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FIRST DAY

1.
Who wanted me
to go to Chicago
on January 6th?
I did!

The night before,
20 below zero
Fahrenheit
with the wind chill;
as the blizzard of 99
lay in mountains
of blackening snow.

I packed two coats,
two suits,
three sweaters,
multiple sets of long johns
and heavy white socks
for a two-day stay.

I left from Newark.
**** the denseness,
it confounds!

The 2nd City to whom?
2nd ain’t bad.
It’s pretty good.
If you consider
Peking and Prague,
Tokyo and Togo,
Manchester and Moscow,
Port Au Prince and Paris,
Athens and Amsterdam,
Buenos Aries and Johannesburg;
that’s pretty good.

What’s going on here today?
It’s friggin frozen.
To the bone!

But Chi Town is still cool.
Buddy Guy’s is open.
Bartenders mixing drinks,
cabbies jamming on their breaks,
honey dew waitresses serving sugar,
buildings swerving,
fire tongued preachers are preaching
and the farmers are measuring the moon.

The lake,
unlike Ontario
is in the midst of freezing.
Bones of ice
threaten to gel
into a solid mass
over the expanse
of the Michigan Lake.
If this keeps up,
you can walk
clear to Toronto
on a silver carpet.

Along the shore
the ice is permanent.
It’s the first big frost
of winter
after a long
Indian Summer.

Thank God
I caught a cab.
Outside I hear
The Hawk
nippin hard.
It’ll get your ear,
finger or toe.
Bite you on the nose too
if you ain’t careful.

Thank God,
I’m not walking
the Wabash tonight;
but if you do cover up,
wear layers.

Chicago,
could this be
Sandburg’s City?

I’m overwhelmed
and this is my tenth time here.

It’s almost better,
sometimes it is better,
a lot of times it is better
and denser then New York.

Ask any Bull’s fan.
I’m a Knickerbocker.
Yes Nueva York,
a city that has placed last
in the standings
for many years.
Except the last two.
Yanks are # 1!

But Chicago
is a dynasty,
as big as
Sammy Sosa’s heart,
rich and wide
as Michael Jordan’s grin.

Middle of a country,
center of a continent,
smack dab in the mean
of a hemisphere,
vortex to a world,
Chicago!

Kansas City,
Nashville,
St. Louis,
Detroit,
Cleveland,
Pittsburgh,
Denver,
New Orleans,
Dallas,
Cairo,
Singapore,
Auckland,
Baghdad,
Mexico City
and Montreal
salute her.



2.
Cities,
A collection of vanities?
Engineered complex utilitarianism?
The need for community a social necessity?
Ego one with the mass?
Civilization’s latest *******?
Chicago is more then that.

Jefferson’s yeoman farmer
is long gone
but this capitol
of the Great Plains
is still democratic.

The citizen’s of this city
would vote daily,
if they could.

Chicago,
Sandburg’s Chicago,
Could it be?

The namesake river
segments the city,
canals of commerce,
all perpendicular,
is rife throughout,
still guiding barges
to the Mississippi
and St. Laurence.

Now also
tourist attractions
for a cafe society.

Chicago is really jazzy,
swanky clubs,
big steaks,
juices and drinks.

You get the best
coffee from Seattle
and the finest teas
from China.

Great restaurants
serve liquid jazz
al la carte.

Jazz Jazz Jazz
All they serve is Jazz
Rock me steady
Keep the beat
Keep it flowin
Feel the heat!

Jazz Jazz Jazz
All they is, is Jazz
Fast cars will take ya
To the show
Round bout midnight
Where’d the time go?

Flows into the Mississippi,
the mother of America’s rivers,
an empires aorta.

Great Lakes wonder of water.
Niagara Falls
still her heart gushes forth.

Buffalo connected to this holy heart.
Finger Lakes and Adirondacks
are part of this watershed,
all the way down to the
Delaware and Chesapeake.

Sandburg’s Chicago?
Oh my my,
the wonder of him.
Who captured the imagination
of the wonders of rivers.

Down stream other holy cities
from the Mississippi delta
all mapped by him.

Its mouth our Dixie Trumpet
guarded by righteous Cajun brethren.

Midwest?
Midwest from where?
It’s north of Caracas and Los Angeles,
east of Fairbanks,
west of Dublin
and south of not much.

Him,
who spoke of honest men
and loving women.
Working men and mothers
bearing citizens to build a nation.
The New World’s
precocious adolescent
caught in a stream
of endless and exciting change,
much pain and sacrifice,
dedication and loss,
pride and tribulations.

From him we know
all the people’s faces.
All their stories are told.
Never defeating the
idea of Chicago.

Sandburg had the courage to say
what was in the heart of the people, who:

Defeated the Indians,
Mapped the terrain,
Aided slavers,
Fought a terrible civil war,
Hoisted the barges,
Grew the food,
Whacked the wheat,
Sang the songs,
Fought many wars of conquest,
Cleared the land,
Erected the bridges,
Trapped the game,
Netted the fish,
Mined the coal,
Forged the steel,
Laid the tracks,
Fired the tenders,
Cut the stone,
Mixed the mortar,
Plumbed the line,
And laid the bricks
Of this nation of cities!

Pardon the Marlboro Man shtick.
It’s a poor expostulation of
crass commercial symbolism.

Like I said, I’m a
Devil Fan from Jersey
and Madison Avenue
has done its work on me.

It’s a strange alchemy
that changes
a proud Nation of Blackhawks
into a merchandising bonanza
of hometown hockey shirts,
making the native seem alien,
and the interloper at home chillin out,
warming his feet atop a block of ice,
guzzling Old Style
with clicker in hand.

Give him his beer
and other diversions.
If he bowls with his buddy’s
on Tuesday night
I hope he bowls
a perfect game.

He’s earned it.
He works hard.
Hard work and faith
built this city.

And it’s not just the faith
that fills the cities
thousand churches,
temples and
mosques on the Sabbath.

3.
There is faith in everything in Chicago!

An alcoholic broker named Bill
lives the Twelve Steps
to banish fear and loathing
for one more day.
Bill believes in sobriety.

A tug captain named Moe
waits for the spring thaw
so he can get the barges up to Duluth.
Moe believes in the seasons.

A farmer named Tom
hopes he has reaped the last
of many bitter harvests.
Tom believes in a new start.

A homeless man named Earl
wills himself a cot and a hot
at the local shelter.
Earl believes in deliverance.

A Pullman porter
named George
works overtime
to get his first born
through medical school.
George believes in opportunity.

A folk singer named Woody
sings about his
countrymen inheritance
and implores them to take it.
Woody believes in people.

A Wobbly named Joe
organizes fellow steelworkers
to fight for a workers paradise
here on earth.
Joe believes in ideals.

A bookkeeper named Edith
is certain she’ll see the Cubs
win the World Series
in her lifetime.
Edith believes in miracles.

An electrician named ****
saves money
to bring his family over from Gdansk.
**** believes in America.

A banker named Leah
knows Ditka will return
and lead the Bears
to another Super Bowl.
Leah believes in nostalgia.

A cantor named Samuel
prays for another 20 years
so he can properly train
his Temple’s replacement.

Samuel believes in tradition.
A high school girl named Sally
refuses to get an abortion.
She knows she carries
something special within her.
Sally believes in life.

A city worker named Mazie
ceaselessly prays
for her incarcerated son
doing 10 years at Cook.
Mazie believes in redemption.

A jazzer named Bix
helps to invent a new art form
out of the mist.
Bix believes in creativity.

An architect named Frank
restores the Rookery.
Frank believes in space.

A soldier named Ike
fights wars for democracy.
Ike believes in peace.

A Rabbi named Jesse
sermonizes on Moses.
Jesse believes in liberation.

Somewhere in Chicago
a kid still believes in Shoeless Joe.
The kid believes in
the integrity of the game.

An Imam named Louis
is busy building a nation
within a nation.
Louis believes in
self-determination.

A teacher named Heidi
gives all she has to her students.
She has great expectations for them all.
Heidi believes in the future.

4.
Does Chicago have a future?

This city,
full of cowboys
and wildcatters
is predicated
on a future!

Bang, bang
Shoot em up
Stake the claim
It’s your terrain
Drill the hole
Strike it rich
Top it off
You’re the boss
Take a chance
Watch it wane
Try again
Heavenly gains

Chicago
city of futures
is a Holy Mecca
to all day traders.

Their skin is gray,
hair disheveled,
loud ties and
funny coats,
thumb through
slips of paper
held by nail
chewed hands.
Selling promises
with no derivative value
for out of the money calls
and in the money puts.
Strike is not a labor action
in this city of unionists,
but a speculators mark,
a capitalist wish,
a hedgers bet,
a public debt
and a farmers
fair return.

Indexes for everything.
Quantitative models
that could burst a kazoo.

You know the measure
of everything in Chicago.
But is it truly objective?
Have mathematics banished
subjective intentions,
routing it in fair practice
of market efficiencies,
a kind of scientific absolution?

I heard that there
is a dispute brewing
over the amount of snowfall
that fell on the 1st.

The mayor’s office,
using the official city ruler
measured 22”
of snow on the ground.

The National Weather Service
says it cannot detect more
then 17” of snow.

The mayor thinks
he’ll catch less heat
for the trains that don’t run
the buses that don’t arrive
and the schools that stand empty
with the addition of 5”.

The analysts say
it’s all about capturing liquidity.

Liquidity,
can you place a great lake
into an eyedropper?

Its 20 below
and all liquid things
are solid masses
or a gooey viscosity at best.

Water is frozen everywhere.
But Chi town is still liquid,
flowing faster
then the digital blips
flashing on the walls
of the CBOT.

Dreams
are never frozen in Chicago.
The exchanges trade
without missing a beat.

Trading wet dreams,
the crystallized vapor
of an IPO
pledging a billion points
of Internet access
or raiding the public treasuries
of a central bank’s
huge stores of gold
with currency swaps.

Using the tools
of butterfly spreads
and candlesticks
to achieve the goal.

Short the Russell
or buy the Dow,
go long the
CAC and DAX.
Are you trading in euro’s?
You better be
or soon will.
I know
you’re Chicago,
you’ll trade anything.
WEBS,
Spiders,
and Leaps
are traded here,
along with sweet crude,
North Sea Brent,
plywood and T-Bill futures;
and most importantly
the commodities,
the loam
that formed this city
of broad shoulders.

What about our wheat?
Still whacking and
breadbasket to the world.

Oil,
an important fossil fuel
denominated in
good ole greenbacks.

Porkbellies,
not just hogwash
on the Wabash,
but bacon, eggs
and flapjacks
are on the menu
of every diner in Jersey
as the “All American.”

Cotton,
our contribution
to the Golden Triangle,
once the global currency
used to enrich a
gentlemen class
of cultured
southern slavers,
now Tommy Hilfiger’s
preferred fabric.

I think he sends it
to Bangkok where
child slaves
spin it into
gold lame'.

Sorghum,
I think its hardy.

Soybeans,
the new age substitute
for hamburger
goes great with tofu lasagna.

Corn,
ADM creates ethanol,
they want us to drive cleaner cars.

Cattle,
once driven into this city’s
bloodhouses for slaughter,
now ground into
a billion Big Macs
every year.

When does a seed
become a commodity?
When does a commodity
become a future?
When does a future expire?

You can find the answers
to these questions in Chicago
and find a fortune in a hole in the floor.

Look down into the pits.
Hear the screams of anguish
and profitable delights.

Frenzied men
swarming like a mass
of epileptic ants
atop the worlds largest sugar cube
auger the worlds free markets.

The scene is
more chaotic then
100 Haymarket Square Riots
multiplied by 100
1968 Democratic Conventions.

Amidst inverted anthills,
they scurry forth and to
in distinguished
black and red coats.

Fighting each other
as counterparties
to a life and death transaction.

This is an efficient market
that crosses the globe.

Oil from the Sultan of Brunei,
Yen from the land of Hitachi,
Long Bonds from the Fed,
nickel from Quebec,
platinum and palladium
from Siberia,
FTSE’s from London
and crewel cane from Havana
circle these pits.

Tijuana,
Shanghai
and Istanbul's
best traders
are only half as good
as the average trader in Chicago.

Chicago,
this hog butcher to the world,
specializes in packaging and distribution.

Men in blood soaked smocks,
still count the heads
entering the gates of the city.

Their handiwork
is sent out on barges
and rail lines as frozen packages
of futures
waiting for delivery
to an anonymous counterparty
half a world away.

This nation’s hub
has grown into the
premier purveyor
to the world;
along all the rivers,
highways,
railways
and estuaries
it’s tentacles reach.

5.
Sandburg’s Chicago,
is a city of the world’s people.

Many striver rows compose
its many neighborhoods.

Nordic stoicism,
Eastern European orthodoxy
and Afro-American
calypso vibrations
are three of many cords
strumming the strings
of Chicago.

Sandburg’s Chicago,
if you wrote forever
you would only scratch its surface.

People wait for trains
to enter the city from O’Hare.
Frozen tears
lock their eyes
onto distant skyscrapers,
solid chunks
of snot blocks their nose
and green icicles of slime
crust mustaches.
They fight to breathe.

Sandburg’s Chicago
is The Land of Lincoln,
Savior of the Union,
protector of the Republic.
Sent armies
of sons and daughters,
barges, boxcars,
gunboats, foodstuffs,
cannon and shot
to raze the south
and stamp out succession.

Old Abe’s biography
are still unknown volumes to me.
I must see and read the great words.
You can never learn enough;
but I’ve been to Washington
and seen the man’s memorial.
The Free World’s 8th wonder,
guarded by General Grant,
who still keeps an eye on Richmond
and a hand on his sword.

Through this American winter
Abe ponders.
The vista he surveys is dire and tragic.

Our sitting President
impeached
for lying about a *******.

Party partisans
in the senate are sworn and seated.
Our Chief Justice,
adorned with golden bars
will adjudicate the proceedings.
It is the perfect counterpoint
to an ageless Abe thinking
with malice toward none
and charity towards all,
will heal the wounds
of the nation.

Abe our granite angel,
Chicago goes on,
The Union is strong!


SECOND DAY

1.
Out my window
the sun has risen.

According to
the local forecast
its minus 9
going up to
6 today.

The lake,
a golden pillow of clouds
is frozen in time.

I marvel
at the ancients ones
resourcefulness
and how
they mastered
these extreme elements.

Past, present and future
has no meaning
in the Citadel
of the Prairie today.

I set my watch
to Central Standard Time.

Stepping into
the hotel lobby
the concierge
with oil smooth hair,
perfect tie
and English lilt
impeccably asks,
“Do you know where you are going Sir?
Can I give you a map?”

He hands me one of Chicago.
I see he recently had his nails done.
He paints a green line
along Whacker Drive and says,
“turn on Jackson, LaSalle, Wabash or Madison
and you’ll get to where you want to go.”
A walk of 14 or 15 blocks from Streeterville-
(I start at The Chicago White House.
They call it that because Hillary Rodham
stays here when she’s in town.
Its’ also alleged that Stedman
eats his breakfast here
but Opra
has never been seen
on the premises.
I wonder how I gained entry
into this place of elite’s?)
-down into the center of The Loop.

Stepping out of the hotel,
The Doorman
sporting the epaulets of a colonel
on his corporate winter coat
and furry Cossack hat
swaddling his round black face
accosts me.

The skin of his face
is flaking from
the subzero windburn.

He asks me
with a gapped toothy grin,
“Can I get you a cab?”
“No I think I’ll walk,” I answer.
“Good woolen hat,
thick gloves you should be alright.”
He winks and lets me pass.

I step outside.
The Windy City
flings stabbing cold spears
flying on wings of 30-mph gusts.
My outside hardens.
I can feel the freeze
deepen
into my internalness.
I can’t be sure
but inside
my heart still feels warm.
For how long
I cannot say.

I commence
my walk
among the spires
of this great city,
the vertical leaps
that anchor the great lake,
holding its place
against the historic
frigid assault.

The buildings’ sway,
modulating to the blows
of natures wicked blasts.

It’s a hard imposition
on a city and its people.

The gloves,
skullcap,
long underwear,
sweater,
jacket
and overcoat
not enough
to keep the cold
from penetrating
the person.

Like discerning
the layers of this city,
even many layers,
still not enough
to understand
the depth of meaning
of the heart
of this heartland city.

Sandburg knew the city well.
Set amidst groves of suburbs
that extend outward in every direction.
Concentric circles
surround the city.
After the burbs come farms,
Great Plains, and mountains.
Appalachians and Rockies
are but mere molehills
in the city’s back yard.
It’s terra firma
stops only at the sea.
Pt. Barrow to the Horn,
many capes extended.

On the periphery
its appendages,
its extremities,
its outward extremes.
All connected by the idea,
blown by the incessant wind
of this great nation.
The Windy City’s message
is sent to the world’s four corners.
It is a message of power.
English the worlds
common language
is spoken here,
along with Ebonics,
Espanol,
Mandarin,
Czech,
Russian,
Korean,
Arabic,
Hindi­,
German,
French,
electronics,
steel,
cars,
cartoons,
rap,
sports­,
movies,
capital,
wheat
and more.

Always more.
Much much more
in Chicago.

2.
Sandburg
spoke all the dialects.

He heard them all,
he understood
with great precision
to the finest tolerances
of a lathe workers micrometer.

Sandburg understood
what it meant to laugh
and be happy.

He understood
the working mans day,
the learned treatises
of university chairs,
the endless tomes
of the city’s
great libraries,
the lost languages
of the ancient ones,
the secret codes
of abstract art,
the impact of architecture,
the street dialects and idioms
of everymans expression of life.

All fighting for life,
trying to build a life,
a new life
in this modern world.

Walking across
the Michigan Avenue Bridge
I see the Wrigley Building
is neatly carved,
catty cornered on the plaza.

I wonder if Old Man Wrigley
watched his barges
loaded with spearmint
and double-mint
move out onto the lake
from one of those Gothic windows
perched high above the street.

Would he open a window
and shout to the men below
to quit slaking and work harder
or would he
between the snapping sound
he made with his mouth
full of his chewing gum
offer them tickets
to a ballgame at Wrigley Field
that afternoon?

Would the men below
be able to understand
the man communing
from such a great height?

I listen to a man
and woman conversing.
They are one step behind me
as we meander along Wacker Drive.

"You are in Chicago now.”
The man states with profundity.
“If I let you go
you will soon find your level
in this city.
Do you know what I mean?”

No I don’t.
I think to myself.
What level are you I wonder?
Are you perched atop
the transmission spire
of the Hancock Tower?

I wouldn’t think so
or your ears would melt
from the windburn.

I’m thinking.
Is she a kept woman?
She is majestically clothed
in fur hat and coat.
In animal pelts
not trapped like her,
but slaughtered
from farms
I’m sure.

What level
is he speaking of?

Many levels
are evident in this city;
many layers of cobbled stone,
Pennsylvania iron,
Hoosier Granite
and vertical drops.

I wonder
if I detect
condensation
in his voice?

What is
his intention?
Is it a warning
of a broken affair?
A pending pink slip?
Advise to an addict
refusing to adhere
to a recovery regimen?

What is his level anyway?
Is he so high and mighty,
Higher and mightier
then this great city
which we are all a part of,
which we all helped to build,
which we all need
in order to keep this nation
the thriving democratic
empire it is?

This seditious talk!

3.
The Loop’s El
still courses through
the main thoroughfares of the city.

People are transported
above the din of the street,
looking down
on the common pedestrians
like me.

Super CEO’s
populating the upper floors
of Romanesque,
Greek Revivalist,
New Bauhaus,
Art Deco
and Post Nouveau
Neo-Modern
Avant-Garde towers
are too far up
to see me
shivering on the street.

The cars, busses,
trains and trucks
are all covered
with the film
of rock salt.

Salt covers
my bootless feet
and smudges
my cloths as well.

The salt,
the primal element
of the earth
covers everything
in Chicago.

It is the true level
of this city.

The layer
beneath
all layers,
on which
everything
rests,
is built,
grows,
thrives
then dies.
To be
returned again
to the lower
layers
where it can
take root
again
and grow
out onto
the great plains.

Splashing
the nation,
anointing
its people
with its
blessing.

A blessing,
Chicago?

All rivers
come here.

All things
found its way here
through the canals
and back bays
of the world’s
greatest lakes.

All roads,
rails and
air routes
begin and
end here.

Mrs. O’Leary’s cow
got a *** rap.
It did not start the fire,
we did.

We lit the torch
that flamed
the city to cinders.
From a pile of ash
Chicago rose again.

Forever Chicago!
Forever the lamp
that burns bright
on a Great Lake’s
western shore!

Chicago
the beacon
sends the
message to the world
with its windy blasts,
on chugging barges,
clapping trains,
flying tandems,
T1 circuits
and roaring jets.

Sandburg knew
a Chicago
I will never know.

He knew
the rhythm of life
the people walked to.
The tools they used,
the dreams they dreamed
the songs they sang,
the things they built,
the things they loved,
the pains that hurt,
the motives that grew,
the actions that destroyed
the prayers they prayed,
the food they ate
their moments of death.

Sandburg knew
the layers of the city
to the depths
and windy heights
I cannot fathom.

The Blues
came to this city,
on the wing
of a chirping bird,
on the taps
of a rickety train,
on the blast
of an angry sax
rushing on the wind,
on the Westend blitz
of Pop's brash coronet,
on the tink of
a twinkling piano
on a paddle-wheel boat
and on the strings
of a lonely man’s guitar.

Walk into the clubs,
tenements,
row houses,
speakeasies
and you’ll hear the Blues
whispered like
a quiet prayer.

Tidewater Blues
from Virginia,
Delta Blues
from the lower
Mississippi,
Boogie Woogie
from Appalachia,
Texas Blues
from some Lone Star,
Big Band Blues
from Kansas City,
Blues from
Beal Street,
Jelly Roll’s Blues
from the Latin Quarter.

Hell even Chicago
got its own brand
of Blues.

Its all here.
It ended up here
and was sent away
on the winds of westerly blows
to the ear of an eager world
on strong jet streams
of simple melodies
and hard truths.

A broad
shouldered woman,
a single mother stands
on the street
with three crying babes.
Their cloths
are covered
in salt.
She pleads
for a break,
praying
for a new start.
Poor and
under-clothed
against the torrent
of frigid weather
she begs for help.
Her blond hair
and ****** features
suggests her
Scandinavian heritage.
I wonder if
she is related to Sandburg
as I walk past
her on the street.
Her feet
are bleeding
through her
canvass sneakers.
Her babes mouths
are zipped shut
with frozen drivel
and mucous.

The Blues live
on in Chicago.

The Blues
will forever live in her.
As I turn the corner
to walk the Miracle Mile
I see her engulfed
in a funnel cloud of salt,
snow and bits
of white paper,
swirling around her
and her children
in an angry
unforgiving
maelstrom.

The family
begins to
dissolve
like a snail
sprinkled with salt;
and a mother
and her children
just disappear
into the pavement
at the corner
of Dearborn,
in Chicago.

Music:

Robert Johnson
Sweet Home Chicago


jbm
Chicago
1/7/99
Added today to commemorate the birthday of Carl Sandburg
CK Baker Jan 2017
Thank you ~
for a life not to trade
blessings, in spades
tight spaces
behind laundry doors
packed closets
and open drawers
gator tails, tarnished brass
cracks in kitchen sliding glass
wet towels, withering plants
foundation filled
with carpenter ants
buckets piled with
shoes and tags
village clothes
and saddlebags
peeling paint
and broken walls
****** seats
in bathroom stalls
clogged pantry
frigid rooms
table scribe
and carbon fumes
comfort capsules
empty tanks
broken limbs
from children’s pranks
**** finger
double tongue
long goodbyes
and sidewalk dung
cluster flies
chavie’ clique
accompanying
the hypocrite
cracked back
and hidden smiles
chalk on board
with mr miles
atomic wedgies
closing doors
wrotten eggs
and open sores
jaw jack
nasty folk
dinner calls
for pig in poke
penny pinchers
double dip
yellow mouth
and silver tip
brown nosers
thick red tape
paper cuts
and pimple nape
gallivants
so out of norm
the joy of life
in basic form
Toni Seychelle Feb 2013
The ground beneath the stiff leaves is frozen. The cold, brisk air invades my lungs, I exhale, my breath visible. I step over fallen branches and tugged by thorny vines. A red tail hawk screeches overhead, this is a sign of good luck. There is no path, no trail to mark our way, just an old, flat railroad bed surrounded by walls of shale, blown up for the path of the train so long ago. The only ties to remind of the rail are the rotting, moss covered ties that once were a part of a bridge that would have carried the train over a small creek between two steep hills. I see a fox burrow, and it's escape hatch is one of the hollowed railroad ties. I want to be a fox... The trek down this hill is not easy, thorny blackberry bushes and fallen trees impede progress. At the bottom, the small, bubbly creek is frozen at the edges, traveling under rocks and continuing its ancient path. I look up the hill that I just descended, and wonder how the return will go. Keep moving. The next hill will be easier, there are no thorny tangles, just treacherous leaf litter that will give under my feet if I don't find the right footing. The trick is to dig my boots into the ground as if I'm on steps. These hills are steep. Finally at the top, I look back at this little spring valley, I'm not that high up, but what view. Here, there is a dilapidated tree stand, falling apart from years of neglect and weather. Surrounded by deep leaf litter, there is a patch of rich dark earth, a buck has marked his spot, his round pellets are nearby. The saplings catch my hair as I walk by, and at these moments I am thankful for this cold snap that took care of the ticks. A creepy feeling takes over me, so thankful for this snap. A few feet further, as I watch where I am walking, another tussled bit of earth and I notice some interesting ****. It's furry and light grey; I poke it with my stick and find a small skull when I turn a piece over. Owl. I continue my walk, I didn't come here to play with poo. The last time I took this hike was three years ago, on a similar frigid day. It was a lot easier to make it through the shale valleys. Last summer, a wind storm felled trees and took out power for two weeks. The evidence of that derecho is clear here in this untouched forest. I remembered a tree, which now is a fallen giant, that had lost it's bark. The bark had separated and laid around this tree like a woman's skirt around her ankles. Now the tree lies with it's bark. I pass another tree I recognize whose branch extends out but zig zags up and down, as if it had three elbows. The tree signifies my next move, to descend from the flat railroad bed, down to a creek that flows through the tunnel that would have carried the train. The creek is considerably larger than the last creek I could step across. Descending towards the creek leads me over moss covered rocks and limbs, still bearing snow. Outside the tunnel, the hill walls are large stones, covered in a thick layer of moss, some of which has started to fall off due to heaviness. There's a sort of ice shelf in the creek, it's three layers thick and can support my one hundred and twenty pounds. Laying across the creek is another derecho-felled tree. Some sort of critter has crawled on this, using it to avoid the water below and as a short cut up the hill. His claw marks are covering the the limb, a few are more clear, it looks as if the creature almost slipped off. His claw marks show a desperate cling. I walk through the tunnel, in the mud and water; the creek echoes inside. I look above. There are drainage holes lining the ceiling, one is clogged by a giant icicle. I imagine the train that used to ride over this tunnel, I pretend to hear it and feel the rumbling. The last time we were here, we found cow skeletons. We placed a few heads on branches and one over the tunnel. We stuck a jaw, complete with herbivore teeth, into the mossy wall and a hip bone on a sapling. The hip bone reminded us of Predator's mask in the movie. All these bones are turning green. When I was here before, there was a bone half submerged in the creek; I had taken a picture of it but today, it isn't here. I'm sure it was washed away. After our exploration of the previous visit, we turned back. We are cold again, can't stay in one place too long. I climb through the deep leaf litter and over the rocks back to the railroad bed. Passing all the things I've already seen and spotting things I missed. I find two more fox burrows. They utilized the shale rock and burrowed underneath the jutting formations. Hidden coming from the south, the gaping openings seem welcoming from the north. My friends, the spelunkers and climber, want to descend into the darkness but I remind them, it is an hour to sundown, our trek is hard enough with overcast daylight. Wisdom prevails. We pass a tree, we didn't notice before, that was struck by lightening. The cedar tree was split in two and fell down the shale wall. I see the evidence of the burn and a smoldered residue at the base. Nature has a cruel way of recycling. The downed tree still has snow on it and the path of a raccoon is visible, I like the paws of *****. Though the way is flat, the walls of shale tower above us, limiting routes. At one point I can't see through the fallen trees I have to pass through. I have to crab walk under, crawl over, duck again and find my way around the thorny collections of bare black berry bushes. Finally into a clearing, still surrounded by sharp shale, there is another wall covered in inches of thick, healthy moss. I place my hand, taking time to stroke the furry wall. My hand leaves an imprint. I wonder how long that will last.. Back down the steep hill up and up the thorny tangle. I know I'm on the right path up, I see the fox's hole through the railroad tie, and his entrance burrow up the hill. Going down was definitely easier. The summit is literally overgrown with thorns, there is no clear path through. It is, again, impossible to see through the tangle of limbs and saplings and more thorns. Somehow we make it through. We are close to breaking off this path. We know this by the remains of a cow skeleton that more than likely fell from the top of the shale cliff. Femurs and ribs and jaws abound. On the last trip, we placed a hip bone in the "Y" of a sapling. The young tree has claimed it, growing around it. We add a piece of jaw to the tree's ornamentation and move on. We climb down from the railroad bed to our car - parked on the side of the road with a white towel in the window so that no one suspects a group of people walking through private property, past faded NO TRESPASSING signs.

When I undress for bed later, there are many small scratches up and down my legs from those ****** thorny vines. I'm okay with that, it's better than searching for ticks in my head.
I couldn't write a 'poem' about this hike. It was too full of nature.
The Moon and Sun shared Ecliptical Longitudes the night They murdered The child.

Beneath a stelliferous empyrean,
Like Sojourners among the quiescent Twilight, Mother and child, Ventured to meet the woman’s husband, the father of the child.

She, no more than five and ten years Old,
The child, a girl, of only months,
Lay swaddled across the Woman’s
*****, tucked inside a papoose.
A rustic device carefully woven
From wool and hide, in it contained a
Priceless world.

She cooed and clucked in the frigid
Night air.
The sound penetrated the
Spectral calm and was matched only
By the maternal soothing of a muted hum.
Together, they represented the
Heathen form of the wilderness,
The Tempi Madonna among the
Silver and shadow moonbeams that
Glimmered like the dust of diamonds
Across the river’s obsidian sheen.  

Ahead, where the river narrows,
The silence stirred and was broken.
Hushed voices rose from the outer
Dark.
The woman strained to listen.

(British Soldiers, she thought)

Foreign words...

        (Drunken and ravenous)

                         ...slithered from their mouths like Venom. Fear bloomed in the woman’s Chest.
Her heartbeat quickened.

        (Touched by the chill of terror)

Her eyes darted madly about the
Darkness.

         (Alone no longer)

Their  shadows manifested like
Smoke along the tree line.
Their
Features blurred in the darkness.
Their gestures muted.
Like birds of
Prey, they set motionless upon their
Perch along the stony shore.

I say, a man said. Indian children are natural born swimmers,
Capable at birth of swimming great distances.

Utter foolishness, old boy, another opined.

We will need proof of this claim, my good sir, an anonymous voice Quipped from somewhere in the dark.

She let escape from her full lips
The tiniest of shrieks.
Followed immediately
By
Sick
Regret.

(stupid girl, her mother’s voice echoed in the dark.
                             You always were too impulsive.)

Rage consumed her as
She struggled against the current.  
She tried to paddle for deeper
Water as the men broached
The black sheen of the river.

The moments passed by
In jagged surrealism.
There was no sound
When they pitched the woman
And child into the
Frigid abysm.

The splashing of water.
The gasping
For air.
The primal
Grapple and
Grunt of men.
The cold, pungent scent of
Fear and sweat mixed with the
Alcohol-stale air.
The twisting of
Hands that groped about the
Darkness.

         (Her rage now eclipsed by fear)

She inhaled.
Her body, numb.
Her appendages quaked.
Her body fading
As they fall upon her.
Their thick bodies
Blacked out the stars.
Their gaunt faces
Pinched and rucked in the
Moonlight
Reflected the fury, the
Hatred, and
The disgust for what would come next.
Their hands moved across her
Ravenous
Like demons as they
Groped at her small body
Beneath the choppy wash of the
River.

(A hand grazed her thigh and she shrieked in Terror. Another
         gnashed at her buttock. Another fell upon her back. Her mind
         reeled at the possibilities of what would need to come next.)

They tore at her clothing.
Her body jarred about the water as
She writhed against their grasps.
She clawed against the murk.                  
    
         (Escape the horror)

She released the paddle—

(Forever lost to the deep, useless to her now)

Hysterical animalistic thoughts
Trounced off their tongues as they
Laughed at her doom—

        (Like a pack of hyenas)

She kicked at them in nameless
Places.
She thrusted her hand into
The fabric where the child had been
Moments before cooing and clucking. 
Mere moments ago she had sang to the
Babe the same song her
Mother had once sung
To her.

             (she felt nothing where the child had been…)    

She struggled away from them.
Her mind frantic with pain, the cold,
And panic
For the child.
She no longer cared for
Herself, or what they would need to
Do with her body.
Her appendages
Flailed and churned in the dark water.
          
         (A single gasp of air followed by
              The burning inhale of water)

A shrill call to the child—

(a name lost to time)

Her voice cut through their maniacal
Laughter.
It echoed off the water and vanished,
Disappearing entirely
In the outer gloom of the wilderness.

        (like afterthoughts, lost)

She groped relentlessly among the
Water for the child.
The men, near
Frozen, lost interest and returned to
The adjacent shoreline.
It was more ****** that way.
They jeered at her,
Proud of themselves.
          
        (The seething lust of the mindless savage, she thinks)

Their mouths salivate
As they watched
Vicariously.
Her struggle
Became the current
For which she bore.
The impending death of the woman even
More satisfying than the feeling against their flesh of her cunning, wet crease that lies exposed between
Her brown legs.
They watch like wolves
Unable to reach their prey,
Desperate for fresh meat.
Despite the frigid cold,
Their *****, hard,
With the anticipation of death.

The woman clamored among the darkness
She searched for the child.
Heavy fingers fell upon woolen fabric
By chance—

(Hope bloomed in her constricted chest)

Her body finally beginning to seize
Exhaustion permeated
Her mind.
She freed the papoose
From the frozen depths and expelled
The last bit of energy she possessed
To swim to the far side of the shore,
Temporarily out of their reach.

The soldiers,
Quiet now,
Returned to the spectral woods.
They disappeared back down the
Black road from which they came.

She felt the blood as it began to
Return to her appendages, the pins And needles feeling erupting in them.
Her teeth clattered nearly exploding In her mouth.
Her body
Quaked Violently

         (The child, near in her mind, cried)

She reached for it.
Her chest,
Rising and
Falling,
Rapid like the river
As she inhaled the burning,
Frozen air.
The child let loose a cough and  
She clutched it
tighter to her *****.  

(Deny the river its prize)

A stream of consciousness,
Steadily slipped from her lips.

       (A great heathen prayer calling up some
                       Great Spirit
                                As she relentlessly brokered
                                            For a
                                       Life for a life)

The moments passed by like hours.
And the
Great Spirit, with
His wanton lust
For despair, did not manifest that night.

The child fell silent, then still.
The tears came now.
Blurred vision and
Angry sobs.
Darkness consumed entire.

The river flowed by her electric as if
Its lights descended from a place far
Beyond the black taciturn veil of
Night to reflect the merciless
Tragedies among the wretched souls of
The Maine Woods.
L B Jul 2018
For my cousin, Chris Goldrick

Lacing my skates
after walking two miles
in girl-strictured delight
Mom's stories of Sonja Henie--
No, not ever

Lacing my skates
with  snow-ball pompoms
felt skirt
and nylon tights
Cute little hat with matching scarf
My thighs and fingers
already freezing
icy burn
from miles on foot

to get there
the lake where--

I must get out
I must get OUT!

Knowing what
to expect from my body
the quick-twitch of muscle
Could always sense
specific--
gravity of water    
at 22 degrees

Desiring to feel
the motion between ice and steel
Read speed's vibrations through my body
The brain registers relation
to weather's effect
Tell of velocity
possibility of fall
Feel the slash of the blades beneath me
Throw my weight sideways, sudden
to hear that furious hiss
An object in motion tending, dire
to stay in motion

Threatening to stay there
always
in its heights-- of speed
away--

from the crowds of skaters
swirling distant in the lights

Seeking instead
the farthest reaches of Porter Lake
speed and speed and more
to overcome
inertia
of what it is to become
undone

at the outer edges, of humanity
A force  
centrifugal unto myself

Avoiding

Pregnant and slow
with years and babes....

The best
must be broken and tamed
of what it takes to stay free

catching the edges with every stride
catching my toe in the quick
180
spray of frost
to the sudden still

Listen to the frigid chill

and the heave of my breath
tumbling into evidence

Gliding
Once

Forever--

on, into darkness
of woods on frozen water

The wildness of it all

So infatuated with flight
so full of grace

I forgot Sonja

The moon rose
from her seat in the treetops
and applauded
Wrote this immediately from a dream a couple months ago.  With all the heat and humidity, it sounded good to go today.

This dream was an actual relived memory of being 12 years old and skating at Porter Lake in Forest Park of Springfield, Massachusetts.  22 degrees F is minus 5.5 C --Just a reference
Emmy Feb 2015
The moon a bright, fat cauliflower in the early morning sky
Blistering cold seeping into the skin on the thighs
Burning in your fingers
A profound quietness blankets 7 am
Much like the soft snow blanketing the jagged black ice
Sky and ground synonymous hues of bluish white
Sleepy bark naked trees jut up from the ground
Whispering hushed things
Of frigid beauty frozen into the retina from a snowy night
1318

Frigid and sweet Her parting Face—
Frigid and fleet my Feet—
Alien and vain whatever Clime
Acrid whatever Fate.

Given to me without the Suit
Riches and Name and Realm—
Who was She to withhold from me
Penury and Home?
Joanne Chan Jun 2015
A lone voice calls out
Never reaching the stars
Left floating in frigid space
On a blind, infinite journey
Rejection

Nearby are others
Insults are constant gifts
Thrown like red meteorites
And suffocating nebulas
Rejection

Even the cruel pain
Ripping mercilessly
A black hole ******* souls in
Ruthless strength conquers everything
Rejection
MC Hammered Nov 2013
I am a frigid winter
morning.

I am the
icy chill holding your flesh
inseparable from mine.

I am the full frozen gusts
caressing
dead branches.

I am the gray shroud
hiding yesterdays
bright skies.

I am a frigid
winter morning.
Nereo Cafolla Jul 2018
Over the icy hills you hear a breath;
As this field sinks in the frigid blue
It spreads in the soul a fear of death.
The hope to return still lives in you.

How can you be so blind not to see?      
That even your worst foe could be      
                  
Your best friend behind these lines.       
A scream drowns in the darkness,
Now he is rotting as the moon shines.
There are no heroes in this grey mess.
Is it worth to waste human meat?
What is victory but a lucky defeat?
v V v May 2011
Beware the frigid woman
who can lean upon the stars
but never gather light
or comprehend heat.

She hides what to reveal
would turn her lover’s eyes away,
the scars her daddy left,
the guilt thrown at the pews,
the touch of too many,
the touch of too few.

For strangers she
will fly the moon, for you
she comes home tired
to sleep on nails.

A master of conditional love
she heaps her baggage on the ones
who love her most,
entitlement
the only truth she breathes.

She never goes to where
you'd  take her

she only commits to
deception

and stacks of Bibles do nothing
to bring forth truth

I tell you this much

the light across the dawn is more
than just the sun
and everything you give her
will rust.
Previously published at ****** and Novocaine, December 2012
ghost queen Feb 2019
you are may
i am december
kisses exchanged
during the bluing hour
child like
staring at you
in wonder and amazement
frosting night
falling snow
flakes in your auburn hair
i walk you home
in the cold frigid air
holding your hand
dreaming of you

you are rare
a beacon
a lighthouse
in a storm
in my daydreams
you are the pixie, the fairy inspiring me  
at night
you are the siren, i surrender to

a trifecta of youth, beauty, personality
you are refreshingly young
spring in my wintered life
preternaturally beautiful
perfection come to life
your femininity bewitching  
your youth intoxicating
your mannerism seducing
i would do anything for you

oozing sensuality
innocences
of a woman on the cusp
you hunger for sophistication
to be worldly-wise
seeking passage guidance
from an experienced traveller
the trade, the deal, is timeless
refined by evolution  

i am humbled
to have been chosen
the ultimate champion
of your ****** selection
in turn, you are my trophy
the spoils
of a never ending war

i know our time is short
the span of a bloom
a season at most
i know the outcome
seen the devastation
the problem is
we think we have time
https://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/24/arts/design/24wilson.html
Tea Feb 2012
Afraid of Fire and Frigid Bite.

sanity colliding with urging action
at first alone and forgotten
stricken with a fierce confusion
tired of the fight against allusion

I only hoped to let you know,
how I felt so alone..
but you held out a safety rope
drowning, gag and choke
I grabbed it and began to float
confused and afraid of hurt
I hold on but still afraid to lurk
lurk closer to knowing you
the pain can sting and so can you


but a beauties their, deep and clear
its glowing light draws me near
afraid of fire.. but not of warmth
I fight the frost on the earth
a fire blisters or a frigid bite
the day to far from fear of night
so I walk a razor edge
I tiptoe a dotted line
with only you on my mind
Dead Rose One Mar 2015
In The Prison Of Winter, No Rise, No Set**

orbit nearly closed,
the radio announcer gleefully
chirruping, the twittering fool,
"only ** graves to X off till
                                               spring"

the weight of the prior
the wait of the more
no matter how little
yet to come
                    too much insufferable

having suffered
multiple life sentences
you snit ****, u don't know better,
ha, they don't even run
                                         concurrently


there are no sunsets
in the girding grays
of harsher enough and words that fail me,
are the winners in the
winter of the ****,
tests and hunts,
I have successfully
                                 failed

of course I'm wrong you
petulant hobgoblin wringing
nyet from me you'll get no concession,
**** science,
there are no sunsets in the winter
and the sunrises,
short unsweetened,
light-less, less of less,
frigid glaring revealers
of dead trees
and deader
                    men

maybe in the Rockies,
perhaps the Alps,
wonderlands photoshopped,
pretty lies on the Internet BS posted

where I live,
wear the wear the weary
neath the sweat stink of layers of
unbundled choking hands,
winter's damage
assessed and assessment is
never overdue, payable in
                                             immediacy

heating bills I can't pay,
a job that said no more of you,
unpretty please,
a woman who sorcerer-scarced herself
right freaking black magic quick,
trust me I have certified verified,
me and Nixon,
X's on the kitchen calendar,
there is daylight, there is mighty night,
almighty in long and colorless
and nothing in between,
but the smog stained slush of
                                                    smothered life

but definitely
no sunrises and no sunsets
watched all day from the
imprisoning kitchen window
which doubles
as a *******
                       mirror

there are no, not any,
you know what,
cannot even say them,
the pipe dreams of better yet,
pipes that have beaten down
me and my
disassociated senses,
signed sealed and now delivered,
from the formerly known as
The Summer Man
Salty rancher spackle is to Earthy diva smackers as Swinging hotel number is to?
Rippling cling bread is to Three lizard chariots as Indigo lime tangent is to?
Nighttime reunion planet is to Nettle lane scuffle as Soaking spider *** is to?
Fancy trance logs are to Sticky fudge lather as Vivacious gator college is to?
Cheerful blossom face is to Secret tractor rocket as Canned gremlin emblems are to?
Jealous pitchfork generals are to Heartbreaking patchwork veranda as Folding robot noise is to?
Pretty rhino rash is to Lost locket vengeance as Back pocket weather is to?
Frosted candy sidewalk is to Sneaky kook code as Shiny waffle smoke is to?
Sapphire cloud romance is to Magnetic comet lava as Blue triangle envy is to?
Vanishing honey melody is to Thermal elf pajamas as Whistling iceboat shampoo is to?
Peach mint politics is to Frozen doll pennies as Rusty anchor catapult is to?
Swollen pony fever Throbbing sword kazoo as Silent turbine science is to?
Obese germ thunder is to Stacked lemon towers as Corrupt moon jockey is to?
Demented insect whistle is to Glass trophy cleanup as Purple geode bubble is to?
Nighttime razor slime is to Lacquered dragon maps as Tint paper mittens are to?
**** camel drops are to Velvet ****** shoes as Slippery red muffins are to?
Flying hot drool is to Pale chocolate telescope as Tin trumpet ballet is to?
Expensive puppy speed is to Flowered duck mirror as Cosmic needle factory is to?
Fractured laser doodles are to Cracked butter gravel as Rubber holster straps are to?
Majestic panther fortress is to Jeweled cork target as Iron swan taxi is to?
Poisonous pepper bouillon is to ****** goat soap as Chrome feather pirates are to?
Digital gorilla scriptures are to Timid hunter stench as Frozen domino video is to?
Eccentric troll opera is to Transparent wax village as Spoiled coral agony is to?
Bizarre green metal is to Pillow eating hamster as Leather cavern ***** are to?
Eternal hurricane evidence is to Powdered rainbow perfume as Smoking yellow prune is to?
Liquid wish cleanser is to Exploding meadow ladders as Brittle rose hammer is to?
Caged foam filter is to Cherry balloon string as Ivory cactus spider is to?
Carbon puppet watch is to Sad kings compass as Elastic lace whiskers are to?
Nitrogen trolley dust is to Lazy elephant toffee as Orange toad choir is to?
Dark pole zodiac is to Blue finger blanket as Illegal bug nozzle is to?
Stinky towel cookies are to White jade caskets as Sticky snail tea is to?
Converting stellated caramels is to Mythic aerosol socks as Rubber raspberry jokes are to?
Flying clock carousel is to Whisky nut worms as Plastic fish platforms are to?
Queasy Vaseline queens are to Moody pigeon pills as Aqua mice fur is to?
Spotted bowl shadow is to Idiotic radiance lotion as Bungalow toad hearse is to?
Gushing chimney fungus is to Funky lamb acrobat as Utopian **** sprinkler is to?
Twinkling bungalow tablet is to Botanical duck rope as Bug hat ram is to?
Broken clock fossil is to Black ginger confetti as Parisian cobra meatloaf is to?
Silly Xerox ribbon is to Obedient raccoon carny as Traditional cat linguini is to?
Last astral advisor is to Elastic badger riddles as Broken circle rifles are to?
Bagged squire channel is to Temporary mosaic cake as Ancient bacon thread is to?
Wireless math army is to Moronic neon money as Pearl razor radar is to?
Rubber buzzard blizzard is to Troubled bubble wizard as Crushed hash ******* is to?
Purple birdy cure is to Tangled frost blossoms as Silken bridal saddle is to?
Unisex owl accordion is to Sugar bottomed boat as Optical nougat treasure is to?
Flavored saline rain is to Black arrow clan as Transistorized clam guitar is to?
Sharpened twig scar is to Mutant beet sonar as Baked troll mask is to?
Boxed noodle secrets are to Traditional guru buttons as Glossy marshmallow strategy is to?
Vibrating melted jelly is to Silver furniture dream as Spewing collated seats is to?
Burnt mountain pickles are to Baby preacher shoes as Sympathetic pilot pain is to?
Narrow portal treaty is to Monkey warehouse vacancy as Painted tornado trap is to?
Porch penny sulfur is to Glowing pony fat as Patched mattress bait is to?
Frigid waitress fallacy is to Graphic shrimp salute as Misted sneezing window is to?
Moist apple moss is to Daddy’s zoom seed as Downtown Pope cart is to?
Tired felon trickle is to Holographic squirrel candle as Wild ray hay is to?
Deadly zero chalk is to Folding wilderness chart as Curved ******* vacuum is to?
Hollow porcelain pellets are to Strawberry rain stencils as Microwave taxi nomads are to?
Wasted machete balcony is to Crumpled creature confessions as Fridge fuzzed fruit is to?
Sloppy demon damage is to Squeaky puppet chuckle as Mental arcade combat is to?
Monster trout stories are to Lewd pirate cocktail as Locked mammal grommet is to?
Rotting rope network is to Tragic toy goat as Cotton submarine shoes are to?
Complex pepper dance is to ****** cloud cushion as Marching taxi holiday is to?
Mental petal collectors are to Spooned barn putty as Dork factory fiction is to?
Hot spotted tops are to Timed stepping pests as Yogurt notching tartar is to?
Crazy dog comics are to Ambitious cartoon sphinx as Pavlov’s zinc ballet is to?
Soiled spinster wedding is to Padded razor wound as Floating fish map is to?
Slippery leopard pants are to Perfumed nut button as Dart wizard party is to?
Needy alien elephants are to Barking garden gnats as Quasar focused paper is to?
Slanted heart **** is to Bronzed cliff sandals are to Cunning jockey jokes are to?
***** thumbprint massage is to Holistic princess memory as Sliding dental sword is to?
Drifting wood whistle is to Fluorescent carpet powder as Foam dragon whistle is to?
Chopped web shadow is to Immortal vermin soup as Collapsing porch conspiracy is to?
Stolen thunder chant is to Haunted comet heart as Swollen throat portrait is to?
Fragrant frost parfait is to Grumpy caveman *** as Random stingray solo is to?
Squeaky polar turbine is to Silent lava fever as Oversized lunar fulcrum is to?
Synthetic dew droppers are to Pocket poster paste as Hypnotic screen dog is to?
Symbolic whirlpool nausea is to Dreaming tree phantom as Log badge bracket is to?
Camp hippo map is to Horseradish seizure insurance as Distant insect mirror is to?
German lady sherbet is to Stuntman laundry wax as Hungry butterfly ghost is to?
Fly smudged foil is to Amped maze coil as Shifting optic terror is to?
Automatic sheep floss is to Panoramic tanker anchor as Throbbing bone pillow is to?
Mutant clown village is to Nightmare translation treasure as Spotted spectral chakra is to?
Blind roach tweat is to Hermit worm tiara as Divine logo ritual is to?
Glueless gun stamp is to Malicious spam pump as Floral toffee pods are to?
Dudgeon mist removal is to Menacing bolt smacker as Boating duke shadow is to?
Costly metal plungers are to Creaky buzzing gushers as Glowing star cushions are to?
Raked barge sludge is to Crusted cream glitter as Zircon gutter babble is to?
Fake gold scholar is to Amish ******* mogul as Faithful ***** choir is to?
Sacred limo prayers are to Fried mice café as Splintered ****** thimble is to?
Dealing rabbit decals is to Pelican bongo festival as Patched equator rot is to?
Freedom gourd gasoline is to Cobblers studying acorns as Desecrated dice crater is to?
Tattered tapestry rod is to Busted particle scanner as Bogus piffle catalogue is to?
Trifle truffle raffle is to Last lamb laminate as Segmented cake goggles are to?
Domestic tackle tactic is to Ticking tic talk as Cordial corps coordinates is to?
Tucked duck caftan is to Sunken ramp ruckus as Wretched ranch rhetoric is to?
Clearly incomprehensible directions are to Useful archaic nonsense as Antiquated skeletal outline is to?
Bewildered beasts feasting are to Lazy busybodies resting as Vaccinating brave volunteers are to?
Lucky wagon dragons are to Famous gargoyle gargle as Formal postman funding is to?
Furrowed shroud chowder is to Borrowed tartan pajamas as Martini mixed algebra is to?
Cowgirl balloon helium is to Chewy glucose habitat as Stationary monument movement is to?
Diamond powered powder is to Diagonal diameter diagram as Purposely condensed expansion is to?
Organic iodine capsule is to Gleaming beach probe as Dominant dome static is to?
Shaving wrinkled targets is to Petting sensible monsters as Selling invisible whiskey is to?
Frozen piano architecture is to Note dotted clouds as Screaming Korean worms are to?
Sonic plant website is to Telepathic climbing clam as Bored protein exercise is to?
Gourmet mollusk cone is to Numb poodle caravan as Asian raven radar is to?
Rigel Ordinario Aug 2012
You will not hear the ticking clock,
For hath the phantom hour loom—
As the frigid air stirs and flocks.

I hear the vi’lent click. A lock.
All sounds succumb to the raucous boom.
You will not hear the ticking clock.

The shadows one cannot outwalk—
In fear and gloom, they loom and bloom,
As the frigid air stirs and flocks.

Where yon might lie in satin frock,
In barren and desolate room—
You will not hear the ticking clock.

The raven squawks its final squawk,
And falls to the ground—we presume—
As the frigid air stirs and flocks.

Run from Death—to hills and boondocks—
He’ll find you in the spumes and flumes!
You will not hear the ticking clock.
As his frigid hands stir and flock.
Connor Apr 2018
-I-

Adoration-
Somnambulists cast
paradise magic, allowing a thimble to fall
upon the floor of our private heaven
(a perfect disquiet to our loving)

We daily reveal our reclusive
sensitivities, a flash (a lowered head, laughing distinctly)
Trailing close behind German poets/path of devotion, a second summit of their passionate influence, rippling generations ago now:

(vineyards caught by grasping suddenness/placating daytime/fig & flame/false tower of Babel, ornamental ruin/he feels owed the sensations of an active spirit, to repent the contrary forces within him/myself)

-II-
                      & upon my reflection in the Cabaret of Hell,
I see a gate perched at the base of my wondrous
Sehnsucht-apparition

                    BLUE MOON                 WALLFLOWER

(or perhaps the other way around?)

Overtaken by oscillating darkness/hall of mirrors (memories)
distorted flashbulb *** and anger

until the acts become indistinguishable from themselves/doubly
******* tigers brushstroked in animal blood... essence of devour/temper/
captivation, incredible lips, pulp teeth, pure excitement all disfigured
& joyous

-III-

My azzurine goddess, faced away in
shame, no wonder why!

(hair let down in a drowsy spill of
uncertain hours, wavering in a sullen high, thickly feeling,
the immensity/pleasure renounced for a cabbalist subliminity)

Mockery of the dead dead dog/blind in boyhood/while
curious ghosts skate across the ice-peripheral of our dreaming

I feel love, and horror/a frigid hand who's body I have dissolved-
-caressing my back tenderly
bordering terrific malevolence

...Later, in another try at my own eternal return, I find my comfort brother, accompanied by an overhead
divination lantern..

pounding! At the sun skull, for you (my cherished)
are of high order
I tempt soaking the cloth,
to steer the intention

..missing black mass, indulging instead
on feverish Damascus perfume

Splash ramp
down. Flesh, wailing
vampire/poet
hidden by darkly earth to inevitably
decay by their self-solitude

(descent writhes in the milk of heartache
and cusps the night firmly in his *****
withering palms)

I refuse this fate, and
in Western-fashion
fire down the city worshipper which was once
I, too        (unmercifully so)

..burying his bones in the Scottish dirt

Terrarium hydrangeas, pale (yourIrises) lipstick daggers
slashing in the white sleeve-
red with epicurean
baptism

-IV-

Big bad wolf
banished to his hole,
I kiss the winter fruit clean from your mouth (succumbing to pinnacles of fire/your lost domain) ******* on pebbles, trying to crack through the surface
like a dragon's egg for pride
(big bad wolf is hungry)
We wear away the season, memorizing the newspapers
which are tossed carelessly to our door. Ah, the kitchen ballet dancers are finally tired..endowed to the triplicate beauty
that we individually define (takes a bit to get there)

You/I privileged to ******* Venice with our mutual
imagination,                              owing to Calvino

To crave eachother
as an Acrobat craves the

trapeze
Xandra Lynch Dec 2018
I hate this town
The beige color hangs all over it
The sky is heavy and frigid
Not the kind of frigid that invigorates you
Not the kind of frigid that runs through you
Not the kind of frigid that buzzes around you and causes the hairs on your arms to rise
The kind of dull, heavy, good-for-nothing frigid that is like a wet blanket on you.
This town absorbs the inspiration from me
Like how the universe ***** all of our souls eventually
With cruel passion no longer how you fail to escape it
This is the town that grows on you
Like a parasite
Pagan Paul May 2018
.
Snow drifts down
     laying a lawn cold sheet
across the frozen ground,
          creating art reliefs
like acid etching glass,
open space rolling and undulating,
in small hills and depressions,
     bedecked in a veil of white.
The silence is deafening,
quiet having been enjoyed
     and surpassed,
briefly punctuated by the call of a bird,
     A sharp whistle that shrieks
and attacks the silence.
The fresh smell of snowfall wafts up
     as it settles and glistens
in the light of silver moonbeams,
randomly peeping through clouds.
The taste of peace,
                     tranquility,
in the frigid air,
sends imagination soaring
from the desolation of isolation
to another time and place.
          The snow falls,
     falls,
in a relentless race for the ground,
               all is still,
               nothing stirs,
as the moor welcomes its quilt
and sleeps with a cold heart,
     dreaming,
                       of being kissed by the Sun.



© Pagan Paul (28/05/18)
.
Alif Imran Apr 2016
Help me, help me,
They’re coming,
Singing their eerie rhythm
They are coming,
Coming to get me,
Help me, help me,
From the ferocious man- like-monster,
They come and drown you in the guilt,
The guilt they created,
They left you alone,
In the pitch black of the guilt frigid well,
Filled with human guilty tears,
Hurry,
Save me from the human frigid guilty
jane taylor Apr 2016
The chill in the frigid night air
casts tremors of lingering shadows
upon an ancient windowsill
where a liquescent candle’s glow dims.

Peering into shattered mirrors’
silver hued jagged edges
that no longer reflect counterfeit images
a nascent paradigm unfurls in the wind.

Terrifying diminutive steps are taken
in directions au courant
enabled by years of refinement
in torrid near incessant fires.

An excrescence of wisdom
has broken the weathered mold
allowing a senescent wisdom
to shimmer a phosphorescent glow.

The venerable map leading
to this transcendent destination
is not read but perceived
through intuition’s faint whisperings.

©2015 janetaylor
address to soundcloud version
https://soundcloud.com/user-229781433/whispers-1
Surrationality Jan 2014
She's a cold one

The kind of cold
that drives deeply

Frigid and
lingeringly painful
Invisible but tangible scars

She's a cold one who
never knows just what she does
but does it anyway
unknowingly cruel

With teeth that seek
and find the flesh,
wounds with depth
that never completely heal
that have a memory

Some wounds know where and
how to hurt you
again again again
never excruciating in
the same way
but unavoidably agonizing

She's a cold one who persists
who hopes the coat protects
who doesn't see the frostbite
who is an unwitting succubus
who poisons the soul with frost
who makes warmth
fade, dwindle, disappear
By David John Mowers

Oceanus, Acheron, Styx and Gyges, Phlegethon,

Phaeacians lament, mourn the loss, Scheria, dissolved in froths.

Virgil’s tale, found correct, a land too good, a nation wrecked,

Nausikaa, burn the ships; their minds released, cool airy nips,

Below the wave, watery grave, submerged to bottom, fathoms by stave,

Fathoms some more, until the whorl, descending to, another world.

Through Omphalos, to Land of Sleep, awaits a beast, where time has ceased,

Darkness here, underworld, cold and frigid, below the whirl,

In solemn grave, souls released, judged and counted, by the beast,

Deeper than, the deep itself, past drowning fairies and dying elves,

Who did mourn them? Those golden men, magic mariners, Mino's kin?

What wrong was seen? What vice not true? What awful sin? What did they do?

One thousand years, first black age, Two thousand more, to find the stage,

Cast off Aries and cast Orion, to find beginning, of Golden Lion.

Man of Heavens, Beast agrees, Bull of Sky, Ox of seas,

Land of Punt, Land of Éire, Ogyges blue, hearts on fire,

All the seashores, all the mines, Tribe of Dan, from ancient times,

Port of Sais, Port of Thera, Port of Lagash, bygone era,

Sailor’s horse, Minotaur, a lyre is crying, strummed guitar, nation dying, abattoir.

Ochre foams to sanguine depth, there they rested, where Kronos slept,

He’ll never answer, he doesn’t care, we’ll never know, if this was fair.

Our hearts in sadness, hands on the gates! I curse you Poseidon!

. . .and your Sea of Fates!
Every historical and mythological reference to the kingdom of Atlantis which was destroyed by it's founder; Poseidon. All of the characters including the archaeological agreement on the historical basis along with Geo-location as well as an approximate age of occurrence, extent of the kingdom set to metered rhyme.
Little Lyssie May 2017
Petals
Decorating my bedroom floor.
Lit candles
Flickering upon nightstands.
Our favorite gentle music
Dancing into my ears.
And you're there, too
Waiting upon bed sheets
Silently
Bidding me come.
And as passion befalls me
Cold, frigid water
Rushes down my naked skin.
The warm water exhausted
Brings me back
To sitting in the shower
Alone
I miss you, baby
Katlyn Orthman Jan 2015
Winter wraps its fingers
in my frozen heart
never ceasing

Giving my burning chest
frigid air that
keeps me breathing
Bouazizi’s heavy eyelids parted as the Muezzin recited the final call for the first Adhan of the day.

“As-salatu Khayrun Minan-nawm”
Prayer is better than sleep

Rising from the torment of another restless night, Bouazizi wiped the sleep from his droopy eyes as his feet touched the cold stone floor.

Throughout the frigid night, the devilish jinn did their work, eagerly jabbing away at Bouazizi with pointed sticks, tormenting his troubled conscience with the worry of his nagging indebtedness. All night the face of the man Bouazizi owed money to haunted him. Bouazizi could see the man’s greasy lips and brown teeth jawing away, inches from his face. He imagined chubby caffeine stained fingers reaching toward him to grab some dinars from Bouazizi’s money box.

Bouazizi turned all night like he was sleeping on a board of spikes. His prayers for a restful night again went unanswered. The pall of a blue fatigue would shadow Bouazizi for most of the day.

Bouazizi’s weariness was compounded by a gnawing hunger. By force of habit, he grudgingly opened the food cupboard with the foreknowledge that it was almost bare. Bouazizi’s premonition proved correct as he surveyed a meager handful of chickpeas, some eggs and a few sparse loaves. It was just enough to feed his dependant family; younger brothers and sisters, cousins and a terminally disabled uncle. That left nothing for Bouazizi but a quick jab to his empty gut. He would start this day without breakfast.

Bouazizi made a living as a street vendor. He hustles to survive. Bouazizi’s father died in a construction accident in Libya when he was three. Since the age of 10, Bouazizi had pushed a cart through the streets of Sidi Bouzid; selling fruit at the public market just a few blocks from the home that he has lived in for almost his entire life.

At 27 years of age, Bouazizi has wrestled the beast of deprivation since his birth. To date, he has bravely fought it to a standstill; but day after day the multi-headed hydra of life has snapped at him. He has squarely met the eyes of the beast with fortitude and resolve; but the sharp fangs of a hardscrabble life has sunken deep into Bouazizi’s spleen. The unjust rules of society are powerful claws that slash away at his flesh, bleeding him dry: while the spiked tendrils of poverty wrap Bouazizi’s neck, seeking to strangle him.

Bouazizi is a workingman hero; a skilled warrior in the fight for daily bread. He is accustomed to living a life of scarcity. His daily deliverance is the grace of another day of labor and the blessed wages of subsistence.

Though Allah has blessed this man with fortitude the acuteness of terminal want and the constant struggle to survive has its limits for any man; even for strong champions like Bouazizi.

This morning as Bouazizi washed he peered into a mirror, closely examining new wrinkles on his stubble strewn face. He fingered his deep black curls dashed with growing streaks of gray. He studied them through the gaze of heavy bloodshot eyes. He looked upward as if to implore Allah to salve the bruises of daily life.

Bouazizi braced himself with the splash of a cold water slap to his face. He wiped his cheeks clean with the tail of his shirt. He dipped his toothbrush into a box of baking powder and scoured an aching back molar in need of a root canal. Bouazizi should see a dentist but it is a luxury he cannot afford so he packed an aspirin on top of the infected tooth. The dissolving aspirin invaded his mouth coating his tongue with a bitter effervescence.

Bouazizi liked the taste and was grateful for the expectation of a dulled pain. He smiled into the mirror to check his chipped front tooth while pinching a cigarette **** from an ashtray. The roach had one hit left in it. He lit it with a long hard drag that consumed a good part of the filter. Bouazizi’s first smoke of the day was more filter then tobacco but it shocked his lungs into the coughing flow of another day.

Bouazizi put on his jacket, slipped into his knockoff NB sneakers and reached for a green apple on a nearby table. He took a big bite and began to chew away the pain of his toothache.

Bouazizi stepped into the street to catch the sun rising over the rooftops. He believed that seeing the sunrise was a good omen that augured well for that day’s business. A sunbeam braking over a far distant wall bathed Bouazizi in a golden light and illumined the alley where he parked his cart holding his remaining stock of week old apples. He lifted the handles and backed his cart out into the street being extra mindful of the cracks in the cobblestone road. Bouazizi sprained his ankle a week ago and it was still tender. Bouazizi had to be careful not to aggravate it with a careless step. Having successfully navigated his cart into the road, Bouazizi made a skillful U Turn and headed up the street limping toward the market.

A winter chill gripped Bouazizi prompting him to zip his jacket up to his neck. The zipper pinched his Adam’s Apple and a few droplets of blood stained his green corduroy jacket. Though it was cold, Bouazizi sensed that spring would arrive early this year triggering a replay of a recurring daydream. Bouazizi imagined himself behind the wheel of a new van on his way to the market. Fresh air and sunshine pouring through the open windows with the cargo space overflowing with fresh vegetables and fruits.

It was a lifelong ambition of Bouazizi to own a van. He dreamed of buying a six cylinder Dodge Caravan. It would be painted red and he would call it The Red Flame. The Red Flame would be fast and powerful and sport chrome spinners. The Red Flame would be filled with music from a Blaupunkt sound system with kick *** speakers. Power windows, air conditioning, leather seats, a moonroof and plenty of space in the back for his produce would complete Bouazizi’s ride.

The Red Flame would be the vehicle Bouazizi required to expand his business beyond the market square. Bouazizi would sell his produce out of the back of the van, moving from neighborhood to neighborhood. No longer would he have to wait for customers to come to his stand in the market. Bouazizi would go to his customers. Bouazizi and the Red Flame would be known in all the neighborhoods throughout the district. Bouazizi shook his head and smiled thinking about all the girls who would like to take rides in the Red Flame. Bouazizi and his Red Flame would be a sight to be noticed and a force to be reckoned with.

“EEEEEYOWWW” a Mercedes horn angrily honked; jarring Bouazizi from the reverie of his daydream. A guy whipping around the corner like a silver streak stuck his head out the window blasting with music yelling, “Hey Mnayek, watch where you push that *******.”

The music faded as the Mercedes roared away. “Barra nikk okhtek” Bouazizi yelled, raising his ******* in the direction of the vanished car. “The big guys in the fancy cars think the road belongs to them”, Bouazizi mumbled to himself.

The insult ****** Bouazizi off, but he was accustomed to them and as he limped along pushing his cart he distracted himself with the amusement of the ascending sun chasing the fleeting shadows of the night, sending them scurrying down narrow alleyways.

Bouazizi imaged himself a character from his favorite movie. He was a giant Transformer, chasing the black shadows of evil away from the city into the desert. After battling evil and conquering the bad guys, he would transform himself back into the regular Bouazizi; selling his produce to the people as he patrolled the highways of Tunisia in the Red Flame, the music blasting out the windows, the chrome spinners flashing in the sunlight. Bouazizi would remain vigilant, always ready to transform the Red Flame to fight the evil doers.

The bumps and potholes in the road jostled Bouazizi’s load of apples. A few fell out of the wooden baskets and were rolling around in the open spaces of the cart. Bouazizi didn’t want to risk bruising them. Damaged merchandise can’t be sold so he was careful to secure his goods and arrange his cart to appeal to women customers. He made sure to display his prized electronic scale in the corner of the cart for all to see.

Bouazizi had a reputation as a fair and generous dealer who always gave good value to his customers. Bouazizi was also known for his kindness. He would give apples to hungry children and families who could not pay. Bouazizi knew the pain of hunger and it brought him great satisfaction to be able to alleviate it in others.

As a man who valued fairness, Bouazizi was particularly proud of his electronic scale. Bouazizi was certain the new measuring device assured all customers that Bouazizi sold just and correct portions. The electronic scale was Bouazizi’s shining lamp. He trusted it. He hung it from the corner post of his cart like it was the beacon of a lighthouse guiding shoppers through the treachery of an unscrupulous market. It would attract all customers who valued fairness to the safe harbor of Bouazizi’s cart.

The electronic scale is Bouazizi’s assurance to his customers that the weights and measures of electronic calculation layed beyond any cloud of doubt. It is a fair, impartial and objective arbiter for any dispute.

Bouazizi believed that the fairness of his scale would distinguish his stand from other produce vendors. Though its purchase put Bouazizi into deep debt, the scale was a source of pride for Bouazizi who believed that it would help his profits to increase and help him to achieve his goal of buying the Red Flame.

As Bouazizi pushed his cart toward the market, he mulled his plan over in his mind for the millionth time. He wasn't great in math but he was able to calculate his financial situation with a degree of precision. His estimations triggered worries that his growing debt to money lenders may be difficult to payoff.

Indebtedness pressed down on Bouazizi’s chest like a mounting pile of stones. It was the source of an ever present fear coercing Bouazizi to live in a constant state of anxiety. His business needed to grow for Bouazizi to get a measure of relief and ultimately prosper from all his hard work. Bouazizi was driven by urgency.

The morning roil of the street was coming alive. Bouazizi quickened his step to secure a good location for his cart at the market. Car horns, the spewing diesel from clunking trucks, the flatulent roar of accelerating buses mixed with the laughs and shrieks of children heading to school composed the rising crescendo of the city square.

As he pushed through the market, Bouazizi inhaled the aromatic eddies of roasting coffee floating on the air. It was a pleasantry Bouazizi looked forward to each morning. The delicious wafts of coffee mingling with the crisp aroma of baking bread instigated a growl from Bouazizi’s empty stomach. He needed to get something to eat. After he got money from his first sale he would by a coffee and some fried dough.

Activity in the market was vigorous, punctuated by the usual arguments of petty territorial disputes between vendors. The disagreements were always amicably resolved, burned away in rising billows of roasting meats and vegetables, the exchange of cigarettes and the plumes of tobacco smoke rising as emanations of peace.

Bouazizi skillfully maneuvered his cart through the market commotion. He slid into his usual space between Aaban and Aameen. His good friend Aaban sold candles, incense, oils and sometimes his wife would make cakes to sell. Aameen was the markets most notorious jokester. He sold hardware and just about anything else he could get his hands on.

Aaban was already burning a few sticks of jasmine incense. It helped to attract customers. The aroma defined the immediate space with the pleasant bouquet of a spring garden. Bouazizi liked the smell and appreciated the increased traffic it brought to his apple cart.

“Hey Basboosa#, do you have any cigarettes?“, Aameen asked as he pulled out a lighter. Bouazizi shook the tip of a Kent from an almost empty pack. Aameen grabbed the cigarette with his lips.

“That's three cartons of Kents you owe me, you cheap *******.” Bouazizi answered half jokingly. Aameen mumbled a laugh through a grin tightly gripping the **** as he exhaled smoke from his nose like a fire breathing dragon. Bouazizi also took out a cigarette for himself.

“Aameem, give me a light”, Bouazizi asked.

Aameen tossed him the lighter.

“Keep it Basboosa. I got others.” Aameen smiled as he showed off a newly opened box of disposable lighters to sell on his stand.

“Made in China, Basboosa. They make everything cheap and colorful. I can make some money with these.”

Bouazizi lit his next to last cigarette. He inhaled deeply. The smoke chased away the cool air in Bouazizi’s lungs with a shot of a hot nicotine rush.

“Merci Aameen” Bouazizi answered. He put the lighter into the almost empty cigarette pack and put it into his hip pocket. The lighter would protect his last cigarette from being crushed.

The laughter and shouts of the bazaar, the harangue of radio voices shouting anxious verses of Imam’s exhorting the masses to submit and the piecing ramble of nondescript AM music flinging piercing unintelligible static surrounded Bouazizi and his cart as he waited for his first customers of the day.

Bouazizi sensed a nervous commotion rise along the line of vendors. A crowd of tourists and locals milling about parted as if to avoid a slithering asp making its way through their midst. The hoots of vendors and the cackle of the crowd made its way to Bouazizi’s knowing ear. He knew what was coming. It was nothing more then another shakedown by city officials acting as bagmen for petty municipal bureaucrats. They claim to be checking vendor licences but they’re just making the rounds collecting protection money from the vendors. Pocketing bribes and payoffs is the municipal authorities idea of good government. They are skilled at using the power of their office to extort tribute from the working poor.

Bouazizi made the mistake of making eye contact with Madame Hamdi. As the municipal authority in charge of vendors and taxis Madame Hamdi held sway over the lives of the street vendors. She relished the power she had over the men who make a meager living selling goods in the square; and this morning she was moving through the market like a bloodhound hot on the trail of an escaped convict. Two burly henchmen lead the way before her. Bouazizi knew Madame Hamdi’s hounds were coming for him.

Bouazizi knew he was ******. Having just made a payment to his money lender, Bouazizi had no extra dinars to grease the palm of Madame Hamdi. He grabbed the handle bars of his cart to make an escape; but Madame Hamdi cut him off and got right into into Bouazizi’s face.

“Ah little Basboosa where are you going? she asked with the tone of playful contempt.

“I suppose you still have no license to sell, ah Basboosa?” Madame Hamdi questioned with the air of a soulless inquisitor.

“You know Madame Hamdi, cart vendors do not need a license.” Bouazizi feebly protested, not daring to look into her eyes.

“Basboosa, you know we can overlook your violations with a small fine for your laxity” a dismissive Madame Hamdi offered.

Bouazizi’s sense of guilt would not permit him to lift his eyes. His head remained bowed. Bouazizi stood convicted of being one of the impoverished.

“I have no spare dinars to offer Madame Hamdi, My pockets are empty, full of holes. My money falls into everyone’s palm but my own. I’m sorry Madame Hamdi. I’ll take my cart home”. He lifted the handlebars in an attempt to escape. One of Madame Hamdi’s henchmen stepped in front of his cart while the other pushed Bouazizi away from it.

“Either you pay me a vendor tax for a license or I will confiscate your goods Basboosa”, Madame Hamdi warned as she lifted Bouazizi’s scale off its hook.

“This will be the first to go”, she said grinning as she examined the scale. “We’ll just keep this.”
Like a mother lion protecting a defenseless cub from the snapping jaws of a pack of ravenous hyenas, Bouazizi lunged to retrieve his prized scale from the clutches of Madame Hamdi. Reaching for it, he touched the scale with his fingertips just as Madame Hamdi delivered a vicious slap to Bouazizi’s cheek. It halted him like a thunderbolt from Zeus.

A henchman overturned Bouazizi’s cart, scatter
Three years ago today Muhammad Bouazizi set himself on fire igniting the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia sparking the Arab Spring Uprisings of 2011.
going without sleep is a thrill
how many drugs will i take before
my demeanor is crystal clear
with angelic brushes of grace and sincerity

when will i love my mind, body and soul
when will the snow come for me?
let the frost overcome my body heat
let it burrow into my skin
frigid parasites to devour us whole

my limbs are shaking
with energy from
drug induced freedom
from the shackles of feeling

do i abuse it,
or does it abuse me?
Tryst Feb 2016
Winter, From Summer

Winter's kiss reveals
barren nests in arbored rests
summer's love conceals

Winter's veil behests
larder meals in burrowed fields
summer's sleep divests


Summer, From Winter

Summer's hand repeals
frigid tests of nature's guests
winter's grasp unseals

Summer's warmth invests
life's ordeals on newborn squeals
winter's chill arrests
Wanderer Jul 2012
Waking up startled, to battering wind and rain.
Tide marks surging to great gasping heights.
Catching breaths stolen by the wind.
Ashes to ashes and dust to dust.
Watching idly by while pieces of you dissolve into the shadows.
I want those clouds weaving through my fingertips.
Their curious renderings like powdered ***** sugar.
Taste it and they fall heavy with gloom like **** death in the aftermath of such storm.

Counting the miles to the storm.
Ticking, tocking, and clicking.
The clock waiting in anticipation for the next thunderous sound.
Cold shivers up my spine like a thousand Carolina insults.
Your ghost still haunts and seeps into my pores lastly at night.
I taste defeat in the way you love.
It's like weaving clouds between my fingertips
Trying to grasp and hold onto every flowing motion of you pulling away from me

My cold, cracked walls are surged.
Towered over in their crumbling decay.
I want to taste your rain.
Your lips gently sink into mine.
Crushed velvet smooth and warm waking up the army of dead hearts ready for battle.
I am no warrior but there's blood painted across my sky.
Red sky in the morning, sailors warning, as I float on out into your turbulent seas.
Looking back on shore I realize that I'm finally home.

These seas roll uneasy.
Queasy.
Watching thru the mist towards our lighthouse that guided us to these depths
Trembling away like an afterthought.
The land has disappeared into the mouth of the shark.
Digested in the belly of a whale of angels.
Our sorrow holds us here, anchoring us to the tumultuous waves.
We battle our sea sickness with kisses of death lingering.
The soft pull of our exile turned oblivion.

Navigating with open wounds the silky expanse of midnight unwinding above us, within us.
Knowing us through and through.
An island of quivering vulnerability breaks the static horizon.
Lights, smog beginning to choke the sea air in my lungs.
Too long you've been left unkempt, grown comfortable.
That will change with new currents,
North winds bringing the frigid breath of winter.

Licking the sun off of the salty expanse of our sunburned red flesh.
The ****** of desperation lingers thru our moaning fingers
Feeling and pleading for our SOS call to be heard by anyone’s ears but ours.
The shores of this icy water leave my mind beneath the dredges of polar sleep.
We've grown strained, frost bitten, and distant in the few feet we are able to part.
The growling of hunger satiates our parched thirst.

I am rendered speechless adrift without you.
Hurricanes a coming.
Stand fast.
Secure the riggings.
Solaris brightens to light the way into calmer seas.
Those tepid shores of wonder and new beginnings fade into the horizon.
It's just you and me left to face the swelling tide.
Hang on.
The water is rising.
No one left to pull us saturated and insatiable from these waters of shadow and secrets.

The siren's song will bring us to our sharp shore end.
Resist the silky flow of nocturnal snakes wrapped around chilled flesh
Pulling closer to our aquatic hearts.
Hades and Persephone bond.
Glowing abysmal rage.
Holy grail veins.
Bleeding back into the orange crush dawn.
Night gives way to hollow rebirth
But once again we are inside one another.
Infinite.

These waves crash on overboard.
Trying to drag us back into the frigid depths with each ebb and flow.
With each crash of wave I can feel our resolve growing weaker.
The sensation of just letting go and giving in.
Should we let go and just give in?
Leave ourselves at the mercy of shipwrecks.
This hurricane dance we've perfected on the endless depthless ocean
Left us weak and willing to pull ourselves apart.
To taste our insides on the outsides.
How many times I've wondered have you noticed my stare.
The lustful licking of my sun blistered lips.
I want to taste the way you think and feel the warmth of your life to keep me alive.
The oceans call, I have heard, brings out the worst in sailors.
Always searching for the elusive siren to sing us a song.
A song from the depths of mythology to lullaby us away from our status adrift.

Our bodies collide in the tide once more.
Salted skin heated and torn
Latching on to something greater than just depths of starless prose.
You were a wicker man, weaved strong and whole.
I was a water girl, slipping straight through your bowl.
Wishes flow to and fro on tepid air laced with promises.
Our fingertips will never lose grip again,
the melody writhing between us like staccato heartbeats
Seeking solace on the endless seas.*

These waves rock us to shoreline.
Rock strewn and littered with the ribcages of whales
And the bows and sterns of shipwrecks long ago.
We pick up these pieces and hold them closest to our chest
Realizing the possibilities of a new home and a new start to this oceanic life we've drifted into.
We build a fire to warm our hearts and suspend our thoughts
Cradled and nestled in the crook of each others arms we leave our sea and our island
Soaring high into the clouds and the sleep we’ve begged for with our parched lips and swollen tongues.
Our dreams at night are the call of the sea begging to be drowned in our sand encrusted lungs,
To be one with us and our failures
The bequeathing cry of the seagull wakes us dully from our slumber
We peer out with sea salted eyes and realize it was all just a dream
We shout for help with all the voice we can muster
Letting in lungs full of icy ocean and dead crustaceans
Filling our bodies like bags of sand immobile
We’ve been sleeping with our anchors held closely
Down in the depths of the endless ocean rolling.
Plain text BK Barnes
Italicised text Brook Ilges
Anecandu Sep 2016
Sunrise on your face like a warm caressing hand
Your surrounded by friends, a tired but merry band.
No hooks or ropes needed just your backpack and your aching feet
Your taking longer drinks now to stave off the heat.

Its so contrasting, your hot when its frigid cold
This moment you'll remember, this memory is Gold
Its about achieving what you thought impossible at first
Something good for the soul, not just the hunger, but a thirst.

You fill your bottle from natures *****
eating your fill from among earths blossoms
Berries, nuts, roasting on ember lit nights.
the eyes consume the bounty of sights.

But the sunrise on the crimson dawn
while stretching your tired frame at being reborn,
So near so high you can touch the vanilla sky
You promise yourself to be back, but alas you lie......
Our words tend to reap the frigid wind of sorrow
When we do not make ourselves clear
Anxiety tends to rear its ugly head
Some people often hide themselves in fear
But, we can not lose hope
We need to obtain that fire
Have the drive, ambition and precision
To reach even higher
Mick Gloss Oct 2013
Secret Garden...
All I could do was hold you. I wasn’t sure what to do, but I knew I had to hold you. I could feel your tears on my neck and chest as you buried your head into me. Like somehow pressing your body against mine was going to make it all okay. All of the pain that I knew you were feeling, all of the hurt that you had been keeping in. It would all be ****** out of you and into me. I don’t know who wished for that more, you or me. Honestly, I think in that moment I wanted it more than you did, because I don’t think you even really knew what was happening. You were letting me see the real you. The boy who lived inside the 40-foot walls. The one you keep hidden because the other kids have hurt him in the past. The boy I was given glimpses of, but could never hold onto. The intangible, ephemeral being that pulled at my heart strings in every way possible. He was in my arms, and I tried to keep him safe. I hoped that if I showed you that he was safe with me, he wouldn’t have to go away. He could stay, and I could know whom he really was, because more than protecting him, I desired to know him. Even if he hurt me, I wanted to know him. I wanted to look into his eyes, and know why he did the things he did. I wanted to know what could cause the pain that I sensed from the very beginning. That is my curse. Empathy. My entire life I could tell when something was wrong with someone. Often I knew it before they did. But with him, I didn’t even have to sense it. I could feel his pain as if it was my own. Whereas for most people I have to observe to know if something is wrong, for him I feel it as clearly as I feel the wind. I can’t see it touching me, but I can feel it down to my bones. But knowing someone’s in pain, and being able to help them are two different things, and therein lies my curse. I have been doomed to feel his pain since we met, but I have been kept away from his heart since then too. Alcohol became his gateway of letting me in, though. After just the right number of shots, the boy behind the walls would get the chance to speak. He’d tell me of the garden in which he lived, and the things that happened to him there. But when he saw me peeking over the edge, he’d disappear. Sometimes he’d come back right away, and talk to me until he felt his time was up, and then politely ask me to leave. Other times he’d stay hidden, and send guards to make sure I wasn’t allowed anywhere near the wall. Tonight, though, he built me a door. A door that only I would be allowed to see for all of eternity, while he, and everyone else, would only see the wall. A door he’d forgotten existed as soon as he closed his eyes to slumber that night. But in that moment, I was in the garden. I saw the flowers, I held him, and I left part of myself behind. I don’t think even he knows that it’s there, but there it will remain. Maybe one day it will be discovered. Maybe one day it will return to me, and leave the boy alone in the garden forever. Maybe it will remain untouched for all of eternity. The only thing I know for certain is that it is there, and for now, there is will it remain.

Outside The Garden...
The walls stood at least 40 feet tall. Cold, dark, damp, stone structures that mocked my very being. They had vines and moss covering their entire surface. They were so engrossed that I almost didn’t realize there was stone underneath the greenery. These walls were strong. It was as if some mystical force had placed them there. They seemed untouchable and eternal. Yet they were as approachable as a tree in a forest. So, I began to climb. The vines seemed strong as first. Firm and healthy in my hands. Then, suddenly, they began to peel away from the wall. The just healthy vines began to whither in my hand. The wall knew I was close to the top, and this was the only way it could keep me from my goal. Suddenly I felt myself slipping. Then it happened, I fell. I hit the ground with a thud. As I was feeling the worst of the pain, I looked back up at the wall. The vines had reattached themselves to it, and returned to their former healthy state. This was true from the bottom to the top. As I looked to the top of the wall, I saw him, and I remembered. He was the reason why I was trying to get inside the walls, but he was also the reason I couldn’t. The wall was solid, I was solid, but he was anything but. Everything about him is intangible. Yet somehow his grip on my heart is as solid as the walls he hides behind. 4 months have gone by, and his unattainable figure has my heart in an iron grip. Even as I’m realizing this, his body disappears from the wall. He is now back in the garden which I was so violently expelled from.

Key To The Garden...
The stone was cold beneath my hands. I wondered how the plants growing on the walls could survive its frigid touch. Yet, somehow, they seemed to thrive. This wall that did nothing but cause me misery was giving these vines a home. A home that they seemed extremely happy in. I, however, was not happy. I was left at the base of this wall, yet again, with no way of getting in. The boy had removed the door. I could feel where it had once been in the wall, but I could no longer see it. He took it away. At first I thought it was by magic, some glamour to make me forget about its existence, but I soon learned that it was in fact gone. The stone where the door had once been was a different color than the rest of the wall. This stone was newer, and stronger. It was meant to send me a message. Stay out. I couldn’t though. No matter how hard I’ve tried, I couldn’t just stay out of the garden. What’s more important is that the boy didn’t want me to either. As often as he would kick me out, he’d try and help me get over the wall. Something keeps us drawn to each other. Then I remembered the missing piece. The last time I was in the garden the boy took a part of me to have as his own. I remember this happening, but everything else is a blur. I can’t figure out what part of me he took, or where he put it. I know that he didn’t take it by force, though. As much as he wanted that part of me, I wanted to give it to him. I longed for a part of me to just be close to him. I just wish I could remember what part of me he took. As I was lost in thought, thumbing my fingers through the vines, I heard a rustle in the leaves behind me. I turned around slowly and was bewildered by what I saw. It was the boy. He had come down from the wall without me knowing, and was now standing face to face with me. He looked upset, and his eyes were filled with tears. This was a sadness that I had seen before. It was truly unique to him, and was my greatest enemy. The sadness was as great as the walls around this boy’s garden, and as deep as my love for him. The tears were ever fixed in the boy’s ocean blue eyes, and no amount of comforting could remove them from their perch. Though I knew this, I still reached out to him anyway. Maybe this time it would be different. Maybe my touch will finally be able to bring a smile to his face that isn’t destined to be fleeting. I clung to this hope as strongly as I clung to the boy’s gentle frame. As soon as my arms wrapped around him, he went completely limp. He fell into me with a familiar feeling that I once called home. As his face hit my chest, his tears left their perch and found their old home. He buried his face against my heart and cried for what felt like hours. As I stood there comforting him, I began to observe his entire being. As he cried his hands shook at my side, and his breath became shallow. I traced the lines of his neck with my eyes until I came upon the necklace that hung down from those very same lines. I looked to the pendant that hung against his nimble chest, and realized that it was glowing. Now only was it glowing, but it was pulsing. Instantly I recognized what it was, my heart. In that moment I remembered the last time I was in the garden. The boy reached in to kiss me goodbye, and I felt his hand against my chest. I gave him my heart with the same willingness that he used to take it. With this knowledge I soon realized what was missing all along. I couldn’t leave these walls because the most important part of me still stood behind them. The most important part of me was with him all along. Though he expelled my body from the garden, he still clung to my heart as if it were his own. After everything we had been through, there it was, around his neck. That is why I couldn’t let go, because he wouldn’t let me. If he never lets me go, how could I let him go? I never wanted to in the first place. It was he that told me to leave the garden. It was he that removed the door that once was only visible to me. It was he that tore my heart from my chest. But it was he that kept it after all this time. He could have destroyed it. He could have given it back. He could have locked it away. But he didn’t. He wore it next to his, hidden from the world, but safe all the while. Our hearts have been for months how our bodies are now. Together. Where they truly belong.

The Base Of The Garden Wall...
Together. What does that even mean? He was here now, but for how long? The boy’s presence was like a flower. When he was around it was beautiful, but it was fleeting. His season never lasted, and he was soon just a memory. Would this time be any different? Could this time be any different? This has happened before. He finds home in me as easily as I find it in him, but he is just as comfortable with leaving. Yet, I’m still holding him. As much as he’s a problem in this situation, so am I. I’m standing at the base of this wall. I’m holding him as he cries. I’m allowing my heart to remain next to his. But is that really so wrong? He’s still clinging to hope. He’s still wearing my heart as a necklace. So, why shouldn’t I hang on to the last shred of hope I have left? This time could be different. This time he could stay. So I’ll continue to hold him. Maybe his hardened nature will rub off on his ephemeral state.

Inside The Garden...
When your crying ceased your body relaxed into mine. Though my mind was racing I couldn’t help but look down at you. After everything that had happened, you were still all that mattered. So I pulled you into my chest. Maybe if I held you tight enough this moment could last a lifetime. Then I felt your body rustling against mine. Before I could even react I felt your lips on my neck. It all rushed back to me. The nights we spent alone, the mornings we hid in bed, the afternoons we spent getting lost in each other’s stories. One kiss and it was as if I was back in each of those moments all at once. Your lips were warm against my neck. They were unique to the rest of your cooled frame. I had forgotten how they felt against my skin. The soft way you followed pure instinct and learned how to press your lips against me. You kissed me like no one else ever had. It was animalistic and passionate. I could feel the desire in every inch of your being, and I always hoped you could feel it in mine. Then, just as suddenly as you had started, you stopped. My memories broke away, and all I could see was your eyes looking into mine. You leaned in and kissed my cheek softer than you ever had before. Then I felt your body pushing mine into the cold stone wall behind me. Just as I began to feel the frigid stone against my back, it seemed to just disappear. I realized that you weren’t pushing me into the wall, but you were pushing me through it. You were finally letting me back into the garden.

The Gardener...
I closed my eyes as I felt my body pass through the now viscous stone wall. Though it had always been cold before, it now felt warm in its altered state. I let myself get lost in the warmth of the now useless wall. For the first time it felt inviting, and nourishing. I now understood the safety and invulnerability you felt behind it. The wall that towered as a harsh enemy to me, stood as your greatest defender. I felt my eyes open as that realization rushed through my entire being. The wall was the last obstacle in the way of me finally knowing you. It kept not only your heart from me, but your soul as well. Yet now, for the first time, I see it as beautiful. The stones I normally saw as dank and lifeless, were now vivid and animated. It was as if standing next to them would rejuvenate even the most foregone person. I turned and looked to see the rest of the garden in which you hid, and I began to cry. The word Eden was the only thing I could say. Just then, I felt a warmth in my body that I had been missing for as long as I can remember. I looked down, and I saw my own heart glowing in my chest. The warmth of the wall couldn’t compare to the feeling that was now inside of me. I turned to look at your face again, but you were gone. I could feel you, but my eyes said you were not there. I spent hours looking through your garden. I climbed the trees, walked the paths, smelled the flowers, hopped the streams, but all the while I never stopped searching for you. It was when I came to the center of the garden that I finally found what I had been looking for. Your heart. It was there, alone, with no one  guarding it. I walked slowly at first, but soon began to run. I was afraid that if I took too long, it would disappear. It didn’t, though. It stayed exactly where it was. So I picked it up, and I held it. I held it like I held you. I pulled it to my chest, and I didn’t let it go. It was mine. You were mine. Suddenly I felt a new warmth in my chest, and I looked down to see that your heart was now entwined with my own. The two would now beat together, as they were always meant to. As I felt the warmth of your heart against mine, I realized that this garden wasn’t the place you went to hide. This garden was you. The rugged stones, the knot filled trees, the out of place flowers, and the rushing streams. They were all you. They were the parts that I longed to know, and I now had an eternity to explore them. You didn’t just let me into your garden, you let me into your soul. You gave me a gift that your frail and nimble frame was unable to give on its own. So you shed it. You exposed your flaws, your twisted branches and ripped leaves, and let me walk right through them. The mistakes you made, the triumphs you doubt happened, the experiences you spent a lifetime amassing. They’re all here. They’re all you. They’re all mine. No, they’re ours. We are now one. This garden is you, and I am now it’s sole gardener. I will tend to each flower as if it was your body, and we will always be together, as one.
Antonio Aug 2014
Summer's warm currents retreat
the advancing brisk amber sunsets.

Submerging the world under
the reign of enduring starry nights.

The maples blush as Autumn whispers
the gentle lullaby of Winter's sweet breath.

Erasing Summer's memory with a crimson brush
preparing the golden landscape's long frigid rest.

~~~
Brandon Amberger May 2016
The Road to redemption
Is a daunting path
It’s an uphill battle
That is slippery and steep
It goes against the current
In the frigid rough rapids
With rays of blistering sun
A jagged wall of obsidian
And a sea of sand
There are no shortcuts
Only cuts, scrapes and bruises
What you did in the past will never be forgotten
But what you are remembered for will have changed.
Cameron Williams Nov 2014
A frigid night--
the frosty air.
I shiver in the wake..

My fragile, numb fingers
attempt to touch my face.

I'm frozen....

The crisp, biting wind
gusts violently toward me..

I exhale a visible breath
and trudge onward
over the frozen lake.
Robert C Howard Sep 2018
Prophesies of impending fall
     creep stealthily over the Great Divide.
Gold-green Aspens shiver in the breeze
     like leagues of fibrous wind chimes
serenading the mountain slopes
     with aires of shimmering gold.

A few distant bugle calls echo
     across the Big Thompson valley
as bull elks warm up for the autumn rut.
     Sudden early gusts of frigid wind
bring waves of sleet and snow -
     in tune with the turning polar axis.

The greater chill is soon to come.
     The animals know it as do we.
Bears bulk up on grasses, roots and berries.
     Elk and deer drift down from the heights
To show their young the ways
      of the plains and river valleys.

We pull our sweaters on
     and toss another log on the flames
and greet the harbingers of approaching fall
    creeping stealthily over the Great Divide.

September, 2018
Spring memes
Cuddle under iced sheets
Seduced by frigid lies
And a burberry scarf;
As snow ploughs rule the runway

Glazed rosebuds,
Thimbled thorns,
Strawberries wrapped in cashmere;
And a carrot-nosed character dressed in white,
Play the fiddle

Naked limbs creep
Into the sky,
Seeking green accessories
For fashion week in June
Amidst global miles of warmth

Grandfather's  clock
Ticks wisely ahead,
Hands free of politic;

And the memes of Spring delayed
Propagate through verse
And cliched controversies...

Eclipsed by tweets from the Black Sea.

~ P
(#TheMemesOfSpringDelayed)
(3/7/2014)
Brandon Jul 2012
Waking up startled, to battering wind and rain.
Tide marks surging to great gasping heights.
Catching breaths stolen by the wind.
Ashes to ashes and dust to dust.
Watching idly by while pieces of you dissolve into the shadows.
I want those clouds weaving through my fingertips.
Their curious renderings like powdered ***** sugar.
Taste it and they fall heavy with gloom like **** death in the aftermath of such storm.

Counting the miles to the storm.
Ticking, tocking, and clicking.
The clock waiting in anticipation for the next thunderous sound.
Cold shivers up my spine like a thousand Carolina insults.
Your ghost still haunts and seeps into my pores lastly at night.
I taste defeat in the way you love.
It's like weaving clouds between my fingertips
Trying to grasp and hold onto every flowing motion of you pulling away from me


My cold, cracked walls are surged.
Towered over in their crumbling decay.
I want to taste your rain.
Your lips gently sink into mine.
Crushed velvet smooth and warm waking up the army of dead hearts ready for battle.
I am no warrior but there's blood painted across my sky.
Red sky in the morning, sailors warning, as I float on out into your turbulent seas.
Looking back on shore I realize that I'm finally home.

These seas roll uneasy.
Queasy.
Watching thru the mist towards our lighthouse that guided us to these depths
Trembling away like an afterthought.
The land has disappeared into the mouth of the shark.
Digested in the belly of a whale of angels.
Our sorrow holds us here, anchoring us to the tumultuous waves.
We battle our sea sickness with kisses of death lingering.
The soft pull of our exile turned oblivion.


Navigating with open wounds the silky expanse of midnight unwinding above us, within us.
Knowing us through and through.
An island of quivering vulnerability breaks the static horizon.
Lights, smog beginning to choke the sea air in my lungs.
Too long you've been left unkempt, grown comfortable.
That will change with new currents,
North winds bringing the frigid breath of winter.

Licking the sun off of the salty expanse of our sunburned red flesh.
The ****** of desperation lingers thru our moaning fingers
Feeling and pleading for our SOS call to be heard by anyone’s ears but ours.
The shores of this icy water leave my mind beneath the dredges of polar sleep.
We've grown strained, frost bitten, and distant in the few feet we are able to part.
The growling of hunger satiates our parched thirst.


I am rendered speechless adrift without you.
Hurricanes a coming.
Stand fast.
Secure the riggings.
Solaris brightens to light the way into calmer seas.
Those tepid shores of wonder and new beginnings fade into the horizon.
It's just you and me left to face the swelling tide.
Hang on.
The water is rising.
No one left to pull us saturated and insatiable from these waters of shadow and secrets.

The siren's song will bring us to our sharp shore end.
Resist the silky flow of nocturnal snakes wrapped around chilled flesh
Pulling closer to our aquatic hearts.
Hades and Persephone bond.
Glowing abysmal rage.
Holy grail veins.
Bleeding back into the orange crush dawn.
Night gives way to hollow rebirth
But once again we are inside one another.
Infinite.


These waves crash on overboard.
Trying to drag us back into the frigid depths with each ebb and flow.
With each crash of wave I can feel our resolve growing weaker.
The sensation of just letting go and giving in.
Should we let go and just give in?
Leave ourselves at the mercy of shipwrecks.
This hurricane dance we've perfected on the endless depthless ocean
Left us weak and willing to pull ourselves apart.
To taste our insides on the outsides.
How many times I've wondered have you noticed my stare.
The lustful licking of my sun blistered lips.
I want to taste the way you think and feel the warmth of your life to keep me alive.
The oceans call, I have heard, brings out the worst in sailors.
Always searching for the elusive siren to sing us a song.
A song from the depths of mythology to lullaby us away from our status adrift.


Our bodies collide in the tide once more.
Salted skin heated and torn
Latching on to something greater than just depths of starless prose.
You were a wicker man, weaved strong and whole.
I was a water girl, slipping straight through your bowl.
Wishes flow to and fro on tepid air laced with promises.
Our fingertips will never lose grip again,
the melody writhing between us like staccato heartbeats
Seeking solace on the endless seas.

*These waves rock us to shoreline.
Rock strewn and littered with the ribcages of whales
And the bows and sterns of shipwrecks long ago.
We pick up these pieces and hold them closest to our chest
Realizing the possibilities of a new home and a new start to this oceanic life we've drifted into.
We build a fire to warm our hearts and suspend our thoughts
Cradled and nestled in the crook of each others arms we leave our sea and our island
Soaring high into the clouds and the sleep we’ve begged for with our parched lips and swollen tongues.
Our dreams at night are the call of the sea begging to be drowned in our sand encrusted lungs,
To be one with us and our failures
The bequeathing cry of the seagull wakes us dully from our slumber
We peer out with sea salted eyes and realize it was all just a dream
We shout for help with all the voice we can muster
Letting in lungs full of icy ocean and dead crustaceans
Filling our bodies like bags of sand immobile
We’ve been sleeping with our anchors held closely
Down in the depths of the endless ocean rolling.
Normal text: Brook Ilges [http://hellopoetry.com/-brook-ilges]
Italicized text: B K Barnes [you're already here]
Bold text: Written by Brook, Edited by B K.
Slow sinks, more lovely ere his race be run,
Along Morea’s hills the setting Sun;
Not, as in northern climes, obscurely bright,
But one unclouded blaze of living light;
O’er the hushed deep the yellow beam he throws,
Gilds the green wave that trembles as it glows;
On old ægina’s rock and Hydra’s isle
The God of gladness sheds his parting smile;
O’er his own regions lingering loves to shine,
Though there his altars are no more divine.
Descending fast, the mountain-shadows kiss
Thy glorious Gulf, unconquered Salamis!
Their azure arches through the long expanse,
More deeply purpled, meet his mellowing glance,
And tenderest tints, along their summits driven,
Mark his gay course, and own the hues of Heaven;
Till, darkly shaded from the land and deep,
Behind his Delphian rock he sinks to sleep.

  On such an eve his palest beam he cast
When, Athens! here thy Wisest looked his last.
How watched thy better sons his farewell ray,
That closed their murdered Sage’s latest day!
Not yet—not yet—Sol pauses on the hill,
The precious hour of parting lingers still;
But sad his light to agonizing eyes,
And dark the mountain’s once delightful dyes;
Gloom o’er the lovely land he seemed to pour,
The land where Phoebus never frowned before;
But ere he sunk below Cithaeron’s head,
The cup of Woe was quaffed—the Spirit fled;
The soul of Him that scorned to fear or fly,
Who lived and died as none can live or die.

  But lo! from high Hymettus to the plain
The Queen of Night asserts her silent reign;
No murky vapour, herald of the storm,
Hides her fair face, or girds her glowing form;
With cornice glimmering as the moonbeams play,
There the white column greets her grateful ray,
And bright around, with quivering beams beset,
Her emblem sparkles o’er the Minaret;
The groves of olive scattered dark and wide,
Where meek Cephisus sheds his scanty tide,
The cypress saddening by the sacred mosque,
The gleaming turret of the gay kiosk,
And sad and sombre ’mid the holy calm,
Near Theseus’ fane, yon solitary palm;
All, tinged with varied hues, arrest the eye;
And dull were his that passed them heedless by.
Again the ægean, heard no more afar,
Lulls his chafed breast from elemental war:
Again his waves in milder tints unfold
Their long expanse of sapphire and of gold,
Mixed with the shades of many a distant isle
That frown, where gentler Ocean deigns to smile.

  As thus, within the walls of Pallas’ fane,
I marked the beauties of the land and main,
Alone, and friendless, on the magic shore,
Whose arts and arms but live in poets’ lore;
Oft as the matchless dome I turned to scan,
Sacred to Gods, but not secure from Man,
The Past returned, the Present seemed to cease,
And Glory knew no clime beyond her Greece!

  Hour rolled along, and Dian’******on high
Had gained the centre of her softest sky;
And yet unwearied still my footsteps trod
O’er the vain shrine of many a vanished God:
But chiefly, Pallas! thine, when Hecate’s glare
Checked by thy columns, fell more sadly fair
O’er the chill marble, where the startling tread
Thrills the lone heart like echoes from the dead.
Long had I mused, and treasured every trace
The wreck of Greece recorded of her race,
When, lo! a giant-form before me strode,
And Pallas hailed me in her own Abode!

  Yes,’twas Minerva’s self; but, ah! how changed,
Since o’er the Dardan field in arms she ranged!
Not such as erst, by her divine command,
Her form appeared from Phidias’ plastic hand:
Gone were the terrors of her awful brow,
Her idle ægis bore no Gorgon now;
Her helm was dinted, and the broken lance
Seemed weak and shaftless e’en to mortal glance;
The Olive Branch, which still she deigned to clasp,
Shrunk from her touch, and withered in her grasp;
And, ah! though still the brightest of the sky,
Celestial tears bedimmed her large blue eye;
Round the rent casque her owlet circled slow,
And mourned his mistress with a shriek of woe!

  “Mortal!”—’twas thus she spake—”that blush of shame
Proclaims thee Briton, once a noble name;
First of the mighty, foremost of the free,
Now honoured ‘less’ by all, and ‘least’ by me:
Chief of thy foes shall Pallas still be found.
Seek’st thou the cause of loathing!—look around.
Lo! here, despite of war and wasting fire,
I saw successive Tyrannies expire;
‘Scaped from the ravage of the Turk and Goth,
Thy country sends a spoiler worse than both.
Survey this vacant, violated fane;
Recount the relics torn that yet remain:
‘These’ Cecrops placed, ‘this’ Pericles adorned,
‘That’ Adrian reared when drooping Science mourned.
What more I owe let Gratitude attest—
Know, Alaric and Elgin did the rest.
That all may learn from whence the plunderer came,
The insulted wall sustains his hated name:
For Elgin’s fame thus grateful Pallas pleads,
Below, his name—above, behold his deeds!
Be ever hailed with equal honour here
The Gothic monarch and the Pictish peer:
Arms gave the first his right, the last had none,
But basely stole what less barbarians won.
So when the Lion quits his fell repast,
Next prowls the Wolf, the filthy Jackal last:
Flesh, limbs, and blood the former make their own,
The last poor brute securely gnaws the bone.
Yet still the Gods are just, and crimes are crossed:
See here what Elgin won, and what he lost!
Another name with his pollutes my shrine:
Behold where Dian’s beams disdain to shine!
Some retribution still might Pallas claim,
When Venus half avenged Minerva’s shame.”

  She ceased awhile, and thus I dared reply,
To soothe the vengeance kindling in her eye:
“Daughter of Jove! in Britain’s injured name,
A true-born Briton may the deed disclaim.
Frown not on England; England owns him not:
Athena, no! thy plunderer was a Scot.
Ask’st thou the difference? From fair Phyles’ towers
Survey Boeotia;—Caledonia’s ours.
And well I know within that ******* land
Hath Wisdom’s goddess never held command;
A barren soil, where Nature’s germs, confined
To stern sterility, can stint the mind;
Whose thistle well betrays the niggard earth,
Emblem of all to whom the Land gives birth;
Each genial influence nurtured to resist;
A land of meanness, sophistry, and mist.
Each breeze from foggy mount and marshy plain
Dilutes with drivel every drizzly brain,
Till, burst at length, each wat’ry head o’erflows,
Foul as their soil, and frigid as their snows:
Then thousand schemes of petulance and pride
Despatch her scheming children far and wide;
Some East, some West, some—everywhere but North!
In quest of lawless gain, they issue forth.
And thus—accursed be the day and year!
She sent a Pict to play the felon here.
Yet Caledonia claims some native worth,
As dull Boeotia gave a Pindar birth;
So may her few, the lettered and the brave,
Bound to no clime, and victors of the grave,
Shake off the sordid dust of such a land,
And shine like children of a happier strand;
As once, of yore, in some obnoxious place,
Ten names (if found) had saved a wretched race.”

  “Mortal!” the blue-eyed maid resumed, “once more
Bear back my mandate to thy native shore.
Though fallen, alas! this vengeance yet is mine,
To turn my counsels far from lands like thine.
Hear then in silence Pallas’ stern behest;
Hear and believe, for Time will tell the rest.

  “First on the head of him who did this deed
My curse shall light,—on him and all his seed:
Without one spark of intellectual fire,
Be all the sons as senseless as the sire:
If one with wit the parent brood disgrace,
Believe him ******* of a brighter race:
Still with his hireling artists let him prate,
And Folly’s praise repay for Wisdom’s hate;
Long of their Patron’s gusto let them tell,
Whose noblest, native gusto is—to sell:
To sell, and make—may shame record the day!—
The State—Receiver of his pilfered prey.
Meantime, the flattering, feeble dotard, West,
Europe’s worst dauber, and poor Britain’s best,
With palsied hand shall turn each model o’er,
And own himself an infant of fourscore.
Be all the Bruisers culled from all St. Giles’,
That Art and Nature may compare their styles;
While brawny brutes in stupid wonder stare,
And marvel at his Lordship’s ’stone shop’ there.
Round the thronged gate shall sauntering coxcombs creep
To lounge and lucubrate, to prate and peep;
While many a languid maid, with longing sigh,
On giant statues casts the curious eye;
The room with transient glance appears to skim,
Yet marks the mighty back and length of limb;
Mourns o’er the difference of now and then;
Exclaims, ‘These Greeks indeed were proper men!’
Draws slight comparisons of ‘these’ with ‘those’,
And envies Laïs all her Attic beaux.
When shall a modern maid have swains like these?
Alas! Sir Harry is no Hercules!
And last of all, amidst the gaping crew,
Some calm spectator, as he takes his view,
In silent indignation mixed with grief,
Admires the plunder, but abhors the thief.
Oh, loathed in life, nor pardoned in the dust,
May Hate pursue his sacrilegious lust!
Linked with the fool that fired the Ephesian dome,
Shall vengeance follow far beyond the tomb,
And Eratostratus and Elgin shine
In many a branding page and burning line;
Alike reserved for aye to stand accursed,
Perchance the second blacker than the first.

  “So let him stand, through ages yet unborn,
Fixed statue on the pedestal of Scorn;
Though not for him alone revenge shall wait,
But fits thy country for her coming fate:
Hers were the deeds that taught her lawless son
To do what oft Britannia’s self had done.
Look to the Baltic—blazing from afar,
Your old Ally yet mourns perfidious war.
Not to such deeds did Pallas lend her aid,
Or break the compact which herself had made;
Far from such counsels, from the faithless field
She fled—but left behind her Gorgon shield;
A fatal gift that turned your friends to stone,
And left lost Albion hated and alone.

“Look to the East, where Ganges’ swarthy race
Shall shake your tyrant empire to its base;
Lo! there Rebellion rears her ghastly head,
And glares the Nemesis of native dead;
Till Indus rolls a deep purpureal flood,
And claims his long arrear of northern blood.
So may ye perish!—Pallas, when she gave
Your free-born rights, forbade ye to enslave.

  “Look on your Spain!—she clasps the hand she hates,
But boldly clasps, and thrusts you from her gates.
Bear witness, bright Barossa! thou canst tell
Whose were the sons that bravely fought and fell.
But Lusitania, kind and dear ally,
Can spare a few to fight, and sometimes fly.
Oh glorious field! by Famine fiercely won,
The Gaul retires for once, and all is done!
But when did Pallas teach, that one retreat
Retrieved three long Olympiads of defeat?

  “Look last at home—ye love not to look there
On the grim smile of comfortless despair:
Your city saddens: loud though Revel howls,
Here Famine faints, and yonder Rapine prowls.
See all alike of more or less bereft;
No misers tremble when there’s nothing left.
‘Blest paper credit;’ who shall dare to sing?
It clogs like lead Corruption’s weary wing.
Yet Pallas pluck’d each Premier by the ear,
Who Gods and men alike disdained to hear;
But one, repentant o’er a bankrupt state,
On Pallas calls,—but calls, alas! too late:
Then raves for’——’; to that Mentor bends,
Though he and Pallas never yet were friends.
Him senates hear, whom never yet they heard,
Contemptuous once, and now no less absurd.
So, once of yore, each reasonable frog,
Swore faith and fealty to his sovereign ‘log.’
Thus hailed your rulers their patrician clod,
As Egypt chose an onion for a God.

  “Now fare ye well! enjoy your little hour;
Go, grasp the shadow of your vanished power;
Gloss o’er the failure of each fondest scheme;
Your strength a name, your bloated wealth a dream.
Gone is that Gold, the marvel of mankind.
And Pirates barter all that’s left behind.
No more the hirelings, purchased near and far,
Crowd to the ranks of mercenary war.
The idle merchant on the useless quay
Droops o’er the bales no bark may bear away;
Or, back returning, sees rejected stores
Rot piecemeal on his own encumbered shores:
The starved mechanic breaks his rusting loom,
And desperate mans him ‘gainst the coming doom.
Then in the Senates of your sinking state
Show me the man whose counsels may have weight.
Vain is each voice where tones could once command;
E’en factions cease to charm a factious land:
Yet jarring sects convulse a sister Isle,
And light with maddening hands the mutual pile.

  “’Tis done, ’tis past—since Pallas warns in vain;
The Furies seize her abdicated reign:
Wide o’er the realm they wave their kindling brands,
And wring her vitals with their fiery hands.
But one convulsive struggle still remains,
And Gaul shall weep ere Albion wear her chains,
The bannered pomp of war, the glittering files,
O’er whose gay trappings stern Bellona smiles;
The brazen trump, the spirit-stirring drum,
That bid the foe defiance ere they come;
The hero bounding at his country’s call,
The glorious death that consecrates his fall,
Swell the young heart with visionary charms.
And bid it antedate the joys of arms.
But know, a lesson you may yet be taught,
With death alone are laurels cheaply bought;
Not in the conflict Havoc seeks delight,
His day of mercy is the day of fight.
But when the field is fought, the battle won,
Though drenched with gore, his woes are but begun:
His deeper deeds as yet ye know by name;
The slaughtered peasant and the ravished dame,
The rifled mansion and the foe-reaped field,
Ill suit with souls at home, untaught to yield.
Say with what eye along the distant down
Would flying burghers mark the blazing town?
How view the column of ascending flames
Shake his red shadow o’er the startled Thames?
Nay, frown not, Albion! for the torch was thine
That lit such pyres from Tagus to the Rhine:
Now should they burst on thy devoted coast,
Go, ask thy ***** who deserves them most?
The law of Heaven and Earth is life for life,
And she who raised, in vain regrets, the strife.”
Andrew Rueter Jan 2018
Icy
There is no moral code
When time is an icy road
Where you cannot stop
Or you'll be stuck in the cold ground
When the temperature drops
Snow collects in my frosty frown
And starts to linger
On my frostbite fingers
While I keep sliding
On the line we're riding

I see icy roads
Leading to icy modes
Of acting
Impacting
The way we treat each other
The same way we beat each other
To the finish line
Of our frigid time

Time isn't nice
When it's ice
But it's all we know
Time continually goes
The challenges grow
Buried in snow
Trying to go uphill is a nasty nope
Sliding downhill is a slippery *****
If you momentarily lose your control
You're pulled over by the cops on patrol

Everything is covered in snow
Even the cars being towed
Their owners gave away their agency
And are at the tow truck driver's mercy
They rely on him to get them to safety
So they cunningly wear his jersey
There are things we want
Acquired by tease and taunt
We drive on top of bodies
To gain traction on the street
We do what is naughty
To have enough to eat

I careen through time
Without seeing a dime
Everything looks so plain
In this frozen rain
When the ordinary life
Is within my sight
I look for something more
Only to see a frozen door

There is ice on the road
There is ice in my heart
I can't handle the load
In the back of my cart
Until I decide
To abide
By the slide
And glide
On the edge of control and freedom
There are other cars and I'll lead them
Can be found in my self published poetry book “Icy”.
https://www.amazon.com/Icy-Andrew-Rueter-ebook/dp/B07VDLZT9Y/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Icy+Andrew+Rueter&qid=1572980151&sr=8-1

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