By Judges first, then under Kings; of whom
The second, both for piety renowned
And puissant deeds, a promise shall receive
Irrevocable, that his regal throne
For ever shall endure; the like shall sing
All Prophecy, that of the royal stock
Of David (so I name this king) shall rise
A Son, the Woman’s seed to thee foretold,
Foretold to Abraham, as in whom shall trust
All nations; and to kings foretold, of kings
The last; for of his reign shall be no end.
But first, a long succession must ensue;
And his next son, for wealth and wisdom famed,
The clouded ark of God, till then in tents
Wandering, shall in a glorious temple enshrine.
Such follow him, as shall be registered
Part good, part bad; of bad the longer scroll;
Whose foul idolatries, and other faults
Heaped to the popular sum, will so incense
God, as to leave them, and expose their land,
Their city, his temple, and his holy ark,
With all his sacred things, a scorn and prey
To that proud city, whose high walls thou sawest
Left in confusion; Babylon thence called.
There in captivity he lets them dwell
The space of seventy years; then brings them back,
Remembering mercy, and his covenant sworn
To David, stablished as the days of Heaven.
Returned from Babylon by leave of kings
Their lords, whom God disposed, the house of God
They first re-edify; and for a while
In mean estate live moderate; till, grown
In wealth and multitude, factious they grow;
But first among the priests dissention springs,
Men who attend the altar, and should most
Endeavour peace: their strife pollution brings
Upon the temple itself: at last they seise
The scepter, and regard not David’s sons;
Then lose it to a stranger, that the true
Anointed King Messiah might be born
Barred of his right; yet at his birth a star,
Unseen before in Heaven, proclaims him come;
And guides the eastern sages, who inquire
His place, to offer incense, myrrh, and gold:
His place of birth a solemn Angel tells
To simple shepherds, keeping watch by night;
They gladly thither haste, and by a quire
Of squadroned Angels hear his carol sung.
A ****** is his mother, but his sire
The power of the Most High:  He shall ascend
The throne hereditary, and bound his reign
With Earth’s wide bounds, his glory with the Heavens.
He ceased, discerning Adam with such joy
Surcharged, as had like grief been dewed in tears,
Without the vent of words; which these he breathed.
O prophet of glad tidings, finisher
Of utmost hope! now clear I understand
What oft my steadiest thoughts have searched in vain;
Why o
To-night retired, the queen of heaven
  With young Endymion stays;
And now to Hesper it is given
Awhile to rule the vacant sky,
Till she shall to her lamp supply
  A stream of brighter rays.

Propitious send thy golden ray,
  Thou purest light above!
Let no false flame ****** to stray
Where gulf or steep lie hid for harm;
But lead where music’s healing charm
  May soothe afflicted love.

To them, by many a grateful song
  In happier seasons vow’d,
These lawns, Olympia’s haunts, belong:
Oft by yon silver stream we walk’d,
Or fix’d, while Philomela talk’d,
  Beneath yon copses stood.

Nor seldom, where the beechen boughs
  That roofless tower invade,
We came, while her enchanting Muse
The radiant moon above us held:
Till, by a clamorous owl compell’d,
  She fled the solemn shade.

But hark! I hear her liquid tone!
  Now Hesper guide my feet!
Down the red marl with moss o’ergrown,
Through yon wild thicket next the plain,
Whose hawthorns choke the winding lane
  Which leads to her retreat.

See the green space: on either hand
  Enlarged it spreads around:
See, in the midst she takes her stand,
Where one old oak his awful shade
Extends o’er half the level mead,
  Enclosed in woods profound.

Hark! how through many a melting note
  She now prolongs her lays:
How sweetly down the void they float!
The breeze their magic path attends;
The stars shine out; the forest bends;
  The wakeful heifers graze.

Whoe’er thou art whom chance may bring
  To this sequester’d spot,
If then the plaintive Siren sing,
O softly tread beneath her bower
And think of Heaven’s disposing power,
  Of man’s uncertain lot.

O think, o’er all this mortal stage
  What mournful scenes arise:
What ruin waits on kingly rage;
How often virtue dwells with woe;
How many griefs from knowledge flow;
  How swiftly pleasure flies!

O sacred bird! let me at eve,
  Thus wandering all alone,
Thy tender counsel oft receive,
Bear witness to thy pensive airs,
And pity Nature’s common cares,
  Till I forget my own.
For what I know, which is not much,
I know not of what you feel and such,
But if I could be better a brother,
I would ask what makes you shudder,
I know not what causes your pain,
But I know you’ll not be here again,
So in this life, be strong, be strong,
And although I can not carry along,
What I wish I could, I’m not that good,
At expressing all that of which I should,
Know that my love extends to you,
And your indescribable heart imbued,
Keep it between us, I know what it is,
To cause yourself pain, and taste your own tears,
I wish life was easy, alas, it is not,
Lose not yourself, don’t let be forgot,
The life you know, I pray you don't,
I had no idea, of pain you smote,
To it cast out all of the remorse,
And if need, come to me, if no other doors,
Reopen for you although they should,
If need of favor, know that I would,
As brother, as friend, be there until,
Your happy, long life, end fulfilled,
I wish to be an uncle, and brother in law,
To a great man you deserve and more,
Lest it not be pain from a boy,
You are but young, they’ll use you like toys,
Be strong, be strong, our family is love,
Spread your wings, magnificent dove.
K Balachandran Jul 2012
Gloomy  morning attempts,
lazily an abstract,
on the damp canvas
eastern sky extends,
halfheartedly smearing,
dark monsoon clouds
along with some white and grey patches,
then slowly, warms up to a red mood;
as if by a second thought
adds full of flight of birds,
for an effect.

Avian splay, what a display!

The sun visibly gets pale,
upset being just a part of the picture,
unable to dominate, as his usual practice.
Not at all pleased at the emerging picture,
he sulks at the prospect,
of more dull, vain clouds rushing in,
spoiling the composition with their-
chance  megalomaniacal dominance.
Nesma Aug 2018
She leaves a note that she signed with her name although nobody else was there because he whispered the name of another woman while he was inside her.
She left a note that she’s written in her bright red lipstick because he said it made her lips look like cherries, and her mother had taught her that the fastest road to a man’s heart is a good meal.
She leaves the note in her bright red lipstick because he didn’t compliment the dress she wore on her fragile body, the shoes she wore on her dainty feet, or the heart she wore on her sleeves;
he complimented the lipstick she wore as a note written on his bedroom mirror;
a mirror that extends from the coarse land of Persia to the frozen seas of the north pole.
What she likes the most about the note she left is that she covers a part of the mirror, and a mirror is never a friend.

He takes a leap of faith and jumps headstrong into a relationship that he knows will drown him.
He was named a champion in the 2015 Olympiad for swimming;
he lost his golden medal but the whiplash on his heart when he delved firsthand into the waters will always remind him how salty it tasted.
He sinks into an abyss of intensity that he cannot dry out no matter how long he sits near the lonely candle next to Madonna’s portrait.
He soaks in the glistening sunlight; water was never his friend.

She brushes her hair every evening and every evening she reminds herself that she needs to brush off her family’s rejection.
He trains everyday and every day he reminds himself that his heart is also a muscle.
They do it in the dark because it’s easy to love another and scary to see yourself.
Sabila Siddiqui Nov 2018
Deeper than the captivating shape it has,
Lies a greater purpose it stands for.
So vast and strong,
It rotates laterally
and extends at your will.

It stands strong, defying gravity
cushioning you for your comfort
and holding your pelvis still.

So appreciate it for more than it's curves;
stand tall and thank your behind
when you bend.

For it is greater than
it seems.
CautiousRain Sep 2015
"Women who wear hats are the most beautiful."

The way her small smile extends;
the brim of her hat protecting,
capturing its radiance.

Her cheeks, flushed a deep red,
darkened only by the shadows,
of the worn, woven straw.

Her eyes, a dark, vibrant brown,
dancing with soft melodies,
as she hums with warm breath.

"Women who wear hats are the most beautiful",
he said,
*"How interesting is that?"
As I stood with my hat.
Somehow his little comment was the highlight of my day. A poem about myself inspired by a kind man with sweet words.
vircapio gale Jul 2012
phyllo dough considerations
veil the rigid silence
under quip, under smile-
covered cliche cud.
it is in essence meaningless,
this large party,
this braying urgency of guests

the house swims with life,
we mingle charismatic coughs
as talents strut; bouncing fruit
and swaying surface tension fizz
sparkles off the balcony of floating drinks

our tall pines are echoing beyond the yard
a sylvan soft allure of
living soundboard drape,
it needles aromatic carpet for a
*******, brink-of-dawn escape

allocate the living and the dead,
the borderline is begging to be tread.

an elastic belt extends the real,
a tool for party tricks, a tool for bending time--
i'm bounding off into the darkness
balling lightning in my dantien,
the world a trampoline;
running full i top the rail of gasps,
swinging through the arc
of thinning line to pull me back around,
stomach churning fiction-sick
with gravity inverted joltingly,
umbilically, aware.

then she has a turn as i,
as being me, and as i (as I)
careen away, the vaster leap
of single body, double mind-
it pulls beyond substantial thought

our uber-jumprope dangles
while we speed above the trees -- all is dark
excluding speckled stars
and the one, shrinking party-glow i lose below

the television orbits,
wobbles in a superstrings' embrace
all balance lost --
we're floating in a spin alone
unfocused universal locus..
stars diminishing reliquish cosmic depth
and nourish life in death

reeling eyes of weightless ******
squint to spacetime surgings
inward of the who i am--
plasticity-encasing glass of box
to offer all subverse companionship.
i tug the corded fabric
fronting interweaving screen
of futile marking where
i've riveted, lost, gazing
psychosoma scene
a modern mind-toy posted
to enframe another me we are,
even here with outside sight of world
vacuum up and lower heading
compass only gulping awe,
the breath is gone, a stinging heart
revalves its pacing flow
descending cosmogonic thread

allocate the living and the dead,
the borderline is begging to be tread.

i imagine trees again,
branches soft,
trunks my guideposts to the ground i've lost~
i'm mingling against my sense of real again,
packing leftovers, living social lies unknown.
a man compliments his speech
as "Bristling with business."
the jelly seeps beyond the pita's edge,
the pita slides out from under foil.
the party swivles on its axis,
the clowns play on, noble chefs
laughing in their pots
while i visit drooping psyche forms,
around and through glass doors,
crystal tables -- a furniture of ideal norms
to overturn. ah. i'm found again,
a bit less vast among a crowd
of nescient lives unlived. i'm
found undiscovered open all,
plainly lacking truth as well,
i'm me, this other presence,
this shifting sight,
flood experiential zoo,
this empty vessel holding two
a social fissure prying sense of self
from up a wild void..
Bill Schaller Jul 2011
Birds chirp, the winds blow,
And as the sun sets, we give the day a bow.
Clean Colorado accommodates commoners from Lincoln's Land.
We've ditched the silt and the sand;
Stranded in a glimpse of a possible past, here I stand.

Elated by elevation, tranced by trepidation,
the group's gaze encounters a misty haze,
Followed by copious amounts of precipitation.
Pick up the pace; though we won't win the race
To the dry car and a full case.

Hell is the home of a heathen's heart;
Heaven holds promise a bright new start.
Existence on earth extends only for so long;
For now we're here, soon to be gone.

Early mornings shed light on a promising day;
Late nights cast spells we drunkenly obey
Perched in a chair by a growing fire,
the consuming flames ascend higher and higher.
Ignited embers blown astray,
Trails of smoke follow its prey.

Back on the highway.
Homeward bound, the only sounds
Are the stories and gestures that say
Not what we lost, but what we found.
berry Nov 2013
the question mark curves that form at the apples of her cheeks could ****,
but she speaks in a voice like lilacs and smiles like springtime.
she possesses unparalleled wisdom for one so young,
and has a soul like an old maple tree.
she makes a home of herself for weary hearts to rest,
but knows not to let their burdens become her own;
prudent enough to understand the difficult art of letting go.
the perfect pearls that live behind the velvet of her mouth serve as lanterns
in the darkness every time she parts her lips.
she is a diamond among ashes, a doe among monsters.
she burns with righteous anger upon seeing others treated wrongly.
she breathes like fall a breeze and her presence is is a sea at peace.
she is as gentle as a lamb, but can be bolder than a lion - when she needs to.
if you're being stupid, she'll tell you, but she'll do it with love.
she has watched me make innumerable mistakes,
and learned what not to replicate, and i in turn have learned from her.
she gives me far more grace than i deserve.
she has arms like olive branches and extends them freely.
her spirit is unchanging and uncrushable.
the beat of her heart can be heard from miles away
and it shocks me that there is even room in her chest for it, given its incredible size.
she is a dove among crows, and she is still learning how to fly,
but her wings promise great heights to come.

- m.f.
this is for my little sister, who inspires me more than any poem could ever express.
Alvin Llanos Dec 2016
Like the faint speckles of light
piercing through fabrics of black silk
upon the fore of flickering flames
from an ensemble of a thousand tealights

The obscure vast extends beyond our perspective
opening our minds, birthing visual imagery
brought upon by this vivid intimacy
between the light and of the dark

Like ornate embroidery, leisurely sewn
as clouds transform while traversing the temporal expanse
revealing our past through portraits
of familiarities once anew

The romantic serenity politely interrupted
by wisps of wind that softly whisper
feeling their breath; as a caress of silk
delicately brushing against our skin

As the warmth of earth upon which our bodies rest
holds us closely as our souls explore
the everlasting and exclusive wonders
under the night sky
Written on 12/05/2016.
Alan McClure Oct 2017
I'm paying
for the careless laughs
I cast
at my poor mother in the past
when she would cringe
and turn away
as we sought edges
to enhance our play.
High trees and rooftops
cliffside walks -
whatever would extend the view
beyond the grim grey
granite grip we knew.
The humour lay
in knowing we were safe,
that these short frissons
were a break
between long stretches
of mundane and easy comfort,
free from pain.
Perhaps, we thought,
it does her good to gasp and shudder,
shout and blame -
she knows
that nothing's gained by shouting "Not too close!"
That just extends the game.
And then we're home
and she, once more, is sane.

That un-won wisdom
taunts me now.
The thought that fear was rare, somehow
that each new feat
of daring was a treat
the spice and colour
in a mother's life
which otherwise was dull.

Then, suddenly, my children,
you appear
and now I fear
that everything's
a crumbling clifftop
a wind-bent,
beetle-brittle branch
that you are twisted
in the fickle hands of chance
Your precious whims
your pale, glass-fragile skins
are buffeted by everything.
All ice is thin -
the wolves are real
it was not just the wind.

And even here
upon the edge of morning
misfired wires
inside your precious head
could make a storm-tossed life-raft
of your cozy bed
I stand beside you, out of reach
though long prepared
to meet the reason I am scared.
You curl and shrink
turn glassy eyes towards the wall

while I await the blow
that, thank God, doesn't fall,
this time
my youthful self
has found a cliff to climb
above a rocky beach
and cackles
at his mother's panicked call.
guy scutellaro Oct 2018
last chapter.

Hearing something, he turns and looks out of his open door to see Mr. Martin go shuffling by wearing a bath robe and one red slipper. Jack hears Martin's door close and then for thirty seconds the old man screams, "AAHHH, AAAHHH, AAAAHHHHH." After that the building is quiet, and Jack listens to his own labored breathing.

A glance at the clock tells him it is  a few minutes to 7 a.m. Jack hurries from his room into the hallway. They pass each other on the stairs. The big man is coming up the stairs and Jack is going down to the bar to see O'Malley.

Jack has committed a trespass. The big man looks down as Delleto turns. "Hello, Jack, brother." The man smiles, slides the brim of his Giants baseball cap across his forehead and then continues up the stairs.

Jack watches him. When Paul Keater reaches the top of  the stairs the red exit light flickers like a candle above Keater's head and then goes out. An instant later the sound of a door closing echoes down the hallway to the bottom of the steps.


Jack Delleto is standing in the doorway at the bottom of the steps looking out onto the wet, bright street.

"Hey, Jack, man it's good to see you. I heard you were dead."

Jack turns, looks over his shoulder. "Felix! How the hell have you been?"

The two men shake hands, then embrace momentarily.

"Ah, things don't get any better and they don't get any worse." The old man shrugs and then he smiles, but his brown eyes are dull and Jack can smell the cheap wine on the old man's breath. "When are you gonna come back to the gym and start workin out? Man, you've got something, Kid, and we're going places.

"Yea, Felix, I'll be coming back. " Jack extends his hand to  Felix. The old fighter smiles and they shake hands. Suddenly, Felix takes off down Main Street towards the Food Town super market walking quickly as if he has someplace important to go.

Jack is curious. He sees the rope when he starts walking towards the Wagon Wheel bar. One end of the rope is tied around the parking meter pole. The rest of the rope extends across the sidewalk and disappears  into the entrance of the bar. The rattling of a chain catches his attention and when the dog's huge white head pops out of the bar doorway Jack is startled. Jack stops dead in his tracks and as he spins around to run, he slips and falls to the wet pavement.

The big, white mutt growls, woofs once and comes charging down the sidewalk at him.

The rope is quickly growing shorter. It stretches until meets its end, tightens, and then snaps. Now, unimpeded by the tension of the rope the mutt comes hurtling down the sidewalk at Delleto

Frighten, Jack's body grows tense with the anticipation of the attack. Jack starts to stand up, makes it to his knees just as the dog bowls into him knocking him to the grown. The huge dog has him pin down, goes right for his face.

And begins licking him.

Relieved, Jack struggles to his knees and hugs her tightly to him. He looks over her shoulder and across Main Street to the graffiti painted on the boarded shut Delleto Market.

                           FANTASY WILL SET YOU FREE.

                                           The End


Henry David Thoreau, "I left... for as good a reason as I went there. Perhaps it seemed to me that I had several more lives to live, and could not spare any more time for that one"

my thanks to hello poetry for letting me put in stories which are not poetry. thanks to the people who have read some of it.

originally, I started with the idea some chapters of a novel I wrote might work as a short story. larger portions of the novel have been left out. at some point I decided to put the chapters that I included in order of occurrence. the result: a little bit of  a mess.

my solution and it might be an innovation but i'm going  put a note for the reader to put the chapters in any order they like. Ha, ha.
Hal Loyd Denton Jan 2012
Connection
From the past just a voice memories come strong and fast the school its walls doors and windows dissolved they live still
They were an integral part you can’t interact daily come to know them how ever wide the divide extends over years
They were life then now in shadows they still command your imagination never very far from the heart quietly they thrill
Sometimes alone you deny and go but you can’t leave them they were implanted ingrained in your life always they exist

Difference opposite levels vary the constant going and coming a circle one in front one in back this defines grows character
The rubbing and friction goes beyond outer circumstances it reaches inner reality from this constant exposure an unbreakable bond
This is not mundane life these are core components we cheat and allow failure if we close ourselves off our own worst detractor
You will change yourself forever when stimuli and good will is rebuffed there pulsates defenses more than we know in past friends

A prison we make when we choose isolation brick by brick we wall ourselves in close out the sunlight that shines out of other hearts
Mix words with action and then allow yourself to be moved images possess power they can forcefully carry you to unequaled heights
Those long ago days hold seeds from a harvest that can be birthed again and of all times now is crucial the time is now get ready start
The sun at your back the future ahead speak without faltering you are the guiding light of all that is to be shared and made brand new

How strong the future will be is determined by how willing you are to reach into the past being selective you draw on all that is good
Fellow students your parents their history and victories all are your guideposts unerring unwavering their spirits lead a guiding star
Many battles long has been the fight discouragement drags your smile down enlightened others beat fear now you have understood
Yours and their quality is like timbers tested in great sea storms you have come into your own now masterful owners of life now give
Fah Jul 2013
Laying down the law of how I react,
Each verse in tune to the universal drumbeat but the thing about
No longer strange the way that miracles occur on a day to day basis

Meditation extends beyond the lyrics
Beyond the sitting still and coming to a peace
Certainly it starts at that but where it ends well depends when one defines
The ending of the meditation
An alternative , alter , degree of difference , meaning to medition could be seen as a conscious act of thinking , but that does not mean there are limits or borders to the edges of the known in fact it extends beyond into the daily uncertainties that flow

Foolish atrocities line our mothers womb and the simple pleasures become lost in fear of life and the only way we know how to counteract that kind of pain is fear , a confused kind of fear
One of distaste and eventually ignorance , ignorance is bliss they say
Well I say it’s not ,just that , I’s ignorance can be hindering , to ignore the mission is the wonderful to breathe in the restraints of feeling as if there has to be an emotion for everything , a deep attachment that clings to the very surging’s of the soul and go open


Open the Pandoras box, of a place so called shame , and see who is waiting there , try the door marked locked because who knows what’s inside , try the bathwater before you step in you might get hot you might see that the mosquito bites are actually just a test to see if you can resist the stress if you can slide past the friction into the aspects of tests that eliminate the need to be greedy into each dead unto each  creed

I hail from the land you call Thai , oh but there’s my Hatian side , tu parle francais? Well I wouldn’t know what to say but I’m French, my accent will tell you I could make a good brew but that’s the highland fence

What’s wrapped up in your DNA? Stories from a bygone age ,
What’s wrapped up in your psyche? Whole worlds that I can not see
the last portion of this is from a song i'm writing , but turns out it works well as writing too
When there are so many we shall have to mourn,
when grief has been made so public, and exposed
to the critique of a whole epoch
the frailty of our conscience and anguish,

of whom shall we speak? For every day they die
among us, those who were doing us some good,
who knew it was never enough but
hoped to improve a little by living.

Such was this doctor: still at eighty he wished
to think of our life from whose unruliness
so many plausible young futures
with threats or flattery ask obedience,

but his wish was denied him: he closed his eyes
upon that last picture, common to us all,
of problems like relatives gathered
puzzled and jealous about our dying.

For about him till the very end were still
those he had studied, the fauna of the night,
and shades that still waited to enter
the bright circle of his recognition

turned elsewhere with their disappointment as he
was taken away from his life interest
to go back to the earth in London,
an important Jew who died in exile.

Only Hate was happy, hoping to augment
his practice now, and his dingy clientele
who think they can be cured by killing
and covering the garden with ashes.

They are still alive, but in a world he changed
simply by looking back with no false regrets;
all he did was to remember
like the old and be honest like children.

He wasn't clever at all: he merely told
the unhappy Present to recite the Past
like a poetry lesson till sooner
or later it faltered at the line where

long ago the accusations had begun,
and suddenly knew by whom it had been judged,
how rich life had been and how silly,
and was life-forgiven and more humble,

able to approach the Future as a friend
without a wardrobe of excuses, without
a set mask of rectitude or an
embarrassing over-familiar gesture.

No wonder the ancient cultures of conceit
in his technique of unsettlement foresaw
the fall of princes, the collapse of
their lucrative patterns of frustration:

if he succeeded, why, the Generalised Life
would become impossible, the monolith
of State be broken and prevented
the co-operation of avengers.

Of course they called on God, but he went his way
down among the lost people like Dante, down
to the stinking fosse where the injured
lead the ugly life of the rejected,

and showed us what evil is, not, as we thought,
deeds that must be punished, but our lack of faith,
our dishonest mood of denial,
the concupiscence of the oppressor.

If some traces of the autocratic pose,
the paternal strictness he distrusted, still
clung to his utterance and features,
it was a protective coloration

for one who'd lived among enemies so long:
if often he was wrong and, at times, absurd,
to us he is no more a person
now but a whole climate of opinion

under whom we conduct our different lives:
Like weather he can only hinder or help,
the proud can still be proud but find it
a little harder, the tyrant tries to

make do with him but doesn't care for him much:
he quietly surrounds all our habits of growth
and extends, till the tired in even
the remotest miserable duchy

have felt the change in their bones and are cheered
till the child, unlucky in his little State,
some hearth where freedom is excluded,
a hive whose honey is fear and worry,

feels calmer now and somehow assured of escape,
while, as they lie in the grass of our neglect,
so many long-forgotten objects
revealed by his undiscouraged shining

are returned to us and made precious again;
games we had thought we must drop as we grew up,
little noises we dared not laugh at,
faces we made when no one was looking.

But he wishes us more than this. To be free
is often to be lonely. He would unite
the unequal moieties fractured
by our own well-meaning sense of justice,

would restore to the larger the wit and will
the smaller possesses but can only use
for arid disputes, would give back to
the son the mother's richness of feeling:

but he would have us remember most of all
to be enthusiastic over the night,
not only for the sense of wonder
it alone has to offer, but also

because it needs our love. With large sad eyes
its delectable creatures look up and beg
us dumbly to ask them to follow:
they are exiles who long for the future

that lives in our power, they too would rejoice
if allowed to serve enlightenment like him,
even to bear our cry of 'Judas',
as he did and all must bear who serve it.

One rational voice is dumb. Over his grave
the household of Impulse mourns one dearly loved:
sad is Eros, builder of cities,
and weeping anarchic Aphrodite.
you arrived midwinter
into the loving embrace
of young able parents
eager to nurture and
prepare you for a
hard edged world
filled with trepidation
and uncertainty

boasting citizenship
of two great nations
your honored presence
fearlessly extends
the lineage of proud  
ancient clans

you are a favorite son
hailing from two continents
and a beloved descendant
of two joyous families

your face is a monument,
perfectly chiseled,
expressing the
bold features of
resilient ancestors
rich in the history
of struggle, conquests,
sorrows and countless joys

your blue streaked
eyes reflect the
gleaming vistas
of timeless
ancestral journeys
guided by high ideals
and noble aspirations

your suckling lips
bespeak smiles
of happiness
born from the
achievement of
a successful birth
and the warm embrace
from the ***** of  
parental love

your blithe hair exudes
the fragrance of
melodious Irish poetry

your gifted hands
appear eager
to grasp the promise
of fine Bavarian
craftsmanship

your strong legs
limbered by
Scottish Highland trails
stand ready to conquer
the grandest Alpine peaks

your nose is filled
with the briny snort of
great expectations
European immigrants
inhaled during intrepid
Transatlantic passages
making a way to a New World
marking a family presence
that bestrides the expanse
of a great ocean

in your infant heart beats
with the possibilities
of our family’s
greatest aspirations
and fondest hope

within your DNA
stirs the passion of artists
the fortitude of workers
the faithfulness of farmers
the courage of warriors
the prayers of POWs
the casualties of war
survivors of great wars
reconstructors of
ravaged cities and
masters of industry

as you commence
your earthly walk
we pledge our
help, heart and hope
during your blessed sojourn

we offer up
holy hosannas
that your heart
may fill with a
thirst for truth,
beauty and love

may it overflow
with compassion
to serve humanity
and to stand firm
in the light of justice

may you always walk
as an upright man,
keen of vision,
eager to meet
challenges and seize
opportunity when it arises

may you create
a wholesome place
for yourself and others
by generously sharing
your presence and
the fruits of an
abundant life  

may your mind discern
the right course of action

may you find
reward for your labor
and honor a hard day's work

may your soul
seek to affirm
the Holy Spirit in
all that you do

may you champion love
through a lifelong commitment
to the things you love

may you find
trusted friendship
in the companionship
with animals

may you walk softly
upon the earth and
be a conscientious
steward of its
miraculous provision

may you appreciate the
beauty of art, experience the
freedom of dance,  be inspired
by the revelation of music,
find rejuvenation in athletics,
maintain physical health
and find a long active life
in clean living

may you attempt
difficult things
and be endowed with
intelligence, courage
and fortitude to
steadfastly meet
the challenges of life
and achieve
personal growth

may you receive solace
and garner strength from
a fathomless faith

may God’s
abiding grace
empower you to
perceive the
many miracles
each day richly
confers upon you

may you find
a soul mate
and trust in the
freedom and
beauty of love

may you too
be blessed
with children and
pass on the
good things you
were given by
your parents
and loved ones

may you experience
unconditional love
and unconditionally love

and please remember,
you are the miraculous
expression of a perfect love
may your perfection
light good pathways
throughout your life
as you find your way
in this imperfect world

with joy, reverence
love , hope  and
deep gratitude
we welcome you
our dearest
Theo

God’s Blessing
be always with you
godspeed

Theodore James McCallum
February 5, 2016
In Ardua Tendit

Music Selection:

Wane Shorter: Infant Eyes
Herbie Hancock: Speak Like a Child
Thad Jones: A Child is Born
Claude Debussy: Children's Corner

Pops
Oakland
2/9/16
a poem to commemorate the arrival of my first grandchild
Sierra Earle Nov 2014
The bough of the tree
extends in such a way
that would imply
it wants another tree to hold
but,
in a way
it is grasping
for its mother;
sun.
Just like when
a baby extends
its tiny arm
towards a giant
mom.
Anderson Ritchie Dec 2012
Oh this feeling, the way you make me feel
is naught but solid and true. Ever present,
and always makes me feel slightly delusional,
it sometimes falters, but is widely consistent.

Theres a shift in the weather, a difference in the air,
its something of a sweeter aroma, delightful to the senses.
Its calming, giving rise to these joyful fantasies, but they are
sometimes taken to far, so I keep them penned up behind fences.

There are adjectives plenty to describe you,
and many qualities can be ascribed to your name.
For your heart is golden, your words wise, your view
on life is positive and difficult to thoroughly maintain.

Your profound adoration for puppy, child, and rose
Is much to blame for my insane admiration of you.
Theres something about your personality that grows
increasingly in such favour of something within you thats true.

Ay, yes, Its true, theres something wonderful about you,
It sees me through the deepest swells when I am blue.
I could sit in your presence and be grieved by sorrowful news,
and still you'd bring me comfort, and remedy my bout of the blues.

Why do you hide away what beauty you possess,
don't flaunt it true, but please don't sequester it.
Make proud your heart in your beauty, as it pleases
the eye, and makes glad the soul who cherishes it.

I find myself laid low to the ground,
when your hand lowered extends out toward me.
I find myself happy and in the presence of love found
and in my arms, is the person who sees me free.

There is something in me that wants me to scream
nothing of pain and agony, but in joy and profound happiness.
For there is something in my life that whilst it may seem
temporary, is the permanent source of so much joyfulness.

— The End —