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I'm on a train.

One of those red ones with black trimmed windows you can imagine rolling through the suburbs on the way to NYC. Not a subway car but a classier vintage with proper rows of cushioned seats and a lever to pull if there is an emergency. There are sparse shrubberies on one side of the tracks and the ocean on the other. Young trees and bushes stroll by.  A little wind is pushing off the ocean, massaging the car ever so gently back and forth as we move along. A gentle click-clack is on the tips of our ears.

We got on together. I hadn't known you for very long but the connection was stronger than anything I had ever felt or have since. You practically sat on top of me for the first few miles. Couldn't keep your hands off me,  staring in my eyes like you were searching for something lost but you couldn't remember what. The edges of your lips turned upwards permanently as if you were always at the verge of a laugh. You interlaced my fingers with yours and held on like you would be ripped away if your grip loosened for even a second. Slender fingers holding so tightly that they were becoming red.

You were excited to to be riding with me, about where we were going and all the things we would do when we got there. I would see you peer out of the corner of your eye, then lean over to brush your soft cheek against my budding stubble. Kissing and gently biting my lips insatiably. The suns rays coming in at an angle and lighting up your perfect smile and dimple.

I had to remind you we were in public.

I was lost in your blonde curls and the incense of your neck. I had fallen incredibly hard and so fast that my face hurt from smiling and my heart beat with vibrations I had never known. Not even a whiff of anxiety or neurosis. Some of the best memories of my life, as fleeting as they turned out to be.

I yawned and you put your finger in my mouth. I bent over to tie my shoe and you would poke my **** and laugh with your own reflection in the window, like this was the first and best joke of all time. Maybe it was and maybe it is.

The waiter came and informed us that a thing called "the bar car" existed. We both jumped at the idea. I didn't exactly notice at the time, during our excitement, but that's when the train started going faster and everything out the windows began to blur.

The bar car was a wild ride and we took advantage of our lo'cal. All kinds of fine wine, liquors and illicit substances were available. We tried them all. You were beautiful, your laugh infecting everyone around you, I was charming and held a captive audience.   It was a dark, loud and glorious blur. We were the life of the party and it chugged on till dawn.

We woke up in our seats, disheveled and discombobulated. It was dark out already. Did we sleep through the entire day? The train was slowing down, maybe approaching a station. The party was amazing but we were certainly paying the price for the black out. You moved over to the seat across from me to have some more space and lay down. I saw myself in the reflection. My hat, charm and smile from the night before had vanished. I must have left them in the bar car the night before.
      You had changed, beauty uninterrupted but different somehow. I couldn't put my finger on it. Irritated maybe? I invited you to cuddle and battle the hangover together but you ignored me. Like you couldn't hear me or didn't want to. I decided to let you be.

I got up to use the bathroom and thought I would go look for my scattered belongings. Maybe I could find a scrap of leftover dignity while you rested. I inquired to the conductor who directed me to the bartender in the bar car. He hadn't changed a bit, somehow untouched and unaffected by last nights antics that had effected me so dramatically.  Same black suspenders and white pressed shirt with impeccably slicked hair. I asked him what happened and if I had an open tab. While slowly polishing a rocks glass he looked up and made eye contact for a split second before looking away.
He said:  "Oh the bar car takes its toll. In the end we all end up paying one way or another". I still don't know what he meant by that or if he knew.
      I asked him if he found my hat and he said he would check the camera. We walked in to a small back room, while he was reviewing the tape, over his shoulder I noticed a tragedy.

We were drunk. I was going on to a group of new friends on one side of the bar, they were hanging on my words and I was eagerly explaining whatever nonsense they were drooling over. You were in the corner wearing that red dress I love, with your hair up in a tight bun. A few curls had escaped and brushed your high cheekbones, a thin line of pearls dancing delicately across your perfectly symmetrical collar. You were stunning and inebriated, swaying with each bump and motion of the train. A man wearing my hat put his hand on your side to keep you from swaying over and then he left it there.
I took a sharp breath.

It looked like you put your hand on his hand to move it but then it stayed and you both swayed together. As the air left my lungs and the blood drained out of my face I watched your lips touch the strangers. A small piece of my soul slipped away forever. I couldn't watch any further. When I asked the bartender how long it went on he fidgeted for a moment and uncomfortably muttered "quite some time". I never found my hat or the other part of me that left that day.  

The train slowed. I walked to the back, as far away from you as I could get, in utter disbelief. How could you? I thought to myself.
I mourned the loss of the you as I knew you yesterday, quietly and to myself. A tear  escaped my eye and rolled down my now fully formed stubble as I fell in to a random seat in mild shock. There were a few passengers back there so I had to pull together relatively quickly. After gaining some composure I knew it was time to get off. I knew we could never get back to yesterday morning though I would have said or done anything to do so.

The train had stopped. I went back to my seat and you were sleeping. I took my coat and gathered my things. The conductor looked at me confused as to why I would leave something so magnificent, I assume he had no idea what had transpired.   

I walked to the rear of the car and slid the door open slower than required. I stepped to the stairs and put one foot down on the step and the other on the ground. I stopped, rooted with my hand on the railing, lingering between two very different paths.
     I knew that it was time to get off, I knew this was the sensible thing to do, that I couldn't get past this offense regardless of how I had felt earlier the day before. The whistle screamed from the locomotive. The conductor looked at me and shook his head, I'm not sure if he was trying to tell me to stay or go but a decision had to be made.

The train lurched forward and I watched as the station slip away slowly. I sat in between the cars for a while and watched the ocean and birds. With a heavy heart and shoes I walked back to my seat. You were waiting. Crying. You knew. The bartender had told you. You didn't mean do do it, didn't realize what you were doing and thought it was me. He was wearing my hat and the whole world was blurry and dark.

I believed you. Self anguish mixed with alcohol was dripping from your pores. I knew you didn't mean it and were drunk, but could I ever forgive you or trust you again?

I loved you still.

I caught a glimpse of my reflection, a weaker version of myself looked back. As if an invisible chip in my teeth had developed and my shoulders lowered. The charming, confident man from the bar car the day before had been replaced. Something was off but not enough for anyone else to notice, just enough to know a change has happened.
       The train started to pick up speed again as we distanced ourselves from the station.  I second guessed my decision to stay but I didn't look back.

I found the man with my hat and punished him with a few blows in the dark. He knew he ****** up, apologized and took the beating like a man. I never got the hat back.

The engineer announced that we would be going through a tunnel soon and to turn on our lights and keep our hands in the windows.

It would be dark.  

We stayed away from the bar car for a while but the draw was irresistible. After a few hours we were there again but you never left my side.  Then you did. I was looking for you but you would disappear and not answer me when I called you name. The tunnel went deeper and darker and I didn't know where you were and I suspected you liked it that way. The train began to slow down again as we exited the tunnel.

I finally found you back at our seat, you had moved one row away from me. I asked you to come back, tried to hold your hands but you pulled away with vehemence. When I came back from the bathroom you had moved another row farther.
I knew I was losing you.
I begged you to return but you told me calmly that it was time for you to get off. At some point in the tunnel you had decided that you didn't want to go anymore . Your mind was made. You were going to catch another train at the next station.

When the train stopped I thought for sure you would reconsider but you didn't. Didn't even give it a thought. You just grabbed your coat and hat with one big bag under your arm. You kissed me on the cheek like a french stranger and were off. Going somewhere else on a different train. Just like that.

I rode the rails for quite some time by myself , many people getting on and getting off, passing me by. Every once in a while I would think I saw you at a station or in a **** though the window of another train. I often thought I could smell you but when I breathed deeper it was always gone. A ghost dancing on the edge of my senses.

A young girl in a headband got on the train. She was listening to headphones and dancing to herself as she bobbed along. She sat down in the seat next to me flashing a smile. She had a wedding ring on and I dismissed her immediately.  She didn't move from the seat or stop glancing my way. Eventually she confessed that she wanted to talk. I told her I wasn't interested but she persisted.  I hadn't talked to anyone on the train for quite some time and after some more mild persistence, I gave in.

We had a lot in common. We were both riding alone, desperately wanted attention and were thrilled to receive some.  After a few laughs she slid her hand in to mine and interlaced her fingers. I left it there. It was warm, comforting and wrong. She was married but I had been riding alone so long it felt good to have some company. She stayed and we talked. She was broken and I had a knack for fixing things. After a few hours of dramatic conversation I fell asleep with her head on my shoulder.

When I woke up  the train was flying up the track on the side of a mountain. Trees and rocks were a blur of green and grey. The engineer must be trying to make up for lost time I thought to myself.

The girl was asleep with her head on my lap. I looked down at her hand and the rings were gone. I woke her briefly to ask where they went. She said she didn't need them anymore and had thrown  them out the window.  She could of sold them, I said, but she said she just wanted them gone so she could be mine and fell back to sleep.  All of a sudden I couldn't breath. This train was roaring down the tracks, the once gentle click clack had become a loud hum. Suddenly too loud. This girl in my lap who had just gotten on the train wanted to stay. I considered her for a while as she looked up at me with big blue eyes, shining and wet, like a puppy in the shelter, terrified of rejection and desperate to be adopted.

At the peak of the mountain, just when the train began to even out, you waltzed back in to the car with a champagne flute in one hand and your bag in the other.

I don't know when or where you got back on, must have been a few stations ago when I stopped looking for you. Maybe you were wearing a disguise, who knows what you had been up to while you were gone. I'm not sure how long you were away but it was quite some time. That you had been through something was obvious, a new wrinkle had formed on your brow and you're once confident stride had changed to a cautious stroll. What actually happened out there I don't know.  I never asked and I don't want answers.

You looked at me and smiled. It was good to see that smile, like sun on my face on a brisk day.  You took a step toward me and then I looked down in my lap at the girl at the same time you did. I looked up. You and your smile were gone.

Everything I had begun to feel for this broken, head banded girl in my lap dried up like a puddle in  the dessert.  I quietly and gently nudged her awake and told her I had to use the bathroom. She put her head down on my coat and fell back into what ever trance she had been in, eyelids gently fluttering, eyes searching beneath them for what I would never give her.

I dashed up the isle and threw open the door, almost shattering the glass. The conductor glared at me and rolled his eyes as I barged past to the space between the cars.

There you were. Standing on the stairs with your head out the opening. The wind was blowing your perfectly formed curls around your head like a blonde explosion of familiarity. I yelled your name and you dove in to me. My senses erupted, my mind went numb as the train was nearing another station and I inhaled your essence greedily.

We moved to another car. I abandoned my coat with the married girl and never looked back. I hope she found what she was looking for. I  never could have been the answer she was so desperately seeking but I know I  helped steer her towards it.

You told me you had encountered some other people out there on the rails and they had reminded you of what we had when we first left the station. I never forgot.  

The train started to rock and get going again. We were back in the bar car and starting to brown out. We had to get off of this train right ******* now. In a desperate moment we looked at each other and put our hands, together, on the emergency brake cord. I looked in your eyes with your hand on top of mine. You kissed me while yanking down on the cord. Time slowed, the breaks squealed and everything exploded throwing luggage, people and the entire contents of the bar car in to a nondiscriminatory chaos . We got up off the ground, ran to the end of the car, dove off the side in to a soft patch of grass and rolled down a small incline. We watched as the conductor sifted through  the mess and interrogated the passengers, trying to ferret out the party responsible for pulling the brake. He spotted us off the side of the tracks and shook his fist while shouting every conceivable obscenity combination.

We laughed, held each other in the grass and kissed deeply.

We watched the train pick up speed and disappear in to the hills as relief spread over me.

You interlaced your fingers in to mine and we both looked out to where the tracks disappeared into the horizon, wondering how far of a walk it was to the next station.
Styles Mar 2016
Lost in your arms, for years at a time
your touch was my grace,
our grind was my pace,
way made love,
like tongues make taste
I feel in love with your paste
it likes your body was laced.
between your legs,
inside your body,
became my favorite place.
Hand at my sides,
my gripping your waist.
One look in your eyes,
giving passion a new face.
Touching your body,
emotions erupting,
Adrenalin gives race.
I can hear your heart beating,
as your blood starts to race.
our bodies interlaced
from the inside,
You can feel me inside
I'm so deep, your fingers dig in
as your brace.
Pleasure is pain,
and its writing across your face,
the slower we grind,
the further your mind goes,
to that distant place.
As your hips whine,
my waist line sets the pace,
as my mind plays rewind
I press forward, like the present is time
and I'm living it in real-time
still amazed by your grace.
jane taylor May 2016
running
deliquescing into nature
i am engulfed in stillness

i encounter a deer as i round a corner
its chestnut eyes intensely sense
something wild within me
transfixed
we meld palpably
whispering our essence

myopic views warp into acute focus
golden flowers stretch and arch
and yawning into the sun
swell with bursts of luster
whilst violets polka dot the path
with lilac luminescence

dead tree trunks
mutating into masterpieces
yearn for new life
drawing in the squirrels

yellow-bellied birds
hover
sensing my motions
whilst woodland winds undulate
pine scented waves of sea salt oceans

my ears enchantingly enhanced
by bristling leaves caressing trees
as scintillating amber butterflies
dance in synch
with the clock tower’s
ancient chiming

a gust of wind
catches a patch of sand
and sends it quivering
fusing high in summer air
then falling soft as feathers

hidden fairies prance about
answering unheard questions
problems dissolve in emerald meadows
without a hint of striving

essays write themselves
upon my mind
poetry flows through me
wings of meadowlarks
trace my face with nuances
interlaced with connotations

rushing home
i write it down
then bowing i take credit
for what was etched upon my soul
by a sunbeam in the forest

©2016janetaylor
Patricia Drake Feb 2013
They grabbed me
As soon as I sat down
Twisted my arms
My thoughts
As I tried to break free
Of their pull
Lacing me up
Tying strings
Fugue stories
In and out
Of narrative concepts
Sometimes choking me
with their criss crossing narratives
their multiple voices
Forcing me
To reflect
To rediscover
Reality
In its music

I tried to resist
The noise
The web of multiple choices
Always evading inspection
Resisting interpretation
But the music
The recollection of lost textuality
Pulled me in
And tied me
In an unholy comedy
Of errors
And injustice
A farce
Like this interlaced story
We are all bound to
And tied into
Faye Jun 2018
I realized I liked you when
our eyes met then I immediately
looked away as if it was the first time
I laid my eyes on you.

I realized I liked you when
I made a list of things we could
talk about but ended up blanking out
when I started talking to you.

I realized I’ve fallen for you when
we were in a concert and you
accompanied me throughout the night.
I knew my heart was pounding not from
the loud speakers but from you
being so close to me.

I realized I’ve fallen for you when
I got nervous and you held my hand,
comforting me with no words said;
contented with how our fingers
interlaced with one another.

I realized I loved you when
I started writing about you and
our happy moments that now have
turned into memories.

I realized I loved you when
I turned you into poetry.
I do have feelings for this person but because I'm being careful not to conclude that "it's love" easily, I kept denying to myself that I 'might' do... until I started writing for and about her and had turned her my muse.
jane taylor May 2016
hitherto i naively challenged
my decision to enter an ominous existence
a vicious maze veiled in obscurity
inconceivable to navigate without the accumulation
of bruises, heartache, and psychic mutilation

the torment’s ache so unfathomable
i begged to evaporate beseeching death’s arrival
and with the dexterity of a masterful wizard
i magically spun threads of my shredded soul
into a mangled ball of mental lacerations

then stealthily in the opaque of the night
i rushed the frigid black ocean’s high tide
and deluging myself in the ebony water
i buried the battered ball
now deeply eclipsed in the onyx abyss

it sapped all my strength to hold it under
drowning in the wave’s of sea motion
stinging salt alive on my pours
gasping for air i surrendered my grip
releasing my marred orb of élan vital

capitulating to the sand on the beach
i ceded the fight and watched the sphere roll
unraveling it glistened against the white sand
an opalescent tapestry lit by twilight
mirroring the stars against the coal sky

in the lustrous lunar midnight
reflected back by silver moonlight
littered with specks of fluorescent insight
astonished i drew in my breath as i read
words interlaced in the untangled web

the wounds are there
creating a looking glass
peer in
and you will heal
your own consciousness

©2016janetaylor
Tyler Nicholas May 2011
The silhouettes of two deer,
beautifully and gracefully elegant,
stood side-by-side in the midnight fields.

They called to one another
in a harmony that lifted
toward the Eternities,
splitting the clouds to reveal
the splendor of the night sky.

The grass swayed
in the gentle breeze.
This simple instance
of life
said more than words
could possibly detail.

And the extraordinary facet
of life
is that we are all
interlaced
by the simple harmonies
of two deer calling
to one another.
An evening all aglow with summer light
And autumn colour—fairest of the year.

The wheat-fields, crowned with shocks of tawny gold,
All interspersed with rough sowthistle roots,
And interlaced with white convolvulus,
Lay, flecked with purple shadows, in the sun.
The shouts of little children, gleaning there
The scattered ears and wild blue-bottle flowers—
Mixed with the corn-crake's crying, and the song
Of lone wood birds whose mother-cares were o'er,
And with the whispering rustle of red leaves—
Scarce stirred the stillness. And the gossamer sheen
Was spread on upland meadows, silver bright
In low red sunshine and soft kissing wind—
Showing where angels in the night had trailed
Their garments on the turf. Tall arrow-heads,
With flag and rush and fringing grasses, dropped
Their seeds and blossoms in the sleepy pool.
The water-lily lay on her green leaf,
White, fair, and stately; while an amorous branch
Of silver willow, drooping in the stream,
Sent soft, low-babbling ripples towards her:
And oh, the woods!—erst haunted with the song
Of nightingales and tender coo of doves—
They stood all flushed and kindling 'neath the touch
Of death—kind death!—fair, fond, reluctant death!—
A dappled mass of glory!
Harvest-time;
With russet wood-fruit thick upon the ground,
'Mid crumpled ferns and delicate blue harebells.
The orchard-apples rolled in seedy grass—
Apples of gold, and violet-velvet plums;
And all the tangled hedgerows bore a crop
Of scarlet hips, blue sloes, and blackberries,
And orange clusters of the mountain ash.
The crimson fungus and soft mosses clung
To old decaying trunks; the summer bine
Drooped, shivering, in the glossy ivy's grasp.
By day the blue air bore upon its wings
Wide-wandering seeds, pale drifts of thistle-down;
By night the fog crept low upon the earth,
All white and cool, and calmed its feverishness,
And veiled it over with a veil of tears.

The curlew and the plover were come back
To still, bleak shores; the little summer birds
Were gone—to Persian gardens, and the groves
Of Greece and Italy, and the palmy lands.

A Norman tower, with moss and lichen clothed,
Wherein old bells, on old worm-eaten frames
And rusty wheels, had swung for centuries,
Chiming the same soft chime—the lullaby
Of cradled rooks and blinking bats and owls;
Setting the same sweet tune, from year to year,
For generations of true hearts to sing.
A wide churchyard, with grassy slopes and nooks,
And shady corners and meandering paths;
With glimpses of dim windows and grey walls
Just caught at here and there amongst the green
Of flowering shrubs and sweet lime-avenues.
An old house standing near—a parsonage-house—
With broad thatched roof and overhanging eaves,
O'errun with banksia roses,—a low house,
With ivied windows and a latticed porch,
Shut in a tiny Paradise, all sweet
With hum of bees and scent of mignonette.

We lay our lazy length upon the grass
In that same Paradise, my friend and I.
And, as we lay, we talked of college days—
Wild, racing, hunting, steeple-chasing days;
Of river reaches, fishing-grounds, and weirs,
Bats, gloves, debates, and in-humanities:
And then of boon-companions of those days,
How lost and scattered, married, changed, and dead;
Until he flung his arm across his face,
And feigned to slumber.
He was changed, my friend;
Not like the man—the leader of his set—
The favourite of the college—that I knew.
And more than time had changed him. He had been
“A little wild,” the Lady Alice said;
“A little gay, as all young men will be
At first, before they settle down to life—
While they have money, health, and no restraint,
Nor any work to do,” Ah, yes! But this
Was mystery unexplained—that he was sad
And still and thoughtful, like an aged man;
And scarcely thirty. With a winsome flash,
The old bright heart would shine out here and there;
But aye to be o'ershadowed and hushed down,

As he had hushed it now.
His dog lay near,
With long, sharp muzzle resting on his paws,
And wistful eyes, half shut,—but watching him;
A deerhound of illustrious race, all grey
And grizzled, with soft, wrinkled, velvet ears;
A gaunt, gigantic, wolfish-looking brute,
And worth his weight in gold.
“There, there,” said he,
And raised him on his elbow, “you have looked
Enough at me; now look at some one else.”

“You could not see him, surely, with your arm
Across your face?”
“No, but I felt his eyes;
They are such sharp, wise eyes—persistent eyes—
Perpetually reproachful. Look at them;
Had ever dog such eyes?”
“Oh yes,” I thought;
But, wondering, turned my talk upon his breed.
And was he of the famed Glengarry stock?
And in what season was he entered? Where,
Pray, did he pick him up?
He moved himself
At that last question, with a little writhe
Of sudden pain or restlessness; and sighed.
And then he slowly rose, pushed back the hair
From his broad brows; and, whistling softly, said,
“Come here, old dog, and we will tell him. Come.”

“On such a day, and such a time, as this,
Old Tom and I were stalking on the hills,
Near seven years ago. Bad luck was ours;
For we had searched up corrie, glen, and burn,
From earliest daybreak—wading to the waist
Peat-rift and purple heather—all in vain!
We struck a track nigh every hour, to lose
A noble quarry by ignoble chance—
The crowing of a grouse-****, or the flight
Of startled mallards from a reedy pool,
Or subtle, hair's breadth veering of the wind.
And now 'twas waning sunset—rosy soft

On far grey peaks, and the green valley spread
Beneath us. We had climbed a ridge, and lay
Debating in low whispers of our plans
For night and morning. Golden eagles sailed
Above our heads; the wild ducks swam about

Amid the reeds and rushes of the pools;
A lonely heron stood on one long leg
In shallow water, watching for a meal;
And there, to windward, couching in the grass
That fringed the blue edge of a sleeping loch—
Waiting for dusk to feed and drink—there lay
A herd of deer.
“And as we looked and planned,
A mountain storm of sweeping mist and rain
Came down upon us. It passed by, and left
The burnies swollen that we had to cross;
And left us barely light enough to see
The broad, black, branching antlers, clustering still
Amid the long grass in the valley.

“‘Sir,’
Said Tom, ‘there is a shealing down below,
To leeward. We might bivouac there to-night,
And come again at dawn.’
“And so we crept
Adown the glen, and stumbled in the dark
Against the doorway of the keeper's home,
And over two big deerhounds—ancestors
Of this our old companion. There was light
And warmth, a welcome and a heather bed,
At Colin's cottage; with a meal of eggs
And fresh trout, broiled by dainty little hands,
And sweetest milk and oatcake. There were songs
And Gaelic legends, and long talk of deer—
Mixt with a sweet, low laughter, and the whir
Of spinning-wheel.
“The dogs lay at her feet—
The feet of Colin's daughter—with their soft
Dark velvet ears pricked up for every sound
And movement that she made. Right royal brutes,
Whereon I gazed with envy.
“ ‘What,’ I asked,
‘Would Colin take for these?’
“ ‘Eh, sir,’ said he,
And shook his head, ‘I cannot sell the dogs.
They're priceless, they, and—Jeanie's favourites.
But there's a litter in the shed—five pups,
As like as peas to this one. You may choose
Amongst them, sir—take any that you like.
Get us the lantern, Jeanie. You shall show
The gentleman.’
“Ah, she was fair, that girl!

Not like the other lassies—cottage folk;
For there was subtle trace of gentle blood
Through all her beauty and in all her ways.
(The mother's race was ‘poor and proud,’ they said).
Ay, she was fair, my darling! with her shy,
Brown, innocent face and delicate-shapen limbs.
She had the tenderest mouth you ever saw,
And grey, dark eyes, and broad, straight-pencill'd brows;
Dark hair, sun-dappled with a sheeny gold;
Dark chestnut braids that knotted up the light,
As soft as satin. You could scarcely hear
Her step, or hear the rustling of her gown,
Or the soft hovering motion of her hands
At household work. She seemed to bring a spell
Of tender calm and silence where she came.
You felt her presence—and not by its stir,
But by its restfulness. She was a sight
To be remembered—standing in the straw;
A sleepy pup soft-cradled in her arms
Like any Christian baby; standing still,
The while I handled his ungainly limbs.
And Colin blustered of the sport—of hounds,
Roe, ptarmigan, and trout, and ducal deer—
Ne'er lifting up that sweet, unconscious face,
To see why I was silent. Oh, I would
You could have seen her then. She was so fair,
And oh, so young!—scarce seventeen at most—
So ignorant and so young!
“Tell them, my friend—
Your flock—the restless-hearted—they who scorn
The ordered fashion fitted to our race,
And scoff at laws they may not understand—
Tell them that they are fools. They cannot mate
With other than their kind, but woe will come
In some shape—mostly shame, but always grief
And disappointment. Ah, my love! my love!
But she was different from the common sort;
A peasant, ignorant, simple, undefiled;
The child of rugged peasant-parents, taught
In all their thoughts and ways; yet with that touch
Of tender grace about her, softening all
The rougher evidence of her lowly state—
That undefined, unconscious dignity—
That delicate instinct for the reading right
The riddles of less simple minds than hers—
That sharper, finer, subtler sense of life—
That something which does not possess a name,

Which made her beauty beautiful to me—
The long-lost legacy of forgotten knights.

“I chose amongst the five fat creeping things
This rare old dog. And Jeanie promised kind
And gentle nurture for its infant days;
And promised she would keep it till I came
Another year. And so we went to rest.
And in the morning, ere the sun was up,
We left our rifles, and went out to run
The browsing red-deer with old Colin's hounds.
Through glen and bog, through brawling mountain streams,
Grey, lichened boulders, furze, and juniper,
And purple wilderness of moor, we toiled,
Ere yet the distant snow-peak was alight.
We chased a hart to water; saw him stand
At bay, with sweeping antlers, in the burn.
His large, wild, wistful eyes despairingly
Turned to the deeper eddies; and we saw
The choking struggle and the bitter end,
And cut his gallant throat upon the grass,
And left him. Then we followed a fresh track—
A dozen tracks—and hunted till the noon;
Shot cormorants and wild cats in the cliffs,
And snipe and blackcock on the ferny hills;
And set our floating night-lines at the loch;—
And then came back to Jeanie.
“Well, you know
What follows such commencement:—how I found
The woods and corries round about her home
Fruitful of roe and red-deer; how I found
The grouse lay thickest on adjacent moors;
Discovered ptarmigan on rocky peaks,
And rare small game on birch-besprinkled hills,
O'ershadowing that rude shealing; how the pools
Were full of wild-fowl, and the loch of trout;
How vermin harboured in the underwood,
And rocks, and reedy marshes; how I found
The sport aye best in this charmed neighbourhood.
And then I e'en must wander to the door,
To leave a bird for Colin, or to ask
A lodging for some stormy night, or see
How fared my infant deerhound.
“And I saw
The creeping dawn unfolding; saw the doubt,
And faith, and longing swaying her sweet heart;
And every flow just distancing the ebb.

I saw her try to bar the golden gates
Whence love demanded egress,—calm her eyes,
And still the tender, sensitive, tell-tale lips,
And steal away to corners; saw her face
Grow graver and more wistful, day by day;
And felt the gradual strengthening of my hold.
I did not stay to think of it—to ask
What I was doing!
“In the early time,
She used to slip away to household work
When I was there, and would not talk to me;
But when I came not, she would climb the glen
In secret, and look out, with shaded brow,
Across the valley. Ay, I caught her once—
Like some young helpless doe, amongst the fern—
I caught her, and I kissed her mouth and eyes;
And with those kisses signed and sealed our fate
For evermore. Then came our happy days—
The bright, brief, shining days without a cloud!
In ferny hollows and deep, rustling woods,
That shut us in and shut out all the world—
The far, forgotten world—we met, and kissed,
And parted, silent, in the balmy dusk.
We haunted still roe-coverts, hand in hand,
And murmured, under our breath, of love and faith,
And swore great oaths for one of us to keep.
We sat for hours, with sealèd lips, and heard
The crossbill chattering in the larches—heard
The sweet wind whispering as it passed us by—
And heard our own hearts' music in the hush.
Ah, blessed days! ah, happy, innocent days!—
I would I had them back.
“Then came the Duke,
And Lady Alice, with her worldly grace
And artificial beauty—with the gleam
Of jewels, and the dainty shine of silk,
And perfumed softness of white lace and lawn;
With all the glamour of her courtly ways,
Her talk of art and fashion, and the world
We both belonged to. Ah, she hardened me!
I lost the sweetness of the heathery moors
And hills and quiet woodlands, in that scent
Of London clubs and royal drawing-rooms;
I lost the tender chivalry of my love,
The keen sense of its sacredness, the clear
Perception of mine honour, by degrees,
Brought face to face with customs of my kind.

I was no more a “man;” nor she, my love,
A delicate lily of womanhood—ah, no!
I was the heir of an illustrious house,
And she a simple, homespun cottage-girl.

“And now I stole at rarer intervals
To those dim trysting woods; and when I came
I brought my cunning worldly wisdom—talked
Of empty forms and marriages in heaven—
To stain that simple soul, God pardon me!
And she would shiver in the stillness, scared
And shocked, with her pathetic eyes—aye proof
Against the fatal, false philosophy.
But my will was the strongest, and my love
The weakest; and she knew it.
“Well, well, well,
I need not talk of that. There came the day
Of our last parting in the ferny glen—
A bitter parting, parting from my life,
Its light and peace for ever! And I turned
To ***** and billiards, politics and wine;
Was wooed by Lady Alice, and half won;
And passed a feverous winter in the world.
Ah, do not frown! You do not understand.
You never knew that hopeless thirst for peace—
That gnawing hunger, gnawing at your life;
The passion, born too late! I tell you, friend,
The ruth, and love, and longing for my child,
It broke my heart at last.
“In the hot days
Of August, I went back; I went alone.
And on old garrulous Margery—relict she
Of some departed seneschal—I rained
My eager questions. ‘Had the poaching been
As ruinous and as audacious as of old?
Were the dogs well? and had she felt the heat?
And—I supposed the keeper, Colin, still
Was somewhere on the place?’
“ ‘Nay, sir,’; said she,
‘But he has left the neighbourhood. He ne'er
Has held his head up since he lost his child,
Poor soul, a month ago.’
“I heard—I heard!
His child—he had but one—my little one,
Whom I had meant to marry in a week!

“ ‘Ah, sir, she turned out badly after all,
The girl we thought a pattern for all girls.
We know not how it happened, for she named
No names. And, sir, it preyed upon her mind,
And weakened it; and she forgot us all,
And seemed as one aye walking in her sleep
She noticed no one—no one but the dog,
A young deerhound that followed her about;
Though him she hugged and kissed in a strange way
When none was by. And Colin, he was hard
Upon the girl; and when she sat so still,
And pale and passive, while he raved and stormed,
Looking beyond him, as it were, he grew
The harder and more harsh. He did not know
That she was not herself. Men are so blind!
But when he saw her floating in the loch,
The moonlight on her face, and her long hair
All tangled in the rushes; saw the hound
Whining and crying, tugging at her plaid—
Ah, sir, it was a death-stroke!’
“This was all.
This was the end of her sweet life—the end
Of all worth having of mine own! At night
I crept across the moors to find her grave,
And kiss the wet earth covering it—and found
The deerhound lying there asleep. Ay me!
It was the bitterest darkness,—nevermore
To break out into dawn and day again!

“And Lady Alice shakes her dainty head,
Lifts her arch eyebrows, smiles, and whispers, “Once
He was a little wild!’ ”
With that he laughed;
Then suddenly flung his face upon the grass,
Crying, “Leave me for a little—let me be!”
And in the dusky stillness hugged his woe,
And wept away his pas
Reverist Jul 2014
Closer she got pulled,
her body now leaning on his,
dancing with grace,
to the symphony of melancholic haze.

Chest to chest,
her heartbeats so apace,
dancing with him placidly,
trying to keep her breathing awake.

Staring into each others eyes,
icy-blue and stormy grey,
his seemed dead, hers so radiant,
both so different, yet so interlaced.

He was a mystery she just met,
totally oblivious of his true intent,
for he was the devil in disguise,
and she was the prey he wished to torment.

A kiss was shared,
her soul he stole,
his lips like morphine,
knocked her out cold.
Susan Hunt Jul 2012
CHAPTER ONE: THE DEMISE OF A YOUNG GIRL SEPTEMBER 1975


I had not seen my father in over two years when he showed up at my mom and step dad's condo. He had a slick knack of disappearing when laws were broken and he was wanted for questioning. He had an even better ability to re-enter when the heat was off.

My father owned three nightclubs in Oklahoma City. His first was the Silver Sword, and then he opened The Red Slipper. After he met his second wife, they together, opened the Jade Club.

All were successful, but the Red Slipper had a reputation. On a rare occasion, my dad would take me with him to open up the place. At first, it scared me. It was so dark in there. But as the lights came on behind the bar, I fell in love with the atmosphere.

Bobby Orr’s hockey stick hung on the wall, along with an endearing note from F. Lee Bailey. At six years old, all I knew was that they were the objects that made my dad beam.

I learned to play pool by standing on a phone book. I watched the colorful smacking ***** bounce around the most beautiful color of green I had ever seen. Chalking the stick was a chore, but after nearly poking my eye out once, I soon caught on.

It was a struggle to climb up on a barstool, but it was worth the effort. I sat at the bar and had lunch: popcorn, pretzels, peanuts and Pepsi.

As I grew older, I saw less and less of him, until he became a stranger, drifting in every once in awhile.  Every few weeks or so, I would come home from school, and see his car in the driveway.

This always shot fear and excitement through me. The air of unpredictability always made me want to ***. Unfortunately, most of the time, we were locked out of the house for a few hours, so I would have to *** in the back yard or at the neighbors. We waited on the stairs for the front door to open. And it always did, by my mom. She usually looked satisfied and serene but other times, I saw dread and sadness on her face.

Ever since I could remember, my dad had been a string of disappointments for me with a few indescribable moments of pure enjoyment mixed in between He could be kind, funny and like a real dad sometimes, that was the dad I missed. I tried to hold onto those experiences, even though he was such a mean ******* most of the time. But mostly, I just didn't know him.

Their divorce became final around the summer of 1972, but that didn't stop my mom from loving him. I don't know why, but she chased him frequently, going out to bars with her friends, trying to get a glimpse of him, and maybe more.

The last time I’d seen my father had not been pleasant. When I was thirteen, he broke down the door to our apartment and went straight to my mother’s bedroom. The noises were terrifying. The screaming, and punching sounds were followed by my mother’s whimpering, begging, groveling.

"How dare you do this to me, Patsy!? And behind my back! You could have at least told me!"

My dad had bailed himself out of jail that night. She promised him she would never seek alimony or child support again. Her lawyer was wrong. It wasn’t worth getting killed over.  

Shortly after, he had to leave the state. It had something to do with a low-level mob deal involving an insurance fraud. Too bad, it involved burning a building with someone in it. My dad became nothing but a memory, which faded away over time.

**

Alcohol and tobacco were constants in my family, so when my older brother, Tim, started smoking at ten years old, I don't remember much protest from anyone. I was seven and when my sister Abby, turned ten the next year, she also started smoking.  All the older kids were smoking cigarettes. I wanted to be cool, so I puked and coughed as I practiced. By the time I was ten, I too, was inhaling properly.  Around that time, I was introduced to *** by my sister's boyfriend. It did help my mood, somewhat, but it wasn't enough.

By 1974, I was using drugs from my sister’s boyfriend. John was a true drugstore cowboy. At first, he committed burglaries, which were easy at the time. There were no sophisticated electronics to stop someone from cutting a hole in the roof of a pharmacy. It took only minutes to pry open the safe that contained the narcotics. Then it took maybe another minute to fill a pillowcase full of every variety of amphetamines, barbiturates, valiums, etc.

It wasn’t long before I graduated to using morphine, ******* and then overdosed on Demerol. My stepfather sent me to a treatment facility in Tulsa Oklahoma, about one hundred miles away from Oklahoma City. The Dillon treatment center didn’t accept clients under age of sixteen but made an exception with me. I was a walking-talking disastrous miracle...or a miraculously saved disaster.

They figured that since I was fourteen, the sooner the better to start my road to recovery. Apparently, they didn’t condone sneaking *** and valiums in to the facility. I was kicked out of Dillon after about a month.

I came back home and laid low. I went back to Hefner Jr. High and enrolled back into the ninth grade. I quietly picked up where I left off, going back into business with John. My job was to sell the safe stuff; valiums, seconols, white bennies, ***, etc.


Summer came; I turned fifteen and had developed a tendency to over test my wares. I overdosed and nearly died in the hospital several times, which had led to my current predicament. Nobody knew what to do with me.

In August, I entered the tenth grade...for two weeks. I was expelled, (you guessed it) for dealing drugs. I was on homebound teaching twice a week with little supervision. My mother worked, my step-dad, **** ,worked, and I was home all day. However, I was not just sitting idly around. I was into enterprise.

**

In September, I overdosed again. I was quickly killing myself and my mother didn’t know what to do to stop it. That is why what happened was not my mother’s fault. But it wasn’t my fault either.

I never figured out how he knew where we lived. My mother moved over at least fourteen times in between the time I was six and twelve years old. Yet, here he was, at our front door, with his undeniable ‘ah shucks’ charm. His modesty was convincing. His timing was incredible. My mother stood frozen, her mouth agape. **** took the lead. He placed himself between my mother and father.

“You must be Gary Don, my name is ****; I’m Patsy’s husband." **** had never met my dad, but he'd heard enough about him to surmise who was standing at the door.

"Um, yeah, I'm Gary Don, it's nice to meet you ****", he said; as he offered a friendly hand shake to ****.

"I hope I'm not interrupting you, I was just in Duncan with my parents and they suggested I stop by and talk with you before heading back west. It's about Susie....

"Yes, Patsy said you called yesterday. We weren't expecting you this soon, but it's no problem. Why don't you come in and tell us what your plans are? Patsy, honey, would you mind putting on a *** of coffee?”

This unfroze my mother and she scurried to the kitchen. I was still in shock at seeing my dad’s face. I retreated to the staircase, but poked my head around and caught him glance at me. I flew up to the landing. I could easily escape up the rest of the stairs to my bedroom.
I was small enough to remain hidden on the landing, and heard the conversation between my mother, my dad and ****. **** was the classiest, most even-tempered adult I had ever encountered. I wished I could stop hurting him and my mother.  

My mother sat down two cups of coffee on the dining room table where my dad and **** sat. As she retreated a few steps back into the kitchen, **** politely probed my dad. My dad had the right answer for every question.

He swore he was a completely different person. He had changed. He had no hard feelings, instead he was back to help. He was remorseful for being an absent father and he wanted to make things right. He was back for a reason. He had heard that I was in trouble with drugs and school and he felt guilty for that. He had the answer to my problems. He was so convincing, so….humble, almost shy.

As I listened, I began freaking out with fear and excitement. I always wanted my dad. The last time I tried to live with him, it didn’t work out; he sent me back to my mother’s after a month. Now my dad wanted me! He wanted to save me, take care of me!

He lived by himself now. He was the manager of The Palace Restaurant/Hotel in the little town of Raton, New Mexico. It was a refurbished hotel, built over a century ago The ground floor was an elegant bar and restaurant. He was making very good money, he paid no rent and he had an extra room for me.

With a population of 6000, it was not a place to continue a lucrative drug business. Also, he would enroll me into the little high school and I could get my diploma. I could work in the restaurant in the evenings where he would keep his eye on me. Then, there was the horse. He would buy me a horse. And on and on and on.

The logic and sincerity of his argument was convincing. So there it was. An hour later, my bags were packed. I was going to live with my father in New Mexico.

That’s how in September 1975, my father whisked me away from my home in Oklahoma City, under the guise of saving me from my own demise. I was stolen and held captive in Raton, New Mexico for what seemed like forever.

My dog, Baron was coming with me, I refused to go anywhere without him. He was a tiny black and tan Dachshund. I got him free when I was fourteen, when I got back from Tulsa. To me, he was priceless. He was my best friend. He couldn’t have weighed more than ten pounds, but his heart was huge.

I talked to him about everything and he consoled me by nodding, and licking me on the cheek non-stop…or he would admonish me through his expressions and demeanor. I had lived with Dachshunds since I was seven, so understood their language pretty well. Baron understood humans better. We developed a rare communication that worked well for both of us.
Herman, our older dachshund had greeted my dad cordially. Baron couldn’t figure this out, he expressed his apprehension. He looked at me and conveyed,

“Well, if Herman isn’t worried, I guess it’ll be Okay, right? Right, Susan?”

I was sorry I didn’t have an honest answer. I did my best to settle him.

“Sure, this’ll be fun, a whole new adventure!”

As we drove West, toward the Texas panhandle, Baron kept the conversation going by his curious interest expressed by wide eyes and attentive ears. My dad amazed him with his knowledge of history, geography, geology, astronomy, world geo-politics, weather, music on the radio, literature, mechanics, religion and countless other topics. I knew he was faking his fascination with my dad. He knew he was doing me a favor.

There was not a dead moment in the air. An occasional “really?” expressed by me was enough to keep my dad’s mouth running. I was thankful for that. It kept my attention away from my jangle of emotions. As we drove through the night, I was conflicted, scared, excited, happy and worried. I didn’t know where I was going, or who was driving me there.

My dad’s jovial demeanor comforted me. He made The Palace sound like the perfect place for his little princess.

When we arrived, it was late, after 10pm., Baron was exhausted. I stood on the corner and looked up. I gulped. The three-story building was like an old gothic castle. It was a huge rectangle with the front corner cut back with a fifth wall about ten feet wide. This provided the entrance with two giant oak doors. Baron was less than enthused by its foreboding appearance. I had to agree.

Dad ignored my hesitation. “Come on, you’re going to love this place!”

He pulled open one of the oak doors, which had to weigh at least five hundred pounds. I was hesitant, but thirsty. Baron’s squirming had started to annoy me. I went forward filled with adrenalin.

The initial entrance was a small round foyer with a domed ceiling of cut glass. It was about six feet round. As I stared up at the beautiful little pieces of color, I heard my dad chuckle.

“See? I told you, there’s no place like this!”

Then I saw the true entry to the bar, a set of small bat winged doors that swung back and forth. He pulled one of the doors back, beckoning me forward. He looked down at me with a tender expression.

“Welcome home, honey, this is home now.”

As we entered the bar, I was dumbstruck. Baron was not. I stepped back in time, to 1896, into The Palace Hotel.

The bar took up half of the first floor of the hotel. It was the most captivating centerpiece of the establishment. The mirror behind the bar was the longest continuous piece of reflection glass in all the states, the brochure proclaimed. A brass foot rail extended the length of the long cherry oak bar A few feet behind was a waist high railing just like the saloons in old John Wayne movies.

The carpet was a deep royal red interlaced with black swirly patterns. Bright golden paper covered the walls. It was smooth and shiny with raised curly designs made out of felt or maybe even velour. God, I just wanted to reach over and run my fingers across it!  

The wall opposite the bar had windows that were quizzically narrow and impossibly tall. Lush maroon velvet drapes adorned them, parted in the center to provide a view of the quaint town just beyond the sidewalk.

I looked up at the ornate ceiling, which seemed a mile above me. It was covered with tiles of little angels that all looked the same, yet different. The angels danced across the entire ceiling until it curved and met the wall. I got dizzy looking at them.

“You can’t find ceiling tiles like that anywhere! My dad grinned. “They’re covered in pure gold leaf!”

I didn’t know what pure gold leaf was, but the word ‘gold’ impressed me very much.

He introduced me to the staff. I l blushed when he said; “This is Susie, my favorite little girl!” I had never heard that before. The whole crew greeted me warmly, all smiles and friendliness.  

I always paid attention when Baron got nervous but I chose to ignore him. I jostled him in my arms. My stern look at him stopped his squiggling, but his look back conveyed that I was clueless.

I, however thought, Okay, I have died and gone to Heaven! I was enchanted. My fascination with this magical setting made me feel happy; I was in the neatest place I had ever seen. I’m going to love it here!

On the first night, my dad led me around the ground floor. The restaurant was as elegant as the bar. To the rear of the restaurant, there was a large commercial kitchen. Off the rear of the kitchen, he showed, me a short hallway to the back exit. To the right, a huge staircase led to the two upper floors of dilapidated hotel rooms. A manager’s apartment had been converted from several hotel rooms connected together on the second floor, just above the entrance to the hotel.

We ended up back in the bar and sat at a table for two. Crystal, the head bartender stayed on for a little while longer after the rest of the staff were allowed to go home.

Sitting at the table, he ordered Harvey’s Bristol Cream Sherry. I had never had Cream Sherry before, but it tasted like candy with nuts and I had no problem going through numerous rounds in a very short time. I was hungry but I was too nervous to eat.

Baron, however, was ravenous. My dad fed him little pieces filet mignon and French bread with real butter. He played cute for my dad, sitting up and begging. He jumped up, putting his paws on my dad’s leg, wagging his tail like crazy.

I was a little befuddled until I caught his sideways glance that said, “I do not like this guy, but I gotta eat, I’m starving. You’re the one falling into his into his trap, not me.”

Ouch. “Baron, sometimes I wish you would shut the hell up.”

After having his fill, he settled into a wary sleep on top of my feet. I never worried about losing Baron. Where I went, he went, period.

I wasn’t aware when the bartender left. The bottle was on the table before I knew it; he kept my glass full. I was five feet tall and weighed 106 pounds. I had a lethal level of alcohol pulsing threw my entire body…and I had my daddy.

I was in a haze. Actually, it was more of a daze than a haze. My vision was
Gary Brocks Aug 2018
We spread our blanket on uneven
ground, bodies embracing in descent,        
                       They lay on the boxcar floor,
                        fingers twisted, clutching slats.
transfixed by the spell of evening,
limbs entwined, interlaced,
                        Barbed wire pressed punctured palms
                        faces creased as old photographs.
We stretched in dawn’s light,
poured coffee out of cups,
and left as it merged with the dust.
                         bones upheave turf and loam
                         fingers grasping, sheathed in soil.

Copyright © 2003 Gary Brocks
180828F

At the time of writing, the war in former Yugoslavia was occurring. Pictures of ethnic extermination camps, barbed write, mass graves, Happeing again. Happening despite the awareness and vows after the holocaust, that such things must never be allowed to happen again. An awareness that had grown stale. Do the horrors of history, even in our ignorance or innocence, ultimately make even the smallest of our acts, some how complicit?
Natalie Thompson Feb 2015
A wave of elation hit me the second I saw you,
and through that revolving door you flew.
I couldn't help but notice the smile on your face
as we held each other in a longing embrace.
The scent of you flooded my lungs,
how good it is to be happy and young.

Hand in hand we walked,
all the way to Top of the Rock.
Admiring the city we stood in that space,
you wrapped both arms around my waist.
Still standing in the corner behind the glass,
I turned with a grin, and our lips met at last.

We strolled over to Bryant Park,
where we laughed until dark.
The times we stared in each other's eyes without making a sound,
made it feel as if no one was around.
We watched little kids play many games,
if it wasn't freezing we said we'd do the same.  

Finally caught a cab to take us to The Met,
there we listened to a string quintet.
We sat at a small table with my dad and his wife,
where they talked all about college and life.
For an hour we stayed, in that beautiful place,
and secretly, our fingers were interlaced.

Back to the apartment with only an hour left,
we rode the elevators without a rest.
Foreheads touching, and mouths pressed together,
you soon had to leave in the cold frosty weather.
When it was time, we said farewell and goodbye,
then you ran back and held me for one last time.
A little brief description of the most perfect day with a perfect guy.
(except for almost dying from frostbite) xD
A hippie hocked a louie on Sammy
when he landed in San Francisco.

Sammy didn't respond;
he just wanted to make
his connecting flight home.

Sammy wasn't proud about
some of things he did in the war;
so he figured he probably
deserved the garlands of disdain
an ungrateful nation bestows
upon itself in fits of self contempt.

Sammy shut down and tuned out,
soon his heart was as dead
as a tombstone until he visited
the monument.  

He would often recall the story
that as he approached the darkened
wall he could sense ghosts loosening
themselves from the black granite.   

Sammy swore that Jimmy Lynch
who went MIA on the final week of his tour
gave him a bear hug and told him
as long as the beer stays cold
and he don’t lose the church key,
everything's groovy and he’s
hanging tough until the rest
of the guys show up.

Jimmy pointed to the Lincoln Memorial
at one end of the mall and to the
Washington Monument at the other,
emphatically stating that our monument
was forever linked with the greatest Americans.

Yeah meeting up with Jimmy
helped Sammy to start shaken
off some real bad stuff.

Mazie knew her husband for a
month before they got married.
A week later Freddie was off to Vietnam.

Freddie was KIA during the Tet Offensive
and his repatriated remains are peacefully
at rest in the red clay of Georgia.

An always faithful Mazie
came to the monument
a few years after it was dedicated.  
She was struck by all the keepsakes
people left at the base of the wall;  
Zippos, baby pictures, a copy of
The Catcher in the Rye, a fifth
of Makers Mark, Pink Teddy Bears,
votive lights, a red 57 Chevy model,
a left handed catchers mitt, and
a pack of Lucky Strikes.

She palmed rosaries and
crucifixes that salved sore
running wounds and David’s
interlaced Star sounding a Shofar
pleading a case for peace.

Mazie is most moved by the names.  
Rows and rows of names. The scroll
begins in a modest manner and
as the wall climbs the names
of a country's vigilant sons and
daughters tower over her head.  
So much living history; spoken
in the unique accent of a country’s
diverse plethora of luminous tongues.

The stories written into the black granite
tell a tale from every state; claiming
the ears, heart and mind of every citizen. 
Each chiseled letter captures every bit
of sun and deep creeping shadow
inching across a great nation.

“I’m  71” says Mazie.  “When I look
upon the wall I see my 21 year old
Freddie as he looked on the finest
day of his life.  He will never look
any other way to me.”
  
“I didn't want to go to see it,” Franny said,
“a cold piece of stone won’t bring my son back.”

Franny did finally go...

When it rains the wall weeps.  
The wall wept all day,
the first time Franny went.

Many were rubbing
the impressions of
dearly departed names.

Franny too, kneels to the
presence of her son’s name.

With a mother's
grateful fingers,
she touches the wall's
damp surface; wiping
the drizzle from her
child's sodden face.

Kneeling before his semblance,
she rubs his etched edges
onto tiny bits of paper.

She sees him,
made manifest in the stone.
As if through a glass darkly,
a found son looks back,
onto the face of a caring mother.

Franny hangs onto the quiet
memory of his voice,
shimmering in the soft lilt
of a warm dark stone.

This deep core Vulcan gneiss,
at last emerged from the hardest stuff,
sculpts a perfect likeness of a tear stained nation.

The Harmonizing Four: Rock of Ages

In Honor of
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Washington DC

Oakland
Veterans Day
2013
Susan Hunt Jul 2012
CHAPTER ONE: THE DEMISE OF A YOUNG GIRL SEPTEMBER 1975


I had not seen my father in over two years when he showed up at my mom and step dad's condo. He had a slick knack of disappearing when laws were broken and he was wanted for questioning. He had an even better ability to re-enter when the heat was off.

My father owned three nightclubs in Oklahoma City. His first was the Silver Sword, and then he opened The Red Slipper. After he met his second wife, they together, opened the Jade Club.

All were successful, but the Red Slipper had a reputation. On a rare occasion, my dad would take me with him to open up the place. At first, it scared me. It was so dark in there. But as the lights came on behind the bar, I fell in love with the atmosphere.

Bobby Orr’s hockey stick hung on the wall, along with an endearing note from F. Lee Bailey. At six years old, all I knew was that they were the objects that made my dad beam.

I learned to play pool by standing on a phone book. I watched the colorful smacking ***** bounce around the most beautiful color of green I had ever seen. Chalking the stick was a chore, but after nearly poking my eye out once, I soon caught on.

It was a struggle to climb up on a barstool, but it was worth the effort. I sat at the bar and had lunch: popcorn, pretzels, peanuts and Pepsi.

As I grew older, I saw less and less of him, until he became a stranger, drifting in every once in awhile.  Every few weeks or so, I would come home from school, and see his car in the driveway.

This always shot fear and excitement through me. The air of unpredictability always made me want to ***. Unfortunately, most of the time, we were locked out of the house for a few hours, so I would have to *** in the back yard or at the neighbors. We waited on the stairs for the front door to open. And it always did, by my mom. She usually looked satisfied and serene but other times, I saw dread and sadness on her face.

Ever since I could remember, my dad had been a string of disappointments for me with a few indescribable moments of pure enjoyment mixed in between He could be kind, funny and like a real dad sometimes, that was the dad I missed. I tried to hold onto those experiences, even though he was such a mean ******* most of the time. But mostly, I just didn't know him.

Their divorce became final around the summer of 1972, but that didn't stop my mom from loving him. I don't know why, but she chased him frequently, going out to bars with her friends, trying to get a glimpse of him, and maybe more.

The last time I’d seen my father had not been pleasant. When I was thirteen, he broke down the door to our apartment and went straight to my mother’s bedroom. The noises were terrifying. The screaming, and punching sounds were followed by my mother’s whimpering, begging, groveling.

"How dare you do this to me, Patsy!? And behind my back! You could have at least told me!"

My dad had bailed himself out of jail that night. She promised him she would never seek alimony or child support again. Her lawyer was wrong. It wasn’t worth getting killed over.  

Shortly after, he had to leave the state. It had something to do with a low-level mob deal involving an insurance fraud. Too bad, it involved burning a building with someone in it. My dad became nothing but a memory, which faded away over time.

**

Alcohol and tobacco were constants in my family, so when my older brother, Tim, started smoking at ten years old, I don't remember much protest from anyone. I was seven and when my sister Abby, turned ten the next year, she also started smoking.  All the older kids were smoking cigarettes. I wanted to be cool, so I puked and coughed as I practiced. By the time I was ten, I too, was inhaling properly.  Around that time, I was introduced to *** by my sister's boyfriend. It did help my mood, somewhat, but it wasn't enough.

By 1974, I was using drugs from my sister’s boyfriend. John was a true drugstore cowboy. At first, he committed burglaries, which were easy at the time. There were no sophisticated electronics to stop someone from cutting a hole in the roof of a pharmacy. It took only minutes to pry open the safe that contained the narcotics. Then it took maybe another minute to fill a pillowcase full of every variety of amphetamines, barbiturates, valiums, etc.

It wasn’t long before I graduated to using morphine, ******* and then overdosed on Demerol. My stepfather sent me to a treatment facility in Tulsa Oklahoma, about one hundred miles away from Oklahoma City. The Dillon treatment center didn’t accept clients under age of sixteen but made an exception with me. I was a walking-talking disastrous miracle...or a miraculously saved disaster.

They figured that since I was fourteen, the sooner the better to start my road to recovery. Apparently, they didn’t condone sneaking *** and valiums in to the facility. I was kicked out of Dillon after about a month.

I came back home and laid low. I went back to Hefner Jr. High and enrolled back into the ninth grade. I quietly picked up where I left off, going back into business with John. My job was to sell the safe stuff; valiums, seconols, white bennies, ***, etc.


Summer came; I turned fifteen and had developed a tendency to over test my wares. I overdosed and nearly died in the hospital several times, which had led to my current predicament. Nobody knew what to do with me.

In August, I entered the tenth grade...for two weeks. I was expelled, (you guessed it) for dealing drugs. I was on homebound teaching twice a week with little supervision. My mother worked, my step-dad, **** ,worked, and I was home all day. However, I was not just sitting idly around. I was into enterprise.

**

In September, I overdosed again. I was quickly killing myself and my mother didn’t know what to do to stop it. That is why what happened was not my mother’s fault. But it wasn’t my fault either.

I never figured out how he knew where we lived. My mother moved over at least fourteen times in between the time I was six and twelve years old. Yet, here he was, at our front door, with his undeniable ‘ah shucks’ charm. His modesty was convincing. His timing was incredible. My mother stood frozen, her mouth agape. **** took the lead. He placed himself between my mother and father.

“You must be Gary Don, my name is ****; I’m Patsy’s husband." **** had never met my dad, but he'd heard enough about him to surmise who was standing at the door.

"Um, yeah, I'm Gary Don, it's nice to meet you ****", he said; as he offered a friendly hand shake to ****.

"I hope I'm not interrupting you, I was just in Duncan with my parents and they suggested I stop by and talk with you before heading back west. It's about Susie....

"Yes, Patsy said you called yesterday. We weren't expecting you this soon, but it's no problem. Why don't you come in and tell us what your plans are? Patsy, honey, would you mind putting on a *** of coffee?”

This unfroze my mother and she scurried to the kitchen. I was still in shock at seeing my dad’s face. I retreated to the staircase, but poked my head around and caught him glance at me. I flew up to the landing. I could easily escape up the rest of the stairs to my bedroom.
I was small enough to remain hidden on the landing, and heard the conversation between my mother, my dad and ****. **** was the classiest, most even-tempered adult I had ever encountered. I wished I could stop hurting him and my mother.  

My mother sat down two cups of coffee on the dining room table where my dad and **** sat. As she retreated a few steps back into the kitchen, **** politely probed my dad. My dad had the right answer for every question.

He swore he was a completely different person. He had changed. He had no hard feelings, instead he was back to help. He was remorseful for being an absent father and he wanted to make things right. He was back for a reason. He had heard that I was in trouble with drugs and school and he felt guilty for that. He had the answer to my problems. He was so convincing, so….humble, almost shy.

As I listened, I began freaking out with fear and excitement. I always wanted my dad. The last time I tried to live with him, it didn’t work out; he sent me back to my mother’s after a month. Now my dad wanted me! He wanted to save me, take care of me!

He lived by himself now. He was the manager of The Palace Restaurant/Hotel in the little town of Raton, New Mexico. It was a refurbished hotel, built over a century ago The ground floor was an elegant bar and restaurant. He was making very good money, he paid no rent and he had an extra room for me.

With a population of 6000, it was not a place to continue a lucrative drug business. Also, he would enroll me into the little high school and I could get my diploma. I could work in the restaurant in the evenings where he would keep his eye on me. Then, there was the horse. He would buy me a horse. And on and on and on.

The logic and sincerity of his argument was convincing. So there it was. An hour later, my bags were packed. I was going to live with my father in New Mexico.

That’s how in September 1975, my father whisked me away from my home in Oklahoma City, under the guise of saving me from my own demise. I was stolen and held captive in Raton, New Mexico for what seemed like forever.

My dog, Baron was coming with me, I refused to go anywhere without him. He was a tiny black and tan Dachshund. I got him free when I was fourteen, when I got back from Tulsa. To me, he was priceless. He was my best friend. He couldn’t have weighed more than ten pounds, but his heart was huge.

I talked to him about everything and he consoled me by nodding, and licking me on the cheek non-stop…or he would admonish me through his expressions and demeanor. I had lived with Dachshunds since I was seven, so understood their language pretty well. Baron understood humans better. We developed a rare communication that worked well for both of us.
Herman, our older dachshund had greeted my dad cordially. Baron couldn’t figure this out, he expressed his apprehension. He looked at me and conveyed,

“Well, if Herman isn’t worried, I guess it’ll be Okay, right? Right, Susan?”

I was sorry I didn’t have an honest answer. I did my best to settle him.

“Sure, this’ll be fun, a whole new adventure!”

As we drove West, toward the Texas panhandle, Baron kept the conversation going by his curious interest expressed by wide eyes and attentive ears. My dad amazed him with his knowledge of history, geography, geology, astronomy, world geo-politics, weather, music on the radio, literature, mechanics, religion and countless other topics. I knew he was faking his fascination with my dad. He knew he was doing me a favor.

There was not a dead moment in the air. An occasional “really?” expressed by me was enough to keep my dad’s mouth running. I was thankful for that. It kept my attention away from my jangle of emotions. As we drove through the night, I was conflicted, scared, excited, happy and worried. I didn’t know where I was going, or who was driving me there.

My dad’s jovial demeanor comforted me. He made The Palace sound like the perfect place for his little princess.

When we arrived, it was late, after 10pm., Baron was exhausted. I stood on the corner and looked up. I gulped. The three-story building was like an old gothic castle. It was a huge rectangle with the front corner cut back with a fifth wall about ten feet wide. This provided the entrance with two giant oak doors. Baron was less than enthused by its foreboding appearance. I had to agree.

Dad ignored my hesitation. “Come on, you’re going to love this place!”

He pulled open one of the oak doors, which had to weigh at least five hundred pounds. I was hesitant, but thirsty. Baron’s squirming had started to annoy me. I went forward filled with adrenalin.

The initial entrance was a small round foyer with a domed ceiling of cut glass. It was about six feet round. As I stared up at the beautiful little pieces of color, I heard my dad chuckle.

“See? I told you, there’s no place like this!”

Then I saw the true entry to the bar, a set of small bat winged doors that swung back and forth. He pulled one of the doors back, beckoning me forward. He looked down at me with a tender expression.

“Welcome home, honey, this is home now.”

As we entered the bar, I was dumbstruck. Baron was not. I stepped back in time, to 1896, into The Palace Hotel.

The bar took up half of the first floor of the hotel. It was the most captivating centerpiece of the establishment. The mirror behind the bar was the longest continuous piece of reflection glass in all the states, the brochure proclaimed. A brass foot rail extended the length of the long cherry oak bar A few feet behind was a waist high railing just like the saloons in old John Wayne movies.

The carpet was a deep royal red interlaced with black swirly patterns. Bright golden paper covered the walls. It was smooth and shiny with raised curly designs made out of felt or maybe even velour. God, I just wanted to reach over and run my fingers across it!  

The wall opposite the bar had windows that were quizzically narrow and impossibly tall. Lush maroon velvet drapes adorned them, parted in the center to provide a view of the quaint town just beyond the sidewalk.

I looked up at the ornate ceiling, which seemed a mile above me. It was covered with tiles of little angels that all looked the same, yet different. The angels danced across the entire ceiling until it curved and met the wall. I got dizzy looking at them.

“You can’t find ceiling tiles like that anywhere! My dad grinned. “They’re covered in pure gold leaf!”

I didn’t know what pure gold leaf was, but the word ‘gold’ impressed me very much.

He introduced me to the staff. I l blushed when he said; “This is Susie, my favorite little girl!” I had never heard that before. The whole crew greeted me warmly, all smiles and friendliness.  

I always paid attention when Baron got nervous but I chose to ignore him. I jostled him in my arms. My stern look at him stopped his squiggling, but his look back conveyed that I was clueless.

I, however thought, Okay, I have died and gone to Heaven! I was enchanted. My fascination with this magical setting made me feel happy; I was in the neatest place I had ever seen. I’m going to love it here!

On the first night, my dad led me around the ground floor. The restaurant was as elegant as the bar. To the rear of the restaurant, there was a large commercial kitchen. Off the rear of the kitchen, he showed, me a short hallway to the back exit. To the right, a huge staircase led to the two upper floors of dilapidated hotel rooms. A manager’s apartment had been converted from several hotel rooms connected together on the second floor, just above the entrance to the hotel.

We ended up back in the bar and sat at a table for two. Crystal, the head bartender stayed on for a little while longer after the rest of the staff were allowed to go home.

Sitting at the table, he ordered Harvey’s Bristol Cream Sherry. I had never had Cream Sherry before, but it tasted like candy with nuts and I had no problem going through numerous rounds in a very short time. I was hungry but I was too nervous to eat.

Baron, however, was ravenous. My dad fed him little pieces filet mignon and French bread with real butter. He played cute for my dad, sitting up and begging. He jumped up, putting his paws on my dad’s leg, wagging his tail like crazy.

I was a little befuddled until I caught his sideways glance that said, “I do not like this guy, but I gotta eat, I’m starving. You’re the one falling into his into his trap, not me.”

Ouch. “Baron, sometimes I wish you would shut the hell up.”

After having his fill, he settled into a wary sleep on top of my feet. I never worried about losing Baron. Where I went, he went, period.

I wasn’t aware when the bartender left. The bottle was on the table before I knew it; he kept my glass full. I was five feet tall and weighed 106 pounds. I had a lethal level of alcohol pulsing threw my entire body…and I had my daddy.

I was in a haze. Actually, it was more of a daze than a haze. My vision was
Now when Jove had thus brought Hector and the Trojans to the
ships, he left them to their never-ending toil, and turned his keen
eyes away, looking elsewhither towards the horse-breeders of Thrace,
the Mysians, fighters at close quarters, the noble Hippemolgi, who
live on milk, and the Abians, justest of mankind. He no longer
turned so much as a glance towards Troy, for he did not think that any
of the immortals would go and help either Trojans or Danaans.
  But King Neptune had kept no blind look-out; he had been looking
admiringly on the battle from his seat on the topmost crests of wooded
Samothrace, whence he could see all Ida, with the city of Priam and
the ships of the Achaeans. He had come from under the sea and taken
his place here, for he pitied the Achaeans who were being overcome
by the Trojans; and he was furiously angry with Jove.
  Presently he came down from his post on the mountain top, and as
he strode swiftly onwards the high hills and the forest quaked beneath
the tread of his immortal feet. Three strides he took, and with the
fourth he reached his goal—Aegae, where is his glittering golden
palace, imperishable, in the depths of the sea. When he got there,
he yoked his fleet brazen-footed steeds with their manes of gold all
flying in the wind; he clothed himself in raiment of gold, grasped his
gold whip, and took his stand upon his chariot. As he went his way
over the waves the sea-monsters left their lairs, for they knew
their lord, and came gambolling round him from every quarter of the
deep, while the sea in her gladness opened a path before his
chariot. So lightly did the horses fly that the bronze axle of the car
was not even wet beneath it; and thus his bounding steeds took him
to the ships of the Achaeans.
  Now there is a certain huge cavern in the depths of the sea midway
between Tenedos and rocky Imbrus; here Neptune lord of the
earthquake stayed his horses, unyoked them, and set before them
their ambrosial forage. He hobbled their feet with hobbles of gold
which none could either unloose or break, so that they might stay
there in that place until their lord should return. This done he
went his way to the host of the Achaeans.
  Now the Trojans followed Hector son of Priam in close array like a
storm-cloud or flame of fire, fighting with might and main and raising
the cry battle; for they deemed that they should take the ships of the
Achaeans and **** all their chiefest heroes then and there.
Meanwhile earth-encircling Neptune lord of the earthquake cheered on
the Argives, for he had come up out of the sea and had assumed the
form and voice of Calchas.
  First he spoke to the two Ajaxes, who were doing their best already,
and said, “Ajaxes, you two can be the saving of the Achaeans if you
will put out all your strength and not let yourselves be daunted. I am
not afraid that the Trojans, who have got over the wall in force, will
be victorious in any other part, for the Achaeans can hold all of them
in check, but I much fear that some evil will befall us here where
furious Hector, who boasts himself the son of great Jove himself, is
leading them on like a pillar of flame. May some god, then, put it
into your hearts to make a firm stand here, and to incite others to do
the like. In this case you will drive him from the ships even though
he be inspired by Jove himself.”
  As he spoke the earth-encircling lord of the earthquake struck
both of them with his sceptre and filled their hearts with daring.
He made their legs light and active, as also their hands and their
feet. Then, as the soaring falcon poises on the wing high above some
sheer rock, and presently swoops down to chase some bird over the
plain, even so did Neptune lord of the earthquake wing his flight into
the air and leave them. Of the two, swift Ajax son of Oileus was the
first to know who it was that had been speaking with them, and said to
Ajax son of Telamon, “Ajax, this is one of the gods that dwell on
Olympus, who in the likeness of the prophet is bidding us fight hard
by our ships. It was not Calchas the seer and diviner of omens; I knew
him at once by his feet and knees as he turned away, for the gods
are soon recognised. Moreover I feel the lust of battle burn more
fiercely within me, while my hands and my feet under me are more eager
for the fray.”
  And Ajax son of Telamon answered, “I too feel my hands grasp my
spear more firmly; my strength is greater, and my feet more nimble;
I long, moreover, to meet furious Hector son of Priam, even in
single combat.”
  Thus did they converse, exulting in the hunger after battle with
which the god had filled them. Meanwhile the earth-encircler roused
the Achaeans, who were resting in the rear by the ships overcome at
once by hard fighting and by grief at seeing that the Trojans had
got over the wall in force. Tears began falling from their eyes as
they beheld them, for they made sure that they should not escape
destruction; but the lord of the earthquake passed lightly about among
them and urged their battalions to the front.
  First he went up to Teucer and Leitus, the hero Peneleos, and
Thoas and Deipyrus; Meriones also and Antilochus, valiant warriors;
all did he exhort. “Shame on you young Argives,” he cried, “it was
on your prowess I relied for the saving of our ships; if you fight not
with might and main, this very day will see us overcome by the
Trojans. Of a truth my eyes behold a great and terrible portent
which I had never thought to see—the Trojans at our ships—they,
who were heretofore like panic-stricken hinds, the prey of jackals and
wolves in a forest, with no strength but in flight for they cannot
defend themselves. Hitherto the Trojans dared not for one moment
face the attack of the Achaeans, but now they have sallied far from
their city and are fighting at our very ships through the cowardice of
our leader and the disaffection of the people themselves, who in their
discontent care not to fight in defence of the ships but are being
slaughtered near them. True, King Agamemnon son of Atreus is the cause
of our disaster by having insulted the son of Peleus, still this is no
reason why we should leave off fighting. Let us be quick to heal,
for the hearts of the brave heal quickly. You do ill to be thus
remiss, you, who are the finest soldiers in our whole army. I blame no
man for keeping out of battle if he is a weakling, but I am
indignant with such men as you are. My good friends, matters will soon
become even worse through this slackness; think, each one of you, of
his own honour and credit, for the hazard of the fight is extreme.
Great Hector is now fighting at our ships; he has broken through the
gates and the strong bolt that held them.”
  Thus did the earth-encircler address the Achaeans and urge them
on. Thereon round the two Ajaxes there gathered strong bands of men,
of whom not even Mars nor Minerva, marshaller of hosts could make
light if they went among them, for they were the picked men of all
those who were now awaiting the onset of Hector and the Trojans.
They made a living fence, spear to spear, shield to shield, buckler to
buckler, helmet to helmet, and man to man. The horse-hair crests on
their gleaming helmets touched one another as they nodded forward,
so closely seffied were they; the spears they brandished in their
strong hands were interlaced, and their hearts were set on battle.
  The Trojans advanced in a dense body, with Hector at their head
pressing right on as a rock that comes thundering down the side of
some mountain from whose brow the winter torrents have torn it; the
foundations of the dull thing have been loosened by floods of rain,
and as it bounds headlong on its way it sets the whole forest in an
uproar; it swerves neither to right nor left till it reaches level
ground, but then for all its fury it can go no further—even so easily
did Hector for a while seem as though he would career through the
tents and ships of the Achaeans till he had reached the sea in his
murderous course; but the closely serried battalions stayed him when
he reached them, for the sons of the Achaeans ****** at him with
swords and spears pointed at both ends, and drove him from them so
that he staggered and gave ground; thereon he shouted to the
Trojans, “Trojans, Lycians, and Dardanians, fighters in close
combat, stand firm: the Achaeans have set themselves as a wall against
me, but they will not check me for long; they will give ground
before me if the mightiest of the gods, the thundering spouse of Juno,
has indeed inspired my onset.”
  With these words he put heart and soul into them all. Deiphobus
son of Priam went about among them intent on deeds of daring with
his round shield before him, under cover of which he strode quickly
forward. Meriones took aim at him with a spear, nor did he fail to hit
the broad orb of ox-hide; but he was far from piercing it for the
spear broke in two pieces long ere he could do so; moreover
Deiphobus had seen it coming and had held his shield well away from
him. Meriones drew back under cover of his comrades, angry alike at
having failed to vanquish Deiphobus, and having broken his spear. He
turned therefore towards the ships and tents to fetch a spear which he
had left behind in his tent.
  The others continued fighting, and the cry of battle rose up into
the heavens. Teucer son of Telamon was the first to **** his man, to
wit, the warrior Imbrius son of Mentor rich in horses. Until the
Achaeans came he had lived in Pedaeum, and had married Medesicaste a
******* daughter of Priam; but on the arrival of the Danaan fleet he
had gone back to Ilius, and was a great man among the Trojans,
dwelling near Priam himself, who gave him like honour with his own
sons. The son of Telamon now struck him under the ear with a spear
which he then drew back again, and Imbrius fell headlong as an
ash-tree when it is felled on the crest of some high mountain
beacon, and its delicate green foliage comes toppling down to the
ground. Thus did he fall with his bronze-dight armour ringing
harshly round him, and Teucer sprang forward with intent to strip
him of his armour; but as he was doing so, Hector took aim at him with
a spear. Teucer saw the spear coming and swerved aside, whereon it hit
Amphimachus, son of Cteatus son of Actor, in the chest as he was
coming into battle, and his armour rang rattling round him as he
fell heavily to the ground. Hector sprang forward to take
Amphimachus’s helmet from off his temples, and in a moment Ajax
threw a spear at him, but did not wound him, for he was encased all
over in his terrible armour; nevertheless the spear struck the boss of
his shield with such force as to drive him back from the two
corpses, which the Achaeans then drew off. Stichius and Menestheus,
captains of the Athenians, bore away Amphimachus to the host of the
Achaeans, while the two brave and impetuous Ajaxes did the like by
Imbrius. As two lions ****** a goat from the hounds that have it in
their fangs, and bear it through thick brushwood high above the ground
in their jaws, thus did the Ajaxes bear aloft the body of Imbrius, and
strip it of its armour. Then the son of Oileus severed the head from
the neck in revenge for the death of Amphimachus, and sent it whirling
over the crowd as though it had been a ball, till fell in the dust
at Hector’s feet.
  Neptune was exceedingly angry that his grandson Amphimachus should
have fallen; he therefore went to the tents and ships of the
Achaeans to urge the Danaans still further, and to devise evil for the
Trojans. Idomeneus met him, as he was taking leave of a comrade, who
had just come to him from the fight, wounded in the knee. His
fellow-soldiers bore him off the field, and Idomeneus having given
orders to the physicians went on to his tent, for he was still
thirsting for battle. Neptune spoke in the likeness and with the voice
of Thoas son of Andraemon who ruled the Aetolians of all Pleuron and
high Calydon, and was honoured among his people as though he were a
god. “Idomeneus,” said he, “lawgiver to the Cretans, what has now
become of the threats with which the sons of the Achaeans used to
threaten the Trojans?”
  And Idomeneus chief among the Cretans answered, “Thoas, no one, so
far as I know, is in fault, for we can all fight. None are held back
neither by fear nor slackness, but it seems to be the of almighty Jove
that the Achaeans should perish ingloriously here far from Argos: you,
Thoas, have been always staunch, and you keep others in heart if you
see any fail in duty; be not then remiss now, but exhort all to do
their utmost.”
  To this Neptune lord of the earthquake made answer, “Idomeneus,
may he never return from Troy, but remain here for dogs to batten
upon, who is this day wilfully slack in fighting. Get your armour
and go, we must make all haste together if we may be of any use,
though we are only two. Even cowards gain courage from
companionship, and we two can hold our own with the bravest.”
  Therewith the god went back into the thick of the fight, and
Idomeneus when he had reached his tent donned his armour, grasped
his two spears, and sallied forth. As the lightning which the son of
Saturn brandishes from bright Olympus when he would show a sign to
mortals, and its gleam flashes far and wide—even so did his armour
gleam about him as he ran. Meriones his sturdy squire met him while he
was still near his tent (for he was going to fetch his spear) and
Idomeneus said
  “Meriones, fleet son of Molus, best of comrades, why have you left
the field? Are you wounded, and is the point of the weapon hurting
you? or have you been sent to fetch me? I want no fetching; I had
far rather fight than stay in my tent.”
  “Idomeneus,” answered Meriones, “I come for a spear, if I can find
one in my tent; I have broken the one I had, in throwing it at the
shield of Deiphobus.”
  And Idomeneus captain of the Cretans answered, “You will find one
spear, or twenty if you so please, standing up against the end wall of
my tent. I have taken them from Trojans whom I have killed, for I am
not one to keep my enemy at arm’s length; therefore I have spears,
bossed shields, helmets, and burnished corslets.”
  Then Meriones said, “I too in my tent and at my ship have spoils
taken from the Trojans, but they are not at hand. I have been at all
times valorous, and wherever there has been hard fighting have held my
own among the foremost. There may be those among the Achaeans who do
not know how I fight, but you know it well enough yourself.”
  Idomeneus answered, “I know you for a brave man: you need not tell
me. If the best men at the ships were being chosen to go on an ambush-
and there is nothing like this for showing what a man is made of; it
comes out then who is cowardly and who brave; the coward will change
colour at every touch and turn; he is full of fears, and keeps
shifting his weight first on one knee and then on the other; his heart
beats fast as he thinks of death, and one can hear the chattering of
his teeth; whereas the brave man will not change colour nor be on
finding himself in ambush, but is all the time longing to go into
action—if the best men were being chosen for such a service, no one
could make light of your courage nor feats of arms. If you were struck
by a dart or smitten in close combat, it would not be from behind,
in your neck nor back, but the weapon would hit you in the chest or
belly as you were pressing forward to a place in the front ranks.
But let us no longer stay here talking like children, lest we be ill
spoken of; go, fetch your spear from the tent at once.”
  On this Meriones, peer of Mars, went to the tent and got himself a
spear of bronze. He then followed after Idomeneus, big with great
deeds of valour. As when baneful Mars sallies forth to battle, and his
son Panic so strong and dauntless goes with him, to strike terror even
into the heart of a hero—the pair have gone from Thrace to arm
themselves among the Ephyri or the brave Phlegyans, but they will
not listen to both the contending hosts, and will give victory to
one side or to the other—even so did Meriones and Idomeneus, captains
of m
How do you fill the hole in a heart
When the body is a hole itself?
Electrocute my soul to wake me up
Wake me up from my emptiness and I'll find that there's more emotiness while awake.

I'm convicted
Convicted of living the life that I don't desire but the life that was given in misery

I'm accompanied by false happiness
Given by the skeleton hands itself
With roses of death and pain

Empty my body where it stands from the morning until night because I can't find my breath
I can't breathe anymore but yet I'm alive within myself while my body moves

Capture me before I fall because grace hasn't found me

Interlaced with her existence
I'm defined by a new found love that sweeps me off the heavy grounds of life to only be lifted 50 feet higher from the surface.
There's more beauty in the world than I've actually expected; there's so much more through you than I've expected... I only want to wake up beside you when this year is over; when this year has closer to enter the next I'll be with you forever as I've promised myself.

Pardon my soul for I've came to realize that I'm entirely yours and yet a lone I'm still of lost world.

By: Leory Dawn
Ben Jones Apr 2014
Peter built a paper boat
To set afloat upon the sea
And visit spots of hidden coast
Where not a ghost of man would be
He painted letters on her bow
Which soon would plough and skip and trot
Between the waves which rose and fell
The letters spelled ‘Forget Me Not’

He bid his love a fond goodbye
The tide was high when he embarked
And drifted from his lonely cove
While weather drove and seagulls larked
His course was set, horizon bound
For solid ground and ****** shore
When darkness fell he made a bed
'Goodnight' he said and nothing more

His fast was broken elegantly
Delicately poached, his eggs
His freshly laundered morning clothes
Were hung in rows on paper pegs
He cut a furrow, straight and true
Across the blue, towards the sun
But in the distance, lightning spat
As thunder rattled, eddies spun

The tempest threw a wall of ice
Like careless dice, they clattered down
The sails dropped amid the squall
The hatches all were battened down
A curse was uttered through the storm
Its evil born on salty spray
With gusting arms of icy wet
It threw Forget Me Not away

He coughed awake, all caked in sand
Upon a strand of desert beach
Forget Me Not had run a-ground
But safely found the water's reach
He walked ashore and found a glade
Within it, made a paper home
And origami wings, he built
To never wilt and ever roam

He felled the tree and smote the ground
A frame, he wound of paper string
His garden flourished all around
Each sight and sound of ever-spring
The flowers jostled in their beds
And turned their heads to follow him
He kept his distance from the blue
In case the view should swallow him

An evil creature stalked the trees
It dined on bees and butterflies
On owls and cats, it liked to sup
To gobble up and gluttonize
With paper sword, he killed the beast
And cooked a feast to celebrate
A rain cloud sought to disagree
But quick was he to remonstrate

He flew his island, shore to shore
And kept a score of fire flies
They hung imprisoned in a glass
The light they cast could hypnotise
With nothing left to see or do
He flew up to the highest spot
And carved into a single tree
Remember me, forget me not

His boat remade and set a-sail
The heavens pale with early dawn
Upon his bed, he sat inert
With paper curtains neatly drawn
His charts uncharted, compass blunt
A currant bun, to satiate
A world of peril out to sea
To skillfully negotiate

Some time to contemplate the past
And backward cast the here and now
The Merfolk sang a siren song
And leapt along beside his bough
They guided him to foreign ports
Where shady sorts in cider soak
The tales they told were sizeable
And risible, the words they spoke

He folded down his paper boat
Into a coat of paper lace
And set the ocean to his back
The open track, he turned to face
The way he took was through a copse
The swaying tops of mighty pines
Leant form and rhythm to his pace
Upon his face were thoughtful lines

To either side, the shadows grew
No more, the blue shone through the boughs
And branch and bracken, driven wide
Were cast aside as careless vows
He chanced upon a quiet nook
A winding brook, it scurried by
It seemed a place where time would bide
While either side it hurried by

So dining sparse on only bread
He laid his head upon the ground
A lullaby the branches sighed
Was far and wide, the only sound
He deftly pitched a paper tent
And in it, spent a weary night
A whisper echoed in his ear
It lingered near, beyond his sight

So many weeks of rambling
Through bramble and through briar patch
And pausing for an hour at best
With feet to rest and breath to catch
The summer season on the wane
With autumn rain, attention pinned
To pounce on unsuspecting shoulder
Ever colder rose the wind

Above the adolescent fruit
Fed by the roots of ancient trees
Gave promise of a juicy crop
But yet to drop, they simply tease
Upon a morning laced with dew
A shadow grew and fell across
The spongy ground rose underfoot
And boulders jutted through the moss

The space between the trunks expanded
Saplings stranded on the scree
And whispers carried on the air
From places where they couldn't be
A sheer cliff now blocked the way
A ***** gray and smothering
Against, there thrived a mess of vines
With jagged spines their covering

He found a cave and ventured in
A desperate grin upon his lips
His chattering of nervous teeth
Was lost beneath the endless drips
Reverberating ceaselessly
Increasing with each fall of foot
A passageway and crooked path
By wrath of ancient water, cut

The arid air was felt to shift
And Peter sniffed a musky trace
The passage opened wide and tall
It sprawled into a massive space
The walls were smooth as beetle hide
But all inside was bathed in black
The flies were putting up a fight
But solid night was biting back

A tower carved from stalactite
In spite of probability
Was looming from the cavern top
And from it dropped futility
A spring of purest liquid gloom
Within, there bloomed an evil thirst
For those who drank a thimble worth
Would tread the earth, forever cursed

The cavern floor was laced with dust
A powdered crust of rotted skin
As Peter neared the central spire
The fire flies grew weak and thin
But all across the distant dark
There lit a spark and sprang a flame
That burst from ancient blackened lamp
To banish damp and shadow shame

A scrabbling amid the murk
As forward, lurked a breaking wave
Of decomposing denizens
The citizens of Evergrave
With sinew bared through rotted hide
The flesh inside was yellowing
From every throat that still remained
There shot a baneful bellowing

They forced him to the tower's tip
From which the drip of night was thrown
Gruesome stairs he climbed in haste
Of interlaced and knotted bone
A dire tunnel led within
The light was thin and shadow thick
A deathly door he tumbled through
And fell into a bloodied slick

Within was rank and heavy air
Like foxes lair where hunters slept
The walls, from living flesh, were stitched
The carpet twitched as Peter stepped
The Zombie Queen sat on her throne
Of flesh and bone of Underlands
She rested on its gory arms
Which raised their palms and held her hands

The creature laughed and cocked her head
A single thread of drool there hung
Between her lips and fear crowned
The single sound which echoes sung
The living walls, they tensed and strained
As terror reigned and ichor dripped
And when the monarch of the dead
Inclined her head, the stitches ripped

She spoke in harsh and bitter tones
As withered crones do curses bloom
The fate of Peter turned to dread
His soul, the dead would soon entomb
A single card he had to play
On such a day, in such a spot
He grinned and bid the rotting queen
‘Your time has been, forget me not’

His folded coat he casted wide
And from inside, a paper storm
Within the flurry, shapes were made
As wings were splayed and talons formed
A paper dragon rustled forth
And in his jaws, the queen he caught
He turned on the assembled dead
Within his head, a single thought

Peter climbed between the wings
Where paper rings he’d fastened there
Gave safety for the coming fight
And all the night, he nestled there
Until the dragon fell asleep
Upon a heap of smitten foes
And Peter robbed the deathly hoard
Each room explored on stealthy toes

He shunned the dark and met the day
And made away for higher ground
Along a path of narrow ledges
Razor edges, upwards wound
A trail, he scaled around the peak
Of Raven’s Beak the mighty mount
Up slopes which claimed so many lives
And widowed wives beyond his count

He stood atop the pinnacle
Where clinical, the ****** snow
Reflecting in the autumn light
Lent all a white and eerie glow
The frost had chilled his fleshy core
His eyes absorbed the scenery
A distant shoreline tugged his soul
A long unfolding memory

Of home and of his fireside
His future bride would tarry there
The tiny church upon the sand
He’d always planned to marry there
He took his dagger from his sock
Into the rock at just that spot
He carved upon the highest stone
I turn to home, forget me not

The knotted land that lay between
Had never been abode to man
The name it took was infamous
And ominous: The Neverspan
Its valleys tinkered with the eye
A fractured sky shone crookedly
Above a wood of vacant trees
That clawed the breezes hookedly

The setting sun would lead the way
Through lands which lay in wait for him
To bare him forth, a paper horse
To keep a course and gait for him
The blackness trickled from the bark
The  tangled dark enshrouded him
And songs in long forgotten tongues
About him hung and clouded him

He journeyed through the Ebonmire
Though fire failed to kindle there
His breath before him writhed in blight
And turned to fight the rancid air
Through many months of loneliness
And bitterness of solitude
He conquered the abandoned wood
And silent stood in gratitude

He forayed through the hill and plain
As on the wane the winters hold
The grass had shaken off the snow
Its Icy glow had turned to gold
A paper hat he now prepared
For as he fared, the rain endured
His horse was crumpled in the wet
No living vet would see it cured

The seasons tumbled mindlessly
And rivalry removed his haste
A sallow band of Neverbeast
By shadow greased and interlaced
With paper sword, he lay in wait
To penetrate each haggard hide
And when their blood was deftly spilled
A phial he filled for sake of pride

The sun became his only guide
His face belied his weariness
With little left to raise his soul
Above the cold and dreariness
Until the second summer passed
And sunset cast a silhouette
The outline of a tiny church
Was perched beside a maisonette

A flutter leapt about his heart
And wide apart, his eyes were flung
As Peter ran with tired limbs
The heavens dimmed and crickets sung
He reached his open garden gate
His face elated, turned to woe
As through the window he could see
His bride to be would not be so

A gentleman stood at her side
His bride adorned in happiness
And though it burned in Peter’s chest
His wrath would rest in idleness
So with a final fleeting peek
He turned to seek a worthy cause
Before he left he knelt before
His former door and seemed to pause

He fled upon his paper wings
As many things he’d yet to see
A myriad of foreign faces
Distant places he should be
He sailed the sky and sought the sand
His native land he soon forgot
Behind, he left a single note
And on it wrote: Forget me not
Maybe we could try
Swallow these pills
like pomegranate seeds
Go back in time
to where our hearts lie
We hold hands as we flew by
And we won't let go
Interlaced fingers
Watch them as they falter
Webs of what was lost
Memories we always recall
Let us catch our tears
Drink them before they fall
We make love once more
Remember
How our skin and bones fit
How our lips first met
And how you said
they taste like berries
Follow me
Swim these shallow seas
of our plans and dreams
But now they run dry
Let us make a garden out of our lies
Let us find the place
to where we had our first gaze
And walk back to that park again
Sunbeams and Cherry blossoms
But this time
let's pretend
that we didn't see each other
Jayesh Jul 2018
In the minutes and hours flying by
Interlaced in their quiet chaos
I find myself wondering,
Amidst this storm of experience,
On moments past

I find it curious
How in these long expanses of time
I become jealous of those
Who can find the seconds instead
Living for the moments which matter

I drive sometimes
Late at night
And as the street lights illuminate me
However fleetingly
I imagine those moments
As memories
Ones I haven't had the honor to savor

I sometimes lose control
Of this concept of time
I allow it to dictate my position
And I forget
About these moments
Almost naïve
In why I was ever jealous of them

I see a shallow rim of water
In the wake of my path
But most times I don't see the ripples
Around individual steps
I look down and suddenly
All that exists is a line of disturbed water
Supposedly where I had stepped before

I hope I find these moments
These steps
These seconds
Illuminated by arbitrary street lights
Standing in the wake of these ripples
But this time
Savoring their individual tenancies
Interlaced in their quiet chaos
Nigel Morgan Nov 2013
I sew therefore I am. This is what women do she thought, even with the television on, muttering and flickering in the corner. But its turning on was but a reflex action to being alone when she came down stairs after reading to her child, and the sitting room empty of his presence. Only the cats occupied her chair where she now sat and sewed.

For once her sewing pile had his nightshirt, a tear at the bottom, a missing button. It was old, well-worn, of a light blue stripe. That was what he wore in bed, and, as he invariably read to her each night, she would slip her hand inside the shirt, across his stomach to a place she had discovered at the top of his pelvis that seemed to be there for her hand to rest. One night she had felt the tear and thought, I must mend this.

She knew something of the feminist canon: Rozsika Parker's Subversive Stitch lay browsed but unread on her bookshelf. The impact of the book was enough: that the relationship between women’s lives and embroidery had brought sewing out from the private world of female domesticity into the fine arts and created a breakthrough in art history and criticism. She remembered writing that somewhere in a student essay. But mending clothes was hardly fine art. And then she remembered Sashiko, the ‘little stabs’, that functional stitching of clothes in Japan.

They had met at the station for a 30-mile train journey to a nearby city. It was a blue-cold December day and they had felt warmed by seeing from the train window a covering of snow on the ploughed fields. She had worn her grey coat with the green lining and an indigo blue-pattern scarf, a swinging denim skirt and orange-patterned top. Tights and boots. He: she had forgotten. Funny that, remembering what she had worn, but for the man she was beginning to feel so hopelessly in love with, and by the end of that day, hold in her heart, seemingly, for evermore, she could not remember. His old brown jacket perhaps . . . No, she couldn’t be certain.

He had loved the exhibition. It was an unencountered world, though he had experienced Japan, but not, as he said (at length), the rural fastness of an offshore island where women were loggers and men were firemen. It was the simplicity of the stitch that captured his attention, the running white-cotton stitch on the blue indigo workware, occasionally a red thread on a decorative piece – a fireman’s tunic. This was stitching about mending, reinforcing a worn area by stitching on a new patch, and in doing so novel patterns evolved, so novel that this traditional stitch became an inspiration for Reiko Sudo, Hideko Takahshi, and the cutting edge textile designers of 20C Japan. It was reuse that made sense.

He had loved the names of the stitches: passes in the mountain, fishing nets, the interlaced circles of two birds in flight, woven bamboo, the seven treasures of Buddha.  She remembered the proximity of him, touching his arm to show, and sometimes just to touch his arm – yes, he was wearing that old brown coat. It was before they were lovers, but she was sure then they were in love, and it seemed impossible and quite wrong to be in this large gallery, flowing too and fro, apart then together, apart then together. She thought: he knows how I want to be when looking at such things; I need space. And she supposed he needed space too because the moment they entered the gallery he left her alone. But that coming together was, and remained ever after, a warm thing, and she remembered that day being a little aroused by it being so.

Later, they had walked a short way from the gallery to a tiny cottage-like bookshop he knew, a bookshop full of impossibly large books on art and architecture. He had something to find: The Crystal Chain Letters – architectural fantasies Bruno Taut and his circle by Ian Boyd Whyte. There had been her favourite  Mark Hearld cards and his collaged pictures in the window. She went upstairs and knelt on the wooden floor to take out the books on gardens on the lowest shelves. The winter sun had poured through a nearby window, warming her face till it glowed. But she was already glowing inside. And he came and knelt behind her. He rested his head on her shoulder and she had turned and put her arms around him. They had kissed, a delicate, exploratory, yet to be lovers kiss that had made her feel weaker than she already felt. She knew she would remember that moment, and she had, here on her chair years later, now in a different sitting room from the one she had returned to that evening without him, returning to her husband and children. And she had missed him beyond any measure and written to him the next day, a letter written in her head before she had slept, and then the following morning, with the children at school, she had lain on her bed and calmly touched herself to remember his kiss, their kiss.
LDuler Jun 2013
"There are no diseases crueler
than the ones we self-inflict"
but I still find myself
thirsting for the bottle
and you still find the beast in your heart
begging to be smothered in smoke

They sneak out to smoke their cigs
between classes
just another insolence, another act of audacity
another fleck of rebellion
a way to express their contempt
a way to say ********

to the government and the educational system
and to the clockwork holding them back
from a death they secretly long for
Because i think at least a few of them know
that it’s still a suicide
even if it’s in slow motion
And every cigarette
is a calming coffin nail

Legally, they are too young
to drink or purchase
their ambrosia and tabacco treasures
Yes they are young, minors
but they’re already afraid of growing too old to die young
soon they'll get withered and wrinkling
and they won't be able to leave a beautiful corpse

Pulling off clear, crinkling cellophane, shiny silver foil
with nimble fingers and
sliding a single cigarette
out of the pack
and slipping it into their lips
It fits so effortlessly, so easy
they've been repeating the same motion for years now
sparking the lighter,
The small flame erupts
promising relief.
The sweet taste of nicotine trickling
down into the back of their throats.
They smile.

Behind stone gargoyle smiles
thunder eyes and rock fists
they hide their heavy hearts
with shrouds of smoke
like small-featured bride faces
behind heavy veils
Holding their precious gaspers
between 2 fingers,
elegantly, the way they saw
james bond and models in glossy magazines do it
There are no children here,
just the lost and the lonely,
the ones who wear such solid masks
They’re all looking for some form of redemption,
but they'll settle for attention
Faith, on the other hand,
is a language they don't speak

Their love for each other
is not sweet and childish
it's a collision of souls,
a necessary train wreck
a desperate tempest
to survive the deadly drone of school
it can't be done alone
regroup, collect, stick together,
collide

Their arguments and apologies
have the tragic tone of ancient rome
empires rising and falling

I hear them bicker
and argue and talk
with echoes of prayers in their voices
please see me, please hear me
please validate my existence


Debating
American Spirit, Malboro, Camel
the intricacies of the taste
they taught themselves to love

To me every joke sounds like a hymn
every nervous pair of hands
the brittle after-math
of broken promises
chaotic thoughts tumbling like dust in the wind

I know they are different
but they are human and young
and perhaps they are like me
Maybe they too
have fears
maybe they too awaken in the dead of night
sweating and confused

I can see them now, drifting in and out of focus
dragging their reluctant shadows
into school and out
Frail bodies running on caffeine and nicotine
pain, boredom, indifference and panic

You can tell they long for solace
in the way they hold their coffee
tenderly, fingers wrapped round
the comforting shape and smell
and kissing their cancer sticks
with faint hopes of necromancy
and rebirth with every puff

***
they take turns objectifying each other,
feigning tenderness when really
they are just new bodies
interlaced for an hour or two
There is no emotion here
they're just kids who've always loved playing
the ***** Doctor game

Mothers
use their name as a cautionary
tale and
they're the kids
our parents warned us about.

I know they've given up on perfection
so they want to be some kind of dazzling cataclysm
a bright, flaming disaster, a lovely wreck
they offer me a drag
but all I can think
is that rebellion isn’t a language
I know how to speak
All I can do is write this poem
which is both a eulogy
and an obituary



                                                     ­           I love them.
I love them because I know each of them is a work in progress,
because I know each is shattered in a sense
because they're just souls searching for a voice.
I love them because I'm starting to see
beyond the archetype-- a true expansiveness.
And I love them because the smell of cigarette smoke
reminds me of afternoons in France,
sitting on the curb of my dying grandfather's home
and watching the passer-by stroll through
the pavements.

I love them because everyone needs a place,
and they know that.

Their parties are an emergency exit.

They're a lighthouse for the lost.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKEiUURUVR8
J Jan 2011
Muscles grip and relax, grip and relax, grip and fight and tighten.
My fingers caress the blown glass between my lips, thoughtfully I stare cross eyed into the flame brought to life by the stroke of my thumb.
Feral beats in the background of this still life pulsing, invigorating the senses;
awakening the monster as it shrieks out for breath.
And so I pull another blow between my teeth, the air tainted and tasting so sweet.
Here stand these false philosophers with me as we shiver against the clawing of a wind so cold,
but we are brought together by our love for the fire.
A network of interlaced fingers keeps the flame alive as we **** out the life-giving tendrils from gaia’s hands,
she sends us spiraling upward until our ankles graze the treetops and we are looking down on city life from the crown of heaven.
My comrades bear their bruises closed and tongue-tied, and as we fly dark hints of the world below materialize on their lips.
The stroke of each errant brush paints their words black and white as I sing color across my broken sanctuary, stubbornly fighting for this bliss that only I exist within,
carrying no burden from the world below, I let my innocence fly me higher in this treetop temple.
I break the surface of a sea of clouds, no comrade to accompany me now;
none would follow anyhow.
The freedom screams from my fingertips like thunder and with every movement I hurl another one of Zeus’s famed bolts down onto the earth, dancing with the electricity; though when you’re so high up here there is no storm.
I watch as the others begin to fall back down into the earth’s open arms, equipping their synthetic smiles, for where they are going there is no joy.
My grin glitters like the stars I greet with open palms, smoothing my fingers across their warm fuzzy forms, gathering them into night-sky pictures for the beings down below.
I place each star carefully in my dark connect-the-dot drawing, swirling stardust in the blank spaces for tonight I paint a masterpiece.
As it takes shape my painting depicts a world so far away from the one I hail from, I almost wonder how I can even picture it.
I soar on ethereal wings to planets and galaxies until homesickness sweeps my winged shoes back toward the blue planet, eyes misted over with nostalgia for those days when I,
the fire and the philosophers would breathe together.
When I touch back down, my wings fold tight against my shoulders; curving firm and solid against my back.
I am a stone gargoyle, now guarding this world that I fought so hard to protect myself from.
and I, the fire and the philosophers break out our synthetic smiles.
For where we are going, there is no joy.
The vague and flimsy memories we have of our treetop haven melt misty smooth across mental palates that still ache for the taste of fire-breath, for the swirls of hazy wonder that alit our dry smiles to burn for real.
But my philosophers have become pharisees and now I quail and quake under the weight of my sky-paintings.
The gravity down here keeps my lips tilted down in the echoes of another man’s sorrow and my sympathy for their morose self-titled melodrama is running thin.
If  I could, I’d be tiptoeing among the stars, hop scotching across constellations, at home in my world of skies and fire.
And I am shocked once more, grounded suddenly by the voice of the pharisees and their stone hearts;

mourning for I,
The fire,
And the philosophers.
written 01/23/2011
LDuler Jun 2013
There to language and I are leave they out can no a don't
of do diseases beautiful speak

Their focus
dragging is crueler corpse

Pulling love their write
than off for reluctant this the clear each shadows
into poem
which ones crinkling other
is school is we cellophane not and both self-inflict shiny sweet out
Frail a
but silver and bodies eulogy
and I foil
with childish
it's running an still nimble a on obituary

find fingers collision caffeine ­ myself
thirsting and
sliding of and I for a souls nicotine
pain love the single
a boredom them bottle
and cigarette
out necessary indifference
you of train and ­ still the wreck
a panic

You I find pack
and desperate can love the slipping tempest
to tell them beast it survive they because in into the long
I your their deadly for know heart
begging lips
It drone solace
in each to fits of the of be so school
it way them smothered effortlessly can't they is in so be hold a smoke

They easy
they've done their work sneak been alone
regroup coffee
tenderly in out repeating collect fingers progress to the stick wrapped
smoke same together round
the ­ their motion
collide

Their comforting because cigs
between for arguments shape I classes
just years and and know another now
sparking apologies
have smell
and each insolence the kissing is another lighter tragic
their shattered act
The tone cancer in of small of sticks
with a audacity
another flame ancient faint sense
fleck erupts
promising rome
empires hopes ­ of relief rising of because rebellion
The and necromancy
and they're way sweet falling

I rebirth just to taste hear with souls express of them every
searching their nicotine bicker
and puff
***
they for contempt
a trickling argue take a way
down and turns voice to into talk
with objectifying
say the echoes each ­ **** back of other I you
to of prayers
feigning love the their in tenderness them
government throats their when because and
They voices
please really
they I'm the smile see are starting educational

Behind me just to system
and stone please new see
to gargoyle hear bodies
interlaced ­ the smiles
thunder me
please for beyond clockwork eyes validate
an the holding and my hour archetype-- them rock existence

Debating
American or a back
from fists
they Spirit two
There true a hide Malboro is
expansiveness death their Camel
the no
they heavy intricacies emotion ­ secretly hearts
with of here
they're long shrouds the just I for
Because of taste
they kids love i smoke
like taught who've them think
small-featured themselves always because at bride to loved the least faces
behind love

To playing smell a heavy me
the of few veils
Holding every ***** cigarette of their joke Doctor smoke
them precious sounds game

Mothers
use ­ know
that gaspers
between like their reminds it’s 2 a name me still fingers hymn
every as of a
elegantly nervous a afternoons suicide the pair cautionary
tale in
even way of and
they're France if they hands
the the
it’s saw
james brittle kids
our ­ in bond after-math
of parents sitting slow and broken warned on motion
And models promises
chaotic us the every in thoughts about curb cigarette
is glossy tumbling

I of a magazines like know my calming do
dust they've dying coffin it
There in given grandfather's nail
I on ­ are children know perfection
so and too here they they watching young
to

just are want the drink the different
but to passer-by or lost they be stroll purchase
their and are some through
ambrosia the human kind ­ and lonely and of the tabacco
the young
and dazzling pavements treasures
Yes ones perhaps cataclysm

I they who they bright love are wear are flaming them young such like disaster because minors
but solid me
Maybe a everyone they’re masks
They’re they lovely needs already all too
have wreck
they a afraid looking fears
maybe offer place of for they me
and growing some too a they too form awaken drag
but know old of in all that to redemption the I

Their die
but dead can parties young
soon they'll of think
is are they'll settle night
sweating that an get for and rebellion
emergency withered attention
Faith confused

I isn’t exit

They're and on can a a wrinkling
and the see language
I lighthouse they other them know for won't hand now how the be
is drifting to lost
able a in speak
All
Jayesh Aug 2018
I find myself lost in thought
In moments curious
About the wonders of those
I lack any of
Sometimes I wonder

At these times I know not what to think of
Searching for a path
Embedded in the insanity I call my mind
Undisturbed, until placed under the guise of my curiosity
Sometimes I travel these paths

It’s a unique feeling
Finding pieces of myself
I hadn’t known were shattered
And beginning to build on what I hadn’t known
Quite a complex puzzle

I place regret in the lack of relation
I hold with those who call me close
Knowing I could never show them these pieces
In the face of what they saw as whole
Enveloped in their naïveté

Sometimes I approach the ends of these paths
Finding parts previously unknown
And in certain cases
Certainly unwanted
But I realize their place in what I seek

This path unfurls itself to me
My mind slowly revealing itself to me
Not as a continuous staircase
Rather, an intricate river
Fed by the kindness of many streams, many still unknown to me

I close my eyes to these tunes
Some playing to gentle piano keys
Others to the harsh shattering of glass, perhaps something else
And yet they all play in the same key
Performing movements to the growth of my path

Sometimes I lay terrified to these pieces I find
Yet I still close my eyes
Looking through the streams, paths, and interlaced insanities
To find those pieces I haven’t yet placed together
Reaching out to their neglected whimpers

Sometimes I wonder whether this path is wise
When most others ignore the streams,
Choosing the clear way in front
But then I think to who I am, and finally see
Sometimes never has enough

And I realize this
The need for my Sometimes
To become Always
And perhaps it does
Sometimes
Tammy M Darby Jan 2015
There is no avenue for escape
Forever dreams now will cease
For hiding in the dark
With ravenous glistening eyes
Is a viscous snarling beast

Cannibalistic  
Is its insanity of imagination
Conjuring up visions of
Emotional disembowelment
The soul's evisceration


This immortal predator of the time
An avid consumer of synonyms and rhyme
For it comes to satisfy its appetite
Savoring its prey
Baring broken worn teeth
Blackness will swallow the shimmering day

Peer round the corner
Pools of thought
Cool translucent eyes
Hear the echoes of coming destiny
It is the satisfaction of the blood hunt  
The breath of a warm sigh

Venture past the gift of madness
Deep into the shadowed heart
Barely Interlaced edges
The snarling beasts lie waiting
Lurking in the dark


This poem is copyrighted and stored in author base. All material subject to Copyright Infringement laws
Section 512(c)(3) of the U.S. Copyright
Act, 17 U.S.C. S512(c)(3), Tammy M. Darby Jan. 30, 2015
Linnea Dee Jun 2013
Among dust bunnies collecting on the carpet of her bedroom are lullabies, matted into the seashell shaped ridges by eager toes.
Other mothers sing Rockabye Baby, but hers crooned the crash of ocean waves and the ballads of mermaids.
Memories like those sent shivers down her spine, cold fingered fairies dispatched to walk the tightrope of each nerve, triggering flashbacks of moment after moment.

Beneath a quilt of fallen oak leaves he found a baby hedgehog, infant bristles damp and lonely.
Some days, when it meandered curiously across half-written papers, its paws writing notes in a script he couldn't decipher, he regretted rescuing the handful of spines with the pale, inquisitive nose.
Leaves of muddied paper, though, became pages in a scrapbook, dedicated to moments more beautiful than he could fathom.

Following them were snapshots of sunsets over the lake, the first phrases from a concerto he adored, a polaroid of his fingers interlaced with hers.
Her palm met his without hesitancy, and the joy she felt reminded her of the mermaid's musings heard through the sleepy ears of a child.
On all sides it was warm and safe and fantastically real, simply because they decided it should be.

While she did say no the first time he asked her to marry him, it was only because to her marriage had grown stiff with age and its rusting hinges complained when she tried to add her own swing to its meaning.
He asked her again, of course, because she was the only person he'd ever met whose heart fit his jigsaw edges so perfectly, and this time she said yes.
Waits for the love, her mother told her; a fearless woman waits for love to ask twice.

On the winter solstice their son was born, whom they named Martin, because he thought it sounded courageous and she thought it sounded furry.
Distant waves tumbled as she sang her little one to sleep in the only way she knew how, and gave him hedgehog kisses with her eyelashes because butterflies are too delicate.
Dreams always came quickly and lingered in his mind, fantasies of whirling woodland dances and salty kisses from the wind.

They documented the unassuming; they tracked coincidence; they remembered the weight of every footstep and the cadence of every whispered "good night." They knew that even though they were obscured by the smoke of normality and stench of the future, every moment was unique. Among other things they found everything.
I needed to start writing again. I also needed a piece to submit to my school's lit magazine, themed "among other things." Last but not least, I had a looming death threat from I friend if I didn't write anything by the end of the week.
So, this happened. I'm a little confused by it. It has a mind of its own.
I built my soul a lordly pleasure-house,
    Wherein at ease for aye to dwell.
I said, "O Soul, make merry and carouse,
      Dear soul, for all is well."

  A huge crag-platform, smooth as burnish'd brass
    I chose. The ranged ramparts bright
From level meadow-bases of deep grass
      Suddenly scaled the light.

  Thereon I built it firm. Of ledge or shelf
    The rock rose clear, or winding stair.
My soul would live alone unto herself
      In her high palace there.

  And "while the world runs round and round," I said,
    "Reign thou apart, a quiet king,
Still as, while Saturn whirls, his steadfast shade
      Sleeps on his luminous ring."

  To which my soul made answer readily:
    "Trust me, in bliss I shall abide
In this great mansion, that is built for me,
      So royal-rich and wide."

* * * *

  Four courts I made, East, West and South and North,
    In each a squared lawn, wherefrom
The golden gorge of dragons spouted forth
      A flood of fountain-foam.

  And round the cool green courts there ran a row
    Of cloisters, branch'd like mighty woods,
Echoing all night to that sonorous flow
      Of spouted fountain-floods.

  And round the roofs a gilded gallery
    That lent broad verge to distant lands,
Far as the wild swan wings, to where the sky
      Dipt down to sea and sands.

  From those four jets four currents in one swell
    Across the mountain stream'd below
In misty folds, that floating as they fell
      Lit up a torrent-bow.

  And high on every peak a statue seem'd
    To hang on tiptoe, tossing up
A cloud of incense of all odour steam'd
      From out a golden cup.

  So that she thought, "And who shall gaze upon
    My palace with unblinded eyes,
While this great bow will waver in the sun,
      And that sweet incense rise?"

  For that sweet incense rose and never fail'd,
    And, while day sank or mounted higher,
The light aerial gallery, golden-rail'd,
      Burnt like a fringe of fire.

  Likewise the deep-set windows, stain'd and traced,
    Would seem slow-flaming crimson fires
From shadow'd grots of arches interlaced,
      And tipt with frost-like spires.

* * *

  Full of long-sounding corridors it was,
    That over-vaulted grateful gloom,
Thro' which the livelong day my soul did pass,
      Well-pleased, from room to room.

  Full of great rooms and small the palace stood,
    All various, each a perfect whole
From living Nature, fit for every mood
      And change of my still soul.

  For some were hung with arras green and blue,
    Showing a gaudy summer-morn,
Where with puff'd cheek the belted hunter blew
      His wreathed bugle-horn.

  One seem'd all dark and red--a tract of sand,
    And some one pacing there alone,
Who paced for ever in a glimmering land,
      Lit with a low large moon.

  One show'd an iron coast and angry waves.
    You seem'd to hear them climb and fall
And roar rock-thwarted under bellowing caves,
      Beneath the windy wall.

  And one, a full-fed river winding slow
    By herds upon an endless plain,
The ragged rims of thunder brooding low,
      With shadow-streaks of rain.

  And one, the reapers at their sultry toil.
    In front they bound the sheaves. Behind
Were realms of upland, prodigal in oil,
      And hoary to the wind.

  And one a foreground black with stones and slags,
    Beyond, a line of heights, and higher
All barr'd with long white cloud the scornful crags,
      And highest, snow and fire.

  And one, an English home--gray twilight pour'd
    On dewy pastures, dewy trees,
Softer than sleep--all things in order stored,
      A haunt of ancient Peace.

  Nor these alone, but every landscape fair,
    As fit for every mood of mind,
Or gay, or grave, or sweet, or stern, was there,
      Not less than truth design'd.

* * *

  Or the maid-mother by a crucifix,
    In tracts of pasture sunny-warm,
Beneath branch-work of costly sardonyx
      Sat smiling, babe in arm.

  Or in a clear-wall'd city on the sea,
    Near gilded *****-pipes, her hair
Wound with white roses, slept St. Cecily;
      An angel look'd at her.

  Or thronging all one porch of Paradise
    A group of Houris bow'd to see
The dying Islamite, with hands and eyes
      That said, We wait for thee.

  Or mythic Uther's deeply-wounded son
    In some fair space of sloping greens
Lay, dozing in the vale of Avalon,
      And watch'd by weeping queens.

  Or hollowing one hand against his ear,
    To list a foot-fall, ere he saw
The wood-nymph, stay'd the Ausonian king to hear
      Of wisdom and of law.

  Or over hills with peaky tops engrail'd,
    And many a tract of palm and rice,
The throne of Indian Cama slowly sail'd
      A summer fann'd with spice.

  Or sweet Europa's mantle blew unclasp'd,
    From off her shoulder backward borne:
From one hand droop'd a crocus: one hand grasp'd
      The mild bull's golden horn.

  Or else flush'd Ganymede, his rosy thigh
    Half-buried in the Eagle's down,
Sole as a flying star shot thro' the sky
      Above the pillar'd town.

  Nor these alone; but every legend fair
    Which the supreme Caucasian mind
Carved out of Nature for itself, was there,
      Not less than life, design'd.

* * *

  Then in the towers I placed great bells that swung,
    Moved of themselves, with silver sound;
And with choice paintings of wise men I hung
      The royal dais round.

  For there was Milton like a seraph strong,
    Beside him Shakespeare bland and mild;
And there the world-worn Dante grasp'd his song,
      And somewhat grimly smiled.

  And there the Ionian father of the rest;
    A million wrinkles carved his skin;
A hundred winters snow'd upon his breast,
      From cheek and throat and chin.

  Above, the fair hall-ceiling stately-set
    Many an arch high up did lift,
And angels rising and descending met
      With interchange of gift.

  Below was all mosaic choicely plann'd
    With cycles of the human tale
Of this wide world, the times of every land
      So wrought, they will not fail.

  The people here, a beast of burden slow,
    Toil'd onward, *****'d with goads and stings;
Here play'd, a tiger, rolling to and fro
      The heads and crowns of kings;

  Here rose, an athlete, strong to break or bind
    All force in bonds that might endure,
And here once more like some sick man declined,
      And trusted any cure.

  But over these she trod: and those great bells
    Began to chime. She took her throne:
She sat betwixt the shining Oriels,
      To sing her songs alone.

  And thro' the topmost Oriels' coloured flame
    Two godlike faces gazed below;
Plato the wise, and large brow'd Verulam,
      The first of those who know.

  And all those names, that in their motion were
    Full-welling fountain-heads of change,
Betwixt the slender shafts were blazon'd fair
      In diverse raiment strange:

  Thro' which the lights, rose, amber, emerald, blue,
    Flush'd in her temples and her eyes,
And from her lips, as morn from Memnon, drew
      Rivers of melodies.

  No nightingale delighteth to prolong
    Her low preamble all alone,
More than my soul to hear her echo'd song
      Throb thro' the ribbed stone;

  Singing and murmuring in her feastful mirth,
    Joying to feel herself alive,
Lord over Nature, Lord of the visible earth,
      Lord of the senses five;

  Communing with herself: "All these are mine,
    And let the world have peace or wars,
'T is one to me." She--when young night divine
      Crown'd dying day with stars,

  Making sweet close of his delicious toils--
    Lit light in wreaths and anadems,
And pure quintessences of precious oils
      In hollow'd moons of gems,

  To mimic heaven; and clapt her hands and cried,
    "I marvel if my still delight
In this great house so royal-rich, and wide,
      Be flatter'd to the height.

  "O all things fair to sate my various eyes!
    O shapes and hues that please me well!
O silent faces of the Great and Wise,
      My Gods, with whom I dwell!

  "O God-like isolation which art mine,
    I can but count thee perfect gain,
What time I watch the darkening droves of swine
      That range on yonder plain.

  "In filthy sloughs they roll a prurient skin,
    They graze and wallow, breed and sleep;
And oft some brainless devil enters in,
      And drives them to the deep."

  Then of the moral instinct would she prate
    And of the rising from the dead,
As hers by right of full accomplish'd Fate;
      And at the last she said:

  "I take possession of man's mind and deed.
    I care not what the sects may brawl.
I sit as God holding no form of creed,
      But contemplating all."

* * * *

  Full oft the riddle of the painful earth
    Flash'd thro' her as she sat alone,
Yet not the less held she her solemn mirth,
      And intellectual throne.

  And so she throve and prosper'd; so three years
    She prosper'd: on the fourth she fell,
Like Herod, when the shout was in his ears,
      Struck thro' with pangs of hell.

  Lest she should fail and perish utterly,
    God, before whom ever lie bare
The abysmal deeps of Personality,
      Plagued her with sore despair.

  When she would think, where'er she turn'd her sight
    The airy hand confusion wrought,
Wrote, "Mene, mene," and divided quite
      The kingdom of her thought.

  Deep dread and loathing of her solitude
    Fell on her, from which mood was born
Scorn of herself; again, from out that mood
      Laughter at her self-scorn.

  "What! is not this my place of strength," she said,
    "My spacious mansion built for me,
Whereof the strong foundation-stones were laid
      Since my first memory?"

  But in dark corners of her palace stood
    Uncertain shapes; and unawares
On white-eyed phantasms weeping tears of blood,
      And horrible nightmares,

  And hollow shades enclosing hearts of flame,
    And, with dim fretted foreheads all,
On corpses three-months-old at noon she came,
      That stood against the wall.

  A spot of dull stagnation, without light
    Or power of movement, seem'd my soul,
'Mid onward-sloping motions infinite
      Making for one sure goal.

  A still salt pool, lock'd in with bars of sand,
    Left on the shore, that hears all night
The plunging seas draw backward from the land
      Their moon-led waters white.

  A star that with the choral starry dance
    Join'd not, but stood, and standing saw
The hollow orb of moving Circumstance
      Roll'd round by one fix'd law.

  Back on herself her serpent pride had curl'd.
    "No voice," she shriek'd in that lone hall,
"No voice breaks thro' the stillness of this world:
      One deep, deep silence all!"

  She, mouldering with the dull earth's mouldering sod,
    Inwrapt tenfold in slothful shame,
Lay there exiled from eternal God,
      Lost to her place and name;

  And death and life she hated equally,
    And nothing saw, for her despair,
But dreadful time, dreadful eternity,
      No comfort anywhere;

  Remaining utterly confused with fears,
    And ever worse with growing time,
And ever unrelieved by dismal tears,
      And all alone in crime:

  Shut up as in a crumbling tomb, girt round
    With blackness as a solid wall,
Far off she seem'd to hear the dully sound
      Of human footsteps fall.

  As in strange lands a traveller walking slow,
    In doubt and great perplexity,
A little before moon-rise hears the low
      Moan of an unknown sea;

  And knows not if it be thunder, or a sound
    Of rocks thrown down, or one deep cry
Of great wild beasts; then thinketh, "I have found
      A new land, but I die."

  She howl'd aloud, "I am on fire within.
    There comes no murmur of reply.
What is it that will take away my sin,
      And save me lest I die?"

  So when four years were wholly finished,
    She threw her royal robes away.
"Make me a cottage in the vale," she said,
      "Where I may mourn and pray.

  "Yet pull not down my palace towers, that are
    So lightly, beautifully built:
Perchance I may return with othe
I

The girl in the room beneath
Before going to bed
Strums on a mandolin
The three simple tunes she knows.
How inadequate they are to tell how her heart feels!
When she has finished them several times
She thrums the strings aimlessly with her finger-nails
And smiles, and thinks happily of many things.

II

I stood for a long while before the shop window
Looking at the blue butterflies embroidered on tawny silk.
The building was a tower before me,
Time was loud behind me,
Sun went over the housetops and dusty trees;
And there they were, glistening, brilliant, motionless,
Stitched in a golden sky
By yellow patient fingers long since turned to dust.

III

The first bell is silver,
And breathing darkness I think only of the long scythe of time.
The second bell is crimson,
And I think of a holiday night, with rockets
Furrowing the sky with red, and a soft shatter of stars.
The third bell is saffron and slow,
And I behold a long sunset over the sea
With wall on wall of castled cloud and glittering balustrades.
The fourth bell is color of bronze,
I walk by a frozen lake in the dun light of dusk:
Muffled crackings run in the ice,
Trees creak, birds fly.
The fifth bell is cold clear azure,
Delicately tinged with green:
One golden star hangs melting in it,
And towards this, sleepily, I go.
The sixth bell is as if a pebble
Had been dropped into a deep sea far above me . . .
Rings of sound ebb slowly into the silence.

IV

On the day when my uncle and I drove to the cemetery,
Rain rattled on the roof of the carriage;
And talkng constrainedly of this and that
We refrained from looking at the child's coffin on the seat before us.
When we reached the cemetery
We found that the thin snow on the grass
Was already transparent with rain;
And boards had been laid upon it
That we might walk without wetting our feet.

V

When I was a boy, and saw bright rows of icicles
In many lengths along a wall
I was dissappointed to find
That I could not play music upon them:
I ran my hand lightly across them
And they fell, tinkling.
I tell you this, young man, so that your expectations of life
Will not be too great.

VI

It is now two hours since I left you,
And the perfume of your hands is still on my hands.
And though since then
I have looked at the stars, walked in the cold blue streets,
And heard the dead leaves blowing over the ground
Under the trees,
I still remember the sound of your laughter.
How will it be, lady, when there is none left to remember you
Even as long as this?
Will the dust braid your hair?

VII

The day opens with the brown light of snowfall
And past the window snowflakes fall and fall.
I sit in my chair all day and work and work
Measuring words against each other.
I open the piano and play a tune
But find it does not say what I feel,
I grow tired of measuring words against each other,
I grow tired of these four walls,
And I think of you, who write me that you have just had a daughter
And named her after your first sweetheart,
And you, who break your heart, far away,
In the confusion and savagery of a long war,
And you who, worn by the bitterness of winter,
Will soon go south.
The snowflakes fall almost straight in the brown light
Past my window,
And a sparrow finds refuge on my window-ledge.
This alone comes to me out of the world outside
As I measure word with word.

VIII

Many things perplex me and leave me troubled,
Many things are locked away in the white book of stars
Never to be opened by me.
The starr'd leaves are silently turned,
And the mooned leaves;
And as they are turned, fall the shadows of life and death.
Perplexed and troubled,
I light a small light in a small room,
The lighted walls come closer to me,
The familiar pictures are clear.
I sit in my favourite chair and turn in my mind
The tiny pages of my own life, whereon so little is written,
And hear at the eastern window the pressure of a long wind, coming
From I know not where.

How many times have I sat here,
How many times will I sit here again,
Thinking these same things over and over in solitude
As a child says over and over
The first word he has learned to say.

IX

This girl gave her heart to me,
And this, and this.
This one looked at me as if she loved me,
And silently walked away.
This one I saw once and loved, and never saw her again.

Shall I count them for you upon my fingers?
Or like a priest solemnly sliding beads?
Or pretend they are roses, pale pink, yellow, and white,
And arrange them for you in a wide bowl
To be set in sunlight?
See how nicely it sounds as I count them for you-
'This girl gave her heart to me
And this, and this, . . . !
And nevertheless, my heart breaks when I think of them,
When I think their names,
And how, like leaves, they have changed and blown
And will lie, at last, forgotten,
Under the snow.

X

It is night time, and cold, and snow is falling,
And no wind grieves the walls.
In the small world of light around the arc-lamp
A swarm of snowflakes falls and falls.
The street grows silent. The last stranger passes.
The sound of his feet, in the snow, is indistinct.

What forgotten sadness is it, on a night like this,
Takes possession of my heart?
Why do I think of a camellia tree in a southern garden,
With pink blossoms among dark leaves,
Standing, surprised, in the snow?
Why do I think of spring?

The snowflakes, helplessly veering,,
Fall silently past my window;
They come from darkness and enter darkness.
What is it in my heart is surprised and bewildered
Like that camellia tree,
Beautiful still in its glittering anguish?
And spring so far away!

XI

As I walked through the lamplit gardens,
On the thin white crust of snow,
So intensely was I thinking of my misfortune,
So clearly were my eyes fixed
On the face of this grief which has come to me,
That I did not notice the beautiful pale colouring
Of lamplight on the snow;
Nor the interlaced long blue shadows of trees;

And yet these things were there,
And the white lamps, and the orange lamps, and the lamps of lilac were there,
As I have seen them so often before;
As they will be so often again
Long after my grief is forgotten.

And still, though I know this, and say this, it cannot console me.

XII

How many times have we been interrupted
Just as I was about to make up a story for you!
One time it was because we suddenly saw a firefly
Lighting his green lantern among the boughs of a fir-tree.
Marvellous! Marvellous! He is making for himself
A little tent of light in the darkness!
And one time it was because we saw a lilac lightning flash
Run wrinkling into the blue top of the mountain,-
We heard boulders of thunder rolling down upon us
And the plat-plat of drops on the window,
And we ran to watch the rain
Charging in wavering clouds across the long grass of the field!
Or at other times it was because we saw a star
Slipping easily out of the sky and falling, far off,
Among pine-dark hills;
Or because we found a crimson eft
Darting in the cold grass!

These things interrupted us and left us wondering;
And the stories, whatever they might have been,
Were never told.
A fairy, binding a daisy down and laughing?
A golden-haired princess caught in a cobweb?
A love-story of long ago?
Some day, just as we are beginning again,
Just as we blow the first sweet note,
Death itself will interrupt us.

XIII

My heart is an old house, and in that forlorn old house,
In the very centre, dark and forgotten,
Is a locked room where an enchanted princess
Lies sleeping.
But sometimes, in that dark house,
As if almost from the stars, far away,
Sounds whisper in that secret room-
Faint voices, music, a dying trill of laughter?
And suddenly, from her long sleep,
The beautiful princess awakes and dances.

Who is she? I do not know.
Why does she dance? Do not ask me!-
Yet to-day, when I saw you,
When I saw your eyes troubled with the trouble of happiness,
And your mouth trembling into a smile,
And your fingers pull shyly forward,-
Softly, in that room,
The little princess arose
And danced;
And as she danced the old house gravely trembled
With its vague and delicious secret.

XIV

Like an old tree uprooted by the wind
And flung down cruelly
With roots bared to the sun and stars
And limp leaves brought to earth-
Torn from its house-
So do I seem to myself
When you have left me.

XV

The music of the morning is red and warm;
Snow lies against the walls;
And on the sloping roof in the yellow sunlight
Pigeons huddle against the wind.
The music of evening is attenuated and thin-
The moon seen through a wave by a mermaid;
The crying of a violin.
Far down there, far down where the river turns to the west,
The delicate lights begin to twinkle
On the dusky arches of the bridge:
In the green sky a long cloud,
A smouldering wave of smoky crimson,
Breaks in the freezing wind: and above it, unabashed,
Remote, untouched, fierly palpitant,
Sings the first star.
rebecca Nov 2013
the curtain has risen,
and miniscule snow flakes,
make their appearance,
darting to and fro across the sky-
their stage.

they quickly find partners-
one bows, the other curtsies.
and they begin to dance

twirling and spinning,
weaving stories with every move.
they dance a breathtaking ballet,
an astounding performance.

at the end of each snowflake's performance,
they sprinkle the world around them,
making the atmosphere light
as the lawns turn white.

inside a cozy house,
one filled with the spirit of the holidays,
two people sit at a windowsill
on the second floor.
they watch contently,
at the beauty just outside their window.

the two people-
a content boy and a wistful girl,
are wearing slight smiles,
as they enjoy the bliss of winter
and each other.

fingers interlaced,
with shoulders touching,
the boy plants a kiss on
the girl's forehead.
and they get lost in the moment,
watching the ballet
together.
Its happy yay :)
traces of being May 2016
.
The sensual caress
          twilight mist impearled flesh
          alighting a feral desire
          within blossoming spring petals

The newness of uncovered skin
          a sweetness on unsated lips ,
          the taste of passion and salty *******;

          with hastened breath
          sighs do brush with warm ****** breeze  
                               across my naked chest

          wild feathers sweeten
          tender touch
                                ... emanating
          sensual awakenings

Arousing buried desires

          unable to hold back
          constant cravings

          the inevitable currents
          pummeling shameless floodgates
with arising untamed springtides swell

Fleshly enslaved yen --  
energy sprouts tingling sensations

          nascent buds blossoming deeply
          flourishing exploding flames  
          bursting flush
                                       ... deliciously white hot

In an unstoppable carnal moment
          passion betides
          like the surging sea ;


Rising and falling crescendos
          unleashed waves crashing ,
          drowning in the rhythmic undertow

          interlaced bodies heaving adrift in the moment 
          like entangled seaweeds
                                            in a riptide

         as the rolling thunder storm 
         dances across invigorated tides
         with a surging cadence of cresting waves bloom
         caught in the Rhythm and the Sea



                           ✩ ✩ ☼ ✩ ✩
I have enjoyed writing many sensual art pieces the past few years but have published few.   Cheers to May Day, Spring and new beginnings ~
October Dec 2018
A space so unfitting
A space tired, not so uplifting
“Rehab”
”Rehab”
”Rehabilitate my space”, you pled
And I did
I did just that once you, out of town, fled
Back in town, it was going to be a monumental surprise
One that you and I could share and sleep in that night
That night and all the nights to follow
When you witnessed your new space you could barely swallow
Chocking back tears, I had succeeded in my mission
Now this space, you share with your new person
Does she like the color blue?
What about the gold accents I detailed just for you?
It’s your space, and hers now
I hope the dark shadows of your new space haunt you, watch over you like an owl
In witness of you two interlaced
With someone who has now taken my place
To lavender I retreat
That shade of navy and I never to re-meet
Chris Jun 2014
Journey- by Christina Helen Marie

Step out your door only to step in once more
I am upward momentum spinning top
living for lessons learned not

I want freedom
interlaced dreams to carry  my weight
I must send my mind to that future time place date...

When all I have done is displayed
Having each melodic note pulled from lungs
to encompass a life well sung

For even then...
I will have not yet arrived
have brain filled and wholeness of mind
Even then...
I will step out my door only to step back in
once more

I choose to
jump
land
without hitting the floor
I am upward momentum spinning top
Living from lessons learned not

I want freedom...
interlaced dreams to carry my weight

I must send mind to that future date
when all I have done is displayed
Each melodic note pulled from lungs
to encompass a life well sung

Even then I will step out my door to step back
once more

I carry this awareness like birds with the **** they gather to make nests
It comes with me to tomorrow
To prepare for the heavy

You see
I cannot rest until heart song melody has leaked dry

However my girl,
rivers that flow from the deity renew themselves
Never ending joy in store houses

I can always be a fountain sopping wet dripping over the kettle

This yearning to create.....was never meant to settle
Jeffrey May 2017
We cracked the sun wide open
and drank till light spilled across our chins
then down our chests
until our shirts were drenched
your pale skin and pink petals
Glimmering through the sheer white wool

And not even the least put off
You tore your blouse right from your back
and roared with laughter and delight
tearing mine while running toward the shore

We pulled two stars down from sunset skies
And hung them from your gentle lobes
And though they tried could not eclipse
The light from your true self exposed

Growing weary from the day
We tore  fabric from the clouds
And made a blanket on the ground
Near the waters edge

We slipped out of our sun soaked clothes
And drank so gently from the moon
From root to crown in deep embrace
made love like lovers, friends and fools

We thanked the sun and thanked the stars
While drifting off to dream
interlaced our hands and legs and hearts
And rocked the night to sleep
I'm so grateful to have you all to share with, and for you to share with me.
Poetic T Nov 2016
For it was but a figurine of blue nothing majestic
in its stance until a fateful day upon its happening
of beleaguered figure with eyes that shone beyond
this vacant etching. Without a yearning it picked at
this still supple flesh and devoured the beauty within.

Coexisting motions interlaced from a form of nothingness
to an existence of beauty that birthed in form and a weave
of colour liberated from its anatomy. Once it has given into
repulsive convulsions of what had perspired it saw with
what new eyes. But where one feather lingered it needed more.

A craving of beauty even though needed through means
that weren't intentional. But elegance is an obscurity of
vain ambitions that once reflected upon is need to be kept
within the grasp of moments now corroding at these delicate
frames whisper in sight and where one fluttered now, more do.

So many feathers adorned its foliage, and seen was the beauty
that extended past its virtues that were as corrupted as its on
moral compass that was dipped in blood, you should fear a
Peacock of no foliage for it needs to be hole to see its feathers
grace the air and only the inevitable craving will fulfil this plumage.
For it see with many eyes that aren't its own but fulfil it plumage.

*"So many see nothing, but a world where beauty is constructed
from the eyes of others and even they do not truly see,
h
Senor Negativo Sep 2012
Fingers interlaced,
Lips chained together,
Bodies bound
In a tangle of limbs.
Back from the future,
Face to face with the past,
Present tense exists and lasts.
You stop all the clocks with your stare,
I look into your eyes, and see eternity there.
I know that this need will never end,
We can see around the bend.
The time I spend with you is
Timeless.
Meg Freeman Jul 2011
there was a cemetery day
in the heat of july
when the shadow dreams called
and i fell in love with you.

there was a cemetery day
when i walked tight ropes
when we serenaded the birds instead
and made grass angels.

there was a cemetery day
when we threw stones in the quarry
thought seriously about diving in
and promised to one day.

there was a cemetery day
when the cicadas sang high
where silk flowers caressed the graves
and we danced like children often do.

there was a cemetery day
when we stood between our cars
anticipation under the haze of the streetlight
and you almost kissed me.

there was a cemetery day
when my head was reeling
realization breaching my skies
and i didn't want to go.

there was a cemetery day
when we drove until we couldn't
sunlight scattered in our quiet
and you thought about our fingers interlaced.

there was a cemetery day
when we lay out on the dock
the one that floats just off shore
and you caught me as i fell.

there was a cemetery day
in the heat of july
when the shadow dreams called
and you fell in love with me too...

— The End —