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v V v Jul 2012
If I were only me I would drive to San Francisco
and jump off the big orange bridge.

I might do it if I knew it
wouldn’t hurt them,
but I can't because it would
so I keep fighting all
this **** that haunts me.

I have eleven reasons not to do it,
eleven people I will not name,
eleven reasons

not to hit the water at 86 mph,
eleven reasons to avoid massive internal bleeding,
to avoid broken ribs and punctured lungs,
to avoid …telescoping fractures……
asphyxiation by blood and……
….telescoping fractures……..
Eleven reasons to avoid 4 seconds
of second guessing.....and telescoping fractures…..
 
Eleven reasons…… …....................OK twelve.
 
Eleven people in my life I couldn’t do it to.
Twelve including me because I know I won’t like
the sound of what it might sound like,
the difference in my mind between the sound
of fractures and the sound of telescoping fractures,
a terrifying sound, enough to keep me away from
San Francisco, not to mention the big orange bridge.

I lie awake at night with numbers racing around inside
my head, 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour,
4 seconds from rail to water, 220 feet to fall,
24 hours in a day, 86 miles per hour at impact.

I keep counting and sleeping fitful frightening sleep,
endure nightmares of falling, flying off the big orange bridge,
reaching upward, the bridge getting smaller and smaller,

and every morning I wake before impact still a martyr

for all of us.
EFFECTS OF CHILD ABUSE ON PERFORMANCE OF PRIMARY SCHOOL IN KAPYEMIT WARD, TURBO CONSTITUENCY, UASIN-GISHU COUNTY.





BY
ERICK NYAKUNDI
KIS/03013/14




A RESEARCH PROJECTSUBMITED TO THE SCHOOL OF ARTS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES, DEPARTMENT OF SOCIOLOGY AND PSYCHOLOGY IN THE PARTIAL FULFILMENT FOR THE AWARD OF THE DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF SOCIOLOGY



MAY, 2014

DECLARATION

I, the undersigned, declare that this project is my original work and that it has not been presented in any other university or institution for academic credit.

Signature...............................................­..... Date...................................
ERICK NYAKUNDI
KIS/03013/14






SUPERVISOR
This project has been submitted for examination with my approval as university supervisor
DR. W. O. ABUYA
Signature..................................................­.. Date....................................




DEDICATION
I dedicate this work to my Dad, Mom, my sister Lydia and my lovely brother Dun who contributed in one way or another to make this project to be successful.


















ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
I would like to thank all individuals who contributed and sacrificed their time towards completion of this project.
To my supervisor, for the guidance and support in the development of this research project, His advice and criticism made this project what it is.
Thanks to colleagues and friends for their suggestions, advice and encouragement. To all of you may God bless you abundantly for your tireless effort.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Contents Page
DECLARATION i
DEDICATION ii
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT iii
TABLE OF CONTENTS iv
LIST OF TABLES vii
LIST OF FIGURE viii
ABSTRACT ix
CHAPTER ONE 10
STUDY OVERVIEW AND STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM 10
1.1 Background of the Study 10
1.2 Research Questions 13
1.3 Research Objectives 13
1.4 Justification of the Study 13
1.5 Significance of the Study 14
1.6 Scope of the Study 15
1.6.1Assumptions of the Study 16
CHAPTER TWO 17
LITERATURE REVIEW 17
2.1 Introduction 17
2.2 Common Forms of Child Abuse 17
2.2.1 Child ****** Abuse 17
2.2.2 Physiological or Emotional Abuse 17
2.2.3 Physical Abuse 18
2.2.4 Child Neglect or Abandonment 18
2.2.4.1 Physical Neglect 19
2.2.4.2 Educational Neglect 19
2.2.4.3 Medical Neglect 19
2.2.5 Child Fatalities 20
2.3 How Child Abuse Affects Academic Performance 20
2.3.1 Child Abuse and Academic Performance 20
2.3.2 Child Abuse and School Image 23
2.3.3 Child Abuse and Dropout Rate 25
2.4 Strategies that Schools can Employ to Curb Child Abuse 26
2.4.1 Role of Public Regulation 26
2.4.1.1 Nurturing and Attachment 27
2.4.1.2 Social Connections 27
2.5 Theoretical Framework 27
2.5.1 Learning Theory 28
2.5.1.1 Relationship with the Study 28
2.5.2 Family Dysfunction Theory 29
2.5.2.1 Relationship with the Study 29
CHAPTER THREE 30
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY 30
3.0 Introduction 30
3.1 Site Description 30
3.2 Research Design 30
3.3.1 Target Population 30
3.3.2 Sample Size and Sampling Procedure 31
3.4 Description of Research Instruments 32
3.4.1 Research Instrument 32
3.4.1.1 Questionnaire 32
3.5 Data Collection Procedure 32
3.5.1 Validity and Reliability of Research Instruments 33
3.5.1.1 Reliability of Research Instruments 33
3.5.1.2 Validity 33
3.6 Data Analysis and Presentation 33
CHAPTER FOUR 35
DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS 35
4.0 Introduction 35
4.1 Background Information 35
4.1.1 Age of the Respondents 35
4.1.2 *** of the Respondents 35
4.1.3 Education Level of the Respondents 36
4.1.4 Marital Status 36
4.2 Specific Information 37
4.2.1 Effects of Child Abuse on Academic Performance 37
4.2.2 How Child Abuse Affects Dropout Rate of Students in School 38
4.2.3 Proposed Strategies that Schools can Employ to Curb Child Abuse 41
CHAPTER FIVE 43
SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS 43
5.0 Introduction 43
5.1 Summary of the findings 43
5.2 Discussion of the Findings 44
5.3 Conclusion 45
5.4 Recommendations 46
REFERENCES 47

LIST OF TABLES & FIGURES
Table 3.1 Target population 32
Table 3.1 Sample size 33
Table 4.1 Age of the Respondents 36
Table 4.2 *** of the Respondents 37
Table 4.3 Education Level of the Respondents 37
Table 4.4 Marital Status 38
Table 4.5 Effects of Child Abuse on Academic Performance 38
Table 4.6 How Child Abuse Affects Dropout Rate of Students in School 40
Figure 4.1 Views of the Pupils on Abuse 41
Table 4.7 Proposed Strategies that Schools can Employ to Curb Child Abuse 42





















ABSTRACT
Child abuse is the physical, ****** or emotional maltreatment or neglect of a child or children. The consequences of child maltreatment can be profound and may endure long after the abuse or neglect occurs. The purpose of the study was to investigate the effect of child abuse on school performance in Primary Schools in Kapyemit ward, Uasin-Gishu County. The objectives of the study were: To assess the impacts of child abuse on academic performance; to determine the effects of child abuse on schools image, to identify the impacts of child abuse on pupil drop out rate, to investigate the effects of child abuse on pupil transition rate. The study employed a survey study design. The study targeted 160 respondents which includes; 5 Head Teachers, 40 Teachers, 70 Pupils and 35 parents of which a sample size of 48 was obtained from using 30%. Purposive sampling technique was used in selecting the head teachers while simple random sampling technique will be used to select the teachers, Pupils and parents who formed the respondents of the study. Questionnaires and interview schedules were used as data collection instruments. Data was analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively and presented in form of tables, percentages and frequency. The study helped in the understanding of the effects of child abuse on the school performance, the realization of the roles parents and teachers play in the curbing of child abuse among pupils and raising awareness on the same.

CHAPTER ONE
STUDY OVERVIEW AND STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
1.1 Background of the Study
Child abuse is the physical, ****** or emotional maltreatment or neglect of a child or children. The consequences of child maltreatment can be profound and may endure long after the abuse or neglect occurs. The effects can appear in childhood, adolescence, or adulthood, and may affect various aspects of an individual's development (e.g., physical, cognitive, psychological, and behavioral). These effects range in consequence from minor physical injuries, low self-esteem, attention disorders, and poor peer relations to severe brain damage, extremely violent behavior, and death. In extreme cases, child abuse affects the performance of schools in the affected region (Daniel, 1978).
Performance refers to how students deal with their academic studies and how they cope with or accomplish different tasks given to them by their teachers. Performance is also the ability of a school to portray a good image which can influence the public (Decastro, 1978). There are several factors that influence the performance of a school at large, however, there is a critical factor that most researchers have avoided to discuss, and child abuse has been a crucial factor that has contributed to children’s dismal performance. Apart from children’s personal intelligence, child abuse is among then key factors contributing to poor performance of learners. Child abuse can lead to school dropping, emotional trauma or can even be fatal, hence destructing or even terminating the educational ambitions of a child. (Harris, 2005)
Worldwide, according to World Health Organization (WHO, 2000) approximately 40 million children are subjected to child abuse each year. According to Human Rights Watch (2001) about 30% of all severely disabled children relegated to special homes in the Ukraine died before they reached 18 years of age. UNICEF estimates that two million children died as a result of armed conflict during a recent 10-year period and that another six million were injured or disabled. In Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, over 6.5 million children annually are exposed to unwanted ****** materials over the internet; over 1.7 million of these report distress over exposure to these materials. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department for Children and Families (DCF) define child maltreatment as any act or series of acts of commission or omission by a parent or other caregiver that results in harm, potential for harm, or threat of harm to a child. Child abuse can occur in a child's home, or in the organizations, schools or communities the child interacts with. Each year, approximately one million children around the world are introduced into commercial ****** exploitation despite this problem; these developed countries have put measures to curb the vice. Rehabilitation schools have been formed and introduction of counseling centers as well. Despite the prevalence of child abuse in this developed nations they narrowly affect the academic performance since there are organizations put in place to curb the situation e.g. child associations, guidance and counseling institutions, and school based counseling programs (Giles, 2001)
Concern for victims of child abuse in Africa expressed by the African network of the International Society for The Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN) which gave five main presentations of child abuse: child labor, street wandering, ****** abuse, child battering and abandonment (Elma, 1977). Child labor according to the international labor organization (ILO), about 10 million children less than 15years in Africa are in formal employment, working long hours with poor pay and are exposed to substantial health hazards. Wandering of children refers to children, usually unkempt and with delinquent propensities, living rough in town. The reasons for children taking to the street remain poorly understood particularly in relation to factors in the child rather than parental hostility and economic (Dubowitz, 2002)
****** abuse is another. For example, arranged under-age marriages are common in some parts of the continent and doubt was often expressed as to whether a young girl fully gave consent to being betrothed (Galdsone, 1965). Prevalence rates in Africa are very difficult to ascertain because of the fear of disclosure by victims and lack of proper documentation. Most of the girls by reasons of shame fear or surprisingly respect for their usually older perpetrators. Physical battering is also eminent. Physical abuse of children is widely claimed to berate in the third world; however, there are anecdotes from east Africa skeletal frame or localized body areas of all first attendees aged 0-12 years at this hospital during the four-year period 1 January 1987 to 31 December 1990 (Garbarino, 1975). Sixty-nine of these reports reveals evidence of multiple bone fractures wither without evidence of rib or skull fracture. Abandonment of children to roam around the streets in what we call street children is also eminent in Africa, though valid and adequate information on abandonment are difficult to obtain due mainly to failure of offending parents to show up out of guilt, shame, judicial repercussions or a combination of these. However, some euro-American missionaries identified inter alia breech birth. (Erickson, 2003)
Child protection measures in Kenya are currently not implemented effectively and fully (Galdstone, 1965). Compliance with such legislation would increase if the magnitude of the problem and better knowledge about the factors that put children at risk was available. Additionally, involving stakeholders, especially agencies charged with protection, as well as involving affected children, will highlight the issues and thereby promote adherence to protection policies. Kenyan children, child activists and children organizations are pinning their hopes on the implementation of the Children’s Act to improve the lot of the nation’s youth. The Act, which came into effect on 1 March 2002, puts in place full safeguards for the rights of the child. Its passage was a giant stride in harmonizing the national laws with international agreements which Kenya has signed such as the UN Conventions on the Rights of the Child (CRC, 2002)
There is hope that the new legislation will dramatically change the inattention, neglect and abuse towards child rights. The Act outlaws any form discrimination of children, and forbids Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), child prostitution, and child labor, among other forms of abuse. The Children’s Act has immensely improved the lives of many Kenyan children plagued with high illiteracy levels, frequent **** cases and child labor since it guarantees children the right to health and medical care, provision of which is the responsibility of the parents, the extended family and the government (Erickson, 2005).
Cases of child abuse in Uasin-Gishu region have been so eminent in the recent years ((Kenya Media Report, 2004). In the year 2010 and the year 2011, there was a program started to rehabilitate this behavior. This problem is clearly evident when you first arrive in Eldoret town, it is among the towns in the country with the highest number of abandoned children who keep on moving from one Centre to another seeking help from passersby. Parents have developed behaviors of abandoning their children and deliberately sending them to the town so that they can benefit from their borrowing. So to say this has led to child labor in this region. High profile cases of school dropouts have been recorded regarding the environs of this region. Young school children from different locations in Eldoret converge in town to persuade people to offer them financial assistance. Some attend school in numbered days and decide to spend some good number of days out of school.
The communities and societies around tend to assume this situation and term it as norm. A few who might seem concerned lack cooperation from the rest. This has adversely affected the performance of most of schools, hence leading to poor living standards of the people and a poisoned future of a young citizen. The problem has affected learners in regions like many areas in Uasin-Gishu County. It has really affected child development and affected their attendance and performance in school. Little intervention measures has been taken to advocate the holistic development of the children. It was to this reason that the researcher conducted the research in the named above region
1.2 Research Questions
The study was guided by the following questions;
1) What is the effect of child abuse on the academic performance of students in Kapyemit Ward?  
2) What are some of the proposed strategies that schools can employ to curb child abuse?
1.3 Research Objectives
The study was guided by the following research objectives;
1) To identify the effect of child abuse on the academic performance of students in Kapyemit Ward.
2) To identify proposed strategies that can be employed to help curb child abuse.
1.4 Justification of the Study
It is becoming increasingly difficult to separate child abuse prevention into separate categories. For instance, strategies on the societal level include increasing the “value” of children, increasing the economic self-sufficiency of families, discouraging corporal punishment and other forms of violence, making health care more accessible and affordable, expanding and improving coordination of social services, improving the identification and treatment of psychological problems and alcohol and drug abuse, providing more affordable child care and preventing the birth of unwanted children.
Very little analysis has been done to estimate the total cost of preventing child abuse and neglect or the long-term social costs of not preventing it. There is now a move to situate child abuse and neglect within the continuum of intervention which addresses multiple aspects of family behaviors. The efficacy of tackling portions of the problem of child abuse apart from broader societal needs is not known. And, perhaps prevention can only come in tandem with efforts to reduce poverty, improve health care and make children’s issues a national priority. However, despite these constraints, evaluations of prevention programs can be improved by coming to terms with definitions of key varia
Coop Lee Jun 2014
to the young privateer.
the captain kidd & his bought n’ taut gang of holy bluffs.
they bribe and imbibe and swoon on the dock-way looking for a quest or two or three
to dream and bury their doubloons in island guts like little mysteries. little sundowns
over a rixdollar indian ocean.
let them take a turn.
destined to mutate from private to pirate, the kidd, like blackened rotten wood.
******* frigates.

the ship:
with her bob and sway. she is, the adventure.
& her song is calling out for a rapturous few,
for men ready to die on the highwater mark by glory or fire or dead glorious sun.
so they put her brass and bough to seafaring days,
the sweet galleon, barely wet, yet
completely riffed to voyage.
she is
from the shores of london. built. designed to kick 14 knots under a full sail blast.
& she will bite.

she’s in calm waters.
the kidd savvy toothed and butterscotched, he awaits the big show,
engorged to set forth the play like wily ocean dervish &
they do.
they do proceed with benefactors coined and crunched on postulations of pirate death &
pirate gold. reclaimed honor as they say. the hunt for pirate teeth.

& with official pass and parchment, high-throne approved,
king ***** III stamp & sealed,
this voyage is.
this voyage is and forever was, hereby charted, to recover said stolen goods.
to reclaim thy warrior vanity &/or vengeance.
to noble this **** with pinched loaf, like now.
set sail. now.
1696.

“**** them navy yachts at greenwich, the thames be ours, boys.”
slap *** and flick thumb toward those armada sons,
& as tribute
smoke balsam herbs on the starboard side for the mother she and the father be.
but for this slight,
this dishonorable silly ****,
one third of adventure’s men are pressed into service of the crown.

[continue.]

the adventuresome few, petty crew and crows.
steal the heart and mother-meat of a french ship. steal everything onboard.
steal the ship itself.
& on her way to new york, new boon, pure and entered into the new world.  
there are new men bought in the american port,
good men and odd men of long criminal legacy.
a small black vicious quartermaster. he’ll do.
a murderous preacher gripped by stars and celestial patterns. he speaks spanish. he’ll do.
another type of holy man and a wild drinker too, embattled by demons on the port side. sure.
plus the dock-boys destined to **** for fruits of exploration.
this is the way of the son of a gun.

the boatmen jockeyed. she is
the adventure
prancing the vertebrae of atlantic and beyond. cape of good hope, she
breathes easy out here on the wide tide and float.
out here on the vast blue this. she
evolves
out here. loves out here.

pirates.
the hunt for pirates or the lack thereof. she leaks.
she rasps into the years on. and on.
the kaleidoscope hallucinations of sun and moon, sun and moon, and moon and sun
forever.
the strait of bab-el-mandeb.
& there
she plunges into darkness, into the stars seen from and through a periscope formed
by ancient hominid lineage.
seen but untouched,
in dreams. the kidd, reluctantly lime, admits to his madness.
madagascar.

malaria and cholera and hell break the boat by the throat.
& thrash.
to be organic is to be ruled by a shadow, or entropy.
the mouth of a red sea.
one third of the men will die here.
simply as insects crushed and brushed off deck and into to her great spate of agua,
the mother gush.
her earth.
body.
father,
hear his whispers in the mirage.
the ancient mariner, the ancient holy ghost riming down there.

in destitution.
in a rough and soggy life squeezed and making men weird or violent or both be ******.
the kidd goes cold to hot sweating noxious.
turns pirate himself
out of sheer hunger.
out of sheer need to eat.
sets the boys like dogs upon a frigate of east india company men,
or french *****. either/or/or/either/or.
he & the boys are in a madness swirl of sun and heavy guts.
cuts to spill blood
or gold. this tender bit.
lip bit
& tested.

captain kidd fractures the skull of a deckhand named moore,
for bad attitude and giggles. moore gets death.
chisel on the deck.
& to think we are all troubled by some primal trauma.
some dumb thing called death, that is.
men starving, men dying, men falling in the vast black that is that eternal void.
dream of women and riches in the meantime.
fortunes.
1698.

savage kidd, cool kidd, cool spit
off the edge. to think of the once soulful idea of these paradise days
& trip.
savage to cool.
the two divine modes of a survived man.
a ghoul man, or aging man.
& to keep control of his crew kidd sets them upon the quedagh merchant;
a 400 ton armenian hulk chalk full of gold, silver, satins, and muslin. ‘tis *****.
renames her: the adventure prize.

madness quenched for now.
charmed for now
& on the horizon are fragrant times. blissful distance.
but robert culliford,
with his mocha frigate. this man, this suave pirate lord, his vengeance act.
he had stolen kidd’s ship years back, &
the captain opts to cut his throat.
take the mocha.
keep calm & carry on.
to paradise.
to dream of her cool warm beaches and fruit forever, peacefully thinking.
so that night they two drink together in good health, and in the morning
most of the men defect to this other man, this other ship, culliford.
other dream,
other captain of true buccaneer effect.
act 3:

13 remain in the galley firm.
this is the house adventure.
& she is burnt alive three days later for rot and ill repair.
but she was fun,
& a *****.
a stitch of old woodwork given-in
& crackling with the eyes of her crew seen in fire.

kidd steps the pond to caribbean times with the adventure prize, toad toxins
& high on the jungled shore.
he trades that colossus, flips her for a sloop and seven little chests of gold.
little bellies.
the island-gut doubloons to bury.
dream, remember?

but the men-of-war are after him now. the privateers & hunters & devil’s dogs.
the men he once was.
men of marked death.
& he is now some pirate, some forthright bandit
settled to **** or be killed.
some sad kid.

first: buries that treasure up the coast of america.
oak island rig.
cherry rocks of the maine bank and *****-trapped pit.
the hunted.
they catch him on an inlet ****, and sail back
to london to be tried for crimes against the crown.
the high court of admirality.
1701.

they hoist and gibbet his body with worn chains above the river.
not for piracy, but for ******.
the ****** of that strange deckhand moore and his giggle.
kidd’s bones
suspended there for three or more years at the mouth of the thames,
as warning
to the perverse travails of a criminal lifestyle on the highwater pond.
WistfulHope Nov 2014
Why is it we cure pain with pain?

A burn with utter incineration?

A cut with mortal stabs and fatal slices?

A tear with larger rips and further shredding?

A break with complete shatter and growing fractures?

A love with a deeper, truer, more honest and raw  love?
I think I'm getting worse at this poem thing.
I've basically stopped rhyming altogether it seems,
at least to me.
ethan gaskill Jul 2018
to the girl
still picking up
pieces of her heart
like books dropped
in a hallway

"hi, my name is ethan
i'd like to love you
if that's okay with you"

your heart can be kintsukuroi
we'll fill in the fractures
left by some past fool
with gold

because what better material
to rebuild a broken heart?
than the material from which
knock on wood
our rings will be made?
On my skin I wear the bands of shielded sun.
Commitment to the heart makes this skin colour run.
With one liberal hand, I tear down these branches being hung,
to shower in yellowed leaf confetti.

These forest roots ran like hair line skull fractures,
under canopies blooming red from the sunlight rapture
and now these trees leave their taller brothers to fall as ashes,
with ivy on my ankles, stifling hope up to my chin.

Living memories, my forest sheltered, scrambled for home;
small pretty beasts, unrefined, breathing caricatures with bones.
Screaming they beg for attention, inattentive to this situation as a whole.
Our own view is all we can consider.

This house of cards built on paper-cuts, from the trees before.
I'm now growing wiser to my winter freeze and your summer thaw.
I need all of these things I hate about me, and they can never be ignored;
a psychological pre-disposition, the only one I can afford.
Katelyn Arnold May 2014
the surgical procedure required to probe into your
skull is way too difficult for me. how difficult is it to
learn how to examine the thoughts you conjure up,
like arithmetic or magic. the stem cutters to pull the
dead roots out of you are dull, like the color of dead
coral or fishes that don't see sunlight. maybe the fishes
just don't swim to the surface too often. if i would have
seen your arsenal and armory before i dedicated every
inch of my pointless existence of a heart to you, every
hour of my life wouldn't hold disdain and regret for you.
the only difference between us and a car crash was that
the shrapnel and glass was our shattered memories.
the hairline fractures that are burned into my wrist's bones
have turned into full blown fragments eradicated from the
ligaments. i've seen fall, winter, spring, and summer meet
all in the same day because of you. you are an impossible
calculation, a lobotomy no pet scanner can recognize.

- kra
Tom Spencer Jul 2015
In the evenings
the deer would emerge
from the edge of the woods
stepping over the tumbledown stones
of walls left untended-
they'd leave tracks through the snow
in a wandering line that led to the last apple tree
in the field by Orchard Street.

I remember that now,
staring at this antler I've found
in the clearing between the cactus
and sun bleached stones.
The lines of the antler
flow into the fractures of my palm-
two thousand miles from snow,
and two thousand miles from
the blue evening glow
of a shivering world
glazed over by twilight…

And the deer-
magnificent, pawing the snow
searching for apples that had fallen below-
emboldened by the frozen sweetness of autumn.
They were graceful even in flight-
when cars with chains
jingling and crunching the ice
rounded the corner
down Orchard Street.

Today I've tracked over two thousand miles
in my own wandering line-
the lines of the antler
flow through the tangles and hollows of time.

Sometimes I stand in a clearing,
sometimes hidden by trees,
sometimes I scratch below the surface,
and I run- but, less gracefully...

There are walls I've left untended
and some I've crafted too well-
it is through forgotten tumbledown walls
that memories come-
I thank grace
it was into this clearing they fell.


Tom Spencer © 2017
Nat Lipstadt Jun 2013
Weather Advisory: A long one*

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

Be not fooled,
by the evening-tide,
be not deceived
by the quietude,
tis not a reprieve
of day before dark.

Be guarded,
for the easy transformation,
a tranquil shedding
of the day's husk,
into the faded light of dusk,
just one of nature's machinations
to delay the inevitable.

Evening-tide,
a colored compilation
of a few mischievous hours,
when sunlight is invaded by
streaks of pink, azure and gold,    
just before the
palette is plunged
into a stainless steel can
of gothic black,
skyied glory rendered into
common house paint.

Evening-tide,
an alleged easy calm
surfeits some souls,
supposed easy passage from  
the day's contusions to
a relaxation from humankind's regulations and rules,
but not for me.

Evening-tide,
when appetites unsated, simmer,
the in between hours when
humans transform themselves,
from day laborers to creatures
desiring, aroused, hungry  
for night time pleasures,
searching with false courage for
boundary lines to sever.

Evening-tide,
it was at evening-tide that
David espied, desired and
stole Bathsheba for his own,
with a King's arrogance
rent a kingdom,
murdered for profit,
birthed an Heir,
a prince, who wrote,
by evening-tide:

I have seen all the works
that are done under the sun; and,
behold, all is vanity
and vexation of spirit.


Evening-tide,
fear closes my throat,
confusion reappears,
a low grade flu infects
deemed persistent, incurable,
revisits, medicine resistant,
my insights, my speech,
to blind and bind  

Am I Gloucester,
blinded, but faculties
possessing vision,
the future to clarify?

No, no, it is to a king,
Lear,
to whom I am
son and cousin,
kith and kin

Sunset visions of
ultimate demise
ours eyes behold,
but plainly put,
at Evening-tide,
our dementia -
a precursor,
a periodic but hostile guest
in the hostel of our memories,
cracks and fractures us,
spirit first, body second.  

We are bound helpless
by a knotted tongue,
slow dying malingerer,
inside a head of ill repute,
unable to locate our knowing,
and every word selected,
a battle galactic, oft lost

Evening-tide,
I am cold,
and the issued command
is bring an umbrella
to warm and cover.  
What an old fool am I,
tis not blanket or a
Bathsheba I seek,
but at Evening-tide,
Babel's nefarious treasury of words
unlocked, for tis closed,                    
the gatekeepers,
drunk and absent,
drunk on absinthe,
and creme de mentia
and I have no key

Evening-tide, prithee,
I beg of thee,
consideration please,
check this hideous amusement,
that makes this
King's speech confused,
odor of smokeless cordite ignited
where the synapses have burnt,
injured, beyond repair
injured, by mine own aging.  

Reverse the diagnosis
of the panel of wordsmiths:
Alas, weep and be comforted...

Evening-tide,
a reverie of colored tears,
downward sloping,
arrive to tingle my tongue,
warming comfort for an *****
willing but unable,
a wounded soldier,
a veteran of poetry,
now prone and pained
beyond repair,
beyond healing,
immunized to the
heat and solder,
drugs and salves,
that heretofore
might have closed
the cracks of rack and ruin

Evening-tide,
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king's horses and
all the king's men couldn't
put Humpty together again^

Evening-tide,
my hair, the color of old age.
Irony, my skin yet smooth,
unwrinkled, not in need of the
toxins that are employed
to fill crevasses on
the outer banks of age of comedy

Alas, the toxins natural from within
have seeped from their
latent resting place and have
contaminated the groundwater
that lubricated my mind,  
from siege engines poured,
a contamination of
mine own making.  
After a life long battle,
my Jericho walls have fallen.

Lear and I faint recall the love
of our beloved Cordelia,
but try as we might
her name escapes our grasp,
******* by bite of aging's asp.

We grow drunk by night
on a drink not of choice,
unhappy fury,
the residue within
the imprisoned poison
of our polluted tears,
that come only after our
misspoken and misshapen
guttural croaks
of our Eveningtide prayers
are both
unintelligible and unrequited
Written 6/01/11, after seeing Derek Jacobi as King Lear. This poem is about my fears of dementia which people close to me suffer from, sadly.  Now, I struggle to recall names and places. Poetry, not so much because I get to pick and choose words at my own speed. But someday, who knows....the time between day and night, is a metaphor for a beautiful slow, slipping away but
be not deceived
by the quietude,
tis not a reprieve
of day before dark.


^ this rhyme, purportedly a child's view of siege engines that could not break the walled of the City of Gloucester (how ironic!)  in 1643

An abbreviated version of this poem goes like this:
Nat went to see King Lear,
Then went down to the beach
To watch the sun set, the evening arrive,
They both reminded him, of his fear
That someday he'll probably sunset like Lear
And end the play, the eve, mad, his mind deceived,
De-worded, defanged, his poetry retired, but not relieved
Speaking Eyes Jun 2018
Those tinny fractures inside my soul…
they hurt like stepping on small pieces of glass with bare feet
they wont make us die by bleding…
but they hinder our steps
they make your advance painful
Even they are small…
Yes, they know how to hurt.
SG Holter Jun 2014
Smell of rainwater on a
Warm street.
Smoke rising from
Around our feet; small fires
Between dimensions
That hold pain
And relief
Simultaneously.

There should be
(Oh my God,)
An orchestra playing
(I'm actually)
Heartbreaking music
(Losing her.)
Like in a movie,

Not just her and
Me raining away
From each other
In this ****
Silence,

Where I'd rather be
Any one of the
Other people in this
Street
That have umbrellas
Over their hearts and heads,
And are free from
Ice and fractures
On the
Inside.
Jack Jenkins Jun 2016
"Hey, how are you you doing?"

"I'm doing okay..."

I'm okay because I cannot describe all the different ways I'm feeling apathetic.
And I give you that smile that hides all the hairline fractures in my heart.

Every wonderful longing is swallowed alive,
I'm transcending my emotional capacity to live and love.
All my cheer is shallow and without substance,
Naught more than a cooked marshmallow:
Sweet and crisp without any nourishment.

My wretched self allows me to suffer thus.
Isolated when never alone,
Alone when in true love,
Irreversibly broken,
Choking on my frozen dust.
//On anxiety//
Tiffany Nelson May 2014
I was told my wings would sprout at the right time, when I needed them the most. I keep leaping off balconies and rooftops, hoping that they will spring out of my spine. I have broken bones hoping, but once fractures heal I jump again. Disappointment never felt this good.
Michael Briefs Nov 2017
It seemed so much had been lost.  

So much had slipped through
A grasping hand,
A yearning heart,
A desperate mind
As mine.

The dull march of days present
Was shadowed by the
Gloom of regrets and
Shrieked by a shrill wind at lonely,
Bitter hours.  
What was mine? What was ours?
Gone for good and all?

My love, it seemed, was only
Ever a dark dream.
In my swelling and stinging agony,
Love was
As a locked door
And my heart was a bloodied fist
Beating against it.  
A wraith-like specter of doubt clung to me
With oppressive raiment,
Scrapping over exposed skin
Like course, mortifying fabric.  

Then, from out of a pristine past,
A voice  
Called out to me.  
The herald of an angel
Rung clear and glad as winter bells,
Celebrant!  
The dark narcissus of mortality was
Driven off!
The burial cloak was split;
The stone was rolled back!  

A hope newly found
Surrounds and soars above me,
As a deep, azure ribbon of
Stretching, unending sky!

I am imbued with cheering thoughts
Of our days gone by!
Glories recalled in a moment relived;
Revelries and song lifted with voices
And hearts, stout and full!

Together,
With my beautiful Eurydician queen;
Returned, she was,
From an underworld of time.
We coax and stir
The memories of first passions,
Innocent, powerful and pure.
We are now bending
The arc of our history,
Rending the precious pearl of affection
From the murky domain of
A love denied.  
Renewed and viewed through  
Prismic fractures of sadness
And through the sharp focus
Of blue eyes, in rapt recognition,
Surprised!  

Today is reborn,
Lived again and again,
With each pulse of the clock,
Each beat of my heart.  
The blood within
Is purged of that familiar poison.  

All is potent and refreshed:
You, your face, your voice, your touch, your scent,
Your vibration pours to and through me, once again!
Oh, true friend,
Tender lover,
Gently knocking at my door.
You return from distant lands
Remote and misty,
Bringing light and love
To my lonely shore.
I approach from my realm,
Far removed.  
Age and ages have chiseled
The shape of my soul.
In part, it is smoothed;
Refined with wisdom, empathy, and clarity.
Also, though,
It is,
In part,
Broken, jagged, and cracked,
As the forgotten sculptures
Of ancient empires,
Renowned
And doomed.

Yet I realize, all at once,
That I am not forgotten.  
I am not doomed
To shadow.
I breathe,
I seek,
I still have hope and
Words to tell!
And I still have my love for you!
My life is now freed from that
Sad spell.  

This breath,
This stony soul
(Sculpted by the Artist of Pain)
And this trammeled heart
Trembles in desire of
Your beauty,
Your touch and
Your presence --
Your calming presence,
Bringing levity,
Reassurance
And familiar stories of
Hopeful remembrance.  
From love recalled,
Comes your unexpected
Embrace and
Sweet sign of friendship.

That time of distress has come and
Gone and we turn to discover that
Our tender connection remains,
True and undefeated!
It rises with the earliest song
Of still sleepy birds,
Lilting on the cool air of the morn.  

This uplifting emotion
Again flows within me,
As an angel granting absolution,
Touching me in a place
As deep as first love.  

Welcome!
Empire May 2019
Why do I cry?
What's ever been done to me
Worth a drop from my eye?
I want something tangible
The obvious mark
Of a broken soul
But, alas, mine isn't broken
Over time, it has grown cracks
Slivers and forks in a delicate glass
Now and again, it'*****
By something so powerful
The weakness is revealed
And everything comes rushing out
Through all the fractures
That I thought I could ignore
And it's overwhelming
I can't take it
Mind racing, body paralyzed
Tears streaming, heart pounding
Breath heaving, muscles tensing
And I don't know
Maybe I've had one too many
I've changed inside
Maybe I'm stronger, maybe I'm weak
But I'm certain
I don't envy the days
When everything revolved
Around the fractures
Ken Pepiton Oct 2018
Alone,
Mapless, clueless,

Now a year.5 later,
I am, not yet, more than I imagine.
What I do Is all that must be done,

no less, but only
my part, my talent which I have not,
if the parable is taken literal,
those talents in the tale,
those were money,

not charisma.

Deify, make a god
de-ify, make a truth. Yep. That, de-ifing,
I do that,
think of the oil in an engine,
slippery, slick, smooth fluid
resisting nothing,
rolling with the explosive ****** of life.

I breathe, being metaphorically,
Solomonically wise,
I feared God and kept his commandments,

and thought sure I saw a wink, but
that coulda been a gleam, a reflection taken
by my eye
to my hindbrain, a single quanta
of leavenish light from what the seer saw,

a gleam glistens, I think I see what Mercury,
the message, the medium, flowing twixt yen and yank,
reflects,
flexing,
shaking,
Vibrant un abrading wave bearing grains
of matter smattering to the shore,
immaterial to the wave,
where the power's
drawn, pulled,
not pushed,
listing not lusting,

air-ish heirily, heir of the wind, I go...

winds list whither they will, always
the path of least resistance,
no lie.
Any thing that refuses to fall,
whether it bends or not,
it stands,
under the push of the pull,
the dam
destructive
imbalance of heat, twixt air and sea and land,
the circuits of the wind, ventilator of life,
****** into hated vacuums
over physics forced channels,
down canyons
dammed by mountain titans eruptioned,
fractures in the firmament, formed
back in Peleg's day,
as the turmoil settled,
aftershocks, still, winding
currents formed chaotic energy cells,
swirls to hold
lower pressure pushed by high,
the life force of a planet, broken and frozen
and fried crisp,
if it weren't for air.
And water.

It works,
the biosphere,
but surely, as my friend Ben said,
"we live on the wreck of a world."

Life adapts to living, medium message.

Desert dry silicon
dust rides winds pushing its owned way
into places where...

There's the rub.
That's my part, at the moment,
Here, right here,
is how I know.

This moment is real. You dear reader
make it so.

Imagining there is no hell,
that's personal,
but on earth, as in heaven,
as a man thinks...
you know, I think that part never broke.

Don't lie, don't fret. Wait and see.
or watch and see, if you are the proactive type,
either way, don't lie about the seen and done.
And don't believe lies, about things you've seen and done.
Listening to Jordan B. Peterson, Maps of Meaning, and comparing my tracks. And I voted, that was hard to believe it could make a difference, but it did. We the people do have power, to each his own.
Nat Lipstadt Jun 2014
written two years ago and a bit, but suits still....

Weather Advisory: A long poem pouring ahead

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

Be not fooled,
by the evening-tide,
be not deceived
by the quietude,
tis not a reprieve
of day before dark.

Be guarded,
for the easy transformation,
a tranquil shedding
of the day's husk,
into the faded light of dusk,
just one of nature's machinations
to delay the inevitable.

Evening-tide,
a colored compilation
of a few mischievous hours,
when sunlight is invaded by
streaks of pink, azure and gold,    
just before the
palette is plunged
into a stainless steel can
of gothic black,
skyied glory rendered into
common house paint.

Evening-tide,
an alleged easy calm
surfeits some souls,
supposed easy passage from  
the day's contusions to
a relaxation from humankind's regulations and rules,
but not for me.

Evening-tide,
when appetites unsated, simmer,
the in between hours when
humans transform themselves,
from day laborers to creatures
desiring, aroused, hungry  
for night time pleasures,
searching with false courage for
boundary lines to sever.

Evening-tide,
it was at evening-tide that
David espied, desired and
stole Bathsheba for his own,
with a King's arrogance
rent a kingdom,
murdered for profit,
birthed an Heir,
a prince, who wrote,
by evening-tide:

I have seen all the works
that are done under the sun; and,
behold, all is vanity
and vexation of spirit.

Evening-tide,
fear closes my throat,
confusion reappears,
a low grade flu infects
deemed persistent, incurable,
revisits, medicine resistant,
my insights, my speech,
to blind and bind  

Am I Gloucester,
blinded, but faculties
possessing vision,
the future to clarify?

No, no, it is to a king,
Lear,
to whom I am
son and cousin,
kith and kin

Sunset visions of
ultimate demise
ours eyes behold,
but plainly put,
at Evening-tide,
our dementia -
a precursor,
a periodic but hostile guest
in the hostel of our memories,
cracks and fractures us,
spirit first, body second.  

We are bound helpless
by a knotted tongue,
slow dying malingerer,
inside a head of ill repute,
unable to locate our knowing,
and every word selected,
a battle galactic, oft lost

Evening-tide,
I am cold,
and the issued command
is bring an umbrella
to warm and cover.  
What an old fool am I,
tis not blanket or a
Bathsheba I seek,
but at Evening-tide,
Babel's nefarious treasury of words
unlocked, for tis closed,                    
the gatekeepers,
drunk and absent,
drunk on absinthe,
and creme de mentia
and I have no key

Evening-tide, prithee,
I beg of thee,
consideration please,
check this hideous amusement,
that makes this
King's speech confused,
odor of smokeless cordite ignited
where the synapses have burnt,
injured, beyond repair
injured, by mine own aging.  

Reverse the diagnosis
of the panel of wordsmiths:
Alas, weep and be comforted...

Evening-tide,
a reverie of colored tears,
downward sloping,
arrive to tingle my tongue,
warming comfort for an *****
willing but unable,
a wounded soldier,
a veteran of poetry,
now prone and pained
beyond repair,
beyond healing,
immunized to the
heat and solder,
drugs and salves,
that heretofore
might have closed
the cracks of rack and ruin

Evening-tide,
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king's horses and
all the king's men couldn't
put Humpty together again^

Evening-tide,
my hair, the color of old age.
Irony, my skin yet smooth,
unwrinkled, not in need of the
toxins that are employed
to fill crevasses on
the outer banks of age of comedy

Alas, the toxins natural from within
have seeped from their
latent resting place and have
contaminated the groundwater
that lubricated my mind,  
from siege engines poured,
a contamination of
mine own making.  
After a life long battle,
my Jericho walls have fallen.

Lear and I faint recall the love
of our beloved Cordelia,
but try as we might
her name escapes our grasp,
******* by bite of aging's asp.

We grow drunk by night
on a drink not of choice,
unhappy fury,
the residue within
the imprisoned poison
of our polluted tears,
that come only after our
misspoken and misshapen
guttural croaks
of our Eveningtide prayers
are both
unintelligible and unrequited
Written 6/01/11, after seeing Derek Jacobi as King Lear. This poem is about my fears of dementia which people close to me suffer from, sadly.  Now, I struggle to recall names and places. Poetry, not so much because I get to pick and choose words at my own speed. But someday, who knows....the time between day and night, is a metaphor for a beautiful slow, slipping away but be not deceived, by the quietude, tis not a reprieveof day before dark.

^ this rhyme, purportedly a child's view of siege engines that could not break the walled of the City of Gloucester (how ironic!)  in 1643

An abbreviated version of this poem goes like this:
Nat went to see King Lear,
Then went down to the beach
To watch the sun set, the evening arrive,
They both reminded him, of his fear
That someday he'll probably sunset like Lear
And end the play, the eve, mad, his mind deceived,
De-worded, defanged, his poetry retired, but not relieved
Joel A Doetsch Jan 2012
Bro  ken  Po     ems
a re of  ten  dif   fi cult
to  co   mpr e h en  d


B    ut ..... .... .. .
So ar e
b  ro  k  enh  e  ar  ts
bro ke np r o  mi se s
            a n d
b r ok   end   re am s
Damian Mar 2013
My mirror's broken.
I want a new one with You've Made It
spelled in lights across the top.

I want the holograms
of tiny clapping hands inlaid
along its sides -
applauding when I give the nod.

I'd like a slight distortion, looking
younger, better kept ideally;
so I see me but
with all this potential in repose.

It should say I Love You somehow -
any time, whatever state,
for simply being there.

I would stare and I would stare
from follicle to freckle, plotting
every facet of the features
glaring back at

mine, mine, mine. I want
to share myself with something.
Let me care completely
for some imperfect reflection.

My mirror isn't cracked or
anything like that it's just I can't
quite catch the little twitches
twinkling my eye.
Bellie-boo Dec 2015
Racing down the highway,
My breath beings to shallow,
86 mph I know my way,
The bends and curves no longer lead to tomorrow,
It's hard to breath as I sway,

I want to hit a tree,
I want to be free.


Racing past feelings that are astray,
My momentary marrow slowly begins to hallow,
86 my life's exponential decay,
The end rests in my sorrow,
It's this mindset that can no longer stay,

I want to hit a tree,
I want to be free.


Racing to call bay,
My pulse fractures with the swoons of a cello,
86 times I will be told it's okay,
It's this that is my hero,

I want to hit a tree,
I want to be free.


Racing towards the tree's way,
My attempt a pseudo,
86...87...88...I count until I am just okay,
It's the concerto which ends my throe,

*I do not hit that tree,
I am free,
I and death divorcées.
robin Dec 2013
you told me
you knew
we would bring each other down.
you told me the world was cold
and we would drown in frozen lakes together,
when hypothermia turns to terminal burrowing,
we could burrow within each other.
you told me i would **** you.
after that,
i spent 5 hours in the shower boiling off my skin.
you and i
will not sink in tandem, you and i will not
fall apart in unison,
clasping hands.
i am not your personal suicide pill.
i am not your romantic,
selfless partner
in helpless self-destruction,
you're talking like we'll die tomorrow but i have plans to live a while yet,
if you jump from lover's leap
then you will fall alone.
i think you think
i love you.
i think you think i value
your voice
more than the voice of my thoughts.
it is december and the sun is too bright
to look anywhere
but your feet.
it is december and you're waxing poetic
about the boy who broke his neck
falling in the forest at night.
you look me in the eyes like you're trying
to crawl through my cornea.
you make eye contact an act of violence.
[do you
dream about me?]
you ask,
you're trying to be poetic.
i don't tell you about when i dreamed
you snapped your neck
while we walked in the forest,
and i left quickly,
quietly,
lived peaceful and alone.
i don't tell you about when i dreamed you moved on,
or that reoccurring dream where you spread my legs so far,
they snap out of the sockets.
i tell you i don't dream.
i tell you i don't sleep.
i tell you
i wear boxing gloves to church
but jesus never shows, and really,
i shoulda known he'd run from this fight too.
i tell you
i wear boxing gloves to bed but i just end up
chewing on the laces,
boxer's fractures never visited me.
bar room fractures on the nightstand.
[i dream about you,]
you say,
and i take another hit.
you've been in my air for six months.
under my skin for five,
and it's been three months
since you stitched our veins together.
sometimes,
i fall asleep wearing your scarf
and dream of garrotes that smell like you,
dream of strangulation
and bruises on my throat.  
i don't love you like a motive.
you don't love me like a person.
you told me i had a clean heart,
you told me i was an innocent soul,
you told me you would corrupt me, don't
flatter yourself.
your touch doesn't have the power
to make me sick.
only i can do that to myself.
i'm not a virginal sacrificial saint
for you to build altars to.
lets see if we can cut our hearts out with our fingernails.
i bet that they'll look just the same:
****** and red.
the same size as our clenched fists,
guess it's not your fault
you never learned the difference between the two,
you keep trying to fight with aorta and arteries
while my knuckles bruise your gut.
here:
i taped my hands and i'll tape yours too.
this will be a fair fight-
don't break your wrist
when you break my nose.
i'll teach you i'm more solid than a saint.
i'll teach you i am bile and spit and ****.
i'll teach you to love me human
or not at all.
Mary Alexander Mar 2016
It's surprising, how many people
forget
That a certain amount of
Simple, small
Hairline fractures
Can break a bone.
One too many.
Andrew Parker Aug 2014
Skinny *** Poem
(8/11/2014)

Every kid wants to be something when they grow up.
They picture perfect future families with puppies and kittens,
but for me something was missing.
I just wanted to be happy.
Maybe my vision wasn't so great though,
because 'happy' looked like it had 6 letters to me, and spelled 'skinny.'

People used to throw bricks at my glass house.
Shouting that I’d be skinny enough to slip through cracks.
Cracks of life,
cracks of struggle and strife,
cracks of everything not nice.
They'd tease me and say I looked like I smoked crack,
when I'd lose weight,
I'd gain it all back,
in the form of their extra hate.

But I didn't feel skinny on the inside.
Although I had skinny bones and skinny skin,
brittle enough to break within.
Under the pain of that pang
as their bricks shattered my glass house.

Tell me, have you ever been afraid of words?
Thoughts can be terrifying but once turned to spoken word,
that in turn will turn to shouted word,
that in turn will turn to incoherent nonsense.
Which starts a sensation of ear drums ripping,
being sawed in half immediately,
no time spent ticking,
by shrill shrieks and violent vocalizations.

As if a sound wave could burst your body parts faster,
no, more efficiently than a barrage of fists.
Because it will know exactly where to strike,
in fact, it will sneak through your solid surface,
into every single crevice,
knowing where the best place to hurt is.

All it takes is a whisper strategically said in your ear,
'skinny.' 'skinny.'  'skinny.'
I could feel it float away from me,
carried off by the wind.
As if a sound wave could carry an army of statements,
piled up and armed with bayonets of every decibel level,
ready and willing to siege each individual joint crack and muscle ache,
being pushed under imposed stiffness.
It will ooze out your pores, as if your fat face was an instrument amplifier.

They thrived on the thrill listening to my shrill shriek.
As I stepped on shards from my shattered glass house,
And stared into the million fractures,
each a broken reflection of the million me’s I could be.
But none of them skinny... enough,
skinny for everybody else,
but never for me.

I’d envision each day, blood drops staining my glass carpet.
Each ounce of that luscious red,
each day left my body filled with an ounce less of dread.
An ounce less to fit into a size small shirt,
and 30 inch waist Skinny jean.
My body became my own private ****** machine.

Every kid wants to be something when they grow up.
I just wanted to be happy, I mean skinny.
DEW Mar 2018
The waves undulated as if
they were the backs of 100 wriggling worms
The sky shed tears as if
a 1000 angels wept for the death of hope
black clouds roiled, sparking with fury
casting lightning down upon the mire
but below, upon the sea,
a miracle was set to transpire.

A boat rushed down and over the waves...
Back and forth,
a juggler's ball tossed and turned it appeared to be.
Yet, despite the malice,
and the seething spite of the sea,
the boat was safe
snug as can be.

And in this boat was a silent baby
his eyes stared out into the turmoil
he did not understand the frustrations of the elements
how they wished to smite him where he lay.
Despite the twisting of the boat
he did not roll, nor did water coat
his soft cheeks, his baby blanket
he passed on into sleep,
into dream he
went.

He awoke to battles raging about him
the crashing of thunder
was the desolation of a mountain
the world knew war for the first time
deaths in the billions, no pasture without crime.

He stood as a man
with bearded face
skin like the earth
armor embraced.
He realized he held a mighty weapon
it gleamed in his hands
power coursed through his veins
down to his soul
up to the heavens!
A beacon of light he seemed to be
but heir to destruction he truly was.
He did not know what power does
to the feint of heart
to the well-intentioned...
He struck the ground amidst the battle
the whole Earth shook, oh, the chattering teeth!
The mountains lumbered to form again
as if by the shovels of skyward giants!
The battle paused for the barest of moments
the awe was palpable
like a kingly feast
but the people's hearts hadn't forgotten the pain
their hate surged up, like volcanic bile
despite their peace present for a while
the massacres began again in earnest
perhaps more so than before his deed.
No one knew the power he wielded.

He still had hope, he could do something!
But what greater act was there than mending mountains?
His heart was up to good,
but his mind couldn't ground him.

"I must stop their wanton annihilation!"
He roared within himself,
"Are they not my people? Am I not their savior?"
He went to the most heated battle
struck the air with his weapon
and every person's foe was replaced by their loved ones.
The battle ceased in an instant.
Each person stared in utter disbelief.
By what power had this happened?
It was said that mountains climbed back into place,
but what could summon loved ones,
even from the grave!
The fighting ceased despite their hatred,
and the stories magnified in flavor.
Many who were hungry
for peace from the storm of violence
fed upon the hearts of those in doubt
they claimed they knew who stopped the battle
they hoped to mobilize a peace effort.
He gathered these hopeful souls
banded them together so their efforts became tenfold!
Soon enough, the stories crept across the lands
across the seas
and underground.
For once, hope had purchased ground,
but hate, when cloistered, beaten back, starved,
becomes ever more malevolent,
ever more conniving.

He did not call his people an army,
he called them the Samaritan Initiative.
They did not fight their war with weapons of battle,
they fought with hands that mend and bind,
they saved the sick and the dying,
they uplifted the oppressed and those denying.

As time passed, his efforts grew,
but someone used his deeds as currency,
mobilized the scandalous, the warmongering,
someone hated he who mended the broken...
Someone plotted his demise.

He led his Samaritans across the world
each place they touched was left whole again
and though war still did reign, rotting and true,
he did not tire to end the end.

A new beginning he hoped to create,
but whispers that he was a fraud began to sate
the ears of those whose purpose it is to doubt peace,
they sowed the malice back into the healing wounds
soon enough, his power began to abate,
therefore, rumors seemed to be true.

He grew restless when he was barred from homesteads
barred from cities,
even countries!
Somehow these echoes of forgotten civilization rose
only to defy him
and he smelled someone's stench in the air.
His weapon yearned for someone's death.
For once, it did not wish to mend, but break,
and he felt spiteful all the more.
All the adoration he had garnered
had blinded him from his true purpose.
He sought out the taint that spread its tendrils.
"Someone."
He said,
"Is ruining my... empire..."

One day, while regrowing a desolated forest with his weapon,
someone came to see him.
She smiled at him, marvelled at his work.
"Who are you?"
He wondered, suddenly charmed.
"Someone you know..."
She grinned.
He spent weeks distracted and curious about her,
what was her riddle all about
and why did he feel her in his heart?
She did not seem to threaten or scheme
in fact her presence was a dream
and he yearned after her like nothing he knew
his mission delayed
his plans askew.
Many around him questioned him saying,
"Who exactly is it with whom you're playing?"
He would blush,
"Oh, someone..."

One day,
she did not meet him at their lover's spot.
She did not appear for a week, then another.
His mind began to churn about the months.
Since when had he last sent forth his healers,
or mended cities and silenced weapons dealers?
He began to be suspicious of her
he could have summoned her with a flick of his weapon,
but he dared not discover if she really were foe,
for if he should break, what can he grow?

Eventually, she appeared again,
smiling broadly, like an old friend.
He then knew the anger that so many harbored...
Oh, the twisted things he felt by her abandon,
the sheer weight of his turmoil felt too much to bear....
So he ****** it upon her without any care.
His voice was louder than a church bell,
flashing out across the forest where they would meet.
She cried out in fear
she ran from him swift
he chased after with guilt he couldn't lift.
He found her weeping by a well
on his knees he apologized incessantly.
"How could there be darkness in you,
the mender?"
Her question struck him in all places tender.
Doubt crept into his addled mind.
His weapon's glow flickered
his conscience was blind.
Surely not now should he have such trouble?
Could it really be so simple to pop his bubble?
"I love you more than I can bear!
When you leave me,
I begin to tear."
She nodded and held him close to her.

Someone watched from shadows not far,
they saw his frailty,
like a door ajar...

The months passed and he went back to work
new cities to grow and malice to mend
people saw him more for the savior he was
even though the rumors of fallacy were abuzz.

A special time became the moment of his life worthy of note,
a marriage to the woman whose life he knew by rote.
They consummated in the night and in the day.
Time seemed to stretch on and shrink all at once.
His happiness was a thing of infectious charm,
but all that glittered soon became alarm.

Upon returning home from time spent mending the broken world,
he returned to find his home
covered in blood.
He knew whose blood coated the walls.
Bones, ground into paste, smothered pictured frames.
Flesh reduced to pulp covered the floor.
His mind fractured in no way subtle.
The light of his weapon winked out with no rebuttal.
He wept uncontrollably in fits of despair.
The world seemed cold, frozen over,
desolate of love or laughter.
"I can't bear to live."

Someone crept in through the doorway.
"It's a shame, isn't it?
No man is greater than any other,
yet no man is born equal.
No man lives without love,
but every man dies alone.
Maybe you can understand now,
why we deserve our own genocide...
Maybe now you'll let us fight to the death,
and have our peace that way!"

He looked up and,
despite the pure evil that stood before him,
he did not see that.
He saw someone lost,
someone abused,
someone desperate for truth,
any truth.
He saw someone fighting to love something,
anything.
He saw someone forgotten by loved ones
after committing acts that person was unable to avoid.
He saw a frightened being
lashing out at the world
in the hopes that the suffering would end.
He felt boundless compassion.

"I have no power left."
He said.
"No power to mend or bind.
No power worth your scorn."

"I'm going to **** you now."

"If I'm to die,
I hope my blood is enough for all who suffer."

"You're no messiah! You're just a lie we all want to believe!"

"If I was just a man...
I would have died when you killed her.
I would have hungered for torturous retribution.
But you have broken no one.
You're someone who needs to see your own suffering
out in the world
to justify the injustice dealt upon you.
But for every drop of effort you put into destroying her,
I wish you never experience my pain.
I wish to mend what drove you to break me,
so no one else may be harmed by you,
or anyone you inspire to deal death."

"No, I defeated you..."

"You tried..."

The weapon flickered.

"No, no, you can't feel love for me...
You don't have the *****."

"I have very big *****."

"You think you can love me?
After how I destroyed you!"

"If I could be destroyed,
I would already be dead!"

The weapon burst forth with light!

The killer realized they were someone foolish
Someone lost
Someone in need of healing.
For if "he" could not be broken,
surely there was hope.
If he could mend mountains
bring back loved ones and unite lost families
grow cities from the earth itself
grow forests from twigs
and deny a cold-hearted killer
the satisfaction
the honor
of seeing the fractures of a shattered soul
in blood-red, swollen, tearful eyes,
perhaps this man,
this one man,
could reveal what love is
to the killer's own famished soul.

He saw something shift in the eyes of that tortured someone.

That's when he realized...
That's when he understood.
He had the thirst for solving puzzles,
but humanity is not a machine,
it is a collection of gears
each just as vital as the whole,
for the whole does not exist without the worth
of every individual.
And to ignore an individual like this...
Someone who stood at the center of all the woe,
the evil,
and the tragedy in the world.
To ignore them would be to throw out the puzzle completely.

"May I mend you?"

Realizing they were someone facing an open door,
that person nodded.

He struck that person with his weapon.
Light flooded out as if by the sun itself.
Time seemed to stop.
People looked up in wonder of the light.
The very winds halted,
seas stilled,
nature perked up in unison.

When the light faded, he saw himself staring in a mirror.
The man in the mirror had blood-stained hands.

He stepped across the threshold and hugged himself.
His darkness hugged him back and the blood seemed to vanish.

"I forgive myself for killing her."

His darkness melted into a bulbous, gooey form and sank into him,
as if he were some kind of sponge,
leaving no trace of the darkness visibly.
He accepted within himself that he was capable of
unimaginable evil.
He accepted that he had control
and that he was responsible for the health and sickness
of the world.

Around him, the world began to shift.
In fact, it appeared to melt into liquid
and splash around him.
The liquid became clear, like the ocean.
It splashed and slid,
rocking him about.

Light flashed!

The baby awoke, curious about the world around him.
His boat had touched some distant shore.
Flecks of water spotted his cheeks and he laughed.

A couple crept up to the boat.
"I swear I heard a baby," a man said.
"You're crazy," a woman said, "Out here?"
The couple looked within the boat
and found the baby smiling at them with his
toothless, innocent smile.
The woman held a hand to her chest in awe.
She tenderly carried the baby out of the boat
and rocked it in her arms.
The baby laughed.
The man reached out.
"Not that hand!" The woman said, "You just cut yourself!"
"It's okay, no blood anymore, see?"
He pinched the baby's cheeks.
The baby touched his hand.
His **** healed in an instant!
"Woah!" The woman yelled.
Feeling for a scar where there were none,
the man stared in wonder at the child.
"Honey," he said, "This kid's got potential..."
This poem sort of came out of nowhere.
It does sit on the border between a poem and a story.
I've been fascinated by the Poetic Edda and the Iliad, how a poem could be hundreds of thousands of words long.

So here's my little poetic narrative.

Enjoy!

DEW
cosmo naught Apr 2013
On my way from you,
taking the last trip down your steps,
I slipped on ice we'd watched freeze from sheets of sleet,
from sheets of jersey cotton.

I caught myself,
but not before thinking back to that fall evening,
to the warm rain that oiled the top of the stairs across town;
back to when, on my way to you,
I left him
and lost my footing.

Grace aside, these moments
parallel in a way that fissured not bone,
but my psyche--
defining at once
this new she who sought one,
despite she who belonged to another.

Oh, the things she did say,
this foreign half of me,
as, descending your crystal-coated staircase,
she heard herself, for the last time, speak.

We had both fallen so in love with the sound of her voice.

On my way from you,
I caught myself,
and let her, broken, fall.
eli Mar 2015
Your soul was always isolated from
the world around you—from the very beginning. Time
alone was something you valued (as should we all)
but your isolation took on many forms—many
hungry shadows looming over you at all times.

A collision of iron and steel left you
immobile, and by the standards expected of
women, useless: your womb would never swell,
and you would never experience the pain of
bringing a child into this cruel world.

The fractures
and the wounds healed, but you
never recovered.

In the face of impossibility, you still
tried in desperation; leaving you in cold
unfamiliar hospital rooms, where all you
can see is an alien landscape; where all you
can think about is the reasons you are  here,
and the reasons your baby will never be.

It is a pain in your heart that leaves you gutted
like the iron handrail that embedded itself
through your ******. The bed is soaked
with your tears and your blood; it is the pain
of knowing that you will never hold a baby
who sees you as God; you will never experience
the love of a child, glowing with innocence.
written for my poetry class. had to pick an artist, pick one of their paintings, and write about it.
Elizz Jul 2018
Quaking Earth shattering Revolting
And I'm in the middle of it
My heart is at least
I didn't realize or notice that it got so big able to lumber out of my chest
I guess that's ok because I can't do anything about it
Just like I couldn't do anything about the fire rising up behind "me"
You aren't with me I don't get to hear your laugh anymore
Sprinkling down through ivy covered walls
You aren't with me
I've realized that a lot
But I also realize that when I get up in the morning
Or in most cases never going to sleep to begin with
The moon a lovely
Complicit pale lover
Never questioning me
Never worrying me
Listening when I need to talk
And instead of telling me what to do
Or telling me what I'm doing wrong
it just listens
I knew it wasn't a mistake when I fell for your pale face
It was a mistake when I started liking someone
Who's face didn't stay impressively passive when looking at me
It was a mistake to fall out of orbit
For someone who never wanted to be free
From the confines of gravity
To  come into my sky
You know sometimes
I can still see your shadow
Just out of the corner of my eye
The way your hair would fall
How your eyes would even enrapture the sun
You aren't mine anymore
But the sun still deigns to rise
And the moon still loves me
I can't get back the love and adoration
I gave you over the past five years
And as I said I still see your shadow sometimes
But you aren't mine
And that's ok
Because even though you never cared
About being the meteor that knocked me out of orbit
I still cared about you being happy
Even when it wasn't with me
Even when it isn't with me
And each day since
I've gotten off of the ground
More and more
So thanks
For the broken insecurities
For the things that I never wanted
Thanks for submerging me into a vat
Made out of stress and emotional pain
Thanks
For the new sense of orbit
And the new outlook
And that sometimes
Dreams shatter
Possibilities shatter
But that's ok
Because when they shatter
The fractures
Lead to new doors
really really old four years at best
Cam Nov 2018
Life changes,
Filling with
Fractures
That tear down
Once perfect
Childhood memories
complexity
is your beauty
simplicity
your mystery
interdependence
sustains you

once upon a time
we dipped bowls
into your waters
and brought up
draughts of life

now
Skipjacks go
fathoms deep
into endless
depletion

charting
entangled
dead zones
broadening
into a sea of
inertness

your delicate
eco-essence tips
toward oblivion

effluvia farmers
layer mechanized
blankets of
nitrates on your
sunset shores
weaving
green tendrils
of algae blooms
strangling the
entanglements
of all links in
your miraculous
food chain

the EPA
proscribes
a Jenny Craig
pollution diet
to halt the
slaughter in
oxygen
challenged
dead zones
where rockfish
are garroted,
oysters get drilled
by screwworms
and azure tinted
soft shell *****
dance soft
shoe taps
lifting a tinny
chorus of sad
Piedmont Blues

the flat-lining
watersheds
voiceless
warnings
tremble
rocking the
purged nests of
screaming ospreys
in vocal protest
of a sinking
Tangier Isle
anointing it’s
tombstones
of unvisited
cemeteries with
multicolored
guano

fitting
alkaline
tributes
to the lost
inhabitants
and forgotten
languages
sinking into the
brine of gray
brackish tides

Delmarva’s fine
intra-continental
balance skewed
by the oozing
industrial swill
of Frank Perdue
chicken farms
ruling the roost of
sanctioned sustainability
tinging clear watersheds
of finger lakes
set in splints to
repair dislocations
and complex
compound fractures
that may never heal
again

Music Selection:
Taj Mahal: Fishin Blues

jbm
Oakland
6/7/12
ethan gaskill Nov 2018
a million tiny heartbreaks
"heart fractures"
my doctor corrects me
Brian Gibson Jun 2014
"It is not our place
to mend someone's
shattered heart

but rather,

run our fingers
down every last
fracture and love
like it never
shattered at all."
Anna Skinner Mar 2019
We sat with a pair of burgers between us,
the Purdue game muted on the big screen.
We talked about high school and
Friday night football and
health insurance and
what it feels like to get hit by a car --
our first date, just five years removed.

You have abstract works painted like satin
in your skin
like scars
in your skin
like memories
like nightmares
like “I wish I would have’s…”

I tease you gently;
you beg me not to work so much
You frown at your plate
swirl your fries in ketchup and
in this, I see fragments of the old you.

I ask if you’re going to church tomorrow,
and you reflect the question
like it’s a challenge
like belief is always shaped with doubt
like even when there’s faith, voices still waiver.

There are still tiny fractures
in your bones
in your voice
in our memories.

There are still raindrops in your eyes
when we talk about high school and
Friday night football and
health insurance and
what it feels like to get hit by a car.

There are still scars in your skin
in your mind
in my heart --
Our first date, just five years removed
James Amick Jul 2013
He lives in a time of plague.

The tag team of cholera and dedication killed his father, for all Dr. Juvenal Urbino knows, his father was faithful to both work and love.

The good doctor knew from an early age that his work would be his love, and from a slightly less tender age he discovered that his love of flesh and the body ran deeper than mere science could take him.

He met Fermina Daza in the doorway between clinical curiosity and obsession over her doe’s gait, and as he walked through his heart made room for a new kind of dedication.

He thought his devotion would be equally as precise as his practice.

Fifteen or so years of marriage, between years in Paris they bled together like a Van Gogh after a rainshower, the intricacies of their companionship were jointly held in a contractual cradle, but neither of them felt obligated.

Dr. Urbino was before my time, but my story will know the life of Carlos Mucharraz, Pre-Med major, they both dedicate themselves to their love. I’ve never seen her, but I can imagine Carlos likens her gait to that of a doe. He fawns over her from 17 hours away, for nearly a year.

Like a Texas dust devil, he sends his love through the air to Minneapolis to brighten her phone screen and her day.

They’ve only ever spent time together twice.

I’d like to think of his devotion like a boulder, immovable, but twisters slither across prairies as wicked winds push them towards seas of lust, but I’d like to think his love flew above turbulent skies.

I thought Dr. Urbino as a rock.

He must have thought of his fidelity as a disease. His father died fighting cholera, and Urbino would not let his affliction of faithfulness **** him. He thought himself ill, and the mantra of his practice taught him one thing only: cure.

In a slum of San Juan de la Cienaga, pants around his ankles, holding a mulatto girl’s legs around his waist, he crumbled like stale bread as he plunged himself into infidelity.

This man of granite broke and fragmented, his sin etched a crooked cobweb of fractures into his back, I wonder if the beads of sweat stung his spine, or dulled the pain.

But maybe I should put my faith in dust devils.

Humans may be able to shatter the hardest stone, but no one commands the sky, for it straddles North and South, East and West, Fort Worth and Minneapolis.
SS Feb 2015
you don't really understand until you wake up with that ache under your ribs that tells you you shouldn't be breathing
PrttyBrd Dec 2018


shackled to a notion
rubbing through wrists
in rusted remains
of beautifully easy

it's a slow bleed
through insults slung
in fear the unmaliciois
only noticed in hindsight

calling the innocent a *****
doesn't breed hate from love
the duke-yeilding cowardly lion
flings back like a monkey


##

breaststroking a marathon in tears
wading through pain I never caused
pelted with double-barrelled denial
THIS IS NOT WEAKNESS

there is no waver on my solid ground
torn flesh and compound fractures
cannot break harder than history

still, gavel strikes
in sucker punched cracked ribs
that look like a past that ain't mine

###

keep hacking off pieces
maybe I'll fit into those pretty boxes
your liars left as gifts
nasty reminders that trust has sharp teeth

maybe that's just you
biting back any hand that gets too close
pandering in placating platitudes
ain't my bag

flattery fails to flounce from unfettered friends


####

can't be beat into submission
with unspoken broken rules
can't run from a truth in plain view

this is what it looks like
to believe what you know over
what you've lived

I'm not running
I'm not biting back
I'm not going anywhere

then again, why would I
I'm not the one afraid to love you




https://soundcloud.com/user-166761247/a-fourth-in-time-to-cracked-selections-of-music
122518
205w
Cíara McNamara Jun 2015
The walls came tumbling down,
as if a wrecking ball
had broken up that brick and mortar
displacing it, from its position.

Really the crack formulated
several years ago,
and in honest truth
was no bigger than hair.

Ah, but this crack was placed
within the foundation,
and as you walked away
so did its disposition.
lila Apr 2019
it started off innocent enough
i heard the jokes
stage whispered into eager ears
and the muffled laughter
that inevitably follows
i felt every syllable
claw their way down my throat
i’ve been trying to reach them ever since

i admit this to you
in a body that buries bones
the dull corners not enough
to trigger your concern
no one looks at me and sees empty

seventh grade, twelve years old
i began skipping lunch
because i didn’t need it anyway
4 years later and
i guess i still don’t
this was my first venture
into restriction fueled by insecurity
because with a body like this
no one could ever love me

it’s so easy to say
i already ate
if i word it just right
no one asks questions when i disguise
my madness as magic
step right up! come and see
this body, the greatest freak show on earth
and i’ve mastered every trick in the book
so easy it is now
to conceal the dark magic
while i showcase the light

watch!
i’ll swallow blades and fire
and nothing else
i’ll regurgitate miles of handkerchiefs
in front of your very eyes
so you don’t notice what comes up after

the slight of hand
was the hardest to master
but now i perform it with ease
i can make this food disappear
before you even notice it was there
palm it in my hand
hide it in my napkin
bury it in the trash
where you'll never see it again
aren't you mystified by the unknown?

nothing can beat my greatest trick of all
a necromantic resurrection
of a dead thing
a zombie now walks
among the living
the parasite finally killed the body
it possessed

it latched onto my brain
thrived on my detriment
took and took and took
until there was nothing left of me
i was consumed by something
that was consuming me
this thing
that i've grasped onto for control
has grasped onto me
i've been reduced to nothing more
than my efforts to reduce myself
the parasite becomes the host

i heard the comments
and took them as compliments
gasoline poured onto an open flame
that i can't seem to put out
i thought this fire would extinguish
as the comments morphed to concerns
but that only made it burn brighter
and i'm not sure
how much longer
i can take this heat
shattered porcelain is still beautiful right?

piece me back together
but i'll never be the same
spiderweb fractures across
fragile skin may never fade
but maybe weeds
can still sprout through
i can paint daisy chains across my scars
and roses in the hollows of my collarbones
wildflowers grow
from the inside out
through the cracks in my flesh
and in the valleys between each rib
slow and steady
up my throat until i choke
but that's okay because
at least it wasn't food
i'll swallow bouquets
to keep my starvation in full bloom

the rumble in my stomach
became my favorite song
a national anthem
for a living hell
that brings life to these monsters
if you are what you eat
maybe i can be nothing

i dance around the word "anorexia"
like it's cursed
because i can't seem to admit
that this disease
has devoured my mind
and made every one of my thoughts its own
so i dress my words
in pretty metaphors
and tie beautiful syllables
around my sickness like a bow

but there's nothing beautiful about
hair that falls out when it's touched
and a body racked with chills
in a warm room
there's nothing beautiful about
losing everything
that matters most to you
friends, family
even the ability to have children
there's nothing beautiful
about ***** on your hair
and on your clothes
blood dripping from your nose
or that ache that lies
deep in your brittle bones

this disease is not beautiful
broken isn't beautiful
but darling
you are
4/22/2019

— The End —