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Aryan Sam Jun 2018
Ni zindagi'ch aaja fer ni
Zindagi'ch aaja fer ni
Sathon russ gayi ae peed marjaani
Zakhman nu fer chhil jaa
Beh ja ankhiyan'ch ban ke paani
Zindagi'ch aaja fer ni

Vekh mere bul'chandre
Fer hansde ne dard bhula ke
Haaseya naal pawe aadiyan
Dil honkeya ton ankh ji bacha ke haaye
Fer mere muhre khad jaa
Taza hoje koyi yaad ni purani

Zindagi'ch aaja fer ni
Sathon russ gayi ae peed marjaani
Zakhman nu fer chhil jaa
Peh ja ankhiyan'ch ban ke paani
Zindagi'ch aaja fer ni

Langh ja ni rooh vich di
Agg fer ni lahu nu lag jaave
Hathaan utte kar totka
Meri zindagi di leek mitt jave haaye

Ankhiyan'ch neend radke
Ankhiyan'ch neend radke
Langhe chees koyi haddan de thaa ni

Zindagi'ch aaja fer ni
Saathon russ gayi ae peed marjaani
Zakhman nu fer chhil jaa
Peh ja ankhiyan'ch ban ke paani
Zindagi'ch aaja fer ni
Kevin J Taylor Jun 2016
Well, now– It was in the spring of ‘49 just ‘round Memorial Day in the Land O’ Freedom... or so they call it. Anyways, I was sittin’ up behind them hills... Y’know, nexta where God ‘n’ Hell musta had some sorta fuss or ‘nother. Sorta desert. Sorta not. And I was pannin’ fer rhymes– I kept comin’ up dry– when alluvasudden straight outta the ground there’s this tinklin’, twinklin’ musical sound. So I grabbed me a panful and gave it a twitch. Some verbs and an adjective peppered the dish. Good stuff, I s’pose. Fer a yarn they’d bin fine, but not fer perfessional-lookers-fer-rhymes. I swished ‘em a little and shook ‘em again to see if that tinklin’ mightn’t be kin to the one that I found in the gully that night. It’d had to be good, or it wouldn’t fit right. Them poets won’t shell-out fer less than a pair cuz one by itself leaves ‘em pullin’ their hair. So ya gotta find more than a couple that fit or poets ‘ll fake it and some ‘ll just quit and some ‘ll just hope no one says that it’s..... Y’ know..... Call ‘emselves "nou-veau" and claim it’s legit. ‘Nuffa that, I s’pose.

I looks fer them twinklin’ musical words that rhymes like the first time they’s ever been heard. I sure ain’t the first one that’s panned in them hills. My pappy before me turned up a few thrills and somewhere or ‘nother done found a whole line. But me, I ain’t happy unless it’ll rhyme. They’re there, I can hear them– they tickle the breeze! I’ll stick it out long as there’s poets to please. If y’ expected a yarn, or to hear miners cuss– I’s pannin’ fer rhymes and not dirt in the dust!

Hmph, what’s that ya got there?
.
Paula Swanson Jun 2011
Oy!  Boy!  You there!  That's no way ta be tyin' a knot.  Do it like the one next ta ya.  Thats right.  Now pull that tail tight.  Thats got 'er.  Be yer first time ta sea boy?  Aye!  I can tell.  Yer a bit unsure of yerself.  But don't you go worryin' 'bout that.  That there feelin' won't be stayin' with ya fer long.  No.  Not fer long at all.

Come on over and sit by an ol' sailor fer a bit.  Whilst I mend these here sails.  I gots to be gettin' 'em done in time afore we set back ta sea.  Why you ask?  Why boy, don't ya be a knowin' where we be?  We'll be needin' full sail and not one yard less, to get through these waters tonight.

Well, I'll tell ya.  See this here port?  Where'n the Capt'in went off to be makin' deals?  Why, we be at the very bottom edge of a slice of water called the Devils Spit.  What's the Devils Spit ya be askin'?  Oy!  Your still wet behind the ears ya are.  Why, I can count on me nine fingers and what's left of me toes, the number of men what's not heard of the Devils Spit.  And I be all out of fingers and toes to be addin' ya to the list. So I best be a tellin' ya.

Here.  Have a seat and hold on to this here end of sail edage for me.  That's a good lad.  Comfy?  Good.

Ya see, the Devils Spit is a nasty bit o' sea.  Shaped like a triangle.  Connectin' three ports.  Why, it's no bigger'n this on the Capt'ins charts.  But out there...lad, it's vast.  Vast dark and frightenin'.  Course I see the sun a shinin'!  But I'm talkin' 'bout night.  Deep night.  When the moon is high and full.  Like it'll be when we sail tonight.  Cause, it be night that brings up the dead.  Now listen up whilst ol' Tips Slived here tells the tale.

Aye!  The tortured souls upon the waves, do dance and call from watery graves.
They call to other pirates that be, out livin' a life 'pon the sea.
When ya sail within the Devils Spit, you take yer chances with the rest.
Fer they rise up, as ya near their eternal tomb. Ta beckon and wail, out in the gloom.
They have eyeless sockets. Aye! Tis a gruesome sight.
Plucked out by the ocean scavengers bite.
To have those wraiths look t'wards yer ship, marks it fer death.
You'll not beat their grip.
Thier spectral forms of festering rot, once be pirates, one and the lot.
Each dead soul picks itself a victim.  Then SWOOPS down on the decks ta collect 'em.
They be dragged, kicking and screaming, beneath the depths.
But Davvy Jones, these souls he won't accept.
A pact was made 'tween the Devil and he, fer those taken here within this Devil sea.
For the pirates chosen by the dead, are taken deeper down, past the sea bed.
To wail and burn on the Devils spit.  To be fed to his minions and his pets.
Then their souls belong to he, that claims this triangle of the sea.
A pirates soul be the blackest kind.  A more murderous bunch, you'll never find.
So now, ther be a full ship more, of tortured souls to settle scores.
With their ship sunk past the bottom, there they stay til the Devil calls 'em.
Up to dance 'pon the waves, to take other pirates to thier graves.
So when you sail with the full moon lit.  Sail not into the Devils Spit.


Now Lad.  How's that for a bit of an old salts tale?  Good one ay lad?  Here, hold this bit of sail up while I thread this here bobbin.  Higher now.  That's a good lad.  Ha! Ha!  You'll not be feelin this way fer long.  No.  Not long at all.


Hey! Boy!  yes YOU!  Your the only boy here 'board ship be ya not?  What are ya doin' over there in them torn sails?  Don't I be givin' ya enough work ta do?
Talkin' ta who?  We have no hand 'board this ship by that name.  Besides, there be no one there but you.  Take a look a round.
Boy?  You alright?  Your as white as them sheets there.  Ha!  Port sick are ya?  But, don't be worrin' lad.  We set sail on the tide, to do us a bit 'o piratin' on our way to the next port.
Now go check on them skull and cross bones.  make sure she's ready ta hoist when Capt'in calls fer 'em.  Yes. sir, white as them there sheets he is.

MEN!  Make ready ta sail.  Tonight, we sail through the Spit!
Fegger May 2010
The lantern sways, as shadows flash,
Mists draped in night so still;
Illuminating fleshless arms,
Creep-out along this hill.
Such guardians of soul-less mounds,
Wooden markers of the poor,
Bow in hallowed reverence
As sentries evermore.

Weeping, yet un-frightened,
She trips between each aisle;
Casting light against each stone,
Acknowledge each beguiled.
Then memory finds her grasping,
And clenching cold, damp stone
Denoting ‘neath a vacant plot,
For he never did come home.

‘Pon scattered grass and gravelly dirt;
Drops to reverent knee,
While fanning simple pleats about,
Her dress, in modesty.
She twists the **** and raises wick;
And it curls with cloak of flame.
She whets her lips, inhaling deep,
Then summons ‘pon his name:

“Bartholomew,  Bartholomew,
Can you see that I ‘ave come?
Are you near, me sweetest husband?
‘Tis I, your Mary Dunn!
I had me thoughts to come t’night,
To ‘ave a word with you,
That’s pressin’ on me heart so fierce,
Ya’ ‘round Bartholomew?
Aye, that’d be just like ye some,
To wait fer me confess;
A’twisten’ in me awkward words,
No salve fer me distress!
Yet I—I need t’hear yer voice
An’ calmin’ words to heal,
The anxious quiver, here, inside,
A’longin’ to reveal.”

The widow paused, collecting will,
And questioned own intent;
To cast a net to spirit’s world,
To herald self- repent.
She wrings her fingers nervously,
While waiting ‘pon the dead;
When suddenly a breeze did rise,
Then a hand upon her head.

“Mary Dunn, me Mary Dunn,
‘Ave not better things to do;
Than wander ‘bout such crypts at night,
A’hovered by the moon?
What keeps y’here in dank an cold,
So callin’ out fer me?
Ye know fer fact I’m dead by now,
An rottin’ in the sea!”

“It’s good to see ya’ too, my love;
Better then, to hear;
That death din’t take away that tongue,
Or how ye prone t’snear.
I ‘spected that I’d smell ya’ first,
That rancid scent of whale;
Yer eyes were once quite darker,
Yer skin not quite so pale”.

The spirit corpse then spun about,
Examined high and low,
The fiery bride he’d left behind,
With heart so still aglow.
Warmed by her excited eyes,
And cheeks so pink with life;
He felt a distance aching,
Longing for this wife.

“Ye got a bit of lonely, Mary,
That why ye come tonight;
‘Spectin’ glimpse ‘ov me, like this
‘Wud turn ya’ heart to right?
Sensible is how ye was,
Yet be scurryin’ to find,
Such wisdom in yer harkin’,
To terms ye felt unkind.”

“Stop with ya’!  Stop with ya’!
Ya’ stubborn, briney goat!
T’wasn’t me who boarded ship
An’ failed to keep afloat!
Aye, the heaven hasn’t tempered,
The iron in yer will.
Judge me not Bartholomew,
One, amongst the krill!”

The bearded ghost then chuckled,
‘Til tears came to his eyes.
Proud he was to have such time,
To spend with feisty bride.
He then retreats in silence,
As he gleans from her distress,
That she torments with a secret,
To him, she must confess.

“"Bartholomew, me love,"
she embarks to make her plea,
"Ye left me young an' fruitful still,
yet no child ‘pon me knee.
I'm not as sturdy as y'think,
An' tremble at the thought;
deprived I am of husbandry,
my womb be saved fer naught."
Without ye then, I’ll ‘ave no spring,
No child to remind,
Of splendid days, brighter sun,
Me husband now divine.
I’m askin’ yer forgiveness,
And yer permit to pursue,
The kindly callers come to me,
In absence then, of you.”

“Yer speakin’ of the cooper, Tim,
Or Drew, the smithies’ hand?
Aye, better off with men who keep,
Their feet upon the land!
But Tim, I’m sadly knowin’ that,
His time is comin’ due;
An’ if a child be yer design,
There ‘ain’t no seeds in Drew.
I’ll not be one to keep ya’,
To an empty marriage bed.
Lord knows ye d’serve a finer life,
Than keepin’ with the dead.
But ev’rythin’ that’s in me,
Needs ye hurt no more.
Death ‘as grant me favored eyes,
I ‘adn’t known before.
I’ll come ‘ere, e’vry night,
An’ visit, yer desire.
Honest, I will always be,
Tendin’ yer require.
Love ‘been mine for days of flesh,
Then, for eternity.
Go then now, me Mary Dunn,
An’ make a life for thee.”

With courage she did leave that night,
With freedom then realized,
To pair with then, another mate,
Forsaking former ties.
Yet, on the night that followed,
And for thousands after, too,
She chose the comp’ny of the ghost,
Her lost Bartholomew.

Each night she braved nature’s serve,
Through rain, or cold, or sleet;
Imbibing ‘pon such moment’s time,
To feed on love so sweet.
Each minute spent, Bartholomew,
Rejoiced in hardships, laughter;
And only God and Time will know,
Such treasures in hereafter.

One night, amidst November freeze,
Mary staggered there,
Among the stones akin to home,
With her husband shared;
Lungs revolting, gurgling swell,
Mouth of staining red;
Contrasting earthly suffering,
Found solace ‘mongst the dead.
Fevered to delirium,
Wet, silver-tainted hair,
She settles ‘side familiar post
And finds him waiting there.
Struggles so to form a breath,
In hopes that she may speak,
Surrendering the day’s accounts;
But fears she is too weak.

“Aye, ‘tis time, me Mary Dunn,
A’time that ye come home.
Beyond this night, forevermore,
Y’ll nev’r be alone.
I wish that I could reach ya’ now,
An pull ya’ ‘cross the veil
That’s kept us ‘part these many years,
In spite of what’s prevailed.”

“So ‘lighten me, me whaler man,”
She coughed a pale reply.
“Why’d ya’ choose to lie to me,
To keep me as yo’r bride?
The cooper, he outlived us both,
Eight children sprung from Drew;
Ye lied to me for all these years,
What say, Bartholomew?”

“I feared me own accord, me lass,
From terms set forth above;
Ye cannot cross to waitin’ arms,
Unless ye go with love.
An’ I, but one love known to life,
This chance then rest with you
To be me escort to the Lord,
This, I say is true.
Should ye have taken ‘nother man,
I feared that ye’d be his;
An’ ye’d be taken up with him,
While I’d be left like this;
A-hoverin’ in between such space,
An’ time, by lonesome self;
While pinin’ for me heart of life,
Me Mary, ‘n no one else.”

“Aye, such flat’ry from  des’prate ghost;
It was my life ye know;
I seen ya’ for deceiver,
So many years ago.
But I choose’d to keep me vows to you,
‘Til heaven takes me in;
An’ if I granted sim’lar choice,
I’d choose the same a’gin’.

I’m dying love, I feel it now,
Me spirit needs to leave;
This body sez it’s had enough,
Me time is done, indeed.”
“Lay down, me lass, breath peace,
Lay down ‘n be there, still;
Our fate, as love, ‘pears destiny,
As both our lungs were filled.”

Mary Dunn surrendered then,
To callings of her spirit;
With forever longing arms of his,
She had no cause to fear it.
United once again, at last,
Of faith and love of few,
She crossed into Eternity,
With her love, Bartholomew!
As this represents a needed edit, I'd like to extend my gratitude to Drew for precise observation, critique/guidance and to my dear poet friend, Ron Gardner,  who donated several verses to this piece that were clearly more appropriate than what I had penned originally.  Thanks, so much, gentlemen!!!

If you are reading this, you did me a great favor of time...thanks.  

Fegger, 2010
David I Phillips Mar 2010
Wi yer eyes stingin n wet wi tears
N muk bungin up tha nose n ears
N a white rimmed ed where thi's ad thi hat
Up tha floats on't lift like a drownded rat

After twelve hours tha's pretty dun in
Whilst t'other folks as been kippin n dreamin
Tha's bin diggin n drillin like summart daft
Now up tha floats on't hydraulic raft

The cold morn air meks tha lungs urt
Cause tha's bin breathin muk n dirt
Fer nigh on forty years or more
That most folks wudn't ave on't floor

N as tha washes all't muk away
Tha knows thas sum that'll allus stay
N whilst outside tha luks nice n clean
Tha's stuff inside thi th't'll never be seen

Until o course tha's gon n died
N them docter fellers tek a look inside
N in amazement they'll stand n stare
At all that muk th't shudn't be there

N wen tha's ded it'll be nowt new
Not too a bloke what's lived like you
Fer now tha's on'y six feet under
Wen undreds is what thas bin used to

N't Crowner'll say thi ad a natural death
Not like them th't had their last breath
At sixteen, seventeen, twenty or more
When sum big explosions brought ceiling t floor

But a doubt if tha'll think it wer thi turn
As tha lays there nattering t worm
Crawlin in n out o yer ears
Not much t show fer sixtyodd years

Still what else cud you ave dun, that's it
But follow yer old man down pit
A mean even his dad was a facer tha knows
Kem out at thirty wi' ands like claws

Ah well it's time fer sum grub
Then half-a-dozen pints't pub
Wi an hour or two o noonday sun
Then back t wife fer an hour o fun
N be six next morning I'll be feelin well
As I teks yon raft t bowels of 'ell
Thirty shillin a week be summer the reckonin
Ah but then they can't see yon worm beckonin


Remember this is a 'Performance Poem'
and the style of writing acts as a
speech prompt. The accent is loosely
Yorkshire. A 'Crowner 'is an old word
for a Coroner.
I hope you enjoy it.

© David Irwin Phillips 2008
This is a performance poem, it also won first prize in a Writer's Magazine competeition
Can be heard on www.irwin-poetry.co.uk- From Emotional Swings & Round-a-bouts
Kendall Mallon Jul 2013
Book One


Prelude:

As Romans before them, they built the city upward—
layer ‘pon layer as the polar caps receded
layer by layer—preserving what they could, if someday
the waters may recede back into the former polar
ice caps; restoring the long inundated coastlines.


Home:

A man sat upon a tall pub stool stroking
his ginger beard while grasping a pint loosely
in his other hand. An elderly gent stood
next to him. The older gentleman noticed
that the ginger bearded man’s pint sat almost
quite near the bottom of its tulip glass.

A woman with eyes of amber and hair
as chestnut strolled through a vineyard amongst
the ripening grapes full of juice to soon
become wine. She clutched a notebook—behind (10)
thick black covers lay ideas and sketches
to bring the world to a more natural
state—balancing the wonders and the merits
of technology apace with the allure ‘n’
sanctity borne to the natural world.

When the ginger bearded man finished the
final drops of his stout, another appeared
heretofore him—courtesy owed to the elder
gentleman. “Notice dat ye got d’ mark
o’ a man accustom amid the seas,” (20)
he inferred; gesturing the black and blue
compass rose inscribed inside a ship’s wheel,
imbedded into the back of the ginger
bearded man’s weathered right hand.
                 “I have crewed
and skippered a many fine vessel, but I
am renouncing my life at sea—one final
voyage I have left inside of me:
one single terminal Irish-Atlantic
voyage t’ward home.” (30)
“Aye d’ sea can beh cold
‘nd harsh, but she enchants me heart. Ta where
are ye headed fer d’ place ye call home,
d’ere sonny boy?”
     “’tis not simply a where,
‘tis a who. Certain events have led me
to be separate from my wife. For five
eternal years I have been traveling—
waiting to be in her embrace. The force
of the Sea, she, is a cruel one. For (40)
it seams: at every tack or gybe the farther
off I am thrown from my homeward direction
to stranger and stranger lands… I have gone
to the graveyard of hell and the pearly gates
of (the so called) heaven; I have engaged
in foolhardy deals—made bets only a
gambling addict would place. All to just be
with Zara. I am homesick—Zara is my
home—it doesn’t matter where (physically)
we are located, my home is with Zara. I (50)
was advised to draw nigh the clove of Cork
and wait; wait for a man, but I was barely
given a clue as to who this man is,
only I must return him this:” the ginger
bearded man held out a dull silver pocket watch
with a frigate cut into the front cover
and two roses sharing a single stem
swirling upon themselves cut into
the back.
   “Can it be? ‘Tis meh watch dat meh (60)
fat’er gave t’ meh right before he died…
I lost it at sea many a year ago.
It left meh heartbroken—fer it was meh only
lasting mem’ry of him… Come to t’ink I
was told by a beggar in the street—I
do not remember how long ago—dat
I would happen across a man wit’ somet’ing
dear t’ meh, and I’d accomp’ny dis man
on a journey, and dis man would have upon
‘im d’ mark of a true sailor…” (70)
    “Dear elder man,
my name is Abraham; the mark you see
represents the control that I have on my
direction—thought it appears the Sea retains
some ascendancy… Yet now, it appears,
the Sea is upholding her bargain—though
a bit late... Do you, by chance, own a vessel
that can fair to Colorado?—all across
this mist’d island no skipper ‘ll uptake
my plea; they fear the sharp wrath of the Sea (80)
or (if they have no fear) simply claim my home
‘is not on their routes…’ i’tis a line I’ve
heard too often. I would’ve purchased a vessel,
but the Sea, she, has deprived me completely
of my identity and equity.”

Zara, with her rich chestnut hair sat upon
a fountain in a piazza—her half empty
heart longing to savor the hallow presence
of Abraham, and stroke his ginger beard…
Everyday she would look out at the sea (90)
whence he left…
     All encouraged her to: “forgo
further pursuit”; “he is likely deceased
by now”—his vessel (what left) scuttled amidst
the rocks of Cape Horn, yet Zara could feel
deep-seated inside her soul he is alive;
Alive (somewhere) fighting to return home.
Never would Zara leave; never would she
abandon post; she made that promise five
years ago as Abraham, ‘n’ his crew,
set out on their final voyage; and she (100)
would be ****** ere she broke her promise—a promise
of the heart—a promise of love. Abraham
said: “You are my lighthouse; your love, it, will guide
me home—keep me from danger—as long as you
remain my lighthouse, I’ll forever be
set to return home—return home to you.”

Out from Crosshaven did the old man take
steadfast Abraham en route to his home.
Grey Irish skies turned blue as they made their
way out on the Irish Sea, southwest, toward (110)
the southern end of the Appalachian Island.
The gentle biting spray of the waves breaking
over the bow and beam moistened the ginger
bearded face of Abraham; his tattooed
hands grasped the helm—his resolute stare kept him
and the old man acutely on course.
A shame,
it struck the old man, this would be the final
voyage of Abraham… he: the best crew
that the old man had ever came across; (120)
uncertain if simply the character
of Abraham or his pers’nal desire
to return home in the wake of five long
salty-cold years—a vassal to the Sea
and her changing whim. Never had the old
man seen his ship sail as fast as he did when
Abraham accorded its deck—each sail
set without flaw: easing and trimming sheets
fractions of an inch—purely to obtain
the slightest gain in speed; the display warmed (130)
the heart of the old man.
        And thus the elder
gent mused as he lightly puffed on his pipe
while sitting on the stern pulpit regarding
at Abraham’s passion to return home
(as he calls her):—maybe dis is d’ reason
d’ Sea has fought so hard, and lied, t’ keep
Abraham from returning home… Could not
bear t’ lose such fine a sailor from her
expanses—she is known t’ be quite a jealous (140)
mistress…
      But for all Abraham’s will and passion,
the old man insisted for the fellow
to rest; otherwise lack of sleep would cause
the REM fiddler to reap his debt—replace
clarity of mind with opacity.
Reluctantly stalwart Abraham gave
in and retire below deck—yet the old
man doubted the amount of rest that he
acquired in those moments out of his sight. (150)

For the days, then weeks, in the wake of their
departure from the port-island Crosshaven,
the seas were calm as open water can:
gentle azure rolling swells oscillated
and helped impel the vessel forward. The southern
craggy cape of the Appalachian
Island pierced the horizon. Like a threshold
it stood for Abraham—a major landmark;
the closest to home he had been in five
salty long years—his limbo was beginning                               (160)
to fade, his heart slowly—for the first time since
he left port in eastern Colorado—
started to feel replete again. The Great
Plains Sea—his final sea—he would not miss
the gleam of his lighthouse stalwart on shore.




Book Two

Oracle:**

Upon a beach, Abraham found himself alone—gasping
in gulps of moist air like that of a new born baby first (10)
experiencing the breathe of life; he felt as if he
would never become dry again… the salt burning his skin
as it crusted over when the water evap’rated
into the air; Abraham took the first night to rest, the
next day he set to make shelter and wait for a rescue
crew; out he stared at the crashing waves hoping for a plane
or faint form of a ship upon the horizon…days and
nights spun into an alternating display of day then
night: light then dark—light, dark, light, dark, grey, grey, grey…

Abraham (20)
gave up marking the days—realized the searches are done—
given up after looking in the wrong places (even
he did not know where he was…) the cold waves and currents took
him to a safe shore away from his ship and crew, in a
limp unconscious float…
From the trees, and what he could find on
the small  island, Abraham occupied himself with the
task of building a catamaran to rid himself of
the grey-waiting.
Out he cast his meager vessel into (30)
the battering surf; waves broke over his bows and centre
platform—each foot forward, the waves threatened to push him back
twofold… Abraham struck-beat the water with the oars he
fashioned; rising and falling with the energy of the
waves; Abraham stole brief looks back with hopes of a van’shing
shoreline—coast refused to vanish… his drenched arms grew tired;
yet he pushed on knowing he would soon be out passed the
breaking waves; then could relax and hoist sail; yet the waves grew
taller—broke with greater power… Abraham struck-beat the
water with his oars—anger welled—leading to splashes of (40)
ivory sea-froth instead of the desired progress
forward; eventually, his arms fell limp beyond the
force of will… waves tumbled him back to shore as he did the
first night upon the island…
Dejected Abraham lay
in the surf that night—the gentle ebb of the sea added
to insult, but hid the tears formed in the corner of his eyes—
salt water to salt water… the next day Abraham took
inventory of damage: the mast snapped in multiple
places, the rudders askew—the hulls and centre structure (50)
remained intact; the oars lost (or at least Abraham cared
not to search); over the next weeks he set to improve
the design and efficiency of his vessel—the first
had been hurried and that of a man desperate to leave;
the bare minimum that would suffice—he set to create
a vessel to ensure his departure from the des’late
accrue of sand and vegetation; Abraham laboured
to strengthen his body—pushing his arms further passed the
point his mind believed they could go—consuming the hearty,
protein-rich, mollusks, and small shellfish he could find inside (60)
tide pools or shallows—if lucky, larger fish that dared the
nearby reefs.
Patiently, Abraham observed the tides and
breaking water; he wanted to determine the correct
time to set off to ensure success—when the waves would not
toss him back to the beach; the day: a calm clear day—only
within few metres of soft beach did there exist any
breaking waves, and those that broke were barely a metre high;
loading provisions upon the vessel, Abraham bid
farewell to the island (out of wont for the sustenance (70)
it gave not for nostalgia) grasping his oars, he set forth
to find open sea—where the waves do not break and set you
gingerly on foreign shore(s); Abraham paddled passed the
first few breaking waves, his heart pounding with hope—he stifled
the thoughts (celebrate when the island is but a subtle
blue curve upon the horizon); as the island began
to shrink in his vision, the sky to his back grew darker…
the waves started to swell—moguls grew to hills—Abraham
stroked up and rode down; the cursèd Island refused to shrink…
if not begin to grow wider… stroke by stroke Abraham (80)
grew frustrated—stroke by stroke frustration advanced into
anger—stroke by stroke anger augmented into fiery
beating of the water!—Abraham struck and struck at the
Sea—eyes closed—white knuckles—trashing!—unsure which direction
he paddled…sky pitch-black, wind blowing on-shore Abraham
bellowed out to the Sea in inarticulate roars of:
hatefrustrationpitydesperationheartache!
Towards
Abraham’s in-linguistic roar, the sky let out a crack
of authority! a wave swept the flailing Abraham (90)
into the ocean—cool water only heated the rage
in Abraham’s mind—his half empty heart only wanted:
to sail home, become whole  again—sit under and olive
tree and stroke the chestnut hair of Zara as she drifted
off to sleep on his chest while he would whisper sweet verses
into her ear… Abraham’s rage, beyond reason, forgot
the boat and all clarity, he tried to swim away from
the cursèd island—scrambling up waves only to tumble
back with their breaking peaks—salt, the only taste in his mouth;
churning his stomach to *****; his kidney’s praying he (100)
would  not swallow anymore… his gasps stifled any curse
Abraham’s head wished to expel onto the Sea—yet she
swore she heard one final curse escape his lips! at that the
Sea tossed Abraham (head first) into his ghost-helmed vessel—
all went dark for hostile Abraham…

Contemplating back
at his rage—knowing the barbarian it makes of him,
Abraham peered into the band inscribed into his
ring-finger and saw the knot tying him to Zara—shame
at his arrogant-uncontrolled-fury sent Abraham (110)
into a meditative exile inside of his mind
(within the exile of the island…) in his mental
exile Abraham spun into deeper despair at his
two failures—even more at the prospect of failing the
vow he professed onto Zara: return home—home from this
final voyage, grow old with her on solid ground, never
to die apart and cause the pain of losing a loved one
without the closure of truly knowing the death is real,
to die by her side white, white with the purity of age…
Abraham’s destitution turned inward—his fury, the (120)
lack of control, the demon he becomes when rage surges
through his muscles; equiping him with untamed strength without
direction or self-possession—so much potential, yet
no productive way to use it… Abraham’s half-full-heart
burned, ached with passion and anguish—all desire
focused on home, his return, but the mind’s despondency
and insistent ‘what-ifs’ kept poor Abraham prostrate in
his mental cave—all his wishing for anger and vi’lence
to force his will, it did more to retain him upon the
cursèd island than bring his heart closer to fulfillment: (130)
his long awaited home…
Out of his mental exile did
Abraham’s irises dilate and contract with blinding
illumination—self-pity is not what make things happen—
it would only serve to anger Zara—nothing other
than I can be to blame for my continued absence; I
am stronger than that!—looking at the tattoo in his hand,
he remembered the reasons for the perennial brand—
the eight-spoke ship’s helm: the eight-fold-path—I must cut off my
desire for anger to be the solution and focus (140)
on the one path to Zara—the mind can push the body
further than the body believes is possible—the star:
the compass to guide me via celestial bodies
to where my heart can see the guiding beam of my lighthouse!
This is the Final Voyage epic thus far. I am converting Home into blank verse and it is taking longer than I thought to do; which is why that part is incomplete here. I also added line numbers. I changed The names as well.
v V v Oct 2011
Fat footed
two ton tessies
tattooed with
tigers, growling
under bulging hips,
bustin' out shocks
on Datsuns K cars
Le Sabres, 1998
primer gray bondo
and duct tape,
taking up two spots
with a smile.

Streaky squeaky 
automatic doors
bump your nose
to make em go
1972 linoleum
grab a cart
hope you don’t
catch death
from the handle
or worse
feces.

last weeks ads
mixed with new,
who buys 10
of anything?
except beers
and smokes
fried chicken
and maybe
frozen burritos.

“Hey why’s that chicken smell like fish?
How old is that grease anyway?
Ooh there’s a ten-fer on a two-fer pack
of coconut orange sno-*****!”


Mr. I love
Jeff Gordon
matching
mesh hat
and shirt
wants to know

“Does that ten-fer on those two-fers
mean I have to buy 20?”


I don’t know sir,
but Go! Go! Go!
Jeff Gordon #24
hours a day,
always open

“Is that the chicken-fish I smell?
Or am I smellin’ the guy in flippy flops?”


bunions and
scabby hammers
mister please
cover that **** up
asks his wife
or daughter
not sure which

“Are them white bag bar code
cheesey puffs any good? too bad
they aint got a ten-fer!”


Texarkana
back woods
Missilouis
swamp

“mama can we get ice cream?”

red neck
united nations
mullets
macaroni and
cheesey tank tops
 
“Why cain’t we go barefoots in here?”

pork rinds
stew meat
chicken parts
nothing tender
never lean and
never ever 
from New York.
 
Big beer belly
buying beer
gotta count
coin careful
cart carries
cases of Miller
not Lite
not Genuine Draft
Hi-Life and ‘Ol Roy,

“**** mister, you must have a big dog!”
 
Two tone
skunk hair
holds the Tussin
grabs a
people
mag
 
“what page is my Taurus-scope on?”

power carts
powered down

“why cain’t they keep these thangs juiced up?”
 
basket bulging
ten-fers
that’s why,
two-liter Tab
Twinkies and
tator-tots.

Time to
check out
10 items
or less
12?
don’t matter,
checker has
checked out
bagger brags
more than bags
 
“I sees you folks got a kitty cat! My kitties
just love the leftover chicken-fish!”

 
big deal lady
we have 4 cats too
my pajama bottoms
have been worn
3 times
my hair was
washed yesterday
and yes I am
wearing slippers
but at least
they are
closed- toe.
 
pay the bill
 
ring the bell

load the car

drive away

mutter under breath,

I am so much better than these people…
I apologize in advance to my friends across the pond, and to to my American friends in the North, these visions I share may be misunderstood and/or unrecognized....As for my friends who live south of the Mason-Dixon line, enjoy...
The double 12 sorwe of Troilus to tellen,  
That was the king Priamus sone of Troye,
In lovinge, how his aventures fellen
Fro wo to wele, and after out of Ioye,
My purpos is, er that I parte fro ye.  
Thesiphone, thou help me for tendyte
Thise woful vers, that wepen as I wryte!

To thee clepe I, thou goddesse of torment,
Thou cruel Furie, sorwing ever in peyne;
Help me, that am the sorwful instrument  
That helpeth lovers, as I can, to pleyne!
For wel sit it, the sothe for to seyne,
A woful wight to han a drery fere,
And, to a sorwful tale, a sory chere.

For I, that god of Loves servaunts serve,  
Ne dar to Love, for myn unlyklinesse,
Preyen for speed, al sholde I therfor sterve,
So fer am I fro his help in derknesse;
But nathelees, if this may doon gladnesse
To any lover, and his cause avayle,  
Have he my thank, and myn be this travayle!

But ye loveres, that bathen in gladnesse,
If any drope of pitee in yow be,
Remembreth yow on passed hevinesse
That ye han felt, and on the adversitee  
Of othere folk, and thenketh how that ye
Han felt that Love dorste yow displese;
Or ye han wonne hym with to greet an ese.

And preyeth for hem that ben in the cas
Of Troilus, as ye may after here,  
That love hem bringe in hevene to solas,
And eek for me preyeth to god so dere,
That I have might to shewe, in som manere,
Swich peyne and wo as Loves folk endure,
In Troilus unsely aventure.  

And biddeth eek for hem that been despeyred
In love, that never nil recovered be,
And eek for hem that falsly been apeyred
Thorugh wikked tonges, be it he or she;
Thus biddeth god, for his benignitee,  
So graunte hem sone out of this world to pace,
That been despeyred out of Loves grace.

And biddeth eek for hem that been at ese,
That god hem graunte ay good perseveraunce,
And sende hem might hir ladies so to plese,  
That it to Love be worship and plesaunce.
For so hope I my soule best avaunce,
To preye for hem that Loves servaunts be,
And wryte hir wo, and live in charitee.

And for to have of hem compassioun  
As though I were hir owene brother dere.
Now herkeneth with a gode entencioun,
For now wol I gon streight to my matere,
In whiche ye may the double sorwes here
Of Troilus, in loving of Criseyde,  
And how that she forsook him er she deyde.

It is wel wist, how that the Grekes stronge
In armes with a thousand shippes wente
To Troyewardes, and the citee longe
Assegeden neigh ten yeer er they stente,  
And, in diverse wyse and oon entente,
The ravisshing to wreken of Eleyne,
By Paris doon, they wroughten al hir peyne.

Now fil it so, that in the toun ther was
Dwellinge a lord of greet auctoritee,  
A gret devyn that cleped was Calkas,
That in science so expert was, that he
Knew wel that Troye sholde destroyed be,
By answere of his god, that highte thus,
Daun Phebus or Apollo Delphicus.  

So whan this Calkas knew by calculinge,
And eek by answere of this Appollo,
That Grekes sholden swich a peple bringe,
Thorugh which that Troye moste been for-do,
He caste anoon out of the toun to go;  
For wel wiste he, by sort, that Troye sholde
Destroyed ben, ye, wolde who-so nolde.

For which, for to departen softely
Took purpos ful this forknowinge wyse,
And to the Grekes ost ful prively  
He stal anoon; and they, in curteys wyse,
Hym deden bothe worship and servyse,
In trust that he hath conning hem to rede
In every peril which that is to drede.

The noyse up roos, whan it was first aspyed,  
Thorugh al the toun, and generally was spoken,
That Calkas traytor fled was, and allyed
With hem of Grece; and casten to ben wroken
On him that falsly hadde his feith so broken;
And seyden, he and al his kin at ones  
Ben worthy for to brennen, fel and bones.

Now hadde Calkas left, in this meschaunce,
Al unwist of this false and wikked dede,
His doughter, which that was in gret penaunce,
For of hir lyf she was ful sore in drede,  
As she that niste what was best to rede;
For bothe a widowe was she, and allone
Of any freend to whom she dorste hir mone.

Criseyde was this lady name a-right;
As to my dome, in al Troyes citee  
Nas noon so fair, for passing every wight
So aungellyk was hir natyf beautee,
That lyk a thing immortal semed she,
As doth an hevenish parfit creature,
That doun were sent in scorning of nature.  

This lady, which that al-day herde at ere
Hir fadres shame, his falsnesse and tresoun,
Wel nigh out of hir wit for sorwe and fere,
In widewes habit large of samit broun,
On knees she fil biforn Ector a-doun;  
With pitous voys, and tendrely wepinge,
His mercy bad, hir-selven excusinge.

Now was this Ector pitous of nature,
And saw that she was sorwfully bigoon,
And that she was so fair a creature;  
Of his goodnesse he gladed hir anoon,
And seyde, 'Lat your fadres treson goon
Forth with mischaunce, and ye your-self, in Ioye,
Dwelleth with us, whyl you good list, in Troye.

'And al thonour that men may doon yow have,  
As ferforth as your fader dwelled here,
Ye shul han, and your body shal men save,
As fer as I may ought enquere or here.'
And she him thonked with ful humble chere,
And ofter wolde, and it hadde ben his wille,  
And took hir leve, and hoom, and held hir stille.

And in hir hous she abood with swich meynee
As to hir honour nede was to holde;
And whyl she was dwellinge in that citee,
Kepte hir estat, and bothe of yonge and olde  
Ful wel beloved, and wel men of hir tolde.
But whether that she children hadde or noon,
I rede it naught; therfore I late it goon.

The thinges fellen, as they doon of werre,
Bitwixen hem of Troye and Grekes ofte;  
For som day boughten they of Troye it derre,
And eft the Grekes founden no thing softe
The folk of Troye; and thus fortune on-lofte,
And under eft, gan hem to wheelen bothe
After hir cours, ay whyl they were wrothe.  

But how this toun com to destruccioun
Ne falleth nought to purpos me to telle;
For it were a long digressioun
Fro my matere, and yow to longe dwelle.
But the Troyane gestes, as they felle,  
In Omer, or in Dares, or in Dyte,
Who-so that can, may rede hem as they wryte.

But though that Grekes hem of Troye shetten,
And hir citee bisegede al a-boute,
Hir olde usage wolde they not letten,  
As for to honoure hir goddes ful devoute;
But aldermost in honour, out of doute,
They hadde a relik hight Palladion,
That was hir trist a-boven everichon.

And so bifel, whan comen was the tyme  
Of Aperil, whan clothed is the mede
With newe grene, of ***** Ver the pryme,
And swote smellen floures whyte and rede,
In sondry wyses shewed, as I rede,
The folk of Troye hir observaunces olde,  
Palladiones feste for to holde.

And to the temple, in al hir beste wyse,
In general, ther wente many a wight,
To herknen of Palladion servyse;
And namely, so many a ***** knight,  
So many a lady fresh and mayden bright,
Ful wel arayed, bothe moste and leste,
Ye, bothe for the seson and the feste.

Among thise othere folk was Criseyda,
In widewes habite blak; but nathelees,  
Right as our firste lettre is now an A,
In beautee first so stood she, makelees;
Hir godly looking gladede al the prees.
Nas never seyn thing to ben preysed derre,
Nor under cloude blak so bright a sterre  

As was Criseyde, as folk seyde everichoon
That hir behelden in hir blake wede;
And yet she stood ful lowe and stille alloon,
Bihinden othere folk, in litel brede,
And neigh the dore, ay under shames drede,  
Simple of a-tyr, and debonaire of chere,
With ful assured loking and manere.

This Troilus, as he was wont to gyde
His yonge knightes, ladde hem up and doun
In thilke large temple on every syde,  
Biholding ay the ladyes of the toun,
Now here, now there, for no devocioun
Hadde he to noon, to reven him his reste,
But gan to preyse and lakken whom him leste.

And in his walk ful fast he gan to wayten  
If knight or squyer of his companye
Gan for to syke, or lete his eyen bayten
On any woman that he coude aspye;
He wolde smyle, and holden it folye,
And seye him thus, 'god wot, she slepeth softe  
For love of thee, whan thou tornest ful ofte!

'I have herd told, pardieux, of your livinge,
Ye lovers, and your lewede observaunces,
And which a labour folk han in winninge
Of love, and, in the keping, which doutaunces;  
And whan your preye is lost, wo and penaunces;
O verrey foles! nyce and blinde be ye;
Ther nis not oon can war by other be.'

And with that word he gan cast up the browe,
Ascaunces, 'Lo! is this nought wysly spoken?'  
At which the god of love gan loken rowe
Right for despyt, and shoop for to ben wroken;
He kidde anoon his bowe nas not broken;
For sodeynly he hit him at the fulle;
And yet as proud a pekok can he pulle.  

O blinde world, O blinde entencioun!
How ofte falleth al theffect contraire
Of surquidrye and foul presumpcioun;
For caught is proud, and caught is debonaire.
This Troilus is clomben on the staire,  
And litel weneth that he moot descenden.
But al-day falleth thing that foles ne wenden.

As proude Bayard ginneth for to skippe
Out of the wey, so priketh him his corn,
Til he a lash have of the longe whippe,  
Than thenketh he, 'Though I praunce al biforn
First in the trays, ful fat and newe shorn,
Yet am I but an hors, and horses lawe
I moot endure, and with my feres drawe.'

So ferde it by this fers and proude knight;  
Though he a worthy kinges sone were,
And wende nothing hadde had swiche might
Ayens his wil that sholde his herte stere,
Yet with a look his herte wex a-fere,
That he, that now was most in pryde above,  
Wex sodeynly most subget un-to love.

For-thy ensample taketh of this man,
Ye wyse, proude, and worthy folkes alle,
To scornen Love, which that so sone can
The freedom of your hertes to him thralle;  
For ever it was, and ever it shal bifalle,
That Love is he that alle thing may binde;
For may no man for-do the lawe of kinde.

That this be sooth, hath preved and doth yet;
For this trowe I ye knowen, alle or some,  
Men reden not that folk han gretter wit
Than they that han be most with love y-nome;
And strengest folk ben therwith overcome,
The worthiest and grettest of degree:
This was, and is, and yet men shal it see.  

And trewelich it sit wel to be so;
For alderwysest han ther-with ben plesed;
And they that han ben aldermost in wo,
With love han ben conforted most and esed;
And ofte it hath the cruel herte apesed,  
And worthy folk maad worthier of name,
And causeth most to dreden vyce and shame.

Now sith it may not goodly be withstonde,
And is a thing so vertuous in kinde,
Refuseth not to Love for to be bonde,  
Sin, as him-selven list, he may yow binde.
The yerde is bet that bowen wole and winde
Than that that brest; and therfor I yow rede
To folwen him that so wel can yow lede.

But for to tellen forth in special  
As of this kinges sone of which I tolde,
And leten other thing collateral,
Of him thenke I my tale for to holde,
Both of his Ioye, and of his cares colde;
And al his werk, as touching this matere,  
For I it gan, I wol ther-to refere.

With-inne the temple he wente him forth pleyinge,
This Troilus, of every wight aboute,
On this lady and now on that lokinge,
Wher-so she were of toune, or of with-oute:  
And up-on cas bifel, that thorugh a route
His eye perced, and so depe it wente,
Til on Criseyde it smoot, and ther it stente.

And sodeynly he wax ther-with astoned,
And gan hire bet biholde in thrifty wyse:  
'O mercy, god!' thoughte he, 'wher hastow woned,
That art so fair and goodly to devyse?'
Ther-with his herte gan to sprede and ryse,
And softe sighed, lest men mighte him here,
And caughte a-yein his firste pleyinge chere.  

She nas nat with the leste of hir stature,
But alle hir limes so wel answeringe
Weren to womanhode, that creature
Was neuer lasse mannish in seminge.
And eek the pure wyse of here meninge  
Shewede wel, that men might in hir gesse
Honour, estat, and wommanly noblesse.

To Troilus right wonder wel with-alle
Gan for to lyke hir meninge and hir chere,
Which somdel deynous was, for she leet falle  
Hir look a lite a-side, in swich manere,
Ascaunces, 'What! May I not stonden here?'
And after that hir loking gan she lighte,
That never thoughte him seen so good a sighte.

And of hir look in him ther gan to quiken  
So greet desir, and swich affeccioun,
That in his herte botme gan to stiken
Of hir his fixe and depe impressioun:
And though he erst hadde poured up and doun,
He was tho glad his hornes in to shrinke;  
Unnethes wiste he how to loke or winke.

Lo, he that leet him-selven so konninge,
And scorned hem that loves peynes dryen,
Was ful unwar that love hadde his dwellinge
With-inne the subtile stremes of hir yen;  
That sodeynly him thoughte he felte dyen,
Right with hir look, the spirit in his herte;
Blissed be love, that thus can folk converte!

She, this in blak, likinge to Troylus,
Over alle thyng, he stood for to biholde;  
Ne his desir, ne wherfor he stood thus,
He neither chere made, ne worde tolde;
But from a-fer, his maner for to holde,
On other thing his look som-tyme he caste,
And eft on hir, whyl that servyse laste.  

And after this, not fulliche al awhaped,
Out of the temple al esiliche he wente,
Repentinge him that he hadde ever y-iaped
Of loves folk, lest fully the descente
Of scorn fille on him-self; but, what he mente,  
Lest it were wist on any maner syde,
His wo he gan dissimulen and hyde.

Whan he was fro the temple thus departed,
He streyght anoon un-to his paleys torneth,
Right with hir look thurgh-shoten and thurgh-darted,  
Al feyneth he in lust that he soiorneth;
And al his chere and speche also he borneth;
And ay, of loves servants every whyle,
Him-self to wrye, at hem he gan to smyle.

And seyde, 'Lord, so ye live al in lest,  
Ye loveres! For the conningest of yow,
That serveth most ententiflich and best,
Him *** as often harm ther-of as prow;
Your hyre is quit ayein, ye, god wot how!
Nought wel for wel, but scorn for good servyse;  
In feith, your ordre is ruled in good wyse!

'In noun-certeyn ben alle your observaunces,
But it a sely fewe poyntes be;
Ne no-thing asketh so grete attendaunces
As doth youre lay, and that knowe alle ye;  
But that is not the worste, as mote I thee;
But, tolde I yow the worste poynt, I leve,
Al seyde I sooth, ye wolden at me greve!

'But tak this, that ye loveres ofte eschuwe,
Or elles doon of good entencioun,  
Ful ofte thy lady wole it misconstrue,
And deme it harm in hir opinioun;
And yet if she, for other enchesoun,
Be wrooth, than shalt thou han a groyn anoon:
Lord! wel is him that may be of yow oon!'  

But for al this, whan that he say his tyme,
He held his pees, non other bote him gayned;
For love bigan his fetheres so to lyme,
That wel unnethe un-to his folk he fayned
That othere besye nedes him destrayned;  
For wo was him, that what to doon he niste,
But bad his folk to goon wher that hem liste.

And whan that he in chaumbre was allone,
He doun up-on his beddes feet him sette,
And first be gan to syke, and eft to grone,  
And thoughte ay on hir so, with-outen lette,
That, as he sat and wook, his spirit mette
That he hir saw a temple, and al the wyse
Right of hir loke, and gan it newe avyse.

Thus gan he make a mirour of his minde,  
In which he saugh al hoolly hir figure;
And that he wel coude in his herte finde,
It was to him a right good aventure
To love swich oon, and if he dide his cure
To serven hir, yet mighte he falle in grace,  
Or elles, for oon of hir servaunts pace.

Imagininge that travaille nor grame
Ne mighte, for so goodly oon, be lorn
As she, ne him for his desir ne shame,
Al were it wist, but in prys and up-born  
Of alle lovers wel more than biforn;
Thus argumented he in his ginninge,
Ful unavysed of his wo cominge.

Thus took he purpos loves craft to suwe,
And thou
Brent Kincaid Jul 2018
It ain’t like ahm a teacher ner nuthin.
Ahm jess a regular person, nothin spayshul
Ah ain’t no docterr of rocket science
Ahm jess a working guy, and kinda playful.
Ah half tah admit, ah do get things wrong
And sometahms ah can make a big mess
But ah do have minny, minny good points
And ahm a rilly good person, irregardless.

But things like writin’ readin’ and
Readin’ writin’ and sech lack that stuff
Ah stopped carin’ ‘bout at twelve
‘Cause ah found it more than kinda tuff.
Ah mean, it ain’t lack ah ain’t never
Gunna need to know reedickaluss stuff lie cat.
Ahm jess gunna graduate and then
Ah’ll go to work with Dad and drahve a bobcat.

Ain’t nobuddy needs algebra for that
Er fer workin’ at the factory line ever day either.
And it sher ain’t like ahm a teacher ner nuthin.
Ahm jess a regular person, nothin spayshul
Ah ain’t no docterr of rocket science
Ahm jess a working guy, and kinda playful.
Ah half tah admit, ah do get things wrong
And sometahms ah can make a big mess
But ah do have minny, minny good points
And ahm a rilly good person, irregardless.

But things like writin’ readin’ and
Grammer and other sech borin’ stuff
Ah stopped carin’ ‘bout at twelve
‘Cause ah found it more than kinda tuff.
Ah mean, it ain’t lack ah ain’t never
Gunna need to know reedickaluss stuff lie cat.
Ahm jess gunna graduate and then
Ah’ll go to work with Dad and drahve a bobcat.

Ain’t nobuddy needs algebra for that
Er fer workin’ on a factory line ever day either.
Ah sherr don’t need it to work digging
Er runnin’ sewer lahns er plummin’ pipes neither.
So, folks can jess give up on tryin’
To turn me into some kinda egghead scholar.
After all, it was good enough for my dad
To go to work, and work hard to earn a dollar.
Ken Pepiton Oct 2018
'Put my hand in the hand of the man from Galilee,

that song keeps playing in my memory, and I recalled

Or I thought I did, I imagined he'd walk with me
and talk with me
Along life's merry (or was it narrow?), way

a light touch, his arm around my shoulders,
as boys are wont to do,
I axed 'im,
help me fill the darkness behind my eyes,
which I think may have been blind, at that time,

I have memories like that.
packed away in old memes. That mean something...
Gold-something...
color maybe, Goldfarv? Bloom.
Right, my augmentatious savant
looked it up and I sorted what I recalled

Google The Global Brain, Howard Bloom,
where he named a kind of
category of knowability. Memes, he called them.

And I thought, memes mean something more,
not Dawkins's, nor Bloom's, but these,
heteromemes bubbling out my belly button,
look real close.

Here a seeing being done, words appearing...

fractally featureless by the time a clock could have been imagined,

the point of the story was made,
and there is no end in sight.

Pop. Another apocalypse bubble collapses by mortality. Whaddyaknow?

What remains when a bubble pops at a positron level,
after the charge is touched and
the tension-power-loss collapses the bubble?

You should think, you know atoms work, this way.

Touchy bubbles disappear when their form is disinformed,
the wall of a bubble,
one quanta of power thick,
vanishes
as the charge that formed it flees.
That bubble,
not cloud-based, random super positioning,but
elect
tric-magi-tech, a touch screened
at the quantum accounting point of real-ification,
but, probably,
a bubble,indeed,
powered, one way or another, with a single charge,
Go, that's it.
(I charge thee, son Timothy, go)
That's all an electron does.
It goes, as soon as any sense can be made of it,
outa here, oughta hear it, clear,
ping. No charge, no bubble, but next sure as...
No, ah, when I think about that..

Hell,
somethi' from nuthin musta hapt one time,

but ya'll take no heed, this voice,
m'fallin angel, Tantan, droppin' in ol-fren, tricky hybridbast...

Noah was a tellin' Ham the truth
found in wines that moved themselves aright,
slurry tongued, and laughin' but pisstoff.

The idea of somethin' goin' south in a family,
that started up again when
ever Noah started drinkin' old wine, sayin' sbetter'n...

Old story, God damened 'em, not me, I just
built the box.

Who told you I was naked? Noah queried Shem.

-- aye, ye know, Noah was drunk,
No excuse, but you know.

Things were said, that maybe could be forgotten, after a while,

But those father wounds a man imagines worst
are the one's his son's forgot.
Forgot can't be forgiven it seems, sometimes...

The story being told is complicated. See,
the Bible is a lens,
not a map.

I've looked so long through that lens,
that I began to see the bubble formed around me,
charged powerfully with fear,
'yond my bubble monsters lurked.

But, my bubble bumped another,
purest of happenstance,
the bubbles merged and merged again,
their power building to a wave,
crashing to the shore and no more
was I bubbled in my safe place.

I found this trail up from the beach.

It got me much farther than this, should you ever
visit me.
Did you regret the defeat at Ai,
or were you
Aachen, bold?

No, irrelevant, obtuse allusion to Yahshua,
that's not in the stack,
that card's about as relevant as McLuhan's hair of the dog.

Information unformed begins to boil deep in me.

Somethin', ain't it?  All them three meter dishes shrunk down
to the size of a spoon, a teeny weeny spoon, a coke spoon,
like on Miami Vice, back when.

Satellite TV changed the desert, fer sher, but 4g, brohan,

that was the trick. Elect trick.
Future, on demand, where outhouses are still de rigueur.

Before you know it, country kids,
too poor for any but outlaw dreams,
can audit courses at MIT,
if somebody
shows him, it can be done, prove t' him
it works, faith can make things happen,
but
happening as an event, in the Deep Field,
is sorta hard to nail down to one thing,
until the very last
Planc-sec.  
Astrophysics is part of the metagame, fer sher.
But
there's some stuff that takes some patience,
to learn. Fifty year'r longer.

Everything that's old and still works is only old, not rotten.

Olde time religion, at the oldfo'k dayroom,
where the clock runs the whole show.
It's another game show. Saint Bob Barker takes a bow,
and declares the potential worth of all your eyes behold,
behind the curtain,
lies the prize.

If, if, if you are a luckywinner and
you arise when I call your name
to come on down,
fall on your knees and declare the worth...

pure gamesmanships required here, golf whispers only,
worship, 'smuch more difficult to aim for than praise.
I agree.
Praise, appraisal, worthyness, worthship, prize, what's the diff?
How comes a thing to be worthy,
in your estimation? Tell me no lie.

A feeling? What's it worth?
Depends.
Safe? Priceless! Don't shout. There's money to make.

'Got a busy-ness pre-positioned high above the rest.
A super-positioned superstion. The darkness.
See, safety is a human right.
So we sell walls, impermeable. It's always, lights on
within, then
We'll be rich and powerful wallbuilding,
citi-zen warriors fed and fattened
by those we make
feel safe, from the dark unknowns seeping in.

That's the idea. It's worked for years, at least
since
we saw the Power in Myth and
capitalized Campbell's bliss and Sagan's billions and billions of stars.

Within these walls workers will work for food and a feeling.
And Facebook.
They choose a place and stand, and do what comes to hand.
Heartily
grip what's easiest for you to hold on to,
they are told.

Attendants bring the meds, settling every disruption
of the peace the patient craves in his comfort.
The price ain't right, m'mouthmumbles...

You are absolutely co-rect-allatime, tekayepeel.

There are wishes being made,
on all manner of stars
for happy ever afters.

If wishes were askings, what if
connecting to the source of haps which,
every expert knows, haps are
all happiness can possibly
consist of.
Oh, consist.
That sticky, gluteny idea stuck in my daily bread.
It's related to resist, desist and the command to stand.
Sistere. Shield-wall and all that. Turtles all the way down.

A disruption!
Day room Now! Granpa's shouting,

This is that bomb, this is a dam buster Jesus H Christ Bomb!
I'll drop it. I swear.

Something's bound on earth to go wrong,
ever since Eve bit that apple, if she'da left that apple on the apple tree
Nah, that ain't how it went down and
songs about it don't change it none.

But, maybe this is me interrupted... in my meander.

What if, nothing is immaterial,
as an idea, it can't go wrong,
and Murphy's law, obeyed, is good, all the time.
If nothing can go wrong, it won't.
Ask the pilot flying by faith in his checklist.

What if,
asking for help helps?
Was that a message? A touch by an angel?
Spirit, the idea? An answered prayer?

Are you familiar with its role in reality?
Something makes these bubbles spin, y'know.

Ignoring is bliss, nay,
No more,
precisely, nevermore,
quoth the raven, shall the man who can read
be locked away from all the stories,
telling eventualities that
men, wombed and un,
have told and tested for ever, it seems,

Stop
striving for perfection and let patience have her way witcha,

whatcha learn can change the world.

Look back. Good news from a far country come our way.
Grandpa made some sense and we built a fort, of pillows
This is a reworking of Good news from a far country, I am attempting to rein in my scattered mind. Let me know if you see improvement or parts in need thereof.
“Yo con stik yer O.T. Gaffa
Weer the monkey stiks his nuts.
Dost think I’ll fall fer that agin
No questions ifs or buts?
Fer fore ‘ears now I’ve werked me roe
Thru blood and sweat and tears
And all fer such a measly dough
Werk overtime no fears.”
The Gaffa looked me in the eye
And stood his graernd real firm.
“Wust be better on the dole
With missis on the gurm?”
Cust see he wart in mood fer messin,
He wus beetroot red in ferse.
An I war gunna mess abaert
So I gor on his curse.
“Yo con insult me till cows come um
But yoh wow insult mar *****.
Gaffa or no Gaffa mate
Yo’ll end up in six-foot trench!”
He must a thought it tad absurd,
It war achieving any gud.
So, he said, “Time an a third?”
To this I said I would.
He ay bad Gaffa after all
It jus needed consultation.
We both walked off I dun confess
With mutual admiration.
“Oh, wenst yo wont us in?”  I asked,
Cust I didna ear ya say.”
“I’m sorry I fergor ah kid,
Yome in on Christmas Day.”
Obadiah Grey Mar 2012
I'd like three cows
- maybe a bull;
couple of alpacas
- fer the wool.
a turtle,
a frog,
few pigs n a hog,
oh, - n a tortoise
n a porpoise
- the eggs
- which I'd flog
Obadiah Grey May 2011
Tea fer Two.

Pickle me a Dolphin; sprinkle liberally with rye,
whip us up a Butter cup on Snake n Pygmy pie.
griddle ten rare rats ****, soaked in sauce o' barbeque;
serve it all in the banquet hall; for liddle me n you.
Why am I so dif-fer-ent?
They say I’m out of touch.
Why am I, ple-nar-ily sad?
This life it hurts so much.
And why do they come, come every day?
Shush, quiet now, they’re here.
Those awful tormentors of my soul all cackling and queer!
Whirling head of spinning revolutions,
…feel my stomach ache and pang.
Why will they not leave me alone?
This crew of darkness; Blackbird Gang.

I shouldn’t always feel like this, feel such solemn pain,
…troubling and trouble is these birds are driving me insane!
I’m screaming now! I’m mad with rage! Throwing ice cubes at my deck,
“Go away! Yes, go away!” -their numbers must be kept in check.
Blackhole-whirl, flying twirling darkness, their funnel it points to me-e-e-e-!
For too many is too painful and my mind’s a constant wreck!
One cannot think with those infernal be-e-e-asts,
...and the crazy song they sang.
Why do they so punish me?
The crew of darkness; Blackbird Gang.

I know they serve the Saturn’s wheel and now they’ve come for me.
What did I do? Oh what great sin, oh the blackbirds from within;

The Abyssimal Sea?

Their whirlpool funnel is all around, as my harried soul, it expiates.
I’m done-in; I’m over now, a sorely victim of the Fates!
They took me, took me away, when the tolling bell it rang.
Why could they not leave me alone?
The crew of darkness; Blackbird Gang.

If you find yourself all alone and mired in their thought,
…do not think, extirpate, all the human damage that you’ve wrought.
His flock of fledgling melancholy musical formation,
…will take you away and straight to Hell; the Seventh Circle congregation!
For they took me, took me away, when the tolling bell it rang.
And they will not leave you alone.
This crew of darkness; Blackbird Gang.
The primary reason I came to Hello Poetry is that every single publishing house I could find on the internet rejected every poem I sent them. Since my work is deemed to be worth nothing I gave it all to you for free. It seems that in a digital world where people can share this easily there will always be more content available for free than for a fee. One would think publishers would know this. I have seen some seriously good poetry here and some pieces that are extraordinary.
I


Les prêtres avaient dit : « En ce temps-là, mes frères,

On a vu s'élever des docteurs téméraires,

Des dogmes de la foi censeurs audacieux :

Au fond du Saint des saints l'Arche s'est refermée,

Et le puits de l'abîme a vomi la fumée

Qui devait obscurcir la lumière des cieux.


L'Antéchrist est venu, qui parcourut la terre :

Tout à coup, soulevant un terrible mystère,

L'impie a remué de profanes débats ;

Il a dressé la tête : et des voix hérétiques

Ont outragé la Bible, et chanté les cantiques

Dans le langage impur qui se parle ici-bas.


Mais si le ciel permet que l'Église affligée

Gémisse pour un temps, et ne soit point vengée ;

S'il lui plaît de l'abattre et de l'humilier :

Si sa juste colère, un moment assoupie.

Dans sa gloire d'un jour laisse dormir l'impie,

Et livre ses élus au bras séculier ;


Quand les temps sont venus, le fort qui se relève

Soudain de la main droite a ressaisi le glaive :

Sur les débris épars qui gisaient sans honneur

Il rebâtit le Temple, et ses armes bénites

Abattent sous leurs coups les vils Madianites,

Comme fait les épis la faux du moissonneur.


Allez donc, secondant de pieuses vengeances,

Pour vous et vos parents gagner les indulgences ;

Fidèles, qui savez croire sans examen,

Noble race d'élus que le ciel a choisie,

Allez, et dans le sang étouffez l'hérésie !

Ou la messe, ou la mort !» - Le peuple dit : Amen.


II


A l'hôtel de Soissons, dans une tour mystique,

Catherine interroge avec des yeux émus

Des signes qu'imprima l'anneau cabalistique

Du grand Michel Nostradamus.

Elle a devant l'autel déposé sa couronne ;

A l'image de sa patronne,

En s'agenouillant pour prier.

Elle a dévotement promis une neuvaine,

Et tout haut, par trois fois, conjuré la verveine

Et la branche du coudrier.


« Les astres ont parlé : qui sait entendre, entende !

Ils ont nommé ce vieux Gaspard de Châtillon :

Ils veulent qu'en un jour ma vengeance s'étende

De l'Artois jusqu'au Roussillon.

Les pieux défenseurs de la foi chancelante

D'une guerre déjà trop lente

Ont assez couru les hasards :

A la cause du ciel unissons mon outrage.

Périssent, engloutis dans un même naufrage.

Les huguenots et les guisards ! »


III


C'était un samedi du mois d'août : c'était l'heure

Où l'on entend de ****, comme une voix qui pleure,

De l'angélus du soir les accents retentir :

Et le jour qui devait terminer la semaine

Était le jour voué, par l'Église romaine.

A saint Barthélémy, confesseur et martyr.


Quelle subite inquiétude

A cette heure ? quels nouveaux cris

Viennent troubler la solitude

Et le repos du vieux Paris ?

Pourquoi tous ces apprêts funèbres,

Pourquoi voit-on dans les ténèbres

Ces archers et ces lansquenets ?

Pourquoi ces pierres entassées,

Et ces chaînes de fer placées

Dans le quartier des Bourdonnais ?


On ne sait. Mais enfin, quelque chose d'étrange

Dans l'ombre de la nuit se prépare et s'arrange.

Les prévôts des marchands, Marcel et Jean Charron.

D'un projet ignoré mystérieux complices.

Ont à l'Hôtel-de-Ville assemblé les milices,

Qu'ils doivent haranguer debout sur le perron.


La ville, dit-on, est cernée

De soldats, les mousquets chargés ;

Et l'on a vu, l'après-dînée.

Arriver les chevau-légers :

Dans leurs mains le fer étincelle ;

Ils attendent le boute-selle.

Prêts au premier commandement ;

Et des cinq cantons catholiques,

Sur l'Évangile et les reliques,

Les Suisses ont prêté serment.


Auprès de chaque pont des troupes sont postées :

Sur la rive du nord les barques transportées ;

Par ordre de la cour, quittant leurs garnisons,

Des bandes de soldats dans Paris accourues

Passent, la hallebarde au bras, et dans les rues

Des gens ont été vus qui marquaient des maisons.


On vit, quand la nuit fut venue,

Des hommes portant sur le dos

Des choses de forme inconnue

Et de mystérieux fardeaux.

Et les passants se regardèrent :

Aucuns furent qui demandèrent :

- Où portes-tu, par l'ostensoir !

Ces fardeaux persans, je te prie ?

- Au Louvre, votre seigneurie.

Pour le bal qu'on donne ce soir.


IV


Il est temps ; tout est prêt : les gardes sont placés.

De l'hôtel Châtillon les portes sont forcées ;

Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois a sonné le tocsin :

Maudit de Rome, effroi du parti royaliste,

C'est le grand-amiral Coligni que la liste

Désigne le premier au poignard assassin.


- « Est-ce Coligni qu'on te nomme ? »

- « Tu l'as dit. Mais, en vérité,

Tu devrais respecter, jeune homme.

Mon âge et mon infirmité.

Va, mérite ta récompense ;

Mais, tu pouvais bien, que je pense,

T'épargner un pareil forfait

Pour le peu de jours qui m'attendent ! »

Ils hésitaient, quand ils entendent

Guise leur criant : « Est-ce fait ? »


Ils l'ont tué ! la tête est pour Rome. On espère

Que ce sera présent agréable au saint père.

Son cadavre est jeté par-dessus le balcon :

Catherine aux corbeaux l'a promis pour curée.

Et rira voir demain, de ses fils entourée,

Au gibet qu'elle a fait dresser à Montfaucon.


Messieurs de Nevers et de Guise,

Messieurs de Tavanne et de Retz,

Que le fer des poignards s'aiguise,

Que vos gentilshommes soient prêts.

Monsieur le duc d'Anjou, d'Entrague,

Bâtard d'Angoulême, Birague,

Faites armer tous vos valets !

Courez où le ciel vous ordonne,

Car voici le signal que donne

La Tour-de-l'horloge au Palais.


Par l'espoir du butin ces hordes animées.

Agitant à la main des torches allumées,

Au lugubre signal se hâtent d'accourir :

Ils vont. Ceux qui voudraient, d'une main impuissante,

Écarter des poignards la pointe menaçante.

Tombent ; ceux qui dormaient s'éveillent pour mourir.


Troupes au massacre aguerries,

Bedeaux, sacristains et curés,

Moines de toutes confréries.

Capucins, Carmes, Prémontrés,

Excitant la fureur civile,

En tout sens parcourent la ville

Armés d'un glaive et d'un missel.

Et vont plaçant des sentinelles

Du Louvre au palais des Tournelles

De Saint-Lazare à Saint-Marcel.


Parmi les tourbillons d'une épaisse fumée

Que répand en flots noirs la résine enflammée,

A la rouge clarté du feu des pistolets,

On voit courir des gens à sinistre visage,

Et comme des oiseaux de funeste présage,

Les clercs du Parlement et des deux Châtelets.


Invoquant les saints et les saintes,

Animés par les quarteniers,

Ils jettent les femmes enceintes

Par-dessus le Pont-aux-Meuniers.

Dans les cours, devant les portiques.

Maîtres, écuyers, domestiques.

Tous sont égorgés sans merci :

Heureux qui peut dans ce carnage,

Traversant la Seine à la nage.

Trouver la porte de Bussi !


C'est par là que, trompant leur fureur meurtrière,

Avertis à propos, le vidame Perrière,

De Fontenay, Caumont, et de Montgomery,

Pressés qu'ils sont de fuir, sans casque, sans cuirasse.

Échappent aux soldats qui courent sur leur trace

Jusque sous les remparts de Montfort-l'Amaury.


Et toi, dont la crédule enfance,

Jeune Henri le Navarrois.

S'endormit, faible et sans défense,

Sur la foi que donnaient les rois ;

L'espérance te soit rendue :

Une clémence inattendue

A pour toi suspendu l'arrêt ;

Vis pour remplir ta destinée,

Car ton heure n'est pas sonnée,

Et ton assassin n'est pas prêt !


Partout des toits rompus et des portes brisées,

Des cadavres sanglants jetés par les croisées,

A des corps mutilés des femmes insultant ;

De bourgeois, d'écoliers, des troupes meurtrières.

Des blasphèmes, des pleurs, des cris et des prières.

Et des hommes hideux qui s'en allaient chantant :


« Valois et Lorraine

Et la double croix !

L'hérétique apprenne

Le pape et ses droits !

Tombant sous le glaive.

Que l'impie élève

Un bras impuissant ;

Archers de Lausanne,

Que la pertuisane

S'abreuve de sang !


Croyez-en l'oracle

Des corbeaux passants,

Et le grand miracle

Des Saints-Innocents.

A nos cris de guerre

On a vu naguère,

Malgré les chaleurs,

Surgir une branche

D'aubépine franche

Couverte de fleurs !


Honni qui pardonne !

Allez sans effroi,

C'est Dieu qui l'ordonne,

C'est Dieu, c'est le roi !

Le crime s'expie ;

Plongez à l'impie

Le fer au côté

Jusqu'à la poignée ;

Saignez ! la saignée

Est bonne en été ! »


V


Aux fenêtres du Louvre, on voyait le roi. « Tue,

Par la mort Dieu ! que l'hydre enfin soit abattue !

Qu'est-ce ? Ils veulent gagner le faubourg Saint-Germain ?

J'y mets empêchement : et, si je ne m'abuse,

Ce coup est bien au droit. - George, une autre arquebuse,

Et tenez toujours prête une mèche à la main.


Allons, tout va bien : Tue ! - Ah. Cadet de Lorraine,

Allez-vous-en quérir les filles de la reine.

Voici Dupont, que vient d'abattre un Écossais :

Vous savez son affaire ? Aussi bien, par la messe,

Le cas était douteux, et je vous fais promesse

Qu'elles auront plaisir à juger le procès.


Je sais comment la meute en plaine est gouvernée ;

Comment il faut chasser, en quel temps de l'année.

Aux perdrix, aux faisans, aux geais, aux étourneaux ;

Comment on doit forcer la fauve en son repaire ;

Mais je n'ai point songé, par l'âme de mon père,

A mettre en mon traité la chasse aux huguenots ! »
Obadiah Grey Dec 2010
Biggin it up fer jesus,

When a gilded man with pearly whites
came a knockin on ma’ door
said; " hey there bro,
d'ya care to know what this
ere book is for,
well, 'taint for puttin on display
or keepin vampire teeth at bay
oh no bro no bro, not today;
come listen what the good book say."

now he sure looked pretty in his stay press suit
n Vaseline slick back hair,
with his easy style n godly guile
was biggin up his good lord’s prayer,
but fragrant molasses made up myths;
man that ain't ma thing.
I'm a sixties child whoo that's wild,
I'm a ****** up ding a ling.

I got Dylan flowin through ma veins
Martin luther in ma gut,
so I need no ancient prophet claims,
-- n god can kiss ma ****.
Guy Braddock Dec 2013
Jack ropes and merriopes
In solicitous rhyme in fer derilious velope
envy implicitous insectuaryan harridannous
Ensole brodequins forbearing to lace
Trace elements of that remaining empoisonous

For failure interred
Is succes disinterred? And if so, form where?
Where derinferred strands failure unerred
By error masked muscovado coloured Breadth
Pneumonic, perhaps caustically mate
Aerial’d on the glib side of acoustical elimination
Veritable under pooh stick discrimination

Matte clouds of drab depression ove in
An area of low pressure
According to yon hypothalamic forecaster. Core has ter
Fail lently viola lapidavitious stretch so she as
fer ter rousse fer ter kamuskova. An epic
Scribbled on der calen.

Sole of brevity then being approximately an inch and a
Bit minus that
Torrent all yendergelpin cleaving
The very schism wit! It cynicism
Be as may be a pea, no spelling bee entrusted
Where? In there? In that jumble of line?
Barely knows his lime from his rhyme, or indeed
Lime from lime.
He’s just trying to fill up that calendrous space
And make some sense of it.
There it was on the calendar, Saturday May 11,2013. Big red circle around the date and written in black pen in the middle…SPELLING BEE. Plain as day, you couldn’t miss it. One of the biggest days of the school year for geeks and nerds alike.





Today was the day. In two hours, The 87th Annual Cross Cultural Twin Counties Co-Educational Public School Spelling Bee, would begin.  This was a huge event in the history of Thomas Polk Elementary School. It would be one of the biggest, if not THE BIGGEST in the history of The Twin Counties.



There would be twenty-one schools represented with their best and brightest spellers. The gymnasium would be full of parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, and media representatives. Yes, invitations had been sent out to both of the local papers in The Twin Counties, and both had replied in the affirmative. Real media, in Thomas Polk Elementary School, with a shared photographer….the big time had come to town.



Inside the gymnasium, work had been going on all night in preparation of the big event. The Teachers Auxiliary Group had set up bunting across the stage, purple and white of course, for the school colours. The school colours were actually purple and cream, but, there was a wedding at Our Lady of The Weeping Sisters Baptist Church later, and they had emptied the sav-mart of all of the cream coloured bunting and crepe paper. So, white it would be.



It looked spectacular. There were balloons tied to the basketball net at the south end of the gym. It wouldn’t wind up after the last game, so something had to be done to hide it. Balloons fit the bill. There was three levels of benches on the stage for the competitors, a microphone dead center stage and two 120 watt white spot lights aimed at the microphone.  Down in front, was a judges table, also covered in bunting and crepe, with a smaller microphone sitting in the middle. There was a cord connecting it to the stage speaker system, taped to the gym floor with purple duct tape, just to fit in. Big time, big time.



The piece de resistance sat at the right side of the judges table. An eight foot high pole, with an electronic stop watch and two traffic lights, donated from the local public utilities commission, in red and green. The timer had been rigged up by the uncle of one of the competitors, possibly to gain an advantage, to help keep the judges honest in their timings. Besides, it looked fancy, and it had a cool looking remote control.











The gym was filled to capacity. One hundred and Seventy Five Entrants, visitors, judges and media were crammed into plastic chairs, benches, and whatever lawn chairs the Teachers Auxiliary were able to borrow, that weren’t being used for the wedding at the Baptist Church. It was time to begin….



The three judges came in from the left of the clock, and sat down. The entrants were all nervously waiting on stage on the benches. The media representatives were down front, for photo opportunities, of course.



Judge number one, in the middle of the table clicked on the microphone in front of him and turned to the crowd. In doing so, he spilled his water on his notes and pulled the duct tape loose on the floor in front.



“Greetings, and welcome to the 87th Annual Cross Cultural Twin Counties Co-Educational Public School Spelling Bee.” There was some mild clapping from the family members, along with a few muffled whistles and two duck calls from the back. The weak response was due to the fact that most of the parents either had small fans (due to the heat), donated from the local Funeral Home, or hot dogs and beer (from the tailgating outside), in their hands. Needless to say, it was still a positive response.



The judge carried on…”Today’s competition brings together the top spellers in the region of the Twin Counties to do battle on our stage. All of the words used today, have been selected from a number of sources, including Webster’s Dictionary, from our own school library, Words with Friends from the inter web, keeping up with modern culture, and finally from two books of Dr. Suess that we had lying around the office. Each competitor will get one minute to answer once his or her word has been selected. We ask that you please refrain from applause until after the judges have confirmed the spelling, and please no help to the competitors. We now ask that you all turn off any electronic media, cell phones, pagers, etc. so we can begin”.



He then turned to the stage and asked all competitors to remove their cell phones and put them in the bright orange laundry basket, usually reserved for floor hockey sticks. Each student deposited their phones, all one hundred and thirty-seven of them in the basket.  We were ready to start.





“Competitor number one…please approach the microphone and state your name and your school” said Judge number two. Judge number two would be in charge of calling the students up, it seemed. She was the librarian at Thomas Polk. She had typical librarian glasses, with the silver chain attached to the arms, flaming red hair, done up in a bee hive uplift, just for the event, and was called Miss Flume. She was married, but, being the south, she was always addressed as Miss.



The first student advanced to the front of the stage. She had bright pink hair, held in place with a gold hairband, black shoes, and a yellow jumper. She looked like a walking number 2 pencil. The two duck calls came from the back of the gymnasium along with scattered applause. All three judges turned and looked to the back, and then turned to face the young girl.



“My name is Bobbie Jo Collister, I am a senior at Jackson Williams School of Fine Arts and Music”. “Thank you Bobbie Joe” said Miss Flume. Bobbie Jo, smiled nervously and put on her glasses. “Your word is horticulture” announced Judge number one, “horticulture”.  Bobbie Jo took a breath and without asking for a definition, usage, root of the word or anything, just ripped through it without fail in three point two seconds, according to the mammoth timepiece at the end of the table. After conferring, the judges clicked on the green street light and she sat down, amidst more duck calls and clapping.



Student number two went through the entire process as did students three through eight. Each one had glasses, no surprise there, and were all dressed in monochromatic themes. Together, they looked like a life sized box of crayolas ready for a halloween party. Each child spelled their words correctly and were subsequently cheered and applauded.



Student nine then approached the microphone, stopping about a good seven feet short and three feet right of it. “My name is Oliver Parnocky” squeaked the lad. “I go to George W. Bush P.S 19 and am a senior.” Miss Flume, grabbed the small mike in front of her and said “Oliver…put on your glasses and move over to the microphone.” She leaned into the other judges, and said “He goes to my school, he doesn’t like wearing them much, and he’s always outside at recess talking to the flagpole after everyone else has come inside”.



“Oliver, please spell Dichotomy” said Judge number one. Judge two started the clock and they waited….and waited…then out burst this voice….DICHOTOMY…D I C H O T O M E E, , no, wait..D I C K O….****!” The crowd erupted in laughter, Oliver was busted. The judges conferred, and after informing poor Oliver they had never heard it spelled quite that way with an O **** at the end, they triggered the red light and Oliver left the stage to sit in the audience with his folks.



The next three kids, all with glasses, like it was part of an unwritten uniform dress code for the day, all advanced and sat down. The next entrant, number thirteen, luckily enough stood from the back and struggled down to the front of the stage. There were gasps and some snickering from the crowd. She was taller than the previous competitors,  and a little more pregnant as well. “Please state your name” said Miss Flume. “My name is Betty Jo Willin and am a senior at

Buford T. Pusser Parochial School”. At this announcement there was a cheer of “Got Wood at B.T. Pusser” from the crowd. The judges turned, asked for silence and the offending nuns returned to their seats. “Miss Willin, how old are you exactly?” asked Judge number one. “Twenty Two sir”. “And you say you are a senior?” “Yes sir” came the reply. Betty Jo was shuffling a bit as the pressure on her bladder must have been building standing there in her delicate condition. After conferring, judge number one said “That sounds about right, your word is PROPHYLACTIC”. The few people in the crowd that knew the meaning of the word laughed, while the rest continued eating their hot dogs and drinking their sodas and beers. “Please give a definition sir..I don’t believe I know that word”. The judges looked at each other with a definite “I’m not surprised” look and rattled off the definition. When she asked for usage, the judges really didn’t know what to do. Should they give a sentence using the word or explain the usage of a prophylactic, which regardless would have been too late anyway.

After a modicum of control was reached, she attempted the word, getting all tongue tied and naturally messing it up. The red light was triggered and she left the stage.



More strange outfits, bowties, hair nets, jumpers, clip on ties, followed. It looked like a fashion parade from Goodwill and The Salvation Army rolled into one. Most attempted their words and were green lighted onwards to the next round, while those who failed, were red lighted back to the crowd and the tailgate party in the parking lot. As each competitor was eliminated, the betting board that was being manned outside by one father was updated with new odds and payouts.



The first round was approaching an end with only three kids left. “Number nineteen please approach and state your name” said Miss Flume. He plume of red hair was starting to sag and was sliding slowly off of her head due to the humidity in the gymnasium.



Number nineteen came forth, glasses, tape across the bridge like half of the previous spellers. He was wearing the most colourful shirt that any of the judges had ever seen. It was not from Dickies, they surmised. “I go to J.J. Washington P.S 117 and my name is Mujibar Julinoor Parkhurloonakiir”. The judges froze. He obviously was new to the district. They had never heard a name like that before, ever. Not even in Ghandi. This was a powerful name. There had been sixteen cominations of Bobby, Bobbie, Billie, Jo, Joe, Jimmy, Jeff, Johnson and Jackson prior to Mujibar. Stunned, judge one asked “Son, can you spell that please?”

Mujibar, not sure what to do, spelled his name, unsure of why he was being asked to do so. “Thank you son” said Miss Flume. The odds on the betting board in the parking lot changed right then.



“That boy is gonna win fer sure” said Jimmy Jeff Willerkers. Jimmy Jeff ran the filling station two concessions over and had fifty bucks on his nephew Bobby Jeff, who had already flamed out on “yawl”. “How was he supposed to know  it had something to do with boats?” asked Jimmy Jeff. “That Mujibar is gonna win…jeez, he’s been spelling that name for years….anything else is gonna be easy breezy.” The odds went down on Mujibar and the money was flying around that parking lot faster than the rumour that the revenue people were out looking for stills in the woods.



“Mujibar…please spell SALICIOUS”…asked the now red pancake headed Miss Flume. Doing as he was told, Mujibar, spelled the word, gave the root, a definition and a brief history of the word usage in modern literature. Judge number one was furiously scribbling down notes, and trying to figure out how he would get a bet down on this kid before round two started.



Entrant number twenty from Jefferson Davis Temple and Hebrew school advanced which brought up the final entrant from round one. “Number Twenty-One please advance to the front of the stage”. After adjusting his glasses, after all he didn’t want a repeat of what poor Oliver did, he approached. “My name is C.J. Kay from William Clinton P.S 68” Judge one, confused by the young man’s name asked him to repeat it. “C.J. Kay” said C.J. “What is your full last name boy, you can’t just have a letter as your last name….what is the K for?” “Sir, my last name is Kay”, said C.J. “It’s not a letter”. “It most certainly is son…H I J K L…rattled off judge one. “It has to stand for something, you just can’t be CJK, that sounds like a Canadian radio station or worse yet, one of them hippy hoppy d.j fellers my granddaughter listens to. What is the K for?”. C.J said sir “My name is Christopher John Kay… not K, Kay” and then spelled it out. This only confused judge one more than he already was, and the extra time figuring out his name was doing nothing to Miss Flume’s hairdo.



“Christopher John….please spell MEPHISTOPHOLES “ said Judge one, after realizing he was never going to find out what the K was for. The crowd was getting restless and wanted to get to the truck to get re-filled and change their bets. C.J. knocked it out of the park in 2.7 seconds…”faster than Lee Harvey Oswald at a target shoot in Dallas”, one man said.



After a ten minute break, to get drinks, ***, re-tape some glasses and prop up Miss Flumes ruined plumage round two was set to begin. This went faster as the words were getting tougher, although randomly selected, judge one was inserting a few new words to keep his chance of winning with Mujibar alive. PALIMONY, ARCHEOLOGY, PARSIMONIOUS, TRIPTOTHYLAMINE , and many other words were thrown at the competitors. Each time the list of successful spellers was reduced, and the amount of clapping and the duck calls were less.

The seventh round began with just Mujibar, B.J. Collister and C. J Kay left. Before the round began the judges reminded the crowd that the words were random, and to please keep the cheering until the green light had been lit. There were more duck calls at this announcement and very little applause. Jerry Jeff was still manning the betting board, the tailgate barbeque was done, and there was only about thirty people left in the gymnasium.



The balloons on the basketball net had long since lost their get up and go, and were now hanging limply like coloured rubber scrotums and were flatter that Miss Flumes hair, which incidently, was now starting to streak the right side of her face from sweat washing out the dye. She was beginning to look like an extra in a zombie film with a brilliant orange red streak across her forehead.



“C.J.” said judge one, “please spell ARYTHMOMYACIN”. C.J. gave it a valiant effort ,but unfortunately was incorrect and the red light sent him off to the showers. This left B.J. Collister and the odds on favourite, Mujibar. The crowd was down to twenty seven now, Bobbie Jo’s folks and Mujibars immediate family.



Round after round were completed with neither one missing a word. Neither one blinked. It was a gunfight where both shooters died. These two were good, and it was never going to end. Judge one leaned over and told the other judges, “we have to finish this soon….I’m due at the wedding over to the Baptist church for nine o’clock to bless the happily marrieds and drive them both to the airport. They’re off to Cuba for their honeymoon.” The others agreed…”C.J. please spell MINISCULE said Miss Flume”. She did so, without a problem. This caused judge one to yell out “Holy Christmas” just as Mujibar got to the microphone. Thinking this was his word, he started as the judges were giving him his word. Seizing the opportunity to end it…judge one woke up judge three who red lighted poor Mujibar, ending his run at spelling immortality. “Sorry son, you tried, but, today a Mujibar lost and a B.J won.”. Before he tried to correct himself, knowing what he had just said didn’t sound quite right, Miss Flume congratulated both finalists and began the award presentations.



Thankfully, next year the eighty eighth version of The Annual Cross Cultural Twin Counties Co-Educational Public School Spelling Bee will be in the other county. Now the job of sorting out the cell phones in the orange basket begins. By the way, Betty Jo Willin had a boy …you can just guess what she named it!
not a poem, as you can see...it's a rough draft of a short story. I would love feedback on the content, not the spelling or grammar as it is in a rough stage still and needs editing.
Judy Ponceby Nov 2011
I was 'bout a haf mile down Shadow Holler, lookin' for my dog Jack.  I rounded the bend long the river and thar he sat just lookin' up at the moon that was back dropped behind him.  I was so entranced I stood stockstill in the chill evening air.  He raised his head and let out with that beautiful soulful baying only a huntin' dog can make.
Then he took off tearing through the woods like his tail was on fire.

Well, I commenced chasin' ol' Jack down, but I swear evra tree in that holler was out to get me.
My clothes, they was ripped up and my feet were on fire from being torn by briars and such.
I finally, upped and caught up to Jack.  He was pacing the bottom of a Sycamore that was glowing white in the moonlight.  I heard some cacklin' up in that tree and I looked up to see a sight that I nev'r saw afore.  They was a **** up in there just grinnin' down at Jack like he was playing with him.  Now Jack was in a right tizzy over that ****.  He leaped up the side of the tree as high as he could, barking treed as though his life depended on it.  That **** was doing a bit of glowing in the moonlight itself.  I'd never seen a Cinnamon colored **** before, but thar 'e was, bigger 'an life.  And while it was grinnin' it was busy collecting some twigs.  Next thing ya know it was chattering to beat the band and throwin' sticks at ol' Jack.  Well, I can tell you, Jack didn't appreciate the humor in this sitcheation.  He backed up and made a leap so high I thought shore he was gonna take flight, but he got nothin' for his trouble but a whack in the head as he collided with a big ol' twig thrown by that ****.  

Thinkin' that Jack had had about enuf I tried coaxing him home, but he was havin' nothing to do with it.  So, I told Jack I was heading home and he could come if he had a mind to, but I wasn't staying out in the woods all night while he made an *** of himself over a **** that was makin' fun of him.  I started off and then heard a loud yelp.  All of a sudden Jack came blastin' past me, and not far behind was that old Cinnamon **** giving it all he was worth.  Well, as he was headin' towards home I followed along.  Just at the mouth of Shadow Holler, and not to fer from home I found ol' Jack.  He was up a low slung tree whimperin' like a puppy.  That **** was pacing the trunk, back ****** up, teeth bared and laughin' out the side of its mouth.  As I walked up on this pathetic scene, ol' Jack took one look at me and started crying fer help.  Well, I took pity on the poor fella and walked up on that **** with a right big stick.  And right afore my eyes it just faded into nothin'.  Scared the bejeebers outta me!

Took me an hour to coax ol' Jack outta that tree.  And then I couldn't keep up with him once he headed towards our cabin.  At home I told Pa all about our lil adventure, and he bout whooped me fer even goin' into Shadow Holler.  He said, "Son, I tole you to stay outta that holla.  They's ghosts and spooks down in thar.  Old Lady Jalson disappeared never to be seen again until the Smith boys saw her wanderin' a trail down there.  On'y problem is they cud see through 'er.  They's all sorts of stories 'bout shadows roaming free and playin' tricks an' worse on folks."  

Well I never seen my Pa so scairt as when he was tellin' me that, so now I just keep away from that holler.  And, ya know what?  I ain't never seen ol' Jack even turn in that direction since that night.  Musta learned himself somethin'.
This is what comes of visiting my family in very Southern Ohio... :) And I did actually see a taxidermied cinnamon raccoon at a person's house once.  It was kinda eerie.  Did pass a sign to Shadow Holler while I was down there too. :)
Ken Pepiton Oct 2018
Honest,

that meaningless word left dangling before children,

a damoclean sword held fast in a gordian knot tied with scarlet thread,

finer than the spider's that once tied men's souls to an angry American God,

birthed in Transylvania,

over the woods, and through the dale, no lie

There is a tale of lies told in Nobel houses, never reachin' ground,

Down here, we situations manifested to, vain, again, stem the tide,

We flounder, fish out of water, why are we sent if

wait



he hears, he listens, haps he knows, and

how such as we came

to be here,

Welcome and see, dare ye ask me in? Might I ply you with lies

and you, believe 'em?

I could make a mindless robot out of your parts, but

that would take forever and

that's not how

Wisdom's child would tend to be, for first,

You must believe a lie and I, amusing as can be,

can't tell lies.

Discernment, fine points, per-spicacity per se, the only way.

Good luck (Luc, said luck in many tongues, is said Lose- as in Luc-ifer.

It means light, as in light, regular old granted light.)

Lightifier, good, take some, good light, for the travail, in the night.



You see, not so long ago, for me, five years before I'as born,

my momma moved to town.



What was that like, I axed my old uncle, while back,

movin' t'town, in 1943?

Well, he says,

We had electricity.



USA, 1943, some folks still was poor, and all the good men

was gone to war.

Cities, it was different,

if the movies got it right, Bowry Boys, n'em.



In the desert we did, okeh, in town, though,



we had electricity.



He was ten back then. He'd been huntin' rabbit's,

to buy Christmas presents from Sears and Roebucks,



since he was five.

C'mon, I say. No lie, he say,

BLM or some gover'ment

whatsajigger, was payin' 2 cents a pair fer jack rabbit ears.



'Said he bought Christmas presents for his mom and dad,

and my mom, with his first rabbit money, at five.



Shootin' with a single-shot 22, 12 cents a box,

Jack Rabbits, 2 cents a head.



Three Christmas presents, plus postage, $2.56.

Do the math, I think, and go -



Five years old, at ten, he moves to town, 1943,

we had electricity. That's all.
An older man than me gave a thought to ponder. Thought I'd try to share the bounty. This is read, by me at http://anchor.fm/ken-pepiton
Incipit Liber Quintus.

Aprochen gan the fatal destinee
That Ioves hath in disposicioun,
And to yow, angry Parcas, sustren three,
Committeth, to don execucioun;
For which Criseyde moste out of the toun,  
And Troilus shal dwelle forth in pyne
Til Lachesis his threed no lenger twyne. --

The golden-tressed Phebus heighe on-lofte
Thryes hadde alle with his bemes shene
The snowes molte, and Zephirus as ofte  
Y-brought ayein the tendre leves grene,
Sin that the sone of Ecuba the quene
Bigan to love hir first, for whom his sorwe
Was al, that she departe sholde a-morwe.

Ful redy was at pryme Dyomede,  
Criseyde un-to the Grekes ost to lede,
For sorwe of which she felt hir herte blede,
As she that niste what was best to rede.
And trewely, as men in bokes rede,
Men wiste never womman han the care,  
Ne was so looth out of a toun to fare.

This Troilus, with-outen reed or lore,
As man that hath his Ioyes eek forlore,
Was waytinge on his lady ever-more
As she that was the soothfast crop and more  
Of al his lust, or Ioyes here-tofore.
But Troilus, now farewel al thy Ioye,
For shaltow never seen hir eft in Troye!

Soth is, that whyl he bood in this manere,
He gan his wo ful manly for to hyde.  
That wel unnethe it seen was in his chere;
But at the yate ther she sholde oute ryde
With certeyn folk, he hoved hir tabyde,
So wo bigoon, al wolde he nought him pleyne,
That on his hors unnethe he sat for peyne.  

For ire he quook, so gan his herte gnawe,
Whan Diomede on horse gan him dresse,
And seyde un-to him-self this ilke sawe,
'Allas,' quod he, 'thus foul a wrecchednesse
Why suffre ich it, why nil ich it redresse?  
Were it not bet at ones for to dye
Than ever-more in langour thus to drye?

'Why nil I make at ones riche and pore
To have y-nough to done, er that she go?
Why nil I bringe al Troye upon a rore?  
Why nil I sleen this Diomede also?
Why nil I rather with a man or two
Stele hir a-way? Why wol I this endure?
Why nil I helpen to myn owene cure?'

But why he nolde doon so fel a dede,  
That shal I seyn, and why him liste it spare;
He hadde in herte alweyes a maner drede,
Lest that Criseyde, in rumour of this fare,
Sholde han ben slayn; lo, this was al his care.
And ellis, certeyn, as I seyde yore,  
He hadde it doon, with-outen wordes more.

Criseyde, whan she redy was to ryde,
Ful sorwfully she sighte, and seyde 'Allas!'
But forth she moot, for ought that may bityde,
And forth she rit ful sorwfully a pas.  
Ther nis non other remedie in this cas.
What wonder is though that hir sore smerte,
Whan she forgoth hir owene swete herte?

This Troilus, in wyse of curteisye,
With hauke on hond, and with an huge route  
Of knightes, rood and dide hir companye,
Passinge al the valey fer with-oute,
And ferther wolde han riden, out of doute,
Ful fayn, and wo was him to goon so sone;
But torne he moste, and it was eek to done.  

And right with that was Antenor y-come
Out of the Grekes ost, and every wight
Was of it glad, and seyde he was wel-come.
And Troilus, al nere his herte light,
He peyned him with al his fulle might  
Him to with-holde of wepinge at the leste,
And Antenor he kiste, and made feste.

And ther-with-al he moste his leve take,
And caste his eye upon hir pitously,
And neer he rood, his cause for to make,  
To take hir by the honde al sobrely.
And lord! So she gan wepen tendrely!
And he ful softe and sleighly gan hir seye,
'Now hold your day, and dooth me not to deye.'

With that his courser torned he a-boute  
With face pale, and un-to Diomede
No word he spak, ne noon of al his route;
Of which the sone of Tydeus took hede,
As he that coude more than the crede
In swich a craft, and by the reyne hir hente;  
And Troilus to Troye homwarde he wente.

This Diomede, that ladde hir by the brydel,
Whan that he saw the folk of Troye aweye,
Thoughte, 'Al my labour shal not been on ydel,
If that I may, for somwhat shal I seye,  
For at the worste it may yet shorte our weye.
I have herd seyd, eek tymes twyes twelve,
"He is a fool that wol for-yete him-selve."'

But natheles this thoughte he wel ynough,
'That certaynly I am aboute nought,  
If that I speke of love, or make it tough;
For douteles, if she have in hir thought
Him that I gesse, he may not been y-brought
So sone awey; but I shal finde a mene,
That she not wite as yet shal what I mene.'  

This Diomede, as he that coude his good,
Whan this was doon, gan fallen forth in speche
Of this and that, and asked why she stood
In swich disese, and gan hir eek biseche,
That if that he encrese mighte or eche  
With any thing hir ese, that she sholde
Comaunde it him, and seyde he doon it wolde.

For trewely he swoor hir, as a knight,
That ther nas thing with whiche he mighte hir plese,
That he nolde doon his peyne and al his might  
To doon it, for to doon hir herte an ese.
And preyede hir, she wolde hir sorwe apese,
And seyde, 'Y-wis, we Grekes con have Ioye
To honouren yow, as wel as folk of Troye.'

He seyde eek thus, 'I woot, yow thinketh straunge,  
No wonder is, for it is to yow newe,
Thaqueintaunce of these Troianis to chaunge,
For folk of Grece, that ye never knewe.
But wolde never god but-if as trewe
A Greek ye shulde among us alle finde  
As any Troian is, and eek as kinde.

'And by the cause I swoor yow right, lo, now,
To been your freend, and helply, to my might,
And for that more aqueintaunce eek of yow
Have ich had than another straunger wight,  
So fro this forth, I pray yow, day and night,
Comaundeth me, how sore that me smerte,
To doon al that may lyke un-to your herte;

'And that ye me wolde as your brother trete,
And taketh not my frendship in despyt;  
And though your sorwes be for thinges grete,
Noot I not why, but out of more respyt,
Myn herte hath for to amende it greet delyt.
And if I may your harmes not redresse,
I am right sory for your hevinesse,  

'And though ye Troians with us Grekes wrothe
Han many a day be, alwey yet, pardee,
O god of love in sooth we serven bothe.
And, for the love of god, my lady free,
Whom so ye hate, as beth not wroth with me.  
For trewely, ther can no wight yow serve,
That half so looth your wraththe wolde deserve.

'And nere it that we been so neigh the tente
Of Calkas, which that seen us bothe may,
I wolde of this yow telle al myn entente;  
But this enseled til another day.
Yeve me your hond, I am, and shal ben ay,
God help me so, whyl that my lyf may dure,
Your owene aboven every creature.

'Thus seyde I never er now to womman born;  
For god myn herte as wisly glade so,
I lovede never womman here-biforn
As paramours, ne never shal no mo.
And, for the love of god, beth not my fo;
Al can I not to yow, my lady dere,  
Compleyne aright, for I am yet to lere.

'And wondreth not, myn owene lady bright,
Though that I speke of love to you thus blyve;
For I have herd or this of many a wight,
Hath loved thing he never saugh his lyve.  
Eek I am not of power for to stryve
Ayens the god of love, but him obeye
I wol alwey, and mercy I yow preye.

'Ther been so worthy knightes in this place,
And ye so fair, that everich of hem alle  
Wol peynen him to stonden in your grace.
But mighte me so fair a grace falle,
That ye me for your servaunt wolde calle,
So lowly ne so trewely you serve
Nil noon of hem, as I shal, til I sterve.'  

Criseide un-to that purpos lyte answerde,
As she that was with sorwe oppressed so
That, in effect, she nought his tales herde,
But here and there, now here a word or two.
Hir thoughte hir sorwful herte brast a-two.  
For whan she gan hir fader fer aspye,
Wel neigh doun of hir hors she gan to sye.

But natheles she thonked Diomede
Of al his travaile, and his goode chere,
And that him liste his friendship hir to bede;  
And she accepteth it in good manere,
And wolde do fayn that is him leef and dere;
And trusten him she wolde, and wel she mighte,
As seyde she, and from hir hors she alighte.

Hir fader hath hir in his armes nome,  
And tweynty tyme he kiste his doughter swete,
And seyde, 'O dere doughter myn, wel-come!'
She seyde eek, she was fayn with him to mete,
And stood forth mewet, milde, and mansuete.
But here I leve hir with hir fader dwelle,  
And forth I wol of Troilus yow telle.

To Troye is come this woful Troilus,
In sorwe aboven alle sorwes smerte,
With felon look, and face dispitous.
Tho sodeinly doun from his hors he sterte,  
And thorugh his paleys, with a swollen herte,
To chambre he wente; of no-thing took he hede,
Ne noon to him dar speke a word for drede.

And there his sorwes that he spared hadde
He yaf an issue large, and 'Deeth!' he cryde;  
And in his throwes frenetyk and madde
He cursed Iove, Appollo, and eek Cupyde,
He cursed Ceres, Bacus, and Cipryde,
His burthe, him-self, his fate, and eek nature,
And, save his lady, every creature.  

To bedde he goth, and weyleth there and torneth
In furie, as dooth he, Ixion in helle;
And in this wyse he neigh til day soiorneth.
But tho bigan his herte a lyte unswelle
Thorugh teres which that gonnen up to welle;  
And pitously he cryde up-on Criseyde,
And to him-self right thus he spak, and seyde: --

'Wher is myn owene lady lief and dere,
Wher is hir whyte brest, wher is it, where?
Wher ben hir armes and hir eyen clere,  
That yesternight this tyme with me were?
Now may I wepe allone many a tere,
And graspe aboute I may, but in this place,
Save a pilowe, I finde nought tenbrace.

'How shal I do? Whan shal she com ayeyn?  
I noot, allas! Why leet ich hir to go?
As wolde god, ich hadde as tho be sleyn!
O herte myn, Criseyde, O swete fo!
O lady myn, that I love and no mo!
To whom for ever-mo myn herte I dowe;  
See how I deye, ye nil me not rescowe!

'Who seeth yow now, my righte lode-sterre?
Who sit right now or stant in your presence?
Who can conforten now your hertes werre?
Now I am gon, whom yeve ye audience?  
Who speketh for me right now in myn absence?
Allas, no wight; and that is al my care;
For wel wot I, as yvel as I ye fare.

'How sholde I thus ten dayes ful endure,
Whan I the firste night have al this tene?  
How shal she doon eek, sorwful creature?
For tendernesse, how shal she this sustene,
Swich wo for me? O pitous, pale, and grene
Shal been your fresshe wommanliche face
For langour, er ye torne un-to this place.'  

And whan he fil in any slomeringes,
Anoon biginne he sholde for to grone,
And dremen of the dredfulleste thinges
That mighte been; as, mete he were allone
In place horrible, makinge ay his mone,  
Or meten that he was amonges alle
His enemys, and in hir hondes falle.

And ther-with-al his body sholde sterte,
And with the stert al sodeinliche awake,
And swich a tremour fele aboute his herte,  
That of the feer his body sholde quake;
And there-with-al he sholde a noyse make,
And seme as though he sholde falle depe
From heighe a-lofte; and than he wolde wepe,

And rewen on him-self so pitously,  
That wonder was to here his fantasye.
Another tyme he sholde mightily
Conforte him-self, and seyn it was folye,
So causeles swich drede for to drye,
And eft biginne his aspre sorwes newe,  
That every man mighte on his sorwes rewe.

Who coude telle aright or ful discryve
His wo, his pleynt, his langour, and his pyne?
Nought al the men that han or been on-lyve.
Thou, redere, mayst thy-self ful wel devyne  
That swich a wo my wit can not defyne.
On ydel for to wryte it sholde I swinke,
Whan that my wit is wery it to thinke.

On hevene yet the sterres were sene,
Al-though ful pale y-waxen was the mone;  
And whyten gan the orisonte shene
Al estward, as it woned is for to done.
And Phebus with his rosy carte sone
Gan after that to dresse him up to fare,
Whan Troilus hath sent after Pandare.  

This Pandare, that of al the day biforn
Ne mighte han comen Troilus to see,
Al-though he on his heed it hadde y-sworn,
For with the king Pryam alday was he,
So that it lay not in his libertee  
No-wher to gon, but on the morwe he wente
To Troilus, whan that he for him sente.

For in his herte he coude wel devyne,
That Troilus al night for sorwe wook;
And that he wolde telle him of his pyne,  
This knew he wel y-nough, with-oute book.
For which to chaumbre streight the wey he took,
And Troilus tho sobreliche he grette,
And on the bed ful sone he gan him sette.

'My Pandarus,' quod Troilus, 'the sorwe  
Which that I drye, I may not longe endure.
I trowe I shal not liven til to-morwe;
For whiche I wolde alwey, on aventure,
To thee devysen of my sepulture
The forme, and of my moeble thou dispone  
Right as thee semeth best is for to done.

'But of the fyr and flaumbe funeral
In whiche my body brenne shal to glede,
And of the feste and pleyes palestral
At my vigile, I prey thee tak good hede  
That be wel; and offre Mars my stede,
My swerd, myn helm, and, leve brother dere,
My sheld to Pallas yef, that shyneth clere.

'The poudre in which myn herte y-brend shal torne,
That preye I thee thou take and it conserve  
In a vessel, that men clepeth an urne,
Of gold, and to my lady that I serve,
For love of whom thus pitously I sterve,
So yeve it hir, and do me this plesaunce,
To preye hir kepe it for a remembraunce.  

'For wel I fele, by my maladye,
And by my dremes now and yore ago,
Al certeinly, that I mot nedes dye.
The owle eek, which that hight Ascaphilo,
Hath after me shright alle thise nightes two.  
And, god Mercurie! Of me now, woful wrecche,
The soule gyde, and, whan thee list, it fecche!'

Pandare answerde, and seyde, 'Troilus,
My dere freend, as I have told thee yore,
That it is folye for to sorwen thus,  
And causeles, for whiche I can no-more.
But who-so wol not trowen reed ne lore,
I can not seen in him no remedye,
But lete him worthen with his fantasye.

'But Troilus, I pray thee tel me now,  
If that thou trowe, er this, that any wight
Hath loved paramours as wel as thou?
Ye, god wot, and fro many a worthy knight
Hath his lady goon a fourtenight,
And he not yet made halvendel the fare.  
What nede is thee to maken al this care?

'Sin day by day thou mayst thy-selven see
That from his love, or elles from his wyf,
A man mot twinnen of necessitee,
Ye, though he love hir as his owene lyf;  
Yet nil he with him-self thus maken stryf.
For wel thow wost, my leve brother dere,
That alwey freendes may nought been y-fere.

'How doon this folk that seen hir loves wedded
By freendes might, as it bi-*** ful ofte,  
And seen hem in hir spouses bed y-bedded?
God woot, they take it wysly, faire and softe.
For-why good hope halt up hir herte on-lofte,
And for they can a tyme of sorwe endure;
As tyme hem hurt, a tyme doth hem cure.  

'So sholdestow endure, and late slyde
The tyme, and fonde to ben glad and light.
Ten dayes nis so longe not tabyde.
And sin she thee to comen hath bihight,
She nil hir hestes breken for no wight.  
For dred thee not that she nil finden weye
To come ayein, my lyf that dorste I leye.

'Thy swevenes eek and al swich fantasye
Dryf out, and lat hem faren to mischaunce;
For they procede of thy malencolye,  
That doth thee fele in sleep al this penaunce.
A straw for alle swevenes signifiaunce!
God helpe me so, I counte hem not a bene,
Ther woot no man aright what dremes mene.

'For prestes of the temple tellen this,  
That dremes been the revelaciouns
Of goddes, and as wel they telle, y-wis,
That they ben infernals illusiouns;
And leches seyn, that of complexiouns
Proceden they, or fast, or glotonye.  
Who woot in sooth thus what they signifye?

'Eek othere seyn that thorugh impressiouns,
As if a wight hath faste a thing in minde,
That ther-of cometh swiche avisiouns;
And othere seyn, as they in bokes finde,  
That, after tymes of the yeer by kinde,
Men dreme, and that theffect goth by the mone;
But leve no dreem, for it is nought to done.

'Wel worth o
From grey plaster dwellin’s they come to us
fer enough sun t’ melt their lollies but
after sun-burnt migrations, some remain
as they can choose our shacks fer their castles
and their spawn breaks the spines on each weaver
and fer their red-faced fuss ‘e is broken.

The ‘ermit crab too takes ‘is leave broken.
The ‘ome ‘e made now closed to all of us
Not passed by ta’ooed ‘ands o' net weavers.
The painted shells still litter these streets but
suited slugs paint gray on our small castles
till only mockin’ shades of age remain.

“Shave off, *******’ll pick till none o’ yer remain”
screamed mad John as relaters “fixed ‘im” broken
into some plastic ‘ouse from ‘is castle.
‘ow ‘e used t’ tell those old tales to us
'o the deep places and the things there but
they ‘ad ‘im by the gills, poor old weaver.

Spines down, in nets made by ‘is own weavin.
we did it to ourselves, we can’t remain
Wi’ nets o’ money, o’ *****, o’ smokes, but
black flags still fly, bein’ bent never broken.
Cross-bone attractions will be left as us
‘eld by those who took away our castles

Stormin’ beaches to kick down our castles
the sandy ‘oles and ‘ides of those weavers.
Sellin’ our anger like lug, dear to us
cast from the sea of us that will remain
‘ook lipped, ring-eared, ink-stained and not broken
nothin’ t’ be fixed and no-one changed but

In come those nets, I ‘aint been caught yet but
that gray, that London gray sweeps my castle
away where the concrete can’t be broken
t’ reach lug beneath dried surface weavers
as gulls break beaks t’ peck at the remains.
yes, we’ll eat each-other if they take us.

Take enough of us, and leave shell castles
no ‘ands to ‘old jolly Rodgers and sing
‘appily swear, or dance on tables but
**** that.
A sestina, using phonetic language, on the immigration of Londoners on my seaside home (a weaver is both a spiny fish and a fishing net maker).
Ken Pepiton Oct 2018
I put my hand in the hand of the man from galilee

Or I thought I did, I imagined he would walk with me
and talk with me

and help me fill the darkness behind my eyes,
which i think may have been blind, at one time,

I have memories like that guy, Gold-something
color maybe, Goldfarv? Bloom. Right, my augmentatious savant
looked it up and I sorted what I recalled

Google The Global Brain, where he named a kind of
category of knowability. Memes, he called them.

And I thought, memes mean something more,
not Dawkins's, nor Bloom's, but
these, heteromemes bubbling out my belly button,
look real close.

Fractally featureless by the time a clock could have been imagined,

the point of the story was made, and there is no end in sight.

Pop. Another apocalypse bubble eclipsed by mortality. Whaddyaknow?

What remains when a bubble pops at a positron level,
after the charge is touched and
the tensionpowerloss collapses the bubble?

You should think you know atoms work, like
not a cloud of super positioning, elect-
tric-magi-tech, touch screen at the quantum accounting point,
not that, but
a bubble, powered, one way or another, with a single charge,
Go, that's it.
What an electron does. It goes,
as soon as any sense can be made of it,
oughtaouta hear
ping. No charge, no bubble, but next sure as...

Hell,
somethi' from nuthin must ahapt one time,
but ya'll take no heed, m'fallin angel droppin' in olfren, tricky hybridbast...

Noah was a tellin' Ham the truth found in wines that moved themselves
aright, slurry tongued, but pisstoff

The idea of somethin' goin' south in a family,
that started up again when
ever Noah started drinkin' old wine, sayin' sbetter'n...

Who told you I was naked?

-- aye, ye know, Noah was drunk,
No excuse, but you know.

Things were said, that maybe were forgotten, after a while,

But those father wounds a man imagines worst
are the one's his son's forgot.

The story being told is complicated. See,
the Bible is a lens,
not a map.

It got me much farther than this, should you ever
visit me.
No,
that's not in the stack,
that card's about as relevant as McLuhan's hair of the dog.

Somethin', ain't it?  All them three meter dishes shrunk down
to the size of a spoon, a teeny weeny spoon, a coke spoon,
like on Miami Vice, back when.

Satellite TV changed the desert, fer sher, but 4g, brohan,

that was the trick.
Future, on demand, where outhouses are still de rigueur.

Before you know it, country kids,
too poor for any but outlaw dreams,
can audit courses at MIT,
if somebody
shows him, it can be done, prove t' him
it works, faith can make things happen,
but
happening is sorta hard to nail down to one thing,
until the very last
Planc-sec.  Astrophysics is part of the metagame, fer sher.
But
there's some stuff that takes some patience,

everything that's old is only old, not rotten.

Olde time religion, at the oldfo'k dayroom,
where the clock runs the whole show.
It's another game show. Saint Bob Barker takes a bow,
and declares the worth of all your eyes behold,

If, if, if you are alucky winner and you arise when I call your name
to come on down
fall on your knees and declare the worth...

pure gamesmanships required here, golf whispers only,
worship, smuch more difficult to aim for than praise.
I agree.
Praise, appraisal, worthyness, worthship, prize,
how do you declare such a thing worthy,

A feeling? What's it worth? Depends. Safe? Priceless. Don't shout.

So we sell walls. We'll be rich and powerful wallbuilding,
citi-zen warriors fed and fattened by those we make
feel safe.

That's the idea. It's worked for years, at least
since
we
capitalized Campbell's bliss and Sagan's billions and billions of stars.

Workers will work for food and a feeling. And Facebook.
They choose, believe what's easiest, they are told,
you are absolutely co-rectallatime, tekayepeel.

There are such wishes being made, on all manner of stars
for happy ever afters. If wishes were asked for, whatif
connecting to the source of haps that are
all happiness can possibly
consist of...
Oh, consist is a sticky, gluten idea stuck in my daily bread.
It's related to resist, desist and the command to stand. Sistere.

This is that bomb, this is a dam buster Jesus H Christ Bomb!

Something's bound on earth to go wrong,
ever since Eve bit that apple, if she'da left that apple on the apple tree
Nah, that ain't how it went down and
songs about it don't change it none.

But, maybe this is me interrupted..
Whatif, nothing is immaterial, as an idea, it can't go wrong,
and Murphy's law, obeyed, is good, all the time.
Ask the pilot. What if,
asking for help helps? Was that a message? A touch by an angel?
Spirit, the idea?
Are you familiar with its role in reality?
Something makes these bubbles spin, y'know.

Ignoring is bliss, nay,
No more,
precisely, nevermore, quotheraven, shall the man who can read
be locked away from all the stories of all the things that
men, wombed and un,
have told and tested for ever, it seems,
when ya stop
striving for perfection and let patience have her way witcha,

whatcha learn can change the world.

Look back. Good news from a far country come our way.
In my younger days, I visited folks in county homes, the rest homes that once were called the po house, and sometimes I'd just sit and watch Jeopardy, and hold her hand, while listening to conversations with angels, all around me.
Callin' all yer men, me heart, yer anger
E'er joy in wee darkest nights ye linger
Once yer heart broken, ye sought fer sorrow.
Deep in yer ol' man's den tae burrow

Alas! Me eyes nae tae look yer path
Sae fragile yet deep in wrath
Kind love before the moon we long fer
Weep i, hidden feelings we shared.

Yer love sweet yet cold i taste
Wantin' more ae far away hope ye chase
Kissin' pine-breath, sae true and fair
Nae willin', an ol' pledge tae sever

True path tae tak' tears ye kindly resist
Wee man o' this land, sigh i waitin'
Ne'er hope tae seek fer joy in life
Ye waitin o'er the ocean, ae storm sae rife

Waitin' i, ye will walk me way
Mild man ye tae tak' me heart sae
Longin' and lovin', good heart o deep
Fond ye still ae pledge i keep
Obadiah Grey Dec 2011
Who knocks up the knockerupper
who knocks us up fer work,
four hours after supper
that drives a man berserk!
three raps 'pon th' windowpane
fer early morning shift
hewin coyl 'neath mile o' soil
fer ten bob n short shrift.
Donall Dempsey Jul 2015
Two fictional characters
walk into a bar

in Malta
( * Marsaxlokk - to be precise ).

"To...be....tooo beee. . ."
stammers Hamlet.

"Oh fer Gawd's sake...two beers!"
J. Alfred Prufrock snaps.

"You really milk that
"To be or not..." thingy."
J.A.P. scolds Hamlet.

"Tsk...tsk!" Hamlet tsk tsks.
( sticking his tongue out ).

Two Cisks are plonked
down before them.

"No...I am not Prince Hamlet or
was meant to be..!"
J.A.P. quotes him self.

"Awww fer Jaysus sake...loooook
just for the fun of it...the gas of it

we swop
texts!"

Hamlet interrupts Prufrock's
protestations.

"Ohhhh....o.....K?"
Prufrock ponders somewhat doubtfully.

And, so:
Hamlet the Dane

( for yea it is indeed he)
dares

(1) to eat a peach (2) wear the bottoms of his white
flannel trousers rolled (3) parts his hair behind even

(4) dares
to aks

the overwhelming question

"( Oh, do not ask, what is it! )"

Oh & (5) gets to hear
( ** ** ** )

"...the mermaids singing...."

Prufrock "Hum...."
kills the king.

Becomes the king.

Beds.
Weds
Ophelia.

" Buzz buzz...come come..go...go!"

"It's a very
foreshortened
Hamlet...I know

but - what the heck!

"See..? slurps Hammy
". . . now, that wasn't so bad...was it?"

"Another Cisk?"
"Naw...I'll have a Becks!"

"Jaysus Prufrock now
...what's up?"

"Don't know..."mutters J.A.P.
wearing a frothy beer moustache.

"HURRY UP PLEASE...IT'S TIME!"
roars the barman in Maltese.

"I can connect nothing
with...nothing!"
Prufrock almost sobs.

"Like that time
on Margate sands..."

Hamlet cuts him curtly off.

"Don't even go...there!"

"But I still get that squirmy
...you know...feeling

we are just
fragments of

the imagination of
some *
long haired Irish poet

sunning himself by
the waters of

the shimmering waters of
a Sliema hotel pool

...up up in the clouds!

Hamlet sighs.

"Yeah, me too
spooky...innit?"

Hamlet looks behind him
checking for what isn't

there. . .

"Ahhhh well, never mind eh?"

Prufrock attempts an attempt
at being cheerful.

Fails miserably.

"Let us go, then
you and I...

when the evening is spread out
against the sky..."

Like a patient etherised upon a table!
they both sing outta time and outta tune

stumbling one
into the other.

A long hair Irish poet
smiles as he watches them

go.

"Għaġġel fil-għoli...wasal iż-żmien JEKK JOGĦĠBOK!"
the barman roars.

NOTES

Pronounced MAR SA SCHLOCK. Those Maltese Xs being really SHs in disguise.

* Pronounced CHISK but the new barman is obviously new to the language and pronounces it TSK which makes him think that is what our two fictional characters are ordering.

Not to be confused with mobile texting but rather the literary texts of which both of them owe their existence.

*
The play bounded in a nutshell as it were.

One Donall Gearld Oliver Denis Dempsey is a good example of this sort.

* The No. 1 song all over Heaven...beating Sparks THE NO. 1 SONG ALL OVER HEAVEN  to the top spot.

** "Għaġġel fil-għoli...wasal iż-żmien JEKK JOGĦĠBOK!" Once again the new Irish barman hasn't got his tonsils around the Maltese lingo and comes out with this terrible mish mash of the typical barman's cry.
L B Mar 2017
This is a three-part, longer narrative poem, seen
as old photographs that follow the main character, My Aunt, Lillian Goldrick, across two decades.  It was written 30 years ago*
______

“Hey Kid!”     Part I

Photographs aren’t fair
stopping the soul where it’s not
in rectangular guffaws
surrounded by serrated edges, pickets, teeth?
to fence and stab in yellow, soft-covered booklets
with designated floppy phrase
“Your memories”

Happier than she could ever be...

A black and white day at Salisbury Beach, NH
hung over his hammock
Private pin-up girl
tilts her head against silver sheen of shoulder
Hair, dark chignon
except for a few wispy curls about her face
freed by wind
bleached by sun

Stopped

...for three decades
Legs slightly bent—long extended
that could stop trains, stop traffic

Stopped

Modest bathing suit, probably peach
cannot hide (not that she would)
the undeniable
And if there were question left
you could look at her smile—and love her
posed by he message scrawled in sand:

“Hey Kid!”

What kid? Where?
In the foreground?
In the camera’s eye?

In the background—
a Ferris wheel, a billboard
and  r-i-g-h-t  there—Can’t you see it?
Look again—behind her eyes
You can barely see it, but it’s there.
Remember?

The Depression
Only ten years before
It was April
Stroke, heart attack
Both of them gone, a year apart!
The priest came
Last Rites for mortally stricken
Candles, crucifix, the Catholic containment
of holy water that dams the tears

Kneeling around the bed
they said the Rosary

——————————

After VJ Day he came
to the house on the corner
of Commonwealth Ave.
She knew he was coming
but she could not be ready today
nor tomorrow
nor next week—or ever...

“Lill! Will ya come to the door?
She’ll be ready in a minute.
Hey Lill! Hurry up, will ya!
They’re waitin’ fer us!”

Upstairs in the dark hallway
her door clicks shut....
________


"Hey Kid"    Part II


The clock at Joe Rianni’s read 20 minutes to 12...

Crowd from the Phillip’s Theater—gone
though laughter lingers
in a Friday mood
in high-backed booths
where only an hour ago swinging free
were high-heeled shoes
legs crossed at knees....

Now on tables abandoned
deserted fields of French
fries lie cold in salt flurries

Only female straws wear lipstick
as do Luckys bent in ashtrays
Males, uniformly flattened
as powder burned, as mortar might
shells, casings—the evidence of war
Among explosions of tickled giggles
one was taken broadside...

listing     toward      stars
_______

...The clock read 20 minutes to 12

when she walked in--
And Rhea stopped swabbing black mica counters
long enough to absorb late-customer hate
and envy that such beauty can arouse
In voice hoarse and weighted like a trucker’s

“Whadaya have, Lill?”

“coffee”

The small answer settled at the soda fountain
and slowly struck a match...
She was falling from the slant
of her black felt hat
dripping off the point of pheasant feather
Gray gabardine suit
tailored from angle of shoulder
to dart diagonally
toward such a waist!
Turned to skirt hips
that arched and dove toward slit—
then seams that run the round of calf

that seem to flow
to ankles of naught—
...and all that seems

Black     high-heeled     above it

Coffee— cold, stale
Gray glassed-in stare
searches air and random walls
of coat hooks, menus, mirrors...
while lips ****** exiled words— replies

Dragging a demon from her Camel
slowly     purposefully
she exhaled a burly arm of smoke
that rose and laid its hand
against the ceiled atmosphere of embossed tin
Then leaning over her shoulder
in roiling emission of shrugs and sneers—

“Lill—There’s no way outa here!”
________


“Hey Kid!”    Part III

After kneeling backwards on their chairs
after nuns, catechism recited
After—
Five of them scuffed through leaves and litter
along the curbing
spotting cars that counted—
Bugs, beach wagons, flying bathtubs
A slower way home of hunting
shiny chestnuts and muddy finds
rare match book covers
and bottle caps that win ya things!

One breaks from bunch
and trials off to where
dimes turn to candies!
...at a dingy luncheonette...Joe Rianni’s
____

Here—behind smeary wall of glass
pleasure leers while holding back
those grimy fingers, lips that long
for jelly fish, gum drops, lollies
holding back the company
of Baby Ruth, and Mary Jane
O Henry or Bazooka Joe!
For less money but the same salivation
there were colored dots to chew and ****
from strips of paper that last forever!
For a little more, plus the sweet struggle
of desire denied
a kid could be proud owner
of a pea shooter or trading cards!
While in the mouth
were golden imaginings—
the chocolate foil of coins
and the candied pretense of cigarette adulthood
_____

Rhea didn’t see her in the line...

Only grownups with wallets and purses
Only grownups get waited on...
...because Rhea was a Gypsy!
Kids could tell!
by her big red lips and hair to match
by the nasty way she chased them out—
“****** kids!”
Only grownups get waited on....
_______

And the clock read 20 minutes to 12

While a child waits—
time stirs in a ceiling fan
   There’s a drift in attention
      along deepening endless walls
         toward a line of sleepy booths
              carved with

“I was here—in such and such a year”

Her aunt—at the last stool—like always
Their names too close
Confused too often

A little girl wonders
about the sight behind the sightless stare
loafers, ankle socks, the ‘40s hair
the gathered skirt that gathers ashes
as they fall from cigarette
held in yellowed fingertips
Tremors crimp the smoke that climbs—

              ...a strobing pillar

“Whataya want, girly?”

              ...the only movement

“Hey! What’s it gonna be!”

              ...in a shot—

“HEY KID!”

              Snapped
There are photos that go with this. I'll try to post them together on Facebook.
Robert Scherer Jan 2010
'mma comm'ner!
'mma comm'ner!
Whild it
Port 'rhet above,
'im down
F'rsaken.

Afore'd!
Allay'd!

De' the round,
De' the Bayck

Brent of stick
Wally a'bock
Rayne
A'doon, a'tunya, Mekker'un

A 'block, a moon.
The Rhine, 'ya dance 'ya
In the Maine
Yal 'amo
Tor'red ett'on
Fer tha'dance 'ya
Fer tha'roon

Allek 'un daree'ya
Mag'k ung Garee 'ya.
Sitting outside an old country store somewhere between the real world and what used to be sat an old wrinkled man in a swing, straw hat on his head, tobacco chew in his lower lip with a tin coffee cup for the waste. He had his legs crossed sort of funny; I could tell that the age of his body made him feel uncomfortable. I could almost feel his back as it ached. As I got out of my car an old hound dog moved slowly to the old man’s side. Above the old man was on old tin Coca Cola sign mostly rusted away by time. I stopped for a moment and looked at the old store front. It must have been a vintage from somewhere around the turn of the twentieth century. As I passed by the old man on the bench, I nodded my head and the old man reached up for his old ***** straw hat and tipped the front of it slightly. He having greeted me in his way as I had greeted him with mine. I pushed on the old wooden screen door to hear its spring stretch and the hinges creak and after I entered I failed to catch the screen door and I shuttered as it slammed shut. Above me was an old silent ceiling fan whispering out a slow gyrating motion as it passed down the air around me. A peaceful majestic feeling came over me. Looking around the store I saw no glass fronted coolers, thirst was why I had stopped. “Do you have any soda’s?” I asked the lady behind the counter.
“Sho do,” she replied , “They’s over thare.” I looked to where she was pointing, it was like a big long flat freezer, painted red with several silver stainless doors on top of it and Coca-Cola embossed on it’s front. Arriving at the freezer I opened the lid and looked inside. “Jest’ put yer money in the box,” the feminine hillbilly voice continued.
On the front of the box and on each side of the box it had a hand written note which read, “Please Put .06 Cents Here.” ‘Six cents,” I thought – surely I must have gone back in time.” I asked, “How much are the sodas?”
To which she replied, “They be just six cents.” I fumbled in my pocket and pulled out my change, located six pennies and put them through the slot in the box. Then I looked back into the cooler to find that the only choice was Coca Cola inside. I took one and opened it up and took a big swig.
Walking back to the counter I asked the lady, “ How in the world can you afford to sell a soda for just six cents?”
She answered me with, “Well, did ya see Uncle Hap on the front porch?”
“The old man with the straw hat?” I asked.
“Yep, dat be Uncle Hap, go ask him how he can afford to sell a Coke for jest six cents.”
Interested, I walked back under the old ceiling fan and through the squeaking door. The old man had his hat pulled low on his eyes. “Sir,” I began, “I have a question to ask you.”
“Yes sir, sonny, and jest what be yer question?” he answered tilting his hat back high on his head.
“Well sir, just how do plan to make a living selling a coke for just six cents?”
The old man smiled and said, “That’s an easy one son, I ain’t a plannin to make any money offen them thar cokes.” I know I must have had a puzzled look on me but before I could inquire more he continued, “Has yer ever mined for gold?”
“No, I’m afraid not, sir,” I replied wondering what that had to do with the price of a coke.
The old man continued, “Well yer see Sonny, when yo be a minin, yer works real hard sometimes. You see, yer digs and digs and digs some more day after day – sometimes not seeing anything but more dirt but once in a while you be a finding jest a little bit a ore. Then ya comes back da next day and yer dig some more.” More confused than ever I sat down beside the old man in the swing taking another drink of my six cent Coke. He continues, “Trouble is yer see, you get hooked on that little taste a ore. It jest keeps ye a comin back fer more.”
Finally I had to ask, “But what does all this have to do with the price of coke?”
'Hold on sonny. I’m a gettin to that part but yer see yer got to hear da whole story.” I sat back in the swing deciding that maybe I’d just let the old man do his thing. “Now yer see, it was about 1920 I reckon when ever dis here young fellow come by dis here store a sellin this new fangled thing he called stock. Now he wanted me to buy some stock in dis here company he was a promotin. I was a minin at da time a-course and I’d just hit it a little lucky that week and I had some xtree money in me pocket. So fer five hunerd dollars, a whole lots a cash back den, I buyed a 1000 shares of that thar boys stock.” The old man then looked me in the eyes with a big smile on his face. “Yer see sonny, I works hard all my life a digging holes in the ground most times not seeing nuttin atall but I jest keeped on a diggin. I must say I always did believe that even if’n I fount no gold at all at least at the end of every day I could sit back and see whar I’d been. But yer jest never knows whar that real gold is. Sometimes yer find it in the strangest of places. Well sonny, I’z figures that 100 shares of stock musta split no less than 25 times since 1920. So yer see, I be one them whatcha might call million dollar aires. So don’t you fret that head o urin over’n what I charge fer that thare coke cola yer a drinkin. Matter of fact, if’n yer wants to, why don’t you go right back inside and buy yerself a whole **** case. Yer see, thar’s gold in them thare bottles. Yep, gold I tell ya. That 100 shares of Coca Cola stock sho was a golden God send. And wid me bein da onliest one a chargin just six cents a pop, well you can be one – o – da lucky ones to find soma dat gold. Who knows, the whole **** vein might be a sittin right side ya right now. You jest never knows. Just keep on a digging, Sonny. At least you can see whar ya been.”
The old man smiled as he turned to wave at a car as it passed by.
Me, I guess I’ll just keep on digging. But you know what? The old man was right. The gold is all around us. So if you ever find this place where soda’s are just six cents, well maybe it isn’t gold but believe me, the gold is all around you too.

Jest keep on a digging. At least yer can see whar ya been.
I love to sit down with people older than myself and listen to them tell me about their life. I am always amazed at how much different (and the same) our experiences can be (or think they are) when only a few decades are the mark by which we gauge those differences. In this piece I hope to be able to capture "Hap's" personality as well as his beautiful story as well as let the reader listen in on 'our' conversation on  his view on life. I hope that you enjoy it.
Paul d'Aubin Oct 2016
Peire-Roger, le Chevalier Faydit.

C'est Peire-Roger le Faydit
regardant la vie avec hauteur
Comme l'aigrette flottant
sur son heaume argenté.
Ses terres furent mises en proie
Par les prélats du Pape
Au profit de barons pillards.
Venus de Septentrion.
Il était Languedocien,
Par la langue et le cœur
Sa sœur Esclarmonde, était une «Cathare»,
l’une de ces chrétiens hétérodoxes,
Se vouant à l'Esprit,
Et disant rejeter ce mal
Qui corrompt l'esprit humain,
En colorant de sombre
Les œuvres terrestres.
Très jeune, les jeux de guerre
Furent, pour lui, comme un breuvage ardent.
Il éprouva l'amour brûlant
Pour de belles châtelaines,
Si dures à séduire,
Au jeu du «fin Amor».
Mais il était certes moins aimé
Pour ses vers d'ingénieux troubadour,
Que comme homme fort,
ayant belle prestance,
Et apparaissant triomphant,
dans ses courses au galop,
Et les grands coups
Qu'il donnait pour se frayer
Un passage dans la mêlée,
Dans les éclats, les étincelles
De l'entrechoc des épées.
Bien jeune, il vit son père
Spolié de sa seigneurie,
Confisquée au bénéfice
de la lignée maudite
De la maison de Montfort.
Il fut tout jeune humilié
par la tourbe des seigneurs pillards
Conduite par des fanatiques
Et masquant sous l'apparence
De religion, leur vile convoitise
Et leur voracité de loups.
Une fausse paix obligea son père
A rompre l'allégeance
Avec les comtes de Toulouse.
Alors que la persécution
Des «bonshommes» s'amplifiait,
Et que les libertés Toulousaines
Étaient sous le talon de fer.
Son père s'en vint en Aragon
Parmi tant d'autres hommes,
droits et valeureux,
Pour sauvegarder l'honneur,
Et préparer la reconquête
Des terres confisquées,
par l'avidité de ces nuées
De corbeaux et des loups
Venus faire bombance
De terres Languedociennes.
Comme plus ****,
les Lys viendraient agrandir,
Leurs fiefs pour le seul profit
De Paris la dominante et la vorace.
Sa jeunesse se passa à s'entraîner
Et à rêver au jour où
Il traverserait les cols
Pour la revanche de son sang
Et la mémoire de son père,
Mort en exil en Aragon.
Enfin les appels de Raymond VII de Toulouse,
De Trencavel et du peuple de Tolosa révolté,
Résonnèrent comme buccin
Dans tout le Languedoc sous le joug,
Et l'oriflamme de Tolosa fut levé
Qui embrasa plaines et collines.
Le temps était venu de combattre
Et ce fut une guerre
Aussi ardente que cruelle,
comme une chasse à courre,
Faite de sièges et d'escarmouches
Contre les troupes du Roi Louis VIII.
Peirce-Roger chevaucha et guerroya
Donnant tout son corps et son âme,
Et fut maintes fois blessé,
Mais il lui fallut bien du courage
Pour déposer les armes
Quand les chefs s'entendirent
Pour donner en mariage
Jeanne de Toulouse
A Alphonse de France.
Ce mariage funeste,
annonçait et scellait la perte,
Des libertés et de la tolérance
De la haute civilisation
des pays Tolédans et Languedociens.
Aussi Peire-Roger, l'esprit blessé
Plus encore que ses chairs
Meurtries et tailladées,
Décida de consacrer sa vie
Au soutien et a la protection,
Des «bonshommes» traqués,
Par cette infamie nommée l'inquisition,
Usant des pires moyens,
Dont la délation et la torture,
Pour extirper par les cordes,
les tenailles et le feu,
Ce que la Papauté ne pouvait obtenir
Du choix des consciences,
Par le libre débat et le consentement.
Peire-Roger vint à Montségur
Sur les hauteurs du Po
Transforme en abri, en refuge et en temple,
Sur les terres du comte de Foix.
Il admira Esclarmonde la pure, la parfaite,
Et la pureté de mœurs
De cette communauté de «Bonhommes»,
de Femmes et d'Hommes libres,
Bien divers, mais si fraternels,
Ayant choisi de vivre leur spiritualité.
Contrairement aux calomnies,
Qui les disait adorateurs du Diable,
Ils mettaient par-dessus tout
Leur vie spirituelle et leur idéal commun.
Et leurs autres vertus étaient
Le dépouillement et la simplicité.
Hélas vautours et corbeaux,
Planaient autour de l'altier Pog.
Alors que la bise des premiers froids
Se faisait sentir les matins.
C'est alors qu'un groupe d'inquisiteurs
Chevaucha jusqu'à Avignonet
pour y chercher des proies.
Cela embrasa de colère
nombre de Chevaliers Faydits,
Dont les parents avaient tant soufferts
Le feu de la vengeance l’emporta
Sur la prudente et sage patience.
Et Peire-Roger lui-même
Pris le commandement de la troupe.
Qui arriva de nuit à Avignonet
Pour punir la cruauté par le fer.
Le Bayle, Raymond d'Alfaro
Ouvrit les portes aux vengeurs,
Et un nouveau crime s'ajouta
Aux précédents crimes innombrables.
L’inquisiteur Guillaume Arnaud
Et Étienne de Saint Thibery,
furent massacres avec leurs compagnons.
Leurs cris d'épouvante et d'agonie
Résonnèrent dans cette Avignonet
Qui huma l'acre parfum du sang,
La peur semblait disparue
Et la vengeance rendue.
Mais la lune aussi pleura du sang
Dans le ciel blafard et blême
Vengeance fut ainsi accomplie
Pour les chairs et les âmes martyrisées.
Mais le sang répandu appelle
Toujours plus de sang encore.
Quelques mois après un ost
De plusieurs centaines de soldats,
Sous le commandement
D'Hugues des Arcis.
Vint en mai 1243,
Mettre le siège de la place fortifiée.
Peire-Roger se battit comme un Lion
Avec ses compagnons Faydits,
Ils accomplirent des prouesses
De courage et de vaillance
Furent données.
Mais lorsque de nuit par un chemin secret
Qui leur avait été révélé,
Les assaillant s'emparèrent
Du roc de la tour,
Et y posèrent une Perrière
Pour jeter des projectiles
Sur les fortifications et les assiégés.
L'espoir de Peire-Roger,
des défenseurs et des bonshommes,
Commença à fléchir.
Et une reddition fut conclue
Le 1er mars 1244 laissant aux cathares,
Le choix de la conversion ou de la mort dans les flammes.
Ce fut grand pitié ce 16 mars de voir
Plus de deux cent femmes et hommes bons et justes,
Choisir en conscience de ne pas renier leur choix et leur foi,
Préférant terminer leur vie
D'une manière aussi affreuse,
en ce début du printemps
Qui pointait ses lumières.
Et jusqu'à l'ignoble bûcher,
Leurs chants d'amour,
Furent entendus puis couvert,
Par leurs cris de douleur
Et les crépitements des buches.
Aussi; qu’une honte dans pareille
En retombe sur le Pape si mal nomme, Innovent III
Et sur le roi Louis IX, sanctifié par imposture,
Et sur l'archevêque de Narbonne, Pierre Amiel.
Que surtout vienne le temps
Où la Paix aux doux, aux justes
Et aux Pacifiques s'établisse.
Et qu'une honte et un remord sans fin
Punissent ceux et celles qui continuent
A se comporter en inquisiteurs
qu'elle qu'en soient les raisons et les circonstances.
Il semblerait sans aucune certitude
Que Peire-Roger, le chevalier Faydit
Témoin de ces temps de fer et de feu.
Soit allé, au ****, se retirer et prier
Dans une communauté de bonshommes
En Aragon ou en Lombardie.

Paul Arrighi
Le personnage de Peire-Vidal n'est pas imaginaire. Il a bien existe mais je rassemble en lui les qualités de plusieurs Chevaliers Faydits qui se battirent pour la sauvegarde de leurs terres et des libertés des pays d'Oc et du Languedoc face a l'avidité et au fanatisme - Paul Arrighi
Devon Brock Jul 2019
Me 'r aw gawn a' fer dawn
'cept t'grizzle that passed them bowts on
'n Tangier boys t' young to take t' wooder

Tangier boys and twist knuckle fellers
Gather up t' cafe a'four
fer a soda widda woodermen's beans
'n downa docks a'foive a'clock
for castin' awff lines 'n dreams.
Fer pops gawn out t' bay n' t'oyster beds
over thin lip 'rizon no more t'seen.

Nuttin' but bikes, *****, slap jellies,
'n them ain't hard favored come-ere's
nigh as peas wandrin' the uppards
'til black chug zaust sounds riturn
from Chrisfiel', 'nuther day
jingin' in t'pockets, 'nuther shuck
pall ready fer spoiders  n' hoi wooder.
Robert Zanfad Dec 2013
just a little bit o' asbestos
unwrapped from 'round the pipes,
yellow-green arsenic soap
in the bucket to make me clean
to eat... sump'n to munch on
like crunchy lead paint chips
and oh, how i love the smell o'
greasy diesel dip -
it reminds me of my last birthday
when we ate my smoggy cake
the kerosene ran dry that day
and smoked us to the street
our tummy aches that time forsake
'cause doctors cost real money.
but, hey, no choice in winter
- Obamacare or heat -
couldn't type his site with frostbit nubs,
no matter what the hype.
life ain't free,
so as fer me, i doctor fer myself
hell, in 50 years i've seen nothin' yet
some bourbon wouldn't fix.
but never in this tidy place we come to call our poverty
has ever lived the lovely stench
of crisp, green, perfect money.
I read that money pollutes societal interactions...
Obadiah Grey May 2010
wanted; - Liverpudlian rock stars
to sing fer me - the queen,
I'll pay yers all in corgies -
n transfuse ya wiv - caffine,
gorra bloke called ringo -
fer the bingo - inbetween,
support act - chewbacca -
n maca - in submarine.

Alan nettleton
zebra Jul 2017
im  
NOT  
sexting you
im  
NOT  
that kind of man
i really never think about such things  
and deplore that behavior in my male counterparts
really its disgusting
i never look at your face
and never think  
what would it be like to kiss you
to kiss your ***
your drooly pert *****
to be your foot slave  
geisha boy
sticky pink
full a joy
boy toy
jolly
lolly
pop
****

im  
NOT
lookin at that teensty
little picture of you
and stinckin thinkin  
mmmmmmm
is her life all ****** up
is she married to dead in the bed
lookin fer love
is she
hornyyyyyyy  
all vanilla  
or  
a ***** *****  
spicy hot *****
who likes it hard
like a delicious hate ****
that's just to  
hot hot hot
for tender love  

no
ow you beautiful steamy creamy thing  
NOT
at  
all
ravenous for
feral porkers at the feeding trough
NOT  
caring that tomorrow you are my bacon
maybe hoping you wanna be bacon
for a raw lascivious wet mouth
and big teeth
all achy starved
slick yap salivating
like a sopping squeezing porous sponge  
to be chewed and digested
no objectification here
hell no
im  
NOT  
sexting you

NOT!!
:O
Incipit Prohemium Secundi Libri.

Out of these blake wawes for to sayle,
O wind, O wind, the weder ginneth clere;
For in this see the boot hath swich travayle,
Of my conning, that unnethe I it stere:
This see clepe I the tempestous matere  
Of desespeyr that Troilus was inne:
But now of hope the calendes biginne.
O lady myn, that called art Cleo,
Thou be my speed fro this forth, and my muse,
To ryme wel this book, til I have do;  
Me nedeth here noon other art to use.
For-why to every lovere I me excuse,
That of no sentement I this endyte,
But out of Latin in my tonge it wryte.

Wherfore I nil have neither thank ne blame  
Of al this werk, but prey yow mekely,
Disblameth me if any word be lame,
For as myn auctor seyde, so seye I.
Eek though I speke of love unfelingly,
No wondre is, for it no-thing of newe is;  
A blind man can nat Iuggen wel in hewis.

Ye knowe eek, that in forme of speche is chaunge
With-inne a thousand yeer, and wordes tho
That hadden prys, now wonder nyce and straunge
Us thinketh hem; and yet they spake hem so,  
And spedde as wel in love as men now do;
Eek for to winne love in sondry ages,
In sondry londes, sondry ben usages.

And for-thy if it happe in any wyse,
That here be any lovere in this place  
That herkneth, as the storie wol devyse,
How Troilus com to his lady grace,
And thenketh, so nolde I nat love purchace,
Or wondreth on his speche or his doinge,
I noot; but it is me no wonderinge;  

For every wight which that to Rome went,
Halt nat o path, or alwey o manere;
Eek in som lond were al the gamen shent,
If that they ferde in love as men don here,
As thus, in open doing or in chere,  
In visitinge, in forme, or seyde hire sawes;
For-thy men seyn, ech contree hath his lawes.

Eek scarsly been ther in this place three
That han in love seid lyk and doon in al;
For to thy purpos this may lyken thee,  
And thee right nought, yet al is seyd or shal;
Eek som men grave in tree, som in stoon wal,
As it bitit; but sin I have begonne,
Myn auctor shal I folwen, if I conne.

Exclipit prohemium Secundi Libri.

Incipit Liber Secundus.

In May, that moder is of monthes glade,  
That fresshe floures, blewe, and whyte, and rede,
Ben quike agayn, that winter dede made,
And ful of bawme is fleting every mede;
Whan Phebus doth his brighte bemes sprede
Right in the whyte Bole, it so bitidde  
As I shal singe, on Mayes day the thridde,

That Pandarus, for al his wyse speche,
Felt eek his part of loves shottes kene,
That, coude he never so wel of loving preche,
It made his hewe a-day ful ofte grene;  
So shoop it, that hym fil that day a tene
In love, for which in wo to bedde he wente,
And made, er it was day, ful many a wente.

The swalwe Proigne, with a sorwful lay,
Whan morwe com, gan make hir waymentinge,  
Why she forshapen was; and ever lay
Pandare a-bedde, half in a slomeringe,
Til she so neigh him made hir chiteringe
How Tereus gan forth hir suster take,
That with the noyse of hir he gan a-wake;  

And gan to calle, and dresse him up to ryse,
Remembringe him his erand was to done
From Troilus, and eek his greet empryse;
And caste and knew in good plyt was the mone
To doon viage, and took his wey ful sone  
Un-to his neces paleys ther bi-syde;
Now Ianus, god of entree, thou him gyde!

Whan he was come un-to his neces place,
'Wher is my lady?' to hir folk seyde he;
And they him tolde; and he forth in gan pace,  
And fond, two othere ladyes sete and she,
With-inne a paved parlour; and they three
Herden a mayden reden hem the geste
Of the Sege of Thebes, whyl hem leste.

Quod Pandarus, 'Ma dame, god yow see,  
With al your book and al the companye!'
'Ey, uncle myn, welcome y-wis,' quod she,
And up she roos, and by the hond in hye
She took him faste, and seyde, 'This night thrye,
To goode mote it turne, of yow I mette!'  
And with that word she doun on bench him sette.

'Ye, nece, ye shal fare wel the bet,
If god wole, al this yeer,' quod Pandarus;
'But I am sory that I have yow let
To herknen of your book ye preysen thus;  
For goddes love, what seith it? tel it us.
Is it of love? O, som good ye me lere!'
'Uncle,' quod she, 'your maistresse is not here!'

With that they gonnen laughe, and tho she seyde,
'This romaunce is of Thebes, that we rede;  
And we han herd how that king Laius deyde
Thurgh Edippus his sone, and al that dede;
And here we stenten at these lettres rede,
How the bisshop, as the book can telle,
Amphiorax, fil thurgh the ground to helle.'  

Quod Pandarus, 'Al this knowe I my-selve,
And al the assege of Thebes and the care;
For her-of been ther maked bokes twelve: --
But lat be this, and tel me how ye fare;
Do wey your barbe, and shew your face bare;  
Do wey your book, rys up, and lat us daunce,
And lat us don to May som observaunce.'

'A! God forbede!' quod she. 'Be ye mad?
Is that a widewes lyf, so god you save?
By god, ye maken me right sore a-drad,  
Ye ben so wilde, it semeth as ye rave!
It sete me wel bet ay in a cave
To bidde, and rede on holy seyntes lyves;
Lat maydens gon to daunce, and yonge wyves.'

'As ever thryve I,' quod this Pandarus,  
'Yet coude I telle a thing to doon you pleye.'
'Now, uncle dere,' quod she, 'tel it us
For goddes love; is than the assege aweye?
I am of Grekes so ferd that I deye.'
'Nay, nay,' quod he, 'as ever mote I thryve!  
It is a thing wel bet than swiche fyve.'

'Ye, holy god,' quod she, 'what thing is that?
What! Bet than swiche fyve? Ey, nay, y-wis!
For al this world ne can I reden what
It sholde been; som Iape, I trowe, is this;  
And but your-selven telle us what it is,
My wit is for to arede it al to lene;
As help me god, I noot nat what ye meene.'

'And I your borow, ne never shal, for me,
This thing be told to yow, as mote I thryve!'  
'And why so, uncle myn? Why so?' quod she.
'By god,' quod he, 'that wole I telle as blyve;
For prouder womman were ther noon on-lyve,
And ye it wiste, in al the toun of Troye;
I iape nought, as ever have I Ioye!'  

Tho gan she wondren more than biforn
A thousand fold, and doun hir eyen caste;
For never, sith the tyme that she was born,
To knowe thing desired she so faste;
And with a syk she seyde him at the laste,  
'Now, uncle myn, I nil yow nought displese,
Nor axen more, that may do yow disese.'

So after this, with many wordes glade,
And freendly tales, and with mery chere,
Of this and that they pleyde, and gunnen wade  
In many an unkouth glad and deep matere,
As freendes doon, whan they ben met y-fere;
Til she gan axen him how Ector ferde,
That was the tounes wal and Grekes yerde.

'Ful wel, I thanke it god,' quod Pandarus,  
'Save in his arm he hath a litel wounde;
And eek his fresshe brother Troilus,
The wyse worthy Ector the secounde,
In whom that ever vertu list abounde,
As alle trouthe and alle gentillesse,  
Wysdom, honour, fredom, and worthinesse.'

'In good feith, eem,' quod she, 'that lyketh me;
They faren wel, god save hem bothe two!
For trewely I holde it greet deyntee
A kinges sone in armes wel to do,  
And been of good condiciouns ther-to;
For greet power and moral vertu here
Is selde y-seye in o persone y-fere.'

'In good feith, that is sooth,' quod Pandarus;
'But, by my trouthe, the king hath sones tweye,  
That is to mene, Ector and Troilus,
That certainly, though that I sholde deye,
They been as voyde of vyces, dar I seye,
As any men that liveth under the sonne,
Hir might is wyde y-knowe, and what they conne.  

'Of Ector nedeth it nought for to telle:
In al this world ther nis a bettre knight
Than he, that is of worthinesse welle;
And he wel more vertu hath than might.
This knoweth many a wys and worthy wight.  
The same prys of Troilus I seye,
God help me so, I knowe not swiche tweye.'

'By god,' quod she, 'of Ector that is sooth;
Of Troilus the same thing trowe I;
For, dredelees, men tellen that he dooth  
In armes day by day so worthily,
And bereth him here at hoom so gentilly
To every wight, that al the prys hath he
Of hem that me were levest preysed be.'

'Ye sey right sooth, y-wis,' quod Pandarus;  
'For yesterday, who-so hadde with him been,
He might have wondred up-on Troilus;
For never yet so thikke a swarm of been
Ne fleigh, as Grekes fro him gonne fleen;
And thorugh the feld, in everi wightes ere,  
Ther nas no cry but "Troilus is there!"

'Now here, now there, he hunted hem so faste,
Ther nas but Grekes blood; and Troilus,
Now hem he hurte, and hem alle doun he caste;
Ay where he wente, it was arayed thus:  
He was hir deeth, and sheld and lyf for us;
That as that day ther dorste noon with-stonde,
Whyl that he held his blody swerd in honde.

'Therto he is the freendlieste man
Of grete estat, that ever I saw my lyve;  
And wher him list, best felawshipe can
To suche as him thinketh able for to thryve.'
And with that word tho Pandarus, as blyve,
He took his leve, and seyde, 'I wol go henne.'
'Nay, blame have I, myn uncle,' quod she thenne.  

'What eyleth yow to be thus wery sone,
And namelich of wommen? Wol ye so?
Nay, sitteth down; by god, I have to done
With yow, to speke of wisdom er ye go.'
And every wight that was a-boute hem tho,  
That herde that, gan fer a-wey to stonde,
Whyl they two hadde al that hem liste in honde.

Whan that hir tale al brought was to an ende,
Of hire estat and of hir governaunce,
Quod Pandarus, 'Now is it tyme I wende;  
But yet, I seye, aryseth, lat us daunce,
And cast your widwes habit to mischaunce:
What list yow thus your-self to disfigure,
Sith yow is tid thus fair an aventure?'

'A! Wel bithought! For love of god,' quod she,  
'Shal I not witen what ye mene of this?'
'No, this thing axeth layser,' tho quod he,
'And eek me wolde muche greve, y-wis,
If I it tolde, and ye it **** amis.
Yet were it bet my tonge for to stille  
Than seye a sooth that were ayeins your wille.

'For, nece, by the goddesse Minerve,
And Iuppiter, that maketh the thonder ringe,
And by the blisful Venus that I serve,
Ye been the womman in this world livinge,  
With-oute paramours, to my wittinge,
That I best love, and lothest am to greve,
And that ye witen wel your-self, I leve.'

'Y-wis, myn uncle,' quod she, 'grant mercy;
Your freendship have I founden ever yit;  
I am to no man holden trewely,
So muche as yow, and have so litel quit;
And, with the grace of god, emforth my wit,
As in my gilt I shal you never offende;
And if I have er this, I wol amende.  

'But, for the love of god, I yow beseche,
As ye ben he that I love most and triste,
Lat be to me your fremde manere speche,
And sey to me, your nece, what yow liste:'
And with that word hir uncle anoon hir kiste,  
And seyde, 'Gladly, leve nece dere,
Tak it for good that I shal seye yow here.'

With that she gan hir eiyen doun to caste,
And Pandarus to coghe gan a lyte,
And seyde, 'Nece, alwey, lo! To the laste,  
How-so it be that som men hem delyte
With subtil art hir tales for to endyte,
Yet for al that, in hir entencioun
Hir tale is al for som conclusioun.

'And sithen thende is every tales strengthe,  
And this matere is so bihovely,
What sholde I peynte or drawen it on lengthe
To yow, that been my freend so feithfully?'
And with that word he gan right inwardly
Biholden hir, and loken on hir face,  
And seyde, 'On suche a mirour goode grace!'

Than thoughte he thus: 'If I my tale endyte
Ought hard, or make a proces any whyle,
She shal no savour han ther-in but lyte,
And trowe I wolde hir in my wil bigyle.  
For tendre wittes wenen al be wyle
Ther-as they can nat pleynly understonde;
For-thy hir wit to serven wol I fonde --'

And loked on hir in a besy wyse,
And she was war that he byheld hir so,  
And seyde, 'Lord! So faste ye me avyse!
Sey ye me never er now? What sey ye, no?'
'Yes, yes,' quod he, 'and bet wole er I go;
But, by my trouthe, I thoughte now if ye
Be fortunat, for now men shal it see.  

'For to every wight som goodly aventure
Som tyme is shape, if he it can receyven;
And if that he wol take of it no cure,
Whan that it commeth, but wilfully it weyven,
Lo, neither cas nor fortune him deceyven,  
But right his verray slouthe and wrecchednesse;
And swich a wight is for to blame, I gesse.

'Good aventure, O bele nece, have ye
Ful lightly founden, and ye conne it take;
And, for the love of god, and eek of me,  
Cacche it anoon, lest aventure slake.
What sholde I lenger proces of it make?
Yif me your hond, for in this world is noon,
If that yow list, a wight so wel begoon.

'And sith I speke of good entencioun,  
As I to yow have told wel here-biforn,
And love as wel your honour and renoun
As creature in al this world y-born;
By alle the othes that I have yow sworn,
And ye be wrooth therfore, or wene I lye,  
Ne shal I never seen yow eft with ye.

'Beth nought agast, ne quaketh nat; wher-to?
Ne chaungeth nat for fere so your hewe;
For hardely the werste of this is do;
And though my tale as now be to yow newe,  
Yet trist alwey, ye shal me finde trewe;
And were it thing that me thoughte unsittinge,
To yow nolde I no swiche tales bringe.'

'Now, my good eem, for goddes love, I preye,'
Quod she, 'com of, and tel me what it is;  
For bothe I am agast what ye wol seye,
And eek me longeth it to wite, y-wis.
For whether it be wel or be amis,
Say on, lat me not in this fere dwelle:'
'So wol I doon; now herkneth, I shal telle:  

'Now, nece myn, the kinges dere sone,
The goode, wyse, worthy, fresshe, and free,
Which alwey for to do wel is his wone,
The noble Troilus, so loveth thee,
That, bot ye helpe, it wol his bane be.  
Lo, here is al, what sholde I more seye?
Doth what yow list, to make him live or deye.

'But if ye lete him deye, I wol sterve;
Have her my trouthe, nece, I nil not lyen;
Al sholde I with this knyf my throte kerve --'  
With that the teres braste out of his yen,
And seyde, 'If that ye doon us bothe dyen,
Thus giltelees, than have ye fisshed faire;
What mende ye, though that we bothe apeyre?

'Allas! He which that is my lord so dere,  
That trewe man, that noble gentil knight,
That nought desireth but your freendly chere,
I see him deye, ther he goth up-right,
And hasteth him, with al his fulle might,
For to be slayn, if fortune wol assente;  
Allas! That god yow swich a beautee sente!

'If it be so that ye so cruel be,
That of his deeth yow liste nought to recche,
That is so trewe and worthy, as ye see,
No more than of a Iapere or a wrecche,  
If ye be swich, your beautee may not strecche
To make amendes of so cruel a dede;
Avysement is good bifore the nede.

'Wo worth the faire gemme vertulees!
Wo worth that herbe also that dooth no bote!  
Wo worth that beautee that is routhelees!
Wo worth that wight that tret ech under fote!
And ye, that been of beautee crop and rote,
If therwith-al in you ther be no routhe,
Than is it harm ye liven, by my trouthe!  

'And also thenk wel that this is no gaude;
For me were lever, thou and I and he
Were hanged, than I sholde been his baude,
As heyghe, as men mighte on us alle y-see:
I am thyn eem, the shame were to me,  
As wel as thee, if that I sholde assente,
Thorugh myn abet, that he thyn honour shente.

'Now understond, for I yow nought requere,
To binde yow to him thorugh no beheste,
But only that ye make him bettre chere  
Than ye han doon er this, and more feste,
So that his lyf be saved, at the leste;
This al and som, and playnly our entente;
God help me so, I never other mente.

'Lo, this request is not but skile, y-wis,  
Ne doute of reson, pardee, is ther noon.
I sette the worste that ye dredden this,
Men wolden wondren seen him come or goon:
Ther-ayeins answere I thus a-noon,
That every wight, but he be fool of kinde,  
Wol deme it love of freendship in his minde.

'What? Who wol deme, though he see a man
To temple go, that he the images eteth?
Thenk eek how wel and wy

— The End —