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howard brace Sep 2012
He'd been conceived in Flamborough, so his little sister assured him some eleven summers ago, which was a tad hard for Rocky to swallow, she was a whole eighteen months his junior and then some... and at that age, well... what did she know, she was only a kid, "on this very rock" River insisted, kicking her heels in delight, "next to this very rock pool" they were both sitting beside, "one sunny afternoon eleven years ago..." and that was how he came by the name of Rocky... she taunted as the rest of the colourful story unfolded... and that she had it all on the best possible authority... although the more she thought about it, had she meant concealed... she wasn't quite sure now, it was all so very confusing at her tender age but thought it sounded close enough not to matter too much and that she would just wait and see which way the wind blew.
        
     It was conceivably an ill wind that blew no one any good that day, especially if you were a boy and just happened to be sat by a rock pool next to your little sister...  Having just taken a well earned drink from a neighbouring rock pool, Sockeye the floppiest Springer Spaniel this side of the Pecos decided that he was going to dig a hole and that he would be digging it deep, then changed his mind mid-dig and decided to have a more down to earth back scratching wriggle instead... then promptly flopped over and slid into the hole... life was sweet.  Now covered from nose to tail with every species of deceased shore life usually found frequenting the high water mark Sockeye, in a blinding flash of canine inspiration judged it would be in everyone's best interest were he to have a really good shakedown which always appeared to go down well on these occasions... and give everyone a good peppering, just so they could see exactly what they'd been missing all their lives.  

     "A rock of all places, for goodness sakes..." and what's more, it was this rock, "Yuk..." he jumped up and wiped his palms on the back of his jeans in disgust, then onto his tee-shirt, then sat back down again and began exploring his left nostril in quiet contemplation before finally jambing his hands back into his pockets... what in Heaven's name had his parents been thinking of..? what on earth was his little sister talking about..? and more to the point, what in fact did conceived mean..?  these were the questions that were uppermost in Rocky's mind as he poked an exploratory stick into the rock pool...  a baby crab marooned by the tide scampered sideways beneath a large pebble and stuck one beady eye out at him... Rocky's sister, seemingly in a world of her own, much like the baby crab sat on the edge of the noteworthy rock kicking her heels, an innocent smile curled the corners of her mouth as she quietly hummed a little song of tuneful bliss to herself and considered what further mischief she could possibly pass her brother's way.

     Rocky tossed a piece of driftwood over his sisters shoulder at a nearby flock of seagulls, squabbling over what appeared to be a discarded bag of fish and chips... Sockeye, simply knowing that his little master wanted to play a game of fetch gambolled after the stick, his ears flying courageously in the still Summer air and burst, amid a melee of feathers into their midst, only to romp back moments later, the stick all but forgotten in the excitement but now proudly sporting the derelict bag of leftovers and the odd splash of guano, his tail lolloping magnificently from side to side... and for the moment at least, leaving the fratching seagulls wheeling noisily overhead and to go about their daily business without further interruption... as for Sockeye, it had been a no contest situation.

     After fourteen years of valiant endeavour his father... Red, so named for his vivid shock of wiry hair, was still engaged in man's eternal struggle to win his significant other half's approbation with the manful art of deck-chair assembly, beach barbeque and other significant gentlemanly pursuits, all while strutting his manly stuff, sporting top of the range beach wear in accordance with the social etiquette of the previous decade... his masculine paunch slumping gallantly atop his waistband...  

     After the same fourteen terms of domestic servitude and the same thirteen identically overlooked anniversary cards a certain someone had no intention of allowing another certain someone to forget so much as one of them... his better half, so she insisted would ride rough shod, administering her own brand of justice at every given opportunity, in much the same way you'd brandish a royal-flush on poker night... or better still, a loaded revolver... and that she personally carried the burden of every ill-fated card that Lady Luck had dealt strung about her neck like Adam's original sin on Judgement Day.  

     Red much preferred the shorter, more condensed name of Rock for his son, rather than the longer more protracted Rocky, as he struggled with the wood and canvas lounger badly trapping the mound of his thumb in the process, "Aaargh...!!!" plunging his throbbing hand deep into the cold, soothing rock-pool "aaah...!!!"   Still marooned by the tide, the baby crab stood poised and ready for action as it considered giving this latest intrusion a good offensive nip, then hang on spitefully as it gave Red the final withering once over with the same baleful eye it had successfully used earlier.

     Acknowledging her husbands misfortune with a perfunctory grunt as she rummaged in her beach-bag for the thermos, she refused to be drawn in where thumbs were concerned right now, after all with his DNA sequencing she was convinced he could probably grow a new one within the month... whilst Tina, well... she was just plain worn-out... but still rejoiced in telling anyone who cared to lend a sympathetic ear in her direction... and who in turn was more than happy to listen to the woes of others and went somewhere along the lines of... 'and had she heard any more of poor Mrs Dorey's lingering martyrdom recently..? you know, the downtrodden lady who lives in the next street but one... and how they would all miss her when she was gone... and how she couldn't wait...' and as rumour had it, neither could her husband...

      Feigning to be otherwise engaged, Tina... as her husband, now blowing frantically on his mangled thumb, stumbled backwards over the half erected lounger and with a spine jarring "Ooomph...!!!" landed squarely in Sockeye's subsiding earthworks... professed total disassociation with the entire fiasco as she plunged her nose even deeper into the overdue library book she'd purposely brought on holiday for just such an occasion, making it perfectly clear that she was a tourist and furthermore, planned to stick with the same itinerary once they returned home... and that while she was here, she did not under any circumstances wish to be disturbed, the notice was clearly displayed hanging from the door handle... but if anyone should, then whoever it was did so at their own peril... and she was keeping score... although a mangled thumb she luxuriated, with the same roguish smile curling the corners of her mouth as the one normally found playing around her daughter's... was equally as heart warming.

      All Tina wanted was one week of uninterrupted peace and quiet in Flamborough, preferably with a certain someone out from under her feet then spend what might pass for several undisturbed hours sitting quietly by the rock pool comparing notes on eye makeup and the feminine merits of pedicure with the little crab who, still marooned by the tide was now sat busily knitting four pairs of matching leg warmers in the cool, still water but that was only if that certain someone... a shrill  "AAaargh...!!!" somewhat more desperate than the first, ****** itself upon the as yet unaggressive afternoon as it gyrated across the warm Jurrasic rock and recoiled out to sea... "now where was I", twisting her book uppermost "oh yes..! someone was going to pay..." only now it was going to be sooner rather than later, but only if that certain someone didn't finish the seating arrangements before the Sun disappeared and drift into some backstreet tea-room before all the lemon cheesecake sold out, or was that she reflected, simply too much to ask.

     It was his Surname that Rock found so objectionable, or it had been right up until his little sister's enlightening disclosure, now it was both names Rocky disliked, it would have been far kinder had Rock Salmon been sandwiched between sliced bread and given to Sockeye... who's solemn duty, from the first mouthful to the very last, was to gaze up beseechingly from beneath the kitchen table  and devour anything that passed his way, even the postman had to be quick about his business or have his arm follow the mail through the letter box... then Sockeye would just smack his lips and help himself to seconds.  

     All Rocky's mum had thought about for the last fourteen years was seconds... every last solitary one of them since she'd suffered with an infection of matrimonial neurosis which had deprived her of common sense and her maiden name, from Chovey to that of Salmon and how with hindsight she should have taken an Aspirin instead, wedlock she asserted was everything the name claimed to be and was without doubt the worst move she'd ever made... and what's more was seen as a bad move in whoever's wedding album you just happened to be paying your condolences to.

     Rocky would never be so fortunate on that score, unlike his sister he was stuck with Salmon for good, his grandma-Ann by all accounts had been dead set against the union from word Go and saw his father as someone who would always be out of his depth in whatever rock pool he found himself in, swimming against the tide as it were, rather than going with the flow... and it appeared that Rocky, almost eleven years into a life sentence, was about to flounder in the same murky undertow as the rest of the Salmon family... only he couldn't swim.

     "There"! her husband exclaimed "all finished... better late than never eh', who fancies trying it"? his wife luxuriated over the words 'better late' and wondered whether her new earrings, her latest acquisition would complement formal mourning attire.  Red dusted off the palms of his hands with the certain knowledge of a job well done and cautiously took one step back, looking with justifiable pride at the outcome of his manly exertions of the last two hours, this was what holidays were all about he declared, one man pitted against insurmountable odds...  His wife meanwhile was getting to grips with more odds of her own than you could safely expect to shake a stick at... her husband being one of them.  

     Having gathered her offspring with the promise of verbal earache if they didn't... and finished packing the beach-bag, Tina finally located Sockeye peering out from the shade of an adjacent rock, wisps of feathers poked tellingly from the corners of his mouth, his tail beating mischievously on the shingle decided in one further blaze of canine brainstorming, as Tina attempted to slip his collar on that a game of tag would just about round the day off nicely... Tina then devoted the next ten minutes chasing him amid unrestrained salvo's of cheering from the rest of the family... then bid goodbye to the little crab who, still marooned by the tide waved a friendly pincer in return... and trusted that she wouldn't have too long to wait for the next rising tide back home, then she slid off the rock with a corrosive... "the deck-chair attendant would have shown you" she snapped "and don't forget the deposit when you take them back" then double checking that she landed squarely on his foot she marched past, her floral sun hat jammed resolutely on her head at what she considered a jaunty angle with her equally jaunty, angular children scrambling in hot pursuit, back in the direction of their lodgings.  

     "Woof "..? said a bewildered Sockeye, bringing everyone to an abrupt halt... and with paws the size of place-mats, he wasn't going anywhere he didn't want to... he hunkered down with a look of hurtful accusation on his face, "oh yes you are my lad"! said his mistress "I've met your sort before" and knew exactly where to place the toe of her dainty size-5 as Sockeye, digging his heals in even further created swathes of canine furrows up the beach, leaving her husband the unwitting holder and in sole possession of the overlooked guest-house keys... and somewhat resigned to clean up his own masculinity and dismantle the recently assembled, now redundant deck-chairs by himself... as for Tina, well... she'd had quite enough excitement for one day thank you very much.

     Morning register was always the worst he thought, as they trooped back along the shingle beach, Rocky making surprisingly good furrows of his own... but the rest of the class loved it and saw it as the highlight of each day... Rocky's form teacher, despite showing a brave face was always hard pressed to avoid bursting into hysterics every time she worked her way down the register to the letter 'S' and would attempt to bypass it altogether, jumping from 'R' to 'T' and just prayed that no one else had noticed, but it hadn't taken the class very long to point out her oversight and... "please Miss" they'd all chant "we haven't had Salmon all week" and while the rest of the class were having convulsive fits, Rocky would elbow the lad sat at the next desk in the ribs... and promptly get one hundred lines for his trouble... thank goodness it was school holidays.  Why couldn't they have been given respectable names like Seymour Legge, Rock wondered, who sat over by the window or perhaps the teachers pet, Anna Prentice or even, Robyn Banks at a pinch, but definitely not what they'd been given and certainly not Salmon, they were the most hilarious names he could imagine and if someone was looking down on them right now he thought... then they had a very unique sense of humour indeed and Rock said so... "why" his little sister asked sweetly, "what's wrong with River Salmon".

                                                      ­                         ...   ...   ...*

a work in progress*                                                        ­                                                              240­6
Jesse stillwater Aug 2018
Driving up mountain miles
of washboard switchbacks;
jarring the dusty rearview mirror
in my mind:

"but don't look back in anger"  
... I heard you say
stuck in the cloud of dust
befogging my daydream
back somewhere thereabouts
the washed out bridge
that tore us apart
like a flash flood

It was so long ago
since you were running
and I was hiding in plain sight,
from what the storm
in my eyes did tell

Mindful — you were only watching
the growing distance gather;

finding what you didn't lose
looking back to see
   what you can't forget —

like a hesitant child
reluctantly wondering
if anyone was still looking back
at you ―  still running away
from each passing storm


Jesse Stillwater
June   2018
Thank you for reading my soul scribbles
Bouazizi’s heavy eyelids parted as the Muezzin recited the final call for the first Adhan of the day.

“As-salatu Khayrun Minan-nawm”
Prayer is better than sleep

Rising from the torment of another restless night, Bouazizi wiped the sleep from his droopy eyes as his feet touched the cold stone floor.

Throughout the frigid night, the devilish jinn did their work, eagerly jabbing away at Bouazizi with pointed sticks, tormenting his troubled conscience with the worry of his nagging indebtedness. All night the face of the man Bouazizi owed money to haunted him. Bouazizi could see the man’s greasy lips and brown teeth jawing away, inches from his face. He imagined chubby caffeine stained fingers reaching toward him to grab some dinars from Bouazizi’s money box.

Bouazizi turned all night like he was sleeping on a board of spikes. His prayers for a restful night again went unanswered. The pall of a blue fatigue would shadow Bouazizi for most of the day.

Bouazizi’s weariness was compounded by a gnawing hunger. By force of habit, he grudgingly opened the food cupboard with the foreknowledge that it was almost bare. Bouazizi’s premonition proved correct as he surveyed a meager handful of chickpeas, some eggs and a few sparse loaves. It was just enough to feed his dependant family; younger brothers and sisters, cousins and a terminally disabled uncle. That left nothing for Bouazizi but a quick jab to his empty gut. He would start this day without breakfast.

Bouazizi made a living as a street vendor. He hustles to survive. Bouazizi’s father died in a construction accident in Libya when he was three. Since the age of 10, Bouazizi had pushed a cart through the streets of Sidi Bouzid; selling fruit at the public market just a few blocks from the home that he has lived in for almost his entire life.

At 27 years of age, Bouazizi has wrestled the beast of deprivation since his birth. To date, he has bravely fought it to a standstill; but day after day the multi-headed hydra of life has snapped at him. He has squarely met the eyes of the beast with fortitude and resolve; but the sharp fangs of a hardscrabble life has sunken deep into Bouazizi’s spleen. The unjust rules of society are powerful claws that slash away at his flesh, bleeding him dry: while the spiked tendrils of poverty wrap Bouazizi’s neck, seeking to strangle him.

Bouazizi is a workingman hero; a skilled warrior in the fight for daily bread. He is accustomed to living a life of scarcity. His daily deliverance is the grace of another day of labor and the blessed wages of subsistence.

Though Allah has blessed this man with fortitude the acuteness of terminal want and the constant struggle to survive has its limits for any man; even for strong champions like Bouazizi.

This morning as Bouazizi washed he peered into a mirror, closely examining new wrinkles on his stubble strewn face. He fingered his deep black curls dashed with growing streaks of gray. He studied them through the gaze of heavy bloodshot eyes. He looked upward as if to implore Allah to salve the bruises of daily life.

Bouazizi braced himself with the splash of a cold water slap to his face. He wiped his cheeks clean with the tail of his shirt. He dipped his toothbrush into a box of baking powder and scoured an aching back molar in need of a root canal. Bouazizi should see a dentist but it is a luxury he cannot afford so he packed an aspirin on top of the infected tooth. The dissolving aspirin invaded his mouth coating his tongue with a bitter effervescence.

Bouazizi liked the taste and was grateful for the expectation of a dulled pain. He smiled into the mirror to check his chipped front tooth while pinching a cigarette **** from an ashtray. The roach had one hit left in it. He lit it with a long hard drag that consumed a good part of the filter. Bouazizi’s first smoke of the day was more filter then tobacco but it shocked his lungs into the coughing flow of another day.

Bouazizi put on his jacket, slipped into his knockoff NB sneakers and reached for a green apple on a nearby table. He took a big bite and began to chew away the pain of his toothache.

Bouazizi stepped into the street to catch the sun rising over the rooftops. He believed that seeing the sunrise was a good omen that augured well for that day’s business. A sunbeam braking over a far distant wall bathed Bouazizi in a golden light and illumined the alley where he parked his cart holding his remaining stock of week old apples. He lifted the handles and backed his cart out into the street being extra mindful of the cracks in the cobblestone road. Bouazizi sprained his ankle a week ago and it was still tender. Bouazizi had to be careful not to aggravate it with a careless step. Having successfully navigated his cart into the road, Bouazizi made a skillful U Turn and headed up the street limping toward the market.

A winter chill gripped Bouazizi prompting him to zip his jacket up to his neck. The zipper pinched his Adam’s Apple and a few droplets of blood stained his green corduroy jacket. Though it was cold, Bouazizi sensed that spring would arrive early this year triggering a replay of a recurring daydream. Bouazizi imagined himself behind the wheel of a new van on his way to the market. Fresh air and sunshine pouring through the open windows with the cargo space overflowing with fresh vegetables and fruits.

It was a lifelong ambition of Bouazizi to own a van. He dreamed of buying a six cylinder Dodge Caravan. It would be painted red and he would call it The Red Flame. The Red Flame would be fast and powerful and sport chrome spinners. The Red Flame would be filled with music from a Blaupunkt sound system with kick *** speakers. Power windows, air conditioning, leather seats, a moonroof and plenty of space in the back for his produce would complete Bouazizi’s ride.

The Red Flame would be the vehicle Bouazizi required to expand his business beyond the market square. Bouazizi would sell his produce out of the back of the van, moving from neighborhood to neighborhood. No longer would he have to wait for customers to come to his stand in the market. Bouazizi would go to his customers. Bouazizi and the Red Flame would be known in all the neighborhoods throughout the district. Bouazizi shook his head and smiled thinking about all the girls who would like to take rides in the Red Flame. Bouazizi and his Red Flame would be a sight to be noticed and a force to be reckoned with.

“EEEEEYOWWW” a Mercedes horn angrily honked; jarring Bouazizi from the reverie of his daydream. A guy whipping around the corner like a silver streak stuck his head out the window blasting with music yelling, “Hey Mnayek, watch where you push that *******.”

The music faded as the Mercedes roared away. “Barra nikk okhtek” Bouazizi yelled, raising his ******* in the direction of the vanished car. “The big guys in the fancy cars think the road belongs to them”, Bouazizi mumbled to himself.

The insult ****** Bouazizi off, but he was accustomed to them and as he limped along pushing his cart he distracted himself with the amusement of the ascending sun chasing the fleeting shadows of the night, sending them scurrying down narrow alleyways.

Bouazizi imaged himself a character from his favorite movie. He was a giant Transformer, chasing the black shadows of evil away from the city into the desert. After battling evil and conquering the bad guys, he would transform himself back into the regular Bouazizi; selling his produce to the people as he patrolled the highways of Tunisia in the Red Flame, the music blasting out the windows, the chrome spinners flashing in the sunlight. Bouazizi would remain vigilant, always ready to transform the Red Flame to fight the evil doers.

The bumps and potholes in the road jostled Bouazizi’s load of apples. A few fell out of the wooden baskets and were rolling around in the open spaces of the cart. Bouazizi didn’t want to risk bruising them. Damaged merchandise can’t be sold so he was careful to secure his goods and arrange his cart to appeal to women customers. He made sure to display his prized electronic scale in the corner of the cart for all to see.

Bouazizi had a reputation as a fair and generous dealer who always gave good value to his customers. Bouazizi was also known for his kindness. He would give apples to hungry children and families who could not pay. Bouazizi knew the pain of hunger and it brought him great satisfaction to be able to alleviate it in others.

As a man who valued fairness, Bouazizi was particularly proud of his electronic scale. Bouazizi was certain the new measuring device assured all customers that Bouazizi sold just and correct portions. The electronic scale was Bouazizi’s shining lamp. He trusted it. He hung it from the corner post of his cart like it was the beacon of a lighthouse guiding shoppers through the treachery of an unscrupulous market. It would attract all customers who valued fairness to the safe harbor of Bouazizi’s cart.

The electronic scale is Bouazizi’s assurance to his customers that the weights and measures of electronic calculation layed beyond any cloud of doubt. It is a fair, impartial and objective arbiter for any dispute.

Bouazizi believed that the fairness of his scale would distinguish his stand from other produce vendors. Though its purchase put Bouazizi into deep debt, the scale was a source of pride for Bouazizi who believed that it would help his profits to increase and help him to achieve his goal of buying the Red Flame.

As Bouazizi pushed his cart toward the market, he mulled his plan over in his mind for the millionth time. He wasn't great in math but he was able to calculate his financial situation with a degree of precision. His estimations triggered worries that his growing debt to money lenders may be difficult to payoff.

Indebtedness pressed down on Bouazizi’s chest like a mounting pile of stones. It was the source of an ever present fear coercing Bouazizi to live in a constant state of anxiety. His business needed to grow for Bouazizi to get a measure of relief and ultimately prosper from all his hard work. Bouazizi was driven by urgency.

The morning roil of the street was coming alive. Bouazizi quickened his step to secure a good location for his cart at the market. Car horns, the spewing diesel from clunking trucks, the flatulent roar of accelerating buses mixed with the laughs and shrieks of children heading to school composed the rising crescendo of the city square.

As he pushed through the market, Bouazizi inhaled the aromatic eddies of roasting coffee floating on the air. It was a pleasantry Bouazizi looked forward to each morning. The delicious wafts of coffee mingling with the crisp aroma of baking bread instigated a growl from Bouazizi’s empty stomach. He needed to get something to eat. After he got money from his first sale he would by a coffee and some fried dough.

Activity in the market was vigorous, punctuated by the usual arguments of petty territorial disputes between vendors. The disagreements were always amicably resolved, burned away in rising billows of roasting meats and vegetables, the exchange of cigarettes and the plumes of tobacco smoke rising as emanations of peace.

Bouazizi skillfully maneuvered his cart through the market commotion. He slid into his usual space between Aaban and Aameen. His good friend Aaban sold candles, incense, oils and sometimes his wife would make cakes to sell. Aameen was the markets most notorious jokester. He sold hardware and just about anything else he could get his hands on.

Aaban was already burning a few sticks of jasmine incense. It helped to attract customers. The aroma defined the immediate space with the pleasant bouquet of a spring garden. Bouazizi liked the smell and appreciated the increased traffic it brought to his apple cart.

“Hey Basboosa#, do you have any cigarettes?“, Aameen asked as he pulled out a lighter. Bouazizi shook the tip of a Kent from an almost empty pack. Aameen grabbed the cigarette with his lips.

“That's three cartons of Kents you owe me, you cheap *******.” Bouazizi answered half jokingly. Aameen mumbled a laugh through a grin tightly gripping the **** as he exhaled smoke from his nose like a fire breathing dragon. Bouazizi also took out a cigarette for himself.

“Aameem, give me a light”, Bouazizi asked.

Aameen tossed him the lighter.

“Keep it Basboosa. I got others.” Aameen smiled as he showed off a newly opened box of disposable lighters to sell on his stand.

“Made in China, Basboosa. They make everything cheap and colorful. I can make some money with these.”

Bouazizi lit his next to last cigarette. He inhaled deeply. The smoke chased away the cool air in Bouazizi’s lungs with a shot of a hot nicotine rush.

“Merci Aameen” Bouazizi answered. He put the lighter into the almost empty cigarette pack and put it into his hip pocket. The lighter would protect his last cigarette from being crushed.

The laughter and shouts of the bazaar, the harangue of radio voices shouting anxious verses of Imam’s exhorting the masses to submit and the piecing ramble of nondescript AM music flinging piercing unintelligible static surrounded Bouazizi and his cart as he waited for his first customers of the day.

Bouazizi sensed a nervous commotion rise along the line of vendors. A crowd of tourists and locals milling about parted as if to avoid a slithering asp making its way through their midst. The hoots of vendors and the cackle of the crowd made its way to Bouazizi’s knowing ear. He knew what was coming. It was nothing more then another shakedown by city officials acting as bagmen for petty municipal bureaucrats. They claim to be checking vendor licences but they’re just making the rounds collecting protection money from the vendors. Pocketing bribes and payoffs is the municipal authorities idea of good government. They are skilled at using the power of their office to extort tribute from the working poor.

Bouazizi made the mistake of making eye contact with Madame Hamdi. As the municipal authority in charge of vendors and taxis Madame Hamdi held sway over the lives of the street vendors. She relished the power she had over the men who make a meager living selling goods in the square; and this morning she was moving through the market like a bloodhound hot on the trail of an escaped convict. Two burly henchmen lead the way before her. Bouazizi knew Madame Hamdi’s hounds were coming for him.

Bouazizi knew he was ******. Having just made a payment to his money lender, Bouazizi had no extra dinars to grease the palm of Madame Hamdi. He grabbed the handle bars of his cart to make an escape; but Madame Hamdi cut him off and got right into into Bouazizi’s face.

“Ah little Basboosa where are you going? she asked with the tone of playful contempt.

“I suppose you still have no license to sell, ah Basboosa?” Madame Hamdi questioned with the air of a soulless inquisitor.

“You know Madame Hamdi, cart vendors do not need a license.” Bouazizi feebly protested, not daring to look into her eyes.

“Basboosa, you know we can overlook your violations with a small fine for your laxity” a dismissive Madame Hamdi offered.

Bouazizi’s sense of guilt would not permit him to lift his eyes. His head remained bowed. Bouazizi stood convicted of being one of the impoverished.

“I have no spare dinars to offer Madame Hamdi, My pockets are empty, full of holes. My money falls into everyone’s palm but my own. I’m sorry Madame Hamdi. I’ll take my cart home”. He lifted the handlebars in an attempt to escape. One of Madame Hamdi’s henchmen stepped in front of his cart while the other pushed Bouazizi away from it.

“Either you pay me a vendor tax for a license or I will confiscate your goods Basboosa”, Madame Hamdi warned as she lifted Bouazizi’s scale off its hook.

“This will be the first to go”, she said grinning as she examined the scale. “We’ll just keep this.”
Like a mother lion protecting a defenseless cub from the snapping jaws of a pack of ravenous hyenas, Bouazizi lunged to retrieve his prized scale from the clutches of Madame Hamdi. Reaching for it, he touched the scale with his fingertips just as Madame Hamdi delivered a vicious slap to Bouazizi’s cheek. It halted him like a thunderbolt from Zeus.

A henchman overturned Bouazizi’s cart, scatter
Three years ago today Muhammad Bouazizi set himself on fire igniting the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia sparking the Arab Spring Uprisings of 2011.
Valsa George Jul 2018
on a sea strand,
have you watched empty shells
mercilessly tossed from sea to shore
and from shore to sea?
      
often I shrink and reduce to such a shell,
with jagged and broken edges
colorless and empty

among many a debris cast on the shore,
i lie half buried under the sand
waiting for some mighty wave
to wash me away
all the way to the sea

how tedious is my voyage
shuttling from him to her
and from her to him
unable to openly confess
who weighs more
on the balance of preference

through how many alleys and by ways
I have wandered, questioning my identity!
am I a puffer fish, being toxic
the fisher men have discarded?
a jarring note in a discordant symphony?
I wonder....! I often ask myself!

destined to grow
in mercurial climes,
planted in arid shallow soil
with the tap root trimmed,
branches pruned,
growth denied,
I, a stunted bonsai!

still I dream to be a towering tree,
that in profusion gives fruits and shade!
a ****** aspiring to be a Goliath
a hollow reed,
longing at once to be the singer and the song!
When a divorce occurs, the threat of losing the home and losing the purpose of life confronts a child, especially in the younger age. Children of divorced parents experience a real trauma and they begin to doubt about their own identity!
Slow sinks, more lovely ere his race be run,
Along Morea’s hills the setting Sun;
Not, as in northern climes, obscurely bright,
But one unclouded blaze of living light;
O’er the hushed deep the yellow beam he throws,
Gilds the green wave that trembles as it glows;
On old ægina’s rock and Hydra’s isle
The God of gladness sheds his parting smile;
O’er his own regions lingering loves to shine,
Though there his altars are no more divine.
Descending fast, the mountain-shadows kiss
Thy glorious Gulf, unconquered Salamis!
Their azure arches through the long expanse,
More deeply purpled, meet his mellowing glance,
And tenderest tints, along their summits driven,
Mark his gay course, and own the hues of Heaven;
Till, darkly shaded from the land and deep,
Behind his Delphian rock he sinks to sleep.

  On such an eve his palest beam he cast
When, Athens! here thy Wisest looked his last.
How watched thy better sons his farewell ray,
That closed their murdered Sage’s latest day!
Not yet—not yet—Sol pauses on the hill,
The precious hour of parting lingers still;
But sad his light to agonizing eyes,
And dark the mountain’s once delightful dyes;
Gloom o’er the lovely land he seemed to pour,
The land where Phoebus never frowned before;
But ere he sunk below Cithaeron’s head,
The cup of Woe was quaffed—the Spirit fled;
The soul of Him that scorned to fear or fly,
Who lived and died as none can live or die.

  But lo! from high Hymettus to the plain
The Queen of Night asserts her silent reign;
No murky vapour, herald of the storm,
Hides her fair face, or girds her glowing form;
With cornice glimmering as the moonbeams play,
There the white column greets her grateful ray,
And bright around, with quivering beams beset,
Her emblem sparkles o’er the Minaret;
The groves of olive scattered dark and wide,
Where meek Cephisus sheds his scanty tide,
The cypress saddening by the sacred mosque,
The gleaming turret of the gay kiosk,
And sad and sombre ’mid the holy calm,
Near Theseus’ fane, yon solitary palm;
All, tinged with varied hues, arrest the eye;
And dull were his that passed them heedless by.
Again the ægean, heard no more afar,
Lulls his chafed breast from elemental war:
Again his waves in milder tints unfold
Their long expanse of sapphire and of gold,
Mixed with the shades of many a distant isle
That frown, where gentler Ocean deigns to smile.

  As thus, within the walls of Pallas’ fane,
I marked the beauties of the land and main,
Alone, and friendless, on the magic shore,
Whose arts and arms but live in poets’ lore;
Oft as the matchless dome I turned to scan,
Sacred to Gods, but not secure from Man,
The Past returned, the Present seemed to cease,
And Glory knew no clime beyond her Greece!

  Hour rolled along, and Dian’******on high
Had gained the centre of her softest sky;
And yet unwearied still my footsteps trod
O’er the vain shrine of many a vanished God:
But chiefly, Pallas! thine, when Hecate’s glare
Checked by thy columns, fell more sadly fair
O’er the chill marble, where the startling tread
Thrills the lone heart like echoes from the dead.
Long had I mused, and treasured every trace
The wreck of Greece recorded of her race,
When, lo! a giant-form before me strode,
And Pallas hailed me in her own Abode!

  Yes,’twas Minerva’s self; but, ah! how changed,
Since o’er the Dardan field in arms she ranged!
Not such as erst, by her divine command,
Her form appeared from Phidias’ plastic hand:
Gone were the terrors of her awful brow,
Her idle ægis bore no Gorgon now;
Her helm was dinted, and the broken lance
Seemed weak and shaftless e’en to mortal glance;
The Olive Branch, which still she deigned to clasp,
Shrunk from her touch, and withered in her grasp;
And, ah! though still the brightest of the sky,
Celestial tears bedimmed her large blue eye;
Round the rent casque her owlet circled slow,
And mourned his mistress with a shriek of woe!

  “Mortal!”—’twas thus she spake—”that blush of shame
Proclaims thee Briton, once a noble name;
First of the mighty, foremost of the free,
Now honoured ‘less’ by all, and ‘least’ by me:
Chief of thy foes shall Pallas still be found.
Seek’st thou the cause of loathing!—look around.
Lo! here, despite of war and wasting fire,
I saw successive Tyrannies expire;
‘Scaped from the ravage of the Turk and Goth,
Thy country sends a spoiler worse than both.
Survey this vacant, violated fane;
Recount the relics torn that yet remain:
‘These’ Cecrops placed, ‘this’ Pericles adorned,
‘That’ Adrian reared when drooping Science mourned.
What more I owe let Gratitude attest—
Know, Alaric and Elgin did the rest.
That all may learn from whence the plunderer came,
The insulted wall sustains his hated name:
For Elgin’s fame thus grateful Pallas pleads,
Below, his name—above, behold his deeds!
Be ever hailed with equal honour here
The Gothic monarch and the Pictish peer:
Arms gave the first his right, the last had none,
But basely stole what less barbarians won.
So when the Lion quits his fell repast,
Next prowls the Wolf, the filthy Jackal last:
Flesh, limbs, and blood the former make their own,
The last poor brute securely gnaws the bone.
Yet still the Gods are just, and crimes are crossed:
See here what Elgin won, and what he lost!
Another name with his pollutes my shrine:
Behold where Dian’s beams disdain to shine!
Some retribution still might Pallas claim,
When Venus half avenged Minerva’s shame.”

  She ceased awhile, and thus I dared reply,
To soothe the vengeance kindling in her eye:
“Daughter of Jove! in Britain’s injured name,
A true-born Briton may the deed disclaim.
Frown not on England; England owns him not:
Athena, no! thy plunderer was a Scot.
Ask’st thou the difference? From fair Phyles’ towers
Survey Boeotia;—Caledonia’s ours.
And well I know within that ******* land
Hath Wisdom’s goddess never held command;
A barren soil, where Nature’s germs, confined
To stern sterility, can stint the mind;
Whose thistle well betrays the niggard earth,
Emblem of all to whom the Land gives birth;
Each genial influence nurtured to resist;
A land of meanness, sophistry, and mist.
Each breeze from foggy mount and marshy plain
Dilutes with drivel every drizzly brain,
Till, burst at length, each wat’ry head o’erflows,
Foul as their soil, and frigid as their snows:
Then thousand schemes of petulance and pride
Despatch her scheming children far and wide;
Some East, some West, some—everywhere but North!
In quest of lawless gain, they issue forth.
And thus—accursed be the day and year!
She sent a Pict to play the felon here.
Yet Caledonia claims some native worth,
As dull Boeotia gave a Pindar birth;
So may her few, the lettered and the brave,
Bound to no clime, and victors of the grave,
Shake off the sordid dust of such a land,
And shine like children of a happier strand;
As once, of yore, in some obnoxious place,
Ten names (if found) had saved a wretched race.”

  “Mortal!” the blue-eyed maid resumed, “once more
Bear back my mandate to thy native shore.
Though fallen, alas! this vengeance yet is mine,
To turn my counsels far from lands like thine.
Hear then in silence Pallas’ stern behest;
Hear and believe, for Time will tell the rest.

  “First on the head of him who did this deed
My curse shall light,—on him and all his seed:
Without one spark of intellectual fire,
Be all the sons as senseless as the sire:
If one with wit the parent brood disgrace,
Believe him ******* of a brighter race:
Still with his hireling artists let him prate,
And Folly’s praise repay for Wisdom’s hate;
Long of their Patron’s gusto let them tell,
Whose noblest, native gusto is—to sell:
To sell, and make—may shame record the day!—
The State—Receiver of his pilfered prey.
Meantime, the flattering, feeble dotard, West,
Europe’s worst dauber, and poor Britain’s best,
With palsied hand shall turn each model o’er,
And own himself an infant of fourscore.
Be all the Bruisers culled from all St. Giles’,
That Art and Nature may compare their styles;
While brawny brutes in stupid wonder stare,
And marvel at his Lordship’s ’stone shop’ there.
Round the thronged gate shall sauntering coxcombs creep
To lounge and lucubrate, to prate and peep;
While many a languid maid, with longing sigh,
On giant statues casts the curious eye;
The room with transient glance appears to skim,
Yet marks the mighty back and length of limb;
Mourns o’er the difference of now and then;
Exclaims, ‘These Greeks indeed were proper men!’
Draws slight comparisons of ‘these’ with ‘those’,
And envies Laïs all her Attic beaux.
When shall a modern maid have swains like these?
Alas! Sir Harry is no Hercules!
And last of all, amidst the gaping crew,
Some calm spectator, as he takes his view,
In silent indignation mixed with grief,
Admires the plunder, but abhors the thief.
Oh, loathed in life, nor pardoned in the dust,
May Hate pursue his sacrilegious lust!
Linked with the fool that fired the Ephesian dome,
Shall vengeance follow far beyond the tomb,
And Eratostratus and Elgin shine
In many a branding page and burning line;
Alike reserved for aye to stand accursed,
Perchance the second blacker than the first.

  “So let him stand, through ages yet unborn,
Fixed statue on the pedestal of Scorn;
Though not for him alone revenge shall wait,
But fits thy country for her coming fate:
Hers were the deeds that taught her lawless son
To do what oft Britannia’s self had done.
Look to the Baltic—blazing from afar,
Your old Ally yet mourns perfidious war.
Not to such deeds did Pallas lend her aid,
Or break the compact which herself had made;
Far from such counsels, from the faithless field
She fled—but left behind her Gorgon shield;
A fatal gift that turned your friends to stone,
And left lost Albion hated and alone.

“Look to the East, where Ganges’ swarthy race
Shall shake your tyrant empire to its base;
Lo! there Rebellion rears her ghastly head,
And glares the Nemesis of native dead;
Till Indus rolls a deep purpureal flood,
And claims his long arrear of northern blood.
So may ye perish!—Pallas, when she gave
Your free-born rights, forbade ye to enslave.

  “Look on your Spain!—she clasps the hand she hates,
But boldly clasps, and thrusts you from her gates.
Bear witness, bright Barossa! thou canst tell
Whose were the sons that bravely fought and fell.
But Lusitania, kind and dear ally,
Can spare a few to fight, and sometimes fly.
Oh glorious field! by Famine fiercely won,
The Gaul retires for once, and all is done!
But when did Pallas teach, that one retreat
Retrieved three long Olympiads of defeat?

  “Look last at home—ye love not to look there
On the grim smile of comfortless despair:
Your city saddens: loud though Revel howls,
Here Famine faints, and yonder Rapine prowls.
See all alike of more or less bereft;
No misers tremble when there’s nothing left.
‘Blest paper credit;’ who shall dare to sing?
It clogs like lead Corruption’s weary wing.
Yet Pallas pluck’d each Premier by the ear,
Who Gods and men alike disdained to hear;
But one, repentant o’er a bankrupt state,
On Pallas calls,—but calls, alas! too late:
Then raves for’——’; to that Mentor bends,
Though he and Pallas never yet were friends.
Him senates hear, whom never yet they heard,
Contemptuous once, and now no less absurd.
So, once of yore, each reasonable frog,
Swore faith and fealty to his sovereign ‘log.’
Thus hailed your rulers their patrician clod,
As Egypt chose an onion for a God.

  “Now fare ye well! enjoy your little hour;
Go, grasp the shadow of your vanished power;
Gloss o’er the failure of each fondest scheme;
Your strength a name, your bloated wealth a dream.
Gone is that Gold, the marvel of mankind.
And Pirates barter all that’s left behind.
No more the hirelings, purchased near and far,
Crowd to the ranks of mercenary war.
The idle merchant on the useless quay
Droops o’er the bales no bark may bear away;
Or, back returning, sees rejected stores
Rot piecemeal on his own encumbered shores:
The starved mechanic breaks his rusting loom,
And desperate mans him ‘gainst the coming doom.
Then in the Senates of your sinking state
Show me the man whose counsels may have weight.
Vain is each voice where tones could once command;
E’en factions cease to charm a factious land:
Yet jarring sects convulse a sister Isle,
And light with maddening hands the mutual pile.

  “’Tis done, ’tis past—since Pallas warns in vain;
The Furies seize her abdicated reign:
Wide o’er the realm they wave their kindling brands,
And wring her vitals with their fiery hands.
But one convulsive struggle still remains,
And Gaul shall weep ere Albion wear her chains,
The bannered pomp of war, the glittering files,
O’er whose gay trappings stern Bellona smiles;
The brazen trump, the spirit-stirring drum,
That bid the foe defiance ere they come;
The hero bounding at his country’s call,
The glorious death that consecrates his fall,
Swell the young heart with visionary charms.
And bid it antedate the joys of arms.
But know, a lesson you may yet be taught,
With death alone are laurels cheaply bought;
Not in the conflict Havoc seeks delight,
His day of mercy is the day of fight.
But when the field is fought, the battle won,
Though drenched with gore, his woes are but begun:
His deeper deeds as yet ye know by name;
The slaughtered peasant and the ravished dame,
The rifled mansion and the foe-reaped field,
Ill suit with souls at home, untaught to yield.
Say with what eye along the distant down
Would flying burghers mark the blazing town?
How view the column of ascending flames
Shake his red shadow o’er the startled Thames?
Nay, frown not, Albion! for the torch was thine
That lit such pyres from Tagus to the Rhine:
Now should they burst on thy devoted coast,
Go, ask thy ***** who deserves them most?
The law of Heaven and Earth is life for life,
And she who raised, in vain regrets, the strife.”
Angela Liyanto Sep 2018
I would imagine my shoes full of broken wineglass
     and I would bicker, shoot, hum, wring
     carefully take them all out,
     with my godcrazed sweaty hands
I would see hallucinatory men in love, all destroyed with jarring
     scars on their arms because of the Great War,
     wrestle each other to steaks in the dead beach
     moaning with their twenty year old cigars
     still in their tortured mouths
I would see children playing at Dawn,
     They never grow older, always the age of eight
     They all played games with me, especially
     In those Westfield overblown supermarkets
I would dream of a pure Strawberry Field's kingdom,
     With John Lennon’s flannel shirts and a picture
     of some artist’s wife wanting to jump off the Brooklyn bridge
     Thinking I’m related to Napoleon
     who I forgotten about, ever since we left Chinatown that day.

So I called the twenty four hour hotline, where all the suicidal people call in the middle of the night,
      groaning in my bathtub, thinking of my visions,
      knowing one thing, I cried,
      “ I don’t want to turn into a cockroach like Gregor did!”
Instead I turned into a Shakespearean agony girl in two days,
     and wrote dramas in my room at midnight
     hissing of the mistreatment of slaves back in 1821.

After, I wept of the romances of the guiltless terraces in the tiny
     exhaustible corners of the street, in the abandoned libraries,
     and went back to school half-insane filled with gibberish stanzas
     and academics that sounded like more gibberish.

Then, I was I crowned with pinnacle ‘Madness of Thou Brain and Sick Oblivion, with auditory hallucinations’

I gave my one synapse yell to my only friend in town, and they all
     sent me to some institution where I felt more belonging than I
     did in eight years.

I met a girl who was planning to read To **** A Mockingbird in an hour,

I met a boy from Juvie who smoked too much and took too many pills

I met a boy who was just as sick as me, we played Twister in the
     dark until the nurses caught us holding hands,
     I never saw him again after that.

I met a girl who completed her suicide two days before her
     discharge.

Can you see it yet? In the tiny inexhaustible corners of the streets?
     In the abandoned libraries?

In little time, my generation will beat their visions to the streets,
     their innovation will rise to daring freshness.
A poem that reflects the society of modern times, a hallucinogenic mess of questions, but still somehow surviving and standing firm in its ideas.
Leigh May 2015
The tide collects it all by morning;
The drama and the ***** napalmed across the path.
The scenes at second warning for most had been swept away
Before they wiped the sand from their shoes.

Empty cans of Dutch and Tuborg slouched on the dunes
Are tight-lipped about the Velvet Strand's secret ecosystem;
An underground microcosm;
A peripheral cluster of seething emotions drowned.

Memories of those years - although some expired,
The vestiges take pride of place - hold a cosmic clump of smells,
Tastes, firsts, goosebumps, hangovers, and ends.
I never before understood what I was holding on to.

Winters down in the shelters nearly killed us but we
Huddled through the cold, lit cheap firelogs and
Found our oblivion. It didn't take much for me to develop  
A stagger - tolerance for a lot of things was learned later.

I narrowly recall my first taste of poor judgement and
Hazy-headed stargazing. Six cans of Stonehouse
Dry cider - most of which ended up on the hillside -
Was a ridiculous endeavour that will always be sublime.

At the heart of it, I did it to impress a girl;
The one every boy has or has had that sticks;
Who holds your firsts and your hands and makes
Things simple if only for her complexity;

The one that never fails to bring upon digression when
Pens are involved. Revisiting reminiscence on a jarring note,
I think of my Junior Cert exams and a cross-dressed man
Exposing himself to two uniformed boys behind the public toilets.

This one doesn't stir the joy of the others.
This one I wish would dissolve;
An ugly, awkward blotch on a childhood.

Luckily fondness trumps disgust when recalling that place
Because of sunrises and sunsets absorbed from the roof.
The Summers spent jumping the gap and drowning in the
Heat of the sun were everything.

The fugitive sand between our toes and under finger nails
Became an accepted nuisance, a part of the territory;
A lingering grain or two to drag you back.
I miss waking up with the smell of last night's faded fire.
.


Some weird and wonderful memories of my teenage years.

100 points if you catch the Derek Mahon reference.


.
LDuler Dec 2012
ok so here is what we are going to do
i'm going to get a bout de souffle
what was i gonna do..
one thing getting to nether still need you
are you all here
one thing getting getting to noter
288 guitars 
i've been hoping  don't get much dumber 
and getting to noter
this movie is not yet rated
i'm kind of trying to decide
i will send an email to your parents
so… just off the bat 
your parents are not ok with that 
kind of thing
she was out there interviewing her?
right there… have you seen that? ok good
movie theater to hide
c'est rare
reste avec moi
ciao petite fiiiille
elle est la bas je crois
vous parlez français? yes
attention ma petite fille on ne plaisante pas avec la police parisienne
you think i'm lying? you are
i didn't see you
you don't believe me
bonjour mignonne
qu'es ce qu'il dise
les flics me recherche
parle le moi quoi? ca alors
tu es marie
c'est trop **** maintenant d'avoir peur
bonsoir madame
il faut absolument que je trouve antonio
accelere minouche
il est alle a monpellier
why don't you smile
it would certainly surprise me
sourrrit sourrrit
je pense a quelque chose?
je ne sais pas
je voulais être seule
c'est finis
tu m'emmene au champs elysee
au revoir 
tentez votre chance
un cafe alors
moi je peux pas partir
et puisque je suis méchante avec toi c'est la preuve que je suis pas amoureuse de toi
ahh c'est trop complique
j'ai envie de dormir
c'est vraiment dégueulasse
how would you relate
destroy the rules
young actors
....sommes seuls, cette certitude de nous-mêmes dans la sérénité de la solitude ne sont rien en comparaison du laisser-aller, du laisser-venir et laisser-parler qui se vit avec l'autre...
audition for the leading character
interesting combination
the criminal
just the edge of his frame
she seems innocent at the beginning
looking at his notes
just fyi i throw out someone
loving and desirable
playing off of that very consciously
you just not be working
archival stuff is on Facebook
c'est l'heure du gouter
de la glace au chocolat
working on your transcripts/ paper edits
that's probably not a smart thing to do
t'y va
Not this sense
that I don't know what the hell
a human girl is...
where’s the coast guard? 
just a spotlight gimme something
ca commence a 6h 
t'es cool
quickly
i smells like **** did you ****?
you are the love de ma vie
he talks like that he is french
she is like ze morning sun in ze...morning 
beautiful
ze temps is in ze essence
muaaah
is our classroom
i can sense the connection
the connection? 
the connection entre nous
so madame alezraa give me this much
i heard boss
he is not doing anything
to give me a kiss 
it's in the 1st tab
it's still there
you don't have to click
i can't save it, just stay with me
there is no word on this ****
i need the inspiration
you are my muse
c'est pour ca qu'ils sont si petit
small
je vais m'occuper de
the whole point of life is to rearrange it in a coherent running story
people don't talk in stories
cut each section
some sort of a story
nice
tu veux que je mette
ouai ok attends
elle est l'autre feuille
permien tu veux que je colle recolle decolle coupe recoupe decoupe
how do you feel about solving…I mean it's an interesting way to solve it…
〜flowed〜 nicely
it was sort of an ingenious solution
she's in the airplane, she's in the sofa
try to transition between the two subjects….where does your friend come from?
what it was like landing in New York, looking out the window...
the process of arriving
not really fair to say that
in the future, if you're going to try to tell a story…in their minds….what's the story she's going to be telling me?…..coming home
fill in the blanks
don't go shoot blind, that's the biggest mistake
does that make sense?
great!
wubwubwububwubbbbbwubwb
gloving is......flowing lights in sync with the♩music ♫
flowing in gloving is broken…
liquid
finger rolls
tutting
figure eight ∞
wubwubwubBAMwubwubwoosh
wave-like movement…basic thing….wrist in a motion
tutting is like the angles…. not um 〜flowing〜….like tetris
you want to more, rather than following
solid ⸪lights, ⸫single⸭ solid lights⸬
pink to green to orange to yellow to blue
advanced strobe, solid line of color [...] streak of purple
electronic, dustup, elector, house, trance…
you’ll probably never see anyone gloving to like, classical music ♬♪
my name is Henri Geneste and I'm a glover WUBwubwubwubbbWUBWUBAHHHwubwubWUBWUBWUB[ONE][TWO]WUBwubwub[THREE­]
putain c’est magnifique
je me demande si il fait ca la nuit, quand il arrive pas a dormir...
window thing, kind of dumped
either the ours magna or the I equals me squared²
like language, like art, there are rules
go out and break them, just mucking around
fix it, wanna make one, totally your creative decision
how awkward
a bout de souflle
totally revolutionary
ainrr
radical, argue truer, but it's jarring, that's one way to do it!
aware that they're there but not ⑈jarring⑇
close to wide…..there's a cut there but the eye can follow it
um i have to go...
bye henri!!!
bye!
bye man.
see ya monday!
the hair!! im gonna shave it this weekend
I've been to raves
is he, like, a straight-edge?
there's drugs…do you guys ALL go to raves?
how the audio?
looked cool, the rain in the background
DUHDUHDUH that's hard to do
a huge amount, i'm sorry but gloving without the music?
if he does drugs OR NOT, how he's enjoying it OR NOT, if it interferes with his studies OR NOT..
just FYI we were all young yesterday
two bodies
he's here cause he's not going, right?
are you interested?
oh i would be very interested
yeah i see what u mean
you could come with me….i could always take the bus
it'd be cool
moi elle sera belle
here we go!
woah
their audio visuals are not very HOT
hours per day?
1…2 hours a day
sometimes 30mins
mostly people, sometimes like little animals
mostly people
i look at their art a lot
really interesting style
environments
if i want to…how I see them in my head
stuff like that
usually kinda random
i pretty much self taught
mostly from practice
everyone draws…but i got serious about it, like very…6th grade
i don't like the idea of competitions
and mum drawing is like, something that's kinda important
a passion
not sure i would want to go into it as an industry
more than just art
for now im not really sure
alright
so our usual questions
eyeline! thank you
on the couch….at the end it was really weird
who was…sitting where?
where were you?
she didn't really even really look, she was too far away, she just kind of….looked
much…she might not have ever looked
with the eyeline…it was pretty steady, no jerky-herkys, there were several edits
forgive it cause there's enough change
you could follow it, you could see that time had shifted
the content demanded it
WOAH okay now i'm really curious
we could see it, but then it was on the something else
process the image
now we're trying to look at the art, now we need more time
arc? did u feel like there was an ◜arc◝?
umm yeah…..
how many hours a day do u draw?
try to make sensible out of that
is that they use 2 3 four…
uh...cut..i did….cut
the cutting itself is like a commentary on her
since i was little. when i was little
when i was little
but my parents, my family don't
hands and arms
collages, magazines
photography
big part of photography
San Francisco Art institute
graphic animation, we only had like 3 weeks
still lives, models we would draw them
we had like an exposition
the person my mom works with's husband
wanna do an artistic career
alright so
not the greatest projector ever
too much head    space    
a lot of nothing
it makes it a lot more interesting
i think it was okay in the video cause
what she was saying and stuff like that
fair enough but I don't agree
lost in this big sea of wall
you're totally forgiven
no questions
power of a well-placed microphone
fantastic
the beans!
alright
you guys are the wrong audience cause you all know each other's stories
good feedback
movin' on, okay
very frustrating
and now.....surfing! woohoo!!!!
30 loooooong minutes, it's a nightmare!
7 minutes
3 minutes
it's a 10th
there's something fascinating about listening to people…you can do it yourself later
bolinas, del mar, sometimes surface, livermore, ocean beach
......riding the waves…....man….....it's the best feeling
you're walking on water you know? that feeling…….i love the ocean
i love the water, after you get that perfect wave you just feel accomplished
that feeling…..is awesome
surfing, it's all about having fun..
you surf once, and….you know?
if you're a surfer, you have a love for the ocean
my, my grandpa always loved the beach, we would go there at two in the morning and just….
my grandpa died and he asked to be cremated, he wanted his ashes to go in the ocean, so we took his ashes out to the ocean
I remember walking out to the ocean with my dad, we threw his ashes into the ༇wind༅ above the ocean, and we looked down….
we want to get the pain!! and the sorrow! because we're vultures you know? we just zoom in to get his expression
little bit weird
i do, i like it
it's black and white
it's just a surfer, it's not movin', it's there…it's not always the same
sort of echoey
…the ocean, and so i remember my dad taking the….
too much archival? too much? not long enough? both.
there was sort of a disconnect at times
her story, you have to cut
when she says "CAT" i want to see a CAT, when she says "FIRETRUCK" i want to see a FIRETRUCK!!! i was like, okay, i  just went to school…
and now this?
or you see a woman that looks like a cat
it's hard, it's complicated, it's not given
so they just kind of ended
you guys im trying to help them
oh okay
hey you know what no no no you know what don't take any of this personally just be like oh okay
he's got a funny manner of speech
any thing else?
arlo says no
"it would not go well"
what IS the really great ending?
amazing feeling one can have…..
you feel like you own the ocean, like it's heaven on earth
this technique it's called killing your babies…i love that
uh what
he says "uh no no no this is a 3 minute film"
sad but true
we all get attached to things, we don't want to cut them out
just play with it, if you decide
we can schloop
can we watch
not exactly…here's..uh okay a quick heads up
oh
for this summer
advanced lab, art advanced films, screen-writing, animation and more
field trip!! i need to contact your teachers
what day? a thursday
almost all day…nine to three
we would leave here
now im gonna erase this
One Christmas was so much like another, in those years around the sea-town corner now and out of all sound
except the distant speaking of the voices I sometimes hear a moment before sleep, that I can never remember
whether it snowed for six days and six nights when I was twelve or whether it snowed for twelve days and twelve
nights when I was six.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Always on Christmas night there was music. An uncle played the fiddle, a cousin sang "Cherry Ripe," and another
uncle sang "Drake's Drum." It was very warm in the little house. Auntie Hannah, who had got on to the parsnip
wine, sang a song about Bleeding Hearts and Death, and then another in which she said her heart was like a
Bird's Nest; and then everybody laughed again; and then I went to bed. Looking through my bedroom window, out
into the moonlight and the unending smoke-colored snow, I could see the lights in the windows of all the other
houses on our hill and hear the music rising from them up the long, steady falling night. I turned the gas
down, I got into bed. I said some words to the close and holy darkness, and then I slept.
Pyrrha Jul 2018
I don't have an issue with self confidence
A repetitive lie I've begun to notice that I tell
It's like the pain in my chest when I see other people's success compared to mine
I ignore both

When I read other writing I start out feeling so much inspiration
Then I reflect back on my own and feel incompetent
Because I can't write what they write
I can feel what they feel through their words
Something I wish I could accomplish

It's jarring and frustrating
I keep judging myself
The very thing I've run from has become my life

I can't escape the judgmental ways of this world
not from my father
not from my mother
not from my brother, my sister, or anyone
not even from myself
Because like it or not, the judgment is me

It's soaked into my veins
Like an obsession, an addiction
I wish I could pray it away,
But I don't have any faith
There is no God to save my soul
To give me pity
To take my sins away

There is only scrutiny over my every move
Whether it comes from within or someone else
It's not something I can wash away with a prayer
Translated into English in 1859 by Edward FitzGerald

I.
Awake! for Morning in the Bowl of Night
Has flung the Stone that puts the Stars to Flight:
And Lo! the Hunter of the East has caught
The Sultan's Turret in a Noose of Light.

II.
Dreaming when Dawn's Left Hand was in the Sky
I heard a voice within the Tavern cry,
"Awake, my Little ones, and fill the Cup
Before Life's Liquor in its Cup be dry."

III.
And, as the **** crew, those who stood before
The Tavern shouted -- "Open then the Door!
You know how little while we have to stay,
And, once departed, may return no more."

IV.
Now the New Year reviving old Desires,
The thoughtful Soul to Solitude retires,
Where the White Hand of Moses on the Bough
Puts out, and Jesus from the Ground suspires.

V.
Iram indeed is gone with all its Rose,
And Jamshyd's Sev'n-ring'd Cup where no one Knows;
But still the Vine her ancient ruby yields,
And still a Garden by the Water blows.

VI.
And David's Lips are lock't; but in divine
High piping Pehlevi, with "Wine! Wine! Wine!
Red Wine!" -- the Nightingale cries to the Rose
That yellow Cheek of hers to incarnadine.

VII.
Come, fill the Cup, and in the Fire of Spring
The Winter Garment of Repentance fling:
The Bird of Time has but a little way
To fly -- and Lo! the Bird is on the Wing.

VIII.
Whether at Naishapur or Babylon,
Whether the Cup with sweet or bitter run,
The Wine of Life keeps oozing drop by drop,
The Leaves of Life kep falling one by one.

IX.
Morning a thousand Roses brings, you say;
Yes, but where leaves the Rose of Yesterday?
And this first Summer month that brings the Rose
Shall take Jamshyd and Kaikobad away.

X.
But come with old Khayyam, and leave the Lot
Of Kaikobad and Kaikhosru forgot:
Let Rustum lay about him as he will,
Or Hatim Tai cry Supper -- heed them not.

XI.
With me along the strip of Herbage strown
That just divides the desert from the sown,
Where name of Slave and Sultan is forgot --
And Peace is Mahmud on his Golden Throne!

XII.
A Book of Verses underneath the Bough,
A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread, -- and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness --
Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow!

XIII.
Some for the Glories of This World; and some
Sigh for the Prophet's Paradise to come;
Ah, take the Cash, and let the Promise go,
Nor heed the rumble of a distant Drum!

XIV.
Were it not Folly, Spider-like to spin
The Thread of present Life away to win --
What? for ourselves, who know not if we shall
Breathe out the very Breath we now breathe in!

XV.
Look to the Rose that blows about us -- "Lo,
Laughing," she says, "into the World I blow:
At once the silken Tassel of my Purse
Tear, and its Treasure on the Garden throw."

XVI.
The Worldly Hope men set their Hearts upon
Turns Ashes -- or it prospers; and anon,
Like Snow upon the Desert's dusty Face
Lighting a little Hour or two -- is gone.

XVII.
And those who husbanded the Golden Grain,
And those who flung it to the Winds like Rain,
Alike to no such aureate Earth are turn'd
As, buried once, Men want dug up again.

XVIII.
Think, in this batter'd Caravanserai
Whose Doorways are alternate Night and Day,
How Sultan after Sultan with his Pomp
Abode his Hour or two and went his way.

XIX.
They say the Lion and the Lizard keep
The Courts where Jamshyd gloried and drank deep:
And Bahram, that great Hunter -- the Wild ***
Stamps o'er his Head, but cannot break his Sleep.

**.
I sometimes think that never blows so red
The Rose as where some buried Caesar bled;
That every Hyacinth the Garden wears
Dropt in its Lap from some once lovely Head.

XXI.
And this delightful Herb whose tender Green
Fledges the River's Lip on which we lean --
Ah, lean upon it lightly! for who knows
From what once lovely Lip it springs unseen!

XXII.
Ah, my Beloved, fill the Cup that clears
To-day of past Regrets and future Fears --
To-morrow? -- Why, To-morrow I may be
Myself with Yesterday's Sev'n Thousand Years.

XXIII.
Lo! some we loved, the loveliest and best
That Time and Fate of all their Vintage prest,
Have drunk their Cup a Round or two before,
And one by one crept silently to Rest.

XXIV.
And we, that now make merry in the Room
They left, and Summer dresses in new Bloom,
Ourselves must we beneath the Couch of Earth
Descend, ourselves to make a Couch -- for whom?

XXV.
Ah, make the most of what we may yet spend,
Before we too into the Dust descend;
Dust into Dust, and under Dust, to lie;
Sans Wine, sans Song, sans Singer, and -- sans End!

XXVI.
Alike for those who for To-day prepare,
And those that after some To-morrow stare,
A Muezzin from the Tower of Darkness cries
"Fools! Your Reward is neither Here nor There!"

XXVII.
Why, all the Saints and Sages who discuss'd
Of the Two Worlds so learnedly, are ******
Like foolish Prophets forth; their Works to Scorn
Are scatter'd, and their Mouths are stopt with Dust.

XXVIII.
Oh, come with old Khayyam, and leave the Wise
To talk; one thing is certain, that Life flies;
One thing is certain, and the Rest is Lies;
The Flower that once has blown forever dies.

XXIX.
Myself when young did eagerly frequent
Doctor and Saint, and heard great Argument
About it and about; but evermore
Came out by the same Door as in I went.

***.
With them the Seed of Wisdom did I sow,
And with my own hand labour'd it to grow:
And this was all the Harvest that I reap'd --
"I came like Water and like Wind I go."

XXXI.
Into this Universe, and Why not knowing,
Nor Whence, like Water *****-nilly flowing:
And out of it, as Wind along the Waste,
I know not Whither, *****-nilly blowing.

XXXII.
Up from Earth's Centre through the Seventh Gate
I rose, and on the Throne of Saturn sate,
And many Knots unravel'd by the Road;
But not the Master-Knot of Human Fate.

XXXIII.
There was the Door to which I found no Key:
There was the Veil through which I could not see:
Some little talk awhile of Me and Thee
There was -- and then no more of Thee and Me.

XXXIV.
Then to the rolling Heav'n itself I cried,
Asking, "What Lamp had Destiny to guide
Her little Children stumbling in the Dark?"
And -- "A blind Understanding!" Heav'n replied.

XXXV.
Then to the Lip of this poor earthen Urn
I lean'd, the secret Well of Life to learn:
And Lip to Lip it murmur'd -- "While you live,
Drink! -- for, once dead, you never shall return."

XXXVI.
I think the Vessel, that with fugitive
Articulation answer'd, once did live,
And merry-make, and the cold Lip I kiss'd,
How many Kisses might it take -- and give!

XXXVII.
For in the Market-place, one Dusk of Day,
I watch'd the Potter thumping his wet Clay:
And with its all obliterated Tongue
It murmur'd -- "Gently, Brother, gently, pray!"

XXXVIII.
And has not such a Story from of Old
Down Man's successive generations roll'd
Of such a clod of saturated Earth
Cast by the Maker into Human mould?

XXXIX.
Ah, fill the Cup: -- what boots it to repeat
How Time is slipping underneath our Feet:
Unborn To-morrow, and dead Yesterday,
Why fret about them if To-day be sweet!

XL.
A Moment's Halt -- a momentary taste
Of Being from the Well amid the Waste --
And Lo! the phantom Caravan has reach'd
The Nothing it set out from -- Oh, make haste!

XLI.
Oh, plagued no more with Human or Divine,
To-morrow's tangle to itself resign,
And lose your fingers in the tresses of
The Cypress-slender Minister of Wine.

XLII.
Waste not your Hour, nor in the vain pursuit
Of This and That endeavor and dispute;
Better be merry with the fruitful Grape
Than sadden after none, or bitter, fruit.

XLIII.
You know, my Friends, with what a brave Carouse
I made a Second Marriage in my house;
Divorced old barren Reason from my Bed,
And took the Daughter of the Vine to Spouse.

XLIV.
And lately, by the Tavern Door agape,
Came stealing through the Dusk an Angel Shape
Bearing a Vessel on his Shoulder; and
He bid me taste of it; and 'twas -- the Grape!

XLV.
The Grape that can with Logic absolute
The Two-and-Seventy jarring Sects confute:
The subtle Alchemest that in a Trice
Life's leaden Metal into Gold transmute.

XLVI.
Why, be this Juice the growth of God, who dare
Blaspheme the twisted tendril as Snare?
A Blessing, we should use it, should we not?
And if a Curse -- why, then, Who set it there?

XLVII.
But leave the Wise to wrangle, and with me
The Quarrel of the Universe let be:
And, in some corner of the Hubbub couch'd,
Make Game of that which makes as much of Thee.

XLVIII.
For in and out, above, about, below,
'Tis nothing but a Magic Shadow-show,
Play'd in a Box whose Candle is the Sun,
Round which we Phantom Figures come and go.

XLIX.
Strange, is it not? that of the myriads who
Before us pass'd the door of Darkness through
Not one returns to tell us of the Road,
Which to discover we must travel too.

L.
The Revelations of Devout and Learn'd
Who rose before us, and as Prophets burn'd,
Are all but Stories, which, awoke from Sleep,
They told their fellows, and to Sleep return'd.

LI.
Why, if the Soul can fling the Dust aside,
And naked on the Air of Heaven ride,
Is't not a shame -- Is't not a shame for him
So long in this Clay suburb to abide?

LII.
But that is but a Tent wherein may rest
A Sultan to the realm of Death addrest;
The Sultan rises, and the dark Ferrash
Strikes, and prepares it for another guest.

LIII.
I sent my Soul through the Invisible,
Some letter of that After-life to spell:
And after many days my Soul return'd
And said, "Behold, Myself am Heav'n and Hell."

LIV.
Heav'n but the Vision of fulfill'd Desire,
And Hell the Shadow of a Soul on fire,
Cast on the Darkness into which Ourselves,
So late emerg'd from, shall so soon expire.

LV.
While the Rose blows along the River Brink,
With old Khayyam and ruby vintage drink:
And when the Angel with his darker Draught
Draws up to Thee -- take that, and do not shrink.

LVI.
And fear not lest Existence closing your
Account, should lose, or know the type no more;
The Eternal Saki from the Bowl has pour'd
Millions of Bubbls like us, and will pour.

LVII.
When You and I behind the Veil are past,
Oh but the long long while the World shall last,
Which of our Coming and Departure heeds
As much as Ocean of a pebble-cast.

LVIII.
'Tis all a Chequer-board of Nights and Days
Where Destiny with Men for Pieces plays:
Hither and thither moves, and mates, and slays,
And one by one back in the Closet lays.

LIX.
The Ball no Question makes of Ayes and Noes,
But Right or Left, as strikes the Player goes;
And he that toss'd Thee down into the Field,
He knows about it all -- He knows -- HE knows!

LX.
The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

LXI.
For let Philosopher and Doctor preach
Of what they will, and what they will not -- each
Is but one Link in an eternal Chain
That none can slip, nor break, nor over-reach.

LXII.
And that inverted Bowl we call The Sky,
Whereunder crawling coop't we live and die,
Lift not thy hands to it for help -- for It
Rolls impotently on as Thou or I.

LXIII.
With Earth's first Clay They did the Last Man knead,
And then of the Last Harvest sow'd the Seed:
Yea, the first Morning of Creation wrote
What the Last Dawn of Reckoning shall read.

LXIV.
Yesterday This Day's Madness did prepare;
To-morrow's Silence, Triumph, or Despair:
Drink! for you know not whence you came, nor why:
Drink! for you know not why you go, nor where.

LXV.
I tell You this -- When, starting from the Goal,
Over the shoulders of the flaming Foal
Of Heav'n Parwin and Mushtari they flung,
In my predestin'd Plot of Dust and Soul.

LXVI.
The Vine has struck a fiber: which about
If clings my Being -- let the Dervish flout;
Of my Base metal may be filed a Key,
That shall unlock the Door he howls without.

LXVII.
And this I know: whether the one True Light,
Kindle to Love, or Wrath -- consume me quite,
One Glimpse of It within the Tavern caught
Better than in the Temple lost outright.

LXVIII.
What! out of senseless Nothing to provoke
A conscious Something to resent the yoke
Of unpermitted Pleasure, under pain
Of Everlasting Penalties, if broke!

LXIX.
What! from his helpless Creature be repaid
Pure Gold for what he lent us dross-allay'd --
Sue for a Debt we never did contract,
And cannot answer -- Oh the sorry trade!

LXX.
Nay, but for terror of his wrathful Face,
I swear I will not call Injustice Grace;
Not one Good Fellow of the Tavern but
Would kick so poor a Coward from the place.

LXXI.
Oh Thou, who didst with pitfall and with gin
Beset the Road I was to wander in,
Thou will not with Predestin'd Evil round
Enmesh me, and impute my Fall to Sin?

LXXII.
Oh, Thou, who Man of baser Earth didst make,
And who with Eden didst devise the Snake;
For all the Sin wherewith the Face of Man
Is blacken'd, Man's Forgiveness give -- and take!

LXXIII.
Listen again. One Evening at the Close
Of Ramazan, ere the better Moon arose,
In that old Potter's Shop I stood alone
With the clay Population round in Rows.

LXXIV.
And, strange to tell, among that Earthen Lot
Some could articulate, while others not:
And suddenly one more impatient cried --
"Who is the Potter, pray, and who the ***?"

LXXV.
Then said another -- "Surely not in vain
My Substance from the common Earth was ta'en,
That He who subtly wrought me into Shape
Should stamp me back to common Earth again."

LXXVI.
Another said -- "Why, ne'er a peevish Boy,
Would break the Bowl from which he drank in Joy;
Shall He that made the vessel in pure Love
And Fancy, in an after Rage destroy?"

LXXVII.
None answer'd this; but after Silence spake
A Vessel of a more ungainly Make:
"They sneer at me for leaning all awry;
What! did the Hand then of the Potter shake?"

LXXVIII:
"Why," said another, "Some there are who tell
Of one who threatens he will toss to Hell
The luckless Pots he marred in making -- Pish!
He's a Good Fellow, and 'twill all be well."

LXXIX.
Then said another with a long-drawn Sigh,
"My Clay with long oblivion is gone dry:
But, fill me with the old familiar Juice,
Methinks I might recover by-and-by!"

LXXX.
So while the Vessels one by one were speaking,
The Little Moon look'd in that all were seeking:
And then they jogg'd each other, "Brother! Brother!
Now for the Porter's shoulder-knot a-creaking!"

LXXXI.
Ah, with the Grape my fading Life provide,
And wash my Body whence the Life has died,
And in a Windingsheet of Vine-leaf wrapt,
So bury me by some sweet Garden-side.

LXXXII.
That ev'n my buried Ashes such a Snare
Of Perfume shall fling up into the Air,
As not a True Believer passing by
But shall be overtaken unaware.

LXXXIII.
Indeed the Idols I have loved so long
Have done my Credit in Men's Eye much wrong:
Have drown'd my Honour in a shallow Cup,
And sold my Reputation for a Song.

LXXXIV.
Indeed, indeed, Repentance oft before
I swore -- but was I sober when I swore?
And then, and then came Spring, and Rose-in-hand
My thread-bare Penitence apieces tore.

LXXXV.
And much as Wine has play'd the Infidel,
And robb'd me of my Robe of Honor -- well,
I often wonder what the Vintners buy
One half so precious as the Goods they sell.

LXXXVI.
Alas, that Spring should vanish with the Rose!
That Youth's sweet-scented Manuscript should close!
The Nightingale that in the Branches sang,
Ah, whence, and whither flown again, who knows!

LXXXVII.
Would but the Desert of the Fountain yield
One glimpse -- If dimly, yet indeed, reveal'd
To which the fainting Traveller might spring,
As springs the trampled herbage of the field!

LXXXVIII.
Ah Love! could thou and I with Fate conspire
To grasp this sorry Scheme of Things entire,
Would not we shatter it to bits -- and then
Re-mould it nearer to the Heart's Desire!

LXXXIX.
Ah, Moon of my Delight who know'st no wane,
The Moon of Heav'n is rising once again:
How oft hereafter rising shall she look
Through this same Garden after me -- in vain!

XC.
And when like her, oh Saki, you shall pass
Among the Guests star-scatter'd on the Grass,
And in your joyous errand reach the spot
Where I made one -- turn down an empty Glass!
Left Foot Poet Mar 2019
The Fidelity of Transmissions

”Cells, the units of life that compose our bodies, are able to make copies of themselves to help us grow, fight disease and recover from injuries. Cells have built-in mechanisms that maintain
  the fidelity of transmission  
of genetic information from one generation to the next, and to control cell division in a timely manner, allowing our bodies to build or rebuild various tissues.”

~~~
when the poetry cri de cœur grows unbearable ,
sound mystery-science calms his tumbling transcendency

alas, here too, his ears sit up straight when stumbling on a invitation to
“come write,” for hid within the science jargon, oft rests a snipers shot

redirecting the didactic mind back to the
everyman’s land where-poetry cells split,,
commanding him to delve into, visit new brain wrenching vistas
“the fidelity of transmission”
at its macro level, for science is micro-poetry,^
n’est-ce pas

~~~
when you love another
the transmission is a slow pour,
or a radical jarring,
the fidelity extremely extraordinarily variable

the loveliest unpredictable

the sip sip of eyelid kissing adoration,
the irrational irrigation of the no-space-between,
when the television remote disappears in the couch crack,
the screen, complete static, perfect complement, to a rigorous experiment of

the loveliest unpredictable

we manually conjoin fluids in her mouth’s petri dish,
stain the slide for observation,
in full Imax color observe the cells busting and doesy-do’ing over to
a new partner, where bonds of fidelity attach a partnership clause to

the loveliest unpredictable

when a child emerges, the first words are
find that remote, just kidding, first comes a comestible demand,
mother’s milk 98 degree heated,
feed me a white solution to any unanswered cell’s questions, what a

loving predictive predicate

scribble this, ****** that, change a diaper,
while debating whose baby’s assemblage resembles,
overjoyed at the experimental outcome,
proofs of the fidelity of transmission,
the outcome notated, but science demands no bias confirmation,
another test required of tissue rebuilding

the loveliest unpredictable

~~~

^postscript
for is He not laureate greatest poet of all,
developer of the scientific architecture,
inventor of varietal sunsets, moonscapes,
individualized singularity of snowflakes,
love making, gravity and the preprogrammed death
of your own cells,
etcetera etcetera etcetera
all just poetry in motion in fluidity,
ah, fidelity fidelity
fidelity
Sat., March 9, 2019
Umang K Jan 2015
Honey-coloured skin
Covering
Over-used bones and
Abused muscles
That have seen the inside
Of blisters
And bruises, hidden beneath
Mismatched, jarring wool
And tight, black
Material that only just
Manages to contain her.
Erin C Ott Jun 2018
She says she doesn’t have the strength within herself to write poetry.
Yes, her. The one who so often nourished me with song
til my soul began to learn how to hunt for itself,
whose word carried weight in leading me to pick my own instrument,
albeit one of a different tone,
as the key in keyboard became prominent for the first time
and the sound of purposeful fingers upon it could be considered,
only in the right light,
synonymous to the plucking of strings, just as rooted in emotion.

Yet she's the first to say that she herself can't do it.

Thing is, I suppose we’re politely at odds on the matter.
She favors poetry that’s sharper, with a cleaner cut,
that’s message is immediate and jarring
as a conduit running from soul through skin,
or a loose-lipped diary finally freed from lock and key.
And when she declared it, I started to consider what my poems seem to me:
Blackberry bushes (but kinder, I hope)
that snag and immerse just long enough
to make me feel I’ve had an effect.
I’ve used writing to expel my most gnarled feelings
to any passerby who’s maybe felt the same.
Like crying in a mirror:
alarming, but oddly refreshing,
and an indefinite reminder that our aches are never only our own.

Still, I'm not sure why it blows my mind
to hear that even the most glamorous hearts,
who wear confidence as a summer breeze that's always in their favor
and who inspire, from beau gestures to sleight of hand,
are included in those who find themselves pacing back, back and forth,
begging curbside at the dime store
for a scrap of the same feed that convinces a heart to pump ink.

But she says that any art that's enjoyed is worth it.
So while she seeks out words that bare the bones,
I’ll stay and make a meal of the marrow,
hollowing them so that the poetry may have a rightful place
to reverberate as hymns in a universal monastery.

But hell, like I’m any old soul.
I dress nicer than I otherwise would,
turn to the mother who told me I don’t meet her lowest standards,
and ask for a critique.
All for the moment when she greets me at the door with a legendary G#.

...Now please, could you spare a dime?
Dedicated to Elise, who, when faced with my tangled mouthful of flattery, somehow saw through to the part of me that’s actually worth a ****.
Nihl Jun 2013
“And as for you, River, there will be a day when you will flow with blood more than water. And dead bodies will be stacked higher than the dams. And he who is dead will not be mourned as much as he who is alive. Asclepius, why are you weeping? ”

CHAPTER I

The lake house was always a place of good memories. I couldn’t help but remember the countless summers just like this one, where I had spent days down by the lake, beside my father, catching rainbow trout with nothing but a line and a little bread or bait worm. The sound of crickets chirping in chorus at dusk, while just a slither of gold managed to peek over the mountain range that hung like curtains, draped across the horizon on every side. It was our paradise on earth, the Coulter families’ personal heaven. A humble log house nestled in the heavy shadow of the Rocky Mountains. Standing peacefully beside our private little lake, cradled within a thick pine forest. It was our pine forest.
-
We had arrived at the house two days ago, on a particularly overcast Friday afternoon. But the grey sky had parted, and left us with clear blue skies almost as soon as we arrived. Now nothing but the occasional broad, pearl-white, sky conquering clouds would dare to appear. This made the weather perfect for a swim in the lake, as well as an afternoon frying the day’s catch of trout in the fire pit just outside the cabin. I was inside the cabin, stuffing the weekend’s filthy clothes into my pack, in preparation for the long journey home tomorrow morning. Dad was gathering a load of firewood from our great proud pile of logs outside. I always liked adding to the pile the same way I found a mundane joy in saving money, I watched as we built it up into a neat pyramid, then imagined how long it would last us and how many cold nights they would ward off.
After packing my last well-worn flannel shirt into my now plump olive duffle bag the sun had disappeared behind the mountain; leaving a quickly dying amber streaked across the western sky.
I could hear my father’s footsteps as he entered the house, dropping a collection of heavy wood at his feet in front of the fireplace. Then quickly transporting the two best-looking ones straight into the warm mess of crackling flames that kept our cabin warm. I climbed under the covers of my bed and sat with my back against the wall, with a clear view into the living room.
I am Curtis, and George Coulter was my father, a broad man with dark brown hair, a short cropped haircut, bright blue eyes and dark stubble with traces of silver sneaking through. He was a weathered man with a tough 37 years over my easy 16, and always seemed to dress like a cliché lumberjack. Apart from the weathered appearance, sprouting grey hair and working class fashion sense, we were practically a splitting image. My mother would always say that looking at me was like stepping back in time and that every day I looked more like him.
-
“That should keep it going for a while.” George said, obviously exhausted from the events of the weekend and He slowly moved just inside the doorway and leaned against the frame, rubbing his eyes with his right hand before bringing it down to form a soft v shape on his chin.
“I’ve already loaded the truck, so we’ll be able to leave bright and early tomorrow.” He turned his head quickly as if to listen carefully for something else in the room. I found this to be a perfect opportunity to shoot a question I’d been wondering recently.
“Do you think there really is life after death?” I asked him abruptly and he looked straight at me with a quizzical expression and replied “Why do you ask, did someone say something?” I sat up straight on my bed pulled my hands into my lap.
“No, no one said anything. It’s just that I rode my bike by the cemetery last week, and there was a statue of an angel in the middle of all the gravestones, it just made me wonder, you know. Does all that stuff really exist?” I had a lump in my throat and swallowed hard to keep in down. My father sat down beside me at the foot of the bed.
“I think…” He started, still searching for the right words to say. “I like to think that there’s a place somewhere up there for us.” He turned his gaze towards the window and observed the last light in the sky before turning quickly back to me.
“Do you think mom will be up there?” I asked, and his face dropped a little.
“Your mother is up there waiting for us and the first thing she’ll do is tell us to take our shoes off so as not to get the cloud *****.” He said with a slight smile, I laughed at the idea as he continued. “But you don’t have to worry about that for a long time Curt.” He grinned, roughed up my hair, and then forced me into bed playfully. “I’ll do my best to make sure of that.” He rose from the bed and advanced towards the door. “Now get some sleep. I don’t want to have a conversation with myself on the ride back.” He disappeared into the main room and slumped into a lazy boy chair to gaze at the fireplace in the warmth of our now quiet cabin, as my room was filled with the soft lullaby of crackling fire. I turned towards the window and stared out towards the stars, my mind wandering as I closed my eyes. Tomorrow we would begin the long journey home.
-
Without any warning I was startled awake by a terrifying ripping sound. A great rip echoed throughout the house like a plastic bag violently flailing about in heavy wind. I immediately sat up on my bed, and blindly stared out into an ocean of black. A strange loud thumping sound rang from the living room in regular intervals. It had seemed like no time at all had passed since I had closed my eyes, my heart was thundering like the gears on a full-speed freight train and my eyes fed off the darkness in the room, starving for even the slightest idea of a source for the noise. But all I could see was darkness beyond my doorway. I struggled to pull myself back together from my state of screaming fear and cautiously got to my feet.
As far as I could tell the thumping was coming from outside, as I moved towards the doorway and peered into the living room. For some reason the fireplace that should still have been flickering with hungry flames was now dark and dead, as though it had gone cold days ago and the house completely vacated. The warmth that the fire had supplied moments ago had now been replaced with a cruel cold midnight breeze sailing in through the wide open swinging cabin door. The cabin door was clashing against the cabin wall outside in the wind I now knew was the source of the horrifying thumping that my imagination had played so helplessly with. My breath became shallow as I contemplated my situation, how long had I been asleep, and where was my father? I turned to the lazy boy in the living room and noticed it upturned and vacant. My heart started firing again like a machine gun and cold sweat now dawned on my brow. There was no sign of dad, not in the cabin at least. With my heartbeat slowing to the manageable speed of a cruising passenger train, I wondered where he could have gone while struggling to tame the rising feeling of dread as I hurried towards the front door and looked out over the hill and down towards the lake. There was no jagged black figure or human form in sight. A great deal of me was hoping to catch him investigating the same noise that startled me. But he was nowhere near, which made my blood run cold.  
-
The unforgiving night’s ice cold wind stung my ears and pinched my face, my breath trailing off in vapour. “Dad!” I called out, towards the southern wharf down by the water, nothing. Again I called, towards the vegetable patch on the eastern side of the house, nothing. I tapped my fingers anxiously on the door frame before proceeding down the few steps leading into the cabin, closing the cabin door behind me to stop the jarring thump. With that I was engulfed in the darkness and violent wind. Disoriented I called out once more towards the pine forests to the west, “Dad!” my voice cracked from desperation and bounced through the gale, ringing in the distance as if it had been carried by the wind and exploded skyward, amplified by the mountains surrounding the lake.
-
A light! A light darted between the tree line and danced in the darkness before disappearing just as quickly as it came. I stared in awe as the wind found its way through my clothes and now chilled me completely. My bare feet screamed from the cold grass that I tortured them with and I could hear the abhorrent ripping sound bellowing back at me from the distant forest. I stood still, confused and staring hopefully. I heard him, faint at first, but I was certain that I heard my father’s voice on the wind.
“Curt.”
I followed the voice out into the darkness, past the fire pit and towards the western tree line. I waved my arms in front of me pathetically probing the air for something to guide me. My eyes squinted hard to try and make out detail from nothing. “Curt.” Again it whispered from the distance. I stumbled across the field until I reached the outskirts of the woods and I could feel the first cluster great pine looming overhead. The wind and chill was slowly cut off by the wall of trees, as I followed the origin of my father’s voice.
The forest bed was thick with undergrowth and as familiar as this place was during the day, at night it was like another world, a world in which sight had to be thrown to the wind and I was forced to rely on my other senses for navigation. I could smell the heavy musk of the leaf litter, and hear the wind from the field. But I could see nothing more than the glare of the full moon hanging behind the thick clouds and the faint outline of the countless pine trees that shot skyward.

It was strange, I could smell him now. I could smell my father laced upon the air, boot-polish and old sweat. The same smell hanging among the trees as the red plaid shirt that he'd use to polish his boots and labour all weekend around the lake house. It was as if he was right beside me, this idea urged me to quickly turn side to side hoping that this was in fact, true. But all I found was more vague lines in darkness, freezing fingers and whipping wind songs from the distant clearing. The smell slowly disappeared, replaced with an eerily familiar, metallic, pooling scent…
My heart thundered at the realization, Blood. I could smell blood swimming in the air, as if someone painted the trees with buckets of human blood. I could taste it on the tip of my tongue the air was so filthy with the scent.
-
My eyes opened wide, panicking at the lack of visual aid as I stopped dead in my tracks. Something felt awkward, space felt strange, warped and twisted. It was like the world was turned on its side. It felt as though someone somewhere had invaded the space I now stood in. And I could feel its presence, I felt its eyes burning a hole in the back of my head, and the hair on my neck stood upright. My heart began racing faster and faster, thumping now like the cabin door, slamming against the wall in the wind. I could feel something out there, watching and waiting. I could feel it getting nearer, getting ever closer and growing. It was as if it was feeding on the shadows and becoming larger, filling the darkness with its horrid presence. I couldn't bare it anymore; I felt it creeping up on me and my skin was crawling. My head screaming for me to turn around but I couldn't move. I felt an impossible grip encompass my entire body and swallow me in darkness. Cold sweat like ice running down my cheeks and my clothes were now saturated.
-
My breath was pounding rapidly in short, sharp bursts as I watched it fog and pillar upwards through the cutting wind. I couldn't hear anything past the roaring noise in my head, raw panic like nails on a chalkboard. My thoughts were like a game of Ping-Pong, bouncing back and forth and I couldn't focus on anything. I felt it slithering at my heels now, like a python slowly constricting its prey, playing with it before a sudden death. A twisted cold breath falling onto my shoulders as every muscle in my body tensed to point where it felt I could explode at any time. I it leaned in closely beside me, with its face hanging inches away from my ear. I could hear its lungs gathering the icewind for speech, and its tongue slithering in between razor teeth, preparing for the first terrifying bite.
-
“It’s so close.” Hisses from its jaws in several thunderous voices spawning from the darkness in every direction, the trees dissolve, the sky falls apart and my entire world collapsed away into pitch black.

N.H.

CHAPTER II
http://hellopoetry.com/poem/possession-two/
Jaymisun Kearney Dec 2013
And now there's a gap where the last eight hours should hang
sitting in a hospital bed looking at my boss across the way
arms crossed, thumbing his mustache like cleaning a brush
He says, "Forgive us, but we had your mouth reconstructed"
"As well as your wounds healed. We didn't think you'd mind."
I say, "I don't mind. I don't like liquid diets, anyway."
Why does it
hurt
so
much?
No work for
me
for
now.
He tells me I'm dying and that I'm strung out too far!
Tells me I'm putting too much in to what turns to scar.
Take some time off he says and give myself a chance.
Forgotten for so long to grin and ask myself to dance.
So I say, so say
you, and I'll try
but I'm fine.

And now there's a plan unfolding without my direct discretion
I can feel strings somewhere above as they're pulled softly
I sleep on the train after dressing up doll-like at home
Makeup and suicide tools wrapped around my curves in laughing walls
A women in red locks is taunting me from inside her ward, so familiar
"I should never have let you go," I say as I'm approaching
"I could have found you out," I say but she laughs once more
And sets herself on fire
Nothing but ash before me just out of reach
The dust swirling
Motes of adolescence tickling my fingertips
Why does it
hurt
so
much?
Waking I can't
place
her
face.
Arrive at The Roxy. Beneath her neon sign I absorb
cold rain in a way that makes my spine quake.
And inside the lobby, through my boots, I feel the floor
erupting from the music just through the doors.
Why do I come here?
Knowing there's nothing.
I'm nothing.
Mikaila Oct 2013
Loneliness.
What is it?
It is a concept we so rarely describe in detail.
We've made up a specific word for it-
Three little syllables-
Just so that we can say it and be done with it,
And escape the contemplation.
But I know my own loneliness cannot be captured,
Cannot be encompassed,
By merely the word.
What is loneliness?
It comes in all shapes and sizes,
A space,
A lack,
That can be big or small,
Sudden or excruciatingly slow,
Sharp or fuzzy at the edges.
Hell,
It can even be comforting.
What is it about loneliness that is so insidious?
Harder to rid yourself of than fear
Or anger
Or even such tricky, barbed things as doubt
Or hope,
That stick.
Loneliness doesn't stick.
It seeps.
Steeps.
You stew in it.
It is beginning to occur to me that I don't believe,
Once one realizes loneliness for the first time,
That one is ever truly rid of it again,
Even for a second.
I think it is a permanence that we as a race refuse to acknowledge most of the time.
Some forms of lonely are fairly benign-
The little tingle on the edges of you, when you are home alone and the house is silent,
And for no apparent reason at all-
No sadness, no fear, no thought that is particularly unpleasant that you must drown out-
You nonetheless feel the compulsion to switch on the television
Even if you won't watch,
Just to break the stillness with a human voice besides your own.
Then there are the darker types, the truly ensnaring ones,
The lonelinesses born of the memory of times when,
Perhaps, you were less lonely,
Or even thought that you had flushed the feeling from your soul entirely.
Loneliness is an otherness,
An alien thing that lives in your heart,
That makes you question whether there is anyone out there who would have you
If they knew
What was on the inside.
There is the type of loneliness that creeps up on you and follows nipping at your heels like a shadow on the pavement as you move through your day,
Reminding you, whispering in your ear that here you felt less alone, and there, and that those places are full now,
Of emptiness,
Because those times have passed and not had the courtesy to clean up their cobwebs-
Memories linger in certain little spots, and collect like dust little pockets of loneliness that grab you all of a sudden,
The way forgotten spiderwebs stick in your hair as you move through an old house.
This type is jarring, disturbing, and
Afterwards I always feel the desperate need to wash away the feeling,
Scrub myself down.
There is the breed of loneliness that is a bit more genteel,
And curls cold at your feet like a well trained dog,
Formal and subtle, but constant,
Watching.
This is the sort that makes you feel just somewhat hunted,
When you try to sit in silence by a fire at night in your living room
And find that you must read a book to drive the stillness from your head.
There is the truly hollow kind,
The kind that has no courtesy whatsoever,
And actually slithers into you, inhabiting your heart and stomach and bones
As you try to fall asleep
With ice.
It is this kind that, if it is strong enough
(and you are weak enough)
For it to remain until morning
Forbids even the smallest human touch-
Every gesture of tenderness from another person
Makes this loneliness increase,
Every embrace, every handshake, every accidental contact of skin
Becomes unbearable,
And the afflicted shies away,
Perpetuating a cycle of vicious disconnection.
They all leave a little something cold, even when they recede,
In the core of you, that won't be dislodged no matter what you try.
Loneliness,
Like a cancer,
Can only be considered in remission,
And never truly cured.
For when given room to prosper even for the space of a second it expands and swallows up your thoughts
Until they whither with frostbite.
I suppose I shouldn't be shocked-
As humans we live side by side, arms linked with
Most of the things that will eventually **** us,
What's one more, cozying up inside our skulls,
Inside our hearts?
We have a partnership-
An entirely human concept-
With all that destroys us.
And so we live with out loneliness, like a second shadow.
What is loneliness?
I am still unsure.
I can only describe what loneliness does,
Not what it is.
*I think that maybe to understand it
Would be to die of it.
douglas chesa Feb 2012
I have been drinking wine
To douse the burning tip of my mind
Worries chewing at my nerves
Like the filter end of a rich Havana cigar
Woes of this world turn my whiskers
Into drab willows of misery
My nights into endless nightmares
And my thoughts rattling and jarring
Like the business end of a mechanical hammer.

Dreams clad in limp loincloth
Revisit me from the dark
Urns of history
The salad days of our beings
And their neauseating euphoria
When in drunken trance we siezed
Conscience by her arms
And threw her on her back
Splayed her legs
And smacked our lips
As blood spurt out...
I wipe my mind with the back of my hand
Trying
To brush away the dregs of the sordid rituals
We once enshrined.

A plump shiny green bottle
Buzzes around my mind irritating
Reminding me of Death
Hanging mockingly
Like a pendulum over my mind seducing
''O Sweet Carrion
You are food for the elders!''
And my sins in their hordes shimmer
A deathly pale round the nooze
Suspended from blushing heaven's bottom
My mind's eyes shed crystal tears
Giving away bucketfuls of Chiyadzwa diamonds to regain
Long gone and lost innocence.

I shared a bottle of wine
With my new-found friend, Today
Clinking glasses and minds
Then a greenbottle in full flight
Was caught between the grinding bellies
Of our glasses and minds
Bloodied fleshrot bespattered our intelligence
And our minds rushed to the wash basins retching
A brush with the fetid breath of the past
Left the gums of my mind barren and obscene
And together with newfound friend, Today
We covered our private parts with our hands
Ashamed
At the ****** of our thoughts.

She knocked at the door of my mind
Eyes shadowed in wet grey paint
Lips smudged in scarlet smiled at me
A Good Morning
My palm hiding the discoloured teeth
Of my inner-self
I muffled a Good Mourning to her, but
I felt a warmth spreading
At the base of my belly
Her milky-white mouthful was inviting
A milkyway blaze trailing into deep future
''I will flirt with her'' my mind whispered
But then the rasping sandpaper touch of her lips
Bruised and bloodied my thoughts
And I saw red at the future.

I must have swooned
From the First Lady's fistkisses of philanthropy
Doling out sweet nothings and promises
At a ceremony sheathed in royal pomp and dignity
Where the guests dressed like Harlequins
Mesmerised us with the crablike dance
And flummoxed O poor we
With democratic mumbo-jumbo and lingo
And the Povo touched with feeling
Donated oceanfuls of diamond tears
And their sincere prayers a mutter flutter
Into the heavens for beloved leaders.

I broke Biltong , my past, into the ***
To give life to ailing friend, Today
With my fingernail I peeled off
The tomatoe's tough ruddy jacket
To make sauce
And I heard a rumble of objection
From the August House
And the Mujibhas and Chimbwidos' angry yawn
Gave a chilli spice to the dish
And the food touching Today 's lips
He sneezed and broke wind
Startling ghosts of old nostalgic memories
That had took seats at the kitchen table
To wing away to the scrapyard
Their home beyond the rusting horizon.

Perched on the anthill of anticipation
I roll my thoughts
Into a big joint of mbanje
I **** and grey fading puffs
Of wishes spiral into the bored sky
Each a crippled dream
That was bulldozed at Churu Farm
An ambitious dream that was displaced
By the Operation Murambatsvina
A dream that lost an eye and limb in the food riots
A dream that lost its ***** at university
A dream that fell from the 11th floor at the Towers
Into the Taxman's hat
A dream that drowned in the opaque beer tank
At the Uhuru celebrations
A dream that lost its breath
On top of another man's wife in Mbare
A dream dumped and disowned
Only to find home at the bottom of the Blair toilet...
To find home in the sympathetic clicks
Of poets who have lost their voices.

The stub is burning my fingers
Minds run out of fuel and fire
The angry verbal lash
Of the emotionally wounded
Is a stub licking back at the wielder
To be snuffed out and discarded
On the ash tray of hopelessness
The grave yard that houses all
Once active minds.

-dougwa-
A Mareship Sep 2013
A million bitten off breaths
Hang quietly.
I’m close enough to hear
her thudding -
A jarring noise that parts
a cloud of frothy swans.

We’ve all seen photographs
in Wildlife Books –
I’m sure you can conjure up
the moment a water bird
lances a sunlit river
with the very tip of its beak
to gobble a fish.
It’s a difficult photo to take,
It’s all over so quickly -
The fish caught,
The river moving, moving,
Still.
But here she is in front of me,
That bird,
Suspended with one
Foot in this world,
And the other
In another.

Her toes grind up the
Spotlight,
Trampling into
the moon and balancing there,
(I'm surprised the stage
is not full of chalk.)
It's not beautiful,
Not ghostly,
But all visceral meat glistening,
Fitness, strength, survival,
Like nature…

No need to take a photo,
She is a picture that my mind has
Tricked me into taking.

So perhaps that’s talent, darling..?

Or
Perhaps it’s something else, with a name I never knew.
Mateuš Conrad Jun 2016
preliminary explanation

before i really begin the project i have a few scatterings
of thought that made me do this, without real planning,
a different sort of impromptu that poetry's good at,
less Dionysian spur-of-the-moment with an already
completed poem entwined to a perfect ensō,
as quick as the decapitation of Mary Boleyn with the
executioner fooling her which side the swing would
be cast by taking of his hard-soled-shoes -
i mean this in an Apollonian sense - i know, sharp contrasts
at first, but the need to fuse them - i said these are
preliminary explanations, the rest will not be as haphazardly
composed, after all, i see the triangle i'm interested it
but drawing a triangle without Pythagorean explanation
i'm just writing Δ - i'll unravel what my project is
about, just give me this opportunity to blah blah for a
while like someone from an existential novel;
what beckoned me was the dichotomy of styles,
i mean, **** me, you can read poetry while in an awkward
yoga position, you can read it standing up, sitting down,
eating or whatever you want - obviously on the throne
of thrones taking a **** is preferred - the point being
what's called serious literature is so condensed for
economic reasons, font small, never-ending paragraphs,
you need an easy-chair and a bottle of cognac to get
through a chapter sometimes - or at least freshly mowed
grass in a park in summer - it's really uncomfortable because
of that, and the fact that poets hardly wish upon you
to be myopic - just look at the spacing on the page,
constantly refreshing, open-plan condos, eye-to-eye -
but it's not about that... the different styles of writing,
prose and the novel, the historical essay / encyclopedia
or a work of philosophy - what style of writing can
be best evolutionary and undermine each? only poetry.
poetry is a ballerina mandible entity, plastic skeletons,
but that's beside the point, when journalism writes history
so vehemently... the study of history writes it nonchalantly,
it's the truth, journalism is bombastic, sensationalist
every but what courting history involves -
a journalist will write about the death of a 100 people
more vehemently than a historian writing about the Holocaust...
or am i missing something? i never understood this dichotomy
of prose - it's most apparent between journalism and history...
as far as i am concerned, the most pleasurable style of
prose is involved in the history of philosophy, or learning per se,
but i'll now reveal to you the project at hand -
it's a collage... the parameters?

the subject of the collage

it weighs 1614 grams, or 3 lb. and 8 7/8ths oz.,
it's a single volume edition, published by Pimlico,
it's slightly larger than an A5 format,
3/4 inches more in length, and ~1 centimetre in
width more, it has a depth of 1 and 3/4 inches in depth,
a bicep iron-pumping session with it in bed -
i was lying with this behemoth of a book
in bed soothing out a semi-delirium state
listening to Ola Gjeilo's *northern lights

and flicking through the appendix, and i started thinking,
no would read this giant fully, would they?
the reason it's a one volume edition is because
the only place you'd read such an edition would
be in a library, at a desk, and you'd be taking snippets
out from it, quotes, authentic references points
for an essay, esp. if you were a history student,
such books aren't exactly built for leisure, as my arms
could testify... after the appendix i started flicking
through as to what point of interest would spur me
onto this audacious (and perhaps auspicious)
act of renegading against writing a novel (in the moment,
in the moment, i can't imagine myself rereading plot-lines
after a day or two, adding to it - that's a collage too,
but of a different kind - and no, i won't be plagiarising
as such, after all i'll be citing parallel, but utilising
poetry as the driving revision dynamic compared
to the chronologically stale prose of history) - i'll be
extracting key points that are already referenced and not
using the style of the author - the book in question?
Europe: a history by Norman Davies prof. emeritus
at U.C.L. - the point of entry that made me mad enough
to condense this 1335 page book (excluding the index)?

point of incision

Voltaire (or the man suspected of Guy Fawkes-likes spreading
of volatility in others) -
un polonais - c'est un charmeur; deux polonais - une
bagarre; trois polonais, eh bien, c'est la question polonaise

(one pole - a charmer, two poles - a brawl, three poles -
the polish question) - mind you, the subtler and gentler
precursor of the Jewish question, because the Frenchman
mused, and not a German, or a Russian brute...
and i can testify, two Polish immigrants in a pub,
one senior, the other minor, one with 22 years under
his belt of the integration purpose, one with 12 years,
the minor says to the senior about how Poles bring
the village life to cities, brutish drunkards and what not,
it was almost a brawl, prior to the senior was charming
a Lithuanian girl, before the minor's emphasis on
such a choice of conversation turned into idiotic Lithuanian
nostalgia about the disintegration of the Polish-Lithuanian
commonwealth, primarily due to the Polish nobility.

10,000 b.c.

looking that far back i don't know why you even
bother to celebrate the weekend -
i mean, 10,000 years back Denmark was
still attached to Sweden,
England was attached to France,
and there was a weird looking Aquatic landmass
that would become a myth of Atlantis
in the Chronicles of Norwich,
speedy ******* Gonzales with the equivalent
of south america detaching itself from Africa...
mind you, i'm sure the Carpathian ranges are
mountains. they're noted here are hills or uplands,
by categorising them as such i'm surprised
the majority of Carpathian elevations as scolded
bald rocky faced, a hill i imagine to have some
vegetation on it, not mountain goats with rock and roof
for a blacksmith in a population of one hundred...
at this point Darwinism really becomes a disorientating
pinpoint of whatever history takes your fancy,
Europe - mother of Minos, lord of Crete,
progenitrix / ******* and the leather curtains
of Zeus's harem (jealous? no, just the sarcasm
dominates the immortal museum of attachable
****** to suit the perfect elephant **** of depth
the gods sided with, by choice, excusing the Suez
duct tightening of a prostate gland... to ease the pain
upon ******* rather than *******); mentioned by Homer
the Blind tooth-fairy, the Europe and the bull,
Europoeus and the swan, same father of wisdom to mind,
on the shores of Loch Lomond -
attributes a lover to the bull, Moschus of Syracuse,
who said earring Plato cured him of where the ****
should not enter even if it shines a welcome
in the disguise of Dionysius... revisionists bound to Pompeii
named Titian, Rembrandt, Rubens Veronese
and Claude Lorrain revived the bulging bull's *******
and her mm hmm mm, too gracious my kind, hehee...
Phonecians from Tyre and Io - so too the Sibyl of ****** -
and unlike the great river civilisations of the Nile,
the Ganges, soon to be the Danubian civilisations
and gorged-out-eyes-that-once-sore-colour-but-lost-sight-of-
colours-­after-seeing-the-murk-of-the-Thames...
soon the seas overcame civilisations of the rivers,
as Cadmus, brother of the thus stated harlot said:
i bring you orbe pererrato - hieroglyphics of the cage,
but not an owl or a hawk inside it -
so let's perfect speaking to an encoding by first
rummaging into learning how to procure the perfect
forms of counting - i say left, you say I, i say right
you say II, left right left right, what do you say?
VI. bravo! the Hellenic world just crossed the Aegean
and civilisation bore twins within the cult of a lunar-mother,
Islam of Romulus and Remus, a she-wolf
a canine of the night - according to another -
tremulae sinuantur flamine vestes - or so the myth goes -
a cherished phantom of what became the fabled story
of sole Odysseus with his ears open and the remnant
sailor's ears waxed shut - as if the bankers of this world,
revelling in culprit universal fancy than nonetheless
bred the particular oddities - lest we forget,
the once bountiful call of the sirens to the oceanic
is but a fraction of what today's sirens claim to be song,
a fraction of it remains in this world, the onomatopoeia
of the once maddening song, the crude *******
arrangement of vowels bound to the jealous god's
déjà vu of the compounding second H.

from myth to perpetuating a modern sentiment

you can jump from 10,000 b.c. to the Munich Crisis
of 1938 - 9 with a snap of the fingers,
imitating quantum phenomenons like gesticulating
a game of mime with Chinese whispers necessary,
if Europe is a nymph, Naples her azure eyes,
Warsaw her heart, Sebastopol and Azoff,
Petersburg, Mitau, Odessa - these the thorns
in her feet - Paris the head, London the starched collar,
and Rome - the sepulchre
.
or... die handbuch der europaischen geschichte
notably from Charlemagne (the Illiterate)
to the Greek colonels (as apart from Constantine to
Thomas More in eight volumes, via Cambridge mid
1930s)... these and some other books of urgency
e.g. Eugene Weber's H. A. L. Fisher's, Sr. Walter Ralegh,
Jacob Bronowski... elsewhere excavated noun-obscurities
like gattopardo and konarmya had their
circas extended like shelved vegetables in modern
supermarket isles, for one reason or another...
prado, sonata sovkino also... some also mention
Thomas Carlyle (i'd make it sound like carried-away isle,
but never mind); so in this intro much theory,
how to sound politically correct, verifiable to suit
a coercion for a status quo... Europe as a modern idea,
replacing Imperum Romanun came Christendom,
ugly Venetian Pirates at Constantinople,
Barbarossa making it in pickled herring juice
in a barrel to Jerusalem... once called the pinkish-***-fluff
of Saxony, now called the pickled cucumber,
drowning in his armour in some river or Brosphorus...
alchemists, Luther and Copernicus were invited on
the same occasion as the bow-tie was invented,
apparently it was a marriage made for the Noir cinema,
beats me - hence the new concept of Europe,
reviving the idea of Imperium Romanun
meant, somehow including Judea in the Euro
championship of footie gladiator ***** whipped
narcissists, rejecting the already banished Carthage
(Libya / Tunisia by Cato's standards) and encouraging
the Huns, the Goths and the even more distant Slavs and
Vikings to accept not so much the crucifix as
the revised spine of the serpent but as the geometry of
human limbs, well, not so much that, but forgetting
Norse myths of the one-eyed and the runic alphabet
and settling for ah be'h c'eh d'ah.
dissident frenche stink abbe, charles castel de st pierre
(1658 - 1743) aand this work projet d'une paix perpetuelle
(1713) versus Питер Великий who just said:
never mind the city, the Winter Palace... i have aborted
fetus pickles in my bedroom, lava lamps i call them.
the last remaining reference to Christianity?
Nietzsche was late, the public was certain,
it was the Treaty of Utrecht, 1713, with public reference
to the republica christiana / commonwealth was last made.
to Edmund Burke: well, i too wish no exile
upon any European on his continent of birth,
but invigorate a Muslim to give birth on it
and you invigorate an exile nonetheless:
Ezra expatriate Pound / sorry, if born in eastern
europe a ***** Romanian immigrant, pristine
expatriate in western Europe, fascist radio has
my tongue and *****, so let's play a game:
Russian roulette for the Chinese cos there's
a billion of them, and no one would really mind
a missing Chow Mein... chu shoo'ah shaolin moo'n'kah!
or a cappuccino whenever you'd like to watch
classic Italian pornographic cinema with dubbing
with nuns involved... Willaim Blake and his
stark naked prophesy, pope pius II (treatise 1458)
even though Transylvania, Tharce and Hungary
shared the same phonetic encoding with diacritical
distinctions like any Frenchman, German,
or Pole at the Siege of Vienna (1683)
to counter the antagonising Ottoman - i swear historians
do this one purpose, juggle dates and head-of-state figures
prior to entering a chronology - they must first try out
a ******* carousel before playing with the toy-train...
broadcasting to a defeated Germany public, T. S. Eliot
(1945) ****** import to into Western Germany
and talk of the failing moral fabric, China laughing
after the ***** intricacies of warfare of trade,
what was once wool we wished to be silk...
instead of silk we received vegetarian wool, namely
hemp, and Amsterdam is to blame... nuke 'em!
that's how it sounds, how a historian approaches
writing a history from the annals, from circa and
circumstance and actual history, foremost the abbreviations,
the fishing hook standards, the parameters,
the limits, and then the mathematics of history,
one thing culminating into another... contra Lenin
N. S. Trubetskoy, P. N. Savitsky, G. Vernadsky
Russian at the perks of the Urals - steppe Tartar shamans
or salon pranced pretty **** boys? where to put
the intoxicant and where to put the mascara... hmm,
god knows, or by 21st calculations, a meteor;
they say the history of nations is a history of women,
then at least the history of individuation
and of men who succumb to its proliferation
is astoundingly misogynistic.
Seton-Watson, among the the tombstones too reminded
of remarkable esteem and accomplishment
with only one gravedigger to claim as father...
as many death ears as on two giraffe skeletons
stood Guizot, men of many letter and few fortunes,
or v. v., incubators of cousin ***** and none the kippah
before the arrogant saintly diminished to
a justly cause of recession, ha ha,
by nature's grace, and with true advent of her progression
as guard-worthy pre- to each pro-
and suggested courteous of the ****** fibre,
oh hey, the advent of masqueraded woofing,
a Venetian high-brow, and jealousy out of a forgotten
spirit of adventure that once was bound
to hunting and foraging... forever lost to write  history of
a king dubbed Louis the XIV...
crucibles and distastes for the state to be pleased,
once removed from Paris, forever to Angevin womb
accustomed once more, at Versailles released -
as cake be sown so too the aristocratic swan necks
for worth of mock and scorn - and the dampening rain
rattle the blood-thirst of the St. Bartholomew's Day
slaughter, to date, the rebirth of Burgundy,
of Anjou, and with the dead king presiding, to be
of no worth in judging himself a king before god or pauper...
saluer Antoine Quentin Fouquier-Tinville!
that i might too in stead rattle a few bones prior to burial
with the jaw that will laugh and chatter least
had it been to my kingly-stead a birth so lowly.
then at least in satisfactory temperament i procure a
judgement of the noble like of a *****
for an hour's worth of pistons and jarring tongues...
as if from a nobleman then indeed as if from a *****,
for who sold Europe and said: Arabia, if not the
Frenchman, the Englishman, the Spaniard?
the former colonial conquests served you not enough?
i imagine the reinstatement of Israel like
the Frankish states under Philippe-August...
precursors to a cathedral dubbed Urban the 2nd's..
there were only Norwegian motives in the Ukraine
and the black sea... Israel to me is like plagiarism
of the Frankish states of the middle-east, with Europe
slightly... oom'pah loom'pah mongolian harmonica.
some said Rudyard Kipling poems,
some said Mr. Kipling's afternoon tea cakes -
whichever made it first on Coronation St.
some also say the Teutonic barbecues -
it was a matter of example to feed them hog
and cannibalise the peasants for ourselves,
a Prussian standard worth an army standard of
rigour - Ave Maria - letztre abendessen nahrung -
mein besitzen, wenn in die Aden, i'd be the last
talking carcass...
gottes ist der orient!
gottes ist der okzident!
nord - und sudliches gelande
ruht im frieden seiner hande.

germany's lebensraum, inferiority and classification,
inferior slavs and jews, genetics and why my
hatred of Darwinism is persistent, you need
an explanatory noting to make it auto-suggestive
for Queen & Country? diseased elements,
Jewish Bolshevism, Polish patriotism,
Soviets, Teutons, the grand alliances of 1918
or 1945? Wilsonian testimony of national self-determi
Katy Owens Oct 2013
Jewels
Just joking
the jankiest of jaunts
Juxtaposing justice
Jails and
Jealousy
A jingling jackpot
Joyfully
Jostling
Jawboned jewels
All night the dreadless Angel, unpursued,
Through Heaven’s wide champain held his way; till Morn,
Waked by the circling Hours, with rosy hand
Unbarred the gates of light.  There is a cave
Within the mount of God, fast by his throne,
Where light and darkness in perpetual round
Lodge and dislodge by turns, which makes through Heaven
Grateful vicissitude, like day and night;
Light issues forth, and at the other door
Obsequious darkness enters, till her hour
To veil the Heaven, though darkness there might well
Seem twilight here:  And now went forth the Morn
Such as in highest Heaven arrayed in gold
Empyreal; from before her vanished Night,
Shot through with orient beams; when all the plain
Covered with thick embattled squadrons bright,
Chariots, and flaming arms, and fiery steeds,
Reflecting blaze on blaze, first met his view:
War he perceived, war in procinct; and found
Already known what he for news had thought
To have reported:  Gladly then he mixed
Among those friendly Powers, who him received
With joy and acclamations loud, that one,
That of so many myriads fallen, yet one
Returned not lost.  On to the sacred hill
They led him high applauded, and present
Before the seat supreme; from whence a voice,
From midst a golden cloud, thus mild was heard.
Servant of God. Well done; well hast thou fought
The better fight, who single hast maintained
Against revolted multitudes the cause
Of truth, in word mightier than they in arms;
And for the testimony of truth hast borne
Universal reproach, far worse to bear
Than violence; for this was all thy care
To stand approved in sight of God, though worlds
Judged thee perverse:  The easier conquest now
Remains thee, aided by this host of friends,
Back on thy foes more glorious to return,
Than scorned thou didst depart; and to subdue
By force, who reason for their law refuse,
Right reason for their law, and for their King
Messiah, who by right of merit reigns.
Go, Michael, of celestial armies prince,
And thou, in military prowess next,
Gabriel, lead forth to battle these my sons
Invincible; lead forth my armed Saints,
By thousands and by millions, ranged for fight,
Equal in number to that Godless crew
Rebellious:  Them with fire and hostile arms
Fearless assault; and, to the brow of Heaven
Pursuing, drive them out from God and bliss,
Into their place of punishment, the gulf
Of Tartarus, which ready opens wide
His fiery Chaos to receive their fall.
So spake the Sovran Voice, and clouds began
To darken all the hill, and smoke to roll
In dusky wreaths, reluctant flames, the sign
Of wrath awaked; nor with less dread the loud
Ethereal trumpet from on high ‘gan blow:
At which command the Powers militant,
That stood for Heaven, in mighty quadrate joined
Of union irresistible, moved on
In silence their bright legions, to the sound
Of instrumental harmony, that breathed
Heroick ardour to adventurous deeds
Under their God-like leaders, in the cause
Of God and his Messiah.  On they move
Indissolubly firm; nor obvious hill,
Nor straitening vale, nor wood, nor stream, divides
Their perfect ranks; for high above the ground
Their march was, and the passive air upbore
Their nimble tread; as when the total kind
Of birds, in orderly array on wing,
Came summoned over Eden to receive
Their names of thee; so over many a tract
Of Heaven they marched, and many a province wide,
Tenfold the length of this terrene:  At last,
Far in the horizon to the north appeared
From skirt to skirt a fiery region, stretched
In battailous aspect, and nearer view
Bristled with upright beams innumerable
Of rigid spears, and helmets thronged, and shields
Various, with boastful argument portrayed,
The banded Powers of Satan hasting on
With furious expedition; for they weened
That self-same day, by fight or by surprise,
To win the mount of God, and on his throne
To set the Envier of his state, the proud
Aspirer; but their thoughts proved fond and vain
In the mid way:  Though strange to us it seemed
At first, that Angel should with Angel war,
And in fierce hosting meet, who wont to meet
So oft in festivals of joy and love
Unanimous, as sons of one great Sire,
Hymning the Eternal Father:  But the shout
Of battle now began, and rushing sound
Of onset ended soon each milder thought.
High in the midst, exalted as a God,
The Apostate in his sun-bright chariot sat,
Idol of majesty divine, enclosed
With flaming Cherubim, and golden shields;
Then lighted from his gorgeous throne, for now
“twixt host and host but narrow space was left,
A dreadful interval, and front to front
Presented stood in terrible array
Of hideous length:  Before the cloudy van,
On the rough edge of battle ere it joined,
Satan, with vast and haughty strides advanced,
Came towering, armed in adamant and gold;
Abdiel that sight endured not, where he stood
Among the mightiest, bent on highest deeds,
And thus his own undaunted heart explores.
O Heaven! that such resemblance of the Highest
Should yet remain, where faith and realty
Remain not:  Wherefore should not strength and might
There fail where virtue fails, or weakest prove
Where boldest, though to fight unconquerable?
His puissance, trusting in the Almighty’s aid,
I mean to try, whose reason I have tried
Unsound and false; nor is it aught but just,
That he, who in debate of truth hath won,
Should win in arms, in both disputes alike
Victor; though brutish that contest and foul,
When reason hath to deal with force, yet so
Most reason is that reason overcome.
So pondering, and from his armed peers
Forth stepping opposite, half-way he met
His daring foe, at this prevention more
Incensed, and thus securely him defied.
Proud, art thou met? thy hope was to have reached
The highth of thy aspiring unopposed,
The throne of God unguarded, and his side
Abandoned, at the terrour of thy power
Or potent tongue:  Fool!not to think how vain
Against the Omnipotent to rise in arms;
Who out of smallest things could, without end,
Have raised incessant armies to defeat
Thy folly; or with solitary hand
Reaching beyond all limit, at one blow,
Unaided, could have finished thee, and whelmed
Thy legions under darkness:  But thou seest
All are not of thy train; there be, who faith
Prefer, and piety to God, though then
To thee not visible, when I alone
Seemed in thy world erroneous to dissent
From all:  My sect thou seest;now learn too late
How few sometimes may know, when thousands err.
Whom the grand foe, with scornful eye askance,
Thus answered.  Ill for thee, but in wished hour
Of my revenge, first sought for, thou returnest
From flight, seditious Angel! to receive
Thy merited reward, the first assay
Of this right hand provoked, since first that tongue,
Inspired with contradiction, durst oppose
A third part of the Gods, in synod met
Their deities to assert; who, while they feel
Vigour divine within them, can allow
Omnipotence to none.  But well thou comest
Before thy fellows, ambitious to win
From me some plume, that thy success may show
Destruction to the rest:  This pause between,
(Unanswered lest thou boast) to let thee know,
At first I thought that Liberty and Heaven
To heavenly souls had been all one; but now
I see that most through sloth had rather serve,
Ministring Spirits, trained up in feast and song!
Such hast thou armed, the minstrelsy of Heaven,
Servility with freedom to contend,
As both their deeds compared this day shall prove.
To whom in brief thus Abdiel stern replied.
Apostate! still thou errest, nor end wilt find
Of erring, from the path of truth remote:
Unjustly thou depravest it with the name
Of servitude, to serve whom God ordains,
Or Nature:  God and Nature bid the same,
When he who rules is worthiest, and excels
Them whom he governs.  This is servitude,
To serve the unwise, or him who hath rebelled
Against his worthier, as thine now serve thee,
Thyself not free, but to thyself enthralled;
Yet lewdly darest our ministring upbraid.
Reign thou in Hell, thy kingdom; let me serve
In Heaven God ever blest, and his divine
Behests obey, worthiest to be obeyed;
Yet chains in Hell, not realms, expect:  Mean while
From me returned, as erst thou saidst, from flight,
This greeting on thy impious crest receive.
So saying, a noble stroke he lifted high,
Which hung not, but so swift with tempest fell
On the proud crest of Satan, that no sight,
Nor motion of swift thought, less could his shield,
Such ruin intercept:  Ten paces huge
He back recoiled; the tenth on bended knee
His massy spear upstaid; as if on earth
Winds under ground, or waters forcing way,
Sidelong had pushed a mountain from his seat,
Half sunk with all his pines.  Amazement seised
The rebel Thrones, but greater rage, to see
Thus foiled their mightiest; ours joy filled, and shout,
Presage of victory, and fierce desire
Of battle:  Whereat Michael bid sound
The Arch-Angel trumpet; through the vast of Heaven
It sounded, and the faithful armies rung
Hosanna to the Highest:  Nor stood at gaze
The adverse legions, nor less hideous joined
The horrid shock.  Now storming fury rose,
And clamour such as heard in Heaven till now
Was never; arms on armour clashing brayed
Horrible discord, and the madding wheels
Of brazen chariots raged; dire was the noise
Of conflict; over head the dismal hiss
Of fiery darts in flaming vollies flew,
And flying vaulted either host with fire.
So under fiery cope together rushed
Both battles main, with ruinous assault
And inextinguishable rage.  All Heaven
Resounded; and had Earth been then, all Earth
Had to her center shook.  What wonder? when
Millions of fierce encountering Angels fought
On either side, the least of whom could wield
These elements, and arm him with the force
Of all their regions:  How much more of power
Army against army numberless to raise
Dreadful combustion warring, and disturb,
Though not destroy, their happy native seat;
Had not the Eternal King Omnipotent,
From his strong hold of Heaven, high over-ruled
And limited their might; though numbered such
As each divided legion might have seemed
A numerous host; in strength each armed hand
A legion; led in fight, yet leader seemed
Each warriour single as in chief, expert
When to advance, or stand, or turn the sway
Of battle, open when, and when to close
The ridges of grim war:  No thought of flight,
None of retreat, no unbecoming deed
That argued fear; each on himself relied,
As only in his arm the moment lay
Of victory:  Deeds of eternal fame
Were done, but infinite; for wide was spread
That war and various; sometimes on firm ground
A standing fight, then, soaring on main wing,
Tormented all the air; all air seemed then
Conflicting fire.  Long time in even scale
The battle hung; till Satan, who that day
Prodigious power had shown, and met in arms
No equal, ranging through the dire attack
Of fighting Seraphim confused, at length
Saw where the sword of Michael smote, and felled
Squadrons at once; with huge two-handed sway
Brandished aloft, the horrid edge came down
Wide-wasting; such destruction to withstand
He hasted, and opposed the rocky orb
Of tenfold adamant, his ample shield,
A vast circumference.  At his approach
The great Arch-Angel from his warlike toil
Surceased, and glad, as hoping here to end
Intestine war in Heaven, the arch-foe subdued
Or captive dragged in chains, with hostile frown
And visage all inflamed first thus began.
Author of evil, unknown till thy revolt,
Unnamed in Heaven, now plenteous as thou seest
These acts of hateful strife, hateful to all,
Though heaviest by just measure on thyself,
And thy  adherents:  How hast thou disturbed
Heaven’s blessed peace, and into nature brought
Misery, uncreated till the crime
Of thy rebellion! how hast thou instilled
Thy malice into thousands, once upright
And faithful, now proved false!  But think not here
To trouble holy rest; Heaven casts thee out
From all her confines.  Heaven, the seat of bliss,
Brooks not the works of violence and war.
Hence then, and evil go with thee along,
Thy offspring, to the place of evil, Hell;
Thou and thy wicked crew! there mingle broils,
Ere this avenging sword begin thy doom,
Or some more sudden vengeance, winged from God,
Precipitate thee with augmented pain.
So spake the Prince of Angels; to whom thus
The Adversary.  Nor think thou with wind
Of aery threats to awe whom yet with deeds
Thou canst not.  Hast thou turned the least of these
To flight, or if to fall, but that they rise
Unvanquished, easier to transact with me
That thou shouldst hope, imperious, and with threats
To chase me hence? err not, that so shall end
The strife which thou callest evil, but we style
The strife of glory; which we mean to win,
Or turn this Heaven itself into the Hell
Thou fablest; here however to dwell free,
If not to reign:  Mean while thy utmost force,
And join him named Almighty to thy aid,
I fly not, but have sought thee far and nigh.
They ended parle, and both addressed for fight
Unspeakable; for who, though with the tongue
Of Angels, can relate, or to what things
Liken on earth conspicuous, that may lift
Human imagination to such highth
Of Godlike power? for likest Gods they seemed,
Stood they or moved, in stature, motion, arms,
Fit to decide the empire of great Heaven.
Now waved their fiery swords, and in the air
Made horrid circles; two broad suns their shields
Blazed opposite, while Expectation stood
In horrour:  From each hand with speed retired,
Where erst was thickest fight, the angelick throng,
And left large field, unsafe within the wind
Of such commotion; such as, to set forth
Great things by small, if, nature’s concord broke,
Among the constellations war were sprung,
Two planets, rushing from aspect malign
Of fiercest opposition, in mid sky
Should combat, and their jarring spheres confound.
Together both with next to almighty arm
Up-lifted imminent, one stroke they aimed
That might determine, and not need repeat,
As not of power at once; nor odds appeared
In might or swift prevention:  But the sword
Of Michael from the armoury of God
Was given him tempered so, that neither keen
Nor solid might resist that edge: it met
The sword of Satan, with steep force to smite
Descending, and in half cut sheer; nor staid,
But with swift wheel reverse, deep entering, shared
All his right side:  Then Satan first knew pain,
And writhed him to and fro convolved; so sore
The griding sword with discontinuous wound
Passed through him:  But the ethereal substance closed,
Not long divisible; and from the ****
A stream of necturous humour issuing flowed
Sanguine, such as celestial Spirits may bleed,
And all his armour stained, ere while so bright.
Forthwith on all sides to his aid was run
By Angels many and strong, who interposed
Defence, while others bore him on their shields
Back to his chariot, where it stood retired
From off the files of war:  There they him laid
Gnashing for anguish, and despite, and shame,
To find himself not matchless, and his pride
Humbled by such rebuke, so far beneath
His confidence to equal God in power.
Yet soon he healed; for Spirits that live throughout
Vital in every part, not as frail man
In entrails, heart of head, liver or reins,
Cannot but by annihilating die;
Nor in their liquid texture mortal wound
Receive, no more than can the fluid air:
All heart they live, all head, all eye, all ear,
All intellect, all sense; and, as they please,
They limb themselves, and colour, shape, or size
Assume, as?***** them best, condense or rare.
Mean while in other parts like deeds deserved
Memorial, where the might of Gabriel fought,
And with fierce ensigns pierced the deep array
Of Moloch, furious king; who him defied,
And at his chariot-wheels to drag him bound
Threatened, nor from the Holy One of Heaven
Refrained his tongue blasphemous; but anon
Down cloven to the waist, with shattered arms
And uncouth pain fled bellowing.  On each wing
Uriel, and Raphael, his vaunting foe,
Though huge, and in a rock of diamond armed,
Vanquished Adramelech, and Asmadai,
Two potent Thrones, that to be less than
“I may be grown up but I’m only seventeen.”
The faded blue chairs were in rows, as could be expected. The building was old and the air was littered with dust; just like you would expect. The light shimmied through the draperies and tapestries and slithered across the floor in tiny slits that cut the room into pieces. The dark worn floors boasted years of scuffs and scratches. They were no longer mahogany for they were nearly black with age and dirt. The whole place was frozen in time. Even the air was reminiscent of years gone by. When you walked in you could expect to find memories nestled in corners or peeping out from one of the many books strewn around. The place breathed nostalgic fumes. Some might have called it “stale,” but many others would prefer to call it “alluring” or “curious.”

This was not her case. The door ****** the life out of the place as it slammed shut. The reverberations could be felt throughout the entire structure. Her anger fueled her along at a violent pace, sending chills up the drapes and swirling the dust into tornadoes of chaos. The floorboards rumbled and squealed in sheer terror under her feet. If you were here you would likely have tread softly and listened carefully just because you hoped the place was talking to you. But since this is her story and not yours, that is not the case.
She threw her body into the nearest chair and the force almost sent her backwards. The girl and the chair hung in time for a single moment, teetering on the edge of balance, but nothing happened. She kicked her feet up on to the chair in front of her out of utter disrespect.

Each breath that she blew carried venomous thought. Every air molecule expelled from her nose was laced with despise until it fell to the floor, devoid of life. You could feel the place shuddering with every breath. Or maybe she was shuddering. But it wasn’t important.
The girl let one lonesome anguished tear roll off her face, but since she was too strong for crying, she ****** her body out of the chair with every ounce of hatred she had inside. In one swift motion she swathed her face with her shirt to obscure and erase the tear. She stood there, filtering the air through her shirt, refusing to acknowledge everything the place had to offer. She dropped the weight of her head into her palms and bit her lip against the pain. She pulled her face back only to check the shirt. She knew it would be stained. She knew because every other time before it had been stained. She listened for a moment before she glided across the floor toward the nearest window.
When she finally came to a moment of rest, the place sighed in relief. The dust rested and the floorboards managed to quiet themselves. The drapes relaxed and everything paused again, settling back into a time of long ago. The place embraced her like the wind embraces a leaf. It helped her along gently as she was carried away.

Not wanting to be discovered, and not wanting to overstay her welcome, the girl carefully hid her soul behind the heaviest drape and emptily marched towards the door. She traced her finger along the scorch marks that marred the wood. The scars ran deep, evidencing a strong fire that had ravaged the place years before. The door oozed sympathy as the young girl shared her pain. Her heartbeat pounded out her sadness and resounded through the door and back to her. She clutched the **** in her hand and pushed it open. She slid through to the outside. She did not look over her shoulder. She did not carry a glimpse of hope within her. The flame in her heart was extinguished with the closing click of the door. She was outside. She watched as the place got smaller as she walked away.

His name was Devlin. “Dev” for short. It could’ve been “Devil.” It should have been “Devil.” He was the one who called the shots. This was his game; his rules. She was just a player who could be benched at any minute; suspended from the league in the blink of an eye. He knew the world. He had been learning it for years. As if the world was something that could be learned; that could be acquired. He missed the most important lesson for he never learned how to love. He had mastered affection and words spilled off his lips like honey. But love was not yet something he had come to possess.

Regardless of his material possessions, Dev knew he was missing something. He didn’t know what it was or how it could be acquired, or if it could be acquired. He only knew that the gaping black hole inside him was consuming him. There was no fulfilling this insatiable hunger. There seemed to be no solution. Only temporary fixes could easy the longing but with every dose the hole grew deeper.

           She too, knew that beneath his smile there was blackness. Not emptiness. Just blackness. There was no value, no gradation. No. There was nothing to hold on to, nothing to hope for. She would have enough black to cover the entire world if she had wanted to paint. But she was honestly looking to survive.


                Time had gone by, but only by the measure of light. Time had not elapsed to heal her wounds. She had covered miles on the feet of one thought. She had traversed only into one idea during her journey and yet she had already reached her destination. It was easy to fall to your subconscious when your body was tattered. When she stepped through the threshold she almost imagined the place. But she stopped herself because she didn’t want to take the chance of contaminating it.

                Her eyes were closing and the soft carpet looking appealing in all its graying and deterioration. The couch and bed looked inviting but that was suicide. She was fighting the urge. She had too. She had tried to purge her mind but one insignificant monstrous thought plagued her. “Don’t go to sleep until I get back.” Her eyes lingered closed for a moment. How beautiful and welcoming this blackness was. It was gentle and comforting. Her eyes jumped open. How long had they been closed? Surely no more than a few minutes. Fate laughed in her face once again. “I told you: Don’t get to sleep until I get back.”
                The first one was the most painful. Even though her eyes were blurred from pain she could still see the look in his eyes. She had to look. The simple thought of closing her eyes would earn her several more. She clutched the threadbare carpet with all the dignity she could muster and stood like a soldier before a firing squad. Every wince squeezed the tears in her eyes closer and closer to escape, but she held on through the miserable pain. It wasn’t even his hands that hurt anymore. No, it was the iron, or the bat, or even the brick that hurt. When it was his hands, he sympathized with the contortions of her body. He felt her pain. When it was some other object, there was distance between them. Six, five, four, three, two… She could time the blows. When he wasn’t so angry they came faster, just to put the girl in her place. When he was enraged, they came slower. Each hit was followed by an explanation or justification. “You have to learn the hard way.” or “How dare you get blood on your clothes?” The indignation in his voice made her sick. “Don’t look at me like that!” “I love you.” Over time she had learned to smile over time. To lessen the pain.

                …Her face was burning. Every fiber in her body wrenched with pain. Every breath brought tears to her eyes. The shaking was uncontrollable. She never should
have fallen asleep…

                You see on the inside he was just a child who never knew love. But that was her job. To love him. He was one of those “monsters,” or rather a vortex, something to be awed and feared. A display of powerful destruction. But that was the point. He was ******* up everything good while furthering his own self-destruction. He would eventually collapse in on himself. It was inevitable. It was not a matter of time. It was not some probability that fate would determine. It was not plausible to think, no matter what length of time you were thinking for, that time could, and would, heal all wounds. This was not something that would fade into the background and blend into a dull gray. This was not something that could be fixed by a miracle of God. There was no twelve step program with guaranteed results. The only thing that could happen was the elimination of time. If this happened, then there could be change.  


                She had figured it out some time ago. A long while back before she knew the place. The only answer was destruction. You might even call it ******. But since it involved no bloodshed or munitions or hatred, it seemed to be a good idea. Even the victim was ultimately willing to go through with it. The only factor stopping the girl was love. Her love for him. She did love him. She truly and justly loved him. She loved everything about him. She loved him for chaos and instability. The only solution was to destroy time. Without time, there is no way to measure. There is no structure. There are no rules. The only structure is what you make in your mind. That was the easiest way to escape, the easiest way to ignore the pain, to ignore the love.        


                  However much she thought about it, she never thought about it enough. The hours she spent on the floor in utter stillness were useless. When her breath was shallow enough, she nearly died. Her shirt was stained with blood. It was severed from her hip to her elbow. Her face was swollen purple and blue. Four of her ribs were shattered. Her left ankle was swollen. Her eyes were sealed shut by dried tears. Her lips were pale and chapped. She could not breathe out of her nose. It was filled with blood. Her pants were a rolled in a crumpled ****** mess several feet away from her. Her legs were patched with bruises. Her fingernails had blood under them.


This was love.


Eventually. Not relative to time. Not relative to the beating, but relative to her. She crawled over to her pants and began to restore her dignity until a foot crashed down upon her hand, jarring her body into a fetal position on the floor. She forced her eyes to stare at her hand turning from pink to white to purple. She hung her head in shame and hoped for mercy or forgiveness. The crushing weight of the foot began to ease the slightest bit. “You didn’t learn. You never do.” She stood perfectly still, waiting. The foot lifted. He pulled her to her feet and bestowed a kiss upon her forehead. “That’s why I am here: To teach you.” He took the crumpled pants from the floor and removed her bloodied shirt. Then with **** of his head he motioned to the floor. “You will learn the meaning of humble today.” She lay back down and tried to glean warmth from the carpet. She was cold. Desperately cold.
Frank Sterncrest Mar 2013
your laughter is interrupted
and the punch line crumbles onto your lap.

as you answer your phone
          the chair hardens
                    svelte
                    to skeletal.
          every corner in your bones
          grinds
          against every edge of wood.

as the earpiece exhales
          the grey seeps in from the dusty dome
          and a wheeze of cloudy cold
          floats, foggy, over the sill
          and freezes firm your loose lips
          before a smile can stretch them.

you rise
          and the door evaporates
          at your touch
                    a droplet
                    to your violent,
                    expanding
                    gasps.­
          the croaking in your ear
                    feeble
                    but ‘fine’
          traps your tongue
          under stacks of pennies.
          your heart
                    singular
                    sympatheti­c
          beats fast enough for two
          bodies.

you stand on frail, fractured leaves
          and try to cram crutches
          and buttresses
          through a receiver,
          but your fumbling fingers
          won’t speak.
          your neck buckles
          and bends
          under the heavy phone
          call.

back inside
teetering on your bony seat
you try to sit on your hands
          scoops of your scattered words
                    ‘my leaving
                    was the healthiest thing
                    that has ever happened to her–’
          foreign and
          hollow.
Amaya K Lilium Jun 2010
Peace of mind is ephemeral,
drifting in harmony, then abruptly skewed.
The quintessence of humanity lost in the blink of an eye.
A gravitational pull overwhelms
Persistent
Tugs at the edges of reality
Patient
Disseminates thoughts, life
Painful
There is no escape as the jarring force draws inward,
voraciously swallowing everything in reach.

Distorting changes,
a myriad of sights, sounds,
besiege a troubled mind.

Blackness
Heavy and infinite
A suffocating contradiction to everything that was.
Ripping, tearing
Impossible void of compressed nothingness.
Twisting, rearranging
Pretentious "used to be"s into trembling trepidation,
too adrift to find the way back.

This is the point of no return.
Who is that person in the mirror now?
We two kept house, the Past and I,
The Past and I;
I tended while it hovered nigh,
Leaving me never alone.
It was a spectral housekeeping
Where fell no jarring tone,
As strange, as still a housekeeping
As ever has been known.

As daily I went up the stair,
And down the stair,
I did not mind the Bygone there—
The Present once to me;
Its moving meek companionship
I wished might ever be,
There was in that companionship
Something of ecstasy.

It dwelt with me just as it was,
Just as it was
When first its prospects gave me pause
In wayward wanderings,
Before the years had torn old troths
As they tear all sweet things,
Before gaunt griefs had torn old troths
And dulled old rapturings.

And then its form began to fade,
Began to fade,
Its gentle echoes faintlier played
At eves upon my ear
Than when the autumn’s look embrowned
The lonely chambers here,
The autumn’s settling shades embrowned
Nooks that it haunted near.

And so with time my vision less,
Yea, less and less
Makes of that Past my housemistress,
It dwindles in my eye;
It looms a far-off skeleton
And not a comrade nigh,
A fitful far-off skeleton
Dimming as days draw by.
PK Wakefield Aug 2010
it,s loose cotton electric ***
copper children
          husky sighing t
                                      he
trickle of daughters into the little wet cracks
on Railroad ave. a beggars hand gesticulating empty spans
a river of grins course toward amber
oblivion and jarring rhythms. she's a white idea. a lemon dress *****.

          her hips are a delicious war of curving apparitions
a dearth of pleasure loaded folds. or else a caustic laceration;

     some hernia of capillaries blotting ivory thighs
            a
           n
                d all the children giggle, teeth cleaning pearly cheeks
splay the efforts of their throats all over the cobbles. it,s a night

   FRIDAY









          yes
Ghazal Jun 2012
Flavored hukkas are passed around,
Alcohol and paan bring the mehfil alive,
The Ustad ji sits down and flexes his fingers,
He knows he’ll be working all night.

Dha dhin dhin dha, dha dhin dhin dha
Na tin tin ta
Ta dhin dhin dha,
Move the Ustad ji’s fingers on the tabla.

While with a veil on her face,
And feet dipped in and henna-colored,
Lips in cheap red lipstick covered,
She unfalteringly, gracefully enters.

Her steps are matched by the chhan chhan
of the ghungroos tied around her ankles so slender.
Eyes set on her, feast on her youth,
Just right for the taste of all her customers.

Bejeweled hands placed on waist,
She stands at the centre of attention,
She lifts a foot, readies to dance,
And begins the nightly convention.

Skillfully, perfectly, sensuously move
Feet well-trained since childhood days,
Harmonizing with the timbre
That the Ustad ji creates.

Tin tin na dhin na dhin na
On the tabla, experienced fingers beat.
Chhan chhan chhan chhan,
She dances, repeating the rhythm with her feet.

Metal bells strike against one another
And chhan chhan chhan-a chhan she goes,
Making breaths prance and jump,
As she strikes on the ground her heels and toes.

Then suddenly she stops and gasps,
Over disgruntled, impatient groans she tries
to hear the sound that flows in, only to her ears.
Several rooms away, a baby cries.

Naach! A voice booms,
Arey naach! More join in.
A glass of wine is shattered by an irritated one.
But she stands still, clutching her chest, frozen.

One sways up to where she stands,
For the veil covering her face, his hands dive.
He uncovers her, but is blinded by the sight of her beauty
And her tears that fill her kajal-smeared eyes.

She’s shaken back to reality as she looks all around.
Her sparkling pall is off her face.
She sees all those drunk men who’ve paid to watch her dance.
She knows she has to make the sound of the cries fade away.

So she stomps her feet on the ground till it hurts.
Hair flying out of braid, bangles clanging,
Anguish replaces her innocent loveliness,
The music in the air is now shrill,  jarring.

Her steps match with the tabla’s rhythm no more.
But she dances, planting her feet so hard they weep.
She silences every sound with the noise of her ghungroos,
Praying that the night will lull her wailing son to sleep.
hukka- hubble bubble
paan- a food made from a betel leaf folded round pieces of betel nut and spices, that you chew like candy
mehfil- a gathering of people
ustad- a title of respect for someone who is very skillful, especially a musician
ji- used to show respect for someone
tabla- an Indian percussion instrument
henna- flowering plant used to dye the skin
ghungroo- a musical anklet tied to the feet of Indian classical dancers
naach- dance
kajal- kohl
Eric Dec 2013
Hi! I’m a hamster on a Wheel!
Gamely running on my bony little legs
[I’m getting somewhere! I’m getting somewhere!]
Every once in a while, I look left or right
See my **** and my compressed pellet food sitting in the same positions
as an hour, a day, weeks ago – and I realize:

IT APPEARS THAT I’M ACTUALLY GOING NOWHERE!!!!!!!

Which surprises me each time it crosses my little hamster brain, until I’m distracted
By my pellet food, the call of the Wheel, and other sundry carnal desires

Roiling superficially in my hamster-angst
While working the Wheel, surrounded by the detritus of my saccharine prefabricated life

I fail to notice

Outside my cage
Hands, lifting, carrying
Thousands of miles traversed
Steaming deserts
Steaming jungles
Steaming cities
Brutality, kindness, sensuality, love, hatred, atrocities, age, youth, heat and cold
All flashing by my glass shell as hands carry me towards a final resting place

Until

A jarring, toppling blast shakes my world
Tearing me from my Important Work on the Wheel
I look up, pellet crumbs falling from my mouth
Just in time to see my cage tumble from hands

Over a rail
Down
Down
Flash of blue
Flash of brilliant light
Flash of blue
Down
Smacking into a vast expanse of water
Unimaginably immense
Outside of my realm of comprehension – I mean, I’d never seen it in my hamster cage before, so why should I even expect it to exist?
What is it’s purpose?
It makes no sense!
It has no place in the world!

And as I slowly drown in the secret withheld from every hamster since the beginning of time
I take one last longing look at the Wheel, the cage, the pellets
And curse them
Curse the Deception that told me they were all that mattered
Luridhope Jan 2012
Acerbic antagonist alliterates agonizing accusations,
blasting ******* backbiter butting beautiful bombastic brainy blond bomb.
Cumulative cranial casualties cease caveman's cognitive coherence.
Doom digger derides Daddy's dangling dire dreary ****.

Eclectic esoteric eccentric egotistical estranger;
Forthcoming fathoms fetch faithless fleeting father.
God given goblins gather gossamer ganglions;
Hell's hairy harlot harpies hover heeding Hyperion.

Ignatius imbibes irrevocably insisting,
"Jesus juggles justice's joy jarring jams."
Kindness kindles Kilimanjaro;
Malicious mountains melt, Mmm, morning marjoram.

Nothing negates Neanderthal ninnying.
Overt obsessions obfuscate original object of
purest passions, paltry past pinings,
quickly quieted, quelled,
resisted, relinquished, readily, ruefully, roundly
saturated, suffocated; surreptitiously silenced,
terribly torturing the thrashed tamed tormentor:

Ugly, ungrateful, unapologetic,
Vanity,
woefully wallowing, wailing, "Where's
Xanadu's
zeitgeist!?"
Hal Loyd Denton Jan 2012
Lost love

I will relate this true unforgettable love story the desert is a forlorn lonely place it runs the gambit stark even sullen and then at
A single turn it enthralls captivates and then the many moods feelings in-between it could really be a telling of human life in so many
Ways my memory of Salt lake is a nice one we were moving to California I remember the climb up the mountain that was some what
Unpleasant I even stopped in Laramie Wyoming had the U Haul checked out it acted like it had a four banger engine would cut out on
The straight a ways and it wasn’t that long ago back then that I put ten cars in the junkyard they were too old and I was two young I
Tried to out run and out do Robert Mitchum when he played a southerner who ran white lighting in Thunder road the time I was driving
A long fifty eight Pontiac without a muffler on the back roads to Herrick town was sort of a reenactment the muffler came off a few
Nights before I don’t understand why my mother left the car behind when she and sis went to Pennsylvania with her sister she even
Took the keys with her talk about lack of trust what can a seventeen year old get into well in a long drawn out search a key was found
And more than usual group of guys were sleeping out why not leave lakers go up and take ma’s car out for a spin start out slow well
Out of the side yard anyway a little more tricking putting it back so past Black desert Ray Cherry’s on the back road to Assumption by
Now the accelerator is stuck to the floor the problem a lead foot anyone have teenagers driving pray good and hard I God and hands
of steel holding the wheel when literally my blood felt like it turned to ice water from the thrill that was now in God’s hands I hit the
small bridge back this way where the road turns back left where there used to be oil well operations right there I was flying low at one
Hundred and fifteen miles an hour soon would be Dukes of hazard air borne all four tires and car at least twenty five through the air
The front tire came down with a hard jarring bang ice water veins and a heavy wide poncho and God kept it upright went down turned
Around lost ten miles an hour of nerve went back one hundred and five miles an hour same little shorter flight but this time we
Landed right on top and in the middle of three chug holes if it had been the tire and it had went in I wouldn’t be writing this or anything else
But the muffler came off with a fine howdy doo as the car banged back on the ground so I gunned the car down by Besons turned it off
And coasted back into the yard went in and told a barley awake grandfather at two thirty in the morning how the county ripped off the
Muffler he fell for it next day I tried it on Ma all I got was right did rack off nice through the hills and bottoms. There is a high that goes with
Speed but there is also is a special quality that emerges out of slow deliberate movement as witnessed by my slow climb up the
Mountain pulling a T bird and a load of furniture more pleasurable on the down grades your still fighting not to over brake but the black
Night the air and the road the trees all enters your conciseness these feelings returned as Yvette set in studio and told her story it is
A story of youth, innocence lost to mindless cruelty it happened with the little dell reservoir shimmering bright under a full moon thats reson
Zack’s mother calls him the man in the moon and the purpose of the trip Zack was into black and white photography he
Wanted to photograph this lovely vision capture it where it would be a favorite item to share with his many friends it would be what
Lived on or at least one tangible part Yvette laid the background of the story how all through high school Zack and her were in all the
Classes together and when she would enter he would all ways make a comment she grew to enjoy and look forward to what he would
say it was tender young love taking it faltering first steps on this night he called and asked her to go she didn’t think anything of it she
Hadn’t done anything special as far as dressing in fact she had washed her hair hadn’t even dried it there is something basic naturally
Raw about a woman with wet hair whatever it is it causes the male heart to beat faster anything is powerful when left untamed. They would flash out to the place this story unfolded the quiet silence the full moon electrifying the water with a glorious sheen and the grass back lit with light causing the gold
Grass to beam without words or action there was a shout coming from nature’s heart and soul it reminded me of the modern western
I read thirty years ago called Goldenrod this perennial plant found in meadows served as the name of the ranch in the story. Yvette says as they
Turned into the final lane that led to the parking she felt a hint of a first kiss in the offing everything was picture perfect and it was nothing
Strange when the white pickup pulled into park that happened all the time at first the stranger kept his distance but he slowly worked
His way toward them finally just feet away he asked them where the path went to they gave him an answer she turned her back she
Said she hoped Zack turned also because at that moment the stranger pulled out a gun and started shooting the first shot killed Zack
He emptied his gun one bullet knocked her down then the shooting stopped then she realized he was reloading in that moment her
Father’s voice spoke in her mind if attacked by a grisly play dead more shots she felt the wind and speed of the bullets pass her head
One on the side caused a ugly exit wound but through it all being shot four times she lay still with her eyes open then the killer touched
Her leg she said she didn’t have a concept of being shot but now it was something that terrified her she thought he was going to ****
Her everyone thinks about that he put his face close to hers she could feel his breath on her neck his purpose was robbery as he went
Through her pockets he withdrew and she heard Zack’s car start later as she retold this two a group in Utah’s Capital building where
She is now a lawyer and a victim’s advocate it must have been strange to get in the person’s car you just killed and have Neil Diamond
Come an and sing. So when the gunfire died down and the night swallowed the terror a future wedding and life with Zack was forever
Gone his spirit dispersed among the stars and his spirit captured and held in natures wonder the new life reality capture was swift since
He left his vehicle his story an immigrant from Uruguay first stop New York then Utah unhappy with life he became obsessed with
Death he just wanted to watch someone die pathetic he was going to then **** himself guess what he had a change of heart got a plea
Deal to avoid the death penalty Zack’s family finally agreed they didn’t want the day twenty years in the future when he would be put
To death then the protesters do like they were doing as timing would have it in Texas at that very time praising almost the killer’s life
And demeaning the victim so he got life without parole then as a true snake has tried five appeals saying he was depressed at the time
This was his last appeal and finally the family has peace, Yvette suffered victims survival syndrome she left her heart on notes she left
On Zack’s grave it showed the depths of love that was dammed far more so than the little Dell ever could be Yvette married but the
Young man in the moon was to powerful a hold so she divorced she does have a seven year old little girl that helps push back the dark
Shadows of that night Zack sister was the one who had the children her one son bears her brother’s name and even looks like him
Yvette’s ending words was she just once to run up and hug Zack and talk to him about that night when love flew away on wounded
Wings to hurt to fly far so in the desert the wind whimpers love denied finds not a heart as its home lost fulfillment blows among the sage
In the eyes of a special woman there is a haunting stare you can read there torment sorrow pathos in the raw she found comfort
In service of helping others this is her and Zack’s story and severe as it is it is also a story of youth that is gone the same as our stories
I want to relate one other special story in this exaggerated time of *** nonsense without love or consequence or responsibility this
Happened in a youthful time of innocence it was moving touching and in one way reflects the time you fell in love this won’t get you
But as the saying says the glory contained in the rose comes by the price of pain from the thorn to walk in the past you can tear a hole
In the heart and soul where tears are stored in abundance I found this out for myself I set down from Carol’s house in tower hill at
a church in the parking lot as I relived those special moments between two people young innocent love that would ignite and through
Days and nights that were to short proved it wasn’t to be what was it I can’t really say but I’m sure you know as well as any of us can
know I know it came from left field not expecting it but it’s all right to cry in a church yard even if you’re my age any time innocence
And love is called or damaged it carries poignant painful waves to roll over you sometimes with other things at play in life they can be
Too much there is a song that says I wouldn’t take anything for my journey now no and neither would I take anything for my memories
Of friends and youth and lost love.
Valsa George Jan 2017
There was
none
to
listen
to her

Her words were like:

- A cry in the wilderness
that broke and shattered on woody trunks

- The howl of a lone wolf
that rose in the dead of the night

- The cry of an infant
that told the world, it was hungry

The cacophony of discordant orchestra
that left a jarring effect on the listeners

Her words sounded meaningless
To a world that spoke a different tongue

With no receptacle, her words like heated waters
Evanesced into vapor and billowed upward
Like coils of smoke to freeze into clouds

But one day it rained down,
Quite unexpected…….

With thunder and lightning!
-
Tyler May 2013
The morning exploded in a vast array of color and light
And the screams of geese ******* on the walkway to my apartment
I got a full nights sleep and
Last night I even abstained from quenching my thirst
Yet I still awoke with my senses beating me
Half to death
Maya Gold Oct 2011
you stranger,

you becoming stranger,

your voice the

heart-beat spindle’s threadbare pull,

pulsating in green-light chorus,

washing me in and out of the shore

of an intangible reality

that i think you not only live in,

but that you’ve created for yourself,

cloth of blood and crystalline light

and layer

upon layer

of memory

that may or may not have happened.



i dream of having my own palace in the

inverted sky;

i’d be the taste that

you try to swallow away,

the flickering guilt of

the candle you forgot to blow

out when you left the room—

you left me in the light.



i’d coax that tendril of

half-thought half-baked

slightly-worn

feeling,

weaving it

through the syllables of my fingertips.

the drumming of my hands

across impatient countertops would

keep the time,

and you’d grow in rhythm.



i’d smile,

the smug, gap-toothed knowledge

that comes from molding the inarticulate

summation of

yourself,

you, who i have never met.

our eyes would meet across the infinite

cliff of a space between words,

and that would be enough.



i’d like to be able to leave

the sound of my voice in the

crook of your elbow,

jarring your step as

you try to look past the horizon,

and only see my

tower of

words—

i want to be your babel, baby.
MereCat Feb 2015
In the barren bowl
Of the local park
There is more brown
Than green
And naked trees
Rest like tired moths
Upon grass
That has been lacerated
By studded shoes
And knees and toes
And elbows
That have ploughed it
Bare.
The edges of the path
Look like eyebrows
Scant
Poorly plucked
And rats-tail
Mongrels  
Scatter and shred
Across the carpet
Sodden
Sinewy.
Jarring teenage love
Letters
Sit upon February
The fourteenth
Like it is a mantelpiece of
Glass
Tip blue hair to grey sky
Beiged fingers
Intertwine
Black fingernails
Fumble
They watch their childhood haunts
Through the frosted panes
Of spectacle windows
And wonder why
Nostalgia dies so bitter
Today.
Kiss my empty skin
Waiting.

I find myself a love affair
In the sky
Clouds form a coastline
A single dribble of peach
Taints the ash
Like careless words
And I tilt my chin towards it
Already the spindle of my mind
Turns
And begins to weave
Gold from straw.
I haven't written poetry for a while...
st64 Dec 2013
it is true
when we give our blood too much
we aid in disempowerment


1.
constant giving in love and providing can set unhealthy-precedent
and when it falters in its expected-rhythm
ugly-tantrums get thrown, bordering on disrespect


2.
demands kick in hard upon trod-floor of insidious-hooks
there's always a rider for the other party on tightrope-theatre
            some or other condition to feed the monster of excitement
            while health straddles some jarring regions
            in hostile-spitting strong enough to lance startling-injury
shoelaces dripped in hazard-oil over a generational-canyon
provides unwanted-fodder for establishing long-term *slippage




(no! you weren't raised this way.. where does this stem from?)
there has been no failure to show how humans act and speak
this is unacceptable)


oh............you want / you want / you want..... all.. the.. time
then kick up unholy-storms when there's a break in rhyme


get ye, lad.. go practise your ire on a field
                   go throw a stick on the prairie
                   go find your path, you're old enough
yer insolence plain *****!




(I could tell you .. you're rude.. go home,
but you already are!)


S T - 10 dec 13
sometimes, offspring understand little of scpacrfieces parents have to (sometimes, privately) make in order to keep the wheels turning.............
it needs hair on teeth and grit in mouth to swallow some stuff, but persevere against adversity.. not always flippin' easy.
to teach independence and responsibility to children is a constant and ongoing thing.. one can hardly let up..
yeah, I guess it's the old adage of repetition, repetition, repetition ...

(there's a poem I half-remember.... about parents letting go of their offspring... natural pattern..)




sub: stuck

between jagged-rocks and petulant-push
how breathes a soul
stuck in places where no space moves?

reach for the blue one.. then, a white one
later.. three small ones

wooden wheels of erstwhile-splendour
interest little to jelly already set
in gratifix

skull goes numb in efforts
can't keep placating, no

wrong to wring neck of bird
who feeds well the keeper
who keeps warm the feeder
who helps to lift the spirit
K Balachandran Jan 2016
One of his sick molars
was jarring, crying foul,
the root canal treatment
she did, the first, on him
made it quiet,it touched
exactly the love nerve.

Love sprouted,got rooted between
the curvy dentist and him
in exactly five sittings;
the soil was fertile.
The  romantic dentist seized
his pining heart too quick,
the causes and effects of
that pain, she whispered, was similar
to what she felt , when he whimpered
leaning his head on her full *******.

No reason he had, not to surmise
she didn't do everything she should,
to make his ailing tooth perfect.
Coochiecooing to her, he even
called her" the tooth fairy's baby girl"
overwhelmed she gifted him a smooch.

Each  sitting fallowed
soliciting  that rare,tender dental care,
on her cozy swiveling chair,
brought them closer to bouts of  necking
and things more adventurous,
(may the medical ethics, pardon the pair!)

Vigorous  narratives she breathlessly
reeled off,  on the state of his each tooth
brought her more closer to the chair
than what professionally was expected,
her perfumed warm presence
brought aches, not necessarily dental.

A stinging pain on a root repaired
at a time his 'root canal sweet heart' was away
compels him to explore for a new chair.
The horror of horrors, it was revealed
here, a piece of broken iron implement
his sweet heart, has left within the root;
a  cover up as she couldn't retrieve it
with her skills inept,
it did aggravate, caused the pain!
Isn't the  betrayal of the kids,
in the name of tooth fairy,non existent  
far less heinous, than a cheating like this!

could any one blame him for this,
to escape a bad tooth future,  he did
the best one could; the comely tooth fairy
that found the fault and mended it
shows him his place in the
swivel chair of her heart these days!
"Poetry is a form of story telling, and we are born to tell stories"
Tara Skurtu(Poet,Translator, Fulbright lecturer)
(1/25/2016  Huffington Post)
And many stories in poetry reflect true life..
Mason Feb 2019
I am, I think, the last survivor of my kind. The arc ship had chosen the wrong sun for our new world. Or maybe it was the right one. Either way. A solar flair had destroyed us. By some fluke I was in my space suit on the far side of the ship doing a final exterior check of all system on what was supposed to be the eve of our landing day. Or maybe is wasn't supposed to be. Either way. I had seen everything around me engulfed in flames as I was accelerated away from everything I had ever known at impossible speeds smashed against the renforced rib of the hull that somehow protected me from the all consuming fire. I say it was a solar flare but I don't really know. It's just the best conclusion I can draw from the evidence given. And I have had lots of time to conteplate it. My space suit contains its own air scrubbing ecosystem that will provide me with a breathable atmosphere indefinitely and whos little bacteria happily march their dead into my stomach keeping me never full, but never malnourished nor starving. My species had only developed such overbuilt bioengineering after it was too late to save our drained and polluted home world, but we had it on the ship.

We were supposed to do better on the new world. Or maybe we weren't supposed to. Either way. I would lie against this chunk of wreckage and watch the hideously slow procession of the stars. As I hurtled through the universe, away from the nothing that remained from the nothing that I had know and towards new nothings that I had never seen before.

Either way, empty space is all the same and doing nothing is a drag even without the time dilation from the ungoddly speed one can attain when propelled by an angry star. It truely is a miracle that I am even alive. If you can call such a thing a miracle. Like I said, when taking to the heavens for our long journy, my people did it with sturdy stuff, but still, whatever force that hit us destroyed everything else. If anyone else did survive, their fate would be similar to my own and we would be getting further from one another by the moment, so it didn't really matter anyhow.

Before you ask, no, I couldn't just take off my helment. My people had instaled suicide prevention measures well before the launch. People tend to get depressed when confined to a ship, much less a spacesuit. My people knew this.

I prefered to lie with my face on the rib looking to my right. That way the left half of my vision was consummed by the dark mass of the rib as my right half, while mostly darkness contained a particularly bright star as well. By watching it inch toward the rib I was able to maintain some semblance of a sense of time passing. Then, one day, I saw a second light. I saw it wizzing pass and I could barely believe what my eyes told me it was. A shoulder mounted light on another space suit. And in it, I assumed, another person.  I hadn't moved since I had made it out of sight of the explosion. After what felt like days, it faded into the black that surrounded me, and I , resigned to my fate had laid down on the chunk of wreckadge and not moved since. But now, my body started up with a fire before my mind could even think to do next. I scrambled to the edge of the rib and I could see their light floating away from me. I hesitated for a moment. I have always been the type to hesitate even if my previous movement would suggest otherwise.

Then, I did it. I swung myself onto what had once been the interior side of the last souvenir from my ship. I planted my feet on it and I pushed with all my might. I demanded that my atrophied legs explode with all their remaining strength and then some. I pushed away from the last piece of everything i had ever known and pushed myself into the vast emptiness. The light seemed to slow in its escape, but it wouldn't be enough to catch it I knew. If I didn't do something immediatly I would spend the rest of my days watching it move further away from me.

I didn't have to do anything. A rocket propelled teather launched past me and again, with out though my body reached out and grabbed it. My mind realized that as soon as the teather ran out of slack, the tension would rip it from my grip, so I clamped it to my utility belt using the built in vice grip. It wouldn't let go for any force less than an exploding star. When the teather did run out of slack, the deceleration was so jarring that I thought it would break me.

The other creature and I fell into orbit with one another. The centripetal force created an artificial gravity. While the reintroduction of force upon my body pained me, feeling the grip of gravity against me was bliss, even if it was just an illusion.

And this is where you find me, spiraling in tandem through the universe with my companion. We are different species and share no means of communication. It is likely that we were born millenia apart, but time means little in our vacuous relm. We tried to pull ourselves closer together, but the increased rate of orbit made the endeavor sickening as well as exhausting. Though we had no language between us, we agreed that it was best we maintain our distance.

When you're alone in space, there is no point of refrence for movement and acceleration except ones self. As such, from my partners perspective it would have appeared that they stood still while I hurtled pass. But the truth is that they hurtled toward me and saved me from the broken prison of the rib. I don't mind them seeing it as such, but I smile in my knowing of the truth.

And so we tumble through the universe as close together as we can manage. Which is all one can really ask for anyhow.
Sam WG May 2014
I can hear the Band of Gypsys  
When I find her sitar eyes
But I can guess what she sees
With her moist mouth jarring wide
******* clouds from the sky

Hoodoo Voodoo Medicine Girl
In a thunderstorm of dirt stained pearls
Tranquillity is everything
As we all float down to hear her sing
And she knows full well
That she can pollinate anything
Simply without the need to sting

The half mast will be put in place  
As your heart's pump gathers in pace

If you're anticipating to catch her near
Don't act surprised if you're left to persevere
When you finally catch a glimpse
Things won't quite be as they appear  
She'll be floating in the stratosphere
Soaring high with no fear
Cos if you did not know
The Hoodoo Voodoo Medicine Girl
Burns on the fuel of your fresh tears.
Chris Smark Jan 2012
Its sun-bleached pink parka
Limply hung over slumped, thin shoulders
Even in the summer twilight,
Crinkles, stale newspapers and plastic bags
Dissonance with the jarring
Rattle of shopping cart wheels.

Its rank malt liquor stench—
Astringent ammonia sweat
Runs in rancid rivulets down
Decaying skin on decaying face.
Pimples and pus and
****-notched teeth.

It offers a drink
In exchange for change.

My watch has never been more riveting.
And this place our forefathers made for man!
This is the process of our love and wisdom,
To each poor brother who offends against us—
Most innocent, perhaps—and what if guilty?
Is this the only cure? Merciful God!
Each pore and natural outlet shrivelled up
By Ignorance and parching Poverty,
His energies roll back upon his heart,
And stagnate and corrupt; till changed to poison,
They break out on him, like a loathsome plague-spot;
Then we call in our pampered mountebanks—
And this is their best cure! uncomforted
And friendless solitude, groaning and tears,
And savage faces, at the clanking hour,
Seen through the steam and vapours of his dungeon,
By the lamp’s dismal twilgiht! So he lies
Circled with evil, till his very soul
Unmoulds its essence, hopelessly deformed
By sights of ever more deformity!

With other ministrations thou, O Nature!
Healest thy wandering and distempered child:
Thou pourest on him thy soft influences,
Thy sunny hues, fair forms, and breathing sweets,
Thy melodies of woods, and winds, and waters,
Till he relent, and can no more endure
To be a jarring and a dissonant thing
Amid this general dance and minstrelsy;
But, bursting into tears, wins back his way,
His angry spirit healed and harmonized
By the benignant touch of Love and Beauty.

— The End —