Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
Mitchell Duran Nov 2013
It was 98'.
No, it was 99'.
That was the year.
Yeah, that was the year.

I had just landed abroad and knew no one.
Well, I was there with my girlfriend, Page.

I knew her.

We had to get out of the states.
There was nothing for us there.
We were drowning in that nothingness - that lacking future.

Cookie cutters everywhere.

Everything I saw was like an outline of something that had already happened.
I couldn't sleep.
I couldn't ****.
I could barely call my parents to let them know what I was doing.

Nothing really.

Floating downward like a leaf broken from its stem.
I was scared.
I'll admit it.
I was terrified of the next four years.
Twenty-five seemed so far away and so close, all at the same time.

We had a found an apartment to live in while in the U.S.
We were lucky because people we met later on said it was hell trying to find a place after arriving.
I was never too good at that stuff anyway.
I always felt like people were trying to cheat me or something.

It was small.
You would have said you loved it, but secretly hated it.
One could barely stand in the shower.
Want to spread your arms wide?

Forget about it.

There was a balcony though and you could watch the street traffic from above.
People look so small when your high up.
Down the street, there was a large theatre where they filmed movies.
I rarely saw them shooting, but I could tell it was a good place to.
It was beautiful at night when the lampposts would flicker on, orange spilling on the street.
Everything was damp in the Fall when we first arrived.

"What do you want to do today?" I asked her. She was laying face down on the bed.
Whenever she was hungover, she would do that.
All the covers and pillows over her face, blocking out the world and its light.
I did the same thing, so I couldn't really say much.
We were hungover a lot those first couple months.
Then came the jobs and everything changed...mostly.

She moaned something that I couldn't understand.
I was standing by the window, staring at the pigeons and crows perched on the roof across from us.
They had made a little nest under one of the shingles.
Clever little ******'s.

"Look at those things," I said.
The coffee I was drinking was bitter and made from crystals.
It gave me a headache, but it was cheap and we were broke.
I stepped back to get a better look at their nest and knocked an empty beer bottle around.

She moaned again and rose up from bed, kind of like a stretching kitten or a cat.
Her back was arched like a crescent moon and she stunk of ***** and Sprite.
The blankets were twisted and crumpled and she was tangled in them like a fly in a spiders web.
I went into the kitchen and poured out my coffee, thinking of what to do with the day.

"Breakfast?" she asked me from bed.
My back was to her, but I knew she wanted me to make it.
I put the electric stove on and opened the refrigerator.

"No eggs," I said back to her, "I'll be right back."

She moaned and slithered back into bed.
I threw my jacket and slippers on and made my way downstairs.

"Dobry den," I said to the cashier.
He was a tiny vietnamese man with a extremely high pitched voice.
I struggled to stifle a laugh every time I came in.

"Dobry den," he said back, sounding like air escaping from a balloon.

"Dear God," I thought, "How does his voice box do it?"

I went straight to the eggs, pretending to cough.
All around me were packaged sweets and rotten vegetables and fruit.
There were half loaves of brown, stale bread wrapped lazily in thin plastic.
Canned beans, noodle packets, and cardboard infused orange juice lined the shelves.
Where were the ******* eggs?
We needed milk too.
Trying to drink that crystalized coffee without it was torture.
I don't even know how I did it earlier.
"I must be getting used to the taste..." I thought.

I opened the single refrigerator they had in the place.
It was stocked with loosely packaged cheese, milk, beer, and soda.
There they were, those ******* eggs, right next to the yogurt.
I looked at the expiration date of a small carton of chocolate milk and winced.
"Someone could die here if they weren't careful," I whispered to myself.

"Everyding O.K.?" I heard the cashier squeak behind me.
I turned and nodded and showed him the eggs.
He was suspicious I was stealing something.
It was ironic.
I put the eggs on the counter and handed over what the cash register told me.

"There you go," I said and handed him the 58 crown in exact change.

"Děkuji," he peeped.

His voice sounded like a stuffed animal.
I nodded, smiled, and quickly got the hell out of there.

"You know the guy that works at the shop across the street?" I asked the body still in bed.
Well, she was up now, back up against the wall with her laptop on her lap.
"You mean the guy that has the voice of a little girl?"
"Exactly. I was just in there - getting these eggs - and I nearly laughed in his face."
"That's mean," she frowned, staring at her laptop.
Many of our conversations were with some kind of electronic device in between us.
We needed to work on that.
"I didn't laugh at him directly."
She smiled and nodded and moved down the bed a little more.
Only her head was resting on the pillow.
I cracked two eggs and let them sizzle there in the butter and the salt.

"So, what do you want to do today?" I asked Page, "It's not too cold out. We could go on a walk."
"Where?"
"I don't know. Over the bridge and maybe down by the water."
"It's going to be so cold," she shivered.
"I was just out there in slippers and a t-shirt and I was fine."
"That's because you're so big. I'm tiny. I don't get as much blood flow."

I flipped the two eggs and looked down at them.
Golden and burnt slightly around the edges.
******* perfect.
Now, just gotta wait a little on the other side and make sure to not let the yolk harden.
I hated that more than anything in the world.
Well, that and hearing **** poor excuses like it being too cold.
It was nice out.
She'd be fine.

"Come on," I sighed. I did that a lot. "It'll be fun."
She looked up at me from her computer with a dead look in her eye.
"What?" I asked her.
"You're such a...nerd," she said.
"No I'm not."
"You're so weird. Some of the things you say sometimes..."
"Like what?"
"Let's go on a walk."
She exaggerated the word walk.
I laughed and knew I was being a little too excited about a walk.
"Yeah. So? What are you doing? You're just laying there doing nothing."
"It's my day off," she scoffed, jokingly.

We were unemployed.
Everyday was a day off.
This was not something to bring up.
It was touchy subject.
One had to go about it...delicately.

"We need to find jobs," I stated, "And we can probably ask around or look for signs in windows."

"Oh JESUS," she gagged, coughing and diving back under the covers.

"I'm just thinking ahead so we can stay here. There's got to be something out there we can do."

"Like what?" she asked, her voice muffled by blankets.

"I don't know...something," I mumbled, trailing off as I flipped one of the eggs, "Perfect."

After breakfast, Page finally got out of bed and took a shower.
I tried to sneak in there with her, but, like I said before, one could barely fit themselves in there.
We compromised to have *** on the bed, though I did miss doing it in the shower.
As Page got dressed, I watched her slip those thin black stockings on, half reading a magazine.
I had gotten a subscription to The Review because I was trying to become a writer.
I thought, maybe if I read the stuff getting published - even the bad **** - it'll help.
Later, I realized, this was a terrible idea, but I enjoyed the magazine all the same.
Page finished getting dressed.
I jumped into whatever clothes were on the floor and didn't stink.
Then, we were out the door on Anna Letenske street, looking at the tram, downhill.


"I can see my breath," Page said, "It's cold..."

"Alright," I said as both of us ran across the street, "It's a little cold."

"But it's ok because I'm glad were out of the house."

"If we would have festered there any longer, we would have stayed in there all day."

"And missed this beautiful day," she said mocking me, putting both of her arms in the air.

The sky was gray and overcast and a single black crow flew over us, roof to roof.
No one was out, really.
It was Sunday and no one ever really came out on Sundays.
From the few czech friends I had, they explained to me this was the day to get drunk and cook.

"Far different then what people think in the States to do," I remember telling him.
"What do you do, my friend?" he had asked. He always called me my friend.
It was a nice thing to do since we had only known each other a couple weeks.
"Well," I explained to him, "Some people go to church to pray to God."
He laughed when I said this and said, "HA! God? How many people believe in God there?"
I had heard through the news and some Wikipedia research Prague was mostly atheist.
"A good amount, I'm pretty sure."
"That's silly," he scoffed, "Silly is word, right?"
"Yep. A word as any other."
"I like that word. What else do they do on Sunday?"
"A lot of people watch football. Not like soccer but with..."
"I know what you talk about," he said, cutting me off, "With the ball shaped like egg?"
I nodded, "Yes, the one with the egg shaped ball. It's popular in the Fall on Sundays."
"And what is Fall?" he asked.
You can see our relationship was really based on questions and answers.
He was a good guy, though I could never pronounce his name right.
There was a specific z in there somewhere where one had to dig their tongue under their teeth.
Lots of breath and vibration that Americans were never asked or trained to do.
Every czech I met said our language was a high contradiction.
Extremely complex in grammar and spelling, but spoken with such sloth.
I don't know if they used the word sloth.
I just like the word.

As we waited for the tram, I noticed the burnt orange and red blood leaves on the ground.
"Where had they come from?" I wondered. There were no trees on the street.
Must be from the park down the block, the one with the big church and the square.
There were lines of trees there used as leaning posts for the bums and junkies as they waited.
What they were waiting for, I never knew.
They just looked to be waiting for something.
I kicked a leaf into the street from the small island platform for the tram.
It swept up into the air a couple inches, and then instantly, was swept away by a passing car.
I watched as it wavered in the air, settling down the block in the middle of the road.

"Where's this trammm," Page complained.
Whenever it was cold out, her complaining level multiplied by a million.
"Should be coming soon. Check the schedule."
"Too cold," she said, "Need to keep my hands in my pockets."
I shook my head and looked at the schedule. It said it would be there at 11:35.
"11:35," I told her, still looking at the schedule. There was a strange cross over the day of Sunday.
"You mad?"
"No," I said turning to her, "I just want to have a nice day and its hard when you're upset."
"I'm not upset," she said, her teeth chattering behind her lips.
"Complaining I mean. We can go back home if it's really too cold. It's right there."
"No," she looked down, "Let's go out for a bit. I just don't know how long I'll last."
"Ok," I shrugged.
I looked up the street and saw our tram coming; number 11.
"There it is," I said.
"Thank God," Page exhaled, "I feel like I'm about to die."

Even the tram was sparse with people.
An empty handle of cheap liquor rattled in the back somewhere.
I heard it rock back and forth against the legs of a metal seat.
"Someone had a night last night," I thought, "Hope that's not mine."
We had gone to some dark bar with a lot of stairs going down - all I really recall.
Beer was so **** cheap there and there was always so much of it, one got very drunk easily.
I couldn't even really remember who we met or why we went there.
When everything's a blur in the morning you have two choices:
Feel guilty about how much you drank, lie around, and do nothing or,
Leave it be, try not to think about it, and try and find your passport and cell phone.

We made our transfer at the 22 and rode downhill.
Page looked like she was going to be sick.
Her sunglasses were solid black and I couldn't see her eyes, but her face was flushed and green.
"You alright?" I asked her.
"I'm fine," she said, "Just need to get off of this tram. Feel like I'm going to be sick."
"You look it."
"Really?" she asked.
"Yeah, a little bit."
"Let's get off at the park with the fountain. I don't want to puke here."
"Ok," I said, smiling, "We'll get off after this stop."

We sat down on one of the benches that circled around the fountain.
It was empty and Page was confused why.
"Maybe to save money?" I suggested.
"What? It's just water."
"Well, you gotta' pump the water up there and then filter it back out. Costs money."
"Costs crown," she corrected me.
"Same thing," I said, putting my arm around her, "There's no one here today."
"I know why," she stated, flatly.
"Why?"
"Because it's collllllllld and it's Sunday and only foreigner's would go out on a day like this."
I scanned the park and noticed that most of the faces there were probably not Czech.
"****," I muttered, "You may be right."
"I know I am," she said, wiggling her chin down into her jacket, "We're...crzzzy."
"We're what?" I asked. I couldn't hear her through her jacket.
She just shook her head back and forth and looked forward, not wanting to move from the warmth.
Dogs were scattered around the brown green grass with their owners.
Some were playing catch with sticks or *****, but others were just following behind their owner's.
I watched as one took a crap in the center of the walkway near the street.
Its owner was typing something on their phone, ignoring what was happening in front of him.
After the dog finished, the owner looked down at the crap, looked around, then slunk off.

"Did you see that?" I asked Page, pointing to where the owner had left the mess.
"Yeah," she nodded, "So gross. That would never fly in the states."
"You'd get shoulder tackled by some park security guard and thrown in jail."
"And be given a fat ticket," she said, coughing a little, "Let's get out of here."
"Yeah," I agreed, "And watch for any **** on the way out of here."

We made our way out of the park and down the street where the 22 continues on to the center.
"Let's not go into the center. Let's walk along the water's edge and maybe up to the bridge."
"Ok," I said, "That's a good idea." I didn't want to get stuck in that mass of tourists.
I could tell Page didn't either. I think she was afraid she might puke on a huddle of them.
We turned down a side street before the large grocery store and avoided a herd of people.
The cobble stones were wet and slick, glistening from a small sliver of sunlight through the clouds.
Page walked ahead.
Sometimes, when we walked downtown in the older parts of Prague, we would walk alone.
Not because we were fighting or anything like that; it was all very natural.
I would walk ahead because I saw something and she would either come with or not.
She would do the same and we both knew that we wouldn't go too far without the other.
I think we both knew that we would be back after seeing what we had wanted to see.
One could call it trust - one could call it a lot of things - but this was not really spoken about.
We knew we would be back after some time and had seen what we had wanted to.
Thinking about this, I watched her look up at the peeling paint of the old buildings.
Her thick black hair waved back and forth behind her plum colored pea coat.
Page would usually bring a camera and take pictures of these things, but she had forgotten it.
I wished she hadn't.
It was turning out to be such a beautiful day.

We made it to the Vlatva river and leaned over the railing, looking down at the water.
Floating there were empty beer bottles and plastic soda jugs.
The water was brown, murky, and looked like someone had dumped a large bag of dirt in there.
There was nothing very romantic about it, which one would think if you saw it in a picture.
"The water looks disgusting," Page said.
"That it does, but look at the bridge. It looks pretty good right
1.
From my
uneasy bed
at the L’Enfant,
a train's pensive
horn breaks the
sullen lullaby of
an HVAC’s hum;
interrupting the
mechanical
reverie of its
steadfast
night watch,
allowing my ear
to discern
the stampede
of marauding
corporate Visigoths
sacking the city.

The cacophony
of sloven gluttony,
the ***** songs of
unrequited privilege
and the unencumbered
clatter of radical
entitlement echoes
off the city’s cold
crumbling stones.

The unctuous
bellows of the
victorious pillagers
profanely feasting
pierces the
hanging chill
of the nations
black night.

Their hoots
deride the train
transporting
the defeated
ghosts of
Lincoln’s last
doomed regiments
dispatched in vain
to preserve a
peoples republic
in a futile last stand.

The rebels have
finally turned the tide,
T Boone Pickett’s
Charge succeeds,
sending the ravaged
Grand Army of the
Republic sliding
back to the Capitol,
in savage servility,
gliding on squeaky
ungreased wheels
ferrying the
Union’s dead
vanquished
defenders to
unmarked graves
on Potters Field.

The Rebels
joyous yell
bounces off
the inert granite
stones of the
soulless city.

The spittle
of salivating
vandals drips
over the
spoils of war
as they initiate the
disassemblage,
the leveling and
reapportionment
of the grand prize.

The clever
oligarchs
have laid claim
to a righteous
reparation
of the peoples
assets for
pennies on the
dollar.

Their wholly
bought politicos
move to transfer
distressed assets
into their just
stewardship
through the
holy justice
of privatization
and the sound
rationale of
free market
solutions.

In the land of the
pursuit of property,
nimble wolf PACs
of swift 527, LLCs
have fully
metastasized
into personhood;
ascending to
the top of the
food chain in
America’s
voracious
political culture;
bestriding
the nation to
compel the
national will
to genuflect
to the cool facility
of corporate
dominion.

As the
inertial ******
of the plaintive
locomotive
fades into
another old
morning of
recalcitrant
Reaganism,
it lugs its
ambivalent
middle class
baggage toward
it’s fast expiring
future.

I follow
the dirge
down to
the street
as the ebbing
sound fades
into the gloom
of the
burgeoning
morning,
slowly
replacing the
purple twilight
with a breaking
day of cold gray
clouds framing
silhouettes of
cranes busily
constructing
a new city.

The personhood of
corporations need
homes in our new
republic; carving
out new
neighborhoods
suitable for the
monied citizens
of our nation.

First amongst
equals, the best
corporate governance
charters form
the foundation of
the republic’s
new constitution.
Civil rights
are secondary
to the freedom
of markets; the
Bill of Rights
are economically
replaced by the
cool manifests
of Bills of Lading.

The agents of
laissez faire
capitalism
nibble away
at the city’s
neighborhoods
one block at a time;
while steady winds
blows dust off
the National Mall.

Layers of the
peoples plaza are
plained away with
each rising gust.  

History repeats
itself as the Joad’s
are routed from their
land once again.

A clever
mixed use
plan of
condos and
strip malls
is proposed
to finally help the
National Mall
unlock its true
profit potential.

As America’s
affection for
federalism fades
the water in
the reflection pool
is gracefully drained.

We the people
can no longer
see ourselves.

The profit
potential of
industry is
preferred over
the specious
metaphysical
benefits
of reflection.

The grand image,
the rich pastiche,
the quixotic aroma
of the national
melting ***
is reduced to the
sameness of the
black tar that lines
the pool and the
swirling eddies of
brown dust circling
the cracked indenture.

From his not so
distant vantage point,
Abe ponders the
empty pool wondering
if the cost of lives
paid was a worthy
endeavor of preserving
the ****** union?  
Has the dear prize
won perished from
this earth?

Was the illusive
article of liberty  
worth its weight in
the blood expended?

Did the people ever
fully realize the value
of government
by the people,
for the people?

Did citizens of
the republic
assume the
responsibilities to
protect and honor
the rights and privileges
of a representative
government?

Now our idea
and practice of
civil rights is measured
and promoted as far as
it can be justified by
a corporate ROI, a
shareholder dividend,
an earmark or a political
donation to a senators
unconnected PAC.

The divine celestial
ledgers balancing
the rights and
privilege of free people
drips with red ink.  

Liberty, equality
fraternity are bankrupt
secular notions
condemned as
expensive
liberal seditions;
hatched by
UnHoly Jacobins,
the atheist skeptics
during the dark times
of the Age of Enlightenment.

Abe ponders
the restoration
of Washington’s
obelisk, to
repair the cracks
suffered  from
last summer’s
freak earthquake.

I believe I detect
a tear in Abe’s
granite eye
saddened by the
corporate temblors
shaking the
foundations
of the city.

2.

The WWII Memorial
is America’s Parthenon
for a country's love
affair with the valor
and sacrifice of warfare.

WWII forms the
cornerstone of
understanding the
pathos of the
American Century.

During WWII
our greatest generation
rose as a nation to
defeat the menace of
global fascism and
indelibly mark the
power and virtue of
American democracy.

As Lincoln’s Army
saved federalism, FDR’s
Army kept the world safe
for democracy.

Both armies served
a nation that shared
the sacrifice and
burden of war to
preserve the grace of
a republican democracy.

Today federalism
crumbles as our
democracy withers.

The burden
of war is reserved
for a precious few
individuals while
its benefits
remain confined to
the corporate elite.

Our monuments
to war have become
commercial backdrops
for the hollow patriotism
of war profiteers.

We have mortgaged
our future to pay
for two criminal wars.

The spoils of
war flow into the
pockets of
corporate
shareholders
deeply invested
in the continuation
of pointless,
destructive
hostilities.

Our service
members who
selflessly served
their country come
home to a less free,
fear struck nation;
where economic
security and political
liberty erodes
each day while the
monied interests
continue to bless
the abundance
of freedom and riches
purchased with the
blood and sweat
of others.

America desperately
needs a new narrative.

The spirit of the
Greatest Generation
who sacrificed and met
the challenge of the 20th
Century must become
this generations spiritual
forebears.

The war on terror
neatly fits the
the corporate
pathos of
militarism,
surveillance
and the sacrifice
of civil liberties
to purchase
a daily measure
of fear and
economic
enslavement.

It must be rejected
by a people committed
to building secular
temples to pursue
peace, democracy,
economic empowerment,
civil liberties and tolerance
for all.

Yet this old city
and the democratic
temples it built
exulting a free people
anointed with the
grace of liberty
is being consumed
in a morass of
commercial
polyglot.

3.

During the
War of 1812
the British Army
burned the
Capitol Building
and the White House
to the ground.

Thank goodness
Dolly Madison saved
what she could.

The new marauders
are not subject to the
pull of nostalgia.  

They value nothing
save their
self enrichment.

They will spare nothing.

Our besieged Capitol
requires Lincoln’s troops
to be stationed along the
National Mall to defend
the republic.

The greatest peril
to our nation
is being directed
by well placed
Fifth Columnists.

From the safety
of underground bunkers,
in secure undisclosed
locations within the city’s
parameters, a well financed
confederacy employing  
K Street shenanigans
are busy selling off
the American Dream
one ear mark
at a time, one
huge corporate
welfare allotment
at a time.

The biggest prize
is looting the real
property of the people;
selling Utah,
auctioning off
the public schools,
water systems, post offices
and mineral rights
on the cheap
at an Uncle Sam
garage sale.  

The capitol is
indeed burning
again.

Looters are
running riot.

The flailing arms
of a dying empire
fire off cruise
missiles and drone
strikes; hitting the
target of habeas
corpus as it
shakes in its
final death rattle.
I make a pilgrimage
to the MLK Jr.
Monument.

Our cultural identity
is outsourced to
foreign contractors
paid to reinterpret
the American Dream
through the eyes
of a lowest bidder.

MLK has lost
his humanity.

He has been
reduced to a
a Chinese
superhuman
Mao like anime
busting loose from
a granite mountain while
geopolitical irony
compels him to watch
Tommy Jefferson
**** Sally Hemings
from across the tidal
basin for all eternity.  

MLK’s eyes fixed in
stern fascination,
forever enthralled
by the contradictions
of liberty and its
democratic excesses
of love in the willows
on golden pond.

Circling back to
Father Abraham’s
Monument,  I huddle
with a group of global
citizens listening
to an NPS Ranger
spinning four score
tales with the last full
measure of her devotion.

I look up into Abe’s
stone eyes as he
surveys platoons
of gray suited
Chinese Communist
envoys engaged
in Long Marches
through the National Mall;
dutifully encircling cabinet
buildings and recruiting
Tea Party congressmen
into their open party cells.

This confederacy
is ready to torch
the White House
again.

Congressmen and
the perfect patriots
from K Street slavishly
pull their paymasters
in gilded rickshaws to
golf outings at the Pentagon
and park at the preferred
spots reserved for
the luxury box holders
at Redskin Games.

They vow not to rest
until the house of the people
is fully mortgaged to the
People’s Republic of China’s
Sovereign Wealth Fund.

4.

A great
Son of Liberty like
Alan Greenspan
roundly rings
the bells of
free markets
as he inches
T Bill rates
forward a few
basis points
at a time; while
his dead mentor
Ayn Rand
lifts Paul Ryan
to her
Fountainhead teet.
He takes a long
draw as she
coos songs
from her primer
of Atlas Shrugged
Mother Goose tales
into his silky ears.

The construction
cranes swing
to the music
building new private
sector space with
the largess of
US taxpayers
money; or
more rightly
future generations
taxpayer debt.

Libertarians,
Tea Baggers, Blue Dogs
and GOP waterboys
eagerly light a
match to the
the crucifixes
bearing federal
social safety
net programs
to the delight
of NASDAQ
listed capitalists
on the come,
licking their chops
to land contracts
to administer
these programs
at a negotiated
cost plus
profit margin.

Citizens
dependent
on programs
are leery
shareholders
are ecstatic.

To be sure
our free
market rebels
don disguises
of red, white
and blue robes
but their objectives
fail to distinguish
their motives and
methods with
some of the finest
Klansman this
country has
ever produced.

5.

DC is a city
of joggers
and choppers.

Corporate
helicopters
wizz by the
Washington
Monument,
popping erections
for the erectors
inspecting the progress
of the cranes
commanding the
city skyline.

USMC drill team
out for a morning
run circles the Mall.

The commanding
cadence of the
DI keeps us
mindful of the
deepening
militarization of
our society.

A crowd  
rushes
to position
themselves,
genuflecting
to photograph
a platoon on
the move.

I try to consider
the defining
characteristics of
Washington DC.

DC is all surface.

It is full of walls
and mirrors.

Its primary hue
is obfuscation.

Open
communication
scripted from well
considered talking points
informs all dialog.

The city is thoroughly
enraptured in narcissism.

Thankfully, one can
always capture the
reflection of oneself in
the ubiquitous presence of
mirrors.  

Vanity imprisons
the city inhabitants.

Young joggers circle the
Mall and gerrymander
down every pathway
of the city.  

They are the clerks,
interns and staffers of
the judicial, executive
and legislative branches.

They are the children
of privilege.

They will never
alter their path.

You must cede the walk
to their entitlement
of a swift comportment
or risk injury of a
violent collision.

These young ones
portray a countenance  
of benevolent rulers.  

They seem to be learning
their trade craft well from
the senators and judges
whom they serve.

They appear confident
they know what's best
for the country and after
their one term of tireless
service to the republic
they look forward to
positions in the private
sector where they will
assist corporations
to extend their reach
into the pant pockets
worn by the body politic.

6.

Our nations mythic story
lies hidden deep in the
closed rooms of the
museums lining the
Mall.

I pause to consider
what a great nation
and its great people
once aspired to.

I spy the a
suspended
Space Shuttle
hanging in dry dock
at the air and
space museum.

Today America’s
astronauts hitch
rides on Russian
rockets.

America rents a
timeshare from
the European
space agency to
lift communication
satellites into orbit.

Across the Mall
I photograph
John Smithson’s
ashes in its columbarium.  

I fear it has become a
metaphor for America’s
future commitment
to scientific inquiry
and rational secular
thinking.

I am relieved to
discover a Smithsonian
exhibit that asks
“what does it mean
to be human?”

The Origins of Humans
exhibit carries a disclaimer
to satisfy creationists.

The exhibit timidly states
that science can coexist
with religious beliefs and
that the point of the exhibit is
not to inflame inflame religious
passions but to shed light on
scientific inquiry.

I imagine these exhibits
will inflame the passion of
the fundamentalist
American Taliban and
provide yet another
reason to dismantle
the Moloch of Federalism.

The pursuit of science
remains safe at the
Smithsonian for now.

7.

Near K Street at
McPherson Park
a posse of
well dressed
lobbyists, the
self anointed
uber patriots
doing the work
of the people
stroll through
the park
boasting a
healthy population
of bedraggled
homeless.

The homeless
occupy the benches
that have been
transformed into
pup tents.

Perhaps some of
the residents of this
mean estate were
made homeless by a
foreclosed mortgage.  

The K Street warriors
can be proud that their
work on behalf of the
banking industry has
forestalled financial market
reform.  

Through it exacerbates
the homeless problem it has
allowed these K Street titans to
profit from the distress of others.

Earlier in the day
I photographed
a homeless man
planted in front of
the Washington
Monument.

I wonder
if my political
voyeurism is
an exploitation of
this man’s condition?

I have more in common
then I probably wish to
admit with my K Street
antagonists.  

In another section
of the park the
remnants of a
distressed OWS
bivouac remain.

The legions of sunshine
patriots have melted away
as the interest of the
blogosphere has waned.

As the weather
improves Moveon.org
and democratic
party operatives
pitch tents in an
effort to resuscitate
the moribund
movement.

They hope
to coop any
remaining energy
to support their
stale deception,
a neoliberal vision
based solely on the
total capitulation
to the bankrupt
corporatocracy.

I heard someone say
a campaign lasts a
season; while a
movement for social
change takes decades.

If that metric proves
correct, and if the
powers don’t succeed
in compromising the
people’s movement
I’ll be three quarters
of a century old
before I see
justice flowing like
a river once again.

8.

I circle back to
the L’Enfant and
find myself
tramping amidst
the lost platoon
of Korean War
soldiers.

My feet drag
in the quagmire
of grass covering
the feet of this
ghostly troop.

My namesake
uncle was a
decorated
veteran of this
conflict and Im
sure I detect
his likeness
in one of the
statues.

The bleak call
of a distant train
sounds a revelry
and I imagine this
patrol springing
to life to answer
the call of their
beloved country
once again.

Yet they remain
inert.  

Stuck in a
place that the
nation finds
impossible to
leave.

The eyes of the
men stare into
an incomprehensible
fate.  

They see the swarms
of Red Army infantrymen
crossing the Yellow River
streaming toward
them in massive
human waves,
the tips of
sparkling bayonets
threatening to slash
the outmanned
contingent fighting
to bits.

They are the
first detachment
to bravely confront
the rising power
of China many
thousands of
miles away
from their homes.

America like
this lone company
is overwhelmed
and lost in the
confusion
that confronts
them.

Looking up
I perceive the
bewilderment
of my muddled image
reflected on the
marble walls
surrounding
the memorial.

I am a comrade-in-arms,
a fellow wanderer sojourning
with th
pale herons huddle
along a bank of grasses
like whitecaps, abandoned

November in the wetland


c. Roberta Compton Rainwater 2014
Austin Morrison Oct 2017
No.1 I have a fear of heights and I'm okay with that because I fall for you every day which keeps me close enough to the ground that I feel safe.

No.2 The dark. I do not like the inability to see, imagine being trapped in a space with no light, nothing to reach for but just a void of emptiness. You cannot find a place much darker than a blackened, hallowed heart. There are no signs of life, with no trace of light. Yet you still managed to find your way around it, walking aimlessly as if you knew where to go. I was afraid of the darkness within, until you lit a flame inside Of me, trying to send a signal fire to my sanity.

No.3 spiders, nothing poetic I just think they are creepy. Eight legs of hell and they have no need on my life!

No.4 I imagine being on an island stranded alone knowing no-one could find me, while I sit there huddle next to a tree with no reason to move forward. I feel a warm touch press on my shoulder. I open my eyes, everything seems different the white scattered sand is now my bed. waves which held me back from moving forward, now my blanket which seems to feel heavier than a tsunami of depression and deep thoughts. I lay there stuck being buried by the sand and drown by waves. Being held down by my past and worries of my future. two hands lifted all the weight off me, I looked up and there she was, she grabbed me by the...

No.5 my heart is beating faster and faster as I run an endless marathon. My palms get sweaty, it gets harder to breathe as if I was trapped in space with no air tank. I try to push through I will not let myself drop out of this one so early. I have a fear to love, not of love but to love. I want to find it but I'm too afraid of letting myself become vulnerable as if I'm joining a war with no gun just my heart hoping not to get shot down but be accepted with open arms. I have scars and battle wounds from past wars. But for no reason, you lent a hand to patch me up. You showed me not all wars are worth fighting Alone, so we joined hands and walked strong. I am afraid to love, I am not afraid to say I love. I am afraid to say I love anyone who isn't you.
Finished copy
Poetic T Nov 2014
Red balloons* litter the floor,
Out numbering the pure ones before,
What once was *white
now
Discoloured
Violated
Shrouded
Float from view
Each a moment of life
As the balloons once white
Now no more,
For all is stained red
Crimson,
Droplets,
Dried
Upon white like a tear,
It slides down marking
Before greeting the floor,
Expelled air, ruptured by the
Violence,
Anger,
Death
Still lingers, an after image
Of the life that was here before,
Red balloons float leaving their imprint
Splatter effect upon floor & wall
Cold eyes stare seeing both
White
&
Red
Balloons
Clinging around this fallen life,
Where white once was now all
That floats is the stench of death
Red balloons huddle around,
Each carrying a moment with them
When life became death &
White was scarred by crimson,
Life is static, still, for death  now floats above the floor
Taylor St Onge Aug 2015
You were born in the cold black heart of the Cold War, under the fist of
Eisenhower, under the satellite eye of Mother Russia—1960 America.
Chinese Year of the Rat.  U-2 Pilot Gary Powers forgot to **** himself.

Space Race Baby looking up at stars she does not comprehend—the world is
big, the sky is bigger—Shhhhhhhhhhh: huddle under your desk in case a
big, black, bomb falls down and burns you so bad you feel nothing but cold  
                                                          ­                                                   cold         cold;

huddle inside yourself in case your plane is shot down over Soviet soil and
everything turns to red, turns to blood, turns to your fingers shaking and your eyes stinging,                                  and you think about that time when
your mother told you about the Year of the Rat being associated with white,

with the Chinese color of death.  You think: This is it.  There is where it ends,
but this is not it; this is not the end.  You will die in a hospital bed in 49 years,
                                                                ­      so just give it some time, alright?
Khrushchev and Eisenhower can play Tug-of-War and
                                   Vietnam can burn in the meantime.

Mother, when you were born you could not breathe.  Mother, when you died
it was because you could not breathe.  Mother, when you are not here I think
of Gary Powers not having time to press “Self-Destruct,” of the Year of the Rat
                                                                ­                                        choking to death on
                                                              ­                                          Lily  of  the  Valley,
­
of learning how to talk to the 58,286 dead Vietnam War soldiers. I want to
know what it is like to look up at the sky and fear a missile strike smack in
the middle of winter. I want to know how cold the Cold War felt to you in the
Chinese Year of the Rat, and what he felt when U-2 Pilot Gary Powers fell like
                                                                ­                                                    Lucifer
     ­                                                                 ­                                         into the arms
                                                                ­                                          of Mother Russia.
or “The Zodiac Symbol of the Dead”
written for my foundations of creative writing class. this is an experimental villanelle.
Ira Desmond Apr 2017
I:

In which
I

amid the
whirring lights

and emerald
felt

drift
through a

raucous
flashing casino

searching

for a
table

with an open
chair

so I can
finally start

to play
the game


II:

In which all of us
are together again at last

for a family gathering—
Thanksgiving supper, perhaps—

and, as we greet each other,
I happen to glance skyward,

unthinking,
and notice that clouds

of a turbid
cumulonimbus gray

are beginning to coalesce overhead.

I look up again and notice
that they have spun

into dozens of funnel shapes,
each of them

starting to reach down for us
like the ashen fingers of Death.

We huddle down in the cellar,
praying the storm will pass.
Martin Narrod Apr 2014
12 Monkeys
17 Girls
127 Hours
2 Days in New York 2012
2 Days in Paris 2010
2001 A Space Odyssey
360
A Beautiful Mind
A Bridge Too Far
A Few Good Men
A Single Man
A Perfect Getaway
A Serbian Film
A Very Long Engagement
A.I.
Absolute Power
Adaptation
Airborne
Air Force One
Airplane 1
Airplane 2
Albert Nobbs
Alex Cross
Alpha Dog
American Beauty
American Gangster
Amorres Perros
Amour
Anchorman
Andy Warhol's Bad 1977
Andy Warhol's ******* 1964
Andy Warhol's Eat 1964
Animal Kingdom
Annie Hall
Anti-Christ
Apocalypse Now Redux
Apollo 13
Arachnophobia
Apt Pupil
Armageddon
Babel
Backdraft
Bad Company
Bad Education
Badlands 1973
Barton Fink
Basquiat
Before Night Falls
Being Flynn
Beneath Hill 60
Beyond the Black Rainbow
Billy Madison
Biutiful - Spanish
Blade 1
Blade 2
Blade 3
Blade Runner Final Cut
Blades of Glory
Blood Work
Blue Valentine
Breach
Broken Arrow
Born on the Fourth of July
Boyz in the Hood
Bullet
Bulworth
Brothers
Caddyshack 1 & 2
Career Opportunities
Carlos The Jackal The Movie
Carne by Gaspar Noe - French
Cashback
CB4
Charlie Wilson's War
Chelsea Girls 1966
Cherry
Chinatown
Ciao Manhattan ft. Edie Sedgewick 1972
Cinema Paradiso
City of God
Clear and Present Danger
Closely Watched Trains - Czech
Contact
Corpse Bride
Courage Under Fire
Crazy Stupid Love
Dark Shadows
Dave 1993
Daybreakers
Days of Heaven
Dazed and Confused
Dead Presidents
Defiance
Desperately Seeking Susan
Despicable Me
Detachment
Die Hard Quadrilogy
**** Tracy
***** Harry
Django Unchained
Dogtooth - Greek
Dogville
Doubt
Dracula, Bram Stoker's
Dragonheart
Dream House
Drive
Drop Zone
Dumbo
Dune Extended Edition
Ears Open, Eyeballs Click
Easier With Practice
Easy Rider 1969
Edward Scissorhands
Empire of the Sun
Encino Man
Enter the Void by Gaspar Noe
Eraser 1999
Eyes Wide Shut 1999
Face Off 1997
Fallen
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Fight Club
Fill the Void
Fish Tank
Fitzcarraldo
Five Minutes in Heaven
Flickan 2009 - Swedish
Flubber 1997
Folks!
Forbidden Planet 1956
Fracture
Friday 1995
Friday After Next 2002
Frost Nixon
******* Amal - Swedish
Full Metal Jacket
Funny Farm 1988
Funny Games
Fur- An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus
G.I. Jane
G.I. Joe Retaliation
Gangs of New York
Gangster Squad
Garden State
Get Rich or Die Tryin'
Ghostbusters 1
Girlfriend
Girl, Interrupted
Glengarry Glen Ross
Gomorra - Italian
Great Expectations 1998
Greenberg
Grindhouse Death Proof
Grindhouse Planet Terror
Groundhog Day 1993
Grumpy Old Men
Grumpier Old Men
Gummo
Gus Van Sant's Last Days
Half Nelson
Hannibal
Havoc
Haywire
Heartbreak Ridge
Heat
Hell on the Pacific 1986
Hesher
Hitchcock
Holy Rollers
Hook
Honey I Shrunk the Kids
Hyde Park on Hudson
I Am Curious Blue
I Am Curious Yellow
I Heart Huckabees
I Stand Alone by Gaspar Noe - French
If Looks Could **** 1991
I'm Not There
In Bruges
In The Line of Fire
Inglorious Basterds
Inland Empire
Innerspace 1987
Innocence
Interview With the Vampire
Jacob's Ladder
James Bond - Diamonds Are Forever 1971
James Bond - From Russia With Love 1963
James Bond - Goldfinger 1964
James Bond - Never Say Never Again 1983
James Bond - On Her Majesty's Secret Service 1969
James Bond - Thunderball 1965
James Bon - You Only Live Twice 1967
Jane Eyre
Jeremiah Johnson 1972
JFK
Joe Versus the Volcano
Johnny English 2
Julien Donkey-Boy
Juno
Just Cause
Kapringen aka A Hijacking - Icelandic
Ken Park
Killing Season
Killing Them Softly
Kindergarten Cop
Kingpin
Koyaanisqatsi
Krippendorf's Tribe
Kiss the Girls
La Vie En Rose
Last Night
Last of the Dogmen
Leon: The Professional
Leonard Pt. 6
Les Miserables
Lie With Me
Life of Pi
Lincoln
Lions For Lambs
Little Children
Lord of the Rings Trilogy BR Extended
Lord of War
Lost Highway
Love and Other Drugs
Love in the Time of Cholera
Love Liza
Lovers of the Arctic Circle
Mad Max 1979
Mad Max 2 1981
Mad Max 3 1985
Major Payne
Malcolm X
Man on Fire
Manhunter
Maverick 1994
Meet Joe Black
Melancholia
Menace II Society DIrector's Cut 1993
Mesrine 1 Killer Instinct - French
Mesrine 2 Public Enemy - French
Milk
Minority Report
Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol
Mister Lonely
Money Train
Moonrise Kingdom
Moulin Rouge
Mr. and Mrs. Smith
****** By Numbers
Munich
My Sassy Girl 2008
Naqoyqatsi Life As War
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
National Treasure Book of Secrets
Never Cry Wolf
Never Let Me Go
New Jack City
New York I Love You
Night on Earth 1991 - Italian
Nixon
Not Fade Away
Notes on a Scandal
O Brother, Where Art Thou
October Sky
Olympus Has Fallen
Ondskan - Swedish
One False Move
Out of Africa
Outbreak
Palmetto
Paris Texas Criterion 1984
Passenger 57
Paths of Glory 1957
Perfect Sense
Peter Pan
Philadelphia 1993
Pinocchio
Pirate Radio
Platoon 1986
Pleasantville
*******
Project X 1987
Proof
Quiz Show
Rabbits
Revolver
Robocop Trilogy
Robot and Frank
Rolling Stone's Gimme Shelter
Romance and Cigarettes
Romeo and Juliet 1996
Sahara
Saving Private Ryan
Schindler's List
Searching For Bobby Fischer
Secretary, The
Seven Years in Tibet
Sgt. Bilko
Shame 2011
Shine
Shooter
Shopgirl
Sid and Nancy
Sin City
Sky Captain and The World of Tomorrow
Skyfall
Slackers
Sleepers
Sleeping Beauty 1959
Sleeping Beauty 2011
Sleepy Hollow
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Somewhere
South Central
Sphere
Spread
Spy Game
Stand Up Guys
Stay
Summer Hours - French
Sweeney Todd - The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Synecdoche, NY
Syriana
Talk To Her - Habla Con Ella
Taken 1 & 2
Takers
****
Taxidermia
Tetro
Thank You For Smoking
That Thing You Do!
The Adjustment Bureau
The Age of Innocence by Martin Scorcese 1993
The Bad Lieutenant - Port of Call New Orleans 2009
The Basketball Diaries
The Beach 2000
The Believer
The Beverly Hillbillies
The Black Dahlia
The Blue Lagoon 1980
The Book of Eli
The Boxer
The Constant Gardner
The Conversation
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Darjeeling Limited
The Dark Knight
The Dark Knight Rises
The Day of the Jackal
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
The Fifth Element
The Flock
The Flowers of War
The Fountain
The Getaway
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo 2011
The Golden Compass
The Good Shepherd
The Good The Bad and The Ugly
The Goonies
The Green Mile
The Grey
The Help
The Hudsucker Proxy
The Hurricane
The Hurt Locker
The Ice Storm
The Ides of March
The Illusionist
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
The Impossible
The Informers
The Invasion
The Iron Lady
The Island of Dr. Moreau
The Jackal
The ****
The Killer Inside Me
The Kingdom
The Legend of Bagger Vance
The Lost Boys
The Lost Boys The Tribe
The Lost Boys Thirst
The Machinist
The Mask
The Man Who Fell to Earth 1976
The Master
The Mechanic
The Money Pit
The Naked Gun 1
The Naked Gun 2
The Naked Gun 3
The New World
The Pelican Brief
The Place Beyond the Pines
The Prestige
The Queen
The Raven
The Reader
The Red Balloon
The Right Stuff
The Road
The Rock
The Rocketeer
The Rules of Attraction
The *** Diary
The Saint
The Shawshank Redemption
The Silence of the Lambs
The Skin I Live In - Mexican
The Soloist
The Talented Mr. Ripley
The Thin Red Line
The Town
Transformers Trilogy
The Tree of Life
Tron Legacy 2010
The United States of Leland
The Usual Suspects
The Way Back
There Will Be Blood
There's Something About Mary
Three Days of the Condor
Three Kings
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
To the Wonder
To Rome With Love

Tombstone
Total Recall 1990
Trainspotting
Trash Humpers
True Lies
Two Lovers
Two Weeks in September(Brigette Bardot) 1967
Tyrannosaur
Unbreakable
Uncle Buck
Unforgiven
Unleashed
Unstoppable
V for Vendetta
Varsity Blues
Vertigo
Vicky Christina Barcelona
Videodrome
Virtuosity
Wag the Dog
Wake Up Ron Burgundy The Lost Movie
Walkabout
Wall Street 1987
Wall Street 2010
Wanderlust
Water World
Wayne's World 1 & 2
We Are The Night
War Witch
We Need to Talk About Kevin
Weekend by Jean-Luc Godard - French
Weekend 2011
West of Memphis
What Doesn't **** You
What's Eating Gilbert Grape
When Harry Met Sally
Where the Wild Things Are
White House Down
White Material Criterion 2009
White Oleander
Who is Harry Nilsson?
Wolf 1992
Womb
You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger
Zardoz 1974


Documentaries & Music Videos


BBC - Life in Cold Blood
BBC - Planet Earth
BBC - Rolling Stones Crossfire Hurricane
BBC - Great Bear Steakout
BBC - Ice Age Giants
BBC - Insect Worlds
BBC - Life on Earth 1979
BBC - Lost Cities of the Ancients
BBC - Operation Snow Tiger
BBC - Penguins: Spy in the Huddle
BBC - Polar Bear: Spy on the Ice
BBC - Richard Hammond's Miracles of Nature
BBC - The Life of Birds
BBC - Wonders of Life
David Blaine Collection
**** Proenke Collection - Alone and Solitude, The Frozen North
Encounters at the End of the World 2007
Nanook of the North
National Geographic Wild Kingdom of the Oceans Giants of the Deep: Whales
Shine A Light - The Rolling Stones
Vladimir Horowitz - Der Ietzte Romantiker
Vladimir Horowitz - Live in Vienna 1987
Vladimir Horowitz - The 1968 TV Concert
Whale Adventure with Nigel Marvin
It is full winter now:  the trees are bare,
Save where the cattle huddle from the cold
Beneath the pine, for it doth never wear
The autumn’s gaudy livery whose gold
Her jealous brother pilfers, but is true
To the green doublet; bitter is the wind, as though it blew

From Saturn’s cave; a few thin wisps of hay
Lie on the sharp black hedges, where the wain
Dragged the sweet pillage of a summer’s day
From the low meadows up the narrow lane;
Upon the half-thawed snow the bleating sheep
Press close against the hurdles, and the shivering house-dogs creep

From the shut stable to the frozen stream
And back again disconsolate, and miss
The bawling shepherds and the noisy team;
And overhead in circling listlessness
The cawing rooks whirl round the frosted stack,
Or crowd the dripping boughs; and in the fen the ice-pools crack

Where the gaunt bittern stalks among the reeds
And ***** his wings, and stretches back his neck,
And hoots to see the moon; across the meads
Limps the poor frightened hare, a little speck;
And a stray seamew with its fretful cry
Flits like a sudden drift of snow against the dull grey sky.

Full winter:  and the ***** goodman brings
His load of ******* from the chilly byre,
And stamps his feet upon the hearth, and flings
The sappy billets on the waning fire,
And laughs to see the sudden lightening scare
His children at their play, and yet,—the spring is in the air;

Already the slim crocus stirs the snow,
And soon yon blanched fields will bloom again
With nodding cowslips for some lad to mow,
For with the first warm kisses of the rain
The winter’s icy sorrow breaks to tears,
And the brown thrushes mate, and with bright eyes the rabbit peers

From the dark warren where the fir-cones lie,
And treads one snowdrop under foot, and runs
Over the mossy knoll, and blackbirds fly
Across our path at evening, and the suns
Stay longer with us; ah! how good to see
Grass-girdled spring in all her joy of laughing greenery

Dance through the hedges till the early rose,
(That sweet repentance of the thorny briar!)
Burst from its sheathed emerald and disclose
The little quivering disk of golden fire
Which the bees know so well, for with it come
Pale boy’s-love, sops-in-wine, and daffadillies all in bloom.

Then up and down the field the sower goes,
While close behind the laughing younker scares
With shrilly whoop the black and thievish crows,
And then the chestnut-tree its glory wears,
And on the grass the creamy blossom falls
In odorous excess, and faint half-whispered madrigals

Steal from the bluebells’ nodding carillons
Each breezy morn, and then white jessamine,
That star of its own heaven, snap-dragons
With lolling crimson tongues, and eglantine
In dusty velvets clad usurp the bed
And woodland empery, and when the lingering rose hath shed

Red leaf by leaf its folded panoply,
And pansies closed their purple-lidded eyes,
Chrysanthemums from gilded argosy
Unload their gaudy scentless merchandise,
And violets getting overbold withdraw
From their shy nooks, and scarlet berries dot the leafless haw.

O happy field! and O thrice happy tree!
Soon will your queen in daisy-flowered smock
And crown of flower-de-luce trip down the lea,
Soon will the lazy shepherds drive their flock
Back to the pasture by the pool, and soon
Through the green leaves will float the hum of murmuring bees at noon.

Soon will the glade be bright with bellamour,
The flower which wantons love, and those sweet nuns
Vale-lilies in their snowy vestiture
Will tell their beaded pearls, and carnations
With mitred dusky leaves will scent the wind,
And straggling traveller’s-joy each hedge with yellow stars will bind.

Dear bride of Nature and most bounteous spring,
That canst give increase to the sweet-breath’d kine,
And to the kid its little horns, and bring
The soft and silky blossoms to the vine,
Where is that old nepenthe which of yore
Man got from poppy root and glossy-berried mandragore!

There was a time when any common bird
Could make me sing in unison, a time
When all the strings of boyish life were stirred
To quick response or more melodious rhyme
By every forest idyll;—do I change?
Or rather doth some evil thing through thy fair pleasaunce range?

Nay, nay, thou art the same:  ’tis I who seek
To vex with sighs thy simple solitude,
And because fruitless tears bedew my cheek
Would have thee weep with me in brotherhood;
Fool! shall each wronged and restless spirit dare
To taint such wine with the salt poison of own despair!

Thou art the same:  ’tis I whose wretched soul
Takes discontent to be its paramour,
And gives its kingdom to the rude control
Of what should be its servitor,—for sure
Wisdom is somewhere, though the stormy sea
Contain it not, and the huge deep answer ‘’Tis not in me.’

To burn with one clear flame, to stand *****
In natural honour, not to bend the knee
In profitless prostrations whose effect
Is by itself condemned, what alchemy
Can teach me this? what herb Medea brewed
Will bring the unexultant peace of essence not subdued?

The minor chord which ends the harmony,
And for its answering brother waits in vain
Sobbing for incompleted melody,
Dies a swan’s death; but I the heir of pain,
A silent Memnon with blank lidless eyes,
Wait for the light and music of those suns which never rise.

The quenched-out torch, the lonely cypress-gloom,
The little dust stored in the narrow urn,
The gentle XAIPE of the Attic tomb,—
Were not these better far than to return
To my old fitful restless malady,
Or spend my days within the voiceless cave of misery?

Nay! for perchance that poppy-crowned god
Is like the watcher by a sick man’s bed
Who talks of sleep but gives it not; his rod
Hath lost its virtue, and, when all is said,
Death is too rude, too obvious a key
To solve one single secret in a life’s philosophy.

And Love! that noble madness, whose august
And inextinguishable might can slay
The soul with honeyed drugs,—alas! I must
From such sweet ruin play the runaway,
Although too constant memory never can
Forget the arched splendour of those brows Olympian

Which for a little season made my youth
So soft a swoon of exquisite indolence
That all the chiding of more prudent Truth
Seemed the thin voice of jealousy,—O hence
Thou huntress deadlier than Artemis!
Go seek some other quarry! for of thy too perilous bliss.

My lips have drunk enough,—no more, no more,—
Though Love himself should turn his gilded prow
Back to the troubled waters of this shore
Where I am wrecked and stranded, even now
The chariot wheels of passion sweep too near,
Hence!  Hence!  I pass unto a life more barren, more austere.

More barren—ay, those arms will never lean
Down through the trellised vines and draw my soul
In sweet reluctance through the tangled green;
Some other head must wear that aureole,
For I am hers who loves not any man
Whose white and stainless ***** bears the sign Gorgonian.

Let Venus go and chuck her dainty page,
And kiss his mouth, and toss his curly hair,
With net and spear and hunting equipage
Let young Adonis to his tryst repair,
But me her fond and subtle-fashioned spell
Delights no more, though I could win her dearest citadel.

Ay, though I were that laughing shepherd boy
Who from Mount Ida saw the little cloud
Pass over Tenedos and lofty Troy
And knew the coming of the Queen, and bowed
In wonder at her feet, not for the sake
Of a new Helen would I bid her hand the apple take.

Then rise supreme Athena argent-limbed!
And, if my lips be musicless, inspire
At least my life:  was not thy glory hymned
By One who gave to thee his sword and lyre
Like AEschylos at well-fought Marathon,
And died to show that Milton’s England still could bear a son!

And yet I cannot tread the Portico
And live without desire, fear and pain,
Or nurture that wise calm which long ago
The grave Athenian master taught to men,
Self-poised, self-centred, and self-comforted,
To watch the world’s vain phantasies go by with unbowed head.

Alas! that serene brow, those eloquent lips,
Those eyes that mirrored all eternity,
Rest in their own Colonos, an eclipse
Hath come on Wisdom, and Mnemosyne
Is childless; in the night which she had made
For lofty secure flight Athena’s owl itself hath strayed.

Nor much with Science do I care to climb,
Although by strange and subtle witchery
She drew the moon from heaven:  the Muse Time
Unrolls her gorgeous-coloured tapestry
To no less eager eyes; often indeed
In the great epic of Polymnia’s scroll I love to read

How Asia sent her myriad hosts to war
Against a little town, and panoplied
In gilded mail with jewelled scimitar,
White-shielded, purple-crested, rode the Mede
Between the waving poplars and the sea
Which men call Artemisium, till he saw Thermopylae

Its steep ravine spanned by a narrow wall,
And on the nearer side a little brood
Of careless lions holding festival!
And stood amazed at such hardihood,
And pitched his tent upon the reedy shore,
And stayed two days to wonder, and then crept at midnight o’er

Some unfrequented height, and coming down
The autumn forests treacherously slew
What Sparta held most dear and was the crown
Of far Eurotas, and passed on, nor knew
How God had staked an evil net for him
In the small bay at Salamis,—and yet, the page grows dim,

Its cadenced Greek delights me not, I feel
With such a goodly time too out of tune
To love it much:  for like the Dial’s wheel
That from its blinded darkness strikes the noon
Yet never sees the sun, so do my eyes
Restlessly follow that which from my cheated vision flies.

O for one grand unselfish simple life
To teach us what is Wisdom! speak ye hills
Of lone Helvellyn, for this note of strife
Shunned your untroubled crags and crystal rills,
Where is that Spirit which living blamelessly
Yet dared to kiss the smitten mouth of his own century!

Speak ye Rydalian laurels! where is he
Whose gentle head ye sheltered, that pure soul
Whose gracious days of uncrowned majesty
Through lowliest conduct touched the lofty goal
Where love and duty mingle!  Him at least
The most high Laws were glad of, he had sat at Wisdom’s feast;

But we are Learning’s changelings, know by rote
The clarion watchword of each Grecian school
And follow none, the flawless sword which smote
The pagan Hydra is an effete tool
Which we ourselves have blunted, what man now
Shall scale the august ancient heights and to old Reverence bow?

One such indeed I saw, but, Ichabod!
Gone is that last dear son of Italy,
Who being man died for the sake of God,
And whose unrisen bones sleep peacefully,
O guard him, guard him well, my Giotto’s tower,
Thou marble lily of the lily town! let not the lour

Of the rude tempest vex his slumber, or
The Arno with its tawny troubled gold
O’er-leap its marge, no mightier conqueror
Clomb the high Capitol in the days of old
When Rome was indeed Rome, for Liberty
Walked like a bride beside him, at which sight pale Mystery

Fled shrieking to her farthest sombrest cell
With an old man who grabbled rusty keys,
Fled shuddering, for that immemorial knell
With which oblivion buries dynasties
Swept like a wounded eagle on the blast,
As to the holy heart of Rome the great triumvir passed.

He knew the holiest heart and heights of Rome,
He drave the base wolf from the lion’s lair,
And now lies dead by that empyreal dome
Which overtops Valdarno hung in air
By Brunelleschi—O Melpomene
Breathe through thy melancholy pipe thy sweetest threnody!

Breathe through the tragic stops such melodies
That Joy’s self may grow jealous, and the Nine
Forget awhile their discreet emperies,
Mourning for him who on Rome’s lordliest shrine
Lit for men’s lives the light of Marathon,
And bare to sun-forgotten fields the fire of the sun!

O guard him, guard him well, my Giotto’s tower!
Let some young Florentine each eventide
Bring coronals of that enchanted flower
Which the dim woods of Vallombrosa hide,
And deck the marble tomb wherein he lies
Whose soul is as some mighty orb unseen of mortal eyes;

Some mighty orb whose cycled wanderings,
Being tempest-driven to the farthest rim
Where Chaos meets Creation and the wings
Of the eternal chanting Cherubim
Are pavilioned on Nothing, passed away
Into a moonless void,—and yet, though he is dust and clay,

He is not dead, the immemorial Fates
Forbid it, and the closing shears refrain.
Lift up your heads ye everlasting gates!
Ye argent clarions, sound a loftier strain
For the vile thing he hated lurks within
Its sombre house, alone with God and memories of sin.

Still what avails it that she sought her cave
That murderous mother of red harlotries?
At Munich on the marble architrave
The Grecian boys die smiling, but the seas
Which wash AEgina fret in loneliness
Not mirroring their beauty; so our lives grow colourless

For lack of our ideals, if one star
Flame torch-like in the heavens the unjust
Swift daylight kills it, and no trump of war
Can wake to passionate voice the silent dust
Which was Mazzini once! rich Niobe
For all her stony sorrows hath her sons; but Italy,

What Easter Day shall make her children rise,
Who were not Gods yet suffered? what sure feet
Shall find their grave-clothes folded? what clear eyes
Shall see them ******?  O it were meet
To roll the stone from off the sepulchre
And kiss the bleeding roses of their wounds, in love of her,

Our Italy! our mother visible!
Most blessed among nations and most sad,
For whose dear sake the young Calabrian fell
That day at Aspromonte and was glad
That in an age when God was bought and sold
One man could die for Liberty! but we, burnt out and cold,

See Honour smitten on the cheek and gyves
Bind the sweet feet of Mercy:  Poverty
Creeps through our sunless lanes and with sharp knives
Cuts the warm throats of children stealthily,
And no word said:- O we are wretched men
Unworthy of our great inheritance! where is the pen

Of austere Milton? where the mighty sword
Which slew its master righteously? the years
Have lost their ancient leader, and no word
Breaks from the voiceless tripod on our ears:
While as a ruined mother in some spasm
Bears a base child and loathes it, so our best enthusiasm

Genders unlawful children, Anarchy
Freedom’s own Judas, the vile prodigal
Licence who steals the gold of Liberty
And yet has nothing, Ignorance the real
One Fraticide since Cain, Envy the asp
That stings itself to anguish, Avarice whose palsied grasp

Is in its extent stiffened, moneyed Greed
For whose dull appetite men waste away
Amid the whirr of wheels and are the seed
Of things which slay their sower, these each day
Sees rife in England, and the gentle feet
Of Beauty tread no more the stones of each unlovely street.

What even Cromwell spared is desecrated
By **** and worm, left to the stormy play
Of wind and beating snow, or renovated
By more destructful hands:  Time’s worst decay
Will wreathe its ruins with some loveliness,
But these new Vandals can but make a rain-proof barrenness.

Where is that Art which bade the Angels sing
Through Lincoln’s lofty choir, till the air
Seems from such marble harmonies to ring
With sweeter song than common lips can dare
To draw from actual reed? ah! where is now
The cunning hand which made the flowering hawthorn branches bow

For Southwell’s arch, and carved the House of One
Who loved the lilies of the field with all
Our dearest English flowers? the same sun
Rises for us:  the seasons natural
Weave the same tapestry of green and grey:
The unchanged hills are with us:  but that Spirit hath passed away.

And yet perchance it may be better so,
For Tyranny is an incestuous Queen,
****** her brother is her bedfellow,
And the Plague chambers with her:  in obscene
And ****** paths her treacherous feet are set;
Better the empty desert and a soul inviolate!

For gentle brotherhood, the harmony
Of living in the healthful air, the swift
Clean beauty of strong limbs when men are free
And women chaste, these are the things which lift
Our souls up more than even Agnolo’s
Gaunt blinded Sibyl poring o’er the scroll of human woes,

Or Titian’s little maiden on the stair
White as her own sweet lily and as tall,
Or Mona Lisa smiling through her hair,—
Ah! somehow life is bigger after all
Than any painted angel, could we see
The God that is within us!  The old Greek serenity

Which curbs the passion of that
Selena Oct 2014
adj. wandering alone*

She felt the wind rustle her hair
As the falling leaves caught her eye
He allowed the drizzle to graze his skin
As umbrellas popped up on his sides

The grass was soft between her toes
As the pebbles were firm beneath his heel
She absorbed the vastness of the land
And he wandered around his city of steel

Leaning back into the tree’s embrace
Her gaze landed on a flower of white and gold
He listened to the drone of an airplane above them
As he stopped for a while on the side of the road

She closed her eyes
And allowed the quiet calm her
Basking in the rush of the metro
His nerves bubbled with adventure

While she inhaled, she thought of a boy
Whose eyes lit up like street lamps
With a smile that would make it through
The rain that had his clothes soaked and his hair damp

And she wondered if he would
Think of a girl
With flowers in her hair
If he’d take her hand
Look her in the eye and say
Let’s go someplace, anywhere

They’d hike up a mountain
Or weave through the subway
Maybe visit a museum
Or huddle under a tree on a windy day

But today she was here and was comfortable
In her field by herself
And he was calm and content
On the sidewalk with everyone else

A companion would come one day or another
Right now she was happy to be alone
As he was thrilled to be among hundreds
Yet still be on his own.
Hasan Maruf Apr 2017
The last kiss from you
Lasted like a huddle in
The snow blitz
Rocking my anatomy
In the frosty glitz

The last words from you
That barged in my eardrum
You were in a hurry
To smell a new leaf
Draped in a diamond dew

The last gifts from you
Was an instrument
Which still I use
To recognize people
Or to refuse!

The last time
You said I love you
I remember I was laughing
Hysterically as if I was watching
Jared Leto’s jaded mimicry of Joker in YouTube

Intriguingly, when the last time I saw you ****
It felt like pretty Ivanka’s embarrassment
Noticing her dad is a lewd

The last time I was chatting
With you on Facebook
I was wondering why
I shouldn't hack your account?
To check your inbox

Yea, it was filled with the message of *******
F- Bombs, **** shaming and tagging you as harlot
All they were asking was your service of escort
Either in full discount or in hefty cash drops!

The last time I wrote
A letter of love to you
I discovered my Keyboard
Began to blurt out
No more, No more, No more…

The last time I had a chit-chat
With you in the Burger King or Pizza Hut
I listened to your hissing clack-clack
That someone else has become your puppy cat…

The last time I became sick
When I was with you
I heard you threw a party
Where you were whispering
To your besties, how
I become your double whammy!

The last time I was
With you in the bed
I felt like I was indentured
To **** a dummy toy
Sans spirit and flesh!

Loving you was like
Santa Claus gifted me
With a Pandora’s Box
As soon as I opened it
You decided to release
Our *** tape of your having ******
In pornhub’s forum of interracial!

The last time I heard of you
Is that you were giving an interview
To The Cosmopolitan’s board of review

Facing the barrage of inquisitions
You calmly joked, the series
Of latest uproar about you
In the social media or Internet
Is because certain people always
Love to rave about Women’s body
Shoving in and out of their pigeonhole
With their one night stand queen trophy
To flavor your form in their fantasmic mouth

You also smirked in a raspy voice
Defiantly declaring “we (women)
Have been locked indoors
With no air, no food, no water”
My last boyfriend is also no exception
He certainly thinks I came this far
Through ******* and deception
Slightly anti feminist but a poem representing contemporaneity in our life in a balanced manner of looking into male female relationship.
SE Reimer Feb 2018
~

fowl flock to a gathering,
exactly why? no one knows.
an unkindness of ravens,
a ****** of crows;
a siege of blue heron,
gather geese in a horde;
seem to come in their sadness,
but stay for the show.
see swan sail in wedges,
jay scoff in their scold;
assembly, their strength,
nom de plume from of old.

ask me why do they gather?
could it be they’re unhappy?
might we also feel slighted,
a disservice agreed;
if our strength were declared
our insufficiency?
why do finches and
hummingbirds meet in a charm?
penguins, get to huddle,
and in happiness, those larks?

the cranes come in dances,
in company those parrots;
to parliaments owls,
in wisdom who-hoo-ing;
flamingoes to stand,
for an eagle’s convocation?
no, a nye’s not unpleasant,
for a pheasant you see;
and benign is a bevy,
quail flush neath a tree.

but, ’tis a bit scary,
lurking turkey in gangs,
hawk’s shadowy cast;
and warblers in confusion,
with buzzards in wake;
a wisp full of snipe,
whisp’ring, “good night”;
yet glorious are pelicans,
a squadron in flight;

and nothing so stirring, as
a starling’s constellation,
while an asylum’s
assembly for loons,
and a quarrel of sparrows,
are entirely drowned out,
by a drumming of peckers,
the wood kind, that is!

while sticks and stones,
may break all one’s bones;
those labels and words, do
leave a sting and a hurt;
all human, one race,
can unkindness defer,
diffusing by choosing,
our union assert!
but slinging maligning,
and kicking of dirt,
by abusers and losers,
let's leave for the birds!

~

*post script.

numerous fellow poets far more skilled than i, have posted a variety of well-written pieces using fowl flocking terminology. this is intended to be an assembly of the sometimes-silly, often-absurd and mostly-always-humorous assignments of those flocking terms, used in an imagined treatise about the hurtful labels we humans use to judge one another; labels that vilify, rather than unify.  for would not a battle that hasn’t any "winner" be far better fought hand-in-hand, than hand-to-hand?

terms for flocking fowl in order of use
(a few fowl have two flocking terms, and some flocking terms are claimed by two fowls)

an unkindness (ravens)
a ****** (crows)
a siege (herons)
a horde (geese)
a wedge (swans)
a scold (jays)
a charm (hummingbird, finches)
a huddle (penguins)
a happiness (larks)
a dance (cranes)
a company (parrots)
a parliament (owls)
a stand (flamingos)
a convocation (eagles)
a nye (pheasants)
a bevy (quail)
a flush (also quail)
a cast (hawks)
a gang (turkeys)
a wisp (snipes)
a squadron (pelicans)
a confusion (warblers)
a wake (buzzards)
an asylum (loons)
a constellation (starlings)
a quarrel (sparrows)
a drumming (woodpeckers)

oh yes, there are many more.  i'd love to see your favorite(s) left in the comments.
Steve (:
Keith Collard May 2013
"When it occurs to a man that nature does not regard him as important, and that she feels she would not maim the universe by disposing of him, he at first wishes to throw bricks at the temple, and he hates deeply the fact that there are no bricks and no temples.”

― Stephen Crane, The Open Boat

The Ocean Divorce

He rowed away from the sinking hulk. The sky was black, the ocean was black; the rocks emerging out of the inky-eerily-smooth ocean like demonic alters were black. But the ocean nocturne had parts discernible from each other by the same necrotic nuance of a corpse : the calm undulating surface had the stretching wrinkles as if a horde of ***** were trying to break through the skin surface with their claws--that was the waterline; the newly risen rocks were organs, emitting horrible sounds; the sky was the color of a mattress soaked with a rotting corpse--glimpses of white between rotted blackness.  The ocean divorced these survivors from their cruise-ship, and be-told them " you should have went down with the ship." For now, they were with a new family, up from the depths.

They saw their way through the blackness by occasional lightning strikes, stalking the ocean surface for conductive flesh as if a tornado of fifty thousand volts was dancing sinuously with her feet together and her hips out. If the girl at the bow could keep silent, and stop sobbing every time she glanced at the lightning, the rower could steer clear of swimming survivors trying to swamp their hard bottom survivor’s boat. The people in the water were silent and clamored helplessly and spasmodically , as if they were lobsters with the first feeling of heat in a ***.
Patches of white specks in the sky opened up momentarily over the fast moving black clouds, then closed up like clams.  The temporary skylight mixed with the stalking lightning gave visibility in momentary bursts similar to  muzzle flash in a dark room. The rock organs emerging out of the ocean had no nuance and could only be seen by the screams of survivors, who had swam to them for safety. The screams from the newly emerged rocks made the screams of the ships seem like hymns even when the ship split in half and tilted up its two plates—bow and stern--and scooted the sliding passengers into the blazing fire in the fuel and engine rooms as clams in the pan.

A scraping sound over-ruled the screams, they were grounding out on something sharp. The man rowing pressed the oars with all his might and pushed off it, before the rising altar capsized them. In such proximity to the rock all he could hear was "clacking," almost like the rocks were puckering their lips to kiss them repeatedly as if they were babies--and they were just as helpless and lost.

There were four of them in the boat, and they had room for more, but adrenaline made their decisions now. The boat began spinning in circles, as it did a while before, the rip currents tasting them and letting them go. Every time this happened the sobbing women would cry " Oh my God....Oh my God." The man to her left would only grip the gunwhale with alacrity as if he was going to jump out into the ocean. He could not take it, more so than the youngish women, but he was silent about it. The other man, aside from the rower would only stare at the floor, blinking with every lap kissing the bottom of the boat: such a thin piece of wood, separating the devouring liquid blackness from them.

The rower was in a reptilian state, row row, blink, look, row, grit......but slowly he was coming to himself again, with one thought, his son: my son is out there. His son had went into a separate life boat when the stricken vessel was splitting on the giant pitch fork rock that stabbed out of a suddenly black ocean under a suddenly dark sky.

After the rower's shoulder blades completed their circuitous route, an image would appear, then dissipate with a start of another row. But that image was of the last time he had seen his son, before they got onto the cruise liner. They were on a saltwater river, on vacation down the Cape, he had scolded his son harshly for being a… he snapped out of it with the begining of the next row.

He rowed because he was the strongest, and that strength told him to row, for it will sustain his mental vitality at the cost of his physical strength; and by comparison, it was working. The girl to the right of him, was shaking staring at the gunwale, the two men to her left were almost catatonic.

None would look to the horizon of black on black. The lightening cast shadows of the tall rocks they passed on the bottom of the boats making all of them look away, but there was nowhere to look. One of the men, realizing what the rower realized, looked around into the distance, watching the lightening sizzle around the surface like a tornado, watching the lightening was frightening at first but took him away from the mental reflection which was black lightening snake dancing on his closed eye lids.

The Starer looked at that Rower, and without words communicated the first intelligible message among them: keep rowing.

The Sobber, curled up into a fetal postion at a ghastly sound coming from a rock, it was people...not screaming, but people mumbling, babbling, even laughing as if at a cocktail party. Strange.

They hit another current and started spinning rapidly in circles, and that's when the third man became the Babbler. It was like they were loaded like a pinball, wound back, then shot forward on the undulating uncertainty that was this sea that now had a complexion more poisonous than Buckthorn ink. The man pulled up his oars.

Laughs, moans, and ******* noises enveloped them on this real life haunted ocean ride. They all cowered down, they could not look, it was dizzying, like spinning on a ***** inducing amusement park ride. The rock shadows flared on the boat like a flip book of devouring dark monsters. They all hugged eachother.

The Rower, was the first to wake, and notice, the sky was light. He bounce his head up hoping to see society, but alas, no, but they have ran ashore on some rocks just inside a calm clear cove, inky breakers were behind them. A rock island, like a pipe *****, speckled white and black was ahead of them. Over the island, the sky was overcast and still. The Starer looked back beyond the subtle silent breakers, it was black, and the lightening still danced. He looked back to the island.

" We found shore, didn't we, let's go, row, row...." she sobbed.

The Babbler, looked over the side at the clear water. He couldn't tell if it was ten or twenty feet, common to all oceanic still water. The bottom was completely covered in shells of all kinds, but mostly black and white. It looked inviting, and tranquil, and uplifted the Babbler to the Talker.

" Let's go, I'll row if you want--"

The Rower put his oars back in the water without saying anything and rowed toward the ***** shaped island.

They closed, and the Starer said: " look's like it is getting shallower." Then the girl stopped her sobs, and became the ' Complainer."

" Can't you row any faster, what if we get ****** out again...."

The Starer motioned for her to stop, the Rower was responsible for getting them here, and he knew it, and didn't want to change their luck now.

They were a clam skip away from a jagged low lining shoreline that had piers of rock, with coves in between them the length of rowboats. A shark’s ****** grin would be the islands perimeter from an aerial view.

That's when the Starer noticed the cove floor. Every time the Rower rowed, it looked as if he scraped the bottom sea floor. It looked scored, the clam shells moved aside. He took his finger and put it into the water, skimming as the boat moved. He looked aft of his trail; there was a line on the sea floor following his finger. " Must be an optical illusion," he thought.

The bow cracked on the first barnacled rock on dry ground. Well it was not completely dry, it was moist rock and crevice, sharp and inhospitable. The Complainer got out in a hysterical manner, and fell after her second step. She twisted her ankle and skimmed her knee drawing blood. A deafening sound came, almost like it was distant but not; of a mast being broken slowly and painfully broken, the sound was almost on their shoulders but they looked way off to the horizon for the source; the inky breakers of demarcation from the previous location of screams was the only thing they saw. Drip drop noises of an imperceptible ebb was the only sound now, and the survivors welcomed it as they looked away from the necrotic breakers.

" What the hell was that?" the Babbler said rhetorically.

The Rower helped up the woman, and they pulled the boat aboard the jagged shore. " Let's find some level ground for a fire, and look around," he said and they all complied, none of them looking back towards the breakers and the darkness, and it is unfortunate that they didn't.

The island was barren, not even a cave to shelter them from a damp wind, not chilling but heat sapping. They found some sandy level ground and sat in exhaustion.

" What is happening," mumbled the Babbler. None answered, it was immaterial, and dangerous to think of it. The Starer was the first to notice.

" Look at the shore line," he pointed, it was now covered in half shell clams, black and white. They were not there a moment before. A ******* sound, came from the area where the girl skimmed her knee.

" It has to be the tides....." said the Babbler.

" What are we gunna do, we need to build a fire, find food, to wait this out, WHAT IS OUR PLAN...." she yelled breaking the eerie silence.

" We'll build a fire with supplies from the boat, there's enough for some nights, and there is plentiful of shell fish to eat...." as the Rower said that, his stomach turned as he finished the sentence.

" Let's build a fire now, I’m feeling kind of chill, and weak..." said the Babbler. They all were feeling an invisible cold in their bones, not from the wind, but from the rocks, or shells. They made a fire, and huddled down together automatically without thinking. The dampness was unpleasant, the fire felt good. The huddling party looked like muscles clamped together on a rock: still, resting, and quiet. The Babbler was at the outer most of the huddle.

The Rower's dreams were still, quiet, with the occasional seaside cottage breeze. He was with his son, on a salt water river, in an alcove shaped like an L, and they both jumped down into it and the sun bleached stones "chinged" like a register. It was low tide, and he was forcing his son to walk to a sand bar, through the river--rich with life. His son was crying, a horseshoe crab had walked over his foot and a dead sand shark had floated by with a crab crawling out of its eye. " Go," he mouthed to his son, but his words were swept up by the wind. " Be a man, Go." He felt dangerously distant from his son, who was in the middle of the river away from him, and he missed him terribly but still he urged him on. Then the tide started coming in, and bubbled things started to emerge in the water, cries of his son were ate up by a clacking sound, he was so distant, yet he still urged him on. He looked to his right, a jagged sea wall of loose boulders now was opening and shutting like a clam bed posessed, an iron maidon of pinching points. His wife's shadow shone in front of him, her voice came above and behind him on top of the battered-splintered sea wall, the shadow said" That's the last straw, it's over."

He awoke to screams and babbles, and a horrified stare. They were surrounded by one shelled clams, and the Babbler had them up his leg, his arm and one side of his neck. " ahh, they are ....stinging.....me," he tried to pull one off, but it stretched his skin on his arm.

" Help me pull them off him," yelled the Starer at the Rower, and they pulled them off amid screams. Blood was gushing, as the foot or tongue of the soggy clams wiggled in open air. They removed them, and turned to their perimeter, the island was covered in clams making ******* noises.

She ran for the boat, stepping on clams, and picking up her shoe covered feet as if they were getting burned. They formed a boot on her shoe and calf, she tumbled and her face hit the shoreline, depressing into the still water. She moved her arms to her side, as if to do a push up, she struggled to lift her head, it was covered in clams. She gurgled through it and tried to pull them off. The party around the cindering fire just stood motionless. She fell back down, clanging her shell covered head off other shells, picking up more, she tried to raise herself once again, and then dropped her heavy head. She wasn't gurgling, but making moans, as if being caressed, she even rested her body comfortably.

" I can't ....I cat, I can't even see them move......" said the Babbler.

He was right, the clams moved as if they were still underwater, and you were reaching for them, but a wave ripple comes, and they are now more to the right, avoiding your hand.

The Rower started up the fire instinctively; they huddled to it, not speaking. The Babbler became the Trembler, the Starer the Blasempher, and the Rower the Unblinker.

He stared ahead, in a squint, almost like he donned an invisible visor, "hell, war, my son.....and demonic clams" were the words he kept thinking.

" We have to get to the boat, and get the **** out of here," said the Blasphemer despondently.

The Unblinker just staired at the black clouds beyond the breakers, with the lightning dancing gypsy-like and intermitted . He felt it through his pant leg, the cold soggy slush feeling. He looked down, a clam, had moved unnoticed right in front of his field of vision. He pulled at it, but he gave in to the pain, he felt another clam on his other leg, like a cold-squishy french kiss. But the longer they were there, the pain disapeared, and it felt like a warm caressing tongue, and it almost seemed like the sun was coming out on this desolate rock altar. But--he saw a vision of his son wading into the cove. Without looking he pulled the (now) three clams from him-self; his skin snapped back. He crushed the wagging tongued clams under foot. He looked to his side--

The Trembler, was covered, in a clam chain mail, he didn't have the power to pull them off, he became the Wobbler. " Jesus Christ , lets get to the ******* boat," said the Blasphemer.

He looked at the Blasphemer, he was pulling clams off painfully. The Wobbler looked like a Atlantean knight, that just walked out of the sea in his clam armour.

He took steps toward them, clanging his clam armour, with his arms out---

They ran down to the boat, running off a steep clam ridden rock that was once the Sobber--who was now clung with clams making ******* noises. Avoiding the water, the Unblinker made it fully into the row boat, but the Blasphemer's leg submerged into the still water. He screamed, and pulled his leg up then dropped it back down. Massive amounts of clams were forming a deadly anchor on his leg, and slowly ******* him in. He fell into the water as the Unblinker became the Rower again. He looked down at the Blasphemer's sunken shape slowly blending in with the cove's floor. His oars were becoming heavier and heavier; the boat was sinking down more into the waterline, the bottom of the boat was clung with clam also; he could barely move the oars, they clacked and ****** wildly as soon as they were brought out from the still water, as if sea kelp ridden with shrimp was stuffed in his ears. He could hear the sound of a giant mast breaking again, he knew instinctively now what that was, thousands if not millions of clams loosing one of their shells in anticipation of devouring flesh. He pushed off the rock jetty; he screamed and screamed.....row....scream......row..... and before he knew it, he was at deep water, and the clams were gone from his oars. "Thank God, for another second....."

He looked at the blackness beyond the breakers, the breakers that were like black fluid pouring slowly out of a cup into a cauldron, he thought of his son, and rowed into the blackness. He kept on thinking of his son, as he watched the shadows return on the bottom of the boat with the return of lightning stalking on the dark-still-ocean--his heart beat fast, but he was not dead, and he could see his son, he was out there, and
Jeremy Betts Feb 2018
Just look around you and you'll notice that every day there's another sucker born
Another mother fuucker trying to pick around the thorn
But there'll never be breath blown through the victory horn and there won't be one to worn
Cause the new norm is news meant to deform not to inform
Leaving only torn fragments of real mixed with lies, a new truth is born
And it's one that defies the meaning of truth so it's armor for our thoughts and soul that must be worn

Cause it's forced upon every sense, attached to ignorance, illegal for an opinion to be drawn
It's a new dawn where rational thinking is gone, new laws signed in crayon
And it doesn't matter what paawn gets passed the baton when an election comes along
Cause it was years ago that this corruption spawn with a freedom slogan button on
And it's the divide that's grown from a line to a deep chasm of a wide canyon
That'll be our legacy, the legend we pass on till we feel defeat and meet the same demise that fell upon Krypton

It's crazy how we as a society love to single out one to staple blame on, makes it simple
But every man that's held an oval as his office might as well have been a floating carcass, dead in the water from the get go
Don't just agree cause I said so, that's half the problem yo, go do your own research bro
And know that they fear intelligence so go gather up a couple library's full
And don't jump in half cockeed like you only got one teesticle
Give it your all, fuuck being humble, we keep this shiit up we're all in fuuckin trouble
So burst this bubble, let it trasnform to rubble, forget being subtle
It's time to break huddle and be a factor in this much needed rebuttal
Screamed in the face paced on this ancient government scandal

But fuuck it. I'm only one person and not the one to change it cause I'm not perfect
But my imperfectly perfect plan sits perched in dust, never to be touched like it's deadly sick
Like a dripping diick, you pretend you don't have it 'til the graphic turns horrific
Then they say it's fake news but you're looking at the problem, starring derectly at it
But it's me that's ignorant and insignificant? I see it different you one percenter priick

I have a thought, just a notion, top of my head, tell me what you think
How long can we survive on the brink? On a doomed vessel destined to sink?
Holding the knowledge of where the boat is weak, have known about the leak but putting off repairs till next week
We can see the old, rusty chain of command, it's obvious who's the weakest link
But if we the people aren't in sync we're all gonna drown in the drink
The spiked cool aids laid out just waiting for that sly wink
The nod to give the go-ahead once we're in to deep, swerling round the bottom of the sink

But there's more of us then them so I say we push back
Take the power that we hold off the rack, grow a pair of metaphorical baalls in a metaphorical nuut sack and attack
Put on Hatebreed as the soundtrack and dish out some payback
This is a call to all who can't just lay back like seats in a Maybach and watch the train skip off track
You don't need an almanac to predict this fact, the shiit storm is here, lead by a maniac
And if we don't take our country back then it's our fault, not theirs, that the future seems bleek and black
Let that fact sink in and fill the crack like plaque stacked from years of no contact
Then get back to me when you see clearly that the peace tready that was eagerly signed so freely is actually a death contact

You can't dispute that once you've read the small print on the back of this sinister contract
And realize we've given to much slack but we do hold the rains, we must pull back
But mustn't hold back, can't afford to hoard the ball and record a sac
It's already fourth down and forever, standing in our own in zone taking the snap
A hail Mary is our only hope, but it might be crazy enough to be the key to the exact play we need to get the lead back
We lose this game and that's it, no respawn, no next season to fall back on, blap, extinction just like that
But fuuck that **** Jack, I'll fight till my last breath escapes me, I ain't going out like that
Can't give up with my back turned to a population under attack
Cowering in a ransacked bomb shelter resembling the shrieking shack
Can't do it, no matter our differences no one deserves that
But I'm going to need all the help I can get to keep this flaming wreckage off the tarmac

So please, as soon as the Kodak filters been lifted and you see the mess that we've been gifted
You'll come join the million other kindred spirits that have enlisted
No longer tainted by politicians political poison, no longer frightened
Instead, our ability to sift through the ******* has been heightened
With no blinders I'm enlightened now, our vision has readjusted, the true path brightened
Our senses now sharp as a tack like they've been augmented, you look frightened
And I'm ready to attack, take our lives back, combat tested
And mother approved, well connected, you've been vetted
And we've all come to the conclusion that it's time this reign of terror ended
Way past time for this regime to be upended
Quickly removed and  permanently suspended
Only then can we drop the act, we won't need to pretend
And we can say, "
bluestarfall Apr 2015
I have been living in these huts lately,
As this life seems aimless and desultory,
Slowly flowing like the splash of drops over the board,
Hallelujah . For me, it's still our God's handwritten story.

Two cents quietly sit in my little pockets ,
And they still fit perfectly in each,
Same as our feelings, as they huddle around our hearts,
Occupying the bijou portions and trying not to leach.

I will hold on till the day, staggering away,
In my tattered clothes, till the color withers and my story stales,
Lingering in the huts, with a hue of nostalgia,
Ailing but not wailing, after a series of massive fails.

Before God finishes writing my story,
I believe he will hand me the pen, its a fact, not a lie,
And with you by my side, I will scribble my glory,
I'll dress you your Gossamer, and myself a Suit and a tie.
There is always a story written for everyone, and as they say, there is always a room for improvement too. Stay fearless and set your mark. Don't let the silence or the hardships alter your way.
Daniel Tabone Jan 2015
Huddle on a sofa,
Watching some TV,
Reading a book,
With a cup of tea;

The wind is blowing,
The hail is thumping against the windows,
Lightning and thunder light up the house,
I thank the god that I am indoors;

Wood burning,
Fire crackling,
The smell of oak
Is so relaxing;

This is what makes my house a home,
This is what fills my heart with hope;
Grahame Jun 2014
’Twas in the nineteen-twenties, when young people were bright and gay,
A flapper left Southampton, on a cruiser bound for Bombay.
Her fiancé was a subaltern, in India, in the cavalry,
And she had taken passage there, intending, him to marry.

She shared a cabin with a girl, ’cause money was quite tight,
And though they had met as strangers, they were getting on all right.
The flapper had met some nice people, and things were going fine,
Until they reached the equator, and had to ‘cross the line’.

People who before, had never the equator crossed,
Paraded around in fancy dress, and some into the pool were tossed.
The crew were dressed as pirates, and one as King Neptune,
And some of the passengers ‘walked the plank’, it was all done in fun.

During the proceedings, cocktails and champagne were drunk,
And the pirates, lots of passengers, into the pool did dunk.
The flapper’s chosen costume was that of a mermaid,
And with her legs placed in the tail, she hopped in the parade.

Because of her restricting costume, she hadn’t been tossed in the pool,
Now eventime was coming on, the air was turning cool.
She thought she’d look at the wake of the ship, so she hopped to the after-rail,
And stood there drinking a Planter’s Punch, whilst balancing on her tail.

Standing there, under the stars, she gazed down at the sea,
And saw something jump out of the water and wondered what it could be.
Then, leaning over further, to try to make it out,
She lost her balance and fell overboard, no time to even shout.

She crashed to the water on her front, and couldn’t clearly think.
She was winded and rather drunk, because of all the drink.
She struggled hard to keep afloat, her arms were all a-flail,
And for a time she was helped by air trapped in the tail.

Back on board the ship, her cabin-mate was drunk,
And didn’t think that she’d be able to get back to her bunk.
She went to a saloon, and stretched out on a sofa,
Then closed her eyes and went to sleep, the drunken little loafer.

In the morning she awoke and staggered to her berth,
With a frightful headache, no longer full of mirth.
She took some Alka Seltzer, in a glass of water,
Then slept again, not missing the flapper, although she should have ought to.

In the sea the flapper was floundering and thought that drowned she’d be.
The ship showed no sign of turning back, and went on its way steadily.
Her tail was slowly losing air and filling up with sea,
Her last thoughts, as she started to sink, were, “Why is this happening to me?”

Her past life flashed before her eyes, it didn’t take too long.
She’d really led a quiet life, and had done nothing wrong.
“That, I’ll rectify,” she thought, “if ever I get back.”
Then the air bubbled out of her lungs, and everything went black.

“Am I in heaven?” were her first thoughts, assuming she was dead.
When she heard a quiet voice, which unto her, it said
“I thought you were a mermaid, now I think you’re a mortal,
If I’d known, I never would have brought you through my portal.”

The flapper struggled to sit up straight, ’cause her legs were still in the tail.
She opened her eyes, tried to see in the gloom, and then she started to wail.
“Please tell me just where I am, whatever is this place?”
Then she tried hard not to scream, when in front of her eyes loomed a face.

In the dark it seemed to glow with a phosphorescent light,
And this was the reason it had given her such an awful fright.
Then, as she scrutinised it, she thought it did look kind,
So asked, “Why did you think me a mermaid? Are you out of your mind?”

The face moved back and regarded her, and then to her it said,
“Aren’t you at all curious to find you are not dead?
Luckily for you I was on the surface, looking at your ship,
When I saw you standing staring down, and then I saw you slip.”

“I swam back under the water, so I would not be seen,
And heard you splashing in the water, and wondered what it did mean.
Then, looking at you from beneath, as you your arms did flail,
I saw to my surprise, that instead of legs, you’d a tail!”

“I could not work out why a mermaid was on that boat,
Nor why you seemed to not be able to swim or even float.
Then you started sinking and your gills I couldn’t see,
And you obviously weren’t breathing, so you needed help from me.”

“Then I thought of the quickest way that your life I could save.
I towed you to the sea-bed, and brought you to my cave.
There is lots of air in here and I saw to my relief,
When I laid you on my bed, you started then to breathe.”

The flapper was quite shocked at this and couldn’t believe her ears.
She thought she was trapped with a lunatic and her mind was filled with fears.
So sitting up, she undid the belt that held her tail on tight,
Then wiggled a bit and pulled it off so her legs were now in sight.

“There are no such things as mermaids!” the flapper then did shout.
“Why are you keeping me captive? Oh won’t you let me out?”
“You really are then human,” the mermaid, startled, said,
“And I brought you here inside my home! I really feel afraid.”

“I don’t believe in mermaids,” the flapper again did wail.
“So far I’ve only seen your face, I haven’t seen a tail.”
The mermaid said, with trembling voice, “If that is what you wish.”
She then lay back upon the bed, and gave her tail a swish.

“No, no, it’s just your fancy dress, like mine for the parade,”
The flapper said, and like the mermaid, she was sore afraid.
They both sat up and looked at each other,  tears running down their faces,
And each, feeling sorry for the other, each, the other embraces.

As they hugged together, they started to calm down,
And the flapper said to the mermaid, “I think that you have shown
Great compassion in saving me and bringing me safely here.”
And though overcome by emotion, she managed to sound sincere.

The mermaid said, “You’re trembling, may I be so bold
As to ask if you’re still frightened?” The flapper said, “I’m cold.
I’m shivering to warm myself, my clothes are chilly and wet.”
The mermaid told her, “I know what, some dry clothes I will get.”

Sliding down from off the bed, into a pool she slipped,
And swam to the far side of the cave, and there a case she gripped.
Rolling over onto her back, she balanced it on her chest,
Then swam back to the flapper, who hoped it hadn’t squashed her breast.

The flapper helped to lift the heavy case onto the bed.
“I hope you haven’t hurt yourself bringing it here,” she said.
“Oh no,” replied the mermaid, “I’m stronger than I look,”
Then she opened it, and from the inside, several garments took.

The flapper then looked thoughtful and said, with a little frown,
“I hope this case hasn’t come from someone who did drown.”
“Oh no!” said the mermaid, as she that thought abhored,
“I often find stuff from ships that has fallen overboard.”

The flapper quickly then took off all her sodden clothes,
And picked up a lace hankie, and on it blew her nose.
She dried herself upon a towel, and sorting out clothes to wear,
Picked out some silken knickers and a strapless brassiere.

Then the flapper noticed that the mermaid was quite bare.
She obviously wouldn’t wear knickers, so she held out the brassiere.
“What is that?” the mermaid asked, “Do you wear it on your head?”
“Turn around, lift up your arms and I’ll show you,” the flapper said.

The mermaid swivelled round and raised her arms up high,
While the flapper knelt behind her, putting her arms round her to try
To fit her with the brassiere, and though she did her best,
She managed, inadvertently, in each hand to clasp a breast.

The flapper and the mermaid both froze there in that place.
The flapper felt a crimson flush, blush across her face.
The mermaid slowly lowered her arms, each covered a flapper’s hand,
And she murmured, “What are you doing? I just don’t understand.”

The flapper’s arms were locked in place and the mermaid she leant back.
The flapper felt her ***** flattened as the mermaid squashed her rack.
The mermaid muttered, “Don’t get dressed, I’ve a better idea instead.
Why don’t we lie down together? I’ll warm you up in bed.”

The mermaid released the flapper’s hands and slowly turned around.
Then she saw the flapper’s eyes looking down upon the ground.
The flapper spoke. “I know you meant the offer kindly, though
While I’m really flattered, in India, I’ve a beau.”

“I was on my way to meet him at Bombay, to be married.
I’d still be on my way there, if the cruise had not miscarried.
You have been so kind to me and managed to save my life,
Now will you help me on my way so I can be a wife?”

The mermaid looked unhappy, however, she concurred,
Albeit quite reluctantly, and then spoke so she’d be heard,
“I will try to help you, though yet we must delay.
There will be many sharks outside at this time of day.”

“If I take you outside now, to try to get you back,
There’s a real chance that the sharks they will attack.
Why don’t you finish drying yourself and find clothes to get dressed,
Then lie back down upon the bed and try to get some rest?”

The flapper started dressing and put on the brassiere,
And helped the mermaid put one on, who felt awkward not being bare.
When the flapper stood up, and stepped into the knickers,
The mermaid couldn’t help but stare, her eyes made up-and-down flickers.

“Please show me how you use your legs,” the mermaid did implore,
“It’s strange to see you standing up,  not lying on the floor.”
The flapper bent and stretched her knees to show how they did work.
Then turned around and squatted down and got her *** to twerk.

Then as the flapper, legs apart, upon the bed did kneel,
The mermaid, stretching out her arm, between those legs did feel.
And then very slowly, rubbed her hand forth and back,
And murmured, “It must feel very strange, because a tail you lack.”

The flapper, with a quavering voice, said, “It’s quite normal for me.
Now, though, what about you? May I your tail closely see?”
And with that, the flapper stretched out flat upon the bed,
Then on the mermaid’s tail, gently rested her head.

She put her hand upon the tail and stroked it up and down,
And feeling it crissate, gave a little frown.
It felt smooth when caressed downwards and rough the other way,
And then the mermaid arched her back and suddenly did spray.

From somewhere at the tail’s front squirted forth a spout.
That the mermaid did enjoy it, the flapper was not in doubt.
The liquid jet subsided and the mermaid gave a moan,
And a quite delightful odour suffused throughout the room.

The fluid showered the flapper, who wasn’t sure what to do.
Though when she wiped her hair, it foamed up like shampoo.
She rubbed it to a lather, and washed her body too,
And felt totally refreshed, as though she had washed in dew.

She stood, removed her underwear, because she thought she ought to
Rinse off the mermaid’s glorious shower by washing in some water.
She walked to a fissure in the cave where the water ran down in rills,
And as she rinsed her face and neck, she felt a pair of gills.

In shock she stumbled backwards and fell upon the floor,
Where her legs fused into a tail, which wasn’t there before.
She looked at it in horror and then with fear she cried,
When instantly, the mermaid lay down by her side.

The mermaid clasped her in her arms and rolling across the floor,
Pulled the flapper to the edge of the pool and pushed her in, before
Sliding in to the water herself, and pulling the flapper under,
Where, to her surprise, the flapper could breathe, it really was a wonder.

The flapper hung suspended, floating there in shock,
Then gradually realising she was all right, started to take stock.
Thinking that now, perhaps, she could swim just like a fish,
She gathered up her strength, and gave her tail a swish.

Unwittingly, she flapped her tail with all the strength she’d got,
And happening to be facing the cave door, right through it she shot.
Then coming out in daylight, she stared in disbelief
At all the spectacular marine life round about the reef.

There was coral in profusion, as far as the eye could see,
Of many shapes and colours, like a garden beautifully
Laid out on the sea-bed, with fishes swimming round,
Each of them making it their home; the sea-life did really abound.

The mermaid caught up with the flapper and took her by the hand,
Then said to her, “I’m confused, I just don’t understand
How you became a mermaid, then I saw you couldn’t breathe,
So I pushed you underwater, to try to give you ease.”

“I realised that you’d grown gills and couldn’t breathe in air,
So I thought that being in water was best, because it’s where
We mermaids live, so that is the place you had better be.”
“Thank you, you’ve saved my life again,” said the flapper gratefully.

Then, although still puzzled, they swam on, hand-in-hand,
The mermaid helping the flapper, ’til she could understand
How to use her tail well, to control where she did swim,
And to make fine adjustments, by using the tail’s fin.

Eventually the flapper grew tired, so to the cave they both swam back,
The flapper taking the lead, because she’d got the knack
Of how to control her tail, and adjust direction and speed,
Then a thought suddenly struck her, in air, her lungs she would need.

They reached the cave and while in the pool, the flapper to the mermaid said,
“How am I going to breathe back in air? I can’t get it into my head.”
The mermaid replied, “I think you should try, we mermaids can manage ok.
Just try to do what comes naturally, that will be the best way.”

“In for a penny, in for a pound,” bravely declared the flapper.
She hauled herself out, then she choked, the mermaid, on her back did slap her.
The flapper coughed, and gave a gasp, then shouted in relief,
“I think I’m going to be all right, my lungs have started to breathe.”

They both lay there in silence, thinking of what had passed.
Then the flapper turned to the mermaid, and she said, “These last
Few hours I’ve spent with you have been just like a dream.
Now I’m tired, shall we go to bed? I think you know what I mean!”

They pulled themselves into the bed, and together they did huddle.
The mermaid put her arms round the flapper and together they did cuddle.
And this time, as the two of them laid together in rest,
It was now the mermaid who cupped the flapper’s breast.

The mermaid asked, “Remember when you stroked my tail and I gushed?”
The flapper felt embarrassed and again on her face she blushed.
The mermaid said, “It was really nice, wouldn’t you like to try?”
The flapper replied, “I’m afraid it’s too late, and here’s the reason why.”

“That would be an experience I’d really like to try.
However, it is too late now, ’cause as my tail got dry,
I felt it metamorphosise, have a feel, I beg.”
The mermaid reached down with her hand, and felt the flapper’s leg.

Nevertheless, she stroked it, and rubbed it up and down,
And accidentally touched some hair, which caused her then to frown.
“I think you’ve got a problem, you’d best hear it from me.
Stuck between your legs, I think there’s a sea anemone.”

The flapper remembered the last time that the mermaid there had felt.
She’d had on silken *******, so had seemed smooth and svelte.
Now, she’d got her legs back which were absolutely bare,
And of course, instead of feeling silk, the mermaid felt her hair.

“That’s not an anemone, in fact, it is my......frizz.
I am used to it being there, that’s just the way it is.
I try to keep it neatly trimmed, so there is not a lot,
Besides, I think it’s there to protect the entrance of my grot.”

“When you say you’ve got a grot, I assume you mean a cave.
Is it as big as this one, holding all the treasures you have?”
The flapper answered the mermaid, “Oh no, it’s very small,
And held safe within it is my most precious possession of all.”

“I have carefully guarded it so that it won’t get lost.
I expect my husband to have it soon, a few weeks at the most.
And so, my dearest mermaid, until I am a bride,
Nobody will ever know just what I keep inside.”

The mermaid gently smoothed the ‘frizz’, and said, “I understand.
Now, don’t you think it’s time we got you back to land?”
I would like to help you, and I think I know a way
Of quickly getting you safely all the way to Bombay.”

“Thank you,” responded the flapper, “however, if we may,
I’d like to go to another port, one before Bombay.
Then, if at all possible, I can rejoin my cruise ship there,
And may I take some of your clothes, so I’m not on
Since that Day when you gave your Best Cuddle
That Winner you saw on your Left Eye's speak
You chanted your Last Blessing; And in Huddle
Breathed to him a Promise never foreseen
It was your Spirit, infused into his Heart
The kind where your Values gave their Best Brew
And to him, Fortune's Delight would impart
The Greatest Message he had since did knew
I only realised once you left this Earth
How my own Dad reached out and hugged me Dear
I gave this back, crying for Month's own Worth
Hoping you return for another Year.
He needs your Cuddle again, Sir; Just because
He may have missed it; A Medal at Loss.
#tomdaleytv #tomdaley1994
Third Eye Candy Jul 2018
This Love Song seemed like a safe place to unpack my ****.
But a safe place is where Lyrics go to die.
And this is Not a Song.

and it starts like this. all the time.


II

i fella sleep in a widdle boat and told a seagull that i was having a dream
about talking to seagulls and he was astonished to have the pleasure of meeting a boat
that had the good sense to plug the hole with a poet…. because they never wake up
and they do so with extreme prejudice. that simply screams Resident.
In Fact!

He’d never even seen a boat. So there’s THAT. I offered Seagull “ The Cool -Side of The Pillow. “
So I could sit upright for a moment and jot this down. He was like “ What’s a pillow? “
And I had no idea what it was that brushed against my legs
but It was There. then It was Gone. when i stopped using the metaphor.


I was treading a fathom
of pixie dust and transgender proto-gods, all cuddling in a huddle of metaphysics
as adorable as a radioactive abrupt

stop.



III

Ah yes… someone was cooking bacon… and bacon is sleep’s kryptonite. so the dream was a wrap.
and i had a bird’s nest woven from the silk of my discarded cocoon. codename: Chrysalis.
and my mouth was dry. a stubborn dry that follows a deluge of phantasmagoria  
on a Futon that is a God to cat hair. My Futon is Oblique and Omnipotent.
Apparently.

Uber Mecca for Cat Hair. I fell asleep on that.
Aayush Vasudeva Jun 2015
As the sun rose up and the stars came down,
Morning dawned upon the town,
but the darkness didn't fade, as something came along,
To finally right the drought's wrong

Temperature dropping, birds chirping,
Thunder roared, as the aves beat wing after wing,
The scent of fresh mud clouded our nostrils,
and the crashing of water droplets had our ears filled

We ran as our footwear pounded the drenched land,
Only to notice the street dogs huddle under shelter,
Shaking themselves to get rid of body sand,
and expose their glossy fur

Soon enough, mother nature ended the delightful downpour,
Leaving us craving for more,
but the best part is the fact that monsoon has just begun,
So leave a smile on that face, for things are still great without the sun!!
Terry O'Leary Oct 2013
The Bishops bathe in Babylon
while Princes, prancing on the lawn,
watch Queen deflowered, pale and wan.
            The King dares not defend her.

The Horsemen, holding broken reins
the Morning of the Hurricanes,
sigh “it’s no use, it’s all in vain,
            the Saints will soon surrender”.

They wonder why they ever came,
they have No One whom they can blame,
they have no face, they have no name,
            and even less, a gender.


The empty-handed Vagabonds
smoke stale cigars, stroke faded Blondes
while waiting at the walls beyond,
            but kneel as Chaos enters.

They’re gazing through the window panes
in hopes that distant Hurricanes
will twist and break their iron chains
            defying life’s tormentors.

The Fantom of the Opera frowns
as feeble minded Cleric-clowns
mouth hollow hurdy-gurdy sounds
           when blessing doomed dissenters.


The Pirate wields a wooden leg,
with pupils dull and visage vague,
and if by chance he spreads the plague,
            it really doesn’t matter.

His Princess, pale, no longer feigns,
foresees instead (down ancient lanes)
the coming of the Hurricanes -
            the Stones stir, staring at her.

And Jackals scrape the river bed
as Savants soothe the underfed
and Crows, collecting scattered bread,
            adorn, with crumbs, the platter.


The Jokers Wild and One Eyed Janes
weep, winding up in rundown trains
mid whispers of the Hurricanes,
            and Priests refuse to christen.

They’re fleeing from the Leprechauns,
the cuckoo birds, the dying swans;
while pitching pennies into ponds
            their eyes opaquely glisten.

The spectral Clocks with spindled spokes
remind the Mimes to tell the  Folks
the time of day and other jokes,
            yet No One looks to listen.


The Hunchbacks with contorted canes
galumph before the Hurricanes,
in melted sleet, in frozen rains,
            in bruised and battered sandals.

Their Groans engulf the land of gulls,
the land of stones, the land of nulls,
and lurk between the blackened lulls,
            for Nighttime brooks no candles.

Their prayers to Dogs and Nuns and Dukes,
(and other long forgotten Spooks)
are more than random crazed rebukes,
            though taunting to the Vandals.


The Beggars ’neath the balustrades,
and broken Children, Chambermaids,
are running wild from wraiths, afraid
            of dreams where death redoubles.

They fritter time with tattered threads
(from ragged clothes they’ve left in shreds),
crocheting hoods to hide their heads
            and faces, full of rubble.

But many things will not remain
the Morning of the Hurricanes,
when goblets filled with cool champagne
           evaporate in bubbles.


The White-Robed Maid adorns the trash
with charnel urns awash in ash,
then fumbles with an untied sash
            while pacing in the Palace.

Her hopes congeal in coffee spoons
with memories adrift in dunes;
yet, still she smiles with teeth like prunes
            and lips of painted callus.

And long before the midnight drains,
the Saviour wakes, the Loser gains,
the waters of the Hurricanes
            will fill her empty chalice.


The storm (behind the clarinets,
the silver flutes, the castanets,
the foghorns belching in quartets,
            the bagpipes, puffed and swollen)

is keeping time to tambourines
while Tom Thumb and the Four-Inch Queen,
pick up the shards and smithereens
            of moments lost or stolen.

They’re trekking through the Dim Domains
(where fountains weep, the mountain wanes),
yet can’t escape the Hurricanes
            with trundling eyes patrollin’.


The Crowds (arrayed in jewels) in jails,
stoop, peering through a fence of nails
while light behind their eyeballs pales
            with plastic flame that sputters.

They huddle there because they must
(with eyelids hung like peeling rust,
their tears, palled pellets in the dust),
            behind the bolted shutters.

They’ll reawake without their pains
the Morning of the Hurricanes,
without their sores, without their stains,
their agonies will fill the drains
            and overflow the gutters.
Simon Clark Aug 2012
CHRISTMAS PARADISE

The table was filled with lots of things to eat,
Mince Pies, Stuffing, Turkey and many other meats,
A candle in the centre to flicker out its gold,
A special time for all of us to cherish and to hold.

Everyone pulls a ******* and wears their hats with pride,
As they sit around the burning logs warming all inside,
But through the window they can see a chestnut skating on the ice,
It tries to break through the frozen sheet to a Christmas paradise.

The singers are singing their tunes of Christmas dreams,
So that everybody's hearts and eyes can gleam,
The ribbon that will lie stretched out across the floor,
Will be forever engraved to our minds and deep within our core.

From every house along their street giggling can be heard,
And silent prayers are spoken but God hears every word,
To sprinkle merriment upon their place if only for one day,
So that they can celebrate Christmas in their own special way.

ONE ENCHANTED DAY

I looked from the window on a misty Christmas morn,
The fog was thicker than it had ever been before,
It was cold and quiet and all around my house,
Nothing appeared cheerful not even the decorated tree,
The fairy she looked glumly down,
And the baubles hung their heads in shame,
The tinsel draped all carelessly among the fading lights,
Above the fire there stood one solitary card from someone I once knew.

Around the foot of my Christmas tree not a gift awaited me,
Santa forgot to visit and it all seems so lonely,
I was beginning to despair that this was just another day,
But along came an angel and this she said to me,
I'll give you a tree with decorations so bright and a mantle full of cards,
If you'll enjoy this special day with every inch of your heart,
And so now my Christmas is full of cheer, saved from heartbreak and despair,
I thank the moon and all the stars for my one enchanted day.

SANTA HOPPED ONTO HIS SLEIGH

Santa hopped onto his sleigh with his sack of treats,
Working hard and happy to deliver to the streets,
He carried with him gifts of gold, gifts of card and gifts of cheese,
In answer to the kiddies� wishes for around their Christmas trees.

Santa hopped onto his sleigh pulled by Reindeers strong,
There was Comet and there was Blitzen on his journey long,
Rudolph led the team of merry deer, his nose a shiny red,
While Santa glided down the chimneys - the children still in bed.

Santa hopped onto his sleigh running as fast as he could,
With Donner, Dancer and ***** he knew they'd do what they should,
Old Dasher and Reindeer Cupid flew Santa to the skies,
So that to every little girl and boy he could bring a surprise.

Santa hopped onto his sleigh with thoughts for everyone,
He knew he had to finish soon as he saw the rising sun,
High into the clouds they soared leaving only a jangling bell,
Removing all traces of his presence so that no one on Earth could tell.

SPARE A THOUGHT

As you sit there feeding your face full of seconds and thirds,
And opening gifts that you may not deserve,
There is a place where Santa won't go,
The doorways and steeples with people freezing below,
They only know its Christmas because the streets are so bare,
But on this day of happiness - who will show them some care?

So spare a thought this Christmas, spare a thought please do,
Spare a thought this Christmas for those less fortunate than you.

As we sit here laughing and falling asleep before the screen,
And eating lots more pudding - some with extra cream,
There is a place where Reindeer won't tread,
In the shelters and the hideaways filled with loneliness and dread,
They heard about a Christmas in a "once upon a time",
But on this day of indulgency - who will put their own greed on the line?

So spare a thought this Christmas, spare a thought please do,
Spare a thought this Christmas for those less fortunate than you.

As you secretly think of the things Christmas didn't bring to you,
And thinking of seasonal games for you to play and do,
There is a place so lost that Santa cannot find,
Just a box of cardboard where hope gets left behind,
They were told that Christmas was just around the corner,
It's a day that never comes - who will stand and be more than a mourner?

So spare a thought this Christmas, spare a thought please do,
Spare a thought this Christmas for those less fortunate than you.

So spare a thought this Christmas, spare a thought please do,
Spare a thought this Christmas for those less fortunate than you.

STOCKINGS

Timmy had a stocking hung from his bedroom door,
He wished that it be filled with things he'd never had before,
Maybe a toy soldier beating his drum,
Maybe a model sailor drinking his bottle of ***,
He hoped for a motorcar that could speed around his house,
Or maybe a cuddly toy the image of Mickey Mouse.

He hoped that Father Christmas would bring something for his mum,
Maybe a freshly baked cake or something filled with plum,
A brand new box of magic tricks for my brother Sam,
And a gift for dad to show how grateful I really am,
And Timmy hoped that his dog wouldn't be missed out,
Cause Rover would be sad and blue on Christmas day, no doubt.

Timmy was always thinking of others not only of himself,
That�s why he left a small token for Santa on the shelf,
There was plate filled with cookies - the ones with the choc-chip,
And there was some brandy to keep out the cold - just a little nip,
He also left a bag of many little snacks,
For all the hungry reindeer that'd help fly Santa back.

THE MEANING OF THIS CHRISTMAS

As you huddle beneath your Christmas tree,
Amidst a flame of warmth,
Opening presents, sharing presents, and sharing laughter too,
Remember the meaning of this Christmas is love and joy - peace, happiness for you.

Try to know the story of a baby that was born,
In a manger bed from a woman pure as snow,
Her husband he watched lovingly,
As he calmly cooled her brow.

On that starry night three wise travellers appeared,
Bearing gifts of golden wonder,
Without a need for return,
They sought only a moment with a new life that to this Earth He placed.

And now two thousand years away,
Let's try to recall the message of Christmas,
As we fill our plates with plenty - turkey and chocolate treats,
Singing carols and dancing alive with glee.

Try not to be contented with an overwhelming greed,
Look within your heart and see what you really need,
Is it music? Is it toys? Is it the latest craze?
Learn to embrace a loved one without a possession haze.

Hear the silent footsteps of the men, who travelled all night,
See the snowflakes drifting down from the heavens above,
A reminder to us all,
The meaning of this Christmas my dear, it must be love.

THE ROBIN

Is it the distant whisper of a thousand tiny bells?
Or is it the carolling that tells us when it starts?
I wish for the knowledge from many wishing wells,
I now know when Christmas arrives from the beating of my heart.

It's the day when first you see a robin perched upon a tree,
When you hear his little chirping from a snow covered branch,
You'll see his red breast moving in time with your heartbeat so free,
Be it snowy, be it wet, be it sunny, be it cold - I'll know from the robin on my ranch.

He comes my way each Christmas week and settles in his nest,
It's then I'll know that my sweet family will arrive,
And bring with them such hilarity that makes me truly blessed,
So I raise up my eyes to God and give thanks that I'm alive.

THE SNOWMAN COMES TO LIFE

Little Josephine spent yesterday outside,
She darted through the streets feeling snow under foot,
Her face shone out delight; her smile couldn't hide,
Nothing could ***** the blanket of white not even the blackness of soot,
So she found a silent spot, a space open wide,
A place to build her snowman, where he could always stay put.

She built him high and tall, as tall as her legs would allow,
She made him round and whole with a face that looked so proud,
Now the snow had settled down, it lay upon the bough,
She drew his eyes from coal and a mouth to laugh aloud,
She gave him nose of carrot, hat and scarf but darkness fell and go, she had to now,
She told the snowman she'd return tomorrow, this with crossed heart she vowed.

Home she ambled to her sleepy room to lay down her sweet head,
In her silent sleep that night the wondrous dreams she had,
She saw her snowman come to life and dance, not sit, around instead,
She watched him smile and seeing him fly - it all just made her glad,
In her books and stories a tale like this she'd never read,
She knew it was a dream yet she wasn't sad, the visions she saw were good - not bad.

Little Josephine returned the very next day,
Her snowman was gone the sunshine was here,
Her eyes welled up - her tongue no words to say,
The hat and scarf still on the ground showed nothing was to fear,
For in her mind she knew he'd visit - he would find a way,
If he couldn't get back inside, she'd made memories to recall each and every year.

TWO LOVERS HOLDING HANDS

Two lovers holding hands across the table,
Share this Christmas time,
Something simple no fancy foods,
Not concerned with wine,
They focus on the laughter, on the pleasure of this day,
As their smiles intertwine.

They take an elegant candle and place it in the mud,
They light the wick and out its fire shines bright,
There material belongings for which they will not care,
As they rest their heads on the carpet of endless white,
Holding each other tight they'll gaze beyond the stars,
Nothing will matter as their souls become one this Christmas night.

Two lovers holding hands for eternity,
Sharing each Christmas time,
Something precious and something true,
No concerns for design,
They focus on the sharing, on the wonder of each day,
As their lives will suddenly be defined.
Written in 2004
Jillian Jesser Nov 2015
shirelles
monday night
alone in a big house
light the candles
another one of my rituals
born one hour,
dead the next
to make room
for other
prayers
postures
pen tips
but the way candles
flicker in the sweet
soul
is not another ritual
warm life
to the tune of golden
notes
swimming through
once bleak
     once empty
once impure
       air
and suddenly, I am baptized
more than I ever was
in that sterile, dead
chlorine
    more than spent hymns
in drafty cathedrals
       so, the sound lives.


my bed would tilt
           at twelve years old
I'd wake
               startled of the
                       psychic death
spread like bodies after
            a paid for war
I'd scream like the cats
              fighting by the window
at my aunts house
               I would huddle with
my childhood
                     hiding from the puberty
that stalked me
like a jungle cat
               the mind reeled with
my spent pulse and
                 at night
                        under shamed
                   covers
                                 bitten fingertips
the white light
           on the street
                              looking on
Millicent hid a rotted tooth with her pretty hand , schemed every whimsical , nervous smile .. St. Patricks medallion hung prominent at the neckline , Millie scribbled in black marker on a company name tag ..
Her back to the building at closing time , an occasional laugh , whispering in a co-workers ear like girls do sometimes , glowing in the realm of a yellow security light .. Locked in brief thought , waiting for her ride home ...
Copyright February 8 , 2016 by Randolph L Wilson * All Rights Reserved
“After we were clear of the river Oceanus, and had got out into
the open sea, we went on till we reached the Aeaean island where there
is dawn and sunrise as in other places. We then drew our ship on to
the sands and got out of her on to the shore, where we went to sleep
and waited till day should break.
  “Then, when the child of morning, rosy-fingered Dawn, appeared, I
sent some men to Circe’s house to fetch the body of Elpenor. We cut
firewood from a wood where the headland jutted out into the sea, and
after we had wept over him and lamented him we performed his funeral
rites. When his body and armour had been burned to ashes, we raised
a cairn, set a stone over it, and at the top of the cairn we fixed the
oar that he had been used to row with.
  “While we were doing all this, Circe, who knew that we had got
back from the house of Hades, dressed herself and came to us as fast
as she could; and her maid servants came with her bringing us bread,
meat, and wine. Then she stood in the midst of us and said, ‘You
have done a bold thing in going down alive to the house of Hades,
and you will have died twice, to other people’s once; now, then,
stay here for the rest of the day, feast your fill, and go on with
your voyage at daybreak tomorrow morning. In the meantime I will
tell Ulysses about your course, and will explain everything to him
so as to prevent your suffering from misadventure either by land or
sea.’
  “We agreed to do as she had said, and feasted through the livelong
day to the going down of the sun, but when the sun had set and it came
on dark, the men laid themselves down to sleep by the stern cables
of the ship. Then Circe took me by the hand and bade me be seated away
from the others, while she reclined by my side and asked me all
about our adventures.
  “‘So far so good,’ said she, when I had ended my story, ‘and now pay
attention to what I am about to tell you—heaven itself, indeed,
will recall it to your recollection. First you will come to the Sirens
who enchant all who come near them. If any one unwarily draws in too
close and hears the singing of the Sirens, his wife and children
will never welcome him home again, for they sit in a green field and
warble him to death with the sweetness of their song. There is a great
heap of dead men’s bones lying all around, with the flesh still
rotting off them. Therefore pass these Sirens by, and stop your
men’s ears with wax that none of them may hear; but if you like you
can listen yourself, for you may get the men to bind you as you
stand upright on a cross-piece half way up the mast, and they must
lash the rope’s ends to the mast itself, that you may have the
pleasure of listening. If you beg and pray the men to unloose you,
then they must bind you faster.
  “‘When your crew have taken you past these Sirens, I cannot give you
coherent directions as to which of two courses you are to take; I will
lay the two alternatives before you, and you must consider them for
yourself. On the one hand there are some overhanging rocks against
which the deep blue waves of Amphitrite beat with terrific fury; the
blessed gods call these rocks the Wanderers. Here not even a bird
may pass, no, not even the timid doves that bring ambrosia to Father
Jove, but the sheer rock always carries off one of them, and Father
Jove has to send another to make up their number; no ship that ever
yet came to these rocks has got away again, but the waves and
whirlwinds of fire are freighted with wreckage and with the bodies
of dead men. The only vessel that ever sailed and got through, was the
famous Argo on her way from the house of Aetes, and she too would have
gone against these great rocks, only that Juno piloted her past them
for the love she bore to Jason.
  “‘Of these two rocks the one reaches heaven and its peak is lost
in a dark cloud. This never leaves it, so that the top is never
clear not even in summer and early autumn. No man though he had twenty
hands and twenty feet could get a foothold on it and climb it, for
it runs sheer up, as smooth as though it had been polished. In the
middle of it there is a large cavern, looking West and turned
towards Erebus; you must take your ship this way, but the cave is so
high up that not even the stoutest archer could send an arrow into it.
Inside it Scylla sits and yelps with a voice that you might take to be
that of a young hound, but in truth she is a dreadful monster and no
one—not even a god—could face her without being terror-struck. She
has twelve mis-shapen feet, and six necks of the most prodigious
length; and at the end of each neck she has a frightful head with
three rows of teeth in each, all set very close together, so that they
would crunch any one to death in a moment, and she sits deep within
her shady cell thrusting out her heads and peering all round the rock,
fishing for dolphins or dogfish or any larger monster that she can
catch, of the thousands with which Amphitrite teems. No ship ever
yet got past her without losing some men, for she shoots out all her
heads at once, and carries off a man in each mouth.
  “‘You will find the other rocks lie lower, but they are so close
together that there is not more than a bowshot between them. [A
large fig tree in full leaf grows upon it], and under it lies the
******* whirlpool of Charybdis. Three times in the day does she
***** forth her waters, and three times she ***** them down again; see
that you be not there when she is *******, for if you are, Neptune
himself could not save you; you must hug the Scylla side and drive
ship by as fast as you can, for you had better lose six men than
your whole crew.’
  “‘Is there no way,’ said I, ‘of escaping Charybdis, and at the
same time keeping Scylla off when she is trying to harm my men?’
  “‘You dare-devil,’ replied the goddess, you are always wanting to
fight somebody or something; you will not let yourself be beaten
even by the immortals. For Scylla is not mortal; moreover she is
savage, extreme, rude, cruel and invincible. There is no help for
it; your best chance will be to get by her as fast as ever you can,
for if you dawdle about her rock while you are putting on your armour,
she may catch you with a second cast of her six heads, and snap up
another half dozen of your men; so drive your ship past her at full
speed, and roar out lustily to Crataiis who is Scylla’s dam, bad
luck to her; she will then stop her from making a second raid upon
you.
  “‘You will now come to the Thrinacian island, and here you will
see many herds of cattle and flocks of sheep belonging to the sun-god-
seven herds of cattle and seven flocks of sheep, with fifty head in
each flock. They do not breed, nor do they become fewer in number, and
they are tended by the goddesses Phaethusa and Lampetie, who are
children of the sun-god Hyperion by Neaera. Their mother when she
had borne them and had done suckling them sent them to the
Thrinacian island, which was a long way off, to live there and look
after their father’s flocks and herds. If you leave these flocks
unharmed, and think of nothing but getting home, you may yet after
much hardship reach Ithaca; but if you harm them, then I forewarn
you of the destruction both of your ship and of your comrades; and
even though you may yourself escape, you will return late, in bad
plight, after losing all your men.’
  “Here she ended, and dawn enthroned in gold began to show in heaven,
whereon she returned inland. I then went on board and told my men to
loose the ship from her moorings; so they at once got into her, took
their places, and began to smite the grey sea with their oars.
Presently the great and cunning goddess Circe befriended us with a
fair wind that blew dead aft, and stayed steadily with us, keeping our
sails well filled, so we did whatever wanted doing to the ship’s gear,
and let her go as wind and helmsman headed her.
  “Then, being much troubled in mind, I said to my men, ‘My friends,
it is not right that one or two of us alone should know the prophecies
that Circe has made me, I will therefore tell you about them, so
that whether we live or die we may do so with our eyes open. First she
said we were to keep clear of the Sirens, who sit and sing most
beautifully in a field of flowers; but she said I might hear them
myself so long as no one else did. Therefore, take me and bind me to
the crosspiece half way up the mast; bind me as I stand upright,
with a bond so fast that I cannot possibly break away, and lash the
rope’s ends to the mast itself. If I beg and pray you to set me
free, then bind me more tightly still.’
  “I had hardly finished telling everything to the men before we
reached the island of the two Sirens, for the wind had been very
favourable. Then all of a sudden it fell dead calm; there was not a
breath of wind nor a ripple upon the water, so the men furled the
sails and stowed them; then taking to their oars they whitened the
water with the foam they raised in rowing. Meanwhile I look a large
wheel of wax and cut it up small with my sword. Then I kneaded the wax
in my strong hands till it became soft, which it soon did between
the kneading and the rays of the sun-god son of Hyperion. Then I
stopped the ears of all my men, and they bound me hands and feet to
the mast as I stood upright on the crosspiece; but they went on rowing
themselves. When we had got within earshot of the land, and the ship
was going at a good rate, the Sirens saw that we were getting in shore
and began with their singing.
  “‘Come here,’ they sang, ‘renowned Ulysses, honour to the Achaean
name, and listen to our two voices. No one ever sailed past us without
staying to hear the enchanting sweetness of our song—and he who
listens will go on his way not only charmed, but wiser, for we know
all the ills that the gods laid upon the Argives and Trojans before
Troy, and can tell you everything that is going to happen over the
whole world.’
  “They sang these words most musically, and as I longed to hear
them further I made by frowning to my men that they should set me
free; but they quickened their stroke, and Eurylochus and Perimedes
bound me with still stronger bonds till we had got out of hearing of
the Sirens’ voices. Then my men took the wax from their ears and
unbound me.
  “Immediately after we had got past the island I saw a great wave
from which spray was rising, and I heard a loud roaring sound. The men
were so frightened that they loosed hold of their oars, for the
whole sea resounded with the rushing of the waters, but the ship
stayed where it was, for the men had left off rowing. I went round,
therefore, and exhorted them man by man not to lose heart.
  “‘My friends,’ said I, ‘this is not the first time that we have been
in danger, and we are in nothing like so bad a case as when the
Cyclops shut us up in his cave; nevertheless, my courage and wise
counsel saved us then, and we shall live to look back on all this as
well. Now, therefore, let us all do as I say, trust in Jove and row on
with might and main. As for you, coxswain, these are your orders;
attend to them, for the ship is in your hands; turn her head away from
these steaming rapids and hug the rock, or she will give you the
slip and be over yonder before you know where you are, and you will be
the death of us.’
  “So they did as I told them; but I said nothing about the awful
monster Scylla, for I knew the men would not on rowing if I did, but
would huddle together in the hold. In one thing only did I disobey
Circe’s strict instructions—I put on my armour. Then seizing two
strong spears I took my stand on the ship Is bows, for it was there
that I expected first to see the monster of the rock, who was to do my
men so much harm; but I could not make her out anywhere, though I
strained my eyes with looking the gloomy rock all over and over
  “Then we entered the Straits in great fear of mind, for on the one
hand was Scylla, and on the other dread Charybdis kept ******* up
the salt water. As she vomited it up, it was like the water in a
cauldron when it is boiling over upon a great fire, and the spray
reached the top of the rocks on either side. When she began to ****
again, we could see the water all inside whirling round and round, and
it made a deafening sound as it broke against the rocks. We could
see the bottom of the whirlpool all black with sand and mud, and the
men were at their wit’s ends for fear. While we were taken up with
this, and were expecting each moment to be our last, Scylla pounced
down suddenly upon us and snatched up my six best men. I was looking
at once after both ship and men, and in a moment I saw their hands and
feet ever so high above me, struggling in the air as Scylla was
carrying them off, and I heard them call out my name in one last
despairing cry. As a fisherman, seated, spear in hand, upon some
jutting rock throws bait into the water to deceive the poor little
fishes, and spears them with the ox’s horn with which his spear is
shod, throwing them gasping on to the land as he catches them one by
one—even so did Scylla land these panting creatures on her rock and
munch them up at the mouth of her den, while they screamed and
stretched out their hands to me in their mortal agony. This was the
most sickening sight that I saw throughout all my voyages.
  “When we had passed the [Wandering] rocks, with Scylla and
terrible Charybdis, we reached the noble island of the sun-god,
where were the goodly cattle and sheep belonging to the sun
Hyperion. While still at sea in my ship I could bear the cattle lowing
as they came home to the yards, and the sheep bleating. Then I
remembered what the blind Theban prophet Teiresias had told me, and
how carefully Aeaean Circe had warned me to shun the island of the
blessed sun-god. So being much troubled I said to the men, ‘My men,
I know you are hard pressed, but listen while I tell you the
prophecy that Teiresias made me, and how carefully Aeaean Circe warned
me to shun the island of the blessed sun-god, for it was here, she
said, that our worst danger would lie. Head the ship, therefore,
away from the island.’
  “The men were in despair at this, and Eurylochus at once gave me
an insolent answer. ‘Ulysses,’ said he, ‘you are cruel; you are very
strong yourself and never get worn out; you seem to be made of iron,
and now, though your men are exhausted with toil and want of sleep,
you will not let them land and cook themselves a good supper upon this
island, but bid them put out to sea and go faring fruitlessly on
through the watches of the flying night. It is by night that the winds
blow hardest and do so much damage; how can we escape should one of
those sudden squalls spring up from South West or West, which so often
wreck a vessel when our lords the gods are unpropitious? Now,
therefore, let us obey the of night and prepare our supper here hard
by the ship; to-morrow morning we will go on board again and put out
to sea.’
  “Thus spoke Eurylochus, and the men approved his words. I saw that
heaven meant us a mischief and said, ‘You force me to yield, for you
are many against one, but at any rate each one of you must take his
solemn oath that if he meet with a herd of cattle or a large flock
of sheep, he will not be so mad as to **** a single head of either,
but will be satisfied with the food that Circe has given us.’
  “They all swore as I bade them, and when they had completed their
oath we made the ship fast in a harbour that was near a stream of
fresh water, and the men went ashore and cooked their suppers. As soon
as they had had enough to eat and drink, they began talking about
their poor comrades whom Scylla had snatched up and eaten; this set
them weeping and they went on crying till they fell off into a sound
sleep.
  “In the third watch of the night when the stars had shifted their
places, Jove raised a great gale of wind that flew a hurricane so that
land and sea were covered with thick clouds, and night sprang forth
out of the heavens. When the child of morning, rosy-fingered Dawn,
appeared, we brought the ship to land and drew her into a cave wherein
the sea-nymphs hold their courts and dances, and
Terry O'Leary Dec 2013
Flings and wings and rings rejected…
Cupid’s arrows fly deflected…
“It clearly is too late” she signed, “to love, adore or pay me mind”

Penciled lines drew cruel conclusions
mocking mirror’s cracked illusions…
Sometimes, in time, I hang awhile, reflected in her parting smile

Drifting wan, below unheeding
worried, wounded suns a’ bleeding…
Struck dumb by night, no way to say “Let’s sound the stars another way”

Shaking sands frame distant smokestacks,
shanty towns, forsaken oak shacks…
Pursuing dusk, collapsed and dyed, the docile dolphin deftly stride
beyond behind the ebbing tide, towards One-Way Ships of sunken pride


Gypsy dreamer in denial…
Sleep and slumber standing trial…
I never really ever slept inside the cryptic walls she kept

Martian moons provoke the oceans…
Strange enchantments stir the potions…
The mutant molten purple skies ignite subconscious fireflies

Voiceless echoes feigning laughter…
Crushing quiet screaming after…
Vague vagaries pretend to sleep, my conscience crumbles in a heap

Startled stars at dawn are slacking…
Still her tempest sail is tacking…
In fractured dreams sere silhouettes blow foghorns, trumpets, clarinets…
Discarded glowing cigarettes tinge One-Way Ships with pale regrets


Cold cathedral clocks upended…
Frozen second hands suspended…
Beneath the gauze of time I try to while away somewhere nearby

Ticking-tocking time’s a’ tolling…
Cruel eternity’s cajoling…
The future, tattered, calls bereft, with nothing but her shadows left

Brigantines skim gated grottos…
Distant divas voice vibratos…
Though eons pass, then intermix, I’m trapped ’tween time’s untallied ticks

Conquered candles flicker faintly…
Braided tresses quiver quaintly…
Demystified, untamed in time, her face is traced in puppet mime…
Amorphous tongues of jangled rhyme hail One-Way Ships that glide sublime


Bolts of lightning flash unkindly…
******, alone, I huddle blindly…
I drain another dram and bray “she’s far too far too far away”

Twisted waterwheels a’ thirsting…
Flaming flower buds a’ bursting…
Adrift, I stagger far below their unchained magic rainbow glow

White crowned wave crests break unbounded…
Shackled seashore sands lie pounded…
Unleashed, beyond the bridled world, her silver sails, cut loose, unfurled

Captive bluebirds nest in baskets…
Morning glories cover caskets…
Wee ballerinas swirl and spin while giant jokers smirk and grin
and, wasted, I withdraw within carved One-Way Ships in flasks of gin


Hungary hounds harangue the highlands,
howl at skies and desert islands…
Below, unfettered carbon crows conceal the parting path she chose

Lighthouse lamps and lanterns lolling…
Mute abandoned fleets are calling…
The shallow shadowed portholes vaunt dim traces of the past that haunt

Curved magnetic curtained faces
yearn contorted brief embraces…
Her fairy-tale like tattoo touch was serpentine but soft as such

Coffee cups and spoons corroding…
Mystic tea leaves, visions boding…
A cabaret calls, standing bare, beneath a splintered footloose stair,
vain vapors drape her vacant chair in One-Way Ships beyond repair


Splattered days are dripping dreary…
Shattered nights are wearing weary…
Without her footfall at my side I steal away within to hide

Fancies flame, persist to flaunt her…
Wanton whispers hiss I want her…
Hyenas, haggard, held at bay, still gnaw on bones of yesterday

Graveled graveyards grey and ghastly…
Apparitions pacing past me…
The answers to my whys and sighs have veiled her limpid pale blue eyes

Lurid figments storm the valleys
****** the helms of spectral galleys…
The coughing phantoms at the wheel, they make it all seem so unreal…
Rebounding cracks of thunder’s peal, shake One-Way Ships while seagulls squeal


Yesterday’s unsung, unspoken…
Bygone paths fold, draped and broken…
The weary winds of winter cling to voiceless nightingales and sting

Desert blossoms growing colder…
Drifting sand dunes pause, enfold her…
An arctic kiss and blush revealed forbidden pipe dreams flung afield

Weeping willows’ wilting snow drops
drip on tips of tiny toe tops…
Their opal fires bleed and fade while suns explode in icy jade

Jagged hours hangin’ heavy…
Footsteps pace the barren levee…
While pros and cons and kings debate, acclaim and blame and fame equate
the ruin’s remnants left to fate with One-Way Ships that fail to wait


Blazing blades of love surrender…
Memories and thoughts transcend her…
The Persian gazer’s crystal shows I’ve truly lost my ruby rose

Buried deep in evening’s embers
dust forgets what flesh remembers…
The bitter taste of farewell’s haste has laid the ****** skies to waste

Ruffled ravaged ravens ranting…
Churlish ancient churchmen chanting
resounding what she told me true “There’s nothing more that you can do”

Trial adjourned by judge and jury…
Freed, she flees, absolved of worry…
Remaining runes and relics burn to feed the ashes of the urn…
Six seers, wiser, soon discern the One-Way Ships of no return
spysgrandson Jan 2013
The origin of spiritual sustenance is defined differently by each person. Most attribute it to a divine power or some God incarnate that helps us, limited corporeal beings that we are, relate to a deity or to the infinite. Like billions of other sentient souls, this is a way of "seeing" or believing that I have embraced on some level. However, when I ask myself what sustains me beyond this, I am taken down another path.

That path leads me to the crumbling adobe dwellings or sometimes to the freshly painted stucco buildings scattered across the great southwest. That path leads me to something more tangible or palpable than I can glean from traditional halls of worship. I am led instead to a simple yet profound vision--the sight of a hot plate of Mexican food.

Here is where a slight or perhaps dramatic shift in the way one thinks about the spirit is required. This is not necessarily a new concept but merely my take on it. You have all heard of "Soul Food" as it applies to the cuisine of the African American community or more generically in recent years, "comfort food". Also, some of you may recall me saying at one time or another, truly good junk food bypasses all vital organs and goes straight to the spirit. Let me clarify that last line--it is not that I believe the physical laws of the universe are suspended when one eats certain kinds of food—calories will still be consumed, the food digested and metabolized, etc. Instead, I believe, like so many things spiritual, eating Mexican Food transcends the natural laws of the universe as we know them.

This begs the question, why Mexican food as opposed to some other fare like Chinese or good old fried catfish, a southern favorite? The answer is simple. Some people, because of where they were, who they were, and when they were, are Christians, some are Hindus, some are Muslims and some are witches. I am a worshipper of Mexican food.

My sustenance, therefore, comes not from those in polished marble and stone palaces, clad in clerical garb and carrying holy texts. Instead, it comes from humble servants scurrying about hot kitchens doing what they do perhaps simply to feed their families—from my point of view, a noble endeavor in and of itself.

From the time I see a Mexican eatery through a bug-splattered windshield, I notice its energy or aura. When I open the door and see the gaudy but somehow authentic colors on sombrero covered walls, and hear playful Mariachi, and smell the frying tortillas, I know I have entered one of the houses of the holy. Truly, the colors, the sounds, the sights and the smell all take me to a higher place.

This sounds strange to most readers I am sure, but if I were speaking of a nature walk in dew covered grass among the scent of lofty pines, listening to the sound of songbirds, all could relate to its transcendent quality. We somehow place pristine nature above nature sculpted in a way for human benefit. I do this myself, except when it comes to Mexican food or perhaps a beautifully restored VW van, but that is another story.

To return to my original premise, the spiritual value of Mexican food—when the hot oblong platter is placed in front of me, I first notice its colorful array on the plate. Imagine a platter with red and blue corn chips, gray/brown frijoles covered with white cheese, orange rice, chili verde (green), a golden cheese covered enchilada, olive green guacamole, red ripe tomatoes with rich green cilantro and snow white onions, and last of all deep green jalapenos, forming a colorful tapestry and visual feast. (Contrast this with a hunk of brown steak, pale green peas, and a white glob of mashed potatoes.)

The scent of this feast immediately attacks my olfactory bulb and like so many smells, has the power to evoke startlingly clear memories. For me, I am taken to a place where the door opens to a moonless starry sky. I am in the desert, perhaps for the first time. I am in the desert, being courted by the dark desert lady who still haunts my soul in the night. I go back there so many nights, when all is quiet and my long day’s journey into night is finished. This vast, dark and inhospitable land that has called holy men to it through the ages calls me, a man as common as the cook whose labors unwittingly took me there. I huddle among the cacti, creatures who ask the earth for so little. I feel the endless winds that carry the remnants of a thousand ancient souls across the black Sonoran sky and rattle the door from where I came, as if still asking for entrance to a place where they can no longer dwell. Long ago, they returned to the desert for a final time, and now, a thousand nights and a thousand miles away, they mix with the holy night air as only desert dust can, and for a moment tempt the living, but then return to the black night. I do not yet join them—the door still opens to me. I can still see the colors, hear the sounds and place earthly but heavenly morsels in my mouth, and ask for more salsa.

Outside, in the dark desert, the night waits for me, but I have a few more bites to take, and a few more words to write, and to borrow a line from another, a few more miles to go before I sleep—thus, the spiritual value of Mexican food.
In my profile here at HP, I mentioned that I had written this--it was probably three years ago.
Jai Rho Oct 2013
There are a bunch of peeple
who seem to think it's fun
to get together and have a party
so they can watch each other
*** on America

They are rude and they're crude
and they're disgusting and lewd
and they make a big mess when
they puddle where they huddle

But that's OK
because this is America
where we all have the right
to our own beliefs,
even if they are stupid,
and to fight for our causes
in our own ways

and as causes go
they are just a splash
in a teacup

Besides, they can't help it
because they have tiny brains
and tiny wee wees
and don't realize
that mostly
they are just
******* on
themselves
Tim Knight Nov 2012
Mannequin smiles with masks of plastic
stand and huddle, fight and juggle,
for their space in the crowd.
Elbows touching torsos,
torsos touching hips;
kisses under the darkness,
bonfire warming the lips.
A child sits on the shoulders of her rock,
hands resting in the lap of his head,
waiting for the fireworks to be ignited,
set off, lit and begin.
Eyes of raw astonishment,
watery with cold,
a deer eye mould,
looked up at the firework display.

Sharp colour crayon lines
were drawn in the night-time sky.
Sound followed,
cheers and claps, applauds too.
They were lost in the hollow hole
of the houses around,
this’ll be the one she remembers.
Her first display of sound and light
and she’ll remember how she jumped up and down
to carnival music and carnival folk, rides and light,
menagerie sights.


News from the blog regarding my new poetry pamphlet, check the link out>> http://www.coffeeshoppoems.com/2012/11/homeland-borderland.html
nivek Nov 2017
all the petals have fallen
plucked by the hand of the wind
...'loves me, loves me not'
it matters little now grey has come
Winter bereft of lovers
all a huddle from her cold cold hand.
Adam Childs Jan 2015
In the forever winter landscape
Live gentle waddling penguins
While fierce forces conspire
All life brushed away
By unforgiving weather
But with an icy resolve
They all push back
Not with a Roar
But a little pitta patta
Of jolly dancing feet
As they happily bubble along  
With defiant hearts whispering
To the weather
With a nonchalance  
Disarming the Gods
   "we don't care"
With a silky soft defiant Roar
They potter on with their day
In a light hearted way  

Traveling through their life
They feel bound by limitation
Limbs retreating,, wings shrinking
Escaping from the weather
As the world places them
In a straight jacket
But they fluff out their
Love filled chests
A dash of yellow
On their cheek
Proclaiming I love who I am
As they slowly press into snow
Heart blazing with white fires
Busily they chatter
Nodding and bowing
To each other

Life pushes newly weds apart
As her ladyship is forced to abandon
Her man to the long winter's night
Left holding the egg
She looks back with a longing glance
Her heart torn
But in the blistering chill winds
And freezing cold air
A cool clarity is born
Where all passions are left
Under sheets of steely ice
And soft blankets of snow
Her task very clear
She pushes on

A trust between partners feels itself called on
Now fierce winds blow through
And into her face
As they now feel so far apart
She stops to take one last look back
And feels an impenetrable bond
Forged in their hearts
As her beak circles the sky
It is as though an arc
Of light is made
A silver connection
Binding them together
As they feel somewhere
In the eternal they remain holding hands

The aspiring father left
Holding precious egg tenderly
Left standing on cold ice
In blistering winds
Four months there left balancing
Treasure softly on his feet
Through the winter's night
Angry winds betrayed by the sun
Sting with a viper's vengeance
As temperatures plummet
-70 and dropping  
Cooperating together they huddle
For their very survival
Perfectly dressed in Tuxedos
Black like death standing on their back
White in front for the devotion
They show us in life
Reliant on each other
They spiral around together
And say
   "together, together we can do it"
As they silently sit through
The long winter's night
Letting go of their resistance
They release a godlike persistence

Over the horizon mothers appear bobbing
Like bubbles of thought bursting
From the flat transcendence
Fulfilled wishes appearing
New mothers pulled forward
By tickles of joy in their hearts
Leaping forward on their bellies
As they collapse in
Boundless devotion
Their hearts drawn forward
Skating along on their Love
They glide.................................
           and slides..................................
On their own pouring devotion...................
Effortless devotion..................................................
They almost fly on their
Unlimited Love

Effortless embracing tasks
Supporting new life
They are filled with the
Ecstasy of fruitful service
Later adults return to water
Float with a grace
Of a dancing ballerina  
As though fuelled by rocket fuel
They leave bubbles like smoke

As we delve into these
Vast fields of devotion
And see these jolly beings
Successfully spilling through
The dark winter's night
As they spread new life
I feel like the great God above
Totally humbled And can only
Kneel and Bow
To the beautiful penguin
Jessica OBrien Jan 2012
1.

seeds of crimson, slightly sweet
alien pods of ruby meat
like exoskeletal teeth.

scores of crimson, holding in
like breath, its babes of sin.

little beetles; ****** tears.
one swarming conglomerate.

as if in fear, they huddle close
to await their fate in quiet fits.


2.

the
unfurling!scarlet!starfish!mothership!
sprawls out
fleshyfingers, fatwithfruit.

seedling children populate her innards
like a red-skinned race of juicy mutes.
JJ Hutton Aug 2012
In the stands, down 35-3 with two minutes left in the fourth,
Fred Carson picks at the sticky, white remnants of a Coke bottle's label.
He leans over to me,
"Do you mind if I talk to you again?"
I don't, and haven't since kickoff.

"You know, I played running back on this same field."

"Oh yeah?" I say, allowing the story to commence.

"Started all four years. Rushed 1,000 yards as a freshman."

"Wow."

"It took five guys to bring me down by my senior year."

"That's insane."

"I probably still hold the record for most rush yards,
but I doubt they keep up with things like that."

He takes a sip from his drink. It's half empty.
His hair -- greasy, most likely on its third unwashed day --
parts to the left and clings to his skull.
He's wearing a long sleeve, plaid dress shirt.
The shirt is buttoned to the top.

"Hell, that was back in 1968," slows, "I graduated in 19-68. Jesus."

Fred retired from the post office six years back.
He claims he's never missed a game of Blue Jay football since 1970.
The high school band starts playing in the section next to us --
a misshapen cover of "Louie, Louie".
Fred raises his voice,

"You know, I've been to every football game since 1970."

"Yeah, you mentioned that last week."

"I apologize. Yeah, if it wasn't for that first year of college.
I got a scholarship to play ball at Florida State.
Couldn't be there and here at the same time, you know? Kinda hard."

He runs his big-knuckled right hand along his khaki'd thigh, checking his pocket.
He checks the left thigh -- nothing.
Reaches into his shirt pocket and reveals a lighter.
Then a soft pack of Marlboro Lights emerge.

"You know, I ran the fifty in less than five seconds."

To the dismay of cheerleader moms sitting behind us,
he lights the cigarette.
He stares at the Bic lighter with some NASCAR driver -- number 88 --
I don't recognize.
The cutout of the NASCAR driver's scraggly face
sits atop a navy blue and spiraling purple backdrop.
He starts to scratch at the label on the lighter.
A screech from a clarinet rises above the rest of the band,
Fred grimaces, takes a drag, continues,

"The coach at Florida State said I was the fastest boy he'd ever seen.
He said I was going to go pro. Sure thing, he said. I rushed for nearly
300 yards in the first game my freshman year. After the game,
the coach was like, see boy, I told you. You are going to tear it up
this season."

The NASCAR decal comes completely off. Under that purple and blue label,
Fred uncovers a white lighter.

"Would you look at that. I wouldn't have bought the **** thing if
I knew it was a white lighter. That's bad luck, you know. Hendrix and
that--uh--Janis Joplin lady both died with a white lighter in their hand.
Bad luck. A white lighter is bad luck."

"What happened at Florida State?" I ask.

"Well, we were playing Notre Dame during the second game that season.
Down by five with three seconds left on the clock.
We were on our own thirty, and the coach of Florida State was like,
run the hail mary play. But in the huddle, I look the quarterback
square in the eyes, and I say to him, captain -- he was team captain --
I say, captain, I'm hungry for that ball. He knew I could do it.
He took the snap, the receivers rushed down field, and I bolted toward
that line of scrimmage, took the handoff and I was gone, baby."

The crowd begins to cheer as the Blue Jay quarterback throws a long pass
to a wide open receiver. Fred freezes mid-story.
The cheer blurs into a silence, as each person in the bleachers
watches the ball ascend.

For the first time all night, the band lowers their instruments from their lips.
Just a ball floating.
The buzz from the stadium lights becomes audible.
One person gasps.
Then like dominoes the stadium follows suit.

The high arc of the ball betrays the distance,
and the pigskin plummets sharply.

"Interception!" the announcer cries through the speakers.

"That's a **** shame. I thought he was going to have it.
What were we talking about?" Fred asks as he drops his
finished cigarette into the nearly empty, naked Coke bottle.

"You were talking about Florida State. You were down five and--"

"That's right. So, I break up the middle. I dust that noseguard.
I stiff arm a linebacker. I looked like a Heisman trophy in motion.
I travel 69-yards down the field. I'm slowing down at the endzone,
thinking nobody is around, and sure enough -- plow -- the cornerback
dives right into my leg. I broke all kinds of bones and tore all kinds
of muscles. The doctor told me, he'd never seen anything like it."

The band plays the fight song as the clock winds down and the Blue Jays lose.
I try to disappear in the sea of blue and silver exiting t-shirts,
but Fred slows me down,

"It sure was good talking to you. I'll have to tell you more about Florida State
next week. Be sure to sit by me."

"I will," I say as the band director, Mr. Morton, steps in front of me.

"Hey, Fred," Mr. Morton says. He looks at me, then back to Fred.
He's trying to decide whether or not I'm of relation.
"Son, I went to Seminole State Junior College with Fred here
when we got out of high school."

"Really? Did you guys play football together?" I ask with innocent inquisitiveness.

"No, we weren't really into that. Though, we were at all the games.
We were in band together. Until Fred's wild streak got the best of him,"
Mr. Morton laughs, "am I right, Fred?"



The fight song came to a close.
With a lowered head, Fred walked into the silver, blue crowd
with a plaid dress shirt buttoned to the top.
Ground smolders and smokes

Luminescent men, humps at the front

**** and poke

The air acrid, the smell of burning stone

On a wall three boys

Gaze, eyes wide, mouths

Marleyesque, dropping

Bewitched as the florescent men

Smooth and calm the steaming earth

Spraying water from a can

To quench its thirst

The seething, black

And exhausted ground

Murmurs in sick response

To its own fragmented curse

A yellow dragon near by

Belches black blood

Oozing from its innards

Through Gothic gargoyle mouth

The lime coloured men shovel

This toxic *****, smear it

Across the gasping earth

That lies, ripped like a jagged

Wound on a dying man

The lime colored men

Mount the yellow dragon

Speed off, leaving

The scorched ground

Burning and hissing,

With sulphurous smoke

A million sizzling angry snakes

The three boys run away in freight

Dropping playthings as they fumble

And tumble in their horrified flight

The black earth cries, bubbles

And consumes their toys

Passes sentence

Makes them L'Enfant Commune

The lost boys

Then there is a quiver

A tedious tremble, a treble;

That played like stretched

Elastic flicked with

Forefinger and thumb

Making the heart numb

Extracting false confessions

A stench of putrid untruth

*** charades of delicate

Ravaged faced youth

A drole de ménage

Slave to the hunger

Of the unknown demand

The French grooming

Of horses, that may charm

The curious but leaves curiosity

Still smouldering in the

Hidden depths of the

Universal mind

Sanumbolists in the

Fullness of a dream of

Ineffable torture consume need

The boys cry out, for the

Earth has stolen a liars tongue

Branded them abominable

With decaying enormities

Detestable, enamelled eyes

Lurk and peer from

Behind gauzed curtains

A corpse of understanding

That inspects the invisible

Images of imbeciles

Parchments dripping in powdered

Crystalline drops smear the pavements

The boys wave their arms

But no-one sees them

There is the rise and fall of cryptic waves

That ebb and flow scorching

A shore of silent sorrows

Lapping feverously at the

Arc of a whirlpool

Whose decreasing concentric

Circles **** the boys down

Into an eternity of hot tears

Leaves them without parents

Gives their brothers and sisters

Into a slavery of barbarous belief

A ferocious language

Banning the boys from all beaches

Provides tyrannical pilgrimages

To black robbed priests

Possessors' of serpents' hearts

The yellow dragon returns

Lemon coloured men spill

From its foaming mouth

The boys hide behind

Dead rose bushes

Ah, but their tenebrous

Trembles creak in the

Blotched and bloodied

Butchers sawdust

A fabulous elegance cradles them

Making the smoking dragon angry

It spews molten bile taken

From the bloated stomachs

Of white beasts

The luminosity of the

Lemon coloured men

Increases to blindness

They wave tattered antediluvian

Bark and scream from

Their dark, deceitful, anchored armchairs

From railed and spiked alters

Spitting bitterest gall

The lemon coloured men

Butcher the fabulous elegance

Leaving the boys naked

Prey to the perfections of

Puerile generosities

That vows to extinguish

Their human desire

Vacant eyes with

Nauseating sight strut

A cruel distortion

Terrifying voices offer

Demonic destruction

The boys weep, but

no-one hears them

A violent paradise

Of popular poses tries,

But fails to caress them

The dragon burns the boys

But no-one smells them

Their terror turns to molten flesh

The lemon coloured men

Spread it over the earth

The beast' heart beats

Joyfully in its bulbous belly

Sacred men smile while

Pitiless priests provide

A comedy

The boys become a hallow

Antique night their left

Legs held up for all

To see

Delirium devours the minds

Of a subjugated people

The deadly hissing of the earth

Like a silken spectre rises

Making scintillating shudders

Through the spiked splinters

Of time

Intelligence is reduced

To the rubble of religious

Intolerance

Lime, yellow, lemon drips

Heated plastic from false eyes

There are cries, sights and sounds

But no-one hears, sees or speaks

No real people are left

Similar boys watch from a wall

Huddle together and weep
jeffrey robin Oct 2013
Chicago

Detroit

Los Angeles

GONE!

••

(America)

••

We huddle in the ruins

••

We huddle in Memories

Of children

---

We Reminisce

We make up stories of lovers

----

We try to seem Human is all

••

We fail

---

We fling ourselves against the WALL

••

••

Simple Human Love

••

Simple love made to seem the act of the criminal!

••

(so be it)

••

The frozen rigidity

Doesn't need us

Lets get out of here

Out
Of the

CHICAGO

Out of the

DETROIT

The

LOS ANGELES

AMERICA!

Dead!

•••

We live

In the uncharted wilderness

Seeking

TOMORROW

••

We seek TOMORROW

That is where

We will find EACH OTHER

AND LIVE
Mike Hauser Nov 2013
I drive a truck
Which makes me a manly man among men
To those sissified 70's
I never caved in

Heck yea, that's country not disco
You hear blaring in the back
Which sometimes rattles the triggers lose
On my shotgun rack

And yes I do live down South
But not a redneck per say
My camouflage leisure suit
I only wear holidays

Or out to special dinners
Say Denny's or Huddle House
You know those fancy places
Where there's no spitting allowed

So getting anything more outta me
I wish you good luck
Now where was I going with this?
Oh yea...I drive a truck
Joshua Smith Apr 2011
“You are not special.”
We are not special.
“You are the same as any other person.”
We are the same.
“Science says you are the same.”
If science has proven it, it must be true.
We walk with the Clan.
We breathe with the Clan.
We are Clan.
###
The science is truth.
The science is all.
Repetition, repetition, repetition.
We were born to work.
We were born to serve the Clan.
We must work so we may survive.
The Clan must survive.
###
We gaze into the gray wall.
The clouds are unmoving, unyielding.
The light-globes reveal the path home, to sleep, so we may rise again to serve the Clan.
The logic is clear.
We must serve the Clan if we are to survive.
We must survive so we may serve the Clan.
More techniques are needed, more ways to harness the Unseen.
Only the Exalted may witness it, for all others who were not chosen for it would perish in its fiery embrace.
We must work.
We must work.
Work.
###
Each day leads to the next.
Each street leads to the next.
The path is clear.
Work until nothing is left.
Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock.
We have worked well today.
The new project is finished.
A vague, fuzzy part of the brain attempts to resurface, but it is squelched easily.
We will eat well tonight.
###
“We are not special.”
This day, a new project.
This day, a new group.
This day, a Sweeper tripped off the skyway and splattered in front of me.
It is of no consequence.
Another will be cleaning the refuse by tomorrow.
###
“We are the same.”
The long walk home.
Work on the latest project is finished; another will be brought in tomorrow.
The Unseen is being harvested well, but only for a time.
Various other gray shapes shuffle past, heading home.
The school is on the left, the eating center is on the right.
Suddenly, a commotion erupts.
A siren wails, and people scramble from the front of the school; a flash of black is visible among the masses.
The crowd breaks, an Enforcer visibly seen in the center, beating a boy with a concussion-rod.
“What were you thinking?” The Enforcer screeches, “Do you wish the Clan to fail? Do you wish the Clan to starve?”
“No!” The boy of perhaps eight winter’s old wails, “I just want to go home!”
“You are nothing! There is only the Clan!”
The Enforcer, of perhaps sixteen winter’s old, descended upon the boy, shouting, “You are worthless without the Clan! You had your chance, and you threw it all away!”
The Enforcer beat the boy for several minutes, until the Enforcer realized that it was pointless to further beat the mass of pulp in the street.
The Enforcer rose, exclaiming, “This is unacceptable! The Clan does not tolerate insubordination! And we are all Clan!”
“We are all Clan,” we repeated.
“We are all the same!”
“We are all the same.”
“The logic is truth! The logic is law!”
“We follow the logic. We follow the truth. We follow the law.”
“Now, go home. There is work to be done tomorrow.”
As one, the gray shapes huddle towards home, avoiding the mess in the street.
Maybe the new Sweeper will clean it.
###
“Science says we are the same.”
We work for hours, days, weeks, months.
The day of rest is approaching, and final preparations are being made.
The parade of the Exalted, in all their glory, will feature our new project to harvest the Unseen.
Again, a faint buzzing at the base of the skull, but it is ignored.
Models are built of the various projects of the scientific departments.
We build a Collector, another builds a Transporter, and another is working on a model of DNA.
It is not known why DNA is still being researched with so much else to do, but we do not question orders.
After all, it is said that DNA proves we are ninety-nine percent the same, so perhaps they are studying the remainder.
The parade approaches, we must prepare.
###
The day has arrived.
No laboring for one day, so we may enjoy the work of the year and prepare for the next.
The building-sized models are rolled through the streets, to display the Clan’s capabilities.
Vaguely, a sound is heard from the back of the procession.
A model of a giant metal orb has broken its restraints and is rolling down the street.
The crowd scatters like vermin before the light, and many take refuge in a building next to the skylift.
The skylift is near and the mob approaches, so we bolt for the skylift.
We rush inside the glass box and the door hisses closed behind us.
A blur of motion is visible outside, but suddenly the skylight begins ascending!
We begin to panic, since we are forbidden to travel to the home of the Exalted, but it is too late now.
The gray wall approaches closer and closer, as we huddle in fear upon the floor.
Nothing is outside except the gray, impenetrable wall.
Then, with a sudden jolt, a brilliant flash of radiance enters the small glass box.
The sensation is overwhelming and nothing can be seen nor heard for a time.
Slowly, the brightness dims, and we look about the box we rode in.
Outside, great floating towers with Collector arrays seem suspended in time, slowly revolving to follow the radiance.
The doors open with a whoosh and we find ourselves on a smoothly polished deck that is abundant with bright benches and plants that grow without hydroponics.
These sights are a mystery, but thoughts are scattered as suddenly we notice two figures standing before us to the side of the skylift.
The glow emanating from the beings themselves glistened and rippled with a silvery sheen.
We stared in awe at the raw perfection of their features; the smooth bronze skin, the clear eyes that pierced deep.
“What is this? Why are these Workers here?” one Exalted questioned another with a deep, booming voice.
“I don’t know. Perhaps the Enforcers know of this?” the other Exalted responded in a clear, trebled voice.
The Exalted snorted, “I doubt it. Those children are full of themselves. They are just bitter because they cannot join us until they pass their Ordeal.”
I? What is I?
“It is no matter. Let’s just stick it back in the skylift and let the Enforcers take care of this,” the Exalted continued.
The Exalted approached us and fear overcame our senses.
We backed up into the skylift and watched as the doors closed before the Exalted could touch us.
We watched as the wonderful plants and buildings flashed past, until we descended into the gray wall.

###

We thought.
We saw.
We felt.
Nothing was the same.
Our thoughts clouded, our mind scrambled.
Our work was pitiful, the reprimand was fierce.
Still, this question remained.
What is I?
We thought and thought, but nothing made sense.
We made the trip finally, to search the Records.
We requested a definition of I.
Thousands of responses came, overloading the senses.
We read and read.
It was wonderful!
It was spectacular!
But it still went against the rational mind, our thoughts, the Clan’s thoughts.
How can we be I?
How could our ancestors have been so blind?
Could they not see that to not be one was to be nothing?
But then, there was still the doubt.
There is always that doubt.

###

We moved through life, slippery as soap.
No one must suspect that things were not as they seem.
Every day, we viewed the skylift with envy and curiosity.
Every day, we approached it to ascend through the gray wall.
Every day, we turned away and went home.
Finally, the day arrived.
We resolved to enter the skylift no matter what.
We boldly entered and stood as the doors shut.
As we rose, our knees swayed.
We did not know precisely what awaited us at the top, but we knew that we must see it again.
The Unseen must be seen.
We rose and rose, and so did our spirits.
The pounding in the ears, the raw feeling of energy overcame us.
Now, rising through the gray wall towards the Unseen.
Now, rising towards salvation.
The wall was coming to an end, the freedom was coming.
The radiance burst in again, no less dizzyingly than the last time.
Once we stopped at the flat level again, we tentatively looked around, searching for signs of any of the Exalted.
With none in sight, we bent over and sprinted to the nearest cover, which was a large, fruit-bearing tree.
Now, this was an oddity, since the only plants we ever saw were grown in factories, and they were suspended in water.
We reached up and plucked the nearest fruit, which was about the size of our hand and had a smooth, red exterior.
We split it open, to find that within, it was moist and somewhat white inside.
Slowly, carefully, we placed a bit of the fruit in our mouth and chewed.
How delightful!
It was sweet, moist, crunchy!
We proceeded to devour the rest of the fruit, except the seeds, which were hard and small, and the small twig atop the strange, amazing fruit.
Once finished, we cautiously walked down the central path around the curious, floating buildings that radiated gold light, and pondered the burning questions in our mind.
What if our ancestors had something?
Was their downfall because of individuality, or was it the lack of it?
What if that one percent difference is what matters?
We did not know for certain, but eventually, we had to turn back, because the radiance began to fade and night would soon come.

###

You are not special.
“We aren’t?”
You are the same as any other person.
“Are we really?”
Science says you are the same.
“Is science really so infallible?”

###

So it became routine, to leave work and go up the skylift, to eat the globe-shaped fruit, which we discovered were called “apples”, and think.
Things below the gray, misty wall became less clear, less defined.
We saw the people around us, but it was as if they did not see us.
The gray walls, the gray shapes shifting from home to work, home to work.
Are they blind?
Was this how life has been?
It was uncertain, but thoughts began to form.
The others must know.
They cannot remain ignorant.
All the things they must know.
Above the gray wall, it was clear.
The purpose was clear.
We must leave, gather the knowledge, and teach the others.
We must plan.
We must prepare.

###

We thought, and we knew.
I am unique. I am not the same as everyone else. I think, breathe, eat, and exist for my reasons and purpose, nobody else’s. I will not submit to the will of others. I think clearly and for myself. I will be set free.

###

On the final day, it really wasn’t that difficult.
After work, I began to walk, and never looked back. I approached the edge of civilization. No one stopped me. No one even looked at me. Only the blankness was there. Before me, an endless, barren landscape, devoid of life. Behind me, the same.
I vowed to return, however; the people behind me would know what it was to feel, what it was to see, what it was to live. The Exalted were not so special as to leave the rest of us in the waste and filth. People would be given a chance for redemption.
Time grows short; I must hurry.
Robert C Howard Jul 2015
Two billion years ago
the river we call Colorado
opened a **** in the Kaibab Plateau

sculpting sandstone, granite, and limestone spectra
on the rugged canyon walls -
reflecting the seering Arizona sun.

Millennial torrents scoured the surface.
Juniper and Aspen, torn from the expanding banks,
****** into the river's red-stained vortex.

All the while the restless Colorado,
obedient to gravity's law,
scoured its bed a mile below the rim.
The last dinosaur perished - choked by volcanic soot.

Pangaea rumbled, groaned and split
and an eye-blink ago our African parents
stood to take their first faltering steps.

Their progeny crossed the Bering bridge
roaming south to build stone shelters
tucked against these canyon walls.

Did the Havasupai huddle in fright
of the jagged firelight searing the skies -
pounding the air across the hollows?

And emerging at storm’s end
did they gaze at the rainbow mist
spread over the buttes and valleys?

After dusk, with fires withering to embers,
did they rest supine,
heads pillowed on their arms,
pondering the jewel case universe above?

*November, 2006
Included in Unity Tree, published by Create Space available from Amazon.com in both book and Kindle formats.

http://www.amazon.com/Unity-Tree-Robert-Charles-Howard/dp/1514894432/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid;=1447340098&sr;=8-1&keywords;=Unity+Tree
Tony Luxton Nov 2015
They huddle in the cold damp darkness
grateful for the sheltering sandstone
shuddering at each echoing blast
a remorseless dull ache
like their meagre rations
eyelids shutting wrinkling between attacks
seeking peace and inner sleepless solace.

'Them docks is taking a pasting.'
'Me Dad works there.'

Another attack, tunnels rumble
evoking century old echoes
of rusty trundling drum-line wagons
bearing sandstone blocks to build the docks
now being blitzed blighting the night sky.

The morning brings a dusty disquiet.
Merseyside emerges curses soldiers on.

— The End —