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Terry Collett Apr 2016
Sister Paul stops by the door of her office, and halts Anne as she crutches herself along the passage of the nursing home.

I need to have a word with you, Anne, Sister Paul says, eyeing the twelve year old girl as she rests on her crutches.

What have I done now? Anne says, gazing at the nun with a sour face.

Nothing that I am aware of, the nun says, unless you have done anything I need to know about.

Anne shakes her head, of course not, you know me Sister, butter wouldn't melt in my mouth, Anne says.

The nun holds her tongue, after the meeting with Anne a few weeks back she had come to understand Anne better, if that was possible, and came to view Anne more of an imagined daughter, than a mere child come to the nursing home to recover from the amputation, but a daughter she was glad she didn't have in reality.

Will it take long? Anne says impatiently, putting her head to one side like a bird awaiting an early morning worm.

No not long, the nun says, gazing at the girl with as much patience as she can. The nun opens her door for Anne to enter, and the the girl crutches her way past her into the small room, and sits on a chair by the desk. The nun closes the door, and sits opposite Anne.

The girl studies the nun casually. What's it about then? Anne says, sitting back in the chair, rubbing her leg stump, trying to ease away the pain.

Doctor Maggee needs to see you, Sister Paul says.

What for? The girl says, her fingers rubbing along the stump.

About your leg, the nun says.

What about my leg? And which leg? Anne says, leaning forward, eyeing the nun.

The amputated leg, the nun says.

How can he see my leg when it isn't there no more, Anne says.

Sister Paul sits stiffly, and locks her fingers together as if to form a finger church. The doctor needs to see how the stump is healing, the nun says.

I don't want no doctor to touch my leg stump, Anne says, they’ve done enough with it as it is.

He needs to examine your leg, the nun says, to make sure it is healing.

I'm not letting a male doctor touch my stump, Anne says moodily, eyeing the nun.

You will not be on your own, myself or one of the other sisters will be with you, Sister Paul says.

Anne pulls her skirt over her stump, and puts her hands in her lap. I want the Kid with me, Anne says.

The nun frowns. What Kid is this? The nun says.

Benny, my friend, my only friend in this dump, Anne says gazing at the nun.

I'm not sure that would be allowed, the nun says, flexing her fingers, staring at the girl.

Then I don't see no fecking doctor, Anne says, rising up from the chair, grabbing her crutches.

Sister Paul closes her eyes, pushing the word from her mind. Language, Anne, please, no words like that.

They both sit in a moment's silence.

I'll see what the doctor says, and if he is happy for Benny to be with you while he examines your leg, then so be it, the nun says.

Anne sits down on the chair again, puts the crutches beside her.

Are you sure Benny would want to see your leg stump? The nun says, unlocking her fingers, and putting her hands flat on the table, palms downwards.

He's seen my stump many times, Anne says.

When has he seen your stump? The nun asks.

He sees it most days, sometimes he touches it, Anne says, defiantly.  

The nun reddens, and sits up straight, and stares at the girl. Why would he want to see your leg stump and touch it? Sister Paul asks, trying to ease away the redness of her face.

I said he could; he likes to see it, and touch it; after all, he is my friend, Anne says, pulling a face, as the pain tightens in her stump.

Is it painful? Your stump? The nun asks, seeing the girl wince.

Yes most of the time, Anne says, and sometimes my feet itch, and when I go to scratch them they're not there.

It is called a phantom leg, the nun says, the nerves think the leg is still there and tells the hand to scratch.  

Anne sighs. Well can he? Can Benny come with me when the quack sees my leg stump?

The nun raises her eyebrows. She studies the girl, the way she sits, the way she looks, and stares. A defiant child, she muses, one who would need a good bit of discipline if she were a child at the Catholic school, but here in the nursing home, different rules apply. I will have to see what the doctor says, the nun says.

No Benny, he don't see my stump, the quack, Anne says.

Sister Paul sighs softly, looks at the crucifix on the wall to her left, at the Christ hanging there, hands nailed to the wooden cross. Our Lord bore His pain for us, the nun says, it is thought to be an honour to share in His suffering, and pain, the nun adds gently.

I'd rather not share in any pain, I have enough of my own, Anne says, eyeing the old plaster Christ on a wooden cross.

Perhaps the pain you have already, is sharing in our Lord's suffering, Sister Paul says.

I don't want to share His pain or suffering, Anne says angrily, I want my leg back, and no fecking pain.

The nun closes her eyes, pushes the word away from her mind. We will see what the doctor says about you having Benny with you, and I will explain to the doctor how you feel, the nun says.

Anne reaches out and touches the nun's hand. It is soft, and warm, thin and clean. All right, Anne says, let me know. She stands up, and grabs her crutches, and begins to go, releasing sister Paul’s hand.

All right, the nun says, watching the girl crutch away, eyeing the sturdiness of the child, the strength in each movement away.

The door opens, and closes.

The child has gone. Sister Paul sighs, and inwardly, softly cries.
A TWELVE YEAR OLD GIRL AND A NUN IN A NURSING HOME IN 1959.
Shofi Ahmed Oct 2017
A fine mole down
the blue mountain sky
cannot be weighed out!
It's the cosmos's gold dust
the earthy depth triumphs.
Oh earth, our close clay-star
is far ahead of the day at noon.
Ahead of the moon
ahead of the Neptune!

With a million dash of curiosity
every new sunrise paints
upon her black box with the roaring fire.
Yet the ****** is a veiled wonder!

It has the plethora a room for everyone
and time for timeless times.
Guess, with her longhand
what an inside scoop did it pick out?

You too can be in the know
It's the feminine beauty all in all.
You may have by now
seen women million and one.
The earth is eyeing on only one!

Her closest admirer is the star
of the very luminary bunch
with open eyes in the hearts.
Her dead man is waking up
sniffing the daylight by her.
Yet to make the discovery
both are still wondering outside!
Mitchell Duran Sep 2013
We met on the stairs
Of a 15th century cathedral in Rome.
I was wearing my
Light gray suit that she later told me reminded
Her of the color of fresh volcano ash.

She - cut in half by the moonlight -
Wore red flats,
A ******* linen dress that
Effortlessly pronounced her *******,
While her oaken red and auburn hair
Lunged down both of her shoulders like
A waterfall or an avalanche,
Just touching the top of her belly button.

I, looking up toward the marble spires
Spinning into the scattered stillness of the nights
Opaque and cream colored stars,
Did not know she was hovering behind me watching me,
Until she had decided to speak;

If I had known, I would have ran inside.

"The cathedral is very nice, isn't it?"
I heard her ask to my back.
At the sound of her voice, I was not
Filled with that melodramatic cliché dripping
With soap opera fused emotions.

No, I
Was dipped into a large cauldron of ice-water.

There was a tremor
Somewhere
Inside of me and a heat
Ricocheting in her.

"Yes," I replied,"It is
Very nice and very old and I wonder why it is still here."

I did not know what I meant, but
From the pause and inhalation I heard immediately after, I
Believed she must have thought what was said profound.
Was I profound? Why would she believe that if it was only from
The spontaneous question that held no real physical weight? Or
From me jumping so quickly into this little

Game,

No question's asked?

"These buildings still stand because they
Are a physical memory of what we have achieved
And what we must continue to achieve
In the future
." She had come up beside me now.
Vanilla lavender lotion and mint
Toothpaste were the first smells that came to mind.  

"The future..."I said, trailing off, "The future."

"Yes, the future is very important."

"It is all we have."

"Well, all we truly have is the present, don't you agree?" I asked,
Slightly turning my head to look at her.

She was still looking up at the cathedral. She was focused on the large church bell
That hung there like the moon in the night sky. I continued
To stare at her, my question hovering vulnerable in
The air as a butterfly with its wings damaged would. Then, a
Couple passed by us in a hurry. Their hands were clasped tightly together, the man
In front and the woman looking to be dragged by him. I saw
Neither of their faces, but I imagined them both to be calm and red.

"They look to be in a hurry," she said, "Where do
You think they're going?
"

"Somewhere very important I'd imagine."

"And where is very important for you, sir?"

She turned
To meet
My gaze a

As if challenging it.

Her lips were full and painted with red lipstick. Where I thought her eyes would prove to be light colored or forest green, they were actually colorless and black. I inhaled at the sight of her, then immediately blushed. Again, our questions back and forth to each other were more of an interrogation of one's hearts and minds than flirtation. As she stared at me, I sensed that we had met before. There was something in her face that brought the feeling of an old friend or an acquaintance, like the feeling one gets when they see a past school teacher or love interest back in grade school. There was a warmth and giddy tension between us that made me feel eight years old again. I had felt so old recently. There was a sudden wink in her eyes and I then remembered the question I had asked her before.

"You haven't answered my first question," I stated seriously.

"I agree," she answered quickly, "The present is the only thing we have truly and
Do not have, all at the same time."

"What do you mean?"

"Being present 24 hours a day, seven days a week, is a very exhausting,
Trying thing,
Isn't it?

"Yes, I would agree with that."

"And being present for whatever reason, be it socially, romantically,
Professionally, etc., is really all for the future. One's own's private future goals.
Something one desires in the moment and wishes to have for oneself in the future. Our
Motivations are our desires. Our wishes. The lives we wish to own in the future."

"At times, yes, I do believe
One is present for those reasons, but
Sometimes, and I speak for myself,
I wish to lay back and let the sun burn my skin and
The clouds to blanket me, chilling me, so to remind myself
Of my placement on this planet and the miniscule and
Tremendous affect I have on my surroundings. For example...
"

"You are very talkative," she said cutting me off, "I could
Tell from the way you looked up at this cathedral all by yourself,
Lost in thought or lack thereof, that you were a talker."

She smiled and I forced a tight-lipped smirk.

"Well, I am
So talkative because you have made
Me so.
"

"So be it."

"It is so."

"Are you mad? she asked.

"Not the least bit," I returned, unsure whether I was lying to
Her because I didn't want to offend her and scare her off or because
She was so extremely beautiful.

"Well, I am glad that I can do that to you." She looked back
Up at the church bell, trying to hide her satisfied smirk.

"I have said too much. Let us both watch
The cathedral stand on her own for a bit in silence, ok?"

"That sounds good."

She took a step down from the step she had been on with me. Two steps.
There she let her head and hair fall back, taking everything in she possibly could.
I needed a drink and she needed the sky, the cathedral, the city, but I
Could only give her my company, unsure whether she truly needed it or not.
I shifted my glance from the bell tower to what was behind me. There, I saw
A wooden trolley up against the far wall near a trickling fountain
With puppets hanging from their thin clear strings. The light from the oiled lamp posts
Was a dark orange and cast an array of ****** shadows along the walls that
Encircled the square which me and the woman and many others were standing around. Night
Had set on the square, but no one had decided to go anywhere.
The square was perfect for them; anywhere else would have seemed uncomfortable.

She looked at me from two steps back and asked,
"We are being present for a better future, yes?"

"What we hope will be a better future," I said, turning
My head away from the bottom of the square back to the
Cathedral. I emphasized the word hope.

"Yes, men and women must have
Hope for something better."

"Life does not guarantee anything, does it?"

"No, I guess it doesn't. It gives you chance and we give
One another choice."

"Or," I hesitated to say what I wanted to say, "Or God does."

"God," she laughed, "What's He got to do with anything?"

"Everything and nothing, I hear."

"Don't be so vague," she grinned, turning her body completely around to me
So I could see her full figure. Her dress outlined a woman's body,
But I knew, inside, there was so much more precious things then flesh. "Hear
From who and where?"

"You choose what you wish to believe
And no one can tell you otherwise. What
You need and
What others may need can be different and should be.
This does not mean that we cannot get along.

Is there a way to be wrong in what one believes in?
She looked to want an honest answer, so I gave her one.

"Yes."

"That's it?" she asked, wanting more.

"That can't be it?"

"Yes is a decent enough answer,
But because you looked to be so talkative before,
I assumed you would have more to say on the matter."

"Assuming something
Is a very dangerous, childish thing.

"Yes," she agreed, "It is."

"If one believes in something and tries to share
Those beliefs in an unaggressive, listen-if-you-will,
Dangerously friendly, perhaps even musical way, then
The listener has their choice in the matter. They can

Walk away

No questions asked or feelings hurt.

"That," she said, "Sounds good for the listener,
But perhaps not so great for the speaker.

"
Why?"* I asked, surprised.

"Because then the speaker may turn into something
They originally did not want to be. A prophet or voice for something
They may honestly have no interest or passion for.

"I see."

"
But, please, go on."

"
On the other side, someone may believe in something fully, to their bitter core, but there needs to be a validation from another to prove their conviction. This is a weakness in their faith. They secretly doubt themselves and are trying to prove, by the obedience and following of others, that
Their belief, system, God, what have you, is a truth, a fact like the sky is blue or that fishes swim in the sea. These people with their thoughts and beliefs are the one's that are wrong. The one's that push their way onto other's without any room for being challenged or accused of falsity."

"
There are some that do not want follower's, but as soon
As they turn around, there they are.

"Yes," I nodded, "I can think of a few thinker's
That I've read or heard of that happening."

"
God, though," she laughed again lightly, "It
Is
Funny that you bring Him up."

I didn't have anything to say, so I said nothing.

"
Are you a religious man...?" she asked.

"
My name is Robert Commento and no, I am not religious man."

I gave
Her my name
Out of my uncomfortable stance on religion and
To change the subject to less formal and conversational matters.

She put out her hand and I slipped my palm under hers. I was
Never taught to shake a woman's hand - for it is too delicate -
but to let their hand rest atop mine.

I bowed and gently kissed her hand.
Her skin smelled of fresh milk and uncut grass and
What morning dew feels like across raw fingertips.
I tried to force myself not to trip too quickly into love,
But there are some things
Men are absolutely unable to do.

"
Luria Rose," she said, bowing her head, "Very ncie to meet you
Robert Commento."

"
And very nice to meet you."

"
You are from here?" she asked.

"
Yes,"* I said, "Well, not exactly."
"From a city over where the tail of the river ends."

"I know this place, but I cannot recall the name." I could see
She was embarrassed by not knowing the location, telling me she
Was obviously from Rome and proud of it.

"Cuore Tagliente," I told her with zest,"That is where
I am from and where I was raised. My family still lives there to

Manage their small farm of olive trees.

"Do they make very much money?" At this question, I turned
On my heel and stared at her. By her look, she seemed to be
Unsure whether I meant this in seriousness or in jest. So not to scare her
Off again I forced a smiled, left my eyes upon her as if viewing a painting or a statue, and
Answered as truthfully as I could without insulting the name of my family
In truth, I lied a little.

"They were very
Well off when they bought the
Olive farm and they are still very well off
Due to savings and the like, but, because of the business they sold
And the expenses of starting from scratch in the scorching fields of where olives are grown,
They took quite a beating financially. We are quite fine now, very, very fine now,
But not as fine as if we had stayed with the old company. In a way, we were
Asked very professionally and cordially to step down. Of course, my mother, bless
Her body and soul, was very destroyed by this matter and that is why I find it hard to continue.

Luria, staring at me blankly, but with a slight hint of fascination,
Walked up the two steps she had just stepped down and
Two more past where she had been beside me.
She swiveled around on her flats and faced me. Her
Eyes were now impossible to see in the night, though I knew she was
Looking directly at me. Curious why she decided to say nothing in return
To my story, I said something in her place.

"I say so much about myself...well, then, what about you?"

Instantly, she pounced on the question,
"I am
An orphan of Roma
And grew up on the streets stealing and
Running amok quite happily, though
Sometimes I regret what I stole. Every single one was a

Necessary action."

This took me back, for she looked tanned, healthy, and
Well fed, instantly making me think she must be a very skilled
Thief. Eyeing her up and down, I wondered if this was why
She was even talking to me presently. I checked my wallet. It was there,
Though this fact made me feel only slightly better. I watched her
Blow a thick, crescent moon shaped strand of dark brown hair from her eye,
Seeing if the story had settled. Was she lying? Was she telling me the truth?

Why would she tell me anything at all?

"Let us get dinner someplace," I offered, "You can
Take me to your favorite, local restaurant in the city and I
Will pay. No favors thought to receive or anything. All I'd like
Is to have a conversation through the night with whom I have in front of me."

She nodded, said nothing with a smile, and stood still.

"You must lead the way for
I have no idea where you would like to take me. I, of
Course can take you to any of the many restaurants
I know of in my Rome, but I want to go to the one the thieves knows of.

Suddenly, her face contorted into a shape like
A razor had been dragged down the length of her face.

She shouted,"Do not call me a thief, Robert!
Your a poor son of olive farmer's! What do you know about
Anything of the street? So much so that you can ridicule and
Mock whoever's from it? You know nothing!

I immediately tried to tell her I was teasing, but she ran past me, down the stairs, and across the square. I stood stunned, embarrassed to see if anyone had noticed this outburst. No one
Had. Groups of people were still sitting around the fountain, throwing
Coin into the water as some children played and dipped their toes into the
Clear, tranquil water. The puppets waved back and forth in a light, chilled wind,
And the lamp posts still burned casting a curing light over the square. There,
I saw Luria cast in the dark orange light for just a moment. She turned around to look at
Me in the light and there, I saw her eyes were not black, but sky blue, like
The fresh melted ice I had once seen on my travels to Antarctica. Then she was gone.

Pausing, letting myself be hugged by the cathedral behind me,
Half of me wanting to stay in her embrace and the other wanting me to be in hers.
I could not hug stone forever," I told myself, "Man needs to hug a woman
Into eternity, not the church. Maybe later in life, but now, man needs the physical,
Not the metaphysical. There, I see her as she goes through the alley behind the fountain on the
Path toward my favorite bakery, Grano Gorato. I will follow her and find her.

I ran down the stairs carefully for they had become wet and slick from the light
Fog that sometimes rolls into Rome when it is night. There, I moved through the crowd
Which looked to have double in size with people. Where had they all come from?
The alleys, no doubt. They all felt the warmth and comfort of this secret square with Her
Majesty looking down on them from above, the church bell and moon like two great eyes,
The tinted cathedral windows depicting ancient actions Her heart, and the hard square
Slabs of concrete and smoothed stone Her skin. But, Luria did not care for such comforts, She
Believed in no comforts other then the one's another could give. Did she want that from me?

Once through the alley and passing Grano Gorato, I swiveled my head three-hundred-and
Sixty degrees hoping to spot the white dress with the long brown hair. There were many
Women about, but none that were Luria. I sat on the edge of another fountain in a smaller
Square which I had found myself in. Inside the café in front of me, I observed an old man order
A glass of red wine and a mini-short bread crust filled with cream with bright, light green
Kiwi on top. It is was brightly lit inside and everyone was smiling, even the servers. Looking up
At the sign for the restaurant, I saw its name was Mondi. I made a note to go there with
Luria when I found her.

"Luria! I shouted. The name echoed about the numerous walls that
Surrounded me. A few tourists dressed in sandals with socks and cameras
Wrapped around their shoulders and "*****-packs" around their waists

(Terrible Things)

Gave me a concerned glance, but I continued to
Shout, "Luria!

"Yes, Robert?" I heard Lu
I have done it again.
One year in every ten
I manage it----

A sort of walking miracle, my skin
Bright as a **** lampshade,
My right foot

A paperweight,
My face a featureless, fine
Jew linen.

Peel off the napkin
0 my enemy.
Do I terrify?----

The nose, the eye pits, the full set of teeth?
The sour breath
Will vanish in a day.

Soon, soon the flesh
The grave cave ate will be
At home on me

And I a smiling woman.
I am only thirty.
And like the cat I have nine times to die.

This is Number Three.
What a trash
To annihilate each decade.

What a million filaments.
The peanut-crunching crowd
Shoves in to see

Them unwrap me hand and foot
The big strip tease.
Gentlemen, ladies

These are my hands
My knees.
I may be skin and bone,

Nevertheless, I am the same, identical woman.
The first time it happened I was ten.
It was an accident.

The second time I meant
To last it out and not come back at all.
I rocked shut

As a seashell.
They had to call and call
And pick the worms off me like sticky pearls.

Dying
Is an art, like everything else,
I do it exceptionally well.

I do it so it feels like hell.
I do it so it feels real.
I guess you could say I've a call.

It's easy enough to do it in a cell.
It's easy enough to do it and stay put.
It's the theatrical

Comeback in broad day
To the same place, the same face, the same brute
Amused shout:

'A miracle!'
That knocks me out.
There is a charge

For the eyeing of my scars, there is a charge
For the hearing of my heart----
It really goes.

And there is a charge, a very large charge
For a word or a touch
Or a bit of blood

Or a piece of my hair or my clothes.
So, so, Herr Doktor.
So, Herr Enemy.

I am your opus,
I am your valuable,
The pure gold baby

That melts to a shriek.
I turn and burn.
Do not think I underestimate your great concern.

Ash, ash ---
You poke and stir.
Flesh, bone, there is nothing there----

A cake of soap,
A wedding ring,
A gold filling.

Herr God, Herr Lucifer
Beware
Beware.

Out of the ash
I rise with my red hair
And I eat men like air.
K Balachandran Jan 2015
Anger, is the steaming red on her face
refusal creates in an instance;
jealousy is foaming green
profusion of colors in motion
takes this dance for them to upward
and downward turns,
or a sudden dissolution---
an intense ****** in unison.
Even in darkness he  can see the
spasmodic ebbing waves
sleep is the banana plantation
where night wears translucent green
"nobody would see us here"
she whispers in his ears,
as if they are thieving ***,eyeing
the yellow banana she likes, to play with

Purple is the psychedelic color
smeared on horizon when
dreams repeatedly fly down
like night bats and happen
the way mind designs
we don't want to leave the scene
of the dream even when we know well
that the show for us is now over
we just want to hang around
like the dog,  in the place
it  got a juicy bone.

Yellow is the banana song
that's heard as wave after wave,
by the blind bat squadron
that roams with raw aggression,
for raids above the plantations
Unripe bananas show green fingers
to say "NO! we aren't ripe"
like coy underage virgins.

Then, they ripen, go yellow
some even bright red, inviting
who is blue here is the sky
and those bats who got
the bananas still raw green

Night decents on the banana land
as the white umbrella of sun
is snatched by the dark maiden.
Black is the bat's wing extending
and folding like lust, umbrella and the like.

He finds her shivering fingers like a serpent,
on the banana trunk slithering down,
as he dreams bats, banana, blue sky
and she slithering over him.
Sensuality connects, colors, assorted things  and places that become symbols for experiences , ***, lust ...
Shofi Ahmed May 2017
It’s a coloured and shaded broad daylight.
Bring me my hourglass, my paintbrush.
Keeping a timepiece, how soon my brush
strokes become finer it is not the task.
Try once more, strike a fine chord in time,
ever ticking but doesn't make a sound!  

Let’s read the small prints, the shadow lines
on the pitch of the slit sun shines!
A dark spot in the light, some dotted lines
on a blank paper, however witty you might
describe it, count on the tweeting birds
short and cute, singing in the open air.

Light and dark the two tallies, ins and outs.
The times come and go, flowing fine.
For now, let’s take a look inside.
Tint and shade nor tone them now.
Zoom in and out, just watch them as they are.

This cool sleek shade on the sunny slate
is it a shadow, or some quivering curly hairs
or are these reflections of flocking clouds,
diligent sea eyeing deep down on the ground?
Read the small prints, shadows in the daylight,
before the show is wrapped up.
And down the evening pool, the sun
parts away with the black swan.
Crossyde Gimp Jun 2014
What a life! So short, yet looking very long
Offering so much but leaving souls yearning for some more.
Questions like; what it is, where it is and how to get through,
Keeps the mind wondering and the soul with a vacuum

If you know the creator of heaven and earth
And believe He sent His only Son in your stead
Who suffered shame and hung on the cross till death
Then you are an heir and you breathe the father’s breath

If you know that the father knows you not
And you feel like you’re ripe for that place that’s hot
If you’re stained and can’t be cleaned with water from tap.
Then, like a lost traveler, you are lost and in need of a map

If you believe you’re lost and desire direction
Reach for the Son whose spirit gives the instruction.
Engraved in His stripes is the way that leads to life
You only need to believe and He'll take your strive

The father has a home above, kept as our treasure
And desire to redeem man from his fall to this place of pleasure
He sent the son to make a way and stand in the gap
Bridging the way to our treasure; so we could follow Him the map
May I steal some time to talk about my faith, the very essence of my writings and purpose for living here on earth in Jesus... He is the reason  I live and the very reason i Love
Claire E Jul 2013
I remember that spring morning all too well
As much as I wish I could forget
It was the Monday after prom
I came into math class, the teacher was eyeing me sympathetically
Then the principle came in with tears in her eyes
What was going on?

She started balling, I could barely make out her words
Then I heard her loud and clear
You were dead
No. No. No.
Surely I misheard
Surely this was all a big misunderstanding and the boy in that car wasn't you
Surely you'd stroll into class 10 minutes late as usual
But it was you in that car
And you never strolled into class again

I remember when I told my best friend, the girl you loved and who loved you
As I told her you were dead I watched the life drain from her face quicker than an avalanche falling,  and it has yet to return

And now her face is a reminder
And now your empty desk is a reminder
And now that bench where you used to sit all the time is a reminder
And that one less chair at our graduation is a reminder
And that picture of you in the hallway is a reminder
Everything is a reminder

No one really knows what happened to you that night
Do people really crash into brick buildings on accident?
Maybe you lost control of the car
Maybe you lost control of your life

All I know is seventeen is way too young to die
All I know is we should've been talking about prom that morning  
Who kissed who, who wore what, who's after party was the best
But instead we were mourning the death of a classmate
That morning we lost you, and along with you, we lost our innocence too
Gabriel K Sep 2015
“Sometimes I feel I wanna **** the world”
she told me
over lunch
after therapy
smiling as she said it
like I'd obviously understand,
and maybe I do
did
but I also felt
maybe
a little bit sick
“Do you ever think that?”
Well I wanna...I want you
to have you and hold you
my own
but she wasn't offering that
we'd entered the friendzone.
“Do you wanna get married?
foreverever after
like fairy tales
every day the same?”
but she wasn't listening
she was eyeing the waiter
said she fancied champagne.
© Gabriel K
Abby Orbeta Dec 2014
Being raised in a hetero-normative environment, everything was divided into binary. There was no middle ground. Right and Wrong. Black and White. Male and Female. Gay and Lesbian.

One, Two, Three, Four, Five. You were five years old when you first learned the difference between boys and girls. You felt that everything would be so much better if you were a boy. You’d be allowed to run and play and bike as much as you can. You didn’t have to wear itchy dresses or keep your hair braided in place or your face and clothes clean and dirt-free at all times. You refused to wear all the girly dresses and you asked your mom if you could cut your hair short. When she didn’t allow you, you took matters into your own hands and cut your well-constructed plait using craft scissors. They were all horrified, but couldn’t do anything. You suffered 20 belt lashes for your tiny act of rebellion but it was so worth it.

Six, Seven, Eight. You were eight when you began to blossom. Your ******* started growing and your curves begin to form, so you hid them like a shameful secret you wanted to erase. You kept your hair short, your demeanor brash and your clothes baggy. People started calling you “tomboy”. The label didn’t sting. It gave you a sense of pride, it afforded you the acceptance you’ve always wanted.

Nine. You were nine when you first felt attracted to a boy. He was your best friend’s older brother. He was dreamy. He looked like the boys you thought were attractive in Ang TV. But he never noticed you. He only notices the girly girls. You were a girl. Not girly, but still a girl. A different kind of girl. You see nothing wrong with being the way that you are, but you begin to wonder, “is there?”

Ten.  You’re still known as the “tomboy”. It still doesn’t bother you. You go on with your life. Now, you play for your grade’s co-ed soccer team. There is one boy in your class that you’ve been eyeing since September. He was a god. He sported blonde hair that looked like Devon Sawa’s, emerald green eyes that pierce through your soul, he was the smartest kid in class, and you play soccer together. One afternoon, you score the goal that wins the game. The boy with blonde hair and green eyes you’ve been eyeing since September, tackles you to the ground in much delight. He kisses you on the lips for the first time, you were stunned at the gesture. You liked it. Very much. A week later, he begins to call you his girlfriend, but his friends bullied him and called him a ****** for liking someone like you. As the kisses and hugs became more frequent, so did the bullying. Not long after, you broke up.

Ten point five. She enters your life at ten and a half. She had long dark hair and icy grey eyes framed by long thick lashes. Her smile lights up the room and she makes you laugh really hard. She was the first girl you ever held hands with. Her hands were warm and comforting. Her hands entwined with yours made you all tingly inside. You held hands in the library while reading Tiger Beat. You held hands behind the swing during recess. You held hands while walking home to your apartment complex. One afternoon she kisses you on the lips when you get to the door of your apartment building. You run up to your room in silence and lock yourself in for the entire night, confused. You started comparing. Why did her kiss feel better than his?

Almost eleven. You were almost eleven when your best friend’s older brother finally notices you. He notices how smooth your skin is when he grazes against it. How red your lips get when you lick them. He sneaks a peek when you’re changing in your best friend’s bedroom after soccer practice. He examines every curve of your body from your cinched waist that emphasizes your supple ******* to your shapely hips that remind him of hills that have been put on their sides. He examines and memorizes every detail of your body in secret.

Eleven. Your best friend’s older brother catches you and your best friend holding hands and kissing while playing video games. He doesn’t say anything. He did not breathe a word of this to anyone. Not even a soul.

Eleven. He corners you one summer afternoon while you’re waiting for your best friend to come home. He places his hand over your mouth and whispers for you to keep quiet. He uses his strength to pin you down, you fight and fight. You try to scream. No one can hear you. No one is home. He tells you that this is for your own good. This is what is right. He shatters you. He broke you in. He did not stop until you were tamed.

Eleven and a half. You stopped going to your best friend’s house. Your future became bleak.

Twelve, Fourteen, Sixteen. Twelve. Fourteen. Sixteen. Twelve. Fourteen. Sixteen. History repeats itself. The actors are just different. Still, no one can hear your stifled screams. You feel your soul dying. Every. Single. Time.

Sixteen, Seventeen. You decide that you just don’t care anymore. Nothing matters. You don’t matter. You try to end it all. Then she comes along to rescue you. She loves you for who you are and who you want to be. You begin to pick up the pieces. You fall in love with her. Everything is still kept in secret.

Eighteen. Your worldview has changed significantly. You’re now wiser and braver. You walk hand in hand with her in public and you even allow a bit of PDA. You don’t care about the ***** looks you get from everyone else. You slowly begin to feel accepted, yet you are still somewhat hidden.

Nineteen, Twenty, Twenty – one. You fall in love with a man, a woman, a gay man, an extremely straight woman, another man, and the list goes on and on. The whole world admonishes you and tells you to “PICK A SIDE”. Just pick one.  You can’t love both men and women. People start calling you names. Puta. Haliparot. ****. *****. ***** seems to be the crowd favorite.

Twenty – three. Names hurt. Names stick. Labels bother you. Not because you’re not proud for being who you are, but because nothing fits. Nothing feels right. You feel like you’re five again with your well - constructed plait and your craft scissors. You take matters into your own hands. You begin to take charge of your life.

Twenty – five. You’ve finally realized that gender does not matter to you when it comes to love. Love is love. You just have so much of it to give. You find peace even when people don’t understand.

Twenty – seven.  Being raised in a hetero-normative environment, everything was divided into binary. There was no middle ground. Right and Wrong. Black and White. Male and Female. Gay and Lesbian.  You still don’t adhere to any labels. You’re proud that you fall between the cracks. You see, the color - spectrum is wide and bright, but you, you’re just proud to be grey.
Kuzhur Wilson Sep 2013
My poetry, which knew it was
the cry of a lonely bird
on a solitary tree
in my village,
asked Spring its name.

Spring began to speak –

The fruit laden Vayyankatha, her thorny pangs, hijab-wearing  Guf, her minarets, Thondi  blushing red with kisses,  her moist lips, orphaned Adalodakam, Nellippuli in a polka dotted dress, Pulivakawaiting for the breeze, Anjili   head towards the south, yawning Cherupuuna, Pera with the names of grandmas scribbled on her leaves, Ilantha blowing into the hearth, Ilapongu rubbing his eyes, Irippa, Atha laughing noisily,Cholavenga in tattered clothes, Irumbakam, Padappa catching his breath after running, Pattipunna wagging his tail, bare footed Pattuthali, Thekku the noblest among them, Thekkotta, Neervalam  recollecting her last birth, Neeraal, sobbing Neelakkadambu, Pathimukam, lazy thanal murikku, Karimaruthu, Karinkura, Asttumayil, Velladevaram, Kattukadukka, the gluttonous Badam, amnesiac Vazhanna, boredVarachi, Nangmaila, Eucalyptuswith a sprained back, viscous red Rakthachandanam, saffron robed Rudraksham, Vakka, Vanchi,  Parangimaavu nostalgic of his ancestral home, Vari, Nedunaar, Marotti with a hundred offsprings, Malangara, Malampunna ,Nenmeni Vaka trying his luck in a lottery, Nelli with a sour smile.

Kadaplaavu doing sketches with leaves, Kari straying from the queue, Kattuthuvara buying things on credit, Kattutheyila boiling over, Kattupunna with a pus-oozing sore, Kumkumam putting a bindi on her forehead, starving Ventheku, Vellakadambu making a missed call, Kattadi standing aloof, her feeble hands,  flowering Ilanji, her fragrant trunk, sighing Aalmaram, Pachavattil, Pachilamaram  gossiping with the chameleon, Panachi,Pamparakumbil, Kadambu memories adorning her head, Kudamaram carrying provisions for the home,  Punnappa,Poongu, gray hairedChuruli, Chuvannakil  singing a folk song, dark skinned Vattil, Kulaku, Karinjaaval, sozzled Pamparam, Chorappayir, njama, Njaaval  tempting the birds, Njaara, Alasippooscratching his palm, Ashokam  humming a sad song.

Ezhilampala chewing on a masala paan, Peenaari wearing a tie, Peelivaka, Pulichakka with a broken leg, Pezhu demanding his wages, Kumbil, Kurangaadi, Kasukka with a dislocated elbow,Valiyakaara, Vallabham, Chavandi, stunning Chinnakil , Chittal with a failed brake, Vidana, Sheemappanji, the loan shark Odukku, Oda  on musth,fatherless Kadakonna, childlessShimshapa, Sindooram with a flushed face, Karinthakara singing the thannaaro, Vellappayir high on grass, Poothilanji showing off her blossoms, sour faced Kudampuli.

Wet in the rain Kulamaavu, Kudamaavu circling around himself, Pari from the netherworld,Poopathiri in a priest’s robe,  Poochakadambu on all fours, Kulappunna covered in a blanket, Kundalappala checking his astro forecast, Pachotti, ******* Perumaram, Perumbal  thinking of the sea, phlegm clogged Anathondi, Anakkotti, Cheruthuvara, Ilavangam, Thanni,naughty Thirukkalli,  Karappongu, embracing Kattadi, Thudali, Thelli, Kara, Malayathi,Malavirinji, shameless Kashumaavu,mud slinging Karuka, Vedinal, suicide prone Attumaruthu,Attuvanchi  who glides on the stream like a fallen shadow.

Mandaram  dressed in white, Vanna, brazen Mahagani, Karivelam doing the accounts,Jakarantha, Koombala, friendless Koovalam, Kattukamuku with his hands around friends, Kolli, Paruva,Krishnanaal with a crooked smile, Cocoa with no one to turn to, Cork,Palakapayyani, Pavizhamalli wearing necklace and bangles, a lonely Mazhamaram, Mangium, Mathalam exposing her *******, Chemmaram, Pashakottamaram, Malavembu, tearful Chamatha, Vatta, Vattakoombitired of running around, smoking Pine, Porippovanam, Kaaluvnthatherakam, Thembaavu, grinningDantaputri, Narivenga, Navathi, grumbling Mazhukkanjiram,Arayanjili,  Arayal playing a game with the wind.

Choola kissing the sizzling wind, Arinelli, Maavu reciting sadly the poem Mampazham,  Chandana vembu, Peraal stretching its back, Pulivaaka, Unnam, Naythanbakam,Karpooram in a slow glow, Naaykumbil, trumpeting Pongu, outcast Pottavaaka, bursting Poriyal, vagabond Ponthavaaka, Plaavu lost in some thought, Pootham  head covered , Ethappana  greening while yellowing, Manjadi, Mullanvenga, Mullilam lifting his dhoti to expose his genitals, Mullilavu hopping around, Moongappezhu, Neermaruthu saying enough is enough, withered Neermathalam ,Moottikkay, Ithi, Ithiyaal, Vella velam, Kalppayir, Kallar, Majakkadambu singing a lullaby, Choondappana wary of fish bones.

Stooping Punna, Matti scared of her big brother, Paarijaatham watching the midnight movie, Paalakal, Paali,Paarakam doing cartwheels, Viri, Athi showing off  her seeds,Ampazhammassaging his chest, Ayani inlove with her son, Manjakkonna, Manjamandaram in search of something, Chullithi with eyes closed, Kallilavu like an oozing rock, Malamandaram eyeing the vultures,Velleetti cursing the thunder, Venga,Veppu, Vraali, Akil, sighing Acacia,Balsa, Blanka, Beedimaram with a rattling cough,  Agasthi, Cherukonna with a sheepish smile, Kambali, woundedNagamaram.

Pathiri, touching his forehead to the ground, his eyes heavenward, Ankolam ruined by debts,Kattumarotti, Kundalappala, Aattumaruthu,Poovam, Erumanaakku, Karingotta, Vediplaavu his salary still unpaid, Venmurikku, Manjanaathi, Manimaruthu jolted awake, Mathagirivembu, Karaanjili  escorting his daughter, Karakongu,Karappongu, Ilippa on her way back, Ooravu half-awake after a dream and with a sucker smile, Ennappana about to immolate himself, fattened  Ennappine,Azhantha waiting for someone, Chorapatri with a cracked head,Sheemappoola,Poovankara, Malampuli, Puli with sharpened stakes.

Obese Theettipplaavu,Malambongu, Chorimathimurikku, Irippa bailing out his friend, Irumbakamwho lost his job, Kunkumappoo, Karinthaali, Scoot, Rose Kadambu, Aamathali, Aarampuli,Attilippucaught in the crowd, Irul  blessed by the elders, Vellavatti, whistling Mula, Kattukonna in a hat, Kaniiram learning the alphabets, broker Cheru,Kattuchembakam exposing his arm pit,Thandidiyan, Neeroli, Ezhachembakam waiting for her bus, Karimbana in a newly constructed house, Karivenga,Karivali writing a poem, Ungu in a baby frock, Udi, Plasha, Elamaruthupromising to meet later, Chembakam dying to hug.

Vellakil who bathes the kids, Vellavaaka who forgot his umbrella, Attuthekku who failed the exam, lustful Aattunochi,Malanthudali with her legs spread, Malanthengu with chest ****** up,Malamanchadi who is learning to count, Malambarathi exposing her *******, intoxicated Aval, Arana reciting the poem Karuna, insane Alakku who dashes off to the temple, Cheru who cannot stop washing clothes, Kudappana ready to elope, irreligious Jaathi, Silver Oak laughing boisterously, Kattuveppu waiting for the kids, Sumami ******* on a toffee, annoyed Parappoola,frightened Pinar, Ithi stopping her ears at swear words, Ithiyal with lots of smiles, Kovidaram with music in his mind, Ilakkali showing her belly, blossoming Ilavu, Chadachi who ***** sadistically, cool fingered Chandanam.

dominating Charakkonna, office going Cheelanthi, Gulgulu glued to Kochu channel, Gulmohur with dyed hair, Irul with a fuming face, early rising Kanikonna, Kanala who has a sound sleep, Karingali  who pees standing, Kambakam with an ***** *****, Kallavi  beseeching to stuff her up, Karanjili  quivering in lust, calm Karaal, Kaari who hums while *******, Kaavalam who naps after the toil,Thannimaram showing off her petals, Thambakam kissing the ****, Thellipayar savouring a *****,Neerkurunda in post-****** languor, Malaya breastfeeding her kid, bullying Kathi, mad hat Eetti,Cheeni  not remembering his mom,  Kunnivaka showing his gums, Kuppamanja who laughs in sleep, Othalanga swallowing poison, blooming Poovarasu.

Spring went on,
reeling off names to me.
The rain the sun the wind and the cold
Rolled in one after the other.
Spring kept pulling out
names from its memory.

People got scared of
my poetry gone wild.
They stopped passing that way.

A snake goes slithering away.
A hare finds its own path and dashes away.
A poothankiri, from a bush, flies away.



(Trans from Malayalam by Ra Sh)
1.      Mampazham (Ripe Mango) is the title of a famouspoem by Vyloppilli.
2.      Karuna (Compassion) is the title of a long poemby Kumaran Asan.
3.      Poothankiri – A white headed babbler.
4.      Thanaaro - An obscene devotional song.
Shofi Ahmed Jan 13
Fly perfectly straight high and shew the fly
out of the fly-bottle on your way.
Rise to victory far above the blue sky
ripping the reward is the opening of paradise!

The road ahead is all clear eye wide open space
up this way, the end is all vast open to reach
things small and big can grow and disappear in it.
You will see sunrises and sunsets on the way
waxing and waning moon flickering stars in the dark
be mindful though as you sway it got to be laser-sharp.
There is no hard shoulder on this highway
miss it by an inch and risk loosing forever!

There is hope there is light up in the high
pick your paintbrush as does the sun.
Goodness knows how it sneaks in right on the black
canvas of the night painting the first light
lo, it shows up in heaven the candle of the daylight.
So long there are a man and a woman
never give up our canary bird can fly  
rosy or not the nest in every morn nets a sunrise!

(1)
A woman indeed plucks up the courage
she never had to look up to the stars
be it for the guide or the light in the night.
Fathima herself was the full Moon every night
is thanks to her Godsent innate light.

With it, she can bask in the full spread of the pi
on top of its short decimals mounting high
constantly as if countless stars in the sky.

The time and space down the sun
and that under Fathima's light
is a far cry from each other
but can live side by side.

Like she points out:
'A circle is masculine
while the pi is feminine'.

Pi forms the circle while it's fine prints
decimal dots continue to spring.
Sprawling trillions of new digits
the bandwagon is still increasing.
Connecting the dots is an untouched dream.
The full moon pi picture is in veil
unseen at large, yet in short 3.145 it can live!  

(2)
Fathima can fly her lock of hair
in the lurking air of the transcended pi.
Because she is the primitive feminine
God's secret feminine opus!
An immeasurable black hole in between
the short and transcended pi runs like a river
and dances new on every riverbank
in the many curls of Fathima's jet black hair!

She lent out a hair to the planet earth
and crossed over here like a silhouette
without spilling out the colour
of the transcended end of the pi.
The earth takes it in the core of her heart
as if it would keepsake it forever.
Weaving the pi in Fathima instils the hair
tied it as a perfect circle the first and the front one
of the only ideal circle duo in the universe.

The motion inside the hair is the earth's finest fluid core
none is as deep as high as proportionate a perfect flow.
No time is as revealing no music is as sweet in this orb
no force is as mighty nor as a prevailing giant to explore
it's the cause of gravity and the heat at the earth's core.
the play of spirit and matter in the mix first and foremost
thanks to the pure resonance of 'Qun' be the word of God!

(3)
The way to the earth's core is exposed to none other
save the Angel of Death the lucky one.

See both sides of the one lofty sky swathed in countless stars  
but the day and night render through still remains an unseen one  
Terra is shalet zeroed in Fathima is heaven on earth!  
Up in the sky-high bank turning the starry bowl upside down
Fathima took no star nor a pearl diving deep down the Arab water,
the brightest luminary came after Muhammad (PBUH),
in veil from the Night of Measures and into the flipside in the night
she's gone without lifting the veil but left her penetrating mark.

Few could find the shortcut contemplating on this blank canvas
till to date, the Moon looks down into the abyss down the sea
looking for a mirror in the bottom in the as above so below matter
since God Sent Fathima touched on the all-inclusive primitive water.

She just raised a drop up, and the sun got caught up in the sky
the ancient fold of time still unfurls with the sun-kissed flowers
for the new hands yet the fingerprint on the sun remains only her!

Azrael heads to Fathima around the year 632 after death
touches down in Medina on his usual thin earth he steps.  
But this time a little mundane dust couldn't be thicker
he keeps descending deep down to the earth's centre
following from Medina there the angel locates her
inside the perfect circle a closed geometric figure.

(4)
Fathima is the female headline her secret is not all known
when she used to visit the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)
he would stand up for her hold her hand and kiss it
and seat her on his seat, she would do the same to the prophet
when he would visit her like they did know each other
in and outside the spheres of heaven and earth!

She is the embodiment of the infinite feminine variations
the first spiritual woman created following God's word Qun.
Her is the mother tongue of the ever diversified feminine lingua
no one woman on her own can rhyme with her alone
she has no peer her rhetoric is unique like none other.
The galactic run from planet to planet up on the starry ladder
climbing high up the mountain heaven yet streams out like oval
off their rock bottom stone until that unleashes the final run
in perfect circle delving into the rhythm of the loop at the centre
made of Fathima's hair charged by 'Qun' God's uncreated word.  

Prophet David can sing on the bank of the river
and can see the fish are jumping to him out of the water.
The masculine is open form, eye on everywhere,
but not her the woman is in juxtaposition her
all-inclusive schema supplanting the details rest only on her.
She is the unseen world within the world at best imagine her!
Guess through this inwardly open door who might disappear?
It's nature before the scientist on ultimate discovery of the matter!  

Aligning with her down the rainbow up high the land absorbs
the grooming sky looking on the running rivers within her.
Her words spread through like the smart cloud that flies far
over the lands and valleys but not even the wind none other
gets a sniff of the potion and melody it caries until that rain down
without a hurdle without a visual she moves on at the target
such a soul needs no after death lift from the angel of death.

Before Azrael Fathima loses the arc of the circle then and there
so not the earth but giant Azrael can take the pressure!
Marked by a fluid discharge since then she is cooling this fire
In Shaa Allah God willing when she ajars it will be elixir!  

(5)
Draw a straight line, but it won't be perfect
it keeps bending, fly straight touching the sky
the flight path won't look like a straight line
it would be like the crest of a crescent moon
like curve touched the sky, like climbing up
atop the pyramid is not going high straight on
it goes up from the widespread seked slopes.

Like the stock market chart moves never
in straight lines but in a zigzag pattern.
Move big but start small, the golden ratio
is always 1.618 something is never the full 2
but gives the formula to design flawlessly on the go
from micro to macro level all the way to the true north!    

Fathima being the original feminine eyeing at her
she can tap in the knowhow of naturally feminine nature.
And discovers the immanent pattern - the world
is pre-designed and measured is never a coincidence.
The creatures' creativity, scientist's science
is to follow, discover working formulas like phi and pi.

Play along it works until an unknown hour strikes
comes with accurate knowledge dead on time
numerically correct never miss taking life away
as if it was calculated beforehand before the birth.
A newborn is born for a limited time
already set but no one knows when it goes up  
is a deadlock clock but it isn't so shrouded
in the blueprint of the creatures' grand design
there the clock ticks safe and sounds it never dies!  

(6)
Fathima hailing from the other side of the pool
eyes on the ever live pre-design side of the creation!
Then its corporeal face was only a water drop,
the primitive one looks see-through but dead zero
knowledge of its lively other side of the pool.
She comes closer and perfectly mirrors both sides
that shines through on her reflected face on the water.
An absolute new image that livens up the dead part
Bang - Big Bang! It gets the spark for the corporeal world
to explode out from the very first drop of the water!

The appearance of Fathima was miraculously instrumental
by the grace of God, it showed up the finite and infinite, 0 and 1,
future in the present and the death and life on the play!
Nature tends to follow suit it just saw the perfect role model
it moved big bang, but banged out only to its corporeal set!
A far cry from being at par symmetrical with its infinite reality
like the precursor image of it's Big Bang that it aspires to be!

Fathima leaves the door open elevating a perfect circle,
not a straight line, follows the pattern to take the variations
into account in the very first matter, the water drop.
She zooms in more into the abyss irrational portion
and aces the circle with her hair leaving a muslin fine
empty open zero at the starting point at the bottom.
The ocean of the pi digits, the DNA of all things material
banged out of it, still, the zero is numberless irrational!

(7)
All things, within oneself and in a set constantly vibrate,
strive to align with the enduring reality of itself.
The atom vibrates to reach out to its immortal portion
that doesn't die and is in the know of its lower base.
The planets are in a defined circular orbit, accurately measured
just the apex on top of their dynamic pyramid the pyramidon
is tucked away; they too have an irrational portion in the circle.

With the finest spin, they zoom in the spacious universe,
in part and like the sun outside the constellations round they go
never miss a target line yet to re-discover Fathima's perfect circle
the origin of their digital essences' breakthrough
the door to their transcended destination de jour.
Lo the matter turns the last stone pulsing across the cosmos
the mortal horizontal spread, the spirit returns home.

The earth has a line in its swansong it has a place in paradise
it's not here to stay for good neither to perish forever!

Matters form and break without losing the rope,
it's not to paint the shades of the eternal blue.
There is just an irrational portion in the circle
at the heart of the earth, as above, so below.  
The deep the high the perfect circle
up and down the centre of gravitation for all!

At even and at odd the vibration within the matter is fluid
somewhere is parched there the arch matter must make a splash.
Far away on that dark beach, the full-fledged sea of the matters
outpours its billowy potion with the Moon on the frontline
the physical world's most glowed up firefly!

(8)
The seven seas swell up smoothly into the moonlight-dip
oh, the waterless Moon at the core is still fasting.
Led by the time the sweet swan punting along the waves
streams down the watery inner circle of the planets.
In the Moon, it's stuck no water in the last waterfront
where paradise is on the other side of the pool!  

The sun dips away into the night
bathing the horizon in shades of pink and gold,
the dazzling hues soon turn to taupe.
Drawing down painting the picture in full colour
only to find the time is up on the halfway,
yet to print a colour copy of the night!
The other unseen half is passed down to the Moon
tiptoeing in slow motion in the depths of the night
barely keeping the head afloat in a fathomless ocean
of shades of black hails from where knows none.  

The sun enkindles the moon half-lit keeping itself away
in the shadow as if comparing the shades now it knows
a mehrem a veiled female is ahead not to look on or
compared to that the sun has no light or true are both.

Wrapt in the eternal night beneath its black mole
once the moon on the front approaching most close
directly down to the centre of the earth eyes on
over that inlaid string hairy black perfect circle
never did it turn back the same gaze is still on
orbiting around the earth in synchronous rotation.

(9)
The never-ending night, becoming a night indeed
it's coming to an end so soon in our time.
In Shaa Allah I will see it with my eyes before I die
in the Night of Measures in an odd night in Ramadan
Fathima from the transcendental end of irrational heart
will turn on top of the curve opening for the first time
a 9-degree angle in the circle at the centre of the earth.

Instantly the leading force, time will get the first sniff
of the other world, so peaceful heart-melting serene.
Rapturous time feeling an ounce of the enduring peace
for the first time cutting all the corners with ease
will be propelled into its yet uncharted golden mean.
Scurrying to the peaceful abode time will be on its wings
across the globe, people will be stunned seeing
how first the times pass from then on incredibly quick!

Fathima, the first spiritual woman on duty, will start
pulling her hair back off the circle at the centre
Juxtaposed in between the worlds of here and hereafter.
She will take back every inch of it, the heavenly bodies
will feel the pinch of her every little subtle pull
that too will be a boon helping them perfect their circle.

(10)
Soon she opens it just 9-degree wide at first
the Moon will see a glimpse of the first drop of water.
Without it, it's living perched without the water of life
that's destined to rain down soon and the Moon
back into its original pond shall revive!
Mapping the pi's whole infinitesimals playground
finally, Fathima will turn the circle upside down
before the stunning sun rising in the western sky!

By now under Fathima's hair's shaded closed circle
it must have sailed far over the blue sky in the other world.
Billowing with the breeze over the sea of uncharted water
and stacking to the brim with all that it could discover
humbly stood like a cloud in that corner of the sky.

The time is finally ticking fast to rain down with love
paradise's welcoming schema rendering in waterpaint drops
on the Moon over the sea of matters, that's most glowed up firefly
ah, finally can break the fast sipping in a drop of elixir!
It's their heavenly adopted, Miʿrāj performed, primitive water.
The Moon with the seven seas will leave off the corporeal shell
gliding gracefully with this stately water nymph as if it never dies
and will make a splash plopping into the pond of paradise!  

For the matter ultimately is water and its extent is sound
Fathima will fetch it the water of life and take it to the next life!
Oh, the matter shall do both die and revive with Israfil's sound
the cloud will fly out of the dead water on the ground,
like the earth with chorus songs of the rain revives.
When that a melodious nymph in the water makes waves
see paradise is here the Moon over the sea can't take off its eyes.

(11)
Hang on though they all set ready on their horizontal span  
to pull in such a fluid yet colourful descending like a rainbow swan.
First chaste Fathima will evaporate her hair's perfume away
that's yet lingering in the water warming it up to its premium
no crowd then can see where this heady, fragrant cloud will fly!
There are the momentum and delights where that will alight.

Israfil might then blow his trumpet swooning the world away
the secret will remain secret exception is noted in the Qur'an.
A strange sound will silence the chorus of the innate digits
collapsing the floating cosmos bubbling on their music.  
The corporeal circle will collapse as if there is no base no pi
the melody of the first word Qun means Be will still be loud
supercalifragilisticexpialidocious so how can we all expire?

Israfil too will play his reviving trumpet pure mellifluous
and In Shaa Allah numerically perfect Fathima will rise
amidst the resonant Qun as like she did in the beginning
when except prophet Muhammad (PBUH) there was nothing!
Now the earth once zeroed in beneath her hair will follow her
the stunned terra will discover Fathima took her hair away
only to shift the constellation up onto the upper world!

The old songs of the planets the chorus of the digits will revive
from the zero bases in the core the digital panache that dance
planet upon the planet as if they are always at the perfect hertz.

Indeed that is yet to come, the arts of the fine layers
opening from the irrational pi, the finest one is to flower
when Fathima will unloop her circled hair at the centre
piercing the very immanent irrational cut
that no creation can fathom only the loving creator Allah
will turn odd to even in between the here and hereafter
then the ocean stuck in deep salt shall turn to enduring potion!
The As-Sirat shall turn to be the bridge to paradise
the body shall revive with the enduring soul forever
and with ah Fathima couple shall enter paradise In Shaa Allah
with the rhapsody 'all praise is for Allah' Alhamdulillah!
Megan Wilcox Dec 2014
My body is a temple
And yes you may stare
But don't come up to me
like you have some kind
Of speech prepared
I'm not your baby
Or your honey bun
I'm simply delicious
And no you can't have some
You don't please my eye
Or give me the tingles
I'm pretty sure your one liners
Is a reason why you're single
I'm not you're sweet Thang
Or something you can eat
So stop eyeing me down
Like i'm a rare piece of meat
My body isn't your wonderland
for you to explore
I'm an exotic foreign country
Not a second class *****
I won't give you my number
Or snapchat name
I've heard this all before
You are all the same .
My eyes are up here
But you're looking at my chest
Last time i checked
That's not a sign of respect
You say that you're different
And not like the rest,
That you're number one
TO simply to put it
"The best"
I regret to inform
That you are highly mistaken
So you're going home tonight
To a bed that is vacant.
I won't regret this decision
And i wont keep you in mind
But If you like, take a number
Join the other guys in line
Who think I'm a *****
Or a stuck up chick
But darling pipe down
You're just another ****
I'm not that type of girl
Who randomly *****
If you like go down the street
They'll always ****
I know my worth
And what i deserve
I don't have time
For a creepy, ***-perve
I have a man who loves me
and treats me the right way
So why would i bother
And give you the time of day
Hes perfect and handsome
A real bread winner
So ill deny you again
You can't take me out to dinner
I'm just not that into you
Or however it goes
You're going to be leaving
As a one man show
You should probably go
Cause No means no
Sorry not sorry
I think you learned your lesson though.
Some guys just don't get it.
K Balachandran Sep 2014
Gentle evening wind, non existent till a moment before
lying low among the children playing with the flakes of golden sun
fallen on the silver white sand, quickly rises, unnoticed by any one
flirt with the comely coconut palms lined on the beach,that act coy,
blows towards the long, rolling blue wave, meeting it headlong,
a blast, white spray springs up spectacularly like a fountain,
then, easily lifts three kitesurfers, fling them high up stylishly
across the fortress of water, they look invincible, untouched
by the waves, that look foolish eyeing skywards, the milling crowd
howls in mirth, seeing the dramatic twist, it's all fun till sun down.
Ashley Nicole Jul 2015
I was on my way to a party
Dressed in heels and a crop top
When I entered the corner store
To purchase some snacks
And on my way to the cashier
A man standing in an aisle
Browsing through peanuts
Glanced up and stopped mid-search
When I clicked past him
And proceeded to uncomfortably stare

I walked into the gas station
Wearing dark wash jeans and a v-neck
With my best friend at 2 AM
When two drunken men stumbled in
And began eyeing us up and smirking
My friend leaned in to me and whispered,
     "I'm really scared."
Overhearing her, one man elbowed the other
And with a smile on his face taunted,
          "Oh no, we're scaring them."

I was at the laundry mat one night
Wearing shorts and a baggy shirt
When a middle aged man across the room
Kept gawking at me from over the washers
Uneasy, I went outside to smoke
To which he stood at the window
And kept a close eye on me
I called a friend and stayed on the phone
Because I was afraid to go back
And get my clothes alone

I stepped out of my vehicle
In my sweatpants and flipflops
To grab some cigarettes quick
When a white bearded man
Was already at my heels
"Hey, how're you honey?"
I quickly replied, "fine".
And hurried into the store
Without looking back

It seems like every time I leave the house
It doesn't matter what I'm wearing
It could be "provocative" or a burlap sack
I always end up feeling threatened
     Heartbeat in my ears
          Cold sweat on my back
So don't blame it on my outfit
Don't blame it on my actions
Because I'm not asking for it
I just want to be left alone
It's not right that I fear for my own safety because animalistic people can't control themselves and act right.

I'm going to have to invest in pocket mace.

I wish I didn't have to.
Akemi Oct 2013
Chapter 1

There was a woman. The cost to love her was your life. No other payment but a sending off, a revolver cocked to your temple’s side.
There was no spite in your death, just business.
Hell of a business to run.

I was protecting someone. Never been one to stick around, but this drag had carried for the past year. That gang-owned joint lay but two doors and a cold alley away. Popular place, maybe not the classiest but it had its patrons. Packed with your essentials: pool tables, dirt-licked walls and chairs, mean folk mixed in with the nice. Old fashioned joint with a history. You could almost feel it when you walked in. That small pressure when it’s about to rain? Felt like that had been building up for a decade there.
Some Madonna owned it. Names elude me, but she was just another front; as was the barkeep, the hired bouncers and those mean-eyed slingers that spoke loud in company, silent alone. Heh, almost like an old-fashioned saloon. Who the hell am I in this tale of cowboys and crooks?
I was holed up in that apartment block for the winter. Stiff drapes covering a stiff cold that seeped through the cracks anyway. Cold chills to wake to, and the whiskey don’t warm a **** thing. Maybe it was the ache of a past flame that led me to her. That old touch had languished and misted away in the night of some long dead memory, leaving an old kiss from a young lover on my shivering body. It grew faint with every year’s passing. I struggle to remember this keepsake.
Every night.
I was a no name protector protecting a no name ghost of a man. Yeah we knew each other. I’m no stranger to keep past talking terms . . . but, hell if I remember his name, how we got into this **** situation and why. Mind’s a little off. Been like that for years.

It was a stumble through the wrong door at the wrong time. Some spiteful voices in the back of the joint or the back of my mind telling me I’m headed for hell and ain’t coming back. See, every day is a crossroad, and I happened upon the worst one yet.
I remember that flaking paint; grime-covered white on a moulding door **** near off its hinges. That suited me, and I hated it. Maybe I grew sick of wandering the same way and turned my life on its spinning head. Spun me all the ways I couldn’t face. Saw a glimmer that fate had readied for me. Don’t think I’ve looked at anything with such eyes since; nor have they looked back at me.
The room was a cramped, dilapidated hellhole like every other room, but with her laying on that bed of hers . . . she was the only clean thing in the whole of this cursed city. Save, she wasn’t clean. No such thing exists; no such thing as clean since your adolescent innocence, and even that went up in flames. Hell, in a city like this I wouldn’t be surprised if the skeletons we kept so tightly locked in our closets outnumbered us ten to one.
Should have remembered that when I saw her, but my mind lay a blank canvas and I couldn’t help but fill it with all the details of this pretty bird. Even those that weren’t there.
No Name yanked me out quick. Never seen him so pale, ghosting further and further from a human being. He’d been running so long I don’t think he even knew what he was running from anymore. His past? Some cop chase from years back, ending with blood stains and shaky hands? A dead kid in the arms of a suicidal wife? Maybe he’s running from himself. Fear in the capacity we contain, and fear in the ways we unleash it around loved ones. I don’t blame him for running. If I was a worse man I’d run from him as well.
Now No Name has it all figured out, even if he won’t let on; and that bird in there ain’t part of the plan. Cash cash, first train out to some no name city for this no name man. In this together, he keeps repeating, like some broke down record player that only plays one song. Well I guess we share more similarities than I’d like to think so.

One night, about a month after settling in that old apartment, I hear raised voices. Not uncommon, but something about this still night woke some fear inside me. A fear I needed to meet with my eyes, a score to settle with myself. Sounded like some ******* outside was hoping to bring down the sky with volume alone. No type of gentleman, just a no ***** kid who doesn’t know the difference between command and screaming like a babe.
One gets you respect. Now, the other. . . .
I open those stiff drapes with stiffer fingers. Brush that layer of frozen breath and mist to find some mid-twenty good for nothing punk holding a struggling figure. The apartment ain’t exactly ground floor but even up here I can spot the difference between a gent and a sally. Some broad was in trouble.
Grab that six shooter, old man. The holster smooth from years of wear, small frays on the weathered jacket rubbing against goose-pricked skin. Comfort clothing that never really brings comfort. Not anymore. Guess I’m as bad as No Name. I’m just repeating routine.
Out the hall, no doors left in this apartment block. Stolen, broken, ain’t exactly your family fun lifestyle we’re living. No Name’s holed up in this fortress of upturned furniture and dresser-barred doorways. Lights flicker from between the cracks. The devil ain’t gonna bother with the door, I tell him. He doesn’t reply. Maybe he’s a religious man with one too many sins above his head.
There’s another yell and I feel my blood rise, hairs picking up static, a storm brewing inside that clenched stomach of mine. Take a tumble down the stairs in my haste. **** crooked balsa wood. Those stairs are gonna end me one day, I swear.
Ground floor. I slam that kitchen door and it cracks against the brick wall outside. ****. No Name’s gonna burst an artery. Call out for that ******* punk but he’s already eyeing me up. Only a few steps away and I can see the white in his eyes. No . . . those are his pupils. Wide, all cloud-like, he’s ******* dusted up. . . . Almost like looking into the past. Thrice-cursed ****. I’m in trouble.
This ain’t some lover’s quarrel, some twisted ****’s thought of a good way to end the night. This is a dusthead addict and I’m out of my league. His mid-snarl distorts and stretches past his cheeks and that devil grin sends an electric jolt from the wires of my brain to my heart.
This six shooter is as good as a pea gun against a Smiley.
He’s spouting some glossolalia drifts, layering it like an abominable duet. The coked-up boy in me yearns to understand again, but stiff joints and washed-out dreams have made me a cynic. Ain’t no beauty when you’re tearing things apart to see it. ******* Smiley’s on the edge and he’s ready to pounce right off. If that broad’s sobbing didn’t **** at those heart strings of mine I’d be running for my ******* life.
I lift that pea shooter and aim it straight at that devil smile.
He howls. Glass shatters from above. Some black monstrous thing comes speeding at me. I leap through that apartment doorway in time to see ******* Smiley consumed by it. All sharp, all solid that beast slams into Smiley, screaming loud enough to wake this dead city twice over. Smiley thrashes, he splays out to the ground, the beast’s seared flesh erupting in front of me. A piece slices past my cheek and I’m on the ground in tears. I hear No Name scream an incomprehensible curse above. I’m bawling now. Through my tears I spot that chunk of flesh. ******* balsa wood. Thrice-cursed balsa wood.
No Name had thrown a piano out that barricaded window of his. Tears of pure comedy, that’s what left my face. A Smiley taken out by No Name, I’ll never live this down. His mangled body lies under polished wood. Someone’s yearly worth gone in a second of frantic panic, reduced to twisted wires and cracked ivory. To see something so beautiful destroyed in seconds makes me wonder if the Smiley had gotten the better of us after all.
That broad’s in shock. Splinters covered every inch of ground save that around her; looked like a comet, trailing emptiness behind.  Should have noticed it then that something wasn’t right with that scene. Perfectly unscathed beauty sitting there with not a single scratch nor splinter on her, but I was too **** amazed I was alive. Knelt close to her and caught a whiff of some exotic scent on her skin. Some flower. Saw her face and it added another colour to that filling canvas of mine. This pretty bird from the joint. The one men died for. At least No Name had saved one life worth saving, funny it happened to be the one who could take yours in a night.
Names elude me, but the way I remember her . . . the way I remember her is Blossom, for when she came into my life she gave colours to my black and white memory, colours I didn’t know existed, and my black and white morals took a turn down some dawning grey-blurred alley.
So I’m a ******* gentleman and I walk Blossom home while No Name shifts furniture above us. Scrapes of hard wood against wood, filling that void in his once impenetrable bastion. I told you No Name’s got it all planned out already. Guess I’m just here for the ride.
Welcome to the paranormal neo-noir gangster world of Devil Smiles.
Sharina Saad Jun 2013
I chose to hide,
Behind my veil.
In my safe home,
My existence frail.
My identity and my honour,
My own choice to preserve.
Hiding within my soul,
Modesty that i reserve.
Eyeing this dusty world,
Lost treasures of faith
seven virtues for world,
Veil for me is eighth.
Proud of my identity,
happy on my choice.
This is what i am,
Hijab is my voice.
Mitchell Duran Dec 2012
She stood up against the wooden bar lit by a stale football field that shined florescent green and highlighted polyester blue like a muse of Van Gogh or Galileo. Her hair ran down the nape of her neck like a ****** waterfall and the light of the bar highlighted her sphinx like eyes as she turned and caught his eye. He stood at a small table away from the main bar with a couple of friends who were telling stories of their old college days and he, half-listening, quickly looked away, faking to scratch his eye, for he knew he had been caught looking at the back of her and she, with her women's intuition of being observed and knowing this, kept looking and he knowing the only way not to show he had been caught was to look away quickly and very obviously; like a bad actor caught dumb and silent, clueless of their next line. They blushed and shared the heat of embarrassment in their cheeks with the sounds of worn dollar bills slapping hard against the smooth wood of the bar, the bar man eyeing it angrily as cigarette smoke surrounded them and slowly drifted up like a lost soul toward the ceiling and the piano man, eyes tight shut played for everyone there when no-one cared to listen, all underneath the dim light of the bar as they strained to look away from one another, trying to find something they could put their focus upon, but, at the same time, wanting very much to look back and have their eyes meet by mistake all over again.

He focused on the design of the bathroom placards that were in the right corner of the tiny bar where you had to turn sideways and touch shoulder's with every soul inside just to get a drink. He feigned interest in the bronze design of the men's bathroom: a tiny boy looking down at his pecker as he ****** a 1/2 inch thick stream into what the man gathered to be a sunflower ***. The boy was thrusting his hips forward, both of his hands on his side, and he showed no smile, no grin of satisfaction or victory, just a stark, blank face, as if he were thinking "I am peeing in this ***. That is all." The women's bathroom sign was of a young girl with the same kind of *** the boy had been ******* in, but it was missing the sunflower and was replaced by the *** of the girl. She stared up into the sky and into the ceiling lights and was dramatically reaching for a butterfly or bird - he couldn't make out which - something with wings and made him think of a basic metaphor that this poor little girl just wants to get off the *** and be free like the birds and butterflies and clouds in the wide blue sky.

She focused on the man's shoes. She looked at the black shine and the pristine black shoe laces, all looking like everything had just been purchased that day. "There is not a single scuff on them and the way this man cuffs his pants only a single turn," she thought to herself, "Tells me he has something of a style on him". Not so run of the mill. Something special. Something of interest.* But then, she was annoyed by the cuff of the pants because she remembered that was what all the schoolboys in her prep school would do when the day was rainy or the boys rode their bikes home from school or they were nerds. The memory immediately turned her off of the man all together, but luckily, she put her gaze back on the jet-black, seemingly un-touched leather that told her success, class, and security.

The man heard a loud Cheer's!" from his table, abruptly bringing him out of his distraction. He was forced to turn and as he did, he made sure not to look up. He kept his eyes on the table and looked for the half-full beer with the worn Budweiser coaster underneath it. He could see from the his top periphery that she was still facing him but she was looking down at something toward the floor. He fumbled with his large hands for his glass and panned his eyes up slightly. The woman, seeing the movement at the table, looked up. She stared back to where she had first caught him looking at her and waited. The man felt her looking at him and in the same instant, saw the faded Budweiser coaster and reached for his beer. He picked the glass up and as the second Cheer! was yelled, he clashed his glass against all the others, all the while keeping his head not toward his friend's faces, but turned in the direction of the bar toward the girl. He smiled at her as he lowered his glass, not taking a drink. His friend slapped him on the back and told him," You gotta' drink after the cheers or its bad luck," and so he did, still staring dumbly at her as he did. She nodded at him with a self-conscious and embarrassed grin, raised her nearly gone low-ball glass of gin and tonic and tipped it toward him and turned around to face the bar.

"I"ll stand here and wait for him to come up to me," she thought, "And if he doesn't the man is a coward and a louse and not worth my time. I have looked twice now and there is some rule in some magazine that I read somewhere, that if you look twice at a man that it is sign, not a coincidence. No, it has a purpose and though I barely know what reason I want this man to look at me other then to get a drink out of him and maybe some conversation, I am certain I have looked twice, maybe even three times. Yes. I have looked at him and I have made my interest known and now I must wait for him to either come or stay with his drunken friends. They look like frat boys cheering like that. They look like drunken, silly frat boys that wouldn't know the first thing about chivalry. Hell, they probably couldn't even spell the ****** word." She laughed under her breath and smiled maliciously to herself and caught her own reflection in the mirror and, for an moment, wanted to quickly look away. Her face did not frighten her, for she was a beautiful woman, not her skin, which was milky white with the faintest and gentlest dash of rouge on each cheek, nor her chocolate colored curls that bounded like boulder's down a hillside. She turned away from a look upon her eye she had not seen or had recognized in a very long time. Her eyes were frightened.

"Frightened?" she wondered.

The man put his beer glass on the table on top of the coaster. The foam rested at the bottom of the cup like the thin layer of ice that blows over a frozen lake, barely there at all passing with the wind. He stared at her back and liked how she leaned on her right hip and put the toe of her left high-heel to the ground, rocking the nose of the shoe back and forth like she was thinking about something playfully frivolous. Behind him, the noise of his friends became a hollow echo, drowned out by the draw of this woman. She swung her left heel back and forth like a pendulum trying to hypnotize him. Someone touched his shoulder but he shrugged the hand away as in this echo chamber he could only hear the music change tracks on the juke box. The song had changed to an old Ottis Redding song and there was nothing else in the world that he wanted to listen to in that moment. As he watched her, leaning into the bar seemingly all alone, no boyfriend or girlfriend in sight, he saw her raise her glass to the barman and knew she had something by the gentle nod of the back of her head. He then saw her point with her left finger and tap the rim of the glass. Her drink was empty. She wanted another drink. He would buy her another drink.

"There is nothing in this world that a man is more responsible for than getting a woman like this a drink," he nodded, thinking to himself and trying to pick up his courage,"One that plays with my heart like a kitten would a spool of yarn, and yet also like a vulture who would peck out the eyes of a dead man in the desert. This is nothing more then that obligation. A rule passed down from man to man, from age to age, where chivalry was not for the base reason to lay with the woman, but to honor them, praise them lightly as the rain from a heavy mist and show them to the pedestal every woman, whether they wish to admit it or not, do wish for, sincerely do at least once in there life." He readjusted his belt and realigned his shirt that had gotten crooked after the celebratory cheer and thought some more,"I'm not going to do that here, this pedestal stuff. This is more like a step toward that pedestal. Yes. A step toward the shrine she wants to trust she deserves and will one day end up on. And this shrine is all cast and painted in the blurry french film noir of dream, is it not? Aren't dreams the only thing we hope to one day come true? How often - when and if they do come true - they can sometimes disappoint and eventually turn sour like a bad orange. I hope she is drinking and that wasn't just a tonic water. If this woman doesn't drink I don't think any of this will be worth anything at all."

She stood there serene and angelic, the hand that held her drink now resting on the base of the bar. Behind the man, he heard the chatter of his friends and the drone of football scores and player updates coming from the ten or more televisions that hung from the ceiling. Someone reached out to touch his shoulder but missed him as he left the table. His name then echoed behind him but soon the sound evaporated as dew does that rests on blades of grass in a summer morning to a summer afternoon. There was only her and her smell that had drifted to his table and shrouded him with the scent of white chocolate and smoke and her delicate, porcelain hand that had held up the drink shyly but not weakly, in passing demand without that demanding quality drunk people can get like at bars sometimes. He approached her, hovered behind her, but she did not turn, and then came up to the bar to lean into. He did not turn to look at her, though he wanted to very badly, but looked down at her low-ball glass with two half-melted ice cubes and a used lime. The smell of gin came from the glass and the man smiled to himself and put his hand up to signal the bartender.

"If this man orders his drink first and walks back to that table with all of his drunken friends, I am giving up men all together," the woman thought to herself," * Tonight and forever! If he can put his hand up and not even turn to look at me, as I was doing, I thought, to be very flirtatious but gentle, then I see no reason at all to keep going with men. They are barbarians that only want to eat, drink, sleep, and fornicate with women that are easy and provide no real challenge at all in their life. If he wants it easy, he can have it as easy as he wants, but not with me. No sir. Not with me ever. Not with me for a night, an hour, a minute, or even a second."

The bartender, a stout slightly overweight man that was a little over forty with streaks of grey in his thin, short-cut hair, looking very much like he should be home reading with a nice cup of tea by his side rather than in the bar serving drinks to stranger's, approached the man and asked him what he would like.

"Two gin and tonics please," the man said, "With a slice of lime and four ice-cubes in each."

"And what kind of gin, sir?"

The man turned to the woman, "What label do you drink?" he asked.

"Pardon me?" she stuttered startled, her eyebrows raised.

"Your drinking gin, aren't you?" He nodded his head toward the woman's empty glass. The tiny lines of transparent lime skin floated on top of the water that had gathered from the melting ice-cubes.

"Yes, I am. I was just about to order."

"I'll get this round and you'll get the next one."

"Any gin is fine."

The man turned to the bartender," Tanqueray, please bartender."

He nodded and went to make the drinks.

"Your very perceptive," the woman said as she turned to face him.

"I try."

"I saw you from across the bar, but was afraid to walk up to your table for fear of getting ambushed by all of your friends. Those are your friends, right?"

"Yes," he nodded as he looked over his shoulder at them, "Old college friends all with old stories of college that, truthfully, bring me little or no joy to even hear."

"Then why come at all?" she asked, "You seem smart enough to know that if you meet up with old anything, you'll be hearing about the old times all night."

"I was forced to come."

"Someone getting divorced?"

"No," he laughed, "The opposite. Married."

"Well, I hope it's not you or this would look very bad if your fiance walked in."

"And why's that?"

She clicked her tongue and turned to look at the shelves stocked with every kind of liquor. The bottles reflected the soft orange glow of the lights that circled the bar and the colors of the television screens. The man continued to look at the woman who had turned her back on him and caught their reflection in a bottle of Jack Daniel's. He waited for a response, but she stood there silent, knowing she was playing with him. Behind him, his friends were growing louder and a tray of shots had found its way to their table. The waitress who had brought the drinks, polite and with a smile, asked them to try and keep it down. They shouted "YES'S and screamed "YEAH'S" with moronic smiles on their faces, their heads nodding up and down like a dog playing fetch. The waitress giggled a thank and walked away shaking her head with disgust when she was out of sight.

"Well," she said,"You did just order two gin and tonics and I think if your fiance walked in with you chatting with me with the same drink in both of our hands, I think she would be a little upset. I know I would be."

"Perhaps we could act like we are old grammar school friends and just happened to run into one another?"

"Well, that would be a lie."

"Yes, that would be a lie."

"Which would mean we were hiding something from said wife."

"And what would that be?"

"That you approached me after I looked at you, perhaps the look from me wasn't flirtatious, maybe I thought you looked familiar, like I had seen you somewhere, and you came up to me and ordered me a drink and started a conversation with me, much like we are doing right now."

"What's wrong with conversation?" The bartender approached them and placed the two drinks in front of the man. The man took out his wallet without losing his gaze on the woman, took out a twenty and slid it toward the bartender. The bartender took the twenty, paused for a moment to see if the man wanted any change, but left when he saw he didn't want any by not moving.

"Conversation can lead to very dangerous things," the woman said playfully and wise.

"Your here by yourself and your not stupid; someone is going to come up to talk to you."

"And your that somebody?"

"I'm sure I'm not the first one tonight."

"Your sweet."

"I try," he said as he slid the drink over to here,"Your drink."

"What should we drink too?" She asked and raised her glass, the light above them reflecting in the ice-cubes and thick glass of the high-ball.

"Conversation," he said proudly and with a smile, "And the danger that it brings."

They clinked their glasses together, their eyes never leaving one another, and they both took a long drink.

"I'm not here with anybody and I'm not expecting anybody tonight either," the woman said.

"What's your name?"

"Why?"

"I want to be able to tell my friends I met a very interesting woman, but they won't believe me if I don't give them a name."

"I'm standing right here, silly. Go and tell them you met the most interesting woman in your entire life, look over at me when they ask you what my name is, then point over to me and I'll wave."

"You'll be here?"

"I'll be here."

"Promise?"

"Go, go, go," she repeated, pushing him back toward his table, "You bought me a drink, didn't you? The least I can do is wave to your drunken college friends."

The man walked back to his table, glancing quickly over his shoulder, trying to hide it, before he reached the table. He arrived to all of them drunk, beer spilt on the table and an ashtray full of punched out cigarettes and ground up cigars. Every one of them were rocking back and forth with each other, their arms sloppily hung around their neighbor's shoulders, their eyes blood shot with their mouth half-cracked open barely breathing in the smoky, beer smelling air. The man struggled to wedge his way into the circle, and when he did, he tried to get the groups attention by screaming an
Eyal Lavi Aug 2017
THE PREACHER GOODY GOODWILL walks center stage and steps up to the Dias; eyeing his congregation with a seriously serious frown. Clears his throat, takes a tissue and blows his nose. Then resumes eyeing all the families sitting before him. Finally-

PREACHER GOODY GOODWILL
Were you unsettled? Did my silence catch you off guard? Or was it my frown, sure that was it, you're not used to seeing me frown, you're not used to me stretching out the silence. And yet I wonder: why is it you were uncomfortable? Surely, even though you weren't prepared for it, it wasn't as if I came here with accusations of you - you Charlotte Ray, or you Jimmy Matheter, or any random one of you for that matter - accusations that you had sinned 'for you surely did as the Good Lord intended you too, you sinned and you will be forgiven if you simply give in to the Good Lord's Word and his wholly Holy embrace.
(BEAT)
And so I wonder - and I ask you to ask yourself - why were you uncomfortable when I stepped up in silence? Have you sinned and are ashamed? Too ashamed, perhaps, to confess said sin? 'For if that's the case then you are truly ******, having committed not just the sin you are ashamed to confess but now in the Good Lord's own House you are committing the sin of pride, you are certainly not humble as the Good Lord asks of us all, are you?
(BEAT)
Are we not told that "the meek shall inherit the earth" as written by the Good Lord's very own, very Good Hand in our Holy Bible?
(BEAT)
So who are you to walk with pride when He asks you to be humble, that's all he asks of you my friends; be true and humble, be meek among men, and He - the Good Lord Himself - will surely welcome you through the pearly gates of Heaven and into his warm embrace.
(BEAT)
It is not for you to be your own judge nor are you tasked with judging others; surely you must see how full of pride one must be to imagine he can rightfully judge others or himself, for that matter, and not be full of pride if he dares take on such a task.
(BEAT)
And let us be clear as He the Good Lord is clear, that to be Holy is to be prideless, to accept Him into your heart is to accept that you have sinned - and you have, each and every one of you - 'for we are imperfect beings in an imperfect world and who among you would claim to be perfect of His Own Son, Jesus Christ himself, was a sinner among men... oh, I see, I literally see your raised eye browse as if you truly don't believe me or perhaps you don't understand. So if I may let me give you just one example which is the one that speaks most true to your very own Preacher Goody Goodwill who does not and has never claimed to be great, oh no have I ever claimed that my good friends? I certainly have not 'for I choose to be good, just good at what I do which is all the Good Lord asks, while his own Son Jesus Christ, he too was a preacher like me, but he was great perhaps the greatest yes! the greatest of all time thus he wasn't very meek, to be great is to have pride and in pride we live in sin; and so, as the Holy Book informs us Jesus Christ died for our sins but consider that he, too, was a sinner among men and so he died for his sins too, he had surely lived in pride and he had not a confessor so he died a filthy man.
(BEAT)
Yes that's right he died as he had lived, full of pride and not so meek, do you see now what I say? You are not too full of pride that you'd consider your own sins and believe that you may judge what is right and what is wrong? No, I know you all as I do myself and you are Good Folks with good hearts and meek as lambs, are you not?

The congregation nods whole heartedly.

PREACHER GOODY GOODWILL
Good good, I know you are, you're good and meek at heart as the Good Lord intended, and so when it's your turn to confess I expect you'll remember this talk we just had, and confess as the Good Lord intended, let me hear all the sins you sinned for you surely sinned, and let me then offer you his Holy reassurance that the penance I deem is the key to your salvation and once you clean yourself of sin then salvation will be yours.

Now the Preacher Goody Goodwill scans the congregation, eyeing them all, one by one; then he smiles and they smile back - all is as it should be once again - and his warmth radiates within the Holy House as he concludes this Sunday's sermon by making the sign of the Cross across his chest.

PREACHER GOODY GOODWILL
You may rise.
Eyal Lavi
Shofi Ahmed Oct 2017
Eyeing on the night - its out.
Mirroring the colour of the Moon
every star flocks in the sky!

Just spare an eye - maybe the
missing sun keeping an eye out!
For it only fancies the billowy
sea in the black night.
Terry Collett Apr 2015
You must practice, Yochana's mother says, you need to have the Schubert off better. Yochana moves her thin fingers over the keyboard, eyeing the music-sheet on the piano stand. Her mother walks behind her, eyes on her fingers' movement. Angela said some boy pays you attention, the mother says, focusing on the fingers, how they seem too stiff. What boy? Yochana says, pausing her playing, please to stop, eyeing her mother, thinking on the boy Benedict, the kiss he gave her on the cheek. Angela spoke of some boy at school in your class, the mother says, and play on, your fingers are stiff while playing. There is no boy, Yochana says, lying, but trying to do a professional job at it, but not that good as her eyes give her away, proceeding to get her fingers playing over the keyboard once again, bring the Schubert back to life. Then Angela is either mistaken or lying are you saying? Her mother says. Yochana says nothing, wondering how much Angela had said, and how much pressure Mother put her on the poor girl. I've told you about boys, you have no time yet for boys, not while at school at any rate, and it then needs to be the right boy, and I cannot see there being that kind of boy at that school, the mother says slowly, but with emphasis on the word -right boy-, and still the firmness in the way of speech. Yochana comes to the end of the Schubert piece and puts her hands in her lap. She sits stiff. She hears her mother breathing, pacing behind her. Still too stiff in playing, she says, and this boy and I assume there is a boy or Angela would not have mentioned one and I do hope you are not taking to the art of deception, Yochana, as you do not have that skill to any great degree. Yochana turns and looks at her mother. Just a boy in class and it's nothing, she says, never going to mention the kiss on the cheek, she thinks, eyeing her mother's eyes. And what is he up to, this boy? Nothing, just a boy in class who stare sat me. And why does he stare at you? Have you been encouraging the boy to stare? Yochana shakes her head. Her dark hair moves from side to side. Of course not, she says, seeing Benedict near her in her mind. So why does he stare? the mother asks, leaning over Yochana, her hands each side of the piano-stall on which Yochana sits. Maybe he likes to stare at me. Don't be flippant, the mother says, Angela says he seems too friendly with you. Too friendly? Yochana senses herself blush and tries to add distraction by turning and playing a few bars of Beethoven, he's just a boy who stares and jokes. Then discourage him, the mother says firmly, or I will write to the Head and complain. I do discourage him as best I can, she lies, bringing the Beethoven along fiercely. A slap drives her hands from the keyboard and into her lap where she digs them deep between her thin thighs. Don't try and distract me my girl or you will  be pushing me to my limits and you know what that means, the mother says. Yochana looks down at the keyboard, senses the sting of pain on her hands. She nods. I will ask Angela to keep an eye on this boy and you it seems. Angela and her big mouth, Yochana muses, looking at the motionless keyboard, black and white keys. She sees Benedict kissing her again on her cheek just out of the blue that day. It was sudden. Smack on the cheek. Damp, warm. He standing there smiling. She stirred up, but pretending not to be. Understand me? Her mother says, turning Yochana around to face her, gazing into her daughters eyes, through the thin wired framed glasses. Yes, I understand, she says, trying not to look at her mother, attempting to hide her tears coming, the sting of hands. Then go to your room and focus on the English work, otherwise you will get behind with that and you will need that if you are to make anything of yourself at that school, her mother says, standing back allowing room for her daughter to rise up from the piano stall and move. Yochana walks away from the piano looking away from her mother, her eyes watery. And remember, girl, you are only fourteen not twenty one, still a child, the mother says at her daughter disappearing back. Yochana says nothing, but walks out of the music room and up the stairs, one foot climbing after the other in a slow determined fashion. She knows what her mother is implying. She remembers how strict her mother can be. She walks to her room, opens the door and enters, closing the door behind her and leans against it. Tears fill her eyes. Angela's big mouth. No doubt innocently said. Mother pushing it. Squeezing all she could out of the dim girl until it had all she needed. I'll see Angela and have a word. Keep it quiet. Mouth shut. Or I'm for it, I'll tell her, Yochana  says to herself, moving away from the door and picking up the English grammar and lies on the bed. That sort of boy. That kind of school. Was Benedict that kind of boy? What kind was he? She didn't know. Not her mother's idea of a right type of boy. Kiss on the cheek. She felt her cheek where she recalls he kissed her. Fingers feel there. The sting in her hand is still there as she moves her fingers. She puts the English grammar book beside her on the bed and closes her eyes, pushing out tears. She places a hand to her cheek. Rubs it. Takes the fingers from her cheek and puts the fingertips to her lips and kisses, then slowly blows the invisible kisses towards the window, hoping to God her mother doesn't see the invisible kisses flyby and go.
A GIRL AND HER MOTHER AND THE BOY IN 1962.
ConnectHook May 2016
Give him a skinhead, insignia, boots

Less scruples, a swagger-stick, crowds, money.

No black shirts visible. Just business suits,

and pride is restored: tragic but funny.

Proud like a skyscraper, godless as sin

Babylonian promises, towering lies

Reality shows when plutocrats win,

Their rhetoric raining from empty skies.

She-wolves, elected by uninformed sheep

behave predictably, eyeing the flock

Their wool (and the lamb-chops) are hers to keep

Grazing voter—this should come as no shock.

It’s a bitter pill (more like pilloried)

So shall we now be ******* or Hillary-ed?
☺☻
Get ready Amerika !!
☻☺
What thoughts I have of you tonight, Walt Whit-
man, for I walked down the sidestreets under the trees
with a headache self-conscious looking at the full moon.
     In my hungry fatigue, and shopping for images,
I went into the neon fruit supermarket, dreaming of
your enumerations!
     What peaches and what penumbras! Whole fam-
ilies shopping at night! Aisles full of husbands! Wives
in the avocados, babies in the tomatoes!--and you,
Garcнa Lorca, what were you doing down by the
watermelons?

     I saw you, Walt Whitman, childless, lonely old
grubber, poking among the meats in the refrigerator
and eyeing the grocery boys.
     I heard you asking questions of each: Who killed
the pork chops? What price bananas? Are you my
Angel?
     I wandered in and out of the brilliant stacks of
cans following you, and followed in my imagination
by the store detective.
     We strode down the open corridors together in
our solitary fancy tasting artichokes, possessing every
frozen delicacy, and never passing the cashier.
     Where are we going, Walt Whitman? The doors
close in an hour. Which way does your beard point
tonight?
     (I touch your book and dream of our odyssey in the
supermarket and feel absurd.)
     Will we walk all night through solitary streets?
The trees add shade to shade, lights out in the houses,
we'll both be lonely.
     Will we stroll dreaming ofthe lost America of love
past blue automobiles in driveways, home to our silent
cottage?
     Ah, dear father, graybeard, lonely old courage-
teacher, what America did you have when Charon quit
poling his ferry and you got out on a smoking bank
and stood watching the boat disappear on the black
waters of Lethe?

                                   Berkeley 1955
Ben Brinkburn Apr 2013
Pieter is a Norwegian and he lives
in the ground floor flat and takes
the bus to work and sits in his window
on his Vaio laptop with just a bare
bulb lighting his room
and receives a lot of mail from
South America
and we chat in the corridor downstairs
sometimes he’d hand me a beer
always Heineken
never ever anything else
and he’d tell me he existed primarily on
a diet of bananas probiotic yoghurt
prime beef and eggs along with beer
and on Saturday evenings only
two bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon
which he’d sleep off on Sundays listening to
recordings of his home town’s church bells
and he said he understood Norway better
than the UK
you knew who you were in Norway and
were always a touch away from a friend
or foe and there was no artifice involved
just icy mountains and clear seas and the release
of arctic breath
and one Friday night Barb came over
and we sat with Pieter on the stairs
drinking his Heineken and I caught him
eyeing up Barb’s legs and I didn’t blame him
no sir I enjoy an eyeful and more myself
but we got steadily more drunk
and I ended up asking him if he was
a drug runner for coke-crazed Peruvians
and he just smiled as if it was
not such a crazy question and he
said
no, just money for Nigerians
and we clinked bottles
and we laughed
park it into an account cream off your
cut and move it on
a piece of ****
nice work if you can get it and we drink to that
and I hope Barb is feeling as ***** as me
and doesn’t want to go to the Beehive
before any Friday night genital work out
as its cold and snowing outside
and I’m not made
of Norwegian stuff.
Amitav Radiance Jul 2014
Busy bee eyeing the flowers
Seduced by the bright colors
Probing with the proboscis
Hairy body covered with pollens
Visiting the clovers and hollyhocks
Also in love with Dahlias and roses
Returning with the days fill
Honey sac full of nectar
Returning to the honeycomb
They are ‘Bee-ing’ happy
With all the sweetness
Just Bee Happy
butterfly May 2017
when in stillness
undying screams within explode
anxieties crawl like bugs
under the skin
of which the world is deaf n blind

when in stillness
callued demons awake
trashes revealed
clogging up the mind
for hundred years or so

when in stillness
they melt away
energy recharged
vibration flows the vines
lightness comes up

eyeing n  eyeing n  eyeing
the mind pattern n sensation
with full awareness of which
free from cravings or aversions
to stillness and equanimity we sync
on meditation retreat may 21st - June 5th
Terry Collett Nov 2015
AFTER THE SALE 1972.


The Rossetti prints sell well, Abela said. Benedict looked at the paintings on the walls of the gallery. They would, he said in reply, taking in her thighs as she rose to adjust a painting frame, the black stockings tight and smooth. But not, the Constables so much, she added, pulling at her black skirt, as she brushed a finger along the Constable frame, eyeing it, peering at it closer, looking at the wagon and horse. Benedict raised his eyes to her neat bottom held in place by the black skirt. Constable's  a bore, he said, sends me to sleep. She turned and walked to the counter where Benedict stood. What we like is of no concern, it's the customer's taste we need to please, she said, eyeing him, his hazel eyes, that quiff of hair, that smile which reminded her of the Elvis Presley photo, on that album cover, Benedict had shown her one night, when she stayed to listen to music(his), and drink wine, and then have ***. But surely we can have one or two of Miro or Picasso? She looked at his open necked  shirt, at his Adam's apple moving as he spoke. They won't well, she said, we were stuck with that Miro for nigh on a year last time, and then we sold it off in a sale, and that tall man bought it with the twirly moustache and thin wired glasses. Benedict sighed, he eyed her face, her eyes, the snub nose, the reddish cheeks, her mouth, the lips, recalling when he kissed them last. Just one Picasso to make my time here worthwhile, he said. She looked at him seriously. No, not after last time. He doesn't sell around here, she said. Benedict pulled a face of disappointment. Coffee then? Shall I make us some? She eyed the gallery which was empty. All right, but do not be too long, she said. He walked off to the little area at the back of the gallery where there was a sink and draining-board, cupboard, and a lavatory for either gender. He took out two mugs and spooned in instant coffee into each one and added sugar for himself but not hers as she didn't have sugar. The bell of the gallery jingled. A customer. He gazed around the wall and saw Abela was there approaching the man and woman like a gazelle in mating season. He waited until the kettle boiled then poured water into both mugs and added milk. He stirred his mug. There was small talk from the gallery. He sipped his coffee, then walked out to assist in the sale if there was going to be one. Abela was pointing out a watercolour by a local artist. Benedict  approached from a different angle and eyed the man and his wife(or partner or mistress) ah, Benedict, this gentleman and his wife are interested in a rural watercolour and I thought maybe you could take them upstairs and show them the other collection of rural scenes. Benedict nodded and said, of course, which particular scenery are you interested in? The man said, something of Sussex, the Downs or maybe near the coast. His wife said nothing, but followed them upstairs. Benedict showed them the few Sussex landscapes they had. Are these by a local artist? The man asked. Yes, she lives nearby and paints rural scenes, Benedict said, eyeing the woman, taking in her low cut dress, the ampleness pushing outward. A necklace was hanging there sparkling. I recognize this area, the man said, yes, takes me back. She has captured well, the colouring, the smoothness. His wife gazed at Benedict and smiled. He smiled back, then said to her husband, yes, she does, nicely done, I think, he said, but didn’t like it himself, thought it boring as a wet Sunday. What do you think, Nessa? He asked his wife. It's lovely, she said, letting her eyes flow over the print, then back to Benedict, her smile still in place. Is that the price? The man said. Yes, £175, although I'm sure, my assistant will allow a small reduction, Benedict said, glad to be rid of the print. Well, that's good, we'll take it, the man said. Benedict took down the print finely framed and went downstairs with them and said to Abela. The gentleman will buy, I suggest a 15% discount. Abela looked at him. All right, she said, her voice cool, steady, and she watched as the man wrote out a cheque and Benedict wrapped up the framed print and tied with string. The woman eyed him. He returned her gaze. He wondered what she was like to wake up to, to see her beside you in bed, her low cut nightie welcoming. Abela rang up the sale and the man and his wife walked out the gallery. 15% discount? Why? Abela said. Get rid of the boring thing, he said. But it cuts our profit, she said. No sale, no profit, he said. It's been upstairs for nearly a year now and no ******'s even looked at it until today. Abela sulked and went and got her coffee and he followed her. They stood in the area sipping. I'd like a Rothko, he said, a big print along one of the walls. It wouldn't sell around here, she said, sulkily. He studied her lips. He liked it when they pouted. It made them look sexier than usual. He recalled the longest kiss. Had to break for air, his lips sore, almost numb. She walked back into the gallery. He watched her go, her swaying hips, her neat ***. Just one Pollack, he said, Jackson Pollack. She said nothing. He sipped his coffee and lit up a cigarette and took a long drag. It was going to be a long haul of a day. One sale, so far. Mondays were a drag. Few came on Mondays. Saturdays were best, that was when they sold well. Five Rossetti’s last week, and a Monet and that local artist's Surrey scene. He exhaled smoke. The bell jingled another customer, another sale, maybe. He recalled the night before: she and he at it as if on a wild wet sea.
A MAN AND WOMAN IN ART SHOP IN 1972.
Mymai Yuan Sep 2010
It all began when someone left the window open.
The love bird cocked its bright green head at the shut door of Woodren’s third floor bedroom, perched on her bedpost. Its bright black eyes glittered, listening for the sounds of Woodren’s footsteps. None came. It ruffled its feathers impatiently; waiting for Woodren to come back with some water for its thirsty beak.
The love bird’s first memory was of Woodren: her clear gray eyes expressing her great happiness through them and not through the tiny curve of a smile on her thin pale lips. Her small white fingers pressed on the syringe gently, and a hot, mushy substance that tasted of apples and bananas went down its throat. The tiny black beak clattered against the plastic syringe greedily. “Aw, you poor baby. You’re hungry aren’t you, my Hoopsie-girl?” she murmured.
She then later taught her baby lovebird to fly with the patience of a mother. As soon as its wings started flapping feebly, she lifted Hoopsie up on the palm of her hand above her head and drew her hand away quickly, teaching the lovebird to fly and landing on Woodren’s soft bed. On cold nights, Woodren would wrap her favorite emerald green scarf around Hoopsie and place her behind the television where it was always warm and sellotape the electric sockets and wires so that Hoopsie was safe.
Woodren never even considered snipping the feathers of Hoopsie’s wings; she would never hurt her darling creature, and snip of its greatest glory. She would comb the feathers with a miniature pink Barbie brush, noticing how blue feathers had started to appear on Hoopsie’s wings and red ones slowly layered beneath the blue as time went by.
Showering Hoopsie was the hardest of all. Aunt and Uncle Palmer had no idea that Hoopsie even existed and revealing her presence would leave both Hoopsie and Woodren with no home. Late at night, Woodren would have to sneak out to the bathroom on the first floor (not on the second floor because that one was right next to Aunt and Uncle Palmer’s bedroom), down the stairs (taking care to step over the thirteenth stair that groaned so loudly), turn on the taps quietly and wash a sleepy Hoopsie with warm water.
Her two youngest cousins often made fun of her for the funny smell that stuck on her clothes sometimes. Linda and Lucy, her bratty twin cousins, asked in their scornful sing-song voices, “Why do you lock your room Woodren? Scared we’ll find all your old ***** clothes under the bed that you wouldn’t let Ma throw away?”
“No, maybe she’s scared we’ll find naughty magazines? If we do, we’ll tell Pa and you’ll have nowhere to stay ‘cause Pa says that type of behavior is sinful and he won’t tolerate it in his house!”
Woodren found it in her heart to look upon her silly cousins as childish entertainment. What did they know of the love she had for Hoopsie? “No, I’m scared you’ll find the monster under my bed and start crying for your Ma”
Linda narrowed her blue eyes, “I’m telling Ma you mentioned Lucy’s fear of the monster under the bed to her face! Besides, you don’t have anywhere else to go. You live on Pa’s charity. Ma said so.”
It was the lowest of insults based on a harsh truth. Woodren’s mother had died of cancer when Woodren was very young and her father followed her mother not a year after with heart grief. Her mother had asked her younger sister to take in Woodren; they were her only relatives and had stopped being fond of her once their own two twin daughters arrived and Mr. Palmer started to have to work harder to feed the six bellies at his dinner table. She just became another mouth to feed.
The only person Woodren got along well with in the household was her eldest cousin, Max. Max rarely spoke in anything but grunts, thought of his two little sisters as annoying brats, refused to say more than two sentences at a time to his simpering mother and loudly obnoxious father and often came and sat in Woodren’s room with his large feet against the wall, stroking Hoopsie’s head in silence. She really was fond of Max sometimes. He could be so thoughtful. Just two weeks before, for her birthday, Max had bought her maroon silk curtains with white birds imprinted upon them. He had even gone further than that and stitched in white thread, “Happy birthday. I love you” a red wonky heart followed and then “From Hoopsie.” Simply imagining him sitting there with a huge, thick curtain holding a tiny needle in his bear-like paws, cursing as he stabbed his rough fingertips and fumbling clumsily made her shout with laughter.
It was Max’s idea to buy Hoopsie a big metal cage and attach it to a branch on the big tree in their garden with a piece of shoelace, hidden among all the green leaves. That way, when Hoopsie sang Woodren wouldn’t have to blast her music and radio at the same time or pinch Hoopsie’s beaks shut when her Aunt or Uncle come to  yell at her if she was deaf or crazy or both. And that way, Woodren’s room wouldn’t have its twangy smell of bird **** and Woodren wouldn’t have to be paranoid all day long at school, wondering if nosy Aunt Palmer had broken into her room and found Hoopsie. And that way, she could leave her window open during the day, trying to rid her room off the nutty, sugary smell.
Max’s room was on the same floor as Woodren, the third floor. Every morning, bright and early before school, Woodren would run with a small lump in her sweater and the keys to her locked room jingling on her wrists to Max’s room. Max would barely acknowledge her as she ran across his room, opened his window and climbed out like a monkey to the branch that pushed against his window sill. She crawled along it with speed and sat there, with her legs hanging down and the branch between her legs, fumbled for the cage door above her head, made sure there was enough water and food to last Hoopsie for the day, popped Hoopsie inside with a quick kiss, arranged the fan-like fresh morning-smell leaves to cover the cage completely and skate back towards Max’s window.
Hoopsie mourned with a few high whistling notes. She hated being away from Woodren during the day- waiting for the moment when the sun was getting hot, and Hoopsie was tired of chatting to the birds in the nearby trees, when Woodren’s sharp little white face with its explosion of frizzy black hair would appear in between the leaves with her happy grey eyes and let her fly around the tree before calling, “Hoopsie” followed by her signature tilting whistle. But for now, and for every morning till noon, Hoopsie would have to wait.
“You don’t think they’ll find her do you?” Woodren would ask Max as she clambered back into his window. It was their daily morning ritual.
“No. Pa told Ma that it’s all about privacy now that I’m a growing-up boy. I’ll lock my door; promise.” He would reply back, completing their ritual.
“Are you still eating lunch with that Ed kid?” he asked, completely breaking their ritual this morning.
“Yes.” She was completely surprised. Not only was Max breaking a routine, Max of all people, he was doing so by asking her a question about her personal life.
Woodren eyed Max strangely. To her, Max was her huge cousin that somehow managed to communicate with a variety of different grunts and hated cutting his hair because of his fear of sharp objects; but to the rest of the school and neighborhood, she knew Max was the “strong and silent” handsome tall boy, every girl’s dream, with his shaggy blonde hair.
“Why?” her gray eyes grew rounder when suspicious instead of narrowing.  
“You don’t have many friends at school.”
“You know I don’t get along with any of them but Ed. I don’t like being friends with people unless I actually like them… unlike all the other girls at school.”
“I don’t like you staying around the Ed kid too much.”
Woodren felt a little glow of affection for Max in her heart. She understood why Max was worried. Ed was unstable with the rest of the world. He did what he wanted to, he said exactly what he wanted to and he wasn’t afraid of anything because he didn’t care what anyone said. He was the kid that the no parents wanted their children to stay near. There wasn’t anything Ed hadn’t done before.
Despite what everyone else thought, Woodren knew that his morals and sense of good and justice were strong in his heart. And when it came to Woodren he was always there for her since he moved to the neighborhood more than half a year ago. No matter how many offending remarks he made, she felt he had become the only stable thing in her life in spite of him being so apt to change. She had learned to depend on him.  
At the breakfast table, Woodren’s gray eyes slid over from Linda to Lucy to Aunt Palmer to Uncle Palmer and rested on Max the longest. Until she had come to look at Max, all four of them were identical in their attractive features and identical in their pinched-up, suspicious and petty expressions glazed over with a courteous mask. Max’s blue eyes, though the same shape as Aunt Palmer’s and the same color as Uncle Palmer’s, expressed a good heart and sincerity.
Her first subject of the day was an art lesson. All she had to do was sit comfortably, a palette with swirls of colors, paintbrushes, charcoals and pencils, a *** of water, and a fresh-smelling page. Usually she drew herself as a monster, or Linda as the devil- disturbing pictures that made people believe she was “talented”. But today, it came to her all of a sudden she’d never done a good, worthwhile painting of Hoopsie. Sure, her tables and notebooks were filled with carvings she’d doodled in class but never something she would want to keep.
She started to sketch Hoopsie on her bed post, eyeing the nuts Woodren had stolen from Aunt Palmer’s snack cupboard. She drew Hoopsie in the big tree and painted a metal cage around her. Somehow, the silver cage ruined the picture completely, making Woodren grimace. When the paint dried, she erased Hoopsie from inside the cage and drew her beside it, her small black feet gripping a twig.
Woodren remembered how elegant birds looked when she looked up into the sky, and saw them with their wings spread out and imagined feeling the wind rush through her feathers and ripple down her head and spine, with a heaven of azure blue surrounding her, shooting through clouds cold and refreshing like a sprinkler in the garden. Maybe that’s what freedom tasted like. She tried drawing Hoopsie soaring in the sky before she realized she’d never seen Hoopsie soar like other birds do, because Hoopsie had never done so.
Broodingly, she packed up when class was dismissed, slowly and thoughtfully. Somehow, that small beginning of a painting had darkened her frame of mind completely. Still ruminating, she headed down the hall way to eat lunch.
“Woody!” Hearing the sound of that voice, she momentarily forget her unease and Woodren’s thin, pale lips spread in a smile even before she turned around to him. Ed was the only one who ever called her that. His oval head was covered in small black bristles and one of his black eyebrows rose as he smirked with his pink lips curving down. The diamond earring in his ear glinted like his teeth did. He caught her eyes with his hazel ones; his eyes were warm and lively.  His mouth formed words that were witty and charming and could always make Woodren laugh.
Woodren put a look of amazement on her face. “You came to school today.”
“What are you talking about? I’ve been coming to school nearly all month.”
“That’s why I’m surprised.”
He hit her arm lightly. A few girls nearby turned around and giggled when they caught Ed’s eyes. Woodren remembered when Ed had first come to school. All the prettiest girls at school kept sidling over to him and batting their eyelashes. Ed had taken one look at the curves on their bodies; his eyes flickered over their face, a little bored, and continued his conversation with Woodren as if there had been no interruption.
It was a mark of their friendship three weeks later when she told him about her family. His hazel eyes had burnt hotly. When he was angry, his voice was quieter, but strained as if the passionate anger behind the words were being controlled with the greatest effort, “People who ruin other people’s happiness on purpose and with joy are just plain evil.” He told her that he hated the monsters that kidnapped children, crippled them, not only in body but mind too, and forced them to beg, far away from those that loved them. Here followed a stream of facts, all said in the same tone that both scared and impressed Woodren.
“How do you know so much about it?” she had once asked him.
He looked at her with an odd gleam in his eyes, “Because I care.”
Now he was looking at her without breaking his gaze, the same odd gleam in his eyes, searching her face. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing.” She had still been brooding over Hoopsie in a cage, and why the picture upset her so much.
“Woody, tell me what’s wrong.”
Every time Woodren mentioned Hoopsie, Ed would go silent or make an offending remark about the way that Woodren took care of Hoopsie. Over a very short time, Woodren had learned never to mention Hoopsie’s name and though it drove her crazy with frustration, she knew Ed would never tell her reason the why if she tried to pry it out of him. Knowing not to answer truthfully, “I told you, nothing”
“I can tell when you’re lying. Your eyes grow whopping and your mouth pouts to the right.”
“Shut up.”
He looked at her searchingly before giving up with an irritated sigh.
“Come with me.” The chair scraped as he pulled out and pushed the table away from him. His tall frame dwarfed her.
He brought her to the back of the school where teachers and students never went, leaned against the wall and lit a cigarette. “You want to try one?”
“I don’t smoke, Ed”
“Why won’t you even try it?” The tone he used when he was about to state something that began an argument leaked into his voice smoothly, like oil. Woodren opened her mouth to list the damaging things it did to your lungs and heart but his voice had begun in its rapid, silky tone:
“Because society has brain washed you so that if you smoke when you’re a child, you’re a horrible ungrateful creature that will never go far in life. But when an adult smokes, it’s okay. You don’t smoke because people and teachers tell you not to try it. Well I say, **** them. These are the best years of your life. Do what you want, try everything so you can make the choices of your life later with a rounded experience and knowledge. I’m not saying get addicted. You have to be strong if you’re gonna be a risk-taker…” he inhaled deeply and exhaled in a husky voice, “I just thought you always went on about how you were such a strong risk taker.” He blew a cloud of heavy smoke above her head. “Oh, and of course you won’t try it because Aunt and Uncle Palmer said it’d be sin, isn’t that right?” he asked with a tantalizing grin in a mocking tone. He watched her face contort with anger, his hazel eyes dancing with glee. He knew he had hit at the bull’s eyes. No one ever jeered at Woodren’s inner power and then put her on the same note as her Aunt and Uncle.
A sudden snarling sound flared from her. She didn’t have to listen to anything Aunt and Uncle Palmer said… they never did anything worthy intentionally. She knew that. He was just stupid. She swore at him and knocked the cigarette out of his hand with a smart slap before storming away. An amused laugh from behind her made her ears tingle pink.
As soon as school was over, she pushed pass Ed who was waiting for her and ran back home. Opening the front door of the house, she scurried up the stairs to the third-floor and knocked on Max’s door. When she opened it, Max was already holding Hoopsie in his big hands. Hoopsie sang with joy when she saw Woodren.
“Hoopsie-girl” Woodren whistled with a tilting note that Hoopsie identified instantly. Hoopsie flapped over and landed on her shoulder.
“By the way,” said Max, “she must have knocked over her water because it was wet on the bottom of the cage. She kept trying to drink it. She’s thirsty.”
“Oh you silly Hoopsie! Why did you knock over the water? You know I’m supposed to have 8 cups a day?” she pampered the lovebird with caresses and endearing words before hiding Hoopsie in her shirt and running back to her room.
Woodren placed Hoopsie gently down on the bed post
Terry Collett May 2015
Anne crutches herself onto the green lawn of the nursing home and sits at one of the metal white painted tables and in one of the white metal chairs and drops her crutches beside her Benedict whom she called Skinny Kid follows her and sits at the same table looking at her his hazel eyes focusing on her on her black straight hair and dark eyes other children are playing on the swings and slide or sitting at other tables a distance away don't want none of those other sick kids here Kid Anne says they're sneaks and tell tales and moaning Minnies and such but you Kid you're all right you’re possibly the only one here I can tolerate and O those pesky nuns ****** penguins walking about poking their noses into things saying have you had a motion today? have you passed water? yes I said to Sister Agnes I did a dance on one leg as a motion and I passed the running water tap on my way to breakfast what did she say​?Benedict asks she said manners Anne we must have manners and asked me again and I said both and plenty of them and she went off in a huff her black habit gown flapping behind her like some ****** bat one of the kids comes to the table and says can I sit here? of course you can sit you've an **** on you but no you may not Anne says shooing the girl away like she was a dog the girl went off looking back pulling a face how's your leg? Benedict asks missing and aching and driving me to distraction Anne says the ****** stump throbs and gets hot and it makes me a miserable sod can I see it Benedict asks what its like? you're a one aren't you always after seeing my stump later maybe not here with the nosey penguins gawking at everything we do a nun walks down to the table her eyes like black dots behind her wire spectacles ah Anne have you been upsetting the other children again? are you asking me or telling me? Anne says rubbing her leg eyeing Benedict Lina says you swore at her and told her to sit elsewhere the nun stares at Anne then at Benedict well? what happened the nun asks I never swear Sister I never swear I just said she could sit elsewhere be better for her I may have an illness she may catch and may bring her out in yellow spots the nun doesn't smile or move a muscle in her face her dark eyes move over Anne then Benedict well Benedict were you here? what happened and I want the truth or you'll not go to Heaven if you lie the nun says eyeing the boy scarily she didn't swear the boy says just said to go elsewhere the nun stares at Anne do not be horrible to other children they've as much right to sit here as you do now behave or I’ll report you to Sister Paul and then you'll know it the nun says and walks off like a rook unable to fly Anne farts and smiles sums her up that she says Benedict nods and looks at the table want to go to the beach? I can push you in the wheelchair? how old are you Kid? she asks ten nearly eleven he says she muses looks at him do you know how old I am? she asks eyeing him his quiff of hair the hazel eyes the skinny frame no idea Benedict says I’m twelve Kid although my mother says I’m big for my age got ******* and such Benedict looks past her head at the avenue of tree behind and the path to the beach got ***** hair too she adds to see if he'll blush what's that? he asks what’s what? Anne says ***** hair? he says that'd be telling wouldn't it spoil the surprise although you could always ask the good sisters and say dear Sister Paul what's this ***** hair stuff? she laughs to herself well Kid go get the wheel chair and off we go to the beach the boy smiles and gets up and walks quickly towards the nursing home Anne watches him go she winces and rubs her stump with her hands backwards and forwards she watches the other kids at play at the nuns walking here and there then Benedict comes across the grass pushing the wheelchair at a fair speed she smiles as he comes up to the table here we are one wheelchair he says slightly out of breath right bring it round here Kid and so he pushes the wheelchair next to her and manages to get herself in comfortably and rocks about until she's settled right then Kid did anyone stop you? yes he says Sister Agnes asked me where I was going with the wheelchair and I said you had need of it and she pulled a face then walked off with a face like a pinched behind Benedict says good on you Kid now let's' to the beach and away from the peasants and sickly she says so Benedict gets behind the wheelchair and pushes away from the table his arms outstretched his hands gripping the handles and off they go over the grass and onto the pebbly path between the trees and the sound of birdsong and the smell of the sea filling their noses and out the back gate and onto the path along by the sea the sounds of sea rush and waves and gull cries and people calling out and laughter and kids calling and crying and she says O this it Kid this is ******* living breathe in that air breathe in deep and Benedict breathes in deeply as he pushes her along the path smooth and easier and his thin legs pushing along the pathway and as he pushes he gazes down at her black haired head then at the red dress with the one leg sticking out the stump not visible but only the outline of it being there and the smell of the sea and salt in the air.
A ONE LEGGED GIRL AND A BOY IN A NURSING HOME IN 1959
Terry Collett Oct 2018
Ham took you to a cafe
on London Road;
he was meeting
Bernard there.

Sit there,
Ham said,
indicating a table
by the wall with wallpaper
with a flowered pattern.

You sat; stared
around the cafe;
frowned at two men
at the next table.

Who's there?
You say,
pointing towards them,
wondering where
your Lord Hamlet had gone,
and these two jesters
at his court.

What's the matter, love?
One of the men said,
smiling, eyeing you,
taking in your hair and eyes.

Nay, answer me,
you said, stand,
and unfold yourself.

Ham came over
to the table:
Hush, Ophelia,
he said.

He apologised to the men,
twirling a finger
at the side of his head.

You gazed at your lord;
he contested
with these jesters,
you surmised,
eyeing them.

They looked
away from you;
conversed between themselves;
sipped their mugs of tea,
ate their breakfasts.

You sat gazing at your lord
bargaining with a rogue.

He brought
two mugs of tea
and bacon sandwiches
and sat opposite you,
his back to the jesters.

Bernard will be here soon,
Ham said, gazing at you,
behave yourself.

Bernardo?

Yes, Bernard,
so keep your voice down,
Ham said.

He began his sandwich;
you began yours.

Bernard came in the cafe
and ordered a tea,
and waved.

Bernardo,
you said,
you come most carefully
upon your hour.

Hush, Ophelia,
Ham said.

Bernard smiled at you;
he tried to understand you
and your vocal expressions.

Bernardo,
you said softer
and waved.

He waved back
and paid the rogue
and went, and sat next you,
facing Ham.

Unfold yourself,
you said.

Ham raised his hand
to hush you.

You sat and ate
and drank.

Your lord was speaking
with his minister;
he spoke of battle,
you assumed,
and jested of wounds
of war.

You felt your ***
beneath your dress;
it felt so sore.
A young woman, mentally ill with her lover and carer in London in 2007
Max Alvarez Mar 2014
I want to tell her
But i can't.

I watch the spring rain fall.
A gentle tapping,
Sort of rapping
On the window's pane.

I focus on the sound until it fades.

I close my eyes and remember the day,
The scene is painted in a greyscale haze.
There stands you
Across the room
Enveloped in blue.
Your favorite colour.
It's late on that late winter's night,
And we're with our group.
If I said I knew who was there
I would be lying
Because it was you I was eyeing.
I'll skip the cliches, like
Butterflies
Or, better yet,
"Love at first sight"
Be as they may,
They all came true that night.


A casual glance became
A gaze became
A smile.
Once,
Twice,
Thrice,
Then Five,
We held it for a while.


I take a drink and pause the haze.


Minutes become hours that drag on for miles
We found ourselves in that grassy field
Dotted with trees,
And rabbits,
And owls.


A hot summer day-
The south suffers waves.
Hand in hand we make our way
Through the trail.
We fall behind our friends,
There's something I have to tell.
I stumble and fumble
Through letters to string,
I can't think of what to say.
And you say it's okay.
I smile and hold you close,
A mixed sense of pleasure morose.
Your lips touch mine,
And my heart explodes.
I can't believe we let each other go
We became 'twixt,
Ivy to our bones.


Again
Time lapses
There I am standing
There you are
Hanging
On him.
My rage demanding
His end.
But you come between
Deny instead.
Say I'm not right in the head,
Well, baby,
Love killed me dead.


I turn to walk away
And in turn you turn to
Return to he
Who shook your leaves.


So we've parted ways
And all was well
Until recently.
When I examined
A mural
And saw I missed a shard.
A blue tile
The final part
To my stain-glassed heart.
Feedback?
onlylovepoetry Aug 2016
the desperado cowboy-poet awakes
anxious, needing-ending relief,
the craving greater than great,
he begs-raggedly, with Raggedy handily Andy words,
to all and anyone in the aroused surrounded vicinity,
give please give, of something to write

the bay, soothingly plays the would-be author,
"place me, look my way,
have I not droplets endless
from which you've drunk exquisitely,
so many more to fair share"

the birds twit and flit,
raucous caucus demanding
to be seated
by the tablet's keypad
to gain entry
to one more congressional natural tribute

the sky and sun organize a
joint session, extraordinary mission;
"we are the first of your day,
thus primarily,
we win the primary,
deserving in your recording of our
nomination as the first day's
sound and light show victorious"

sorry folks,
got a better tale to tell,
natural in its way,
titillating, and quite suitable
for reputating Au Naturel humanity
and it's a quirky, say hey tale,
morning coffee fresh,
a first word report from an
untelivised convention
of a different kind of congressing

awoke to find the:

chauffeur in bed with the cook,
the Poppy, beside the sleeping Nana,
the poet, eyeing the lying next to him, tango dancer,
the classicist eyeing the sleeping moderne,
ditty ditsy Ogden Nash astride a Shakesperian sonnet,
the thinning gray line defending his bedded half,
from an invading horde of unionizing blonde tresses,
the republican with the democrat,
the conservative with the liberal,
heated discussions, non-neutralizing negotiations
conducting and watched by
peeping tom skies, clouds, birds and waters
pretending to fly flow past



wow

now that,
is quite interesting
deserving worthy of a
disrobing disputatious disreputation,
very newsworthy and why not,
a poem all its own?

the bay waved goodbye,
the birds disbanded in silence,
quietly disenfranchised.

the sun and the sky hung around
pretending to be UN neutrality observers
wearing cute blue and white helmets
looking every where but not,
at the line of demarcation


the beggar, by his new impoverishment, enriched,
another love poem writ,
niched and pitched
one more itch,
so very well scratched
new sign on the bedroom door:
No Politicking Beyond This Point

8:09am August 6, 2019
MOTV Nov 2015
The Ganga talk

eh eh eh

What does it say?

The Ganga talk

eh eh eh

She says light me up

Light me up

The Ganga Talk

Ay ay ay

She says daddy burn me up

Burn me up

The Ganga Sing

What does she sing?

She Singing
oh in harmony

As I put the flame to her, she seems

Soft

&

Vibrant

Honest

Eyeing me

OH
I cannot think

Burning
my baby

Oh
I cannot stop

Puffing my baby
till she's gone

Society
Has triggered this in me!

And All I can think about
Is the next time my
ganga talk,
my baby gonna sing.
https://soundcloud.com/michaeljolivas/ganga-talk
Patricia Rosales Oct 2014
I grew up watching romance anime,
I loved them even though most were cliché,
Shy girl meets popular guy,
Two people love each other but they're too shy,
I remember waiting all week to see if she gives him her homemade chocolates on Valentines Day,
Squeling when they finally say,
I love you
Then they kiss under the fireworks later,
They barely show anything beyond that but I assume it's happily ever after

Every single time, they have their first encounter under the cherry blossom tree,
I remember thinking hey, why can't that happen to me?
But there are no cherry blossoms here you see,
The boy you fall in love with at the first day of school,
Will not be yours by the last episode,
That the guy you always see at your bus stop,
Will not always save you a seat,
That when he holds out his hand,
No, it is not always your hands, he is reaching for
That the sparks you feel when your lips touch,
Are not always fireworks
But maybe just electricity; waiting to shock you

I've learned that "I love you" doesn't always mean "Happy Ending"
I realized that "I love you"
Doesnt always mean "take everything i have"
I found out that "I love you"
Doesnt always mean "I love you"
That "Forever"
Is about as real as you meeting the one under a ******* cherry blossom tree

Yes, his eyes may sparkle,
Yes, they don't see him the way you do
Yes, the words I love you
Feel like the sweater you finally bought after eyeing it for months,
Yes, this moment may feel so surreal,
That you can hear the background music and see the sparkles everywhere,
But you see,
this is not an anime or a movie,
This love is'nt gonna end up the way you planned it to,
Yes, you may be the author
But this, is not just your story.

-p.a.r
1
We're not in darkest Africa
and jungles don't adorn,
this little bit of overgrown
that wraps around our lawn,

2
Plants of pretty colors
sit comfortable in there bed,
and about two dozen footsteps
find us at the potting shed.

3
Our potting shed has seen better days,
some parts have been rebuilt
and it's suffering from subsidence
for it's slightly on a tilt.

4
The walls desperately need painting
because the wood has got some rot
but a boring place to come and sit
it definitely is not.

5
Odds and ends adorn the shelves
and the places spiders tread
where the dust has piled on the weight
and the woodworm may have spread.

6
Smells that we first come across
carry the scent of damp,
foul stinks from half empty sacks,
paint tins that have gone rank.

7
An old oil lamp expel the rust
like dandruff from my head
reigning down golden crumbs
that looks like toasted bread.

8
We think that we have found some proof
of what might linger around
footprints so large and evident
that a Tigers walked upon this ground.

9
So while we have been sleeping
and resting through the night
there's been a Tiger in our shed
but he keeps out of sight.

10
We've sorted through many boxes
we've moved some things aside,
looked into shadows with a torch
but we can't find where he hides.

11
Perhaps he's gone out hunting
for an evening meal,
eyeing up the neighbors dog
with energetic zeal.

12
Perhaps he's out sunbathing,
sitting somewhere in a tree
camouflaged with all those stripes,
that's the reason we can't see.

13
I don't know if he's Sumatran,
Siberian or Bengal
and he doesn't ever show himself
or come to me when I call.

14
I believe he stays outside all day
and only hides in here at night
but I won't come down here when its dark
only in the light.

15
He is a wild animal so
one must take the some care
for he could be stalking us as prey
he could spring from anywhere.

16
But we leave the door unlocked for him
and we've made a comfy bed,
and a sign that just reads "WELCOME"
to the Tiger in our shed
19th December 2014

edited on 04/01/17
Russian black grass and an ornate pattere  garden,
pheasants basking in uncertainty
culpable designs eyeing towards.
Yellow book inclusion,
asks more than the obelisks shadows casting down the acers,
the mia crocus still a red mist
before laying the asphalt driveway.
Ashmita May 2013
The last few passengers hopped on catching their breaths with a huff and a puff and taking the remaining seats where they could, while handling their bags in one hand and their mufflers and hats with the other. It was just an ordinary day for them. A day when work and reaching their office on time was the only thing they could think about. A day when half their time on the launch was spent worrying if the Tiffin box packed so lovingly by their wives toppled over to create a mess. A day when they couldn't stop and stare. A day when materialism came before appreciating nature’s beauty.
Kolkata woke up one fine chilly morning to a sky set ablaze. There was always something about Kolkata and its lights that intrigued me. The perfection with which every corner was lit just as much as it should be, the hidden eye candy which could only be seen if you look into your soul to appreciate. Worshipers from all over flocked to the ghats to offer their prayers. And with the mindless honking of the city behind them and the open river in front, they dipped themselves in continuously to be forgiven of their sins. As they lifted their folded hands above their heads to pray and dipped themselves, they made the water all around them make huge ripples which were lost in the vastness of the mighty river. And with that, they were forgiven of their wrong doings, or at least that’s what they believed.
The engines roared to life as one of the crew, miserably opened the ropes and threw them on board after ringing a bell. I stood in one corner of the launch eyeing Kolkata, taking every bit of it in - its morning awakening, its old red bricked buildings, or at least the ones which still stood straight, its ghats green with moss and over crowded with devotees, its icy cold winter morning, and the current of the river beneath the launch floor. Kolkata had woken up to one of the coldest days in recent history. 9 degrees and the wind was up. On the Ganga it felt as if I had come away to some faraway land, away from the hustle and bustle of the city, to find peace.  Silence surrounded me and the only sound faintly audible was the low whistle of the breeze brushing past my cheeks kissing them which felt like tiny needles poking me all at once.
The water looked like liquid glass, floating away to infinity and beyond, as far as my eyes took my vision. As the launch turned to face its destination the Howrah Bridge came into view. Standing tall with its two gigantic pillars the sun peeped from between the cables to shine on the water creating a river of gold while the sun’s reflection seemed a ball of fire just within our reach.  The bridge cast huge shadows causing a sudden darkness to arise in the water which otherwise seemed ablaze.  

Across the river the world waiting for me felt distant. Was civilization actually that beautiful? Or did nature just wrap its covers around to hide the flaws of mankind, his ruthlessness, his ignorance towards other beings and its lack of humanity? The dashes of green popped out of the corners of towering buildings, as sun cast its golden rays on them creating shadows on the opposite side.
The small boats sailed on as the launch took me from bank to bank. The rowers sat at the back on the edge with their rows half immersed in the water. And as the currents made them flow by, the ripples came and hit our launch and travelled back into the vastness and disappeared. They sailed through the disturbed water, and its shadows sailed alongside. The rivers serenity was contrasted with the blobs of **** floating by, entangled with driftwood and mixed with shiny cloths, probably the leftovers of the previous durga puja celebrations.
The sky was a game of colors by now. The sun, still a ball of fire, was slowly creeping upwards, the light grey clouds just behind it shot rays of gold down through the gaps they found on the world below, the sky otherwise was a play of grey, blue, red and orange set in order from the ground upwards without a definite point of distinction. A group of three birds, crows most probably, flew overhead enjoying the sun’s late arrival to the cold morning.
My hands reached for the railing. I gripped the rods tightly looking for security. I looked around me to spot the different lives sailing with me. Some on their phones, some sat with their eyes glued to the cold blank floor, as if they didn’t deserve to be uplifted by nature’s display of her beauty, some staring down at their watches to scrutinize each second to realize how late there were while others stood with a blank expression staring out onto the river, probably going over what they did wrong, playing the images on repeat, making themselves miserable. Me? I stood leaning on the railing looking out also. But I wasn’t in my misery. My misery was behind me. I looked forward to life. And for now I looked forward to my destination. And amongst the crowd I was alone. This was my moment and mine alone. No one could have robbed me of this moment, and no one can make me forget.  
The river gave me peace of mind. Its tranquility and its continuity made an energy of constancy flow within me. A belief that this too shall pass, that every moment shall pass. Never ending was its path. A path which life had chosen. Who are we to disrupt it? Who are we to stop? Life flowed on. And times were not always smooth sailing. There will be waves rocking you, making you lose your balance, there will be rocks at the bottom, sometimes holding you together while other times damaging your base. With time and distance the river will get polluted, but it all depends on what you want to show and what you choose to see. It will be used, to its maximum capacity, with only a handful of souls to stop and think about it and do something about it to the best of their abilities. Things varying in all sizes will cross it, sail by without paying any heed to the water beneath it making them sail smoothly, never appreciating it, and soon it becomes a part of them which they pay no attention to it. It will always be there though. Its existence will always prevail over it being ignored. And when you stop to think, it’ll be there pushing you along the way, to your destination, where you will have to say goodbye to the picture perfect moments, the soul touching feelings and the voice within you which screams in its silence to set yourself free.
A prose once in a while is acceptable i guess. Comments? :)

— The End —