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preservationman Mar 2017
It was always 1907 Freight car
The Hobo would fall asleep in a freight car yard
Having no place to actually live
But a good heart that wants to give
However, the Hobo happens to be a noun and not an adjective
It was the Holy Smoke Freight yard that caught the Hobo’s attention
But this Hobo’s story is his own presentation
A Hobo broke and having no job
Negative reactions feeling like a mob
The Hobo once had a home
But he was yet all alone
The only thing he would do at this point was to continue to roam
The Hobo was one who always loved to travel
The thought of the entire United States with inspiration in captivation of marvel
So one freight car became the Hobo’s personal home
He travelled everywhere and got rest beyond compare
The Hobo travelled far
He got around without a car
The freight train would normally stop in a town or a nearby city
But numerous people had no pity
However, the Hobo didn’t pity himself
He refused to be like everybody else
He lived and rode the freight train as if it would be a lifetime
But the freight car was the Hobo’s space
A freight train having no problem with the Hobo ride
The Hobo lived his life in being his stride.
T Oct 2019
I said I am moving like a freight train....but I am trying not to go insane
Although I am in so much pain...I am still moving like a freight train
My love for her is so intense......I sit and to all of it I try to make sense
But I am still moving like a freight train .....trying to keep from giving insane
The pain I am in cuz I miss her so much.......and with reality I still lose touch
But I am still moving like a freight train.....maybe I am better off taking a jet plane.
This woman and the world I try to live in.....they are both always in my head.....and always remind me where I have been
But here I am still moving like a freight train.......but I am still trying to keep from going insane..
Everyday and night my life has got me going from left to right.....I keep falling but I won't stay down.....I refuse to walk through it always wearing this frown
But again here I am moving like a freight train...and trying to no end to keep from going insane
......(talk ) as long as this train keeps going strong ..I will always remember right from wrong
Because I am moving like a freight train.....and who knows if I will ever go insane.
# yes o do believe
preservationman Aug 2014
A freight train just sitting in the yard
Yet from a hill it could be seen from the courtyard
A young boy who marveled trains
It was his heart being sustained
The boy stepped down from the hill
His Sister told him to keep still
But he was determined at his will
The boy looked into one of the freight cars
The freight train was preparing to depart, and it was going to be far
The boy smelled the scent of bananas in the freight car
As the boy entered in
The freight train pulled out on the signal of when
The freight train door closed and tracked the boy
The train then pulled off
The boy thought, “He was alone”
But was he?
He peeked through the train’s open hatch
He saw churches in the distance along the way
There were many words in thought he could say
But the freight train was still moving astray
Well the word got out that a boy was trapped on the train
The train was stopped at Buzzards Point, a small rail yard
The Engineer was told there is a boy aboard
There were 20 freight cars
Luckily in the fifth freighter car was opened up, it was the boy standing
The boy was asked by one of the rail yard workers, “You felt funny in the freighter being alone”
The boy replied, “I wasn’t exactly alone”
Even though physically you are alone, but spiritually, there is always
a Guardian Angel that helps you see time.
Left Foot Poet Aug 2017
<•>

the freight of fright (one by one)

you don't see them often
out east,
the coupled cars of trains,
so long, one single train, touching,
two borders of one middle-of-the-country-state,
simultaneous

that said,
rode those couplers once or twice,
even now, sitting free fared on uncut lengths of rebar,
quiet humming on my knees, Clapton's Layla,
heading to a city that claims need for another skyscraper

but the freight train I ride and rode a million passenger miles,
so many miles, I ride now gold free for life,
that of course,
a curse,
an ironic joke
on me

the freight of fright,
of waking up tired,
after just having falling asleep
worthy of only short story nightmares,
alligator eaten dreams,
running from and to
the silver bullet band's lullaby;

"running against the wind,
a young man,
running against the wind"


this train, all mind mine,
don't carry no commodities,
no cars or washing machines,
its load is men, mostly me,
carrying grades of fright,
adding on and up a few more rail cars,
in strange cities,
different chemical formulas
but all prime fright, fear,
of waking up, still breathing

guess I can quit here,
no excuse making time to make a tome,
fright comes in small measures,
coupled together, this train,
this tracked, cracked dry riverbed
of a train,
and it goes on bye,
one by one


12:57am
could be Monday, maybe, or Tuesday, too.
JB Claywell Apr 2016
In her leggings,
and her striped
Cape Cod dress,
we meet Kim.

She’s in possession
of ankles the circumference
of Kennedy half-dollars,
a wasp’s nest of black curls
piled on her head,
she’s a straight line
from shoulder to heel.

She’s a real catch, Kim is,
and she knows it.

She has no idea that
she looks like a peacock
dipped in motor oil,

she’s giving ol’ Josh
the goldfish eye.

We’re all here to see The Freight Train,
The Rabbit Killer, but Kim’s hoping
for more.

Kim’s looking to get her
bunny stuffed, she
don’t care much about who
does the stuffing,

but she’s hoping for Mr. Clark,
he’s her mark, no doubt.

Now, Josh bought Kim
a beer, but was asked to
leave the cap on,

He looks at me, confused.
“It’s so you can’t Rufie her.
She wants to *******, but
she wants it to be her idea.”

Josh nods;
so does Kim.

As the evening proceeds,
and we’ve all done
“The Freight Train Boogie”
it’s become increasingly
obvious to Kim that Josh
is not agreeable to buttering
her biscuits, she moves,
which is to say stumbles,

around the room.

Every so often she’ll climb onto
the lap of some guy she’s known,
biblically or otherwise, before.

Sam, Bob, Steve, Ralph, or Charlie,
it hardly matters.

Earlier, she’d told us about
the 6-year-old twins,
the teenaged daughter
at home, ex-husband,
boyfriend, whatever, in jail.

The Freight Train moves ever
onward, but I’ve seen too
much of ol’ Kimmy’s show,
now depressed, it’s time
to bail.

*

-JBClaywell

©P&ZPublications; 2016
There is a band, locally, that is called Freight Train Rabbit Killer. They are astounding.  The first time Josh and I saw them, we left the venue and vowed to see them play as often as we were able.  This poem is set in a tavern that housed the second time that I’d been able to see them play live. Sadly, both Josh and I left early this time around. Kim’s dealings with Josh and some of the other guys in the audience was pretty intense and really hollowing. I hope she finds what she’s looking for.
Terry O'Leary Sep 2013
NOTE TO THE READER – Once Apun a Time

This yarn is a flossy fabric woven of several earlier warped works, lightly laced together, adorned with fur-ther braided tails of human frailty. The looms were loosed, purling frantically this febrile fable...

Some pearls may be found wanting – unwanted or unwonted – piled or hanging loose, dangling free within a fuzzy flight of fancy...

The threads of this untethered tissue may be fastened, or be forgotten, or else be stranded by the readers and left unravelling in the knotted corners of their minds...

'twill be perchance that some may  laugh or loll in loopy stitches, else be torn or ripped apart, while others might just simply say “ ’tis made of hole cloth”, “sew what” or “cant seam to get the needle point”...,

yes, a proper disentanglement may take you for a spin on twisted twines of any strings you feel might need attaching or detaching…

picking knits, some may think that
    such strange things ‘have Never happened in our Land’,
    such quaint things ‘could Never happen in our Land’’,
    such murky things ‘will Never happen in our Land’’…

and this may all be true, if credence be dis-carded…

such is that gooey gossamer which vails the human mind...

and thus was born the teasing title of this fabricated Fantasy...

                                NEVER LAND

An ancient man named Peter Pan, disguised but from the past,
with feathered cap and tunic wrap and sabre’s sailed his last.
Though fully grown, on dust he’s flown and perched upon a mast
atop the Walls around the sprawls, unvisited and vast -
and all the while with bitter smile he’s watching us aghast.

As day begins, a spindle spins, it weaves a wanton web;
like puckered prunes, like midday moons, like yesterday’s celebs,
we scrape and *****, we seldom hope - he watches while we ebb:

    The ***** grinder preaches fine on Sunday afternoons -
    he quotes from books but overlooks the Secrets Carved in Runes:
    “You’ve tried and toyed, but can’t avoid or shun the pale monsoons,
    it’s sink or swim as echoed dim in swinging door saloons”.
    The laughingstocks are flinging rocks at ball-and-chained baboons.

    While ghetto boys are looting toys preparing for their doom
    and Mademoiselles are weaving shells on tapestries with looms,
    Cathedral cats and rafter rats are peering in the room,
    where ragged strangers stoop for change, for coppers in the gloom,
    whose thoughts are more upon the doors of crypts in Christmas bloom,
    and gold doubloons and silver spoons that tempt beyond the tomb.

    Mid *** shots from vacant lots, that strike and ricochet
    a painted girl with flaxen curl (named Wendy)’s on her way
    to tantalise with half-clad thighs, to trick again today;
    and indiscreet upon the street she gives her pride away
    to any guy who’s passing by with time and cash to pay.
    (In concert halls beyond the Walls, unjaded girls ballet,
    with flowered thoughts of Camelot and dreams of cabarets.)

    Though rip-off shops and crooked cops are paid not once but thrice,
    the painted girl with flaxen curl is paring down her price
    and loosely tempts cold hands unkempt to touch the merchandise.
    A crazy guy cries “where am I”, a ****** titters twice,
    and double quick a lunatic affects a fight with lice.

    The alleyways within the maze are paved with rats and mice.
    Evangelists with moneyed fists collect the sacrifice
    from losers scorned and rubes reborn, and promise paradise,
    while in the back they cook some crack, inhale, and roll the dice.

    A *** called Boe has stubbed his toe, he’s stumbled in the gutter;
    with broken neck, he looks a wreck, the sparrows all aflutter,
    the passers-by, they close an eye, and turn their heads and mutter:
    “Let’s pray for rains to wash the lanes, to clear away the clutter.”
    A river slows neath mountain snows, and leaves begin to shudder.

    The jungle teems, a siren screams, the air is filled with ****.
    The Reverent Priest and nuns unleash the Holy Shibboleth.
    And Righteous Jane who is insane, as well as Sister Beth,
    while telling tales to no avail of everlasting death,
    at least imbrue Hagg Avenue with whisky on their breath.

    The Reverent Priest combats the Beast, they’re kneeling down to prey,
    to fight the truth with fang and tooth, to toil for yesterday,
    to etch their mark within the dark, to paint their résumé
    on shrouds and sheets which then completes the devil’s dossier.

    Old Dan, he’s drunk and in a funk, all mired in the mud.
    A Monk begins to wash Dan’s sins, and asks “How are you, Bud?”
    “I’m feeling pain and crying rain and flailing in the flood
    and no god’s there inclined to care I’m always coughing blood.”
    The Monk, he turns, Dan’s words he spurns and lets the bible thud.

    Well, Banjo Boy, he will annoy with jangled rhymes that fray:
    “The clanging bells of carousels lead blind men’s minds astray
    to rings of gold they’ll never hold in fingers made of clay.
    But crest and crown will crumble down, when withered roots decay.”

    A pregnant lass with eyes of glass has never learned to cope.
    Once set adrift her fall was swift, she slid a slipp’ry ***** -
    she casts the Curse, the Holy Verse, and shoots a shot of dope,
    then stalks discreet Asylum Street her daily horoscope -
    the stray was struck by random truck which was her only hope.

    So Banjo Boy, with little joy, he strums her life entire:
    “The wayward waif was never safe; her stars were dark and dire.
    Born midst the rues and avenues where lack and want aspire
    where no one heeds the childish needs that little ones require;
    where faith survives in tempest lives, a swirl within the briar,
    Infinity grinds as time unwinds, until the winds expire.
    Her last caprice? The final peace that no one could deny her -
    whipped by the flood, stray beads of blood cling, splattered on the spire;
    though beads of sweat are cool and wet, cold clotted blood is dryer.”

    Though broken there, she’s fled the snare with dying thoughts serene.
    And now she’s dead, the rumours spread: her age? a sweet 16,
    with child, *****, her soul dyed red, her body so unclean.
    A place is sought where she can rot, avoiding churchyard scenes,
    in limey pits, as well befits, behind forbidding screens;
    and all the while a dirge is styled on tattered tambourines
    which echo through the human zoo in valleys of the Queens.

    Without rejoice, in hissing voice, near soil that’s seldom trod
    “In pious role, God bless my soul”, was mouthed with mitred nod,
    neath scarlet trim with black, and grim, behind a robed facade -
    “She’ll burn in hell and sulphur smell”, spat Priest and man of god.

    Well, angels sweet with cloven feet, they sing in girl’s attire,
    but Banjo Boy, he’s playing coy while chanting in the choir:
    “The clueless search within the church to find what they desire,
    but near the nave or gravelled grave, there is no Rectifier.”
    And when he’s through, without ado, he stacks some stones nearby her.

The eyes behind the head inclined reflect a universe
of shanty towns and kings in crowns and parties in a hearse,
of heaping mounds of coffee grounds and pennies in a purse,
of heart attacks in shoddy shacks, of motion in reverse,
of reasons why pale kids must die, quite trite and curtly terse,
of puppet people at the steeple, kneeling down averse,
of ****** tones and megaphones with empty words and worse,
of life’s begin’ in utter sin and other things perverse,
of lewd taboos and residues contained within the Curse,
while poets blind, in gallows’ rind, carve epitaphs in verse.

    A sodden dreg with wooden leg is dancing for a dime
    to sacred psalms and other balms, all ticking with the time.
    He’s 22, he’s almost through, he’s melted in his prime,
    his bane is firm, the canker worm dissolves his brain to slime.
    With slanted scales and twisted jails, his life’s his only crime.

    A beggar clump beside a dump has pencil box in hand.
    With sightless eyes upon the skies he’s lying there unmanned,
    with no relief and bitter grief too dark to understand.
    The backyard blight is hid from sight, it’s covered up and bland,
    and Robin Hood and Brother Hood lie buried in the sand.

    While all night queens carve figurines in gelatine and jade,
    behind a door and on the floor a deal is finally made;
    the painted girl with flaxen curl has plied again her trade
    and now the care within her stare has turned a darker shade.
    Her lack of guile and parting smile are cutting like a blade.

    Some boys with cheek play hide and seek within a house condemned,
    their faces gaunt reflecting want that’s hard to comprehend.
    With no excuse an old recluse is waiting to descend.
    His eyes despair behind the stare, he’s never had a friend
    to talk about his hidden doubt of how the world will end -
    to die alone on empty throne and other Fates impend.

    And soon the boys chase phantom joys and, presto when they’re gone,
    the old recluse, with nimble noose and ****** features drawn,
    no longer waits upon the Fates but yawns his final yawn
    - like Tinker Bell, he spins a spell, in fairy dust chiffon -
    with twisted brow, he’s tranquil now, he’s floating like a swan
    and as he fades from life’s charades, the night awaits the dawn.

    A boomerang with ebon fang is soaring through the air
    to pierce and breach the heart of each and then is called despair.
    And as it grows it will oppose and fester everywhere.
    And yet the crop that’s at the top will still be unaware.

    A lad is stopped by roving cops, who shoot in disregard.
    His face is black, he’s on his back, a breeze is breathing hard,
    he bleeds and dies, his mama cries, the screaming sky is scarred,
    the sheriff and his squad at hand are laughing in the yard.

    Now Railroad Bob’s done lost his job, he’s got no place for working,
    His wife, she cries with desperate eyes, their baby’s head’s a’ jerking.
    The union man don’t give a ****, Big Brother lies a’ lurking,
    the boss’ in cabs are picking scabs, they count their money, smirking.

    Bob walks the streets and begs for eats or little jobs for trying
    “the answer’s no, you ought to know, no use for you applying,
    and don’t be sad, it aint that bad, it’s soon your time for dying.”
    The air is thick, his baby’s sick, the cries are multiplying.

    Bob’s wife’s in town, she’s broken down, she’s ranting with a fury,
    their baby coughs, the doctor scoffs, the snow flies all a’ flurry.
    Hard work’s the sin that’s done them in, they skirmish, scrimp and scurry,
    and midnight dreams abound with screams. Bob knows he needs to hurry.
    It’s getting late, Bob’s tempting fate, his choices cruel and blurry;
    he chooses gas, they breathe their last, there’s no more cause to worry.

    Per protocols near ivied walls arrayed in sage festoons,
    the Countess quips, while giving tips, to crimson caped buffoons:
    “To rise from mass to upper class, like twirly bird tycoons,
    you stretch the treat you always eat, with tiny tablespoons”

    A learned leach begins to teach (with songs upon a liar):
    “Within the thrall of Satan’s call to yield to dim desire
    lie wicked lies that tantalize the flesh and blood Vampire;
    abiding souls with self-control in everyday Hellfire
    will rest assured, when once interred, in afterlife’s Empire”.
    These words reweave the make believe, while slugs in salt expire,
    baptised in tears and rampant fears, all mirrored in the mire.

    It’s getting hot on private yachts, though far from desert plains -
    “Well, come to think, we’ll have a drink”, Sir Captain Hook ordains.
    Beyond the blame and pit of shame, outside the Walled domains,
    they pet their pups and raise their cups, take sips of pale champagnes
    to touch the tips of languid lips with pearls of purple rains.

    Well, Gypsy Guy would rather die than hunker down in chains,
    be ridden south with bit in mouth, or heed the hold of reins.
    The ruling lot are in a spot, the boss man he complains:
    “The gypsies’ soul, I can’t control, my patience wears and wanes;
    they will not cede to common greed, which conquers far domains
    and furtive spies and news that lies have barely baked their brains.
    But in the court of last resort the final fix remains:
    in boxcar bins with violins we’ll freight them out in trains
    and in the bogs, they’ll die like dogs, and everybody gains
    (should one ask why, a quick reply: ‘It’s that which God ordains!’)”

    Arrayed in shawls with crystal *****, and gazing at the moons,
    wiled women tease with melodies and spooky loony tunes
    while making toasts to holey ghosts on rainy day lagoons:
    “Well, here’s to you and others too, embedded in the dunes,
zebra Jun 2017
she loved thunder storms most of all
the crackle of white hot bolts ripping through the sky
the sheer immensity of power
she always thought it was him
her beloved God
big boy
Thor
with his flowing blond hair
blue aquatic eyes
washboard stomach
and delicately curved *****
finally a man good enough for her
even if he was fly by night

when the heavens thickened gray
like soggy cotton
she could feel atmospheres shift
it made her ******* pert
her mouth would salivate
like a lurid peach
her ***** swelled and dampened
tears of adoration and enchantment
filled her eyes

no longer able to contain her self
she would strip naked
fling off her *******
and run out to the lush verdant meadows
calling at the top of her lungs
yoooooooooo hooooooooooo

as the cool rain descended
she ran thrilled to the mud between her toes
seeing great claws of white lightening  echo
through the sky

without hesitation
she fell to the cool earth beneath her
wallowing in the delicious sloshing ooze
positioning her self on all fours
head thrown back
*** up high
calling to the heavens
come on, come on big boy
ive been waiting for you
let me have it good
her clitoral lips
drooled with anticipation
her ******
a pulsating aching

the sky rumbled
with stretching streaks of fire
like a great freight train
spanning infinity
while the earth shook like a
hollow moon
she swayed her hips
rhythmically to and fro
whispering a love song

oh sir
i need a man like you
wont you love me
adorations true

i kneel before
my sweet Lord Thor
where's that hammer
come on and score

you are so big
and im so little
how about it God
just a tickle

hit it now
give it to me good
kisses baby
like only you could


tears of desire cascaded
down her pink cheeks
as she recited her love mantra
her mouth naked wet

suddenly
a great bolt of lightening
shot down from heavens throne
entering her ******
splitting her in flames
her head turned dark mahogany
sent careening fifty yards
leaving her mouth
a yawning twisted smudge
of fossilized obsidian
with eyes
blackened flaring hollows

her tender pink ****
a charred flower
smoldering
like a
petite
grilled
calamari
1765

That Love is all there is,
Is all we know of Love;
It is enough, the freight should be
Proportioned to the groove.
fearfulpoet Aug 2018
school starts soon
smoking joints on the weekday afternoon

in a sidelined shady
freight car, property of
Norfolk Southern

debating if this car will be
northbound or southbound
and master-bating our fantasy
where we want to be taken

knowing full well maybe one of us -
(and they all looking at me)

will get out of this car and live to
see foreign places without having to
return in a body bag

we argue lazy who should go get the beer,
collect the quarters and sweaty dollar bills
and **** if I am not reappointed
leader of the beer fetching

besides it’s my
tan lab panting needing water so it’s my
responsibility and the nasty liquor store owner don’t hate me that much as the others so he’ll sell me beer without too much **** talk (some for sure)

asking where I’m laying low on a **** hot day like this one

tell him i’m getting on a train getting out of this two bit town which makes him reminisce and ask which direction

could be northbound could be southbound
hell could be west
but for sure won’t be
going eastbound

cause I seen the Atlantic and didn’t like it

too **** big and too **** cold,
too **** mean
ryn Sep 2014
Doom train hurtling along
Through the fog in my mind
Towing freight, rectangular and oblong
Dim headlights, you're travelling blind

Five carriages long, excluding engine and caboose
Metal against metal, spitting sparks on steel
Undetermined path, rails will choose
Chugging along on dirt covered wheels

In the cabin, I see the light
Emanating from your furnace
Swallowing up coals in your gaping bite
Tongues of flames licking the surface

Fire breathing, spewing thick black smoke
Almost unseen, against the dark of night
A long plumy arm as if extending to choke
And plug the remaining sources of light

Meandering precariously on tracks that weave
Over uncharted, unfathomable terrain
Your store, so reliably you heave
Worming your way through my brain

What's in that cargo of yours?
What lies within those boxcars?
What drives you to diligently run your course?
What fuels you to travel near and far?

Loads of self pity, self loathing and self reproach
Snaking your way to an unknown destination
Screeching brakes as if a stop you approach
Herald the train of dubious intentions

Light is upon you, dark will dissipate
Your plumes starting to lessen from your stack
The dawn breaking horizon you didn't anticipate
To see another charging towards you on this very same track...
See "Light Train"
See "Collision Course"
Juhlhaus Apr 2019
Fingers on the rails can feel
The pulse of steel and diesel engines,
The muscle and sinew of a continent.
Ten thousand horses throb the air
And bear down on a mile of freight.
It rolls by like thunder
Under a clear blue sky, stirs the soul
With memories of lonely whistles
In the night, a desert wind, mystery lights;
When little fingers at the open window
First felt the pulse of steel and diesel,
A million iron miles ago.
For my father who loved trains from childhood and worked forty years on the railroad, traveling approximately five million miles by rail during his career.
ryn Sep 2014
Light train chugging, working to outrun
Over exerting, pulling along your freight
Sand is running out under the diminishing sun
Fastidiously you tug on your enormous weight

Segmented equal in seven hulking proportions
Weaving between sleeping rocky giants
Assertion in your drive gifted from the high heavens
Borne of light your cargo load of tenants

Silver blurred rays glinting back as reply
As you power your way through
Defying seconds, before the last rays should die
Against odds, delivering what is due

Questing to alleviate my inflicted darkness
Spear of brilliance slicing through my mind
Illuminating the farthest and tiniest of crevices
Nook and crannies that willed me blind

Careful manoeuvring to keep your balance
Through scenic views fraught with treachery
Furiously working to keep your cadence
Hopeful of unloading the load you carry

What lies dormant in that cargo of yours?
What sleeps easy within those boxcars?
What stokes the fire to diligently run your course?
What promises you bear, travelling near and far?

Bales of hope and crates of strength
Supplies of kindness and self-worth
Reside within your immense length
Intact and lay quiet within your formidable girth

Reliant on the light that fuels and feeds
Your axles seem tireless guiding forth those wheels
Thundering over land with the power of a thousand steeds
Armed to your teeth with alloys and steels

Expelling grit and dirt as you pummelled across
Grey-white fumes, shoot up to the sky
Flag flogged by wind, billow and toss
Blaring your whistle as you race on by

Propelling forward, horizon up ahead
There it is...in all its tenebrous glory
Darkened locomotive seething mad with dread
Brace for the clash and the loads the two carry
See "Doom Train"
See "Collision Course"
Timothy Oct 2012
Abbreviated to my favourite parts.

Strong Son of God, immortal Love,
Whom we, that have not seen thy face,
By faith, and faith alone, embrace,
Believing where we cannot prove;


Thine are these orbs of light and shade;
Thou madest Life in man and brute;
Thou madest Death; and lo, thy foot
Is on the skull which thou hast made.


Thou wilt not leave us in the dust:
Thou madest man, he knows not why,
He thinks he was not made to die;
And thou hast made him: thou art just.


Thou seemest human and divine,
The highest, holiest manhood, thou.
Our wills are ours, we know not how;
Our wills are ours, to make them thine.


Our little systems have their day;
They have their day and cease to be:
They are but broken lights of thee,
And thou, O Lord, art more than they.


We have but faith: we cannot know;
For knowledge is of things we see
And yet we trust it comes from thee,
A beam in darkness: let it grow.


Let knowledge grow from more to more,
But more of reverence in us dwell;
That mind and soul, according well,
May make one music as before,


But vaster. We are fools and slight;
We mock thee when we do not fear:
But help thy foolish ones to bear;
Help thy vain worlds to bear thy light.


Forgive what seem'd my sin in me;
What seem'd my worth since I began;
For merit lives from man to man,
And not from man, O Lord, to thee.


Forgive my grief for one removed,
Thy creature, whom I found so fair.
I trust he lives in thee, and there
I find him worthier to be loved.


Forgive these wild and wandering cries,
Confusions of a wasted youth;
Forgive them where they fail in truth,
And in thy wisdom make me wise.


1849.


I
I held it truth, with him who sings
To one clear harp in divers tones,
That men may rise on stepping-stones
Of their dead selves to higher things.


But who shall so forecast the years
And find in loss a gain to match?
Or reach a hand thro' time to catch
The far-off interest of tears?


Let Love clasp Grief lest both be drown'd,
Let darkness keep her raven gloss:
Ah, sweeter to be drunk with loss,
To dance with death, to beat the ground,


Than that the victor Hours should scorn
The long result of love, and boast,
'Behold the man that loved and lost,
But all he was is overworn.'


II
Old Yew, which graspest at the stones
That name the under-lying dead,
Thy fibres net the dreamless head,
Thy roots are wrapt about the bones.


The seasons bring the flower again,
And bring the firstling to the flock;
And in the dusk of thee, the clock
Beats out the little lives of men.


O, not for thee the glow, the bloom,
Who changest not in any gale,
Nor branding summer suns avail
To touch thy thousand years of gloom:


And gazing on thee, sullen tree,
Sick for thy stubborn hardihood,
I seem to fail from out my blood
And grow incorporate into thee.


III
O Sorrow, cruel fellowship,
O Priestess in the vaults of Death,
O sweet and bitter in a breath,
What whispers from thy lying lip?


'The stars,' she whispers, 'blindly run;
A web is wov'n across the sky;
From out waste places comes a cry,
And murmurs from the dying sun:


'And all the phantom, Nature, stands—
With all the music in her tone,
A hollow echo of my own,—
A hollow form with empty hands.'


And shall I take a thing so blind,
Embrace her as my natural good;
Or crush her, like a vice of blood,
Upon the threshold of the mind?


VII
Dark house, by which once more I stand
Here in the long unlovely street,
Doors, where my heart was used to beat
So quickly, waiting for a hand,


A hand that can be clasp'd no more—
Behold me, for I cannot sleep,
And like a guilty thing I creep
At earliest morning to the door.


He is not here; but far away
The noise of life begins again,
And ghastly thro' the drizzling rain
On the bald street breaks the blank day.


X
I hear the noise about thy keel;
I hear the bell struck in the night:
I see the cabin-window bright;
I see the sailor at the wheel.


Thou bring'st the sailor to his wife,
And travell'd men from foreign lands;
And letters unto trembling hands;
And, thy dark freight, a vanish'd life.


So bring him; we have idle dreams:
This look of quiet flatters thus
Our home-bred fancies. O to us,
The fools of habit, sweeter seems


To rest beneath the clover sod,
That takes the sunshine and the rains,
Or where the kneeling hamlet drains
The chalice of the grapes of God;


Than if with thee the roaring wells
Should gulf him fathom-deep in brine;
And hands so often clasp'd in mine,
Should toss with tangle and with shells.

    
XV
To-night the winds begin to rise
And roar from yonder dropping day:
The last red leaf is whirl'd away,
The rooks are blown about the skies;


The forest crack'd, the waters curl'd,
The cattle huddled on the lea;
And wildly dash'd on tower and tree
The sunbeam strikes along the world:


And but for fancies, which aver
That all thy motions gently pass
Athwart a plane of molten glass,
I scarce could brook the strain and stir


That makes the barren branches loud;
And but for fear it is not so,
The wild unrest that lives in woe
Would dote and pore on yonder cloud


That rises upward always higher,
And onward drags a labouring breast,
And topples round the dreary west,
A looming bastion fringed with fire.


XXII
The path by which we twain did go,
Which led by tracts that pleased us well,
Thro' four sweet years arose and fell,
From flower to flower, from snow to snow:


And we with singing cheer'd the way,
And, crown'd with all the season lent,
From April on to April went,
And glad at heart from May to May:


But where the path we walk'd began
To slant the fifth autumnal *****,
As we descended following Hope,
There sat the Shadow fear'd of man;


Who broke our fair companionship,
And spread his mantle dark and cold,
And wrapt thee formless in the fold,
And dull'd the murmur on thy lip,


And bore thee where I could not see
Nor follow, tho' I walk in haste,
And think, that somewhere in the waste
The Shadow sits and waits for me.


XXVII
I envy not in any moods
The captive void of noble rage,
The linnet born within the cage,
That never knew the summer woods:


I envy not the beast that takes
His license in the field of time,
Unfetter'd by the sense of crime,
To whom a conscience never wakes;


Nor, what may count itself as blest,
The heart that never plighted troth
But stagnates in the weeds of sloth;
Nor any want-begotten rest.


I hold it true, whate'er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
'Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.


***
With trembling fingers did we weave
The holly round the Chrismas hearth;
A rainy cloud possess'd the earth,
And sadly fell our Christmas-eve.


At our old pastimes in the hall
We gambol'd, making vain pretence
Of gladness, with an awful sense
Of one mute Shadow watching all.


We paused: the winds were in the beech:
We heard them sweep the winter land;
And in a circle hand-in-hand
Sat silent, looking each at each.


Then echo-like our voices rang;
We sung, tho' every eye was dim,
A merry song we sang with him
Last year: impetuously we sang:

We ceased:a gentler feeling crept
Upon us: surely rest is meet:
'They rest,' we said, 'their sleep is sweet,'
And silence follow'd, and we wept.


Our voices took a higher range;
Once more we sang: 'They do not die
Nor lose their mortal sympathy,
Nor change to us, although they change;


'Rapt from the fickle and the frail
With gather'd power, yet the same,
Pierces the keen seraphic flame
From orb to orb, from veil to veil.'


Rise, happy morn, rise, holy morn,
Draw forth the cheerful day from night:
O Father, touch the east, and light
The light that shone when Hope was born.


XXXIX
Old warder of these buried bones,
And answering now my random stroke
With fruitful cloud and living smoke,
Dark yew, that graspest at the stones


And dippest toward the dreamless head,
To thee too comes the golden hour
When flower is feeling after flower;
But Sorrow—fixt upon the dead,


And darkening the dark graves of men,—
What whisper'd from her lying lips?
Thy gloom is kindled at the tips,
And passes into gloom again.


LIV
Oh yet we trust that somehow good
Will be the final goal of ill,
To pangs of nature, sins of will,
Defects of doubt, and taints of blood;


That nothing walks with aimless feet;
That not one life shall be destroy'd,
Or cast as ******* to the void,
When God hath made the pile complete;


That not a worm is cloven in vain;
That not a moth with vain desire
Is shrivell'd in a fruitless fire,
Or but subserves another's gain.


Behold, we know not anything;
I can but trust that good shall fall
At last—far off—at last, to all,
And every winter change to spring.


So runs my dream: but what am I?
An infant crying in the night:
An infant crying for the light:
And with no language but a cry.


*~Alfred Lord Tennyson 1809—1892~
Love Nov 2014
If I haven't posted in a while don't think of me as gone. I remain here waiting for my inspiration to hit me in the form of a freight train. And if my inspiration never comes; dear Juliet, I still love you.
I am reminded of the cliché
"It hit me like a freight train."
But honestly, have you ever seen a freight train?
Those things make a **** ton of noise,
They're absolutely ginormous,
And they're not that fast.
You would have to be blind, deaf, and ******* stupid to get hit by one.

So no, the pain doesn't hit like a freight train.
It hits like a avalanche.
You're just sitting there, minding your own business
When suddenly, you begin to feel the thunderous roar.
Before you even realize what's about to happen
You're engulfed in the crippling agony,
keeled over, begging for death.

All this because you wanted some ice cream.
What do you think?
Meghan Marie Feb 2016
Face first crash,
****** mouth full of gravel,
some say this is how depression hits you.
Others say it is like
a freight train
that collides into them head first
and smashes them against the tracks,
Leaving bits and pieces of themselves
in places they don't belong.
Face first crash into depression,
so unexpected,
always hurts the most.
Tate Morgan Jun 2014
With the start of the first inning
as the wind whistled through the tree's
Our short stop had his shoulder broke
and the fates blew in on the breeze

This team was a thorn in the side
of the Harding Presidents Club
It was on this night my son Tate
was scheduled to play as a sub

The kid pitching for North Union
hurled a cooking heater down field
You could hear that freight train coming
as it's hide was 'bout to be peeled

Their coach then rallied his talent
pressing their shoulders to the wheel
like natives dancing 'round a fire
driving devils who'd struck a deal

A death defying mid-air, catch
the bounding, ball tossed on the run
The Devil was in town this night
riding in on the setting sun

They dove and slid then nearly flew
as if the angels rode their backs
While running bases half possessed
plowing the field with cleated tracks

No one remembered the last time
that our team had beaten this bunch
That night they took the field in style
serving them all up for their lunch
,
The dice kept coming up seven
and oh prophetically so
When the sun had finally set
the score was seven to zero

Come ye father's follow your child
through the tough times every one
For the oft chance will someday come
when they will have finally won


Tate

© 2012 Tate Morgan

Written
April 12, 2014
Americans love the underdogs.
original
http://www.writerscafe.org/writing/aristate/1342622/

Original video poem of the same
http://www.writerscafe.org/writing/aristate/1354978/
Americans love the underdogs. It is such an American thing to do. Because the thrill of a win from a team thought washed up gives us all hope that the dreams that were washed away in our own youth could be rekindled and burn again.Such is the nexus of the American soul!
Brian O'blivion Oct 2013
where solar lips are parted
and crescent ******* hardened
cobalt fire licks your name off its oldest breath
this ****** hollow bends its neck through thermal skies and sand
scarlet waves of heat off your (sweet ancestral) hand
come inside, the door is open. the answer's always yes

Medusa’s gaze would turn to sand
if she knew the stony glories spanned
within rock candy walls ablaze
flood plains carry hydrogen freight
from your abyss' collapsing weight
the broken ***** flowers rusting in the haze

long stem bows in the cut orchestral
steal blood from the times ancestral
the ink has spilled and left a stain
under folded layers of skin
that the mirror reflects from views within
your eyes are naked lights, innumerable and plain.
retrofitted, edited and repurposed...like, simultaneously...
jeffrey robin Feb 2015
/ (    ) \
/\

                 ••••••    
                         •
         •

Ridin the wild el-train

Thru the mad war songs

//

The freight train under the midnight moon

Drifting thru the wino seranade

Looking for the dawn of peace

//

We of the fallen angel race

Looking to save face

Before the child's eye

He we left to die

He who knows of our disgrace

//

Riding the freight train west

Through the wino seranade

Drifting images of men

Who survive

//

We of the wild el - train

We of the war for the city streets

We of the American lie

We of the dying child

//

We ride the freight train into the night

The midnight moon is in the sky

Drifting thru the wino seranade

Looking for the dawn of peace

//

I always knew you would  be here

I knew I find you someday

I knew I just  needed me some faith

I knew you never were far away



We ride the freight train into the dawn

Into the dawn
Krusty Aranda Jan 2012
I close my eyes, but I can't sleep tonight;
I see your shadow lying next to mine.
I turned around, and realize you're not home.
I'm sorry, darling, I can't sleep tonight.

I lie in bed, but I can't sleep tonight;
you're not sleeping by my side.
My bed is empty, and my sheets are cold.
I'm sorry, love, I can't sleep tonight.

It's dark all over, but I can't sleep tonight;
there's thoughts of you all through my mind.
You've left nothing behind for me to hold on to.
I'm sorry, sugar, I can't sleep tonight.

My eyes are sore, but I can't sleep tonight;
the pictures of you won't let me hide.
I miss your voice, and I miss your touch.
I'm sorry, baby, I can't sleep tonight.

I feel so tired, but I can't sleep tonight;
this ghost of you became my freight.
The sun shines through my balcony.
I'm sorry, boo, I couldn't sleep tonight.
Nat Lipstadt Oct 2013
The High Line (Pearls Before Swine)

is located on Manhattan's West Side. It was an elevated train track, that runs from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District (wholesale butchers) to West 34th Street, between 10th & 11th Avenues, near the Hudson River, running parallel to the river.  

The High Line was originally constructed in the 1930's, to lift dangerous freight trains off Manhattan's streets. The High Line, nowadays, is open as a public park, owned by the City of New York. The District is now a night life hot spot of elegant shops and restaurants, among the few remaining meat packing firms, a "scene." If not in a hurry, and unfamiliar with the High Line, look it up (see notes), to get a visual of image. Or not. I can't remember who I promised I would dig out my High Line poem, but a promise kept.
_________________

Walk­ed the High Line after work,
early summer afternoon,
a pubescent evening-tide,
the teenage colors
of the setting ball,
seize your breath,
your eyes, enthrall.

On Little West 12th Street,
climbed up to
breathe the green,
thriving railroad earth-beds
tucked so cute,
tween the rusted ties of
intrepid railroad tracks.
still working in
service to humanity;
nature supporters now,
a new kind
of freight carried.

Climbed up on the backs
of a jumbled combo of
dressed beef carcasses
and yuppie carc-*****,
both obedient to the
Law of Consumption:
Consume or be consumed.  

Looked down on them,
grazing,
gazed upon them
pseudo social-dancing,
they are all prowling,
cat burglars,
searching for felines, roosters,
to tango/tangle with till
the shameful dawn walk,
a final tally of who,
was consumed,
and who,
got consumed.

Watch with bemused fascination
at the children,
swilling and chilling,
some liquor, some swill.
nonetheless  admiring each other;
their Lauren cut and Hilfiger heft
the finest of fat veined lines,
decorating their svelte,
but very attractive,
full figured appearances.

USDA Grade A,
a genuine meat market,
humans and
animals guts,
intertwined.

The Highline,
an architect's composition
of summer grasses,
planted in nooks and crannies
of man's discarded invention.

Summer grasses in unison,
stadium waving to
the music of summer breezes,
Manhattan sounds,
clinking glasses,
goods and services exchanged.    

The view admires you -
Oh baby you look so fine,
Your hair, like the
Hudson River's aquas
is a shining, streaked,
by High Line highlighted
late afternoon,  
sun-setting golden sparklers.

Your gold chains entwining,
fire crackers on top of a
the blue ribboned river,
exploding, dazzling,
your obedient admirers.  

They complement your skin,
aglow, one of nature's works,
soon to be painted on a canvas,
across a horizon of a
pinkish-tinged lavender sky -    
a gift of the oh-so-refined
refineries of South Jersey.  

Cool summer afternoon in
the Meatpacking District,
traffic, human, automotive,
clogs the Gansevoort piazza,
a NYsee zone pietonne,
a Manhattan cocktail of
young strivers and Eurotrash,
where you check me out,
and I return the favor,
using a pre-certified checklist.

Are you young?
Are you hip?
Are you beautiful?
Do you possess
what it takes
to undress me?
Reservations and a limousine!

Everyone who's there,
by definition, is in,
otherwise where else
would they be!

Pearls of perfect people,
perfect lives,
in, around and
before, swine.  

Am I the only one
who gets the joke,
or is the joke, me,
because I just don't got it
in order to get "it"?

Am I the only one
who sees the dead,
ancient and newly arrived,
human and other kind,
the living,
sharing the animal spirits
of the Meatpacking district:
some animated,
some haunted,
some summer tanned
some blood drained,
ghostly white veined?    

In this city,
my sweet city,
city where I bore
my first breath,
city where I'll be laid down to
my permarest,
the hues of my life
are city pastels,
colorful shades of asphalt
and concrete gray and
dried blood,
interspersed with the
speckled glitter of the
potpourri of human creation.

The Highline, an architect's
composition of summer grasses,
planted in nooks and crannies
waving to the jazzed music
of Manhattan lives,
its history, summer breezes,
emblem of the city's only coda:

Transform, rebirth -
survive and prosper,  
or else,
be slaughtered and die.

Summer 2010
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Line_(New_York_City)

Written years ago when long poems were the norm, and inspiration was in the odor of the air I breathed.
You came in late, again
I said hello, pecked your cheek
and waited for the flow of excuses.
None came.
You went and poured a drink
I sat awaiting your words.
You came back in, sat heavily down
and looked at the floor.
I felt rage inside my breast,I had news to tell.
You never asked how I was, or how my day went.
I sat quietly waiting, listening to the ice ***** the glass,
I felt as vulnerable as that ice cube, once solid now melting,
waiting, fuming, controlling my anger.
You looked up, you looked at me, no through me, and said
"I'm late because I've been having an affair"
Did a freight train just hit me? I felt despair, but you said more,
"She's pregnant, and is keeping the child"
Clarity liberated me from my stupor, late nights,
meetings, high mileage on the car.
I asked a question,
"Are you leaving me?"
You dropped your head, and said the words most wives dread
"Yes, I have to be a father, do the right thing, I love you but....."
Your words trailed off.
I stood up, took your glass and refilled it for you.
My turn.
"Did you start coming home late because of her? Or because I've gained weight? Or both those reasons?"
Silence.
"Pack your bags, leave the keys, get a hotel bed"
Those words came out so clear, you'd swear I'd knifed you.
                                               ~
At the front door, you turned, about to say something, I cut you off
"Send me your new address, I need it for the solicitor,
I'm divorcing you. And by the way, before I forget, you're not the only
one that's been late, it would seem you know how to propagate"
I shut the door, rubbed my tummy, and waited to be called mummy.
© JLB
02/06/2014
daniel f Mar 2013
no doubt at one time
freight carried
through counties and town
from here to anywhere
track permitting

now they've left you here alone
between the old college
and retail park
what fate awaits the others
who are here
once you've departed?

oh who's to say

homeless people sleeping
where business once flourished
the gentle pitter patter
of rails and wheels
replaced with special brew
and roll ups
failure all around
there's plenty of things
but money to be found


no doubt the driver
long gone now
retired or dead
retired or dead

less than a retirement
left to rot,
in dunstable
16-02-2011
SabreLi Dec 2016
At first I was too scared to really believe
All I could do was question how this could have been real
I could not have prepared, just didn’t know how
Convinced it was deception, blinded I made a vow

If this could really be true, I’d always be there for you
Give you everything you want, and take anything you don’t
I’d give my life to, and happily die for you

And for the briefest of moments my sadness was frozen
You gave my life purpose and meaning and stopped all the bleeding

But then the truth unfurled in front of my eyes
Like a runaway freight train, I was so terrified
As the weight of the world crashed down heavily
When that speeding train derailed and headed for me

I’d tried to be for you what you wanted me to
But life had another plan and I didn’t get the chance
To see it all through, ‘cause life was stolen from you

Goodbyes don’t heal all the heartache that’s been left in your wake
Countless Hail Mary’s can’t bring you back; it’s just too late for that

One minute you were there then you departed
And all I could do was cry, I was broken hearted
It left too much grief to bear, far too much raw pain
All I wanted was to die so I’d see you again

‘Cause Goodbyes don’t heal all the heartache that’s been left in your wake
Countless Hail Mary’s can’t bring you back; it’s just too late for that

Copyright ©2016-2017 KF
Written after bereavement but with more of a focus on what could have been before tragedy struck.
Every felt like the world is caving in on you?
Like there's no where to go anymore?
Like you're being kicked out?
Don't freight my little angel,
For I am Unwanted too

I am the 5th wheel
So I'm not even on the wagon
I was kicked out
By my best friend

Every felt like crying?
Or even like dying?
Don't freight my little Angel
For we are both Unwanted

But don't be sad
Dont be mad
We are alike
So unwanted, so lets be friends :)
a b c d e
a b c d
a a b c
a a b c
There are sleeping dreams and waking dreams;
What seems is not always as it seems.

I looked out of my window in the sweet new morning,
And there I saw three barges of manifold adorning
Went sailing toward the East:
The first had sails like fire,
The next like glittering wire,
But sackcloth were the sails of the least;
And all the crews made music, and two had spread a feast.

The first choir breathed in flutes,
And fingered soft guitars;
The second won from lutes
Harmonious chords and jars,
With drums for stormy bars:
But the third was all of harpers and scarlet trumpeters;
Notes of triumph, then
An alarm again,
As for onset, as for victory, rallies, stirs,
Peace at last and glory to the vanquishers.

The first barge showed for figurehead a Love with wings;
The second showed for figurehead a Worm with stings;
The third, a Lily tangled to a Rose which clings.
The first bore for freight gold and spice and down;
The second bore a sword, a sceptre, and a crown;
The third, a heap of earth gone to dust and brown.
Winged Love meseemed like Folly in the face;
Stinged Worm meseemed loathly in his place;
Lily and Rose were flowers of grace.

Merry went the revel of the fire-sailed crew,
Singing, feasting, dancing to and fro:
Pleasures ever changing, ever graceful, ever new;
Sighs, but scarce of woe;
All the sighing
Wooed such sweet replying;
All the sighing, sweet and low,
Used to come and go
For more pleasure, merely so.
Yet at intervals some one grew tired
Of everything desired,
And sank, I knew not whither, in sorry plight,
Out of sight.

The second crew seemed ever
Wider-visioned, graver,
More distinct of purpose, more sustained of will;
With heads ***** and proud,
And voices sometimes loud;
With endless tacking, counter-tacking,
All things grasping, all things lacking,
It would seem;
Ever shifting helm, or sail, or shroud,
Drifting on as in a dream.
Hoarding to their utmost bent,
Feasting to their fill,
Yet gnawed by discontent,
Envy, hatred, malice, on their road they went.
Their freight was not a treasure,
Their music not a pleasure;
The sword flashed, cleaving through their bands,
Sceptre and crown changed hands.

The third crew as they went
Seemed mostly different;
They toiled in rowing, for to them the wind was contrary,
As all the world might see.
They labored at the oar,
While on their heads they bore
The fiery stress of sunshine more and more.
They labored at the oar hand-sore,
Till rain went splashing,
And spray went dashing,
Down on them, and up on them, more and more.
Their sails were patched and rent,
Their masts were bent,
In peril of their lives they worked and went.
For them no feast was spread,
No soft luxurious bed
Scented and white,
No crown or sceptre hung in sight;
In weariness and painfulness,
In thirst and sore distress,
They rowed and steered from left to right
With all their might.
Their trumpeters and harpers round about
Incessantly played out,
And sometimes they made answer with a shout;
But oftener they groaned or wept,
And seldom paused to eat, and seldom slept.
I wept for pity watching them, but more
I wept heart-sore
Once and again to see
Some weary man plunge overboard, and swim
To Love or Worm ship floating buoyantly:
And there all welcomed him.

The ships steered each apart and seemed to scorn each other,
Yet all the crews were interchangeable;
Now one man, now another,
--Like bloodless spectres some, some flushed by health,--
Changed openly, or changed by stealth,
Scaling a slippery side, and scaled it well.
The most left Love ship, hauling wealth
Up Worm ship's side;
While some few hollow-eyed
Left either for the sack-sailed boat;
But this, though not remote,
Was worst to mount, and whoso left it once
Scarce ever came again,
But seemed to loathe his erst companions,
And wish and work them bane.

Then I knew (I know not how) there lurked quicksands full of dread,
Rocks and reefs and whirlpools in the water-bed,
Whence a waterspout
Instantaneously leaped out,
Roaring as it reared its head.

Soon I spied a something dim,
Many-handed, grim,
That went flitting to and fro the first and second ship;
It puffed their sails full out
With puffs of smoky breath
From a smouldering lip,
And cleared the waterspout
Which reeled roaring round about
Threatening death.
With a ***** hand it steered,
And a horn appeared
On its sneering head upreared
Haughty and high
Against the blackening lowering sky.
With a hoof it swayed the waves;
They opened here and there,
Till I spied deep ocean graves
Full of skeletons
That were men and women once
Foul or fair;
Full of things that creep
And fester in the deep
And never breathe the clean life-nurturing air.

The third bark held aloof
From the Monster with the hoof,
Despite his urgent beck,
And fraught with guile
Abominable his smile;
Till I saw him take a flying leap on to that deck.
Then full of awe,
With these same eyes I saw
His head incredible retract its horn
Rounding like babe's new born,
While silvery phosphorescence played
About his dis-horned head.
The sneer smoothed from his lip,
He beamed blandly on the ship;
All winds sank to a moan,
All waves to a monotone
(For all these seemed his realm),
While he laid a strong caressing hand upon the helm.

Then a cry well nigh of despair
Shrieked to heaven, a clamor of desperate prayer.
The harpers harped no more,
While the trumpeters sounded sore
An alarm to wake the dead from their bed:
To the rescue, to the rescue, now or never,
To the rescue, O ye living, O ye dead,
Or no more help or hope for ever!--
The planks strained as though they must part asunder,
The masts bent as though they must dip under,
And the winds and the waves at length
Girt up their strength,
And the depths were laid bare,
And heaven flashed fire and volleyed thunder
Through the rain-choked air,
And sea and sky seemed to kiss
In the horror and the hiss
Of the whole world shuddering everywhere.

Lo! a Flyer swooping down
With wings to span the globe,
And splendor for his robe
And splendor for his crown.
He lighted on the helm with a foot of fire,
And spun the Monster overboard:
And that monstrous thing abhorred,
Gnashing with balked desire,
Wriggled like a worm infirm
Up the Worm
Of the loathly figurehead.
There he crouched and gnashed;
And his head re-horned, and gashed
From the other's grapple, dripped ****** red.

I saw that thing accurst
Wreak his worst
On the first and second crew:
Some with baited hook
He angled for and took,
Some dragged overboard in a net he threw,
Some he did to death
With hoof or horn or blasting breath.

I heard a voice of wailing
Where the ships went sailing,
A sorrowful voice prevailing
Above the sound of the sea,
Above the singers' voices,
And musical merry noises;
All songs had turned to sighing,
The light was failing,
The day was dying--
Ah me,
That such a sorrow should be!

There was sorrow on the sea and sorrow on the land
When Love ship went down by the bottomless quicksand
To its grave in the bitter wave.
There was sorrow on the sea and sorrow on the land
When Worm ship went to pieces on the rock-bound strand,
And the bitter wave was its grave.
But land and sea waxed hoary
In whiteness of a glory
Never told in story
Nor seen by mortal eye,
When the third ship crossed the bar
Where whirls and breakers are,
And steered into the splendors of the sky;
That third bark and that least
Which had never seemed to feast,
Yet kept high festival above sun and moon and star.
Nihl Jun 2013
“And as for you, River, there will be a day when you will flow with blood more than water. And dead bodies will be stacked higher than the dams. And he who is dead will not be mourned as much as he who is alive. Asclepius, why are you weeping? ”

CHAPTER I

The lake house was always a place of good memories. I couldn’t help but remember the countless summers just like this one, where I had spent days down by the lake, beside my father, catching rainbow trout with nothing but a line and a little bread or bait worm. The sound of crickets chirping in chorus at dusk, while just a slither of gold managed to peek over the mountain range that hung like curtains, draped across the horizon on every side. It was our paradise on earth, the Coulter families’ personal heaven. A humble log house nestled in the heavy shadow of the Rocky Mountains. Standing peacefully beside our private little lake, cradled within a thick pine forest. It was our pine forest.
-
We had arrived at the house two days ago, on a particularly overcast Friday afternoon. But the grey sky had parted, and left us with clear blue skies almost as soon as we arrived. Now nothing but the occasional broad, pearl-white, sky conquering clouds would dare to appear. This made the weather perfect for a swim in the lake, as well as an afternoon frying the day’s catch of trout in the fire pit just outside the cabin. I was inside the cabin, stuffing the weekend’s filthy clothes into my pack, in preparation for the long journey home tomorrow morning. Dad was gathering a load of firewood from our great proud pile of logs outside. I always liked adding to the pile the same way I found a mundane joy in saving money, I watched as we built it up into a neat pyramid, then imagined how long it would last us and how many cold nights they would ward off.
After packing my last well-worn flannel shirt into my now plump olive duffle bag the sun had disappeared behind the mountain; leaving a quickly dying amber streaked across the western sky.
I could hear my father’s footsteps as he entered the house, dropping a collection of heavy wood at his feet in front of the fireplace. Then quickly transporting the two best-looking ones straight into the warm mess of crackling flames that kept our cabin warm. I climbed under the covers of my bed and sat with my back against the wall, with a clear view into the living room.
I am Curtis, and George Coulter was my father, a broad man with dark brown hair, a short cropped haircut, bright blue eyes and dark stubble with traces of silver sneaking through. He was a weathered man with a tough 37 years over my easy 16, and always seemed to dress like a cliché lumberjack. Apart from the weathered appearance, sprouting grey hair and working class fashion sense, we were practically a splitting image. My mother would always say that looking at me was like stepping back in time and that every day I looked more like him.
-
“That should keep it going for a while.” George said, obviously exhausted from the events of the weekend and He slowly moved just inside the doorway and leaned against the frame, rubbing his eyes with his right hand before bringing it down to form a soft v shape on his chin.
“I’ve already loaded the truck, so we’ll be able to leave bright and early tomorrow.” He turned his head quickly as if to listen carefully for something else in the room. I found this to be a perfect opportunity to shoot a question I’d been wondering recently.
“Do you think there really is life after death?” I asked him abruptly and he looked straight at me with a quizzical expression and replied “Why do you ask, did someone say something?” I sat up straight on my bed pulled my hands into my lap.
“No, no one said anything. It’s just that I rode my bike by the cemetery last week, and there was a statue of an angel in the middle of all the gravestones, it just made me wonder, you know. Does all that stuff really exist?” I had a lump in my throat and swallowed hard to keep in down. My father sat down beside me at the foot of the bed.
“I think…” He started, still searching for the right words to say. “I like to think that there’s a place somewhere up there for us.” He turned his gaze towards the window and observed the last light in the sky before turning quickly back to me.
“Do you think mom will be up there?” I asked, and his face dropped a little.
“Your mother is up there waiting for us and the first thing she’ll do is tell us to take our shoes off so as not to get the cloud *****.” He said with a slight smile, I laughed at the idea as he continued. “But you don’t have to worry about that for a long time Curt.” He grinned, roughed up my hair, and then forced me into bed playfully. “I’ll do my best to make sure of that.” He rose from the bed and advanced towards the door. “Now get some sleep. I don’t want to have a conversation with myself on the ride back.” He disappeared into the main room and slumped into a lazy boy chair to gaze at the fireplace in the warmth of our now quiet cabin, as my room was filled with the soft lullaby of crackling fire. I turned towards the window and stared out towards the stars, my mind wandering as I closed my eyes. Tomorrow we would begin the long journey home.
-
Without any warning I was startled awake by a terrifying ripping sound. A great rip echoed throughout the house like a plastic bag violently flailing about in heavy wind. I immediately sat up on my bed, and blindly stared out into an ocean of black. A strange loud thumping sound rang from the living room in regular intervals. It had seemed like no time at all had passed since I had closed my eyes, my heart was thundering like the gears on a full-speed freight train and my eyes fed off the darkness in the room, starving for even the slightest idea of a source for the noise. But all I could see was darkness beyond my doorway. I struggled to pull myself back together from my state of screaming fear and cautiously got to my feet.
As far as I could tell the thumping was coming from outside, as I moved towards the doorway and peered into the living room. For some reason the fireplace that should still have been flickering with hungry flames was now dark and dead, as though it had gone cold days ago and the house completely vacated. The warmth that the fire had supplied moments ago had now been replaced with a cruel cold midnight breeze sailing in through the wide open swinging cabin door. The cabin door was clashing against the cabin wall outside in the wind I now knew was the source of the horrifying thumping that my imagination had played so helplessly with. My breath became shallow as I contemplated my situation, how long had I been asleep, and where was my father? I turned to the lazy boy in the living room and noticed it upturned and vacant. My heart started firing again like a machine gun and cold sweat now dawned on my brow. There was no sign of dad, not in the cabin at least. With my heartbeat slowing to the manageable speed of a cruising passenger train, I wondered where he could have gone while struggling to tame the rising feeling of dread as I hurried towards the front door and looked out over the hill and down towards the lake. There was no jagged black figure or human form in sight. A great deal of me was hoping to catch him investigating the same noise that startled me. But he was nowhere near, which made my blood run cold.  
-
The unforgiving night’s ice cold wind stung my ears and pinched my face, my breath trailing off in vapour. “Dad!” I called out, towards the southern wharf down by the water, nothing. Again I called, towards the vegetable patch on the eastern side of the house, nothing. I tapped my fingers anxiously on the door frame before proceeding down the few steps leading into the cabin, closing the cabin door behind me to stop the jarring thump. With that I was engulfed in the darkness and violent wind. Disoriented I called out once more towards the pine forests to the west, “Dad!” my voice cracked from desperation and bounced through the gale, ringing in the distance as if it had been carried by the wind and exploded skyward, amplified by the mountains surrounding the lake.
-
A light! A light darted between the tree line and danced in the darkness before disappearing just as quickly as it came. I stared in awe as the wind found its way through my clothes and now chilled me completely. My bare feet screamed from the cold grass that I tortured them with and I could hear the abhorrent ripping sound bellowing back at me from the distant forest. I stood still, confused and staring hopefully. I heard him, faint at first, but I was certain that I heard my father’s voice on the wind.
“Curt.”
I followed the voice out into the darkness, past the fire pit and towards the western tree line. I waved my arms in front of me pathetically probing the air for something to guide me. My eyes squinted hard to try and make out detail from nothing. “Curt.” Again it whispered from the distance. I stumbled across the field until I reached the outskirts of the woods and I could feel the first cluster great pine looming overhead. The wind and chill was slowly cut off by the wall of trees, as I followed the origin of my father’s voice.
The forest bed was thick with undergrowth and as familiar as this place was during the day, at night it was like another world, a world in which sight had to be thrown to the wind and I was forced to rely on my other senses for navigation. I could smell the heavy musk of the leaf litter, and hear the wind from the field. But I could see nothing more than the glare of the full moon hanging behind the thick clouds and the faint outline of the countless pine trees that shot skyward.

It was strange, I could smell him now. I could smell my father laced upon the air, boot-polish and old sweat. The same smell hanging among the trees as the red plaid shirt that he'd use to polish his boots and labour all weekend around the lake house. It was as if he was right beside me, this idea urged me to quickly turn side to side hoping that this was in fact, true. But all I found was more vague lines in darkness, freezing fingers and whipping wind songs from the distant clearing. The smell slowly disappeared, replaced with an eerily familiar, metallic, pooling scent…
My heart thundered at the realization, Blood. I could smell blood swimming in the air, as if someone painted the trees with buckets of human blood. I could taste it on the tip of my tongue the air was so filthy with the scent.
-
My eyes opened wide, panicking at the lack of visual aid as I stopped dead in my tracks. Something felt awkward, space felt strange, warped and twisted. It was like the world was turned on its side. It felt as though someone somewhere had invaded the space I now stood in. And I could feel its presence, I felt its eyes burning a hole in the back of my head, and the hair on my neck stood upright. My heart began racing faster and faster, thumping now like the cabin door, slamming against the wall in the wind. I could feel something out there, watching and waiting. I could feel it getting nearer, getting ever closer and growing. It was as if it was feeding on the shadows and becoming larger, filling the darkness with its horrid presence. I couldn't bare it anymore; I felt it creeping up on me and my skin was crawling. My head screaming for me to turn around but I couldn't move. I felt an impossible grip encompass my entire body and swallow me in darkness. Cold sweat like ice running down my cheeks and my clothes were now saturated.
-
My breath was pounding rapidly in short, sharp bursts as I watched it fog and pillar upwards through the cutting wind. I couldn't hear anything past the roaring noise in my head, raw panic like nails on a chalkboard. My thoughts were like a game of Ping-Pong, bouncing back and forth and I couldn't focus on anything. I felt it slithering at my heels now, like a python slowly constricting its prey, playing with it before a sudden death. A twisted cold breath falling onto my shoulders as every muscle in my body tensed to point where it felt I could explode at any time. I it leaned in closely beside me, with its face hanging inches away from my ear. I could hear its lungs gathering the icewind for speech, and its tongue slithering in between razor teeth, preparing for the first terrifying bite.
-
“It’s so close.” Hisses from its jaws in several thunderous voices spawning from the darkness in every direction, the trees dissolve, the sky falls apart and my entire world collapsed away into pitch black.

N.H.

CHAPTER II
http://hellopoetry.com/poem/possession-two/
preservationman Oct 2015
A Hobo name may not sound like much
But when it comes to Charlie, a Hobo who once had fortune and fame
It has often been said, what’s in a name?
But the story of Charlie, I am not ashamed
Charlie was once a Wall Street Trader
Stocks and Bonds with a Buy or Sell
The Financial transactions at the New York Stock Exchange in tell
But the economy in 2008 is when stocks just fell
It was a down turn
Charlie felt he was burning in his own urn
Well Market Right & Company, Inc. laid Charlie off
For Charlie, it became a struggle of course
He loss his house
Later he loss his spouse
Even the car he ever owned was no longer known
Charlie’s life just became full blown
Well he began to go on a journey on a Freight train
Charlie’s professional life will longer remain
Life as a Hobo being plain
So to the Freight yard at Struggling Point
A Freight train was going to be travelling to the West Coast
But all Hobo Charlie could vision was boost
It was living quarters in freight car
It will be home travelling far
Destination West Coast being the trail
Hobo Charlie’s new beginning a distance in a Hobo’s prevails.
berry Jan 2014
i kept my hatches battened but that
didn't stop your love from barreling toward me
like a runaway freight train with faulty breaks.
and god almighty, did we crash.
you came to a screeching halt at my doorstep
and i didn't know what else to do but let you in.
you looked so cold. we did not start with a spark but a full-on fire.
i told myself i wouldn't fall, instead i jumped.
our sinking frames somehow morphed into life preservers,
and we managed to keep each other's heads above the waves.
we had seemingly saved one another.
you tossed your pills, i flushed my razors, and for a while that was enough.
but we learned the hard way that even the deepest love
can only keep the storm clouds in your mind at bay for so long.
eventually our cracks began to show.
missed calls and silent hours built houses of cards
that were blown down by too many miles.
we hardly ever smiled anymore.
my hands were sieves and yours were sand.
i want to break the hands of the clock
that cursed us with this bad timing.
i have mourned all the hours i won't ever have with you.
i have felt the thunder that rumbles in my lungs
when i reminisce about the memories we'll never make.
the moment i realized i would never wake up beside you
an atom bomb went off in the center of my chest.
but the radiation is what's killing me.
the life is being drained from me here in the wake,
in the ache of your absence. but i won't beg.
i will live out the remainder of my days
tormented by wondering if maybe in another world
our love is perfect and neither of us bleed.

- m.f.
1123

A great Hope fell
You heard no noise
The Ruin was within
Oh cunning wreck that told no tale
And let no Witness in

The mind was built for mighty Freight
For dread occasion planned
How often foundering at Sea
Ostensibly, on Land

A not admitting of the wound
Until it grew so wide
That all my Life had entered it
And there were troughs beside

A closing of the simple lid
That opened to the sun
Until the tender Carpenter
Perpetual nail it down—
Hal Loyd Denton Jan 2012
Trick or Treat
Trick or Treat
I tried a trick in the last piece will mix this up with both but as Betty Davis said In all about Eve buckle up
It going to be a bumpy ride I will give you a little of both at first the deadly trick I didn’t know and the
Treat of playing chicken with a freight train only now I was seven we lived on Railroad Rd Ave the first
Street south of Jackson where the pizza wars are fought daily between Pizza Hut and Pizza man. I
Crossed the ditch and climbed the grade a little challenge at seven but as I played on the track I heard
That old devil that always shook our house as it passed but it made up for it with that romantic whistle
And the feeling you got as you listened to it fade into the distant night. Well I didn’t know what romance
Was totally except on westerns and I did think those Warren twins were cute and when those brownies
All gathered on the east side of Lincoln school under that tree I did stare and enjoy such a wondrous
Sight they would and have repopulated our world given us the promise of an unbreakable future I can’t
Tell if I heard I guess that was the case I heard it first when I saw the train it was down by the bowling
Alley it was just a dot at that distance not very big it didn’t take long for it to metamorphous in to a
Fierce giant black behemoth it was getting intimidating half way to the crossing to give you the distance
At the time I jumped out of the way and ran down the hill I almost was sent flying as I encountered
Angles we lived in the second house from pine and I was right across from my house they almost had
One less mouth to feed I feel they would have gotten over it about the time it would take to eat a
Hamburger at home town so you get the distance I let him come across the pine street crossing now
Tension was shaking me two things I didn’t know that they rolled back and forth and that they were two
Stories high the ground did more than tremble by this time he was through the crossing and driving
Toward my position that I wasn’t ready to forfeit just yet I had a stubborn streak and a rebel
Heart even back then that might yet land me in hell my wife just said I was banging the keys I talk loud
When I get excited about something and on here I bang the keys. I will have to leave you hanging for a
Moment then take you back for the ending on the same thought about being a rebel I had a dream
Some Years back I was standing in front of a mirror and God was trying to put this detailed and glorious
Crown of intricate gold on my head it wasn’t happening with ease like the time I was ten the coat I had was finished
Torn from the collar to the shoulder it hung down god awful inside stuffing best description here came
The enemy mom sister aunt Grandmother and her sister with a new coat I hit the floor with my best
Three Stooges Curly imitation not a pretty picture even scared the old auntie visiting well from coloring
Books to fox terrier dogs that was what it took for me to relent and give up my coat see what the train
Was up against I have to take this opportunity for years I have tried to honor this special teacher but the
Story to sad and tragic I tried another time to write about Candy Jack a young mother who died leaving
Two five year old twin girls for her mother to raise as I set there drawing on the feelings you have to have
To write I got more than I bargained for Candy was totally visible in my mind but a visitor came with her
As I write this I have a cold chill it was death now Candy lie in repose in her casket but the truth of her
Condition started to take over and grip my body that was all I wanted I dropped paper and pen and left
The room never to attempt her story again you can’t match Mrs. Dagon’s story with mere words I doubt
If even Faulkner could even though he masterfully handled the subject in she lay dying I set in her class I
Might have been at a loss in the business class but I got how much she loved her husband Jim that’s
When and only when her hard exterior softened I hope in vain that her hardness somehow gave her a
Semblance of armor you surly know the story Jim died of cancer they had her in the hospital she asked
To go home for an item she would be right back a promise maybe she meant to keep but the story she
Was wearing a gown and a thin oh to thin a house coat she went in one door maybe in that stillness and
In that reality I spoke of in The Magic Lamp she came to the end of her mind and hearts ability to endure
The untold agony this is what happened she walked out the other door crossed the same street her and
Jim followed home so many times in life she continued over and up to the tracks waited she heard the
Same romantic whistle but for her it was laced with unbearable pain she offered up her life as she
Stepped in front of a fast freight Jefferson stated the tree of liberty must at times be refreshed by the
Blood of patriots sometimes release outweighs the scale of life no longer in balance and can only be
Made so by extreme measures for all who love, you Mrs. Dagon made our experience far more richer
And I know Jim was as the old almost sacred song says I will wait for you just beyond the moon farewell
And God bless continuing in this tragic vain but back to the same crossing I left you at a display of exact
Opposites from Mrs. Dagon the Chesty potato chip man driving the little blue van was killed and people
With the ugliest actions he had barley been removed and they were vultures without human decency
Scrounging potato chip bags and cans of chili enjoy idiots it was a whole different story when the train
Derailed at Owaneco throwing boxes of shoes everywhere sure there was souls and heels everywhere
But they were leather. So there I stood he crossed through the crossing now it was terrifying thats why
They call it chicken I just kept standing there lengthening the thrill I had time now the trick, sometime
Later I played this on the side walk with two guys on a bicycle I kept standing there but when I finally
Started to jump the trick happened my nerves froze and I couldn’t move they hit me and knocked me
Down it was painful but I wasn’t there I was in my mind back on those tracks the train thirty feet away if
I didn’t jump when I did what a small minced pie I would have made.
Theron Aidan Feb 2013
I sat curled up in the closet, my knees tucked up into my chest and my arms wrapped tightly around them. The more pain I felt, the tighter I clutched my knees to my chest, my fingernails digging into my skin, breaking it, hoping, with my blood, to make the hole stop throbbing, stop hurting, if only for a few minutes, a few seconds. The throb subsided, dulled, but didn’t go away. Silent tears rolled down my cheeks as another aching sob built deep in my chest, threatening to explode any second. The pressure built, higher and higher in my throat, the pain pushing its way to the surface, looking for a way out. My stomach tightened and convulsed as the sob broke surface, screaming out of my chest like a freight train, allowing the whole world to be privy to my most private pain, privy to the anguish that comes from losing something so dear to you that, when it goes, it takes a piece of your soul, and all of your heart, with it. As the last of my air escaped, my sob turned into a soft, pathetic whimper, like that of a dog sitting at the door when his Master leaves. Depleted of that life-giving substance, oxygen, my body and mind did that automatic thing: breathing. Air ripped through my mouth and down to my lungs, digging its wicked claws into the walls of my throat its entire way. A soft inward whine echoed up from the abyss of my chest just before my lungs were again filled to capacity and another sob burst forth, screaming my agony to the dark walls of the closet I had sheltered myself in.

Eventually, like always, numbness came. It worked its way up through my limbs, a sweet coolness working its way through my burning body. It started in my toes and feet, the furthest and therefore already dullest part of me. Its icy fingers began to massage their way up my ankles and calves next, pausing at my knees to work through the weakness there. I began to feel it work its way up my fingers next, cooling the burn that had been left by her fingers. It followed the paths that she used to trace up my arms, feeling nothing like her fingers’ tender caress. It moved its way up my thighs, chasing the paths her lips used to pursue on their way to my tender core, icing the burns left there. The ice flowed past my elbows, up my biceps, to my shoulders, still following her lips. Up my stomach and abs, along my ribs, over my chest, it searched out the heart that was no longer there. Its icy fingers took a firm hold of my chest and continued their ascent, up my neck and along my chin, gently caressing my cheeks, my nose, playing gently through my hair. And finally, the face, her face, that had been haunting me since I’d stepped into that closet, was frosted over and replaced with the grey haze that meant that I was able to unwrap my arms from around my knees and stand again.

I stood, then, and let myself out. I went to stand in front of the sliding glass door. It was sunrise. I’d sat in there another full night, hiding from the memory of her, hiding from her face, from everything that reminded me of her. I sighed and returned my attention to the sunrise. It was ablaze with oranges and reds and yellows, fire working its way across the sky, flames dancing in the sunrise clouds, heralding a new day. The light was streaming in through the windows, the hopeful light of yet another day. A soft breeze was playing through the aspens that were planted in strategic locations in the sidewalk five stories below. A woman jogged past, dressed in the typical black spandex sweatpants with white stripes running down the sides, accompanied by a tight tank top that revealed far more of the silicone masses, that her stock-broker husband no doubt paid for with his far-too-large Christmas bonus, than was truly necessary for a morning jog. His bonus probably paid for that nose-job that she was sporting as well. I wondered briefly why she was running. I was sure that her husband could probably afford liposuction for her. She jogged around the corner, taking my brief distraction with her, and I was left to ponder the sun rising on yet another day.

I looked around my room, seeing and not seeing the faceless picture frames lining the walls, their emptiness a shadowy reflection of my soul. A soft rage suddenly erupted from somewhere deep inside of me and I found myself tearing the empty frames from their perches upon the wall. Her face stared up at me from the empty, shattered glass that littered the floor. Her eyes haunted me in my rage as I trampled the broken glass, pulling my hair and screaming at the top of my lungs, wordless screams of anguish. My unclad feet began to drip blood onto the glass, hiding the green that was staring up at me, making her flee from the pools of glass that lay strewn upon the floor.

I turned my attention back to the sunrise. Opening the door, I stepped out onto the balcony. A sunrise this beautiful might have once moved me to tears, but the numbness was as paralyzing as it was relieving. All and any emotion was gone. My life was devoid of meaning now. I climbed onto the railing and steadied myself. I waited for the nausea and vertigo that normally came with heights to come, but it didn’t. I looked down, gazing at the sidewalk five stories below. The wind swept up, catching my hair in its grasp, and making me wonder for the first time what it would be like to fly. I spread my arms, my wings, and allowed the warm morning breeze to wash over them. It had a warming effect on my numb body, breaking the ice that had just recently formed all over my body. Her face came back into focus, obscuring the view of the street and the sidewalk below.

My mind, so tattered and torn with grief, brought me back to our last morning together. We had been up most of the night before, making love, our bodies moving in perfect synchronicity throughout the night until they had finally arched in ****** together leaving us sleeping peacefully in each others’ arms. Somehow, we’d still woken up with the sunrise, a blazing red and orange one, much like the one that I was staring at now. She had looked at me with a passionate fire burning in her eyes, softened by a tenderness in her cheeks, and told me that she loved me, that she wanted to stay with me forever. Our fingers entwined, I looked in her eyes and told her that nothing would make me happier. Our lips met then, our tongues entwining and our pulses racing as our bodies moved as one.

I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, finally allowing myself to succumb to my memories, the happy ones she and I had made during our time together. I held onto them, allowing them to cushion me as only her love could.
Emanuel Martinez Aug 2011
Cosmos’ in line
Trying times are hanging up
Harrowing efforts
Are disappearing from the host

Flying through concrete
The gold trap is deepening
Pant pockets are disappearing

Frayed lives are whimpering
Too much whispering
Richness is changing our living

Galaxies full of notion and time
In our mind they harbor
Asteroids driving our madness
To the core of the emptiness inside

Ticketing our ride home
The rail blurts its bias for us to be gone
So we fall asleep with its subdued sounds
Until we’re out and about
On our own two vehicles

Blasting tasting racketeering tricksters
Devine, sane, and holly men
No one is the same but we’re falling in
Forces are at a tug of war
We’re just the pawns in between
August 5, 2011
http://endorsinglife.blogspot.com/
v V v Dec 2010
Mother thunders toward the bedroom door;
a great steam locomotive huffing and
puffing on piston churning hips,
head of steam and flashing lights
sweep a red warning.
I heed
but she jumps the track,
and suddenly I am beneath
the cold wheels of her wrath,
flailing away,
flesh and bone grinding in the dust,
                               
while her shrill whistle blows.
Paul S Eifert Nov 2012
I am sitting on the surface of the stone faced moon
looking in through the gray above the green
hanging over the black shingle roof
of the room where I am sitting.
I can't see me resting here.

The streets of my youth are out my window
through a hole in the trees in the still autumn night.
I must rise to the call of the bread truck man,
to the whinny of the rag picker's horse,
to the distant clanking of a slow freight train.

So far away on the stone faced moon
how long my ears have thirsted
to drink the sounds they cannot drink again,
to sponge the voices from the streets of my youth
and squeeze them back a drop at a time.

Sitting on the surface of the stone faced moon
I can see the globe rolling cars upon it.
Outside my window into autumn is
the incessant din of transportation,
the percussion of outbound movement
toward the stone faced moon where I sit.
Hog Butcher for the World,
Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,
Player with Railroads and the Nation's Freight Handler;
Stormy, husky, brawling,
City of the Big Shoulders:

They tell me you are wicked and I believe them, for I
have seen your painted women under the gas lamps
luring the farm boys.
And they tell me you are crooked and I answer: Yes, it
is true I have seen the gunman **** and go free to
**** again.
And they tell me you are brutal and my reply is: On the
faces of women and children I have seen the marks
of wanton hunger.
And having answered so I turn once more to those who
sneer at this my city, and I give them back the sneer
and say to them:
Come and show me another city with lifted head singing
so proud to be alive and coarse and strong and cunning.
Flinging magnetic curses amid the toil of piling job on
job, here is a tall bold slugger set vivid against the
little soft cities;

Fierce as a dog with tongue lapping for action, cunning
as a savage pitted against the wilderness,
Bareheaded,
Shoveling,
Wrecking,
Planning,
Building, breaking, rebuilding,
Under the smoke, dust all over his mouth, laughing with
white teeth,
Under the terrible burden of destiny laughing as a young
man laughs,
Laughing even as an ignorant fighter laughs who has
never lost a battle,
Bragging and laughing that under his wrist is the pulse.
and under his ribs the heart of the people,
Laughing!
Laughing the stormy, husky, brawling laughter of
Youth, half-naked, sweating, proud to be Hog
Butcher, Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat, Player with
Railroads and Freight Handler to the Nation.
“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!

— The End —