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cecelia Nov 2014
the miniscule, crystallized phenomena
floating down on their zephyr gondola
to the little children's enchantment.
the wintriness nipping at their stamina
produced petite gloved hands pulling tightly at their jacket.
to rollick the day away was their only commandment.
fast forward a few years, and they'll be learning algebra,
their minds drifting away during lectures on parabolas
to the forgotten days of freedom; they lament
the loss of their fragile frostwork taffeta.
Aaron McDaniel Nov 2012
It was 2 a.m. The moons rays shone brighter than a diamond in it's showcase. The 'thump-thump' of my heartbeat seemed to echo through my body. The forest was quiet that night. Quieter than it should have been. Not even a crickets back and forth harmony. Drops of sweat began to carve their way down my face. One thought repeatedly resonated  in my mind.
'Where is he?'
I started to question if the fallen tree I had taken shelter under, was hiding me well enough in this lightest of darks. I could see the moonlight dance on the keys of my cab, but if I could see it, so could he.
Snap!
I felt my heart stop beating. The sound was so close. A lot closer than I would have liked.
'Should I make a run for it?'
As I gained the courage to flee, I felt a cold leather glove on my shoulder. The glove yanked me towards him. Fear sank deep within me as I tried to shake free. His strength much mightier than mine, there was no fighting him.
He placed a cloth bag over my head with two mismatched holes cut out of them. They were meant for my eyes, but only my left managed to see through it's designated hole.
I saw my assailant.
He was not alone.
There were three others accompanying him.
All three were disguising their faces with white robes from their head to their toes.
It all came to a point at the top.
I noticed another white cloaked person, a lot shorter, hiding behind the leather gloved man.
That's when I felt it.
It snaked around my neck, it's threaded components piercing the cloth bag over my head, and jutting into my skin. It irritated and itched, but they arrested my hands together with a zip tie, so itching was impossible.
I felt one of the men grab me fiercely by the waist, and lift me onto what felt like my own cab.
I confirmed it by the yellow chipped paint out of the bottom left of my vision from when I backed into one of my clients mailboxes.
They said nothing the entire time.
Neither did I.
My tears were telling them everything that I wish I could scream.
One of the men nodded, followed by the approval nod of the leather gloved man.
He slowly raised his leather glove high into the air, confident of himself.
My stomach dropped.
I heard the cabs horn flare, and the tires squeal.
Gravity made an appearance.
I felt the snap of my neck, yet no pain followed.
The flaring horn silenced.
I opened my eyes. My vision was blurred.
The smell of my mothers pancakes, told me exactly where I was.
This was a prompt in my English class. I decided to take it a step further.
One Christmas was so much like another, in those years around the sea-town corner now and out of all sound
except the distant speaking of the voices I sometimes hear a moment before sleep, that I can never remember
whether it snowed for six days and six nights when I was twelve or whether it snowed for twelve days and twelve
nights when I was six.

All the Christmases roll down toward the two-tongued sea, like a cold and headlong moon bundling down the sky
that was our street; and they stop at the rim of the ice-edged fish-freezing waves, and I plunge my hands in
the snow and bring out whatever I can find. In goes my hand into that wool-white bell-tongued ball of holidays
resting at the rim of the carol-singing sea, and out come Mrs. Prothero and the firemen.

It was on the afternoon of the Christmas Eve, and I was in Mrs. Prothero's garden, waiting for cats, with her
son Jim. It was snowing. It was always snowing at Christmas. December, in my memory, is white as Lapland,
though there were no reindeers. But there were cats. Patient, cold and callous, our hands wrapped in socks, we
waited to snowball the cats. Sleek and long as jaguars and horrible-whiskered, spitting and snarling, they
would slink and sidle over the white back-garden walls, and the lynx-eyed hunters, Jim and I, fur-capped and
moccasined trappers from Hudson Bay, off Mumbles Road, would hurl our deadly snowballs at the green of their
eyes. The wise cats never appeared.

We were so still, Eskimo-footed arctic marksmen in the muffling silence of the eternal snows - eternal, ever
since Wednesday - that we never heard Mrs. Prothero's first cry from her igloo at the bottom of the garden. Or,
if we heard it at all, it was, to us, like the far-off challenge of our enemy and prey, the neighbor's polar
cat. But soon the voice grew louder.
"Fire!" cried Mrs. Prothero, and she beat the dinner-gong.

And we ran down the garden, with the snowballs in our arms, toward the house; and smoke, indeed, was pouring
out of the dining-room, and the gong was bombilating, and Mrs. Prothero was announcing ruin like a town crier
in Pompeii. This was better than all the cats in Wales standing on the wall in a row. We bounded into the
house, laden with snowballs, and stopped at the open door of the smoke-filled room.

Something was burning all right; perhaps it was Mr. Prothero, who always slept there after midday dinner with a
newspaper over his face. But he was standing in the middle of the room, saying, "A fine Christmas!" and
smacking at the smoke with a slipper.

"Call the fire brigade," cried Mrs. Prothero as she beat the gong.
"There won't be there," said Mr. Prothero, "it's Christmas."
There was no fire to be seen, only clouds of smoke and Mr. Prothero standing in the middle of them, waving his
slipper as though he were conducting.
"Do something," he said. And we threw all our snowballs into the smoke - I think we missed Mr. Prothero - and
ran out of the house to the telephone box.
"Let's call the police as well," Jim said. "And the ambulance." "And Ernie Jenkins, he likes fires."

But we only called the fire brigade, and soon the fire engine came and three tall men in helmets brought a hose
into the house and Mr. Prothero got out just in time before they turned it on. Nobody could have had a noisier
Christmas Eve. And when the firemen turned off the hose and were standing in the wet, smoky room, Jim's Aunt,
Miss. Prothero, came downstairs and peered in at them. Jim and I waited, very quietly, to hear what she would
say to them. She said the right thing, always. She looked at the three tall firemen in their shining helmets,
standing among the smoke and cinders and dissolving snowballs, and she said, "Would you like anything to read?"

Years and years ago, when I was a boy, when there were wolves in Wales, and birds the color of red-flannel
petticoats whisked past the harp-shaped hills, when we sang and wallowed all night and day in caves that smelt
like Sunday afternoons in damp front farmhouse parlors, and we chased, with the jawbones of deacons, the
English and the bears, before the motor car, before the wheel, before the duchess-faced horse, when we rode the
daft and happy hills *******, it snowed and it snowed. But here a small boy says: "It snowed last year, too. I
made a snowman and my brother knocked it down and I knocked my brother down and then we had tea."

"But that was not the same snow," I say. "Our snow was not only shaken from white wash buckets down the sky, it
came shawling out of the ground and swam and drifted out of the arms and hands and bodies of the trees; snow
grew overnight on the roofs of the houses like a pure and grandfather moss, minutely -ivied the walls and
settled on the postman, opening the gate, like a dumb, numb thunder-storm of white, torn Christmas cards."

"Were there postmen then, too?"
"With sprinkling eyes and wind-cherried noses, on spread, frozen feet they crunched up to the doors and
mittened on them manfully. But all that the children could hear was a ringing of bells."
"You mean that the postman went rat-a-tat-tat and the doors rang?"
"I mean that the bells the children could hear were inside them."
"I only hear thunder sometimes, never bells."
"There were church bells, too."
"Inside them?"
"No, no, no, in the bat-black, snow-white belfries, tugged by bishops and storks. And they rang their tidings
over the bandaged town, over the frozen foam of the powder and ice-cream hills, over the crackling sea. It
seemed that all the churches boomed for joy under my window; and the weathercocks crew for Christmas, on our
fence."

"Get back to the postmen"
"They were just ordinary postmen, found of walking and dogs and Christmas and the snow. They knocked on the
doors with blue knuckles ...."
"Ours has got a black knocker...."
"And then they stood on the white Welcome mat in the little, drifted porches and huffed and puffed, making
ghosts with their breath, and jogged from foot to foot like small boys wanting to go out."
"And then the presents?"
"And then the Presents, after the Christmas box. And the cold postman, with a rose on his button-nose, tingled
down the tea-tray-slithered run of the chilly glinting hill. He went in his ice-bound boots like a man on
fishmonger's slabs.
"He wagged his bag like a frozen camel's ****, dizzily turned the corner on one foot, and, by God, he was
gone."

"Get back to the Presents."
"There were the Useful Presents: engulfing mufflers of the old coach days, and mittens made for giant sloths;
zebra scarfs of a substance like silky gum that could be tug-o'-warred down to the galoshes; blinding tam-o'-
shanters like patchwork tea cozies and bunny-suited busbies and balaclavas for victims of head-shrinking
tribes; from aunts who always wore wool next to the skin there were mustached and rasping vests that made you
wonder why the aunts had any skin left at all; and once I had a little crocheted nose bag from an aunt now,
alas, no longer whinnying with us. And pictureless books in which small boys, though warned with quotations not
to, would skate on Farmer Giles' pond and did and drowned; and books that told me everything about the wasp,
except why."

"Go on the Useless Presents."
"Bags of moist and many-colored jelly babies and a folded flag and a false nose and a tram-conductor's cap and
a machine that punched tickets and rang a bell; never a catapult; once, by mistake that no one could explain, a
little hatchet; and a celluloid duck that made, when you pressed it, a most unducklike sound, a mewing moo that
an ambitious cat might make who wished to be a cow; and a painting book in which I could make the grass, the
trees, the sea and the animals any colour I pleased, and still the dazzling sky-blue sheep are grazing in the
red field under the rainbow-billed and pea-green birds. Hardboileds, toffee, fudge and allsorts, crunches,
cracknels, humbugs, glaciers, marzipan, and butterwelsh for the Welsh. And troops of bright tin soldiers who,
if they could not fight, could always run. And Snakes-and-Families and Happy Ladders. And Easy Hobbi-Games for
Little Engineers, complete with instructions. Oh, easy for Leonardo! And a whistle to make the dogs bark to
wake up the old man next door to make him beat on the wall with his stick to shake our picture off the wall.
And a packet of cigarettes: you put one in your mouth and you stood at the corner of the street and you waited
for hours, in vain, for an old lady to scold you for smoking a cigarette, and then with a smirk you ate it. And
then it was breakfast under the balloons."

"Were there Uncles like in our house?"
"There are always Uncles at Christmas. The same Uncles. And on Christmas morning, with dog-disturbing whistle
and sugar ****, I would scour the swatched town for the news of the little world, and find always a dead bird
by the Post Office or by the white deserted swings; perhaps a robin, all but one of his fires out. Men and
women wading or scooping back from chapel, with taproom noses and wind-bussed cheeks, all albinos, huddles
their stiff black jarring feathers against the irreligious snow. Mistletoe hung from the gas brackets in all
the front parlors; there was sherry and walnuts and bottled beer and crackers by the dessertspoons; and cats in
their fur-abouts watched the fires; and the high-heaped fire spat, all ready for the chestnuts and the mulling
pokers. Some few large men sat in the front parlors, without their collars, Uncles almost certainly, trying
their new cigars, holding them out judiciously at arms' length, returning them to their mouths, coughing, then
holding them out again as though waiting for the explosion; and some few small aunts, not wanted in the
kitchen, nor anywhere else for that matter, sat on the very edge of their chairs, poised and brittle, afraid to
break, like faded cups and saucers."

Not many those mornings trod the piling streets: an old man always, fawn-bowlered, yellow-gloved and, at this
time of year, with spats of snow, would take his constitutional to the white bowling green and back, as he
would take it wet or fire on Christmas Day or Doomsday; sometimes two hale young men, with big pipes blazing,
no overcoats and wind blown scarfs, would trudge, unspeaking, down to the forlorn sea, to work up an appetite,
to blow away the fumes, who knows, to walk into the waves until nothing of them was left but the two furling
smoke clouds of their inextinguishable briars. Then I would be slap-dashing home, the gravy smell of the
dinners of others, the bird smell, the brandy, the pudding and mince, coiling up to my nostrils, when out of a
snow-clogged side lane would come a boy the spit of myself, with a pink-tipped cigarette and the violet past of
a black eye, cocky as a bullfinch, leering all to himself.

I hated him on sight and sound, and would be about to put my dog whistle to my lips and blow him off the face
of Christmas when suddenly he, with a violet wink, put his whistle to his lips and blew so stridently, so high,
so exquisitely loud, that gobbling faces, their cheeks bulged with goose, would press against their tinsled
windows, the whole length of the white echoing street. For dinner we had turkey and blazing pudding, and after
dinner the Uncles sat in front of the fire, loosened all buttons, put their large moist hands over their watch
chains, groaned a little and slept. Mothers, aunts and sisters scuttled to and fro, bearing tureens. Auntie
Bessie, who had already been frightened, twice, by a clock-work mouse, whimpered at the sideboard and had some
elderberry wine. The dog was sick. Auntie Dosie had to have three aspirins, but Auntie Hannah, who liked port,
stood in the middle of the snowbound back yard, singing like a big-bosomed thrush. I would blow up balloons to
see how big they would blow up to; and, when they burst, which they all did, the Uncles jumped and rumbled. In
the rich and heavy afternoon, the Uncles breathing like dolphins and the snow descending, I would sit among
festoons and Chinese lanterns and nibble dates and try to make a model man-o'-war, following the Instructions
for Little Engineers, and produce what might be mistaken for a sea-going tramcar.

Or I would go out, my bright new boots squeaking, into the white world, on to the seaward hill, to call on Jim
and Dan and Jack and to pad through the still streets, leaving huge footprints on the hidden pavements.
"I bet people will think there's been hippos."
"What would you do if you saw a hippo coming down our street?"
"I'd go like this, bang! I'd throw him over the railings and roll him down the hill and then I'd tickle him
under the ear and he'd wag his tail."
"What would you do if you saw two hippos?"

Iron-flanked and bellowing he-hippos clanked and battered through the scudding snow toward us as we passed Mr.
Daniel's house.
"Let's post Mr. Daniel a snow-ball through his letter box."
"Let's write things in the snow."
"Let's write, 'Mr. Daniel looks like a spaniel' all over his lawn."
Or we walked on the white shore. "Can the fishes see it's snowing?"

The silent one-clouded heavens drifted on to the sea. Now we were snow-blind travelers lost on the north hills,
and vast dewlapped dogs, with flasks round their necks, ambled and shambled up to us, baying "Excelsior." We
returned home through the poor streets where only a few children fumbled with bare red fingers in the wheel-
rutted snow and cat-called after us, their voices fading away, as we trudged uphill, into the cries of the dock
birds and the hooting of ships out in the whirling bay. And then, at tea the recovered Uncles would be jolly;
and the ice cake loomed in the center of the table like a marble grave. Auntie Hannah laced her tea with ***,
because it was only once a year.

Bring out the tall tales now that we told by the fire as the gaslight bubbled like a diver. Ghosts whooed like
owls in the long nights when I dared not look over my shoulder; animals lurked in the cubbyhole under the
stairs and the gas meter ticked. And I remember that we went singing carols once, when there wasn't the shaving
of a moon to light the flying streets. At the end of a long road was a drive that led to a large house, and we
stumbled up the darkness of the drive that night, each one of us afraid, each one holding a stone in his hand
in case, and all of us too brave to say a word. The wind through the trees made noises as of old and unpleasant
and maybe webfooted men wheezing in caves. We reached the black bulk of the house. "What shall we give them?
Hark the Herald?"
"No," Jack said, "Good King Wencelas. I'll count three." One, two three, and we began to sing, our voices high
and seemingly distant in the snow-felted darkness round the house that was occupied by nobody we knew. We stood
close together, near the dark door. Good King Wencelas looked out On the Feast of Stephen ... And then a small,
dry voice, like the voice of someone who has not spoken for a long time, joined our singing: a small, dry,
eggshell voice from the other side of the door: a small dry voice through the keyhole. And when we stopped
running we were outside our house; the front room was lovely; balloons floated under the hot-water-bottle-
gulping gas; everything was good again and shone over the town.
"Perhaps it was a ghost," Jim said.
"Perhaps it was trolls," Dan said, who was always reading.
"Let's go in and see if there's any jelly left," Jack said. And we did that.

Always on Christmas night there was music. An uncle played the fiddle, a cousin sang "Cherry Ripe," and another
uncle sang "Drake's Drum." It was very warm in the little house. Auntie Hannah, who had got on to the parsnip
wine, sang a song about Bleeding Hearts and Death, and then another in which she said her heart was like a
Bird's Nest; and then everybody laughed again; and then I went to bed. Looking through my bedroom window, out
into the moonlight and the unending smoke-colored snow, I could see the lights in the windows of all the other
houses on our hill and hear the music rising from them up the long, steady falling night. I turned the gas
down, I got into bed. I said some words to the close and holy darkness, and then I slept.
alwaystrying Sep 2014
a spider from a tree, comes down to wait
some cardboard figures want all credit, just cardboard

hanging in the balance, which keyboard dictates
no good typing away when the cursor isn't ready

thanks for resuming the channel, almost missed iot
quick decompressing in the cards, else imploding

intricate on paper, makes for easily disconcerted
part-time envoy of laughter, running round circles

to keep cold feet away and every need gloved
come, I hate promises, let's go shopping
Danny Valdez Jan 2012
He woke up
next to the empty spot
where Wonder Woman had been.
He puked in the toilet
slammed down a forty-ounce Miller High Life
and started putting the suit on.
boots
the gray and black tights
the gloves
the yellow utility belt
and the cape.
It was leather.
He put the cowl
under his arm and left his apartment.
It was a late start
nearly noon
by the time
the bus got him to
Mann's Chinese Theater.
He saw a lot of his
friends and colleges
as the bus went down to his stop.
It was a regular day
all the characters were
in their usual little groups.
Spider-Man & Captain America
two Mormon boys that had been
excommunicated from the church
they got caught **** *******
each other
now they were stuck in Hollywood
like everyone else.
The X-Men
or H-Men as most people called them
were a group of junkies.
One of them had a cousin at Fox
and they got four replica X-Men costumes.
So that's how they scored
their junk everyday
garnered pretty good tips from the tourists.
Cyclops, Jean-Grey, Storm, and Wolverine.
It was a good grift. **** good idea.
Then you had the impersonators
plastic surgery freaks
obsessed with Michael Jackson
creepy bald men dressed as Dr. Evil
and there was always
a lazy fat guy
that would do Elvis.
Not know any of the songs
and saying the catch phrases all wrong,
"Well, thank you Ma'am....thank you so much."
Those guys never lasted too long.
The cutesy cartoon characters
were almost always
pedophiles or ******* ladies.
The horror people were hands down
the most bat-**** insane of the lot.
They got into the most fights
they terrorized the kids
and they talked a lot of ****.
Would bate guys into fights.
Michael Myers would always start ****
with guys that had beautiful women with them.
It was ****** up.
The LAPD took away Freddy Kruger last month
for beating up a guy
right in front of his kids.
There was talk from the cops
about shutting down their whole thing down.
Making it illegal to dress up in costumes
and get tips.
'Panhandling' as the office had said.
But
Batman hung out with
Superman & Wonder Woman
while doing his thing.
The night before
Wonder Woman and him
had been drinking, smoking, and
they ****** once
before she asked him
what she needed to.
"We got two new guys starting tomorrow."
"What?"
"Yeah. They came up to me on the street today,
wanted to know if they could hang with us."
"Wha? What? Well...do they have costumes?"
"Yeah." She said, exhaling smoke, wrapped in the sheet on the bed.
"These guys got a Green Lantern and a Robin costume. Really good quality,
they showed me pictures. Hey, you finally got a Robin now! Isn't that great?"
"****...I don't know Diana...I was kinda liking our little *******.
"Oh come on, Bruce. It'll be good." She said, wrapping her arms around him
as he sat on the edge of the book, looking out the window.
"We can finally get the big, group tips. Like what the H-Men got going."
"Alright. That's fine."
And the next day
there they were,
Green Lantern & Robin.
Wonderful costumes, like she said
their hair color and overall appearance
spot on.
"Hey there!"
"Hello. Robin. Green Lantern."
Their gloved hands all shook.
They got acquainted and he couldnt help but like them.
Nice guys, musicians, Rockabilly guys, from Venice.
They went out into
the crowd of people
Superman's voice booming over the crowd
telling everyone that they're safe from
evil and wrong doers, blah, blah, blah,
the usual ******* that Superman always said.
Batman yelled to Robin over the enclosing crowd.
They were now fully entrenched by people
fat & sweaty
Batman's panic attack took over.
"COME ON!" He shouted over the rising crowd noise.
The dynamic duo
shoved & pushed
parting the sea of fat tourists
and breaking out onto the sidewalk.
"What's up, Batman?" Robin asked
looking up to him.
The size difference was just like in the comics
Robin was a little guy.
"I just needed to get outta there. Let's go take a lap
down Hollywood Boulevard...see what kinda cash we can grab."
"Okay, Batman."
They walked
up and down
the walk of fame
posing for a few pictures
making some kids day
with wide-eyed excitement
that will be with them forever.
They made forty bucks too.
"Alright, that's good for now. Let's grab a beer, Robin."
It was a small dive
on Hollywood Boulevard
they were two beers in
and Robin was learning a lot
about how Hollywood really was.
Some real talk from Batman to Robin.
"Yup. I moved out here in 1997. I saw that movie 'Swingers' and I thought...
I could do that, that could be my life, I want that."
"And what happened Bats?"
"Well...I came out here, went to film school, did everything I was told, and...
I still got ******." He said, taking a long pull from the bottle.
"Well what happened exactly?"
Robin's green glove, gripping the brown bottle
tilting it back, bubbles rising
"Well...ya see...when I was in film school, the instructors all told us...you either do your internship here in Hollywood or go to New York. Anywhere else and you won't be able to make it. That's what they said."
"Yeah?"
"Yeah. So I did my internship here in Hollywood and it was for nothing. The whole two years that I was at Faramount, I was never allowed to even touch any film equipment. Well, just to dust it off and clean it. But they didn't even try to teach me anything there. I just did food runs at lunch, got them their Starbucks in the morning, and took out the trash. Swept the parking lot, cleaned the toilets, I was a ******* janitor at that place. And you know what happened next?"
"Huh?"
"One day they just fired me. Just like that. After two years of being their ***** boy. So now I have $50,000 in student loans that I can't pay back, and a degree that got me nowhere."
"****." Robin said, finishing his beer.
"Yeah. So what do you do?"
"I'm in school for audio engineering."
"Ah...the music business eh?"
"Yeah, Batman."
"Hmm."
Batman grew silent then, just finishing his beer, and staring into the mirrored wall.
He wanted to say,
"I have 117 scripts sitting in a stack next to my t.v. That's eight screenplays a year. Robin, I've been at this for fourteen years and it doesn't get any better. I never stop trying and I keep at it, year after year. But I'm done. Get out while you
still can Robin. This city will eat you, **** you, **** you. If you still have a home, I suggest you go back to it."
Batman sat there, his beer finished, still staring straight ahead.
Robin pulled out a ten dollar bill, smiling, calling for the bartender
with that sparkle in his eye
of youth and hope.
He didn't want to say all that ****
crush that gleam in Robin's eye
like he once had.
Those were the best days
the great days
the glory days
to be young, handsome, poor, and hopeful
that you could make it
that it could happen.
So Batman didn't say another word about it.
Nope.
There were things
Robin would have to learn all on his own.
Who are these people at the bridge to meet me? They are the villagers----
The rector, the midwife, the sexton, the agent for bees.
In my sleeveless summery dress I have no protection,
And they are all gloved and covered, why did nobody tell me?
They are smiling and taking out veils tacked to ancient hats.

I am **** as a chicken neck, does nobody love me?
Yes, here is the secretary of bees with her white shop smock,
Buttoning the cuffs at my wrists and the slit from my neck to my knees.
Now I am milkweed silk, the bees will not notice.
They will not smell my fear, my fear, my fear.

Which is the rector now, is it that man in black?
Which is the midwife, is that her blue coat?
Everybody is nodding a square black head, they are knights in visors,
Breastplates of cheesecloth knotted under the armpits.
Their smiles and their voces are changing. I am led through a beanfield.

Strips of tinfoil winking like people,
Feather dusters fanning their hands in a sea of bean flowers,
Creamy bean flowers with black eyes and leaves like bored hearts.
Is it blood clots the tendrils are dragging up that string?
No, no, it is scarlet flowers that will one day be edible.

Now they are giving me a fashionable white straw Italian hat
And a black veil that molds to my face, they are making me one of them.
They are leading me to the shorn grove, the circle of hives.
Is it the hawthorn that smells so sick?
The barren body of hawthon, etherizing its children.

Is it some operation that is taking place?
It is the surgeon my neighbors are waiting for,
This apparition in a green helmet,
Shining gloves and white suit.
Is it the butcher, the grocer, the postman, someone I know?

I cannot run, I am rooted, and the gorse hurts me
With its yellow purses, its spiky armory.
I could not run without having to run forever.
The white hive is snug as a ******,
Sealing off her brood cells, her honey, and quietly humming.

Smoke rolls and scarves in the grove.
The mind of the hive thinks this is the end of everything.
Here they come, the outriders, on their hysterical elastics.
If I stand very still, they will think I am cow-parsley,
A gullible head untouched by their animosity,

Not even nodding, a personage in a hedgerow.
The villagers open the chambers, they are hunting the queen.
Is she hiding, is she eating honey? She is very clever.
She is old, old, old, she must live another year, and she knows it.
While in their fingerjoint cells the new virgins

Dream of a duel they will win inevitably,
A curtain of wax dividing them from the bride flight,
The upflight of the murderess into a heaven that loves her.
The villagers are moving the virgins, there will be no killing.
The old queen does not show herself, is she so ungrateful?

I am exhausted, I am exhausted ----
Pillar of white in a blackout of knives.
I am the magician's girl who does not flinch.
The villagers are untying their disguises, they are shaking hands.
Whose is that long white box in the grove, what have they accomplished, why am I cold.
El Torpedo appeared out of thin air, moving at what could only be called -by any reasonable man, considerable velocity. She crashed into her soft down bed with a force that would've concerned even the most detached of onlookers, had there been any. 'Had there been any?' she wondered, as the recoil from the impact sent her flying into the air. The young girls arms and legs flailed in all directions; her body spinning wildly through the empty space of mid-flight, until finally -THUD!

“******* it, Ghost!” she groaned, holding the back of her head with her gloved hand.
“How can that still be funny!”
There was no reply, only a faint warm breeze and the smell of freshly cut grass.
“This is no time for jokes, Ghost! I was this close to offing those *******. What the **** were you thinking letting them get away?”

For a few moments she continued on mumbling various obscenities and abuse at The Ghost, which we won't bother to detail here. El Torpedo removed herself from the floor and took a few seconds to dust off her omniverse attire.
Ghost Scarecrow replied, “I didn't let them get away.”
“Well, then where the **** are they? I don't see them anywhere!” El Torpedo spat back.
“Of course you don't. They're not within our current field of vision.”
“Very funny, you are such a ******* riot. Did they get away or not?”
“No. They did not get away.”
“Well, where are they, then?”
“Finally, you ask the right question!”
“I already asked you that!”
“Whatever. Let's go.”

At that moment, El Torpedo and the Ghost Scarecrow evaporated into the universe, their molecules became space, all of it...the entire thing all at once, allowing the duo the very useful ability to appear anywhere in the omniverse at anytime without warning. I know, it's hard to comprehend. But, as far as I can tell, and from what I've been told by those who would know, that's what happened. It was a rather difficult period for criminals like me. But that's a story for another time, back to the matter at hand.

Once their miracle of physical travel was complete, the duo found themselves floating approximately 40 feet above the Lacksdale River looking down on Tom's Bridge. Two small objects could be made out in the distance, appearing to hover just beneath.

“That's them?”
“Yep.”
“What did you do, Ghost?”
“I was just practicing my justicing...”
“That's not justice, Ghost. That's ******.”
“No Torpedo, that is art.” His playful demeanor suddenly became somber and serious. “Let's have a closer look.”

The two floated closer. As they came within range, El Torpedo felt the cold, dark energy flowing straight through her soul; Ghost had had one of his moments again. The gruesome scene came into full view: Two men hung upside down from the bridge; the chains that Ghost Scarecrow had used to secure their ankles had already begun their slow and deliberate journey through the men's flesh.





Beneath the chains were crudely fashioned trash bags secured by duct tape around the victim's ankles. Ghost wasn't a detail oriented entity, he just sort of did things in a haphazard way and called it art. Even the casual observer could tell that the job was done in haste. The plastic covered the corpses from ankle to neck. The bags were bloated, filled with the blood of the doomed souls. A few tiny streams of the red liquid made it through the duct tape and ran down the faces of the men.

El Torpedo turned away for a moment and fixed her gaze on the Scarecrow, the smile on his face was quite sinister and chilled her to the bone. She wondered what he thought was so artistic about this brutality. Then she saw their faces. They were beautiful. It must have taken him hours to carve it all.

“How did you do that? It's..beautiful.”
“I didn't do that.”
“You didn't?”
“No. I'm currently compiling a list of possible suspects.”
“Ghost, you told me that you did it.”
“I did.”
“Well, either you did or you didn't. Which is it?”
“I killed them and hung them there. I didn't do the carving. You know I can't draw...at least not like that, and certainly not in this dimension.”
“Then who did?”
“I'm not sure.” The Ghost stuttered, beginning to feel a bit sick. “This looks like the work of...”
Together they finished the sentence, “The Artist!”

For a moment they stared at each other in stunned silence, both absorbing the gravity of the situation. El Torpedo broke the silence, “It can't be, we...I..., I killed The Artist myself. I stuck the barrel to her sweaty forehead; I saw the fear in her eyes when I cocked the hammer. I saw the explosion of blood and brain matter splash against the ceiling and walls after I squeezed the trigger. I wiped her blood from MY face. It's impossible!”
The Scarecrow replied, “It could be a copy cat. The Artist is dead, Torpedo. I was there; I saw what you did to her. No one could survive that -not even her.”

“You two don't know what you saw,” boomed the unmistakable voice of the one and only. “But, I do!” She continued, “You saw what I wanted you to see. Same as now.” She drew a heavy breath, her ample ***** grew fuller. She created the illusion of oxygen intake; she was a creator, and continued her verbal assault on the Scarecrow. “And you! Strawman, or whatever you call yourself these days. To even suggest a copycat after looking at my masterpiece...I'll **** you in eight dimensions a day for the next week! Ten, if I can manage it.” El Torpedo saw the fire of  The Artist's eye flickering in the cool blue darkness. “I think I'll start with the you in this dimension.”

At that very moment, The Ghost fired his (clever weapon name) straight through the heart of what we all, and any person worthy of being reasoned with would've thought was, The Artist. No such luck. The solid image became mist, evaporating before their eyes. I could still see her, safely tucked away. I see lots of things though; hard to keep it all straight, you know?

The Artist continued, “..to think that would work. Good Christ, Strawman! You're dumber than your name implies!”

She reappeared, snuggled closely to the back of  The Ghost Scarecrow. Her knife at his throat, her lips at his ear, she whispered, “My Turn.” She proceeded to pull the blade across Ghost's neck. Before Torpedo could even begin to think about reacting, The Ghost's blood was spraying all over the place. I actually felt bad for her at that moment. It was kind of sad, actually. Blah, rambling again. Back to it!  


“What the **** was that?” El Torpedo uttered, apparently still in shock.
“That, My Dear, is what you can expect when you **** with The Artist!” The sound of her words reminded El Torpedo of the sound of an electric can opener near the end of it's days. “I am the only force in the omniverse that you need concern yourself with, that is all you need to know. Now, Good Night!”

Blinded, but very much alive and very much paralyzed, El Torpedo could feel her limp body sinking into the dark, cold waters of the Lacksdale River. She held her breath for as long as she could, until finally, she gave. The water filled her lungs, but she did not die. A chain appeared around her ankle, it descended deep into the abyss where, presumably, it was attached to something that would keep the girl secure. I'm not sure, I couldn't see that far.

“I've secured you between dimensions, Dear. No one will find you here. Enjoy your stay.” and with that The Artist was gone. But, she'd made one, possibly fatal, mistake. She'd left a witness, ME!
H L Godden Sep 2015
Sweaty shuffle, gloved hands
light fuse, twitching in countdown
until heels spark trigger,
cannons drumming grass

driven by bellows,
magnesium snort
in wind-whipped ears

until gunshot
snap:

shell bursts,
shattered tendons
man falling into dust

while fragments *****
burning air, tearing turf
as cheers become screams,
awaiting another bullet.
If you've ever watched a race where a horse gets injured...
Higgs Nov 2012
An empty field
On the edge of town.

For most of the year
It lies unnoticed
By the busy people
Living their hectic lives.

But
For a few hours during

One night in November

It is the centre of attention.
Everyone is there
Shivering in the cold
But happy!

A funfair
Rides
Stalls
And magical, beautiful lights
Everywhere.

Excited children
Hold sparklers in gloved hands
Writing their names
In the darkness.

Hungry adults
Queue for food
And then eagerly devour
Their hot dogs and baked potatoes.

And everyone cheers
As the bonfire is lit
And flames and sparks
Leap high into the night.

But this is just a prelude
To the main event...

-Ear splitting CRACKS!
-And thundering BANGS!

As the sky is lit by explosions
Of multicoloured light
Bursting and fading
Each more impressive
Than the last.

But after the final firework
Has bid its spectacular farewell
It all winds down
And the crowds drift away
To bed.

Dawn breaks.
The stalls are removed
The funfair is dismantled
And the clean up is completed
Leaving

An empty field
On the edge of town.
Paul Rousseau Jun 2012
Burnt adolescence, the smell of survivors
The satiric regime beholds.
White-gloved landlords, picking at grapefruit
By what means was this chapter told?

By a pigheaded guerilla lad
In a trench coat and top hat
With an ego to the distance of the sun
Alcohol is flammable
To the ones with sharpened mandibles  
For myself, it was all jolly good fun
We fight delicately, sniping, taking and giving verbal punches.
Our skin doesn't bruise, maybe our egos our minds,
but our bodies no.
Our velvet arguing is seamless, flawless.
Anyone listening would hear witty repartee.
A couple playfully bantering, no more.
Polite meritorious armament of words.
Primed to fire a salvo of cruelty.
Cruelty, covered and handled with crushed velvet gloves.
Textured, cultured, arguing.
Polite parrying, pleasant resentment.
A bottle of wine, remnants of a meal, wounds needing to heal.
Less or more cruel than a punch? This seamless linguistic pain.
Bruises fade, pain subsides, mental cruelty resides.
© JLB
17/06/2014
Francie Lynch Feb 2019
How will we progress today?

Will we risk life attending Mosque,
Or have an affair with our spouse's boss?

Will we take the dog out for a walk,
Step on a landmine, use plastic straws?

Perhaps we'll play with our kids today,
Or call Amber Alert, wait scared, and pray?

Will we defy authority with a righteous tone,
Or leave our tail tucked, like a dog with his bone?

Will we gauge goods today for our Vegan menu,
Or show a distention as millions today do?

Will we drive around town for cheaper gas,
Or choose our pickings from picked-over trash?

Do you sling eggs and sausage for sub-minimum wages,
Or attend a visitation in a tortured MADD rage?

Will you tee off at eight, or do a spin class,
Or sit solitary watching the hourglass?

Did we place our script at the shiny drugstore,
Or wade across water to Jordan's fair shore?

Will we question the teacher at our kid's school,
Or play Avatar falling off our bar stool?

Did you set a reminder on your AI phone
For chicken delivery to your suburban home?

Will you lift copper tubing from construction sites,
Proclaiming your station in life gives you right?

Do I recline in my La-Z-Boy for a nap with a book,
Or teach someone to live with a line and a hook?

Will you take out your family,
Are you last on your list,
Will you reciprocate a handshake
Or raise a gloved fist?

Our words can't bind all our wounds,
Few are born with silver spoons,
We're not wrapped in silk cocoons.
A metamorphosis is coming
To this world of gloom,
A rousing group flight,
And it can't come too soon.
And I never even mentioned diseases.
Kelle Feb 2012
My fingerprints tell a story
on occasion I'll glance down at them
Careful yet unobtrusive rings of life
Much like the tree that grew in the yard
of my childhood home.

Tonight these circles within circles
trace the outline of your body.
Your spine.
Your hip bones.
Your ribs.
Every muscle tense and then relaxes
under the strength of my extremities

I'm horrible at saying goodbye
I'd much rather lie here and
outline your body for you.
My fingers the chalk outline at a crime scene

Fugitives are always careful about fingerprints.
They're easily picked up by white dust
and foreign gloved hands

But this time, I'll leave my ringed prints behind
I want them to know I knew you.
Carsyn Smith Mar 2014
There is something romantic
about
           light
                     snowfall
                                      on an early spring morning.
I just can't put my gloved finger on it...
It has something to do with
the final goodbye of Father Winter,
the last kiss
                    from
                            falling
                      flakes.
Perhaps it's the way
the birds still chase each other
despite the cold whip of the snow.
Maybe it's the way the daffodils look,
                  yellow     dresses
                         powered
                              in
                        sparking
                       diamonds,
           swaying
      slowly to
            Father's
      lulling tune.
It has something to do with the way
the waking sun
                          pours
                                    pink
                                            light
onto the dreary eyed school children

Yes, there is something romantic
about a
             light
                     snowfall
                                   on an early spring morning.
But it's heartbreaking to
crumble
                the fresh blanket,
or to watch it
             melt
                             away.
Seeing the sun
                 beating
                    heat
onto frozen grass,
until the snow
sinks or
hides in shadows.
Soon all that is left of the morning snowfall
                                                        ­                 is the crisp breeze
and the odd sense of mourning
among the spring daffodils.
the ecosystem that young children
wake up on Tuesdays
before dawn to try & save
treading muddy gray roadsides
spiriting away cigarette butts
faded azure beer cans
thin shopping bag ghosts
with tiny gloved hands—
this cracking frost-heave
pavement landscape
is my body

my body is the first gasping crocus
the first chanting insects,
the first murdered fieldmouse
after waking

is the first meal
of a young owl,
all fluff and down and bone,
high in a skinny birch tree
and still a-feared of foxes

my body is hot loam
is fevered asphalt
is a feeding garden
& my soul…

my soul
is the beating sun,
undecayed, though tarnished
by weeks
maybe months
behind curtains of Winter

my soul separate
from my body
for so long…
and yet

it could have dined with God
and married His Daughter
before anyone thought to go looking
Kam Mar 2018
I envied the cadavers haunting my nightmares,
watching those before me
spread upon a metal slab
bodies are hand-me-downs of regurgitated poetry,
with wretched closets in which I take their place.

This ventilator called "loved ones"
forcing breath into anguished lungs-
tragedies belonging to these poets meant something,
a desire to save the words written,
but never the one who becomes a eulogy.

Agony burrows inside of me,
conversations with my mother's ghost
still,
the living are possessed by
the dead's shortened tomorrows.

To die by suicide wouldn't give,
authenticity to hurt.

I am learning the autopsy of a soul:
extracting a heart from the chest,
as it's sense of belonging was never there.
An inability to weigh the words bleeding from valves,
aside lungs I'm unable to breathe through.

How ungrateful is it of sorrow to ask for hope?
placed in a pill divider to swallow,
muscles within my throat so tight.
Wondering,
How many times did I diminish my voice?

Inside the brain,
schematics of labyrinths with no end to betterment.
Surgeons reach for a soul,
an iridescence small enough
held in a gloved palm,
watching it writhe.
Placed upon a slide,
but even a microscope
cannot perceive the pain a soul hides.

Once more,
stitched with needle and thread.

Wilting of my own garden,
comes one day-
an incision is made opening me up.
My heart showed the same
blood-red ink, writing apologies
on the marble floor.

They opened my arm,
displaying a noose of veins.
In this moment,
they removed my soul
only to gift it to another
birthed from torment
ripped out of the arm's of their mother
& into the embrace of woe.

—V.H.
Hopefully, it makes sense.
nivek Jul 2015
the gloved hand

reaches into all hearts

while fate bleeds

from sunrise to sunset
Poemasabi Jun 2013
Tangled in thick grass the young dragonfly, freed by a gentle gloved hand.
Anderson M Jan 2014
Glitzy gowns, crisp suits
Dainty personalities, well-groomed gentlemen
The crème de la crème of society
Poised reveling in an aura of importance
Flex their financial muscle
In the name of philanthropy.
Handing out gifts to hoi polloi
Their hands gloved
Smiling from ear to ear
Their noses twitching
Apparently un-accustomed to the “smell” of poverty
Has poverty…a smell?
Self-aggrandizement overwhelming their souls
Having warmed the hearts of the downtrodden
It’s a deal…sealed
Effortlessly
AnnaMarie Jenema May 2014
Mom should’ve been here by now. I sat on my frilly blue and purple polka-dotted bed waiting for the knock on the door telling me mom found my dress. Finally, it raps on my door. “Mom! Did you find it?” My eyes widen as the silky blue sways in her arms, it’s beauty sings as a caged bird let free. I gasp in admiration. “I-It’s wonderful!” I pick it up and it glides down into a perfect fit.  “I’m glad you love it. Come down after you finish getting ready.” The door thuds after her. Looking across the room I note my honey brown hair that curls into pigtails. Restraining the squeal that is caught in my throat, I travel the length of my room to the mirror.

     The mirror sits on an antique dresser that my mom found at a garage sale. At first I didn’t care much for the ancient wooden junk that is at least half a century old. Now the gold-tinted metal gleams with pride once again. Rusty gems were in carved into an arc surrounding the mystic glass. “Lydia! Can you go upstairs and get that box down for me?” Mom’s request interfered with my thoughts. … Go in that dusty attic? “Sure mom!”

       Out the door and into the hallway stood a door like any other in our house. It squeaked open as eerily as what you’d expect in a haunted house. ‘A box, a box’ than out of the side of my vision I thought I saw motion. I shook it off as just being a spider or mouse. Soon my footsteps lead me to come across a dresser and mirror identical to the one in my room. It was cluttered with cobwebs and spiders. “Not very well taken care of, are you?” I muttered the joke. I looked into the mirror expecting to see a light blue dress covered in dust and sparkly silk material, but there was no reflection at all. I looked even closer at the mirror, before realizing, there was no mirror at all.

     I looked around until I found it behind the dresser, sitting on the ground. I touched one of the gems that surprisingly glowed despite the rust. Something shone until I was blinded. A tingle ran through the hand that brushed the mirror’s gem and flew through my arm until it encompassed me, racing into my every feeling until I couldn’t feel anything. My eyes shut and refused to open themselves.


     A gentle breeze grasped my hair, as music descended from the air. I could smell what seemed to be a banquet of some kind, mixed with perfume. Slowly my eyes lifted their veil to lock with waves pounding against a brick wall. I was looking down from a balcony into the erupting sea. The white brick-made balcony was large and lonely even with the brush of people walking by. I hid behind the rose-red curtains to look around. People danced and talked. Some ate. The music paved the trail for their feet to follow, all very gracefully. The men wore suits that tails drip to their knees. Their white shirts buried under sashes of gold, red, or blue. Sometimes holding medallions, some only dressed in ties. The woman wore Victorian dresses of every color and shade. Frilled hats with flowers were arranged on their heads.

     Wait, I’m not supposed to be here. I was in the attic, going to the café with mom. What was I doing? My head ached from the effort to recall my actions. Why can’t I remember? I stumble backward only to reach the balcony’s edge. Where is this anyway?

      I dive back into the curtain to search for my answer. The softness of the curtain was a rose pushed to my nose. I peeked through the small gap to find a page carting some clothes past my hiding spot. I sneaked next to the cart being wheeled into a doorway, planning to find a way out. I lost the page and walked around until I went through an archway door. The cool air spiraled against my silk-trapped skin. The scent of flowers bloomed around me. I found the garden labyrinth.

     Walking through the maze’s hedges I arrive at a beautiful fountain displaying crystal clear pouring waters. Everywhere I gazed, flowers embraced the greenery. My breath deprived my lungs of air as I took in the sight. It was so magnificent under the light of the full moon. A few lamps lighted a sidewalk path maneuvering along the hedges. I circled the fountain, taking in the surroundings. My silk dress was shining in the dim glow. The sceneries beauty entranced me.






     I didn’t see a shadow before me, and almost fell to the ground. In a graceful swoop an arm latched around my waist to pull me to my feet. “Be careful to look where you’re going, please my lady.” He bowed his head while his slim rimmed glasses started to fall off of his face, suddenly he looked up at me; sliding them back on with a slight wave of a finger. “That garb isn’t from around here.” He noted my sky blue dress with interest. I’m not even sure where I am. “I seem a bit lost. Will you help me?” he stares at me closer, a deeper curiosity shines in his green eyes, daintily brushed by his dark hair. “My dear, if it brings you comfort to know, we are in London at the Buckingham palace.”

      I gasped; London was so far away from New York. It’s across seas. I gulped at my next question as sweat pricked the nape of my neck, “What’s todays date?” His eyes sparkled at the question. “Why, it is June 28, of 1838. The entire castle is bustling at these very words. It’s a day to remember. Now my dear, I must take my leave and see to the ballroom. Farewell.” He bowed, than turned to leave. His slow stride seemed like a dance all on it’s own. My gaze was caught on his figure following the foot trail until he had disappeared. I sighed at my first encounter with someone in this grand place. The Buckingham Palace, in 1838. …1838!! That can’t be right, it’s 2014. Then the shock hit me as if bricks fell from the castle onto my forehead; the clothes, the language, the pages, and royalty. This couldn’t be London in present Great Britain.

    I circle the garden once more before I decide to go back inside. The young noble had realized my clothes didn’t belong here, probably anyone who sees me would recognize this too. I start off towards the footpath. The melodic rhythm still swirled in the breeze. Than for a second I thought I heard a footstep. My head twists back only to see a shadow move. The cool air now seems icy. Multiple possible things to say to the night air gallop through my mind. “ Such a lovely night,” is the one I decide on. From behind me a few feet back I imagine a sigh. No, not imagined, but actually there. It’s too real. I turn on my heels just to catch a glimpse of a black cape caught in the wind, as it’s master floats into the open. “My, It is lovely. However, I didn’t realize such a strangely dressed commoner as you could enter this palace.” His smirk shows sarcasm as easily as his eyes. “I never intended to visit a palace, even less in London.” My honest answer only has him conceal his laugh.




     “I’m sure you didn’t. Yet, your dressed for a fine occasion.” His hand reaches for mine. I pull away from the willowy figured glove. “Why not allow me this dance in the garden?” I back away, aware that his voice is too prescient and I should be careful. “Are you going to be wary of me?” his gaze turned pained, his blue eyes that were once full of playfulness now melted into hurt. I unintentionally reach out for his gloved hand. His laugh echoes past the foliage. “Such a naïve girl.” Dread decided that this nobleman should be avoided at all costs. I ran towards the palace. “And so the chase begins.” He snickers and rushes after me.


     I pass through the archways, glancing back now and again to find the caped captor flying along my tracks. If only there was some way to lose him. I ducked into the nearest doorway. At the far end of the hall I could see a door with a sign saying, “Dressing room”. I flung myself under a table and tablecloth to hide myself as my pursuer rounded the corner into the hall. I tucked my head between my knees and waited for his footsteps to fade. The warm place that held me trapped was close and too easily discoverable. I held my breath and tried to sink into the darkness. I’m not here. No one can find me.

     After enough time flew by to ensure my safety, I crawled out from under the table. The cloth draped over my head. I looked back and forth, half expecting to see a smirking smile, and haughty eyes. A girl stares down at me. She’s at least ten years old. “Shhh.” I press my finger to my lips and gently smile at her as if we’re keeping a secret between us. She giggles, copies the motion to her own mouth, than delightfully skips away. I let out a sigh and stand up. I follow the hall to the dressing room. The door creaks open and I look around once more, startled by the sudden noise.

     I sneak inside hoping find that the room is abandoned. In the darkly lit room, only my footsteps sound. As far as I can tell, no one has entered lately. I walk over to the carts of clothes and run my hand over the first one on the stack. It’s a ruby-red dress with fine material and some gems similar to those in the mirror. … The mirror. Not in my room, but the attic. My head hurts again, but I know I touched its gem before winding up here. How? I look through the dresses until I find a light blue and white one. The bowed sleeves come down to my elbow with frills encasing the bottom. The neckline forms a squared area of similar white frills. A small white sash acts as a belt that drops into the skirt of the dress. Two similar white ones come down each side. I pick up the light material and set it near my feet.
      My old silk dress easily slips overhead, making way for the new clothing. After tugging tight sleeves and bodices into place the light dress swoops over my feet. I spin through the dark room only to stop at catching someone’s eye. I immediately turn towards the frozen face. It is my own reflection in a mirror. I face myself as my sight settles on the dress I wear. My honey brown hair curled over the dress from my pigtails. My eyes sparkled it’s matching blue to the dress. In the corner of the room, next to the mirror, sat a large wooden box. I looked through it to find that it was full of jewelry and accessories. I prodded its contents until I found sky blue bows to wrap in my pigtails.

     I walked into the open hallway, now littered with people going to and fro. Anyone from passerby’s, young nobility, servants, and pages. Once the hall emptied I fled the room, hurrying through the corridors until I met with the room that created the harmonious trance. At the ends of the great ballroom sat crowds eating and laughing. Clusters of on-goers danced and chatted. In the middle of the farthest side of the room sat a throne that was embroidered with metal marks from centuries of legends. On the throne sat a woman at least eighteen of age. Her regal crown shone despite other attractions surrounding the dance room. A page strode over to her as she flourished her hand for his service. He stood and listened intently to her whispers. Finally, he stood and roared for the room’s attention. From his mouth spilled cheer and wistfulness, as he demanded the crowd’s ear. “Our young Queen Victoria’s coronation has completed. Now starts a new era! Let the celebration proceed.” The room reverberated with hope, love, and admiration for their new ruler.

     ‘Queen Victoria has been crowned’ having no clue how to find a way home, I disconsolately decide to join in the festivities. The crowd moves into a larger room. I stagger after them; the mass pushing everyone forward. We pass the kitchens. The aroma of cakes and deserts of every kind rises into the cool night air. The only smell more perceptible than delicate delights is the perfume penetrating the entire castle. We enter a by far more spacious ballroom. Empty amphitheater seats loom overhead, tied into the walls for onlookers to watch the ball unravel. Once again I glance at these to notice black material hangs over the edge. A head moves as people fill the seats. A nobleman with a black cape and familiar blue eyes takes their seat next to men and woman of high status. I walk into the mop to hide myself, while watching him. He laughs and chats with them as if he’s known them all his life.


      Unable to watch where I’m going, I trip. The harsh, solid ground hits my knee as if I’ve met a tornado. I wince at the pain as I strain myself to stand. A firm, but careful hand grabs mine. I look up into green eyes shaded by recognizable glasses. “My dear, you are very clumsy.” He smiles at me as I pat my dress back into place. “I see we’ve met again.” My response comes weakly as the sore from my knee makes me flinch. “I don’t think you’ve told me your name.” I inquire. “You have not requested my name, so I haven’t told it. However, if you do me the honor of a dance, my secret may be leaked.”  He bowed and offered me his arm, as I timidly accept it.

     A new song disrupts the last, as new pairs take the stage. He walks me onto the floor, and diligently starts to dance. I watch my feet, not wanting to mistake my pace. “Lift your chin, my dear. You don’t seem to but much of a church-bell.” I looked up at him puzzled. “Church-bell?” As he tried to conceal a grin, his glasses couldn’t suppress the laughter in his eyes. “Your rather quiet. And most likely not from around London, are you?” I looked to the ground once more. Should I tell him or not? Will it start problems, or will I be okay? “It’s fine, I shall not expect you to answer a question you wish not to.” I looked up at him, solemnly. “I promised to introduce myself, correct?” I nodded, as the music that echoed around us faded into the next song.

      His movements were so fluid; he was a wave at the end of the day, flowing into the sunset. “Miss, I am known by most as William Anderson. It’s a pleasure to meet you.” He procured my sweaty palm into his, tenderly swiping his mouth to my fingers. I let my hand be brought back into the dance as I searched for words to speak. Once the dance ended a few moments later, I curtsey and murmur, “It’s nice to meet you. I am Lydia Olsen.” At my gesture he bows, and requests once more, “Am I trustworthy enough to understand why you are in a mysterious place you don’t understand?” My answer had been decided and started to splatter from my mouth. “Y…”









     The next sound bounces along the room, it’s symphony starting. My words mix into the noise. In my vision of the seats above, snowy dots shoot arrows in my direction. Blue eyes gaze down at me, their iciness piercing me as icicles prickle my skin. I exchange a glance with William, nod and answer, “You are. I’ll explain.” My discomfort is surely recognizable. I often peek over my shoulder above as we dance. The shadow with a glare starts his voyage through the seats to reach the stairs that pillar into the wall. He descends from the tower, only adding to my panic. My hand seizes Williams, as I give him an apologetic smile. We hurry from the room, stumbling over each other’s feet. His graceful prance, now a faltering wreak.

     Once we are outside the ballroom, I turn towards him. “I trust you, so please understand, I live In the USA in 2014. Not London, not Even in the 1800’s.” His expression is masked, but I’m sure that I’ve confused him. “I went back into time, from the future.” The simple words struck a chord with him, his glasses tilted off his nose as he listens intently. “The future? How?” even I don’t know how to answer such questions. “I’m not sure. I was in the attic with a mirror, than … ****! I’m here.” Confusion once again wonders onto his face. “I went into a storage room with old things, and found a mirror, touched a gem, now I was here.”

     “I see, but why did we run away from the celebration? I was looking forward to another dance with you.” His casual smile does nothing to conceal unasked questions. I’m not sure how to answer them ei
Jack Jul 2013
Dancing on a thread of silk - taut of pain,
balanced deep within the fear…
Swaying to the side in calculated energy,
breathing as the sweat begins to pour


Toeing the line with blinders on
only to face the evil waiting - miles above my last breath
Shambles become my life’s dreams,
as fifty or so exit the compact car below- all doors ajar


Pointing skyward with gloved fingers and flowered bonnets
they gasp - splashing red paint of severed smiles
and floating eyebrows, merely decorations placed by hand
and contractual obligations


The rings add up to three - yet left alone I find is me,
teetering of lost imagination and breath taking nuances,
blanketing the sawdust creations
of worries portrayed in a gallery of netted promises


It is calling now for my end - free falling with wings to spare,
a calliope whistles its crescendo beneath a tent
pitched and heaved in frustration,
riding the rail lines of someone else’s thoughts


Not worth the price of admission - I wave
as I exit this cotton candy dream world in search of the nightmares slowly unfolding
along platform bridges of age
and destined footpaths


The train departs…the giraffe cries
JLB Jan 2014
It’s been a while since I’ve taken a drive through my mind.
I drove when I needed to search for understanding, and then came a time when I no longer yearned to understand.
Objects in mirrors were closer than they appeared. And suddenly…
Life was closer than it appeared whenever it was netted in the echo of a poem.


It began to snow, and the flakes under my headlights turned to shooting stars.
I was so close. So close to…something. I could see the faint outline of a figure…a man perhaps?
Time froze, or maybe it sped up? I couldn’t tell. I couldn’t perceive what was, and what wasn’t.
Then suddenly, he was there—
A man in a dark cloak, standing in the middle of the road, reaching out to me.  
I put on my breaks, and the car came to a sudden halt.
He circled around the car, approaching my window. I could not see his face.
I rolled down the window, and he came forward and motioned for my hand, holding out his gloved one.
I gave it to him.
He held it.
I suddenly wanted to die.
I said, “Can you make the suffering stop?”
He inhaled, as if to speak, and then…
I felt adrenaline and fear surge in my veins. I inhaled to ask him who he was, but there was no air. I was full of nothing.
I did not want to hear what he had to say.
My heart palpitated. My vision went black.  I opened the car door, and flung myself out onto the snowy ground.
The man was gone.
I didn’t want to drive anymore, so I locked the car, left it in the middle of the road, and walked into the blizzard. I didn’t know which way home was, and I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to know anything.

Life meets human understanding in the most delicate way, when one finds words to echo reality.
After the pen has scribbled something profound, understanding meets fear in the most unfortunate way.  All that once was, crumbles under epiphany.  
What is already known is comfortable. It doesn’t require bravery, for we have already faced it. We have already heard the words spoken from under the cloak, and we already have seen the face of their messenger.
C S Cizek Jul 2014
I bent my toes over the tub
like talons on a sunbaked branch
and clenched the curtain
in my gloved hands.

I sprayed Tilex on a scouring
pad and scrubbed the black mold
riddling the ceiling and caulked
edges of the shower like leprosy.

My lungs filled with nitrogen,
oxygen, and argon as well as
sodium hypochlorite and hydroxide,
spores, and mycotoxins.

I staggered backwards, trying
to find solid ground but found
only a dazed, curtain-wrapped
fall to the cold linoleum below.
This has been my morning so far.
Cat Lynn Oct 2018
This Morning... Dripping in a bleeding shadow's clothing
I lost a sense of existence as my gloved covered hands tampered with my phone... time wasting

Leaning against my black, silver chained designed backpack, pressed against a wall
I waited for my professor to come and welcome us in... I was freezing from the cold shoulder of fall

With my classmates quietly surrounding around me... Two sweaty Janitors came walking through
Ignoring their presence, my fingers only continued to twiddle again the screen,  "someone is staring at you."

My conscious warned. Frozen, behind my bangs, I cautiously move my pupils up
To catch the left behind Janitor's eyes on me... no one daring to interrupt  

His eyes started at my high heel boots, and slowly went up... studying every part of my temple
Trembling, my eyes looked away... pretending I didn't notice such a failing gentlemen example

"Hello?" He said... However, I  pretended that I did not his voice
"Hey... Good Morning!" he declared... as if to rejoice.

Very slightly, my eyes purposely hiding, I raised my head to show I have taken notice
"Good Morning," I spoke plainly, to brush him off, but he continued to admire me as if I was HIS Lotus.

" Hey, I can't see your eyes." Anger began to boil... So what?
I wanted my curtain of golden-brown hair to hide these jewels that haven't been cut.  

I moved them aside for a split second, to tease this fool..wanted to break his stem
and to reveal a hint of a cursed anger that lied within these gems

"I know" to show that they are hidden with purpose, he reminded me of a ****
But stubborn this man was, he bent down, trying to steal a glimpse

"Come on let me see your face!" He cried like a child
Trying to make thingy spicy, but it was truly nothing more than mild

He took one step closer, his face trying to satisfy those eyes that desired dark beauty
If looks could ****, he would already be dead and skinned down to the ****** bone... I'm not your cutie

One step back was the action I took as he saw what pleased him...A beautiful cat
"Now, Why should you hide such a face like that?"

He said with a smirk, trying to sound as if he was the prince for me
Not even my gloves could keep my hands warm after my heart began to freeze

Anger boiled over... knowing he wasn't saying it to be modest or kind
Snapping my backbone in half. feeling like an object... my possession was defined.

"Why shouldn't I?" I spoke with seriousness as dead as the bodies in the grave
The silence was so loud, it deafened everyone around me. My tears swell up with rage

"Tooshay" He said as he chuckled and walked away...
What a coward to give up his argument and fight... but thank God he didn't stay

...He didn't even have a defense to give... it goes to show what he was after
He didn't even try to convince me... His heart was in the wrong place... what a disaster

...I am so disappointed in men... You only see me as an object of abusive pleasure
You think you can have your fun and flirt away... Your foolishness can't be measured

WHY SHOULD I HIDE MY FACE?
LET ME ASK YOU WHY SHOULDN'T I?  His time was a waste...

I went to my first class... trembling in disgust...
I'll just continue to hide my face away from all of you... it obvious you men don't know what is true... pure.. or just...

I'm sorry for making such a fuss...

But Seriously...

Why Shouldn't I Hide Such a Face Like This?


                                                 10/15/2018
... Welcome to College Everyone... Watch Out for people like this... Avoid them at all cost... if they only foucs on the outside... they will only treat you like an object....

ARE YOU AN OBJECT OR A PERSON!?!  NO ONE SHOULD BE TREATED LIKE THIS!!!!

...yeah it's something small... but still
Spanish

    –Eros: acaso no sentiste nunca
Piedad de las estatuas?
Se dirían crisálidas de piedra
De yo no sé qué formidable raza
En una eterna espera inenarrable.
Los cráteres dormidos de sus bocas
Dan la ceniza negra del Silencio,
Mana de las columnas de sus hombros
La mortaja copiosa de la Calma
Y fluye de sus órbitas la noche;
Victimas del Futuro o del Misterio,
En capullos terribles y magníficos
Esperan a la Vida o a la Muerte.
Eros: acaso no sentiste nunca
Piedad de las estatuas?–
    Piedad para las vidas
Que no doran a fuego tus bonanzas
Ni riegan o desgajan tus tormentas;
Piedad para los cuerpos revestidos
Del armiño solemne de la Calma,
Y las frentes en luz que sobrellevan
Grandes lirios marmóreos de pureza,
Pesados y glaciales como témpanos;
Piedad para las manos enguantadas
De hielo, que no arrancan
Los frutos deleitosos de la Carne
Ni las flores fantásticas del alma;
Piedad para los ojos que aletean
Espirituales párpados:
Escamas de misterio,
Negros telones de visiones rosas…
Nunca ven nada por mirar tan lejos!
    Piedad para las pulcras cabelleras
–Misticas aureolas–
Peinadas como lagos
Que nunca airea el abanico *****,
***** y enorme de la tempestad;
Piedad para los ínclitos espiritus
Tallados en diamante,
Altos, claros, extáticos
Pararrayos de cúpulas morales;
Piedad para los labios como engarces
Celestes donde fulge
Invisible la perla de la Hostia;
–Labios que nunca fueron,
Que no apresaron nunca
Un vampiro de fuego
Con más sed y más hambre que un abismo.–
Piedad para los sexos sacrosantos
Que acoraza de una
Hoja de viña astral la Castidad;
Piedad para las plantas imantadas
De eternidad que arrastran
Por el eterno azur
Las sandalias quemantes de sus llagas;
Piedad, piedad, piedad
Para todas las vidas que defiende
De tus maravillosas intemperies
El mirador enhiesto del Orgullo;

Apuntales tus soles o tus rayos!

Eros: acaso no sentiste nunca
Piedad de las estatuas?…

              English

    –Eros: have you never felt
Piety for the statues?
These chrysalides of stone,
Some formidable race
In an eternal, unutterable hope.
The sleeping craters of their mouths
Utter the black ash of silence;
A copious shroud of Calm
Falls from the columns of their arms,
And night flows from their eyesockets;
Victims of Destiny or Mystery,
In magnificent and terrible cocoons,
They wait for Life or Death.
Eros: have you never perhaps felt
Piety for the statues?
    Piety for the lives
That will not strew nor rend your battles
Nor gild your fiery truces;
Piety for the bodies clothed
In the solemn ermine of Calm,
The luminous foreheads that endure
Their marble wreaths, grand and pure,
Weighty and glacial as icebergs;
Piety for the gloved hands of ice
That cannot uproot
The delicious fruits of the Flesh,
The fantastic flowers of the soul;
Piety for the eyes that flutter
Their spiritual eyelids:
Mysterious fish scales,
Dark curtains on rose visions…
For looking so far, they never see!
    Piety for the tidy heads of hair
–Mystical haloes–
Gently combed like lakes
Which the storm’s black fan,
Black and enormous, never thrashes;
Piety for the spirits, illustrious,
Carved of diamonds,
High, clear, ecstatic
Lightning rods on pious domes;
Piety for the lips like celestial settings
Where the invisible pearls of the Host gleam;
–Lips that never existed,
Never seized anything,
A fiery vampire
With more thirst and hunger than an abyss.
Piety for the sacrosanct sexes
That armor themselves with sheaths
From the astral vineyards of Chastity;
Piety for the magnetized footsoles
Who eternally drag
Sandals burning with sores
Through the eternal azure;
Piety, piety, pity
For all the lives defended
By the lighthouse of Pride
From your marvelous raw weathers:

Aim your suns and rays at them!

Eros: have you never perhaps felt
Pity for the statues?
Ottar Apr 2014
Good dirt,
Bad dirt,
Bag of dirt,
dirt in a bag, avoided dirt bag, almost,
flowers, herbs
and veggies everywhere,
not a clean spot, all is dirtied,
soiled by my touch,
perfect plants in little pots,
re-planted, by gloved hands,
staying dirt free,
not gentlely,
name is Darrell,
not Mary,
don't you dare ask me how does
my garden grow,
for I will say, with dirt
on my face in my hair,
it is too early to tell so;
you can go look for silver bells
and cockle shells and all those pretty maids
in some body else's row,
cause I moved dirt for what it is worth,
for hanging baskets, on every word,
and herbs to flavor, my tongue,
as I stripped those young plants
from their root bound temporary
prisons,
for reasons unknown,
as I did not inherit my mother's green thumbs,
I did not earn any merit badges nor did I join 4 H,
in the days of my youth, now
I grow weary of faltering crops,
it is to easy to stop to ****,
and wet the soil, care for
those things that rise from the dirt,
that were moved, into containers,
with indelicate fingers, gloved,
not loved by any living thing they touched.
Give me dirt,
I can't hurt dirt,
broken stems, ripped leaves,
I grieve for them and that
they may forgive, my clumsy
ways, and be touched by the healing sun's rays.
I understand dirt,
for it is where I came from,
and His breath.
JR Rhine Jun 2017
She is
the Ethereal Wonder
and I am her trusty sidekick
Dream Boy.

Her obsequious protégé,
I chop at the shadows
of the baddies
and glass ceilings
to which she delivers
swift kicks and merciless punches.

In the Dream Mobile,
my eyes are at her hand
on the stick shift,
her thumb flipping the
oil slick switch and pressing it—

the sounds of cars screeching and
careening off cliffs
fail to deter me from imagining
the gloved hand in mine.

Off she darts into the fray,
and I hear
the shocked public
gasp,
and the narrator expound,

“Faster than men less qualified but
more likely to get the job,

as powerful as histories
of suffragettes and debutantes,

able to leap over the confines
of impressed domesticity
in a single bound!”

Into her arms fall
the thankful victims
at the last second,

and the baleful embrace
of malevolence
gropes at thin air
where the Ethereal
Wonder once was.

She receives thanks
with a wave of a gloved
hand and bounties
of humility.

She is no damsel in distress,
she is no mere love interest,
and to be her partner
in this great dangerous adventure
will be the most heroic story
ever told—

And perhaps one day she will need saving,
and I will rise to the occasion—
owing my strength, wisdom, and ability
to all she has ever taught me
of being a hero.
Tim Knight Aug 2013
Crest of the wave shoulders
moulded into the final box;
Russian doll soldiers
have nothing on this once free-bus-pass holder.

Open the windows to the let the fresh death out,
past the PVC French doors, triple glazed
and no doubt worth their weight in gold.

Tidy up her lips with thread reinforced with care
and a careful hand tidied up in a well healed white gloved pair.

The next-to-the-cemetery funeral home sits not far from Wakefield
submit your poems for online publication >> coffeeshoppoems.com
G Rog Rogers Oct 2017
Nothing could save you
from your addiction
No one can save you
from your self

When you fell
You fell
straight to hell
You were gone
when you started
And nothing could
stop you...

from your addiction

Hell-bent for trouble
Headlong into tragedy
Drug induced psychosis
held you tight in its grip

Tighter than the clench
of a tightly gloved fist
The clenched fist of...

Your addiction

You bartered away
everything you owned
While incinerating
Your mind

Your heart and your life
cannot much longer
hold on...

against your addiction

No one could save you
from your addiction
Nothing can save you
from yourself.

-R.

(10.12.17)
-LA
©ASGP
Jack Apr 2014
~

The Giraffe Cries

Dancing on a thread of silk - taut of pain,
balanced deep within the fear…
Swaying to the side in calculated energy,
breathing as the sweat begins to pour

Toeing the line with blinders on
only to face the evil waiting - miles above my last breath
Shambles become my life’s dreams,
as fifty or so exit the compact car below- all doors ajar

Pointing skyward with gloved fingers and flowered bonnets
they gasp - splashing red paint of severed smiles
and floating eyebrows, merely decorations placed by hand
and contractual obligations

The rings add up to three - yet left alone I find is me,
teetering of lost imagination and breath taking nuances,
blanketing the sawdust creations
of worries portrayed in a gallery of netted promises

It is calling now for my end - free falling with wings to spare,
a calliope whistles its crescendo beneath a tent
pitched and heaved in frustration,
riding the rail lines of someone else’s thoughts

Not worth the price of admission - I wave
as I exit this cotton candy dream world in search of the nightmares slowly unfolding
along platform bridges of age
and destined footpaths

The train departs…the giraffe cries
SJ Stine Oct 2010
The scent of your cologne and incense
always linger behind,
Attaching themselves to me in a cruel reminder
Of just how much I love the smell that is you.
Deep and woody,
It brings memories of fireplaces,
Winter nights,
And spiced chai.
Ski lodges,
Knit hats,
And gloved hands two sizes bigger,
Still holding on for dear life.
Cuddling under hand-made blankets
Sharing laughs,
Secrets,
Kisses.
Even if I don't have you I will always have your scent,
And the places it takes me are better than the places I have been.
nichole r Aug 2014
ice water clogs up my veins,
chilling me,
as most rises from my skin at dawn.
cerulean lips that match my eyes
spread over bared diamond teeth,
as I convulse and writhe on the steel table.
ribs crackle and split so suddenly
that not even a sharp gasp
can knive itself
past my throat.
organs fails and shrivel together,
abandoning me,
as gloved hands rip them out
from the incision along my belly.
my once silky tresses
fray and dry
before eventually falling out,
outlining my spasming figure.
grey brain matter numbs and
electrical impulses cease to a halt.
no more thoughts...
no more movements...
just a dead body with a beating heart.
pri Sep 2018
i can hear it now -the pine needles making a soft carpet and the leaves rustling,
dancing with their partners and laying with the soft crunches.
and there were rivers, rustling along the beds and laughing,
growing deeper and flowing to the sea.

we’d pile in the car, and run through the forest,
let the cool air kiss our faces, run shivering to warm buildings,
drink the warm cider and wrap scarves around each other.
it was warmer than summer would ever be.

i can see it now -the sunlight streaming through the trees,
trees and rivers i learned to make time for,
and us holding hands as we looked for directions,
the road stretching before us and hills rolling with golden leaves.

sunlight streamed through my classroom windows,
as i ran to school in boots, stepping towards my friends,
sitting huddled with each other,
because we felt whole.

i can smell it now -the fires, soft and warm and comforting.
we’d stop at these towns, low river towns, and look around in awe.
how could you live here, where the leaves are always gold? where the cold river runs so deep?
where the drink are so warm? where the clouds hang above you?

have you seen the sea in autumn? it turns grey and the sky grows cold. yet, the boat rides,
in the stinging sea air, seem all the more fun. and yet, the market smells all the more warm,
as the children walk around in wonderment,
gloved hands clutched tightly with their parents.

i can breathe it in now -the loneliness of a world that seems to be in it’s twilight,
but in reality is simply content to drive the mornings away, stopping to see cold buildings,
and allow the leafy afternoons to sink into an evening, where the lamps turn on,
and we sit in watch the stars in the gorge at night.

now, i remember, how much i loved all of you. we could listen to soft banjo music,
eat our sandwiches in the warm car, dress up and step into the autumn chill,
we’d explore any village and taste their hot chocolate, then stay as long as we wanted.
and then we’d move on.
to my family.
inspired by: pale nov. dew (the dead tongues)
Andrew Kerklaan Mar 2013
Delicate tang spritzes the air with a sunshine kiss

Peeling so gently it's lady-like tenderness is an elegant tea party with white gloved fingers and daisies on the mantle

Her majesty will be pleased!

A romantic encounter of citrus delight and sun-bathed security in ever loving om and happiness

A candidate as sweet could never be asked for such a casual Sunday outing and for you my dear we are but a shared slice of raspberry accented pie

So powerful but yet so softly subdued...

Like piano ballads or string quartets it is here simply for our glorious consumption

An ode to you my Sunday sweet orange!

May my taste buds always dazzle upon your  arrival
This poem is the embodiment of how I feel while eating an orange on a sunny Sunday afternoon
“I’m not sure if night is ending or day is beginning.  What time is it?” She asked as she opened the door.

“Its about 2:30” I answered.

She was pacing about slightly bobbing her head as she spoke.

“We're sorry to disturb you beloved.  We're conducting a homeless census. May we ask you some questions?”

“I don’t want to be put away”  she said.  “I have to be outside.”

“We’re not here to hurt you.  We’re here to help.”

"Where do you come from?" Ally asked.

She didn't remember where she was from and was uncertain why it mattered.

She knew she wanted to leave Paterson but was unsure about where she wanted to go.

She kept her eye on the McDonald’s across Market Street.  

"As long as the light is on, I know its still nighttime and I'll have a place to go if the cops kick me out of here."

Here, was this evenings lodging in an ATM vestibule.  

"I can also get something to eat when I'm hungry."

"What time is it?"

"Its about 2:30."    

She earnestly wants to know what time it is.  

"I don't want the people going to work in the morning seeing me sleeping here." she said, "It's embarrassing."

Her papers were scattered on the floor.

She had one shoe on and one shoe off.  A white sock gloved an indeterminate number of other sock layers warming her shoe-less left foot, sufficient protection from the balmy mist of this late January evening.   The orphaned shoe lay on its side in the corner of the Wells Fargo foyer.

White, black and yellow plastic grocery bags filled with the content of her worldly possessions lay atop the shelf housing bank deposit slips neatly stacked in cubbyholes.

A woolen hat circled her head.  Her tiny face shone through the gray skull cap tightly tied under her soft chin.

She looked to be in her 50’s.  She spoke in a pale uneven tempo with a quiet anxious voice.  Her eyes were clear.  Her pursed mouth bracketed by a trinity of long chocolate crescent winkles. The sounds floating from her mouth were gently angelic and the kindness of a tender smile was filled with demure submissiveness.

She swaddled herself in multiple layers of coats and trousers bulking up a waif like frame.  Her outermost cloak, a gray trench coat was secured with a tightly wrapped knotted cloth belt.  The coat was thoroughly soiled by a life of sleeping rough in the urban outback.  The fabric boasted a consistency worthy of an Abercrombie and Fitch oil finished coat.  The bulky layers rounded the frame of her shoulders.  She resembled a small granite headstone.

"Whats your name?" I asked.  She was reluctant to tell us.  “I don’t like my name”.

We gently coaxed her.

“Carmen” she whispered.

“That's a beautiful name.  Its the name of the most beautiful operas ever written.”

“I know.  I’m gonna change my name someday.” she answered.  “I never liked it.”

Ally finished taking the survey, leaving more questions unresolved than answered.  

We gave Carmen a blanket, gloves, a hat.  Some hot cocoa, two sandwiches and a chocolate bar. We implored her to visit our pantry when it opened in the morning for cloths, referrals and food.  She was very grateful; but I don’t think she’ll ever make her way there.

I gave her my phone number; but I don’t think she’ll call.

“You are not forgotten beloved.  You are deeply loved.  Please remember that.” I said cupping her calloused hands within my palms.

“I know” the dainty caged bird cooed with a submissive smile.  

“What time is it?”

As we left Carmen, I wondered how to count a person wishing to remain invisible.

Music Selection: Bizet’s Carmen, Habanera

Maya Angelou: I Know Why a Caged Bird Sings

Paterson
1/30/13
jbm
Part 8 of extended poem Silk City PIT.  PIT is an acronym for Point In Time.  PIT is an annual census American cities conduct to count the homeless population.  Carmen was a person we found and counted during the census.  Silk City is a nick name of Paterson NJ.
Tim Knight Oct 2013
New faces look through
glass, forlorn features pressed
against the panes figuring
out where this all came from.

Long gone lineage, here in this
hall, is now a pressed image
collected by a flower picker’s hand,
gloved to protect the rust and frozen
within two sheets of glass far taller than
any Yorkshire lass, here somewhere secret.

Old faces gaze at another frame
filled with someone else’s misery,
it’s pinned to another wall next to the
menu for the restaurant down the hall, first left on the second right.

Short queues form under hanging light bulbs,
it’s this month’s exhibition, the Pharaoh’s jewels,
on display all the way from the splayed deserts
of Egypt, but some given by a museum in Manchester
so it looks like there is more than there is.
from COFFEESHOPPOEMS.COM
Lucy Hayes Oct 2015
Calico Beauty,
Without human effort
you win roars of cherish.
lifting not a gloved finger
you give us what we need.
you are soft-nuzzle tentative:
a humble pad-pad-pad
when it longs to be heard.
all softness in your shrinking night-sky back.
my hand searches for the cold baby-down
and
you are sweetly out of reach.
how sweet
indeed.
Dali’s very own
you take your ocelot pride
with surreal stillness
on a pedestal that is not yours.
and sometimes
you rest in foggy caution
and I steal
a close moment.
but too close!
your headlights flash
and you swim away.
I have not the cruelty to pursue you.

— The End —