Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
Jamie Riley Apr 2018
They look out from the terrace.

At the borders of sight
live rocky hills behind brown
and golden and olive crop
under a cloudless sky.

Sun beams brighten motley roofs
on tessellations which blacken beige
in blurry air.



























BANG!





















An artificial cloud.

































“Look,” she points, “Let’s go!”

She takes him and they fly down stairs,
diving like sparrows
into the street.

Boys sprint across pavements and climb;
men vault over fences in time
for news to reach ears.

“They’re coming!
"¡Ya vienen!"

Excitement and fear.

The rattling of cow bells
and galloping nears.

Men bait and dodge horns
and escape through doors
and up and over
red wooden bars.

Sticks beat on the concrete ground
and drive the mute beasts's sounds.

Seconds away –
until the last,
he side steps into a house;

indoors,

apart,

he runs through the foyer
and up the stairs
around a corner.

Long strides

too fast to follow.

She chooses left and
sings soprano
when doors won't budge
and
       a
           beast
                      crashed
                                       in.

She turns and the fear is paralysing.


"FERMIN!"






















He hurdles the stares
and explodes
when it rams her
to and fro,
thrashing her head
against the wall
where horns
sin and gore
cement and brick.

He clasps the tail
and heaves its hide from
side to side as
hooves smash
crates of wine -
they slip and slide
in fractured glass,
he finds a horn
and yanks the head!
He's yanked instead
half dead before the men
arrive down stairs
to punch and kick it;
strike and stick it
smack and hit it;
'til it
fits and quits
and flees the foyer,
fast and frantic,
flying flustered
by the frenzy,
finally finding
pattering

pavement

It


peters


off


into





the







street.





"¿Que ha pasado?
  ¿Quien ha sido?
  ¡El Balbotin
  y la Chicha!
  ¡Que una vaca
  les ha pillado!"





Hands bleed
and flesh breathes.

"¿Estas bien?"

Dizzy, she tends to him
with searching hands,
and scolding words.

"Podria haber sido peor"
This poem is about an incident which happened to my Grandparents, Fermin Yanguas Ochoa and Raimunda Ramos Frias.

It was during a bull run in their village (Fitero) in Navarra, Northern Spain. 1972
Timothy Sep 2012
The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
         The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea,
The plowman homeward plods his weary way,
         And leaves the world to darkness and to me.

Now fades the glimm'ring landscape on the sight,
         And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,
         And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds;

Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tow'r
         The moping owl does to the moon complain
Of such, as wand'ring near her secret bow'r,
         ****** her ancient solitary reign.

Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade,
         Where heaves the turf in many a mould'ring heap,
Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,
         The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.

The breezy call of incense-breathing Morn,
         The swallow twitt'ring from the straw-built shed,
The ****'s shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,
         No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.

For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,
         Or busy housewife ply her evening care:
No children run to lisp their sire's return,
         Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share.

Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield,
         Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke;
How jocund did they drive their team afield!
         How bow'd the woods beneath their sturdy stroke!

Let not Ambition mock their useful toil,
         Their homely joys, and destiny obscure;
Nor Grandeur hear with a disdainful smile
         The short and simple annals of the poor.

The boast of heraldry, the pomp of pow'r,
         And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave,
Awaits alike th' inevitable hour.
         The paths of glory lead but to the grave.

Nor you, ye proud, impute to these the fault,
         If Mem'ry o'er their tomb no trophies raise,
Where thro' the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault
         The pealing anthem swells the note of praise.

Can storied urn or animated bust
         Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath?
Can Honour's voice provoke the silent dust,
         Or Flatt'ry soothe the dull cold ear of Death?

Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid
         Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire;
Hands, that the rod of empire might have sway'd,
         Or wak'd to ecstasy the living lyre.

But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page
         Rich with the spoils of time did ne'er unroll;
Chill Penury repress'd their noble rage,
         And froze the genial current of the soul.

Full many a gem of purest ray serene,
         The dark unfathom'd caves of ocean bear:
Full many a flow'r is born to blush unseen,
         And waste its sweetness on the desert air.

Some village-Hampden, that with dauntless breast
         The little tyrant of his fields withstood;
Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest,
         Some Cromwell guiltless of his country's blood.

Th' applause of list'ning senates to command,
         The threats of pain and ruin to despise,
To scatter plenty o'er a smiling land,
         And read their hist'ry in a nation's eyes,

Their lot forbade: nor circumscrib'd alone
         Their growing virtues, but their crimes confin'd;
Forbade to wade through slaughter to a throne,
         And shut the gates of mercy on mankind,

The struggling pangs of conscious truth to hide,
         To quench the blushes of ingenuous shame,
Or heap the shrine of Luxury and Pride
         With incense kindled at the Muse's flame.

Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife,
         Their sober wishes never learn'd to stray;
Along the cool sequester'd vale of life
         They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.

Yet ev'n these bones from insult to protect,
         Some frail memorial still erected nigh,
With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture deck'd,
         Implores the passing tribute of a sigh.

Their name, their years, spelt by th' unletter'd muse,
         The place of fame and elegy supply:
And many a holy text around she strews,
         That teach the rustic moralist to die.

For who to dumb Forgetfulness a prey,
         This pleasing anxious being e'er resign'd,
Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day,
         Nor cast one longing, ling'ring look behind?

On some fond breast the parting soul relies,
         Some pious drops the closing eye requires;
Ev'n from the tomb the voice of Nature cries,
         Ev'n in our ashes live their wonted fires.

For thee, who mindful of th' unhonour'd Dead
         Dost in these lines their artless tale relate;
If chance, by lonely contemplation led,
         Some kindred spirit shall inquire thy fate,

Haply some hoary-headed swain may say,
         "Oft have we seen him at the peep of dawn
Brushing with hasty steps the dews away
         To meet the sun upon the upland lawn.

"There at the foot of yonder nodding beech
         That wreathes its old fantastic roots so high,
His listless length at noontide would he stretch,
         And pore upon the brook that babbles by.

"Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn,
         Mutt'ring his wayward fancies he would rove,
Now drooping, woeful wan, like one forlorn,
         Or craz'd with care, or cross'd in hopeless love.

"One morn I miss'd him on the custom'd hill,
         Along the heath and near his fav'rite tree;
Another came; nor yet beside the rill,
         Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was he;

"The next with dirges due in sad array
         Slow thro' the church-way path we saw him borne.
Approach and read (for thou canst read) the lay,
         Grav'd on the stone beneath yon aged thorn."

THE EPITAPH

Here rests his head upon the lap of Earth
       A youth to Fortune and to Fame unknown.
Fair Science frown'd not on his humble birth,
       And Melancholy mark'd him for her own.

Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere,
       Heav'n did a recompense as largely send:
He gave to Mis'ry all he had, a tear,
       He gain'd from Heav'n ('twas all he wish'd) a friend.

No farther seek his merits to disclose,
       Or draw his frailties from their dread abode,
(There they alike in trembling hope repose)
       The ***** of his Father and his God.

~Thomas Gray 1716—1771~
I love the evenings, passionless and fair, I love the evens,
Whether old manor-fronts their ray with golden fulgence leavens,
In numerous leafage bosomed close;
Whether the mist in reefs of fire extend its reaches sheer,
Or a hundred sunbeams splinter in an azure atmosphere
On cloudy archipelagos.

Oh, gaze ye on the firmament! a hundred clouds in motion,
Up-piled in the immense sublime beneath the winds' commotion,
Their unimagined shapes accord:
Under their waves at intervals flame a pale levin through,
As if some giant of the air amid the vapors drew
A sudden elemental sword.

The sun at bay with splendid thrusts still keeps the sullen fold;
And momently at distance sets, as a cupola of gold,
The thatched roof of a cot a-glance;
Or on the blurred horizon joins his battle with the haze;
Or pools the blooming fields about with inter-isolate blaze,
Great moveless meres of radiance.

Then mark you how there hangs athwart the firmament's swept track,
Yonder a mighty crocodile with vast irradiant back,
A triple row of pointed teeth?
Under its burnished belly slips a ray of eventide,
The flickerings of a hundred glowing clouds in tenebrous side
With scales of golden mail ensheathe.

Then mounts a palace, then the air vibrates--the vision flees.
Confounded to its base, the fearful cloudy edifice
Ruins immense in mounded wrack;
Afar the fragments strew the sky, and each envermeiled cone
Hangeth, peak downward, overhead, like mountains overthrown
When the earthquake heaves its hugy back.

These vapors, with their leaden, golden, iron, bronzèd glows,
Where the hurricane, the waterspout, thunder, and hell repose,
Muttering hoarse dreams of destined harms,--
'Tis God who hangs their multitude amid the skiey deep,
As a warrior that suspendeth from the roof-tree of his keep
His dreadful and resounding arms!

All vanishes! The Sun, from topmost heaven precipitated,
Like a globe of iron which is tossed back fiery red
Into the furnace stirred to fume,
Shocking the cloudy surges, plashed from its impetuous ire,
Even to the zenith spattereth in a flecking scud of fire
The vaporous and inflamèd spaume.

O contemplate the heavens! Whenas the vein-drawn day dies pale,
In every season, every place, gaze through their every veil?
With love that has not speech for need!
Beneath their solemn beauty is a mystery infinite:
If winter hue them like a pall, or if the summer night
Fantasy them starre brede.
465

I heard a Fly buzz—when I died—
The Stillness in the Room
Was like the Stillness in the Air—
Between the Heaves of Storm—

The Eyes around—had wrung them dry—
And Breaths were gathering firm
For that last Onset—when the King
Be witnessed—in the Room—

I willed my Keepsakes—Signed away
What portion of me be
Assignable—and then it was
There interposed a Fly—

With Blue—uncertain stumbling Buzz—
Between the light—and me—
And then the Windows failed—and then
I could not see to see—
The round red sun heaves darkly out of the sea.
The walls and towers are warmed and gleam.
Sounds go drowsily up from streets and wharves.
The city stirs like one that is half in dream.

And the mist flows up by dazzling walls and windows,
Where one by one we wake and rise.
We gaze at the pale grey lustrous sea a moment,
We rub the darkness from our eyes,

And face our thousand devious secret mornings . . .
And do not see how the pale mist, slowly ascending,
Shaped by the sun, shines like a white-robed dreamer
Compassionate over our towers bending.

There, like one who gazes into a crystal,
He broods upon our city with sombre eyes;
He sees our secret fears vaguely unfolding,
Sees cloudy symbols shape to rise.

Each gleaming point of light is like a seed
Dilating swiftly to coiling fires.
Each cloud becomes a rapidly dimming face,
Each hurrying face records its strange desires.

We descend our separate stairs toward the day,
Merge in the somnolent mass that fills the street,
Lift our eyes to the soft blue space of sky,
And walk by the well-known walls with accustomed feet.
Louise Jul 2014
•••

Broken hearts don't break even
that I can believe
You greedily stole a piece
when I begged you not to leave

So damaged and bruised
I was lucky I could still breathe
The aching injury began to heal
but I needed time to grieve

Giving myself permission to weep
yet too many tears fell upon my sleeve
Each time I think of you though,
our last time on that starry eve

I'm convinced another piece of my heart
is ripped away as it heaves
I know for my own good I'll have to forget
I know I'm the only one I'll not deceive


••
playing around with a single sound.
zebra Oct 2018
stranded in
the beauty of her throat shunted

her preference
a short drop
in a bulwark twisting knot
a hanged ghastly pendent

her feet arching desperately in search of a floor
they will never find

obedient!

yet
her face
a hideous insubordination
she dissolves like tropical butter
a screaming silence
a falling prayer
shuddering
with downward sloping limbs

she
blue
hemorrhaging
eyes wobbled
bulging to break into paradise
tumbling
like a dizzied cyclops
as numb lipped jutting howls
turn cement

always willing to help
he scums
for her
in pulsing heaves
of beatific gush
dark eroticism
****** horror
Valsa George May 2017
On the bank of a rushing brook
I sat for hours watching its course.
Peered into the clear gurgling mass
That cascaded down from a mountainous source

Like a slithering snake, it slinks and slips
It babbles downhill night and day
Rolling and gliding through plains and dales
It winds its way to the wider bay.

Dipping my fingers in its icy chill
How my hand got repelled as from a shock!
In its ripples stirred by the kissing breeze,
I saw trees, clouds and the jutting rock-

All floating in queer, fanciful shapes,
Shuddering, trembling and standing still
And the fishes leaving zigzag trails,
Swishing and swimming in the winding rill.

As I quietly watched her speedy flight
With her ***** rising in mournful heaves,
In my ears fell her whispering soft
Orchestrated by the rustle of quivering leaves

I hardly knew the time speeding by
Nor noticed the birds’ homeward flight
Or the Sun moving to the west end side
And the Sky reddening at his sight

As the brook thus continued her headlong ride
To be mingled finally with the ocean wide
I walked, brooding over man’s relentless stride
To be merged eventually with the Cosmic Guide.
Translation From Catullus.


Equal to Jove that youth must be—
Greater than Jove he seems to me—
Who, free from Jealousy’s alarms,
Securely views thy matchless charms;
That cheek, which ever dimpling glows,
That mouth, from whence such music flows,
To him, alike, are always known,
Reserv’d for him, and him alone.
Ah! Lesbia! though ’tis death to me,
I cannot choose but look on thee;
But, at the sight, my senses fly,
I needs must gaze, but, gazing, die;
Whilst trembling with a thousand fears,
Parch’d to the throat my tongue adheres,
My pulse beats quick, my breath heaves short,
My limbs deny their slight support;
Cold dews my pallid face o’erspread,
With deadly languor droops my head,
My ears with tingling echoes ring,
And Life itself is on the wing;
My eyes refuse the cheering light,
Their orbs are veil’d in starless night:
Such pangs my nature sinks beneath,
And feels a temporary death.
The oyster whispers echo
within its own silent shell
Its utters of longing
sought to bejewel
a pearl's essence,
as an ocean's murmur
heaves within its shuck

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

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


someone you used to know ...June 2017
Carly A Feb 2013
you whisper against my skin and I look down at the cave that’s in my chest, gaping and dark and bottomless, shouts echoing off the walls. you never let me rest, tapping and tapping at the insides of my skull. an isolated night heaves up in front of me, motionless and quiet and all the while, tapping and tapping. I can’t eat for the sound, can’t sleep, but I listen and stare as shapes and seconds shift by and fog rolls into my eyes. tides rise and break in my stomach, swells crashing over my eyelids, threatening to escape my mouth.
DM Pierce Dec 2012
He sees the world as her backdrop,
And loves her wholly.
She knows that and wants to love him back, but
All she can feel is lonely.

As he sleeps she cries in
Tight, silent heaves in rhythm
With his chest as he breathes.
His face is lit from neon light,
Slipping through a slit on the strung-up sheet--
An eye to the street,
And to everything that's beyond this life that she leads.
But she needs him and
Please, she begs, Have him
Hate me, at least.  I'm weak--
I'll linger until he throws me away,
Because at least then I can say
That it wasn't my choice, but
Everything must fade.


She goes on a walk every night now,
Riddled with complexes and smoking,
Eyes roving with 2AM mascara,
Wearing a spring dress in dead winter.
Head down in a crowd, aware
Of herself existing only when men stare.
They crave for her, she craves for him,
Her sadness, a narcotic magnetism.

She drowned off the coast
Of the island in her kitchen.
She weighed herself down with
Her faults like mountains and
Yellowed ambition.
Coop Lee Apr 2014
.                                                               @
                                                            @ ­    @
                                                        @  ­          @
                                                    @                    @ 
                                         ­       @                            @
                                 ­           @     @     @     @     @     @

                america, americultus, americate, dubiously *******.
::: our gold-flecked bodies.
blackbirdian danceparty, i'll go.
washed-up beach bottles and all our feet amongst them curling time.
teens dream in orchid; they wait for stars and dark and los hombres of good dust.
they wait on eyes, and on embers, on belly belly.
jellyfish flashlight shrine.
we eat acid and strawberries and butter in the cemetery,
and feed foxes lizards face first :::
                us lost ghouls on school-nights.

                flash tag jazz, and yellow bicycles.
::: that hot eternal light.
that candy colored smoke don't smoke; go south on her body.
then thoughts form thoughts form action, form twangs all tuned to air.
& we, as notes, we notes harp like light
to dust.
our glistering hormonal thrusts beneath sheath of liquid love. her eyes,
with those multi-speckled strands
infinitesimally drunk :::
                seed from my ****.

                pearled halo: smoke above my head.
::: waves and machines and weekends. filtered by the long ****
of existence.
boys wait in rooms of hotels for more drugs, and the girls bringing them.
like caterpillars on silky thin treadways,
with nothing but the flavor of our passions to ignite the way. we
exacerbate the boundaries of our intentions. we
curl under sheets, bending sheets of light and sound. we
flakey emaciated flakes. [sequence suffered time in motion] we
                dirt. it’s what we are; dirt.

                we are druggernauts, tasting ourselves along the iridescent brim.
::: we crawl up cross-glowing hillsides toward portals and faraway
bleep-blorps of hot god-head calibration.
we sticky-crackle go burn. [nature puzzles]
the brain shifts back; twenty-one grams they say the soul weighs.
they say things.
cherry blossom tree tips in the dark.
tele-portal surfing with an intergalactic pizza priest, and his satchel of secret sauce.
he heaves in the corner; rebirth :::
                tendrils pulled tight, everybody **** chung…
previously published in the Whole Beast Rag
http://www.wholebeastrag.org/othello-wolf/
Joanna Oz Jul 2015
a river runs through a ghostly town
soaked clay red with the blood of the earth,
the land is marked with tire tracks like an addict's elbow crease
sweating oil and electrical wire,
fields tilled with the claws of a paper beast
sprout telephone poles and generations of debt
amongst indigo coffee beans,
rotting tin roofs striped with rust
creak folklore in the pouring rain,
muddied palms clinging to trust on mala beads
are stung with poisoned ink leaked from shrines golden and winking,
an ornate temple carves god sharp into a clouded sky
its steeple piercing his hands
shards of bone spilling ash onto upturned foreheads,
sun scorches unsuspecting soil and it cries exhaust fumes,
the sputtering song of a motorbike is answered
by the howl of a stray mutt in an alleyway
reverberating pleas to a clenched fist,
an unremitting flame sweeps ruin
across leaf barren trees
wind choking on smoke coughing up skeletons,
and the planet heaves
and the planet heaves
weezing on humanity's delirious daydreams
Among the shadows where two streets cross,
A woman lurks in the dark and waits
To move on when a policeman heaves in view.
Smiling a broken smile from a face
Painted over haggard bones and desperate eyes,
All night she offers passers-by what they will
Of her beauty wasted, body faded, claims gone,
And no takers.
Passes not by a day, that many an e-mail
unsolicited for would not stray--
from only Christ knows where--into
my SPAM folder. Some do sail
there to have a prurient stay,
bringing along many a memento
in an argosy of raunchy piquant pictures.

Some convey commerce, insurance or banking
messages; some the cargo of relationship
carry; while another an ad of ******
bears, still another talks about dealership.

Yet stood out Twain. Two diverse
SPAM e-mails have been berthing,
with goatish gaits and sharkish smirks,
in that folder unrelenting and unswerving.

One SPAM e-mail reads: "Why wait--have
an affair with a cheating wife today."

Sweetest SPAM!

Gorging myself on this fetish
fare free of charge. Kittenish
jades, serve me thy dainties of
dalliance enough!

To rock and roll, rolling in the hay,
making merry heaves, does ever crave
this rebellious flesh--yet, this randy
SPAM e-mail's offer offsets much the mind:

"A cheating wife" desiring to find--
for reasons amourous--a dandy,
a sort of cad.

Wondering muse: "A cheating wife"?
What a magic life!

Another SPAM e-mail says its own thus: "View
my pics. Lonely married women--
view **** pics." Indeed and true,
they grip with a serious sudden
poke the soul, like pangs the heart,
those three momentous, wrecking,
wretched words: "lonely married women."

Though content spicy and Libidinous;
yet maddening.
Secret meals seemingly are delicious,
but have a fiery taste.

Where--on Earth, in Mars, or in Hell
are they? Here, in this world they dwell.

Thought marriage is a blessed haven--
a heaven of unfeigned love and lasting bliss.

How could one be married and yet
be alone in life--lonely, who has
crossed over singlehood's borders,
nor is she a widow for bereavement?

A husband did his queen abandon
for a fresh-fangled pawn,
flying away with that new
dove--frittering his fortune away,
as she chirps love in lust songs anew
into his donkey's ears; flattery
displayed, a groovy
guise--

playing ducks and drakes with his riches

until his substance ship sank, like Titanic,
colliding with an iceberg of folly
in the deep of adultery:

making a muck of his wealth.

The flirtatious dollybird no sooner
flitted, then flew abroad at last,
leaving him to drown in the murky
waters of his wreck.


Returned the prodigal man to his hearth
in a sad pickle, with one shirt, one
jean,
and a pair of snickers, to the ever
gracious ***** of his loving Missis--
like a sinner contrite to Jesus.


Whilst a sudden grass widow, his wife
did not covet the companionship,
comforts and copulation
of another flagship--

but was committed to her
vows
to that fun-tossed lugger--
despite the billowy waves,

praying he'd come to his harbour.


The women howbeit in my SPAM folder--
those "cheating wives and lonely married
women", are like Lady Portiphar
pining and yearning for Joseph.

Unread.
Unreplied.
Steve Page Sep 2018
The forest of legs swayed in the moving shadows beneath the chatter over head, each threatening to block our path and crush our attempt to get to the first fallen crisps of the party season, which as yet laid undisturbed.

We weaved and advanced as fast as their legs allowed, eager to scavenge the waiting bounty before they were trampled underfoot by the oblivious adults who were intent on a seasonal ritual of their own that went on high over our heads.

We emerged unscathed at the edge of the forest and raced across the open parquet to the cover of the drapped, white topped trestle tables catching our breaths and crunching our snatched crisps planning our next move toward the plateau above.

Our scout had reported rich pickings, but when we looked around, seeking signs of our brave advance party, we could find no trace beyond a half eaten volovant and what might have been regurgitated mushroom. We shook our heads in despair at their folly. Every kid knows to stick to crisps and to processed meats, avoiding anything that might contain vegetables. We saw an open French window just beyond the trestles and heard plaintive heaves that had a distinct 6 year old strain.

We checked each other's resolve and saw on each other's faces that we believed our mission was more important than any one stomach. With a maturity that would have surprised our parents, we pushed the plight of our friend to the back of our minds and focused on the task at hand.

We each reached up with practiced stealth, taking only a second to check the food on offer and with a speed bred into us by the curse of older siblings, we each grabbed our prize.

Acknowledging the hazards of the return journey we devoured the meat at hand and with hyena grins savoured our just rewards. While our fallen friend heaved once more, we saluted one another: the season had started better than any of us could have hoped.
With thanks to Poetry Journal for the inspiration. And, yes, I acknowledge it's not poetic.  But it was fun to write.
Nirmalee Mar 2013
Alone I am,
With my burdens of sorrow,
With a past not to cherish much,
And not much hope for tomorrow.

When the people surrounding me
are so evil,ruthless and stone-hearted,
Unfair is this world,
Injustice being done at everybody's cannival.

I feel pity for the heart,
A poor heart in disgrace,
So vulnerable to the torments of words,
In so fictious a world,it tries to make some space.

Alas! everytime it fails,
And tears which stream down in solitude
Are nothing but a few futile drops of water.
It is the lack of the little love that makes a heart destitude.
Ellen Joyce Jul 2013
Her laugh broke the window pane -
shards of glass pouring like rain,
the sound of shattering safety made her blood run cold
as she clung to disintegrating silence.

Grains of silent-self
pricking the backs of her eyes until tears streamed down her cheeks
wiping fiction from flesh, eyes turned to the floor
so you won't see the sadness where the sparkle should be.
Could be.
Would be.
Maybe.

She feels the barbed wire noose around her tongue loosen,
unfurling its razor sharp grip on her throat
to the melody of the sweet small voice singing soothing songs
seducing her to speak.

Speak.
The words fall clumsily from her lips like ***** clattering plates
splattering waste on wall and doors
leaving a mess that cannot be swept
nor hidden under the carpet or clothes.
"Please. Please.".

She feels eyes burning into naked-self
declaring the truth as if it had the strength to stand,
to bear the weight of shame from times that should remain untold,
but she told.
"Look away. Please. Don’t look at me,
I need you not to look at me, please please please".

She squirms beneath the squirming,
the crawling cascade of bugs under her skin,
in her-self, ***** girl -
ankles twisting, fingers bending, hands trembling,
heart beating, breath quickening, mouth begging
"please please don’t look at me".

The kiss to be seen, breaks like a scream
on the back of a lifetime playing dead,
choking back the words left unsaid,
hiding scars of the wounds that once bled.  

Wounds that call from beneath layers of scar tissue,
a symphony of whispering simpering bacteria
recalling the filthy mire imploding from the pyre;
seal after seal broken leaving her less beauty, more beast.  

In a place where animals do what animals do,
mounted like cattle, like dog catching *****
whose losing the battle to guard her chasm,
to keep the place barred.

Her pleas broke the threshold,
falling forward, hands and knees grinding into twigs and leaves,
his grip so thick on her hair
that he heaves out a scream from the depths of her bowels,
ripping through tension and fear
to gift a ***** with a mark, a shame, a name that won’t disappear –
“Don’t look at me”.  

They call it ******
as if you could name a pain that seared so deep it
drew a blood that would take a week to heal
and a ***** that would never stop rising.  

Her arms buckled under the weight of shame,
of blame, of every screaming name he seethed into her sullied flesh,
with every wavering breath she breathed – “please don’t look at me”.  

His hands grip beneath her hips
nails biting into aching, seeping flesh, filling her pores with
more, more, more.  

Baths - a thing of the past,
water hot, rusted and greying with the rot that lies on her,
with the putrid knot that lies in her.  
“I’m so ashamed.”

Her exhaustion broke her human-ness –
body depleted from repeated invasion that she couldn’t stop,
that he wouldn’t stop -
was sure he had reached a perverse plateau of the boundaries that he breached.  
She underestimated him.  

Label weathered bottle,
nectar alluring drawing inside crawling bugs
as forced kisses stole breath,
focus lost and a nip to his tongue would cost a choke-hold to blur the world,
spit on her face hurled with the venom of an injured python.  

Cold, hard, scraping against skin trying to get in –
“Please.” –
bugs crawling, cascading, invading,
fighting my womb, biting my flesh raw, boring into my blood
turning life force to mud and self separated from beautiful source.  

I felt his thrill at my hip.
“Please don’t ...
Is it masochism to share the most humiliating, hurt or is it healthy?”

Her mouth broke -
alive with sensations and nerves that serve
to taste to feel, to flex a tongue to sing to speak to eat.  
He drew her to her knees,
with greater and greater ease
to penetrate perception with ******* till her jaw ached and strained,
drained, choking back the spoils of man,
feeling panic as her stomach recoils vomiting shame.

Every seal torn open; closed - locking the dirt inside.
This poem was written in the process of therapy to deal with **** and abuse experienced when I was in my early teens.  I share it now as I watch my god daughter turn thirteen and feel a fear for her and a need to protect her.  I share it now because I fought long for a voice and now its audible.
Harley Oliver Nov 2014
your love is like a candle
untroubled to handle
crafted with senses
your candlewick heaves
and chases untimely
blue and smooth
it trails divinely
melts under my touch
and dresses down
a molten savor
weak and steady
it lugs me flavor
uncharge the flame
in the cold throughout
that shapes me with form
then burns me out
scorching and
heavy; a vibrant tone
never here to stay
but it's where i go
when i'm alone
Michael W Noland Aug 2012
a beast
bitterly binding
the broken books
of the benevolence
that be-seats
the thrones of thieves
a binary botulism baby
survived by
the lowest common denominator
lord of may be
the calamity shaker
shaking limbs from trees
he made me
who am i
to be enshrined by
the designs in which
he heaves the storms away
leaves the drones in decay
as of yesterday
in an electrical parfait
of symbiotic energy
******* tempting me
in its tether
as embryonic entities
shutter the flow
to the effects
that no one knows
of the development and growth
of self
and the foes he oppose
as was imposed upon
by force of will
exposed and deloused
of the shrill
cockiness instilled
in his build
aroused
in the post stillness
of his kills
he is i
and i am thrilled
to lower the shields
leveling out the playing field
and yielding
to the technical terminology
of my basic demonologies
of my ****** up philosophies
cloning the technologies
you infuse into the spirituality
of your broken dichotomy
just let me know
how that goes
as corrosive winds blow
through the boroughs
of your haunts
i can almost feel
the taunts
as i hear the boots clomp
turn to stomping through the door
enacting your unholy chores
in that which bares no reward
the price is blood
the cost is love
in which i cannot afford
unfurled upon the hoard
in torn intellect
abhorred in the twirls
of a de-cored vortex
inter-sexed
and robbed of originality
in the result of cultural finality
empty
in a sea of dreams
our heads blown apart
is only the start
as it seems
ill be whispering
from afar
by dark
yet to embark
from under the rage of my darkening heart
but if i hiss cyphers into your charts
ill become safer than the cause
as i shall get the sympathy
of the claws
across my character
in the jaws of the barrier
to non existence
its even scarier
than the persistence
of ignorant citizens
with hard-ons
and night vision
down-loadable intuition
with the precision of the averages
unlocked savages
in the ravages
of synthetic bliss
1.1 happiness
projected in eyelids
emptiness
defectors of the world
gotta free them
beat them
if you have to
defeat them in the bathroom with a knife
rip their chips of deceit
show them life
clip their legs in retreat
until they secrete
the evil from their throats
binary bohemia
pooling into a despondent
pool of blasphemy
drained happily
from the heads of greed
only when willing
to commit to killing
can we fix the dream
and control the lean
of modernized thinking
chromatically depleting
as our chromosomes are shrinking
not one inkling
nor notion
of the ocean sinking
before the rise
and in all that you bitterly despise
forgotten
as the world is washed
before your eyes
yet to realize
the compliance of failed tries
a crashed system of self told lies
yet ...
i still spy the better days
i can smell them in range
estranged
surprised
i muffle the cries
of demise
in reprise
of a new name
a fresh start
summarized
in the surmise
of restraint
the faint
whisper
delivering from here
the elixir of life's experiences
cryptically laid upon the sentences
of my ethereal commencements
the beautiful lessons
entrenched in the blemishes
the scars of the heart
impart
on you
the virtues
of the tried and true
blood sweat and tears
in the blurbs
of yesteryear
obtuse
it be my will
to instill
in you
the
jaded
truth
love yourself
and i shall
love you
too
Terry O'Leary Nov 2013
Ah Consuela! Invoking vast vistas for visions of green Spanish eyes,
I discern them again where she left me back then,
                 as we kissed when she parted, my friend.
Through those ruins I tread towards the footlights, now dead,
                 where I’ll muse as her shadows ascend.

                  .
                          .
Ah Consuela! I’m watching, she teases the mirror with green Spanish eyes;
her serape entangles her brooches and bangles
                 like lace on the sorcerer’s looms,
and her cape of the night, she drapes tight to excite,
                 and her fan is embellished with plumes.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching as spectators savour her green Spanish eyes;
taming wild concertinas, the dark ballerina
                 performs on the music hall stage,
but she shies from the sound of ovation unbound
                 like a timorous bird in a cage.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching, she quickens the pit with her green Spanish eyes;
as the cymbals shake, clashing, the floodlights wake, flashing,
                 igniting the wild fireflies,
and the piccolo piper’s inviting the vipers
                 to coil neath the cold caldron skies.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching the shimmering shadows in green Spanish eyes
as I rise from my chair and proceed to the stair
                 with a hesitant sip of my wine.
Though she doesn’t deny me, she wanders right by me
                 with neither a look nor a sign.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching, she looks to the stage with her green Spanish eyes,
(for her senses scoff, scorning the biblical warning
                 of kisses of Judas that sting,
with her pierced ears defeating the echoes repeating)
                 and smiles at the magpie that sings.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching faint embers a’ stir in her green Spanish eyes,
for a soft spoken stranger enveloping danger
                 has captured the rhyme in the room
as he slips into sight through a crack in the night
                 midst the breath of her heavy perfume.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching, she gauges his guise through her green Spanish eyes
– from his gypsy-like mane, to his diamond stud cane,
                 to the raven engraved on his vest –
for a faraway form, a tempestuous storm,
                 lurks and heaves neath the cleav’e of her *******.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching the caravels cruising her green Spanish eyes;
with the castanets clacking like ancient masts cracking
                 he whips ’round his cloak with a ****
and without sacrificing, at mien so enticing,
                 she floats with her face facing his.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching the vertigo veiling her green Spanish eyes,
while the drumbeat pounds, droning, the rhythm sounds, moaning,
                 of jungles Jamaican entwined
in the valleys concealing the vineyards revealing
                 the vaults in the caves of her mind.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching life’s carnivals call to her green Spanish eyes,
and with paused palpitations the tom-tom temptations
                 come taunting her tremulous feet
with her toe tips a’ tingle while jute boxes jingle
                 for jesters that jive on the street.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching, she rides ocean tides in her green Spanish eyes,
and her silhouette’s travelling on ripples unravelling
                 and shaking the shipwracking shores,
as she strides from the light to the black cauldron night
                 through the candlelit cabaret doors.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching, she dances till dawn flashing green Spanish eyes,
with her movements adorning a trickle of morning
                 as sipped by the mouth of the moon,
while her tresses twirl, shaming the filaments flaming
                 that flow from the sun’s oval spoon.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching, she masks for a moment her green Spanish eyes.
Then the magpie that sings ceases preening her wings
                 and descends as a lean bird of prey –
as she flutters her ’lashes and laughs in broad splashes,
                 his narrowing eyes start to stray.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching fey carousels spin in her green Spanish eyes,
and the porcelain ponies and leprechaun cronies
                 race, reaching for gold and such things,
even being reminded that only the blinded
                 are fooled by the brass in the rings.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching, she shepherds the shadows with green Spanish eyes,
but as evening sinks, ebbing, the skyline climbs, webbing,
                 and weaves through the temples of stone,
while the nightingales sing of a kiss on the wing
                 in the depths of the dunes all alone.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching the music and magic in green Spanish eyes,
as she dances enchanted, while firmly implanted
                 in tugs of his turbulent arms,
till he cuts through the strings, tames the magpie that sings,
                 and seduces once more with his charms.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching, the citadel steams in her green Spanish eyes,
but behind the dark curtain the savants seem certain
                 that nothing and no one exists,
and though vapours look vacant, the vagabond vagrants
                 remain within mythical mists.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching as lightning at midnight in green Spanish eyes
kindles cracks within crystals like flashes from pistols
                 residing inside of the gloom
as it hovers above us betraying a dove as
                 she flees from the fountain of doom.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching, distilling despair in her green Spanish eyes,
and the bitterness stings like the snap of the strings
                 when a mystical  mandolin sighs
as the vampire shades **** the life from charades
                 neath the resinous residue skies.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching, she looks to the ledge with her green Spanish eyes,
for the terrace hangs high and she’s thinking to fly
                 and abandon fate’s merry-go-round.
At the edge I perceive her and rush to retrieve her –
                 she stumbles, falls far to the ground.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching the sparkles a’ spilling from green Spanish eyes.
As I peer from the railing, with evening exhaling,
                 I cry out a lover’s lament –
there she lies midst the crowd with her spirit unbowed,
                 but her body’s all broken and bent.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching, she beckons me hither with green Spanish eyes,
and I’m slightly amazed being snared in her gaze
                 and a’ swirl in a hurricane way,
but the seconds are slipping, my courage is dripping,
                 the moment is bleeding away.

Ah Consuela! I touch her - she weeps tender tears from her green Spanish eyes;
as the breezes cease blowing, her essence leaves, flowing,
                 in streams neath the ambient light,
and the droplets drip swarming, so silent, yet warming,
                 like rain in a midsummer night.

Ah Consuela! I hold her, am hushed by the hints in her green Spanish eyes,
while her whispers are breathing the breaths of the seething
                 electrical skeletal winds,
and the words paint the poems that rivers a’ slowin’
                 reveal where the waterfall ends.

Ah Consuela! I’m fading in fires a’ flicker in green Spanish eyes,
as she plays back the past, she abandons and casts
                 away matters that no longer mend.
           .
                  .
And she reached out instead, as she lifted her head,
                 and we kissed as she parted, my friend.
           .
                  .
                          .
Ah Consuela! I’m tangled, entombed, trapped in tales of your green Spanish eyes,
in forsaken cantinas beyond the arenas
                 where night-time illusions once flowed,
for the ash neath my shoulder still throbs as it smoulders
                 some place near the end of the road.
Auntie Hosebag Nov 2010
Stage Design/American Drama


Down front on America’s stage—
awash in a universe
of light arranged by
the ultimate technician.
Come closer.  Anticipate
spectacle.

First sun-splash
on these shores fashions
fool’s gold of surf that heaves against
foam-smoothed, lobster black,
slick rock beaches of northern Maine/
bubbles about black rubber boots of men in boats—
another day, another dime,
shivered away in ancient rime—
adrift in fog on the black
                                          glass
                                                   harbor
                                                               surface.

Grand Canyon sunrise
          EXPLODES
               copper and white/
                    orange and green/
                          blood red/
over many thousand pounds
of brash brown
        dirt—
in every direction/especially down.
       Soldierly shadows armed with swords
       of slivered sunlight hack through scrub
       like so much meat, to each day’s final
       battle at the canyon’s rim/
while a mile below the torment
called the Colorado
turns silver and gold,
black, blue, and
thundering
mud.

Louisiana bayous trickle chlorophyll caramel over twisted hickory sentinels, monumental elms and sycamores—even the alligators.  More mystery here than far-flung nebulae—and everything fighting back ***** green kudzu.

The Badlands of South Dakota, striped like the surface of a ***** peppermint planet—sizzling in the sun, bone cold in the shade—knobby tan canyons wrapped in ribbons of rust that dribble sounds one can neither recall nor reproduce.

Same phenomenon frames dawn over spongy folds of tall green cilia ocean called simply The Plains.
Kansas, Nebraska, horizons so far away thunderstorms creep along like dark, threatening slugs.
Distant night fireworks laden with punishing hail hide tornadoes and winged farmhouses in the horizontal gloom.  In the morning—those sounds again.  Critters?  Wind.  Ghosts, maybe.

Spectral mists of the Great Northwest cloak clear-cut sores on Nature’s sacred,
fragrant, deep green shores, falling steep to the creamy Pacific.
Light's a plaything here.  Big Sur
renders color to gem, sparkles
down the coast
to rusty Golden Gate and grimy LA,
where the sun goes down brown
and the rain shines
like gun metal.

Georgia soil—
homicidal redheaded cousin running loose, looking for trouble—
grows swampy hardwood groves/
leaves hung limp from humidity/
masking antebellum secrets/
offering sanctuary to voodoo practitioners and moonshiners alike.
Magic, danger, ******, and ghosts
of slaughtered slaves wander tight-packed old-growth forests.
Some say the soil is red from ancient conflict,
unanswered pleas for mercy drowned
in the drenching rains
of hurricanes
strayed north from the Gulf of Mexico.
Others claim tears of countless mothers will never leave
Civil War blood completely dry.

Northern New England foliage--
master maples drunk on fresh cider/
psychedelic finger-paint exhibitionists high on
the year’s last harvest,
intoxicated by Nature’s largess/
symphonies of scarlet, tangerine, lemon, even purple--
regal birds migrate over lakes so blue
you could chip your teeth on them,
and a diehard hemlock conducts its final green opus to a sea of primary colors.

Iowa is quiet and corn, obscuring whole towns and the lives held captive therein.  All the green on Earth is planted here; all the sun, all the sapphire sky feeding knee-high-by-July crops, bleaching spare white churches, white picket fences, white-on-white generations and all their vanilla dreams.

Linger beneath Montana’s cobalt crystal canopy to know why it’s called Big Sky.
Stark, Crazy Mountains chase stuttering clouds above treeless, tumbleweed towns,
bathed in the same blues as Wyoming, blown through a wild man’s horn.

A wink of sunlight
mirrored in unseen peaks
perhaps hundreds of miles away—
snow so white/Rocky Mountains so hard and gray—
behind a universe of wheat flatness beckoning the eye to infinity, slowly,
slowly, the Continental Divide rises
from the horizon like a monster parade balloon filling with gas on another continent.
The Flat Irons--majestic stone slabs lounging against Boulder's nearby foothills--
were cursed by ancient observers.
One peek at their precarious slopes compels you to return.
Been back three times and I’m still not sure I believe it.

Southwestern deserts’ blaze,
haze, and halo—spotlights hot,
focused on towering sandstone totems.
Deep gashes of flowering canyon, adrift in the flat and barren,
rage water, mud, and death during summer storms.
Scrub and sand, dust and desolation, land unfit for demons.
Get thee behind me, Arizona.

Endless, straight, lonely two-lanes
carve the lunar landscape of west Texas
into parcels of wasteland, miles marked by
bleached carcasses of ranch animals
and their predators, some hung
on fences as a warning
that people really do
live there.

Cities have their place,
                    their places,
                    their placement--
but my heart can’t pound to the beat of traffic
like it does to waterfall spray.

Turn your back to the fire in sufficient twilight and a mountain range sharpens into a line—
coyotes prowling, howling on the perimeter.
To spy on a wild animal lost in thought.
The sight--and sound--as swans alight or leave a hidden pond.
Northern lights and swamp gas,
everywhere the stench
of Earth.

This
is what matters—
all around us—
this alone.

Not politics,
not religion,
not countries.

Just this—
stage.
This is about the fifteenth iteration of this piece.  It keeps shifting from prose to poem and back again--or worse.  I lost control of it long ago.  Please help me rein this ***** in.  Workshop?
Now, when the moon slid under the cloud
And the cold clear dark of starlight fell,
He heard in his blood the well-known bell
Tolling slowly in heaves of sound,
Slowly beating, slowly beating,
Shaking its pulse on the stagnant air:
Sometimes it swung completely round,
Horribly gasping as if for breath;
Falling down with an anguished cry . . .
Now the red bat, he mused, will fly;
Something is marked, this night, for death . . .
And while he mused, along his blood
Flew ghostly voices, remote and thin,
They rose in the cavern of his brain,
Like ghosts they died away again;
And hands upon his heart were laid,
And music upon his flesh was played,
Until, as he was bidden to do,
He walked the wood he so well knew.
Through the cold dew he moved his feet,
And heard far off, as under the earth,
Discordant music in shuddering tones,
Screams of laughter, horrible mirth,
Clapping of hands, and thudding of drums,
And the long-drawn wail of one in pain.
To-night, he thought, I shall die again,
We shall die again in the red-eyed fire
To meet on the edge of the wood beyond
With the placid gaze of fed desire . . .
He walked; and behind the whisper of trees,
In and out, one walked with him:
She parted the branches and peered at him,
Through lowered lids her two eyes burned,
He heard her breath, he saw her hand,
Wherever he turned his way, she turned:
Kept pace with him, now fast, now slow;
Moving her white knees as he moved . . .
This is the one I have always loved;
This is the one whose bat-soul comes
To dance with me, flesh to flesh,
In the starlight dance of horns and drums . . .

The walls and roofs, the scarlet towers,
Sank down behind a rushing sky.
He heard a sweet song just begun
Abruptly shatter in tones and die.
It whirled away.  Cold silence fell.
And again came tollings of a bell.

     *     *     *     *     *

This air is alive with witches: the white witch rides
Swifter than smoke on the starlit wind.
In the clear darkness, while the moon hides,
They come like dreams, like something remembered . .
Let us hurry! beloved; take my hand,
Forget these things that trouble your eyes,
Forget, forget!  Our flesh is changed,
Lighter than smoke we wreathe and rise . . .

The cold air hisses between us . . . Beloved, beloved,
What was the word you said?
Something about clear music that sang through water . . .
I cannot remember.  The storm-drops break on the leaves.
Something was lost in the darkness.  Someone is dead.
Someone lies in the garden and grieves.
Look how the branches are tossed in this air,
Flinging their green to the earth!
Black clouds rush to devour the stars in the sky,
The moon stares down like a half-closed eye.
The leaves are scattered, the birds are blown,
Oaks crash down in the darkness,
We run from our windy shadows; we are running alone.

     *     *     *     *     *

The moon was darkened: across it flew
The swift grey tenebrous shape he knew,
Like a thing of smoke it crossed the sky,
The witch! he said.  And he heard a cry,
And another came, and another came,
And one, grown duskily red with blood,
Floated an instant across the moon,
Hung like a dull fantastic flame . . .
The earth has veins: they throb to-night,
The earth swells warm beneath my feet,
The tips of the trees grow red and bright,
The leaves are swollen, I feel them beat,
They press together, they push and sigh,
They listen to hear the great bat cry,
The great red bat with the woman's face . . .
Hurry! he said.  And pace for pace
That other, who trod the dark with him,
Crushed the live leaves, reached out white hands
And closed her eyes, the better to see
The priests with claws, the lovers with hooves,
The fire-lit rock, the sarabands.
I am here! she said.  The bough he broke--
Was it the snapping bough that spoke?
I am here! she said.  The white thigh gleamed
Cold in starlight among dark leaves,
The head thrown backward as he had dreamed,
The shadowy red deep jasper mouth;
And the lifted hands, and the ****** *******,
Passed beside him, and vanished away.
I am here! she cried.  He answered 'Stay!'
And laughter arose, and near and far
Answering laughter rose and died . . .
Who is there? in the dark? he cried.
He stood in terror, and heard a sound
Of terrible hooves on the hollow ground;
They rushed, were still; a silence fell;
And he heard deep tollings of a bell.

     *     *     *     *     *

Look beloved!  Why do you hide your face?
Look, in the centre there, above the fire,
They are bearing the boy who blasphemed love!
They are playing a piercing music upon him
With a bow of living wire! . . .
The ****** harlot sings,
She leans above the beautiful anguished body,
And draws slow music from those strings.
They dance around him, they fling red roses upon him,
They trample him with their naked feet,
His cries are lost in laughter,
Their feet grow dark with his blood, they beat and
      beat,
They dance upon him, until he cries no more . . .
Have we not heard that cry before?
Somewhere, somewhere,
Beside a sea, in the green evening,
Beneath green clouds, in a copper sky . . .
Was it you? was it I?
They have quenched the fires, they dance in the darkness,
The satyrs have run among them to seize and tear,
Look! he has caught one by the hair,
She screams and falls, he bears her away with him,
And the night grows full of whistling wings.
Far off, one voice, serene and sweet,
Rises and sings . . .

'By the clear waters where once I died,
In the calm evening bright with stars. . . .'
Where have I heard these words?  Was it you who sang them?
It was long ago.
Let us hurry, beloved! the hard hooves trample;
The treetops tremble and glow.

     *     *     *     *     *

In the clear dark, on silent wings,
The red bat hovers beneath her moon;
She drops through the fragrant night, and clings
Fast in the shadow, with hands like claws,
With soft eyes closed and mouth that feeds,
To the young white flesh that warmly bleeds.
The maidens circle in dance, and raise
From lifting throats, a soft-sung praise;
Their knees and ******* are white and bare,
They have hung pale roses in their hair,
Each of them as she dances by
Peers at the blood with a narrowed eye.
See how the red wing wraps him round,
See how the white youth struggles in vain!
The weak arms writhe in a soundless pain;
He writhes in the soft red veiny wings,
But still she whispers upon him and clings. . . .
This is the secret feast of love,
Look well, look well, before it dies,
See how the red one trembles above,
See how quiet the white one lies! . . . .

Wind through the trees. . . and a voice is heard
Singing far off.  The dead leaves fall. . . .
'By the clear waters where once I died,
In the calm evening bright with stars,
One among numberless avatars,
I wedded a mortal, a mortal bride,
And lay on the stones and gave my flesh,
And entered the hunger of him I loved.
How shall I ever escape this mesh
Or be from my lover's body removed?'
Dead leaves stream through the hurrying air
And the maenads dance with flying hair.

     *     *     *     *     *

The priests with hooves, the lovers with horns,
Rise in the starlight, one by one,
They draw their knives on the spurting throats,
They smear the column with blood of goats,
They dabble the blood on hair and lips
And wait like stones for the moon's eclipse.
They stand like stones and stare at the sky
Where the moon leers down like a half-closed eye. . .
In the green moonlight still they stand
While wind flows over the darkened sand
And brood on the soft forgotten things
That filled their shadowy yesterdays. . . .
Where are the *******, the scarlet wings? . . . .
They gaze at each other with troubled gaze. . . .
And then, as the shadow closes the moon,
Shout, and strike with their hooves the ground,
And rush through the dark, and fill the night
With a slowly dying clamor of sound.
There, where the great walls crowd the stars,
There, by the black wind-riven walls,
In a grove of twisted leafless trees. . . .
Who are these pilgrims, who are these,
These three, the one of whom stands upright,
While one lies weeping and one of them crawls?
The face that he turned was a wounded face,
I heard the dripping of blood on stones. . . .
Hooves had trampled and torn this place,
And the leaves were strewn with blood and bones.
Sometimes, I think, beneath my feet,
The warm earth stretches herself and sighs. . . .
Listen!  I heard the slow heart beat. . . .
I will lie on this grass as a lover lies
And reach to the north and reach to the south
And seek in the darkness for her mouth.

     *     *     *     *     *

Beloved, beloved, where the slow waves of the wind
Shatter pale foam among great trees,
Under the hurrying stars, under the heaving arches,
Like one whirled down under shadowy seas,
I run to find you, I run and cry,
Where are you?  Where are you?  It is I.  It is I.
It is your eyes I seek, it is your windy hair,
Your starlight body that breathes in the darkness there.
Under the darkness I feel you stirring. . . .
Is this you?  Is this you?
Bats in this air go whirring. . . .
And this soft mouth that darkly meets my mouth,
Is this the soft mouth I knew?
Darkness, and wind in the tortured trees;
And the patter of dew.

     *     *     *     *     *

Dance!  Dance!  Dance!  Dance!
Dance till the brain is red with speed!
Dance till you fall!  Lift your torches!
Kiss your lovers until they bleed!
Backward I draw your anguished hair
Until your eyes are stretched with pain;
Backward I press you until you cry,
Your lips grow white, I kiss you again,
I will take a torch and set you afire,
I will break your body and fling it away. . . .
Look, you are trembling. . . Lie still, beloved!
Lock your hands in my hair, and say
Darling! darling! darling! darling!
All night long till the break of day.

Is it your heart I hear beneath me. . . .
Or the far tolling of that tower?
The voices are still that cried around us. . . .
The woods grow still for the sacred hour.
Rise, white lover! the day draws near.
The grey trees lean to the east in fear.
'By the clear waters where once I died . . . .'
Beloved, whose voice was this that cried?
'By the clear waters that reach the sun
By the clear waves that starward run. . . .
I found love's body and lost his soul,
And crumbled in flame that should have annealed. . .
How shall I ever again be whole,
By what dark waters shall I be healed?'

Silence. . . the red leaves, one by one,
Fall.  Far off, the maenads run.

Silence.  Beneath my naked feet
The veins of the red earth swell and beat.
The dead leaves sigh on the troubled air,
Far off the maenads bind their hair. . . .
Hurry, beloved! the day comes soon.
The fire is drawn from the heart of the moon.

     *     *     *     *     *

The great bell cracks and falls at last.
The moon whirls out.  The sky grows still.
Look, how the white cloud crosses the stars
And suddenly drops behind the hill!
Your eyes are placid, you smile at me,
We sit in the room by candle-light.
We peer in each other's veins and see
No sign of the things we saw this night.
Only, a song is in your ears,
A song you have heard, you think, in dream:
The song which only the demon hears,
In the dark forest where maenads scream . . .

'By the clear waters where once I died . . .
In the calm evening bright with stars . . . '
What do the strange words mean? you say,--
And touch my hand, and turn away.
Coop Lee Oct 2015
ghosts of slumber parties past.
stolen sandwiches & sisters
braiding eachother’s hair all night, contemplating life
without supervision.

blue houses yellow.
silverback gorilla in one garage.
two garage: a vengeance-******.
three garage: a woman drinks exhaust.
four garage: empty.

      [treefort, aflame]

dead cat is a new cat is the old cat
ran away.
a bmx gang pizza-fed and fresh on mysticism
& trading card collectible rituals.
they conjure a demon just to **** and dismember it
for fun.
restless armless boys in orange sunsets -
homebaking/barbequing/or
convenience store fed.

the once-good daughter of a methodist pastor
heaves in the corner.
lunch meat and fruit bits.
a man throws at her cash or paper wads of tongue.                                    
it is lipstick written.

lola:
girl with a gun at the edge of her lawn and selling lemonade.
girl in an old chair/within her is the ancient horror.
the television.
the microwave.
the mirror and blender beverages.
hymnals of an electric kingdom kitchen. mom dancing.

randy:
boy with a bent frame bicycle etching his way home.
boy in a long line of lost planets.
the driveway.
the refrigerator.
the hum of a monday night commercial-free,
zero flux given.
previously published in Gobbet Magazine
https://gobbetmag.wordpress.com/2014/10/08/coop-lee-one-poem/
Matthew Mar 2014
We laugh upon this empty rock
We smile as we run our circles
Giggling rats
Lice swaying in unison to our meaningless song
The black ground heaves
with laughter
Let’s go waterski
above the empty sea
You’ll find me snorting and choking and twirling in a hailstorm
“Build me straight, O worthy Master!
Stanch and strong, a goodly vessel,
That shall laugh at all disaster,
And with wave and whirlwind wrestle!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thou, too, sail on, O Ship of State!
Sail on, O Union, strong and great!
Humanity with all its fears,
With all the hopes of future years,
Is hanging breathless on thy fate!
We know what Master laid thy keel,
What Workmen wrought thy ribs of steel,
Who made each mast, and sail, and rope,
What anvils rang, what hammers beat,
In what a forge and what a heat
Were shaped the anchors of thy hope!
Fear not each sudden sound and shock,
‘T is of the wave and not the rock;
‘T is but the flapping of the sail,
And not a rent made by the gale!
In spite of rock and tempest’s roar,
In spite of false lights on the shore,
Sail on, nor fear to breast the sea!
Our hearts, our hopes, are all with thee,
Our hearts, our hopes, our prayers, our tears,
Our faith triumphant o’er our fears,
Are all with thee,—are all with thee!
Kate Louise Sep 2012
I watch you smoke Neptune for the last time outside your front door
Listening to you talk about music or the weather
Your hand twitches and the cobalt glass shatters in three pieces at your feet, but you don't even look down and continue your monologue
The dry air between us heaves a smokers cough and sighs

In the den, under low ceilings and blurry repercussion
Ciphering through lots of nothing on tv
You settle on some garbage show
But end up kissing me instead

I had to leave at one thirty five
*Someone always has to leave eventually
david badgerow Jan 2014
she brings me pancakes and lights me a cigarette
my ***** are cement and icicles form on my toes

she opens the curtain to a dying dove on the balcony
the banks are closed and the stock market has crashed

the periscope lens, so lucidly balanced, has fallen
irreparably into the crypt of a dream

i take a bite of an apple and stare into the mid-morning sun
after bagging the bird, she drapes herself across my chest

she is worshiped like a cradle, or a gravestone in a thunder storm
in her ecstasies, a prism, a poem fits like a glove

as the sunlight warms her ******* she heaves remnants
of last night's whiskey into my adam's apple and it burns me

the words she struck me with still sting in my ears
her fingerprints remain on my back and my bathroom mirror
Love, thou are absolute sole lord
Of life and death. To prove the word,
We’ll now appeal to none of all
Those thy old soldiers, great and tall,
Ripe men of martyrdom, that could reach down
With strong arms their triumphant crown;
Such as could with ***** breath
Speak loud into the face of death
Their great Lord’s glorious name; to none
Of those whose spacious bosoms spread a throne
For love at large to fill; spare blood and sweat,
And see him take a private seat,
Making his mansion in the mild
And milky soul of a soft child.

    Scarce has she learn’d to lisp the name
Of martyr, yet she thinks it shame
Life should so long play with that breath
Which spent can buy so brave a death.
She never undertook to know
What death with love should have to do;
Nor has she e’er yet understood
Why to show love she should shed blood;
Yet though she cannot tell you why,
She can love, and she can die.

    Scarce has she blood enough to make
A guilty sword blush for her sake;
Yet has she’a heart dares hope to prove
How much less strong is death than love.

    Be love but there, let poor six years
Be pos’d with the maturest fears
Man trembles at, you straight shall find
Love knows no nonage, nor the mind.
’Tis love, not years or limbs that can
Make the martyr, or the man.

    Love touch’d her heart, and lo it beats
High, and burns with such brave heats,
Such thirsts to die, as dares drink up
A thousand cold deaths in one cup.
Good reason, for she breathes all fire;
Her weak breast heaves with strong desire
Of what she may with fruitless wishes
Seek for amongst her mother’s kisses.

    Since ’tis not to be had at home,
She’ll travel to a martyrdom.
No home for hers confesses she
But where she may a martyr be.

    She’ll to the Moors, and trade with them
For this unvalued diadem.
She’ll offer them her dearest breath,
With Christ’s name in ‘t, in change for death.
She’ll bargain with them, and will give
Them God; teach them how to live
In him; or, if they this deny,
For him she’ll teach them how to die.
So shall she leave amongst them sown
Her Lord’s blood, or at least her own.

    Farewell then, all the world, adieu!
Teresa is no more for you.
Farewell, all pleasures, sports, and joys,
(Never till now esteemed toys)
Farewell, whatever dear may be,
Mother’s arms or father’s knee,
Farewell house and farewell home,
She’s for the Moors, and martyrdom!

    Sweet, not so fast! lo, thy fair spouse,
Whom thou seek’st with so swift vows,
Calls thee back, and bids thee come
T’ embrace a milder martyrdom.

    Blest powers forbid thy tender life
Should bleed upon a barbarous knife;
Or some base hand have power to rase
Thy breast’s chaste cabinet, and uncase
A soul kept there so sweet; oh no,
Wise Heav’n will never have it so;
Thou art Love’s victim, and must die
A death more mystical and high;
Into Love’s arms thou shalt let fall
A still-surviving funeral.
He is the dart must make the death
Whose stroke shall taste thy hallow’d breath;
A dart thrice dipp’d in that rich flame
Which writes thy spouse’s radiant name
Upon the roof of heav’n, where aye
It shines, and with a sovereign ray
Beats bright upon the burning faces
Of souls, which in that name’s sweet graces
Find everlasting smiles. So rare,
So spiritual, pure, and fair
Must be th’ immortal instrument
Upon whose choice point shall be sent
A life so lov’d; and that there be
Fit executioners for thee,
The fair’st and first-born sons of fire,
Blest Seraphim, shall leave their quire
And turn Love’s soldiers, upon thee
To exercise their archery.

    Oh, how oft shalt thou complain
Of a sweet and subtle pain,
Of intolerable joys,
Of a death in which who dies
Loves his death, and dies again,
And would forever so be slain,
And lives and dies, and knows not why
To live, but that he thus may never leave to die.

    How kindly will thy gentle heart
Kiss the sweetly-killing dart!
And close in his embraces keep
Those delicious wounds, that weep
Balsam to heal themselves with. Thus
When these thy deaths, so numerous,
Shall all at last die into one,
And melt thy soul’s sweet mansion
Like a soft lump of incense, hasted
By too hot a fire, and wasted
Into perfuming clouds, so fast
Shalt thou exhale to Heav’n at last
In a resolving sigh; and then,
O what? Ask not the tongues of men;
Angels cannot tell; suffice,
Thyself shall feel thine own full joys
And hold them fast forever. There
So soon as thou shalt first appear,
The moon of maiden stars, thy white
Mistress, attended by such bright
Souls as thy shining self, shall come
And in her first ranks make thee room;
Where ‘mongst her snowy family
Immortal welcomes wait for thee.

    O what delight, when reveal’d Life shall stand
And teach thy lips heav’n with his hand,
On which thou now mayst to thy wishes
Heap up thy consecrated kisses.
What joys shall seize thy soul when she,
Bending her blessed eyes on thee,
(Those second smiles of heav’n) shall dart
Her mild rays through thy melting heart!

    Angels, thy old friends, there shall greet thee,
Glad at their own home now to meet thee.

    All thy good works which went before
And waited for thee, at the door,
Shall own thee there, and all in one
Weave a constellation
Of crowns, with which the King, thy spouse,
Shall build up thy triumphant brows.

    All thy old woes shall now smile on thee,
And thy pains sit bright upon thee;
All thy sorrows here shall shine,
All thy suff’rings be divine;
Tears shall take comfort and turn gems,
And wrongs repent to diadems.
Ev’n thy deaths shall live, and new
Dress the soul that erst they slew;
Thy wounds shall blush to such bright scars
As keep account of the Lamb’s wars.

    Those rare works where thou shalt leave writ
Love’s noble history, with wit
Taught thee by none but him, while here
They feed our souls, shall clothe thine there.
Each heav’nly word by whose hid flame
Our hard hearts shall strike fire, the same
Shall flourish on thy brows, and be
Both fire to us and flame to thee,
Whose light shall live bright in thy face
By glory, in our hearts by grace.

    Thou shalt look round about and see
Thousands of crown’d souls throng to be
Themselves thy crown; sons of thy vows,
The ******-births with which thy sovereign spouse
Made fruitful thy fair soul, go now
And with them all about thee, bow
To him. “Put on,” he’ll say, “put on,
My rosy love, that thy rich zone
Sparkling with the sacred flames
Of thousand souls whose happy names
Heav’n keeps upon thy score. Thy bright
Life brought them first to kiss the light
That kindled them to stars.” And so
Thou with the Lamb, thy Lord, shalt go,
And wheresoe’er he sets his white
Steps, walk with him those ways of light
Which who in death would live to see
Must learn in life to die like thee.
JR Rhine Oct 2016
Nostalgia
is a poor excuse
for ignorance

yet it pervades
with a tenacity
stemming from fabricated desire
for the smell of ****
we're told
is roses

and it's blasphemous
to question potential "isms"
lurking behind the veil
of Saturday morning cartoons
and black and white family sitcoms.

Yet by the time the sonic *** organs
have lain into us with repressed emotion,
the holy spirit has spilled its ***** in the dirt
to traverse onward floating apparition
out of the room and down the hall
closer towards progress.

and we are left reeling
stumbling into the hallway
buttoning our blouses
and yanking at our zippers

wondering what could cause
such great haste
and we follow blindly
in the wake of the first high

or we turn backwards
and plunge into fading bricolage
as a means to cope
with the rapid and fleeting *******
of the electric eye
in its shape-shifting pylons and appendages
getting smaller in the naked eye
and gargantuan in the mind.

Clutching our *******
in great amorous heaves
of lust
or donning our father's clothes
in a mask of artifice
and enlightened cultural pretension.

Moaning for the days of youth a week ago,
the epoch squeezed in the space between thumbs,
looking for treasures in the trash
craving something tangible
in an increasingly intangible world.

The semblance of touch lost on a generation
who knows only of emotion through hieroglyphics
and never through direct sensation.

So we dig through the toy boxes
and leave Generation X puzzled
as we dig into their records
in Guns n Roses T-shirts
and high waisted jeans.

We're just looking for an immaculate conception of something palpable.
Antony Padilla Sep 2012
his muscles tense.
he hears unsteady steps,
the clapping
of bare feet
against concrete,
the unnatural moaning.
he clenches his fist
the leather of his glove
whines at his movement.
"Don't worry Benvolio, you will sup deeply soon enough."
he looks at his left hand
and realizes that his fingers
are dancing with one another.
"And you as well Mercutio."
the macabre applause of feet and concrete
is getting steadily louder.
the boy is barely a man
and yet his face is steady and sure
as one many times his age.
he stretches his back
and cracks his neck.
he takes a couple quick breaths
and one last deep one.
"Hunger no more my sweet destoyers!"
he exclaims as he leaps from the momentary safety of his dark corner
and is met face to face
with a fell creature of nightmare.
the first thing to hit him is the smell.
its' putrid stench,
strong enough
to make him lose some of his momentum.
he toddles back on the heels of his feet
and stops
looking at this thing of evil in disgust.
its blank eyes leak some manner of dark liquid.
its lips are cracked
and caked black with the old blood
of past victims.
these lips split to reveal
a tongueless maw
with six rotting teeth
three on top
and three on the bottom.
it let's out a bone chilling gasp
that sounds like a breeze
blowing through the grass
of a graveyard.

a zombie.

for longer than he should have
he simply stood there
his eyes locked on
the nauseating visage
of the monster.
and then his hands began to twitch.
with a start he was brought back to reality.
he looked down at his hands
made perfect by the smooth black leather of his gloves.
he looked back up only to realize that he had
allowed himself
to be surrounded by these slow
ponderous
beasts.
he smiled
"It's time to eat."
the zombie closest to him
groaned as if in agreement.
he flexed his shoulders
and cracked his neck
and went to work,
furiously flashing
his two companions
back forth at an unnatural speed
three hits send it's head flying
as if blown off by a shotgun.
he feels the cold tight grasp of something
on his shoulder
one quick breath
and then one swift and perfect motion
he spins
to faces his adversary.
one quick breath
and he releases Benvolio.
he feels the power rise
from the bottom of his foot
up through his twisted hips
and into his massive back and shoulders
to pool inside the knuckles of his fist
for less then a second
and explode
into the side of the head of the soulless corpse,
his vicious right hook leaving
an eruption of ichor
where the creature's head once was.
his eyes light up
with the joy of a madman
as he charges through the scattered crowd
of undead
dozens of grasping, gripping hands
try to stop his momentum.
he just keeps plowing
and keeps laughing,
cutting through the swath
like a scythe to barley,
leaving headless corpses in his path.
he finally breaks free of them
and runs harder than before,
still laughing to himself.
he rushes down the mountain of asphalt
with the speed of an olympiad.
it isn't until he finds another
dark hiding spot
that he realizes how hard he is breathing.
gasping,
wheezing,
fighting for air.
his chest heaves
as he looks down
at the blood drenched leather of his once
pristine black gloves.
the noisy rattling of his heavy breathing
makes him shake
"No more gasp today. I need to wheeze I need to rest."
his hands quiver in protest
"No more. Not today. I need...sleeeeep."
and he collapses in exhaustion.
the noise is loud and clamorous
and the white eyes
of reanimated bodies
look up in the direction of the disturbance.
but he doesn't know,
he's sleeping deeply.
Many a green isle needs must be
In the deep wide sea of Misery,
Or the mariner, worn and wan,
Never thus could voyage on—
Day and night, and night and day,
Drifting on his dreary way,
With the solid darkness black
Closing round his vessel’s track:
Whilst above the sunless sky,
Big with clouds, hangs heavily,
And behind the tempest fleet
Hurries on with lightning feet,

He is ever drifted on
O’er the unreposing wave
To the haven of the grave.
What, if there no friends will greet;
What, if there no heart will meet
His with love’s impatient beat;
Wander wheresoe’er he may,
Can he dream before that day
To find refuge from distress
In friendship’s smile, in love’s caress?
Then ’twill wreak him little woe
Whether such there be or no:
Senseless is the breast, and cold,
Which relenting love would fold;
Bloodless are the veins and chill
Which the pulse of pain did fill;
Every little living nerve
That from bitter words did swerve
Round the tortured lips and brow,
Are like sapless leaflets now
Frozen upon December’s bough.

On the beach of a northern sea
Which tempests shake eternally,
As once the wretch there lay to sleep,
Lies a solitary heap,
One white skull and seven dry bones,
On the margin of the stones,
Where a few grey rushes stand,
Boundaries of the sea and land:
Nor is heard one voice of wail
But the sea-mews, as they sail
O’er the billows of the gale;
Or the whirlwind up and down
Howling, like a slaughtered town,
When a king in glory rides
Through the pomp and fratricides:
Those unburied bones around
There is many a mournful sound;
There is no lament for him,
Like a sunless vapour, dim,
Who once clothed with life and thought
What now moves nor murmurs not.

Ay, many flowering islands lie
In the waters of wide Agony:
To such a one this morn was led,
My bark by soft winds piloted:
’Mid the mountains Euganean
I stood listening to the paean
With which the legioned rooks did hail
The sun’s uprise majestical;
Gathering round with wings all ****,
Through the dewy mist they soar
Like gray shades, till the eastern heaven
Bursts, and then, as clouds of even,
Flecked with fire and azure, lie
In the unfathomable sky,
So their plumes of purple grain,
Starred with drops of golden rain,
Gleam above the sunlight woods,
As in silent multitudes
On the morning’s fitful gale
Through the broken mist they sail,
And the vapours cloven and gleaming
Follow, down the dark steep streaming,
Till all is bright, and clear, and still,
Round the solitary hill.

Beneath is spread like a green sea
The waveless plain of Lombardy,
Bounded by the vaporous air,
Islanded by cities fair;
Underneath Day’s azure eyes
Ocean’s nursling, Venice, lies,
A peopled labyrinth of walls,
Amphitrite’s destined halls,
Which her hoary sire now paves
With his blue and beaming waves.
Lo! the sun upsprings behind,
Broad, red, radiant, half-reclined
On the level quivering line
Of the waters crystalline;
And before that chasm of light,
As within a furnace bright,
Column, tower, and dome, and spire,
Shine like obelisks of fire,
Pointing with inconstant motion
From the altar of dark ocean
To the sapphire-tinted skies;
As the flames of sacrifice
From the marble shrines did rise,
As to pierce the dome of gold
Where Apollo spoke of old.

Sea-girt City, thou hast been
Ocean’s child, and then his queen;
Now is come a darker day,
And thou soon must be his prey,
If the power that raised thee here
Hallow so thy watery bier.
A less drear ruin then than now,
With thy conquest-branded brow
Stooping to the slave of slaves
From thy throne, among the waves
Wilt thou be, when the sea-mew
Flies, as once before it flew,
O’er thine isles depopulate,
And all is in its ancient state,
Save where many a palace gate
With green sea-flowers overgrown
Like a rock of Ocean’s own,
Topples o’er the abandoned sea
As the tides change sullenly.
The fisher on his watery way,
Wandering at the close of day,
Will spread his sail and seize his oar
Till he pass the gloomy shore,
Lest thy dead should, from their sleep
Bursting o’er the starlight deep,
Lead a rapid masque of death
O’er the waters of his path.

Those who alone thy towers behold
Quivering through aereal gold,
As I now behold them here,
Would imagine not they were
Sepulchres, where human forms,
Like pollution-nourished worms,
To the corpse of greatness cling,
Murdered, and now mouldering:
But if Freedom should awake
In her omnipotence and shake
From the Celtic Anarch’s hold
All the keys of dungeons cold,
Where a hundred cities lie
Chained like thee, ingloriously,
Thou and all thy sister band
Might adorn this sunny land,
Twining memories of old time
With new virtues more sublime;
If not, perish thou ldering:
But if Freedom should awake
In her omnipotence and shake
From the Celtic Anarch’s hold
All the keys of dungeons cold,
Where a hundred cities lie
Chained like thee, ingloriously,
Thou and all thy sister band
Might adorn this sunny land,
Twining memories of old time
With new virtues more sublime;
If not, perish thou and they!—
Clouds which stain truth’s rising day
By her sun consumed away—
Earth can spare ye; while like flowers,
In the waste of years and hours,
From your dust new nations spring
With more kindly blossoming.

Perish—let there only be
Floating o’er thy heartless sea
As the garment of thy sky
Clothes the world immortally,
One remembrance, more sublime
Than the tattered pall of time,
Which scarce hides thy visage wan;—
That a tempest-cleaving Swan
Of the sons of Albion,
Driven from his ancestral streams
By the might of evil dreams,
Found a nest in thee; and Ocean
Welcomed him with such emotion
That its joy grew his, and sprung
From his lips like music flung
O’er a mighty thunder-fit,
Chastening terror:—what though yet
Poesy’s unfailing River,
Which through Albion winds forever
Lashing with melodious wave
Many a sacred Poet’s grave,
Mourn its latest nursling fled?
What though thou with all thy dead
Scarce can for this fame repay
Aught thine own? oh, rather say
Though thy sins and slaveries foul
Overcloud a sunlike soul?
As the ghost of Homer clings
Round Scamander’s wasting springs;
As divinest Shakespeare’s might
Fills Avon and the world with light
Like omniscient power which he
Imaged ’mid mortality;
As the love from Petrarch’s urn,
Yet amid yon hills doth burn,
A quenchless lamp by which the heart
Sees things unearthly;—so thou art,
Mighty spirit—so shall be
The City that did refuge thee.

Lo, the sun floats up the sky
Like thought-winged Liberty,
Till the universal light
Seems to level plain and height;
From the sea a mist has spread,
And the beams of morn lie dead
On the towers of Venice now,
Like its glory long ago.
By the skirts of that gray cloud
Many-domed Padua proud
Stands, a peopled solitude,
’Mid the harvest-shining plain,
Where the peasant heaps his grain
In the garner of his foe,
And the milk-white oxen slow
With the purple vintage strain,
Heaped upon the creaking wain,
That the brutal Celt may swill
Drunken sleep with savage will;
And the sickle to the sword
Lies unchanged, though many a lord,
Like a **** whose shade is poison,
Overgrows this region’s foison,
Sheaves of whom are ripe to come
To destruction’s harvest-home:
Men must reap the things they sow,
Force from force must ever flow,
Or worse; but ’tis a bitter woe
That love or reason cannot change
The despot’s rage, the slave’s revenge.

Padua, thou within whose walls
Those mute guests at festivals,
Son and Mother, Death and Sin,
Played at dice for Ezzelin,
Till Death cried, “I win, I win!”
And Sin cursed to lose the wager,
But Death promised, to assuage her,
That he would petition for
Her to be made Vice-Emperor,
When the destined years were o’er,
Over all between the Po
And the eastern Alpine snow,
Under the mighty Austrian.
She smiled so as Sin only can,
And since that time, ay, long before,
Both have ruled from shore to shore,—
That incestuous pair, who follow
Tyrants as the sun the swallow,
As Repentance follows Crime,
And as changes follow Time.

In thine halls the lamp of learning,
Padua, now no more is burning;
Like a meteor, whose wild way
Is lost over the grave of day,
It gleams betrayed and to betray:
Once remotest nations came
To adore that sacred flame,
When it lit not many a hearth
On this cold and gloomy earth:
Now new fires from antique light
Spring beneath the wide world’s might;
But their spark lies dead in thee,
Trampled out by Tyranny.
As the Norway woodman quells,
In the depth of piny dells,
One light flame among the brakes,
While the boundless forest shakes,
And its mighty trunks are torn
By the fire thus lowly born:
The spark beneath his feet is dead,
He starts to see the flames it fed
Howling through the darkened sky
With a myriad tongues victoriously,
And sinks down in fear: so thou,
O Tyranny, beholdest now
Light around thee, and thou hearest
The loud flames ascend, and fearest:
Grovel on the earth; ay, hide
In the dust thy purple pride!

Noon descends around me now:
’Tis the noon of autumn’s glow,
When a soft and purple mist
Like a vapourous amethyst,
Or an air-dissolved star
Mingling light and fragrance, far
From the curved horizon’s bound
To the point of Heaven’s profound,
Fills the overflowing sky;
And the plains that silent lie
Underneath the leaves unsodden
Where the infant Frost has trodden
With his morning-winged feet,
Whose bright print is gleaming yet;
And the red and golden vines,
Piercing with their trellised lines
The rough, dark-skirted wilderness;
The dun and bladed grass no less,
Pointing from this hoary tower
In the windless air; the flower
Glimmering at my feet; the line
Of the olive-sandalled Apennine
In the south dimly islanded;
And the Alps, whose snows are spread
High between the clouds and sun;
And of living things each one;
And my spirit which so long
Darkened this swift stream of song,—
Interpenetrated lie
By the glory of the sky:
Be it love, light, harmony,
Odour, or the soul of all
Which from Heaven like dew doth fall,
Or the mind which feeds this verse
Peopling the lone universe.

Noon descends, and after noon
Autumn’s evening meets me soon,
Leading the infantine moon,
And that one star, which to her
Almost seems to minister
Half the crimson light she brings
From the sunset’s radiant springs:
And the soft dreams of the morn
(Which like winged winds had borne
To that silent isle, which lies
Mid remembered agonies,
The frail bark of this lone being)
Pass, to other sufferers fleeing,
And its ancient pilot, Pain,
Sits beside the helm again.

Other flowering isles must be
In the sea of Life and Agony:
Other spirits float and flee
O’er that gulf: even now, perhaps,
On some rock the wild wave wraps,
With folded wings they waiting sit
For my bark, to pilot it
To some calm and blooming cove,
Where for me, and those I love,
May a windless bower be built,
Far from passion, pain, and guilt,
In a dell mid lawny hills,
Which the wild sea-murmur fills,
And soft sunshine, and the sound
Of old forests echoing round,
And the light and smell divine
Of all flowers that breathe and shine:
We may live so happy there,
That the Spirits of the Air,
Envying us, may even entice
To our healing Paradise
The polluting multitude;
But their rage would be subdued
By that clime divine and calm,
And the winds whose wings rain balm
On the uplifted soul, and leaves
Under which the bright sea heaves;
While each breathless interval
In their whisperings musical
The inspired soul supplies
With its own deep melodies;
And the love which heals all strife
Circling, like the breath of life,
All things in that sweet abode
With its own mild brotherhood:
They, not it, would change; and soon
Every sprite beneath the moon
Would repent its envy vain,
And the earth grow young again.
Standing abandoned in an old building
While collecting years of dust on its keys
This old piano sits long forgotten

Where once exquisite music was played
Now only a shamble of a distant memory
Long empty halls filled
With nothing but everlasting silence

On certain nights when the moon is high
And the velvet sky is filled with winter stars
He comes to play

Dressed in his finest garb
His funeral clothes colored black
A wilted rose in his jacket pocket

His pale fingers long and sleek
Sliding down the worn out keys with
Scratches along each key stroke

His nimble fingers begin to dance
On the long quieted black and white keys
Producing swirling melodies within his head

Musty notes in a darkened room
He loses himself in the glorious sound
Perfectly echoing off the tattered walls

The haunting notes bleeding out his pain
Swinging his head side to side
In time with the tempo

His body heaves and convulses
While tears stream down his ghostly face
Playing with the darkness of his soul

Drawing his strength from the piano’s willful call
His delicate notes fill the air with sweet music
And his furious beats fill it with his unbridled passion

The constant flow of his divine music
Like a raging flood, flows across the weathered wood
Spilling onto the cold floor of the empty room

His fingers move mechanically along the ivory keys
His gangling limbs sway to the precisely timed tune
This score, he has played a thousand times

The lonely notes, like sipping a cup of melancholy
Bittersweet, his grief a distant specter
Lifting his fingers gently from the smooth keys

Standing with such immeasurable grace
That of a true pianist, smoothing any wrinkles
Gently closing the cover over the keys

As the morning sun peeks over the horizon
His apparition fading slowly
And the building becomes silent again
Pagan Paul Jun 2019
.
… and the look of fear
co-existing with pain
     on a contorted face
that knows
it is in mortal difficulty,
as ragged fingers

     clutch,

          clutch,

at a fire they cannot reach,
ripping agonies react,
     to an enforced cardiac episode,
as blackness closes in
gravity heaves its hardest,
but the fall is fake,
a red herring in the event,
     and the weight of the world

presses down, searching,
retracts
waiting,
presses down, searching,
retracts
waiting,

as breath is given freedom
in exhalation to the light,
     that slowly rolls back
the pitch hue of the void,
returning back images,
feeling,
a new belief,

          and the fire inside quietens,

                    and the fire inside quietens,

to the intense glow
     of a burnt aching heart.




© Pagan Paul (2018)
.
This poem was actually written during a panic attack I had last year.
I have suffered from them for most of my life.
.
Heather Moon Mar 2015
"We´re all a little mad here" he says,
wide eyed, letting the words lip slither off his snippity snake tongue.
We smile and we laugh in unison.
In unison our heaves,
ins outs
match one another,
as belly moves,
up and down we synchronize,
ha-h-ha,
What does he mean?
how silly!
Then deep thought unlit
hide behind our bodies rocking chair movement
snip snapping hip
We´re all a little mad, are we not?
as ego wears a crimson feathered mask
and covers in gold to hide
the deep dark coal
secrets that slith and creep
like crocodiles,
sewer nights in paris,
smelly grotesque,
we hide.
"We´re all a little mad here" he says
as our bodies move in unison.
Our bodies move in unison.
In unison,
while echoes
tap my animal soul.
Eshani Sep 2012
The zest of your starlit eyes,
The sound of your mischievous laughter,
The twists of your black strands past the breeze,
I shall breathe, I shall dream,

That splash of raindrops on your lips, your hands,
That impatient tear, sliding past your dimpled cheek,
Those fake fits of anger,
Those blunt threats of fists and fights,
Shall beat within my heart,
until the my veins throb,
until my words tremble,

The sliding of your  hand out of mine,
The parting of your shadow, and sliding apart with the light,
The aimless wait for your back to turn,
The constant urge for your feet to stop before the next turn,
I shall remember, I shall blame,

For all those lies and broken promises,
For all those dreams that burned into ash,
For all those half heartened prayers,
I shall bereave,
till my chest heaves,
till my eyes gaze,
till my nights dream,
till my soul begs.....
Tell me not here, it needs not saying,
What tune the enchantress plays
In aftermaths of soft September
Or under blanching mays,
For she and I were long acquainted
And I knew all her ways.

On russet floors, by waters idle,
The pine lets fall its cone;
The cuckoo shouts all day at nothing
In leafy dells alone;
And traveller's joy beguiles in autumn
Hearts that have lost their own.

On acres of the seeded grasses
The changing burnish heaves;
Or marshalled under moons of harvest
Stand still all night the sheaves;
Or beeches strip in storms for winter
And stain the wind with leaves.

Posses, as I possessed a season,
The countries I resign,
Where over elmy plains the highway
Would mount the hills and shine,
And full of shade the pillared forest
Would murmur and be mine.

For nature, heartless, witless nature,
Will neither care nor know
What stranger's feet may find the meadow
And trespass there and go,
Nor ask amid the dews of morning
If they are mine or no.
Showman May 2013
I see it in your eyes.
Your fear.
A fear of the unknown.
A fear of taking risks.
A lack of success.
A lack of effort.
A lack of motivation.
A lack of going for your dreams.
A frustration.
The dry threats.
"I'm gonna come down there and kick your ***," you say.
Like dry heaves.
It's wretching.
The nectar of youth slithering away.
Your trying to grasp, clamp so tight.
You are lost.
Taking your frustrations out on others.
"You are such a **** up," you snap.
You've given up on yourself.
You're drowning.  
I love you.  But I can't help you.

— The End —