Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
CK Baker Nov 2017
mirrored fly-glass
and polished chrome
are tinted
in the blood orange dawn
running dogs of lummi
hush quiet
on this celestial
summer morn

clubman bars
and tan saddles
strapped to
the lowered hind
skull caps
and fitted chaps
for the open flow
and rich peripheral scene

concessions at the peace arch
(from the blue-coat fuzz)
black *****
and maples
cake the bow hill
and chuckanut

choppers launch
at edison
(with their metal fleck
and tuft)
a half moon rises
on the concho
and interstellar cross

cinnamon gulls
and ravens
scour the netted docks
warlock driftwood
and row homes
spot the winding
coastal roads

rumbling sounds
at the packer slew ~
with the redolence
of briny bay
on the overlook
at fairhaven
Spent a couple days in late September on a motorcycle trip with my brother...weaving through the small towns and villages of the Pacific Northwest.  Magnificent!
Liz Apr 2014
The burning flowers underline the sunset and 
Dash before the fire (k)night catches them.
Ripe berries cheaply
but hopefully their vitality won't burst the pulp pulsating

Crumbling flowers
crumb the floor
And Prisms of catching silver refract rose quartz and petal
and crimson

Bejewelled in Scarlet,
the air,
as the (k)night approaches, grows colder,
Unsure of whether he will bring
solace or strife.

In his chariot
he flies faster than the bees which buzzed around the fruit flutes
in the morning and among the trumpeting bluebells.

Stars fleck the (k)night
like freckles
and the milky ways resins stain his spouting steams lovely. 

The (k)nights kind onyx reaches his crescendo and the floating moon danced drowsily through the cloud's spiralled tendrils

Which diminish as dawn
so their Tentilcles
droop to crinkled tissue paper sheathed in pink.

And so the (k)night
rides on into
The frivolous sunrise.
The lowing, glossy calves
in sage beside the ***** fields
cast a beloved ambience 

As though
we are safe
in the knowledge
that the sky will remain
topaz and the leaves
forever emerald.
Sarah Spang May 2014
The sun is a star in someone else's sky
The earth is a dust fleck, drifting on by
The moon is nothingness, just barely there
Between non-existence and thought caught on air.

Maybe you're nothing, and then so am I
But to me you are everything seen by these eyes.
This English Thames is holier far than Rome,
Those harebells like a sudden flush of sea
Breaking across the woodland, with the foam
Of meadow-sweet and white anemone
To fleck their blue waves,—God is likelier there
Than hidden in that crystal-hearted star the pale monks bear!

Those violet-gleaming butterflies that take
Yon creamy lily for their pavilion
Are monsignores, and where the rushes shake
A lazy pike lies basking in the sun,
His eyes half shut,—he is some mitred old
Bishop in partibus! look at those gaudy scales all green and gold.

The wind the restless prisoner of the trees
Does well for Palaestrina, one would say
The mighty master’s hands were on the keys
Of the Maria *****, which they play
When early on some sapphire Easter morn
In a high litter red as blood or sin the Pope is borne

From his dark House out to the Balcony
Above the bronze gates and the crowded square,
Whose very fountains seem for ecstasy
To toss their silver lances in the air,
And stretching out weak hands to East and West
In vain sends peace to peaceless lands, to restless nations rest.

Is not yon lingering orange after-glow
That stays to vex the moon more fair than all
Rome’s lordliest pageants! strange, a year ago
I knelt before some crimson Cardinal
Who bare the Host across the Esquiline,
And now—those common poppies in the wheat seem twice as fine.

The blue-green beanfields yonder, tremulous
With the last shower, sweeter perfume bring
Through this cool evening than the odorous
Flame-jewelled censers the young deacons swing,
When the grey priest unlocks the curtained shrine,
And makes God’s body from the common fruit of corn and vine.

Poor Fra Giovanni bawling at the mass
Were out of tune now, for a small brown bird
Sings overhead, and through the long cool grass
I see that throbbing throat which once I heard
On starlit hills of flower-starred Arcady,
Once where the white and crescent sand of Salamis meets sea.

Sweet is the swallow twittering on the eaves
At daybreak, when the mower whets his scythe,
And stock-doves murmur, and the milkmaid leaves
Her little lonely bed, and carols blithe
To see the heavy-lowing cattle wait
Stretching their huge and dripping mouths across the farmyard gate.

And sweet the hops upon the Kentish leas,
And sweet the wind that lifts the new-mown hay,
And sweet the fretful swarms of grumbling bees
That round and round the linden blossoms play;
And sweet the heifer breathing in the stall,
And the green bursting figs that hang upon the red-brick wall,

And sweet to hear the cuckoo mock the spring
While the last violet loiters by the well,
And sweet to hear the shepherd Daphnis sing
The song of Linus through a sunny dell
Of warm Arcadia where the corn is gold
And the slight lithe-limbed reapers dance about the wattled fold.

And sweet with young Lycoris to recline
In some Illyrian valley far away,
Where canopied on herbs amaracine
We too might waste the summer-tranced day
Matching our reeds in sportive rivalry,
While far beneath us frets the troubled purple of the sea.

But sweeter far if silver-sandalled foot
Of some long-hidden God should ever tread
The Nuneham meadows, if with reeded flute
Pressed to his lips some Faun might raise his head
By the green water-flags, ah! sweet indeed
To see the heavenly herdsman call his white-fleeced flock to feed.

Then sing to me thou tuneful chorister,
Though what thou sing’st be thine own requiem!
Tell me thy tale thou hapless chronicler
Of thine own tragedies! do not contemn
These unfamiliar haunts, this English field,
For many a lovely coronal our northern isle can yield

Which Grecian meadows know not, many a rose
Which all day long in vales AEolian
A lad might seek in vain for over-grows
Our hedges like a wanton courtesan
Unthrifty of its beauty; lilies too
Ilissos never mirrored star our streams, and cockles blue

Dot the green wheat which, though they are the signs
For swallows going south, would never spread
Their azure tents between the Attic vines;
Even that little **** of ragged red,
Which bids the robin pipe, in Arcady
Would be a trespasser, and many an unsung elegy

Sleeps in the reeds that fringe our winding Thames
Which to awake were sweeter ravishment
Than ever Syrinx wept for; diadems
Of brown bee-studded orchids which were meant
For Cytheraea’s brows are hidden here
Unknown to Cytheraea, and by yonder pasturing steer

There is a tiny yellow daffodil,
The butterfly can see it from afar,
Although one summer evening’s dew could fill
Its little cup twice over ere the star
Had called the lazy shepherd to his fold
And be no prodigal; each leaf is flecked with spotted gold

As if Jove’s gorgeous leman Danae
Hot from his gilded arms had stooped to kiss
The trembling petals, or young Mercury
Low-flying to the dusky ford of Dis
Had with one feather of his pinions
Just brushed them! the slight stem which bears the burden of its suns

Is hardly thicker than the gossamer,
Or poor Arachne’s silver tapestry,—
Men say it bloomed upon the sepulchre
Of One I sometime worshipped, but to me
It seems to bring diviner memories
Of faun-loved Heliconian glades and blue nymph-haunted seas,

Of an untrodden vale at Tempe where
On the clear river’s marge Narcissus lies,
The tangle of the forest in his hair,
The silence of the woodland in his eyes,
Wooing that drifting imagery which is
No sooner kissed than broken; memories of Salmacis

Who is not boy nor girl and yet is both,
Fed by two fires and unsatisfied
Through their excess, each passion being loth
For love’s own sake to leave the other’s side
Yet killing love by staying; memories
Of Oreads peeping through the leaves of silent moonlit trees,

Of lonely Ariadne on the wharf
At Naxos, when she saw the treacherous crew
Far out at sea, and waved her crimson scarf
And called false Theseus back again nor knew
That Dionysos on an amber pard
Was close behind her; memories of what Maeonia’s bard

With sightless eyes beheld, the wall of Troy,
Queen Helen lying in the ivory room,
And at her side an amorous red-lipped boy
Trimming with dainty hand his helmet’s plume,
And far away the moil, the shout, the groan,
As Hector shielded off the spear and Ajax hurled the stone;

Of winged Perseus with his flawless sword
Cleaving the snaky tresses of the witch,
And all those tales imperishably stored
In little Grecian urns, freightage more rich
Than any gaudy galleon of Spain
Bare from the Indies ever! these at least bring back again,

For well I know they are not dead at all,
The ancient Gods of Grecian poesy:
They are asleep, and when they hear thee call
Will wake and think ‘t is very Thessaly,
This Thames the Daulian waters, this cool glade
The yellow-irised mead where once young Itys laughed and played.

If it was thou dear jasmine-cradled bird
Who from the leafy stillness of thy throne
Sang to the wondrous boy, until he heard
The horn of Atalanta faintly blown
Across the Cumnor hills, and wandering
Through Bagley wood at evening found the Attic poets’ spring,—

Ah! tiny sober-suited advocate
That pleadest for the moon against the day!
If thou didst make the shepherd seek his mate
On that sweet questing, when Proserpina
Forgot it was not Sicily and leant
Across the mossy Sandford stile in ravished wonderment,—

Light-winged and bright-eyed miracle of the wood!
If ever thou didst soothe with melody
One of that little clan, that brotherhood
Which loved the morning-star of Tuscany
More than the perfect sun of Raphael
And is immortal, sing to me! for I too love thee well.

Sing on! sing on! let the dull world grow young,
Let elemental things take form again,
And the old shapes of Beauty walk among
The simple garths and open crofts, as when
The son of Leto bare the willow rod,
And the soft sheep and shaggy goats followed the boyish God.

Sing on! sing on! and Bacchus will be here
Astride upon his gorgeous Indian throne,
And over whimpering tigers shake the spear
With yellow ivy crowned and gummy cone,
While at his side the wanton Bassarid
Will throw the lion by the mane and catch the mountain kid!

Sing on! and I will wear the leopard skin,
And steal the mooned wings of Ashtaroth,
Upon whose icy chariot we could win
Cithaeron in an hour ere the froth
Has over-brimmed the wine-vat or the Faun
Ceased from the treading! ay, before the flickering lamp of dawn

Has scared the hooting owlet to its nest,
And warned the bat to close its filmy vans,
Some Maenad girl with vine-leaves on her breast
Will filch their beech-nuts from the sleeping Pans
So softly that the little nested thrush
Will never wake, and then with shrilly laugh and leap will rush

Down the green valley where the fallen dew
Lies thick beneath the elm and count her store,
Till the brown Satyrs in a jolly crew
Trample the loosestrife down along the shore,
And where their horned master sits in state
Bring strawberries and bloomy plums upon a wicker crate!

Sing on! and soon with passion-wearied face
Through the cool leaves Apollo’s lad will come,
The Tyrian prince his bristled boar will chase
Adown the chestnut-copses all a-bloom,
And ivory-limbed, grey-eyed, with look of pride,
After yon velvet-coated deer the ****** maid will ride.

Sing on! and I the dying boy will see
Stain with his purple blood the waxen bell
That overweighs the jacinth, and to me
The wretched Cyprian her woe will tell,
And I will kiss her mouth and streaming eyes,
And lead her to the myrtle-hidden grove where Adon lies!

Cry out aloud on Itys! memory
That foster-brother of remorse and pain
Drops poison in mine ear,—O to be free,
To burn one’s old ships! and to launch again
Into the white-plumed battle of the waves
And fight old Proteus for the spoil of coral-flowered caves!

O for Medea with her poppied spell!
O for the secret of the Colchian shrine!
O for one leaf of that pale asphodel
Which binds the tired brows of Proserpine,
And sheds such wondrous dews at eve that she
Dreams of the fields of Enna, by the far Sicilian sea,

Where oft the golden-girdled bee she chased
From lily to lily on the level mead,
Ere yet her sombre Lord had bid her taste
The deadly fruit of that pomegranate seed,
Ere the black steeds had harried her away
Down to the faint and flowerless land, the sick and sunless day.

O for one midnight and as paramour
The Venus of the little Melian farm!
O that some antique statue for one hour
Might wake to passion, and that I could charm
The Dawn at Florence from its dumb despair,
Mix with those mighty limbs and make that giant breast my lair!

Sing on! sing on!  I would be drunk with life,
Drunk with the trampled vintage of my youth,
I would forget the wearying wasted strife,
The riven veil, the Gorgon eyes of Truth,
The prayerless vigil and the cry for prayer,
The barren gifts, the lifted arms, the dull insensate air!

Sing on! sing on!  O feathered Niobe,
Thou canst make sorrow beautiful, and steal
From joy its sweetest music, not as we
Who by dead voiceless silence strive to heal
Our too untented wounds, and do but keep
Pain barricadoed in our hearts, and ****** pillowed sleep.

Sing louder yet, why must I still behold
The wan white face of that deserted Christ,
Whose bleeding hands my hands did once enfold,
Whose smitten lips my lips so oft have kissed,
And now in mute and marble misery
Sits in his lone dishonoured House and weeps, perchance for me?

O Memory cast down thy wreathed shell!
Break thy hoarse lute O sad Melpomene!
O Sorrow, Sorrow keep thy cloistered cell
Nor dim with tears this limpid Castaly!
Cease, Philomel, thou dost the forest wrong
To vex its sylvan quiet with such wild impassioned song!

Cease, cease, or if ‘t is anguish to be dumb
Take from the pastoral thrush her simpler air,
Whose jocund carelessness doth more become
This English woodland than thy keen despair,
Ah! cease and let the north wind bear thy lay
Back to the rocky hills of Thrace, the stormy Daulian bay.

A moment more, the startled leaves had stirred,
Endymion would have passed across the mead
Moonstruck with love, and this still Thames had heard
Pan plash and paddle groping for some reed
To lure from her blue cave that Naiad maid
Who for such piping listens half in joy and half afraid.

A moment more, the waking dove had cooed,
The silver daughter of the silver sea
With the fond gyves of clinging hands had wooed
Her wanton from the chase, and Dryope
Had ****** aside the branches of her oak
To see the ***** gold-haired lad rein in his snorting yoke.

A moment more, the trees had stooped to kiss
Pale Daphne just awakening from the swoon
Of tremulous laurels, lonely Salmacis
Had bared his barren beauty to the moon,
And through the vale with sad voluptuous smile
Antinous had wandered, the red lotus of the Nile

Down leaning from his black and clustering hair,
To shade those slumberous eyelids’ caverned bliss,
Or else on yonder grassy ***** with bare
High-tuniced limbs unravished Artemis
Had bade her hounds give tongue, and roused the deer
From his green ambuscade with shrill halloo and pricking spear.

Lie still, lie still, O passionate heart, lie still!
O Melancholy, fold thy raven wing!
O sobbing Dryad, from thy hollow hill
Come not with such despondent answering!
No more thou winged Marsyas complain,
Apollo loveth not to hear such troubled songs of pain!

It was a dream, the glade is tenantless,
No soft Ionian laughter moves the air,
The Thames creeps on in sluggish leadenness,
And from the copse left desolate and bare
Fled is young Bacchus with his revelry,
Yet still from Nuneham wood there comes that thrilling melody

So sad, that one might think a human heart
Brake in each separate note, a quality
Which music sometimes has, being the Art
Which is most nigh to tears and memory;
Poor mourning Philomel, what dost thou fear?
Thy sister doth not haunt these fields, Pandion is not here,

Here is no cruel Lord with murderous blade,
No woven web of ****** heraldries,
But mossy dells for roving comrades made,
Warm valleys where the tired student lies
With half-shut book, and many a winding walk
Where rustic lovers stray at eve in happy simple talk.

The harmless rabbit gambols with its young
Across the trampled towing-path, where late
A troop of laughing boys in jostling throng
Cheered with their noisy cries the racing eight;
The gossamer, with ravelled silver threads,
Works at its little loom, and from the dusky red-eaved sheds

Of the lone Farm a flickering light shines out
Where the swinked shepherd drives his bleating flock
Back to their wattled sheep-cotes, a faint shout
Comes from some Oxford boat at Sandford lock,
And starts the moor-hen from the sedgy rill,
And the dim lengthening shadows flit like swallows up the hill.

The heron passes homeward to the mere,
The blue mist creeps among the shivering trees,
Gold world by world the silent stars appear,
And like a blossom blown before the breeze
A white moon drifts across the shimmering sky,
Mute arbitress of all thy sad, thy rapturous threnody.

She does not heed thee, wherefore should she heed,
She knows Endymion is not far away;
’Tis I, ’tis I, whose soul is as the reed
Which has no message of its own to play,
So pipes another’s bidding, it is I,
Drifting with every wind on the wide sea of misery.

Ah! the brown bird has ceased:  one exquisite trill
About the sombre woodland seems to cling
Dying in music, else the air is still,
So still that one might hear the bat’s small wing
Wander and wheel above the pines, or tell
Each tiny dew-drop dripping from the bluebell’s brimming cell.

And far away across the lengthening wold,
Across the willowy flats and thickets brown,
Magdalen’s tall tower tipped with tremulous gold
Marks the long High Street of the little town,
And warns me to return; I must not wait,
Hark! ’Tis the curfew booming from the bell at Christ Church gate.
Dhaye Margaux May 2014
Flick a flack fleck--that sound again
Makes me smile every now and then
Each drop always soothes my palm
It always makes me so calm
Ah!I love to hear it sing
It touches me with its ring
Flick a flack fleck--that sound again
Makes me smile every now and then.
An Octelle poem
CA Guilfoyle Oct 2015
Sonoran desert
sacred hot breathed
scorch of footsteps, blood red sands
sun bleached, bones and skulls
this wash, a hallowed holy ghost
an unnerving place of hiss and fire
molten sun to dry the water
a drowning fever of red prickly sweat
last night, the Yaqui man you met
undulating in a purification ceremony
lashing, the energy cords cut
he is laughing like coyote, wild eyed
green the velvet, desert peyote
and you have come to understand
the universe in a fleck of sand.
King Panda Feb 2016
she described it as ice
in her chest
a lance that tightroped from
her chest to mine
fought over at the breakfast table
because her end was bigger than mine
or mine had more blood than hers
or she always got to look at my good side
and why couldn’t I look at her without laughing

mother always said it was a blessing
that two people were so close to each other
not through birth
but by journey
and life
and happenstance
two people that tasted grilled cheese the same way
that heard the same voices of joy
but always stuck to the roof of the mouth like peanut butter
and not the generic brand
the 10 dollar organic stuff

two people that couldn’t help but
crack jokes at the dinner table
when everyone else was talking about
death because
what is death without life?
she would ask
and everyone would go silent
and float up through the
limitless sky
while we stayed grounded in
the life that whiskey brings

if you ever hear me calling
know that I’d give you the bigger half
every time and that
you may borrow my three-hole puncher
without asking
I love you
and love stitches time without holes
and moments without the train station goodbye
and the rocks
they will always be rippling the stream so you
can go whitewater rafting and I can write poems
about how you fell in and found
a fleck of gold
ju Apr 2015
Mum had been gone a couple of months, six I think… (An ordinary day. Feeling hollow but doing OK) …when I realized I could get rid of the sofa.

I thought it was ugly. She thought it was a bargain. A sofa’s not a keepsake and it was certainly no heirloom. I’d not inflict it on my kids. I got rid.

If I could’ve had her back then? I would’ve done. Even if it meant keeping the sofa.

Redecorated. Bought a new telly. Spent frivolous amounts of cash on scatter cushions. She disliked scatter cushions. I thought they were cosy.

My little boy drew on one of the cushions. On purpose. I was about to smack the back of his legs… (Mum would have. She smacked me when I was little) … but I stopped.

I never wanted to. I had known all along, somehow forgotten.

If I could’ve had her back then? I would’ve done. But she would not smack my children.

Mum had been gone a year… (Planting bulbs. Feeling conspicuous carrying a shovel ‘round the churchyard) …and I missed her .

It was as hot as the day she died. There was no breeze up on that hill. No cloud. Beautiful views stretched right out to the sea.

My little boy had grown. He helped carry water and dig holes. My baby was learning to walk. She wobbled on uneven turf between the headstones. I wanted Mum to see.

If I could’ve had her back then? I would’ve done. No question.

Mum had been gone three years… (Bulbs were doing OK. There was nothing left to plant that rabbits wouldn't nibble) …and I realized it was time to move on.

I kept the ghosts quiet while agents showed people round. The house sold. We moved away. A warm, terraced place in a small town by the sea. Dad died.

Mum has been gone eight years and I miss her.

Looking out from the Downs across cliff-top and sea, the churchyard seems nothing more than a soft-grey fleck on the green edge of town.

If I could bring her back now? Everything’s changed.

Ghosts exist. They sit in empty chairs and speak kettle-whistle. Wishing us well.
The oyster whispers echo
within its own silent shell
Its utters of longing
sought to bejewel
a pearl's essence,
as an ocean's murmur
heaves within its shuck

Some might call it lightly
fragile hope;
a fleck of light in dark

Or just a dream
of an unspoken grain of sand,
a diamond in the rough

someone you used to know ...June 2017
Eroshu Homaj Nov 2012
I lost it all where I used to live
My hands are tempting but empty
I heard man pulls from the unseen
Anchoring ideas
to acts to models to be.

Is this all that I am?
A speck on a fleck of a single grain of sand?
Is this all I can be, baby
A shadow on wall
A Form out in the fog?
Skaidrum Jun 2015
Eloquent april showers kiss her forehead,
Oath-enriched may flowers fleck his cheeks.

& now there’s rosemary bursting from his venus veins---
        ashes aligning in those sickly tear-ducts.

( w h y  i s  h e  w e e p i n g ?)

What a coincidence;
her love was her forte
    and yet his eyes
were foreign to the music.

My dragon princess is in love
    with a sickly raven boy;

and he’s caught a icy cancer. . .

    “Raven boy loves his rosemary”
Look, love’s fingers bittersweetly

    entwined with death

...are now limp.

The rain is her salvation        and his


Maybe it wasn’t a drought

Maybe it was

            a flood.

After all,    
            there’s no such thing as too much beauty, on venus,
                                        and there's no such thing as too much rain,

in April.

(I'm sorry dragon princess, but not every flower was destined to bloom.)
This was for Belle and Dylan.
My beloved Dragon Princess and My dying Raven Boy.

© Copywrited.
Jonny Bolduc Jan 2013
Friends of Friends

A cup of ocean, steaming like an elixir-
boiling empty water like a primordial sauna.
We drink to the thought of a flawed philosophy.
Cuttting all the corners as we skate around our grey garden.

We are friends. We are the friends of friends. We drink thoughts, slurp insight-
trip on _ to Plotinus, dig to Polycarp, copulate
in the stretched shadow of a specter, a long
skeleton Marxist,
beard coated in Ketchup-
Butcher entrails. **** the saintly each other.
Never stop. Ingesting. Breathing in. Spitting out.
Friendly manifestos, heartfelt wine grinning slipping spitting
blood forever-

You’re a fat cherub. Coated, winking, grinning, sleeping, *******-
you are not special.

On the average day,
Laziness takes a grip and forces you back into the bed.
The blankets have a magnetic pull-
Head pounds. Throbbing like a siren, in and out.
You are-
You’re slushy, like a spring day. Lethargic. Sleepy. Reading.

The day soon transforms-
the restless night comes catcalling-
The slurred voice, indiscernible- indescribable
an existing ode, folklore describing the lonely confines of an empty savior.

Not a hymn, but a dirge. A lonely gysm.
A struggling complex-
a grimy,  violated existence of crust. A damp home, a purlieu,
a place to occupy, a dug tunnel dug bed-rest, burrowing in filth like a worm-

Eyelids drooping. Socks wet. Keep them on-
you’ll get sick, but that’s alright.
Bled out from the scrapes and cuts.
Doing nothing ever ever sure does drain the life outta you.

There’s a little stick in your finger where a pin pushed through.
Bood peeked out like little specks,
like crimson blotchy roses- you smeared, painted
the front of an empty milk carton,
turning the white cardboard
It’ll get infected. You should- no, you won’t, because-
you are a tiny splinter. An infection. A tapeworm.
Eating, feeding, relentless, biting-
the cold draining storm. The white fleck
landing on a bushy eyebrow and sticking-
drinking. For the warmth. For the cold. For the love of nothing,
Whiskey. *****. Sprite, Sprite and Whiskey, Sprite and *****, Salt Lime And Tequila, Gin Tonic *** Coke, endless libations to only gods you know-
an existence, expansive in scope,
covers the ****** of every friend of friend, every sick sad joke-
acquaintance, take it- cadence, leave it-

call a cab with a friend
or a friend of a friend on a lonesome morning,
stumble and fall and ***** perhaps.
Stick the head in the endless *** and
call the bray of the donkey an ******* shrill.
It's not a fib. It's not a lie.
It's an exaggeration.
Blast the mix-tape-
Dig to Hobbes- shuffle out the door while
some Neoplatonist ******* you feign to
understand loops around twists stabs maliciously inside
the skull of the your own Neanderthal
“Build me straight, O worthy Master!
Stanch and strong, a goodly vessel,
That shall laugh at all disaster,
And with wave and whirlwind wrestle!”

The merchant’s word
Delighted the Master heard;
For his heart was in his work, and the heart
Giveth grace unto every Art.
A quiet smile played round his lips,
As the eddies and dimples of the tide
Play round the bows of ships,
That steadily at anchor ride.
And with a voice that was full of glee,
He answered, “Erelong we will launch
A vessel as goodly, and strong, and stanch,
As ever weathered a wintry sea!”
And first with nicest skill and art,
Perfect and finished in every part,
A little model the Master wrought,
Which should be to the larger plan
What the child is to the man,
Its counterpart in miniature;
That with a hand more swift and sure
The greater labor might be brought
To answer to his inward thought.
And as he labored, his mind ran o’er
The various ships that were built of yore,
And above them all, and strangest of all
Towered the Great Harry, crank and tall,
Whose picture was hanging on the wall,
With bows and stern raised high in air,
And balconies hanging here and there,
And signal lanterns and flags afloat,
And eight round towers, like those that frown
From some old castle, looking down
Upon the drawbridge and the moat.
And he said with a smile, “Our ship, I wis,
Shall be of another form than this!”
It was of another form, indeed;
Built for freight, and yet for speed,
A beautiful and gallant craft;
Broad in the beam, that the stress of the blast,
Pressing down upon sail and mast,
Might not the sharp bows overwhelm;
Broad in the beam, but sloping aft
With graceful curve and slow degrees,
That she might be docile to the helm,
And that the currents of parted seas,
Closing behind, with mighty force,
Might aid and not impede her course.

In the ship-yard stood the Master,
With the model of the vessel,
That should laugh at all disaster,
And with wave and whirlwind wrestle!
Covering many a rood of ground,
Lay the timber piled around;
Timber of chestnut, and elm, and oak,
And scattered here and there, with these,
The knarred and crooked cedar knees;
Brought from regions far away,
From Pascagoula’s sunny bay,
And the banks of the roaring Roanoke!
Ah! what a wondrous thing it is
To note how many wheels of toil
One thought, one word, can set in motion!
There ’s not a ship that sails the ocean,
But every climate, every soil,
Must bring its tribute, great or small,
And help to build the wooden wall!

The sun was rising o’er the sea,
And long the level shadows lay,
As if they, too, the beams would be
Of some great, airy argosy,
Framed and launched in a single day.
That silent architect, the sun,
Had hewn and laid them every one,
Ere the work of man was yet begun.
Beside the Master, when he spoke,
A youth, against an anchor leaning,
Listened, to catch his slightest meaning.
Only the long waves, as they broke
In ripples on the pebbly beach,
Interrupted the old man’s speech.
Beautiful they were, in sooth,
The old man and the fiery youth!
The old man, in whose busy brain
Many a ship that sailed the main
Was modelled o’er and o’er again;—
The fiery youth, who was to be
The heir of his dexterity,
The heir of his house, and his daughter’s hand,
When he had built and launched from land
What the elder head had planned.

“Thus,” said he, “will we build this ship!
Lay square the blocks upon the slip,
And follow well this plan of mine.
Choose the timbers with greatest care;
Of all that is unsound beware;
For only what is sound and strong
To this vessel shall belong.
Cedar of Maine and Georgia pine
Here together shall combine.
A goodly frame, and a goodly fame,
And the Union be her name!
For the day that gives her to the sea
Shall give my daughter unto thee!”

The Master’s word
Enraptured the young man heard;
And as he turned his face aside,
With a look of joy and a thrill of pride
Standing before
Her father’s door,
He saw the form of his promised bride.
The sun shone on her golden hair,
And her cheek was glowing fresh and fair,
With the breath of morn and the soft sea air.
Like a beauteous barge was she,
Still at rest on the sandy beach,
Just beyond the billow’s reach;
But he
Was the restless, seething, stormy sea!
Ah, how skilful grows the hand
That obeyeth Love’s command!
It is the heart, and not the brain,
That to the highest doth attain,
And he who followeth Love’s behest
Far excelleth all the rest!

Thus with the rising of the sun
Was the noble task begun,
And soon throughout the ship-yard’s bounds
Were heard the intermingled sounds
Of axes and of mallets, plied
With vigorous arms on every side;
Plied so deftly and so well,
That, ere the shadows of evening fell,
The keel of oak for a noble ship,
Scarfed and bolted, straight and strong,
Was lying ready, and stretched along
The blocks, well placed upon the slip.
Happy, thrice happy, every one
Who sees his labor well begun,
And not perplexed and multiplied,
By idly waiting for time and tide!

And when the hot, long day was o’er,
The young man at the Master’s door
Sat with the maiden calm and still,
And within the porch, a little more
Removed beyond the evening chill,
The father sat, and told them tales
Of wrecks in the great September gales,
Of pirates coasting the Spanish Main,
And ships that never came back again,
The chance and change of a sailor’s life,
Want and plenty, rest and strife,
His roving fancy, like the wind,
That nothing can stay and nothing can bind,
And the magic charm of foreign lands,
With shadows of palms, and shining sands,
Where the tumbling surf,
O’er the coral reefs of Madagascar,
Washes the feet of the swarthy Lascar,
As he lies alone and asleep on the turf.
And the trembling maiden held her breath
At the tales of that awful, pitiless sea,
With all its terror and mystery,
The dim, dark sea, so like unto Death,
That divides and yet unites mankind!
And whenever the old man paused, a gleam
From the bowl of his pipe would awhile illume
The silent group in the twilight gloom,
And thoughtful faces, as in a dream;
And for a moment one might mark
What had been hidden by the dark,
That the head of the maiden lay at rest,
Tenderly, on the young man’s breast!

Day by day the vessel grew,
With timbers fashioned strong and true,
Stemson and keelson and sternson-knee,
Till, framed with perfect symmetry,
A skeleton ship rose up to view!
And around the bows and along the side
The heavy hammers and mallets plied,
Till after many a week, at length,
Wonderful for form and strength,
Sublime in its enormous bulk,
Loomed aloft the shadowy hulk!
And around it columns of smoke, upwreathing,
Rose from the boiling, bubbling, seething
Caldron, that glowed,
And overflowed
With the black tar, heated for the sheathing.
And amid the clamors
Of clattering hammers,
He who listened heard now and then
The song of the Master and his men:—

“Build me straight, O worthy Master,
    Staunch and strong, a goodly vessel,
That shall laugh at all disaster,
    And with wave and whirlwind wrestle!”

With oaken brace and copper band,
Lay the rudder on the sand,
That, like a thought, should have control
Over the movement of the whole;
And near it the anchor, whose giant hand
Would reach down and grapple with the land,
And immovable and fast
Hold the great ship against the bellowing blast!
And at the bows an image stood,
By a cunning artist carved in wood,
With robes of white, that far behind
Seemed to be fluttering in the wind.
It was not shaped in a classic mould,
Not like a Nymph or Goddess of old,
Or Naiad rising from the water,
But modelled from the Master’s daughter!
On many a dreary and misty night,
‘T will be seen by the rays of the signal light,
Speeding along through the rain and the dark,
Like a ghost in its snow-white sark,
The pilot of some phantom bark,
Guiding the vessel, in its flight,
By a path none other knows aright!

Behold, at last,
Each tall and tapering mast
Is swung into its place;
Shrouds and stays
Holding it firm and fast!

Long ago,
In the deer-haunted forests of Maine,
When upon mountain and plain
Lay the snow,
They fell,—those lordly pines!
Those grand, majestic pines!
’Mid shouts and cheers
The jaded steers,
Panting beneath the goad,
Dragged down the weary, winding road
Those captive kings so straight and tall,
To be shorn of their streaming hair,
And naked and bare,
To feel the stress and the strain
Of the wind and the reeling main,
Whose roar
Would remind them forevermore
Of their native forests they should not see again.
And everywhere
The slender, graceful spars
Poise aloft in the air,
And at the mast-head,
White, blue, and red,
A flag unrolls the stripes and stars.
Ah! when the wanderer, lonely, friendless,
In foreign harbors shall behold
That flag unrolled,
‘T will be as a friendly hand
Stretched out from his native land,
Filling his heart with memories sweet and endless!

All is finished! and at length
Has come the bridal day
Of beauty and of strength.
To-day the vessel shall be launched!
With fleecy clouds the sky is blanched,
And o’er the bay,
Slowly, in all his splendors dight,
The great sun rises to behold the sight.

The ocean old,
Centuries old,
Strong as youth, and as uncontrolled,
Paces restless to and fro,
Up and down the sands of gold.
His beating heart is not at rest;
And far and wide,
With ceaseless flow,
His beard of snow
Heaves with the heaving of his breast.
He waits impatient for his bride.
There she stands,
With her foot upon the sands,
Decked with flags and streamers gay,
In honor of her marriage day,
Her snow-white signals fluttering, blending,
Round her like a veil descending,
Ready to be
The bride of the gray old sea.

On the deck another bride
Is standing by her lover’s side.
Shadows from the flags and shrouds,
Like the shadows cast by clouds,
Broken by many a sunny fleck,
Fall around them on the deck.

The prayer is said,
The service read,
The joyous bridegroom bows his head;
And in tears the good old Master
Shakes the brown hand of his son,
Kisses his daughter’s glowing cheek
In silence, for he cannot speak,
And ever faster
Down his own the tears begin to run.
The worthy pastor—
The shepherd of that wandering flock,
That has the ocean for its wold,
That has the vessel for its fold,
Leaping ever from rock to rock—
Spake, with accents mild and clear,
Words of warning, words of cheer,
But tedious to the bridegroom’s ear.
He knew the chart
Of the sailor’s heart,
All its pleasures and its griefs,
All its shallows and rocky reefs,
All those secret currents, that flow
With such resistless undertow,
And lift and drift, with terrible force,
The will from its moorings and its course.
Therefore he spake, and thus said he:—

“Like unto ships far off at sea,
Outward or homeward bound, are we.
Before, behind, and all around,
Floats and swings the horizon’s bound,
Seems at its distant rim to rise
And climb the crystal wall of the skies,
And then again to turn and sink,
As if we could slide from its outer brink.
Ah! it is not the sea,
It is not the sea that sinks and shelves,
But ourselves
That rock and rise
With endless and uneasy motion,
Now touching the very skies,
Now sinking into the depths of ocean.
Ah! if our souls but poise and swing
Like the compass in its brazen ring,
Ever level and ever true
To the toil and the task we have to do,
We shall sail securely, and safely reach
The Fortunate Isles, on whose shining beach
The sights we see, and the sounds we hear,
Will be those of joy and not of fear!”

Then the Master,
With a gesture of command,
Waved his hand;
And at the word,
Loud and sudden there was heard,
All around them and below,
The sound of hammers, blow on blow,
Knocking away the shores and spurs.
And see! she stirs!
She starts,—she moves,—she seems to feel
The thrill of life along her keel,
And, spurning with her foot the ground,
With one exulting, joyous bound,
She leaps into the ocean’s arms!

And lo! from the assembled crowd
There rose a shout, prolonged and loud,
That to the ocean seemed to say,
“Take her, O bridegroom, old and gray,
Take her to thy protecting arms,
With all her youth and all her charms!”

How beautiful she is! How fair
She lies within those arms, that press
Her form with many a soft caress
Of tenderness and watchful care!
Sail forth into the sea, O ship!
Through wind and wave, right onward steer!
The moistened eye, the trembling lip,
Are not the signs of doubt or fear.
Sail forth into the sea of life,
O gentle, loving, trusting wife,
And safe from all adversity
Upon the ***** of that sea
Thy comings and thy goings be!
For gentleness and love and trust
Prevail o’er angry wave and gust;
And in the wreck of noble lives
Something immortal still survives!

Thou, too, sail on, O Ship of State!
Sail on, O Union, strong and great!
Humanity with all its fears,
With all the hopes of future years,
Is hanging breathless on thy fate!
We know what Master laid thy keel,
What Workmen wrought thy ribs of steel,
Who made each mast, and sail, and rope,
What anvils rang, what hammers beat,
In what a forge and what a heat
Were shaped the anchors of thy hope!
Fear not each sudden sound and shock,
‘T is of the wave and not the rock;
‘T is but the flapping of the sail,
And not a rent made by the gale!
In spite of rock and tempest’s roar,
In spite of false lights on the shore,
Sail on, nor fear to breast the sea!
Our hearts, our hopes, are all with thee,
Our hearts, our hopes, our prayers, our tears,
Our faith triumphant o’er our fears,
Are all with thee,—are all with thee!
Shannon Oct 2018
My baby.
You’re wondering about the type of women you want to be. It’s a sad and soggy Sunday and you sit by the railing while it’s raining and the wind sighs at your presence.
You long for love, and peace, and mystery and excitement and you long to be wanted for who you are not who you could be if you were small.

My baby.
Everything you want isn’t everything you see.
Damaged isn’t pretty, my baby and maybe it looks it but the pain, oh baby the pain is like nothing you’ve ever felt.
And maybe you crave the mystery, maybe you crave the smudges mascara and the hunger pains.
But honest to truth my baby
Being this ****** up ain’t cute
Being this ****** up isn’t safe.
Being this ****** up makes you wonder what in the world is.

My baby there is nothing like the ache of being empty,
The sad and solemn nothing, the pitiless void that seldom empties but when it does you put stars in his eyes for he is the only other person with the key.
And a lot of the time the key doesn’t fit your locks,
The walls you’ve put up are brick.
And for every brick you stack he takes one away, eager to pull them down he tries and baby one day you might stop building.
Maybe it’ll be on a soft and sunny Saturday when both of you are laughing and you see it within him.
You’ll stop building and he’ll smile knowing that

My baby your walls are thick and strong,
Most of the time,
Sometimes they fall but you pick them up and rebuild don’t let anyone see the truth.
He knows.

My baby the boy you love will never quiet fill your cup and it’ll break you but it’s not his job to.
You have to try too.
Because baby I know you hurt and I know you just want out of the cruel ******* world but now no.
Now you have someone to love you.
To love you for who you are and not who you would be if you were small.
Someone who loves you so that to go would be to take a piece of him with you.
Maybe that piece is the spark you fell in love with.
Baby no now you have someone to live for.

My baby I know you think smudged mascara and running away is desirable and makes them want more but baby.
On the good days you feel like a well oiled machine, task after task focus, seem well act well everybody laughs, smooth machine yet still lack the basic humanity that should consume you.

My baby on the bad days, broken down, some days you manage to trudge your way out of bed and into the daytime, empty but there,
Worse, the days where you can’t get up. Where you open the window and stare out into the garden you’ve always seen and you let the sadness and elusive sleepiness win until you’re exhausted with sleep.
Days where blades help you feel and help the anger inside you escape when the blood bubbles through your torn skin.

My baby the overthinking will drive you crazy, where the concept of an ear is weird even when he whispers sweet nothings into them and tucks that little stray piece of hair behind them.
Where *** is a mechanism by which sounds so wrong but feels so right but baby do not use it to cure the sadness.
It will always win.  

My baby home is haunting.
The ghosts of who you used to be haunt you, taunt you, and the love you used to feel is gone. Home isn’t home. Home is a house in the hillside.
Home is the space between his arms where your head rests against his chest and he breathes in to smell the coconut in your hair, home is the way he stares at you and smiles, home is the way he plays video games with you in his lap, home is his dilated pupils, home is the weird way you hold hands on the train, home is short jokes and home is when he looks at you as if you
You my baby
Are just absolutely spectacular
Even when you feel like a fleck of dust on this pointless world.

My baby though he is home, mental illness and distress isn’t pretty.
Panic attacks and ugly crying in public isn’t pretty. The disability of breathing isn’t pretty. Being perched over a toilet bowl isn’t pretty. Not eating for days isn’t pretty. Pulling out clumps of hair isn’t pretty. Being clumsy because you are so anaemic isn’t pretty. Passing out isn’t pretty. Wrist scars and bloodstained sheets aren’t pretty.
Being sick isn’t pretty.

Baby I wish we’d stopped when we knew.

Baby I wish help meant something because though you’ve tried,
Nothing gets through.

Baby when it rains it pours, and through every storm I have you, my hand is there to hold.
So we’ll call Noah’s arc and we’ll start a new world.
I know you’re hurting.
But my baby I promise one day we’ll be safe.
No longer shipwrecked.
My baby one day
One day
We’ll be free.
“Peaceful piano” - Spotify
“For stormboy.”
Corey Dec 2016
A fleck of dust in the deep, dark sea
A fleck of gold in the crumbled debris
A fleck of green, and fleck of brown
An ocean of blues as the background

"How about her eyes?"
"I can't answer," I sigh
"You do not know?"
"They're just sort of glow..

They're soft and warm
Ferocious as a storm
They can be ice cold
As well as bright and bold

But to pick just any one color
Would be like wearing a dog collar
Constricting the freedom of creativity
And living life in captivity."
Liz Apr 2014
It's annoying 
That I write fullest
As the moon is breaking
At midnight noon
And when the stars
Fleck a paintbrush sky.

Annoying because
I want to be 
In beaming
sun dials and
Marshmallow clouds
Which swallow me up 
Into a rosy pearl.

Annoying because,
Just as I do with the words,
I want to escape the day
Which I can't handle and 
in happy

But this
form of
makes me sleepy 
and the creeping,
Inescapable day
Ever more... difficult
Indian Phoenix Oct 2012
Oh, my stoic... whatever happened to you?

At 6'4 you could stare down anyone in the room with your stern dark eyes. People might take you for melancholy until you told one joke with your deadpan humor. But you were a little morose, in your own way... is it because you're a Cancer? Or were you searching for something that only your mind could find for you? I never knew. Stoic and enigmatic are **** near the same thing, after all.

You, with your hundred dollar jeans worn after your yuppie yoga classes. You might not have worn Converse sneakers or thick-rimmed glasses (thank God)... but don't think I didn't see those expensive flannel shirts from Nordstrom's in your closet. Is there such thing as a hipster fashionista...fashionisto? I remember you approved of my Lucky brand jeans. They were a gift. Hand-me-downs. I didn't tell you that.

How elegant that you would grab Moroccan mint tea when coffee was no longer your thing. Sure, you'd down so much wine after dinner I'd worry you an alcoholic... but caffeine? Something about not liking dependence, you said. I savored watching you drink tea when we'd work side-by-side in some of the city's independent coffee houses. You wouldn't be caught dead in a Starbucks.

I do hope you make your amazing Turkish coffee, if only for your next love. Did I say "love?" No... maybe your next tryst. That's more your speed. I still can't taste cardamom without thinking of you.

And oh, your guitar... you'd strum the chords as if you were solving a riddle: quiet, to yourself. Leave the simple "Wonderwall" for neophytes because you could play Django Reinhardt. Unsurprising that a person like you would have a music performance degree from New York University. Every note you played was expensive. And you knew it.

It wasn't just the way you strummed Spanish flamenco while I made us quinoa stuffed squash in your small kitchen. You had to play the cool music before it was cool--nothing so trite as Vampire Weekend or Kings of Leon; only the sweet whispers of Priscilla Ahn for your sensitive ears. I'd desperately try recalling obscure artists from my college days and try to keep up. Album Leaf? Mirah? I got a half smile mentioning Bela Fleck.

Do you remember, how we'd smoke hookah on your soft leather couch? I'd read your book aloud on tantric Buddhism as you'd light the candles. Once the room filled of cinnamon, we'd inhale exotic rose-flavored tobacco and watch documentaries imploring us to free Tibet.

Even your ******* name was exotic; foreign. My mother didn't like it, you know... she worried a man like you would always be patriarchal.

It didn't matter that your days were spent wondering if your law degree was worth it; because you had other dreams. Dreams of foreign service and pro bono nonprofits.

But somewhere in the planning of those dreams, we fell out of touch.

You ended it. I knew you would.

In the worst of my thoughts, I assumed you ended it to find a woman who was everything I'm not, but who I desperately wanted to be. She'd be an international human rights lawyer. A yoga teacher. She'd take yearly trips to hike the Grand Canyon and go on meditation retreats in Bhutan.

2 years later, I've moved on. I won't need 2 glasses of wine to feel comfortable in your presence (as I once did). I've found someone else; we're happily married. He'll never have your enigma, but he lets me in his world. It's not a world of Ghirardelli hot chocolate on winter nights, obscure records and hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese restaurants. But he encompasses everything I needed that you couldn't give: warmth.

I hope you're well, my stoic sophisticate.
LDuler Jun 2013
"There are no diseases crueler
than the ones we self-inflict"
but I still find myself
thirsting for the bottle
and you still find the beast in your heart
begging to be smothered in smoke

They sneak out to smoke their cigs
between classes
just another insolence, another act of audacity
another fleck of rebellion
a way to express their contempt
a way to say ********

to the government and the educational system
and to the clockwork holding them back
from a death they secretly long for
Because i think at least a few of them know
that it’s still a suicide
even if it’s in slow motion
And every cigarette
is a calming coffin nail

Legally, they are too young
to drink or purchase
their ambrosia and tabacco treasures
Yes they are young, minors
but they’re already afraid of growing too old to die young
soon they'll get withered and wrinkling
and they won't be able to leave a beautiful corpse

Pulling off clear, crinkling cellophane, shiny silver foil
with nimble fingers and
sliding a single cigarette
out of the pack
and slipping it into their lips
It fits so effortlessly, so easy
they've been repeating the same motion for years now
sparking the lighter,
The small flame erupts
promising relief.
The sweet taste of nicotine trickling
down into the back of their throats.
They smile.

Behind stone gargoyle smiles
thunder eyes and rock fists
they hide their heavy hearts
with shrouds of smoke
like small-featured bride faces
behind heavy veils
Holding their precious gaspers
between 2 fingers,
elegantly, the way they saw
james bond and models in glossy magazines do it
There are no children here,
just the lost and the lonely,
the ones who wear such solid masks
They’re all looking for some form of redemption,
but they'll settle for attention
Faith, on the other hand,
is a language they don't speak

Their love for each other
is not sweet and childish
it's a collision of souls,
a necessary train wreck
a desperate tempest
to survive the deadly drone of school
it can't be done alone
regroup, collect, stick together,

Their arguments and apologies
have the tragic tone of ancient rome
empires rising and falling

I hear them bicker
and argue and talk
with echoes of prayers in their voices
please see me, please hear me
please validate my existence

American Spirit, Malboro, Camel
the intricacies of the taste
they taught themselves to love

To me every joke sounds like a hymn
every nervous pair of hands
the brittle after-math
of broken promises
chaotic thoughts tumbling like dust in the wind

I know they are different
but they are human and young
and perhaps they are like me
Maybe they too
have fears
maybe they too awaken in the dead of night
sweating and confused

I can see them now, drifting in and out of focus
dragging their reluctant shadows
into school and out
Frail bodies running on caffeine and nicotine
pain, boredom, indifference and panic

You can tell they long for solace
in the way they hold their coffee
tenderly, fingers wrapped round
the comforting shape and smell
and kissing their cancer sticks
with faint hopes of necromancy
and rebirth with every puff

they take turns objectifying each other,
feigning tenderness when really
they are just new bodies
interlaced for an hour or two
There is no emotion here
they're just kids who've always loved playing
the ***** Doctor game

use their name as a cautionary
tale and
they're the kids
our parents warned us about.

I know they've given up on perfection
so they want to be some kind of dazzling cataclysm
a bright, flaming disaster, a lovely wreck
they offer me a drag
but all I can think
is that rebellion isn’t a language
I know how to speak
All I can do is write this poem
which is both a eulogy
and an obituary

                                                     ­           I love them.
I love them because I know each of them is a work in progress,
because I know each is shattered in a sense
because they're just souls searching for a voice.
I love them because I'm starting to see
beyond the archetype-- a true expansiveness.
And I love them because the smell of cigarette smoke
reminds me of afternoons in France,
sitting on the curb of my dying grandfather's home
and watching the passer-by stroll through
the pavements.

I love them because everyone needs a place,
and they know that.

Their parties are an emergency exit.

They're a lighthouse for the lost.
Edward Coles Jan 2018
I painted you.
With trembling, amateur precision,
I suffered each line on your face.

Each fleck of sun,
Your candid smile,
Your immediate beauty in the foreground
Of an exceptional ocean.

Stumbling blindly through the days,
Fumbling for the switch
In a punch-drunk, love-sick afternoon.

Apart from you,
Stripped, exposed,
Laid prone on the gurney
With my skull in a vice
And a fist to my stomach.

I can barely stand because of you.

I painted you this afternoon
So I could toil in your gaze.
Pray I am an interesting splatter,
A noticeable blight;
A happy accident on your page.
LDuler Jun 2013
There to language and I are leave they out can no a don't
of do diseases beautiful speak

Their focus
dragging is crueler corpse

Pulling love their write
than off for reluctant this the clear each shadows
into poem
which ones crinkling other
is school is we cellophane not and both self-inflict shiny sweet out
Frail a
but silver and bodies eulogy
and I foil
with childish
it's running an still nimble a on obituary

find fingers collision caffeine ­ myself
thirsting and
sliding of and I for a souls nicotine
pain love the single
a boredom them bottle
and cigarette
out necessary indifference
you of train and ­ still the wreck
a panic

You I find pack
and desperate can love the slipping tempest
to tell them beast it survive they because in into the long
I your their deadly for know heart
begging lips
It drone solace
in each to fits of the of be so school
it way them smothered effortlessly can't they is in so be hold a smoke

They easy
they've done their work sneak been alone
regroup coffee
tenderly in out repeating collect fingers progress to the stick wrapped
smoke same together round
the ­ their motion

Their comforting because cigs
between for arguments shape I classes
just years and and know another now
sparking apologies
have smell
and each insolence the kissing is another lighter tragic
their shattered act
The tone cancer in of small of sticks
with a audacity
another flame ancient faint sense
fleck erupts
promising rome
empires hopes ­ of relief rising of because rebellion
The and necromancy
and they're way sweet falling

I rebirth just to taste hear with souls express of them every
searching their nicotine bicker
and puff
they for contempt
a trickling argue take a way
down and turns voice to into talk
with objectifying
say the echoes each ­ **** back of other I you
to of prayers
feigning love the their in tenderness them
government throats their when because and
They voices
please really
they I'm the smile see are starting educational

Behind me just to system
and stone please new see
to gargoyle hear bodies
interlaced ­ the smiles
thunder me
please for beyond clockwork eyes validate
an the holding and my hour archetype-- them rock existence

American or a back
from fists
they Spirit two
There true a hide Malboro is
expansiveness death their Camel
the no
they heavy intricacies emotion ­ secretly hearts
with of here
they're long shrouds the just I for
Because of taste
they kids love i smoke
like taught who've them think
small-featured themselves always because at bride to loved the least faces
behind love

To playing smell a heavy me
the of few veils
Holding every ***** cigarette of their joke Doctor smoke
them precious sounds game

use ­ know
that gaspers
between like their reminds it’s 2 a name me still fingers hymn
every as of a
elegantly nervous a afternoons suicide the pair cautionary
tale in
even way of and
they're France if they hands
the the
it’s saw
james brittle kids
our ­ in bond after-math
of parents sitting slow and broken warned on motion
And models promises
chaotic us the every in thoughts about curb cigarette
is glossy tumbling

I of a magazines like know my calming do
dust they've dying coffin it
There in given grandfather's nail
I on ­ are children know perfection
so and too here they they watching young

just are want the drink the different
but to passer-by or lost they be stroll purchase
their and are some through
ambrosia the human kind ­ and lonely and of the tabacco
the young
and dazzling pavements treasures
Yes ones perhaps cataclysm

I they who they bright love are wear are flaming them young such like disaster because minors
but solid me
Maybe a everyone they’re masks
They’re they lovely needs already all too
have wreck
they a afraid looking fears
maybe offer place of for they me
and growing some too a they too form awaken drag
but know old of in all that to redemption the I

Their die
but dead can parties young
soon they'll of think
is are they'll settle night
sweating that an get for and rebellion
emergency withered attention
Faith confused

I isn’t exit

They're and on can a a wrinkling
and the see language
I lighthouse they other them know for won't hand now how the be
is drifting to lost
able a in speak
Ruth Forberg Feb 2016
Danger, dirt and grime
penetrate my mind
With time, I find
I'm getting cruder
I flop to the floor
on bended knees
I weep for me
and only me
Because who else in
this Great Big World
gives a flying frisbee
I am the people--the mob--the crowd--the mass.
Do you know that all the great work of the world is
     done through me?
I am the workingman, the inventor, the maker of the
     world's food and clothes.
I am the audience that witnesses history. The Napoleons
     come from me and the Lincolns. They die. And
     then I send forth more Napoleons and Lincolns.
I am the seed ground. I am a prairie that will stand
     for much plowing. Terrible storms pass over me.
     I forget. The best of me is ****** out and wasted.
     I forget. Everything but Death comes to me and
     makes me work and give up what I have. And I
Sometimes I growl, shake myself and spatter a few red
     drops for history to remember. Then--I forget.
When I, the People, learn to remember, when I, the
     People, use the lessons of yesterday and no longer
     forget who robbed me last year, who played me for
     a fool--then there will be no speaker in all the world
     say the name: "The People," with any fleck of a
     sneer in his voice or any far-off smile of derision.
The mob--the crowd--the mass--will arrive then.
Olivia King Nov 2012
If an adjective could describe me
it'd have to be hungry
for obvious reasons
cause I ******* love my food
but for poetic reasons
cause I often elude

I have hungry ears
and a hungry soul
and I'm so **** hungry
you don't even know
but you do
cause you can see it in my eyes
My hunger is that fleck of white,
that element of surprise

I have a hungry mouth
and a hungry mind
and I'm so **** hungry
and I'm so **** blind
cause I want and I need
and I grasp and I touch
I'm hungry for life
and I crave oh so much

is my middle name
has always been the game
I play
with minds
like meanings of names
dynamic and static

Feed me
bucky Jul 2014
[i'm sorry. i'm not very good at love letters. i've confessed my love to more angels than real people, but please hear me out on this.]
to the girl i ran into yesterday, with love from the girl who ran into you yesterday
i'm pretty sure i'm in love with you.
you left a handprint on my heart (a literal one;
your fingers curved over my collarbone like you were afraid you would break me)
i have cigarette butts for nerve endings
and i'm pretty sure that you must be a lit match
because i haven't felt this alive in seventeen years
please tell me you feel the same way.
i just want to feel your heart beat against mine, and i know we've only just met, i know you will probably never come to this bookstore again,
but if you say no i will pretend that this is a letter to the galaxy
(my favorite constellation is the one stretching across your shoulders;
a thousand and one stars disguised as freckles
play connect the dots with ligaments and fissures)
i will pretend that you are not the sun in my solar system
and okay, maybe i'm being overdramatic but have you ever looked into someone's eyes
and wanted to memorize every fleck of gold you see
i wrote down the things i want to know about you, a wishlist ten miles long
with nothing but your name on it
i wonder how you'd react if i held your hand in public
the sea swelling up to meet us there are wires from my heart to yours
and i know there is approximately an 86.3% chance you will never see this love letter but i wished on a star for something real
and then i ran into you
(i'm sorry again. i hope you enjoy to **** a mockingbird. it's one of my favorites.)
i hope your hair is still a preposterous shade of blue because it makes your eyes look like constellations
do you want to form a galaxy with me?
to the girl i ran into yesterday, who wore bright pink flip flops and had a tattoo of a star on her left anklebone,
i think i'm in love with you
please reply at your earliest convenience.
Molly Feb 2015
Dear heartache,
I cannot say that I know you well,
I have never been in love
But I have loved,
Have loved deeply and quickly and without question,
Have loved quietly and cowardly,
Have been loved back.

Dear heartache,
I just wanted to know why you're still
Hanging around here,
Why you keep dropping by
When I have guests over,
They never stay once you show up.

Dear heartache,
I've only known you on the surface,
Have never known the right questions to ask
But I have memorized the structure of your being,
Can describe the color of your eyes down to every fleck of red-brown,
Can still feel every callous on your palm when I think about you,
You have become so commonplace.

Dear heartache,
I think I know what you're doing,
Think I have thought my way through your facade,
I think you are in love with love;
Think you have been following her around for so long
That you couldn't bare to let her go now,
Think you always show up too late,
Show up just as she walks out the door.

Dear heartache,
I cannot say that I know you well,
Cannot say that you have made a home for yourself
Somewhere within me,
Can only stand within your reach
And hope that someday while you are chasing love
She will find me.
SE Nummenpää May 2010
the moon was just over
half full, and he watched it
as it floated above,
suspended in place while the earth
moved with each of his steps.
The trees surged and fell
with his feet, but the moon
was unmoving.
Yellow and unmoving.
He stared at it until he was sure
the image had etched itself
into his pupils, a yellow fleck -
not quite a circle;
a curious fleck of light
at which people would stare
and ask about,
and he’d reply,
It is the moon! It is the moon!
He wanted to be yellow
and unmoving.
Yellow and unmoving;
It is the moon!
He’d stolen the moon.
(c) SEN 2010
My long two-pointed ladder’s sticking through a tree
Toward heaven still.
And there’s a barrel that I didn’t fill
Beside it, and there may be two or three
Apples I didn’t pick upon some bough.
But I am done with apple-picking now.
Essence of winter sleep is on the night,
The scent of apples; I am drowsing off.
I cannot shake the shimmer from my sight
I got from looking through a pane of glass
I skimmed this morning from the water-trough,
And held against the world of hoary grass.
It melted, and I let it fall and break.
But I was well
Upon my way to sleep before it fell,
And I could tell
What form my dreaming was about to take.
Magnified apples appear and reappear,
Stem end and blossom end,
And every fleck of russet showing clear.
My instep arch not only keeps the ache,
It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round.
And I keep hearing from the cellar-bin
That rumbling sound
Of load on load of apples coming in.
For I have had too much
Of apple-picking; I am overtired
Of the great harvest I myself desired.
There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch,
Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall,
For all
That struck the earth,
No matter if not bruised, or spiked with stubble,
Went surely to the cider-apple heap
As of no worth.
One can see what will trouble
This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is.
Were he not gone,
The woodchuck could say whether it’s like his
Long sleep, as I describe its coming on,
Or just some human sleep.
Rettrahk Dec 2013
Amongst the dying, amongst the rage,
within the thousand souls and a thousand more,
twisting in their own remorse,
I found so heavenly a voice, so powerfully calm,
not once, not twice, but again, again and again did I fall.
I fell for that voice, that voice, who?

Was it a lone soldier, finding solace in the aftermath?
Was it a villain, freed from the confines of a life long lost at the hands of rage, insanity?
Was it the common man who stayed untouched, or was it one who found dreams beyond wonder?
Was it a mother's lullaby, a sister's requiem, a daughter's salute?

Lying in blood, in smoke and scream, it swept up each fleck of horror,
carrying, in gentle hands, perhaps, every sin and every lie, obligation and grief,
to the pinnacle of truth seen just beyond the clouds;
lying there, I'd never felt smaller.
There it was, the mountain of judgement, a soldier for truth,
and the voice delivered to it every excruciating injustice and the tears of the evil, of the good and the poor.
That voice, that voice! Sing again, sing forever more,
the anthem of salvation that echoed through the burning woods.
And so I ask,

why do you sing? Who is it that hears you?
You sing for your lover, your mentor, your child?
Do you sing for every warrior lost to time's manipulation?
Do you sing for every survivor, galvanised, everlasting, immortal?
Do you sing for the gods and their reckless plans?
Or perhaps, for yourself? O Voice, god, merciful god,
the melody you shower upon these bloodied lands,
knows not how undeserving we are to hear its splendour.

I asked who you were, but now, I only ask,
that you walk past our corpses and say not a word.
But merely sing, sing as you have,
and never be weak to slip in our blood.
But to find your way out of this horror, this world of the doomed,
and find a dream long forgotten:

The dream of a soldier's unconditional smile,
the dream of a mother's undying pride;
The dream of two lovers, and their unison unhindered,
The dream of every villain to turn back the waves of time.
The dream of every fighter, for justice or survival, to find peace among the peaceful,
The dream of every sister who marched by the bodies, longing for his blissful return from our land.
The dream of every daughter who arose amongst the fallen, to live free and not fight;
And the dream of the common man, to soar victorious, to see sights unknown, to suffer and rise, to end and begin.

And as you walk, I see, you are not far.
Or perhaps, what I see,
Perhaps it's a dream.
O Voice, god, merciful god,
Jim Burgess Jan 2010
Flee the Ghetto  

Times and Motions
Whirls and Swirls
Around the universe
we twirls

Great Space is black
all pinpoint lights
So cold and bleak
through all the night

Our best minds sit
and stare in awe
In altars, perched
on mountains tall

Seeking vistas,
Planets fine
Warm and wet
With Oceans Brine

Pure, swept With winds
fresh and new
A Paradise,
unblemished dew.

For we must flee
This planet small
Too many we
and soon the fall

Is eminent
if not we go
and refuge find
Pray God bestow

While we have time
To start anew
To try again
for we were fools

And ruined the place
gave us in Love
God’’s great gift
from Heav'n above

Dear Earth, fair home
All blessings be
Beloved of Man
On bended knee

We bow to you
You fleck of rock
You grain of sand
That bears our flock

Our precious home
for man to stand
and look around
and understand

How fragile’s life
A gift so rare
For all we’ve found
Of life Is here

So search brave priests
of this new age
of our demise
you are the sage

Please Save us guys
you honored few
To you we cry
it’’s up to you

For we poor clods
have fought, and ruined
This grant from God
Destroyed too soon.

Find us a home
Another womb
Another Harbor
Please find one soon

For us to raise
our children strong
and try to teach them
right from wrong

That black or white
means not at all
that violence
precedes a fall

Too many players
Too small a stage
A madness caused
A screaming rage.

Our history
A tale of woe
Of endless wars
Tombstones in rows.

Our weapons might
Now reaches all
no refuge from
the killing fall

You made those things
Those killer toys
Now turn your brains
Look outward boys!

We need your help
and God’’s as well
This fate to turn,
This ride to hell  

For we have learned
to dread the sight
of timeless darkness
endless night

We need some friends
To fight and play
Another species
Help us pray

Or we will end.
and all will turn
to endless blackness
Hell  returned.  

Justa Civileon 2003

gender neutral on the "guys"

Not one of my uppiest rambles but I never was a light person
Megger Oct 2014
With darkness came a wisp;
barely a flick, a fleck of pristine snow
drifting towards earth to pile in
mounds, hills, mountains
ready for play as darkness came

The slippery hill ran fast beneath my plastic shield;
standing, swaying, falling down
caught in the arms of winter
and brought down softly as darkness came

Foreboding twilight
the bottom, the nadir of the day
when all creatures flee into their homes
and those unfortunate not to have one
as darkness came

Hot chocolate frothing, boiling,
ready for cold lips to return and sip warm life
as the sweet splendid smell
slides into nostrils and eyes close in peace as darkness came

The fire crackling, breaking,
untamed and wild giving warmth
to all who gather around the amber flames
eating the heat as darkness came

A kiss, a switch,
the lights went out throughout the house;
Smothered in blankets,
silence and darkness but for a light
softly, mildly glowing
throughout the night to keep me safe
as darkness came.
Camilla Green Mar 2018
My pockets hold coarse wisdom stones
that have yet to be eroded and known.
No deed has been done with many tears,
and my matter has yet to turn gray.

Except for two dark circles
wrapped snug around no-sleep eyes,
I am pristine, I have soft skin,
no chips or scratches to bear.
So I sought erosion and tragedy
to inspire wise and epic truths,
but to my dismay! all that I found
was that these only come with age.

Constantly, all day and night,
wonderings overpower my sleep;
I fear these truths, that they might burn
the darling rosebud life I built
into a cynic's deadbeat embers.
So to the stars! I beg to see
if even a fleck of goodness
exists past youth's gilded screen.

For I hope that even through cataracts,
the world will still be good,
that wrinkles will forge deep valleys of love,
that gray hair will be streaked with joy.
I hope my dying hands will hold tightly
to my death bed's plastic sides,
I hope to look in terror at Heaven above,
to whisper, with wide fearful eyes,
"Please, I don't want to go"

But for now, I am young and unknowing,
and I embrace my rose-colored light.
The thing is, though, I must know something,
you can call it naivete,
but whether it be with gray hair
or smooth skin, no matter what,
even if I had nothing left,
I'd still use scotch tape to hold back ****** rivers,
to prove to you that there is love.
I don't know much, but I know there is love

The third line is an allusion to Oscar Wilde's poem "The Ballad of Reading Gaol"
Third Eye Candy Oct 2012
your symptoms are mine. we attach dead cells to living gods, you and i.
Golgotha spawn, writhe in leather trousers
to harlequin the marrow of our dire pipes !
to leap and jeer in tandem
that's how love does the impossible
with your mundane.

we are the abattoir of our stoic cow

your symptoms are mine. i see how you might think me mad; you not i.
but this is the dream fleck of your unkissed
a sweltering bloat of frozen hope
flogging the wolf in a gleam
of campfire exodus

and dust.

your nexus is the heart of the most free, a slim gorge of Krakens
yawning fresh hell and fjords of unconquerable silence.

yours is the tomb I am used too.

where we resurrect
we die laughing.
My brow furrowed as she read my palm
and whispered of growing interest.
"What?" I asked; I had my qualms
about the foretelling of a future
I haven't decided to live.
But I smell the darkness in the incense.

I trace the tendrils of the incense
with forehead firmly within my palm.
The streets below are live
with persons of little interest,
hustling toward a fuller future.
Renew me, my qualms.

Not that I had qualms,
banana-flavored incense
replacing patois in my future.
The lurid waves slide over my palm.
instill a touch of colder interest.
With each sandy step, I live.

And as the water fills my shoes, I live.
When I quietly lose interest
the ocean shows it too has qualms.
The brine coalesces like incense
as my nails dig into the skin of my palm.
For I seek a better future

than the unforgiving future
that chose not to live.
The salt stings the holes in my palm
and instantly I have no qualms,
just a lingering fleck of incense
arousing mild interest.

The ocean betrayed not the slightest interest
being the shepherd of my future.
Rivulets of water became the incense
That I would breathe to live.
Instinct expressed fervent qualms,
as I pressed my mouth with my open palm.

It was the incense in which I held the most interest.
Her finger traced my palm, mumbling of a better future
ahead for me to live, free from petty qualms.
alex waddell Apr 2015
In days of mud and rust
The clean rain falls (in droplets)
Into my eyes (and down our throats)

Our eyes
Will catch every living (and non living)

As a piece of magic
A fleck of stardust on the horizon
A spark of energy beaming from our lives
Thanks to Ashley L for your writing advice.
Lejla Hott Jan 20
rich soil
fleck with a bit of black
dark chocolate
parched summer soil
glossy chestnut brown
unvarnished oak
mahogany flecks
apple pips
varnished cork
dessert palm tree
flecks of acorn shell
his eyes
the most beautiful pair
of eyes
she has seen
Adam Struble Feb 2015
we are conduits for pure electric
listening with our fingers
ears against the rail of time
hearing past and future echoes
ringing out past time the word once spoken is immortal
whisper secrets to the fountain of her sublimnity
listen with your eyes, drink in my body
whisper with your hands
guide me on the gentle path of the glowing garden of your sunrise
sparkles fleck the dew of delight
sweat washes clean the hesitation to love
drinking deep from the fountain of her unfolding
Riding against the east,
A veering, steady shadow
Purrs the motor-call
Of the man-bird
Ready with the death-laughter
In his throat
And in his heart always
The love of the big blue beyond.

Only a man,
A far fleck of shadow on the east
Sitting at ease
With his hands on a wheel
And around him the large gray wings.
Hold him, great soft wings,
Keep and deal kindly, O wings,
With the cool, calm shadow at the wheel.
Auntie Hosebag Nov 2010
On campus--at the very top of the new
eagle pole--a raven struts, one fleck of blood
stuck to his beak from morning carrion, bright
black eyes the same primeval color
as those on the pole.  This ode to nature,
this prayer, this harmony of adzeman’s skill,

tradition, inspiration, and sacred task—I’ll
admire it later—was carved by folks who knew
from childhood each crest and its nature.
Mostly from the clan, and of course blood
relatives, they memorized each color
of each crest, how to mix together bright

pigments from this root, that bulb--right
amounts of everything, reagent to skill
to alchemy--required to make each color
sing.  The importance of ritual to renew.
Significance of Nature, consequence of blood.
Black iron raven in landscaped nature

patch consults his brother.   “Our nature
is belligerent, our destiny to chase bright,
shiny objects and live off the blood-
sticky leavings of another’s ****.
Don’t you think we should blaze a new
path for ourselves?”  Replies the other,  “The color

of your coat is lighter than the color
of your mood today.”All around them Nature
labors.  “Brother, we don’t need a new
direction.  Our future, as always, is bright.
We’re the keepers of knowledge.  Our skill
at irony keeps us relevant. As long as blood

is red They will need us.” He ***** on the blood
red head of the top crest.  A streak the color
of snow bounces down the faces.  “If you ask, I’ll
reply,” he cackles, which makes Nature
grin.  A fuzzy red vole begins to climb right
up the front of the pole, as I realize how new

it is, how fresh the pine.  When I think of the blood
shed by men for money I am struck dumb.  Right here--the only color
green you ever need--Nature.  I’d as soon carve as ****.

It might help to have some knowledge of Tlingit/Haida culture to get the full buzz off this one.  Then again, maybe not.  There is a huge iron sculpture in the main campus area at UAS of a raven, and maybe 70 yards away a raven totem pole.  The balancing eagle pole was erected this spring.
Jenette DeBarge Feb 2012
In the smoke-filled trailer,
Curtains drawn against overcast skies,
His pierced lip trembles slightly,
as he serenades me with love songs
on a one-stringed ukulele.
I stare into his green eyes,
at the one orange fleck,
and pretend summer will never end.
Tom McCone Aug 2015
i breathe out & the world is calm. we are standing waves in the sea. i am a long distance, a collection of lip movements, and all associated aches. you were a fleck of snow i barely even saw, and the ensuing onslaught of winter. plans turn around, often; we stick no closer to 'em than our moralities- i knew what i believed, just some other day: i believed i could roll out of the feeling of wakelessness that i'd thought you endowed upon my eyelids. you were prying them open, though, and i was the one at force. "sleep, my fears and doubts", i would call to myself -round midnight- "sleep and you may escape, or somehow come closer to what you're not sure if you seek".

but my plans, moralities and i, all ambiguous at best, changed. i can't pinpoint why. you said "maybe you can smell my dying, from all that way" i said i hoped not, that i could sense you but you just couldn't tell you were flourishing.

in the heat, i would make out daydreams like dialogue, spread sense like contrails: seemingly cohesive monuments to my bearing, left out to dissipate. snowfields on sunlit afternoons. but you, you you you you you, you stay heavy-stuck to the ground through cycling seasons. variation, only nondecreasing patterns in my everyday thought. inconsistence, only meaningful or meaningless. no pain, just ache all the same.

finally, in month's transitions, i found meaning (or its absence) and realised each was a facet of the other. that all facets were tiny jewels, set into the world, puzzle-piece mirrors set just. right., to reflect the gleaming bright pearl inset upon the other side of our tiny universe, each light another stroke of your portraiture, and i found longing: to find the unknown, through all things ordinary.

and you were, at once, more than a question-mark and the statement of my circles through days. you were the taste of waking, without sharp slice of reality. you were a mirror, hung in front of i, also reflecting; and i saw eternity unfold in us each. you were, and are still, peace on the shoreline. and i was, and am still, drowning, but i can make out sand on the horizonline.

so, i'll just keep afloat, if you can do the same.
so, i just won't go changin',
shine brighter with each passing day.

— The End —