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Tonie Wasco Jul 2016
I own a hula hoop
it's red with black and white racing pattens circling around the red
like something a person could use for a race
I own a hula hoop
shockingly i am not a little girl with pigtails who uses it
no i bought it at 19 at a fair
and people stared while i just didnt care
I own a hula hoop
not because it seems like a new age thing to do
or simply because its a good workout tool
no i own a hula hoop because i love the way it moves with me
i love the tricks and turns i can do with it
i own a hula hoop because it makes me feel in the moment
in turn with myself and my surroundings
it makes me want to buy another hula hoop
Julia Ann Oct 2011
It whirls around touching my body
at all times, grazing my skin
leaving minor scratches behind.  

Reaching down it rolls across my
back and onto my hand which is
pressed against my spine

I bend at the elbow and levitate the
hoop towards the sunbeams keeping
my skin warm. 

Around my fingers one by one the
hoop spins in a perfect circle at
any speed I desire

I pull the hoop in front of me and
jump through bringing the hoop
back to the sky,  

I whip the air and bring the hoop
into an isolation,

Zig-Zag until it gets closer
forcing the hoop to my elbow for a ride
until…                                      
                                                          The Drop.
The hoop spins through the sky straight
up then down to my arm, back to my
hand and into another isolation.

All within one minute.
John Stevens Jan 2015
(c) 01-25-15
The cold has come
What once was green , now brown.
The air is cool
Promise of Spring to come.

Boys are gathered
Practice begins
for the games
to see who wins.

The ball is passed
Ball aloft at last.
Through the hoop
the points are cast.

They finesse the ball
as they pass and trick.
To out wit the opponent
as the clock does tick.

They win they lose
this season thus far.
Led by great coaches
has been better than par.

When the games are done
whether lost or won.
It is all in the fun
As they have a great run.
Basketball is upon us. The bleachers are hard but the fun is great.

Has been 6500 reads.
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Who in the world is reading this?

Version called "Baseball"
http://hellopoetry.com/poem/1583323/baseball/
MRR Nov 2012
I watched the sky turn
It's marvelous, too-perfect
Gleaming tumblers in a cosmic
Dance of light and silence

And the hula-hoop girl
Spun her hoop against the massive
Sky turning those
Dots into positioned perfection

To which she dashed them to the
Earth in a frenzied
Calm which met the moon
By the singing tree tops
the white deer Sep 2015
Shall I compare thee to a rusty basketball hoop?

I feel the same way when I touch you:

You’re familiar, constant, friendly, but apt to hurt me if I come too close.

Each time I cut my hand on you,

I’m asking everyone, Should I go to the ER?

Everyone is asking me:

Why don’t you get a new basketball hoop?
Jude kyrie Oct 2016
We were poor Christmases would come and go.
But what with ten kids and my dad's Meager paycheck.
There just was not enough money to go around.
Especially for frivolous christmas presents.
I remember that year when it all changed though
so long ago.
The kids at school got spanking new
scooters and new racing bikes.
But my dad had attended a rummage sale.
At the church bazaar.
Where he normally bought our clothes.
But he struck a deal on large Hoop and stick
from the Victorian era.
It was not a bike but it was a Christmas present.
I was delighted I practiced with it doing swift turns
fast Burst down the road stopping on a sixpence.
The stick was like an orchestra conductors Batton.
I could make that hoop do anything.
I took it to school four miles away every single day.
I kept it within  the bike sheds
with all the gleaming sporty bikes.
I did not have the money to buy a padlock.
One day I went after last class to get my Hoop and stick.
And to my horror
It was gone.
I was inconsolable.
Weeping like a baby.
Then the police car came
The lady cop was sweet.
I'm sorry bout the hoop thing kid
I sobbed so badly
Stop crying she said
In an attempt to console me
But I sobbed harder.
Look it's not good in cases like these she fessed up.
I am not going to blow smoke up your *** kid.
It's unlikely to be retrieved.
No witnesses no fingerprints nothing
A clean heist.
But if it does
The next forty eight hours are vital.
If it shows I will personally
run it home for you in the squad car.
But I just wailed harder.
*** she said why are whining still?
I said  sobbing the words spurting  out staccato.
That's ...sob ..all well. Sob ...and good
But how the **** am I going to get home tonight.
They call this a groaner
Never knew by till I read it
Jude
SexySloth Dec 2014
Evening light is gentle, slow
Caressing leaves, metal roofs, soil
Plants, flowers, pavements and gates
Clouds are the mothers - they shield us
Lest the sun shines too much.

Take a breath and look around;
The sweet and tranquil garden will take it away.
All colour blend in synchronised harmony;
Blues and browns, pinks and whites
Crossing into and over each other like
oil paints,
Warm, welcoming, beautiful.

It is soothing - the sound of nothing
That disrupts; razes; hates
Disturbs; curbs quiet insight;
One's imagination is the lone
source of maximum sound
That vibrates through the garden.

My grandfather, my grandmother's brother,
Smiles as though the sun shines through his teeth
Dresses in a pale blue shirt
Black shorts
Both well-worn
Ready to play
some basketball.

Oh, the joy, the fun
The refreshment arising from this game in a courtyard
In grandfather's garden
Among young trees, leaves and other green growth.
There stands a home by hand made
Basketball stand,
A concrete base with metal support hands
Floppy strings of hoop
To shoot the ball into.

The garden has been bathed, it is fresh
It is refreshed.
Grandfather demonstrates, I listen and follow,
To throw the ball into the hoop
With precision and care; throw some force
Into the air.
The ball dances around the circle
then drops to the concrete floor.

We take turns
As I throw and grandfather returns
9/10 of the time my aim's bad
but the ball grandfather throws, I actually catch!
(Or it will tumble on wet soil)

Exciting, the thumping
of rubber ball against ground;
Keen eyes and agile hands and feet
To catch the stray ball;
With swift movements the ball flies!
From sideways, afar and near,
Into the hoop successfully, finally.

Back into the house we go,
As the sun leaves for home.
The garden prepares for night;
So do grandfather and I;
Grandfather washes up; I talk to
Grandmother in the garden;
waiting for night, to
fall
fall
fall,
into infinite darkness -
poignant memories
Originally written on Dec 9, 2014.
Emily Martinez Aug 2011
He moved into the dead rose
red paint that peeled
into dust under our squeaking rubber soles,
framed by white lines, dictators, rules.
End lines like yellow tape,
Do Not Cross over.
One step past my scramble;
one foot, hark on its toes,
grows from the red; two
white leather flower pots
for his pulsing hairy legs.
He had paused with a purpose,
it seems, he teased,
then bounced rubber rock on rock
before he looked back at me.
Hovered by his shadow and
the hoop that crowned his head,
I lunged to take a risk.
In the name of all those 5 foot 4,
I threw my hand through
the shape his elbow formed,
cutting edge with cutting edge,
with swift. I’d managed to learn
the burn of rubber escaping
my fingertips. I’d touched
what was his, this giant hoop tyrant,
but would soon claim what was mine.
My chest sunk back into my frame
deflated of hope and pride,
only to be filled instead with shame,
while his song –grunt, swish, clap, YES –played,
and belittled by his High Five.
September Roses Sep 2018
Come see me
9 PM this Friday
In a park near you!

Come watch me eat ḋ̸̻̺̗͙̤͕̦͂̄̓̽̊̋͗i̴̡̛̙̯̗̠͇͉̼̲̻̅̊̃̍̆͞r̸͚̼̣͔̜̟̬̰͂̽̆̿̏͋̓̕͟͡͞t̄̍̈̃̆̕͘­͗ by the mouthful at the swing set.
Come see me scream till your ears b̨̩̫͕̘̊͊̉̾͛̍́̀͞l̤̺̫̰̘͎͉̓̅̌͐̀͜͢ͅe̡̙͚̟̯͙͕̖̾͌̽͐̀͊̓̌̒͜ḝ̰̙̱̯̻̘̈́͗̌̀͞͞­̬̥d̨̡̟̪̟̗̼͍͓̓́̈̍̊̇̿͋̅͢͞ as I slide down the biggest slides.
Enjoy my one man play reenacting the Silence of the Lambs!
(Your ķ͖̠͙̫̗̣͒̊͆̾̎̽̃̈͘ǐ̷̧̛͍̦̟̜͙̥͎̔̄̽̾͢d̡̡̮̗̜̻̱̮̼̊͒̈́̓̔̊̊͒͌͜s̤͉̈̆̓͗̾̓̅͢­̴̲̜̖̻ will love that one)

Stand and applaud as I attempt dangerouse ş̵͇̲̗͒͋͐̅̚͝ͅt̸̨͙̣̰̬̩̱̥̝͒̓̀̓̏̏̓͘͠ų̷̢̨̥͓͕̉́͑̿̕͢͝ņ̸͓̱͚͈̭̣̬̘̀͑͗͊̆ͅ­t̶̨͇̝̻͍͉̼̎̓͟͠͝͠s̴̡̧̗̹̰̩̘͇̤̈́̽͛̊͐͟ off the jungle gym that I have only seen In Hollywood movies!

Watch me .
p̝̞̖̳̪̮̫͙̅̋̉̄͐͆̔̆̔̿ę̺͔̘̭̺̲̫̐̅̀̿̓͢͟ẽ̷̗͔͍̬͔͗̇͊͛̽̓͘͜͜l̟̇̔̂͗̓́͠͡͝­̧̬͎̗͙̫͎͟ off my s̷̫̰̜̤̠̿̆̎͋̕͟͜͠k̴̢͔͔̳̬̻͗͑̀̌͂͐̔͑̊ͅi̷͓͖͉͚͚̠̝̙̝͌͊̄̀̏͊̑͝͡ͅṋ̻͙̇̽̈́͋̄̔͡­̧̩̜, and use my wet muscles as lubricant to make the roundabout go faster!

Watch me dunk your neighbors dogs s̴̢̨̘͎͉̪̪̦͚̄͋̃͛̊̆̀̓͘̕ȩ̧͎͈̀̀͒͋́̐͟͠v̸̦͚̠͕̏̂̎̔̀̊͆͢͝͞e̡̳̠̺̠̟͇͂͛͗͋̍͑͢­ŗ̢̦͎̮͉͕͍̊̐̓̂͛̽̒̄͒͗e̗̩͚͖̫͋̄͟͡͠͞ḍ̴̢̲͔͖̣̪̾͌͗̀̒̄̄͞ head in the basketball hoop!
For the f̫̺̰̜̘̺̩̳̝̖̒̊̃͒̀̇͐̓͡ṵ̸̩͙̼̮͓̦͋̓͆̈̕͟͠ǹ̻̰̣̼͙̰̀͐̎͛̀̈́͞ of it!                  

Have you ever seen a rat with no              
    f̵̢̣̘̦̱͚̟̟̱̀̏́͐́̍̄̚i̵̢̢͎̺̘͚̿͒̐̈́̀̓̌̚n̛͙̟̦̟͕̩͒̌̍͑g̢̰͕̤̝͑̏̅̆̕e͐­̸̡̢͈̥͓͉̊̋͑̀r̛̩͔̻̩̮̱͆̒̽͆͋̚ṡ̸̛̛͎͕̯̳̻͙̏͘͝?             
     
Would you l̨̛̦̟͎͇̲̼̦̱̠̓̀́̇̏̀į̧͎̭̫͓̮̫̮̌͆̎̐̀̽̎͌̚k̴̭̼̥̱͖̃̽̎͒͋̅́͠e̹̟͆͑̅̅͌͗̀̀͟͠­͖̩̱̰̬̯ to?!

Come one come all,                                  
to something, entirely new!        

Enjoy something.... .
.
R̴̛͕̺̝̜͔̈́͋͑͒̎͆̏̓̒͜Ā͙̻͚̗͌́̃͂̊̈͗̚͞ͅW̶̙̻̰͙̹̲̗̆͋̈̇̓͜
.
.!
.
.
I̵̖̬̘͔̻̹̜̫͊̂͌̓̽ a̴̧̢̱͇͚̭̹̞̅͂̄̌͒͝͠m̧̗̜͍̥͙̦͈͍̐̉̔͛̍͒̌ t̸̮̪̹̺̥͈͈̯͂̔͊̅͢͞ḩ̶̧̮̠̺͉̱͈̣͛̾̊̚̚̚ḙ̴̫̬͕͍͔̯̝̐̾͑͆͘ͅ ĉ̳̝̟̙̦̏́̈͆̊́͑̽͡i̜̮͔͕͓̐̑̇̂̎͑͑r̻̝̩͔̫̮̩̽͑̍̈́̈́͛͌̕c̶̰̱̥͚͕̻͗͊̂̊͗̑̏͌̚͜ļ̶̨̯̪̲̣̑̒͛̿̎̓̾͢͢͠ȩ̧̩͇̻̦̩͓̱̿̃̊̇̐̀͗̔̚ ą̨̦͔̼̘̘̔̉̓͒̃̐̎̍̕n͓͚͖̠̭͉̱̦̋̊́̋̀̅̕d̢̥̖̯͈̠̜̑̈̇͊̾̆̈͟͝ t̷̨̧̡̙̤̮̞̮͕̔͗́̾͒ḩ̵̙͇͈́̄͐̊̓̀̈́͒̌̎͢e̸̡̘̠͔̪͂̎̓̏͑̈́͘ c̶̨̧̟̱̜̘̊̌́̀͘͞ǐ̴̲̫̙̼̟̮̎̔̀̑̂̽͜͠͡ͅr̯̟͙̩̋̊͐͂̇͟c̵̬̫̲̰̱͔̯͓̘̀̃̅͊̀͋͘͜͡l̛̪̯̬̙̙̠̗̐̉͌̃̒̔̔͘͢ͅě̜̘̫̗̰̇̏̌̊̒́̕̕͟͝ͅ į̛̟͇̜̰͓̤͆̐̊̓͗͌̚ŝ̨̨̛̭̠̐̈̌̑̇̌͢͠͞ ṃ̶̯͎̲̝͎̥̽̿̔̈̀̚͞ẻ̛̻̙̪͚̣̘̺̮͛́̽͘͟
.
.

might remove this soon
It's a little tame
Beryl Starkovic May 2014
Oh, how could I have been so careless with time?
Trying to catch hummingbirds with a hula-hoop.

All the un-watered whims,
planted in subconscious deep;
inside great empty tiger cages
that capture only the echoes,
and photographic negatives of dreams.

With a knapsack chock full of stars,
and clouds, fully reviewed then abandoned
at random. I have been spinning separate
from the world; wearing time capriciously
on my wrist, fully reviewed then abandoned at random.

Maybe only clocks are careful with time . . .
Donall Dempsey Oct 2015
IN THE AFTER-TIME

" Alice thought she
had never seen such

a curious croquet
ground in all her life; "

It was somewheres near
Roswell

18 something and something
there or there...abouts

& Billy the Kid &
the boys have just

...paused:

in their croquet
for a tintype photo.

Billy's the guy
in the cardigan sweater.

Him & his gang
( the Regulators )

are posing like
they were a prototype

for
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

or the band
THE BAND.

Pure Americana.

Billy the cardi-cowboy and
his gang of croquet playing outlaws...

Not exactly how
one would have  somehow

imagined them
. . .passing the time.

One of the outlaw...eh...gentlemen

points out that
Billy

" . . .the Kid has spooned
his shot!"

A ricochet of tobacco coloured
spittle hits a spittoon.

Silence congeals
about the accusation.

Now, whether Billy has
merely pushed the ball

silently through rather than
soundly hit it

is:
neither here nor there.

A cold revolver
clicks &

"I says I hit it...I hit it
get it?"

The other gentleman outlaw
begs to agree.

"Ok, Billy boy...keep yer
cardi on!"

And so, we leave them
there

in the croquet craze of
1878.

Time like a yellow ball
hit through hoop after

hoop until: it arrives
at this

present...NOW!

And a photo found in a store
for a dollar or a few dollars more

repays the expense
by morphing into

the 5 million dollar
photo.

But I hit the ball
back through hoop after

hoop after hoop

until it arrives back
at Billy's boot.

And a voice cries:
"Ok, kid...play!"
Staff Sgt. Joseph D'Augustine
a proud Jersey son
whom Thou hast blessed
laid in St. Luke’s ground
for his heavenly rest
April 4, 2012

1.

in a far off province of
God forsaken Helmand,
our dear son Joey
met his untimely end

an explosive crack
a most terrible sound
felled a beloved Jersey son
to the cold cruel ground

working the live wires
of a well placed IED
a deathly burst killed him
it was awful to see  

Staff Sgt. Joseph D’Augustine
in solemn duty fell
fellow brothers in arms
will forever reverently tell

of courage and character
of a dear fallen friend
and how the valiant warrior
met with death at his end

for he was always faithful
to his beloved corps
comrades couldn't ask
a valiant marine for more


2.

details of his death
are not the real story
selflessness and bravery
are but part of his glory

is it brash to
question why he fell?
in a useless bitter war
an embroiled senseless hell

a generation mustered
to fight in the war on terror
serving four tours of duty
in a lost decade of errors

two tours in Afghanistan and Iraq
could a nation ask a man for more?
for he was always faithful to the call
upholding pledges he hath sworn

3.

the burden of war
to a  few confined
it rarely crosses
an American’s mind

incessant war machine
drones on apace
the horror of conflict
so cleverly displaced

with afternoon baseball
and super bowl parties
big disco paychecks
and other selfish priorities

pay hollow tribute
to dear weary troops
when valor is mentioned
we gather in groups

we’ll raise the flag
sing stirring anthems
than its back to the party
pay it no more attention

self styled patriots
wave handfuls of flags
but ask them to contribute
the zeal soon lags

its left to the few
to shoulder burdens of many
fairness is lost
its a democratic calamity

four tours in a decade
an inhumane task
burdens require sharing
its only fair to ask

Joey was always faithful
to the task at hand
willing to step forward
to serve his homeland


4.

in the wake of 9/11
a nation deeply shaken
young patriots stirred
liberty’s call not forsaken

a call to serve answered
to quell the rise of terror
a clear clarion alarm
marks the nature of the era

Joey boldly came forward
to train and learn
the art of warriors
his bright patriotism burned

deployed to Afghanistan
to capture Osama
routing the Taliban
without much problem

but a pacified Afghan
not enough for Bush
he invaded Iraq
another military push

we rolled into Baghdad
adorned with victors garlands
Saddam’s statue toppled
our troops were honored

deposing a dictators
soon turned to occupation
a ****** mission transformed
to build the Iraqi and Afghan nations

once honored liberators
now a conquering force
bestriding broken nations
on a civil war course

military industrialists
stood to profit most
sweet protracted conflict
record earnings to boast

lives bartered for lucre
a region held hostage
the conflict deepened
hostilities hardened

America dipped into
a great recession
the war machine
bled money and
kept on ticking

scooping up contracts
rewarding investors
the dividends of war
heaven sent treasure

continuation of hostilities
preys on a nation's youth
as casualties mount
ill portents forsoothed

a fraction of citizens
bare heartaches of war
gulping measures of despair
to guard a nations door

a nation always faithful
to the holy pursuit of profit
a highest citizens calling
put money into your pocket


5.

our beloved Jersey son
gave a full measure of devotion
in dress blues they shipped him
back across the ocean

on the Dover tarmac
they received his remains
for a last ride northward
to his hometown terrain

repatriated body
bereft of soul saluted
solemn escort knelt
hearts trembled, tears muted

a hearse for a gallant man
flanked by state troop cruisers
to escort the funeral train
assure an honored movement

one last trip up
old thunder road
the storied highway
Joey often trod

the last detail legged up 17
reverent firefighters saluted  
from overpasses
to honor  the woeful scene

as the motorcade passed
the Garden State Malls
frenzied consumers
failed to notice at all

busy window shoppers
didn't to turn an eye
as Joey rolled home
to the sweet by and by

vets interred at the
Old Paramus Church
gently stirred in their graves
reasons for war they search

Channel 12 Chopper
circled its eye in the sky
televised the sad parade
captured many teary eyes

the early spring blooms
colorful petals displayed
maples and forsythias
a royal carpet laid

spring remains always faithful
as the new season turns
offer sunshine and glory
as our sinking hearts burn

6.

motorcycle escort
northbound lane clear
rolling homeward
Waldwick was near

leaves exploding
green shoots budding
****** white maple blooms
natures accolades stunning

the oaks yet bare
just waking from slumber
winters death passing
a sad day put asunder

the motorcade passed
Joey’s home on Prospect Ave
few  envision lifes endings
this woefully sad

red chevy pickup idles
in hoop crowned driveway
never to drain jumpers again
departed children can’t play

the eye in the sky
framed neighbors in mourning
welcoming back a fallen hero
unsettled emotions dawning

neighbors waved Old Glory
from painted stoops and curbs
unsure how this tragedy
visits this blessed suburb

green grass of home
always flush with spirit
tears welled in the eyes
most difficult to bear it

last cruise of the town
sad neighbors stand witness
paying final due respects
and ponder from a distance

what purpose is served
by this man’s passing?
the dead cannot speak
rationale is for the living

the terrible herse
death circles our town
moves through our day
hope of spring drowned

murderer of sunshine
killer of young flowers
budding trees breaking
our hearts an ashen pallor

we remember the beauty
of Joey’s stout face
as it looked on your finest day
exuding pure honor and grace

old vets gather
donning caps and pins
boasting semper fi jackets
jutting tear dripping chins

shaking hands, giving hugs
bearing tattered banners
the hearse ambles onward
we head home in solemn manner

good folks are always faithful
where beloved ones grew
the death of our children
we sadly cannot undo


7.

the bells of St. Lukes
called out from the sky
platoons of limping vets
marched in with pride

pomp and circumstance
requisite dress blues
family, friends, townsfolk
overflowed the pews

doleful bells resound
tolling a mournful reckon
the cost of war mounts
a family’s loss beckons

the casualties of war
falls upon a nation's youth
a seasons page not  turned
a flowing wound not soothed

the wistful cornet calling
floats on the fluted air
the bereaved ***** gently sounds
a congregations somber despair

an unsettling dirge
the parish grows uneasy
nationalist bravado wanes
in the forlorn sanctuary

both church and flag
draped in colors of war
mock stain glass windows
communicants adore

is it a betrayal of the flag
to offer enemies
psalms of reconciliation?
where does true loyalty lay
with God or a warring nation?

afterall this is a sanctuary
where peace and harmony reigns
are we not called to beat swords
into ploughshares as the highest
calling of our Lord?

we are always faithful
to the pathways to war
when the practice of peace
is what we should adore

8.

coughing and whispers
incessant low murmur
a baby cries out
we sit and remember

the crucifers process
in solemnity to greet
subtle ***** notes salute
a coffin draped in Old Glory sheets

the beloved child welcomed
to his eternal repose
priests splash holy water
within the sacred dome

an amazing grace revealed
lifted by marine pallbearers
dearly departed body presented
gently placed at the altar

a grief struck sister
lovingly eulogizes
recalls tonka trucks,
GI Joe’s and cool transformers

a punch in the nose
an approaching wedding
beckoning Eastertide
vacation plans left begging

my second grade class sent
Christmas cookies and cards
to dear Joey and warrior friends
he said it warmed stark winter hearts

he was raised in this church
taught trust and reconciliation
the comfort of the Lords peace
may it surely go with him

for he was always faithful
to sisters, family and faith
his resurrection service
imbues sacredness
to this space

9.

sharp in dress blues
Eddie T USMC Gunny
big 50 caliber smile
offers his eulogy

Bada Bing Jersey Humvee
we called him Joey Calzones
good mood, loved sausages
he tickled the funny bone

always willing to sacrifice
loved the Patriots Tom Brady
a women dominated household
gave him a way with the ladies

his calling explosive ordinances
he said he was livin the dream
March 6th last time we met
knocking frost off cold ones
man whatta scream

a gallant marine,
beloved brother,
a sure friend
he was always faithful
I’m deeply wounded
by his untimely end


10.

the gospel read
the homily offered
Ecclesiastes wisdom
a time for everything
proffered

God never turns
an eye from the beloved
though seasons change
we are not forsaken
never unloved

as loss arrives
surely grief grows
turn away not
wisdom knows

in resignation
love lay dead
diligent intention
banishes dread

our rekindled hope
we rend and sow
our beloved Joey
knew this was so

our favorite son’s
example taught us
now rises on eagle’s wings
to claim his divine justice

Jesus faithfully tramped
the path to an awful death
Joey too fought the good fight
a warrior now gratefully at rest

The Lord holds him close
to the ***** of sure love
a cantors beatific voice incants
Joey’s spirit that forever enchants

The Lord is always faithful
to the bereaved and  beloved
no one ever forsaken
all unconditionally loved

11.

the Holy Eucharistic cup
affirms everlasting giving
tasted to nourish evermore
a libation for the living

singing the Beatitudes
praising peace makers
mercy filled voice and song  
pallbearers lift Joey’s coffin

off to seek his final peace
an earthly occupation ended
he’ll suffer worldly hate no more
down the aisle his coffin wended

the family closely followed
a mother haltingly sobbing
faithful marines came forth
to steady her wobbling

there is no sudden waking
from this terrible dream
the pungent incense rose
to the chapels sacred beams

the stained glass murals depict
the passion of Jesus’s story
illuming a consuming sorrow
in all its grace filled glory

the ***** of death slinks on again
we search for consolation
the recompense of honor blest
leaves a hollow heart wanting
no answers offered to quell the dark
of these terrible life’s moments
only the desperate need to hold onto
beleaguered treasure that sustains us

for we are always faithful
to the things we know
always faithful to the
things we refuse to let go

12.

the color guard and funeral detail
assembled in front of St. Luke’s
the cemetery right next door
the procession a short troop

the living will stumble through
the darkness of separation
seeking elusive answers
of poignant uncertainty;
all gave some, Joey gave all
nothing more required for his
journey through eternity

Joey will always be with us
his stories forever retold
as long as the machinery of
great nations engage
the gears of wasteful war

Joey’s spirit lives
in a peoples desire
for freedom, only if
our hope of peace
is greater than the
need for conflict

Joey’s lifes work
is sure to bear fruit
if those remaining
fight the good fight
by taking up the
task to protect and
expand the values
of liberty we
hold most dear

like our good
friend Jesus
Joey wears a crown
bejeweled with
a ring of thorns
hoisted on a
terrible cross
the sweet
incense of you
meets our nose
we inhale your
earthly presence
beholding beautifully
adorned crucifix,
a reminder of
unjust persecution
and a perfect
resurrection
yet this wretched
coffin remains

pledging allegiance
we rationalize our
stories, articulating
our small parts
in  heroic sagas,
reciting myths of
ourselves, recording
the grim history of
a young marine
surrounded by
a smart color guard,
feasting on todays
eucharist, this
days sweet taste
of  the daily bread
of human sorrow

The priest finishes
his graveside
commendation
of Joey D

Taps conclude
a wind rises
crows take flight
winging over
a stand of budding
Sugar Maples
exploding in white
blooms, reveling
in the glorious
sunshine of this
magnificent day

St. Luke’s stairway to
God Country and Home
smiling portrait of you
forever young

we surround your grave
to bless the earth
you've returned home
to your place of birth

our flowing pride
and salty tears bless
the anointed ground
that you loved best

a proud Jersey son
whom Thou hast blest
laid in St. Luke’s ground
for his heavenly rest

for he was always faithful
to the blessed land
forever at peace
in the soils sure hands

Charles Ives
The Unanswered Question

Oakland
11/10/13
jbm
Austin Skye Oct 2013
August 15, 2013
Loneliness is a heavy burden. Like an elaborate hoop earring; weighed down with to many beads; attached to my heart. It pulls me down. Stretches me as far as I can go. Always there, my most faithful companion, insistent. Shadowing my every step. I crave touch. Love. Something other then this solitude I have been drowning in. A wet cloth gagging me. Suffocating me.
Everyone seems more beautiful. Yet more distant. Every touch, a little sweeter. More welcome. I see the potential everyone has as they touch my life. I watch it as it builds, and rises, and breaks like a wave on the emptiest of beaches. I can feel their arms around me. Their lips on mine for the briefest of thoughts as our eyes connect.
These fleeting day dreams serve only to again remind me of the hoop earring piercing my heart. They vividly highlight it. As if it were a splinter in my hand that I could remove. Except, only with the help of another, could I manage to rid myself of it and its persistent, prodding pain.
Like a psychotic docent in the wilderness,
I will not speak in perfect Ciceronian cadences.
I draw my voice from a much deeper cistern,
Preferring the jittery synaptic archive,
So sublimely unfiltered, random and profane.
And though I am sequestered now,
Confined within the walls of a gated, golf-coursed,
Over-55 lunatic asylum (for Active Seniors I am told),
I remain oddly puerile,
Remarkably refreshed and unfettered.  
My institutionalization self-imposed,
Purposed for my own serenity, and also the safety of others.
Yet I abide, surprisingly emancipated and frisky.
I may not have found the peace I seek,
But the quiet has mercifully come at last.

The nexus of inner and outer space is context for my story.
I was born either in Brooklyn, New York or Shungopavi, Arizona,
More of intervention divine than census data.
Shungopavi: a designated place for tribal statistical purposes.
Shungopavi: an ovine abbatoir and shaman’s cloister.
The Hopi: my mother’s people, a state of mind and grace,
Deftly landlocked, so cunningly circumscribed,
By both interior and outer Navajo boundaries.
The Navajo: a coyote trickster people; a nation of sheep thieves,
Hornswoggled and landlocked themselves,
Subsumed within three of the so-called Four Corners:
A 3/4ths compromise and covenant,
Pickled in firewater, swaddled in fine print,
A veritable swindle concocted back when the USA
Had Manifest Destiny & mayhem on its mind.

The United States: once a pubescent synthesis of blood and thunder,
A bold caboodle of trooper spit and polish, unwashed brawlers, Scouts and      
Pathfinders, mountain men, numb-nut ne'er-do-wells,
Buffalo Bills & big-balled individualists, infected, insane with greed.
According to the Gospel of His Holiness Saint Zinn,
A People’s’ History of the United States: essentially state-sponsored terrorism,
A LAND RUSH grabocracy, orchestrated, blessed and anointed,
By a succession of Potomac sharks, Great White Fascist Fathers,
Far-Away-on-the Bay, the Bay we call The Chesapeake.
All demented national patriarchs craving lebensraum for God and country.
The USA: a 50-state Leviathan today, a nation jury-rigged,
Out of railroad ties, steel rails and baling wire,
Forged by a litany of lies, rapaciousness and ******,
And jaw-torn chunks of terra firma,
Bites both large and small out of our well-****** Native American ***.

Or culo, as in va’a fare in culo (literally "go do it in the ***")
Which Italian Americans pronounce as fongool.
The language center of my brain,
My sub-cortical Broca’s region,
So fraught with such semantic misfires,
And autonomic linguistic seizures,
Compel acknowledgement of a father’s contribution,
To both the gene pool and the genocide.
Columbus Day:  a conspicuously absent holiday out here in Indian Country.
No festivals or Fifth Avenue parades.
No excuse for ethnic hoopla. No guinea feast. No cannoli. No tarantella.
No excuse to not get drunk and not **** your sister-in-law.
Emphatically a day for prayer and contemplation,
A day of infamy like Pearl Harbor and 9/11,
October 12, 1492: not a discovery; an invasion.

Growing up in Brooklyn, things were always different for me,
Different in some sort of redskin/****/****--
Choose Your Favorite Ethnic Slur-sort of way.
The American Way: dehumanization for fun and profit.
Melting *** anonymity and denial of complicity with evil.
But this is no time to bring up America’s sordid past,
Or, a personal pet peeve: Indian Sovereignty.
For Uncle Sam and his minions, an ever-widening, conveniently flexible concept,
Not a commandment or law,
Not really a treaty or a compact,
Or even a business deal.  Let’s get real:
It was not even much in the way of a guideline.
Just some kind of an advisory, a bulletin or newsletter,
Could it merely have been a free-floating suggestion?
Yes, that’s it exactly: a suggestion.

Over and under halcyon American skies,
Over and around those majestic purple mountain peaks,
Those trapped in poetic amber waves of wheat and oats,
Corn and barley, wheat shredded and puffed,
Corn flaked and milled, Wheat Chex and Wheaties, oats that are little Os;
Kix and Trix, Fiber One, and Kashi-Go-Lean, Lucky Charms and matso *****,
Kreplach and kishka,
Polenta and risotto.
Our cantaloupe and squash patch,
Our fruited prairie plain, our delicate ecological Eden,
In balance and harmony with nature, as Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce instructs:
“These white devils are not going to,
Stop ****** and killing, cheating and eating us,
Until they have the whole ******* enchilada.
I’m talking about ‘from sea to shining sea.’”

“I fight no more forever,” Babaloo.
So I must steer this clunky keelboat of discovery,
Back to the main channel of my sad and starry demented river.
My warpath is personal but not historical.
It is my brain’s own convoluted cognitive process I cannot saavy.
Whatever biochemical or—as I suspect more each day—
Whatever bio-mechanical protocols govern my identity,
My weltanschauung: my world-view, as sprechen by proto-Nazis;
Putz philosophers of the 17th, 18th & 19th century.
The German intelligentsia: what a cavalcade of maniacal *******!
Why is this Jew unsurprised these Zarathustra-fueled Übermenschen . . .
Be it the Kaiser--Caesar in Deutsch--Bismarck, ******, or,
Even that Euro-*****,  Angela Merkel . . . Why am I not surprised these Huns,
Get global grab-*** on the sauerbraten cabeza every few generations?
To be, or not to be the ***** bullgoose loony: GOTT.

Biomechanical protocols govern my identity and are implanted while I sleep.
My brain--my weak and weary CPU--is replenished, my discs defragmented.
A suite of magnetic and optical white rooms, cleansed free of contaminants,
Gun mounts & lifeboat stations manned and ready,
Standing at attention and saluting British snap-style,
Snap-to and heel click, ramrod straight and cheerful: “Ready for duty, Sir.”
My mind is ravenous, lusting for something, anything to process.
Any memory or image, lyric or construct,
Be they short-term dailies or deeply imprinted.
Fixations archived one and all in deep storage time and space.
Memories, some subconscious, most vaporous;
Others--the scary ones—eidetic: frighteningly detailed and extraordinarily vivid.
Precise cognitive transcripts; recollected so richly rife and fresh.
Visual, auditory, tactile, gustatory, and olfactory reloads:
Queued up and increasingly re-experienced.

The bio-data of six decades: it’s all there.
People, countless, places and things cataloged.
Every event, joy and trauma enveloped from within or,
Accessed externally from biomechanical storage devices.
The random access memory of a lifetime,
Read and recollected from cerebral repositories and vaults,
All the while the entire greedy process overseen,
Over-driven by that all-subservient British bat-man,
Rummaging through the data in batches small and large,
Internal and external drives working in seamless syncopation,
Self-referential, at times paradoxical or infinitely looped.
“Cogito ergo sum."
Descartes stripped it down to the basics but there’s more to the story:
Thinking about thinking.
A curse and minefield for the cerebral:  metacognition.

No, it is not the fact that thought exists,
Or even the thoughts themselves.
But the information technology of thought that baffles me,
As adaptive and profound as any evolution posited by Darwin,
Beyond the wetware in my skull, an entirely new operating system.
My mental and cultural landscape are becoming one.
Machines are connecting the two.
It’s what I am and what I am becoming.
Once more for emphasis:
It is the information technology of who I am.
It is the operating system of my mental and cultural landscape.
It is the machinery connecting the two.
This is the central point of this narrative:
Metacognition--your superego’s yenta Cassandra,
Screaming, screaming in your psychic ear, your good ear:

“LISTEN:  The machines are taking over, taking you over.
Your identity and train of thought are repeatedly hijacked,
Switched off the main line onto spurs and tangents,
Only marginally connected or not at all.
(Incoming TEXT from my editor: “Lighten Up, Giuseppi!”)
Reminding me again that most in my audience,
Rarely get past the comic page. All righty then: think Calvin & Hobbes.
John Calvin, a precocious and adventurous six-year old boy,
Subject to flights of 16th Century French theological fancy.
Thomas Hobbes, a sardonic anthropomorphic tiger from 17th Century England,
Mumbling about life being “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.”
Taken together--their antics and shenanigans--their relationship to each other,
Remind us of our dual nature; explore for us broad issues like public education;
The economy, environmentalism & the Global ****** Thermometer;
Not to mention the numerous flaws of opinion polls.



And again my editor TEXTS me, reminds me again: “LIGHTEN UP!”
Consoling me:  “Even Shakespeare had to play to the groundlings.”
The groundlings, AKA: The Rabble.
Yes. Even the ******* Bard, even Willie the Shake,
Had to contend with a decidedly lowbrow copse of carrion.
Oh yes, the groundlings, a carrion herd, a flying flock of carrion seagulls,
Carrion crow, carrion-feeders one and all,
And let’s throw Sheryl Crow into the mix while we’re at it:
“Hit it! This ain't no disco. And it ain't no country club either, this is L.A.”  

                  Send "All I Wanna Do" Ringtone to your Cell              

Once more, I digress.
The Rabble:  an amorphous, gelatinous Jabba the Hutt of commonality.
The Rabble: drunk, debauched & lawless.
Too *****-delicious to stop Bill & Hilary from thinking about tomorrow;
Too Paul McCartney My Love Does it Good to think twice.

The Roman Saturnalia: a weeklong **** fest.
The Saturnalia: originally a pagan kink-fest in honor of the deity Saturn.
Dovetailing nicely with the advent of the Christian era,
With a project started by Il Capo di Tutti Capi,
One of the early popes, co-opting the Roman calendar between 17 and 25 December,
Putting the finishing touches on the Jesus myth.
For Brooklyn Hopi-***-Jew baby boomers like me,
Saturnalia manifested itself as Disco Fever,
Unpleasant years of electrolysis, scrunched ***** in tight polyester
For Roman plebeians, for the great unwashed citizenry of Rome,
Saturnalia was just a great big Italian wedding:
A true family blowout and once-in-a-lifetime ego-trip for Dad,
The father of the bride, Vito Corleone, Don for A Day:
“Some think the world is made for fun and frolic,
And so do I! Funicula, Funiculi!”

America: love it or leave it; my country right or wrong.
Sure, we were citizens of Rome,
But any Joe Josephus spending the night under a Tiber bridge,
Or sleeping off a three day drunk some afternoon,
Up in the Coliseum bleachers, the cheap seats, out beyond the monuments,
The original three monuments in the old stadium,
Standing out in fair territory out in center field,
Those three stone slabs honoring Gehrig, Huggins, and Babe.
Yes, in the house that Ruth built--Home of the Bronx Bombers--***?
Any Joe Josephus knows:  Roman citizenship doesn’t do too much for you,
Except get you paxed, taxed & drafted into the Legion.
For us the Roman lifestyle was HIND-*** humble.
We plebeians drew our grandeur by association with Empire.
Very few Romans and certainly only those of the patrician class lived high,
High on the hog, enjoying a worldly extravaganza, like—whom do we both know?

Okay, let’s say Laurence Olivier as Crassus in Spartacus.
Come on, you saw Spartacus fifteen ******* times.
Remember Crassus?
Crassus: that ***** twisted **** trying to get his freak on with,
Tony Curtis in a sunken marble tub?
We plebes led lives of quiet *****-scratching desperation,
A bunch of would-be legionnaires, diseased half the time,
Paid in salt tablets or baccala, salted codfish soaked yellow in olive oil.
Stiffs we used to call them on New Year’s Eve in Brooklyn.
Let’s face it: we were hyenas eating someone else’s ****,
Stage-door jackals, Juvenal-come-late-lies, a mob of moronic mook boneheads
Bought off with bread & circuses and Reality TV.
Each night, dished up a wide variety of lowbrow Elizabethan-era entertainments.  
We contemplate an evening on the town, downtown—
(cue Petula Clark/Send "Downtown" Ringtone to your Cell)

On any given London night, to wit:  mummers, jugglers, bear & bull baiters.
How about dog & **** fighters, quoits & skittles, alehouses & brothels?
In short, somewhere, anywhere else,
Anywhere other than down along the Thames,
At Bankside in Southwark, down in the Globe Theater mosh pit,
Slugging it out with the groundlings whose only interest,
In the performance is the choreography of swordplay and stale ****** puns.
Meanwhile, Hugh Fennyman--probably a fellow Jew,
An English Renaissance Bugsy Siegel or Mickey Cohen—
Meanwhile Fennyman, the local mob boss is getting his ya-yas,
Roasting the feet of my text-messaging editor, Philip Henslowe.
Poor and pathetic Henslowe, works on commission, always scrounging,
But a true patron of my craft, a gentleman of infinite jest and patience,
Spiritual subsistence, and every now and then a good meal at some,
Sawdust joint with oyster shells, and a Prufrockian silk purse of T.S. Eliot gold.

Poor, pathetic Henslowe, trussed up by Fennyman,
His editorial feet in what looks like a Japanese hibachi.
Henslowe’s feet to the fire--feet to the fire—get it?
A catchy phrase whose derivation conjures up,
A grotesque yet vivid image of torture,
An exquisite insight into how such phrases ingress the idiom,
Not to mention a scene once witnessed at a secret Romanian CIA prison,
I’d been ordered to Bucharest not long after 9/11,
Handling the rendition and torture of Habib Ghazzawy,

An entirely innocent falafel maker from Steinway Street, Astoria, Queens.
Shock the Monkey: it’s what we do. GOTO:
Peter Gabriel - Shock the Monkey/
(HQ music video) - YouTube//
www.youtube.com/
Poor, pathetic, ******-on Henslowe.


Fennyman :  (his avarice is whet by something Philly screams out about a new script)  "A play takes time. Find actors; Rehearsals. Let's say open in three weeks. That's--what--five hundred groundlings at tuppence each, in addition four hundred groundlings tuppence each, in addition four hundred backsides at three pence--a penny extra for a cushion, call it two hundred cushions, say two performances for safety how much is that Mr. Frees?"
Jacobean Tweet, John (1580-1684) Webster:  “I saw him kissing her bubbies.”

It’s Geoffrey Rush, channeling Henslowe again,
My editor, a singed smoking madman now,
Feet in an ice bucket, instructing me once more:
“Lighten things up, you know . . .
Comedy, love and a bit with a dog.”
I digress again and return to Hopi Land, back to my shaman-monastic abattoir,
That Zen Center in downtown Shungopavi.
At the Tribal Enrolment Office I make my case for a Certificate of Indian Blood,
Called a CIB by the Natives and the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs.
The BIA:  representing gold & uranium miners, cattle and sheep ranchers,
Sodbusters & homesteaders; railroaders and dam builders since 1824.
Just in time for Andrew Jackson, another false friend of Native America,
Just before Old Hickory, one of many Democratic Party hypocrites and scoundrels,
Gives the FONGOOL, up the CULO go ahead.
Hey Andy, I’ve got your Jacksonian democracy: Hanging!
The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) mission is to:   "… enhance the quality of life, to promote economic opportunity, and to carry out the responsibility to protect and improve the trust assets of American Indians, Indian tribes, and Alaska Natives. What’s that in the fine print?  Uncle Sammy holds “the trust assets of American Indians.”

Here’s a ******* tip, Geronimo: if he trusted you,
It would ALL belong to you.
To you and The People.
But it’s all fork-tongued white *******.
If true, Indian sovereignty would cease to be a sick one-liner,
Cease to be a blunt force punch line, more of,
King Leopold’s 19th Century stand-up comedy schtick,
Leo Presents: The **** of the Congo.
La Belgique mission civilisatrice—
That’s what French speakers called Uncle Leo’s imperial public policy,
Bringing the gift of civilization to central Africa.
Like Manifest Destiny in America, it had a nice colonial ring to it.
“Our manifest destiny [is] to overspread the continent,
Allotted by Providence for the free development,
Of our yearly multiplying millions.”  John L. O'Sullivan, 1845

Our civilizing mission or manifest destiny:
Either/or, a catchy turn of phrase;
Not unlike another ironic euphemism and semantic subterfuge:
The Pacification of the West; Pacification?
Hardly: decidedly not too peaceful for Cochise & Tonto.
Meanwhile, Madonna is cash rich but disrespected Evita poor,
To wit: A ****** on the Rocks (throwing in a byte or 2 of Da Vinci Code).
Meanwhile, Miss Ciccone denied her golden totem *****.
They snubbed that little guinea ****, didn’t they?
Snubbed her, robbed her rotten.
Evita, her magnum opus, right up there with . . .
Her SNL Wayne’s World skit:
“Get a load of the unit on that guy.”
Or, that infamous MTV Music Video Awards stunt,
That classic ***** Lip-Lock with Britney Spears.

How could I not see that Oscar snubola as prime evidence?
It was just another stunning case of American anti-Italian racial animus.
Anyone familiar with Noam Chomsky would see it,
Must view it in the same context as the Sacco & Vanzetti case,
Or, that arbitrary lynching of 9 Italian-Americans in New Orleans in 1891,
To cite just two instances of anti-Italian judicial reach & mob violence,
Much like what happened to my cousin Dominic,
Gang-***** by the Harlem Globetrotters, in their locker room during halftime,
While he working for Abe Saperstein back in 1952.
Dom was doing advance for Abe, supporting creation of The Washington Generals:
A permanent stable of hoop dream patsies and foils,
Named for the ever freewheeling, glad-handing, backslapping,
Supreme Commander Allied Expeditionary Force (SCAEF), himself,
Namely General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the man they liked,
And called IKE: quite possibly a crypto Jew from Abilene.

Of course, Harry Truman was my first Great White Fascist Father,
Back in 1946, when I first opened my eyes, hung up there,
High above, looking down from the adobe wall.
Surveying the entire circular kiva,
I had the best seat in the house.
Don’t let it be said my Spider Grandmother or Hopi Corn Mother,
Did not want me looking around at things,
Discovering what made me special.
Didn’t divine intervention play a significant part of my creation?
Knowing Mamma Mia and Nonna were Deities,
Gave me an edge later on the streets of Brooklyn.
The Cradleboard: was there ever a more divinely inspired gift to human curiosity? The Cradleboard: a perfect vantage point, an infant’s early grasp,
Of life harmonious, suspended between Mother Earth and Father Sky.
Simply put: the Hopi should be running our ******* public schools.

But it was IKE with whom I first associated,
Associated with the concept 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
I liked IKE. Who didn’t?
What was not to like?
He won the ******* war, didn’t he?
And he wasn’t one of those crazy **** John Birchers,
Way out there, on the far right lunatic Republican fringe,
Was he? (It seems odd and nearly impossible to believe in 2013,
That there was once a time in our Boomer lives,
When the extreme right wing of the Republican Party
Was viewed by the FBI as an actual threat to American democracy.)
Understand: it was at a time when The FBI,
Had little ideological baggage,
But a great appetite for secrets,
The insuppressible Jay Edgar doing his thang.

IKE: of whom we grew so, oh-so Fifties fond.
Good old reliable, Nathan Shaking IKE:
He’d been fixed, hadn’t he? Had had the psychic snip.
Snipped as a West Point cadet & parade ground martinet.
Which made IKE a good man to have in a pinch,
Especially when crucial policy direction was way above his pay grade.
Cousin Dom was Saperstein’s bagman, bribing out the opposition,
Which came mainly from religious and patriotic organizations,
Viewing the bogus white sports franchise as obscene.
The Washington Generals, Saperstein’s new team would have but one opponent,
And one sole mission: to serve as the **** of endless jokes and sight gags for—
Negroes.  To play the chronic fools of--
Negroes.  To be chronically humiliated and insulted by—
Negroes.  To run up and down the boards all night, being outran by—
Negroes.  Not to mention having to wear baggy silk shorts.



Meadowlark Lemon:  “Yeah, Charlie, we ***** that grease-ball Dominic; we shagged his guinea mouth and culo rotten.”  

(interviewed in his Scottsdale, AZ winter residence in 2003 by former ESPN commentator Charlie Steiner, Malverne High School, Class of ’67.)
                                                        
  ­                                                                 ­                 
IKE, briefed on the issue by higher-ups, quickly got behind the idea.
The Harlem Globetrotters were to exist, and continue to exist,
Are sustained financially by Illuminati sponsors,
For one reason and one reason only:
To serve elite interests that the ***** be kept down and subservient,
That the minstrel show be perpetuated,
A policy surviving the elaborate window dressing of the civil rights movement, Affirmative action, and our first Uncle Tom president.
Case in point:  Charles Barkley, Dennis Rodman & Metta World Peace Artest.
Cha-cha-cha changing again:  I am Robert Allen Zimmermann,
A whiny, skinny Jew, ****** and rolling in from Minnesota,
Arrested, obviously a vagrant, caught strolling around his tony Jersey enclave,
Having moved on up the list, the A-list, a special invitation-only,
Yom Kippur Passover Seder:  Next Year in Jerusalem, Babaloo!

I take ownership of all my autonomic and conditioned reflexes;
Each personal neural arc and pathway,
All shenanigans & shellackings,
Or blunt force cognitive traumas.
It’s all percolating nicely now, thank you,
In kitchen counter earthen crockery:
Random access memory: a slow-cook crockpot,
Bubbling through my psychic sieve.
My memories seem only remotely familiar,
Distant and vague, at times unreal:
An alien hybrid databank accessed accidently on purpose;
Flaky science sustains and monitors my nervous system.
And leads us to an overwhelming question:
Is it true that John Dillinger’s ******* is in the Smithsonian Museum?
Enquiring minds want to know, Kemosabe!

“Any last words, *******?” TWEETS Adam Smith.
Postmortem cyber-graffiti, an epitaph carved in space;
Last words, so singular and simple,
Across the universal great divide,
Frisbee-d, like a Pleistocene Kubrick bone,
Tossed randomly into space,
Morphing into a gyroscopic space station.
Mr. Smith, a calypso capitalist, and me,
Me, the Poet Laureate of the United States and Adam;
Who, I didn’t know from Adam.
But we tripped the light fantastic,
We boogied the Protestant Work Ethic,
To the tune of that old Scotch-Presbyterian favorite,
Variations of a 5-point Calvinist theme: Total Depravity; Election; Particular Redemption; Irresistible Grace; & Perseverance of the Saints.

Mr. Smith, the author of An Inquiry into the Nature
& Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776),
One of the best-known, intellectual rationales for:
Free trade, capitalism, and libertarianism,
The latter term a euphemism for Social Darwinism.
Prior to 1764, Calvinists in France were called Huguenots,
A persecuted religious majority . . . is that possible?
A persecuted majority of Edict of Nantes repute.
Adam Smith, likely of French Huguenot Jewish ancestry himself,
Reminds me that it is my principal plus interest giving me my daily gluten.
And don’t think the irony escapes me now,
A realization that it has taken me nearly all my life to see again,
What I once saw so vividly as a child, way back when.
Before I put away childish things, including the following sentiment:
“All I need is the air that I breathe.”

  Send "The Air That I Breathe" Ringtone to your Cell  

The Hippies were right, of course.
The Hollies had it all figured out.
With the answer, as usual, right there in the lyrics.
But you were lucky if you were listening.
There was a time before I embraced,
The other “legendary” economists:
The inexorable Marx,
The savage society of Veblen,
The heresies we know so well of Keynes.
I was a child.
And when I was a child, I spake as a child—
Grazie mille, King James—
I understood as a child; I thought as a child.
But when I became a man I jumped on the bus with the band,
Hopped on the irresistible bandwagon of Adam Smith.

Smith:  “Any last words, *******?”
Okay, you were right: man is rationally self-interested.
Grazie tanto, Scotch Enlightenment,
An intellectual movement driven by,
An alliance of Calvinists and Illuminati,
Freemasons and Johnny Walker Black.
Talk about an irresistible bandwagon:
Smith, the gloomy Malthus, and David Ricardo,
Another Jew boy born in London, England,
Third of 17 children of a Sephardic family of Portuguese origin,
Who had recently relocated from the Dutch Republic.
******* Jews!
Like everything shrewd, sane and practical in this world,
WE also invented the concept:  FOLLOW THE MONEY.

The lyrics: if you were really listening, you’d get it:
Respiration keeps one sufficiently busy,
Just breathing free can be a full-time job,
Especially when--borrowing a phrase from British cricketers—,
One contemplates the sorry state of the wicket.
Now that I am gainfully superannuated,
Pensioned off the employment radar screen.
Oft I go there into the wild ebon yonder,
Wandering the brain cloud at will.
My journey indulges curiosity, creativity and deceit.
I free range the sticky wicket,
I have no particular place to go.
Snagging some random fact or factoid,
A stop & go rural postal route,
Jumping on and off the brain cloud.

Just sampling really,
But every now and then, gorging myself,
At some information super smorgasbord,
At a Good Samaritan Rest Stop,
I ponder my own frazzled neurology,
When I was a child—
Before I learned the grim economic facts of life and Judaism,
Before I learned Hebrew,
Before my laissez-faire Bar Mitzvah lessons,
Under the rabbinical tutelage of Rebbe Kahane--
I knew what every clever child knows about life:
The surfing itself is the destination.
Accessing RAM--random access memory—
On a strictly need to know basis.
RAM:  a pretty good name for consciousness these days.

If I were an Asimov or Sir Arthur (Sri Lankabhimanya) Clarke,
I’d get freaky now, riffing on Terminators, Time Travel and Cyborgs.
But this is truth not science fiction.
Nevertheless, someone had better,
Come up with another name for cyborg.
Some other name for a critter,
Composed of both biological and artificial parts?
Parts-is-parts--be they electronic, mechanical or robotic.
But after a lifetime of science fiction media,
After a steady media diet, rife with dystopian technology nightmares,
Is anyone likely to admit to being a cyborg?
Since I always give credit where credit is due,
I acknowledge that cyborg was a term coined in 1960,
By Manfred Clynes & Nathan S. Kline and,
Used to identify a self-regulating human-machine system in outer space.

Five years later D. S. Halacy's: Cyborg: Evolution of the Superman,
Featured an introduction, which spoke of:  “… a new frontier, that was not,
Merely space, but more profoundly, the relationship between inner space,
And outer space; a bridge, i.e., between mind and matter.”
So, by definition, a cyborg defined is an organism with,
Technology-enhanced abilities: an antenna array,
Replacing what was once sentient and human.
My glands, once in control of metabolism and emotions,
Have been replaced by several servomechanisms.
I am biomechanical and gluttonous.
Soaking up and breathing out the atmosphere,
My Baby Boom experience of six decades,
Homogenized and homespun, feedback looped,
Endlessly networked through predigested mass media,
Culture as demographically targeted content.

This must have something to do with my own metamorphosis.
I think of Gregor Samsa, a Kafkaesque character if there ever was one.
And though we share common traits,
My evolutionary progress surpasses and transcends his.
Samsa--Phylum and Class--was, after all, an insect.
Nonetheless, I remain a changeling.
Have I not seen many stages of growth?
Each a painful metamorphic cycle,
From exquisite first egg,
Through caterpillar’s appetite & squirm.
To phlegmatic bliss and pupa quietude,
I unfold my wings in a rush of Van Gogh palette,
Color, texture, movement and grace, lift off, flapping in flight.
My eyes have witnessed wondrous transformations,
My experience, nouveau riche and distinctly self-referential;
For the most part unspecific & longitudinally pedestrian.

Yes, something has happened to me along the way.
I am no longer certain of my identity as a human being.
Time and technology has altered my basic wiring diagram.
I suspect the sophisticated gadgets and tools,
I’ve been using to shape & make sense of my environment,
Have reared up and turned around on me.
My tools have reshaped my brain & central nervous system.
Remaking me as something simultaneously more and less human.
The electronic toys and tools I once so lovingly embraced,
Have turned unpredictable and rabid,
Their bite penetrating my skin and septic now, a cluster of implanted sensors,
Content: currency made increasingly more valuable as time passes,
Served up by and serving the interests of a pervasively predatory 1%.
And the rest of us: the so-called 99%?
No longer human; simply put by both Howards--Beale & Zinn--

Humanoid.
Careena Mar 2014
You were always a grand mystery to me
Just like that ten thousand piece puzzle I had always attempted
Scrambling on the floor
Trying to fit a million jigsaws together
That were from different puzzles

There was one in the corner of the room from a puzzle
Of a few cats sitting in a wheelbarrow
And ones from a dolphin in mid air
Trying to flip through a hoop
As mesmerizing as it was to finger through the pieces
It sure was hell trying to shove them together

But that's just it
We can never shove the pieces of life together
Especially someone else's
It never works out
So perhaps if you let that person be
They'll figure out their own jigsaw
Complete the cats in the wheelbarrow picture
And finally see that dolphin jump through the hoop
June Waltz Jun 2014
Why is it
Boys can’t hula-hoop?
And have you ever
seen them try?
They concentrate real hard an all
but just can’t make
that hoop fly.
They all have this notion
to spin that ring real fast,
thinking if they hope
the spinning motion’ll last.
The beads inside just rattle.
With no smoothness to the sound.
They bounce around on boys’ hips
then smack against the ground.
And maybe it’s because
they have a bulge within their pants
that gets caught up on the hula-hoop
so boys just simply can’t.
Robert C Howard Aug 2013
A graceful water weaving dolphin
swirls wakes of gentle waves -
a white, silver blue phantom
shimmering in the noonday sun.

Piercing the surface,
she dances an aquatic ballet
of corkscrew pirouettes
and majestic somersaults.

Diving beneath the spray
she churns her engine upward -
soaring through the flaming hoop
to the "oohs" and applause
of a throng of short-sleeved hominids
bleachered beyond the rails.

Plunging into quiet depths,
she lingers for a moment
perhaps to recall the fresh sea air
and the borderless waters
in the golden days before the ships came.

*January, 2007
This poem is included in my book, Unity Tree available at Amazon.com and will be included in a textbook in the International Primary English series published by HarperCollins
If I were a Rainbow
The children would run to me
Turning upside down, I would be an iridescent swing,
The children would mount my rainbow wing

Swaying high up in the starry skies ascending on the moon
The children do bunny jumps, counting stars till noon
Awestruck and desirous they pick a few
The colours pink purple orange magenta and blue

Swaying down to the flower garden
They would pick flowers from the boughs laden
Threading in a star and a flower into  an ornamental  garland
Adorned as neckpieces , running around ,making one happy land

If I were a Rainbow
I would dismember all the semicircles making one hula hoop
The children would gleefully twirl and sway into the  enormous loop

If I were a Rainbow
I would become one big ramp
The children would joyously roller skate  up and down
Lighting up the ramp

If I were a Rainbow
And all of these came true
I would turn upside down making one radiant smile across the sky
The children would happily smile back at me , waving me good bye
Wrote this for my younger son ,Anshul on his birthday (19/02 ) , this year .
But never posted  . I am glad to post it as my 100th here .
Thank you all ,my HP friends .
Had been a little unwell and did not post anything in the last 2-3 days .
L Dec 2014
Run.
Dribble.
Jump.*
Send the ball through the orange hoop,
   another "nothing but net" shot.
Quick hands and even quicker feet.
"Yes! Do it again!"
Again and again and again...
The wing,
   corner,
      top of the key.
Every spot on the court.
Remember the elbow.
Follow through with the fingertips.
Run left, run right.
Better.
Faster.
Stronger.
**God, I missed this.
One of my biggest stress relievers was (is) basketball.
I miss being active.

**
Leigh
Thousand minstrels woke within me,
"Our music's in the hills; "—
Gayest pictures rose to win me,
Leopard-colored rills.
Up!—If thou knew'st who calls
To twilight parks of beech and pine,
High over the river intervals,
Above the ploughman's highest line,
Over the owner's farthest walls;—
Up!—where the airy citadel
O'erlooks the purging landscape's swell.
Let not unto the stones the day
Her lily and rose, her sea and land display;
Read the celestial sign!
Lo! the South answers to the North;
Bookworm, break this sloth urbane;
A greater Spirit bids thee forth,
Than the gray dreams which thee detain.

Mark how the climbing Oreads
Beckon thee to their arcades;
Youth, for a moment free as they,
Teach thy feet to feel the ground,
Ere yet arrive the wintry day
When Time thy feet has bound.
Accept the bounty of thy birth;
Taste the lordship of the earth.

I heard and I obeyed,
Assured that he who pressed the claim,
Well-known, but loving not a name,
Was not to be gainsaid.

Ere yet the summoning voice was still,
I turned to Cheshire's haughty hill.
From the fixed cone the cloud-rack flowed
Like ample banner flung abroad
Round about, a hundred miles,
With invitation to the sea, and to the bordering isles.

In his own loom's garment drest,
By his own bounty blest,
Fast abides this constant giver,
Pouring many a cheerful river;
To far eyes, an aërial isle,
Unploughed, which finer spirits pile,
Which morn and crimson evening paint
For bard, for lover, and for saint;
The country's core,
Inspirer, prophet evermore,
Pillar which God aloft had set
So that men might it not forget,
It should be their life's ornament,
And mix itself with each event;
Their calendar and dial,
Barometer, and chemic phial,
Garden of berries, perch of birds,
Pasture of pool-haunting herds,
Graced by each change of sum untold,
Earth-baking heat, stone-cleaving cold.

The Titan minds his sky-affairs,
Rich rents and wide alliance shares;
Mysteries of color daily laid
By the great sun in light and shade,
And, sweet varieties of chance,
And the mystic seasons' dance,
And thief-like step of liberal hours
Which thawed the snow-drift into flowers.
O wondrous craft of plant and stone
By eldest science done and shown!
Happy, I said, whose home is here,
Fair fortunes to the mountaineer!
Boon nature to his poorest shed
Has royal pleasure-grounds outspread.
Intent I searched the region round,
And in low hut my monarch found.
He was no eagle and no earl,
Alas! my foundling was a churl,
With heart of cat, and eyes of bug,
Dull victim of his pipe and mug;
Woe is me for my hopes' downfall!
Lord! is yon squalid peasant all
That this proud nursery could breed
For God's vicegerency and stead?
Time out of mind this forge of ores,
Quarry of spars in mountain pores,
Old cradle, hunting ground, and bier
Of wolf and otter, bear, and deer;
Well-built abode of many a race;
Tower of observance searching space;
Factory of river, and of rain;
Link in the alps' globe-girding chain;
By million changes skilled to tell
What in the Eternal standeth well,
And what obedient nature can,—
Is this colossal talisman
Kindly to creature, blood, and kind,
And speechless to the master's mind?

I thought to find the patriots
In whom the stock of freedom roots.
To myself I oft recount
Tales of many a famous mount.—
Wales, Scotland, Uri, Hungary's dells,
Roys, and Scanderbegs, and Tells.
Here now shall nature crowd her powers,
Her music, and her meteors,
And, lifting man to the blue deep
Where stars their perfect courses keep,
Like wise preceptor lure his eye
To sound the science of the sky,
And carry learning to its height
Of untried power and sane delight;
The Indian cheer, the frosty skies
Breed purer wits, inventive eyes,
Eyes that frame cities where none be,
And hands that stablish what these see:
And, by the moral of his place,
Hint summits of heroic grace;
Man in these crags a fastness find
To fight pollution of the mind;
In the wide thaw and ooze of wrong,
Adhere like this foundation strong,
The insanity of towns to stem
With simpleness for stratagem.
But if the brave old mould is broke,
And end in clowns the mountain-folk,
In tavern cheer and tavern joke,—
Sink, O mountain! in the swamp,
Hide in thy skies, O sovereign lap!
Perish like leaves the highland breed!
No sire survive, no son succeed!

Soft! let not the offended muse
Toil's hard hap with scorn accuse.
Many hamlets sought I then,
Many farms of mountain men;—
Found I not a minstrel seed,
But men of bone, and good at need.
Rallying round a parish steeple
Nestle warm the highland people,
Coarse and boisterous, yet mild,
Strong as giant, slow as child,
Smoking in a squalid room,
Where yet the westland breezes come.
Close hid in those rough guises lurk
Western magians, here they work;
Sweat and season are their arts,
Their talismans are ploughs and carts;
And well the youngest can command
Honey from the frozen land,
With sweet hay the swamp adorn,
Change the running sand to corn,
For wolves and foxes, lowing herds,
And for cold mosses, cream and curds;
Weave wood to canisters and mats,
Drain sweet maple-juice in vats.
No bird is safe that cuts the air,
From their rifle or their snare;
No fish in river or in lake,
But their long hands it thence will take;
And the country's iron face
Like wax their fashioning skill betrays,
To fill the hollows, sink the hills,
Bridge gulfs, drain swamps, build dams and mills,
And fit the bleak and howling place
For gardens of a finer race,
The world-soul knows his own affair,
Fore-looking when his hands prepare
For the next ages men of mould,
Well embodied, well ensouled,
He cools the present's fiery glow,
Sets the life pulse strong, but slow.
Bitter winds and fasts austere.
His quarantines and grottos, where
He slowly cures decrepit flesh,
And brings it infantile and fresh.
These exercises are the toys
And games with which he breathes his boys.
They bide their time, and well can prove,
If need were, their line from Jove,
Of the same stuff, and so allayed,
As that whereof the sun is made;
And of that fibre quick and strong
Whose throbs are love, whose thrills are song.
Now in sordid weeds they sleep,
Their secret now in dulness keep.
Yet, will you learn our ancient speech,
These the masters who can teach,
Fourscore or a hundred words
All their vocal muse affords,
These they turn in other fashion
Than the writer or the parson.
I can spare the college-bell,
And the learned lecture well.
Spare the clergy and libraries,
Institutes and dictionaries,
For the hardy English root
Thrives here unvalued underfoot.
Rude poets of the tavern hearth,
Squandering your unquoted mirth,
Which keeps the ground and never soars,
While Jake retorts and Reuben roars,
Tough and screaming as birch-bark,
Goes like bullet to its mark,
While the solid curse and jeer
Never balk the waiting ear:
To student ears keen-relished jokes
On truck, and stock, and farming-folks,—
Nought the mountain yields thereof
But savage health and sinews tough.

On the summit as I stood,
O'er the wide floor of plain and flood,
Seemed to me the towering hill
Was not altogether still,
But a quiet sense conveyed;
If I err not, thus it said:

Many feet in summer seek
Betimes my far-appearing peak;
In the dreaded winter-time,
None save dappling shadows climb
Under clouds my lonely head,
Old as the sun, old almost as the shade.
And comest thou
To see strange forests and new snow,
And tread uplifted land?
And leavest thou thy lowland race,
Here amid clouds to stand,
And would'st be my companion,
Where I gaze
And shall gaze
When forests fall, and man is gone,
Over tribes and over times
As the burning Lyre
Nearing me,
With its stars of northern fire,
In many a thousand years.

Ah! welcome, if thou bring
My secret in thy brain;
To mountain-top may muse's wing
With good allowance strain.
Gentle pilgrim, if thou know
The gamut old of Pan,
And how the hills began,
The frank blessings of the hill
Fall on thee, as fall they will.
'Tis the law of bush and stone—
Each can only take his own.
Let him heed who can and will,—
Enchantment fixed me here
To stand the hurts of time, until
In mightier chant I disappear.
If thou trowest
How the chemic eddies play
Pole to pole, and what they say,
And that these gray crags
Not on crags are hung,
But beads are of a rosary
On prayer and music strung;
And, credulous, through the granite seeming
Seest the smile of Reason beaming;
Can thy style-discerning eye
The hidden-working Builder spy,
Who builds, yet makes no chips, no din,
With hammer soft as snow-flake's flight;
Knowest thou this?
O pilgrim, wandering not amiss!
Already my rocks lie light,
And soon my cone will spin.
For the world was built in order,
And the atoms march in tune,
Rhyme the pipe, and time the warder,
Cannot forget the sun, the moon.
Orb and atom forth they prance,
When they hear from far the rune,
None so backward in the troop,
When the music and the dance
Reach his place and circumstance,
But knows the sun-creating sound,
And, though a pyramid, will bound.

Monadnoc is a mountain strong,
Tall and good my kind among,
But well I know, no mountain can
Measure with a perfect man;
For it is on Zodiack's writ,
Adamant is soft to wit;
And when the greater comes again,
With my music in his brain,
I shall pass as glides my shadow
Daily over hill and meadow.

Through all time
I hear the approaching feet
Along the flinty pathway beat
Of him that cometh, and shall come,—
Of him who shall as lightly bear
My daily load of woods and streams,
As now the round sky-cleaving boat
Which never strains its rocky beams,
Whose timbers, as they silent float,
Alps and Caucasus uprear,
And the long Alleghanies here,
And all town-sprinkled lands that be,
Sailing through stars with all their history.

Every morn I lift my head,
Gaze o'er New England underspread
South from Saint Lawrence to the Sound,
From Katshill east to the sea-bound.
Anchored fast for many an age,
I await the bard and sage,
Who in large thoughts, like fair pearl-seed,
Shall string Monadnoc like a bead.
Comes that cheerful troubadour,
This mound shall throb his face before,
As when with inward fires and pain
It rose a bubble from the plain.
When he cometh, I shall shed
From this well-spring in my head
Fountain drop of spicier worth
Than all vintage of the earth.
There's fruit upon my barren soil
Costlier far than wine or oil;
There's a berry blue and gold,—
Autumn-ripe its juices hold,
Sparta's stoutness, Bethlehem's heart,
Asia's rancor, Athens' art,
Slowsure Britain's secular might,
And the German's inward sight;
I will give my son to eat
Best of Pan's immortal meat,
Bread to eat and juice to drink,
So the thoughts that he shall think
Shall not be forms of stars, but stars,
Nor pictures pale, but Jove and Mars.

He comes, but not of that race bred
Who daily climb my specular head.
Oft as morning wreathes my scarf,
Fled the last plumule of the dark,
Pants up hither the spruce clerk
From South-Cove and City-wharf;
I take him up my rugged sides,
Half-repentant, scant of breath,—
Bead-eyes my granite chaos show,
And my midsummer snow;
Open the daunting map beneath,—
All his county, sea and land,
Dwarfed to measure of his hand;
His day's ride is a furlong space,
His city tops a glimmering haze:
I plant his eyes on the sky-hoop bounding;—
See there the grim gray rounding
Of the bullet of the earth
Whereon ye sail,
Tumbling steep
In the uncontinented deep;—
He looks on that, and he turns pale:
'Tis even so, this treacherous kite,
Farm-furrowed, town-incrusted sphere,
Thoughtless of its anxious freight,
Plunges eyeless on for ever,
And he, poor parasite,—
Cooped in a ship he cannot steer,
Who is the captain he knows not,
Port or pilot trows not,—
Risk or ruin he must share.
I scowl on him with my cloud,
With my north wind chill his blood,
I lame him clattering down the rocks,
And to live he is in fear.
Then, at last, I let him down
Once more into his dapper town,
To chatter frightened to his clan,
And forget me, if he can.
As in the old poetic fame
The gods are blind and lame,
And the simular despite
Betrays the more abounding might,
So call not waste that barren cone
Above the floral zone,
Where forests starve:
It is pure use;
What sheaves like those which here we glean and bind,
Of a celestial Ceres, and the Muse?

Ages are thy days,
Thou grand expressor of the present tense,
And type of permanence,
Firm ensign of the fatal Being,
Amid these coward shapes of joy and grief
That will not bide the seeing.
Hither we bring
Our insect miseries to the rocks,
And the whole flight with pestering wing
Vanish and end their murmuring,
Vanish beside these dedicated blocks,
Which, who can tell what mason laid?
Spoils of a front none need restore,
Replacing frieze and architrave;
Yet flowers each stone rosette and metope brave,
Still is the haughty pile *****
Of the old building Intellect.
Complement of human kind,
Having us at vantage still,
Our sumptuous indigence,
O barren mound! thy plenties fill.
We fool and prate,—
Thou art silent and sedate.
To million kinds and times one sense
The constant mountain doth dispense,
Shedding on all its snows and leaves,
One joy it joys, one grief it grieves.
Thou seest, O watchman tall!
Our towns and races grow and fall,
And imagest the stable Good
For which we all our lifetime *****,
In shifting form the formless mind;
And though the substance us elude,
We in thee the shadow find.
Thou in our astronomy
An opaker star,
Seen, haply, from afar,
Above the horizon's hoop.
A moment by the railway troop,
As o'er some bolder height they speed,—
By circumspect ambition,
By errant Gain,
By feasters, and the frivolous,—
Recallest us,
And makest sane.
Mute orator! well-skilled to plead,
And send conviction without phrase,
Thou dost supply
The shortness of our days,
And promise, on thy Founder's truth,
Long morrow to this mortal youth.
Helen Jun 2014
I could hula hoop for hours
and watch the minutes go by
as I watched your mesmerised eyes
traced my hips, back and forth

I could rewind the mixed tape
I made, twisting the pencil artfully
you waited for our song silently
then the music played for us

I could reach out the window
and turn the speakers the other way
some would say, beneath the screen
we reenacted our own silent dream

I could skip rope, I could jog miles
I could take a joke with a smile
I could pretend we were perfect
on the end of notes so discordant

But now I just lay next to you
and you listen to me breathe
Waiting for the last note to play
but I remember almost everything

I remember I used to hula hoop
and fix all your mixed tapes
I remember all the silent movies
and I remember my mistakes

I wish I could turn back the time
and be as young as you are bold
I wish this time was not so painful
as I wish the pain would just grow old

I want to hula hoop again
In your mind I would be so young
When that mixed tape plays again
I hope it brings you the joy of when
we were young
I'm not going to outlive you, I'm not even going to pretend but I just hope you know, I lived it all until the end... Please, live without me...
Thomas EG Jan 2015
You think you're so cool...
Bad boy, detached.
Nobody knows you
like you know yourself.
Leather jacket, crooked grin.
Only few deserve it.
Pocket-watch, single hoop earring.
Vintage, vintage...
How did you get so great?
Perhaps you stole the lost souls
of fragile beauties.
Perhaps you aren't so great after all.
Perhaps...
Or maybe
you just got so sick of hating yourself,
that you decided
to hate everyone else instead.
Maybe...
Or it's possible
that you lost your own soul
in the eyes of a fragile beauty...
And it's possible
that you're too far gone
to be saved.
Literally just wrote this on the spot. I don't know.
Me, I play the piano
said one
me, I play the violin
said another
me the harp, me the banjo
me the cello
me the bagpipes, me the flute
and me, a rattle.
And they talked talked
talked about what they played.
No music was heard
everyone talked
talked talked
and no one played
but in a corner one man remained silent:
"And you, Sir, who remain silent and say nothing,
what instrument do you play?"
the musicians asked him.
"Me, I play the barrel *****
and I also play the knife,"
said the man who until now
had said absolutely nothing
and then he advanced knife in hand
and killed all the musicians
and played the barrel *****
and his music was so true
and so lively and so pretty
that the daughter of the house’s owner
came out from under the piano
where she lay bored to sleep
and said:
"Me, I played hoop
ball, chase
I played hopscotch
I played with a pail
I played with a shovel
I played house
I played tag
I played with my dolls
I played with a parasol
I played with my little brother
with my little sister
I played cops
and robbers
but that’s over over over
I want to play assassin
I want to play the barrel *****."
And the man took the little girl by the hand
and they went into towns
into houses, into gardens
and killed as many people as possible
after which they married
and had many children.
But
the oldest learned piano
the second, violin
the third, harp
the fourth, the rattle
the fifth, cello
and they all took to talking talking
talking talking talking
so that no more music was heard
and all was set to begin again!
Fanfare of northwest wind, a bluejay wind
announces autumn, and the equinox
rolls back blue bays to a far afternoon.
Somewhere beyond the Gorge Li Po is gone,
looking for friendship or an old love's sleeve
or writing letters to his children, lost,
and to his children's children, and to us.
What was his light? of lamp or moon or sun?
Say that it changed, for better or for worse,
sifted by leaves, sifted by snow; on mulberry silk
a slant of witch-light; on the pure text
a slant of genius; emptying mind and heart
for winecups and more winecups and more words.
What was his time? Say that it was a change,
but constant as a changing thing may be,
from chicory's moon-dark blue down the taut scale
to chicory's tenderest pink, in a pink field
such as imagination dreams of thought.
But of the heart beneath the winecup moon
the tears that fell beneath the winecup moon
for children lost, lost lovers, and lost friends,
what can we say but that it never ends?
Even for us it never ends, only begins.
Yet to spell down the poem on her page,
margining her phrases, parsing forth
the sevenfold prism of meaning, up the scale
from chicory pink to blue, is to assume
Li Po himself: as he before assumed
the poets and the sages who were his.
Like him, we too have eaten of the word:
with him are somewhere lost beyond the Gorge:
and write, in rain, a letter to lost children,
a letter long as time and brief as love.

II

And yet not love, not only love. Not caritas
or only that. Nor the pink chicory love,
deep as it may be, even to moon-dark blue,
in which the dragon of his meaning flew
for friends or children lost, or even
for the beloved horse, for Li Po's horse:
not these, in the self's circle so embraced:
too near, too dear, for pure assessment: no,
a letter crammed and creviced, crannied full,
storied and stored as the ripe honeycomb
with other faith than this. As of sole pride
and holy loneliness, the intrinsic face
worn by the always changing shape between
end and beginning, birth and death.
How moves that line of daring on the map?
Where was it yesterday, or where this morning
when thunder struck at seven, and in the bay
the meteor made its dive, and shed its wings,
and with them one more Icarus? Where struck
that lightning-stroke which in your sleep you saw
wrinkling across the eyelid? Somewhere else?
But somewhere else is always here and now.
Each moment crawls that lightning on your eyelid:
each moment you must die. It was a tree
that this time died for you: it was a rock
and with it all its local web of love:
a chimney, spilling down historic bricks:
perhaps a skyful of Ben Franklin's kites.
And with them, us. For we must hear and bear
the news from everywhere: the hourly news,
infinitesimal or vast, from everywhere.

III

Sole pride and loneliness: it is the state
the kingdom rather of all things: we hear
news of the heart in weather of the Bear,
slide down the rungs of Cassiopeia's Chair,
still on the nursery floor, the Milky Way;
and, if we question one, must question all.
What is this 'man'? How far from him is 'me'?
Who, in this conch-shell, locked the sound of sea?
We are the tree, yet sit beneath the tree,
among the leaves we are the hidden bird,
we are the singer and are what is heard.
What is this 'world'? Not Li Po's Gorge alone,
and yet, this too might be. 'The wind was high
north of the White King City, by the fields
of whistling barley under cuckoo sky,'
where, as the silkworm drew her silk, Li Po
spun out his thoughts of us. 'Endless as silk'
(he said) 'these poems for lost loves, and us,'
and, 'for the peachtree, blooming in the ditch.'
Here is the divine loneliness in which
we greet, only to doubt, a voice, a word,
the smoke of a sweetfern after frost, a face
touched, and loved, but still unknown, and then
a body, still mysterious in embrace.
Taste lost as touch is lost, only to leave
dust on the doorsill or an ink-stained sleeve:
and yet, for the inadmissible, to grieve.
Of leaf and love, at last, only to doubt:
from world within or world without, kept out.
  
IV

Caucus of robins on an alien shore
as of the **-** birds at Jewel Gate
southward bound and who knows where and never late
or lost in a roar at sea. Rovers of chaos
each one the 'Rover of Chao,' whose slight bones
shall put to shame the swords. We fly with these,
have always flown, and they
stay with us here, stand still and stay,
while, exiled in the Land of Pa, Li Po
still at the Wine Spring stoops to drink the moon.
And northward now, for fall gives way to spring,
from Sandy Hook and Kitty Hawk they wing,
and he remembers, with the pipes and flutes,
drunk with joy, bewildered by the chance
that brought a friend, and friendship, how, in vain,
he strove to speak, 'and in long sentences,' his pain.
Exiled are we. Were exiles born. The 'far away,'
language of desert, language of ocean, language of sky,
as of the unfathomable worlds that lie
between the apple and the eye,
these are the only words we learn to say.
Each morning we devour the unknown. Each day
we find, and take, and spill, or spend, or lose,
a sunflower splendor of which none knows the source.
This cornucopia of air! This very heaven
of simple day! We do not know, can never know,
the alphabet to find us entrance there.
So, in the street, we stand and stare,
to greet a friend, and shake his hand,
yet know him beyond knowledge, like ourselves;
ocean unknowable by unknowable sand.

V

The locust tree spills sequins of pale gold
in spiral nebulae, borne on the Invisible
earthward and deathward, but in change to find
the cycles to new birth, new life. Li Po
allowed his autumn thoughts like these to flow,
and, from the Gorge, sends word of Chouang's dream.
Did Chouang dream he was a butterfly?
Or did the butterfly dream Chouang? If so,
why then all things can change, and change again,
the sea to brook, the brook to sea, and we
from man to butterfly; and back to man.
This 'I,' this moving 'I,' this focal 'I,'
which changes, when it dreams the butterfly,
into the thing it dreams of; liquid eye
in which the thing takes shape, but from within
as well as from without: this liquid 'I':
how many guises, and disguises, this
nimblest of actors takes, how many names
puts on and off, the costumes worn but once,
the player queen, the lover, or the dunce,
hero or poet, father or friend,
suiting the eloquence to the moment's end;
childlike, or *******; the language of the kiss
sensual or simple; and the gestures, too,
as slight as that with which an empire falls,
or a great love's abjured; these feignings, sleights,
savants, or saints, or fly-by-nights,
the novice in her cell, or wearing tights
on the high wire above a hell of lights:
what's true in these, or false? which is the 'I'
of 'I's'? Is it the master of the cadence, who
transforms all things to a hoop of flame, where through
tigers of meaning leap? And are these true,
the language never old and never new,
such as the world wears on its wedding day,
the something borrowed with something chicory blue?
In every part we play, we play ourselves;
even the secret doubt to which we come
beneath the changing shapes of self and thing,
yes, even this, at last, if we should call
and dare to name it, we would find
the only voice that answers is our own.
We are once more defrauded by the mind.

Defrauded? No. It is the alchemy by which we grow.
It is the self becoming word, the word
becoming world. And with each part we play
we add to cosmic Sum and cosmic sum.
Who knows but one day we shall find,
hidden in the prism at the rainbow's foot,
the square root of the eccentric absolute,
and the concentric absolute to come.

VI

The thousand eyes, the Argus 'I's' of love,
of these it was, in verse, that Li Po wove
the magic cloak for his last going forth,
into the Gorge for his adventure north.
What is not seen or said? The cloak of words
loves all, says all, sends back the word
whether from Green Spring, and the yellow bird
'that sings unceasing on the banks of Kiang,'
or 'from the Green Moss Path, that winds and winds,
nine turns for every hundred steps it winds,
up the Sword Parapet on the road to Shuh.'
'Dead pinetrees hang head-foremost from the cliff.
The cataract roars downward. Boulders fall
Splitting the echoes from the mountain wall.
No voice, save when the nameless birds complain,
in stunted trees, female echoing male;
or, in the moonlight, the lost cuckoo's cry,
piercing the traveller's heart. Wayfarer from afar,
why are you here? what brings you here? why here?'

VII

Why here. Nor can we say why here. The peachtree bough
scrapes on the wall at midnight, the west wind
sculptures the wall of fog that slides
seaward, over the Gulf Stream.
                                                       The rat
comes through the wainscot, brings to his larder
the twinned acorn and chestnut burr. Our sleep
lights for a moment into dream, the eyes
turn under eyelids for a scene, a scene,
o and the music, too, of landscape lost.
And yet, not lost. For here savannahs wave
cressets of pampas, and the kingfisher
binds all that gold with blue.
                                                  Why here? why here?
Why does the dream keep only this, just this C?
Yes, as the poem or the music do?

The timelessness of time takes form in rhyme:
the lotus and the locust tree rehearse
a four-form song, the quatrain of the year:
not in the clock's chime only do we hear
the passing of the Now into the past,
the passing into future of the Now:
hut in the alteration of the bough
time becomes visible, becomes audible,
becomes the poem and the music too:
time becomes still, time becomes time, in rhyme.
Thus, in the Court of Aloes, Lady Yang
called the musicians from the Pear Tree Garden,
called for Li Po, in order that the spring,
tree-peony spring, might so be made immortal.
Li Po, brought drunk to court, took up his brush,
but washed his face among the lilies first,
then wrote the song of Lady Flying Swallow:
which Hsuang Sung, the emperor, forthwith played,
moving quick fingers on a flute of jade.
Who will forget that afternoon? Still, still,
the singer holds his phrase, the rising moon
remains unrisen. Even the fountain's falling blade
hangs in the air unbroken, and says: Wait!

VIII

Text into text, text out of text. Pretext
for scholars or for scholiasts. The living word
springs from the dying, as leaves in spring
spring from dead leaves, our birth from death.
And all is text, is holy text. Sheepfold Hill
becomes its name for us, anti yet is still
unnamed, unnamable, a book of trees
before it was a book for men or sheep,
before it was a book for words. Words, words,
for it is scarlet now, and brown, and red,
and yellow where the birches have not shed,
where, in another week, the rocks will show.
And in this marriage of text and thing how can we know
where most the meaning lies? We climb the hill
through bullbriar thicket and the wild rose, climb
past poverty-grass and the sweet-scented bay
scaring the pheasant from his wall, but can we say
that it is only these, through these, we climb,
or through the words, the cadence, and the rhyme?
Chang Hsu, calligrapher of great renown,
needed to put but his three cupfuls down
to tip his brush with lightning. On the scroll,
wreaths of cloud rolled left and right, the sky
opened upon Forever. Which is which?
The poem? Or the peachtree in the ditch?
Or is all one? Yes, all is text, the immortal text,
Sheepfold Hill the poem, the poem Sheepfold Hill,
and we, Li Po, the man who sings, sings as he climbs,
transposing rhymes to rocks and rocks to rhymes.
The man who sings. What is this man who sings?
And finds this dedicated use for breath
for phrase and periphrase of praise between
the twin indignities of birth and death?
Li Yung, the master of the epitaph,
forgetting about meaning, who himself
had added 'meaning' to the book of >things,'
lies who knows where, himself sans epitaph,
his text, too, lost, forever lost ...
                                                         And yet, no,
text lost and poet lost, these only flow
into that other text that knows no year.
The peachtree in the poem is still here.
The song is in the peachtree and the ear.

IX

The winds of doctrine blow both ways at once.
The wetted finger feels the wind each way,
presaging plums from north, and snow from south.
The dust-wind whistles from the eastern sea
to dry the nectarine and parch the mouth.
The west wind from the desert wreathes the rain
too late to fill our wells, but soon enough,
the four-day rain that bears the leaves away.
Song with the wind will change, but is still song
and pierces to the rightness in the wrong
or makes the wrong a rightness, a delight.
Where are the eager guests that yesterday
thronged at the gate? Like leaves, they could not stay,
the winds of doctrine blew their minds away,
and we shall have no loving-cup tonight.
No loving-cup: for not ourselves are here
to entertain us in that outer year,
where, so they say, we see the Greater Earth.
The winds of doctrine blow our minds away,
and we are absent till another birth.

X

Beyond the Sugar Loaf, in the far wood,
under the four-day rain, gunshot is heard
and with the falling leaf the falling bird
flutters her crimson at the huntsman's foot.
Life looks down at death, death looks up at life,
the eyes exchange the secret under rain,
rain all the way from heaven: and all three
know and are known, share and are shared, a silent
moment of union and communion.
Have we come
this way before, and at some other time?
Is it the Wind Wheel Circle we have come?
We know the eye of death, and in it too
the eye of god, that closes as in sleep,
giving its light, giving its life, away:
clouding itself as consciousness from pain,
clouding itself, and then, the shutter shut.
And will this eye of god awake again?
Or is this what he loses, loses once,
but always loses, and forever lost?
It is the always and unredeemable cost
of his invention, his fatigue. The eye
closes, and no other takes its place.
It is the end of god, each time, each time.

Yet, though the leaves must fall, the galaxies
rattle, detach, and fall, each to his own
perplexed and individual death, Lady Yang
gone with the inkberry's vermilion stalk,
the peony face behind a fan of frost,
the blue-moon eyebrow behind a fan of rain,
beyond recall by any alchemist
or incantation from the Book of Change:
unresumable, as, on Sheepfold Hill,
the fir cone of a thousand years ago:
still, in the loving, and the saying so,
as when we name the hill, and, with the name,
bestow an essence, and a meaning, too:
do we endow them with our lives?
They move
into another orbit: into a time
not theirs: and we become the bell to speak
this time: as we become new eyes
with which they see, the voice
in which they find duration, short or long,
the chthonic and hermetic song.
Beyond Sheepfold Hill,
gunshot again, the bird flies forth to meet
predestined death, to look with conscious sight
into the eye of light
the light unflinching that understands and loves.
And Sheepfold Hill accepts them, and is still.

XI

The landscape and the language are the same.
And we ourselves are language and are land,
together grew with Sheepfold Hill, rock, and hand,
and mind, all taking substance in a thought
wrought out of mystery: birdflight and air
predestined from the first to be a pair:
as, in the atom, the living rhyme
invented her divisions, which in time,
and in the terms of time, would make and break
the text, the texture, and then all remake.
This powerful mind that can by thinking take
the order of the world and all remake,
w
Mara Siegel Aug 2015
i always came over wearing silver and black
and you always wore something purple and insisted it be noticed
even if it wasn't noticeable

but i didn't care.

i used to date boys who cried wolf and kissed poorly
******* in dugouts
high holiday hook ups and lackluster dates

but i don't care.

you bruised my ***** bone
and ego
and surprisingly, my heart

but i hardly care.

or, at least, that's what i keep insisting.
i stopped dating poets when i realized it was more convenient to let them be my material, and not theirs.
Kaylee M Dec 2016
My heart is pounding
I rush forward
Faster than a cheetah
I jump
I drop like snow
The ball rolls around the hoop
Tips on the edge of the rim
All eyes are on the ball
Titters into the net
With a soft swoosh
The crowd erupts
Whoo-whoo
I just scored
The winning shot
I toss
I turn
It was all just a dream
-Ek en my geraamtes het soms ook 'n uitval

Verdoem deur drome van 'n wakker oog
gee ek in tot die eindelose gekarring.
Waaroor die ophef van 'n silwerdoek beeld
die trane en inspirasie , aangemeld -
en saamgesmelt in elke belydenis?

Ek spaar toe maar my knieë en sak neer
voor die rekenaar en fynkam
die intrieke sydrade van ons spinnerakke
Vergrootglas die letters, opsoek na:
'n Gebed vir - 'n Gebed vir hom...
NEE MY!

Toe speel my storie... Ag ek meen
Sy outobiografie af en ek's aleen.
Elke nou en dan en dan en wan
vee ek oor die rekenaar skerm en
skrik as ek sý gesig sien.

Hy wou dit nie aanvaar nie!
- ek wou regtig nie!
Hy wou verander!
-ek wou regtig graag verander...
ek... - ek bedoel hy;

Ons ma's was swertsend selfs
godslasterik lief vir ons en
haar stickynotes het ons oral vasgekeur
, want Levitikus!!!
Levitikus sê NEE...
Ma sê die Bybel sê:
"Ons is dood".
Ma se sy wil ons nie verloor nie.
Kom sy nie agter dat ons in
haar geweierde woorde versmoor nie.

My knieë is lank genoeg gespaar.
Na 90 minute se snikke en trane
val ek neer voor die Heer en
almal wat nog wil luister.
Ware ellende stort uit perelpoele
en plas neer op die koue wereld.
Uiteindelik bid ek vir hom, maar
my gebede is te laat - met so
dertig jaar of wat -.

Ek hoop iemand bid vir my...
ek hoop die gebede vind my
- maar vir my , betyds-.
Want ek sit met VIGS van die
siel. 'n Tipe kanker op sy eie 'n
lifelong companion om die eufemisme
mooi te stel...

Ek is Hy.
Hy is ek.
Ons is ons eie tipe mens.

Amen
mark john junor Jun 2014
i dreamt of the carnivals caravan
dreamt of the wild rose who dwelt there
enchanter of strange spells under
the quick moon flying in clouds high up
beyond fingertips reach
enchanter of rich tapestry within moonlight
of compassion's gentlest light
her sweet smiles embraces all

the caravan laid up roadside for the night
and she spread out her blanket
with her hoops she would spin the stars upon
with her hoops she would spin her magic and song
she picked a bead from her woven hair
and set it like a jewel in the center of my world
and with gentlest grin
did ask if i wished to be lost or found
knowing not which to be i let her choose
and wrapping the hoops round her
she spun the song of seasons feast
she wove the tale from fabric of starlight and roses

in the morning light
i awoke to the last carriage of the caravan
cresting distant hill like a the last piece of dream fading
i had been set loose like a strange ship on a strange sea
to find my destiny in the wild western lands
where a dark dusky angel would
take me into her song
where i would find a ship to set sail
for the lost edens tale
Irate Watcher Jun 2015
I am Bear Lady
and you are Toucan Man —
Fur and feathered backs
against a striped tent.
Cut-off like tickets,
crowds melting Dali-like
in the distance
from crystalline eyes,
frozen in time…

Wings graze skin and
fur can’t compete.
The electricity of
our eccentricity
is freakish,
yet with every touch,
I feel less like a freak.
My history
of hoop jumping
tightrope walking,
and captivity
dissolve transparently
as I search deep,
                deep,
            deep,
into supernova eyes —
they outshine
this circus life,
this love for applause,
the performance inside.

As I gaze into
frozen pools,
the broken chords
of carny music
da da da-da-da-da drown.
The morning quiet,
muddled coffee grinds
are sensitive and silent,
chilling me to the soul.
Earth, a peripheral,
to pupils that absorb
mine full-force,
until I can’t see
this galaxy anymore,
save green starbursts,
my light source.
For the one I love.
AD Mullin Dec 2014
Mitakuyapi,

My name is Standing Elk of the Yankton Sioux Reservation. This is my formal apology to all The Elders of Turtle Island. I accept full responsibility for my words and actions in the future concerning the Spiritual Knowledge we are about to share with the People of the Americas and the World. My actions and words are none other than my own based upon the Spiritual Teachings of the *Tunjkaśila
and the Spiritual Knowledge of the Star Nations. If any Elder of the Red Nation feels that I am wrong in my actions or in any verbal statement, feel free to correct me according to the Laws of the Kit Fox Society that we spiritual human beings have chosen to live by. "If it be necessary to punish a child, do so in such a way that will improve his spirit or mind, but do not lay a hand on him for you may damage the possession of the Great Spirit, His gift of life to you."

As a Red Nation we have lived through dreams and vision of our Spiritual Tunjkaśila, and we have chosen not to stray beyond our limits of the power of our spirit. My personal dream has directed me to contact certain Ikċé Wiċaśa to greatly increase the spiritual awareness that is to be shared with our Brothers and Sisters of the Four Directions. Through my personal contacts, I know some medicine men have agreed 'it is time' because of the closeness of the fullfillment of the prophecies that are vital for our existence as a human race. This sharing of dreams and vision of the Tunjkaśila will strengthen the Foundation of Nations that are sincerely interested in being that element that will be the foundation of the "Thousand Years of Peace."

My hand is open to all those Elders of Turtle Island who wish to share their message, dream and vision with the People of the World; for, I cannot do it alone. Through our teachings, we know that not one individual holds the Knowledge and Mysteries of Life. We were all given a piece of the puzzle. We are all a part of The Sacred Hoop that needs to be mended, and we must make a humble effort in this task if the Seventh Generation, our grandchildren and unborn, are to survive this next awareness. My life was molded around the teachings of the Tunjkaśila that they instilled in our spirit as children. My spirit has directed me in this effort to help our Brothers and Sisters of the Four Directions. I have already chosen not to fail the Tunjkaśila.

Mitakuyé Oyasiŋ
Héhaka Inaziŋ
, Standing Elk
Ihuŋktoŋwaŋ Oyaté (Dakota Nation)
February 1996
Nahko Bear (Medicine for the People):  http://youtu.be/YsgP8LkEopM

http://starelders.net/

http://www.starknowledgetv.com/
Egeria Litha Feb 2015
Circular Parameter
around my body
Golden ring
Getting in my vortex
Quite literally
Esther Hicks
Would like my tricks
Because it offers
Alignment
A practice that preaches
The sacred teachings
Of the Law of Attraction
Dancing in my hoop
Causes momentum
Of the greatest
joy in the action
Of light

I'll probably hula hoop
All the days of my life

— The End —